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Nara Pentare

General Information 

Nara Pentare is a northern nation on the continent of Faedrun, enclosed by mountains on all sides, cut off from the outside world. The interior landscape of Nara Pentare is picturesque, and consequently is featured in beautiful artwork produced by its people.

As a result of their isolation by these mountains, Nara Pentare has evolved a culture of complete self-sufficiency and arrogance. They believe that the Naran people, and all they create, are the closest things to perfection that exist in the world, and they do not hesitate to behave as such toward outsiders. Outsiders, called rōwajin, have never been welcomed in Nara Pentare. The only recorded instance of a rōwajin being allowed in, he supposedly flew away on the back of a phoenix, to be destroyed and reborn. This legend has evolved the Naran view of outsiders into such that they view them as children, unready to learn or understand the world. The only outsiders they have any relationship with are the Syndar, who possess extremely limited trade agreements with them.

The Society and People 

“Though the flame be put out, the wick remains.”

Nara Pentare society is extremely rigid, and adheres to a strict caste system. All know their place and act accordingly. Tradition also takes an extremely important role, and the Naran people are taught it from a very young age. Their tradition and pride as a people, however, pales in comparison to their reverence for honor. To a Naran, from the lowest farm worker to the Emperor himself, honor is everything. Anything remotely seen as challenging their honor is generally met with a duel. If the severity of the insult is small, it may be only to first blood, but in major cases, it is a duel to the death. Naran culture decrees that it is better to die than be dishonored. Consequently, Naran punishment for crimes would often be seen as severe in other regions. Death is not an uncommon sentence for even relatively minor crimes.

Narans are polite, but only to other Narans. They view outsiders as inferior, and while they tend to possess the tact to not be outright disrespectful, their arrogance can rarely be contained and outsider opinions are rarely given the attention a Naran opinion receives.

Narans are governed by an Emperor who is regarded throughout their society as a divine being. All Emperors, it is believed, are reincarnations of the first Emperor. To govern the land, Houses exist, ruling a province and upholding the Emperor’s will and authority.

According to the histories of the Naran people, Nara Pentare was not always one Empire. Originally, hundreds of years ago, there were five: the Empires of Fire, Water, Air, Wood, and Metal. All of them existed within the land now called Nara Pentare, and all shared a very similar culture. However, they were constantly at war, all the Empires attempting to gain more honor and destroy their rivals. As such, this era is simply known as “Strife”, translated as “Araton”. There was one other thing shared between all the Empires as well: an ancient prophecy, passed down for as long as anyone could remember. It spoke of a man who would end war, and create an Empire of perfection within the mountains. After so many years, the legend was largely ignored, so it was a great shock to the Empires when it began to be fulfilled. A man came forth from the Empire of Metal, a great general, undefeated in battle. He used his skill to conquer the Empires of Water and Fire, which led the others to resist further. He then conquered the rest, and the land was unified as the prophecy had stated. This man became the first Naran Emperor, and established the idea of his divinity, using the prophecy as a base. He did not, however, eliminate the other Empires or their culture, as he knew that to create a truly long-lasting and perfect Naran Empire, he would have to include them and their perspectives. When the Capital of Nara Pentare was built, it was with this in mind. It was constructed in a rough wheel, with divisions within for the Elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Wood. Where the spoke would be lived those of Metal. Over time, this attitude evolved into the divisions seen today, and into the caste system used throughout the Empire.

The System

The Naran caste system is organized in two ways. The first is an affiliation system, using the Elements, Fire, Water, Air, Wood, and Metal. This system is the main base of a majority of Naran culture. The caste of a Naran is determined by birth, with their elemental affiliation determining their field and their skill, experience, and heritage determining their rank.

The Elements


Those affiliated with the Element of Fire wear primarily red and black, and are very passionate, more so than other Narans. Many from this region are looked down upon by other Narans due to the wide range of emotions they openly display. They are considered by other Narans to be the least civilized of the elements, though still far above any outsiders. They are known for their ability to destroy and create, as is demonstrated by both their mastery of arcane magic and their unique and beautiful art style.


Those affiliated with the Element of Water wear mostly blue and white. They are sailors and fishermen, doctors, alchemists, priests and priestesses, and users of divine magic. They are the most empathetic of all Narans, as well as the most adaptable. They strive to exhibit extraordinary calm in any situation.


Those aligned with the Element of Air wear mostly yellows and light browns. Often farmers and shepherds, Narans from the Air Province are also well known for their skill with horses and bows, training to take full advantage of the open plains that make up much of their region. The most populous of the regions, this Province additionally supplies, trains and maintains a great deal of the rank-and-file soldiers of the Naran empire. They also count among their populace the greatest number of musicians. They tend to be free spirits, though they hold as tightly to their ideals of tradition and honor as any true Naran.


Those aligned with the Element of Wood generally wear green and dark brown. Due to the nature of the terrain in this province, generations of experts have trained their skills as the rogues of Naran society. Also found among their number are a great deal of hunters and laborers. Their art is evident in their homes, constructing buildings that seem to be made by the land itself and feats of engineering that would earn a second glance in Fawyth. Most are quiet and introverted, and have a great eye for complex and intricate details.


Those affiliated with the Element of Metal wear greys and blacks. They are merchants and bankers. Of the Narans, those of the Metal Province display the most arrogance, even towards other Narans. Their heritage produced the First Emperor, a fact of which they are all too happy to remind anyone who asks (and some who don’t). They are usually detail oriented, as well as focused on their own personal goals.

The second system is one of seniority in one’s chosen profession, determined by the skill and experience possessed by the individual. This is expressed through the wearing of earcuffs or earrings on the right ear. One earring or cuff signifies that one is a beginner or initiate in a profession. Two signifies a journeyman or intermediate level, and three signifies mastery. Only the Emperor, and members of his Imperial Court and Family may wear four earrings.

As seniority increases, the title due to each person changes in grade. For every specialty a person can have, there is a title due to those who are masters of it. For those in the beginner or journeyman ranks, the title is created from the first half of the master title, and the number one (ūro) or the number two (ūroto). The number one is used for beginners, the number two for journeymen.

Earrings are worn on the left ear as well, however, these have a different meaning. There are always three, each bearing the color associated with the individual’s elemental affiliation. The material used to display this color is often directly tied to an individual’s affluence or that of their family: colored string is often used for lower-class individuals, while those in the middle class can often afford ribbons. Wearing chains set with appropriately colored gems, however, is a sign of significant wealth or power. The earrings are meant to symbolize the three most precious entities in the individual’s life: themselves, their family, and their spouse.

The Classes and Titles


“If a warrior is not unattached to life and death, he will be of no use whatsoever…With such non-attachment one can accomplish any feat.”

These men are the pinnacle of Naran strength and virtue. For them, their honor is something more precious than life, even more so than the rest of the Naran population. They will never surrender, but will retreat if ordered to. They are skilled with multiple weapon types, primarily the sword. It is, however, balanced with knowledge in other areas.

  • Master Title: Masurimono

  • Intermediate Title: Masūroto

  • Initiate Title: Masūro


“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” 

The Rogue has a niche in Naran society. However, it is not stealth, as one might expect. Rogues are generally hunters, scouts, or specialized bodyguards. They use mostly bows and thrown weapons, but will often pair those with short swords or axes, should the need to defend oneself arise. They fight supporting the warriors, and will at times ensure their survival in wilderness situations.

  • Master Title: Geizei

  • Intermediate Title: Geiūroto

  • Initiate Title: Geiūro


 “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Those who master the arcane have one drive behind them: knowledge. For some, their quest for knowledge can even overshadow their adherence to honor, though this often draws content and reprimand from more level-headed superiors. Among Arcanists, the more knowledge you possess, the more respected you become, and this is what motivates many of them. They are also very protective of their knowledge, and will not teach anything to anyone without ensuring that they are worthy of knowing it. Many use staffs as their physical weapons, and sometimes daggers or thrown weapons as well. They keep the secrets of Nara Pentare from outsiders, and are often highly logical and organized.

  • Master Title: Teijin

  • Intermediate Title: Teiūroto

  • Initiate Title: Teiūro 


“If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

Users of Divine magic have a drive, just as Arcane users do. Theirs, however, is the welfare and health of the Naran people. They are healers, both with and without magic, and are very empathetic toward Narans in need. Many treat all life as sacred and will even extend their empathy and services to those outside of Naran culture, though Narans will be their priority in all but the most unique of circumstances. Tasked with keeping the spirituality of the Naran people, Naran clerics work closely with their mages to preserve their culture’s history and knowledge. They also keep the peace, and are mediators of disputes when necessary. They use mostly staffs as their weapons, though any blunted weapon is not an uncommon sight.

  • Master Title: Tenmei

  • Intermediate Title: Tenūroto

  • Initiate Title: Tenūro


“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” 

Monks are greatly respected within Nara Pentare, and are very powerful, as they are trained to use both Arcane and Divine magic. They are the highest-ranking Narans aside from those in the Imperial Court. The role that a Monk takes is to direct and advise, and the Naran people have benefited from that for hundreds of years. Both their outlook and dress are simplistic. They use both schools of magic but will supplement these abilities with other skills to prove useful in many situations, both in and out of combat.

  • Master Title: Shidoshi

  • Intermediate Title: Shidūroto

  • Initiate Title: Shidūro

The Spirituality

“Just as treasures areuncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdomappears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the mazeof human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance ofvirtue.”

The religion of the Naran people is, in its ultimate form, a religion of thanksgiving. In their eyes, the Gods have given them the gift of being the superior people, and all that goes with it. To honor their Gods, Narans attempt to be the best that they can be at whatever they do, to give thanks for being superior in the doing. In the tree of spirituality that winds through Nara Pentare, there are core Gods, representing core values, creation, and concepts that the Naran people hold dear. For more specific, and so more personal veneration, there exist the Spirits, representing almost anything that can be named. Narans hold their religion in their hearts, but are not governed by it. They obey the directives of their Emperor, seen as the mouthpiece of the Gods, a God himself, and give great weight to the recommendations and predictions of their priests and clerics. However, it is ultimately the Naran people who make their own decisions about what their paths are in life.


Depending upon the Elemental affiliation of a person, they will tend to give thanks to a certain God or Gods in their offerings. These represent concepts and values that are common within people of that Element.

The Elemental Gods:

Kōjin: God of fire, smithing, war, and arcane magic.

Ryūjin: God of the sea, lakes, fishing, divine magic, and storms.

 Marici: God of wind, gusts, insight, and prosperity.

Sarutahiko: God of earth, forests, and the trees.

Shōtoku: God of trade, coin, mining, and administration.


Just as Gods represent values close to the hearts of the Elements, so too do certain spirits, which sometimes physically embody the Element itself. Aside from these, however, are great multitudes of other spirits, which, depending on one’s profession, are venerated specifically.

The Elemental Spirits:

Hitodama: Spirit which represents the souls of fallen warriors, and is common on ancient battlefields. It is said to appear as a ball of semi-translucent fire.

Yōsei: Spirit that is similar to a water fairy, is commonly seen on ships, and plays small tricks on people. It represents good luck, and appears as a dwarfish human.

 Mujina: Spirit which represents hard work, and loyalty. It is commonly seen on roads and alongside fields. It appears as either a small monkey-like figure, or a badger.

Qilin: Spirit which represents protection, benevolence, kindness, and fertility. It is uncommon, and seen around holy sites, in ancient forests, and rarely, in the households of nobles. It appears as a scaled goat with the head of a dragon.

