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The Barony of Ghoere
Table of Contents
Introduction............................. 2 Missives From the Court ........ 3 History of the Barony.............. 4 The Lands of Ghoere .............. 8 Ghoere Society .................... 29 Important Personages ............. 32 Holdings of Ghoere ................ 35 Rumours, Secrets & Plots ....... 38 Strategy Tips ........................... 39 Appendix ............................. 40
elcome to the Barony of Ghoere, a land surrounded by powerful enemies who guard against the ever growing might and strength of the Baron. Traditionally denied the rightful rank and position it deems itself worthy of. The Barons of Ghoere play a continuing game of cat and mouse with the other Imperial realms of Anuire. The Crown of the Empire is coveted by many, and in the quest to claim the Iron Throne, friendships and alliances are as fleeting as the winds. Intrigue and subtlety abound, but it shall take a strong arm and ingenious diplomatic savvy to claim the Throne of Anuire for yourself.
What you need to play
This accessory is designed to be used with the 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game, and is specifically designed for the Birthright™ campaign setting. The Birthright Box set is required, and the Players Secrets of Roesone, Book of Priestcraft, and Book of Regency are very useful but are not essential to incorporating this writing into play. The material presented here can easily be altered to fit any midsize, martially inclined kingdom.
How to Use this Sourcebook
It is assumed that the Barony of Ghoere is to be used as an NPC realm, and this book takes the Dungeon Master through a journey of the many secrets and dangerous locales within that Barony. It is not meant to be read outright by your players, and as a DM, you should allow only those portions which you feel might be common knowledge to be seen by your players. You are free to alter, ignore, or expand upon any of this information as you see fit in order to mould the knowledge herein to fit your personal campaigns. I have referred to published material as much as possible and conceded to it in each instance. Much of the geography and history of this writing is based on information presented in the Player Secrets of Roesone by Richard Baker and the Atlas of Cerilia by Richard Baker and Collin McComb. Additional resources used in this writing include: the Book of Priestcraft by Richard Baker, Dale Donovan, Duane Maxwell, and Ed Stark, The Book of Regency by Ed Stark, The Book of Magecraft by numerous authors, and of course, The Falcon and the Wolf by Richard Baker. I would like to thank all these authors for their works.
Written by Terry Keith and Mark VanderMeulen Edited by: Terry Keith and Mark VanderMeulen Creative Consultation by Tommy Ashton, Craig Greeson and Mark VanderMeulen Cover Art & Colour Plates by: Luis Vilaça Interior Art by: Dominic Hamer Cartography by Terry Keith
Special Thanks to Craig Greeson and Mark VanderMeulen who both contributed several of their own ideas and writings to this document, and to the membership of the Birthright mailing list at large : a heart felt note of appreciation. A better group of folks you’ll not find! Subscribe to the mailing list at: http://18.104.22.168/scripts/wa.exe?SUBED1=birthright-l&A=1 AD&D, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and Dungeon Master are registered trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Birthright, and the Birthright Logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc. (formerly TSR, Inc) © 1995 This product is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, places, or events is purely coincidental.
Missives from the Court
The Lord General Havriel’s report
reetings my Lord Baron! Our armies are the largest and best trained in all the heartlands and without exception, our neighbours fear our strength. This is both bane and boon to our cause my Lord. There is little that occurs within our land that does not escape the attentions of our neighbours, and our political manoeuvres are monitored with close scrutiny by every regent within Anuire. All eyes are upon you my Lord, but our military might is unquestionable. Your troops are strong, well equipped and loyal. The many mercenary captains of Anuire flock to your banners my Lord, and we are prepared to march at a moments notice. I believe lord, that if the Prince Avan could be distracted, and our ancient rivals in Diemed as well, that we might at last be able to conquer our northern nemesis in Mhoried within the span of a season. To the east, the Khinasi of Elinie sit ripe to be plucked, and in Osoerde, the Usurper Duke struggles to lock a yoke upon his people. To the south, the Baroness Marlae Roesone as yet to learn the rules in the game of thrones, and her own nobles approach us, secretly seeking alliance. These realms are no threat to us as yet sire, and our strength could be used to force them to our cause. To the west, the Duke Alam hides behind his shield, and utters empty threats at his enemies across the river in Tuornen. We need fear nothing from him, though he might too, be turned to our own ends with a small dose of manipulation. Only the dark woods of the Spiderfell are cause for immediate concern Lord Baron. The fiend of those woods has been overly quiet these past months, and the perpetual storm which rages over that dark mire has grown more ferocious of late. If I were a superstitious man Sire, I might think the storm bodes some imminent disaster or that it portents the coming of the Spiderlord. Of course sire, I am neither worried nor fearful of such an incursion. The brain-fevered fiend could be put down as quickly as a Ghieste trader should he but poke his head out of his woods long
enough for my archers to plant a shaft in him. - Lord Havriel Sein Lord General of Ghoere
The Lord Seneschal’s Report
y liege and Lord Baron, greetings. Our realm is wealthy beyond measure, and we have little worry for monetary matters. Yet our martial policies are expensive sire, and much of our resources are used in maintaining the men of your legions. Though I do not propose to question your wisdom or policies sire, there are many areas of our realm which might well benefit from an equal share of our treasuries attentions my Lord. The docks of Ghieste are in dire need of repair my liege, and the entire town crumbles with age. The border town of Achiese cries out for increased funding to maintain and upgrade its defences Lord, and in light of the recent usurpation of the Osoerdean throne, it might well be wise to relocate funds and forces to that province’s defence sire. The people, though well fed, are not overly happy in regards to the rather heavy taxation which they are subjected to, and some amount of dissent has arisen in the provinces which yet remain to be completely secured by your rule. Aside from these concerns Lord, there are some in your land who turn their ears to the voices and promises of the more liberal Mhoriens, and already our lands have become infected with the religious teachings of the humanitarian temples of Avanlae from our Khinasi neighbours. Your nobles have begun to test your resolve these past months also sire, and several of your Counts have grown lax in their duties. Lord Baron, I fear we might soon encounter some fair amount of resistance and uprising over the strictness of your rule, and I urge you to reconsider your policies before it is too late. - Landen Truemar Lord Seneschal of Ghoere
The Senator’s Report
ire, I report to you concerning our realms’ popular opinion amongst the diplomats and Senators of the Imperial Senate in the City of Anuire. Know Lord Baron, that much of Anuire looks upon our land as a rabid hound, eagerly awaiting the first sign of weakness from our neighbours so that we might strike. Lord, your reputation as a warrior and
conqueror precedes our every move. None trust us to respect the sovereignty of the surrounding lands, and every action our land takes is closely scrutinized by our peers. If it were not for the recent outbreak of hostility and chaos throughout much of Anuire, I fear sire, that our land would be beset upon by an alliance of our most formidable opponents, eager to end the threat which they perceive we present to them. It would do well to perhaps offer some display of friendship toward our fellow regents sire, and perhaps even some manner of self sacrifice might be in order, in hopes that we might better our relations and allay the fears of our peers my Lord Baron. - Lord Peityre Noried Senator of Ghoere
From Duchy to Barony;
an introduction to the history of Ghoere
he lands that are now known as the Barony of Ghoere were once separate, but closely aligned Duchies known as Ghieste and Bhalaene. These two Imperial powers had long been allied and dependant upon the other, and together, the two realms seemed to exemplify everything which the Empire stood for. Ghieste was composed of rich bottomland throughout her provinces of Ghiere, Rhumannen, Tireste and Tornilen, and her fields yielded vast amounts of grain and other staple crops. Eventually tasked by the Emperor with keeping the Imperial legions provisioned, the nobles of Ghieste soon became known for their skills of administration and distribution, and the Duchy quickly became the centre of trade for the entire heartlands. The Imperial Duchy of Bhalaene, on the other hand, enjoyed rich deposits of mineral wealth, and the hilly uplands of Achiese, Bhalaene, Bheline, Conallier and Danaroene soon became the dominating source for coal and raw iron ore for the majority of Imperial Anuire. The province of Conallier, and to an extent, Thoralinar, were mediocre agricultural based lands, but the legumes and tubers produced there could not supply Bhalaene’s ever growing populace alone, and so large amounts of grains and other
foodstuffs had long been imported from the markets of Ghieste. When the Imperial Steelworks was moved from the Imperial City to Bhalaene in 732 H.C (-792 MR), the might and influence of the Duchy became nearly unparalleled throughout the entire Empire, and the words of the Bhalaene Dukes were said by many, to have carried nearly as much weight as those of the Emperor himself. With the death of Michael Roele and the destruction of the majority of the Imperial Legions on the slopes of Battlewaite, the foundations of the Empire quickly began to decay, and the very fabric of Anuirean life quickly unravelled as the regents scrambled to maintain their thrones and power in the ensuing chaos. As a result of it’s mineral wealth and strong martial and religious tradition, the Duchy of Bhalaene seemed largely unaffected by the initial decay of the Empire. The Duke rapidly seized the opportunity to claim the Imperial Steelworks as a Ducal Protectorate, and supported in this claim by the Prelate of the Imperial Temple, the might and influence of the Duchy remained largely intact. In Ghieste however, the loss of the Imperial Bureaucracy nearly broke the power of the Duke, and with the Imperial Legions decimated and scattered, the backbone of Ghieste’s political might was largely gone. The nobles quickly seized the right to sell and distribute their grain independently from the Crown, and the Duke of Ghieste lost one of the last vestiges of influence and control over his lesser nobility. Seemingly overnight, the rising middle class came to dominate the entire trade of Ghieste, and within a few decades, the lesser nobility of Ghieste had grown rich and powerful in comparison to the Duke which lead them. Common born traders and minor noble born merchants grew fat from the economic contracts which the Ghieste land owners tendered to them, and many thought the trade town of Ghieste might come to rival the Imperial City in both size and economic might. The following years would bring strife and war throughout Anuire as each realm struggled to maintain what little influence remained to them, or else scrambled to usurp it’s dominance over their neighbours. Age old alliances fell apart, and friends turned to enemies as the nobles of Anuire quarrelled over land rights and the succession of the Iron Throne. Even the religious doctrines of the Empire were to fall under contest, and within a few decades following the death of Michael Roele, the pillar faith of Anuire, the Imperial Temple of Haelyn, began to crumble and
The Duchy of Bhalaene meanwhile. there were few temples left in Ghieste that held Haelyn as their patron. Ghieste seemed on the verge of forging a land based on the humanities and structured on individual merit rather than the traditional right of birth. and with each passing year.R. and the realm of Ghieste was much indebted to their eastern neighbour. It’s strength lay in her vast supply of iron ores. and held a long history of military expertise and warfare. Few realms in Anuire could raise. he argued. Despite his best efforts. and demanded that the wedding take place as arranged. This shift in base religious beliefs obviously caused many of the surrounding Duchies concern. Graeham could not break the Heartland reliance upon Ghieste trade. The shattering of Empire and the schism of the Imperial Temple did not overly effect Bhalaene. the first seed of conflict was planted between the once staunch allies. but few domains had cause nor wealth enough. strength and charity. However. none of the regents would risk the enmity of the Ghieste lords. and internecine warfare had become commonplace. obsessed with the lack of his rightful boon owed to him. had always been a cornerstone of the teachings of Haelyn. the rising middle class became more powerful and apparent as the trade consortiums and economic unions came to prominence and slowly replaced the rights of the nobles. Ghieste’s strength lay in it’s trading policies and it’s sizeable treasury. Bhalaene would only eventually manage to convince a few foreign nobles that something ought to be done about Ghieste policy and device. and refused to marry him. The Bhalaene campaign to turn Anuire against Ghieste seemed lost. Ghieste could have very nearly given birth to the beginnings of an Anuirean Renaissance. With the Bhalaese aid. In contrast. a large force of humanoids invaded the Duchy from the depths of the Spiderfell early that spring. it is little wonder that the teachings of Saramie would eventually replace the more martial philosophies of the Haelyn temples. was to wed the eldest daughter of Duke Eldant Ghieste. The Duke Ghieste. and with her paramount institution of trade. There was little peace throughout Anuire. the Duchy of Gheiste could be brought back to the traditions of Empire. With the apparent suicide of the Lady Caerellyn in light of the Bhalaene demands. supply and field a larger nor more well trained army of religious minded troops than could Bhalaene. and in these matters. when the Lady Caerellyn. the Duke Eldant Ghieste tried in vain to rearrange the agreement with Bhalanene. If it were it not for the pivotal events of the spring of 227 M. Ghieste was largely left uncontested during the pivotal years following the collapse of the Empire. Never a military power.R. As such.. By the middle of the second century following the death of Roele. Graeham and his father would not have it however. it was decided that Graeham Bhalaene.R. Thus. the Lady Caerellyn.splinter.. and petitioned that they should be made to forfeit their mercantile interests in favour of Haelyn’s more noble and righteous teachings of duty. and offered them great trade agreements and large tributes of gold in place of his daughter. the nobility of Gheiste had become little more than a collection of titled nobles scrambling frantically to survive amongst the wealthy trade unions and merchant consortiums which had arisen throughout the Duchy. many of the surrounding domains sought Bhalaene’s friendship and courted her in hopes of gaining a strong alliance. Due to this strength. (perhaps due to her lands more humanistic views regarding personal freedoms) spurned the young Graeham of Bhalaene. By the late 100's. to openly challenge the economic giant which Ghieste had become. nearly every realm within the Heartlands of Anuire was heavily dependant upon Ghieste trade and relied on Ghieste imports to feed their own populace. and the Duchy largely held to the ancient Imperial Laws. now heart broken and mournful over the death of the Lady Caerellyn. Ghieste was one of the leading advocates for change in the new political tapestry of the post Imperial age. and for the 5 . while the young Graeham. By 85 M. In this way. However. Graeham argued that Ghieste had abandoned Haelyn and the Empire. and though his son continued the quest following his death. the Spiderfell forces were defeated by the autumn of 227 M. began to lobby the surrounding realms to begin pressuring Ghieste to fulfil the boon which was owed. but no individual regents would unite with him in military action against the Duchy. and Ghieste was forced to call upon their neighbours in Bhalaene for aid in lifting the siege of their realm. and it’s enormous population. The duchy gradually grew farther away from the traditional values and teachings of Empire. son of the Duke Bhalaene. It appeared the two duchies would eventually be made one through the union of the eldest born. which yet was held in high regard by many of the realms throughout the Heartlands. looked upon Bhalaene as the cause of his sorrows.
and thus the later half of 397 M. In this manner.R. and how their noble counterparts in Ghieste lived either in tattered ruins of once great manors. agreed to support the Duke Bhalaene in his efforts against the depravity. Ghilbaer could force no admission from Rhegor. for their crimes against Haelyn and His Empire were unforgivable in he eyes of the church. the Duke Rhegor Ghieste and his entire household had been captured and imprisoned within their own dungeons. Duke Ghilbaer Bhalaene and his forces marched upon Ghieste. the imprisoned Royal Family of Ghieste was readied and provisioned for the return to the Imperial City of Anuire.R. Ghilbaer organized inquisition styled militias and empowered his troops with special civic powers that denied the people even the most basic of personal freedoms or privacy. and the realm of Ghieste was firmly held by the Crown of Bhalaene. the long winter and the incessant whispering of Father Enrik had taken its toll on the Duke Bhalaene. With the spring of 398 M. but High Priest Enrik. By the end of autumn harvest. the Heartland Duchies were able to support the traditions and values of the Empire. However.R. it had become apparent to many that the Duke Ghilbaer was losing his grasp of reality.. and hundreds were put to death with little or no substantial evidence which might prove their guilt. Ghilbaer ranted. (a strategy which Ghieste had always relied upon) their armies were unable to adequately defend against the Bhalaene threat. At great urging from his other advisors. With the timely employment of the majority of mercenary companies by the other Heartland realms. became known as the Winter of Sorrows. relations between the two Duchies would continue to degrade. In Ghieste. continually warned him away from such a path. Ghieste was to host the Sword and Crown of 396 M. rampant throughout Ghieste. Without the advantage of simply outnumbering their opponents. For hours. and began a series of harsh campaigns to restore the will of Haelyn throughout Ghieste and punish those who had betrayed the very core of the Anuirean being. Duke Ghilbaer was initially inclined to be merciful to the people of Ghieste and their fallen duke. their simple presence did what no amount of reasoned and impassioned words could do: it moved them to action. As fate would have it. before his families transfer to Anuire.. and accused Duke Rhegor and his family of heresy and dozens of other crimes. And so it was that in the spring of 397 M.R. Throughout the long winter. and were repeatedly routed from the field. and placed them on public trial before the assembled crowds of the city. while also maintaining the much needed trade with the very realm they sought to put down. the visiting nobility experienced first hand how the traditional values and rights of the resident nobility had been replaced by the power of the trade guilds. He invited the Imperial Chamberlain and his Royal Entourage to the city of Ghieste. Enrik counseled harsh punishments for the merchants and bureaucrats of Ghieste.next 170 years. how even simple born commoners would feel free to interrupt and even contradict their betters. a cabal of nobles.R. or else spent their time scurrying around making business deals and currying favor with bureaucrats and administrators like common merchants. Being suspect was enough to warrant persecution. After an intense but short siege. screamed. which was by now. Ultimately heaping guilt on the young Duke for considering mercy to those who would betray Anuire.there were no mercenaries available for hire with which they could easily swell their numbers. the last remnants of resistence throughout the Duchy had been put down. including not a few of the surrounding regents. and as the Anuirean nobility descended upon the Duchy of Ghieste. and by mid spring.. During the coming months. His anger now 6 . Ghieste realized it had lost one of it’s primary defensive measures . and by the close of the summer of 397 M. and before the Imperial Entourage could depart. the Prelate of Bhalaene and Ghilbaer’s primary advisor. the city of Ghieste fell to Duke Ghilbaer. Many were thrown into the Ghieste dungeons after only the most basic of trials. and that it was the High Priest Enrik who was actually in control of both the Ducal thrones. they secretly began funneling the men and coin that Duke Ghilbaer Bhalaene needed begin his campaign against his western enemies. it’s armies lacked the battle-hardened zeal of the Haelynite faithful that fought for Bhalaene. Ghilbaer brought forth the Duke Ghieste and his family. but try as he might. Although they still feared Ghieste and her economic might. Though Ghieste was wealthy almost beyond measure. and yet relied heavily on her trade. Ghilbaer was determined that the Ghieste Lord would first admit his guilt and beg forgiveness from the very people which he had wronged. Ghilbaer finally agreed that the Duke Ghieste and his family would be transferred to the Imperial City of Anuire in order to stand trial for their crimes against Haelyn and the Nobility. Duke Ghilbaer finally capitulated to Enrik’s demands. After the Sword and Crown.
