Geography, Climate, and Politics (Dominaria Supplement)
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- 1 The World of Dominaria
- 2 The Westlands
- 2.1 The 3rd Imperium
- 2.2 The Hellenic States
- 2.3 The Arcadian Empire
- 2.4 The Republic of Valmorra
- 2.5 The Sword Coast
- 2.6 The Beldroni Kingdoms
- 3 The Free Cities
- 4 The Verge
- 5 Otaria
- 6 The Great Eastern Desert and the Caliphates
- 7 Northerned
- 8 The Southern Seas
The World of Dominaria
Whether you're searching for adventures against great evils, aching quests for personal glory, or want to make the world tremble at your name - Dominaria has it all. With 4 Ages of History, a huge amount of places to travel to and loads of variety you can craft any adventure you want.
I have just started to work with Campaign Cartographer 3 and my work is still very rough but I wanted to get a draft in to give people an idea of my world and the countries therein. The map is bereft of cities, interior boundaries, roads, forests, smaller mountain ranges, and all the other details that make an awesome map but bear with me. I'll keep on improving my skills and I'll post better maps as able.
To the right is the continent of Dominaria and the islands of the Southern Seas. There are some basic political boundaries and the overall terrain types are there as well. this can be used as a general reference until my better maps go down.
The vast territories of The Westlands are the cradle of Human civilization. Here, amongst other races, vast human empires and kingdoms hold sway over millions of people. The Westlands are teeming with life and 4 Ages of history have left a patchwork of cities and peoples related by both current situation and ancient ties. Here can be found vast expanses of grasslands cut by forests and smaller mountain ranges and rivers. Towns, villages, monasteries, and fortresses dot the landscape and most roads are well traveled.
None of this is to say that The Westlands are bereft of wilderness or places to adventure, far to the contrary. The vast size of The Westlands means that the spaces between cities and their villages and towns are also vast. Likewise thousands of years of history have left ruins and complexes aplenty and a myriad of Orders and Guilds from which to find work. The history also drives the feel of the wilderness. While cutting across the Illyrian March one might traverse a vast plain cut by an ancient aqueduct. An ancient watchtower may stand on a seemingly random hill - standing silent vigil over a forgotten landscape. One may find whole underground complexes, their purposes not readily apparent. Even the cities mentioned above are ripe for adventure, each holding different guilds and power brokers and each with their own life.
Adventure in the Westlands therefore, can have many faces. Does the party fight for a House, a city, an empire, or a nation? Do they work for a Guild or a Temple? Are they searching for an ancient artifact to stop a rising evil? Or are they simply out for 'da loot', taking any job they can get? All of these and more are possible across the vast patchwork of peoples in the West. There are dozens of Houses and countries and further dozens of organizations each with their own goals and motivations - all of which only spells gold and glory for those strong enough to make a name for themselves.
Current arch-evils and other varied bad things will be listed in the DM section, what's below will be player knowledge (dependent on knowledges and backstory of course).
The 3rd Imperium
The 3rd Imperium was easily the largest country in Dominaria, spanning almost 900 leagues East to West and almost 500 North to South. It is a land of vast green plains and rolling vales, it is a land criss-crossed by mountain ranges and forests and rivers, and it was the heart of western Human civilization. The First Great Empire of the West, now colloquially refered to as the 1st Imperium, rose out of King John of Cormyr’s masterful treaty with the Republic of Illyria in the 2nd Age. The Imperium has risen and fallen twice since then, its territory varied, but it has always come back to the High Houses of Cormyr and Illyria, now the two key provinces in the Imperium. The Imperium has taken and lost Beldron, Valmorra, the Sword Coast, and territory north of The Verge, but never before has the very heart of the great Empire been so thoroughly cut out. Grand Caliph Suzerain may have burned the countryside, but many cities and fortresses held out. The Barbarians swept through the Westlands but were routed in central Illyria. Arcadian troops crossed the Melidaa River, but were stopped at the gates of ancient Cartaan. Cormyr and Illyria have often ceased to exist as such, individual houses and countries appearing in their midst, but never before have the storied names completely fallen away.
But these are dark days. The great cities of these ancient countries have fallen, and many are in ruin. The forces of darkness occupy their storied halls and once bustling streets and lick their wounds. It is perhaps an irony that all that remains of the Imperium are the Northern Houses, frontier of the empire in olden days and reluctant member in this Age, and the new province of Ramosia. High Seat Jared Malkier, head of the only Northern House to voluntarily join, leads the Northern Houses and High Seat Jaskula Ak’Kritar, unifier of Ramosia, leads the Ramosi Houses. During The Wandering One’s rampage many fled to the North and East. The Imperial Remnant is now swollen with refugees, armies, Lords, and even entire guilds of merchants and mages that are settling into their new home while clamoring to return to their old ones.
19 Great Houses once had a High Seat on the Council in Centara ruling alongside the Emperor, serving as advisors and legislators and enforcing the rulings of the council. Emperor Charles Tionne was the last Emperor, and his legend now spreads across Dominaria. He elected to stay in Centara and lead the defense of the city, selling the city dearly to give the Coalition time. These Houses ruled an area the size of almost any country outside the Imperium. Proud cities with tall walls ruled over the townships and counties of Cormyr and Illyria, but these now lie in ruin or in the hands of darkness.
