GAZETEER A-Q R-Z
Goods and Trade: Fish, Olives & Oil, Ores, Stone, Wool, Linen, Weapons & Armor, Slaves, Sculpture, Ships, Artifacts, Jewelry
Civilization arose in the Aeonian Isles in ancient times. As the Keshites were raising pyramids in the desert and the people of Huran were digging their great canals, Aeonian cities became centers of learning and trade. The epic stories of the Aeonian gods and heroes are well known, as are the voyages of Aeonian mariners throughout the Inner Sea. Colonies were founded at Thyreen, Carthene and Minea long before the Isthians built Tharsis, and Aeonian sailors were the first to explore the Nether Sea and pass the Straits of Titan into the Western Ocean. Mycea became the greatest of the Aeonian city-states, ruling a maritime empire that stretched from Thyreen and Khosos to the island of Medira. Tales of the Twenty-Year War fought between Mycea and the island city of Ilion are perhaps the most famous of the history of the Inner Sea ... After more than ten centuries of independence and civilized achievement, Aeonia was conquered by the Empire of the Inner Sea in a two year campaign. The classic art and learning of the Isles were plundered, leaving the ancient cities dilapidated or in ruin. With the collapse of the Empire, Aeonia was again ravaged, this time by mercenary armies, local warlords and Inner Sea pirates. The Isles slipped backward into feudal chaos.
In 1021, Lord Nikovar - a former Imperial official himself who had taken Mycea with a mercenary army - was granted by the Patriarch the title of King of the Aeonian Isles and Khosos. He then set out on a campaign to reunite the island states into a single Aeonian kingdom. He was not completely successful. Ilion and Ithakos have resisted and, in 1024, the Lady Sorceress of Syrene single-handedly destroyed most of the Mycean fleet sent to conquer her island. Khosos was lost to rebellion in 1127, instigated and supported by Thyreen, and remains independent ... The Nikovian dynasty now rules most of the Isles, including Ekthalon on the Nether Sea and Minea on the island of Medira. Allied against Mycea is the Syrenean League, consisting of Syrene, Ilion, Ithakos, and Khosos (and supported by Thyreen and Genice) to oppose Mycean domination of the eastern Inner Sea.
Goods and Trade: Fish, Ivory, Gems, Weapons & Armor, Slaves, Ships, Jewelry, Silks & Spices
Lying beyond the Windless Sea at the edge of the Southern Ocean, the Isles of Alay are far removed from the Inner Sea. The Alays are a strange people who chatter loudly and laugh often, short and wirey with copper-hued skin, strait black hair and obsidian eyes. In the hot climate of the South, they go about barely dressed in colorful kilts and headbands, their skin stained with elaborate tattoos, sporting multiple earrings, necklaces and armbands of silver, gold and precious gems to display their wealth. They worship the primeval sea-god known as Ulmo in the Inner Sea and the North, whom they call Kikayamatu, as well as a host of lesser demi-gods and demons who's realms are the winds and the sea. The Alays themselves are the greatest mariners of the western world. Their merchant galleys are far superior to any other type of ship, able to navigate deep ocean and coastal waters as well as large rivers, carry cargo and troops, and defend themselves well through speed and superior seamanship. Their annual trade routes takes them from the coast of fabled Mezoparaan, up the great rivers of Huran, along the coast of the Great Desert and into the Rift Sea, trading at every port and coastal town where it is profitable. It is known that they trade with the distant East as well as Isfar and unknown lands in the Far South. Alay seafarers have recently accomplished an amazing feet. In 1202, a fleet of seven ships made port at the Carthenian settlement of Oroncar in the Western Ocean after circumnavigating the southern landmass ... They are interested in every opportunity for trade and have been known to hire their ships out for the transportation of troops, for the right price and without officially taking sides in conflicts between other kingdoms.
ANGLAMAR (Player kingdom)
Goods and Trade: Fish, Horses, Meat & Leather, Ores, Stone, Wool, Weapons & Armor, Slaves
Ships from Aeonia for slaves.
