Geography, Climate, and Politics (Dominaria Supplement)
From D&D Wiki
- 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 Beldron
- 3 The Free Cities
- 4 The Verge
- 5 Otaria
- 6 The Great Eastern Desert and the Caliphates
- 7 Northerned
- 8 The Southern Seas
- 8.1 The Southern Isles
- 8.2 The Zomahastra
- 8.3 The Najiki Archipelago
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 Marches or Cormyri Vale 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 Illyria’s masterful conquest of and treaty with the Cormyri Empire 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. The Barbarians swept through the Westlands but were routed in central Illyria. Grand Caliph Suzerain may have burned the countryside, but many cities and fortresses held out. 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 Roden of Malkier, head of the only Northern House to voluntarily join, leads the Northern Houses and High Seat Adam Renzel of 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.
18 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. 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. 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.
Government: When King John of Illyria 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. Now in the 3rd Imperium, Legions are trained and equipped by House with standard ranks and supposedly standard pay. Since the Dragon Wars and the return of the Wandering One however, most every legion has been put into one Coalition or Alliance Army or another and is equipped and supplied en masse.
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 Adam "The Jackal" Renzel, 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 Adam 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 four Houses aligned in a line north to south with House Ak'kritar holding the Head Seat of the province.
Underlined and bold is a High House, bold is a Low House, and underlined is a Trade House.
- House Renzel: House Renzel is the High Seat of Ak'kritaar and High House of Ramosia. Adam "The Jackal" Renzel is its head and he has blood heirs in his sons Micheal (Heir and Commander of Coalition's Central Army), Logan (Lord of Faybarrow and Micheal's cavalry commander), and Scott (Lord of Colosopolis, Chief Officer of the Colossus Trade Group, and apprentice to the Archmage of the Ak'kritaari Mages' guild). House Renzel hold the fierce loyalty of the other Houses in their province, having created one and made the other two.
- House Kander: House Kander is the warden of the Vijun Sentinel is are sworn to House Renzel. The House is nearly brand new and created for General Alexander "The Jack of Blades" - Adam's cavalry commander in the Southern Army and closest friend. This is the only land owning House in Ak'kritaar following the Unification Wars. All the others died off in the wars or were assassinated.
- House Calder: House Calder is a trade House on the Melidaa River and is sworn and loyal to House Renzel; although financially they are a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gold Bank of Sarnia, in north Arcadia. Magister Bartholemeu Calder is the head of the House and Chief Officer of its estates and finances, and manages the House's close relationship with House Dane. House Calder is the most powerful business consortium in the city of Ak'kritaar and their only real competitors are The Imperial Mercantile Guild and the Fischer Farming Company; between the three groups they own or hold stake in most of the stores, shope, and inns in Ak'kritaar. House Calder also owns the ancient Athonian bridge over the Melidaa, a bridge they took from House Taldar with Renzel help during the Unification Wars.
- House Dane: House Dane is a trade House on the Daan River and is sworn and loyal to House Renzel; although financially they are a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gold Bank of Sarnia, in north Arcadia. Magister Adam Dane is the head of the House and Chief Officer of its estates and finances, and manages the House's close relationship with House Calder. House Dane owns the Elven bridge over the Daan and basically runs the small port town there which services Colosopolis. House Dane also became the largest business consortium in Faybarrow after the Unification Wars, when the last heir of House was killed in a mysterious Orc attack.
- House Starna: House Starna is the High Seat of Balmorra and Lord Kellen Starna is its head. Under them are Houses Lackham, Tenner, and Tassarini. He has blood heirs in his son Andrew Starna, a war hero in the Dragon Wars and now, and his adopted daughter Stephanie of Riverwatch, formerly of House Tassarini. Kellen's youngest son Steven is a Mage who studied at the Red Tower of Andor and has plans to establish a Ramosi Mages Guild. The houses of Balmorra, sworn to Starna, are all held together by trust and a mutual wariness of House Renzel. They know something fishy happened in Ak'kritaar before, during, and after the Unification Wars; and they are always on guard.
- House Tassarini: House Tassarini is the Seat of the Kraken Keep and Lord Karlon "One Eye" Tassarini is its head. He has an adopted heir in Assyid al'Karnak, originally the son of a Caliphi General but now Lord of the Kraken Keep. He also has a daughter Stephanie, but she was adopted by House Starna so that her prospects for marriage would improve. House Tassarini is currently under financial obligation to the Gold Bank of Sarnia through the Houses Calder & Dane, incorporated.
- House Tassarini's full history
- House Lackham: House Lackham is the Seat of Riverwatch and lords of Draelon and House Tenner as well; Lord Timothy Lackham is its head. Lord Lackham has a blood heir in his daughter Ariel and his son Christopher is married to Amy of House Tenner.
- House Tenner: House Tenner is the Seat of Draelon and wards of Firewatch; Lady Elisa Tenner is its head. She has a blood heir in her daughter Amy and three sons: Joseph (a Cavalry Officer), Keith (A Cleric to Pelor), and Charles who married into an Arcadian family and serves in their Army.
- House Halsmo: House Halsmo is a trade House of Balmorra, holding no Seat and sworn to House Starna. Magister William Halmso is the head of the family and the Chief Officer of its estates and finances, he is grooming his nephew Peter to succeed him as he has no children. Magister Halmso runs Balmorra Goods & Services and so owns about 1/3rd of all shops and inns in Balmorra as well as about 1/4th of the same in Riverwatch. Magister Halmso also owns the northern branch of the Whitebridge Exploratory Guild through which he sells goods and supplies of the "expeditionary" type and commissions expeditions to the mountains and the wilds.
