The Demesnes - Atlas

Countries


Almor, Prelacy of

Almor was founded in 1743 YG following an attack by Nyrond on the western border of the Great Kingdom. Occupied elsewhere, the Great Kingdom left the people of its westernmost province to defend themselves, which they did, halting the advance of Nyrond. Realising support from the central capital was unlikely to help them again, the people appointed a prelate and fortified a border between themselves and the Great Kingdom, declaring the new nation to be named Almor.

Since then, Almor has had no troubles with the declining Great Kingdom, even trading openly with its neighbour. There have been some border skirmishes with Nyrond, and the air between them remains cold. Almor has been looking to expand its territory, and the easiest route is taking parts of the Adri Forest, where they have been driving the native elves ever deeper into the woods. Perhaps the biggest problems faced by Almor now are the incursions of humanoids from The Rakers and the Bone March into its northern regions.

Bandit Kingdoms

In 1662 YG nomadic Flan tribesmen rode south into the unprotected northern borders of the Shield Lands. Engaged in defending its western border from the Horned Society, the Shieldmen fell back, allowing the Flan people to settle and establish the Bandit Kingdoms. The people of these loosely affiliated petty kingdoms have become professional raiders, launching sorties in all directions to collect food, treasures, and slaves.

Many times since, the nearby countries have sponsored counter-assaults, aimed at driving the bandits away from the region. The bandits however, have nowhere to go, and defend their lands vigorously, resulting in a stalemate.

Bissel

Bissel is an old country, with a history going back over 2000 years. It lost half its territory in 1645 YG when Gran March declared its independence in a bloody revolution. Bissel fought hard but never regained the territory. Relationships today have softened, though some older Bisselites maintain a grudge.

Bissel's other neighbours are Ket and Veluna, both of which have peaceful relationships with Bissel. The region is generally safe and pleasant, though there are the occasional raids and incursions by humanoids and monsters coming down from the Barrier Peaks to the west and the Lortmils to the east.

Blackmoor

Blackmoor is a land sequestered away north of the Cold Marshes and Burneal Forest. It was settled by nomadic Flan tribesmen, who untied to form the nation in 831 YG. The nomads were forced to adopt a more fixed lifestyle, growing crops and farming reindeer to make do in the harsh northern conditions. Blackmoor remains isolated and receives few travellers beyond the occasional hardy merchants who make the long journey north to trade for seal and polar bear skins, and whale ivory.

Bone March

The land now known as the Bone March began life as a province of the Great Kingdom. It received its name following a huge battle against the sea-borne barbarian raiders of the north. The Great Kingdom sent reinforcements by land, who were mostly slaughtered, littering their march with bones.

The area continued to suffer the depredations of the barbarians, sometimes winning, sometimes losing. The Great Kingdom continued to bolster its northernmost province until the southern provinces began revolting and declaring independence. Following several years of paying taxes without receiving support, Bone March too declared independence in 1741 YG. The next 20 years were hard times as the people of the March rode out barbarian raids by themselves. When the North Province also left the Great Kingdom, an alliance was formed against the barbarians and life became a little easier.

Unfortunately, Bone March later came under seige from humanoid armies looking to extend their territories from The Rakers down into the fertile plains of the March. They weathered the attacks for several years before finally, in 1852 YG, succumbing and fleeing their land before the evil hordes. Most citizens of Bone March now live as refugees in the North Province.

Celene

Celene was founded in 728 YG when the elves of the Welkwood allied with humans fleeing humanoid incursions from the Suss Forest. The combined armies routed the humanoids and the now united human lands adopted a half-elf as their leader, thus cementing an alliance with the Welkwood elves. The land has been a peaceful haven ever since, though constant vigilance on the Suss Forest border is required to keep it that way. Celene is in regular contact with the County of Ulek via trade caravans which cross the Lortmil Mountains and Verbobonc via travellers passing through the Kron Hills to the north.

Dyvers, Free City of

Dyvers is a large walled city on the southern bank of the Nyr Dyv, where the Velverdyva River flows into the great lake. It controls the lake and river shores for 100 kilometres in either direction, as well as parts of the Gnarley Forest to the south. The city was founded around the same time as Greyhawk and has held on to its easily defensible lands ever since.

Dyvers is a major trading port. It handles inland goods from Veluna to Perrenland, and even silks and spices from the Baklunish lands and those further west. These it trades for goods brought via the Nyr Dyv from coastal lands to the south, making sure that the Dyvers middlemen get their cut, of course. Dyvers is thus a cosmopolitan and lively city, where anything in the Demesnes can be had for the right price.

