D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
Population: 110,000 --Elf 88%, Half-elf 7%, Human 2%, Other 3%
Ruler: Lady Merathanos, Speaker of the Dawn, Representative of the Emperor, Governor of the Elves (CG female elf Drd 3/Rgr 5)
Government: The monarchy owes fealty to the Ergothian Emperor, and presides over a senatorial body known as the Thalas-Enthia. Almost all the lands affairs are handled domestically by the elves.
Imports: weapons, fruit.
Exports: grains, leather, fine wine and spirits, magical artifacts and knowledge.
Languages: Common, Ogre, Ergot, Goblin, Dwarvish.
Alignments: CG*, NG, LN, N, LG
Religions: Quen (Mishakal)*, Matheri (Majere), The Blue Phoenix (Habbakuk), Solinari
Storms upon the Sirrion Sea often sweep in-land across the southern and western coasts of the islands. During a thunderous spring that begins in Chislmont, cyclones occasionally spawn west of Sancrist and come crashing southward. All lands west of the Ergoth Mountains tend, therefore, to have wet springs and summers. Most of these storms are blocked by the Lastgaard Mountains, falling in drenching downpours on the realms of Colinesti and Forestholm. The lands on the southern side of the mountains are thus an incredibly lush and verdant temperate rainforest. The coastlands are some of the most fertile farming plains to be found on Ansalon, thanks to the ocean storms, and the fact that they have just started to see a plough after centuries of laying under lush grasslands.
Life and Society
The center of elven power in Colinesti is on Dir-Plaanar, an island that was used as a meeting place between the three elven nations of the Qualinesti, Silvanesti and Kagonesti during the War of the Lance. It is now the home to an elven tower and forum, in which the judicial, executive, legislative and bureaucratic affairs of state are conducted. Though the dwellings of Colinesti are for the most part rustic, this island's Tower of the Dawn is a beautiful example of elven architecture. Here Speaker Meranathos can be found in the privacy of her gardens, receiving ambassadors or heads of state, or presiding over the Thalas-Enthia. Wherever her location she is constantly guarded by her loyal soldiers, known as the Youngbloods, dressed in Kagonesti garb.
The elven architecture of Dir-Plaanar is magnificent, but for the most part the dwellings and habitation of Colinesti are surprisingly crude and rustic. The elves have yet to amass the wealth or time in their new nation to rival the architecture of fallen Qualinesti or Silvanesti. However, most elves do not seem to mind, being of a young and adventurous spirit.
Major Geographical Features
Harkun Bay: This treacherous bay has been known to sink many ships whose captains thought it was a good place to come ashore. Storms are common, and sharp rocks line the bottom of the bay, tearing the hulls of the unwary to pieces. Some elven boatmen have learned how to avoid the hazards and now make an excellent living ferrying cargo from ships further out at sea upriver to the elven communities.
New Hedge: This was a project started by the Silvanesti woodshapers during the war of the lance to protect the lands around Silvamori. Since the unification of the realm, this has largely been abandoned, as the mountains and coasts prove a much more effective natural barrier. The hedge however has proved beneficial to the local sprites, who have taken to constructing homes in the tangled briars.
Plains of Kri: This is the last remaining land within the Colinesti borders that are still held by the Zenol tribesman. These human barbarians are horsemen who are masters of the bola and use it to entangle their enemies. They are currently fighting a losing war with Ergothian Cavaliers allied with Colinesti archers. The Zenol refuse to swear allegiance to the Emperor, and thus the Emperor has granted the lands of this "renegade" province to the elves.
Plains of Tothen: These plains were originally home to several dozen landsharks, who have been domesticated and put to use plowing the soil in the Rocklin Plains (see below). The land here is also fertile, and there are plans to have the land here developed into villa estates someday. However since the repudiation of slavery by Lady Meranthanos and the senate there are not been enough labourers to make this happen, and the elves refuse to consider leasing it to human occupants.
Rocklin Plains: These plains once belonged to the Zenol tribesman, but they have been displaced by elven expansion. Boulders are strewn across this plain, the result of volcanic eruptions across the Lastgaard Mountains during the cataclysm. The volcanic soil has also proven immensely fertile, which the elves discovered during the war of the lance. Trying desperately to find food for the refugees of two elven nations, they took to human farming practices, and became one of the leading exporters of grains and legumes in Southern Ergoth.
Thon-Tsalarian: This broad slow river flows through the center of the elven kingdom. Its name translates as "River of the Dead" for the ancient Kagonesti practice of sending their dead floating downriver towards the sea. Those who have led evil lives will be guided by fate to on of the islands of the dead (see below) and rise as an undead to learn the lessons they failed to learn in life.
Thon-Sorpon: This river has a sharp metallic appearance and reflects back brightly the light of the sun and moons. This is a result of dragonmetal from Foghaven vale leeching into the water of the river. Since dragonmetal can bond with almost any substance, it has bonded with the water itself. Though it is still drinkable, the water has a strong metallic taste that few creatures enjoy.
Dir-Plaanar: This isle was once an island of the dead (see below) before it was cleansed by the Qualinesti and the Silvanesti and hallowed by the clerics of Branchala. Upon this island a citadel has been raised, which was constructed to handle the affairs of government. Within the citadel is the barracks of the Youngbloods, the personal quarters of the Speaker of the Dawn, and the chambers of the Thalas-Enthia. Unlike most of the other elven dwellings, which are still quite rustic, the architecture of this island captures some of the beauty of lost Silvanesti.
Dir-Tsalarian: The island of the dead is known for legions of restless spirits, mainly wights and witchlins. Some Kagonesti still continue the practice of letting the dead float downstream to the river, and in recent years this has begun to be adopted by others as well. When the body lands at Dir-Planaar, it has been steered in that direction by Branchala to be one of the honoured dead. They are reverently entombed and consulted about the affairs of the day by means of speak with dead spells. The dark and unworthy dead however, drift to this island where their undead forms are imprisoned.
Kaganost (Large Town, 1,675): This remarkable city is made up of Kagonesti who fled slavery under the Silvanesti to a promised refuge during the war of the lance. Located on the other side of a portal, in an extra-dimensional space, this was actually once the prison of an archfiend punished by Takhisis for its disobedience. Sculpting its prison into a sylvan paradise, it managed to open a portal and promised the Kagonesti sanctuary. It was all a ruse however, as it planned to transform the Kagonesti into demonic warriors. The demon however was slain by Kagonesti heroes, and they have been free in the vale ever since. They have become more settled in the vale, adopting farming and animal husbandry as a new way of life. They are still hostile and suspicious towards the other elves, but enjoy a personal friendship with Speaker Meranthos.