In 1155, King Teodor III of Isthia invaded Eredor to press his grandfather's claim according to the decree of the Council of Tharsis (1021). Almost immediately, Carthenia (secretly allied with Isthia) siezed the port city of Sevarre. Hard-pressed, King Evrard sent a plea to the North, but Anglamar refused involvement in a conflict over a Patriarchal decree. Instead, the landless knight Sir Aedn of Westhaven was allowed to assemble a mercenary force and march south. After weeks of fighting, the Isthians were driven back and King Evrard turned south to confront the Carthenians, leaving the siege of Andua to the Northerners. The city fell a month later, and Sir Aedn demanded payment for his troops and relief to garrison Andua. King Evrard refused, claiming the war had drained the Royal Treasury but offering Aedn title and lands elsewhere. Faced with the choice of abandoning his army and leaving Andua to their mercy, or facing the revolt of his men, Sir Aedn chose neither. Instead, he sent word to Varena with an offer to rule Andua as a vassal of Isthia. Seeing an opportunity to improve the fortunes of defeat, King Teodor agreed, granting Aedn the title of Duke ... Since then, the Duchy of Aragond has existed virtually independent, resisting threatened aggression from Eredor and paying only nominal tribute to Varena.
CARTHENIA (Player kingdom)
Culture: Savage to Barbaric
Goods and Trade: Horses, Meat & Leathers, Timber & Furs, Wool, Weapons & Armor, Slaves
East and north of the Inner Sea Lands, beyond the Nether Sea and the orc-infested wilderness of Grond, stretches a vast and treeless grassland. It is believed that the "Empty Steppes" reach far far eastward to the very shores of the Great Ocean which is said to circle the world. The steppes are inhabited by scattered nomadic tribes who wander with the seasons, following great herds of deer and bison. The Yazaks, Yazars and Kargas are names known to the people of the West, but there are many other tribes farther east. If ever the tribes were united and came west, they would be a fierce and deadly enemy for any kingdom that stood in their way ... The Eastern Nomads are people of the horse. They depend upon horses for transportation, hides, even meat and milk when other sources are scarce. They are a tough, wild and warlike culture, renowned for the finest light cavalry in the world. Nomad warriors swarm the battlefield with bow, lance and sword, maneuvering with amazing speed, precision and ferocity. As mounted archers, they shower infantry and heavier cavalry formations with arrows while keeping out of the reach of the enemy (in the Battle System, nomadic cavalry casualties are halved unless they are fighting other mounted archers).
OEDEA, on the shore of the Nether Sea at the wide mouth of the Arax River, is an ancient settlement. Founded as an Aeonian colony centuries before the Empire of the Inner Sea, the town has been conquered by nomads, destroyed, rebuilt and conquered again many times over its long history ... Today, Oedea is a rulerless sprawl of tumbled stone walls, ramshackle buildings and horsehide tents where Inner Sea merchants and nomad traders meet. If a King needs horses in quantity, and can provide the ships to carry them, Oedea is the market. It is also the western end of the "Silk Road," the great overland trade route to the lands of the distant East. Here, the Aeonians acquire silk and eastern gemstones for trade in the Inner Sea.
THE IRKAN PLAN is a rolling lowland of scrub and grass between the broad Arax River and the open steppe. It is a virtual no man's land where orcs from Grond rarely venture. When they do, they are hunted for sport by the nomadic Yazaks who delight in mounting orc skulls above their tents.
ISKANDAHAR, at the edge of the Karakan Desert, is the greatest market center on the Eastern Trade Road, which links the Inner Sea lands to those of the distant East. It is less a city than a vast and noisy sprawl of tents and mud buildings centered on the great red brick fortress of its ruler, the Great Khan of Iskandahar. Steppe nomads and Eastern merchants crowd its maze of streets and vast marketplace where horses, camels, gems, silks, slaves and other goods can be purchased in quantity. Iskandahar and her lesser rival to the south, Kundakarakan provide the services for the caravans that travel east to west and back again ... Travelers are warned that the only laws in Iskandahar (and all along the Trade Road), are the rule of gold, the sword, and the word of the Khan. At Iskandahar, merchants pay with gold for the Khan's protection against nomad raiders and rival merchants. However, the monsters of the wild, including ogres and eastern orcs who lurk along the way, pay little heed to what banners you fly or who's papers you carry ...