Ekbir, Caliphate of

Ekbir is an old Baklunish nation on the coast of the Dramidj Ocean. It grew rich early in its history on the profits of merchants trading goods between the Demesnes and the relatively unknown lands to the west. The nation maintained peaceful relations with its neighbours of Zeif and Tusmit until Zeif imposed a tax on goods passing through its lands. Ekbir responded by sending most of its trade by ship across the Dramidj Ocean, which naturally angered Zeif over the lost revenue. Ekbir also refuses to allow Tusmit access to ships on its coast, so relations with both countries have deteriorated and remain cool to this day.

Frost Barbarians

The Frost Barbarians have inhabited the most clement portions of the barbarian lands for some 1500 years. These lands have been coveted by the Snow Barbarians, but the Frost Barbarians are fierce defenders and have given no ground to them. The barbarians' existence is based on raiding more southerly lands each summer for enough supplies to last the harsh winter. Some warriors must always be left behind to fight off the monsters which descend from the Griff and Corusk Mountains. A pass between the mountains connects to the Hold of Stonefist; some trade passes this way, but not much since the path is fraught with danger.

Furyondy, Kingdom of

Furyondy is an old kingdom touching the north-west shore of the Nyr Dyv. It used to control more than twice the territory it holds now, but the Shield Lands became independent after the war with Urnst almost 400 years ago, western territory was lost to Veluna in a long series of wars, and the northern districts fell to the Horned Society. Still, Furyondy is a power to be reckoned with and might easily win back lost territory with a concerted campaign. The lands nearby watch with great care.

Furyondy contains great fertile plains which produce large amounts of food, wool, and other goods. It trades these for metals and gems, which are scarce in its lands. Many cargo ships plying the Nyr Dyv and its feeder rivers are Furyondian, and the country maintains a good sized navy on the lake.

Geoff, Grand Duchy of

The Duchy of Geoff is about 600 years old, formed from united towns in the sheltered valley between the Crystalmist Mountains and Barrier Peaks. Being so geographically isolated, it has never known war with other human nations, though it continually faces raids and incursions by humanoids and monsters descending from the mountains. The people of Geoff are friendly with the elves of the Hornwood and Oytwood, who produce the major portion of trade goods leaving Geoff. In fact, Geoff sees more elven travellers crossing its border than humans.

Gran March

In 1645 YG the Margrave Petros of southern Bissel incited a revolution, casting off the shackles of northern rule in a violent conflict with loyal troops. The battle cost many lives on both sides and when the dust settled Bissel was too thinly stretched to claim back the territory, leaving Gran March to rule itself. The past is mostly forgotten now and the two nations are not antagonistic, though have not actually allied. Gran March has no real enemies, being on cordial terms with both Keoland and the Duchy of Ulek, who form its other borders.

Great Kingdom, The

The Great Kingdom used to be much greater. Its lands spanned the entire eastern Demesnes and the capital of Rauxes was rich with treasures and marvels brought from all corners of the kingdom. Its rulers became despotic and the culture decadent, and in the space of less than 50 years from 1715 YG it splintered into ten separate nations through revolutions and wars on three separate fronts.

The Great Kingdom now is scarcely worthy of the name, though it remains the largest country in the Demesnes. Its troops are currently concentrating on the southern front, trying to make small advances and hold on to ground gained in the South Province, Sunndi, and Medegia. The South Province is strong and the latter two nations are allied together and the Great Kingdom armies are having a hard time of it opposing them. The Kingdom is still rich, and its tentacles stretch a long way across the Demesnes; one can run into a Great Kingdom plot anywhere. But the king and the capital are still decadent and over-reaching, ensuring most of their plans fail.

Greyhawk, Free City of

The founding of Greyhawk was the event which marked the beginning of the Oeridian calendar, in an age when many of the Oeridian people banded together into nations in the central Demesnes. The influence of the Suloise Empire had died with the Rain of Colourless Fire, allowing these nations to emerge. Greyhawk was originally a small trading post on the banks of the Selintan River (which links the Nyr Dyv with Woolly Bay). As trade prospered along this water route, the town grew swiftly until it became a fully-fledged walled city. The surrounding regions were isolated from the newly emerging nations in the central Demesnes, so Greyhawk declared sovereignty over itself and the nearby areas.

Since then Greyhawk has grown to be one of the largest cities in the Demesnes. Surrounded on three sides by hostile terrain and open only to the fellow trading city of Dyvers and the disorganised Wild Coast to the west, Greyhawk has had a relatively peaceful history. The greatest problems it faces are those of a mercantile nature, as well as occasional raids by humanoid tribes living in the nearby Cairn Hills. Another natural trading port for goods from all over the Demesnes, Greyhawk is at least as lively and cosmopolitan as Dyvers. The two cities share a good-natured rivalry over trade matters, but are not actively hostile.