Dragon: Spirit which represents supremacy, grace, and judgment. It is almost never seen, save high in the mountains, and appears as a long, sinuous snake-like animal with wings and primarily metallic coloring.

Current State of Affairs

Nearly a century ago, in the year 186, divination rituals performed by a small order of monks returned with a faint aura far across the sea. Without the ability to expand their territory, the Naran people sought out this aura to attempt to establish a colony. After a lengthy voyage, they came across the source of the aura they had detected: a small island out at sea, surrounded by reefs and mountains. Of the four ships who departed, however, only one managed to navigate the reefs to the shore, a small inlet revealing the crescent shape of the island itself. It is here that the survivors began a small colony, sending their last ship home in hopes of receiving more aid. More ships arrived, quickly at first, but then the flow of supplies slowed to a trickle before they stopped coming at all. The final ships bore dire news: the nation of Nara Pentare had been defeated and overrun by the undead. Almost none survived. The colony was now alone in the world. They set about rebuilding their culture, and with nothing else to cling to, they drove themselves deeper into their already extensive traditions. Here they have stayed for decades, trapped in isolation, cut off from the outside world, and they seem to prefer to keep it that way…

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On the Desert Peoples and Their Culture

Rufus Talright, Royal Scribe of Vandregon


Written before the Fall of the May’Kar Dominion
The deserts that lay to the north of the territories occupied by the May’Kar Dominion contain a great number of peoples, all ostensibly loyal to the May´Kar theocracy and pledged to the open arts of the land. While these peoples vary in number and population, of particular interest are the Kae-rim nomads, known amongst themselves as “The People of the Four Gods”. Within this codex, I will attempt to record my experiences traveling with them in order to report back to the Court as to the role they play in May’Kar, along with their suitability for eventual conscription into Vandregon military due to their extensive knowledge of the deserts that cover much of May’Kar.
To begin, an important distinction must be made; while the people of May’Kar consider the Kae-rim to be a part of their nation, they consider themselves outsiders in the land, pointing out that they rarely enter the cities excepting trade purposes. Rather, they are entirely nomadic, always traveling according to a complicated system of religious tradition, survival techniques, and other elements I was unable to understand fully. While they pay tax to the May’Kar, it seems to be with great reluctance, and their full numbers are somewhat unknown. When pressed for the information, they will merely state that there are “enough to wander freely”, showing the reluctance they seem to have for giving exact information to outsiders.
My guide and companion was an older man, known as Khalan am-Redha cul-Nulpum ór-Bhalan Neftis, who served as an informal trader and liaison between the nomadic tribes and the more civilized peoples of May’Kar. His name serves as an excellent introduction to the first element of the culture which needs to be explained; their naming traditions and the use in identifying the peoples.

The first name, Khalan, is his given name, used in casual conversation. All the other names have particular meanings; when first meeting a Kae-rim, they will give their entire name and expect you to do the same, conveying all of the information needed to understand where they have come from. The second name, explained to me as a “path name” refers to the job he holds in their society; as near as I can determine, “Redha” means ‘merchant’ or ‘tradesman’. There are various prefixes with numerous shades of meaning; the “am” prefix indicates that he is experienced in this craft, and is frequently relied on by the tribes he works with to travel into the cities and act as a sort of cultural interpreter.
The next name can be considered one of the most important; it indicates the particular tribe and caste to which he belongs. Their religion, while quite complex and seemingly nonsensical at points, refers to four gods who are simultaneously the world, the creators of the world, great heroes, and the founders of the four main ‘clans’ which make up these peoples. While a full discussion of their religion would be impractical here, a reader must be familiar with the idea that he is from a tribe dedicated to or personally worships the god Al-Nulpun, identified with the element of air. The prefix ‘cul’ indicates that he is not a priest nor particularly observant in his worship, although he showed no difficulty in cursing frequently while journeying with me. Mixed-descent or mixed-worship is fairly common; Kae-rim will often have up to four names here, with the order varying according to some schema I was unable to fully grasp.
The final two names are fairly simple; the first, ór-Bhalan, indicates the particular tribe he associates with, and the second, Neftis, is the name of his father. It is also telling that he was never married (or as close as these odd peoples get to marriage); were that the case, he would have a second name following his paternal name. Lineage is traced along gender lines; the males have their father’s name, and the women their mother’s. In the case of bastards, then they simply end the name one step early or give “Altena”, which seems to mean “unknown”.
This name is only his given name, used during introductions and in minor matters. His full name, as far as I can gather, consists of his entire ancestry, alongside several notable deeds and other nicknames that he has picked up in his life. It would be laborious to record the entirety of it, as it is rare that an outsider such as myself is able to hear their entire name. Suffice to say, they consider names to be an important part of a person’s identity and history, and for one raised in the culture, hearing the full name of a person would allow them to know every important detail of their life.

My guide was quite friendly in explaining most of the aspects of their culture, seemingly enjoying my confusion at what (to him) were absolutely basic concepts of family and life. I originally met him in the city of Saresh, whose beauty is striking even to one who does not follow their particular faith. He had heard that I was looking for a guide among these nomads, and offered his services in exchange for nothing more than stories, which I gave him in ready supply.
I was quite lucky in finding him; not one in twenty Kae-rim speak the trade tongue, preferring to use their native language due to their lack of contact with many outsiders. He acted as an interpreter for me throughout my travels, and seemed to enjoy my bafflement at the layers of protocol demanded whenever we met with a new tribe, crossed certain borders, or passed some landmark which was visible only to these people.
The similarities of the Kae-rim and the people of May’Kar are striking; both exist in desert cultures, both follow a religion that places aesthetics first, and both are a fairly non-violent people with a deep religious background. However, the Kae-rim seem to find the May’Kar tendency to build cities and act as trade centers as somewhat amusing; I was assured by Khalan that the muttering and laughter I heard many times at their camps was not directed at me, but rather at the tendency of people like me to build cities in the desert when it was clear that they were destined to wander. Overall, this strikes me as evidence of a more primitive people; after all, why would they choose to wander when the oases were perfect for the building of cities and the unity of their people?
As I have mentioned, their religion is quite complex and adhered to with various degrees of success by the members of these tribes. Of particular interest is their priesthood; rather than being an individual, the priest is composed of a pair, both dedicated to two of their four gods and forming a complete ‘circle’, if you will. This bonding seems to act as an odd form of marriage without gender discrimination; the first tribe I met with was ruled over by a pair of stern men with long, graying beards, the next by a young couple that reminded me of a pair of newly-wed farmers. They act as a pair in all things, and seem to believe that unity is the most important aspect of worshiping their gods.
While Khalan was open with their history on many levels, he studiously avoided any mention of the period between the origin of these tribes and their now somewhat-unified state. When pressed, he would mention that these were ‘broken times’ and speak no further. It is my opinion that, at one point, they warred with one another, leading to a great deal of bloodshed and the reduction of a much larger group of people into the small, scattered tribes. It is also possible that some elements of the May’Kar culture come from the remnants of these tribes; as mentioned before, the similarities are striking, and I would not be surprised to hear that they come from some common origin in the past.

They have a number of odd prohibitions and are a highly superstitious people; an hour does not go by without at least one prayer and any number of curses, cryptic mutterings, or odd hand signs. They appear to be frightened, or at least suspicious, of any number of demons and other spirits that they claim haunt the deserts and must be appeased through offerings. Incense is commonly burned to ward off spirits, and it is rare for any group to make camp without selecting some particular incense or scent according to a pattern I was unable to grasp.
The foremost of their laws, however, is an absolute prohibition against violence against a living creature in any form. No meat was offered to me while traveling with them, and they seemed to find the idea absolutely abhorrent when I questioned why. Khalan explained to me that, in one of their holy books (of which there are apparently four), it was explained that all living things are sacred, and so the flesh of animals cannot be eaten, for it requires violence, which by its nature destroys unity. The explanation seemed somewhat lacking, so I assume that it ties back into the portion of their history they refused to talk about.
This non-violence is apparent in their dealings with the people of May’Kar and the occasional contact they have with Vandregon; they simply refuse to fight. If they notice an armed force approaching, they simply leave according to the star maps and routes that are an essential part of their lives. If they are captured, they put up no fight and allow themselves to be tied up, surrendering all weapons and greeting their captors with what seems like absolute hospitality. On one occasion, the tribe I was traveling with was ambushed by a group of brigands; they simply handed over all the coin the bandits were able to locate and continued on, confident that their gods will provide. It is quite odd, and seems an impossible way to survive.
You may have noticed that I mentioned these people keep weapons; for a non-violent people, this is quite odd. However, their religion has another tenant; the undead are anathema to them, and they will travel far out of their way to exterminate them with a zeal that is almost frightening. They eschew armor when fighting, and it is quite a sight to watch the warriors of a tribe (usually in worship of their goddess of Fire) attack any undead that they come across. I am uncertain how this belief arose, but I will detail their usefulness in the war effort in a moment.

Their wanderings, seemingly random, often bring them into contact with the undead, and a week seldom passes without two or three skirmishes. While the May’Kar forces that serve with us assist greatly in dealing with the undead thread, these nomads might prove a valuable resource, should they be persuaded to join. So far, they have scrupulously avoided joining the armies of May’Kar, claiming that the tax they pay is enough for their freedom. I have my suspicions as to their loyalty, and in the event that the Court decides the conquest of May’Kar is possible, hiring these people as guides would serve us well.
For weapons, they favor simple slings, small knives, and the occasional curved sword. It is clear that weapons are chosen more for their utility and ease of travel than for their power, and they are clearly a people who are not used to waging full-scale war. Most conflicts seem to center around single duels, where a warrior will approach and swiftly deal with a single undead foe. They frequently practice these skills in mock combat with one another, and are excellent shots with the sling. I do not know whether they make their weapons or trade for them; I would wager on the latter, as they showed me no evidence of any permanent settlements. For this reason, they would make poor conscripts in the war, due to their lack of training in appropriate formations and absolute prohibition against violence.
Their language is not especially complex, and I was able to understand several basic concepts by the time my travels had finished. Khalan proved an excellent teacher, willing to put up with my mistakes and frequently laughing heartily when I said something foolish. It is highly inflected, with words changing meaning depending on what word it follows. Some concepts, however, are somewhat simple; here is their method of counting;

Ai – 1
Aim – 2
Baht – 3
Bhora – 4
Klim – 5
Sen – 6

Fa – 7
Far – 8
Vhu – 9
Ai-teem – 10
Ai-teem-ai – 11
Aim-teem – 20
Aim-teem-ai – 21 . . . and so forth.

