Cities/Countries/Political Situations/Vind Hall Notices.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 1 post
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:01
Cities, Countries and the Like
Wherein information about various governmental and geographic entities is provided.
GM
 GM, 2 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:02
The High Council
The High Council sits on the island city of the Aihv’, just off the central southern coast. Historically, the Council consisted of a few oligarchs from the most powerful and wealthy Shalidar (or elven) families. At its height, the Council and its members controlled the lands from the southern and eastern oceans, north to the forest of Tivaris (which has a seat, but does not participate) and west to the A’nari Keep (whose seat has been empty and unclaimed since the family was massacred nearly twenty years ago). Humans lived under Shal’ rule – a rule that could be benevolent or tyrannical.

The Council’s authority has diminished over time – as has Shal power. Today, there are a number of independent states, with different governmental systems described briefly below. Some are under human control and they have claimed seats on the High Council itself – these are the human-controlled states that arose relatively peacefully, with changes in the relative sizes of human populations and changes in economic systems. Other human-controlled states – namely, Seldez and Torei – arose through violence, as humans rebelled against the more autocratic Shal rulers.  Seldez won a seat on the Council about twenty years ago, as part of the resolution of a war sparked by expansionist conflict between Seldez and Darilei/the League.  Torei is quietly lobbying for membership, but has no seat.

Other races, such as Dwerg (dwarves), Weinig (Halflings) and Jotunn (see Farolan), have emissaries assigned to the Aihv’ to represent their interests.

Although the Council does have standing troops directly under its command, it governs more by consensus and economic pressure rather than a threat of force.

Edited to clarify membership on the Council.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:20, Sun 18 Mar 2012.

GM
 GM, 3 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:05
The Reddings
Shal domains were historically divided into “reddings,” only four of which still bear their ancient names.

The North Redding is now largely given over to the Stamm races (orcs, trolls, and the like) and human barbarian tribes, with the Quaj (forest-based elves) in Tivaris serving as a buffer between the Stamm and communities south of the great forest.

The Fifth Redding (directly south of Tivaris), in turn, is dominated by Halfling and human villages and farms.

The East Redding is formed by the space between Tivaris and the western borders of Sa’iph and Torei, and has a mixed Shal and human population.  A major trade road runs from Tarrish on the southern coast and Palderton (not marked on the map) in the East Redding.

The Middle Redding is predominantly human and covers the vast plains area between Seldez in the west and Torei in the east, Tivaris in the north and the Halveetian League’s coastal lands in the south. The Middle Redding is home to nomadic horse-clans, and in recent years has felt the incursion of “civilization” in the form of farmers moving deeper into the Redding, as the agricultural-support footprint of the ever-growing League cities expands.




Regional Feats:

North Redding: Blooded; Dauntless; Foe Hunter; Survivor; Toughness; Resist Poison; Swift and Silent.

East Redding: Alertness; Knife-Fighting; Track; Arcane Schooling; Negotiator; Diligent; Twin Sword Style.

Middle Redding: Horse Nomad; Saddleback; Animal Affinity; Swift and Silent; Tireless; Twin Sword Style

Fifth Redding:v Deft Hands; Foe Hunter; Stealthy; Animal Affinity; Track

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:07, Tue 29 Dec 2009.

GM
 GM, 4 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:07
The Halveetian League
The major southern coastal cities (Darilei, Chade, Malisis, Halveet, Soloff, Tarrish, and Visaiyain) and two large human-held islands, Dorsey and Yarrick just off the coast belong to this loose affiliation of merchant states. Chade, Malisis, and Visaiyain are predominantly Shal and are ruled by wealthy aristocrats. Darilei, Soloff and Tarrish are predominantly human.  Halveet, after which the League is named, recently reached a rough division in human/Shal population.  Each one holds a seat on the High Council, where they typically form a powerful voting block.  Halveet's seat is held by the Governor, which position was recently assumed by the human merchant Richard Oberuc, who is the head not only of Halveet itself but the nominal head of the entire League mercantile system.  The cities together exert a virtual stranglehold over the trade with the sea-dwelling Neridi clans in the southern seas, and attempt to control all trade along and through the coast. Only licensed ships may dock at or embark from League-held ports to carry trade goods between the northern and the southern lands (off the map), and vice versa. Further, no goods can be loaded or unloaded at any docks under League control unless they bear the tax-seals indicating payment of the required tariffs. Many smaller towns and villages along the coast chafe under the taxes imposed by the League. Smuggling is a constant concern, especially in the far east where the unruly city of Helve (once a founding city of the League, and now an outcast) encourages defiance of the tariff system, as well as piracy in the southeastern seas.

