Andoran, Darkmoon Vale, and Environs.   Posted by Andoran.Group: archive 1
Tue 8 Jul 2008
at 08:55
Andoran, Darkmoon Vale, and Environs
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Alignment: NG
Capital: Almas (76,600)
Notable Settlements: Augustana (54,200),
Bellis (4,800), Carpenden (10,600),
Falcon’s Hollow (1,400), Oregent (22,700)
Ruler: His Excellency Codwin I of
Augustana, Supreme Elect of the Free
Peoples of Andoran
Government: Fledgling democracy
Languages: Common
Religion: Abadar, Erastil, Iomedae,
Aroden, Cayden Cailean

In the opening years of the Age of Lost Omens, the death of the demigod Aroden threw empires into chaos. Mighty Cheliax, greatest of human kingdoms, fell to savage wars of assassination and plunder. Pretender after pretender sought to seize the Chelish Throne, and the kingdom’s outer provinces looked toward the heartlands with dread. When peace came to Cheliax, it came at a terrible price. The meticulous and evil House Thrune held the empire in its grasp and, with the help of diabolical servitors bound by magic and fell contract, this new aristocracy demanded obedience from the old.

The furthest dependencies of Cheliax remained isolated from the madness pouring from the new capital of Egorian, and slowly slipped from Thrune’s talons. Closer to the capital, nobles whose families had been loyal to Cheliax for centuries faced an impossible choice. In Andoran, the greatest and most cosmopolitan of Cheliax’s holdings, the nobles reluctantly submitted to the rule and whims of the scheming devilmasters, betraying their nation and igniting a political fire that burns brighter now with each passing year.

Andoran got its start 3,000 years ago as the westernmost marchland of Old Taldor, a vast wooded plain populated by a curious, peaceful folk in awe of their more civilized eastern neighbors. The seemingly endless timber from the Arthfell Forest fed a growing shipyard at Augustana, and soon Andoran became critical to Taldor’s navy and exploration of the seas beyond the Arch of Aroden. Andorens settled the disastrous Sun Temple Colony on Azlant, and their ships were among the first to reach the shores of central Arcadia, establishing strongholds that serve the nation to this day.

At the behest of the inf luential Chelish King Aspex the Even-Tongued, Andoran abandoned its ties with Taldor in 4081. The move came just as the armies of Qadira—traditional enemies of the empire—crossed Taldor’s southern border in a brazen invasion. Vastly weakened and beset by decadence, Taldor could not fight on two fronts at once. It ceded Andoran, Cheliax, and a
half-dozen other states without a fight.

For centuries, it seemed Andoran had made the right choice. Trade thrived under the kings of Cheliax, and the merchants of the nation’s towns and cities grew more and more powerful, rivaling the hereditary nobles. Orc raids from the Five King Mountains, trouble with druids and fey in the country’s noticeably dwindling forests, harassment by pirates on the open sea, and native uprisings disrupting colonial operations in Arcadia were constant threats, but life in Andoran remained mostly peaceful and free from upheaval.

The trouble in Cheliax in the wake of Aroden’s death threatened that peace. The nation’s margrave and his relatives in the ruling class capitulated to the demands of Cheliax’s new diabolical queen in the interest of keeping things peaceful. They judged correctly that most of their citizens preferred to avoid the bloodshed that had drowned the heartlands, but incorrectly assumed they would trade safety for servitude to the pawns of the Nine Hells.

By 4669, the outrage grew too great for the proud merchants of Andoran. Citing the anti-nobility screeds of Galtan philosophers like Jubannich and Hosetter, the merchants rallied the common man to demand greater rights and cast down the old order. Unlike in Galt, whose own revolution went astray, the merchants of Andoran did not seek to kill their former lords. Instead, they offered citizenship in the new kingdom without a king, where all men were equal and leaders ruled only at the mandate of the people. Those who agreed were welcomed into the new order.

Those who refused faced the noose. Either way, the nobles’ holdings became the property of the state and were often immediately sold off or given to supporters of the so-called People’s Revolt.

Today, Andoran owes its power to a consortium of political radicals, wealthy merchant lords, and sympathetic aristocrats who seek to spread the political philosophy of Common Rule and open new markets throughout the world. Much of the nation’s impressive wealth comes from precious antiquities raided from distant, unmapped lands such as Arcadia and the Mwangi Expanse. Competition for these resources grows fiercer by the year, and exotic locales like the ruin-laden deserts of interior Osirion or slivers of ancient Azlant have hosted proxy wars between agents of Andoran and enemy powers like Cheliax and Taldor.

Andorens seek not just to transform their homeland, but to export their cultural, philosophical, and mercantile beliefs to the world. Years ago, the heroes of Andoran emptied the nation’s prisons and freed all its slaves in an attempt to bolster the strength of the Revolt, and its people have henceforth subscribed to a militant abolitionism. Agents provocateurs dispatched from the capital city of
Almas actively seek to undermine the Inner Sea slave trade and those nations that support it, which is nearly all of them. The world thus views Andorens as troublemakers and unwanted ideological imperialists.