He managed to rally the rebel cells of Ghieste and Bhalaene into a unified body. and although the Baron Regien was said to have had a nebulous connection to the House of Ghieste. Regien’s son Gherryt would succeed the throne of Ghoere. Still. Following his victory there. and so could not. and assaulted the City of Ilien. they seized upon Lord Regien. The civil war ended and the realm of Ghoere was born in 399 M. Ghilbaer marched from the public dais and left the shocked assembly behind. The Duchies that had once supported Bhalaene against Ghieste were dismayed at what had become of their champion. the assembled crowd. The Baron lead the now suddenly allied nobles of Bhalaene and Ghieste against the mad fanaticism of Ghilbaer’s administration. and he managed to cement the former duchies into a single entity surprisingly quickly and efficiently. It was a dark time for both realms. began to funnel aid to the rebel factions that had sprung up anew throughout both Duchies in the aftermath of the public bloodtheft. Despite his victory and clear right to the titles. rumors of a possible Ghieste heir persisted. and in repentance. and in 434 M. called back what soldiers weren’t already caught up in the fanatical madness of the region. The years following the war saw Baron Ghoere secure his new lands. Regien had organized a revolution against the Mad Duke Bhalaene. and the land began to recover from the incessant wars and strife which he had endured for so long. and the loss of life was incredibly high. and rode from the city. Quickly murdering the Duchess Ghieste and her two children as they lay weeping over the body of the late Duke Rhegor Ghieste. denouncing rather than supporting his claim to the throne of conquered Ghieste.R. who was a former general of the Ghiestan army and a follower of the Cult of Cuiraécen. Baron Gherryt’s only daughter. The Baron 7 . as well as continued interference in the affairs of Ghoere by the Patriarch of the Imperial Temple. the entire Barony was at peace. He flew into uncontrollable rage. As the bloodline of Ghieste coursed into the enraptured body of Duke Ghilbaer. the Duke Bhalaene would churn up the very fields of Ghieste in search of even the slightest link to the former Ducal line of Ghieste. For a brief time. claim the rank of Duke. he lost all semblance of sanity.R. As their champion. the Duke Ghilbaer flew into a rage spawned by madness. when Baron Regien Ghoere won a decisive victory against the mad Duke Bhalaene’s final vestige of power at the Lionsgate Pass in southern Danaroene. but his armies were finally forced to withdraw by the superior magic of Countess Azlea Aglondier. and within a few short months.at it’s zenith. for he was a far better administrator than warrior. He would see the line driven to extinction. In 429 M. The Baron’s success lead to a surge in interest in the Cult of Cuiraécen. In 471 M. He called all his loyal officers to him. Baron Gherryt’s efforts resulted in the strengthening of the Ghoeran economy.R. and quickly declared him a madman and murderer. under the laws of the Empire. and thrust Rhegor’s own sword through his chest as the Duchess and her children looked on in horror.. for the thoughts of those who sit in it seem to turn quickly to battle and domination over all which they surveyed. screaming his hatred of all things Gheiste. Noered Tuorel rose to power as the new Baron Ghoere following his marriage to Regina Ghoere. Despite his wise and effectual rule. and the faith quickly rose to prominence throughout the newly born realm. while that of the Duke Bhalaene was quickly falling to ruin. Despite his lack of martial prowess. The siege lasted several months.. and his cause would continue to gather support over the coming months. stood aghast at the crime which they beheld. The Baron Regien would pass away a few years later. Gherryt’s reign was unremarkable. in response to insults and slights made by Duke Harlan Diem. Thus was the Barony of Ghoere born from the havoc spawned by the destruction of two of Anuire’s most ancient Ducal Houses. including the Imperial Chamberlain’s representatives. he had absolutely no connection to the House of Bhalaene. Baron of Ghoere in Tireste. the Baron Regien Ghoere claimed the Ducal mantle of both Ghieste and Bhalaene for himself. he was denied the ranks which he felt he so rightly deserved.R. as brother turned against brother in the conflict. They withdrew their political and monetary support. In the following two years. it was soon whispered that the Throne of Bhalaene may have been tainted and cursed with the bloodlust of the Mad Duke Ghilbaer. and cursing the family line with the very core of his being. When at last his ecstasy ended. and Duke Ghilbaer turned to see the eyes of his peers staring with revulsion and outrage upon him. and would never be named a Duke by his peers. determined to hunt down and destroy every last vestige of the Ghieste bloodline. the Baron Regien marched his forces through the still sparsely-populated lands of eastern Diemed. and the viciousness of his Inquisitions are legendary to this day.
By 484 M. but there has never been any evidence brought forth to support such a claim. In 482 M. Orvaene was dead. Heirless and lonely. The resulting battle of their meeting is legendary among Danaroene’s populace. and the barony has clearly earned the right to be considered as an Imperial Candidate. and any who were present at the battle who might choose to press the matter have quietly disappeared. For a time it seemed that the Barony of Ghoere would collapse altogether.Tuorel was a strong leader. whose strategic brilliance is still legendary today. the Barony of Ghoere was reduced in might to little more than a loose collection of only barely aligned provinces. These chilling winds are thought to be the breath of the Gorgon by the more superstitious of the common folk. the region is 8 . he Barony of Ghoere is one of the largest realms within Anuire. the Barony of Ghoere held most of Mhoried under its control. During the autumn and winter months. and soon afterward Baron Tuorel succumbed to a cancerous black brooding over her loss. and within a year of his army’s retreat from Mhoried. they fought a hard-won victory against the Ghoerans. The of the Barony was claimed. for he would loose his grasp upon Mhoried the following spring. by Orvaene’s cousin. the Baron Ghorelle was found on the field. and by 515 M. The nobles of Ghoere are powerful and strong thanks to Tael’s many rulings. and also ranks amongst one of the richest. the Barony has truly earned it’s reputation as the premiere war machine throughout Anuire. however. and the weather tends to be as harsh and extreme as the Baron’s The spring winds are generally warm and light. The young Baron Orvane ruled Ghoere with an iron first. despite heavy opposition.R.R. Many suspect that it was Taele who delivered the stomach wound to his incompetent cousin. had managed by stealth. It was not until 530 M. the armies of Ghoere conquered the entire land of Elinie through a series of lightening-quick battles.R.R. and his wife was an accomplished diplomat who traveled the barony creating peace and prosperity where she passed. Despite these extremities. through ineptness and internal corruption. uncontested. The Lands of Ghoere T law. lead by the violent Baron Morghan Roesone himself. and turn frigidly bitter and sharp. the Lord Gwynaard.R. Gavin Tael. and when they begin to howl. Since his reign began. the Baroness Ghoere died of a strange fever after returning from a trip to Elinie. and light rain often falls in a steady drizzle for weeks at a time. Baron Tuorel blamed ‘the khinasi savages’ on his eastern border for his beloved wife’s death. and the winds that blow over the hills from Coeranys fail to bring any relief. and by spring of 486. to strike deep into the County of and were only discovered through a fluke encounter with Orvaene’s own vanguard as they marched to treat with the Count of the province. the region turns muggy and hot.. The following year saw Tuorel strike into Mhoried. Orvaene would reign for over 40 years. During the height of summer however. suffering from a vicious stomach wound. Although he was healed upon arrival at Count Gwynaard’s keep. the Baron Tael has managed to cement the Barony into a firm and strong realm once again. bringing with it a fair amount of precipitation. The forces of Roesone. and by early 531 M. Orvaene Ghorelle. and under his guidance.. that Orvaene’s rule could be seen drawing to a close. His armies met the forces of the fledgling Barony of Roesone in the field in what is now known as the Battle of Danaroene Field. Orvaene would never fully recover. but failed to continue the martial might the Barony experienced under Tuorel or those before him. Tuorel’s success was not to last. however. and escaped back into Ghoried with a great deal of booty. Storms commonly blow down from the Stonecrown Mountains and can bury the region in blinding snow for days before finally blowing themselves out. for although the raiding force of Roesone were greatly overmatched.. and even his own provinces began to drift. Within the decade Ghoere had lost its hold over Elinie. As the fog of war cleared. the winds shift from the north. Despite his inability to weld the realm together.. Climate T he Barony enjoys a vast array of climatic conditions throughout the year.. and unleashed his vengeance upon them. Tuorel was slain and his throne usurped by his general and cousin. the chapels of the Barony tend to fill beyond capacity with fearful peasants seeking divine protection from the evil winds.
Topography he Barony of Ghoere was once believed to be the territory of over a dozen different pre-flight Deismaar goblin tribes. Raids from the minions of the Spiderlord are most common in Tireste and Rhumannen. have been built (and rebuilt) along the borders of the dark forest for centuries. More than a few shadow world incursions are reported to have occurred at these sites as well over the ages. the earth beneath the Barony is not as hollow as most fools believe it to be. the banks suddenly cave in on upon themselves and travellers can find themselves trapped in a sinkhole. It is rare to travel more than a few hours on horseback without sighting at least a few farmsteads. and those areas unsuited for cultivation tend to reap other riches. The Gray Hills of north eastern Roesone rise in high. these low T mounds have become known as the ‘Gorgon’s Spine’. which can suck a swimmer beneath the dark surface of the river with the strength of a giant. The land in western Ghoere is very rich and produces a vast amount of agriculture. but if this is true. and the strong currents and eddies of the river make erosion a common problem. or lodged waist deep in a submarine grotto very quickly. and most of these serve as Royal hunting Grounds for the nobles of each region. Unfortunately. Certainly. the waters spill over the surrounding banks to form a morass of swirling. The north and western borders of the Barony are demarcated by the mighty River Maesil. collectively known as the Fellwatch. and the cool waters of the Stonebyrn and Maesil rivers mix with the acrid muck of the swamp to form a thick. much of the network has collapsed or been sealed into isolated pockets.for many fell creatures have been known to travel in secret through the crumbling ravines and sharp valleys. which wards against invasion better than the mightiest wall ever could. Windrows and wind breaks are common throughout the region. Though lacking a proper name. Since hunting and hawking are popular past times of the nobility. Riverport Marsh. rocky spines throughout the southern most regions of Ghoere. iron and coal being the most abundant. and the land is generally well tended for. Dozens of motte and bailey styled fortifications. as all too often. and the provinces of Achiese. though most of these entrances have long since crumbled and collapsed. and many of the mines that are still in use today are remnants of their ancient excavations. hypnotically treacherous eddies and currents.perhaps one of the richest regions with the heartlands in terms of arable land. These same currents have carved a wide path through the surrounding bog of rotting filth which has become known as both the Shadowmere Swamp. wetlands and oxbow lakes are common all along the entire river’s edge. It is along these ancient mounds that the majority of ancient goblin mines can be found. Where the Stonebyrn River joins the Maesil. Danaroene and eastern Bhalaene are all high tableland. which is primarily used to feed the massive legions of Ghoere’s military. these areas tend to be heavily patrolled. The fetid bubbling waters of this bog are heated by thermal vents. and much of the timber of these lands is used in repairing these fortifications following the incessant goblinoid raids. Several ancient cairns and barrows have been unearthed over the years. Small stretches of light forest are common throughout the entire Barony. and only the insane and foolhardy of adventurers leave the rivers flow to attempt to explore the region. low lying murk which often blankets the entire region in a blinding stench. It is popularly said that a vast labyrinthian network of tunnels and ancient mine shafts lies beneath the Ghoeran landscape. 9 . There is little good to be said of the swamp. The dark and twisted trees of the Spiderfell rise like fingers from a natural bowl-like depression all along the south western reaches of Ghoere. and trespassers and poachers alike can expect harsh treatment from the Baron’s law. travel along the river’s bank is generally dangerous and uncertain. As such. and as such. suffer from almost perpetual winds. a thin fibre of crumbling tors stretch forth to bisect the Barony on their route into Elinie and beyond to Markazor itself. these few precious deposits are quickly exhausted and seldom last more than a few years before being mined out. Flood plains. From the depths of the Spiderfell. adding even more reason for these crumbling hills to be avoided at all costs. and these regions are thought to be haunted by the spirits of the goblins and giants which were once thought to have roamed the continent. though some small silver deposits have been found. (its Ghoeran name) and the more common.
and thieves. Baron Taele has made it quite clear to his river captains that he will not tolerate piracy along his borders. Goblins.The River Maesil pringing from the high passes of the Stonecrown Mountains. field mice and gophers abound throughout Ghoere. the single most important and heavily trafficked highway upon Cerilia. and is arguably. but rather consider their vessels and the Maesil itself to be their native homeland. and though a few realms try to lay claim to the waters on their banks. coyotes. The guilds look upon them as pirates and freebooters. Despite the common practice of policing the rivers. The flow is swift and rough in the north. wheat. though weekly patrols travel to Klehrs and occasionally police as far south as the Endieran border. Barely. and larls. selling their services to carry passengers and cargo along the length of their beloved river. Birch. and ash. and these tend to form small groves and bluffs in the sparsely settled regions of the Barony. Many of the bordering realms maintain fleets of keel boats and river barges which are used to police the lengths of river along their borders. Humanoid appearances are rare within Ghoere’s interior. what remains as surplus is left to the people. where rapids and falls are common. and the land yields a bounty of flora which flourishes throughout the Barony. the Maesil brings a constant flow of trade and river traffic to an ever increasing number of towns and villages along the banks of the mighty river. Nearly half a mile wide at the city of Gheiste. A wide variety of deciduous trees grow throughout the region. The people depend on the land to produce enough food to feed the Baron’s armies first. tramps. though far more common and frequent along the borders of the Spiderfell. but are concentrated most heavily in the Baron’s Wood of central Bhalaene. These are also seen to be growing from the depths of the Spiderfell itself (though these are warped and twisted specimens to be sure) and there is known to be more than one specimen of unknown origin or nature growing within that dark region. The average Ghoeran takes great pains to ensure that the earth remains healthy and productive. the Maesil is largely considered a neutral zone between the realms of Anuire. oak. The red and green painted keelboats of Ghoere are most common between Ghieste and Riumache. (except his own most folk believe) and the punishments for such a crime is swift and heavy. are common throughout the wooded hill lands of central and southern Ghoere. ettercaps. but by the time it passes the woods surrounding Shieldhaven. It is commonly accepted that the a realm may consider a claim upon the first dozen feet of water from their shoreline. and they know it. pirates are a common threat along the entire length of the mighty river. Squirrels. willows and other wetland trees grow along the banks of the Maesil and may also be found in small copses around the marshes of both Conallier and Ghiere. owls. maple and pine trees grow in sporadic abundance throughout Ghoere. and most of the ‘legitimate’ guilds who ply the river do their best to promote the discrimination against them. Flora and Fauna he temperate climate of Ghoere allows for an impressive variety of growth within it’s borders. for much wealth is shipped along the water. and an occasional owlbear T 10 . and foxes are common near the woods of Bhalaene. Commonly looked upon as gypsies. Caragana is common in the west. The ferocious multi legged prairie sleen are frequently reported in Conallier and Thoralinar. but commonly tend to be cut and shaped in order to form windbreaks and sheds in the more heavily farmed lands of western Ghoere. and much of the produce is taken to feed the massive standing army of the Baron. and deer are a common sight along the southern borders of Ghoere. and the Barony of Ghoere is no exception. for they operate independently of the guilds. gnolls. the river remains free of any realms’ dominion. the brightly coloured barges and keelboats of the rivermen are not overly welcomed in many of the river ports. the River Maesil is the life’s blood of Anuire. and infringe upon their mercantile interests by under cutting prices and ignoring guild sanctioned embargoes and duties. oats tubers and lentils tend to be staple crops of the Barony. the Maesil slows considerably. Rabbits. growing wider and deeper with each passing mile. An entire sub culture of rivermen exists on the Maesil. and frequently cause pest problems as their population explodes every few years. These rivermen do not commonly claim or owe fealty to any particular realm. Aside from the rivermen. most are not willing to stymie trade or entice hostilities with neighbouring realms by openly claiming portions of the river as their sovereign S territory. a variety of giant predatory cat. Bheline and Danaroene. but beyond that point.