Darilei also controls a large area in-land and much of the trade towards the southwest (including the particularly lucrative chocolate trade) – and its elected ruler, the Marche, is probably the single most powerful human-controlled office in the lands. The Marche holds office for ten years, and commands a sizeable armed force, both to enforce League mandates on trade and as a buffer against Seldez.


Regional Feats:

All Members: Cosmopolitan; Education; Mercantile Background; Silver Palm; Smooth Talk; Persuasive

Yarrick/Dorsey: Endurance; Negotiator; Stormheart

Visaiyain/Malisis: Magical Training; Artist

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:22, Fri 11 Nov 2011.

GM
 GM, 5 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:08
Sa'iph and Torei
Sa'iph

Sa’iph, a central eastern nation, remains under firm – and harsh – Shal control. Its mountains rich in much-needed ores (including precious gold), and lush with forests of precious woods, Sa’iph exploits its natural resources through indentured laborers – who are primarily humans, whose families have been working off debts that are generations old. Its hereditary ruler, the Sajeem, is an old and cunning wizard-king, and the traditionally Shal-dominated Politi Order of mages is particularly entrenched in his realm.

Sa’iph enjoys a stable relationship with the Dwerg in Holberg, but a less-than-favorable relationship with the Quaj in Tivaris. The chief source of tension between the two Elven nations is the East Redding. The Sajeem has long wanted to expand his borders westward, but the communities of the East Redding are under the protection of the Quaj.

Regional Feats: Artist; Education; Magic in the Blood; Magical Training; Spell-Casting Prodigy; Spellwise.




Torei

The human-controlled Torei lies further south. Formerly a Sa’iph-held province, Torei’s humans broke away from the Sajeem’s rule three generations before and have been ruled by a series of relatively short-lived military commanders. Both those of Shal blood, or mages trained by the Politi Order, are unwelcome within its borders. Its southern boundary is in constant flux, with the Shal-controlled territory surrounding Visaiyain perceived by its ruler (currently General Arkus) as a constant threat. Arkus has been trying in recent years to bring Helve under his control, in hopes of expanding his power further south and further isolating Visaiyain within his borders.

Torei has also, in the past two decades, given rise to a new church, the Temple of Hamal, that teaches of a single deity that created all things and all peoples. The Temple has established a foothold in Torei, and its clerics have recently moved westward.

In the past five years, Arkus’s government has focused on developing better relationships with the High Council and the Halveetian League, attempting to gain their recognition of Torei’s independence from Sa’iph and an acknowledgment of the freedom of any debt-marked citizens of Torei from servitude to their Shal owners in Sa’iph. Those efforts are, behind the scenes, going well in the League, helped along by an agreement reached two years ago between Torei and the Jotunn in Farolan to open a shipyard in Hatham and to build a commercial fleet for Torei.

That compact, however, has complicated efforts to gain the support of the High Council, where the long-standing Shal dominance and historical position of the Sajeem remains strong. Sa’iph claims the Jotunn shipyard is in fact being used to design and construct warships that would allow Torei to attack Sa’iph’s own shipping fleets and coastal towns. A Sa’iph-influenced faction on the Council insists that in order to gain any support from the Council, Torei must first agree not to build any military ships of any sort.

Regional Feats: Discipline; Furious Charge; Luck of Heroes; Militia; Foe Hunter; Iron Will.