- House Telas: House Telas is the High Seat of Telasaro and control the three bridges around it; Lady Lara "Silvertongue" is its head. She has a blood heir in her son Anthony Telas, renowned for being first through the breach at the Battle of Nurim's Watch. She has a second son named Timon but he is a Captian-Commander in the Children of the Light and thus cannot take the Seat, and a second daughter named Lara born by Stanley Uthron and of his House.
- House Brogna: House Brogna is the Seat of South Watch and the surrounding town, called Esterhall. Lord Henri Brogna is its head and he has a blood heir in his son Anton. He also has another son and two daughters: Bernard who serves in the Black Forest Guard, Marie who is married to Timon of House Telas, and Lisa who is a mage with the Coalition. His daughter Marie runs the House's guild in Telasaro and runs a bustling trade up and down the Daan.
- House Daskalu: House Daskalu is the Seat of Nurim's Watch and control the bridge across the Melidaa and on to Nurim's Road. Lord Damien Daskalu is the head of the House and has designated his sister Katrina, should she outlive him, and her children as his heirs. There is often tesion between House Daskalu and House Telas because House Daskalu is wealthier and almost as powerful, due to Nurim Watch's prominent position as a trade bottleneck on the Melidaa. House Brogna's allegiance to House Telas is the only thing preventing a small civil war.
- House Ongaro: House Ongaro is a Trade House closely affiliated with the Children of the Light. Lord-Commander Nicomo Ongaro, a Beldroni by birth, is its head. House Ongaro is relatively new, having been formed as an organ of the Children and a way of securing buisness and supply close to the Black Forest. Lord-Commander Ongaro was the overall commander of all of the Children in Telasaro and Lugard lands but retired and decided to form a House when he was replaced (normal replacement, not dishonorable). Lord-commander Ongaro is very wealthy and aside from running buisnesses, owning ships, and ensuring supply with a touch of profit, he has constructed two brand new Fortress Monastaries for the Children on Telasaro land. There is Greystone Barrow, a chapter-sized monolith between South Watch and Telasaro, and St. Andrew's Rest, a strong fortress and temple meant to house 300-400 Children outside of Nurim's Watch.
- House Uthron: House Uthron is the High Seat of Lugard and Marshal Stanley Uthron is its head. He has a blood heir in his daughter Lara Uthron, born of a later marriage between Stanley and Lara "Silvertongue". Aside from this Stanley has another son and a daughter, Marko and Alexis, born of his first wife and serving with the Knights of St. Cuthbert and the Order of St. Matthias respectively.
- House(s) Warden: House Warden is the Seat of Brokenshield Falls and the Fortress Riverkeep. Lord Stanley Warden is its head and his blood heir is his son by his first marriage, Sir Randal, who now serves in the Coalition's Northern Army. Stanley's wife, the Lady Analysia, runs the other half of House Warden which is a Trade House. She will pass the House on to her son by Stanley: the half-woodelf Taneryd.
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 green 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 sub-continent of Beldron is separated from the mainland by the Narrow Sea. Although Beldron's history includes several Kingdoms, Hegemonies, and other attempts at unity, for much of its history city-states have defined the political landscape. In a land so apparently tough to rule from one place, powerful city-states or unions of several have long held sway over the island. It is a land of beautiful coastlines, rolling coastal plains, and also forests, mountains, and fjords. The southern and western coasts are picturesque lands of rolling coastal plains and beaches, broken by small bluffs and forests. The interior of the country is a mixture of hilly forest and mountains, with rivers and passes the primary avenues of transportation. On the north and east coasts XXXX
The Sword Coast
The northern coast of Lower Beldron is a land of fjords and narrow inlets. It was originally names for its shape, like many swords jutting into the Narrow Sea, but now it earns its name in blood. Ever since the double-dip of the collapse of the Saphirre Kingdom and then the fall of the Sipanian Hegemony, the Sword Coast has become a new haven for piracy in the West. Pirates and other lawless groups have begun to take up living in the Sword Coast; everything from mercenary bands looking to carve out a city state to pirate captains or commodores looking for a safe haven from which to strike. Some have encountered darker groups as well, but during the Dragon War many such groups went to the mainland. The Sword Coast pirates have put so much pressure on shipping through the Narrow Sea that trade lanes have switched south into the open ocean south of Beldron. The city of Visserene has profitted immensely from this and is now the second largest port city on Dominaria. Tallins too has had its share of prosperity, but with a darker tint. Many pirates have made Tallins their nominal home port and so long as they cause no official trouble, the Duchess of Tallins permits their illegal trade.
Ospria has an ancient history. Its three massive terraces were carved by elves or dwarves ages ago and the Saartan Army took the city from its elven inhabitants in the First Age. The city was powerful and was the capital of the Kingdom of Beldron during the 1st, 2nd, and 5th Dynasties in the mid-First to early-Second Age. Ospria stayed a powerful city after the Kingdom fell, and gained Hegemony over Lower Beldron later in the Second Age. Ospria's satalite port town Lookout Point grew up during the Hegemony and its walls were completed the year Ospria's Hegemony split. Ospria continued to prosper and grow into the mid-Third Age, slipping into a nearly 200 year decline before the formation of the Saphire Kingdom by Visserene. Under the Kingdom, Ospria grew again and fought alongside Visserene during their invasion of Upper Beldron in the Winter War. After the Winter War, Ospria was weak and joined the Sipani Hegemony willingly. For about 150 years through the end of the Third Age into the beginning of the Fourth Age, Ospria grew prosperous again under Sipani and came out of the Tallini Rebellion unscathed. Tallins however, harbored resentment that Ospria had so long supported their Sipani masters and this resentment led to Ospria and Sipani's now 7 year long war. In 77 FA, Ospria is a strong and prosperous city. It's army is weary from the fighting but so is Sipani's. There are about one or two battles a summer (4 in 74 FA though) and both sides posture for most of the interim. Ospria has come under siege twice but was never challenged more seriously than in the first year of the war when the lowest terrace fell.