Qualimori (Small City, 5,768): Once the capital of the Qualinesti elves in exile, Qualimori has become only one city of the realm. Competition is fierce between itself and Silvamori, with each striving to become the artistic and industrial center of the new realm. Current industries enjoying an edge in Qualinesti are leatherworking, bowmaking, and the forging of steel weapons. Certain smiths are also attempting to refine nuggets of impure dragonmetal found in the Thon-Sarpon river, in order to make superior magical weapons.
Silvamori (Small City, 7,472): The attitude of these elves has moderated a bit, but much of the pride of the Silvanesti remains among the citizens of this city. This city has remained larger than its sister city Qualimori however, largely due to the desire of many to escape from the rigid caste system of their former society. The craftsmen of Silvamori are most famed for their magical knowledge and their skill in brewing wine.
Though the Kagonesti have roamed these forests for time immemorial, the new nation of Colinesti first had its start during the War of the Lance, when once before the elves were driven into exile out of Silvanesti and Qualinesti. The Kagonesti were forced into slavery or servitude, or were driven off their lands to make room for the exiled elves. The elven forest realm is split by rivers into three parts, and each part was claimed by a different elven faction. The Kagonesti were forced into the lands to the north of the fork where two rivers come together to make the Thon-Tsalarian river. The exiled Silvanesti claimed the forested realms to the west of the river, while the Qualinesti claimed the east. Old animosities between the elven nations, stretching back to the Kinslayer War over 2000 years ago, simmered under the surface and a tense standoff across the water dragged on.
When most of the elves eventually departed for their homelands following the War of the Lance, thousands of mostly young Qualinesti and Silvanesti elves remained behind to start a new life here. Two of the most notable elves in each community took filled the power vacuum that was left when the elven leaders returned to their homelands. Meranthos, a ranger of exceptional prowess was the leader of a new cadre of warriors known as the Youngbloods, and thus became the leader of the city of Qualimori in the eastern forest. Belthanos, the betrothed of the princess Alhana Starbreeze, was shuffled out of the picture when a marriage of political convenience was arranged between the Silvanesti princess and the Qualinesti prince Porthios. Rather than go back to Silvanesti as a political non-entity, he stayed behind and took over the leadership of the elves in the city of Silvamori.
Shortly after the departure of the majority of their civilized brethren, the Kagonesti threw off their shackles of slavery and servitude, fleeing to more hospitable lands. Many fled to isle of Cristyne, others to Forestholm, but the vast majority fled to a portal in the Southeast portion of the island, where they found a secret forested valley in its own pocket universe. There they settled their own city of Kagonost, and lived free, though they had to give up their traditional ways of life to survive in the enclosed area. Merathanos helped many of the Kagonesti slaves escape across Qualimori lands, and convinced the Silvamori elves that the best way to recover their dignity was to not only grant pardon to the escaped slaves, but also to enfranchise those that remained. Belthanos agreed, and the Kagonesti that remained in the realm looked to Merathanos for guidance and protection. Merathanos was impressed by the lightning tactics and warrior skill displayed by the Kagonesti, and the Youngbloods begin to emulate them in dress and weapons.
The tragedies of the Chaos War and the deprivations of the dragon overlord Gelledius forced the elven peoples even closer together. Following the War of Souls in which the elves of Qualinesti and Silvanesti were exiled yet again, Merathanos and Belthanos realized that without allies their people could suffer just the same fate as their parent nations. To escape such a fate, Belthanos abdicated his position as leader of the Silvamori in favour of Merathanos, bringing the two elven nations together at last. They dubbed the new nation Colinesti (meaning people of the morning) a term the elves apply to all those of elven blood regardless of subrace. The senate immediately declared Merathanos the new Speaker of the Dawn and the ruler of the new elven nation. Her first act was to declare fealty to Emperor Mercadior Redic VI of Ergoth, and thus the elven nation wrapped itself in the security of Ergoth's legions. Those senators who would cause trouble for such political ambitions were also among the most ambitious. Thus, they were easily bought off with offers to sit in the seats of the Ergothian senate. Belthanos and the other elven senators, aristocratically born and trained for centuries in the elven courts, have brought intrigue in the imperial court to a new level of byzantine complexity.
Though many refugees came to Colinesti after the second exile of the Qualinesti and Silvanesti elves, many others did not for a very simple reason. They realized that to seek shelter under the Empire of Ergoth was to immediately lose all hope of reclaiming free homelands of their own under the aspen pines of Qualinesti and the oak trees of Silvanesti. To seek asylum in human lands was one thing, to submit their culture to the power of Ergoth was quite another. There are however, among the elven refugees, those who want to agitate the differences between the elven subraces inhabiting the Colinesti forest. Merathanos does not suffer these fools easily, and has been known to send these elves buck naked in the hold of a ship back to the mainland. To those elves which use violence or threats in their plotting, she is also not shy in declaring them banished dark elves. Though not all elves recognize her ability to make such pronouncements, the Speaker of the Sun and Stars Gilthas certainly does.
Plots and Rumours
To heir is elven: Since her heart died with her lover Aliona, it is well known that Meranthos will never marry and thus never conceive an heir. As such, several important senatorial families are jockeying for the Queen to accept one of their own as a protoge. Those playing an elven character might strive to cement her approval through successful adventures on behalf of the realm, while displaying proper humility and moderation.
Meranthos: female elf (gray) Rgr8; CR 8; Medium size humanoid (5 ft, 7 in. tall); HD 8d10+16; hp 62; Init +6 (+6 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 16 (+6 Dex); Attack +11/+6 melee (1d8+3/19-20), or +15/+10 ranged (1d8+4/19-20/x3+2d8 +1 thundering composite longbow [+3 Str bonus]); SV Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +5; AL CG; Str 16, Dex 22, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 12.
Skills and feats: Craft +12, Handle animal +9, Heal +11, Hide +17, Listen +3, Move silently +6, Profession +9, Ride +14, Search +4, Spot +3, Wilderness lore +12; Combat reflexes, Iron will, Run, Track.
Elf Traits: Immune to sleep spells and effects; +2 racial bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells or effects; low-light vision 120 ft.; entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it; +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Search checks.
Spells Prepared: resist elements (fire), entangle, detect evil.
Possessions: minor circlet of blasting, elven chain mail, boots of speed, +1 thundering composite longbow [+3 strength bonus].