Highfolk, Free City of

The relatively small city of Highfolk rules a small parcel of land south of the Vesve Forest, and has done so for almost 2000 years. The elves of the forest have defended Highfolk against attacks from Furyondy in the past, stabilising Highfolk's presence in the region. These days, however, the elves leave the humans to their own devices, and the people of Highfolk use the southernmost parts of the forest for wood and game with hardly any contact with the elves.

Highfolk is the sole contact between Perrenland and the central Demesnes, via a long stretch of the Velverdyva River through the Yatil Mountains. The barges of the Rhenee and a few small Perren ships ply this route, which is hazardous because of the possibility of monster attacks from the mountains. The trade has however made Highfolk quite prosperous. Furyondy would like to conquer this valuable territory, but has bigger things on its plate at the moment.

Horned Society, The

The Horned Society was formed in 1595 YG when nomadic Flan tribes on the eastern shores of Whyestill Lake allied with bands of humanoids from the Fellreev Forest and drove south into the lands of Furyondy. Occupied at the time battling Veluna, the Society was eventually stopped by forces from the Shield Lands. By then Furyondy had lost a sizeable portion of its territory, of which it has managed to win back only a small part.

The Horned Society lands are an evil mixture of human and humanoid towns. Strong leadership is required to hold the alliance together, but unfortunately this land breeds strong leaders by weeding out any weaklings. They have consolidated their holdings and will be a force difficult to vanquish, though both Furyondy and the Shield Lands are constant in their plans to destroy the Society and retake the territory.

Ice Barbarians

The Ice Barbarians occupy the most inhospitable land in the Demesnes, wedged between the impossibly dangerous Corusk Mountains and the almost permanently frozen Icy Sea. They live by taking seals and whales from the water and polar bears from the land. Once every few years the Icy Sea breaks up enough to allow them to mount raiding expeditions in their longships, either to the Hold of Stonefist or the long journey around the peninsula to the more prosperous lands of the North Province and Great Kingdom.

Idee

Idee is a small former province of the Great Kingdom, which declared independence in 1718 YG, during the crumbling of the Kingdom. It was immediately allied with Onnwal, Irongate, and Sunndi in resisting the Great Kingdom's attempts to re-establish control of these lands. Since then, Idee has grown rich on the deposits of iron ore, precious metals, and gems to be found within its hilly countryside. There have been some disagreements over the borders with Irongate and Sunndi because of mining claims, but the alliance remains strong because it has to. When the South Province became independent of the Great Kingdom, the armies of the Kingdom were replaced by more competent and directed troops, as the South Province seeks to capture these rich territories.

Irongate, Free City of

With Onnwal, the city of Irongate was one of the first regions to break away from the over-reaching grasp of the Great Kingdom, in 1715 YG. A great walled city atop a tall hill, Irongate is easily defensible and had no trouble holding out against the Great Kingdom forces which tried to regain it. The city allied with Onnwal to drive off the Kingdom's armies, then later with Idee and Sunndi, forming a strong regional alliance. Times have been relatively peaceful since then, with only minor disputes of territory between the allies, but the alliance stands firm now in defence against the South Province.

Isles, Lordship of the

The Lordship of the Isles was created in 1048 YG when internal divisions split the island nation of Lendor in two. The Isles have always relied on trade for their livelihood and have done well from it except for the turbulent period immediately after the Spindrift Isles imposed a trade tax on all ships passing through the Spindrift Sound. The Isles allied with Medegia to form a trade bloc and put pressure on the Spindrift Isles. Sea battles are occasionally fought, but for the most part the traders are now rich enough to put up with the taxation.

Iuz

Iuz is the newest nation in the Desmenes, having appeared only 64 years ago when an ambitious general of the Horned Society led a rebellious group of humans and humanoids to conquer the nomadic Flan people who formerly inhabited the land north of Whyestill Lake. The land is now ruled with an iron fist and has repelled the few attempts to liberate it. These attempts have been rare, since Iuz is sheltered from human-dominated civilised lands by the Horned Society, the lake, and the Vesve Forest, and the nomads on the northern borders are not organised enough to mount an effective campaign. Iuz is now looking to expand by conquering the Vesve Forest, driving the elven inhabitants south as it encroaches on their territory.

Keoland, Kingdom of

In 1626 YG, the powerful King Korin united several small fiefdoms in the central Suloise-Oeridian lands, creating the Kingdom of Keoland. Korin's ambitions went further than this, however, and he launched a campaign of conquest, aimed initially at the geographically accessible lands of Ulek. The Keoish forces conquered central Ulek, splitting the remainder of the country into the northern Duchy of Ulek and southern Principality of Ulek. Exhausted after this campaign, Keoland rested on its laurels.