I have begun to compile a dictionary of simple phrases, useful for the most basic of communication with these peoples, and am hoping to put it to paper before my death. Their writing system (odd, given that they are nomadic) is as complicated as their language, with the importance of the text being given by the color of the ink it is written in along with the type of quill used. Khalan, when writing out the contract by which I was to retain him, utilized a feather of some strange bird; it was nearly two feet in length, and he wrote it in golden ink. This, he assured me, was to allow those who read the texts later in life to understand that it was a binding agreement between two men of great status; I believed that he was merely attempting to impress me. Their ink coding seems to be as follows;
Black: Routine writings necessary for trade, simple letters
Blue: Stories, poems, tales

Red: Warnings, important calls to other tribes, recipes
Gold: Binding contracts, marriage, important rituals

When I asked what ink their holy texts (which I was never allowed to actually see) were written in, Khalan quickly changed the subject. He seemed reticent to discuss the texts, which apparently contain some element of prophecy from their gods and are considered to be the most important of writing. His hesitance for the discussion of the texts themselves was especially odd considering the number of quotations he (and other tribe members) would take from it; I cannot recall a conversation that did not involve at least one quotation from their holy books.
I have mentioned their hospitality before; of particular note are their beverages, which are quite fine. They have an interesting variant of bean-brew, which they refer to as “Khoefi” and treat as absolutely sacred. Indeed, the preparation is always overseen by a priest-pair, who usually perform the ritual with great solemnity, muttering prayers at each step. The beans are first ground into an incredibly fine powder in an implement similar to a mortar and pestle. Then, they are placed in a peculiarly-shaped copper vessel, along with several spices which I was told were “necessary”. Then, while muttering prayers, the khoefi is headed in such a way as to develop an oddly foamy texture on the top. It is then given to the drinker with the grounds still in it; after drinking, they are expected to pour the grounds out and interpret a fortune from it.
This beverage is universally offered to anyone they meet while roaming the deserts, and while they will accept payment, it is never expected. They also brew a number of warm beverages from the harvested leaves of plants, and have a strangely descriptive vocabulary regarding the varieties. I myself tried over twelve different strains of this ‘thé’ and could hardly tell the difference, but they ascribed much medical benefit to it.
As mentioned previously, they eschew the consumption of any meat products, which is odd for a desert culture. Instead, they subside on a variety of foraged plant materials, along with grains and dried beans which they carry with them. Their cuisine is surprisingly flavorful despite the lack of meat; dishes are heavily spiced (likely to avoid excess monotony), and frequently consist of the rice-grain, topped with whatever vegetables or fruits they have available. They occasionally bake bread, usually after trading for some grain in a permanent settlement.

Children and the appointed representative are the only ones who tend to enter towns or permanent settlements; I cannot say if this is a general religious prohibition, or an aspect of their cultural nomadism that presents itself in a fear of ‘settled’ places. Khalan was not helpful here; he merely said that “these cities are not our cities” and spoke no further. It is entirely possible that there are permanent settlements of these nomads, in deliberately harsh environs as to keep them safe from invaders, but I was never taken to any, and great care was taken to avoid bringing it up around me.
For trade, they generally used Vandregon silver, but preferred barter. Of particular note is their pottery; this is apparently a major art for them, and it is ascribed certain ritualistic elements with regards to the sculpting, drying, and firing. They only make pottery at certain times which are reckoned by the stars, and an entire tribe will stop for nearly a week to complete this work. Other handwork of note consists of beaded garments, small pieces of portable jewelry, and cloth. They do not work stone, at least while wandering.
Oddly enough, they keep pack animals while traveling, although they refuse to eat the meat from even a creature which died of natural causes. Horses, camels, sheep, and goats are common; one tribe I encountered seemed focused on the art of herding goats, and was likely the source of much of the garments of these people. Should an animal die, there are a large number of death preparations; firstly, they place the animal on a high bluff or cliff directly catching the rays of the sun. Incense is burned, prayers are spoken, and the beast is marked with certain signs and symbols, likely to ward off the demons that these people fear so greatly. Later, when only bones remain, they will mark the bones with certain signs and bury them within the sand; I had the opportunity to witness this several times while traveling with them, and was impressed that they would spend so much time caring for what amounted to a pack beast.
Dogs are sacred to these people; again, odd considering their lack of eating meat. They use them to assist in herding, as watch animals, and simply for companionship. Certain elements of their religion seem to indicate that they identify these animals with their gods, adding to my confusion regarding their worship. All of these dogs are trained to hunt for themselves, and frequently wander off during the twilight hours, catching rabbits and other vermin in the desert. This does not seem to bother the Kae-Rim; Khalan explained that “animals have their instincts, while the people have their beliefs”. Any animals which were caught were brought back to camp, where they were given the same burial rites as any other animal. Quite a curious sight.

The hierarchy of these tribes is a confusing subject; I was unable to grasp it at any point. Apparently, each person is born under a certain star sign (of which there are hundreds), and an innumerable number of events is used to determine the leadership of a certain tribe. Exchanges of power are bloodless, arbitrary, and nonsensical to an outsider; apparently, signs in the stars dictate who should lead. I can honestly say that there are no permanent leaders aside from their gods, and that the idea that they would follow a king is completely foreign to them. This may explain their reticence to be considered a part of the May’Kar Dominion; they are unable to recognize a leader who has not been suggested by the stars.
Their navigation and wanderings, as mentioned before, are based entirely off of the stars and certain portents in the desert. It is a bizarre system, but it works quite well for those who understand it. Khalan attempted to explain it to me, but it seeming consisted of a mix of prophecy (again from one of their unseen holy books), star navigation (based off of innumerable maps painted upon cloth and only readable by someone trained in doing so – believe me, I tried quite hard), environmental signs, objects they encountered, and the current needs of the tribe.
Of particular interest to the Court would be their ability to locate water and food in the desert; I cannot begin to explain how foolish they made the armies of Vandregon look when they wandered, apparently aimlessly and without direction, into hidden oasis after hidden oasis, stockpiles of dried grains and spices, and other useful resources in the apparently trackless desert. This is entirely normal to them; it seems impossible that a desert culture would be able to do this, but Khalan explained to me that “the providence of the desert was there for those who listened,” making it seem like another aspect of their religion.
I will now attempt to explain their religion in as much detail as I was able to piece together. I must admit that it seems nonsensical; at times, I believed Khalan to be making up stories in order to fool me, and deliberately deceiving me to prevent me from understanding their beliefs. Nevertheless, here are the details I was able to gather.
As their name for themselves expresses, they worship four gods, associated with the classical elements. There is an order to these elements; Ul-Weithe is the goddess of the earth and the first, Al-Khara is the god of water and the second, Al-Nulpun is the god of the air and the third, and Ul-Brana is the goddess of fire and the fourth. These gods are presented as the forces themselves that founded the world; they often referred to the ground itself as Ul-Weithe, and spoke reverentially to their fires as though it was their goddess Ul-Brana. They are both considered to be ‘married pairs’ – Ul-Weithe to Al-Khara and Al-Nulpun to Ul-Brana.
This interpretation notwithstanding, they also refer to them as specific personages, the founders of their tribes. There are any number of stories about how the kindness of Ul-Weithe helped her children through difficult times, and how Al-Nulpun wandered about, telling stories to children and remembering all that is said. They seem to be legendary heroes in that right; many great deeds are ascribed to them, and any unusual formation in the desert is described in terms of the deeds of one or more of these gods.

At this point, I can say that I have a theory; they originally existed as a desert people who worshiped a great number of gods, fighting each other. Each of these figures was a major hero in the legend of their past, and their deeds were eventually mingled with those of the previous gods (possibly shamanistic elemental worship, common in primitive groups). These heroes were the uniting forces behind these tribes; those who settled down eventually became the precursors to the May’Kar, and those who wandered continued muddling their legends until they reached their current state. It would explain the similarities between their culture and that of the May’Kar, their abhorrence of violence, and the sheer amount of ritual necessary for everyday life.
Their ‘holy books’ are likely nothing more than a complex oral tradition; while they can write, they likely prefer to continue telling their stories and allowing their legends to evolve. I would not be surprised if my visit was eventually elevated into a legend relating to Khalan; he certainly learned a great number of stories from me.

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Undead & Penitent

“We still do not know how the undead came to be on Faedrun. But our lands are at war. Our armies meet them with steel and our order fights them with faith. Our gods are with us and we must not fail.”
Arynn Freysa – Human Cleric

The Undead are not playable for standard players.

Background Info – Undead
The Undead have been around for a long time on Faedrun. Previously, the undead were the mindless shells of former life and plagued tombs and graveyards. They were still tough and strong, but isolated they would be dealt with quickly.

It wasn’t until recently that the undead began to spread and become a major problem. Smaller villages were attacked by larger numbers of undead and the militia or even the army would need to be called in to assist. This was still downplayed as isolated events but the truth was that the undead presence was growing stronger. The rise of the penitent truly marked the beginning of the undead plague, although nobody really knows when this was. The penitent and undead numbers grew in secret for quite some time.

Now, the undead plague rampages across Faedrun and every kingdom is involved, both human and Syndar. The King of Vandregon vowed to put an end to the undead menace and has mobilized troops to move against them but he has also sent word to other kingdoms and asked for their aid.

In the known history to the Ulven, the undead have never been known to them. Ulven burn their dead and this apparently plays a major factor in stopping their reanimation. However, the recent appearance of a lich that rampaged across Mardrun and turned both ulven and mordok into zombies was a shock to the ulven people. The truth of the undead existence may also give some truth to the scary stories of demons or monsters that hide in the dark corners of ulven lore…

The undead are composed of a number of lower power beings called zombies, and then they progressively get more powerful. Dark energy imbues a corpse as a vessel and when this energy grows, so to does the power of the undead. A malicious intelligence seems to grow with this power and appears to corrupt the features of the person the vessel used to be. To destroy the undead is to destroy this energy, for it is what holds the undead together.


  • Undead are made up of almost exclusively intelligent beings (no animals). There have been reports of the trusted mounts and steeds of knights being transformed, but it is very rare.
  • They are corpses reanimated with dark energy/magic; the corpses act as vessels. This means that the actual physical structure of the corpse is not as relevant as it would be to living creatures.
  • There are no apparent “weak spots” in the undead. Hitting them in the leg and hitting them in the head seem to do about the same thing. Each attack on the undead seems to weaken the dark energy that animates them until the physical body eventually falls apart because the energy is no longer strong enough to manifest in the corpse/vessel.
  • Divine energy/magic has a profound effect on the undead and is the single most powerful weapon against them. Normal weapons seem to do little, but repeated blows can take the undead down.
  • Undead taken to the ground will eventually recover their dark magic over time and rise again. The only way to truly destroy them is with a blessed weapon or divine magic or to force them to recover so many times that they simply run out of dark magical energy. Some of the stronger beings seem to have a nearly infinite amount of this energy as long as they have time to recharge. It is suspected that the undead pull mana from the surrounding mana stream in order to fuel this energy, but there is a severe lack of proven evidence.
  • The “lesser undead” come in the form of zombies; they are slow and shambling and not very intelligent. They move directly towards victims and either claw or bite them to death or hack at them with weapons. They seem to move slower and retain only a basic understanding of weapons and how to use them.
  • The more powerful the dark magic of an undead, the smarter the undead becomes. These intelligent undead are harder to kill and have a higher mental capacity. They are called ghouls, or “medium undead”, and normally wear armor and use better weapons and tactics, but look very similar to zombies. They are usually the body guards of more powerful undead or seem to be evolving into a singular purpose, such as a ghoul whose body is bloated with carrion and disease to help spread the plague.
  • The most intelligent undead have auras of magic so strong that it allows them to tap into a dark magic that is very powerful. They can cast spells and imbue normal bone to a level stronger than steel. These undead are also capable of channeling dark energy into the shattered bodies of fallen undead and bring them back. These undead are called “greater undead” and examples are Liches and Revenants. These are the only undead that have been seen to talk and make use of words.
  • In the presence of greater undead, zombies and ghouls seem to become stronger and more intelligent. They will fight better and be tougher to take down and are capable of following detailed orders.



Background Info – Penitent
The penitent are a group of humans and Syndar that were created during the beginning of the major spread of the undead plague. The penitent believe that the world has been judged by divine powers and that the undead plague has arrived to purge the land of the living. In an effort to save them from damnation, they have taken up arms against the human and Syndar kingdoms and are willing to give their lives to repent and gain favor amongst their divine gods. To symbolize this, the penitent paint black streaks of tears down their face to represent their souls crying out the sins of the world.

