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KINGDOM OF VARALKIA

For thousands of years, the lands east of the Varya River and north of the Inner Sea were a wilderness inhabited by beasts, orcs and scattered tribesfolk (related to the Eastern Nomads). In Imperial times, Kothic barbarians migrated there, drove off the orcs and set themselves up as warlords. Koth warriors served as mercenaries in the old Imperial army and, over time, ideas of civilization spread north. When the Empire fell, there were a half-dozen independent rulers vying for dominance. Then, 100 years ago, the Prince of Vladimar defeated the forces of Karalya and Korov and proclaimed himself Konstand I, King of Varalkia. Since then, there have been a number of minor rebellions and the Dukes (particularly Karalya) have been notoriously difficult to control. Twenty years ago, the armies of the Wizard-King invaded and ravaged the Duchy of Korov. Varalkian forces held the enemy at the Osk River until the Wizard-King turned his efforts west toward Anglamar. Since then, there has been a steady trend toward strengthening the borders and expanding for resources.


CULTURE:          Feudal
RESOURCES:     Typical
WEALTH:           Prosperous
POPULATION:    Sparse

Government: The King is an hereditary monarch, as established by Konstand I, with sovereignty over all the nobility. However, over the last century, the monarchy has been weakened by the growing power of the Dukes. Karalya and Korov operate virtually independent within their borders, contributing only minimally to the Royal Treasury (Karalya has not contributed at all for several years). The Kings have placed themselves in a precarious position by allowing the Dukes to maintain large armies of their own.

Varalkia is well-protected by frontier borders and isolation from the Inner Sea. She has plenty of resources inside her borders or within reach, requiring only money and effort to develop them. Manpower is a problem, since the vast country is only sparsely inhabited and the army is hard-pressed to secure her borders. The kingdom benefits from the feudal military tradition, able to field knights, men-at-arms and other basic troops. However, in the open plains and rolling hills of the country, Varalkia relies heavily on light fast cavalry. The kingdom's forces would prove quite formidable if all of the nobles could be united in the same purpose.The kingdom has no navy to speak of. Her only port at Krakovar is reachable by ship from the Inner Sea, but is easily blockaded. This also restricts the kingdom's access to Inner Sea Trade. To this end, the previous King began construction of a port at the mouth of the Varya River in order to gain access to Inner Sea trade. The fortified town of Konstandovar, being built at great expense to the Royal Treasury, will be a base for Varalkian naval and merchant shipping and should be completed within the year.

Settlement has been slow, though there has been a steady push to expand westward into the forests of the Eastmark and south to the Inner Sea. The orc tribes of Grond pose a constant threat, making development of the northeastern frontier (rich with timber, furs and ores) dangerous. However, the orcs rarely cross the Urt River ...

Challenges: The King of Varalkia must consolidate power by collaring the nobles and reasserting the crown's authority. The kingdom needs access to trade and must have a navy to protect it. Establishing the port of Konstandovar at the mouth of the Varya (a project begun by the previous King) is the first step in that direction, but building a navy will be an expensive and time consuming endeavor ... Westward, Anglamar makes claim to all the forest lands beyond the Easting (Varya). Previous Kings have insisted on a north-south line marked by Greyshadow Mountain but, as of yet, no effort has been made to enforce this. A full-scale or official incursion into the Eastmark would surely provoke Anglamar to war ...


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