A lover's tale began between a huntress named Merathanos and a dashing elven warrior named Aliona. Merathanos was a Silvanesti elf of House Woodshaper, a proud and haughty maiden trapped in a loveless betrothal to her weak and demented cousin. To escape this reality, she spent as much of her time as possible travelling with a hunting party to try and catch the ill tempered giant boar which the elves had dubbed "Harkunos" (The Thunderer). However, one day when Merathanos was hunting, she came across a party of human trespassers, who had among their number a dwarf, a kender, and two children of the Qualinesti Speaker of the Suns. She had immediately placed them under arrest, when she was ambushed by several young Qualinesti elves. She awoke to find that she had been drugged by a tranquilizer dart, her prisoners had escaped, and her Kagonesti servants had fled, including a silver-haired slave girl named Silvart who was the closest thing she had to a friend. She remembered however a young and handsome elven warrior watching with amusement as she tried to fight the effects of the drug. She vowed to find him and wipe that smug smile off his face.
Her new quarry was Aliona, a young Qualinesti warrior who was leader of a group of elves who called themselves "The Youngbloods". These young men had wanted to stay behind and fight the dragonarmies, but were forced into exile due to the decisions of their elders. Out of boredom then they went on bloodless raids in Silvanesti lands, disrupted Silvanesti hunting, and encouraged the Kagonesti slaves to escape. Aliona soon discovered her quest to catch him, and thus a highly intricate game of cat and mouse ensued. To maximize his fun, would try to give every opportunity to lead her away from the others in her hunting party. This way, he could do certain things like call her his "cute little fox" and to have flirtatious sparring matches. Though these antics at first infuriated her, the flirtatious comments eventually warmed her to him, and what began as a jest or a vendetta soon blossomed into love. Thus, when she finally caught him as he prepared to swim across the river back to Qualimori, she dived in after him. On the opposite shore, wet and bedraggled, this strong young elven huntress found herself easily pinned beneath Aliona in a deep and passionate kiss. The hunts thus continued, but only as an excuse for the young lovers to find a clandestine location to spend time together.
However, rumors circulated among the Kagonesti slaves that were ordered at certain times to camp for hours at a time while their mistress went off alone into the woods did not go unnoticed by her fiancé Hyskathos. Buying off one of her slaves with steel weapons, he told him to follow her into the woods and see what she was up to. When the Kagonesti reported her romantic liasons, her fiancé flew into a rage. The next time she went on a "hunt" he followed her, and watched their lovemaking. When they were in the throes of passion Hyskathos crept up and stabbed Aliona several times with a poisoned dagger, and after the Qualinesti warrior was dead told Merathanos that unless she molded herself into his obedient wife, he would reveal her illicit love affair with the enemy.
Running from him in horror, Merathanos did not hesitate to tell Belthanos, Regent of the Stars about the affair and the murder. Her fiancé Hyskathos was declared a dark elf, and banished from the elven realm. However, this scandal brought relations between the Silvanesti and the Qualinesti to the breaking point. War between the two nations was imminent until Merathanos threw herself at the feet of Aliona's parents and offered herself in Husset-allos a ritual in which the relative of a dark elf responsible for murder would be adopted by the family, but with the understanding of servitude. The parents accepted, much to the relief of House Woodshaper, who had coldly turned against her and refused to acknowledge her existence after her scandalous affair.
Luckily, Merathanos was happy among her new Qualinesti family. Due to the bonds of love they shared, Aliona's family and companions recognized traces of his soul surviving in her. Thus, his parents started treating her as a beloved daughter, and his companions as her companions. When most of the elves eventually departed for their homelands following the War of the Lance, thousands of mostly young Qualinesti and Silvanesti elves remained behind to start a new life here. Merathanos could not bear to leave the body of her beloved, or the only place she had ever been truly happy behind. As such, she stayed behind and commanded the Youngbloods, which became the military force of Qualimori.
When the elves came together to form the new nation of Colinesti, Meranthos was the perfect symbol of elven unity, being born of the Silvanesti, adopted by the Qualinesti, and friend to the Kagonesti. Though it is a responsibility she bears with pride, she sometimes resents being trapped by the affairs of state and occasionally seeks solitude among her gardens.
The Dominion of Daltigoth
Population: 2,100,800 -- Human 72%, Ogre 11%, Half-Ogre 6%, Gnomes 3%, Half-elves 2%, Dwarves (Daegar) 2%, Hobgoblins and Goblins 4%, Other 1%.
Ruler: Dictator Tdarnak (LE male ogre Ftr10)
Government: Dictatorship governing numerous decaying cities, governors bound by loose oaths of fealty, numerous smaller fiefs held by nobility of a defunct senatorial class, who are interlinked with a complex and defunct bureaucracy. Dictator has own personal army of half-ogre nobles and elite personal guard of sivak draconians.
Imports: Coal, gems, livestock, ships, spices, sugar, timber
Exports: Cloth, copper, foodstuffs, gold, iron products, ivory, silver, slaves, weapons
Languages: Common, Ogre, Ergot, Goblin, Dwarvish.
Alignments: N, LE, LN, CN, NG
Religions: Takhisis, Sargonnas, Branchala, Lunitari, Nuitari, Zeboim, Shinare.
Tdarnak, the ogre dictator in Daltigoth, currently controls all the territory east of the Last Gaard Mountains. As such, much of what was formerly the heartland of Imperial Ergoth was his to inherit, and has succeeded admirably as a ruler. The nobility beneath him is divided into three tiers. The first tier is the ogre nobles, which oversee the various territories of the dominion. The second (and lower) tier are human nobles, who are remnants of the old Ergothian nobility and who maintain possession of some of their ancestral lands. The third tier has recently been created by the Dictator Tdarnak when he emancipated the half-ogre children of ogre nobles and human slaves to serve as his personal army. These janissaries are extremely loyal to Tdarnak for they are grateful for their freedom from the mills and mines which their brute strength had been most useful. With the recognition of the nobility of the half-ogres, there has been a recent trend among the nobility to marry their daughters off to powerful ogre nobles in the hopes of gaining their lands for the family through their half-ogre successors.
Possession of arms is illegal to all citizens who are not of ogre blood. There are only two exceptions to this. Human nobles are allowed to keep and carry their useless crystal or glass daggers which denote their rank, and human mercenaries are allowed to carry arms if they sign a charter. Adventurers come off the docks and stroll into town with weapons in full view can expect to face confiscation of those weapons and a humiliating few days in the stocks. Repeat offenders caught carrying weapons without a charter can expect to have their sword arm hacked off.
Life and Society
The citizens of Daltigoth are tall and dark skinned like their Ergothian brothers in the North. The men generally wear short beards, and wear simple belted tunics in their daily dress. Women dress more elaborately, but are expected to defer to their husbands in all matters. Children, likewise, are expected to obey their father's word as absolute law. Slavery is common, with slaves being considered a member of the household, and thus the responsibility of their masters.