Government: When King John of Cormyr formed the Imperium he laid down a system of governance which, while including the powerful Royal families of the West, would allow a new system of unified provincial government. He decreed that henceforth each of the ruling families of the constituent countries of Cormyr and Illyria, at the time more geographical designations then countries, would become 'High Houses' with a 'High Seat' on the Imperial Council. One of the Houses would become the Provincial Head and lead his delegation on the Imperial Council. The system has been used through each iteration of the Imperium, and many times 'Lower Houses' have been admitted on to the Imperial Council, although with the recognition that they are Lower houses and ought to follow their High Seat's lead.
Military: The current Imperial military format evolved out of the treaty that formed the 2nd Imperium. In the treaty, every House was expected to muster 'Legions' for the common defense and, "In time of need", to realize "Imperial aims". These Legions were defined as discrete 10,000 man fighting units and raised according to population. The equipping and training of each Legion was originally left to each House, although supply was provided for through Imperial tax. Emperor Anthony of Tarabon reformed the system in the early days of the 3rd Age, and it was these reforms that many argue propelled the Imperium to it's greatest heights. Under 'The Antonian Reforms' organization, ranks, pay, and equipment were defined; training too was standardized. As part of the 'standard' however, 'auxiliary' formations were built in and each House was allowed to field these as whatever they saw fit.
Judicial System: Under the 3rd Imperium each House was responsible for the maintenance of order within their boundaries. Outside of a standard 'Bill of Rights' written during the 1st Imperium each House is allowed to make it's own laws and taxes as it sees fit.
The Ramosian City States
The Ramosian Crescent is the most fertile land in Dominaria, and ever since the first settlers saw its emerald fields it has been the bread basket of the west. Andor was the first city founded in the Melidaa/Daan River corridor, and during Arcadia’s great expansion 4 more cities were formed from south to north. Ak’Kritar in central Ramosia was the first, and then three more cities that grew over the Ages. Each of these city states grew powerful off of farming, river trade, and close proximity to the southern spur of The Verge – securely in dwarven hands. Arcadian influence in the region waned throughout the 2nd Age and then faded entirely after Grand Caliph Suzerain’s invasion.
Early in the 4th Age Jaskula Barca, lord of Ak’Kritar, united Ramosia over nearly a decade of war. Soon thereafter he agreed to join the 3rd Imperium and throw his armies behind the new Emperor’s Wars of Unification. In return, each city-state of Ramosia would gain a High Seat in the new Imperium and Jaskula would be the leader of the new province (to join Cormyr, Illyria, and the soon to be ‘included’ Northern Houses). The Wars of Unification ended soon thereafter and the new Imperial province of Ramosia flourished. The city-states, powerful in their own right, combined to form an agrarian juggernaut.
Before The Wandering One’s return Ramosia was at the height of its power. Endless emerald fields of tall grass and deciduous forests sheltered the farming communities and towns that fed the growing wealth of the cities. The people were happy and prosperous and safe. Then came the wars, then came the dark times. Ramosian Legions were crushed across Cormyr and soon returned alongside the endless stream of refugees from across the Imperium. The soldiers of the Imperial Remnants in Ramosia, under High Seat Ak’kritar, now stare west across the fortified Melidaa River - awaiting the order to re-take their homelands. Alongside them are the men, dwarves, and elves of the Coalition who stand ready to fight the evil that now presides over the West.
Government: Ramosia still follows the Imperial provincial structure. It has five Houses aligned in a line north to south with House Ak'kritar holding the Head Seat of the province.
The Northern Alliance
Ever since humanity reached the foothills of The Verge late in the 1st Age the northernmost settlements have been a bit harder, a bit rougher around the edges. Early encounters with the inhabitants of the impossibly tall mountains taught the settlers to constantly be on guard and that every last building must be defendable. The dwarves soon warmed to the settlers, and a brisk trade sprung up, but most of the other denizens of the mountains have been less friendly. Nearly seasonal goblin raids as well as minotaur and barbarian incursions became the norm and over the centuries of the 1st and 2nd the people adjusted and a hardy string of countries cropped up.
Late in the 2nd Age the countries of the north allied together in the face of the greatest barbarian invasion in Dominarian history. The people retreated into the heavily fortified capitals and fortresses and the barbarians swept south like water around rocks. The countryside was devastated as far south as Cormyr and Illyria but the people of the north were safe. Since then the alliance has stood, more or less, and the people have flourished. In the 3rd Age the Northern Alliance joined the 2nd Imperium and the countries became Houses. Several hundred years under Imperial rule went a long way to civilizing the Northern Houses. The people, although hardened to danger, lived happy lives of peace and plenty as often as they could.
So by the 4th Age the Northern Houses have become an amalgamation of the hardy northern border culture and the western society of the Imperium. The rolling fields and deep pine forests blend smoothly into the foothills of The Verge and the northern fortress cities now share the landscape with Imperial highways and bustling trade towns. During the war against the Dragon and then The Wandering One many fled north to hide in the fortress cities of the Alliance. Now the grim soldiers of the Northern Houses, as well as the soldiers of Cormyr and Illyria that made it north, stare south into a land fallen to darkness. The people, long used to invasion, stoically prepare for the coming year sharpening weapons and storing food.
Government: The Northern Alliance still holds to the Imperial system of governance. House Malkier holds the High Seat of the province.
The Hellenic States
The Hellenic States are the remnants of the very first human civilization on Dominaria. The 1st Age is most often taken to begin with the founding of the city of Athon on the shores of Starfall Bay (Not on the map, new idea this summer). The city of Sartos was founded soon after on the opposite side of the bay, and human civilization began its rapid expansion. The humans cities fought together during the Lowland Elf War and again during the 1st Beast Wars, triumphing in both cases and expanding their territory into modern day Arcadia, Cormyr, Illyria, and Beldron. By the 2nd Age major highways began to spread across the countryside like vines; the Dromos Athos (up through Cormyr and Illyria) and most of the Dromos Korenthos (Through Andor into southern Ramosia and Arcadia) are still in use today.