In the beginning, peasants are the primary members of the penitent. The spread of this belief was slow at first, but quickly gained momentum when the dead began to rise from their graves. Preachers for the Penitent called out to locals, going into towns and calling out to people to repent. Most peasants would ignore them entirely or even drive them from their villages, but the appearance of the undead with the preachers quickly changed this. The undead began to ravage the citizens and kill those in their path, but would not harm the preachers or those that swore loyalty to the penitent cause. When people who stoically defended their divine faiths were tore down and shredded and people who pledged allegiance to the penitent were spared, the numbers of the penitent grew fast. Their numbers exploded when those same mauled victims began to rise again as the undead. Over time, larger villages and even some lesser nobles have joined the ranks of the penitent; when a horde of peasants and undead appear at a noble’s estate, it is usually enough convincing to have the noble join the cause.

These preachers are the ring leaders and recruiters of the penitent and can be seen coming to different villages and trying to round up the locals, the farmers, and even travelers and preach the word of the penitent to them.

To date, there have been no reports of penitent on Mardrun. It is unlikely that a penitent could stow away in a ship for any length of time and remain hidden before being found and cast overboard. However, there is still some worry about the possibility of penitent, or some form of their beliefs, surviving to make it to Mardrun. There were so many boats that were “lost at sea”, who knows if one of them may have been filled with penitent believers and are hiding to this day…

The penitent are completely convinced that they must help to purge the world of the living or else they will be damned for eternity, and once the penitent faith has overcome someone they are almost impossible to reason with or bring back. They are religiously fanatical and willing to die at a moment’s notice in order to repent. However, they are not imbued with any sort of magic that makes them stronger; they cut and bleed and die just like normal people. It is their religious fanaticism and the quickly spreading faith of the penitent that make them so dangerous.

However, they are just like normal people and can act normal and get close to towns as well. They are still intelligent and tactical; they have not become stupid. However, being in the vicinity of a penitent for a long period of time usually gives way to clues to their true nature, for they find it impossible to completely suppress talking about repenting the land and they see non-penitent in a far inferior light. They act as if they are stupid and foolish for not seeing the truth.

The penitent completely believe that if they have joined the cause of the purge of the land and the undead are a tool of their divine power’s judgement, but eye witnesses have noticed that the undead behave somewhat randomly in regards to the penitent. Sometimes the undead move about and kill anything in their path and sometimes the undead work with the penitent and perform actions to fuel their preaching. There have definitely been reports of the undead functioning very well and coordinated, almost as if there was a malicious intelligence driving them.


  • They believe that the undead plague is a cleansing judgement of their gods and that if they help the plague and repent for their sins, they will be forgiven.
  • They will first try to convert people over to the penitent. First, people are shown the way and then they are forced, either by watching people be eaten by undead or by being tortured until they believe their ideals… or both. Sometimes this can be a lengthy process. If someone refuses to join the penitent, then they are killed, often used as an example towards other people they are trying to convert into followers.
  • Once a person believes in the cause of the penitent, it is almost impossible to turn back or pretend not to believe anymore. Their very core has been shaken so much that they are unable to be reasoned with. Even Divine magic appears unable to undo the damage. They are not magically controlled or under the influence of a spell. It is believed that magic is used to break down the mental barriers of the people they are trying to convert, but once they believe, the very core of their being has been completely converted.
  • They are human or Syndar and are predominantly human due to the size of the human kingdoms.  Penitent are living; they are not lesser forms of undead. No single type of religious belief seems to create more members than another.
  • They are able to blend in with the peasants and normal people, but doing so is rare. They often talk about repenting sins and treat others as inferior, almost instinctively. Penitent often paint tears of black on their faces, especially before battle or killing, and is an obvious mark that they are penitent. After Vandregon rangers and elite soldiers would infiltrate the penitent ranks and assassinate important penitent leaders, the penitent started burning or tattooing this mark on their followers to make it permanent.
  • Peasants make up the majority of the penitent, but anyone could be swayed to their cause. In the beginning only peasants, farmers, and preachers were penitent but some mercenary groups and even a nobles have been known to join their cause.
  • The “living cunning and tactics” of the penitent combined with the “non-living endurance and persistence” of the undead has created a combined-arms army that has been shockingly effective against the Grand Alliance on Faedrun. When an undead force is too slow, the penitent can make up for it with speed. When a penitent force needs to rest, the undead can continue indefinitely. This combination has made for a very effective army, one that continues to grow with every victory or defeat.


It’s been 3 years since the Undead first arrived on Faedrun. Three long years characterized by blood, by death and destruction—and by salvation. I didn’t see my first Undead until months after they had appeared. I was 18, barely a man, when it happened. I was running home, late, my mother staying up sick and worried about me. My mother. She was a greedy old hag. We were farmers, yes, but we weren’t the poorest farmers in our small town. There were others much poorer than us, but did Mother care? No. She hoarded what little silver, what little food we had and flaunted our few good fortunes in the others’ faces. But never around Reverand Michaelsson. Never around the unnamable master of this place, the few times had he ventured from his home. I snarled as I ran, thinking of her hypocrisy. Nearing my home, I schooled my features into an expression of docile obedience. But it was pointless. I arrived to see fires burning in the fields, my small home stood with its wooden door off its hinges, a smear of blood, a handprint, on its frame. Hardly daring to breath, I stepped in the door, blinking in the darkness. I thought I could spy a huddled shape on the floor, no, two—my parents? Before something launched itself at me, propelling us both into the cool night. A woman sat on my chest, holding a blade to my throat. “Will you serve the Undead with us? They offer us retribution. They offer us salvation,” she hissed, “serve them or die and spend eternity in damnation!” My throat clenched, but I forced the words out, feeling them like daggers in my heart, “I will serve you.” I did not want to die… and I wanted to learn more…

I shake my head to clear it of those dark thoughts. I hadn’t known what I was getting into when I joined the penitent, but I have not looked back since. Their message is clear—it is right. We are here to serve the Undead, the harbingers of death to those who have sinned. To those who are the reason they are here. And I will help them until my very last breath—help them to cleanse this earth of the sinners, of the hypocrites like my mother. Then, once the world is pure, they will leave, and we will build this place anew.

I stand and watch as a woman kneels in front of all of us. Standing before her is a man with his arms out wide. She kneeled before him, our priest, as he told her of the Undead. Nearby the choking smoke of the fire consuming the village and the scent of blood and decay hung in the air. Tears streaked her terrified face. He spoke of their purpose—to clean the world of sinners, so that it may begin again, more pure than before. He whispered of their powers—the power to rise again, so they may serve their cause even after death. He spoke of the supposed “blessed” weapons used to kill them. Blessings from unclean deities, he assumed. And because he said it, so it must be true. The Undead must be a sign that the world is corrupt. And she would serve them to her death. Then, as the priest said, she would be raised in glory before the great divine beings who sent the Undead. She would be saved—she would be rewarded. Unlike those who don’t believe. The ones that the undead were there to destroy. They would be punished, their souls sent to the damnation that her priest spoke of so often.

The woman looked up to him with terrified eyes, tear streaked… but she was listening.

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Saresh is the beautiful capital of the May’Kar Dominion. It is centered and named after the Sareshian Oasis, the single largest and constant source of water in the entire nation. The capitol is divided into six districts, Temple Hill, Gate of the Small Gods, Market District, Trade Quarter, The Setting Sun district, and the Rising Sun District. Each district is centered around a named well. Each well goes straight down into the enormous and seemingly endless underground aquifer. Wells are owned by no one, and are free to all. The wells are believed to have a guardian spirit, which the well is named after. Once a year, the city turns out for a huge festival, in which each district competes in the name of their guardian well spirit. To win is to bring favor and luck to the district from it’s well. Districts are fiercely proud of their well spirit, and it is not uncommon for argument and sometimes even fights to break out over which spirit is better.

Gate of the Small Gods

This gate leads to the section of the city that houses all the temples and houses of the smaller cults present in the Dominion. It is a popular travel spot. The buildings may be small, but each cult carves and decorates their temples, resulting in an riot of architecture and colors. The air is laden with the scent of burning of spices and incense. This section of the city is the birthplace and the grave of many smaller deities. It is said that if a cult cannot make it past the Gate of the Small Gods, it will not make it anywhere else. Competition is fierce when a spot for a new temple opens up. A cult must prove it has a sufficient enough following, must show that it can get along with it’s neighbors, and do something for the city.

The name of this district’s well is Laghu Deva. This male spirit is depicted wearing a robe, with the hood obscuring his face. Laghu Deva accepts offerings from any and all faiths. His well is covered by a large, permanent pavilion. Each corner of the pavilion depicts the popular architectural styles of different cultures. The pavilion was designed by a famous Syndar architect, who constructed it so that the different styles flowed into one another in a harmonious fashion.

Temple Hill

Temple Hill isn’t a true hill. But the buildings of this section of the city give the illusion of one. At the center of the Temple Hill district is the palace. It is the tallest structure in the entire city, and by law, no other building may be taller than it. The height of the buildings descend down from the palace, giving rise to the illusion of a hill. The Temple Hill is also home to the larger temples of faiths that have greater followings. Large sumptuous temples and gardens decorate this district. Monasteries and abbeys here will often take in children to be raised in the business of tending to gods, a respectful career for those who otherwise might not have much.

The well this district hosts is the Bhalin Well. The Bhalin well is said to be the deepest and clearest of all the city’s wells. It has it’s own temple built around it, and it is used in the making of the powerful paladin blades. The Bhalin well’s spirit does not participate in the district games. It is said to be unfairly powerful, so this district instead watches over the games. Bhalin is depicted as a gender neutral being, with smoothed features that seem to change depending on the angle it is gazed at.

Market District

The Markets of the Dominion certainly merit their own district. Traders from all over come to the markets here,
searching for exotic desert goods and to sell products not available otherwise. Art, pottery, exotic foods and spices, clothes, medicines, all can be found here. The Market District itself is divided up into sections, each sections selling a type of good, i.e foodstuffs, household goods, sundries.

This district also houses many inns and boarding houses, for merchants and travelers from outside the Dominion.
Many of the shops have permanent store fronts, but there is also a large, open air market situated against the city walls. The wall markets are truly a sight to see. The things that may be found there change from day to day, season to season, and it is said that if one looks hard enough, anything can be found in the wall market.

The well this district champions is the Apanadevata Well. The spirit of this well is said to be a female, and her well is located in a large and open square. She is believed to love the sound of spirited bargaining, and as such, small shaded pavilions with chairs are situated by her well. Merchants and potential customers use these pavilions to discuss business, and it is customary to blow Apanadevata a kiss after a bargain is struck.

Trade District

In this district work the tradespeople of the Dominion. It is home to the trade guilds, the buildings where blacksmiths, armors, leatherworkers and more create their goods, warehouses, and the homes of those prosperous enough to afford it.The scents of this district vary, depending on what is being made nearby. It is almost never quiet in this district, until the sun goes down. There are a few taverns here, catering to the working classes.

The well of this district is named the Vyapara. Vyapara is depicted as a male spirit, carrying the most common trade tools, with a leather apron. Offerings are made to Vyapara for skill and a steady hand when crafting. His well is housed in a grand hall, where many craftsmen meet to discuss the particulars of their craft, and to share

The Setting Sun District

This district is the home of most of the working class. The majority of the population lives here, traveling to and from their places of work. Housing varies, depending on the wealth of the family living there. The roads out of this district lead to just about anywhere in the city, and are well traveled.