Though they live under a brutal regime led by ogres, they have become so resigned to their fate, that the recent acknowledgement of any sort of responsibility by the recent ogre rulers to the affairs of the state has the people cheering. Recent reconstruction of various fortifications and public infrastructure, a functioning tax system, and the imposition of order on the rapacious ogre noble and the military have turned the territory controlled by the Ogres into a functioning state again, if a harsh and authoritarian one.
Major Geographical Features
Bay of Morgash: Also known as the "Bay of Darkness" this ocean bay is the result of the same cataclysm that sundered the Empire of Ergoth from the mainland and into two parts. The bay cuts through the island of Southern Ergoth forming the island into a c-shape. It has become home to a choral reef on the southern edge, though the northern half of the bay is extremely deep. The deep half of the bay is home to Zhea Harbour, which can handle ships of any size at its docks.
Eastern Wilderness: This name is a bit of a misnomer, a legacy of ages past when it was a forested reserve for the imperial court. Since the cataclysm however, it has long been cleared and settled by farms and villages, and now serves as the breadbasket of the Dominion of Daltigoth.
Fairkeep: This fortification is divided into two parts. The smaller part of the keep is garrisoned as a defence for the nearby inhabitants against the goblin raiders that periodically appear out of the plains to the north. For two weeks of the year however, the large empty enclosure beside the smaller fortification is put to use. Previously, when the local region wished to hold a market fair, goblins would choose that time to raid as this was the time when the chance for booty was greatest. Thus, local merchants created a fort which could contain the merchant caravans in safety and repulse the goblin invaders. Dictator Tdarnak seized the fortification and staffed it with his half-ogre soldiers, and for this "service" he charges a fee to all who wish to trade within the keep's security.
Lastgaard Mountains: These mountains divide the Dominion of Daltigoth from Colinesti and Forestholm. The peaks are high enough to ensure that they remain snow covered all year round, and making its passes extremely treacherous and prone to closure.
It is home to approximately a dozen white dragons of various sizes, led by Shiver (a young adult female) who commands older and more powerful dragons by virtue of her brilliant intellect. It was she in fact, who whispered any intelligent plans into the ears of the former dragon overlord Gellidus, who was nothing more mentally than a bully and an idiot. Though her master's skull totem was destroyed shortly after his death, she and her dragons still retain control of his lair and his massive hoard.
In alliance with the white dragons is a tribe of giant ogres (use hill giant statistics) who emerge periodically from the mountains to raid settlements on either side. None dare to follow and face the wrath of the dragons, and thus have tried to devise various strategies to respond quickly enough to the giants before they can disappear back into the mountains. However, no force that could summoned quickly enough has yet been able to stand against the juggernaut of their brute strength.
Plains of Scorched Ivory: South of the City of Sun, this is where Gellidus' massive body fell to the earth and shattered. The flesh had been burned off by a massive bolt of energy, created by a powerful artifact that the city possessed. This has been enriching to local goblins, who collect the gems and gold that once inhabited the dragon's scales, but now lay scattered over the earth along with his bones. It has also proved enriching to local mercenaries and adventurers, who have found that attacking the villages of goblin raiders has become infinitely more profitable.
Salt Marches: After the cataclysm, seawater seeped in from the Bay of Morgash, this salt water marsh has caused much of the city to sink beneath the mud. As a result it has become a haven for crocodiles, kobold warrens, and a few small black dragons. Most dangerous of all are the will-o-wisps who lure adventurers into ambushes and traps with their flickering lights. Though the water is too salty to support mosquito larvae, the marshes create another problem for Daltigoth, that of a bad smell that drifts southward into the city with the coastal wind.
Tdarnak Sea: This sea developed when the Glacier created by Gellidus melted upon the destruction of his skull totem. When the water collected in the lowlands it created a beautiful azure lake, which is in fact the largest freshwater lake on Ansalon. Given the lake's recent creation, no life exists within its depths but it will remain, as the white dragons in the Lastgaard mountains ensure that glacial runoff will continue as long as they remain in the mountain peaks. Dictator Tdarnak, stunned by its beauty, has begun to build a new summer palace here, which promises to be the beginnings of a new resort community for the country's aristocracy.
Blade Tower: This keep lives up to its name, as it is a straight obelisk which stretches up from the ground like a dagger. Built by an ambitious ogre mage during the War of the Lance, it was designed to be a stronghold for the black robed wizards in Southern Ergoth. With the loss of high sorcery after the Chaos War, it came under the control of a cabal of wild sorcerers. They hold the tower still, though there is much talk among the black robes in Tdarnak's court that the time has come to reclaim it.
Castle in the Sky: Though cloaked in magic, this castle in the clouds is spotted occasionally by riders on dragon or griffon back. It is in fact the lair of the young dragon Sunrise, the last survivor of his family after the other gold dragons who used to inhabit the keep were slain by the dragon overlord Gellidus. Those who have attempted to fly towards the keep have found themselves chasing a ghostly mirage. The only way to access the keep seems to be by invitation, though many evil spellcasters have dreamed of dispelling the enchantments that obfuscate this place in order to gain access to the treasures within.
City of Sun (Small City, 6,304): This city is one of the wonders of Krynn, hitherto seemingly abandoned for hundreds of years. Some say the artifact in the center of the city (known as the lightwell) which converts solar energy into wild magic could only be a product of the age of dreams. Whatever its origin, the fate of its inhabitants is clear, as their scorched sillouettes can still be found on the ancient stone buildings.
Recently, it has been resettled en masse by Solomnic political refugees of the Sunriser movement, who fled after the Solamnic Knights reclaimed their homeland. Realizing they would never be able to effect change without sufficient military power, they have delved into the "modern arts" of gnomish technology and wild sorcery with great zeal. It was this dedication to sorcery that allowed them to unlock the secrets of the lightwell and release the fiery energy that blasted the monstrous dragon Gellidus out of the sky.
Currently the city pays lip service to the Dictator of Daltigoth, not because they fear him or his armies, but because they would rather focus their attention on Solamnia. Thus they send gold, supplies, and agents to support revolutionary efforts in their homeland.
Daltigoth (Large City, 24,076): This city was was the center of an empire that spanned from Sirrion Sea all the way to the Khalkist Mountains. Now the city is a decaying shadow of its former greatness, ravaged by oppressive ogre rulers and most recently imprisoned in the ice of a dragon overlord. Thus, the city which once held half a million people has dwindled down to a population of a mere 24,000 nestled in a vast expanse of ruins. During the reign of the Kingpreist, the wizards destroyed the tower of high sorcery rather than letting it fall to the mob who besieged it. The resulting conflagration destroyed nearly a quarter of the city. After the cataclysm, the ogres came down from the nearby Lastgaard mountains and finished the job, sacking it thoroughly and completely in their lust for gold.