But a brutal civil in the mid-1st Age war ended the solidarity that had pervaded over humanity and shattered the burgeoning Hellenic Empire. For nearly a decade and a half the newly formed ‘Athon League’ fought the ‘Sartan Coalition’ fought all across an ever shrinking empire, both cities bringing their progeny together under one banner. The stalemate was broken by the Council of Cartaan, an independent city that later became capitol of the Kingdom of Cormyr. Cartaan joined the war on the Athonian side and Sartos was soon forced to the table. The treaties of Thessala (Sartan Coalition) and Korenth (Athon League) ended the fighting. This first civil war broke the Hellenic Hegemony irreparably. Border areas fell and many cities and settlements outside the core Hellenic territories broke away. The cities of Andor, Arcadia, and Cartaan, as well as the Kingdoms of Beldron and Kyprus were born from this death.
The Hellenic cities have now existed for four Ages. Over the long years of history they have prospered and fallen in cycles again and again. The entire world has changed around them, empires have risen and fallen, and literally dozens of countries have sprung up, prospered, and fallen under their gaze. For whatever reason the inexorable march of history has spared these cities, nestled near the crossroads of the world. The long annals of time record intercine wars as often as peace, and wars against outsiders eyeing the long prosperous cities nearly as often.
In 70 FA the Hellenic States are prosperous, but not notable. Their fishing and farming keeps them alive, and a healthy trade with Arcadia, Beldron, and the Islands of the Southern Seas brings in the money. But a surprising new market for Hellenic men is mercenary work. War has barely touched the Hellenic Territories this Age – a brief incursion by the Dragon’s forces was brutally checked at the Battle of Ankaros Falls – so men of fighting age are in ready supply. Against the better wishes of many older Hellenites, this could be a generation of warriors.
The Athon League
The ‘Athon League’, sitting along the east side of Starfall Bay, has ever been in flux. At times its bonds are tighter than family, and at other times it is nothing but empty air. Athos, Korenth, Saracuse, and the island city of Rhodes form the alliance and have (with the exception of Mycenae joining in the 3rd Age) since the first civil war. The Athon League has always had close ties to trade with Ramosia, Arcadia, and the multitude of countries that have risen and fallen throughout Cormyr. The Athonians influenced large parts of western culture and civilization and have in turn been molded by the development of Arcadia and the great Imperiums.
The Sartan Coalition
The ‘Sartan Coalition’ is much the same as the Athon League in terms of flux, with the notable exception of Thessala. Sartos and Thessala have been tight allies almost since the 1st Age. A few wars have broken the brotherhood but they always return to each other; Hyraklea and Aretria round out the Coalition. The Sartan strain of Hellenic culture has always identified more with the Beldroni and the peoples of the Sword Coast. Sartan academics even claim to trace the settlement of the northernmost countries of the west, and especially their hardy warrior culture, to Sartan settlers.
Despite the vast differences in culture, the two sides of the Hellenic breed inhabit a relatively small area of Dominaria. The rocky Mediterranean-esque area features scrub grass, Cypress evergreens, hardy shrubs, and short fruiting trees. Many small settlements dot the landscape. Some live in and around unfathomably old ruins overlooking the sea-sized bay, going about their daily activities in the shadows of history. Some inhabiting the same valley, island, or small port town their ancestors settles in Ages ago. The cities have been built and rebuilt over the ages, but the glories of the 1st and 2nd Age have long past. The most impressive buildings in the cities are those of that era, with columns and domes to match anything in Arcadia or the Centrality.
The 4th Age has been an Age of relative prosperity: the streets and markets are bustling, nearly every building is used, the ancient baths and aqueducts flow every day, and new construction is underweigh in many places. But none of it rivals the impressive structures that still dominate the center of any old Hellenic city, and the evil that looms to the north (of the Hellenic States) threatens it all. Aside from the mercenary culture that has begun to spring up, the Hellenic cities have sent men, individually (by city) to aid the Coalition. Neither the late crisis nor the current situation has united the cities.
The Principality of Malta
The Island of Malta is the only outpost of Hellenic culture in the Sea of Swords. Kyprus may once have been Hellenic, but the seven Families that now vie for control of the Island are far from. The city of Mycenae dominates the central plateau of Malta, its sharply angled redstone walls visible from the sea. The city was founded by Hellenic explorers in the early 2nd Age and has stood mostly unmolested, due to its location, since. Pelican Bay is the island’s port, located on the the east side of the island and connected to Mycenae by a winding stone road. Most of the north and south sides of the island are farming and small fishing communities, although there is a large glassblowing economy beneath the falls on the west side of the plateau. The far west of the island is the fortress of Redhawk, ancient bastion of Malta and easily the largest fortress off the mainland.
Life on Malta is very peaceful. People live off of trade or farming and people from all over come to study at the island’s renowned library. Mycenae is almost the Alexandria or Beirut of Dominaria: a tropical Greek center of learning and culture. Pelican Bay is one of the most frequented ports in the Sea of Swords and has a robust nautical culture.