Edited to correct typographical error.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:15, Sun 18 Mar 2012.

GM
 GM, 6 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:11
Helve
Three hundred years ago, Helve was a jewel of a city. Today, due to a series of natural disasters (an earthquake, and a number of hurricanes) and the civil war that led to Torei’s breaking off from Sa’iph, Helve is a city at least half given over to the control of the criminal element (which overlaps, to a substantial extent, with the official civilian government). It is said that you can buy almost anything – or anyone – here, assuming you can survive long enough to do so.

A substantial amount of sea-trade passes through Helve, the profits of which go to enrich the fabulously wealthy upper-class. Helve’s government – or what passes for one – plays the middle between Torei and the League, and actively encourages the smugglers and pirates who defy the League.


Regional Feats: Blooded; Cosmopolitan; Deceitful; Street Smart; Silver Palm; Smooth Talk.
GM
 GM, 7 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:12
Seldez
Seldez is the youngest of the major powers, and reached its current borders within the past thirty years under the guidance of Vactor Adelu. A half-human, half-Shal fighter, Adelu seized control through a military coup, over-throwing a half-mad ruler, and then spent the next thirty years expanding Seldez’s boundaries. He moved first west, and ended by building fortifications near the rivers along the western borders. He then moved east, sacking the Shal-controlled city of Wyndham and threatening to move into Darilei and through the League. He was pushed back by Council and League forces at Bense, which was burned to the ground during a final battle by Adelu’s forces against the Council army and a corps of Politi mages under the command of Kallin So.

The fortuitous capture of So (the son of Ellinden So, the Lady of Sutton and a member of the High Council) allowed Adelu to bargain for peace – and to keep control of all his lands, after relinquishing control of Wyndham and the now-destroyed Bense, as well as gaining a seat on the High Council itself.


Regional Feats: Blooded; Combat Reflexes; Dreadful Wrath; Militia; Thug.
GM
 GM, 8 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:13
Sutton and Farolan
Sutton:

In the northwest, this city – under the command of a single Shal family, led by Ellinden So (a member of the High Council) – controls the only mountain pass to the northeast that is usable year-round. As such, it controls a key trade-route to the northeastern seas, to the northern city of Farolan. The So family is one of the oldest Shal clans, and one long and closely allied with the Politi Order, which has trained many members of the family – including Elliden herself, and her son, Kallin.

Regional Feats: Artist; Education; Magic in the Blood; Magical Training; Spell-Casting Prodigy; Spellwise



Farolan:

Farolan is a small city, that spends much of the colder months locked in by ice. During the spring and summer, however, the seas become passable again, allowing the ships to sail again for distant foreign lands. Roughly half the population of Farolan consists of the Jotunn, a race of large humanoid creatures averaging 10 – 12 feet in height.

The Jotunn dwell in homes carved from the sea-cliffs, and are known for their ship-building abilities. It is rare to see any of Jotunn blood in the southern lands; however, small groups of Jotunn have relocated to the League to design and build ships. Within the past five years, a small group has moved to Torei to assist Arkus in constructing and launching that country’s first fleet.

Regional Feats: Dauntless; Endurance; Great Fortitude; Inscribe Rune; Stormheart;Survivor

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:46, Mon 04 Nov 2013.

GM
 GM, 9 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:15
The A'nari Keep
The A’nari family – another very old and very powerful Shal family – held the mountain pass leading to the western lands controlled by the Quaj (sylvan elves). Twenty years ago, however, the Keep was overcome by unknown attackers and the family wiped out. Many believe the A’nari were the victims of their own foolish largesse, and found themselves attacked by the Stamm clans that they allowed to settle in the area a century ago. The Stamm were hunted and harassed, and are now in hiding.

The lands around the Keep have been cursed, and the Keep lies wrapped in wardings that no one has been able to penetrate since the attack.

No regional feats are provided, as this is not an option for PCs as a starting background.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:29, Fri 28 June 2013.