The years under the rapacious ogres were brutal, with many fleeing to the surrounding countryside or to Abanasinia, Solamnia, or to Northern Ergoth where the empire still survived. Those who remained have been blessed with the rise of the able Dictator Tdarnak, an ogre who has begun to revive something of the city's lost glory. As his father restored the bureaucracy and orderly collection of taxes, Tdarnak has begun a series of public work projects to try and restore many of the monumental buildings. The most notable projects already completed is the restoration of the city's main aqueduct (working for the first time in 300 years) and the conversion of an ancient arena known as the "Golden Dome" into a palace that could accommodate the size of himself and his ogre and half-ogre nobles.
The greatest dream Tdarnak has for the city however, is the creation of a great coastal dyke that will allow him to drain the salt marshes that cover a great deal of the ruins of the old city, a legacy of the cataclysm. He knows however, that the project is vastly beyond his current resources, especially without magical aid. Thus Tdarnak has petitioned the head of the wizard conclave, Dalamar, to establish a new Tower of High Sorcery within his city. It remains to be seen if Dalamar will accept these overtures.
Until then, these marshes ensure that all goods must be shipped overland from Pontigoth, as the marshes prevent even a modest port from being built anywhere nearer. Even the plentiful supplies of fish on the other side of the reef on the other side of the marshes in the Bay of Morgash must enter the city by this roundabout way. This has ensured that Daltigoth continues to be a shadow of its former self.
Pontigoth (Metropolis, 31,200): This city has been plagued by crime and violence ever since the citizens of Zhea Harbour drifted into town after being forced out of their own city by Gellidus. Unemployed refugees nearly number as many as the working citizens, though a grain dole set up by Tdarnak is beginning to ease tensions in the city. It is also however, ensuring that many will not depart for their old homes as quickly as they should.
Some enterprising sea captains have taken advantage of the chaos of the city in order to make active use of press gangs. Making the rounds of the drinking holes in the slums and shanty towns of the city, ogre and half-ogre brutes have been known to kidnap young men off the streets and force them to work on the high seas. Though this was done surreptitiously at first, it has become increasingly more open. It has come to the point where city guards are actively involved in press gang activities for extra coin, shuffling criminals onto a ship rather than into the city's jail.
Road of Time: Occasionally a traveller will stumble across a shimmering silver path in the depths of the Plains of Scorched Ivory. A local folk hero, the wizard Harkanus, was said to have walked the road, and along this road were the towers of the greatest white robes of history, some long dead and some yet to be born. Though he studied with each of the great masters for five years until he was a decrepit old man, he emerged with a youthful body to find only 5 years had passed in the world of Krynn since he first stepped upon the path. The lore he learned ensured that he became the most powerful wizard in Ergoth's history. It is said that the wizard that will rebuild the tower of High Sorcery in our own time and knocked upon his door as an apprentice, but only time will tell.
Vocalion (Small City, 5,963): This city survives from before the cataclysm, and enjoys a robust economy from the hard work of its citizens in their pursuits of fishing and farming. In particular the local area is ideal for the production of flax and cotton, and several wealthy families in the textile business make their home here.
The city's greatest claim to fame however is the "Wooden Weapons Annual," an arms tournament which draws competitors from all over western Ansalon. The prize is a chest of 500 steel coins which is put forth from the entry fee of a steel coin per contestant, and supplemented by donations from the local tavern and innkeepers whose business booms during this festival. During the time of the tournament, the restriction on holding weapons is lifted, and the tournament itself is attended by Tdarnak and many other nobles. Adventurers who do particularly well can be expected to be hired by the Dictator for further quests to solve problems in his realm that his regular soldiers cannot handle. In fact, it was adventurers who won this tournament that accompanied Tdarnak himself to destroy the skull totem of Gellidus.
Zhea Harbour (Large City, 16,000): Formerly the greatest port city in Southern Ergoth before the coming of Gellidus, the city was starved into submission. When the citizens refused to pay tribute, Gellidus sealed off Morgash bay with a wall of ice. Since no ships could get through, all commerce and shipping ceased. Finally, the citizens relented, leaving their city and their belongings behind for the dragon's Thanoi minions to loot and tried to start their life anew in a city of Pontigoth. However, Zhea Harbour is the deepest and largest natural harbour on the island subcontinent, so when Gellidus was destroyed, many jumped at the chance to return to their family businesses and rebuild. As the docks have been rebuilt, it is expected that more people will soon return and restore the city to its former population and prominence.
The history of Southern Ergoth, and more specifically the Dominion of Ergoth can be found to have its roots in the shattering of the world by the gods in the cataclysm. When the fiery mountain struck Istar, it shifted the tectonic plates of Krynn, dropping much of the land beneath the waves of the sea and raising new land above it.
The ogres of Ergoth, largely untouched by the cataclysm in their mountain caves of the Lastgaard Mountains, swept down into the territories below and sacking the imperial cities. Some cities never recovered, leaving some desolate ruins that were never resettled after the Maelstrom altered the climate and turned much of Southern Ergoth into desert or dry grasslands. The Imperial court fled to Gwynned in Northern Ergoth, and the territory was divided amongst various ogre tribes, who continually feuded with each other for over 300 years.
In 344 AC the dragonarmies were marshalling their forces, and a goal of Ariakas was to marshal the ogres of Southern Ergoth to serve as a force that could strike Northern Ergoth and the west coast of Solamnia. As such, Feal-Thas, Dragon Highlord of the white wing, approached a tribe of giant ogres led by a powerful brute named Stormogre. A pact was struck, and the white dragonarmy gave several divisions of draconians along with several white dragons to assist Stormogre in forcibly marshalling the ogre tribes of Southern Ergoth into a fighting force. The result was a chaotic, bloodthirsty and undisciplined horde. Stormogre rebuilt the amphitheater known only as the "Dome of Gold", one of the few buildings in the city that would accommodate the size and bulk of the giant ogres. With an iron grip on the populace, and the arrival of the draconians and white dragons of the dragonarmy, the ogres waited impatiently for the chance to invade the wealthy human nations to the north and east. However, before they could be deployed the blue dragonarmy was pushed into retreat by the Golden General Laurana of Qualinesti, and the dragonarmy collapsed upon itself in a power struggle following the death of the general Ariakas.