Even the temple of Cuiraécen cannot bend the peoples will. Stone and shale quarries litter the entire region. The recently completed “College of Architecture and Design” specializes in the pursuit of architecture and engineering. but most recently the city has become known for it’s more intellectual contributions to the growing strength of the Barony. However. Achiese sees less and less support from the capital with each passing year. the people of Achiese refuse to break or suffer under Tael’s subjugation. and despite the violent history of the region. and is suitable for only grazing land and pasture. they seldom raid in large numbers. and snow can remain in the shadowed ravines and gullies here well into the spring. then it will soon be left to the local officials to raise the gold needed to maintain the walls and towers of once mighty Achiese. the County has been run by the Baron’s officers. and has grown from a simply wooden village to a leading industrial city of nearly 4. and many look upon these crumbling mounds as small mountains rather than hills. Rhumannen and Bheline. and do not bend knee easily. and as the politics of Empire change. bureaucrats and agents of the region in what is referred to as the “Small Council”. grain must still be imported to supplement the local production. yet between the city of Achiese and the Iron Citadel. The entire region is difficult to cultivate. The northern plain is grassy and rough.frequently create problems throughout the bordering provinces of Tireste. though it has seen no less than a dozen foreign armies at it’s gates since it’s founding. Other mundane monsters have been encountered at times in the marshes and swamps along the River Maesil. and along the fringes of the Gorgon’s Spine. the Baron puts up with the eclectic professors. Towns The largest settlement in the county is also among the oldest of the Barony. especially in the Baron’s Wood and in the forested highlands of southern Achiese & Danaroene. The heavily fortified town of Achiese has stood as the gate to Osoerde for centuries. while iron and coal mines are more common in the heights of the Gray Hills. Smithies. smelters. Luckily. the city centre houses the government buildings and estates. and has never yet been taken by siege. The College itself is generally not taken very seriously by most people. The folk here are as hard and rough as their land. but when they do. and this hesitation has sent the nobles of Achiese squabbling amongst themselves in hopes of gaining the favour of the Baron. and locally raised stock and tubers tend to form the staple of the Achiesean diet. and nearly every type of terrain can be found within it’s border. Still. and nearly every industry is represented in the city in some fashion. as the institutions philosophies. Haelyn Aegis that has captured the hearts and spirits of the people. The Baron has yet to appoint a successor to the title of Count. If the political interests of the Barony remain unchanged. the Gray Hills tower over 600 feet above the Achiese Valley.000 persons. and are perhaps the most troublesome people (in Baron Tael’s mind at least) in all of Ghoere. though these have yet to be proven in battle. and thus the title to the office of Achiese. but these incursions are rare. Achiese he County of Achiese is a rugged region. so there must be some measure of worth to their proposals. Achiese has hosted the seat of the Baron’s regional government since the earliest days of ancient Bhalaene. The folk remain a proud and willful lot. and ethics are rather controversial. Wandering gnolls and a few goblin bands have been encountered among the peaks of the Gray Hills in Achiese. but far more common are bear and wolf sightings. Where the oppression and harsh rule of the Baron has quashed the will of the populace in other counties. and thin strips of farm land manage to produce a meagre crop each year. the once proud military might of this town is begun at last to falter. but since the recent death of Count Agelmore Pelien during a hunting accident in the Gray Hills. the persistence of a dozen centuries of effort has paid off. the Spiderlord himself is commonly amongst their numbers. As the seat of the Baron’s power in the County. theories. home of the infamous Iron Guard. or travel far from the borders of their dark wood. it is the noble temples of the T 11 . To the south. armourers and soldiers abound. Despite this achievement. much to Gavin’s chagrin. Goats and horned sheep are common amongst the steep slopes. It is rumoured that the University has created several improved war engines within the last two years.
having initially been awarded the title following the numerous victories the then Baronet Frederick Pelien won against Osoerde Elinie. (which lie just south of the border in Roesone) and popular rumour suggests that those mines extend under Achiese and open in hidden grottoes and valleys throughout the county. the Citadel has a reputation that belies it’s appearance. Count Agelmore Pelien (MA. as it was said to have been worn and weathered even then. causing it to lean at a deceptively perilous angle over the rocky gorge below. but many sages and some of the greatest mages of the Imperial College have studied the structure and all have come to the same conclusion . and their sole existence is to supply the needs of the Citadel. At first glance. simply a cleverly carved chunk of rock.it is. none have discerned the nature of this giant monolith. Little more than a squat fortified tower and walled grounds. numerous ballistae can be seen atop the tower’s tiled roof. The Nobles The Pelien clan of Achiese has controlled the County for more than 400 years. Re. for all intents and purposes. and Aerenwe. Constantly swaying back and forth in the strong winds. LE) was the aged Lord of the Pelien clan.) Agelmore was a vain. and there is much suspicion surrounding his families household and wealth. 21. for as 12 . but cleverly concealed murder holes and arrow slits line it’s dark walls. it would seem to be in danger of toppling into the pass below. It is said by many folk that the Guardian Stone is somehow connected to the goblin mines known as the Tarkal Deeps. but even the oldest ballads make mention of the ‘dancing monolith’. and lawful Count of the region until recently. In all that time. Shepherds camp around the Guardian Stone in the hills of Achiese The Guardian Stone The ancient Guardian Stone has stood in this rocky pass since the arrival of the first of the Five Tribes crossed into Cerilia. it appears a simple walled compound and central tower. cruel and untrustworthy man. which seems to suggest that it has stood as it has now for at least a good many centuries. (See “Recent Events” for further details. and the numerous balconies could easily afford a half dozen archers abreast. Rumours and theories abound. Whatever it’s original purpose. A small town of farmers has sprung up around the citadel.The Iron Citadel Standing square on the Baron’s Road from Achiese to Bhalaene is the Iron Citadel. the giant humanoid figure (nearly 60 feet tall) has been worn smooth by millennia of rain and winds. minor. and the small creek which flows around the base has undermined the statues support. home of the feared knightly order known as the Iron Guard of Ghoere. F4. Others suggest that it is some sort of golem or a sleeping giant that awaits for the proper ritual to be performed in order to break it’s slumber.
referred to in the taverns of Achiese as Rivenrocks Hold. and many still insist that Bhalaene plots the political course of the Heartlands.Br. He is not expected to survive. and is largely used as pasture and grazing land by herders and shepherds. Home of the Baron’s Royal Court. (who was gravely injured and is currently in coma at the families manor). and their vaults grow larger. In each case. Baronet Percival Glynn (MA. the province was paramount in the politics of the Heartlands. the farmers of Ghoere must not only pay the Baron’s taxes. and the one of the largest cities in the heartlands. Farmland is either rented out to wealthy freemen.T2. the province quickly became the undisputed centre of the civilized Heartlands. (though the rumour of their ill gotten treasury might have finally reached the Baron’s ear) and the surviving Pelien’s are protesting the decision with every resource available to them.the county begins to slide into decline. but it might be possible that the source of this rumour is actually the dwarven guilds of Osoerde. Being home to a population of over 30. The miners and guilds men of the Highland/Overland Traders are disappearing in the deepest of the Gray Hill Mines. but must also surrender large portions of their crops to help support the enormous military of the Barony. the county of Bhalaene is the agricultural centre of Ghoere. Many whisper that the halls of this stronghold still hosts the audience of the occasional dwarven thane visiting in secret from Baruk-Azhik. and there is little free land left in the province that is not already planted or grazed. Following the merger of the two duchies. the Pelien household thrives. tainted. the city is also the political centre of the Ghoeran chapter of the Militant Order of Cuiraécen. the walled city of Bhalaene has stood since the earliest days of the Empire. It seems not overly difficult to believe that they might be making use of some abandoned or undiscovered mine in order to smuggle contraband in and out of Osoerde. The reasoning behind Tael’s rather controversial decision remains a mystery. and none can determine the nature or manner of these occurrences.000 persons. T Recent Events Count Agelmore Pelien was mauled by a great black bear in the Gray Hills whilst hunting with his eldest son Boern. while the north and western reaches settle into featureless plains. Most of the land is owned by wealthy noblemen. and even in the days of the original duchies of Ghieste and Bhalaene. Baron Tael has since denied Agelmore’s sons the succession of the title. only a few short miles to the borders of both Elinie and Osoerde. A budding guilder. and many consider it a greater work than 13 . he is Ghorien Hiriele’s chief lieutenant in the area.F6. is said to exist somewhere in the heights of the Gray Hills. The eastern region of Bhalaene is demarcated by the rising tors of the Gorgon’s Spine. including the heavily garrisoned Granite Hall. and is the leading candidate for the office of Count of the region. located north east of Achiese. unblooded) and his family control two manors within Achiese. the endless farmland broken only by the occasional hill or fence. An ancient and abandoned dwarf stronghold. and has ordered an inquiry into the affairs of the Pelien estate.9) controls a single manor near the town of Achiese. though few believe Dosiere will involve himself in such a trivial matter. No claim or acknowledgement of such a hold has been made by any of the known dwarven realms within Anuire. but this has yet to be proven. as a safe hold while abroad. Eldred is a veteran of many campaigns in the Barony’s service. Bhalaene he county of Bhalaene has long been the heart of the Barony. or worked by peasants for their respective Lords in the typical Ghoeran style of repressive serfdom. There is speculation that the miners may have inadvertently connected their excavations to the ancient goblin mines of Roesone known as the Tarkal Deeps. Rumour has it that they may even be attempting to bring the Imperial Chamberlain in to mediate the affair. Baronet Eldred Ghent (MA. The southern reach of the province is bisected by the thick and twisted boughs of the Baron’s Wood. and a good many dwarven wanderers are said to use it Towns The capital of the Barony. and there are precious few free homesteads. The order has erected an impressive cathedral (as a castle level 5) south of the city gates. It is often whispered that the Pelien’s have gained much of their wealth by embezzling royal funds intended for the upkeep and maintenance of the fortifications of Achiese.
the Lord Mayor of Bhalaene. and perhaps nowhere else in the Barony is the difference between the peasantry and wealthy more evident. and is now thought to be nigh invulnerable. There is no location in the city where a man can hide from the gaze of the dark keep.. but was finally breeched and sacked during the civil wars which rocked the region following the bloodtheft of the royal family of Ghieste. and his support of the Haelyn Aegis is well known. and several small churches have been erected in the common quarters of the city within the last few years. Many wealthy land owners and merchants live here. The Haelyn Aegis receive only token worship here. The ancient and original keep that once stood during the earliest days of Bhalaene (little more than a motte and bailey to be sure-though legend says it was crafted in stone as well) was destroyed during the elf-human wars. “There are few places a man can hide from the shadow of the Rook Roost. Ravens. and he must report to the Castellan of Rook Roost each month. and that many of the ancient defences of the most renown dwarven holds were also incorporated into Rook Roost’s design. Baronet Halmied Dekker (see “Nobles” below for more information) holds a manor near the village. the massive stones of the Baron’s dark keep are said to have been cut from the very peaks of Mur-Kilad. An impressive fortress in it’s own right. Once the Duchies were united. Though most dwarven smiths scoff at the notion. and the Watchers on the Walls can see your every move. though recent events in the area are beginning to disrupt this sleepy little hamlet. The city is governed directly by Shames Levallier. though he does not do so with impunity. though the faith has begun to spread amongst the common folk. The small hamlet of Aergon’s Pass in southern Bhalaene is named for the hero of ancient Bhalaene who fought at Deismaar. The walls and towers of the Roost are highly ornamented with frescoes and reliefs. though they seem to have been carved to inspire fear and awe in an assaulting army than to beautify the building.” Rook Roost Castle An impregnable fortress. The Haelyn Aegis temple enjoys exclusive privilege in the village. the newly appointed Baron of Ghoere immediately began construction of Rook Roost castle. gargoyles. the oppressive shadow of the keep lays over the city centre like a cloak.the Cathedral of Haelyn in the Imperial City itself. Bhalaene Castle stood for centuries. and shipping of the produce and crops of the surrounding farms and free holds. Shames’ authority ends at the cities walls. but is known primarily for the strong and bitter (but highly regarded) dark lager which is brewed here. and was eventually replaced by the massive castle known simply as the Bhalaene Castle. and is the agricultural centre of the province. The entire economy of the town is centred around the collection. popular legend has it that the Rook Roost was designed and crafted by dwarven engineers. but whatever the truth. Built on a massive tor in the very centre of the city of Bhalaene. Rook Roost Castle stands over the ruins of several previous keeps. The town of Caplan is the largest settlement outside of the capital itself. refinement. and other fell creatures grace the 14 . who in turn must attend the Baron’s Small Council (see Appendix)..
centaurs. ancient sewers. though his authority ends at the gates of the city. The Baron’s Wood Protected by ancient decree. His is the voice of the Baron throughout the province of Bhalaene (and even beyond some believe). and though he is not a titled noble. the Baron’s Wood is commonly used as the private hunting grounds of the baron and his closest nobles. and long lost burial crypts exist throughout the keep.0-level. Onwen’s begins. and the ‘Watchers of the Walls’ can spring to life at the Baron’s will. he has become forgetful and enfeebled. passageways. 13) controls four manors in the northern part of the province. and watching over the city in an endless vigil. unblooded) is both Castellan of Rook’s Roost Castle. Effectively bisecting the province. unblooded) is the Mayor of Bhalaene. Shames was once a skilled bureaucrat and administrator. Tales of fairies. and who may yet wander there in search of escape. Onwen keeps charge of the lesser nobles of the province. Baronet Halmied Dekker (MA. Her husband was an avid adventurer who travelled frequently. Where the mayor’s authority ends. unblooded) has begun to handle an ever increasing amount of the day to day responsibilities of his father. he alone can slight Onwen Tuorven without fear of some form of repercussion from the Castellan. Shames is responsible for governing a major portion of Ghoere’s populace. F0. and the depths of the wood are largely unexplored. Baronetta Dierdren Windel (FA. and his strength and stamina belies his age. and as such Onwen is generally considered to be amongst one of the most powerful men within the Barony. and he left Dierdren with an enormous fortune. Much to the chagrin of the upper class. The Windel family is a favourite patron of merchants seeking capital for investment opportunities. As a veteran of many military campaigns. Although he is nearing his fiftieth year. Onwen enjoys many of the same benefits and political exemptions that the landed nobility do. Appointed by the baron. and the Baronetta has proven to be a shrewd businesswoman. and more than one claims to relate the tale of tragic princesses (and a few aspiring thieves) who became lost in the labyrinths of the “Underkeep”. but in his advanced age. and is expected to be named as the new mayor of Bhalaene by years end. but the Baron would hardly deny such fear inspiring tales. Br. Baronet Liemen Deloitte (MA. and Governor of Bhalaene. Shames’ son Huebaert (MA. It is from these carvings that the castle attributes it’s name. 15 . As mayor. and few travellers willingly leave sight of the narrow path while passing beneath the thick forest canopy. He is a favoured hunting companion of the Tael family. casting their stony gazes upon the market square below. minor. and even some which they do not. Spectres are said to walk the walls at night. each one more terrible and fanciful than the last. The Baron’s Wood has grown wild and unhindered for hundreds of years.heights of the keep. Onwen Tuorven (Ma. the forest has managed to grow unhindered by the encroachment of man for centuries. and that it was once even a part of the Spiderfell itself. and frequently sponsors adventuring companies. Though it is true that the wood is frequented by the Baron’s court. few royal expeditions have actually penetrated deeper than the northern most borders of the wood in centuries. he and the Baron Taele enjoy a fast friendship. F3. the title is usually granted for life. Tales insist that miles of secret tunnels. and has served in this office for more than thirty years. Onwen remains an impressive physical specimen. Of all the nobles. and few within Ghoere would dare cross him. including the magnificent Windel Estate on the outskirts of Caplan. Many folk claim that the forest has eyes. F5. He was slain four years ago while exploring elven ruins near the Spiderfell border. The Nobles Shames Levallier (MA. and other mythical beasts abound. F3. unblooded) controls 3 manors. ensuring that they do not overstep their station or permit their personal edicts to conflict with those of the Barons. and a long time student of siege craft and artillery. though it may be rescinded at any time by royal decree. the only road through the thick forest is the Aergon Road. There are thousands of rumours and stories of the Roost. None of these tales have yet proven true. and that it watches all who pass beneath it’s boughs. but nearly all of them associate fear and darkness with the keep. but whatever the truth.F3. At the advice of the Royal Castellan.unblooded) is the Lord of three manors in southern Bhalaene. and many of the common folk believe the wood to be haunted by spirits and other foul spectres. and doubtless houses more than a few secrets of the ancient world.