KIRKAN FOREST is a wilderness of pine forest verging the northern foothills of the Karas and Hykaras ranges. The Eastern Nomads hunt there, but the timber is virtually untouched. Any kingdom seeking to exploit the resources of the area would have to secure a route through or around the mountains and contend with attacks from nomads and savage humanoid raiders from the mountains.
EREDOR (Player kingdom)
Goods and Trade: Ores, Stone, Timber & Furs, Gems, Artifacts
The land east of Varalkia, between the Urt and Arax rivers, is a vast and rugged wilderness of mountains, hills and pine forest. The territory is rich with resources - timber, furs and ores (including iron and silver) - and would be valuable to any kingdom that could take it. Unfortunately, Grond is thick with orcs which occasionally swarm out of their mountain warrens to raid across the Urt River and south into Morovar. Whereas the orcs of the Icewall Mountains, who commonly raid the Northern Marches in Anglamar, are particularly large and fierce, those of Grond are smaller, more beastlike and far more numerous. A raiding band of Grondish orcs typically numbers a thousand or more, while an entire horde (appearing about once every 25 years) can easily exceed 10,000. The last such event, in 1175 I.R., swarmed across the Duchy of Vareska nearly to Vladimar and as far as the town of Estvar. Urovesk and Black Wolf Castle were cut off from the capitol for three months while Varalkian forces rallied and pushed the orcs back ... The orcs of Grond also venture east, but rarely cross the broad Arax River. When they do, the nomads of the Eastern Steppes hunt them for sport on the Irkan Plain.
According to legend, the dwarven stronghold of Stonegard lies somewhere in the mountains of Grond. Lost a thousand years ago to orcish invasion, it's location is held secret in Irongate where the few survivors of Stonegard fled as refugees. Their descendents (two generations in dwarven terms) hold to their vow to one day return and claim Stonegard's lost treasures.
Lying in the far northwest of the known lands of Mythandar, a mountainous expanse of black volcanic rock, locked in perpetual ice and surrounded by storm-churned winter-frozen seas. Great glaciers grind slowly seaward, calving great bergs into the ocean, their groans and rumbles echoing for miles out to sea. In Norlandic legend, it is the earthly realm of Helka, icey Goddess of Death, the abode of monsters where frost giants lurk and the ancient dragon Angaurok, bannished by Valkan Stormlord after the God's War, awaits the Twilight of the World. True or not, the monstrous roars and icey storms that eminate from Helkar Land make even the steel hard warriors of Norland shudder with fear ...
The land mass was discovered in 1098 I.R. by Haramir Farfarer, who crossed Ice Fang Bay and skirted the coast, sailing the farthest west that any man has ever gone. In Haramir's Saga, it is recounted that his dragonship, Ironfang (blessed by the Horned Goddess to sail faster than any other), was pursued by an ivory-hued dragon rushing down from the cliffs of Helkar Land. Days west of White Dragon Cape, the Norlanders sighted another distant land mass rising from the sea. The skald Heimring, Haramir's shieldmate, claimed to have had a vision reflected in the setting sun of scattered rocky isles arcing southwestward to an unknown continent of sandy shores and forest-clad mountains. Haramir returned and founded Haramir's Hold west of Dragonsgaard, in 1099. His descendants are among the Great Chiefs of Norland to this day ...
The wild lands south of Grond, between Varalkia and the Nether Sea, are a rugged and unsettled expanse of forests, hills and snow-capped mountains. The region has never been settled by men, though the Varalkians have ventured to explore beyond the Urt River with an eye to opening a trade route east. Dwarves mined the mountains in ancient times, but thier mines and holds have been abandoned and overrun by orcs.MOROVAR lies along Varalkia's eastern border, marked by the Urt River. It is hardwood forests and rough hills, rising to the towering walls of the Stonemark Range. Foresters and miners from Estvar occasionally venture across the Urt, but no permanent settlement has been established. The Stonemark orcs, though stunted and feral, are still dangerous and tend to swarm out of their warrens when they catch wind of intruders ... Morovar Gap is the widest and most practical passage east, and an established route would give access to trade at Oedea at the western end of the Great Eastern Trade Road.