The Sadharana well is located here. Sadharana is shown as a female spirit, homely and motherly. She is said to
oversee family affairs, and watches over orphans. Her well is a large meeting area, a place for families to come
relax and play when they do not have the space to do so at home.

The Rising Sun District

This district is the home of the wealthy and the noble families. The architecture of this district is dazzling. Large complexes for each family dot the land, with a grand gate leading to the front door of each family’s home. This district is also home to the embassies of other kingdoms.

The Kulina well is surrounding by a beautiful garden, rivaled only by the palace gardens. Small fountains fed by the well keep the gardens alive. A Syndar master from the Bellath-ah-Dien reigns here. Kulina is depicted as a male dressed in fine clothing and a noble bearing, holding a staff of office. Kulina is said to favor those who are honorable in their dealings, and prefers offerings of perfume.

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The May’Kar Dominion

The May’Kar Dominion – Faedrun – OLD WORLD

The May’Kar Dominion is a small nation to the north of Vandregon and near the center of the continent of Faedrun. A smaller kingdom, the May’Kar Dominion is home to a large religious faction called the Mahsai. The Mahsai religion is unique in that it does not have a definite structure or doctrine in how its worshippers are expected to follow their faith. The core basis of the Mahsai is that it does not matter what you believe, only that you do. The Mahsai are open about their religion and with how it can be interpreted through various forms and mediums, and are more concerned about overall spirituality. To aid in their expression, the May’Kar culture has developed a very unique stance on art. Much like two artists can be handed a paintbrush and a set of paints and make two completely different paintings, religion can be expressed differently. The cities of the May’Kar are usually decorated with more art than the other human kingdoms and involve paintings, sculptures, gardens, and creations of expression. This view had both earned the respect of other groups and nations because of their welcoming and open stance on religion but has also put them at odds with the strictly organized religions that exist. The Dominion itself features a much larger percentage of Syndar as well as the beliefs of both races are not as much of a difference in an open-religion environment.

The May’Kar Dominion is led by a government that is a mixture of clerics and politicians that are the religious, militant, and governing power behind the entire nation. Their banner colors are light and dark blue, representing both water and mana, and their crest is a white sun.

The May’Kar Dominion is also home to a small group of insular nomads, the Kae’Rim. Seemingly separate from the larger society, they tend to wander from place to place, and have an absolute prohibition on violence against any living thing.


The May’Kar Dominion has maintained good relations with all the human kingdoms and also several of the Syndar nations. They were not involved in the Battle of Grayfield; at that time, the May’Kar Dominion was small and still growing. The Syndar were always welcomed into the Dominion and their teachings on magic and mana were accepted into their studies. Of all the human nations, the May’Kar were the most critical in bridging the gap between humans and Syndar.

The geography of May’Kar is fairly harsh as most of the territory is desert. The heart of the May’Kar Dominion and their capitol lies centered around the enormous Sareshian Oasis. This nation could never sustain the numbers that Vandregon could due to the climate and the size of its lands, but has done very well adapting to the different oasis locations and areas that can sustain cities and life. The capitol of Saresh is said to be one of the most beautiful and spiritual places in the world, a real world paradise in the middle of a harsh wasteland.
Only once has a military force tried to conquer May’Kar and they failed; the desert terrain and climate too difficult to traverse while also combating a nation centered around healing arts. The May’Kar army thrived in this attrition oriented fight; they knew how to fight in the desert and with strong healing and protection powers they could withstand overwhelming attacks. The May’Kar also have a very strict code of honor and regard all life as sacred. When attacking soldiers surrendered and the May’Kar treated them very well and gave them healing, shelter, food, and water the attacking army disbanded quickly.


The Undead Plague – Faedrun

When the undead arrived on Faedrun, May’Kar went untouched for quite some time. They pledged powerful warrior clerics and paladins to Vandregon’s cause and helped keep numerous soldiers alive and used divine power to destroy the undead, but they did not have the numbers to turn the tide of major battles. After years of fighting , the undead finally reached the borders of May’Kar and moved troops to conquer it. The desert climate was extremely harsh on the ill equipped Penitent but proved to be useless against the undead. If it were not for their powerful divine magic, the May’Kar Dominion would have fallen immediately. For a nation prepared to wait out any attackers, they were finally challenged by an enemy with infinite patience and no need for food, water, shelter or sleep. This stalemate continue for the next 35 years, with almost the entire border of May’Kar surrounded by the undead. If not for the support of Vandregon, the entire nation would have been encircled by the undead.

The Bishop-King that ruled when the war began had a son who lived and grew during a time of constant war. The prince was well liked and benevolent. When the Bishop-King passed away of old age, the Prince took the throne and continued his father’s legacy. He was well liked, fair, and genuine. The May’Kar Dominion had never before been ruled by such a great ruler and the people supported him at every turn. He ruled from the age of 16 until he was 40 years old, until he suddenly passed away. The nation was crushed at his untimely death and mourned him. He was the shining light to their entire nation and now he was gone. With no heir to assume the throne, the Bishops of the Dominion tried to keep the nation together, but some say the people’s faith in the Bishop-King was the only thing keeping the Dominion together.

Nobody knows exactly what happened next. The May’Kar Dominion was on the brink of collapse when suddenly the soldiers were renewed with amazing vigor and turned on the forces of Vandregon. May’Kar warrior clerics, embedded or supporting Vandregon infantry, suddenly turned on their allies in a series of brutal and bloody attacks. Rumors from the captured May’Kar soldiers said that the benevolent King had risen from the dead and enlightened his people about the true purpose of the undead. When the King welcomed penitent and undead forces alike into May’Kar borders and the people were spared, the populace was shocked. With the return of their beloved king, the people rallied around him. The penitent numbers grew as an entire nation swelled its ranks.

The Vandregonian Army was split and the northern army besieged the May’Kar Dominion. A route through the desert and along the oasis could lead the penitent and undead army straight into the heart of Vandregon. This would cut the entire Kingdom in half and divine its people and failing to deal with it could be the downfall of Vandregon. For years, the two armies clashed; Vandregon’s superior numbers unable to be utilized fully in the desert climate. Without the help of May’Karian defectors aiding Vandregon, the Dominion may have survived the assault. Even with the help of the penitent and undead, the May’Kar Dominion was eventually overrun by Vandregon. With the populace turned into zealots for the cause, Vandregon had no option but to kill almost everyone in the entire nation. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers and civilians alike were put to death and burned on funeral pyres. The phrase “There is nothing more chilling than a desert funeral pyre” became a grim saying of the time. The May’Kar Dominion was annihilated almost to a man. The “Risen King” had retreated into the heart of the undead army and was never destroyed.

The undead could have committed enough soldiers to defend May’Kar, but it was at this time that the majority of the undead and penitent army moved into Aldoria and crushed the nation. It was a combination of the splitting of the Vandregonian army, the betrayal of the May’Kar dominion, and the fall of Aldoria that was the turning point in the war.

True May’Kar – Mardrun Colony

After the destruction of their homeland, the May’Kar were all but wiped out. The few remaining soldiers that survived stayed and fought with the army of Vandregon. They were ashamed and mortified that their nation would betray the rest of the world, yet they retained their colors and fought on. They called themselves the Mahsai of the True May’Kar and continued to uphold the ideals of their once proud nation.

Continuous fighting and the distance from the coast meant that few very May’Kar ever made it onto the boats to Mardrun. The handful of soldiers that may be present in the colony were probably assigned to Vandregon units away from the nation years ago and escaped when those units were displaced. Any remaining May’Kar warriors are still very proud of their heritage and continue to wear their nation’s colors, even if they have a dual meaning. To some, the colors represent honorable holy warriors that carried on through the worst disaster of their people. To others, it represents mankind’s largest and most horrible betrayal that started The Fall.

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There Is No One True Way

The Mahsai faith of the Dominion is one of acceptance and tolerance. The Dominion rose from a plethora of tribes and cultures, instead of one faith dominating and sublimating others, they became a culture of open acceptance. To the Mahsai, it is more important that you have belief than it is what beliefs you hold. In truth, Mahsai is more of a philosophy than it is a true religion.

It is said that the Mahsai make great and terrible judges. Only a Mahsai would seek to understand what a criminal did, and not allow their personal beliefs to color their rulings. It is sometimes murmured that the entire Dominion fell to the plague because the Mahsai refused to deny the Penitent the right to worship as they chose.

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The new army of Vandregon

Vandregon army was not a war machine. It did not use its power to conquer or threaten. It was a peoples army and it used its strength to protect its people and its allies from all threats. When the undead armies began to rise Vandregon wasted no time mobilizing against this new threat. Brave men and women fought valiantly to protect their homes from the undead scourge. As the war dragged on and city after city fell it seemed that not even the might of Vandregon could hold back the enemy. During the Fall, many Vandregon soldiers gave their lives to give the citizens time to board the boats and escape. Though its army was decimated and its cities and capital lay in ruin the people of Vandregon would live on in the continent of Mardrun.

As the refugees of Faedurn found their way to the colonies of Mardrun they had little to no belongings or wealth and many were wounded or sick. They found their new home was less than friendly, and violent clashes between the native races of Mardrun broke out. Some soldiers did survive the Fall and the trek across the great sea and were involved in those conflicts. After the treaty with the Ulven and the colony of New Hope was established, many of those soldiers were recruited as guards to the nobles, while others struck out on their own or settled down to make lives for them selves. There were little resources and bodies left to rebuild The great Vandregon army. The old red and gray started to fade from memory.

There were a few that tried to bring back the glory of Vandregon. One such man was an old Vandregon officer by the name of Alexander Aurgrim. Alexander saw a need for the peoples army again. Though the colonist of New Hope found safety and settled into their homes and new life on Mardrun, those living outside the safety of those walls found life much harder. Desperate men turned to thievery and preyed on the weak on the unprotected roads. Threat of the savage Mordok always loomed in the shadows. Alexander knew that if true prosperity was to come to his people, security and protection had to be established. The roads and vital trade routes had to be protected the smaller villages and farms had to be safe. Vandregon could be that shield.


Alexander toiled for years trying to acquire man power, resources. and allies; anyone or anything that would lend to his cause. A few did pledge support but none had the resources available to fund the construction of a large scale army. Many did not see a need for a grand people’s army. The glory of Vandregon was a memory and most citizens were concerned with their own day to day lives. Though his actions would sow the seeds of Vandregon’s rebirth, Alexander would not live to see the Vandregon colors rise again.

When Alexander died, his grandson William took up his cause. William grew up hearing stories of Vandregon from his grandfather. He believed in the ideals of Vandregon and shared in his Grandfather’s dream of a unified and protected nation. William knew that if Vandregon were to rise again people needed to remember what Vandregon stud for.
So William took up his grandfather’s colors and for two years lived the life of an adventurer. William fought along side many brave warriors in that time. He formed strong bonds and allies and started making a name for himself. Over time he was able to recruit others to his cause.

Vandregon now is a true power in Mardrun. William and other members of the Vandregon army have been at the forefront of many great battles. The roads are now safer. The smaller towns now have trained militias to guard them. The glory of Vandregon has been restored and people again remember what the colors stand for. Vandregon has always been a peoples army and now this new Vandregon army stand strong as a shield to protect the people of Mardrun from all threats.


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The Kingdom of Vandregon

The Kingdom of Vandregon- Old World

The Kingdom of Vandregon lies on the south western portion of the continent of Faedrun. Its massive territory curls around into a crescent shape. Aldoria lies to the east, Maykar to the north east inside the curve, and the Syndar nations to the far north. Their colors are Gray and Red, representing steel and life. The Vandregon army flies the Gray and Red colors but the Rangers of Vandregon, a large and organized scouting and recon force, are represented by Gray and Green, representing steel and nature.