The Arcadian Empire
The great city of Arcadia was founded in latter days of the 1st Age and has stood against invaders, rebels, and all the ravages of time for more than 5000 years. Four times the city has fallen, and four times Arcadia has refused to kneel. From the marble halls of the Rose Palace and the white floors of the Senate the Emperor and his government rule over Arcadia, Andor, Felix, Selucia, and Concord. In each vassal state Proconsuls rule in their stead and ensure peace and stability throughout the Empire.
Arcadia, last of the ancient Empires and the only one never to completely fall, now has a critical decision to make. The 4th Age has been incredibly successful for the Arcadians: the Caliph’s men have been pushed out of Selucia, Felix has been reclaimed, Andor absorbed, and Concord defended. But even though the Arcadian heartland has never been threatened, and despite the fact that the 4th Age has yielded naught but victories for the ancient and resurgent Empire, its citizens tire of war.
Wives miss their husbands and husbands their homes. Greybeards are the only ones that remember the 50 years of peace that closed the 3rd and opened the 4th Age, and they were only children. In the last 50 years they have seen war to reclaim Felix from the Orcs of Orcinium, war against Andor then alongside them against Ramosia, a war in the Sea of Swords, two wars with the Caliphate, one against the Pardic Barbarians, one against the Concord rebellion, and most recently war against The Wandering One.
And now to Arcadia’s decision. Do they go to war again to save the Imperium, less than 30 years old, and aid their greatest western rival of the last age? Or do they allow the the myriad forces of darkness to rule in Cormyr and Illyria, Imperial heartland and the first great civilizations in the West? The Caliphate also looms to the east, and looks to take advantage of an Otaria bereft of leadership.
Government: The Emperor rules centrally from Arcadia with a Senate under him as advisers and legislators. The Senate may pass any laws it deems necessary but the Emperor has final and uncontrivertable veto. Under the Emperor are the Proconsuls of each province. They are sovereign within their territories and allowed to rule in whichever way they deem best, so long as they do not go against the will of the Emperor. This provincial autonomy has long defined Arcadia and led to the success of the provinces under Arcadian rule.
Military: Arcadia follows a post-Marian Legionary system; although the terms Hastati, Principe, and Triarii are still used to denote experience within the ranks. Each Legion is roughly 5,000 men plus auxiliary forces under the command of a Praetor. Each legion consists of 10 Cohorts of 5 Centuries each. Each Century has a Ballista and each Cohort has an Onager team. One Cohort is generally cavalry and one Cohort is split between engineers and Magisterium support. These guidelines have created one of the most powerful military forces on Dominaria. Each Legion is a self-contained army capable of combat across a wide spectrum of situations. Each province modifies the Legionary system in some way but the basic template has stood since the reforms of Emperor Sorentino in 650 SA after the invasion of Grand Caliph Suzerain. Each province sends a certain quota of men each year to serve in the legions as well as maintaining their own formations.
Judicial System: Arcadia's comprehensive judicial system ensures one of the most stable and cosmopolitan regions in Dominaria. Based off of writings from early Cartaani thinkers, the Conclave of Saracuse, Elven Jurisprudence, and the theories of King Andrew of Illyria the main body of Arcadian law has been in effect for millenia. Judges and traveling Magisterial Arbiters are well versed in the law and one can be almost assured that the law will be constant and consistent across the vast interior of Arcadia. Each city has a standing Auxilia force commonly called 'The Watch' as well as 'Magistrates' (Wizards) tasked with the safety of the city and the maintenance of order.
The heartland of the Empire and now the most stable place in the West. The rolling coastal plains and rocky Mediterranean landscape of Arcadia has seen nothing but peace and prosperity for nearly 400 years: a short but very brutal civil war in the 3rd Age that saw Arcadia fall to rebels. A dozen great cities dot the landscape, flourishing off of farming, some mining, and trade within the Empire as well as without. Great Mercantile guilds buy and sell goods from across the world and throughout the Arcadian provinces. The most complete and well maintained road and aqueduct system in Dominaria runs through Arcadia proper, and canals branch off from the main rivers for travel.
But wherever there is great peace, money will be also; and wherever there is money, crime will flourish. The only consistent problem in Arcadia is crime; organized crime families and organizations, assassin guilds, and strange cults have power that ebbs and flows with time. By 70 FA many of the major syndicates, guilds, and crime families have moved to the great cities of Venecia and Rishdan – western and eastern centers of trade and cities completely independent from any greater power.
Government: The province of Arcadia falls directly under the Emperor and the Senate, although the Consuls of large cities wield great power and are guaranteed a seat in the senate alongside the Legates.
Military: Arcadia fields the majority of the Empire's forces. The Arcadian Legions wear the red livery of ancient Arcadia Magnus and are not an uncommon sight throughout the Empire. Each of Arcadia's major cities fields a legion under its name and it is considered a point of pride to be selected to fill its ranks; these legions are generally Arcadia's best. The rest of the Legions are numbered legions recruited from across Arcadia: major cities as well as the countryside. Arcadia also maintains almost almost all of the Empire's Marine forces (half-size legions outfitted to move fast and trained for shipboard combat).
Arcadia's 'special' forces include two Legions of Praetorian Guard, generally posted to the city of Arcadia. These Legions are constituted by veterans or highly decorated soldiers; they're a pre-retirement post or a rotation given as a reward. Arcadia also maintains the dreaded XXX Legion, a grizzled unit of battle-hardened veterans. The mere approach of the XXX has three times elicited surrender this Age, and after fighting with the Coalition their name is a byword for martial power.