GM
 GM, 10 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:16
Tivaris
This large northern forest is controlled by the Quaj (i.e., arboreal rather than urban elves). Visitors are unwelcome, but those who live in the lands surrounding the forest have historically been protected by the Quaj. Indeed, that protection has been the primary reason why Sa’iph has not been able to expand its borders further into the East Redding. The easiest trade routes between the southern and northern lands pass through Tivaris. At one end of a road, travelers are given a stamped coin, known as a “stemming” – to be surrendered at the end of the past – as proof that they are permitted to travel in the Quaj lands. Those found off the road, or without the stemming, are subject to summary Quaj justice.

The Quaj's long-time ruler, the Morrigan, and her policies are extremely isolationist.  Although Tivaris has a seat on the High Council, the appearance of a representative at a meeting is a rare occurrence.



Regional Feats: Animal Affinity; Fearless; Fleet of Foot; Forester; Magic in the Blood; Stealthy; Swift and Silent;Track; Tree Topper.

Edited to clarify some vague points on Quaj political outlook.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:23, Sun 18 Mar 2012.

GM
 GM, 11 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:17
Holberg
The Dwerg (dwarves) control much of the northeastern mountains and have long had a solid trade pact with Sa’iph. Their relationship with the Quaj is amicable, though not overly friendly, and the requirement for purchase of a stemming to pass through Tivaris is a source of some friction between the two nations. The mountains of the western border, however, are heavily guarded against the Stamm races of the North Redding.


Regional Feats: Axe-Thrower; Bull-Headed; Militia; Self-Sufficiency; Strong Soul; Surefooted;Toughness.
GM
 GM, 13 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 18:26
The Vind
There is no real mechanism for fugitives to be extradited from one jurisdiction to the other. Governments – or even vindictive individuals – will place a bounty on the head of someone they want captured. An organization – the Vind – arose to allow free-lance mercenaries to obtain information about bounties, and then pursue the fugitives and turn them in for the reward. One of the highest outstanding bounties is for Kallin So – placed by Marren Savit, former lord of the now-destroyed Bense, who blames So for the destruction of the city during the war with Vactor Adelu.

Over the centuries, organization expanded the scope of its activities to acting as a middleman between anyone needing mercenary services for any type of work, without any concern over whether the “work” is lawful or not. Anyone can come to the Vind Hall to hire, or to be hired; the employer pays a fee to the Vind. This is the first principle of the Vind Hall: List for hire anyone, by anyone, for anything—no questions asked, anonymity (where desired) guaranteed.

The Vind Hall also acts as a “banking” alternative to League moneyhouses throughout the lands, offering better rates for exchanges and investments than the merchant-led houses. This is the second principle of the Vind Hall: Low cost banking for anyone, regardless of whether they wear silk or burlap.

Both principles have caused more than a little friction for the Vind Halls in League cities. The Vind accept listings for people hiring to assist in smuggling or blockade-running, and refuse to remove the listings or identify the people placing the postings. The Vind Hall also steadily undercuts League exchange rates.

Finally, the League is becoming less inclined to turn its taxing eye away from the fees earned by the Vind Hall for acting as a middleman, or from treasure Vind Hall members recover on hired jobs and then carry overland into League cities. (League customs inspectors at the docks tend to be more strict about examining all cargo brought through the ports.)
GM
 GM, 19 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2009
at 23:58
The Map

GM
 GM, 2615 posts
 The fickle hand of fate
Tue 12 Mar 2013
at 15:48
Current Political Situations
The over-arching principle to keep in mind with regards to “what’s going on in the world” is that it’s all about controlling, keeping control of, taking control of, or expanding control of trade routes and the like.

So what are the major goings on that the PCs might (or might not, depending upon their background and personal curiosity) know about?