THE DRAGONS BACK are barren saw-toothed ridges rising to snow-clad peaks at the border of Grond. In legend, these are the petrified skeleton of the Great Dragon, Kargarax, slain by the storm-god Valkan in the Gods' War 10,000 years ago. Indeed, they are said to be the breeding ground of dragons, the peaks riddled with nests and lairs. Somewhere deep within the range is said to be a great cavern which is hallowed ground to dragon-kind, filled with an unimaginable hoard of gold, gems and artifacts gathered over uncounted centuries ...
GREAT EAGLE MOUNTAIN is named for the giant gold eagles that are said to nest there. Long ago, they soared all across the North, hunting the Varalkian plains and battling dragons high above the mountains ... The Golden Eagle symbol of Varalkia honors these creatures, which so impressed the Koths when they first migrated west centuries ago.
TETHYONE VALE is a broad, thickly wooded valley, flanked by the Stonemark and Antaen mountains. Among the lands near the Inner Sea, the Vale remains untouched by man. It is a strange place, a remnant of a lost age before mankind spread across Mythandar, inhabited by ancient and magical creatures - fauns, sylphs, centaurs and other beings mentioned in Aeonian myths ... The Elves of the West know of Tethyone and revere it as something like a preserve under the protection of the Great Mother. They are said to visit there from Everwilde on occasion, though it is not known how, since elves are never seen traveling through the lands between.
ANTAEA, south of the Antaean Mountains, was the site of a thriving Pre-Aeonian civilization. From the bronze-age city of Antilion, now in ruins, the Aeonian Isles were colonized and the great cities of Ilion, Mycea, and Archaeopolis where founded. After thousands of years of war and natural distasters, Antaea has become a backwater of the Inner Sea, ruled by Ilion and inhabited by simple shepherd folk.
THE NETHER SEA and SHADOWED SEA are linked to the Inner Sea through narrow passages walled by towering mountain peaks. Isolated from the great routes of trade and travel of the Inner Sea Lands, there has been little settlement around them by men. Ancient Aeonian mariners explored through the straits and across the desolate expanse of the Nether Sea long ago, founded an outpost at Oedea, and discovered pre-historic ruins on the shores of Death's Harbor. Their myths told of great whirlpools in the Shadowed Sea that dragged ships to the bottom, of the magical creatures of Tethyone Vale (and how, when sailors put ashore there, they would be drawn into the timeless wood, never to return), and of monstrous sea serpents that lurked in the deep waters of the Nether Sea ... The ruins on the shore of the Shadowed Sea are all that remains of an ancient Aeonian port, destroyed long ago by ogres from the Karas mountains.
TITAN'S DAUGHTERS are towering peaks which stand to either side of the Nemian and Nether straits and the Shadowed Sea. According to myth, they are the seven daughters of the primieval god Titan, turned to stone for their faithlessness in the Gods' War. Legends name them as the source of monsters and giants who crawl out of hidden caverns to wreak havoc on mankind.
HURAN (Player kingdom)
The Children of Kor appeared millenia ago in the First Age following the Gods' War. According to their own myths, the Lord of Earth, Stone and Fire crafted the Four Fathers (forefathers?) of the Dwarves with His own hands and breathed life into them, then sent them out into the mountains of the world to live as they will. Blessed with the talent of building and creating, dwarves were the first to develop mining and metal working, the first to build fortifications of stone. They invented runes (more elaborate pictoglyphs than an alphabet) and, when first meeting Men, taught them how to forge iron ... Five thousand years ago, dwarven mountain fortresses stood in the Karas (north of the Great Desert), the Stormover Mountains, and the Icewall range of the northwest. They warred constantly with orcs, ogres and giants and, occasionally, with barbaric tribes of Men seeking their treasures. The fantastic wealth of Irongate, Stonegard and Rifthaven are legendary and have forever been the source of jealous greed and strife between Dwarves and the other races ... Over the long history of the Dwarven people, their numbers have steadily declined due to warfare and a low birth rate. Dwarves live for centuries, yet produce few children. Many never marry, but devote themselves wholly to their crafts or battling their blood enemies. Most of the old dwarven holds across Mythandar have fallen to disaster or orcish invasion, or have been abandoned. The mountains of the North are riddled with old mines and "dungeons," the haunt of monsters or occupied by orcs. As the source of legends of fabulous lost treasures, they continue to attract Adventurers.