Ospria is laid out in a semi-cirlce that's a bit more than 180-degrees across. To the south and south-west lie open plains that lead down to the sea about 3 or 4 miles out at the closest. This land is covered in farms and a few scattered farming or fishing towns. To the west the road leads out west and then north and the ruins of Nathan's Rest, a satalite mining town, lie on the outside of the curve. To the northwest lies more farmland along the valley that leads to Tallins, and to the north lies the glacial Lake Ospria. Ospria's lowest tier has three gates - the Sea Gate (south southeast), the Donkey Gate (southwest), and the King's Gate (due west on the road) - and opens into a port onto Lake Ospria. A steady flow of farm goods, fish, and trade comes in from Lookout Point; and mining goods are starting to flow in again as Nathan's Rest is rebuilt. The Lower level of the city is bustling with trade and people from all over Beldron looking to make a few gold; the city's markets are second only to Visserene. The port area of the lower tier does a good trade in fish and in peacetime it gives Osprian merchants access to the Narrow Sea via canal.
The second and third tiers are mostly houses, with more upscale inns, taverns, and shops to be found as one moves up. Three gates lead from the first to the second tier, and two double gates lead from the second teir to the third. The third teir has the fortress-palace of the lord of the city (with it's large tower carved into the rock face behind it and topped with ancient airship docks), the city's large aquifer (fed by aqueducts from mountain lakes and feeding running water to the city), the barracks for the city watch, a mustering/parade/games field, and the houses and shops of the city's very wealthy. Small trails lead deeper into the mountains and lead to the mountain mining and farming villages that consider themselves Osprian.
The jewel of Beldron, former capital of the Saphire Kingdom, and Karnak of the West. The city of Visserene is a coastal city state formerly third only to Venicia and Rishdan in terms of size and grandeur. The city sits on both sides of Sigmar Bay and there are districts on every island of the Bay. From its position on the Horn of Beldron, Visserene commands lucrative sea lanes and after the fall of Venicia is the second largest port city in the world. The city has removed itself from Beldroni infighting for the last 200 years, ever since King Byron capitulated in the Winter War and the Sapphire Kingdom fell apart, but with their resurgence the city's leaders have begun asserting themselves once more. Visserene's fleur-de-lis and the Golden Eagle of Visserene's royalty once again march the coutryside, reoccupying watchtowers and guarding river crossings long left to nature.
The city was founded during Beldron's earliest dynastic Kingdom, in the Second Age. Since then, its fortunes have waxed and waned. Before the Flood War, Visserene became the most prosperous city besides Sipani and Ospria, and afterwords is quickly became the nexus of power in and capital of Western Beldron. But by the mid-3rd Age, after Grand Caliph Suzerain's invasion and the city's economic collapse, the city was poorer than poor: ruled by Ospria and a city of pirates. Then it was ascendant again: in the late 3rd Age the Saphire Kingdom was one of the most powerful countries in the world - its merchants and adventurers could be found in all corners of the world and many were its heroes during the Wandering One's 3rd Campaign. Now, 200 years after the fall of the Sapphire Kingdom, Visserene is ascendant once more. It's one of the most powerful city-states in Beldron, the second largest port in the world, and nearly untouched by the recent wars that wracked the mainland.
For many coming into the mighty port, the first thing that greets them are the massive sea gates of Visserene, a product of Beldron's power during the Age of Wonders. Three mighty stone gates guard the bay, worked by massive water wheels sunk into the sea current. The vast stone platform the gates slide on is visible only 40ft. below the surface. The gates stand ever open, but can be closed with surprising swiftness when threatened. Past these humbling edifices are the high arching bridges that connect of the islands of Visserene's wealthy seaside district - 3 islands for the very wealthy and the two holding the sea walls for the military. Then one enters the vast port of Visserene. The city's docks line every shore of the mainland, and almost one dozen islands sit in the river bay as well. Ships travel in and out of the docks, up and down the river, and to and from the islands constantly. By day the port is a riot of barely controlled chaos with ships traveling to their assigned spot or rout in a whirl of color and sails. By night, torches and great mirror-spotlights light the port and the ships as they continue their chaotic dance.
The city itself is old and prosperous and the architecture is the pinnacle of 2nd and early-3rd Age southern splendor (south of France or Italian Renaissance). Although the city has fallen from it's position several times, and the less well traveled parts reflect that in appearance and in the people, much of the city has returned to its former glory and has been repaired and is being added on to. The main streets are all cobbled stone and the buildings lining them range from single story with elegant roof-patios to three-story shops/workshops/apartments with elegant balconies and Visserene's iconic roof-patios. Off the main streets, on the still well traveled secondary streets, the city ranges from expensive and exclusive shop districts to open air markets ranging from clean and safe to dirty and riotous to residential districts of apartment and private residence. In the highly wealthy sea-side islands and in the city's "Prince's District" and "Wizards' Quarter" palatial houses with walled grounds sit next to towered guildhouses and the strange buildings of the Wizards. Although there are quite a few run-down and dangerous parts of Visserene, these days one has to travel well off the beaten path to find them.
