Ashmeadow

Ashmeadow was built upon the ruins of the Old Kingdom, a human civilisation that ruled for 100 years and finished in bloody violence. After a period of unrest a Council of Eight is formed to rule the lands. The council contains the Golden Lord of Leor, the Water Baron of Yatar, the Lord Commander of the Knights of Winter, the Duke of Bellimir's Ferry, the Arch-Druid of Skarbrand, the Arch-Mage of the Tower, and a representative from the Church of Light, Church of the Mother and Church of Seas.

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History


OTC indicating 'Of the Council'

-14 OTC Almost overnight the Old Kingdom collapsed. Wizards and Warlocks alike find themselves unable to control their powers. Gates to the etherium open and the world goes made as magic begins to break down.
-13 OTC Removed from the wisdom of their magical advisors and the ancient races the human cities of the Old Kingdom break into all out war. The cities of Neverwinter, Skarbrand, Leor and Yartar fight bloody battles across the land that last for years.
-10 OTC Warriors from the Imix Bane mercenary company as well as followers of the Eight Headed Dragon from across the desert attack what remains of the Western Kingdom. The Water Baron fights them off to the south while the Druids of Skarbrand resist to the north. Almost all infighting stops as the forces unite against these outsiders.
-5 OTC As the warring city states are bled dry by the forces from across the deserts the Bright One leads a crusade out of Crydee. He leaves behind his hammer, Lightbringer, and the missive that the remaining religious bodies must find peace. His knights defeat the main hosts of chaos and ride into the far east, never to be heard from again.
0 OTC A peace treaty is signed in the fields of Ashmeadow. The 'Ashmeadow Agreement' dictates that each lord holds his own lands and that a Council of Eight takes control of the newly formed country. Unable to decide on a name the gathered lords declare it the new nation of Ashmeadow.
13 OTC The ageing duel-Lords of Neverwinter agree to marrying their children and cede control of Crydee to the newly minted Lord and Lady Bentfield.
25 OTC The Arch-Mage requests membership of the council and is granted it, becoming the Ninth Member of the Council of Eight. As part of the arrangement wizarding towers are set up in each of the states.
32 OTC Expansion into the Elven forests are met with violent resistance. A military venture led by the Knights of Winter fails to find the elven stronghold.
50 OTC A trade arrangement is made with the dwarves of Karak Mir and other settlements and the dwarves begin to once again leave their mountain homes.
80 OTC Elven raids begin on the Coast of Blades, with some blaming the Elves of Hireath while others believe this to be a seperate group of so-called "grey elves".

States


Crydee

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In the Old Kingdom the Dukedom of Crydee was the centre of the Bright One's authority. With a good port and fed by the 'great heart' agricultural region it was an old and wealthy city. Eventually racked by civil war it was taken over by the Bright One and his paladins and soon became the base from which he attempted to purify the Old Kingdom. Largely untouched by the civil war Crydee took in many refugees when the city of Neverwinter was sacked and the Knights of Neverwinter joined Crydee's army. Many peace talks were held in Crydee during the war although the Lords of Yatar and Leor refused to acknowledge the Bright One's authority. As the eastern armies were being overrun by invaders the Bright One took his paladins and rode east, defeating the massed armies there and pushing further onwards into the deserts beyond. He left behind his hammer, Crusader, and dictated that a new ruler of the region should be established. It is in Crydee that the Treaty of Ashmeadow was forged into the Council and to this day the council sits in a tower of Crydee Castle.

Still the heart of religion in Ashmeadow, Crydee now features cathedrals for each of the major human gods and travellers from across Ashmeadow visit to view these holy sites. As part of their agreement in the council the survivors from Neverwinter were enlisted to serve as neutral protectors for the realm. Some became the Knights of Winter, a travelling group of knights dedicated to protecting travellers throughout Ashmeadow. Over time this tradition became the forming of the Road Wardens and River Wardens, military groups that patrol the roads and riverways of Ashmeadow on the Council's coin.