T2. Several members of the Maesil Shippers Guild have been arrested in the city of Bhalaene. though in practice. it is not so well defined. and then falls again into the Spider River Valley of Ghoried. Fogs are common throughout the valley in the early morning. apparently caught trying to find an entrance into the halls of Rook’s Roost. and it is common for Ghoeran generals to march their troops here for war games and other training exercises. there are few communities in Bheline which could be considered large enough to constitute more than even a small hamlet. is one of the largest and most profitable in all the Heartlands. CN) controls a single manor just outside the city of Bhalaene. Ma. for they bring with them much needed gold. and if not for the sheep herds and cattle industries of the Highland/Overland Traders. The Aernass family has never forgotten their loss. The High Priest is not known for his tolerance of criticism. and fear that the rider is a sign that Haelyn is angered by the Baronets public denouncement of his son’s earthly temples. Baronet Frederick Hess (MA/Br. T Recent Events A strange spectre is lately said to be haunting the hamlet of Aergon’s Pass in the form of a headless horseman. Luethyr Aernass. The county is a popular site for military campaigns and exercises. for only a year later their entire household lost it’s lands due to a poor choice in political alliance. due largely to the topographical nature of the region. and shallow mounds of the Gorgon’s Spine in central Ghoere. tainted. Bheline A manifestations of Godly Wrath. or a Fiend of the Shadow? This young man (age 26) is a devout supporter of the Haelyn’s Aegis. Guild mistress Moerele Lannaman has sent a diplomat to the court of Bhalaene in attempt to negotiate their release. the province would be hard pressed to sustain itself. and so many of Dekker’s vassals have tried to distance themselves from the baronet’s outspoken opinions. The man who lost the manor. The populace greets these expeditions with open arms. and in particularly rainy seasons it is not uncommon for the province to turn into a soggy marsh. By far. The Hess family actually won it during a game of chance at the royal palace nearly 70 years ago. Redstone Fields. 9. the head priest of the Ghoeran Militant Order of Cuiraécen. The Aernass family now dwell in squaller as fishermen in Ghieste. the vast majority of the 16 . he County of Bheline rests at the bottom of a great valley which is nestled between the Gray Hills of northern Roesone. The crest of this slope is generally considered to be the political border between the two rival realms.the Aergon Road during the darkest of nights. The small hamlet is in a panic. and have called upon the Governor for help. but too many other lords had witnessed it. Flooding is always a concern during the spring. would have liked to back out of the wager. The southern slope of Bheline rises only a few hundred feet into Roesone. This estate. He has spoken out on more than one occasion regarding the rather draconian practices of Stiele Ghieste. Many blame the rather vocal outcries of Baronet Halmied Dekker against the temples of Cuiraécen for the wraiths appearance. claiming the heads of any which it encounters. As such. The fell spirit is said to ride the path of Towns Aside from the walled town of Gweirlaen. little farming is done in the province. and often lingers well into mid day before the heat of the rising sun finally burns it away.
Unblooded). The remaining citizens supply the goods and services to the Count’s militia. and levied a standing bounty on the heads of all Belderes. for he accepts little challenge to his authority. and plans on taxing the priests quite heavily. a barn or two. both of which lie in the north eastern corner of the County. The lone town in the region. unblooded) holds two estates within the province. Being practically born in a horses saddle. Raesene is often called “The Black Count” by his subjugated peasants. the Beldere’s quickly and quietly fled the nation. these walled and lightly fortified holds tend to contain only the family homes. Raesene is widely considered to be the baron’s most favoured count and is certainly amongst one of his closest friends. F3. Raesene dare not voice his concerns too loudly. As a fanatic disciple of Cuiraécen. the Count seems to share many of the Baron’s traits and opinions. jovial and merry one instant. and the towns economy is beginning to reflect this recent growth by diversifying it’s focus and products long unavailable within the region are now being imported more regularly. though a small amount of farmland has been developed around the walls. but were unable to defend it from the Spider’s incessant rampages. At only five Gold Crowns a piece. Now in his mid fourties. Following the ascension of Gavin Taele to the Throne in 531 M. laden with the orders articles and possessions that will be kept within the newest House of Haelyn in Ghoere. they simply buy from the markets in Gweirlaen. As such. Wagons and caravans have begun to arrive at frequent intervals. The two men are far from 17 . though Raesene has never learned to control his feelings. and he accepts no disobedience from his charges. The current Count of Bheline is a man named Raesene Cardael (Ma. Count of Bheline. He has ordered his men to keep an eye on the small keep and tower however. and enforces his laws with a heavy hand. A typical Bheline free hold is surprisingly similar to those found in the Roesonean province of Ghoried. Lord Raesene. Baronet Ruorven Desailly (MA.. the Desailly’s have long chafed at the Counts overbearing manner and heavy-handed methods of governorship. F7. Being the only other noble family aside from Raesene’s. The count’s family directly holds 4 manors. including their ancestral home of Greymantle. and much of the clergy have yet to arrive and staff the facility. only a handful of humanoid raiders have ever returned from excursions into his lands. A giant of a man. He makes sure his Lords and squires are well prepared for conflict. justice tends to be swift in Bheline. At the moment. and he makes a point of earning his name sake. A fierce warrior and general. The Abbey of Haelyn’s Shield The lone edifice of the Haelyn’s Aegis within Bheline. and as such. the province suffers surprisingly few raids by the goblin and gnoll forces of the vile bog since Raesene came to power. and what cannot be manufacture for themselves.regions populace tend to congregate into small. he is an accomplished knight and a powerful warrior who eagerly awaits the day when the barony embarks upon a war of conquest against neighbouring Roesone. the small abbey rests near the Danaroene border. Gavin soon after decreed the family exiles and traitors. Although Bheline borders the Spiderfell. the majority of the towns population belongs to the military in some fashion. but with Baron Tael’s recent acknowledgment of the order. Very few have any sort of industry beyond what they produce for their own consumption. Typically comprised of no more than a half dozen families. It’s construction has only recently been completed. and crime of any sort is not tolerated. Raesene has been the Count of Bheline for 11 years. is known to have been opposed to the creation of the abbey. The Nobles The exiled family lead by the Lord Beldere Enderiane (See the Player Secrets of Ilien by Kevin Melka. and perhaps a common hall.R. fortified free holds from which they may guard their flocks and herds. and the two people are actually more alike than either would care to admit. he can suddenly become murderously enraged in a moment. Gweirlaen was built to originally serve as a Keep against the encroachment of the Spiderfell humanoids. but not enough to entice most bounty hunters of note into actually pursuing the family. the sum is just enough to insult the estranged nobles. This is a testament to the regions military preparedness. there are fewer than 20 priests and a handful of retainers who man the tower and prepare the surrounding fields. seeking sanctuary in the neutral realm of Ilien. and during that time.) once held this province.
and the nobility of the region is little better. In all the province. but have proven too rocky and sterile to farm much more than a few tasteless tubers and other roots. and by mid spring.000 folk. and is urging him to increase the bounty on the family in hopes of having them brought to bear responsibility for their failures to the Barony. and is determined to see the creature willingly scream it’s inner most secrets to him. Boasting a population of only 1. The Maesil spills over it’s banks every spring between Klehrs and Toren’s Ferry. and when compared to the rest of Ghoere. and there by destroying their herds and livelihoods in the process. (such as it is) is the small but heavily garrisoned keep known simply as Klehrs. The land is rocky and bogs of swampy earth and grass are common along the length of the Maesil shoreline. The towns folk are whispering that the goblin is a spy for the Spider. and they are pleading with the Count to send a rescue party after him. and nearly everyone of them is a thief. trapping the water in a dozen natural depressions. after returning to his home to gather tools with which to begin harvesting the substance. the small wood north of Toren’s Ferry is knee deep in water. A strangely intelligent goblin has recently been captured by Raesene’s patrols only a few miles from the town of Gweirlaen. marked only by an occasional ruined fence or abandoned cottage. The goblin is being held in the Count’s Hall in the town centre. C Towns The largest community within the County. the county seems nearly devoid of habitation. Since the region naturally drains into the wood. and the hostilities between these ancient rivals is perhaps no where more pronounced than here. but as long as the Mhor is held at bay. (most of which dwell in the outlying villages and shanty towns) the keep is a bustling centre for traders and rivermen of the most questionable sort. and seat of the regional government. yet that families notoriety has never dwindled amongst the populace of Bheline. there are fewer than 3. The eastern portions of the county are flat and largely featureless. as it was with his father before him. Unfortunately. There is word that a local woodsman of a nearby hold has discovered a huge cache of amber just within the border of the Spiderfell. and the lake has grown stagnant. he has not been heard from again. Conallier onallier is a true borderland province. which is rich in organic deposits. for the Count is determined that he will not be bested by a simple goblin. but by mid summer. is more interested in finding the amber than the missing peasant. The keep is the keystone in the Ghoeran defence against the Mhor’s land. Recently however. The legend of Beldere incompetence is constantly being fuelled by Raesene Cardael. most of whom dwell near Klehrs Keep in the northern-most region of the plain. Raesene is said to be considering hiring a wizard of his own in hopes of breaking the goblin magically. fishermen have been known to leap aboard a rival barge and begin wrestling one 18 .000 people. it seems quite likely that the source might indeed exist. and some suggest that he may even be some form of shaman or is somehow magically charmed by the Spider. and the locals often fear that the two lords shall sally forth to wage war between themselves vassalage be damned. for he has repeatedly resisted the pleasures of Raesene’s inquisitors while the most stalwart warriors known to Anuire have traditionally broken in moments. and the Count has begun conscripting more men from the region in anticipation of an assault from the dark wood. but relatively few overland visitors ever approach it’s thick oaken gates. Theses reaches are common grazing land for shepherds.friends. Recent Events It has been nearly 20 years since the Beldere’s fled Ghoere for Ilien. becoming little more than a lifeless slew of stinking weeds and rotting slime. Altercations are common between travelling folk of the two lands. but initial interrogations have not proven fruitful. His family is certain that the Spiderlord has captured him. the Baron is all too happy to forget about the unruliness of Conallier. scoundrel and cheat. the river has long since receded. The region has long attracted the less desirable people of the Heartlands. criminal. The ox-bow lake known as Stein Pond is clear and full of fish in early spring as the flooding refreshes the ecosystem. and even upon the river Maesil. Raesene has begun speaking to the Baron concerning the traitors. The Count of course. Patrols have been increased.
This enmity is well fuelled and encouraged by the Baron. and he has carefully chosen his vassals and lords who comprise the Keep’s upper echelon with this sole concern in mind. and there has been a surge of literacy amongst the lower classes of eastern Ghoere over the past few seasons. Undead are said to roam the swamps now. over zealous and non too bright nobles. Each was carefully chosen by Baron Tael. 19 . and the foundation of the magnificent castle crumbled on top of itself.. and the entire church is surprisingly wealthy. and seldom are they held by the same man for long. As such. but are actually of little use to either him or the Barony as a whole. With the Orders domination throughout the province of Thoralinar. it would seem that many Ghoerans have grown weary of the continual struggle for Empire. and the Keep at Klehrs was eventually built to replace it. The swamps around the castle formed a natural barrier against enemy armies. each one thinking themselves the favoured of the Baron. An. For generations the castle stood as a symbol of Ghoeran might. and awarded lands or offices here in light of their notable hatred of all things Mhoried. for it’s flooded halls have laired many foul creatures over the years. Now only the fool hardy venture into the swamps. attempting to convert the populace away from the more martial doctrines of the Haelyn and Cuiraécen temples. and some suspect he will be the next Governor General of Conallier if he is not first sabotaged by one of the other nobles of the Abbey of the Celestial Sun One of the few religious monasteries dedicated to the Sun Goddess within Ghoere. In fact. vast amounts of gold and other goods have been donated to the Abbey over the last few years by the eager nobility. forced into servitude by the strength of the mage’s will. and learning. Several of the regions noble families have also converted to the worship of Avanlae. and the castle was long thought to be impossible to siege. but of late. and is taking obvious pains to befriend the officers and advisors to the Baron Tael. and are searching for a more personally fulfilling state in their lives. Since his arrival at the Keep.R. the strength of the Maesil proved greater than the stone walls of the keep. 18) is a minor noble who has recently moved his household to Klehrs from central Alamie. Gaerik Bellerran (MA. minor. contemplation. these offices and titles are constantly being won and lost. With their sudden introduction to the religion. he has been rapidly growing in power and influence. he abolished the title of Count altogether. He is known to be an ambitious man. the Abbey of the Celestial Sun serves as a Mecca for the Avanlaese faithful of Ghoere. Upon Gavin’s ascension to the throne. and the ruling nobles of Conallier have since plotted and schemed against one another to gain the favour of the Baron and his appointed governors. the Abbey has also begun to establish itself amongst the more scholarly of Anuire. and a great many stories tell of the horrible demons that the mysterious Vos mage has summoned from the shadow world. and of these. and is beginning to emulate the Khinasi based institution known as ‘The Discourse’ (See Book of Priestcraft) in it’s method and practice. the missionaries of the Abbey travel the eastern lands of Ghoere. the ruins have been claimed by the entity known as the Sword Mage and his vile incarnations. Many peasants have been tutored by these travelling priests. Preaching peace. Though considered only a temporary fascination by many of the more traditional minded of the realm. The castle lay abandoned for generations. looking over the River Maesil from it’s lofty towers and guarding against Mhoried incursion. Many adventurers met their fate in the ruined passages of Conallier Castle.another. The Ruins of Conallier Castle The Castle Conallier was once a magnificent fortification. and instead created the office of Provincial Governor and appointed a trusted general as Sheriff of Conallier. He then began hand picking his less desirable nobility from other reaches of Ghoere to fill the ranks of offices within the province. Of no true consequence or influence to the overall rule of Ghoere. most now serve the mage in a mindless undeath. F5. incompetent. casting the mighty walls into the very marshes that once protected it. the only office to hold any true political power is that of Sheriff. The Nobles The office of Count of Conallier has remained vacant since the Ghoeran-Mhoried War of 486 M. and even the Provincial Governor is little more than a figure head. and they have begun to pursue knowledge and understanding of the world around them. but at length. the province is a hodgepodge of pompous.
and some good amount of suspicion has begun to fall on the order as a result. Seemingly searching the depths and muck for some ancient artifact or device. these fell creatures have recently begun to attack any they encounter. The only notable community within the region is the ancient hall and castle known as Umleigh Keep which stands at the mouth of the Lionsgate valley pass into Roesone.R. and it is through this deep channel that the armies of both realms frequently march. the Baron has placed large contingents of his military might within Umleigh Keep. and the chimney smokes from the many hamlets rise into the air like a thousand spindly pillars. in 476 M. and creatures even more dire. When Noered Tuorel rose as Baron Ghoere in 471 M. From the tall watch towers of Umleigh Keep. and was the hereditary residence of the Lord Baron Tuorel. where it ultimately joins with the T 20 . Undead monstrosities. and a force of some 500 men can be marshalled Danaroene he terrain of Danaroene is as varied as it’s people. The river bank is rocky and has carved deep gorges through the hilly regions of the south. Towns There are several small towns throughout the region. dark shades and shadows. and the earth has been so frequently saturated in blood. and a dozen small communities have grown throughout the surrounding lands. Could these priests be hiding some dire plot or agenda behind the mask of religion.R. and are coveted by the those who practice such vile magic. there is little doubt that he could use his connection to the Royal Family of Anuire to either aid the Baron’s cause. Umleigh Gwynaard. holds nearly a hundred volumes of such records dating back nearly 40 years. and all traffic through the channel is halted at the great gates of the Keep and thoroughly searched and recorded. but since the arrival of the mysterious Sword Mage to the court of Ghoere. Named the Bloodthorn Flower. for why else would he suddenly send his dark minions to protect the mire from incursion? What is he trying to protect? The missionaries of the Abbey of Celestial Peace begun to concentrate their conversion efforts in the Inns and brothels of Klehrs Keep. that the very flowers which grow along it’s steep slopes have been stained red. the Count of Danaroene. but few of any importance. and through the deep valley passes into Roesone. Berendor River and thence to the Gulf of Coeranys beyond. From the steep rocky slopes of the Gray Hills in the southern corner of the province. This has lead to the belief that the Sword Mage is at last nearing his mysterious goal. it’s dark crimson petals are said to be key ingredients in several necromantic spells. the valley has a long history of warfare. and several travelling missionaries have been mobbed in the streets. Unknown to any in the region.. Recent Events The swamps around the ruins of Conallier Castle have long been thought haunted. he moved his household to Rook Roost Castle in the city of Bhalaene. A large market town lies on the northern side of the great gates. Danaroene is a true marvel of variety. the entire region has become a nightmare.R. So many battles have occurred in this valley. Aeric Gwynaard. the northern fields of Danaroene sprawl out in a patch work of tiled fields and grazing lands. The ancient keep has stood since the earliest days of Bhalaene. to the wooded vales of the north. The castle and fief was renamed in honour of the families first Lord. and though Gaerik’s loyalties to the Prince are questionable at best. or is their arrival in the area only coincidental with the recent rash of arson? Some even whisper that the entire order is little more than a spy network for the Patriarch of Elinie. The small but swift Eryin Creek bisects the province. have been seen combing the swamps for the past several months. or thwart it utterly.provincial court.. The Gwynaard family has remained the county’s ruling noble family to this day. To the south of the great gates lies the pass into Roesone. It is said that. Tensions are mounting throughout the north. The Lionsgate Pass is a wide valley that breeches the southern hills which separate Roesone from the Barony. and granted this keep to the Gwynaard family. Also the historical site of the final battle between Baron Regien Ghoere and the mad Duke Bhalaene in 399 M. As a result of the martial history of the pass which the keep wards. and their stems have grown sharp thorns. Several Inns and a good many of the most seedy brothels have been burnt to the ground of late. and is fed from the small lake near Aergon’s Pass in southern Bhalaene. the House Bellerran is a minor offshoot of the Avan family.
