The Ravenspire Adventures
Kingdom of Malon
Capital: Kallon City
The history of the Kingdom of Malon is longer than most. Originally, the lands of the kingdom were broken up and used by many different peoples. Before the war with the Greenskins started, the eastern portion, from the Great Sea to Lake Minor, was primarily filled with fishing and water farming villages organized by Gnomes and Elves. From the Western coast of Lake Minor to the Twins, crop farming communities were the most prevalent, taking advantage of the rich soil in the area. From Lake Minor to what would become Camp Nivek, herds grazed the open plains and fields, providing livestock, shepherded by Elves and Orcs from Talosh. The lands beyond the Twins were known as Ogerthlan, at that point, and were the first organized "kingdom" in the area. From the castle on Lake Major, Ogerthrock, they calmly controlled their lands, having a thriving fishing, farming and mining community, with miles of undisturbed land. Even though the Ogres controlled the land, any and all races helped make Ogerthlan a functional and productive kingdom.
Ogerthlan flourished for centuries, becoming the foundation for what would become the Kingdom of Ravenspire, and later the Kingdom of Malon. At an unknown time in history, humans from across the Great Sea arrived on the shores of this continent. They migrated down tthe Ocean's Gate river, under the Twins and into Lake Major. After surveying the surrounding lands, and meeting with the ruling parties of Ogerthlan, the humans were granted asylum and were given land of their own, within Ogerthlan, in the southern portion.
This lasted for many generations until an unknown human somehow convinced the Ogres that it was best if they left Ogerthlan, and traveled west. For some unknown reason, they agreed, and the Ogres, as a race, migrated to the lands west of the World's Teeth Mountains. This land became Ogerth'T'Hold. In the absence of the Ogres, the humans quickly took over leadership of Ogerthlan and renamed it the Kingdom of Ravenspire. The rest of the land of Malon began to form their own quasi-kingdom called Malonia, Gnomish for "Harmony". The lands of Malonia and the Kingdom of Ravenspire cooperated and worked together for multiple generations.
Eventually the Human king of Ravenspire, Harrod Lions, traveled to the larger town of Idolon, the "capital" of Malonia, and made a proposition to the ruler, a Gnome named Nemendorff Wifflebottom Gimblemyer Namfoodle Arkatak Rorticon Wibblebonk the 27th. The proposition was that the two kingdoms should become one, creating a unified nation, and a powerful one. His reasoning was the fact that Tier-Numen, the home of the Elves was close by, and that the Ogres of Ogerth'T'Hold, could become restless and wish to take back their lands. He thought that a unified nation could better deter such threats, if they arose.
Sir Wibblebonk though for many days about this offer, before making his decision. He thanked King Lions, but gratefully declined the offer, saying the two nations could better serve each other as separate entities, if things events required, than as one. If the Ogres did try to retake their lands, then possibly, a second nation, speaking on behalf of Ravenspire, could show better support. And if the Elves decided to get feisty, well the same may work better than one natioin that they may not like to listen to. King Lions was unimpressed and returned to Ravenspire, formulating a new plan.
Once he returned, he dispatched his best agent, a Samsaren assassin named Marx, with orders to remove the steward of Malonia. His mission was a success, as he killed Sir Wibblebonk, and poisoned the stewards family, removing any heirs. With Malonia in chaos, King Lions returned to Idolon, dragging with him the "captured" assassin Marx.
The execution was held in the town center to a chearing crowd. After the death, Lions spoke to the council of Malonia, offering that he help rule until a replacement could be properly elected. The council, in desperate need of help, agreed, and Lions ruled from Ravenspire Castle.
The following ten years netted no replacements, with Lions pushing off elections, siting inopportune times, civil unrest and other factors that he said made elections very dangerous. After this time, Lions, having positioned friends and supporters within the council, named himself King Absolute. Malonia and Ravenspire were renamed the Kingdom of Malon, and the capital was moved from Ravenspire and Idolon to Kallon City on the shores of Lake Minor.
