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WE ARE STARTING IN BERGHOF
Hold of the Sea Princes
Ruler: His Royal Highness, Prince Jeon of Monmerg; Ruler of the Azure Sea; Captain of all Fleets; etc.
Notables: The Prince of Toli (Angus Amberleg), the Plar of Hool (Imesah, “the Pirate Queen”) the Grandee of WestKeep (Kerdak Bonefist, “the Hurrican King”) the Commodore of Jetsom Island (“the Master of Gales”), the Commodore of Fairwind Island (Mastrian Slash, “the Rogue Pirate Queen), the Commodore of Flotsom Island (Avimar Sorrinash, “the Werewolf Captain”), the Governor of Sybrate Isle (Lady Mistress Tessa Fairwind), the Duke of Berghof (Lenny Cole), etc. - a total of 30 separate noble domains.
Captial: Monmurg (15,000)
Cities: Hokar (21,000); Port Toli (11,000); Westkeep (9,500)
Population: 420,000; Humans (Suel, Olman, and Flan), Half-Orcs, Half Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes, Elves, Tengus, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Orcs, Tieflings, Svirfniblin, Duergar, Aasimir, Drow and Merfolk
Resources: Fruit, Sugar Cain, and Slaves
Coinage: Highlord, gold admiral, bright ship, silver, and common.
Religion: Numerous and varied – mostly Neutral and Evil deities, many Demihuman and Monstrous Humanoid deities
Geography: Political Boundaries: Bounded on the Northwest by the Yeomanry and the independent city-state of Melkot.
Physical Boundaries: Bounded on the North by the Hool River and Hool Marshes, on the South and West by the Hellfurnaces and Crystalmist Mountains, and on the East by Jeklea Bay and the Azure Sea.
Cultural Geography/Ethnography:
Many folk immigrated or migrated from without and within the Hold, drawn to a life of piracy. These immigrants combined with native monstrous humanoids and Suel settlers who lived among the Flan natives. Olman tribesmen have been imported as slaves. All Hold cities are multiethnic, but the sources and secludedcommunities of many races are listed below.
Dwarves: Come from the Tors or the Little Hills in the Yeomanry.
Elves: Come mostly from the Dreadwood.
Halflings and Gnomes: Come mostly from the Little Hills and Good Hills in the Yeomanry and Keoland.
Half-Breeds: Aasimir, Tieflings, Half-Orcs, and Half-Elves exist among any community of their nonhuman relatives, or among the bustling cities of the Hold.
Humans: Native Flan, Suel settlers, and imported Olman slaves. Various exiles from all over the Flanaess.
Monstrous Humanoids: Tengu, Goblins, Orcs, Hogbogblins, Svirfniblin, Drow and Duergar come mostly from the Crystalmist and Hellfurnace Mountains, the Hool Marshes, and the Dreadwood.
Physical Geography:
Amedio Jungle: A tropical rainforest over three-hundred leagues in size, it is populated by savage Suel and Olman Human tribes (some cannibalistic). It is exploited for its wealth. Wild animals, man-eating monsters, intelligent apes, and carnivorous and poisonous plants with medicinal and magical properties inhabit the jungle. Legends tell of gem mines of vast unknown wealth and haunted ruins.
Azure Sea: The age-old center of trade in the Flanaess, it is home to pirates and sea monsters. Raiding is carried out by Amedio savages, the Orcs of the Pomarj, the Scarlet Brotherhood, and especially the Sea Princes. Legends say the wizard Drawmij of the Council of Eight possesses a stronghold in its depths, from which he protects the open seas.
Crystalmist Mountains: The highest peaks in the Flanaess, they separate the subcontinent from the rest of Oerik. Home to barbaric cavemen, Goblins, Orcs, Giants, Ogres, and other monstrous humanoids, they are mined by Mountain Dwarves for their gems and precious metals.