The Supreme Elect of Andoran, currently Codwin I of Augustana, manages the Executive Office, a huge bureaucracy that handles most governmental affairs in the nation. The 350 citizen-representatives of the People’s Council sit on marble benches in the monument-laden capital at Almas. Many once held noble titles, while others rose from slavery or serfdom to speak for their home counties in the assembly. From the highest government official of Andoran to its lowliest servant, nearly everyone believes in the tenets of the People’s Revolt that transformed their nation some 40 years ago. They are the children of the second and third generations of liberty, and their faith in the Andoren way is resolute.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:45, Tue 08 July 2008.

Darkmoon Vale
Tue 8 Jul 2008
at 08:05
Re: Andoran, Darkmoon Vale, and Environs
Darkmoon Vale

I’ve been to better places in this world, safer places. I’ve been to places with prettier people, more civilized people. But you know? I’ve never been to a place with such a swing between safety and danger. On the one hand, you can stand within Adamas and feel that not even a second Earthfall could threaten you. On the other, you can peer into the eyes of an angry dragon within the dark tangle of Arthfell Forest and know that not even divine intervention could save you.

—Luna Aldred,
Pathfinder and First Citizen of Olfden

Danger lurks in every corner, every nook and cranny, of Darkmoon Vale. Some threats are obvious—they come in the form of werewolves, kobolds, and dragons. Some threats—and these are by far the more dangerous—are normal humans, from community leaders to streetwise toughs. Hazards are not limited to the area’s living inhabitants, either. In fact, compared to the active dangers presented by much of Darkmoon Vale’s geology, its living threats might almost seem tame. Vast swaths of the low plain within the wide vale hide superheated mud and broiling hot springs beneath only an inch or two of earth, waiting to boil alive any creature unfortunate enough to make a single misstep. And, of course, standing above the entire area looms the immense volcano, Droskar’s Crag, the awakener of the region’s active geology and architect of the largest cataclysm to hit Andoran in the past millennium.

Region Basics
Darkmoon Vale stands at the northwestern corner of the democracy of Andoran, which only recently succeeded in breaking away from the infernal empire of Cheliax. Although named Darkmoon Vale, the area is more like a dale or f lat dell than a true valley (and is occasionally referred to as such throughout this volume). While the northern border of the area does indeed sweep down from a range of mountains, the southern end of the vale only rises up to a low shelf. The River Foam crosses the vale, but it had no hand in creating the lowland through which it runs.

Semantics aside, Darkmoon Vale is a resource-rich, geologically active wilderness at the edge of civilization. Its borders rest more than a day’s ride from any major city. While it does provide an overland trade route to neighboring Isger, the few merchants who take advantage of the dangerous journey do not hasten Andoran’s desire to increase patrols along the road. If not for the dwindling supply of darkwood and the few silver mines in the nearby mountains, Andoran would have little reason to show any interest in the region at all.

Speaking Like a Valer
Darkmoon Vale’s human residents all speak Taldoran (also called Chelaxian), the most widespread tongue in the areas surrounding the Inner Sea. They do so, however, with an accent that borrows from the speech patterns of both Andoran and nearby Isger. This distinctive vale accent sounds clipped and sharp, but not to the point of seeming angry. In addition to this unique accent, the people of Darkmoon Vale have their own dialect unique to the area. In order to help you blend in while exploring Darkmoon Vale, make sure to (correctly) use the following phrases.
Cutyard: A tree-felling camp that temporarily houses
lumberjacks chopping an area of the woods.
Mudpot: A type of hot spring or fumarole consisting of
bubbling mud instead of boiling water. Also called a mud
pool or paint pot.
The Store: Lumbering supplies provided by the Lumber
Consortium, which often come with additional “taxes,”
even long after purchase.
Stoutfolk: What dwarves of the Five Kings Mountains
call themselves.
Valer: A human born, raised, and living in Darkmoon Vale.
Immigrants, transients, and non-humans are not Valers.
The Woods: Darkmoon Wood. Valers don’t call any
other groups of trees “the woods.”
Falcons Hollow
Tue 8 Jul 2008
at 08:19
Re: Andoran, Darkmoon Vale, and Environs
Falcon’s Hollow
A blunt, sawdust-choked stop on a winding trade route, a festering haven of injustice and cruelty, Falcon’s Hollow rests perilously close to the infamous Darkmoon Wood. The long shadow of Droskar’s Crag casts a shroud of gloom on the desperate souls who call this place home. Many come here to make their fortune cutting darkwood lumber in the lush wood, while others journey to this remote fringe to start over, piecing together their shattered lives on the edge of an untouched wilderness far from the things of man. Persecuted zealots and outcasts flock to Falcon’s Hollow to practice their strange and often deviant rites unfettered by the mores of civilization. Finally, Falcon’s Hollow lures many explorers with the promise of great adventure nearby. The town, its people, and everything in it belong to the corrupt Lumber Consortium, controlled by the de facto leader of the town, the loathsome Thuldrin Kreed. His petty decrees and the consortium’s overpriced goods keep the people of the town prisoner as surely as if Kreed and his goons used manacles and chains.