From their, the Lions family has ruled for many generations. During their rule, the war with the Greenskins took place, as Talosh began to die. Forming an alliance with the Elves of Tier-Numen and the Dwarves of the World's Teeth Mountains, the soldiers of Malon pushed the Greenskins back to their dying land. Malonian military forts were constructed in the mountains surrounding Talosh, and Camp Nivek was built in Heaven's Pass, sealing the valley between the two lands. This arrangement would stay the same forever, keeping the Greenskins within their land, now known as the Desolate, and securing Malon.
Over time, the politics of Malon changed, serving the now larger Human population more, and pushing the non-Human populations further from the capital. Most recently, under the rule of the 12 year old Andrew Lions the 3rd, a 200% taxation increase was levied against any settlement more than 200 miles from the capital. This left Kallon and Idolon, primarily human cities, unaffected, with the rest of the kingdom taking the brunt of it.
Recently, a "rebellion" of sorts occured in Ravenspire, spurned into motion by a Samsaren named Marx. The "rebellion" forced any Humans tto leave the area surrounding Lake Major. THis came in response to the taxation increase. This "rebellion" ended when the thirteen man council of Ravenspire reached and agreement with King Andrew Lions the 3rd, and Ravenspire was granted independance from the Kingdom of Malon.
The new Republic of Ravenspire spans from the Twins to the pass in the western World's Teeth Mountains. It is ruled by a council of thirteen, headed by Bragg Ironhands.
Recently, after renewed hostilities with the Greenskins of the Desolate finished, the forces of the Kingdom of Malon declared war with the Elves of Tier-Numen. The declaration was based on evidence that the Elves had been training Greenskins how to use Elven magic, which resulted in the deaths of at least four village populations within Malon.
The Desolate (Formerly Talosh)
Capital: None (Orc-Talosh and Gob-Talosh were destroyed during the war)
The Desolate is a land that has been through so much strife and trouble in its existence, that it literally cannot support life. Before the war between the Kingdom of Malon and the Greenskins that populate it, the Desolate was known as Talosh, having two provinces, Orc-Talosh and Gob-Talosh, primary homes to Orcs and Goblins respectively. When the land started going through an unknown blight, crops all over Talosh began failing, and the lakes slowly became less and less drinkable. According to Greenskins of that time, their elders had stopped worshipping the Idol of Gar'Ga'Toth, and that the ancient Orc was displeased with this, so punished them all.
The Greenskins begged for help from their neighboring lands, Malon and Tier-Numen, and were repeatedly denied. This resulted in the deaths of countless innocents, as food and water began to become exceeding scarce. These deaths forced them into action. Joinging together for the first time in recorded history, the Greenskins began leaving Talosh, raiding local villages outside their lands for supplies. These actions set in motion the beginnings of the great war, which would cost the Greenskins, and the Desolate itself, almost everything.
Both Humans and Elves banded together to stop the countless invasions. The Greenskins had pushed their way into Malon, from Heaven's Pass in the South, to the village of Helbrecht at the foot of the northern World's Teeth Mountains. In Tier-Numen, their fight had been harder, the Elven soldiers proving harder to evade and deal with than the ones to the north. The alliance of the two nations spelled doom for them, and at the Battle of Helbrecht, they were pushed back to their lands.
Splitting the responsibility of keeping the Greeenskins in their dead home, the Malonians and the Elves eliminated all magic sensitive Greenskins, and eradicated all but a handful of small settlements. This act made the citizens of the Desolate nomadic at best. The Elves constructed two massive fortresses around the last two freshwater lakes in the Desolate. Greenskins that travelled to one of these forts, between suns-up and suns-down, could collect water rations for their families or tribes, if the Elves saw fit to give them out.
The Desolate has no current leader, as it is banned by the Articles of Surrender that were signed at the end of the war. There are elders within the different nomadic tribes, but no overall ruler.
A group of adventurers from the Republic of Ravenspire, chasing down a rogue Greenskin Sorcerer, destroyed the Idol of Gar'Ga'Toth, which turned out to be a titanic necro-being that fed on the souls of the living. After its defeat, some new plant growth was seen in the area where it's body had fallen.