The Kingdom of Andor has a long and a short past. The Kingdom of Andor was founded in the mid-1st Age after the humans sacked the Elven capital of Whitebridge. Andor rose to power at the end of the 1st Age with the creation of the Order of the White Tower and it's annual conclaves. Throughout the 2nd Age Andor continued to flourish but it ceased to exist after Grand Caliph Suzerain’s invasion of the West. In 25 FA though, a mage of the ancient lineage was able to unseal the doors of the Lion’s Den – the near impregnable fortress of the Andoran Kings. He was crowned in Whitebridge and within 5 years had completely revitalized the ancient country: trade flowed through Whitebridge, the decrepit port of Aldemoor was reopened, and the King personally restarted Andor’s ancient mages’ guild on the coast.
Mining however, not farming or trade, put the coastal country on the map. The town of Kingshaven, nestled in the shadow of the Lion’s Den, became a boom town almost overnight when their miners struck Adamantium Ore. The strike brought more than just money and people to the now growing city, attention from the outside came as well. Arcadia and a hungry Ramosia now noticed the budding kingdom on the coast. Ramosia was the first to strike and the Andoran King soon went to Arcadia for aid.
So it is that Andor has been an Arcadian province for nearly 45 years. Andor has prospered in that time and become an integral part of the Empire. It’s King, now a proconsul, has earned the ear of the Emperor for his service. Proconsul Jared II of Andor commanded the Felixian Campaign and personally led the punitive actions in Concord alongside Jason Argantus, Proconsul of Selucia. Whitebridge is now one of the wealthiest cities in the Arcadian Empire, a center of trade on the Melidaa River, and of late a mustering point for troops and mercenaries headed north to join the Coalition. Aldemoor, lying within a day’s sail of Venecia, is an impressive but still small trade city. Kingshaven is now a sprawling city centered on mining and the feeding of those who mine. Its wealth overshadows a gritty underbelly.
Government: The Proconsul of Andor is also the King and ceremonial Archmage of the Red Tower. Jared I began this tradition and his now elderly son Jared II has continued it. The King rules from the White Tower of Whitebridge and meets in council with the Governors of each city-region, his Generals (Praetors), the functional Archmage of the Red Tower, the head of the Kigshaven mining guild, and the head of the Andoran Trade Syndicate at least monthly. Each member of these meetings will always designate a second if necessary following the "No voice unheard" tradition of the ancient Lion Court.
Military: Andor's Legions wear the white colors of the Kingdom of Andor and their shields bear the heraldic Red Lion of Andor. They basically follow the pattern of the Arcadian Legion except for the inclusion of Drakes and Dwarven auxiliaries. Each of the four Andoran Legions (3 field, 1 'Praetorian' in Whitebridge) maintains an extra Cohort of Dwarves as well as a squadron of Drake riders and their mounts. The Andoran Coastal Drakes live in the cliffs of the Andoran and eastern Hellenic coast and are the size of a young adult Dragon.
Reconquered by Arcadia three decades ago, Felix is the ‘Frontier’ of the Arcadian Empire. It is a land of dense old growth forests broken up by sweeping clearings. When the Arcadian Legions reconquered Felix from the Orcs and their Barbarian allies, settlers began to flow north. They began by settling the abandoned city of Tel Jerrod, nestled into the mountains in the north of Felix. To the great surprise of the Jared II, interim Proconsul, he received his first foreign emissaries within a week of raising his banner.
Joshua Brighthammer, King of the mountain Dwarves and liege-lord of the deep Dwarves, arrived to claim his embassy. The very same day Lady Ariel Kyssessea, daughter to King Kyssessea III of the High Elves, stepped through a runic portal in the east wall of Tel Jerrod’s palace to claim hers. They were present to honor an ancient treaty signed by the Arcadian Emperor Valentine Carter in the 3nd Age. Tel Jerrod had been constructed for the express purpose of creating a meeting ground for men, dwarves, and elves during the initial rise of The Wandering One; but as far as the dwarves and the elves were concerned the treaty ought still stand lest another evil arise.
So Felix developed over the following years: the way-forts along the ancient highways were reoccupied and became trading posts and rest stops, the glades and clearings became farming communities (often only linked to the highway by dirt path), and the encircling mountains became home to mines worked by men and dwarves. Tel Jerrod is still the only major city, but two other minor ones have sprung up along the highway as trade hubs.
Government: Felix is a province of Arcadia pure and simple. The Proconsul rules from Tel Jerrod and manages the province through the Consuls of each of the three other settlements (two on the ruins of past cities, one new mining city). Felix is mainly focused on building and expansion in 70 FA, and the current Proconsul Marcus Presidius is an expert logistitian and deft manager of the new and competing interests in the province.
Military: Felix still largely relies on outside Legions for security: two Arcadian and one Selucian Legion camp throughout the province and man the rapidly expanding wall on the Northern boundary of the province. Felix does have one legion of it's own, and chose to outfit it in dark blue with an image of an oak tree across the shields. Aside from the Legion, Felix maintains several highly divergent fighting forces known as the Felixian Rangers. The Rangers are woodsmen all and must be adept with the bow and a set of melee weapons before they may even join. the Rangers have a reputation already, and were used during the punitive action against Concord. They had the most success aside from the XXX Legion in the dense jungle and mountains of Concord.