Around this time, the white dragonarmy suffered its own reversals. Feal-Thas himself was slain at Icewall Castle by a band of adventurers seeking the dragonorb in his possession. His successor was an incompetent bootlicker who had been promoted to his post simply by staying alive. This dragon highlord (whose name has been lost to history) thus led his army of draconians, goblins, mercenaries and ogres against the kender militia of Hylo in Northern Ergoth. The result was an unmitigated disaster for the white dragonarmy was so undisciplined it fell into an ambush set by taunting kender and was slaughtered. Both Stormogre and the Dragon Highlord were killed, and the Ogres returned to Southern Ergoth in disgrace. To alleviate the sting to their pride, the Ogres likewise turned upon themselves, each tribe struggling for power and each individual struggling for power within their tribe. Stormogre's son and successor Thunderbane was driven into the mountains along with the rest of the giant ogres.
What was left behind was a battered ogre oligarchy, ruling over a resentful human populace, with dispossessed nobles galvanizing for revolution. To hold onto power, all the tribal leaders swore a blood oath in an elaborate and ancient ritual and unanimously proclaimed an intelligent and charismatic ogre leader named Kthaarx. After crushing the rebellion, he restored the rights of the nobles who did not raise their swords against him, and created several new noble families to replace the positions of those who were purged. He also took on the imperial trappings of the old empire, appointing the ogre leaders as governors of their tribal territories, and appointing himself as "Dictator" a title given to generals who served as regents in the absence of an emperor or an emperor of the age of majority. Though Northern Ergoth called this ogre controlled government a mockery, the common people appreciated the restoration of their cultural traditions and more importantly a return to stability. Thunderbane continued to be a menace as his giant ogres began to strike at the villages of the lowlands for revenge and survival.
When the chaos war struck, Kthaarx fell in battle and Southern Ergoth reeled but did not topple. Kthaarx's son Tdarnak succeeded him to the throne, and spent the next decade rebuilding the nation, holding Thunderbane and his storm ogres in check, and gaining in popularity as a ruler. A key factor in his popularity is because he noticed that there were hundreds of half-ogres working as slaves, the product of liaisons between ogres and human slaves. Tdarnak ordered these half-ogres enfranchised and created a third level of nobility, which took over the duties of acting as his tax collectors and personal army. These half-ogres are fanatically loyal to Tdarnak for delivering them from slavery.
Afar catastrophe than the chaos war however, struck in 12 SC when the white dragon Gellidus plunged the realm into a magical winter that lasted over a quarter of a century. The white dragon turned the desert into a glacial waste, but allowed area known as the Eastern Wilderness to thaw for 5 months of the year, allowing the citizens of his realm to grow just enough food to survive on a starvation diet. It was almost impossible to keep the livestock alive however, and over that quarter century almost every single farm animal perished. Today, a sheep, goat or cow sells for 3 times its value in other realms. That coupled with the low currency makes breeding stock in Southern Ergoth almost worth their weight in steel.
In 38 SC, Gellidus learned about a city in the extreme north of the island that had magic enough to hold the frost at bay. Like an enraged bully, he flew into a rage and flew towards the "City of Sun" which possessed a magical artifact dubbed by the ones who rediscovered it as "the lightwell". The lightwell was a giant onyx platform in the shape of the sun that absorbed its energy, releasing it to power the crystals that lit the streets and kept the gardens alive in perpetual spring even during the days of perpetual frost. In addition, it possessed one other power, discovered by a cabal of mystics through trial and error. It could release all of the stored energy in a single fiery bolt, which consumed Gellidus as he dove to attack the city. His blackened bones were littered all over the surrounding landscape, creating the Plains of Scorched Ivory.
Despite the jubilation following Gellidus' death, the ice remained the legacy of his dragon skull totem that existed in his lair. Tdarnak personally led a small expedition to into the lair of Gellidus, and camped beneath the chilling snow. When Gellidus' aide-de-camp Shiver and a flight of other white dragons left to try and intimidate the populace into following her will, Tdarnak and his men sneaked into the lair. They killed two white dragons left to guard the horde and destroyed the skull totem, finally releasing the Dominion from the chilling frost it had endured so long. Though they stuffed their sacks with the most valuable things they could carry, they were forced to retreat down the mountainside before Shiver and her cohorts returned. Thus, the looted treasure of the Dominion remains up in the mountain peaks, guarded by at least a dozen wyrms of various sizes. The Thanoi army of Gellidus, unable to stand the temperature change in the island, weakened and either died of exposure or were easily cut down and eaten by a starving populace.
Plots and Rumours
The Dominion of Daltigoth is a burgeoning power for evil, or the greatest chance to revive the greatness of Imperial Ergoth.
Heir to the Throne: Tdarnak is grooming his only son, a half-ogre known as Tdarnak the lesser to take the throne. He however, has recently gone missing while commanding a band of half-ogres in the Plains of Scorched Ivory. As well, there are whispers that Tdarnak himself has been approached by the Titans of Blode and Kern for an alliance, and many fear that he will seek to become a Titan himself.
The White Lady: Shiver and her white dragons are trapped in their frozen lairs high in the Lastgaard Mountains plotting revenge and guarding their hoard with a caution bordering on paranoia. She does not dare to openly enter the civilized realm for fear of being slain by Tdarnak's forces, but she sends Blackcloud and his tribe of wild ogres to raid and add treasure to her hoard. That is a clue that she has other agents in the Dominion of Daltigoth as well. She even appears in the court of the Dictator, under his very nose in human form. The PC's if they stumble across this, will have to first discover who she is, and decide whether they want to help her destroy Tdarnak or help Tdarnak destroy her.
This Land is our Land: Border tensions are tense in the Northeast and Southwest of the realm as Northern Ergoth has ambitions of reclaiming The Dominion for their empire. There are several noble families accused of plotting with the imperial throne, some justly and some not. There are many opportunities for PC's to chose either side of the coming war, and opportunities to serve either side as spies and agents.
Tdarnak: male ogre Ftr10; CR 12; Size L (9 ft., 3 in. tall); HD 4d8+20 + 10d10+50; hp 161; Init +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 19 (+3 Dex, -1 Size, +5 Natural, +2 amulet of natural armor); Attack +21/+16/+11 melee (2d6+12/17-20/x2, +3 keen great sabre) or +16/+11/+6 ranged (1d8+4/19-20/x3 mighty composite longbow [+4 Str bonus]); SV Fort +16, Ref +9, Will +6; AL LE; Str 29, Dex 16, Con 21, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 12.
Skills and feats: Climb +23, Handle animal +11, Hide +0, Jump +21, Knowledge (nobility) +5, Listen +7, Move silently +3, Spot +7, Swim +16, Tumble +7; Alertness, Ambidexterity, Blind-fight, Combat reflexes, Improved critical (Great Sabre), Improved initiative, Lightning reflexes, Power attack, Weapon focus (Great Sabre), Weapon focus (Composite longbow).