The "new plant growth" that began to appear after the destruction of Gar'Ga'Toth, evolved into a new breed of Greenskin. This new breed call themselves Talosians, much the same as the Greenskins of long ago. Talosians appear to be plant based, their skin is a verdant green and their eyes are a striking purple. There are small flower buds, that react to sunlight, on the top and bottom tips of their ears. Talosians do not reproduce normally, instead, they are grown in seed pods underground. Germination takes 6 hours, at the end of which, a full grown Talosian is produced. The Talosians are a very calm people, generally slow to anger, unless their kind, or nature, are threatened. The current leader of the Talosians is Barktoof Greenwhisp.
Capital: Eska-Tier ("Tier's Home" in Common)
Tier-Numen is the kingdom of the Elves in this land, though it is not their ancestral home. The Elves that live in Tier-Numen are the decendants of outcasts from their original homeland, referred to simply as The Tier, far across the Great Sea. The original "outcasts" were sent here from the Tier due to their demeanor towards other races, as it clashed with the attitude of the race as a whole. Oddly enough, the Elves that were sent to Tier-Numen were the more open-minded of the Elves.
Tier-Numen is nestled in a very temperate environment, with its capital, Eska-Tier, and other major cities, built between mountain ranges of the the Dragon Scale Mountains. The land to the south of the mountains, where the majority of smaller settlements are located is more marsh like, with many small lakes and lush grazing lands. Their sparse forested areas mean that Tier-Numen has to import lumber for large projects, but can usually handle smaller ones on its own.
During the war with the Greenskins of the Desolate, the Elves of Tier-Numen helped the Humans of Malon. After they successfully pushed back to their lands, the Elves and Humans set up military forts within the mountains surrounding the Desolate, to keep the Orcs and Goblins penned within their territory. Most people agree that the actions taken by the Elf/Human alliance were very harsh and drastic, some even calling the eradication of magic sensitive Greenskins inhumane. The Elves and Humans of that time do not agree.
Elven warriors are highly sought after as bodyguards or mercenaries, and their egos and personalities reflect as such. The arrogance makes them slow to anger, yet easily baited into situations that some more humble individuals would most likely avoid.
Currently Tier-Numen is ruled by King Aelian Andruil, who is holding the throne until his nephew, Kalen Andruil, is ready to take his rightful place.
Capital: Ogerth'T'Ru ("Our Rule" in common)
Ogerth'T'Hold is the lands of the Ogres. It is between the Dwarven kingdom of the World's Teeth Mountains, and the Brazen Lands of the Azer. Though not originally their home, the Ogres have made Ogerth'T'Hold everything that they need to prosper and thrive.
The race was originally from Ogerthlan, the valley on the opposite side of the mountains where Ravenspire Castle stands. There they had the first true kingdom of the land, and it thrived. Trade with other lands was good and there was room for the inevitable expansion that a growing kingdom would need. For some unknown reason, an unknown human was able to talk the Ogres into leaving their valley, and moving west. Under King Guldtoof the 31st, the whole race picked up everything they owned and marched through the western pass of the World's Teeth Mountains to what they would rename Ogerth'T'Hold.
Since the migration, the Ogres have lead productive and peaceful lives, trading with everyone and anyone. Their lands have no standing army or defense force, as it isn't required. Every Ogre will defend their homes, family and lands without question, once pushed that far. Doing so takes a lot of work mind you, as the Ogres as a people are very relaxed, taking a long time and a lot of persuading to get to the point where they deem violence to be an answer.
Their current ruler is King Guldtoof the 53rd. It should be noted that "Guldtoof" is a title, not a name. When an Ogre is crowned, they give up their previous name and take on the title of Guldtoof.
Karzug Landa ("Brazen Lands" in common)
Capital: Karzug Taal ("Brazen Fire" in common)
The walled, fortified and mostly subterranean lands of the extra planar Azer race are known as the Brazen Lands, to the common folk. Having broken free of their races indentured servitude to the lord of the fifth plane of the Pit, The Flaming Duke, the Azer came to the Material Plane, and created Karzug Landa. Almost overnight, their mighty brass wall, spanning miles of land and sea, was erected, sealing off their chosen kingdom. Little is known about these people, as they are very protective of their lands, and do not let outsiders in without strict supervision.
Their current leader is Lord Ignatious.
The Council of Mortis
Capital: Gnar Fang (Were creature and Shifter), Drachenfell (Vampire) and The Market (Deathless/undead/Abomination)
The land that makes up the Council of Mortis is comprised of three primary "zones". There is the Shifter lands, where Werecreatures and Shifters make their home. There is the Vampire Realm and finally the Lands of the Deathless. These three lands make up the Undead League, or as it is more properly known, the Council of Mortis.