During the days of the Empire, the greatest dwarf-holds known to Men were Stonegard in the mountains of Grond, and Irongate, far to the northwest in the Icewall Mountains. There was little contact between them and the Empire, so the dwarves took little part in the history of the Inner Sea. When the Koths migrated west, they at first warred with dwarves and then traded with them, acquiring iron-forging and stone-building skill ... A thousand years ago, Stonegard was overrun by orcs and ogres and the inhabitants fled west to Irongate as refugees. The hold's location is a closely guarded secret and the descendents of Clan Forgefire (two generations in dwarven terms) hold to their vow to one day return and claim Stonegard's lost treasures.
Today, Irongate remains a powerful kingdom, dominating the mountains north of Anglamar and, usually, remaining apart from the politics and wars of Men. However, King Grimbold Highhammer (who has sat the Iron Throne for five centuries) has allied himself with Anglamar in the past. The last time, in 1187 I.R., Irongate joined allied forces against the Wizard-King who's humanoid hordes were ravaging the North. After beating back an attack on their city, some 5,000 dwarven warriors marched out of the mountains to break the siege of Kragmoor Keep and join the army of Anglamar at Battle Down in the Weathermoors.
Irongate has since withdrawn and it's territory is barred to men, except at Iron Vale where southern merchants come to trade. There is also a close relationship between some prominant dwarves (in particular, Brund Stonereaver, hero of the North War who was instrumental in "killing" the Wizard-King) and the settlers of the Northern Marches. The Olwains of Highsaddle are accounted as family in Irongate and some of the Northern Rangers are among the few outsiders allowed entrance there.
ISFAR (Player kingdom)
ISTHIA (Player kingdom)
KESH (Player kingdom)
Goods and Trade: Fish, Stone, Gems, Jewelry, Weapons & Armor, Slaves, Ships, Artifacts, Silks & Spices
The rogue state of the Inner Sea, a haven for pirates and sell-swords, mercenary adventurers, exiled nobles from Eredor and Isthia, Aragondian smugglers - you name it. Varaquay spreads on either side of a narrow strait between the main island and a spur of mountain rising from the sea. It doesn't need walls. Any army trying to take it would have to climb through a warren of muddy and cobblestone streets, overhung by ramshackle buildings where any number of sniping archers (and any kid with a brick) might lurk. Castellan in Eredor has a historic claim to Kordina, as does Isthia. The (arch)Duke of Aragond maintains contacts and agents here, ports his ships and plots against his neighbors with Kordinan pirates. The Wizard Balok Thrane lives in a seaside tower, an independent Power among the kingdoms of the Inner Sea. As Primarch of the Sorcerers' Guild, he has refused to take sides in all conflicts for the last hundred years - unless it suits him. His dire enemies are the High Lady of Syrene, Falkard of Westhaven, and the Patriarch Himself.
Goods and Trade: Fish, Stone, Wool, Ships, Slaves
The mountainous island was inhabited in ancient times by a small primitive people who built circular stone huts, fished, and herded sheep on the rocky hills. They were easily dominated by the Aeonians who founded a colony at Minea. The island was conquered early in the history of the Empire of the Inner Sea, serving as an important naval base. After the Empire's collapse, the island became the home of Inner Sea pirates until Mycea sent a fleet to reclaim Minea. Soon after, both Carthenia and Eredor established ports there. War loomed over ownership of Medira until the Patriarch resolved the issue in 1130 by partitioning the island among the three powers.
NEAR PARAAN and the EMPTY ISLES
Near Parran is an uninhabited coastal desert of rock and broken hills rising to arid highlands, inhabited by few creatures but known to harbor the dreaded lamias of legend. Eastern orcs lurk in the mountains to the north. Merchant caravans and travelers prefer not to pass through but do so heavily armed and defended by magic when possible. As an extension, the Empty Isles are just that. Their broken cliffs are laired by rocs and harpies and the treacherous channels between them swarm with monstrous sea creatures. Even pirates avoid them ... At the southern extent rises the massive caldera of Ketu-Atuan (Mount of Fire), an ancient volcano that can be sighted for a hundred miles out to sea. The mountain occasionally rumbles and spouts black vapors, and legend has it that dragons mate in the skies around it and nest in its massive crater.