Dreadwood: Located in southernmost Keoland on the Javan River, just North of the Hool Marshes, this forest is warded by Silvan Elves under a royal writ. However, it is also home to monstrous humanoids, who – along with the Sea Princes – use it as a base to raid Southern Keoland and the Yeomanry. Several efforts to clear it have failed, and many suspect collusion between the Sea Princes and the monstrous humanoids.
Hellfurnaces: Active volcanoes mark this den of treachery and evil, inhabited by Fire Giants and other incendiary creatures. They separate the Flanaess from the Sea of Dusts. The labyrinths of passages beneath the mountains contain entrances to the Underdark.
Hool Marshes: The broad, swampy banks of the Hool River, full of natural dangers such as quaking mires and bottomless pools, as well as animal predators, monsters, and diseases. Desparate folk seek refuge there and it is home to monstrous humanoids, especially Lizardfolk.
Hool River: A broad river with swampy banks, this tributary of the Javan drains from Lake Spindlowe through the Hool Marshes, which often make its course impossible to find.
Isles of the Sea Princes: Three large (Fairwind, Flotsam, and Jetsom) and one small (Sybrate) these semitropical islands are covered in great slave plantations.
Javan River: The longest river on the continent, it begins high in the Barrier Peaks and courses Southward to empty into the Azure Sea above Monmurg.
Jeklea Bay: Encircled by the Hook Peninsula, the bay is essentially the private lake of the Sea Princes. A steady clockwise current churns this seaweed-choked body of water, plagued by Sea Lions and Kraken.
Lake Matryes: A lake in the Amedio jungle, this huge body of water is named for a Keoish explorer. Savage tribes gather here to ready for raiding and warfare and during certain seasons for rituals to offer gold and other treasures. Cursed ruins are located on the North shore. When volcanic ash coats the Lake, it produces harmful supernatural effects and is known as “Storm Lake.”
Lake Spendlowe: The centerpiece of Berghof, this serene lake is located in a valley of striking beauty. It is the source of the Hool River and fleshy plantlike tribes of pacifistic humanoids occupy the Southern shore of its pure waters.
The Tors: This mesa-like series of hills juts from the Crystalmists, marking the Southernmost extent of the Yeomanry. They are home to the largest community of Dwarves in Southwestern Flanaess. The Western Tors house the independent city-state of Melkot.
History: The Hold of the Sea Princes grew powerful during the 4th century, when the Empire of Keoland was at the height of its inland expansion. The realm is named after the ship of one of its greatest heroes, The Sea Prince, which was captained by an exiled Keoish noble. At the height of their power, the Sea Princes raided from Gradsul to Scant in the Pomarj, the Sea of Gearnat, Tilva Strait, Blue and Monmurg.
It was in the 5th century that the power of the Sea Princes began to decline. After conquering Toli and then Monmurg, the pirates drew the ire of the Keoish Empire, which had ceased its expansion. The fleet of Keoland - in concert with Ulek Warships – checked the Princes at the Battle of Jetsom Island in 464. At this time the wiser and older captains retreated to mainland estates, leaving their lieutenants and the younger captains to command their ships. Now the Princes raid the Amedio Jungle for rare woods, spices, ivory, gold, and slaves.
The Hold is still the largest sea power in the Flanaess, possessed of a small and efficient army. They are mostly peaceful traders. It is a fertile land, where the slaves who work the large plantations of fruit trees and sugar cane are known as “two-legged admirals.” Nobility from as far as Nyrond come there to winter.
The most recent relations with the Hold’s neighbors have been bellicose.When Tavish III of Keoland led an army to besiege Westkeep, his army wagons got bogged down in the Hool Marshes and many of his soldiers became ill. A large number of them mutinied to the Sea Princes’ superior force. During the seventy-minute siege, Tavish perished.
The slave-trade remains a controversial aspect of Sea Prince society. The Prince of Monmurg wishes to abolish the trade, under pressure from foreign nobility and the Yeomanry. He is supported only by the Duke of Berghof and the Governor of Sybrate Isle. The Commodores dream of a day when their piracy will be resurgent, but until then raiding the Amedio jungle is their source of prosperity.