In 1691 YG, the occupied region of Ulek was liberated, reducing Keoland's territory. While this battle was being fought, the piratical Sea Princes, who lived on the islands offshore in the Azure Sea, attacked the southern borders, winning the land south of the Hool Marshes, creating the Hold of the Sea Princes and further reducing the size of Keoland.

Times have been relatively peaceful in the region since these events. Stability has brought a more relaxed border presence around Keoland and the nations nearby are now generally neutral to friendly. The one exception is the Sea Princes, who are thought to be sponsoring a marked increase in humanoid incursions from the Hool Marshes, though such accusations are difficult to substantiate. Diplomatic relations between the two are certainly frosty.

Ket

1700 years ago the great Bramblewood Forest occupied the entire region between the Yatil Mountains and the Barrier Peaks. Since this region was the only relatively traversible path between the Baklunish lands to the west and the Oeridian lands to the east, roads were carved through the forest to allow the flow of trade. Small forts were built to enable regular patrols of the road, which were required to keep it free of bandits and monsters. Over time these attracted villages and small towns, and the forest was pushed back by logging. Finally, in 497 YG, the people living in the area united as the nation of Ket.

Ket immediately imposed a tax on trade passing through its territory. This prompted the Baklunish lands of Zeif and Tusmit to declare war. Fortunately for the fledgling nation, the Baklunish battle tactics were based on desert campaigns and were largely ineffective in the forests of Ket. Unable to make any ground, they eventually gave up and submitted to the taxation. Ket grew rich and prospered, and has remaind a prosperous land to this day. Now more than a third of the original Bramblewood is gone, and the elves which live within have drawn back close to the Barrier Peaks to avoid contact with the humans.

Medegia, See of

The See of Medegia declared independence from the shattered remains of the Great Kingdom in 1741 YG. Great Kingdom forces tried to reclaim the land, but were mostly ineffective. An attack by Nyrond on the western borders of the Kingdom and then the loss of the North and South Provinces broke the will of the King and Medegia was left in relative peace for a while.

Medegia allied with the Lordship of the Isles against the tax-enforcing fleets of the Spindrift Isles. This proved costly when the Spindrift Isles attacked the Medegian capital of Rel Astra in retaliation, all but destroying it. Medegia now grudgingly accepts the taxation of its sea-going trade. Things might be different now if most of the country's forces were not constantly engaged in protecting the land border against the renewed armies of the Great Kingdom. Allied with the other southern former provinces, though, the defence looks firm.

North Province

The North Province fought its way free of the yoke of the Great Kingdom in 1759 YG. The land had long been scarred by the annual raids of the Frost and Snow Barbarians. Initially the Great Kingdom had bolstered local defenders by sending troops from elsewhere, but when the Kingdom began to break up such support was no longer forthcoming and a revolution was inevitable. The first act of the newly independent nation was to ally with the Bone March against the barbarians, resulting in a more effective defence than had been possible before.

Unfortunately for Bone March, the North Province could not help it against the conquering humanoids who invaded in 1852 YG. The Province now holds most of the population of Bone March as refugees, and watches its own borders carefully for rampaging humanoid armies. The barbarian problem seems relatively minor nowadays.

Nyrond, Kingdom of

Nyrond was unified around 1450 YG from a collections of petty kingdoms in the region between Urnst and the Great Kingdom. In 1484 YG, the new kingdom attacked Urnst, instigating the break-up of that country into the Duchy and County of Urnst. After this grab for more territory failed, Nyrond went into a peaceful period, ending in 1741 YG when an opportunity to expand into the rapidly declining Great Kingdom presented itself. Nyrond armies advanced well past the Duntide River which had marked the border for centuries, stopped only by the weight of the local populace once they had stretched their supply lines thin.

Nyrond holds on to this won territory to the present day, but the people of Almor - the nation formed by the defenders who received no help from the Great Kingdom capital - still want it back, and border tension is high between the two countries. Nyrond is on better terms with its other neighbours.

Olman Islands

This pair of small islands in the far south of the Azure Sea are used as bases by pirates who attack shipping on the sea. These are independent pirates, unassociated with the Sea Princes. Their islands do not constitute a nation as such, being more a loose assortment of base camps and small towns.

Onnwal

Onnwal, together with Irongate, began the break-up of the Great Kingdom in 1715 YG by declaring independence. The two new nations allied aginst the Great Kingdom to maintain their freedom. Idee and Sunndi later joined the alliance and together they formed a powerful group of nations united against the increasingly ineffective armies of the Great Kingdom. Being relatively sheltered on a peninsula, Onnwal has committed fewer resources to fighting that the other allies, so is a prosperous nation, especially with its lodes of iron ore and gems.