The Halveetian League, consisiting of the city-states along the southern coast, is constantly seeking to expand its footprint and to consolidate its control of the coastal trade-routes. This is leading to growing conflict with:

  • Towns/villages/seaports along the coast that do not want to be blessed with the advantages of League “protection.” Until now, this conflict has been mostly limited to seaside communities that are located somewhere between Darilei in the west and Visaiyain in the east. This conflict has been witnessed in passing by Jonathan, Mobley and Tara in Hanport (which is unhelpfully not on the map), which was mostly destroyed by League forces burning out smugglers.
  • The Vind Hall, which has posted – and continues to post – notices from blockade runners who advertise for volunteers to evade or break League blockades around coastal communities. The notices are phrased in terms of resisting oppression, though those with a suspicious mind might suspect that the blockade runners … or smugglers, who want to evade League taxes … have their own economic interests in mind.  The League wants to force the Vind to identify the individual(s) behind the postings, but the Vind – who consider their obligation to protect client confidentiality – refuse to do so.  This conflict has been seen in one of the NPC posts in the "What's Happening Off-Screen" thread.
  • Middle Redding horse clans: The growing size of the League cities requires ever-more farmland to support the urban populace. This conflict is especially pressing in the plains north of Chade, as farming families move further north and attempt to fence in farmland to protect it from wild life as well as Middle Redding riders. The farming communities have advertised in the Vind Hall for mercenaries to aid in guarding the fenced land.
  • Other communities at the borders between League-controlled land and other “countries.”  For instance, the League city of Darilei controls a significant amount of inland territory, as shown within the bounds on the map. Darilei continues to expand its hold west and north, causing renewed conflict with Seldez.  This conflict has been referred to in passing in Morgana's thread.
  • The Clunne: The Clunne hold lands west and southwest of Darilei (off the map). Commonly known as a collection of disorganized, uncivilized and unwashed barbarians, the Clunne have recently become organized under the banner of a chieftain known as Owen of Clun. In the past few years, they have harried League caravans and otherwise interfered with the expansion of League trade overland to the west.



Sa’iph is up in arms about the recent establishing of Jotunn shipyards in Torei. Sa’iph claims that the Jotunn are also building a war fleet for Torei that could be used to control the sea routes to and from Sa’iph on the eastern coasts.  This conflict was referred to in Richard's thread.

Sa’iph has brought a protest to the the High Council in an effort to get the High Council to put pressure on the Jotunn and/or the League to make commitments to not support Torei’s independence or its establishment or a war fleet.  The League’s own council has been less than receptive to Sa’iph’s protests to date, given that at least half of the League cities are human-controlled and less than sympathetic to Sa’iph’s position on the debt-marked.

The High Council’s historic position as the over-arching political power, however, has been fading; the days of the historic Shal-dominated oligarchy is over. Its ability to call the shots, to “force” the League to do anything, is lessening every day. Further, the ability to influence the Jotunn is likewise limited. The Jotunn homeland of Farolan is the key port for trade in the northern seas, and the Jotunn recognize the leverage they have as a result. As a courtesy, they will listen to Ellinden So, the Lady of Sutton whose holdings control the main pass and overland trade route between Farolan and the southern lands, but both she and the Jotunn know that is only a courtesy.


The Council also has been distracted recently by a struggle for control of the seat traditionally held by the A’nari house, which has been left vacant for nearly fifteen years since the family was essentially wiped out and the A’nari Keep sealed. With control of the seat comes control of the vast A’nari land holdings. The only two known heirs, Iaondrin Shal A’nari and Morgan Shal A’nari have refused to answer the Council’s summons – and in fact are wanted for lending aid to the Clunne.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:53, Fri 12 Apr 2013.

GM
 GM, 2618 posts
 The fickle hand of fate
Tue 12 Mar 2013
at 15:59
Vind Hall Notices
Vind Hall Notices can also be viewed in .pdf format here.

