Ärenn (Carallion Supplement)
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Ärenn dominates the West of Khandala, the main continent on Carallion. It is an area with a mostly temperate climate and very suitable for agriculture. Though long dominated by Dwarves and Elves, Ärenn is now mostly inhabited by Humans. Several powerful empires have dominated Ärenn in recent centuries, but they have succumbed to the pressures of the Urak Invasion and internal divisions.
Humans in Ärenn come from three main groups. The Cymlin inhabit Central and south-west Ärenn and usually have blond or brown hair with brown eyes. The Detrir hail from North-West Ärenn and have blond and red hair with blue or green eyes. The Ethalis live in the South and have brown or black hair with brown eyes.
- 1 Tolas
- 2 The Forest of Myllaean
- 3 Haestus
- 4 Theocracy of Korlan
- 5 Thal-Ziriakan
- 6 Kerak-Zaldor
- 7 Kalos
- 8 Zalgon
- 9 Algor
- 10 Thalanis
- 11 Galron
- 12 Aldaria
- 13 Tarakan
- 14 Khrecia
- 15 Minos
- 16 Tracios
- 17 Meldis
- 18 The Helmlands
- 19 Daggermouth Pass
Until a century ago Tolas was the most powerful empire of Ärenn, dominating nearly the whole continent, large parts of Qu'araid and the northern shores of Farik, giving them effective control of the entire Inner Sea.
The origins of the Tolasian empire are in the mountainous regions in the north of the Litta peninsula. Where Hadrias Tolius unified the various tribes under a single banner and conquered Litta, founding the capital city of Tolas and founding the Tolasian Kingdom. The Tolasians fought the remains of the once-great Khrecia for control of the Inner Sea for nearly a century, emerging victorious from this bitter conflict. It soon became the new dominant power and expanded over the next centuries to control a large part of Ärenn.
Although it has split apart, Tolas is still a potentially powerful nation and some think it is only a matter of time before a strong ruler will once more unify the empire under his leadership. Unfortunately, the empire is currently weakened by the current political struggle which has been raging since the Urak invasion. A string of short-lived emperors have come and gone and none have been able to provide the stability the empire needs. The current emperor is Spartius Crenna, a simple soldier, who apparently killed the previous emperor and was elected by the army as his successor. Spartius is a fierce warrior, but little else and has spent much of his early days as ruler feasting, holding games and spending what little money is left in the imperial coffres. He has delegated much of the ruling of Tolas to the Senate. Unfortunately the Senate is the stage of bitter infighting between various factions. Some fear that civil war is imminent.
Tolas, the Imperial City
The golden city of Tolas suffered greatly during the Urak invasion. Though several decades have passed since the invasion large parts of the city are still in disrepair. Despite this devastation, Tolas is still a magnificent city with grand temples and palaces, covered in gold, marble and precious stones.
The Imperial Army
The Emperor Iallus Triba Condentis could once boast to field a full hundred legions, but Tolas can barely muster ten legions today, of which only three are true field legions, the remaining seven are understrength auxiliary garrison legion reinforced with a cohort of regular troops.
The Imperial Army is divided in several distinct forces :
- The Imperial Guard : The elite force of the empire, it numbered between three and ten legions at various times, but is now reduced to a five-cohort legion. Only the very best soldiers in the empire are allowed to joing the guard. They wear plate armor, tower shields and wield longswords and javelins, many of which are masterwork items. Officers have access to magical equipment, often given to them by the emperor. Guardsmen earn nearly thirty times the pay of normal legionaries.
- The Field legions : The main fighting force of the empire. Each legion has about 4500 legionaries. Soldiers are equipped with a range of equipment, mostly chainmail, banded or breastplates. They carry tower shields, longswords and javelins. These legions are well-supported with auxiliary troops such as archers, engineers, cavalry, wizards and clerics etc.
- Garrison legions : Garrison legions are made up of second-line troops. They are less well-equipped and experienced than field legions. Troops carry chainmail, scale or leather armor with tower shields, spears, shortswords and javelins. These forces are not trained to fight major battles. They are often used to hold the line until the field legions can intervene.
Guard legionaries are usually 3-5 fighters. Field Legions are 1-3 and Garrison troops are 0-1.
The Imperial army is made up of units called cohorts. Each cohort is about 450 men strong. Ten cohorts make up a legion.