Selucia is the most ancient of Arcadia’s provinces, a product of war with the Southern Caliphate over a border dispute which resulted in Arcadia's expansion and annexation of the land during the 2nd Age. Since its inception it has been defined by the fusion of Arcadian and Caliphi culture; the natives of the land can trace their ancestry back to the Caliphate but as time goes on the gene pool becomes more and more diluted as a result of interbreeding with Arcadic peoples. Its grassy plains on the Arcadian and Otarian (Paladonian) borders roll right into palm tree-dotted sandy scrub to the south and desert in the east. The swarthy inhabitants of the country are proud of their Arcadian heritage but consider themselves a breed apart. Life in Selucia can be very cosmopolitan and Arcadian, or exceptionally frontier on the Otarian and Caliphi borders. Tensions with the Caliphi are at a low in 70 FA, as Arcadia made swift peace and pulled back its border Legions following the rise of the Wandering One.
In peace, Selucia is the crossroads of the world, funneling trade the east and west. Unfortunately the inhabitants of Selucia, their land has become the main battleground for the ever-raging fight between Arcadia and the Southern Caliphate, with Arcadian-proper garrisons never empty on the eastern borders. In times of desperation, Selucia is crippled by taxes to support the war and by conscription of young Selucians.
Selucia thrives mostly on trade: trade coming south from Otaria, trade flowing east from the Caliphate, or coming in through either a Selucian port or the city-state of Rishdan. Rishdan, although it is not a part of the province, is the center of life in Selucia. The ancient “City of a Thousand Towers” is the ultimate link between east and west and is a bustling city of docks, bazaars, and minarets. The roads in and out are full of caravans of every size and description: horses, mules, camels, and elephants walk side by side.
The provincial capital of Selucar sits on the east bank of the Daru River near the Arcadian Border. It was built first as a fortress then expanded over the Ages as Selucia waxed and waned. It is the only city with serious walls in the province aside from Rishdan, and is the center of ‘Arcadian’ civilization east of the Daru; most Selucians live in any number of ports or small towns/cities that dot the landscape astride ancient Arcadian roads. Darishten, built as a fortress against the Pardic Barbarians and Skirk Goblins, is the only other city of note. It also sits on the Daru River, but much further north near the Otarian border. It’s a stopping point along the road into Otaria and the main meeting place for Arcadians, Daru, and the Paladonians.
Government: Selucia maintains the basic structure of an Arcadian province, with a Proconsul and Consuls underneath him, but are most definitely their own country in spirit. The Proconsul rules much like a Caliph would, and the Consuls act as valued advisers and rule their cities in his name.
Military: The Selucian Legions are famous throughout Arcadia and indeed most of Dominaria: they have marched to war from the plains of Cormyr to the fields of Otaria and into the desert of the Caliphate. They wear green and bear the insignia of Arcadia, but their most distinctive feature are undoubtedly the mighty Armodons of the Daru River Basin. These massive armored elephants have been bred and trained for thousands of years in service of the Selucian Legions, only the difficulty inherent in breeding and raising them has prevented their wider scale implementation. By tradition and ancient treaty Selucia contributes no men to the overall Arcadian structure; instead maintaining 5 Legions and 3 demi-Legions of Marines (the only province to do so). Each of the Legions maintains around 2 dozen of the mighty Armadons as well as several score of the smaller Caliphi Elephants.
Arcadia settled the “Golden Island” of Concord in earnest in the early 3rd Age, although the island had been inhabited and had a naval base as early as the dawn of the 2nd Age. Settlers struck gold in its central mountain range, and the island filled up overnight. By the 4th Age things had settled down and a natural rhythm had emerged on the newest of Arcadia’s Provinces. Miners dug for gold and other minerals, farmers produced citrus fruits and sugar in abundance, and the naval outposts of Eastport and Westport became sprawling metropolises. Teramar, built in the central mountains as the capital, flourished and grew into a cosmopolitan center of learning. The only natives of the island, a giant species of highly intelligent Eagles, continued life in their mountain roosts and cities but worked alongside the natives carrying messages and even impressively heavy loads of fruits and sugarcane.
In 60 FA however, General Percival Hottuffe, a Concordian native and hardened veteran of the Arcadian wars in Andor, Felix, and in the Sea of Swords, was named proconsul. He was tired of the constant wars and sick of leading Concordian men into battle far from home. His impassioned oratories across the island inflamed the populace but went under the radar of a very preoccupied Arcadian Emperor. In 63 FA however, he made a statement which could not be ignored. He ordered the men of the two Concordian legions on the island to throw down their banners and take up the new banner of Concord, a blue cross on a white field. He then stormed the Arcadian naval base at Westport and took the majority of the Arcadian eastern fleet at anchor.
The Arcadian legions hit the beaches in the spring of the next year but it took them almost two years to push Hottuffe and his army, swollen by freedom fighters from across Dominaria, off of the island. Hottuffe, his remaining men, and most of the populace (Eagles included) of Concord escaped across the Sea of Storms on their stolen ships to the long lawless and mostly uninhabited islands to the south of the Caliphate. Concord is now about 5 years removed from military occupation and rebuilding and a new wave of settlers and guilds looking to exploit the empty island have brought new life and a spirit of commerce back to the island Eastport, Westport, and Teramar are once again growing. The Eagle population that remains is flourishing and expanding slowly, and have even taken up roosts in a few buildings abandoned during Hotuffe’s retreat from Teramar.
Government: Concord is currently purely a province with a Proconsul ruling from Teramar. The Admiral of the Eastern Fleet is the Consul of Eastport.
Military: Concord's Legions have traditionally worn gold and shown the insignia of Arcadia, two currently exist from troops given from Arcadian numbered legions. One demi-Legion of Arcadian Marines and one Andoran Legion still garrison the island.