Although Werecreatures and Shifters are not undead, they stood as living guardians for their counterparts for many centuries. Being former slaves, who are now free, thanks to Countess Genvieve De Soleil, the ruling Vampire Countess, they can lead proper lives. They have been exceedingly well for their services, and were granted lands along the shore of the Council territory. Currently there are 7 tribes in the Shifter Lands, but the Great Kahn is Tarl Gramden, a human werewolf who served Countess Genvieve's father for 50 years before she took control, and granted the Shifters their freedom.
Drachenfell, the seat of Vampire power, is nestled in the nook of two large mountain ranges in the northern World's Teeth Mountains. Their, Countess Genvieve rules her people with a word of cohabitation and trade with the mortal realms. Vampires are forbidden from consuming the flesh or blood of any mortal humanoid, with the Countess instituting a mandatory farming regime to raise cattle to suit their needs. Drinking the blood of cattle instead of humanoids is a painful process to begin, for all Vampires, causing them to spend many weeks recovering in their tombs after each meal. After usually 3 or 4 meals of cattle blood, a Vampire has attuned their body to the new food source, and functions as normal. This rule makes the creation of new Vampires a very different process. First, the sire Vampire must ask the person if they wish to have the Night's Gift bestowed upon them. Once they have given their consent, both must travel to Drachenfell and meet with the Countess. She will decide whether the person is "right" for the Gift, or whether they are not yet ready. If she deems it so, a ceremony will be arranged for the next New Moon. On that night, in the throne room in Drachenfell Keep, the person will be granted the Gift.
The Deathless is the general name for other undead who reside in Council territory. Usually meaning Liches or undead of any kind, as well as abominations such as spell-stitched beings and such, this title is not one of grandeur and glory. The Market is the capital of Deathless territory within the Council, and is populated by any and everything that is or could be considered, undead. Living beings do come to The Market, but not often, and not for long, as most find the rattle of skeletons, and the dry musty smell of mummies to be a bit much for them. The current head of the Deathless is an ancient mummy named Amenkenemoneken, or Amenk for short. He sits in the Withered Throne in The Market Long house.
Capital: Skerjmet Sete ("Shielded Seat" in common)
The capital of Valdenruud is located on the northern most island of the Shiver Shatter Isles. It is an oddity of the islands, as it is not permanently covered in ice and snow. It gets around 4 months of "summer" conditions in which the people of Skermet Sete can plan and grow crops. Valdenruud is a "kingdom" of Half-Giants, that live in small villages stretched across a huge area. They are brought together by a "Trone", or "raid master". Each village governs itself, but the Trone has the final say on any situations that are brought before them. During the short "summer" season, the Valdens farm, fish and hunt their lands, storing as much as they can for the long winters of the north. Then, when the first snows begin to fall, the horns of Skerjmet Sete blow, and the young and able of each village make way to Skerjmet Sets, meeting with their brothers and sisters, and prepare to raid.
Raiding is ingrained deeply in the culture of the Valdens. They do not do it to mindlessly slaughter people, more as tradition, and for more supplies that are not readily available to them. Being that they are Half-Giants, there is a high number of people that consider them a threat, and will openly attack when they see their fur covered forms stomping en masse towards their towns. Valdens would prefer to "deal" with others, but will fight if provoked, a feat that does not take much to accomplish as they are famously short tempered. Once a Valden host engages in conflict, it is difficult to stop, as most of them go into a form of trance that somehow removes their ability to reason. Only after they have calmed, are they able to be talked to or reasoned with again.
The current Trone is Aelid the Pale, a tall blonde haired Half-Giant woman with striking, chiseled features and ice blue eyes. Her beautiful looks should not fool anyone though, as she has held her position for 10 years, not an easy task within her frozen, feudal society.
Eleswyr is the land of the Catfolk. Not originally from these lands, the history of the Catfolk is steeped in fantasy. Some of it may be reality, but discerning that from the grandiose stories told by their Loreweavers is a difficult task for them sometimes. Eleswyr lies inside a massive and ancient crater on the western shores of Banshee's Bay. The crater is said to have been created by the now destroyed moon of Thyr, whose destruction sent a fragment spiralling down. From it's strange "magical" properties, the Catfolk race was born, becoming bipedal and intelligent.
