Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beyond Arihmere

Although the old realm of Arihmere is unfortunate enough to contain more than its share of dangers, there are many notable realms beyond its borders.

South: The Sundering Wars

Cordaigne, once known as the Captured Kingdom, was held entire by the Theran Empire, but the empire is now divided, and both successor states, east and south,  claim a patchwork of provinces and cities within its borders. As though the separation were not chaotic enough, the brawling Andaran Princess and the nominal King of Arihmere intervene in the simmering conflict, siding with one side and the other, warring and aligning, claiming and ceding territory, every year.

North: The Fell Lords

A hundred years ago, or more (for historians argue the dates as much as they doubt the events) it is said that Haladrin the Good was the only king ever to unite Arihmere under the one banner. Naturally, he was murdered by an ambition noble, Streigil, the Lord of Vosse and Cabel. Streigil did not rule alone, for he had nine (or eleven, or twenty three) dark lords at his side to impose his terror, and a witch-wife besides. Naturally, there was a revolt, and Streigil was struck down in battle (some say, slain). But his lords would not accept defeat, and turned to sorcery and infernal pacts, and three years later the Lord of Vosse and Cabel (or his revenant) returned to the throne with his wife as Queen and First Minister.

Whatever the truth of it, the Lady Streigil was finally undone by blade and magic, and her Fell Lords retreated far into the north. Most likely they perished among the fens and mountains, but in the north they say that the Fell Lords still rule among the black forests and dead lands where the pastures wither, planning their return, when they will recover the master and his lady from the deep, secret barrow where they were interred.

The Copper Road

The Wolve's Lane is but the end of a long road, winding from the far, forgotten south-east, from mountains, steppes, deserts and rivers and boundless forest, from sprawling kingdoms, empires, satrapies, protectorates, khanates and republics. Through all of this runs The Copper Road, named for the earliest coins that travelled between its markets, before even steel was forged.

The Arrant Sea

The Arrant Sea is wild, cold and clear. Most ships follow the shore, but there are uncounted islands and strange landings out there. For three hundred years, the Reaver Thegns have come from over the horizon, raiding or seeking kingdoms to steal, and every once in a while, the great armoured backs of the Heviathands, bristling with walls and turrets, heave into view from the shore.

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