The people of the city are open and inviting, as with any trade-based city, but cautious of outsiders and proud of their own heritage and tradition; in this way they, again like most trade-cities, are both open and reserved with visitors. Now that the city is returning to power and prestige, Visserene's guards and formerly iconic Chevaliers once again proudly show the golden eagle and fleur-de-lis in the streets - and ensure the peace is kept by all who visit. Both the normal guards and Chevaliers are courteous to any who may not know the laws or customs, but both are unflinchingly strict when the need arises. Visserene has a proud and ancient heritage that it is just beginning to retake, and the martial arm of the city is keen to that. The city has remarkably low corruption; but at the same time that they put out the courteous hand first, the savage hand of justice is never spared when needed.
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. Darker yet are illegal slave encampments near the mountains or necromantic communes in the hidden places of the world
Several however, are worthy of note. First there are the twins, Venicia and Rishdan, and the lost Imperial city of Illȗnia. 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. Further east is Anubrikosh, a city-state flourishing in the Far East, which sits astride the main land and water trade routes in the Far East. Then there is the dark city of Sutulak, once a place for humans, dwarves, and orcs of ill repute to meet and trade; now the hub of the dark Orcish slave trade and the beginning of the Hidden Road that brings slaves east.
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 waning days of the 1st 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.
Nestled between the Otarian plains, the barren eastern foothills of the Verge, and the northern Selucian highlands is the city of Sutulak. Traders from Arcadia and Otaria first set up the camp to meet with traders from the nearest dwarven nations and the orcs of Orcinium. The unnamed camp was tough to find and easy to defend, and the difficult road there only made its location better - for the trade there was not quite legal. Traders of ill repute traveled to the camp to exchange wares and buy the exotic substances and items that their dwarven and orcish counterparts had to trade. Word of the camp spread through well established information and illicit good highways throughout the criminal underworld of Arcadia and the East, and within five years the camp became a city. Sutulak, a trilingual bastardization of the human, orc, and dwarven nations the city borders became the name and slavery became the game. With a prime defensible location hidden even from Arcadian and Paladonic scouts, small time trades in narcotics and items dwindled in favor of the highly lucrative slave trade to the Orcs and then east into Sura, Kwazarmia, and to a lesser extent the Southern Caliphate.
As the slave trade grew, the city became increasingly large and organization and crime became a major issue. The city's largest syndicates and merchants knew something had to be done before they lost their business to anarchy or by an organized hit by raiders or the Cabal. They met more for a desire to protect themselves than the city, but when they met they began to move and organize with an alacrity only consummate businessmen can manage. Their first order of business was the formation of a city watch. Formerly many syndicates and merchants had to maintain their own group of guards and many build low walls around their personal camps or pens. They jointly hired 3 mercenary groups at first, but then quickly decided to form their own group with a permanent place and job in the city. So were the Iron Hands formed, the slate-grey wardens of misery in Sutulak. On top of this the city uses its ridiculous affluence to buy one dozen Golems, and keep a Company of The Fists of Hextor on retainer. These 100-150 hardened Knights form the backbone of the city's militant arm.
Within a decade of this act the city dramatically stabilized, crime dropped, and most of the syndicated let their mercenaries go. Soon the city's wealth was such that the impromptu ruling council decided to build the city's formidable walls. 20 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide, featuring five heavy gates portcullised on both sides and boasting 31 reinforced towers, the wall is better suited to a prison or citadel than a large town/small city. Sutulak's wall is one of the most intimidating and disturbing sites in Dominaria as it bristles with glass, wood stakes, and metal spikes and blades on both sides of the wall. The Iron Hands and Fists of Hextor have repelled many raids and all-out attacks from without, but far more slave rebellions within. The gates and imposing gate-forts have never been breached from either side, and enemy soldiers have only set foot on the walls but once - the Children of the Light once attacked the city with 3,500 men and 22 siege engines. The other distinguishing feature of the city are the walls that criss-cross it and divide the city up into sections. These walls, 10-20 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide, are expansions upon the old syndicate walls and serve either to delineate a group's territory or simply to make a district harder to escape from. These days, the ruling council, ever in flux due to changing fortunes and politics, run a fairly well oiled machine. Slaves enter the city from far and wide and leave it into Otaria, Orcinium, or along the Hidden Road east. The citizenry, such as they are, are inured to suffering; and the merchants and syndicate members are even worse. Most commerce within the city is based around the trade, but traders trade in the necessaries for the city's inhabitants and for the men who take the slaves on the long and dangerous roads east or west.
|“||. . . 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.
Note, the below is updated to 80 FA.
Paladonia is all that remains of the great realms of religious might that used to fill Otaria. After the deaths of the Paladin Lords during the Battle of Nurim's Plains in 69 FA, and the massive guerilla war perpetrated by the Cabal, many of the structures that help the Paladonic realms together fell apart. The good-aligned North and South made swift advances over the evil-aligned East and West in the aftermath of the apparent destruction of the Cabal's Leadership soon after the Dragon's Death. But the Southern Caliphate's war on Otaria threw the whole region into turmoil. Despite Arcadian aid, the weakened Paladonia was little match for the advancing armies. Where they could match strength with strength they often won by virtue of their superior magic, but all too ofter there just weren't enough to stem the tide.
