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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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
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
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.
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, 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.