What has been proven is that the stone at the center of the crater, the Moonstone as the Catfolk call it, is made of a super-dense material that is stronger than Dwarven Gromrill and does have strange, undetermined magical properties.
Eleswyr is the northern portion of the crater, with Dark Marsh being the southern portion. The Catfolk make excellent diplomats, as they are amazingly personable with everyone. They also make ferocious fighters and light footed cutpurses, as their feline nature makes them quick and agile.
Garha Marsa ("Dark Marsh" in Common)
Capital: Sona Pathora ("Sun Stone" in Common)
Garha Marsa, or Dark Marsh, is the homeland of the Lizardfolk. Like the Catfolk, they were not a "natural" race, like Elves, Dwarves and Humans, but were somehow brougt into being by the magics of the Moonstone.
Their land and race come from the southern side of a large crater. A very literal and hardworking race, the Lizardfolk are also very scittish, not fast to trust other races. Once they do trustt them though, it is for life, and usually generations.
The waters of the inland rivers of Garha Marsa are a dark purple colour. It has been found that anyone who has not lived in these lands for a long period of time will be poisoned and most likely die, if they consume these waters. To the Lizardfolk though, these waters are harmless.
There current Clutchlord is names Rode-Damriye, or Stands-in-Sun, in the common tongue.
Unter Riket ("Under Kingdom" in Common)
Capital: Ewige Stadt ("Eternal City" in Common)
Gnomes, as a race, are very intuittive and mechanically inclined. They are also masters of the arcane arts, and capable of creatting arcane machines that assist and better their daily lives. As a race, Gnomes are not attuned to living underground, butt that is what they have chosen to do. They constructed the Unter Riket, or Under Kingdom, as a safe haven for their entire race, over the span of centuries. Each generation continuing the work of their predecessors and expanding upon the plans.
Almost 500 years ago, the great Gnome prophet, Prophyrdomus Antiock Quincy Bramble One-Foot Hardlebrook, or Prophyrdomus as he was mainly known, forsaw the end of the world. He went on a visioin trance, using many magical and mundane means to get a more accurate reading. After three months in a trance, he awoke witth a time, writing as quickly as he could, he prophesised the following:
"On the bicentennial of the break of the Green invasion, the ground will open. The sky will become dark and the Heavens will roar. The mountains will scream fire and ash, and the cities of all will be consumed. The end will come and all will be gone."
After meeting with his rulers, Prophyerdomus' words were taken as truth, and plans began for the construction of a safe haven. The blueprints for the Eternal City and the Unter Riket, were drawn up, and a place was selected, that was deemed safe and viable. In the end, land in the north of the continent, near the Frozen Sea, was selected due to the temperature of the ground, and the structure of the rock in the area.
The constuction of the Eternal City began a decade after the prophecy was written, and has continued ever since. Due to the races lack of physical attributes towards underground life, the Gnomes have invented some very interesting arca-mechanical devices, the most stunning of which is the blazing Sol-Sfar, or Solar Sphere. This device emulates the sun, perfectly synchonized with the actual star. The Mansfaren, or Lunar Sphere, is its counterpart for the "Night Cycle" of the Unter Riket.
The kingdom spans a kingdoms worth of land, underground, yet functions normally, thanks to the technology of the Gnomes.
Even though they believe in the prophecy, they know that it isn't happening yet, so the Gnomes maintain three above ground setttlements; Ovre Grinden, or Upper Gate, Vatten Grinden, or Water Gate, and Hallaren, or The Hold. The Hold is a fortress that houses a terrifying number of Gnomish machines of all sorts. Through Ovre Grinden and Vatten Grinden, the Unter Riket trades with every other race that is willing to do so. Few people that are not Gnomes enter the Eternal City itself, unless given permission.
The Unter Riket is currently led by a council of 25, with the head being Sir Naganorff Bramble Durnigate Sorgmeyer Charlton Wagerlawn Eldemeyer Three-Finger Wabajack.