Home to fewer than 1,500 humans and a smattering of other races, most of the townsfolk care only for the paltry coins paid for their backbreaking work and what simple comforts they can buy. A few, however, understand that what’s bad for one is bad for all, and they struggle endlessly with the Lumber Consortium to improve the lives of their neighbors—and by extension, themselves. The community thrives on a tenacious mix of greed, debauchery, and stubborn self-reliance. As much property of the Lumber Consortium as the buildings, cut timbers, and other assets in the town, the people of Falcon’s Hollow live in abject poverty and unending misery. Those born into Falcon’s Hollow (or those foolish enough to move there willingly—or even unwillingly) face lives filled with anguish and devoid of hope or betterment.

Falcon’s Hollow
Town nonstandard (lumber consortium); AL NE
GP Limit 1,500 gp; Assets 40,550 gp
Population 1,400
Type isolated (94% human, 3% halfling, 1% half-elf, 1% elf, 1%
other races)
Authority Figures
Gavel Thuldrin Kreed, leader of the Lumber Consortium;
Magistrate Vamros Harg, town judge and barrister;
Sheriff Deldrin Baleson, sheriff of Darkmoon Vale; Boss
Payden “Pay Day” Teedum, overboss of the Lumber

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:19, Tue 08 July 2008.

Tue 8 Jul 2008
at 08:14
Re: Andoran, Darkmoon Vale, and Environs
Although Olfden is more than twice the size of Falcon’s Hollow, it offers less than half the excitement. The people of Olfden are not stupid, and they can see the end of logging revenue in the future—not in their lifetimes, perhaps, but likely in the lives of their children or grandchildren. As a result, Olfden continues to look for new reasons to draw people to the area and for a whole new purpose in existing.

With a relatively recent upsurge of interest in Raseri Kanton, Droskar’s Crag, and Darkmoon Vale in general, Olfden has positioned itself as a base of operations for exploratory groups and adventurers. Where Falcon’s Hollow provides plenty of opportunities for adventure, Olfden provides adventurers with plenty of goods and services they need. Dozens of small shops, inns, and other businesses cater to the needs of the courageous. Situated not quite halfway between Falcon’s Hollow and Oregent and perched on a low cliff along the Elberwick Rise, Olfden acts as the major civilizing element in the wide dale. With the help of the Diamond Regiment (whose headquarters, Adamas, stands only a few miles away) and
the elusive Fangwatch (which only interacts with the town through the Diamond Regiment), Olfden works constantly to suppress the area’s werewolves and to ensure the safe passage of darkwood-laden convoys.

Large Town conventional (mayor); AL NG
GP Limit 3,000 gp; Assets 6,638,000 gp
Population 3,319
Type isolated (89% human, 5% dwarf, 2% half-orc, 1% elf, 1%
gnome, 2% other races)
Authority Figures
Mayor Gilmore Amring, mayor of Olfden; Irik VonSet, chief
advisor; First Citizen Luna Aldred, local heroine; Karlae
Siegfrost, councillor and advisor.

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:58, Tue 08 July 2008.

Pirens Bluff
Tue 8 Jul 2008
at 08:19
Re: Andoran, Darkmoon Vale, and Environs
Piren’s Bluff
The town of Piren’s Bluff looks like a traditional Andoren town, with a walled keep acting as the seat of power and the rest of the town sprawled out around it. The wooden palisade provides adequate protection against most threats. And when it doesn’t, the town folk can retreat inside the keep to defend themselves. Piren’s Bluff is large enough that strangers can mingle with the town folk without calling attention to themselves. As a border town, standing as it does on the border with Cheliax, Piren’s Bluff sees a lot of traffic—merchants, adventurers, hunters, and trappers who ply their trade in the Aspodell Mountains and Arthfell Forest. Smugglers occasionally even bring Darkmoon Vale darkwood through Piren’s Bluff, despite the random searches of caravans passing through. Because of darkwood’s strategic importance, those caught smuggling it out of Andoran are hauled off to Adamas and are never seen again.

Due to the rocky terrain Piren’s Bluff sits on, growing food is difficult and so trade becomes essential for the town’s survival. Fortunately for its residents, Piren’s Bluff stands only a few miles from the Aspodell Crossroads, so food and other commodities from Andoran and Cheliax constantly flow through the town, which in turn supplies both countries with an abundance of iron ore.

Piren’s Bluff
Size hamlet (conventional); AL Lawful
Evil (Lawful Neutral)
GP Limit 100 gp; Assets 1,050 gp
Population 210
Type isolated (96% human, 2% halfling, 1% elf, 1% other races)
Authority Figures
Baron Galdur Vendikon, leader of the town; Dreyxor Almir,
scion of the House of Almir; Guard Captain Blacklock, head
lawman; Tandifel Sathrun, master of the Hunter’s Guild