) Whatever the truth. unblooded) means to have vengeance upon the Baron by any means possible. Despite the popular rumours. Recently. the family enjoyed a grand and proud history. the attractive young daughter of Lord Gareth Thuried. the Lord Donal was forced to retire from active service despite petitioning Gavin for a ceremonial position with the Baron’s Southern Guard. an she is only barely able to conceal her contempt for him. The Nobles The Gwynaard family has long held much of this land since the founding of Ghoere. and the Baron Ghoere has had enough. It is common knowledge that Gavin Tael is priming his other nobles in the region for the position. and most eagerly await the death of Aeric (and some may even be trying to hasten it) so that they might bid for the title. the Count has grown paranoid and suspicious of everyone around him. T1. Known as the Battle of Danaroene Field. Saerena is so embittered. Coupled with the fact that he is a complete coward who faints at the site of blood. Since it is public knowledge that the Gwynaard’s are not likely to remain in their position for much longer. the strength of the Gwynaard family has begun to wane. while Donal was doomed to remain a general in the Baron’s armies. The Bandit’s Demise The Bandit’s Demise is the site of the most recent battle between Roesone and Ghoere. Lord Donal Thuried grew up with Gavin Tael. minor. Tael managed to win the seat of Baron. that only weeds. The families patron. not the least of which is mild paranoia and sporadic bouts of dementia. the Lady Saerena (FA. she has sworn her service to the Baroness of Roesone. As a result of Tael’s cruelty. no actual encounter with these undead has ever been documented. He is claiming that he has survived no less than five assassination attempts in the past year. recognition nor admiration for his sacrifices and accomplishments he has performed in the name of the Barony. 19) is the current ruling Count of the province. The Thuried family (see Players Secrets of Roesone) has long held manors throughout the region. Re. but has suffered severe loses to both their holdings and political influence since Gavin Tael rose to power. it was also the site where the Baron Orvaene was mortally wounded. the once noble and proud Lord Donal must now be carried about like a child. A rolling field only a few miles northwest of Umleigh Keep. briars. Many tales tell of the spectres of the dead rising in the night to slaughter any foolish enough to be near. the battlefield remains heavily rutted and scored from the ravages of battle. but whether these are real or imagined is unknown (and largely irrelevant in the eyes of his peers. Aeric suffers from several psychotic conditions. The Militant Order of Cuiraécen also has a large following in the region. History records that the battle was so vicious and that so much blood was spilt. and more than a few goats have been found drained of blood amongst the cairns as well. but the locals are convinced that the field is haunted all the same. Lord Donal receives little respect. Lacking the use of his legs. Pitched in a life long competition with the other since birth. and is the most incompetent of his line without exception. and it is only the achievements of the families ancestors that has kept the Gwynaards from being cast down years ago. With the last few generations however. and until recently. and the once gentle hills of the clearing have been overturned and now serve as a series of deep burial mounds for those who perished during the fight. Aeric Gwynaard (MA. and can add an additional 200 infantry men to those of the Baron if needed. and is supplying her with information in hopes of eventually having the pleasure of watching Gavin Tael fall from grace. that she constantly fantasizes about the day she can watch Tael crawl on his belly like a worm. Aeric will very likely be one of the last of the Gwynaard family to rule Danaroene as Count. As his father before him. Despite a career of outstanding performance and achievement.at a moments notice. and many believe that a gate or a shallowing has evolved here which leads into the Shadow World. After suffering a broken spine in battle against Roesone some years ago. and hardy field grass will grow in the rutted and scored earth. Aeric has been obsessively barricading himself within the towers of 21 . Recent Events The Lord Count Aeric Gwynaard has long excelled in his ineptness. and is forced all the while to grin through gritted teeth as the Baron Ghoere forces humiliation after humiliation upon him and his family. F3. and even in childhood the two could not stand one another.
Some say that these are agents of the Duke Osoerde. the Redspurs are fiercely loyal to the edicts of the Ghoeran High Priest. but they also hide many foul beasts and creatures best left undisturbed. the only community worthy of 22 . and seems on the verge of crumbling into the Maesil any moment. Towns There are dozens of small hamlets and villages scattered throughout the province. while others insist that they are some outlandish agents of the Baroness Roesone. craftily tended to form wind breaks that keep the precious soil from blowing away. while only the southern most quarters stand on firm enough ground to support stone foundations. The capital of the province is the trade town of Ghieste. the town is one of the cornerstones of the barony’s economy. Vehemently opposed by the Lances of the Dawn in Elinie. and only a few hours of travel lay between each of the many small roadside taverns and farmhouses. then he will be forced to besiege his own county in order to evict the Lord Gwynaard and his family. mercenaries and undesirables of all sorts. the town of Stunder serves the needs of the many travelling merchant caravans. the town shows well it’s age. The entire town appears as a great sore to the eye. Buildings lean at precarious angles throughout the wooden town. the Order of the Spur is a militant order of Knights fanatically devoted to the teachings of Cuiraécen. An ancient community dating back to the earliest days of Empire. and pay Fhylie only token respect. but for this very reason. he has recently declared that it is illegal to harvest the Bloodthorn Flowers which grow throughout the pass. they have not made their intentions known either. as each considers the other to be a perversion of the faith in some fashion. These violent minded fanatics are affiliated with the Militant Order of Cuiraécen. Though these figures have yet to threaten the area. and it is here that the Haelyn Aegis and the Militant Order of Cuiraécen both hold a large court. Brotherhood of the Spur Known as the Redspurs by their enemies. and the many ships and merchants which travel it’s waters have brought incredible wealth and opportunity into the province of Ghiere since the earliest days of Empire. sent to find some weakness in the Ghoeran defence. cutthroats. and the thick planking constantly creaks and moans as the waters force the foundation pillars to shift. the region is now a denizen of thieves. It is easy for such folk to become lost in the bustling trade centres of the region. Once the capital of the old Duchy of Ghieste. and many of Anuire’s larger guilds maintain offices and warehouses here. these knights mercilessly ride their mounts across Anuire to do the Stiele Ghieste’s bidding. The bogs bubble and froth with decaying organic matter. and few other communities within Anuire can boast such a high proportion of wealthy citizens. and many herbs are harvested from the rich earth of the mires. but are only marginally tolerated by them. but aside from the capital. Despite it’s decrepit appearance. Of course. since these could obviously be used to perpetrate his untimely demise. and are generally held in great disdain by the more honour bound warriors of that Order. The northern most quarters of the town are built along mighty wooden piers and docks. Where the Militant Order serves the invested patriarch Fhylie the Sword. There is no question who commands the Redspurs.Umleigh Keep these past months. Hostilities are not uncommon between the two factions. T mention is the crossroads town of Stunder in central Ghieste. Stiele Ghieste. and it is a constant struggle to keep these two orders working in harmony. Small bluffs of woods grow in organized patterns. the entire dock network sags deeply. In order to protect himself. some of the finest craftsmen and artisans can be found here as well. and speculations are running wild. and if the Baron Ghoere does do something soon. Situated at the crossroads of the Imperial Highway between Endier and Bhalaene. the Lord Count Gwynaard is certain that they are minions of death come to take him to the afterlife. Ghiere he River Maesil is often said to be the lifeblood of the Heartlands. The southern region of Ghiere is heavily farmed. Several dark robed figures have been sighted riding atop mounts as black as midnight in the Lionsgate Pass recently. and this division in power only fuels the friction between the two factions. The north is swampy and bogs become common as one draws closer to the Shadowmere Swamp.
become the next Countess Ghiere. Halivier commands an intricate network of spies and informants within the city. Most often found floating with the currents and eddies of the water. and their spurs are often bloodied from kicking their mounts to ever greater speed. The most feared creature in the swamps is not the giant wooly lizard which infest the swamp. Resplendent in his polished silver plate mail. Instead Bruider leaves their upbringing in the hands of the many servants and maids which his household employs. several warriors from both factions were severely wounded in the encounter. He is generally suspected to be the baron’s spy master. and the victim will often not be aware that his Lifesblood is being drained from him until it is too late. F1. and overly vain. but rather it is the simple Mere Leech that commands the most terror. the Lord Mayor manages the city as his personal enterprise. Handsome beyond measure. Bruider prefers to live life to it’s fullest. and has released each one of his wives for a variety of surprisingly creative reasons. nor even so much as rode in an armed campaign. he remains one of the most eligible bachelors within the barony. Lord Mayor Halivier Maellen (MA.” have suddenly made their presence within Gheiste known. and have demanded positions amongst the civil court of the town. and when the cool waters of the River Maesil flow into the swamps. Several of the masked minions of the Sword Mage. Though there are no reports that any in either host were slain. and has much yet to achieve if he is to live up to his fathers legacy. Halivier somehow manages to legitimise even the most underhanded of deeds in the pursuit of his office. the leech attaches itself to the flesh of passing creatures as they brush against it. and a single leech can drain a mans body dry of blood in only a few hours. Despite his rather questionable morality. 23) is the current Count Ghiere and is the quintessential fop and dandy. and his police force is little more than a trained group of sanctioned thugs. known throughout the land as “The Daemeon. Recent Events A violent clash has recently erupted between a squadron of Redspurs and a unit of Militant Order of Knights Templar just south of Stunder. The Lord Mayor Halivier is said to have been outraged at the audacity of it all.They are famous for riding their mounts to death. unblooded) rules the trade centre of Ghieste in the Baron’s name. The High Patriarch of Ghoere. nor the many varieties of vipers which live amongst the boughs of the twisted trees. he grudgingly The Nobles Bruider Arlannis (MA. It is not uncommon for them to accept bribes and other forms of corruption. By all accounts the two factions refused to give way to the other on the road until boiling tempers and stubborn pride finally manifested in swinging swords and clashing steeds. A devious man with an infamously cunning smile. and sees his children only rarely. but refuses to take an active role in the rearing of any of them. T10. He has sired nearly a half dozen children throughout his many marriages. he has been married no fewer than four times in his ten year as Count. who was best known for his responsible and exacting service and administration to the baron. he frequently plays at being a knight. and is frequently pursued by many young maidens. Little more than a pale coloured slug. Though his nature and habits are generally well known. The foul waters are fed by slow geysers of thermally heated water. infested with countless mosquitoes and biting flies. and condemning her for her Templars blatant audacity at daring to raise hand against his personal guard. and cloak the land for miles around in a blanket of stinking fog. In contrast. but as might be expected. and uses his position to get what he wants while avoiding the majority of work and a fair share of the responsability. is said to have erupted in anger over the matter. Minor. Stiele Ghieste. heavy mists rise with incredible speed. and has his fingers in almost ever facet of the city. and has dispatched a missive to Fhylie the Sword in Tuornen expressing his outrage in the matter. The Shadowmere Swamp The swamp has existed since the first trickling waters of the River Maesil began to flow. though he has never received nor earned that honorific. this cannot be confirmed nor denied. each one hoping to 23 . but fearful of their sorcerous powers. and he is frequently called upon to perform matters deemed too delicate for the Baron to become directly involved in. An. Bruider inherited the title and lands from his father Bairenor. the Mere Leech often grows to be over a hand in length. It is an ancient and fetid marshland. The slug-like body of the leech exudes a numbing excretion.
Though few nobles would openly admit it. mysterious oddity or unexplainable event is being accredited to some secret council of mages that is rumoured to be harboring itself within Ghieste. and the Baron of Ghoere seldom allows his nobles to fail him twice. Rheghor has watched his position of security slowly slipping away. The Barons of Ghoere have a long history of hanging the Counts of Rhumannen. and the buildings are supported on the leeward side of the slope by a web work of stilts and pillars. most of which are owned by Ghorien Hiriele.granted them a table. He has managed to befriend the Baron’s vassal. It is a tough town. The current Count is also nearing the end of his reign. The region is plagued by troubles of nearly every sort. 6). A common saying in the area is “A man can find a fight easier in Bhrier. though few families have managed to hold the rank longer than a few generations. and this axiom is not far from the truth. than he might find a mug of ale”. and it is generally regarded as a death sentence to be named Count of the region. Count Rheghor Saerel (MA. The general populace seems convinced that a cabal of wizards has moved into town. the Guilder Kalien. The surrounding area is littered with mines for miles around. the land proves a challenge to Tael’s rule. It seems well known amongst the populace that the Count has nearly every baronial assessor. Mhoried’s influence has never been completely removed. and even the regent of Endier. the Mhor holds nearly as much political power within the region as does the Baron Tael. Rhumannen humannen has never been completely tamed by the Barons of Ghoere. The new mayor. However. The town boasts enough taverns and brothels for a community twice it’s size. The town is actually built into the very hillside itself. but despite that. none seem eager to accept the office. though it has waxed and waned throughout the years. The Spiderfell is a boggy swamp of a forest and sits at the bottom of a tall ridge of hills that run the width of the province. Brenna. though Guilder Kalien has also managed to capitalize on the abundant ore that is harvested from the region. has managed to invest some sizeable interest in the markets and economy of the land. Aside from the usual troubles of occasional raids into the region from the Spider’s minions. As such. there never seems to be an empty bench in any of them once the mines close for the day. a young and eager man named Gaelyn Aerlier (MA. inhabited by tough men. Built entirely on the hillside. T2. and together the two have begun to threaten Count Rheghor’s R Towns There are numerous small farming villages along the road from the capital of Bhalaene. he has not deemed it necessary to inform the Lord Mayor. since the old mayor of Bhrier was found dead in his bath. though he has managed far better than most of his predecessors. Today. especially along the south and west borders. The land itself is covered with small bluffs of trees. while the north and east of the province has long been clear cut to provide land for farming. reports and rumours of sorcerous occurrences are erupting throughout the region. Bhrier is primarily a town of miners. lusts for power and seeks rapid advancement within the Baron’s hierarchy. Wooden 24 . What their intent and purpose is within the town remains as mysterious as their dark master. and if Baron Tael knows their purpose here. It is said that he has only managed to keep his life and office so long simply by keeping the truth from reaching the Baron’s ears. the Guild Lord Ghorien Hirele. and even today. unblooded) has held this precarious position for nearly twelve years. With the sudden exposure of the Daemeon. the Mhors of Mhoried have always managed to maintain a notable amount of influence throughout the province. tainted. the title frequently passes to a new noble by Royal Decree once the Baron has grown tired of the continued failures of the current Count. F5. and the western reaches of the province are home to many shepherds. but the only sizeable community worthy of mention is the mining town of Bhrier. The Nobles The office of Count of Rhumannen is supposedly a hereditary title. far longer than most. and official within the province on a sizeable stipend from the regions mines if their reports first filter through the Count’s own offices. Every rare streak of luck. agent. bridges and a seemingly endless labyrinth of stairs and winches connect the many ‘levels’ of the town together. trappers and merchants. and the region seems to be suffering from some sort of mass wizard-phobia. Despite repeated efforts on behalf of the Barons.
Many suspect that the mines of the region have begun to encroach upon the goblin tunnels. is the farming community of Faerlan’s Field. Though there was never any investigation. Originally a powerful family of Brecht nobles once loyal to the Overlords of Anuire. there does not seem to be any nobles worthy of the office. Others insist that it was Harrigan’s successor.R. The town serves the dozens of farms and shepherds of the province.position by discovering the identities of the Count’s agents. and essentially ‘outbidding’ his stipends with their own. mills. so Tael is wondering if an eager-to-please guilder might be able to succeed where noble blood has failed. since it also explains why there have been so many cave ins of late. was found dead in his bath water only a month ago. Tall silos. Belryc Wiermaeon. call their intelligence and ancestry into question. and folk travel here from the furthest reaches of Ghoere in order to partake of the festivities. or else purge the wood of the awnsheigh and his minions for good. Nobles have failed to quench the resistance of the region since the unification so long ago. Baron Tael has begun to suspect the Count of Rhumannen. (which are believed to radiate like a web beneath the Spiderfell) and there is considerable debate within the courts to either close the mines completely. the Lord Mayor Harrigan Toele. most of which. the folk are generally considered by the majority of Ghoerans to be little more than ignorant country bumpkins. The fact that the populace has largely embraced the more benevolent teachings of the Life and Protection of Avanlae only reinforces the prejudice which the common Tharaliese must suffer. It is perhaps the dullest region within Ghoere. and instead naming his vassal Ghorien Hirele as the new regional governor of Rhumannen. but Gavin Tael cannot stand the sight of him. Thoralinar is little more than a vast prairie of wheat and rye. and granaries line the highway to Bhalaene. The good folk of Thoralinar must suffer as the butt of many jokes. the Wiermaeon family was 25 . herdsmen and shepherds. The young Mayor of Bhrier is eager enough for the position. the eager Gaelyn. who murdered the aging mayor in order to achieve the rank of office for himself. Towns The lone settlement larger than 500 persons. the populace holds a great seasonal fair following the autumn harvests. and what produce is not consumed locally. and is considering replacing him soon. the two rogues are able to rewrite the reports as they wish. and that Count Rheghor had him poisoned in order to keep his secrets from the Baron’s ears . many rumours have surfaced about his death. very little of note unfolds within it’s borders. and the entire economy of the region revolves around agriculture. A Recent Events Several of the older mines have begun to collapse with surprising frequency throughout the region. The people of Thoralinar are good natured. though a bit far fetched. Many goblinoids seeking to raid the lands from the hidden ravines and gullies around the Gorgon’s Spine have been surprised by a united and competent militia that suddenly mobilizes from the country side. However. and popular opinion is that he will hang by the harvest. Famous for it’s ale and bread products. Thus. Rheghor has odds placed on the date of his death throughout the town. Thoralinar barren region. the folk of the land prove a hardy lot and are quick to unite together if presented with troubles. and home to the Count of the province. There is also some suspicion that Harrigan may have been slain by a group of greedy miners in order to keep their discovery of some great treasure within one of the old mines a secret. There is some speculation that Tael might be considering abolishing the title completely. Some say that Harrigan was about to reveal the Count’s duplicity to the Baron. is shipped in great caravans to the capital city. and some suspect that the Spider’s minions might be undermining the supports and foundations in an effort to seal the tunnels of Ghoere. The previous mayor of Bhrier. and the old mayor was famous for his inspections and tours of the tunnels. is also one of the more popularly believed. Still. The Nobles The Wiermaeon family has held this province in the name of the Baron since the Unification occurred in 399 M. Home to only a few thousand farmers. and aside from an occasional sighting of a goblin or two along the hills. but can turn as hard as nails in order to over come hardship. This rumour.