Pale, Theocracy of the

The Pale was created in 372 YG following the break-up of the old Flanae Kingdom. Always a region more devoted to religion than surrounding areas, Pale fell under the control of the churches, who have ruled it ever since. Preaching a doctrine of peace and brotherhood, the Pale has always enjoyed good relations with all its human neighbours. Non-humans are more problematic, with the Pale falling under constant assault from the trolls and other creatures of the Troll Fens, the humanoids of the Nutherwood, and the monsters which crawl down out of The Rakers.

Paynims, Plains of the

The Paynim people live a nomadic life on the steppelands and plains south of Zeif and Tusmit. They have maintained this traditional Baklunish lifestyle ever since they were able to recolonise this area following the Rain of Colourless Fire. The land is generally too barren to form permanent settlements, and the borders of the Paynim lands are undefined as they often venture into the desert of Zeif or the grasslands of Ull. The Paynims are vaguely organised as a society though, with most deferring to the leadership of a single ruler.

Perrenland

Perrenland is an isolated nation nestled between the Yatil Mountains, Clatspur Range, and Lake Quag. Flan people have lived here for over 2000 years, and it is not known exactly when they came under a single rule. Perrenland maintains its isolated status for the most part, but participates in regular trade with Ket and Highfolk via two mountain passes.

Pomarj, The

The Pomarj is the name of the region of land on the peninsula between the Azure Sea and Woolly Bay. Up until 1788 YG, it was sparsely populated by groups of humans, gnomes, and dwarves of no certain alleigance. A wild frontier, the main reasons for living there were to escape attention elsewhere or to mine the Drachensgrab for precious metals and gems. This changed when massed humanoid armies from the Suss Forest invaded the region, driving out most of the humans and demi-humans. They have held the area for some generations now and look well-ensconced. Some small human outposts remain in the region, mostly pirate bases on the coast.

Ratik

Ratik is a small land whose people eke out an existence on the narrow coast between the impassable peaks of The Rakers and the icy waters of Grendep Bay. The people are Flan descendants who migrated up the coast from the Great Kingdom, mixed with a few barbarians from further north. The Ratik people do not raid other lands, nor are they frequently raided by the barbarians since the land is too poor to produce much worth taking. They sometimes traded with the Bone March, but since that land fell to humanoids over a generation ago no news of Ratik has passed through to the rest of the Demesnes. The situation there remains a mystery.

Rhenee

The Rhenee are a people who do not have a country as such. They are nomadic merchants who travel on large, flat barges on the waters of the Nyr Dyv and all of the rivers which either feed or drain it. They do not venture out to sea, and they always returns to the lake to weather the winter months and socialise. Mistrusted by many on grounds of suspected thievery, the Rhenee strongly deny any wrongdoings and are well able to defend themselves and their barges if threatened.

The Rhenee form a very insular society. Few children leave the lifestyle to become landlubbers and even fewer non-Rhenee marry into the clans. Even if a non-Rhenee marries into a barge family, he will not be considered a full Rhenee, though his children will be. Rumours abound about the Rhenee possessing strange magical powers of foreknowledge and cursing - some even say they are not fully human.

Rovers of the Barrens

The Rovers have long wandered the lands known as The Barrens. They are an old Flan-descended people who have lived their nomadic lifestyle here for thousands of years. Little affected by the turmoil and mass migrations which changed the face of the southern Demesnes regions, they have had little reason to change their system of tribal rules. Geographically isolated from other lands, they have little contact with non-nomadic peoples. Their southern borders reach into the Fellreev Forest, which they utilise for wood and game. They try not to stay overnight within the forest however, for hostile creatures dwell within.

Scarlet Brotherhood, The

The isolated peninsula south of the Vast Swamp is almost inaccessible by land. It is sparsely populated, mostly by pirate bases and small independent towns of dubious moral nature. In the centre of the peninsula however is a vast, high plateau. This is known to be inhabited by a people known as the Scarlet Brotherhood. Occasionally a member of this community travels the Demesnes in search of knowledge or a specific ancient magical item. What little is known about the Brotherhood comes from conversations with such questers. It seems to be a religiously based community, but worshipping strange ideals rather than known gods. Travellers from this land are always expert at combat and are rarely bested. Visitors to the Brotherhood are discouraged and it is not known if anyone has ever been to the plateau and returned.

Sea Barons

The islands of the Sea Barons were originally part of the great Flanae Kingdom. In the unstable years following the break-up of this into the Great Kingdom and other, smaller states, the pirates operating from these islands took control, dubbing themselves the Sea Barons in 295 YG. They have held the islands ever since, transmuting into a more normal society, but still with a penchant for making a living by terrorising the seas. Their raids caused the inhabitants of the more southerly Lendorian islands to unite, later to break apart into the Spindrift Isles and the Lordship of the Isles.