Leor

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In the Old Kingdom Leor was the capital of the region and the centre of trade. It was built in ancient times around a large sea port with a mountain at the centre of the city serving as a home for its ruler. Stories say that the Arch-Duke of the Old Kingdom died from magic, destroying the mountain in the process. Leor was ravaged by the breaking of the world and it took years before the Merchant Council regained control. When the war of secession broke out the council sent soldiers north while making peace treaties with Bellimir's Ferry in the south and Yatar in the north. During the First Eastern Incursion Leor suffered hideous casualties at the Battle of Red Larch. Not long after, when the council refused to raise taxes to fund the army a coup was undertaken by General Helmsgard, the so-called "Butcher of Red Larch". He declared himself first lord of Leor and threw the city wholeheartedly into the war. His sucessor, Jungfried the Golden, signed the treaty of Ashmeadow and became the first Golden Lord of Leor.

In the modern era Leor continues to be a mercantile powerhouse. It has strong ties to Yartar and the wheatfields of the dessar valley and does a roaring sea trade with Ald's Gate in the south and Skarbrand in the north. The port city of Leor is a cosmopolitan place, with many traders from across the seas and a progressive people. The ruler, once decided by a trial by combat, is now determined by a series of judges. This slowly turned the old system into one where the wealthiest or smartest of the local lords is declared the Golden Lord and serves until he or she is outmanoeuvred or outspent.

The state of Leor includes the so-called 'bread basket' region inland of Ald's Gate and this is a large reason for its wealth. It's land extends from the bottom of the dessar river to the chlonthar river in the south.

Bellimir's Ferry

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Set aside the Elsir river, Bellimir's Ferry was once a small town. A series of wars against greenskins meant it grew and grew before it become the largest settlement in the region. With the destruction of Greenest and the collapse of the Kingdom the refugees flowing into the Ferry brought trade and wealth with them. Protected by the Stonehome mountains and the Westdeep forest it survived much of the early conflict of Ashmeadow and continued to grow. The loss of the Stonehome mountains to the greenskins meant Bellimir's Ferry took in a large dwarven population, most of whom dwell within the region known as Dawihafen ("Dwarf Friend"). These newcomers built a large sewer beneath the city that facilitated its massive and swift growth.

In the Era of the Council Bellimir's Ferry serves as the southern bastion of Ashmeadow. Surrounding towns and villages from as far north as the ruins of Elturel feed into the Ferry. It is through the Ferry that trade with Alm is facilitated, ships coming in to Ald's Gate offloading goods to go further south. Although the knights of Alm move into the region occasionally with hostile intentions Bellimir's Ferry is well defended and has so far resisted their advances. The Ferry, as it is known colloquially, is ruled by Duke Guggenheim, the latest in a a hereditary line descended from the knights who saved the Ferry over a century ago from greenskins. It sits astride the Elsir river and features a large dock district, a mercantile quarter and a massive fortification known as 'the Rock'. It is also home to a Wizard's Tower with the Masters of Iron and Light dwelling within. The lands of the Ferry also includes the old Tower of Candles where the engineer's college is held. Once a sanctuary for wizards it was repurposed after it was deemed safer to split the wizarding schools up between the great cities of Ashmeadow.

Yatar

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Yatar is ruled by the Water Baron and has been held by House Thynne for over 200 years. Set where the Surbrin and Dessarin rivers meet it has long been a location where trade has flourished. As the custodian of the Dessar valley it soon became a fortified city out of necessity, supplying the many towns and villages in the valley. As people gathered in Yatar so did criminal groups and soon the city was the basis for the Black Network, a collection of thieves guilds and gangs that operated throughout the Old Kingdom. As the Old Kingdom fell Yatar was rocked by a series of strange magical events and undead attacks. It was such that when the civil war broke out the Water Baron approached the war hesitantly, keeping his troops back and pleading for peace with the other warlords. This approach proved fruitful when the Imix Bane mercenaries and followers of the Eight Headed Dragon attacked. Yatar destroyed its bridges, sending its army out to defend the farmlands against the attack. When the enemies of the region were driven back it was the Water Baron who dominated negotiations in the forming of Ashmeadow.

In the modern era a Water Baron Thynne still rules Yatar although since Ashmeadow's foundation it has been an open secret that the Baroness rules Yatar. She commands a network of spies and informants across Ashmeadow and still parleys with the darker underbelly of the city. Still a primarily mercantile city, Yatar now controls much of the farmland and agriculture of the region, including lands up to Karak Mir. It rules these lands through small fortified settlements such as Longsaddle, Westbridge and Tribor and has a peace treaty with the dwarves of Karak Caldar in the west. In the east of the state Yatar still maintains a large bastion fortress in case the forces of chaos should return.

