Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lands and peoples of northeast Soralia

This post is the first in an series of posts detailing Soralia, a continent you can use as part of your campaign world. I created this land while running several campaigns in it over the last seven or so years, and now that I feel like it's fairly well flushed out, I'd like to share it with everyone on Claw Claw Bite.

This first post gives a broad overview of the norteastern portion of Soralia.

Climate: the northern kingdoms are warmer than their latitude is generally, due to a major warm current that flows north into the Soral Sea, past the northeastern shores of the Princdoms of Ogham, and then west along the northern shore of the Soral Sea. This warm current results in heavy mists and fogs along the coasts of the so-called Pirate Kingdoms that stretch from the eastern edge of the peninsula to the halfling lands in the wide river basin that dominates the central portion of this region.

The Dwarvish lands are high and cold, set in the sprawling Dunheng Mountain chain that shields the eastern lands from the cold north western winds. The gnomish lands are a temperate and fertile land of hills and rivers which flow down from the dwarvish lands. The lands east of there with their small human kingdoms are warmer still in the southern reaches where the warm current runs strong. In the norther reaches they become more temperate as the lands rises slightly towards the arctic barrier mountains. These lands are drier and less fertile than the gnomish lands to the east.

Lands and Peoples: As one travels from west to east from the Fridon kingdoms along the north shore of the Soral Sea, one encounters first dwarvish and then gnomeish lands, followed by a stretch of heavily wooded wilderness, and several small human kingdoms.

Dwarven Kingdoms: two large and several small sovereign dwarven kingdoms claim the Dunheng Mountains and the surrounding land as theirs. Fairly isolate and xenophobic, these dwarven kingdoms have long-running feuds that occasionally break out into brief wars. Smaller kingdoms will be on one side or another as events change over the years.

These dwarves have some commerce with the underdark, primarily with deep dwarves and undergnomes. Other commerce is with occasional Fridon traders from the west and gnomes to the east, and through them, the warm human Pirate Kingdoms. Many young dwarves from these lands hire themselves out as small companies of mercenaries to the gnomes, halflings, and humans to the east.

Gnomish Lands: These lands are primarily gnomeish citiy-states ruled by family clan councils. The population includes a smattering of halflings, dwarves, humans and the occasional elf. Their economies are primiraly agrarian. For defense, the ruling councils use mercenary troops sparingly and wisely to defend against human raiders from the east. As their lands are not rich in precious metals, they tend to be at peace with the dwarven kingdoms of the Dunheng Mountains to their west.

The gnomes that live here tend to be practical, stoic folk, well used to defending themselves from the human bandits that spill out of the Pirate Kingdoms. To their north in the tail of the arctic barrier mountains tribes of Ice Kobolds and the Naahaogo mountain goat people occupy the last habitible stretch of land before the tundras and arctic wastes. Mixed among them in the rolling foothills west of the river basin are several small halfling, elven and human communities.

Pirate Kingdoms: Collectively known as the Pirate Kingdoms, these are small and factious kingdoms that stretch out across the end of the northern Soralic peninsula. On the whole, they tend to be somewhat poor and rather chaotic. Due to the laxness of laws in this region, they are a haven for pirates for which they are known.

One kingdom is ruled by the famous Mad King of Pitosala, a small state in the Pirate Kingdoms. Cursed with a split personality, his fits and shrewdness are famous. His main personality is an Aristocrat 10, regal and charismatic, and his next dominant personality is Wizard 10, shrewd, cruel and scheming, with a third personality which is a babbling mix of voices....

The humans here tend to view dwarves with a bit of distrust, as their main contact with them is as mercenaries.

Ice Kobolds: These Kobolds have a blue-white color to their scales and a natural resistance to the cold (cold subtype: cold immunity). They worship the white dragons that live on the arctic shelf and throughout the barrier mountains. There is enmity between them and the beast-men that share these mountains, but they do not tend to make war on each other. They come into frequent conflict with the gnomes and to a lesser extent with the dwarves that live in the Dunheng Mountains to the southwest of them.

Their king is a fighter 5, sorcerer 8, dragon disciple 5. Also of note among them is a powerful sorcerer (18?) who builds fantastic constructs for use as war machines, some in the aspect of the dragons they worship. He often must work with other magic-users to complete these constructs, but has the support of the king and good access to the resources he needs.

Beast Men (Na'ah-aogo): Known as beast-men by their human neighbors, but calling themselves the Naahaogo, these creatures dwell in the barrier mountains north at the headwaters of the river that flows through the wild woods separating the gnomes and humans. They are thought of as dangerous savages by the humans south of them, and have fought settlers and raiders from the human kingdoms. They are organized into small family units and are primarily nomadic gatherers.

They have the aspect of men with the head and hind legs of a goat, with a thick pelt of fur across their entire bodies, giving them good resistance to cold weather. They receive a +4 racial bonus to jump, climb and balance checks and are well suited to the mountain terrain in which they live. They receive a +1 racial adjustment to dex and con and a -2 adjustment to intelligence and -1 to charisma. Their favored class is ranger, but scouts, druids and barbarians are common among them. Their society tends to be neutral and slightly chaotic as do individuals. They fight with longbows and spears, though their warriors favor many weapons such as greataxes, greatswords and longspears.

Rumors and Information
The following can be determined with the corresponding Knowledge (local) or Bardic Knowledge check.... (use the comments section to add rumors for this region)

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