The Sea Barons reacted to the imposition of a trade tax by the Spindrift Isles in 1722 YG by declaring war. No treaty has ever been signed and the war is technically still in progress. Certainly there have been continual outbreaks of naval battles between the nations ever since, with alternate periods of grudgingly paying the tax and vehemently refusing to do so.

Sea Princes, Hold of the

The Sea Princes were a collection of petty pirate lords sequestered on the offshore islands in the Azure Sea until Keoland overstretched its armies in 1691 YG by trying to hold on to conquered territory in central Ulek. The poorly defended southern regions of Keoland beckoned and the Sea Princes were easily able to take this land south of the Hool Marshes. Recognising the futility of trying to win back this land, Keoland has grudgingly accepted the Sea Princes' presence, though resentment still exists.

There are strong suspicions that the current spate of humanoid incursions into Keoland and the Dreadwood from the Hool Marshes are sponsored by the Sea Princes in an attempt to win further territory. No formal accusations have been made, but the situation is tense.

Shield Lands

The Shield Lands were created in 1473 YG following an attack on Furyondy by Urnst. The Furyondians defended the land ably and when the Urnst forces withdrew the region became a semi-independent vassal state of Furyondy. Over the following years, the Shield Lands gained greater autonomy and eventually became considered a de facto nation of its own. In 1662 YG, Flan nomads attacked andgained territory in the northern Shield Lands, creating the Bandit Kingdoms.

The people of the Shield Lands remain allied to Furyondy, the two united against the ravages of the Horned Society. Apart from Furondy, the Shield Lands are surrounded by enemies, with the Horned Society and Bandit Kingdoms actively hostile, while relations with the County of Urnst remain frosty.

Snow Barbarians

The Snow Barbarians occupy the cold plains between the Corusk Mountains and Grendep Bay, and have done so for well over a millennium. For most of that time they have subsisted on the spoils of summer raids launched against the lands south across Grendep Bay and the Solnor Ocean, which supplement the meagre existence they can scratch from their frozen lands. The lands of the nearby Frost Barbarians are more fertile, and the Snow Barbarians have in the past raided and attempted to conquer this land, but have always been repulsed by their sturdy brethren.

South Province

The South Province broke away from the Great Kingdom in 1764 YG, the last portion of the Kingdom to be lost. The rulers immediately took a much firmer rein on the province's armies, providing effective defence against the weak attempts by the Great Kingdom to recapture the land, as well as allowing more effective attacks against the more southerly former provinces of Irongate, Idee, and Sunndi. The South Province remains surrounded by enemies, but its armies are strong, driven by relentless leadership.

Spindrift Isles

Formerly part of the united island nation of Lendor, the Spindrift Isles became independent in 1048 YG. They benefited from having a large merchant fleet and prospered until an over-ambitious ruler decided to grab for even greater riches. Since 1722 YG the Spindrift Isles have claimed sovereignty over the waters of Spindrift Sound, and tried to impose a tax on all shipping passing through it. This has caused ongoing hostility with the Sea Barons, who use the sound as a primary trade route, with the two nations technically at war ever since. The Lordship of the Isles and Medegia are also at odds with the Spindrift Isles over this issue, though less inclined to actual hostility, especially after the Isles demonstrated clear naval superiority by successfully attacking the Medegian capital of Rel Astra in 1766 YG.

Sterich

Sterich is a product of the unification of various Suloise-Oeridian lands some 600 years ago. Nestled between the Jotens and the Crystalmist Mountains, the land is fertile if somewhat poor. It has never been covetedby its neighbours, Geoff and Keoland, but has suffered a good number of hmanoid and monster incursions from the surrounding mountains. Many gnomes and halflings live in the hilly country on the Sterich side of the border with Geoff. Sterich is generally a peaceful, rural land.

Stonefist, Hold of

Stonefist was settled by Flan nomads in the same north-eastern migration which founded the barbarian lands. Cut off from all neighbours by rugged terrain and in a harsh climate, the people of Stonefist built a strong and self-relian community. They have existed essentially isolated ecer since, their main outside contact being with hostile raiding parties of the Ice Barbarians. There are two dangerous passes through the Corusk Mountains, one to Tenh and one to the land of the Frost Barbarians, but these are seldom travelled and virtually no trade passes along these routes.