Skarbrand

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The northern-most city of Ashmeadow, Skarbrand sits where the Mir river meets the Bladed Sea. In times before the Council Skarbrand were known raiders, travelling south and often at war with Neverwinter. They had their own cultural practices and resisted joining the Old Kingdom for hundreds of years. It is said that after the death of the last Old King they were the first to begin war with those in the south and there are some who whisper it was they who destroyed the ancient city of Neverwinter. However after they were instrumental in ending the First Eastern Incursion they were welcomed into the newly formed Ashmeadow under their own conditions. These conditions allowed them to keep their religion and continue to be ruled internally by a council of druids as well as a seat on the Council of Eight. Although the Arch-Druid rarely travels south to attend council meetings his proxy is a vocal presence.

In the modern era Skarbrand is a merchant city, profiting massively from ocean trade between Leor and the dwarves at Karak Mir. The city is still considered a pirate city by many southerners and the people of Skarbrand are rough and ill-mannered compared to those of Leor or Crydee. They are prone to violence and it is not uncommon to see mercenaries from Skarbrand as far south as Bellimir's Ferry. This perspective of the city and its people is not helped by the pirates and raiders who dock there, paying fees to the council of druids to look the other way. The council might once have been made up of druids but since Ashmeadow was established it is more often ruled by ship captains and merchant lords with stakes in the city. One seat is always held by the Master Wizard of the Beast School who takes up residence in the wizarding tower in Skarbrand.


Religion


The Bright One- fire, hunting witches, creation, human god.

Solare- War, honour etc.

The Mother
Domain [Healing, Life, Agriculture, Fertility]
Icons [Leaf of Wheat, White Doves, Hearts]
Life is sacred. Always render assistance to those in need.
Fight only in self defence or to punish those who cause corruption.
Live selflessly, avoid indulgence.
Act courageously.

Liath Stormborn
Domain [Seas, Rivers, Luck]
Icons [Tridents, Fish, Waves, Anchors]
First catch goes to Liath. Silver and fish to temples of Liath.
Honour the waterways, harm not an albatross.
Hunt down the servants of Carnos wherever they might be found.

Verene- Logic, wisdom etc. Founded by Seneschal.

Baal- Forest, wildness, nature etc.

Vorr- Death


Magic


Lores of Magic

  • The Lore of Light
  • The Lore of the Heavens
  • The Lore of Iron
  • The Lore of Life
  • The Lore of Beasts
  • The Lore of Flame
  • The Lore of Shade
  • The Lore of Death

Other Lands and Peoples


Alm

Alm was part of the Old Kingdom, sitting just south of the Stonehome mountains. They were a pious people, worshipping a deity known as the Lady exclusively and shunning magic. During the breaking of the world the people of Alm thanked their lack of magic and became even more pious. In the ensuing years they have fallen behind Ashmeadow technologically but continue to be famed for their honourable knights.

Dwarves

When it became clear the Old Kingdom was going to collapse the dwarves retreated into their keeps. They renamed them 'Karaks', roughly translated to 'sanctuary' and did not interact with the outside world for nearly a century. Those left above ground were deemed clanless and rejected outright from Dwarven society. As Ashmeadow established itself the dwarves restablished trade and the old town at Karak Mir began once again allowing humans into the long abandoned buildings. Within Ashmeadow the dwarves dwell mainly in Karak Mir in the north and Karak Caldar east of Crydee although dwarves can be found in nearly every town and city.

Elves

Although to the average citizen the Elves are all equally aloof and violent beings scholars have established three distinct species of Elves within Ashmeadow. The High Elves once dwelled in the area but long ago fled to the island of Hireath. These are deeply magical beings who seldom visit the shores of Ashmeadow on their elegant longships. The Grey Elves are a seaborne group who live as pirates and raiders, taking prisoners along the Bladed Coast. The most common of the Elves are the Wood Elves who range from those who live within human settlements to those within the Great Forest that hunt and kill human interlopers.

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