For the last 5 years since the truce, Paladonia has been rebuilding and putting its leadership back together. The current country covers almost all of Northern Paladonia, a good portion of Eastern Paladonia (including the ancient enterance to the ancient and aborted Pilgrim's Way through the Verge), and the remains of the country's ancient capital in the center of Otaria. A Paladin now sits on the Northern Paladin's Throne and is calmly directing the rebuilding of the country and ushering in a return to normalcy and trade with the dwarves, Arcadia, and the West. He also is concentrating on fighting Cabal and Dark Paladin sects left over from before the wars. His main civil drive is linking the North's infrastructure into the East's which he is cleaning up and bringing up to speed. Also he's put gold and hired workers into surveying and preparing the ruins of Paladonia, the city for which the country is named, for the first rebuilding effort in 1100 years.
The new country formed by the Pardic Barbarians in Southern Paladonia. They border the XXX river, the Arixo Wastes, and the Emerald Caliphate and their new King is gently testing the waters of trade and treaty with his neihbors old and new. A sense of wariness but also legitimacy hangs around them.
The Skirk Goblins
The Creatures who inhabit the highest ridges and crags of the Skirk Mountains are now a free agent in the developing nation of Pardia. Their status, politically and societally, is in question and an uneasy truce keeps them in the Pardic Mountains for now.
Still alive, and further flung than ever before. They're weak true, and apparently headless, but thanks to the Dragon and Phage's plot they have cells and members all across Dominaria. Whether these groups can connect or even learn of eachother in some cases is in question, and their future is hazy, but in the fiery and cataclysmic death of their last plot their spores have been flung to the far corners of the map.
The Great Eastern Desert and the Caliphates
The Southern Caliphate
The Kwazarmian Caliphate
The Sultanate of Numadia
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 predominant Barbarian tribe in the northlands and the largest extent by total land area. They are divided into a myriad of tribes who's relationships are a complicated web defined by religion, family ties, and ownership of the mostly ruined city of Taypol. Taypol, built by Agnar the Black when the Kjeldons were still united in the late First Age, was a sprawling city that promised a heart to the Men of the North following their migrations from the South. It was a solid city with reasonably well laid roads and stone buildings, making it a metropolis beyond imagination in the North of course. Since Agnar's death and the fragmentation of the Kjeldons thousands of years ago, the city has become a symbol more than anything, and the tribe or faction that controls it controls the Kjeldons - at least in name and by tradition. It has been rebuilt or built over many times and the result is now a sprawling city of stone and wood with several systems of walls linked or defunct enclosing a massive population for anything this far north. Mess that it is however, it is the beating heart of the Kjeldons and the man who sits astride the Throne of Bone is the King of the Northmen.
The Fang Kjeldons
The current rulers of Taypol. Their name comes from the jagged mountain at the center of their realm. The peak, surrounded by volcanoes, stands a tall vigil over a network of valleys made livable and farm-able by the heat of the volcanoes. The volcanoes themselves are kept dormant but hot by the magics of the Fang Tribe's Pyromancers, who take the duty almost the same way as a cleric would. The young men of the Pyromancers work in and around the volcanoes as initiates and then again any time they return to the valley. the Valley is the heart of Fang-Kjeldon culture and is the closest thing they have to a sprawling population center outside Taypol. The valley floor is mostly farming, and the smoother mountainsides have been remarkably well tarraced, but buildings and houses sprawl throughout the rocky areas of the valley floor and up the mountainsides as well as into them. Aside from the Valley, Fang Kjeldons spred all across the northern expanse of Kjeldon territory. Their villages and towns dot the tundra and even the icy shores of the Far North where they hunt seals and whales.
The Bear-Fang Kjeldons
The western Kjeldons and the main enemies of the Illûnans. The Bear Kjeldons, called Bear-Fang only by decree of the Fang Kjeldons, are given their name from the mighty northern bears that prowl the dense forests, rivers, lakes, and tundra of a Bear Tribe's territory. These bears, as well as many other animals of course, are essential to the Bear Tribes' way of life and the bears provide the Bear Kjeldons with their distinctive garb and parts of their mythology. Bear Kjeldons wear bear furs: brown, black, or even the elusive and ferocious white depending on tribe or importance. They also make their tents out of them and, if they have a house, their rugs and bedding. The Bear Tribes don't have many larger towns but villages and hamlets of either houses or semi-permanent tents are common along the main "roads", rivers, and game trails. Their large towns tend to be focused around their Spirit Houses. Their Spirit Houses, always built over a hot vent in the ground, are the central feature of a practice almost unique to the Bear Kjeldons. Their shamen use an ancient form of Blood Magic, focused with herbs and using the hot vents as power, to contact the spirits of their ancestors in the Outer Planes and request their guidance or sometimes receive gifts. This practice is central to the Bear Kjeldons' beliefs and is used in preparation for any major decision. That being said there are only 4 or 5 of the Houses, and only one of stone (The High House), so the vast preponderance of decisions must be made without the spirits' aid or by means of a lesser means of contact.