Possessions: amulet of natural armour +2, cloak of charisma +4 (included in charisma score), +3 keen great sabre, ring of blinking, potion of cure serious wounds, potion of heroism, mighty composite longbow [+4 Str bonus].
Tdarnak is not your typical ogre lord, and would not have survived this long in power if he was. As a boy, his father Kthaarx ensured that he was not allowed to simply wallow in the gratification that could be found to those of power. Instead, he was rigorously tutored in the arts of diplomacy, administration and warfare by the best tutors from among the old Ergothian aristocrats that still remained in the conquered land. As such, he grew into a scion of his line, with the strength and grace of a panther.
When he assumed the throne as a young man and became a young and popular monarch, he held on to power during the years of the Overlord Gellidus through terror. Forced to capitulate, he gathered the tribute mercilessly, though it galled him to be forced to bend knee to the dragon while his realm froze over and his people starved. He survived many attempts on his life, including a night when no less than six assassins attacked him in his bedchamber. Since his heroic expedition that succeeded in destroying Gellidus' totem, much has been forgiven, though his rule remains shaky at best. However, given his obvious talents many fear what could happen if he manages to consolidate his power and rebuild his shattered realm.
Ruler: Governor Vari Silvercrown (NG human male Ftr 8/Rgr 4)
Government: Aristocratic nobles who all swear fealty to the Empire of Ergoth but largely run their own affairs. A token tax for military defence and trade is collected for the empire, but most of the taxes collected are kept by the nobles for domestic use. Druids, led by a mysterious figure known as "the hierophant" are responsible for judging disputes and keeping track of oral lore and history. They also serve as the primary advisors to the lords of the realm. Villages and cities elect their own mayors by casting a ballot that they receive after paying their taxes.
Capital: Castle Eastwatch
Population: 100,800 -- Human 52%, Half-elves 25%, Elves (Kagonesti) 10%, Half-Ogre 2%, Other 2%.
Imports: iron, glass, precious metals, textiles,
Exports: timber, magical salves, herbs, fish, ships
Languages: Ergot, Solamnic, Common, Elvish, Ogre.
Alignments: NG*, CG, LG, CN
Religions: Mishakal, Habbakuk, Kiri-Jolith, Branchala, Paladine*, Majere, Solinari.
One of the most unsettled realms on Krynn, the nation of Forestholm is still almost completely covered by some of the most tangled and thick forests on the continent. Though farming communities abound many more still make their living foraging and hunting in the forests themselves. As well, scattered throughout the realm are isolated noble estates and free farms, with most being rather self-sufficient. In between these, various hunting grounds are set aside for those that continue to live off the wild, as well as for the nobility who depend on meat for their size and strength.
The druids have a cordial relationship with the lords of this realm, serving as advisors and judges. The lords each control small manorial estates to keep themselves and their men fed and equipped, but with little luxury than that. These men instead are masters of the wild themselves, seemingly able to silently run between the tangle underbrush effortlessly and tirelessly in pursuit of their quarry. It is also advised to strangers not to seek to hide in the woods if they break the peace.
Life and Society
The lords of Forestholm are responsible for collecting taxes, managing their manorial estates, and providing military leadership. They also provide for units of fighting men known as the "Yeomen of Forestholm" who are made up largely of former Solamnic knights who have drifted away from the culture of their ancestors. Combining the training of the Solamnic knights with expert elven woodcraft and archery, this force is said to be able to become invisible in the gnarled branches of their homeland, and strike with surprising and deadly force.
The lords also follow a body of law that is the result of combining what they feel to be the best of the Solamnic measure with the ancient laws of the druids. The druids of the realm serve in this realm as judges of that law, keepers of oral history and are responsible for the ceremonial and societal rituals of the community.
The society itself however, is relatively egalitarian, with many important free farmers often possessing as much land as the lords themselves, and their sons often serve as the lord's yeomen. Reflecting this egalitarianism, the dress and ornamentation of the citizens is rather muted, with bright colours or jewelry rarely found.
Major Geographical Features
Foghaven Vale: The legendary place which holds the tomb of Huma Dragonbane, which makes it the holiest site of pilgrimage for the Solamnic Knights. It is also where the monument known as "The Stone Dragon." This gargantuan statue is in fact a building that holds within it the pool of dragonmetal that springs from the depths of the earth, which is necessary to forge the famed dragonlances. As such, when Forestholm declared its loyalty to Ergoth, the Solamnic Knighthood declared that Foghaven Vale was still Solamnic soil and demanded a treaty with the Ergothian crown. To cement this arrangement, they have made this vale the official residence of the High Clerist and have been actively encouraging pilgrimage to this site in recent years to ensure a full garrison of armed men will be on hand.
The Southern Forest: The Southern Forest is said to be somewhat magical in nature, and thus has a tendency to grow back quickly, making it a boon to ship builders, but tiresome and difficult for agriculture. There are areas outside the forest in which farming is easier, but this is not the greater part of the country. The forest paths are confusing and barely exist, with those not proficient in woodcraft easily getting lost within the depths. Once there it is said that one can be ensnared by all sorts of fey creatures, so strangers and more civilized folk are advised to stick to the main roads.
Within these woods is also a mysterious figure known only as "The Hierophant", who is the master of all druids in the realm. He or she seems to be old or young, male or female, human, elf, or half-elf and something else besides depending on who you ask. All agree however that he (she?) is a figure of terrifying power.
Castle Eastwatch: First constructed by the exiled Silvercrown family two hundred years ago, it existed for most of its history as nothing more than a stockade. There was talk of building up the castle, and indeed stone walls and turrets were built, but there was no serious efforts at constructing an impregnable fortress. No castle, no matter how impressive, would ever stop a 200 foot long dragon. Now it serves as the seat of power for Governor Silvercrown, as it existed as the military headquarters for his Solamnic ancestors.
Welmet (Large city, 10,000): Named by the Solamnics in gratitude for their hospitable welcome by the Ergothian inhabitants centuries ago, this place thrived as Solamnic craftsmen found markets in Sancrist, Gwynned, and Daltigoth. When the Solamnics were driven out by the Dark Knights under Khellendros, many merchants found a new home here, including the father of Gerard uth Mondar. A man intensely loyal to the knighthood, he kept it alive by liberally spending his wealth during the darkest days of the order during the 5th age. He has grown bitter with the "traitors" of the Knighthood who now control the realm, and there are whispers that he now plots the overthrow of the Silvercrown dynasty.
The history of the Kagonesti people can be traced back to a split between the elves who wished to follow Silvanos in founding a settled elven kingdom, and those who wished to retain their heritage as nomads and hunters in union with the world. Thus, the elven nation was sundered for the first time, with the elven race was split into two nations. The followers of Silvanos eventually founded the nation of Silvanesti in the east of Krynn, while the followers of Kaganos continued wandering the world.