Capital: Karaz-A-Karak ("Great Hold" in Common)
Kharzadhum, as it is known in Dwarven, is the subterranean expanse that runs the entire breadth and width of Malonia, from the Northern World's Teeth Mountains to the Southern World's Teeth Mountains. Currently ruled by King Horreg Bronzehammer, the kingdom has become very insular and xenophobic. King Bronzehammer has always been of the mindset that the Dwarfs can support themselves, and do not need the trade, or help, of the other races of Malonia. This is a dramatic switch from the previous king, and caused some issues 50 years ago when Bronzehammer took power.
Under the rule of the previous king, Olaf Drakesbane, the kingdom weathered its most recent conflict with the Ratfolk, and expanded. Drakesbane was also a very vocal supporter of having open boarders and trade with other races and kingdoms.
During King Drakesbane's rule,Kharzadhum lost 4 settlements and at least 2 mines to the Ratfolk. Countless Dwarven lives were lost, both of soldiers and civilians alike, as the rats cared little for who they killed. The final straw for Olaf Drakesbane, was when the rats marched on Kharz-A-Karak, or Eight Peaks Hold.
After months of ceaseless conflict, and retreat, Drakesbane's forces made a final stand at the largest, and oldest Dwarven city, their capital.
With his forces outside the massive bronze doors of the hold, the King met the Rats in an epic combat. For 4 days, Ratfolk and Dwarf were locked in conflict, filling the massive subterranian cavern with the sounds of war. Ratfolk siege engines battered the walls and gates of the city, but they barely scratched the superior Dwarven engineering. When it came to personal combat, on the other hand, Dwarven armour could only go so far.
By the third day, Drakesbane was down to half of his original force, and the Rats were between him and his home, having encircled the ever dwindling Dwarven force. Just after sun up on the fourth morning, salvation arrived in the form of a battleforce of Dwarves from the southern settlements, turning the tide of the conflict.
General Horreg Bronzehammer led his soldiers into the rear flanks of the Rats, pinching them between both Dwarven forces. After only a few hours, the Rats were sufficiently broken, that they broke formation and retreated the the holds and mines that they had already conquered. Hortred ordered his Rangers to follow the retreating force, cut them down where they could, and seal the tunnels from their holds. This tactic, used for generations, would theoretically end any future invasions.
The celebrations were short lived, as General Horreg announced his plans to replace King Drakesbane during the victory feast. To a silent and stunned audience, Horreg Bronzhammer challenged Olaf Drakesbane to a trial by combat. The victor would be king of Kharzadhum, and the loser would be exiled from the kingdom, to live out the rest of their days.
Both men signed their names in the Great Book of Grudges, the sacred tome of the Dwarven people. The trial was set for 5 days later, on the former combat zone, in front of the city.
They met upon the battlefield, and the clash began. The two opponents fought for 7 striaght hours, each landing aze and hammer blows, and spilling the others blood. In the end, Bronzhemmer bested his opponent with one final strike to the helm, sending the former king sprawling to the rock.
Drakesbane admitted defeat without question, surrendering the crown right there on the battlefield. Within moments, Horreg Bronzehammer was crowned King of Kharzadhum, Bearer of the Tome of Grudges and Forgefather of the Dwarven people. The former king was given an hour to say his farewells to family and friends, he beard was cut off, and he was banished to the underwilds.
It was not long before the new king implemented sweeping reforms to the way the kingdom operated, effectively closed the Dwarves off from the outside world. There was initial backlash to this change, mostly from merchants and blacksmiths, who sold their sought after wears outside the kingdom. The most prominent detractor of the new way, was the founders of what would become known as Undercity. After considerable lobbying, Undercity was granted sovereignty from Kharzadhum.
Sadly, unlike during the rule of Drakesbane, the kingdom has not expanded under Bronzehammer's leadership. He claims that it is for the benefit of the people, but that remains to be seen. The last "new" settlement that was established by the Dwarves was Torbram's Haven on the eastern edge of the World's Teeth Mountains.
One of the things that Kharzadhum is known for is its amazing architecture. Entire cities carved from the rock of the mountains, stand as a testament to Dwarven capabilities. Even some of the long forgotten holds, which are now occupied by other denizens of the underdark, still hold their Dwarven form after years of neglect.