The Claw-Fang Kjeldons
The Southern Kjeldons, on-again-off-again enemies of the Illûnans, and sworn enemies of the Bone-Kjeldons. The Claw Kjeldons get their name originally from the Northern Mountain Tigers they take as animal companions and use for clothing when they die. An inordinate amount of the Claw Kjeldons are Druids or have some Druid and nearly all of the tribespeople have animal companions. The snowy white Mountain Tigers are prized companions but many other animals are taken too, from birds to smaller mammals and even bears. The Claw Kjeldons are primarily hunters and gatherers in the vast plains just north of the Verge and in the dense forest that sits on their nominal border with the Illûnans, but they also trek the mountains to their south. The Claw Kjeldons are adept climbers and mountaineers and often trade and treat with the Dwarves and the monks of the high places. Claw Kjeldons are almost always on the move, but they do camp for as much as two seasons at a time before moving again to find food or meet up with another band. Their permanent settlements tent to be large though, because they only ever cluster together for good reason, and if compelled to stay the reason must be great indeed. Their largest settlement is build into a truly ancient fortress which their legends say they took from the Northern Dwarves long ago. They claim these 'Dark Dwarves' were in league with the Ice Queen, and that their ancestors led an army from Taypol to take the fortress to stop the dread Lich's power. Their sworn enemies, the Bone Kjeldons, are in league with her still they claim - although by all accounts she is either dead or has not stirred from her castle in some time.
The Bone-Fang Kjeldons
The westernmost of the Kjeldon tribes; the Bone Kjeldons are the sworn enemies of the Claw-Kjeldons and the Nords, and earned the lasting emnity of the Sibersk Tartars several centuries ago. The Bone Kjeldons get their name from their strange and almost profane practice of going into battle clad in bone over their furs and armor, and using mostly bone in their enchanted weapons. The Bone Kjeldons are said to practice necromancy and use it on their weapons and totems. While this is not quite known for certain, they definitely worship death and a cut from one of their bone weapons will almost never heal. Also too, their shamen and mages have strange magics foreign to the other Kjeldons and tribes of the north, and the persistent tales of the dead walking and the Bone Kjeldon's terrifying Draugr soldiers lend credence to the necromantic claims. In truth, the Bone Kjeldons have long worshipped the dread Ice Queen, a lich and ruler from the frozen seas to the far north. They work her unknown goals and exist in the Kjeldon realms only because of their ferociousness in battle and the fact that no one can prove their connection to the lich. To be true their strange powers are mostly legend to those that have never fought them, and many think the legends just that: legends about another tribe invented to spread fear. The Bone Kjeldons live mostly in villages and towns that hunt the animals in their range and in the mountains of the Nords and Boldous, fish in lakes, streams, and through the ice, and grow what plants they can during the brief warmer months.
Full article on the Wyrmsworn in Factions.
The Nord Vikings
The Sibersk Regions
The Sibersk Regions are possibly the most inhospitable lands on Dominaria, with only the Sea of Sand as serious competition (volcanic calderas and such being, of course, out of the running). Whereas the lands of the Kjeldons do offer some land to scratch out a farm, the Sibersk Regions offer none but the barest and smallest scraps of vegetation. And whereas the Kjeldon lands warm in the summer time, the Sibersk remains just at the edge of completely inhospitable year-round. The people who live here are few, far between, and hardy as the Nine Hells.
The Tartar-men, or Tartars, take their name from the long and undulating Lake Tartar and its three waterfalls - each flanked by strangely elegant stairways. This vast lake, kept above freezing and occasionally warm by forces unknown, is ringed by 5 towns that form the center of Tartar culture. None of the settlements are too large, and it is a lengthy trip by small boat or horse to get between them, but the Tartars fish and trade a living out of the lake and surrounding area. Dominating the lake is an ancient temple complex held sacred to the Tartars. The complex is a series of 5 elegantly colonnaded buildings with incredibly old bronze doors and domes. There were once intricately carved pediments and carvings on the pillars, but they have all long been wiped of detail by the wind and rain. The Tartars do not know the truth of the complex or the stairs by each waterfall, evidently of the same make; and in fact no Tartar mage or priest has ever given a convincing explanation for the lake's year-round liquidity. They're content to live in and around the Kyrinvae ruins and rarely question the strange providence of the heart of their lands. Their nomadic lands stretch all the way into the Dhazanti Steppes and up into the mountains the Boldous and Nords call home. So the Tartar-men have a strange dichotomy: on the one side there are the hard, hardy, and sometimes ferocious Tartars who hunt and trek a living on the permafrost; and on the other hand there is the 'heart' of Tartar civilization. This heart is much less harsh, but no less rugged, and has a sense of community and almost national/tribal-ism that many other northern peoples lack. It is this heart that links all Tartars together, and most is not all Tartars will visit, trade with, or live at Lake Tartar during their lives.
Life on the lake has been peaceful since the Tartars threw out the Bone-Fang Kjeldons at the Battle of East Falls and the Battle of Hagron's Pillar some 30 years ago. Before those battles however, the Tartars had a bleak history. The Bone-Fang Kjeldons had taken the Tartar's homeland nearly a century before and ruled it for three generations. During that time the Bone-Fang Kjeldons extracted a heinous tax on their subjects. The first, and sometimes second born son of each family was taken and trained to be the personal guard of the Bone-Fang Kjeldons' King. The King did this to both break their spirit and to muster fearsome regiments of the physically fearsome Tartar-men. These Sibersk Tartars became the most feared soldiers in the North for almost 50 years, and nearly gained Taypol for the Bone Kjeldons before their sudden and violent rebellion. And how violent it was; 11,000 men trained to plan, organize, and orchestrate exquisite violence and equipped to match massacred the largest army the Bone Kjeldons had ever assembled in a single night of stunning violence. And as soon as the word reached Lake Tartar, the muster was called. Tartars from all across their trackless lands came together with the men of Ruul, who had long plotted to end the power of the Bone Kjeldons so close to their land, under the banners of war. The Battle of East Falls was an almost perfunctory affair, with the assembled Tartar and Ruulian "Army" crushing the meager occupation force. The Battle of Hagron's Pillar however, would be less so. Much to the dismay of the Tartars and their allies, the Sibersk Tartars would not be joining them. They made clear that while they bore the rebellion no ill will they had done it for their own reasons, and those reasons were all gold. After plundering the camp, armories, and war chests of the Bone Fang Kjeldons, the Sibersk Tartar Regiments - soon to become the most feared mercenaries on Dominaria - marched south to seek their fortune. Thus the last battle of the Tartar's brief rebellion was a bloody one. By the end of the day the ground around Hagron the Axe's mighty obelisk was soaked in blood and gore; and although they were nearly devastated, the Tartars were free.