The Forest of Myllaean
One of the last great Elven realms on Ärenn is is a broad stretch of forest between the Inner Sea and the Great Lake. It long held up the westward expansion of the Tolasian Empire. After several costly defeats, the Tolasians finally abandoned their plans of conquest and offered a treaty, setting up Colonia, clearing part of the coastal regions and securing an overland route to Haestus and Korlan. Colonia is the only human town in the region. The Elves of Myllaean visit once a year to trade goods and renew the treaty.
Haestus is a land of hills, forests and swampy grasslands. Famous for its large population of Half-Elves it was never fully conquered by the Empire and remains to this day a client state, still tributing money and mercenaries to the Tolasian Empire. Haestus borders on the Theocracy of Korlan a xenophobic nation and lives in a near permanent state of war. An invasion by troops from Korlan nearly two decades ago, succeeded in conquering Haestus, but their triumph was short-lived and they were expelled with Tolasian help, though the original ruling dynasty was replaced by one more favourable to the empire.
Theocracy of Korlan
The low flat country of Korlan is dominated by the great Reedline river a major trade route from the north. Large areas of Korlan are swampy in nature. Good arable land is rare and attempts to dam the river and dry the swamps have failed. The people of Korlan are a dour and superstitious folk, lead by their priesthood, they blame Haestus for its troubles. Recently, Korlan dignitaries have been spotted in Thal-Ziriakan and some believe that they are seeking and alliance against Haestus.
One of the three great realms dominating south-west Ärenn.
The black land is built upon the remains of the heartlands of the Highest. The name comes from the devastation left by the war against the Highest. The capital city of Kirigis was built next to the ruins of Quruumqual. Mostly untouched by the Urak invasion, Kerak-Zaldor is fast growing in power. The close proximity to Farik and blessed with rich arable lands providing Kerak-Zaldor great wealth. Kerak-Zaldor's ruler is the Magiocrat Megaris Raltan, a Half-Elf Wizard-Cleric. Kerak-Zaldor is notable for its large populations of non-humans, most notably Goblinoids which serve in the Zaldrian army.
Kalos is in all but name a puppet state of Kerak-Zaldor. The site of the High Temple of xxx.
Clutching to its tenuous link to the sea, Zalgon has kept Kerak-Zaldor's ambitions to expand further west in check. Once allied with the Elven realms of Vaeldor, it is now slowly growing weaker and many fear that Kerak-Zaldor will soon march West, and conquer the freeholds of Vaeldor and possibly even move into Alaris.
Algor is a large city state by the Inner Sea. It was one of the first realms to break away from the Empire, though it kept close ties through many treaties. Algor is a trading nation, with much lower taxes than the Empire and has successfully taken over much of the oversea trade going towards Tolas.
This small enclave between Tolas and Galron is the centre of the cult of (lost in encoding errors — please fix). A Theocracy, Thalanis is ruled by its Clergy and is protected by the Seven Militant Orders of Paladins. The Orders are those of Light, Justice, Virtue, Compassion, Duty, Courage and Faith. Although it is a small nation, it wields great power and always remained independent from the Tolasian Empire.
Galron, a mountainous region east of Tolas was created only three decades ago, splitting away from the empire, during the reign of Cerendus the Mad Emperor. Some believe Galron is a puppet state created by Thalanis to further split the empire. Galronians have always had an independent streak and while they were among the first realms absorbed into the Empire, they never gave up their own distinct identity. Galron's future does seem precarious at best. Aside from the external threat of the Empire, the old clan feuds may well split this realm as the current ruler, Prince Cheldvoy is now in his 8th decade and in failing health. Galron is rich in mines, especially silver, iron and copper, but has surprisingly few native Dwarves.
This young kingdom is one of many which was created after the collapse of the Tolasian empire. Originally part of the dukedom of Kaltric, it is a dynamic and thriving nation, with fertile lands, large forests and copper mines currently exploited by Hill Dwarves, it also hosts one of the largest centers of magical learning in Ärenn, the Collegium of Magic of Glan Dirak. The ruler is King Mark, a charismatic and popular ruler. But there are also many dangers, Aldaria's neighbor to the north, Tarakan has a large population of Urak and many have raided the Markland of Baelis for the last few years. Rangers and soldiers patrol the border, but the swift Urak have eluded them so far. The raiding has become quite bad and some feel that the King is failing to protect Baelis properly.