Sunndi, County of

Sunndi split from the Great Kingdom in 1718 YG, allying with the other former southern provinces to form a strong group of nations on th Kingdom's new southern borders. Sunndi is more geographically isolated that its neighbours, lying south of the Rieuwood and the Glorioles. The southern parts border the Vast Swamp, and the eastern and western edges are marked by rough hills and badlands. The plains of Sunndi are however vast and fertile. The people are allied with the elves of the Rieuwood and the dwarves of the Glorioles in opposing the Great Kingdom's armies, so Sunndi is one of the most stable regions in this conflict-ridden part of the Demesnes.

Tenh, Duchy of

The Duchy of Tenh came into being in 372 YG after the collapse of the old Flanae Kingdom. Religiously minded people gathered south of the Yol River, creating the Theocracy of The Pale, while the more secular nation of Tenh sprang into being on the northern banks. Tenh has maintained equable relations with Pale, since it has far more pressing problems on its other borders, with the Rovers of the Barrens to the north-west and, since 1662 YG, the Bandit Kingdoms to the south-west. Occasionally monsters come down from the Griff Mountains as well.

Tiger Nomads

The Tiger Nomads are Flan people who have roamed the steppes between the Yatil Mountains and the Burneal Forest for thousands of years. They range west to the Dramidj Ocean and east to the Fler River, which forms the border of the Wolf Nomads lands. The Tiger Nomads have virtually no contact with other cultures, apart from exchanges of youths with the Wolf Nomads for marriage rituals. The nearest civilised land is Ekbir, and the lands in between are inhospitable and seldom travelled.

Tusmit

Tusmit is a Baklunish land nestled against the western slopes of the Yatil Mountains, consolidated some 1700 years ago. The nation became rich on trade passing from the mysterious west through to the Demesnes, until Ket imposed a tarriff on caravans passing through its lands in 497 YG. Tusmit allied with Ekbir and Zeif against Ket, but attacks against the easily defended country were futile. Relations with Ket slowly improved, and peace reigned until Zeif also imposed a trade tax in 1332 YG. This fractured the Baklunish alliances. Tusmit has since struggled to survive, since Ekbir has cut off any access to the Dramidj Ocean for Tusmit traders, and it must pay taxes on trade goods crossing both its other borders. The country has become a poor cousin of its more prosperous neighbours.

Ulek, County of

The County of Ulek was carved out of the central region of the former unified state of Ulek after occupying forces from Keoland withdrew in 1691 YG, leaving behind a population of mixed Suloise and Oeridian people. The overwhelmingly Oeridian Duchy of Ulek and Principality of Ulek refused to reunite with this now mixed race, abandoning the people to become the County of Ulek. Since then the other Uleks have become somewhat more enlightened, but the original nation remains bitterly divided.

The County of Ulek now has better relations with Keoland than with the other Uleks. There are also regular trade caravans crossing the Lortmil Mountains to Celene, which is on friendly terms with the County.

Ulek, Duchy of

The Duchy of Ulek is the northern portion of the former nation of Ulek, split by the invasion by Keoland in 1634 YG. Since the Keoish forces withdrew from the land now known as the County of Ulek, relations with Keoland have improved. Gran March, to the north, has always been well-disposed to the Duchy, leaving the former-Ulek lands of the County as the Duchy's most hostile neighbour. A lone mountain pass through the Lortmil Mountains connects the Duchy to Celene, but traffic on this route is fairly light.

Ulek, Principality of

The Duchy of Ulek is the southern portion of the former nation of Ulek, split by the invasion by Keoland in 1634 YG. Since the Keoish forces withdrew from the land now known as the County of Ulek, relations with Keoland have improved. The Principality's other borders are the malign Suss Forest and the humanoid-dominated Pomarj. This means that the troops are concentrated on the eastern borders to guard against incursions from these areas.

Ull

Around 1412 YG some people of the Paynim Plains nomads settled this fertile area between the Ulsprue and the Barrier Peaks. The nation is totally isolated from any lands but those of the Paynims. Few merchants or other travellers venture to or from Ull, and little is known of its people or lands.

Urnst, County of

The united nation of Urnst split into the County and Duchy of Urnst in 1484 YG following an attack on the northern regions by Nyrond. The southern portions did not wish to commit troops to the defence of the north, fostering anger and resentment between the two halves. They have remained antagonistic to this day. Since Nyrond abandoned its expansionistic tendencies, the region has been relatively peaceful however. The major threat is the possibility of the Bandit Kingdoms looking to extend their influence south of the Artonsamay River.

Urnst, Duchy of

The Duchy of Urnst was separated from the County of Urnst in 1484 YG when it refused to send troops in support of the northern regions, which were under attack by Nyrond. The Count of Urnst vowed to one day reunite the nation, but the Duchy has remained aloof and unfriendly ever since.