is a captain in the Ghoeran military . unblooded) is secretly in league with the Duke of Osoerde. where the dark wood of the Spiderfell rises and the gentle hills turn craggy and steep. the farmer who found the corpse first pilfered the body before Towns Though the province is heavily populated. and though his body is failing him. He is very crafty and cunning. to establish peace. he has become very paranoid and protective over the items. awaiting the coming raids of the goblinoids of TalQuazar. though the nobles of the region dismiss this rumour outright.unblooded) do their best to carry on the family’s military tradition. the true heritage of the family is only barely recognizable. More than one noble has fallen from grace as a result of offending one of these two powers. and are both ranking officers in the Baron’s armies. tainted. Guilder Kalien of Endier has managed to dominate the province’s economy over the last few years. but the old Count Belryc refuses to bend knee to these pressures. and a rather charismatic one at that. the aged Belryc Wiermaeon (MA. and it’s proximity to the mercantile realm of Endier. The Collier’s control two manors along the province’s southern border. The entire household has fallen under fire from the other noble houses of Ghoere for their recent public support of the Avanlae temples. Only in the east. It’s geographic location along the River Maesil. unblooded) is the aging Lord of 2 manors in western Thoralinar. Jaison Raenech. Currently.forced to flee their holdings in western Massenmarch following the rise of Karl Bissel. Elamien was known as one of the barony’s most brave knights. Unknown to most. Though the country side appears serene and peaceful. Tireste he province of Tireste is another of the great centres of trade within the Barony. F4. most folk stand with weapons ready. His friends have become concerned over his odd behaviour. Belryc believes. and throughout their history within Ghoere. 8) reigns over the land. Already much inbred with Anuirean blood. staring towards the Spiderfell. reporting it to the local militia. In his younger days. his mind is as sharp as ever. and there are few folk here who do not debate the original intent of the goblinoid. and it deadens the air in an unnatural silence. the fog becomes thick enough at times to limit vision to only a few dozen feet. During these times.F3. Rolling hills of verdant grass and wildflowers cover the province like an artists canvas. provides the province endless opportunities for trade. Now is the time. Baronet Friemen Collier (MA. and his influence rivals the Baron’s own. Many believe it was sent to spy out the weakness of the region. Belryc is a dissident. and his loyalty and allegiance has not yet come into question. Gavin Taele has left the old man to his rumblings. Seeming to rise out of the Spiderfell and snake it’s way towards the river like a viper. F2. 26 . F5. Though he has told no one of his booty. Andurias. and have begun to suspect that something is amiss. for their security and welfare rests with the whims of both the Baron of Ghoere. The province is perhaps one of the most beautiful in the Barony and the great willows which grow along the rivers edge drape their boughs into the water like curtains.F1. and Guilder Kalien’s mob bosses. it is great news within the province. Though the incident would hardly be worthy of mention elsewhere in the Barony. They are more Anuirean now than Brecht. It may only be a matter of time before his views of peace begin to spread across eastern Ghoere. Still. the politics of the region are quite the opposite. Belryc’s only son Gavnar. Fogs and mist are common throughout the province. does the land begin to loose it’s lush appearance. unblooded) and Pierden (MA. Most nobles tread a treacherous path within Tireste. they have never managed to regain their former power. and besides. Baronet Elamien Rhondal (MA. His sons Aelvin (MA. and spends most of his time obsessively coveting the stone and talks to it as if it were a child which needed his protection. He took a small silver and ebony ring in the shape of a horned owl and also found a small iron bound box which contained a thumb sized ruby. and are especially thick in the early morning and evening.a convenient hostage if the Baron needs to silence the old Count. His family had lost their ancestral holds in Brechtur due to violence and a lust of conquest. T Recent Events A twisted goblin corpse has recently been discovered in the hills north east of Faerlan’s Field. thinking the old mule will soon die anyway.
The ancient Vathormane line appears doomed to extinction. major. As might be expected. The town of Maeren’s Crossing is perhaps one of the largest settlements within Tireste. but there are actually very few militant clergy dwelling within the tall towers of the Abbey. The Countess prides her House’s ability to be able to trace it’s lineage back to the pre-flight tribes of Aduria. scrolls.) The abbey of Haelyn’s Cross One of the many abbeys throughout the Heartlands of the ancient faith known as the Haelyn’s Aegis. and they often pressure the Baron’s nobles and officers into seeing things the way Kalien wants them. Only a skeleton regiment of knights Templar are posted at the abbey. and so many merchants have established warehouses and other holdings here. Aendar is another large town. but instead. The Countess Gwyllese Brimnance Vathormane (FA. The Abbey refuses to confirm this issue however. who she sees as little more than a common thief and scoundrel. contemplative monks. A man can walk to four different settlements in the span of a day with little trouble. the Abbey of Haelyn’s Cross is tasked with the study and interpretation of the ancient histories of the Anuirean peoples. Aendar also serves as the centre for the eastern Borderwatch patrols. 36) is the ruling Countess of Tireste. Thus she has remained a maid. the Abbey of the Cross has stood in this region since time immemorial. that the towers alone can not contain it all. and the few suitors which her late father managed to bring forward were quickly dismissed or ran away on their own volition after only a few hours in her presence. Aendar is built around the Imperial Highway that connects Bhalanene to the lands of Diemed and beyond. it is all too apparent that she detest him with her every fibre. and can close the borders to trade with a single word. and has withheld popular items and common necessities for brief periods in the past-just to prove that he could. the Lady is the epitome of nobility at it’s extreme. she cannot stand the sight of the Guilder Kalien. F0. the Guild Lord Kalien of Endier (see “Player Secrets of Endier” for details). Ba. the Abbey appears to be more a well defended keep than a vast library. she only barely manages to belittle herself and her position by playing a game of peerage with him. and tomes deep below the keep. and no prospective husbands are forthcoming. and Kalien knows it. (See “Nobles” below for additional information) and that family also holds the title over the county. and scribes here far outnumber the more martially skilled of the order. The resulting famine is not something the folk of the region wish to repeat. and receives greater respect from the citizenry than do many legitimate nobles of the region. and seldom allows any 27 .there are few towns larger than a few hundred folk. and is the only ferry and crossing into the Duchy of Alamie south of Ghieste itself. parades through the streets of Aendar as if he were. first Baron of Ghoere. Heavily fortified. The Countess is certain that Kalien goes out of his way to test her resolve in this matter. Though a powerful bloodline flows in her veins. It also holds the distinction of being the birth place and centre of the ancestral fief of the Lord Regien. home to nearly 2000 persons. Snobbish. and several fortified watch towers have been built in the surrounding area. conceited and condescending in the extreme. The fief of Ghoere has long since been in the control of the Vathormane family however. The close proximity to both Endier and the trade city of Ghieste has resulted in little need for another large settlement. Though he is far too cunning to openly threaten this course of action. and so have been expanded over the centuries in a great labyrinth of books. he has made it known that he can do just that. but the most ranking priests and renown theologians into the library proper. and she takes the opportunity to remind her peers of this at every opportunity. very few men can stand her haughty attitudes. He controls nearly the entire economy of the province. Serving the Haelyn’s Aegis as one of the primary research and contemplation centres of the faith. The libraries of the Cross are said to be so extensive. and that he takes every opportunity to slight her dignity (which he does much to the delight of the attending nobles. and the number of resident librarians. and her house is as old and ancient as the Maesil itself. and is located only hours from the Endieran border. and it is from this fief that the Barony takes it’s name. Though she cannot deny his political power and strength within her County. the land is dotted with numerous towns and villages. The Nobles Though not a proper noble himself. Blatantly sweet and grotesquely polite in her dealing with him.
minor. saying throughout the Barony for a man who refuses to yield his position despite apparently insurmountable odds. The Three Roads Inn is not a proper community in itself. that the same state will inevitably come to pass again throughout modern day Anuire. The philosopher and writer. Brona is a small town nestled near the centre of the province and is best known for it’s breeding stables as well as the many wind powered mills which have been built throughout the hillside all along the Riumache Road. It is a skilled trainer and handler who is able to direct these beasts of burden consistently and without incident. Almen serves as both a way station for the many ships and barges that ply the river. lies the Ghoeran port of Almen. but rather is a large coaching Inn and sizeable stable yard which caters to the many travellers and caravans which traverse the Imperial Highway between the Ghoeran capital and the southern realms. there is some concern that Daerren may have also committed heresy in the course of detailing his missive. the mules have been known to work themselves to death if not properly supervised. He goes so far as to suggest later in his writing. though it frequently suffers as a battlefield between the forces of the Mhor and the Baron. the port in Riumache is easily visible. and simply begin their planting again. his writings are causing a wave of outrage amongst the nobility who have read it. he may also have brought the core of Haelyn’s scriptures into question. the folk of Tornilen have become hardy and are stubbornly indomitable. Unfortunately. From Almen. Towns Across the river from the Mhoried port of Riumache.Recent Events There are always minor instances of goblin activity along the Spiderfell border. the Tornilen people seem to grudgingly endure. Many of Anuire’s most well known bards have played the Three Roads Inn at one time or another. She inherited the title of Countess of Tireste following the drowning 28 . “Stubborn as a Tornilen” has become a common The Nobles The High Lady Margaery Khellevien (FA. M4. the people refuse to give up. A smaller version of its sister city of Ghieste to the west. there has been a significant increase in the sheer number and frequency of such incursions. Though their entire crop might be confiscated in order to supply the Baron’s troops on his latest campaign against Mhoried. The Inn is owned by the Maerrel family. Famed for it’s single mindedness. 28) is a young and beautiful graduate of the Royal College of Sorcery. the beasts must frequently be ‘convinced’ to perform the task in the first place. a revelation which the nobility has no wish to see come to pass . as well as for their remarkable hardiness and endurance. Since it is not uncommon for the farmlands of the region to be torn asunder by clashing raiding forces from either realm. and the Inn is all that remains of their once vast holdings. has recently completed a study on the nature of the old Ghieste society and its focus on the humanities during the height of the Duchies power. Vo. Many fear that the Spider Lord is planning a major offensive very soon. No matter the manner of hardship. refusing to surrender or succumb to despair. the Tornilen Mule has been bred over many generations for their strong backs and legs. Sir Peirvian concludes in his writing that the rise of the middle class and the loss of power amongst the noblesse which occurred following the collapse of Empire was a renaissance well ahead of it’s time. Tornilen Another agricultural centre.again. an ancient line of fallen Ghieste nobility. the province of Tornilen has always produced an abundance of foodstuffs. Though it is not yet widely known. but of late. Sir Daerren Peirvian. There are also several reports of massive ‘curtains’ of spiders that are seen writhing from the boughs of the dark and twisted trees only a dozen yards from the edge of the wood. for in his attempt to define the state of being which lies between the nobility and lower classes. and the epic ballads and tales which have been woven beside the Inn’s massive hearth are considered by many in Anuire’s Bardic Colleges to have been legendary performances. and also as the home port of the Baron’s river patrols. and river captains from both realms sail the area in an uneasy peace. Though the various sects of Haelyn have yet to comment on his writings. Long used on the farms of the region. Merchants from across Ghoere ship their goods here to be ground into flour and meal.
she is finding the intrigues and subtleties of court very difficult. even Baron Tael’s Unfortunately. Now little more than impoverished nobles. However. these stories out right. she has made significant progress over the last months. It is the families shame that they have According to eyewitness accounts. Very few river several ranking nobles who eagerly seek the High pirates escape his notice or the reach of his arm. unblooded) is a full moon. Roads Inn. the entire household consists of The hearth at the Three Roads Tavern is said only the land and buildings which are the Three to have been the vessel for a recent apparition. There is substantial rumour that the two have become romantically involved. room was filled with a soft. and she longs to be free of such duties in order to pursue her love of magic. and the Lord Brence is Margaery would make an excellent Baroness. and commands have fallen speechless at the sight of over a dozen river boats and half as many barges from Recent Events 29 . following the arrest and subsequent death of the Duke Rheghor Ghieste and his family.deaths of her family last autumn when their river barge was attacked by river pirates as they journey to the City of Anuire to attend her graduation. Both are his offices strong house in the town of Almen. This suits Brence takes the task very seriously. she suffers her duties well. and strives to learn the art of regency. and Lord relationship which they might engage in. Despite this. His painfully aware of their respective stations and the office is tasked with keeping the Barons Law upon the complications which would arise from any River Maesil and it’s surrounding environs. for there are extremely good at what he does. the Maerrel family was also persecuted as Ghieste sympathisers. and of late. Thrust into a position for which she was not prepared. R7. All within were said to the Lord Captain of the Barons Fleet. Lady’s favour. Though she has much to learn. described as being like unto Brence Caragrane (MA. thanks in large part to the efforts and attentions given to her by the Royal Captain Brence Caragrane. the officers and men who serve him chamberlain has begun to think that the Lady are not so loyal or dutiful. He is also many of the Lords of Ghoere fine. and held the honour of caring for the Ducal Winter Palace during the summers while the Royal family was at court. Ghieste nobles who were once prominent figures in the Ducal courts of that realm. radiance. and the common has accepted their lot over the intervening centuries. the hearth began to been reduced to common labour. often forced to police his own men as well as the The Maerrel Household is an ancient line of rivers which surround his beloved land. sparkling and they take great pride in their inn. but the household glow a soft blue. but they both deny You can’t hide anything in Ghoere without the Iron Guard finding out about it. and much of their lands were confiscated by the Throne.
which is becoming more common throughout Anuire. Whatever the truth of it.000 people. Elsewhere in the Barony. The ratio of career minded thieves (that is to say. but very few of these are land owners. With the general appearance of a rising middle class throughout Anuire over the past years. for though they appear beaten. but several agents representing the College of Sorcery have arrived in the region to begin searching for the hulk. the popularity. blinding all within with it’s intensity. This has lead some to speculate that the cargo was worth more than what was first believed. Some have begun to postulate that the event was a prophetic vision sent by Ruornil. but has failed to meet it’s scheduled arrival date at the port of Ghieste. The barony is home to T 30 . A Brief Word Regarding Ghoeran Feudalism The vast majority of citizens are common folk who are indentured to some lord or other. there is an official or officer of some sort policing the populace and ensuring that the status quo is followed to the letter. The Baron’s closest advisors warn that he should beware possible treachery from the fallen nobles. and also has command of the dreaded Iron Guard. they might yet rekindle the lost loyalties of the old Gheiste lines. and then every lantern in the room suddenly burst into a blazing flame. or rebel and die. The entire realm is rigidly militaristic which manifests itself in the form of civic oppression. By far the most common character class within the Barony is that of a warrior. as well as the infamy of the Inn. As long as the over lying laws of Barony are not in themselves broken. the number of free men is increasing within the Barony. and so are not entitled to hold serfs under Ghoeran law as landed nobles are. more than 200. The presence of the free middle class. those thieves who organise themselves into a business-like entities and brotherhoods) is perhaps higher within the province of Ghieste itself than in all of some of the smaller realms of Anuire. Those who cannot fight tend to gravitate towards the more mundane mercantile pursuits which remain prevalent in the core psyche of old Ghieste. Excellence in the martial skills is the quickest and easiest route to power and prestige within the Barony. and the long military tradition of the barony encourages folk to pursue the proficiencies of that profession. Though the Baron holds and maintains his own troops. is most evident in the mercantile provinces of Ghiere and Tireste. or if the pirates managed to loot the entire hold before the barge met it’s end. It is suspected that the barge was attacked by river pirates and was quite likely scuttled in the murky depths of the Shadowmere swamp. and ranks amongst the greatest crimes known throughout the Barony. but is slowly growing in size and strength within Bhalaene over the past decade as well. and taken it to mean that the extinct Ghieste family bloodline shall be reborn. titled lords and nobles are within their rights to dispense their own justice amongst their vassals and serfs as they deem fit. The very nature of the Ghoeran feudal system is such that in matters of a lord to a vassal. and the quest for the missing barge has become something of a local sporting event. as many aspects of daily life are structured and regulated in some way. There is a growing treasure hunt underway as a result. the Baron and his officials have very few rights nor privilege with which to intervene. the vast majority of folk live as serfs who work their Lord’s lands and are seldom permitted to leave the confines of the fief in which they serve. A large river barge which was headed for the Imperial City has recently left the port town of Almen. and all land owners within the barony are expected to supply a Ghoeran Society he Ghoeran way of life is rather simple: obey well and thrive. while others suspect the Maerrel’s may have interpreted the occurrence to mean that their lost station and lands shall soon be returned to them.it. and there are relatively few ‘free men’ amongst the lower classes. It is uncertain what cargo the barge carried. it is also important to note that the practice of “Calling of the Banners” (see “Special Action: Calling of the Banners” for additional details) is still practised throughout Ghoere. Disobedience is not tolerated in any form within the Ghoeran mind set. There is little in the way of personal freedoms within Ghoere. most of which are indentured serfs. has grown three fold since word of this occurrence first became known. and every where a man turns.