The knights of Vandregon are the most skilled heavy cavalry in the world, and they ride sturdy and loyal warhorses with a reputation for being absolutely unflappable even in the most dire of situations. Even the peasant militias are better trained and better equipped than most other foot soldiers in the old world. The men of Vandregon are a courageous and proud people, with a long succession of wise and noble Kings.

Home to the largest human population, Vandregon maintains good relations with almost all the human and Syndar kingdoms. They aid other kingdoms when needed, are fair in their dealings, but firm in their ideals and negotiations. The men of Vandregon adhere to a strict code of chivalry, and the people highly value honor and brotherhood as their primary ideals. The territory of Vandregon is large and divided into sections that are ruled by a House; fourteen Houses total made up of a number of nobles, barons, sheriffs, and mayors from their respective territories. Each House has a territory they govern and provide Senators to the governing body of Vandregon. The Senators have a fair amount of power and represent the people of the territory they govern, but the military and kingdom treasury is run directly by the King and his council. The King oversees the Senate and the government is a mix of monarchy and democracy. The King has the most power but if enough Senators disagree with the King they can vote him down but it is a higher than majority ruling; 10 houses must oppose the King’s ruling for it to be overruled. This system is fair and favors change and rapid decision making and has been critical in Vandregon’s growth over time.

Vandregon has grown into the greatest human civilization the world has known. The Kings and Senators, all of whom have achieved knighthood at some point in their lives, have all worked together to build it into what it has become. The enormous military keeps its people safe and the Houses make sure to tend to the needs of the territory. Vandregon has been blessed with a continued line of great rulers and its people are genuinely happy and hard working which makes them productive and prosperous. Every peasant in every country dreams of a good government and kingdom; of a place where people are ruled with firm but benevolent leaders. Vandregon has become just that. People do not fear the military, the politicians, or the King but instead look to them for guidance and leadership. The other human kingdoms have never fully committed to war with Vandregon but border skirmishes and battles over the kingdom’s long history have happened. The closest that Vandregon ever got to full scale war were the initial battles and skirmishes with the Syndar kingdoms to the North and with the Kingdom of Aldoria during the Battle of Grayfield. If fully committing to war, there is not a single human kingdom that could defend against Vandregon’s military for long.


The Undead Plague on Faedrun, and the Fall of Vandregon

The King of Vandregon wasted no time fully committing the army to combating the undead. He knew the threat that this organized force would face, and realized that the longer they waited, the more powerful the Undead would become. Instead of simply mobilizing and reinforcing the borders, the army needed to comb through the land and flush out the undead. Not only that, but the source of the Undead plague needed to be discovered and destroyed. The bulk of his Infantry was dispatched to cleanse the countryside and purge the Undead from within the borders, while Cavalry, Rangers, Knights Errant, and brave volunteer Adventurers formed expeditionary forces to locate the heart of the Undead menace. This is when it was discovered just how widespread and embedded this threat had become. Villages all over Vandregon’s borders were taxed to their limit as town guards could barely keep people safe. When the peasants began to rebel and take up arms against the Vandregon army, the true magnitude of the threat was realized.

What was initially thought of as isolated outbreaks of undead and of crazed or fever-maddened townsfolk was actually the beginning of an organized effort that began to call themselves the Penitent. Almost overnight, this rebel army sprang up and began to overwhelm or destroy the smaller Vandregon army units that were combing the land and fighting the undead. The King mobilized a much larger army to counter attack the Penitent, but realized that the undead curse and the Penitent had spread to other kingdoms and the opposing army was much larger than anticipated. As the fighting continued, the dead on both sides did nothing but bolster the numbers of the massive undead horde beginning to form. The very soldiers sent to fight and stop the Penitent army were rising again to fight for the undead. All out war erupted both at the borders of Vandregon and inside the kingdom’s lands. Panic gripped the entire continent.

The army of Vandregon managed to hold it’s own against the undead and penitent for a number of years. It was a long and grueling war and the casualties suffered on both sides were staggering. People were born and grew up in a world where war was all they had ever known. The King and the Senate used all the resources and strategic planning they had at their disposal to keep Vandregon alive. Vandregon was supported by and became a haven for refugees when the smaller kingdoms fell and were displaced. Soldiers trained constantly and held the lines against an unimaginable foe. Mages and clerics from numerous orders searched the continent and tried to discover secrets or new weapons to use against the undead. Rangers and scouts moved in and out of dangerous territories looking for weaknesses to exploit. Through years of war, the Vandregon army forged some of the most skilled and veteran warriors, heroes of legend who forged a name in history and spurred on the soldiers around them. The cost of constant fear of the undead also became a huge problem, as a large numbers of soldiers broke down due to psychological trauma or defected to the ranks of the penitent. Every day was a battle and every new dawn a miracle.

While the expeditionary forces never confirmed the location or the source of the Undead, they did discover that the enemy was using the former May’Kar dominion as a headquarters, and that there was reportedly an Undead leader there called “The Risen King”. The Maykar Dominion had betrayed the other kingdoms, and joined the penitent cause. It was the only lead they had, and they were running out of time. The army of Vandregon was split to deal with this new threat so entrenched near the heart of Vandregon territory, and a grand crusade was launched. The King of Vandregon asked the other Kingdoms for aid, but only the Syndar of Tielorrien joined them in any real numbers. The Aldorians not only refused to send any troops, but actually asked for more aid from Vandregon. The situation was grim, and this was a desperate gamble. If the undead and penitent used the trade routes through the desert to get into Vandregon, they could cut the entire kingdom in half. The Northern half of the army continued to root out the undead inside the Vandregon borders and began an offensive campaign against the MayKar Dominion. It took years to fight and begin to defeat the traitor kingdom, and the diversion was costly. During the tail end of the battle with MayKar, Vandregon tried to divert some resources to Aldoria so they could search for and fund a colony. At first it was just to find another land, and then when it was found it was to pledge support and supplies to ship building. Several cities shifted gears and tried to build ships to assist in the effort in building the colony.

The Southern half of the army focused on the enormous line between the heart of the Vandregon and the enemy. They could barely stand against the undead, but were trying to hold out long enough for the Northern army to join them when they conquered MayKar. When the undead decimated Aldoria, their numbers exploded because of new penitent joining their cause or the dead coming back to fill in the ranks. The undead army renewed its attack on Vandregon with tens of thousands of fresh undead troops, and it overwhelmed the Southern army. This event, from the start of the split to the decimation of half of the Vandregonian army, was called “The Fall”.

The Northern half of the army retreated to the far western and northern reaches of Vandregon. The southern half was decimated. The army broke into smaller groups and tried to retreat. Some units were able to fall back, some were slaughtered to a man, some are rumored still lost deep inside undead territory. Few made it across the ocean in boats to Mardrun. Half of the largest and most disciplined army in human history was utterly destroyed. With the Southern army gone, the massive horde of Undead and penitent poured into the lands of Vandregon unchecked. The nation of Vandregon was ravaged as the people fled towards the Northern army or tried to squeeze into dangerously overloaded ships sailing East. The capitol city of Vandregon was razed to the ground.

Vandregon, the largest human society and the strongest military army on Faedrun, was destroyed.


Vandregon Refugees – Mardrun Colony

Much of the government was still on Faedrun and most of the Southern Vandregon army gave their lives defending against or slowing down the undead. Most of the soldiers that made it across were wounded or escorts. More than one story has been told of survivors being loaded onto boats so filled with people they are barely sea worthy and ranks of Vandregon soldiers defending to the last man, taken down one by one by penitent and undead just to give the civilians a chance to get away and out to sea. The ferocity and skill of these doomed soldiers fighting in their last moments has become a legend in itself.

To this day, nobody knows the true fate of the Northern army and the north western half of Vandregon.

Vandregon hasn’t recovered in any sort of organized way since The Fall. The soldiers and civilians who made it across on the boats were more refugees and survivors than organized groups starting a new life. A fair number of colonists are from Vandregon, but the lack of organization has them scattered all over the colony territories and carrying on with their new lives. Some of the nobility that formed the colony of Newhope originated from Vandregon, but they are more concerned with the colony than they are with breathing new life into the old colors. Being a nation founded upon chivalry and Knighthood, the sad fact of the matter is that most of the leadership of Vandregon rode out to protect the retreat of their people from Faedrun, and died doing their duty as Knights.

Recently, however, a young and ambitious Knight from Vandregon has been organizing and training an infantry unit that wears the colors of his native land. The new army of Vandregon grows in strength everyday under the charismatic leadership of Sir William, Grandson of Sir Alexander. The New Army of Vandregon has made its presence known in the colonies, and their patrols of outlying villages have made the region safer from Mordok attacks. To the local civilian populace, the colors of Vandregon are a welcome sight, and the Soldiers of the new army of Vandregon have developed a reputation as honorable and brave fighters, true to the ideals of chivalry and the proud traditions of their homeland. The New Army of Vandregon helps to protect the farmers and colonists who live too far away from the main colonies to be under anyone else’s protection. They train and equip small local militias, and are constantly recruiting from the local populace as they make their patrols. The New Army of Vandregon made up an important part of the Ulven/Human/Phoenix Syndar alliance that stood against the Lich on Mardrun, and they have even sent troops to help aid the Watchwolves and Nightrivers in the Ulven Civil War.

The standard currency from Faedrun, the Vandregon Silver, survived the trip to Mardrun. Enough coins are in circulation that it is still considered the standard form of currency for the colonists.

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Titles of Prestige and Peerage

Key Points, circa August 266

The following titles of Prestige, Peerage, and Ulven titles are not an exhaustive list of titles in Last Hope. Each and every Kingdom on Faedrun would have had an extensive and most likely complex system of titles that they used. However, most of these systems did not survive the trip over to Mardrun. With a mixing pot of kingdom backgrounds all smashed together in one small continent, the titles became obsolete.

In August of 266, Lord Baron Richards of the City-State of Newhope, as part of the infrastructure building initiative of the colonial territories, has put in motion a plan to standardize titles of prestige and peerage on Mardrun. Anyone with titles worth noting have been encouraged to come to Newhope territory and have their title “converted” to the appropriate title in this system and receive approved documentation is necessary. What this has done is streamline down the titles into an easy to handle an easy to remember system that Mardrun as a whole can recognize.

Titles of Prestige (Non-Nobility):

These are earned like service awards or recognition. They hold meaning and are important, but are not actual ranks of nobility. Recipients of titles of Prestige are recognized but do not own territories (save for a Baronet) or have responsibility to the overall nobility structure. All titles of Prestige, save for Squire/Esquire, will have official papers drawn up explaining the achievement to earn such a title.
Ranked lowest to highest.

Pledged service and oath to a Knight, Knight-In-Training. This holds no actual prestige as there could be many squires, but shows more of an intent to earn prestige or status.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Squire to [Knight’s Name].”

Small title, recognition of some sort for almost anything (martial/political/economic service). Mainly a “This is a person of note”. There are many Edler titles awarded to individuals and this title of prestige would be the absolute minimum needed to gain influence towards a Title of Peerage.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Edler of [Noble’s Name].”