The Republic of Valmorra
The Sword Coast
The Beldroni Kingdoms
The Free Cities
Small city states and semi-autonomous regions exist all over Dominaria. Tiny principalities, fortress monasteries, cities-states, and temple complexes are scattered throughout the patchwork of countries in Dominaria. The Morivanian Church, warrior priests of St. Cuthbert, runs several fortress monasteries along the foothills of The Verge and will ever open their gates to the people in time of trouble. The Children of the Light, a knightly order of Pelor, have churches and fortresses scattered throughout the Westlands. Mages Guilds, while not on the scale of city-states certainly, exist almost in a world onto themselves in their towers and compounds. Small principalities and duchies – each with their own goals, enemies, and string of allies – exist and often fly under the radar of the larger countries and Houses.
Three however, are worthy of note. There are the twins, Venicia and Rishdan, and the lost Imperial city of Illȗnia. There is Venicia: jewel of the southern coast, center of trade, and largest city in the West. Rishdan: link between the east and west, and trade hub of the Sea of Storms. Then there is Illȗna, an exiled House of the 2nd Imperium that exists north of The Verge. These three cities come easily to the tongue of almost any Dominarian. Venicia and Rishdan especially are well known centers of trade to the knowing and nearly mythical cities of vast wealth to the peasant.
Venicia was once the crown jewel of the Arcadian Empire. It was an expansive city built on the perfect deep-water port, it could field three legions on its own, and it could eventually boast the only city proconsul outside Arcadia itself. The city’s leaders though, were not satisfied with their position. Arcadia’s taxes began to bite a bit deeper in the mid-2nd Age, and when all three legions were committed to the losing effort against Grand Caliph Suzerain the city’s leaders decided enough was enough.
In the aftermath of the war the city, then on the border of Arcadia and the un-governed Ramosian Crescent (Andor), declared its independence from Arcadia. Venicia’s proconsul became the governor and the magistrate (head mage in an Arcadian city) became his advisor. The city has prospered immensely since then; its vast wealth and trade connections dwarfed its competitors and made it immune to attack. The few times it has been attacked – twice by Arcadia, once by Orcs, and twice by pirate coalitions – its immense walls and legions of troops have served it well; the city has never once been breached. Its real power is in the banks however, all three of the most powerful banks in the west base themselves in the independent city.
In the 4th Age Venicia is incredibly powerful. Its population equals that of any other single country of the west and its grand stadium and hippodrome could seat an entire city elsewhere. Hundreds of ships per day enter and leave its port, and caravans never cease passing through its gates. Now that the great cities of Cormyr and Illyria lie in ruins Venicia is the center of learning and culture – in the arts, sciences, and magic – west of Arcadia. The city is divided into five areas: the dock quarter, the merchant quarter, the Arcadian Quarter, the outer quarter, and the river district. Each of the five is large enough to be its own city and boasts sights and opportunities every day most cities could not offer in a year.
The people of Venicia are remarkably cosmopolitan and the average citizen would make any village mayor look like an idiot in terms of culture and world knowledge. Men from every corner of Dominaria pass through its ports as well as Evles and other denizens unseen in the interior of the West. Dwarves too make the trek south to trade in the open air markets and columned malls of the city. Information is sold alongside goods from all over the world and in the upper echelons magic and secrets trade hand alongside the arcane. The city is warm almost all year round, hot in the summer and slightly chilly and rainy in the winter. Come what may though the city never sleeps, adventure waits around every corner and opportunity knocks on every door.
The sprawling trade city of Rishdan lies on the slopes surrounding the bay it is named for, an azure expanse of water said to be second to none in beauty. In the early days of the 2nd Age, a young and hungry Arcadian Empire expanded east. Their advance was checked at the Battle of Rishdan Cove when a force of Easterlings far larger than they had supposed existed confronted the 3 Legions of the Legatus Selucius’ Expedition. The two day battle ended Arcadian ambitions to the east and it would be several hundred years before they tried again.
Soon after that battle, Rishdan Cove was settled by the son of a local Emirate who saw the potential of the warm, deep bay. Rishdan the holding grew quickly from a small outpost of 500 men to an imposing castle that sheltered a sprawling port. Within two generations Rishdan was a bustling and prosperous walled city as well as the capital of the expanding Emirate. But in the mid-400s SA the Southern Caliphate began its first expansion and pushed the Emirate’s forces back into Rishdan quickly. The Caliph ordered his men to lay siege to the city and moved on, believing this piece of his expanding puzzle set.
Rishdan however, would not fall easy: its expansive network of trade and allies reaped results immediately. Goods and supplies began to flow in, first bought on Rishdani gold but then on the good credit the city had proven it was good for. Troops came in as well, sent on the promise of future preferred trade, and mercenaries eager for favor or gold. All in all the city held out for a ludicrous three years before the Caliph sought terms and pulled back. The city was pledged immunity from future expansion and was given extraordinary trade rights throughout the Caliphate in return for allowing Caliphi trade through its docks. The Emirate and his family became the Emirs of the powerful city state and the line has ruled, but for a brief coup by the Hashashim, for the Ages since.
By the 4th Age the 'City of One Thousand Towers' is a sprawling metropolis of white buildings, colorful domes, soaring minarets, and plants in striking abundance. Humans from all over Dominaria (Caliphate and Arcadian Empire for the most part but others as well) as well as Elves and denizens of the Najiki Archipelago walk the streets and hawk their wares. Huge ships sailing around Arcadia or north from the Najiki mix with smaller ships from the Sea of Gold (between Arcadia and Concord) or coming west from the islands of the Sea of Storms (Now the Free Concordian Alignment). As cosmopolitan as its twin Venicia, Rishdan’s two ring walls enclose a different animal: a city almost unique in the world that has developed entirely outside the influence of any empire.