Nowadays, life is more peaceful and easier at Lake Tartar than elsewhere in the North. People fish, and even grow things close to the lake or on islands, and trade with the other towns. There is a sense of community across the immensely long lake, and the greatest dangers are occasional Nord or Khackak raids. There is trade with these peoples too, as well as with the other Tartars and with the Skrælings. Horses and carts move along the rough but permanent dirt roads surrounding the lake, and people travel from town to town by boat also - choosing to portage around the waterfalls or merely switching boats. Beyond the lake the Tartars are a nomadic people, who travel by sledge as often as horse and hunt the animals of the permafrost, glaciers, and steppes beyond. Theirs is a rough life always on the move, but one they have been living since the first men moved north of the Verge and settled the ridiculously harsh terrain. Nomadic Tartars are not a savage people prone to ambush and scalping and the like but they are incredible archers, know the lands they trek better than any but a Northman, and are often good fighters. They trade with the Khackak Tribes and the Skrælings, as well as the Nords and Boldous when they go that far north, and travelers they may come across.
The Sibersk Tartar Regiments
Here is the full article on the feared Tartar mercenaries.
The Khachak Tribes
The Khackak are a nomadic people who range from the lands south of the XXX Mountains all the way out to the coast north of the Dhazanti Steppes, living off the animals they hunt and trading where they can. They are a fairly unremarkable people except for their expansive travelling and deep knowledge of the land. The Khackak people live the closest to the North of anyone and are fairly willing to share knowledge and trails with travelers for a small trade. One of the most distinctive features of the Khachak is that they're always surrounded by their dogs: mid-sized to large dogs with fluffly white fur who double as hunting and sledding dogs. The Khackak use horses as well, but as one get's further from the Verge, they prefer the sure-footed dogs and snow-friendly sledges.
The Skrælings are the strangest of the nomadic peoples of the Northlands. Called spirit-walkers or head-cutters by many, their perfection of the strange art of Trepanning has cemented their place in northern myth. Other than the strange art, Skrælings differ little from the Khachak Tribesmen. There are fewer Skrælings, they have a much greater sense of community and even "ethno-nationalism", and they do have permanent settlements that are literally set in stone; but for all that many seeing them in the wild could not be blamed for assuming they are Khachak. Though hard to see, the differences are stark. A Skræling will always say he is a Skræling, whereas a Khachak or even Tartar will probably not. Their advanced sense of ethno-nationalism is created by their permanent gathering grounds and villages and by their strange and unique rituals. Their villages and permanent gathering/sheltering places are all built of a unique construction. They are dug into the permafrost or rock to about head depth and then built over again, giving the impression of a low hill. The ground helps to insulate them and keep them warm.
The settlements are just superficial adaptations though. What truly marks the spirit-walkers out is the process of Trepanning, and the abberant abilities it gives. XXXXXX
The Southern Seas
The Southern Isles
Perhaps the site of the first Humans in Dominaria, the past glory of the island is much faded.
The Free Concordian Alignment
The Free Concordian Alignment is a nation in exile. After General Percival Hottuffe's failed rebellion he led his defeated army, a large portion of the Concordian people, and many of the native eagles and founded a new city on the westernmost island of the Zomahastra. The Concordian refugees arrived on a ragtag fleet of ships strung out over weeks, running ahead of a well organized Arcadian fleet's encircling jaws. Only Hotuffe's calm leadership help the completely disorganized rout on a course for the island, and as soon as they landed his elite Rangers spread out across the island and he organized the construction of fortifications on the hills around the cove. Hotuffe, his men, and the Eagles they now called brother fought off and then drove off the banditry and criminals that inhabited the island and quickly scouted out a defensible location with access to wells and a port. On this plateau Hotuffe laid out the fortress port-city of Nova Concordia for which the island would eventually be named. His army, defeated but battle hardened, held the island against all comers and even defeated an invasion by the Emirate of Shangzi which nominally controlled the island. The refugees from Concord, men and eagle alike, took to the construction with gusto and those that chose not to build began farming across the flat plateau that makes up most of the island. As the massive city began to take shape, people from across the eastern coasts of Dominaria began to filter in to trade, speculate, and settle.