Requires martial prowess, exceptional service, training in combat. Commonly a stepping stone before earning a title of Peerage, usually awarded to army commanders, distinguished soldiers, and elite bodyguards. Knighthood is awarded to more for the sake of the realm and not the sake of the individual noble, but their papers will dictate which noble awarded them their Knight status.
Commonly addressed as “Sir” or “Dame”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Sir/Dame [Name], Knight of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Given land or a single settlement to maintain. Commonly addressed as “Sir” or “Dame”. This prestige could be awarded for exceptional service or longstanding fealty to a noble. Baronet would be the highest esteem someone could get without true nobility and is reserved for the most trusted allies and companions. A Baronet wishing to become a Noble could “release their fealty” by purchasing it from their Noble.
Commonly addressed as “Sir” or “Dame”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Sir/Dame [Name], Baronet of [Noble’s Name].”

Titles of Peerage(Nobility):

These are earned through lineage transition or exceptional rewards for service. No individual can gain a Title of Peerage without at least first accomplishing a Title of Prestige first. They hold meaning and are important and are full ranks of nobility. Recipients of Titles of Peerage are recognized and must own or be in charge of land/territories and have responsibilities to the overall nobility structure. All Titles of Peerage, will have official papers drawn up explaining the achievement to earn such a title.
Ranked Lowest to Highest.

A Baron/Baroness is beholden to their Kingdom/City-State and it’s rulers. A Baron/Baroness is a ruler of a single settlement/village (minimum size of a single faction). They are expected to aid the kingdom in any way they can. The title would carry a commanding weight with those of a lesser rank but their word would be given an amount of trust with those of equal or greater station. Their lands are known as a Barony.
Commonly addressed as “Lord” or “Lady”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Baron [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

A Count/Countess would rule over a grouping of close settlements/villages (about 3-5) which is known as a County. This would also be a larger area of land than a Baron/Baroness would be given. A Count/Countess would be in charge of protection and taxation of these lands but the extra people could be called upon to serve their County. They are beholden to a Kingdom or City-State. They would carry a commanding weight with those of a lesser station and their words would carry a bit more trust with those of equal and higher station.
Commonly addressed as “Lord” or “Lady”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Count/Countess [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

A Marquess/Marchioness would rule over a settlement on the border of the Kingdom/City-State and is expected to defend the Kingdom from invasion. This would be a border shared with another kingdom not just an empty border. They would rule over equal or potentially less land than a Count/Countess but because of their expected bravery and duty they are given higher station. Again they may have a commanding presence with those of a lower station and given a good deal of trust by those of equal and higher station.
Commonly addressed as “Lord” or “Lady”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Marquess/Marchioness [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Prince/Princess is the station of the children of Nobility of a rank of Duke/Duchess or higher. Heir Apparent would be the title of a Prince/Princess who is the next in line for a title and Crown Prince/Princess is the title for one in line for the title of King.
Commonly addressed as “Your Highness”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Prince [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

A Duke/Duchess is the title granted to any noble on the Council of the City-State of Newhope. Each Duke is responsible for one of the 10 districts of Newhope but may acquire additional lands outside of the city. They could claim territories made up of 5-10 settlements/villages called a Duchy. They are the highest rank in Newhope and second only to the title of King/Queen.
Commonly addressed as “Your Grace”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Duke/Duchess [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Grand Duke/Grand Duchess
This is a Duke/Duchess given a special station such as the head of the Newhope Council of Ten.
Commonly addressed as “Your Grace”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Grand Duke/Grand Duchess [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

A King/Queen rules over a Kingdom and all of its nobles. The title of Emperor/Empress is used to mean “a King of Kings” meaning one who rules over multiple kingdoms.
Commonly addressed as “Your Majesty”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “King/Queen/Emporer/Empress [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Ulven Based Titles:

Ulven do not recognize titles the same way that humans and Syndar do. There is a very defined hierarchy (pecking order) of what status has more say than another. Ulven that earn these titles are respected as leaders and expected to be leaders regardless of their history or supporting skills. Where a human noble would be scrutinized and heavily kept in check by other nobles (and up and coming nobles right behind them) the Ulven have a much more simple look at their leadership. This follows a “You have earned this title, therefore you have earned the right to lead”. All Ulven titles are sought after and earned, none are awarded as some sort of barter or worth, but the ulven do not carry papers or official documentation that proves their titles. It is highly taboo in Ulven society (and very quickly creates an honor duel) if anyone deceives others regarding their titles. The proof of a title is the ability to verbally state their title and the actions they have take to earn such a title.

Diplomatic, skill, or station titles recognized as honorable and important to the individuals immediate influence (like a Pack or Family). These can vary dramatically among the Ulven people but are lumped into a minor category that is given a “nod of respect/recognition” when dealing with other Ulven. Some examples are Skald, Ambassador, Truthseeker, Huntmaster, Weaponmaster, Lorespeaker, Runeseer, Ulfednar, Viknar, etc.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], [Honorific] of [Pack/Clan].”

A distinguished person in Ulven society, usually due to some sort of recognized feat. This commonly comes from combat service but some ulven are known to have great force of will and be recognized for such skill. A Hersir’s actions reflect the honor of the awarding entity and there is a responsibility to maintain honor so to avoid tarnishing the greater honor of the group. Hersir’s are not “nobles” per se and the closest human equivalent would be an Edler or a Knight. The status of Hersir can also be combined with that of an honorific title.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Hersir of [Pack/Clan]”
or “[Name], Hersir, [Honorific] of [Pack/Clan].”

Upgrade to Hersir as no Ulven that is not at first a Hersir would even be given a title of Jarl. A jarl is put in charge of some sort of responsibility (ships, men, land, commerce) and reports to a Chieftain or some sort of appointed leadership. Due to the number of Packs in Ulven culture and the commonality of Chieftains and Priestesses, Jarls are fairly rare and not a common practice among the Ulven. Most Chieftains would rather rule over their own territories themselves and not bring others in to share the honor and the fame. However, larger territories such as Clan Stormjarl, Clan Nightriver, and Clan Grimward have a much higher presence of Jarls due to their sheer size. Because of the expanded duties and expectations of service and honor to maintain the title of Jarl, an ulven no longer carries the title of an honorific; they are expected to be well rounded in the management of their assigned responsibilities.
Commonly addressed as “Jarl”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Jarl of [Pack/Clan].”

Must be a Daughter of Gaia with magic. Reserved for priestess of a Pack whose sole focus is the spiritual needs, training, and magical abilities of the Pack. The “weight” of this title is based on the size of the Pack. Highly specialized Priestesses are allowed to proclaim their honorific title as well as their Priestess title. This does not follow suit to the way the rest of the Ulven address themselves and is reserved solely for the Priestess of a Pack.
Commonly addressed as “Priestess” or “[Honorific]”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Priestess of [Pack]”.
or “[Honorific] [Name, Priestess of [Pack]”.

Must be an ulven who is able to fight, but does not need to be focused around fighting. No Chieftain is recognized as a leader if they are unable to defend their Pack from harm. Reserved for Chieftain of a Pack whose sole focus is the management, leadership, and martial prowess of the Pack. The “weight” of this title is based on the size of the Pack.
Commonly addressed as “Chieftain”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Chieftain of [Pack]”.

Must be an esteemer and recognized warrior. Responsible for martial prowess and honor of the entire Ulven Clan. An ulven must defeat the current warleader in a highly ceremonial and brutal honor duel and if defeated, must relinquish the title.
Commonly addressed as “Warleader”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Warleader of [Clan]”.

High Priestess
Reserved for High Priestess of a Clan. Oversees the spiritual needs, Daughter of Gaia training, and diplomatic negotiations of the Clan.
Commonly addressed as “High Priestess”
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], High Priestess of [Clan]”

Reserved for Clanleader of a Clan. Oversees the management, political structure, and diplomatic negotiations of the Clan.
Commonly addressed as “Clanleader”
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Clanleader of [Clan]”.

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The Kingdom of Aldoria

The Kingdom of Aldoria

The Kingdom of Aldoria – Faedrun – OLD WORLD
The Kingdom of Aldoria sits neighboring Vandregon on the continent of Faedrun. A smaller kingdom, Aldoria is home to a very wealthy merchant system and specializes in economy, trade, and politics. Aldoria also became the first nation to truly master the oceans and its trade routes along waterways exist because of Aldorian explorers and sea merchants. Their banner colors are green and blue, representing water and growth, and their crest is a compass with cardinal direction points.

In addition to their prowess as sailors, the Aldorians developed some of the finest breeds of horses that the world has ever seen, from the smooth-gaited walking horses prized by the nobility for their comfort and grace, to the strong and hardy draft horses that work the fields and haul cargo overland. Even the powerful warhorses so beloved by the knights of Vandregon are descended from Aldorian bloodlines. Other nations may be famous for their specialty exports, but the Aldorians are the ones who move those commodities. The Aldorians were the first to map Faedrun, and nearly all of the major trade routes were blazed by the explorers and merchants of this Kingdom. By creating a network of tollways and bridges within their Kingdom and extending out to every entry point along their borders, the Aldorians have been able to fund and support the smoothest and best maintained roads in Faedrun.

Because of the high volume of trade traffic and valuable goods passing through this Kingdom at any given time, there is a long running problem with piracy and highway robbery. The merchant guilds have taken matters into their own hands by creating Road Warden garrisons and Merchant Marine Corps, but sadly these mercenary organizations are often corrupt and can actually be just as dangerous as the pirates and bandits themselves. Behind the extortion and protection rackets are the competitive individuals of the merchant guilds themselves, of course, back-stabbing each other whenever possible.


Aldoria has had good relations with the other nations except for a misunderstanding with Vandregon that led to a bloody encounter called the Battle of Grayfield. Many years ago, when the Aldorians were just beginning to get their momentum as a major economic power, the country expressed interest in opening up more trade with the Syndar. At the time, the Syndar kingdoms were still quite isolationist in regards to the humans, and rarely traded with them. There was a definite demand for Syndar goods, however. Everything they produced from spices to artwork was highly prized by the wealthiest humans, and brought excellent prices. The Syndar, however, really had no interest in trading with the Humans, especially since as far as they were concerned, there was not a thing that the humans could produce that they couldn’t do better themselves. The only place where Humans and Syndar even had frequent contact was in the May’Kar dominion, center of learning and religion in the Old World. Time and again, the Aldorian merchants and ambassadors were politely turned away from the various Syndar kingdoms without gaining any ground on opening up trade. This created much contempt among the people of New Aldoria, and the merchants of other lands as well. Eventually, the attitude spiraled into outright resentment, and racism began to run rampant in the kingdom of New Aldoria.

The Battle of Grayfield
About a century before the Undead Plague, the tension that existed between the Syndar Kingdoms and Human nations of Aldoria and Vandregon was boiling into hostility. Border skirmishes and disagreements popped up throughout the continent of Faedrun and the land was on the verge of an all out genocidal race war. Although the Kingdom of Vandregon had the largest standing army at the time, the King of Vandregon pushed for reason and peace, sending diplomats and ambassadors to the City of Seven Gates in Tielorrien. The King of Aldoria, already frustrated and angry with the Syndar, saw an opportunity to seize more land and strike first. He made a bold move and marched an army into the lands of the Syndar. As the soldiers fought, killed, or displaced the smaller Syndar settlements, the King of Vandregon dispatched an army to follow the Aldorians. What the Aldorian generals thought were reinforcements were actually other Humans sent to stop the Aldorian advance. The Men of Vandregon confronted their neighboring kingdom in an attempt to solve the situation quickly before all out war broke out with the Syndar.

The Aldorians refused to retreat. They lobbied that to do so would show the Syndar that the human nations were disorganized and fractured. As the Vandregonians stalled the Aldorian advance, the Syndar army gathered and began to move to resist the Humans. Back in Aldoria, political council rooms exploded in heated arguments and oaths of revenge were sworn in the event that either side came to blows. The tension continued to grow as neither kingdom backed down.