By the High Council

BY NOTICE OF THE HIGH COUNCIL

THE FOLLOWING ARE COMMANDED TO APPEAR BEFORE THE FULL COUNCIL BEFORE THE NEXT WINTER SOLSTICE TO ANSWER CLAIMS OF LENDING AID AND ASSISTANCE TO THE CLUNNE

Iaondrin Shal A’nari and Morgan Shal A’nari

THOSE PROVIDING INFORMATION LEADING TO THEIR TIMELY RETURN SHALL BE REWARDED

All inquiries are to be directed to the Second Chancellor of the High Council



By the Halveetian League


WANTED BY THE HALVEETIAN LEAGUE FOR VIOLATIONS OF TAX LAWS, BLOCKADE-RUNNING AND SMUGGLING

Lodur, Son of Rigg of the North Redding
Senonna Innis, Captain of The Unfaithful Lady, which ports in Helve
Newlin Powell, Halfing of the Fifth Redding
Reward: 300 gold each, plus 10% of all assets seized



REWARD OFFERED FOR THE RETURN OF RARE BOOKS STOLEN FROM THE LIBRARIES OF HALVEET
Sogno d’el Desiderio di Muert
Leith Thellin’s History of the Stamm Wars
Atlas of the Ancient Lands


ABLE BODIES AND STRONG HEARTS TO GUARD THE WESTERN BORDERS OF DARILEI AGAINST INVADING CLUNNE

and

LEAGUE SEEKS RECRUIT TO PATROL BEACHES FOR SMUGGLERS AND GUARD AGAINST BLOCKADE-RUNNERS
DO NOT LET THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT UNDERMINE THE AUTHORITY OF THE LEAGUE



By the Lord of Bense

BOND SWORN BY MARREN SAVIT
FOR THE CAPTURE AND DELIVERY OF KALLIN SO POLITI MAGE AND SON OF THE LADY OF SUTTON, FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF BENSE
REWARD OFFERED:
TREASURE EQUAL TO 1/3 THE HOLDINGS OF THE LORD OF BENSE



By Blockade Runners
No Taxation For No Benefit!!

The oligarchs of the Halveetian League have long enforced their tax and trade laws against villages and seaside ports that have no voice in the League Council!

Promises have been made, but never kept, that local taxes would benefit local people, to fund public improvements, to guard against Stamm, or to provide for law enforcement

LOCAL TAXES DO NOTHING OTHER THAN FILL THE SILK-LINED POCKETS OF MERCHANTS IN THE MAJOR LEAGUE PORTS

VOLUNTEERS ARE SOUGHT TO JOIN BLOCKADE-RUNNERS TO SUPPLY VILLAGES ON THE SHORES FROM VISAIYAIN TO TARRISH WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY THE OUTRAGEOUS TAXES DEMANDED BY THE LEAGUE



Private Party Listings

HUGH VERNON IS HIRING FOR A FOURTH EXPEDITION TO THE A'NARI KEEP!
TEST YOUR COURAGE AGAINST UNKNOWN MONSTROUS CREATURES!!! CLAIM UNTOLD RICHES!!!
UNCOVER THE MYSTERIES OF ONE OF THE GREATEST FALLEN SHAL HOLDINGS!!!
HUGH VERNON IS SEEKING ADVENTURERS FOR A FOURTH PRIVATELY-FUNDED EXPEDITION TO INVESTIGATE AND CLEAR OUT THE HALLS OF THE A’NARI KEEP

THE TEMPLE OF TRELON IN THE MOUNTS NORTH OF SELDEZ IN THE FIFTH REDDING SEEK AID IN RETRIEVING THE BODY OF THE REVEREND LORIN DEANES

FARMERS OF BRINDENFORD SEEK AID IN LOCATING 6 MISSING PERSONS

BODYGUARDS SOUGHT FOR OVERLAND CARAVANS TO SUTTON AND BEYOND TO FAROLAN

ADVENTURERS NEEDED TO EXPLORE AND OPEN NEW ROUTES TO THE SOUTHERN LANDS FOR THE TRADE OF THE EXOTIC FARE OF CHOCOLATE AND OTHER SPICES

GUARDS REQUIRED TO PROTECT FENCED LANDS IN THE MIDDLE REDDING AGAINST HORSEMEN AND POACHERS