The largest city in Aldaria and notable as a major inland port, its magical city walls and the Collegium of Magic. Although not as large as the cities in the southern parts of Ärenn, it has a population of nearly 75,000 inhabitants and has been growing steadily in recent years. Located on the eastern bank river Scalder, a major trade route, bringing in substantial wealth for the city. Perhaps the most striking feature of the city is the Collegium. This large complex of buildings covers the eastern part of the city and forms part of the city's outer defences. Bizzarely-shaped buildings built in a seemingly haphazard manner form the various school halls. Notable features include the Black Pyramid located in the central which is considered a taboo subject, and the object of much speculation, the planar gate, the vaults and the Seven towers of the Arch-Mages. North of the city lies the Magister's keep. The Magister is the city wizard and not directly connected to the Collegium though he has close ties with most of the residents. He is a wiry man with a ferret-like face and an unpleasant tone about him, yet he is a great help to the city and has never refused help to those who asked for it.
Until a few years ago Silverglade was a quiet farming village. Rumors existed of a lost silver mine drawing a handful of treasure-seekers until one fateful day a prospector stumbled upon a rich vein, not of silver, but of quality iron. The news spread like wildfire that silver was indeed discovered near Silverglade. For months thousands flocked to the hills nearby only to hear that it was iron, rather than silver. Reluctantly, the disappointed hopefuls moved on, though quite a few settled down to exploit this rich iron mine. From less than a hundred souls, Silverglade grew into a bustling town of nearly six hundred souls. The proximity to the river provided a cheap means of transporting the ore to Glan Dirak a little over two days away by barge.
A large part of Silverglade is now taken over by a small industrial settlement, made up of tents and shacks, slowly being converted into better and more permanent houses. A large foundry smelts the iron ore into bars for easy transportation and estimation. Though the money it generates has brought prosperity to this small village, the sudden growth and the many problems it brings about is a cause of friction by the many trouble-makers and the odd few who still believe they can get rich in a quick manner. More often than not, they end up disturbing the peace, setting the original inhabitants and the new settlers against each other.
Galen Marcus, a tall, bull-necked, powerful man with a square jaw and short greying hair is the town's leader. Currently a farmer and horse breeder, he was a military commander in the Tolasian army and speaks with a powerful commanding voice and has managed to keep the peace thus far. A widower, Galen takes care of his teenage daughter and son.
Clannis Willan, is the town's sheriff, once a skilled warrior, he is now well past his prime and his expanding girth is very noticeable for the many extensions made to his old chainmail vest. He commands a group of half a dozen militia and a pair of mastiffs who struggle to keep the peace in this town.
Melan Corris, this trader kept the old village shop, but made his fortune selling supplies to the miners. His old house in town has been fully converted into a large storehouse, while he moved into a newly-built manor outside of town. Villagers complain that his prices have risen sharply and that goods are now often shoddy and of poor quality.
Duelgan Hammerblow an outwardly dour, hard-nosed Dwarf miner and one of the owners of the smelting plant. His grim exterior hides a deeply honest, if very strict taskmaster. He rewards hard labour though his partners do not always share his opinions.
Tarakan's official ruler is an old Tolasian General called Aedius Caracalla Palios, but the true power lies in the hands of the high chancellor Rufus Dorias, a ruthlessly ambitious man. He has offered the help of Tarakan's army to guard the borders with Baelis and restore peace in the area, but some believe it is merely a ploy to gain control of the Markland. Tarakan is heavily forested in the west and open grasslands in the east with badlands in the north. The Tarakans are a hardy folk, never fully conquered by Tolas.
The capital of Tarakan, Garas is built into a series of steep hills offering good protection against attacks and dominating the access to the eastern plains. Most of the buildings are made of granite, giving the city a harsh appearance.