To this day, nobody knows for sure what finally sparked what was to be known as the Battle of Grayfield. Generals from both sides were in a heated discussion, waiting for word from their politicians. Somehow, fighting broke out, centered around the Vandregonian general’s tent. The armies clashed, desperately trying to gain ground to see their leaders to safety. Soldiers fought violently, each side convinced that the other side had sprung a sneak attack on their respective generals. After a short but incredibly bloody battle, most of the leadership of each side and over half of both armies’ soldiers were dead. The incident was named the Battle of Grayfield; The color gray representative of the lack of unified colors of the respective nations.


As the Syndar army marched forth onto the encampment, they were stalled by the destruction the humans had unleashed on each other. The Syndar, now having the upper hand, could have easily advanced through the ruined camp, destroyed the remaining survivors of each army, and continued their march into the human kingdoms. The Syndar General instead stopped his army, showing respect to the remaining Vandregonian soldiers, and healed the wounded of both sides. There could not have existed any proof more profound than the soldiers of Vandregon willing to battle their neighbors in order to stop them from attacking the Syndar. The Syndar halted their forces, agreed to terms with Vandregon, and ended hostilities with the humans. This single battle would usher in the golden age of peace between the humans and the Syndar.

The Battle of Grayfield did, however, end the relations between Vandregon and Aldoria for years to come. The Aldorians felt betrayed and abandoned by their fellow humans. The armies were rebuilt and stationed at the borders of each kingdom, staring each other down in a waiting game to see if further conflict would erupt. Aldoria, far smaller than the kingdom of Vandregon, began to increase its political and religious influences with the nobles and houses of all the human kingdoms, to rally their favor if ever the nations again came to blows. Both nations settled in for a long and tense cold war.

Many years later, the Kingdoms of Vandregon and Aldoria have eased back into an apprehensive nature. No further battles have ever erupted. As the survivors of those times had children and those children had their own children, the bitterness between the nations cooled.

To this day, however, it is a common start to a large tavern brawl if someone claims that “the <other side> started it at Grayfield!”.


The Undead Plague – Faedrun
When the great undead scourge began to devour the land, Aldoria was ill prepared to handle this threat head on. The focus of Aldoria had shifted to supplies, trade routes, and managing merchant guilds. When the undead began to consume its borders, Aldorian soldiers could barely handle keeping them at bay. The neighboring kingdom of Vandregon did well mobilizing an army to meet the threat, but the shift of focus off of its military had made Aldoria weaker over the years, and many of their troops were unreliable mercenaries. Aldoria did not fully commit to the fight. Even as the King of Vandregon pledged to personally face the undead in battle and launched a grand crusade into the May’Kar dominion, the King of Aldoria held back. This move very well could have sown the seeds of destruction on Faedrun.

Meanwhile, Aldorian seafarers had discovered the new continent of Mardrun. As the Undead continued to attack the borders of his kingdom, the King of Aldoria immediately put his money into a secret project to build a colony in the New World.

While the colonists became established on Mardrun, the Aldorian people back in the Old World began to question their King. More and more farmland fell to the advance of the undead, yet the King would not send soldiers out to reclaim it. Instead, more effort was put into building more ships and working on the colony. Peasants and farmers began to flee, most of them into the neighboring lands of Vandregon, as the King and the army continued to fund and work towards the expansion of the colony. The King of Vandregon pleaded with the King of Aldoria to join forces in face of a common enemy, but the offer was refused. The King of Aldoria said that the people of his kingdom still remember the scars of how Vandregon “united” together as brothers in arms against the Syndar so long ago.

As the King and his political entourage of nobles, knights, and politicians prepared to leave the continent of Faedrun, the army collapsed entirely and the undead besieged their lands. Countless thousands were slaughtered as the King attempted to flee. Soldiers were ordered to stand and fight to keep the undead from destroying the ships. The entire port city was a bloody massacre as the ships set sail for Mardrun. Ironically, by holding back and isolating themselves, the Aldorian army could not withstand the tide of Undead and their deaths added thousands upon thousands of fresh troops raised again for the armies that just slaughtered them. This bolster in numbers was the major turning point when the Undead began to overwhelm the other human nations.

The Settlement of New Aldoria – Mardrun Colony
After the massacre, not very many ships reached Mardrun. Between the diseases of the wounded, the lack of ample food and water, and the haste in which they left the continent of Faedrun, the kingdom of Aldoria was doomed. The King never survived the trip to the colony he worked so hard to fund and his son would bury him at its shores. The houses and nobles were scattered, in poverty, or left with nothing upon their arrival to the new colony. What was once a proud nation of Faedrun was nothing more than a handful of bloody survivors, refugees, and battered soldiers.

Not all hope was lost, however, as the remaining nobles and military leaders tried to put the pieces back together and lead the colony. They proclaimed the King’s son the new leader and began a plan to rebuild. This course of action was not favored by many of the original colonists, who had grown hearty and cold with having to carve out a living on the new continent, and the colonists of New Hope declared their independence from Aldoria. The newly arrived refugees did not have the funding or men to rule what they had created, and the nobility could not resist the secession. Instead, the survivors of Aldoria banded together and carved out their own piece of the new continent and created the settlement of New Aldoria. This settlement grew strong by learning from the Ulven, yet keeping them at a distance, and battling the Mordok. The King’s son grew up in this environment, working his way around the people and vying for political power. Everyone knows him to be an ambitious leader, savvy in both politics and combat, if not bitter from the history of his kingdom. It is rumored that he is planning on gaining a following and campaigning for rule of New Hope on Mardrun, rumored to be finally fulfilling his father’s wishes of controlling the colony his shattered nation helped build. More settlers and refugees continue to band together under the banner and colors of the dead King’s son and his Aldorian Guard, and more nobles have pledged support as his power expands.

New Aldoria narrowly averted a full scale war with the Watchwolf Clan after an ill disciplined and rowdy group of their Soldiers, secretly in the employ of an ambitious noble, tried to murder a young lady of the royal family and frame an Ulven Ambassador and the Captain of the Crow’s Guard for the attempt. Their plot was discovered, however, and foiled by a party of brave adventurers at the Wayward Inn.

Raskolf Vakr, the Voice of the Watchwolves, responded with a diplomatic mission to New Aldoria, where he met with the Prince personally. The Watchwolf Ulven and the New Aldorians averted war and actually managed to improve relations between the two nations. When Mordok attacked children playing on royal hunting grounds, the Ulven Ambassador’s seven-year-old daughter saved the life of the Prince’s own young son, and the two became fast friends.

New Aldoria has stayed out of the Ulven Civil war thus far.

Aldorian Culture and Folklore

The Aldorians are a proud people from a very wealthy and prosperous country. Their current state as refugees has done little to humble them, and it certainly has not broken their spirit. They maintain good political relations with the nobility in New Hope, though their is a certain amount of tension between the New Aldorian colonists and the people of Crow’s Landing, whom the Aldorians consider deserters. The New Aldorians have been criticized by others as coming off as racist towards the Syndar and the Ulven, but in reality the perceived arrogance is just the way that most Aldorians talk to everyone that they aren’t trying to sell something to. In fact, the current ruler of New Aldoria is half Syndar, himself. The Prince is a good man, and for the most part, so are his people. There is just the matter of the old King’s skeletons in the closet, and the troubling little detail that many of the Aldorian survivors are sailors who have previously dabbled in piracy. The Prince has his work cut out for him.

The Aldorians are the finest ship-builders in the world, and the best sailors. They take great pride in that. Since the fall of the May’kar, the Aldorians also have the finest stock of horses, with bloodlines traceable directly to the first domesticated stallions of the May’kar nomads. They were some of the only people to successfully bring horses to the new world, though they only have a single small herd, almost all of whom dwell in the royal stables in the capitol of New Aldoria.

Aldorian Folklore

Aldorian folklore tends to focus on clever heroes and gods of fortune and wealth.

Sir Flaccus and the Magic Goat

Once upon a time, long ago, back in the old country of Aldoria, there lived a fat and greedy lord by the name of Sir Flaccus. Sir Flaccus was the heir to a great fortune left to him by his father, who had been a fine and savvy merchant in his day. Sir Flaccus was lazy and foolish, though, and lived in decadence while his peasants wallowed in poverty. Indeed, Sir Flaccus taxed nineteen out of twenty of their coppers, and took nine of ten bushels of their produce.

One particularly harsh winter, the poor starving peasants pleaded with their lord to spare them some food, for while the people starved, Sir Flaccus had so much food that his larder was overflowing and much of his overstock was mouldering. Much to their dismay, the greedy Lord refused even a pittance of grain.
Now, in the village lived a humble farmer with a trickster for a son, and a kind and virtuous daughter. The virtuous daughter had raised a beautiful goat with a coat like spun gold from the time it had been a tiny kid. The girl loved her pet, but as the winter wore on and the people were starving, the farmers neighbors tried to steal it to eat it! Eventually, even the farmer himself was considering slaughtering the animal, but the trickster son stopped him. The boy said that he knew a way to get the miserly lord to feed the people, but first he would need to collect all the coins that he could. The people were hesitant at first, but eventually they relented and gave their pitiable savings to the boy.
The trickster boy fed the coins to the goat, and left to see Sir Flaccus. He told the lord that his goat was a magical and fey creature from the land of dreams, blessed by the god of good fortune. He said that everyday, the goat would make coins for its owner. Sir Flaccus didn’t believe him, but then the goat lifted its little tail and coins fell out along with its stool. Sir Flaccus was amazed. He had lived a very sheltered and pampered life, and knew nothing of the dietary nor the digestive abilities of common goats. The greedy lord asked the trickster boy if he would sell the goat, and the boy said that he was very rich from owning the amazing goat, and that he no longer was interested in money, but only wanted to do good in the world so that he might someday get into heaven. The boy said that Sir Flaccus could have the goat if only he promised to feed his people better, and to cut their taxes. The Greedy lord agreed, and asked the boy how much the goat produced every day. The boy told him that it depended on how happy the goat was and how wise the owner was, for fortune was no friend of fools. Sir Flaccus purchased the goat and opened his larder to the starving people.

He put the goat in his stables under heavy guard. The next morning, the greedy Sir Flaccus searched all through the dirty stall with his bare hands looking for gold. When he didn’t find anything, he ordered a nicer stable be built to house the goat and make it happy, and he had his cooks feed the goat the finest and richest food they could make. The next morning, Sir Flaccus found that the rich food had given the goat some terrible diarrhea, but nonetheless, he searched it for any sign of coin. Still he found nothing. He ordered that the goat be moved into his own manor, and summoned the wisest and eldest farmer in his land to prepare the best food a goat could eat. The next morning, he awoke and searched his foyer for coins. The goat had ruined his carpeting, but there were no coins to be found. He decided to take the goat into his room and let it sleep in his bed. It still did not produce any coins, but it stunk up his room, and ate all the important documents out of his desk drawers, including his patent of nobility and the deed to his manor. Once Sir Flaccus started sleeping with the goat, his wife took her cats and started sleeping elsewhere in the manor, but the greedy lord didn’t care. When his servants and family asked about the goat, however, he was too ashamed to admit that the goat wouldn’t produce any coins. He didn’t want anyone to think that the god of luck and good fortune thought him a fool! Sir Flaccus lied to his family and his servants, and scattered coins around his house every night so that it looked like the goat was making him money.
Sir Flaccus never learned his lesson, but the peasants of his domain lived happily ever after, and so did his beloved goat, who became even more spoiled than Sir Flaccus himself had been as a kid.