honours and medals (of some form or other. and even several dozen positions which are unique to the Barony itself.) upon their subordinates which they deem worthy or who have excelled in some fashion. Though there is need for this ancient practice to be invoked only in times of massive campaign.percentage of their house guards to the service of the Baron and his armies if called. the Iron Guard originally served as Tael’s House Guard and his private elite units. the Iron Guard is not amongst the standing military units of Ghoere which are able to engage in traditional war moves. and only the current ruling family may claim it. The Nobility of Ghoere The highest title achievable within Ghoere is that of Baron. a harsh punishment and significant deterrent in the mind of any noble worthy of his blood. The standing army of the Barony and their traditional locations consists of the following: Achiese 1 unit pikemen The Iron Guard of Ghoere First formed by Gavin Tael prior to his ascension to the throne of Ghoere. and it’s extensive natural resources are quickly consumed in order to support the massive military engine that the realm maintains. and follow the Baron’s orders without question or hesitation. Since Ghoere has not yet managed a long lived dynasty. this title tends not to be hereditary. In order to raise an actual unit of Iron Guard for use in the field. It is important to note that there is no such limit in place concerning a families rank however. and is also able to maintain a large force under his direct command in case he should need to march against a recalcitrant noble or put down a possible revolt against his rule. the Baron must use the ‘Improve Unit’ domain action as described in the Book of Regency page 85. and the Baron and his nobles are fond of granting titles. many of which have not been employed since the height of the Empire. Essentially.) Thus he hopes to hold his nobles in check with possible noble born hostages who might be amongst the units so sequestered. but now has the power to act as Tael’s personal brute squad throughout the entire realm. The core of the Iron Guard is comprised of the best soldiers and officers which are hand picked from amongst the regional military regiments. Upon his coronation. in some fashion. The Iron Guard are renown throughout Anuire. It was with their aid that he managed to secure his throne so easily. Each one pf them has proven their loyalty to the Baron first and the realm second. but is instead claimed by the successor (or usurper depending upon your point of view) of the throne of Ghoere. the Iron Guard was given the honour and duty of policing the entire realm and ensuring his 31 . Titles and position are an important aspect of life within the militaristic realm of Ghoere. With the recent troubles he has had in regards to his nobles loyalty. the noble in question is reduced to a common free man. As such. since the Baron of Ghoere cannot possibly enforce any decrees to suppress such ancient claims. There are simply not enough individuals in the core of the Iron Guard to constitute the improved statistics described on the war card unit. Employed mainly as an elite civic police force. one of the most militaristic realms upon the face of Cerilia. Taele has begun swelling the numbers of the Iron Guard by declaring that all cavalry and elite units within the Barony must serve a term of at least one year under his direct command (which essentially means his Captains in the Iron Guard get a year to brain wash as many of these men as they can. Since such bureaucratic titles are not generally hereditary in nature. and the irrevokable stripping of any titles and rankings currently held within the barony. the nobles of Ghoere are relatively free to cast such positions around without having to overly worry about the long reaching effects. and will quite likely end up being forced to indenture himself and his family to another in order to survive. very few of these titles hold any degree of meaning or effect outside of the realm. been awarded the ‘Badge of the Lion Rampant’ (an honorarium which recognizes a mans exceptional courage and bravery in battle) at least once. there are numerous administrative and bureaucratic titles in use throughout Ghoere. failure to comply will immediately result in the complete and total forfeiture of all lands and holdings to the Crown of Ghoere. However. edicts were obeyed by all his citizens. and has at the least. Essentially the Iron Guard still serves it’s original purpose. The Ghoeran Military The Barony of Ghoere is without a doubt. and use that resist as cannon fodder in the event of war.
Important Personages hoere is home to many powerful people. These additional troops are considered to be the result of the Baron invoking the ancient feudal practice known as “The Calling of the Banners. G Special Action: The Calling of the Banners Aside from it’s standing units. (without direct or immediate cost to the throne) upon the close of the second war move of any given military campaign. one unit may be knights if so desired. These units will arrive in the capital (or another appointed domestic province if desired) at the opening of the third round of the same war move in which this power is invoked. there is very little which occurs in the land that he is not quickly appraised of. but it should also be noted that there is a finite number of trained warriors within the Barony.” Gavin Tael. and might also be able to convince the Haelyn’s Aegis to supply additional units if he is able to convince the Prelates of that temple that the cause is just. Baron of Ghoere 9th level Anuirean Fighter 32 . Of course. Essentially the Baron issues a decree that requires his landed nobility to supply him with a percentage of trained and equipped units based on the general net worth of their estate and the amount of land which they directly hold. for the very nature of the Barony dictates that only the strongest are able to rule for long. All these additional units function as the equivalent mercenary card of the same type. The regent of Ghoere is able to perform this special action only once every other season at most. though for every 3 units of infantry so mustered. and though he may not appear to be aware (or even concerned) of their behaviour. The regent of Ghoere is warned to employ this special power only as a last resort. many would argue that the only events which unfold within Ghoere are those which the Baron has put into play himself. (listed previously) the Barony is able to muster an additional force of 10 units worth of troops.1 unit mercenary cavalry Bhalaene 1 unit archer 2 units cavalry 1 unit elite infantry Bheline No standing army Conallier 1 unit archer 1 unit mercenary cavalry 1 Patrol Barge Danaroene 1 unit elite infantry 1 unit pikemen Ghiere 1 unit cavalry 1 unit elite infantry 1 unit knights 6 River Boats 1 Patrol Barge Rhumannen 1 unit archer Thoralinar No standing army Tireste 1 unit mercenary cavalry 1 River Boat Tornilen 1 unit knights 1 unit pikemen 5 River Boats 1 Patrol Barge Aside from these Royal troops. Indeed. the regent of Ghoere can expect additional support from the Militant Order of Cuiraécen. Excessive use of this special action will weaken the defensive ability of the barony at large. Gavin Tael keeps both eyes on his nobles at all times. and cause considerable strife and unrest from the over taxed nobles (not to mention the common folk who must form the bulk of these units). Troops so mustered are considered to be mercenary infantry units.
for Jonathan is already a true hero amongst the common folk. for he has craftily forced many of his enemies to dance to the rhythm which he has set for them . and has mastered the art of playing his enemy’s own fears and doubts against them. Though his temper is said to be only slightly less fiery than the Gorgon’s own. Special Items: Warstar (morning star +2). Long Life (major). crossbow. He often jokes with his advisors that he will be known as Anuire’s greatest puppeteer. Only a little more than a year and a half after his rise to the position. his true strength lies not in his skill of arms (which is substantial to say the least. He serves the Baron without question. Tael wants it all for himself. Jonathan Miechale. and the people of Ghoere seem to love him for it. Ruthless and cunning. and he wants it all now. the Baron Taele is one of the most dangerous and powerful men within Anuire. Tael has proven that he is willing to reward (and punish) equally and fairly. In this manner. Tael has learned considerable patience. page 55. Serve well. more than one enemy has ripped himself apart with their own doubt and apprehension as a result of Tael’s skill. Crown of Ghoere (provides 25% magic resistance while worn). Gavin is smart enough to know that by permitting such common folk to achieve positions of importance and power that it improves their loyalty towards him. and he is determined to excel in his new station. Though not a kind or gentle man. the Baron must continually struggle to remind his nobility that he will not let their stations hide them from his wrath or his law. His word is law. Should he choose to produce or recognized an heir one day. tend to resent this rather odd habit of the Baron. many 33 . then he feels he should be the one to reap the rewards of doing so. Where other regents hope to build and secure a dynasty for their rule. shield. and is eager to please his Lord. just as Tael has done. and also inspires others to work hard in hopes of achieving a similar reward for themselves. His nobles on the other hand. long sword. One of several unblooded and common born lieutenants in the Baron’s employ.Str: 18/25 Dex: 14 Con: 16 Int: 12 Wis: 13 Cha: 11 AL: LE AC: -2 hp: 73 MV: 6 THACO:12 (10) #AT: 3/2 Dmg: 2d4+2 (Warstar) Bloodline: Reynir. If it is his might and strength which forges a realm. and you will be rewarded. 49 Blood Abilities: Iron will. Disobey him. First Lieutenant of Ghoere 5th level Anuirean Fighter Str: 17 Dex: 13 Con: 14 Int: 12 Wis: 10 Cha: 11 AC: 4(3) hp: 38 THACO: 15 #AT: 3/2 Dmg: by weapon Bloodline: None Blood Abilities: None Items: Half Plate armour. without class or social discrimination. ring of office (signet ring).) but rather it is the loyalty he inspires amongst his vassals which makes him so powerful. shield +1 (with raven symbol of Ghoere emblazoned on a red and green field). then he can go and secure his own power. and despite his continued examples. and you will be destroyed. and he expects his law to be obeyed. Jonathan Miechale is proud of the honour which Gavin Tael has placed upon him. Patient and manipulative. lance. Gavin Tael is fully described in the Book of Regency.and many did not even know it! A masterful manipulator. major. field plate +1. Jonathan has already exceeded his Baron’s hopes.
major. Items: Cloak of Swords AC 0.) Moergan is young and prideful. blade of opening (as a chime of opening). and is in need of reminder of his tenuous position rather frequently.) hp: 80 THACO: 12 #AT: 3/2 Dmg: By Weapon Bloodline: Reynir. resistance (major). The current alliance the Sword Mage holds with the Baron Gavin Tael is as mysterious as the mage himself. A minor courtier in the service of the Countess of Tireste. Gavin has ‘orchestrated’ events in order to secure Moergan’s loyalty. Moergan frequently clashes with the Baron and his men. then he will simply be sent on some impossible mission from which he will never return. Tael is quite happy with Miechale’s performance in this regard. and he resents the hold which Tael has over him. and little actual interaction is known to occur between the Moergan Braelaunt 4h level Anuirean Fighter Str: 14 Dex: 17 Con: 15 Int: 17 Wis: 13 Cha: 16 AC: 3/2 (-3 Dex adj. Tael is therefor already planning Jonathan’s fall from grace if he does not do so on his own first. long sword. lest the populace rally behind the unblooded hero. he might survive long enough to build a following of his own. the Sword Mage has earned his reputation well. and he will surely be sent to his death in the name of duty soon. The Lady Braelaunt now serves in Rook Roost Castle (a convenient hostage. It is surely an arrangement of mutual convenience. Still. and Moergan understands this well. So mysterious and secretive is the mage. Perhaps no other being is more feared or more mysterious within Anuire than this masked wizard with a warriors heart. The mage is renown as a cruel. but he is also aware that too much popularity could prove to be a threat to his rule. that none can even accurately discern the mages sex. Moergan is the unrecognized bastard of Gavin Tael. ruthless and evil sorcerer. perhaps the most black hearted being this side of the Gorgon’s Crown. A rumoured summoner of demons. blade of magic protection (as a scarab of protection). lance. Moergan knows that his life is always in danger. blade of protection +2. 42 Blood Abilities: Alter appearance. but as yet he is powerless to do anything about it without risking the life of his dear mother. 24 Blood Abilities: Enhanced Sense. Since his ascension to the throne of Ghoere. battle axe. Gavin is sure that 34 . major. for if Gavin perceives him as a threat. Gavin had a brief affair with the lovely Lady Braelaunt during his time as a general in the armies of Orvaene Ghorelle. Iron Will Items: Plate mail. and the Lady Emillie Braelaunt of Aendar. numerous potions & scrolls. crossbow. though he is popularly believed to be male.farm boys play at being ‘Sir Miechale’ and pretend at protecting the Barony from her enemies. this thought has occurred to Moergan. and then press his claim upon the throne. If Moergan can manage to curb his temper and his pride for a few years. shield. The Sword Mage 10th level Vos Wizard Str: 11 Dex: 17 Con: 16 Int: 17 Wis: 13 Cha: 15 AC: -5 hp: 43 THACO: 18 #AT: 1 Dmg: 1d4 (dagger) Bloodline: Vorynn.
lance. Ghorien Hiriele 5th Level Anuirean Thief Str: 13 Dex: 17 Con: 13 Int: 12 Wis: 10 Cha: 11 AC: 8/5 (-3 Dex adj.and no one has thought to ask the Sword Mage the question. Ghorien Hiriele seems cursed with an endless streak of bad luck. The Sword Mage is fully detailed in the Book of Magecraft. major. Better he reasons. When they appear in public. it is commonly believed that he will instead cement his hold over his regional diocese and then splinter from Fhylie and her order completely. and even the greatest of his schemes seldom develop or mature as they should. Fhylie the Sword. This suits Stiele fine however. Stiele Ghieste has no claim to the ancient bloodline of the same name. if not more. none that can be legally supported or proven.two. crossbow A competent guilder in his own right. Ghorien Hiriele holds his title and position over the Highland/Overland Traders only because Tael lets him keep it. As they pass. and instead strives to excel in his assigned tasks. Stiele is well known for his despisal of the order’s invested ruler. Despite his power and dominance over the Ghoeran temples. but also holds the complete and utter allegiance of the affiliated order known a The Redspurs. than Ghoere’s own Iron Guard. He is not overly bitter in spite of this. A handsome man in the prime of his youth. flail The High Priest Stiele Ghieste is an active and aggressive proponent of the war aims of the Baron Tael. and works closely with him and his generals quite frequently. The High Priest commands the loyalty of more than half of the Ghoeran temples. commonly known amongst the Ghoeran people as ‘The Daemeon. Cuiraécen’s Glittering Blade (long sword of sharpness +2). In fact. fear follows. page 41. minor. and Ghorien knows it all too well. The minions of the Sword Mage. he has resisted obligating himself to any single woman. dagger. 20 Blood Abilities: Resistance (minor):enchantment/charm magic school Items: Leather Armour. Despite this apparent lack of interest in laying claim to the ancient title. silver cloth mask with a black sword bisecting the face. to remain mobileand besides. the mysterious order has no official title or anything as formal as a name . so 35 . and these serve him as his personal guard and private army. 27 Blood Abilities: Battlewise (major). or at the least. but as yet. and grant Hiriele the freedom and control of the guild network which he currently only oversees. and seems hopelessly trapped in a strict vassalage contract with him. since he is not overly interested in anything other than the pursuit of glory in the name of Cuiraécen.’ As far as anyone knows. they are feared just as much. the High Priest has much left to accomplish if he is to challenge Fhylie for the regency of the entire faith. they shield their faces behind a full face. Courage (minor) Items: Full Plate. Despite his best efforts. Despite his namesake. Ghorien has little trouble attracting potential brides. the last thing he needs is another Stiele Ghieste 9th Level Priest of Cuiraécen Str: 16 Dex: 13 Con: 14 Int: 12 Wis: 14 Cha: 16 AC: 0 hp: 42 THACO:16 #AT: 1 Dmg: by weapon Bloodline: Andurias. the Baron Tael has placed several spies within the temple hierarchy with which he may closely monitor the aims and agenda of the Priest and his clergy. he has been unable to greatly impress the Baron of Ghoere. (see the Player Secrets of Tuornen for details) and he seldom follows her dictates or directives with more than a modicum of compliance. Whatever these agents and minions are called. long sword. protection against heat/cold 10'). the Storm Shield (shield +1.) hp: 24 THACO:18 #AT: 1 Dmg: by weapon Bloodline: An. Thus he hopes that the Baron Tael will at last realize his true potential.
Ghorien truly believes he is destined for great things. T The Mhor does not hold enough direct power to actively oppose Tael in any but the most minor actions throughout the majority of Ghoere. The only holdings in Ghoere are either the ones that he permits to be there. Temples lways a stoutly religious people. but unfortunately. only a very select few of these have managed to attain a strong enough presence to effect the workings of the Barony at large. the Mhor maintains a handful of small but fortified holdings and even a defensible ship yard near the edge of the city of Ghieste. and even those who are more directly descended from the Ghieste lines of old have learned to respect the edicts of the church. the Mhor yet maintains several small law holdings throughout select portions of the Barony. Kalien is all too aware of his desire. Holdings of Ghoere here are many factions and groups within the Barony of Ghoere who hold power aside from the Baron and his officials. and so he permits very little in the way of rival powers within his lands.responsibility which could be used to hold him back. a good many of Ghoere’s lesser nobility (and in turn. This is not to say that the temple regents can expect an easy time within the Barony. Despite this. and he forces the Ghoeran merchant to play an amusing game of cat and mouse . and most Ghoeran nobles avoid the charge with all they are worth. for the Baron Tael is a crafty and cunning negotiator. Within Ghiere. As such. and a man can never be certain he is hearing what he thinks Tael is saying. He is constantly policing his lands and routing out such holdings and factions which he deems a threat. the agents of the Mhor are able to cause the Baron and his officials no end of grief. His hold over the province of Rhumannen is equal to the Baron’s own. A T The Mhor Of Mhoried Haelyn’s Aegis 36 . Something as simple as declaring a curfew upon the province would be cause for domestic uprising. and is constantly plotting the untimely demise of the half elf.a game that Ghorien is seldom able to win. He only needs the opportunity and the chance to prove himself. Always a thorn in the side of the Baron’s rule. the rulership of Rhumannen has always proven to be an impossible challenge. and more than a few exposed spies and nobles of the Mhor have been smuggled out of the land from here. but he has been known to use his resident power to influence the decisions of local magistrates in the past. the Baron Tael is wise enough to know that even smallest fish might eventually grow into a shark. and he actively works to thwart the Baron Tael. Ever the under dog in the contest for the Ghoeran markets. As well. Still. Ever mindful of the various groups and factions within his land. the people of Rhumannen have long held to the Mhor’s presence as an excuse to avoid losing the common freedoms which the region is so renown for. if the Prelate of Ghieste says the sky is green. few will dare nay say him in public. and Ghoere has grown large enough to keep the Baron largely busy with the many other matters of state that prevent him from actively increasing his strangle hold over the realm. Ghorien hates the Lord Kalien of Endier with every fibre of his being. these noble’s vassals) are secretly on the Mhor’s payroll or have been promised some other great reward in return for their efforts. the folk of eastern Ghoere seldom take exception to the dictates of the sanctioned temples within the Barony. As such. In the lands of Ghiere and Rhumannen however. Within these provinces. Despite his lack of great success. or the ones he is currently working on removing. Law Holdings he Baron of Ghoere would love nothing more than to attain total and complete control and domination over all vestiges and manifestations of law within his realm. Unfortunately for Hiriele. and is frequently able to more directly affect the affairs of those regions. the Mhor has actively managed to construct a physical semblance of law. the Mhor has long held a stronger presence. it is very difficult for any new holdings to get a foot hold within the Barony without first gaining his blessing to do so. From these walled compounds. and the land is neatly divided in half between the two.