Khrecia's humble beginnings in the mountainous regions south east of Tolas, date back nearly a thousand years. Once the home of great scholars, philosphers, sages and mages, it is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Human civilization. Out of a collection of small city-states grew an Empire that spanned the shores of the Inner Sea and into Qu'araid. Lead by the legendary Askander, the bold armies of Khrecia defeated many enemies. He crossed the Styk and marched into the Dragon Empires battled against King Sogiru and his dreaded Yuan-Ti, but his army had paid the price of one battle too many and he finally returned to Khrecia after a glorious ten-year long campaign. Askander was crowned King of Kings upon his return to Askandria, the new capital of his huge empire. He was gathering a new army and prepared to conquer the rest of Ärenn, when a mysterious figure approached him. They talked behind closed doors for three days and nights and by the morning of the fourth day, his concerned friends and bodyguards broke into the room. They found no trace of the King, except for an inscription in the marble floor, claiming that Askander had found great new challenges and would return once he had conquered them all.
His sons proved able leaders, but they lacked the drive of their father. Within 200 years Tolas had risen to power and the inhabitants of Qu'araid had gained their independence.
Today Khrecia lives by its former glory. Many Khrecians, especially the Thanase are considered somewhat decadent. Some hope that Askander's return will restore Khrecia's true glory once more and that the King of Kings will finish his conquests on Carallion.
A sun-drenched island in the Inner Sea, Minos is a rich trading nation, protected by a powerful fleet. The capital Syranis, was besieged several times by the Tolasians but it was never taken. The ruler of Minos is Queen Massialla, said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world in addition to being a powerful sorceress and has ruled Minos for the last three hundred years. She is a harsh, but fair ruler. While slavery is legal in Minos, it is not a permanent fate. Indeed the children of slaves are automatically granted freedom and there are many opportunities for slaves to buy their own freedom. As a result, Minos has never witnessed a slave revolt and most of its inhabitants are fiercely loyal to their queen. Every year at the winter solstice, the Queen holds a tournament where many men compete to earn the right to become consort for a year. The tasks are very varied, from defeating great dangers to solving puzzles and riddles or even making the Queen laugh.
The Minotaur island is another island realm of the Inner Sea. The Tracion minotaurs have a fearsome navy and have been raiding the coasts and islands of the Inner Sea for centuries. Though their expansion has been countered many times, they have always managed to survive and rebuild their mighty fleet. The Minotaurs of Tracios consider strength and power to be the ultimate values and see other races as weak and inferior. They are also fond of human flesh and their raids are greatly feared by many sea-side communities. The Minotaurs are quite bold and even raided the port of Tolas several centuries ago. A legend tells that a minotaur did manage to slip into the Imperial Palace, set to eat the emperor himself, only to discover that the empire was ruled by the Senate at the time. Stunned by this strange notion, the Minotaur burst into laughter and died of asphyxiation. The Minotaur's skull can still be seen in the Senate chamber.
This small island is another major trade port in the Inner Sea and the stronghold of the Sea Knights. The Knights fight the perils of the Inner Sea, led by their commander, Giosev the Bold. Their citadel is famous for its giant beacon that guides ships at night.
This broad stretch of land running North West to South East was once the border of the Tolasian empire with the northern and eastern realms of Ärenn. Sparsely settled with fortified enclaves behind the Ronne and Dhunn rivers, the Helmlands are still mostly wilderness, where many creatures have found refuge after being pushed out of the empire. Ancient Ruins from the Age of the Highest dot the land, holding great treasures and equally great and terrible peril, which does little to stop adventuring parties. Rangers and wandering heroes try to keep the land free of evil creatures and keep the trade roads open. Small outposts and a few fortified farms are found in the southernmost parts, the remains of Tolasian attempts to colonize this untamed wilderness.
The Field of Hagenberg
This desolation wind-swept plain was the scene of a terrible battle between the Free Realms and the Highest. During the gruesome struggle the Highest commander was about to be struck down by Realm champions when he cast a final curse upon his enemies. The spell summoned terrible forces that killed all the participants in the battle and raised them as undead. For centuries the undead warriors have been fighting the same battle every night. The only way to break the curse and release the souls of the warriors is to find the commander's magical staff and break it. Not only that, but many great magical weapons and armors can be found, most of them untouched by time and battle. Many have tried to break the curse or retrieve items, but the mindless undead turn upon the living as soon as they enter the battlefield.
This pass connects Ärenn with the peninsula. Though the League of Free Realms has long been disbanded, the peninsula has remained unspoilt by war and invasion for centuries. One of the last Elven realms endures in a land where time seems to have stopped a thousand years ago.