(Note: Located just north of the Verge on the west coast.) House Illȗna was once one of the most powerful Houses in the 2nd Imperium. They founded and ruled over Valmorra before joining the 2nd Imperium and rose quickly through the Illyrian social strata. When the Northern Alliance was integrated Illȗna looked to profit immensely through trade through the Alliance to the Sea. Several powerful guilds in Illyria and Cormyr however, had different ideas. These guilds made pacts with other Houses to open markets for northern goods in the interior of the Imperium and then export Imperial goods to the east and south.
Illȗna refused to take the abuse lying down and began ferretting through the back alleys of Imperial politics in an attempt to orchestrate six simultaneous assassinations and a rebellion. On mid-summer’s eve the plan kicked off: at four separate palaces four assassinations succeeded, and in five Houses throughout the Imperium a rebellion began. The rebellion became a full-blown civil war by winter of that year and over the course of the winter the Imperium was forced nearly to its knees. But the geographically distributed nature of the rebels was to be their undoing. Over the next year, four of the rebel Houses were brought to terms and High Seat Illȗna made the decision to evacuate Fal Darra and Ebou Dar and flee north ahead of the Imperial armies.
House Illȗna’s Legions, as well as the rebel armies that managed to consolidate in Illȗna as their Houses surrendered, fought a desperate rearguard as an entire nation fled north by ship and caravan. Over the grueling winter of that year the people made a horrific trek north through The Verge, with only the expectation of more cold and suffering to come. When the Illȗnian people reached the far foothills of the Verge that spring however, a sight far more beautiful than they might have imagined greeted them. Northerned in spring is a truly beautiful place, green as far as the eye can see and nearly untouched by civilization. They founded the city of Illȗna and raised the Swan Banner that day, and haven’t looked back since.
Now one of the few constants in the vast North is the city of Illȗna. Their lands are the only bastion of 'civilization' in the North, albeit surrounded by barbarians and beset by winters those south of The Verge could scarcely comprehend. Illuna's unique mix of Western technology and discipline and Northern size and hardiness has served it well and its people prosper and trade well along the western Imperium. The city itself is beautiful, carved from and sitting atop coastal cliffs the color of rain-filled clouds. Broad planned boulevards and streets crisscross its sloping surface and wide avenues honeycomb the well-lit underground. With the hardened Illunian 'Ice Brigades' (guardians of the border forts), Legions (organized along Imperial lines), and their unique Svarguard (all criminal/volunteer slavery/barbarian auxiliary) their borders and outer towns are kept relatively secure.
|“||. . . and there I stood on the verge of the World, on the very edge of the North. If I took but one more step I would be in uncharted lands, beyone the ken of all that had come before. There was no question of course; I stepped.||”|
|—The Travels of Jain Farstrider, circa 120 SA.|
The Verge in the immense mountain range that borders The Westlands. It's mountains easily dwarf any other peaks in the world, with the possible exception of The Spire and some of the taller mountains of the Tern Isles.
The Pardic Barbarians
The Skirk Goblins
The Great Eastern Desert and the Caliphates
- Muluk al-Tawaif: "The warring States" or "The warring Brothers" is the Caliphi term for all of the lands west of Arcadia.
- Al-Arcadi: Caliphi word for Arcadia.
- Al-Khalifa Ghareb: Literally "The Western Caliphate", this is the Caliphi term for the Imperium.
- Al-Khalifa Wasm: Literally "The Eternal Kingdom", this is the Caliphi term for the southern Caliphate.
The desolate dark of the Northlands lies past The Verge and far beyond the knowledge or care of the people of the West. Numerous barbarian hordes vie for control of the uncharted territories of the North, all while fighting off the regions more unnatural inhabitants – vampires and lycans inhabit this cold realm as well as Remorhaz and other creatures.
There is no overarching power structure nor any one group that is more powerful than another. The vampires and lycans concern themselves with their own plots and wars, each cosigned to the wastes of the Hadarac. The barbarian Hordes of the Kjeldons, Bouldus, and Nords have been fighting each other for thousands of years. But there are rumors of a Warlord of the Kjeldons, one who might challenge the legacy of Ragnar Blackmane and unite the shattered Empire of Kjeldos, one who might rebuild the shattered city of Taypol and re-light the torches of Darath Eisen have been on the wind. Rumors of this new Warlord have even begun to be whispered in the courts of the Northern Houses in the Imperium, but they are mere rumors...for now.
The only constant in the vast North is the city of Illuna. House Illuna was once one of the greatest of the Imperial houses, but was forced north after leading a failed rebellion. Now their city-state is the only bastion of 'civilization' in the North, albeit surrounded by barbarians and beset by winters those south of The Verge could scarcely comprehend. Illuna's unique mix of Western technology and discipline and Northern size and hardiness have served it well and it's people prosper and trade well along the western Imperium. With the hardened Illunian 'Ice Brigades' and their unique Svarguard, their borders are kept relatively secure.
The unseen element, as there nearly always is one, is the Ice Queen. She lives in a glacial palace in the far north, on the coast of the Barren Sea. Her plots spread throughout the Northlands and any who venture through cannot help but be influenced by her, direct or otherwise.
The Southern Seas
The Free Concordian Alignment
Return to Dominaria