the Militant Order of Cuiraécen is renown throughout Anuire. Following his successful campaign. Though the Order is headquartered in the Mhoried capital of Shieldhaven. though with substantial less reverence and enthusiasm. the land of Ghoere is the host for a variety of guilds. and the faith is growing in popularity throughout the eastern border provinces . (as a castle rating 5) and houses an entire company of elite infantry and cavalry within the abbey walls.Aside from the staunch support of Cuiraécen. but perhaps nowhere else is the faith so strongly supported than it is in Ghoere. and as such. The hills of Rhumannen are the site of the first abbey in Cuiraécen’s honour and was built late in the sixth century following Deismaar. Life and Protection of Avanlae Several members of the barony’s upper class have taken to the worship of Avanlae in the last few years. not just a single realm or the interests of an individual regent. and there has been several instances over the past few years in which the Baron’s troops and those of the Blackguard have come into conflict. the abbeys and monasteries are not known for their hospitality nor charity . the Baron also supports the Order of Haelyn’s Aegis.despite the Baron’s somewhat mediocre attempts to stop it. it seems only a matter of time before one of the many militant groups of Ghoere meet the Lances of Elinie in battle. he has given the militant orders several incentives in order to keep the LPA from infesting the rest of Ghoere. The militant affiliate of Avanlae in Elenie known as the Lances of the Dawn are frequently encountered along the border of Ghoere. The largest temple belonging to the entire order has only recently been completed just outside the walls of the City of Bhalaene. and the control of the economy of the realm is hotly contested by each one. they are forced to depart or else pledge themselves to the Order and Cuiraécen’s service. Though actual conflict has thus far been avoided. The definition and distinction between the jurisdiction of state and faith has been constantly growing more blurry and hazy of late. The Baron Tael has surprisingly done little to prevent the faith from establishing itself along his border. the faith of Cuiraécen quickly rose to prominence. and they have begun to take it upon themselves to safe guard the Ghoeran temples of their Goddess. is very pleased that the teachings of the patron of the Khinasi folk has begun to be embraced by the Ghoerans at last. Interestingly enough however. The Temple is strongly supported by the Baron’s Iron Guard. Since it is a faith of strength and courage. Once this time has passed. and Ghoere is generally considered to be the birthplace of the entire faith of Haelyn’s son. it comes as a surprise then that the actual political centre of the faith is based in Tuornen rather than in the realm which founded the faith. it is becoming more common for the various groups to begin competing with the other. with plenty of room for additional troops if needed. and seems content to let the temples of Cuiraécen and Haelyn deal with this sudden spiritual revolution. the warrior priests of Cuiraécen patrol the barony and help defend it’s borders and people. The temple is heavily fortified. Despite this. and it is her sincere hope that the martial minded folk of the Barony will be tamed by the enlightenment which they are bound to discover under Avanlae’s teaching. and along with the affiliated order commonly known as the Redspurs. (or perhaps because of it) the temple is often forced to act as a mediator and diplomat between the two realms. the Baron of Ghoere has given his support to the Ghoeran temples of the Order as well. Guilds s with most other Anuirean realms. Medhlorie Haensen. Under the purview of the High Priest Stiele Ghieste.any who seek sanctuary within their walls are permitted a single days respite. the majority of the monks and priests of the temple are able fighters and warriors. Militant Order of Cuiraécen Most commonly referred to as the Blackguards. the Hierophant of the temple in Elenie. With such a strong following. The only sanctioned A 37 . the small abbey existed without much note until the Baron Regien Ghoere won the throne and united the Duchies of Ghieste and Bhalaene. Built in the hills to ward the Spiderfell. the Militant Order continues to expand throughout the Barony. As the strength and popularity of the Order grows within Ghoere. The Order preaches that the spirit can only be trained through the body. The duty of the Haelyn’s Aegis is to defend all of Anuire. and in return. the High Priestess Anita Maricore has promised the Baron that her Order will not actively spy for either him nor the Mhor.
Throughout Ghoere. but would prefer more direct control over the guilds. but none can be certain if these are merely distractions to keep the Baron’s men from finding the true agents of Mhoried. While Hiriele is the Baron’s vassal and urges the Baron to rid the land of the half elf. and especially in Mhoried. or if they are in fact. the two have managed to make considerable inroads throughout the Barony. directly vassaled to the Baron himself. but if the Mhor and Duke Alam are aware of this or not. and has broken into the Mhorien markets of Tenarien province over the past decade as well. following the unification of the Duchies and the subsequent formation of the Barony of Ghoere. However. Of course. In both these regions. the Maesil Shippers continue to dominate trade north of Conallier. but he has been unable to outstrip the influence held there by Hiriele. Ghorien Hiriele has attempted to counter this scrutiny by burying his guilds under pseudonyms and paper companies. Rather. and looks upon it as a game of some sort. the guilds are closely monitored and regulated by the Barony. the best that Mhoried can offer. The entire guild is based in the City of Bhalaene. many of these wizards left for quieter retreats of greater power. and he uses his resources and connections throughout Ghoere to aid the Mhor. The Highland/Overland Traders holds a wide variety of mercantile interests. and holds it’s secondary offices and warehouses along the docks in the city of Ghieste. or else were already established when the Highland Traders first established itself some decades ago. Ghorien does Source The old Duchy of Ghieste was once strong with wizards and mages of all sorts made their homes here. or else were forced away by those strong enough to claim the remaining 38 . returns the favour in kind. but is wise enough to watch his movements like a hawk. and as a sometime ally of Kalien. Kalien enjoys a relationship of cautious respect with the Baron Tael. not mind his vassalage overly much. and this has been the cause of some amount of distress between the two. Heartlands Outfitters Guilder Kalien of Endier controls the Endieran based Heartlands Outfitters guild. the guild primarily operates the many state sanctioned mines and is in charge of collecting and distributing the Barons grain and produce. it is well known who the guilders serve. Kalien is viciously aggressive in the defence of his guild interests in Tireste and Thoralinar most especially. Highland/Overland Traders Ghorien Hiriele is Taele’s puppet Guilder and he controls the majority of trade within Ghoere in the Baron’s name. they have either managed to force their way into the local economies. he views the competition and rivalry between the guilds as an asset to the economy of his realm. One of the chief rivals of the Highland/Overland Traders guild. Kalien takes every opportunity he can to make Ghorien look like a goose. none can be sure. Moerele is infamous for his love of his homeland. the activities of the merchants and the movements of it’s caravans are closely scrutinized. Despite both the Baron’s and Hiriele’s best efforts. As for the remaining guilds. The majority of Mhorien spies caught within the Barony are under his employ. It is a little known secret that Hirele holds his position only because Tael permits him to do so. The guild also operates throughout eastern Alamie.guild within the barony is the Highland/Overland Traders however. and in return. and actively pursues expanding his mining operations in Rhumannen. Kalien. but the Lord of Endier actually seems to enjoy the intense rivalry between them. and of course greater security in his position wouldn’t hurt either. he has heard of Kalien’s shady history and reputation and might well be able to make use of the guilder someday. and controls a great deal of the economy throughout much of Ghoere. which is in fact. of course. While the temples of the land are given much freedom in their affairs. Gavin Tael does not seem to see Kalien’s presence as a threat. Maesil Shippers Moerele Lannaman of Mhoried controls the interests of the Maesil Shippers throughout Ghoere. and it is all that Ghoeran merchants can do to get their wares to northern markets. In stark contrast. He would like nothing better than to corner the markets of Ghieste. Ghorien tries in earnest to bury Kalien in the muck at the bottom of the Maesil River. Ghorien Hiriele would love to plant a blade between the half breed shoulders.
the mage is suddenly not as secure in his position as he once thought. With the sudden surge of delinquent nobles throughout the provinces of Ghoere of late.manifestations. As the Vos sorcerer is also said to be able to summon and control fiends and demons. there seems ample lands from which the Baron might choose to award Count Bellamie. Should the neighbouring realms. Though Stiele Ghieste has not publically acknowledged this trend. It is suspected that he has placed more than a few agents and minions close to the Countess at least. only half held power over the mebhaighl. and is not likely to allow a rival sorcerer to gain a foothold upon the mebhaighl of Ghoere. it is not known what the true limits or actual extent of his power might really be. Secrets & Plots There has been a growing movement within Ghoere for the regional temples of Cuiraécen to separate from the Militant Order and form their own faith with the grand Cathedral in Ghieste as the centre of this new order. and the subsequent addition of the province of Bellam to Ghoere. and if so. and though his defection would certainly mean war with Roesone. By the end of the first century as the Barony of Ghoere. mages have come and gone. Marlae Roesone. Since then. could only strengthen the Barony and Tael would be one step closer to achieving the Iron Throne. The court wizard of Mhoried. There is a strong movement within the Baronial court to begin funnelling resources towards expansion in light of this event. there is considerable evidence that would suggest that he is preparing to do just that. many of the traditional enemies of Ghoere have been forced to turn their attentions in that direction. With the uprisings in the neighbouring Duchy of Osoerde since the throne of that realm was usurped by Jaison Raenech. Constant rumour has been sweeping the taverns of southern Ghoere that the Count Sedrie Bellamie (MA. The Sword Mage shall surely balk at any offers or rewards the Baron has promised Regien in return for his aid. which have so long been 39 . and some rumours have been circulating that Fhylie the Sword is en route to Gheiste to personally treat with Stiele Ghieste in this matter. and he now enjoys complete control of every ounce of Ghorien mebhaighl. 23) of Bellam province in Roesone is in negotiation with Baron Taele and has been promised a sizeable amount of land in return for the Count’s oath of fealty to the throne of Ghoere. that he will have to divide the spoils among so many allies that he would effectively gain very little. is said to be watching Sedrie closely. Rumour insists that he is somehow able to draw power from the fiends which he reputedly so frequently communes with. W3. The Sword Mage The soul being to control the source potentials of Ghoere is the mysterious figure known only as the Sword Mage. as few of those sort can long stand the intense scrutiny they are forced to endure in the midst of the martial disciples of the region. Secrets and Plots for additional information) might also be given regency within Ghoere. Rumours. he has systematically hunted and destroyed any mages which might prove a threat to his power and control of the lands source manifestations. Since his arrival in Ghoere. the timely aid of Mhoried’s only wizard would be pivotal in determining the success of a campaign against that Duchy. is rumoured to have penned an alliance with Baron Tael. and very likely has designs in the works in case of the eventuality that Bellamie also gains an interest in the Barony. Though the details are not known. Vo. his actual strength might be boundless. and of these. With the sudden return of the Countess Tornilen from her studies at the College of Sorcery. minor. he has inspired more fear in the Ghoeran people than any display of power ever could. it seems a small price to pay. Sedrie’s allegiance. while others insist that the wisest course would be to simply wait and see what happens with the Duchy. Some of the baron’s generals are said to be growing concerned that Taele is putting too many eggs in his basket. and may be preparing to make counter offers to him in hopes of securing his fealty. Several couriers and missives have lately been speeding their way between Ghieste and the Militant Order’s home quarters in Tuornen. Due to the vast number of fanciful stories of him and the simple fact that he is so mysterious. and that even if his strategies are successful. and the recent rumour that Sedrie Bellamie of Bellam province (See Rumours. The Baroness Roesone. there were only a handful of mages left in the area. the Mage Regien.
there remains several pockets of resistance to your ultimate control. and it is as yet. be slower to unite against you. you might approach Roesone and negotiate an alliance against Osoerde or promise aid against Diemed. In such a campaign sire. or at the least. and it’s greatest advantage. and keep them from uniting against you. Or if the Haelyn’s Aegis suddenly decided to support the Mhor as your last unit crossed the Maesil. it also creates possible weaknesses for your enemies to exploit while your armies are abroad. especially if we concentrate on making Raenech’s rule seem even worse and more vile than it truly is. you will be in a better position to twist their words and probe them for holes in logic and consistency. then he will be more likely to ally with you. Should Osoerde 40 . a man may hear words you did not say. and thus you could more easily legitimize your actions in the defence of the realm. Alternatively. listen to your lords and neighbours. it would be wise to at least be able to ensure that these regents are indebted to you in some way. Image what would happen if Guilder Kalien should suddenly be convinced to cease Make you enemy seem the greater villain The regents of Anuire are soft when it comes to matters of political relations. my Lord Baron: “A man will often times betray himself if permitted to talk long enough. and they seem eager to side with the victim over the hostile instigator in many instances. However. If you could somehow manage to convince the Duke Alam that your plans are also beneficial to him. is that it does not need to make the first move. The entire realm however. it might be wise to manipulate events so that Ghoere looks the victim. the economy relies heavily on the whims of foreign guilders. then the Barony would have the opportunity to expand into one of these lands with little or no opposition until it was too late. and this is a powerful weapon when employed masterfully. uncertain what he plans to do. trade throughout Rhumannen or Tireste. In order to accomplish this task. While such divisions of power keeps a single group from rising to threaten your position. and each one taken individually would be little threat to your power. The only solution to this problem seems to be to find some way to divert the attention of these regents. Where possible. and a single action can either lead to your downfall or rise you to glory. Listen more than talk The true strength of the Barony.. history has proven that your neighbours are quick to unite under a common banner in order to halt the expansion of Ghoere. G Gain their Trust If possible. the wisest strategical minds of the Barony have compiled the following list of possible strategies. just as you were about to sack Proudglaive. but remember. The Baron is said to be considering these courses of action closely. for conscription rates have nearly doubled over the past year. In this manner. It would be an easy matter to gain new lands in Osoerde while maintaining a mask of goodwill. and even the spiritual aspects of the realm are divided amongst many. Remember well the words of the philosopher Trevyr of Ansien. and as an allied force..” If you remain silent. Then you could ensure their neutrality while you campaign abroad. Strategy and Advice hoere is surrounded by strong realms. Dominate Your Own Land First Though Ghoere is held in a tight fist.holding Ghoere behind a fence. the Iron Throne is at stake. and there is word that Tael might announce a Calling of the Banners to his nobles something that has not been done since the Baron Tuorel invaded Mhoried so long ago. and befriend one of your powerful neighbours. Be patient. your armies could easily march across any one of the borders which surround the Barony. Ghoere might easily be seen as a liberator and force of justice. is certainly preparing to march. With this accomplished. The Mhor yet holds power throughout the realm. While it is not necessary to completely remove all foreign holdings within the realm. Ghoere is powerless to defeat them. and let them do the talking. you might try the unexpected. suddenly be forced to march upon Osoerde. Heed what you will.
They are infamous for their cunning and relentless behaviours. Once you are able to do that.R. the Iron Throne is as good as yours. Additional Resources The Gates of Mhelliviene (http://mhelliviene. The beast has dominated the wooded hill lands of Anuire. Ferocious and otherwise generally nasty kitties.104. Properly manipulated.birthright. Though seldom given dominance or precedence over the traditional and complete court. A large predatory cat roughly the size of a large hound. such a council might also be created by the regent himself. Of course I would plug my own site. the regent is free to select the members from amongst any of his cadre of servants and advisors. and that your response to provoked hostilities exonerate you from blame.htm) The highest calibre list maintained by WotC in my opinion.net) The Birthright Mailing List Archive (http://209.org) My personal site and archive of my Birthright and other D&D related material. In a small council. thanks to Arjan for hosting it! The Official Birthright Campaign Home page (http://www. such a council need not consist of the standard or traditional members of the regents court. Sleen A large multi legged. officials and agents of the Crown. such events could easily be twisted to appear that a counter strike is just and appropriate.decide to test your resolve and strike your weakened defences in Achiese for example. An excellent hunter and generally an all around ferocious beast. They are able to coil around a victim and constrict them to death.. they are believed to have been imported from Aduria sometime during the flight of the Five Tribes. or rend them to shreds with one of their many claws. The key to conquest lies in convincing the other regents of Anuire that your actions are justified. It is important to note that in this later version. Appendix Small Council: A term I borrowed from the novels of George R. and it’s membership might instead be comprised of only his closest and most important or trusted of advisors.. Contains an HTML version of this document (complete with original art). Martin’s epic tale “A Song of Ice and Fire. Such bodies are generally empowered to act as a unified body in the absence of a local ruling noble. The sleen is the Larls only natural predator. it’s razor sharp claws can rend even the toughest of leather armours effortlessly. and can easily out pace even the fastest horse. Larl 41 . or by direct appointment of the domain regent.4/archives/birthright-l. snake-like predator distantly related to the varsk.” Essentially interpreted for use in the Birthright Campaign to mean a ruling council comprised of the minor officers. Alternatively.tuarhievel.67. The beast is incredibly fast. appointment to a small council is a great honour and council’s the regent in the most personal matters in a more direct but much less formal manner. Physically powerful and well muscled. a counter invasion might be easily legitimized.
Luis Vilaça’s Birthright Gallery (http://gallery.org/) The home page of the artist responsible for the colour plates throughout this work.tuarhievel. Go check out his site for some serious eyecandy! Terry Keith March 2001 42 .
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