The Duchy is geographically isolated from any other neughbours by the Nyr Dyv to the north, the Cairn Hills to the west, and the Celadon Forest to the east. South lies only the Bright Desert and beyond that the Sea of Gearnat. Most borders are thus only lightly guarded.

Valley of The Mage

The Valley of the Mage is a semi-legendary place nestled deep within the Barrier Peaks. Legend has it that a reclusive arch-mage led a group of followers into the mountains several hundred years ago and set up his own personal domain within in a sheltered valley. The mage (said to be still living) is secretive and does not like visitors, but a few travellers say they have pierced the forbidding terrain and magical protections around the place, telling strange tales of giants, barbarians, and enormous monsters which few people believe.

Veluna, Archclericy of

Veluna has existed as a theocracy for almost 2000 years, and has always been a powerful force in the central Demesnes region. Since 1527 YG the border with Furyondy has been under dispute and has moved back and forth several times as the armies of the two nations have gained and lost ground. The border remains a dangerous place.

Veluna's other neighbours are less militarily inclined. It is on good terms with both Bissel and Highfolk, and is the main distribution point for trade goods flowing eastwards through Ket to points further east. Veluna's territory includes several hilly regions which are home to many gnome and halfling communities. The Rhenee barge-folk spend a good deal of time in Velunan lands, plying the Velverdyva River between Lake Quag and the Nyr Dyv, but the ruling clerics would be happy to be rid of them, since they profess wildly divergent religious beliefs.

Verbobonc, Free City of

Verbobonc, a fortified city with some surrounding farm lands on the southern border of Veluna, has been an independent city for as long as Veluna has existed. It is a trading port on the Velverdyva River, similar to Dyvers and Greyhawk, though smaller and somewhat more staid and conservative due to the influence of Veluna. The Rhenee barge-folk have a large presence for most of the year and are tolerated here better than in most places. The Kron Hills on Verbobonc's southern borders are home to many halflings and gnomes, and Verbobonc traders often travel through this region to Celene.

Wild Coast, The

The Wild Coast has long been a disorganised stretch of land, home to many people but calling none their ruler. Several major towns lie in this area, all essentially independent. Rivalries between the towns are traditional and sometimes fierce, but the populace will band together against common threats, such as those lately posed by the humanoids and monsters of the nearby Suss Forest and The Pomarj.

The southern parts of the Wild Coast are more wild, being closer to the rough wilderness areas of the Pomarj, and towns along the southern coast are often havens for pirates and outlaws. To the north, the region is more civilised and the population has more regular contact with places such as Greyhawk, Dyvers, and Celene via traders and other travellers. Even the northernmost parts of the Wild Coast are, however, relatively adventuresome compared to the surrounding countries.

Wolf Nomads

The Wolf Nomads are Flan people who have roamed the steppes between Lake Quag and the Burneal Forest for thousands of years. They range west to the Fler River, which forms the border of the Wolf Nomads lands, and east to the Cold Marshes. The Wolf Nomads have little more contact with other cultures than their Tiger Nomad brethren, but do occasionally come across people from Perrenland on the northern shores of Lake Quag. There is nothing between the Wolf Nomad lands and Iuz but miles of barren steppe; neither nation seems interested enough in this land to stake a claim.

Yeomanry, The

The Yeomanry is an old Suloise-Oeridian nation nestled between the Jotens and the Crystalmist Mountains. Its population contains the closest thing to pure-blooded Suloise people left in the Demesnes. Isolated from nearby Keoland by the misleadingly named Little Hills, the Yeomanry has always been a land of relative peace from human warfare. It is, however, constantly beset by raids and attacks of humanoids and monsters from the mountains, as well as from the Hool Marshes to the south-east. Border patrols are thus well-armed, though generally friendly to human and demi-human travellers. The Little Hills contain a sizeable population of gnomes and halflings, as well as some dwarves in the more rugged regions.

Zeif, Sultanate of

Zeif is the western-most commonly known Baklunish land. Zeif formed one of the three-sided Baklunish alliance with Ekbir and Tusmit against Ket when Ket imposed its trade tax in 497 YG. Since trade from the west had no other route through to the east, and Ket was easily defended, the alliance eventually had to submit to the taxation. Attacks were made against Ket several times over the next centuries, but fruitlessly. Eventually, in 1332 YG, Zeif imposed its own taxation on trade passing through its lands, ruining any possibility of further alliance against Ket.

Being so remote, Zeif is a place of exotic mystery and excitement. It remains the richest of the Baklunish lands, with good access to the strange lands further to the west. Immediately west of Zeif is a vast desert which only the best prepared caravans can cross. Many goods are also traded by ship, along the shore of the Dramidj Ocean. Relations with Ekbir and Tusmit remain cool.


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