As the humans grew and developed kingdoms, cities and empires, the nomadic Kagonesti were pushed into isolated pockets of forest. A great blow to the Kagonesti came when the Qualinesti woods were settled by the followers of Kith-Kanan and the Kagonesti elves that lived there were absorbed by their more civilized brethren. The Kagonesti seemed doomed to be swept away by forces of the civilized world, when ironically humans allowed them to cement their traditions. To the west of Daltigoth, on the other side of the Lastgaard Mountains, the last remaining population of Kagonesti of any significance remained. An influx of humans into that forest, who were followers of ancient druidic rites, also sought to escape the advance of civilization, particularly the Ergothian Empire. As a result, the elves intermarried with the druids and learned their lore, which is why even the most elven of Kagonesti stock have dark brown skin and lack the almond eyes of their pale Silvanesti and Qualinesti brothers. The Ergothians, fearful of the wild nature and eerie fey powers of the druids and the elves, never made a meaningful effort to make the southern forests part of their empire.
When the cataclysm struck, the mountains of Ergoth shifted, and the great forest in the south of Ergoth was split in two. In the north, the human nature of the forest inhabitants was dominant, with humans and half-elves making up the majority of the inhabitants. In the south, in the forests around Harkun Bay the elven Kagonesti of purer blood lived and hunted. In the centuries after the cataclysm, the cultures drifted apart.
The Solamnic character of the realm of came about because of the persecution of the Knights of Solamnia in their own lands, spurred on by the political group known as The Sunrise Party. As such, the knights and their sympathizers came and settled, building new farms and estates in Abanasinia, Sancrist, and in what was dubbed by the Knights as Forestholm. The original inhabitants gave the knights refuge, and the knights in turn fascinated them. The native inhabitants were torn between the old promises of civilization that the knights offered, such as reliable food sources, and the power gained by metal weapons vs. the ancient wisdom and mysticism of their druidic leaders. However, assimilation occurred almost immediately, with the natives acknowledging the knights as their new lords in exchange for knowledge in agriculture and war. The druids, in disgust withdrew to the deepest sections of the remaining forests. The knights, wishing to keep an eye on the ogre-ruled city of Daltigoth established a keep that they dubbed Castle Eastwatch.
The druids remained a source of reverence however, and the druids regained much of their power and found new roles for themselves using their power over nature to assist in the raising of crops and animals. In time, the Solamnic nobles gradually intermarried with the Ergothian natives, and the druids quickly regained their positions of respect as advisors and spiritual leaders. The turning point in the relations with the nobles and the druids came during the War of the Lance, when many of the lords left with their men at arms to fight in the Vingaard campaign to reclaim the Solamnic plains from the blue dragonarmies. By that time the Solamnic nobles were so assimilated that the druids were entrusted with keeping order and provide leadership in the realm. Since that time, most lords have had a druid acting as an advisor to his court. This merging of Solamnic steel and druidic magic enabled Forestholm to fare better than most against the daemon warriors during the destruction of the Chaos War.
With the coming of the dragon overlords, two had a considerable influence on the realm. While Gelledus the White brought unnatural cold to ogre ruled Daltigoth to east, and Khellendros the Blue and his dark knight minions drove the Solamnics off their lands in northern Solamnia. In both places, the dragons devoured the essence of the metallic and chromatic dragons that stood against them, and from both places, refugees came to Forestholm. Few Ergothians from Daltigoth survived the trek over the mountains however, as the glaciers that gripped the mountain passes buried many, and the lesser dragons who followed Gelledus devoured most of the rest. The Solamnics had better luck, finding their way to Forestholm, Sancrist or Northern Ergoth by sea. The effect of these knights from the homeland was quite a culture shock to the assimilated Solamnic knights of Forestholm. Some nobles began to emulate the Solamnic nobles and their devotion to the measure and the ceremony and pomp of the order's traditions. Most however (especially those with elven blood) found the customs of their ancestors to be a largely alien and uncomfortable experience.
When the majority of the Solamnic knights left to reclaim the homeland after the death of Khellendros the Blue and the subsequent glorious but disastrous campaign of the Dark Knights under Mina, Forestholm was at a crossroads. It was clear that the Solamnic knighthood would be primarily concerned with the Solamnic homeland and defending it against attack while they rebuilt their strength, and could not afford to continue spreading its forces thin to defend all the free realms of the world. The lords of Forestholm were on their own in case the white dragons of the mountains or the ogres of Daltigoth decided to invade their realm. Vari Silvercrown returned from serving in the Solamnic guard in the Emperor's court to reclaim his position as lord of Castle Eastwatch on the death of his grandmother. He also came from an offer from the Empire to place Forestholm under its protection in exchange for fealty to the Emperor.
The lords of Forestholm had the experiences of alienation from the culture of the knighthood fresh in their mind, so after consulting with the druids, agreed to the measure. The all resigned their commissions, and sent letters asking for release from their oaths to the knighthood to the Grand Master in Sancrist. They then gathered to greet the Emperor Mercadior Redic VI at Castle Eastwatch, and swore fealty to the empire. The Grand Master of the Solamnic Knights was said to be furious, but as he knew that he could not enforce his will over the situation. He thus sent a letter to the Emperor renouncing all claims to the region in gratitude for the aid offered to the Solamnic knights during the exile imposed by Khellendros in order to save face. He, however, insisted that the site of Foghaven Vale was Solamnic soil as it was the location of the Tomb of Huma, the memorial for the Solamnic Knighthood's greatest hero. He also asked for a treaty ensuring that free access to Solamnic pilgrims would be granted to and from the shrine as well. This was granted, and though things have remained peaceful, relations between the knights and the emperor have grown considerably colder.
Plots and Rumours
Broken Oaths: Fights have been known to break out between pilgrims of the Solamnic knighthood and their former comrades who are now Forestholm yeomen. Feelings are bitter on both sides, with the knights seeing the yeoman as traitors, while the yeoman feel that the Solamnic knighthood has abandoned them to look after the interests of Solamnia alone. Duels of honour are being demanded daily, and there are plots brewing to undermine the sovereignty of the new state.
Prince Charming: Rumors abound of a love affair between the young governor Vari Silvercrown and the Emperor's daughter and heir to the throne. There is much opposition to this match from both nations however. The Solamnic loyalists will do everything they can to keep the ties between Forestholm and Ergoth from getting even closer. The old senatorial families of Ergoth also want to prevent this occurrence, for they are loath to lose their opportunities of matching their own sons to a relation of the imperial throne.
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