Over the 5 years since construction began, the population swelled and Hotuffe, now elected leader of the Free Concordian Alignment, laid out a system of roads to link the farming towns and ports that ballooned into existence. The city of Nova Concordia now has a full curtain wall with towers, gatehouses, and a moat fed from the island's river. Its roads are laid straight and true and the radiating rings of building sections are coming together as people move in. The areas around the port, gates, aviary, and the central citadel - known as The Rock - are the most complete and are centers of growth. The rest of the island is now a peaceful and well-managed tapestry of farms, vineyards, and orchards with produce moving to the ports and goods coming back in. There are enough mines for subsistence smithing and basic maintenance as well, but most metals must come from off-island. As far as religion the people of Concord pray to the Elven Deity Elebrin Liotheil for a good harvest, Mouqol for good trade, and Heironeous for valor in battle and protection from the Arcadians. Some few pray to Eltab, a dog-headed demon lord of retribution, for their eventual vengeance.
On the international level, the last 5 years of the Free Concordian Alignment has been marked by expansion - peaceful and otherwise. The closest large island of the Zomahastra was mostly uninhabited aside from vagrants, lawless corsairs, and Shangzi miners. Hotuffe took advantage of this as soon as he felt Nova Concordia was secure and organized an army of 7,000 troops with 3,000 sailors, 1,000 horsemen, and even 75 Eagle warriors for an expedition to the nearest island and launched his campaign in 67 FA. Hotuffe and his troops quickly and efficiently cleared the western half of the island, and had begun talks with the Shangzi miners on the eastern half when the Emir of Shangzi intervened. He sent an army of 8,500 men under his son to keep the miners in check and drive off Hotuffe. Hotuffe and the Emir's son met to discuss a peace, but due to the Emir's demands made a battle inevitable. The Emirate of Shangzi had long claimed tax rights over the miners on the island and swept it periodically for corsairs, but the Shangzi never had any real drive to expand. Hotuffe was willing to sign treaties to the island but when the Emir demanded he leave the impasse became obvious. Hotuffe had his navy and Eagles attack the Shangzi fleet when negotiations broke down and then landed his sailors to join in the battle. The Battle of Treaty Ridge was an all day affair but the Concordians beat the Shangzi badly, finishing the battered Shangzi with a cavalry charge over the battlefield's best ground. Hotuffe ransomed the Emir's son and secured rights to the island. So now in 70 FA, The Free Concordian Alignment is a blossoming young country with a pair of Islands in the Zomahastra. Nova Concordia is the capital and largest city by far, as well as being the largest port.
Government: Nova Concord holds the Parliament Building and the Prime Minister's Palace, and since Hotuffe relinquished his position as Commander General the Parliament has ruled concord under the leadership of the elected Prime Minister Percival Hotuffe, still in his first term.
Military: The Concordian Army grew out of the Concordian Revolutionary Army, the 2 Legions of Arcadian Concord that turned, and the freedom fighters from the south and east that flocked to fight against Arcadia. The Concordian Army is now made up of the Army, Navy, Sky Corps, Merchant Marine, and elite Rangers. The well disciplined pike-based Army protects the cities and enforces laws throughout the islands. The Navy patrols the waters and fights corsairs and mercenaries frequently. The Sky Corps rides the mighty Concordian Eagles in patrolls and support of the other branches. The Merchant Marines protect the merchant ships of Concord and are seen as adventurers. The Rangers are the long patrols (by land and sea) as well as elite troops in battle.
Judicial System: The Free Concordian Alignment has a constitution ratified by a complete vote of all of the citizens on the island in 64 FA during the revolution. The document outlines leadership and governance, which can be superseded in time of war, and includes a Bill of Rights. Courts throughout the 6 provinces of the Alignment (3 on Nova Concord, 2 on the island they now call Dawn, 1 for the city of Nova Concord, and any random islands are included in the closest province) provide fair trial and arbitration throughout the lands.
The Emirate of Shangzi
The Najiki Archipelago
The Guunharri Tribes
Drug lords and violent human tribesmen of the Central Najiki. The Guunharri perpetuate the horrific trade in Nalish in return for money, weapons, and ships and use these to infest the Central Najiki. Any passing in, near, or around their territory beware - for here there be monsters.
The Shamen of Obra-skai
The cryptic men who live off the map, on the edge of myth, on a spur of the Najiki south of the Dragon's Eye. These wise-men live on their "Library Island" where the veil between existences is weakest. Few know of them, fewer still know even their name, and it's a rare seafarer or learned wizard who can point you to them.
A quote from a seaman-chronicaller who once saw the island while in the employ of Malek the Black:
The island was a low lying affair, broken up by hills and covered by city and forest. I recall few intact buildings but a sense of incredible age and grandeur lost. Stone buildings and columned avenues had gone to ruin and were heavily overgrown in some places. The gently sloping land betrayed little detail other than the tapestry of lost greatness and age. The city had clearly been great once: it's buildings large and its avenues broad. The spyglass showed us once-wonderous facades, fountains, arches, domes, and statuary. The low-lying, long hills had been fortified at one point and they gave the impression of calm superiority - smooth power without the need or drive to flaunt it. The city sprawled across most of the flat area of the island, only the hills or maybe some parks - mostly overgrown now - broke up the city. A single giant statue dominated the island but it was slightly inland and a few hills blocked the lower part from view; the top being covered in plants or worn beyond recognition from our anchor. I would have very much liked to tread the island, but Malek expressly forbade it.
The Kataran Isles
The Dragons' Isles. This semi-mythical island chain houses incredibly beautiful mountain and jungle vistas and is the primary nesting ground for Dragons on Dominaria (by volume, it's unlikely that these Dragons would affect a normal campaign). Many mainland Dragons won't have come from here, but their parents/ancestors did and they know of it at least in concept.
The Eastern Run
The portion of the Najiki that passes south and east of the Dragon's Eye.
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