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Guide to the Towns of Avadon and their Histories

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Prevalia
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A Tale of Two Towns
Although not the oldest city in the Realm of Avadon, Prevalia certainly has one of the longest and most storied histories of all the Kingdoms.


In the early days post-cataclysm (presumably around 100 AC), two relatively minor town settlements formed in the region that we now know as Prevalia. One settlement sat upon high white cliffs, the other sat below amongst the canals and marshes of the lowlands. Seeking to mutually benefit from one another’s strategic positions (the defense of the high white cliffs, the freedom of sailing and trade from the canals), the two settlements joined together through the construction of expertly-engineered bridges in 155 AC, the likes not seen before in Avadon. The two joined settlements became one city known as Prevalia.

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(Lower Prevalian canals and shipwrights)




The First Prevalian King
The first King of Prevalia hailed from one of the strongest noble families in the city, the Fletchers. The records are not clear as to how the noble families ultimately decided which family would put forth the ruling monarch, but from all accounts it was a bloodless, fairly benign event. Most likely, the Fletchers were the wealthiest noble family at the time. This first King, crowned Callum I of Prevalia, oversaw a great number of works and city improvements that Prevalians enjoy even to this day, in some form or another.


Upper Prevalia, the half of the city upon the white cliffs, quickly became the center for nobility, scholars, artists, craftsmen, and bards in the known Realm. Lower Prevalia, the half of the city amongst the canals and marshes, was more infamous with its seedy element of thieves and brigands utilizing the ports to smuggle exotic wares. Prevalia also became known for its robust trade, and a great Bazaar was established near the docks. The famous Arcane Alley was also built in Lower Prevalia, and even today it remains a great source of magical knowledge, tools, and ingredients.

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(The Great Bazaar of Lower Prevalia. Atop the fountain is a statue of King Callum I.)

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(An Herbalist shop in Arcane Alley)




The Second Prevalian King
King Callum I ruled between 155 AC until 184 AC when he and four of his sons were killed. The records do not state precisely how they died. Some records indicate they died in an ambush by Orcs in the region now known as the Urukton Bluffs. There is a record that states the King and his sons drowned when their ship struck a rock (some presume the ship wreckage in the bay of Prevalia is that ship, though it does not appear to be old enough in my estimation). Whatever the cause, the rule of Prevalia passed along to his wife Serphan, who served as governing Regent for a short time until her twin sons, Arryn and Aidyn, came of age.


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(The sunken ship west of Upper Prevalia proper)



It is of note that most noble families in the Prevalia region rarely produced female children. The cause of this is not truly known. Rumors of a curse abound; whispers of angry gods. A great deal of superstition fueled speculation as to why so few female children came to the noble families. One such family, the Rookwoods, suffered no such curse or godly anger, and were blessed with many daughters.

This is of note because it became a very common practice for noble families to marry their sons to the Rookwood daughters, which ultimately led to unvirtuous couplings and generations of familial stagnation.

In 210 AC, after King Arryn claimed the throne from his Mother Regent, a great military campaign was formed with the intent of driving the tribal creatures from the Outlands. Many of these sorties were led by King Arryn himself along with his two sons, Aron (known as the Stone of the Forge) and Allidon (known as the Lame, for he was born missing half a leg). In spite of his military successes abroad, vicious rumors circulated around court of a most unvirtuous relationship between King Arryn and his sister Judith. Court gossip claimed that two of Judith’s children did not belong to her husband, but to her brother the King. Whether there is any truth to these speculations is not clear.



The Third Prevalian King and the War of the Three Kingdoms
King Arryn passed away in 242 AC, ulcers of the stomach being the recorded cause. His eldest son Aron assumes the throne of Prevalia and marries a noble lady from the Ironsmythe family. Like his father, King Arryn wanted to push his military campaigns. King Arryn not only wanted to ensure the safety of Prevalia, but he wanted to expand its power as well.


After almost a decade of military campaigning, the Prevalian armies reached both the Andarian and Cambrian regions within the same year of 251 AC. The desire for territorial expansion and the lack of want for equal powers, King Arryn pushed his armies into military conflict with both Andaria and Cambria. Most of these battles were easily won by Prevalia. The southern Cambrians enjoyed fighting, but never fought in an organized fashion prior to the first Condottiere hired in their defense. The Andarians simply did not have any experienced fighters. The Prevalian army, by contrast, was composed of veteran soldiers that fought against numerous tribes of creatures throughout the Outlands for the past ten years.

Sometime between 267 AC and 275 AC, depending on what records you examine, Cambria surrenders to King Arryn. It is said that King Arryn was surprised and most impressed by the Condottiere that fought on behalf of Cambria, for without them Cambria would have fallen much sooner. The Cambrian King pledged fealty to King Arryn, and in return King Arryn allowed the former King of Cambria to remain a governing Lord.

The Andarians, in spite of their green recruits early in the conflict, became staunch defenders of their homeland. Where they lacked in experience and training, they made up in passion and conviction. Much to the surprise of the Prevalian generals, Andaria held their southern border for over a decade against Prevalian assaults. However, the Andarians knew this was an untenable situation. They were ultimately losing more soldiers than inflicting casualties, and their resources were waning. It was decided that the Andarians would go on the offensive in an attempt to push the Prevalians away from their borders, bringing to mind the adage ‘the best defense is a good offense.’

Sometime between 275 AC and 287 AC, King Ardis, son of King Arryn, succeeded his father to the throne. He continued his campaign against Andaria, bolstered by strategic resources taken from their Cambrian vassal.




The Rise of the First Emperor
In the year 287 AC, the Andarian army marched through the lowlands of Prevalia, seeking to attack Lower Prevalia, as it was more strategically open to assault than Upper Prevalia which was situated high upon the cliffs. King Ardis did not wish to suffer a prolonged siege, and saw an opportunity to end the conflict. The Prevalian army moved to intercept them, and the two armies clashed in the town of Ardun, south-west of Lower Prevalia. The battle left Ardun completely destroyed, and the Andarian forces decimated. After the pivotal battle of Ardun, Andaria capitulates to Prevalian rule.


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(The ruins of the town of Ardun, southwest of Lower Prevalia)



With both Cambria and Andaria as vassal states, King Ardis crowned himself the new Emperor of the Avadonian Empire, which now spanned all along the eastern coast north to south, and a good deal of the central mainland.

It was also around this time that Emperor Ardis married a noble lady by the name of Collette from house Calderson. She was suspected of using glamor magic, for it is reported that everyone who looked upon her saw the greatest beauty ever beheld, and each person recounted her appearance differently. Rumors circulated by chambermaids and perhaps jealous ladies of the court state that without the use of the glamor, Collette was extremely homely, even beast-like. But, how much stock can truly be put into the rumors of Court? Emperor Ardis was quite happy with his new wife, and together they had no less than a dozen living children. Only one of these children, though, was a son and heir, named Laric who was born in 293 AC. This proliferation of girls is said to have broken the ‘curse’ of Prevalian nobility unable to produce female offspring. Some attribute this to Ardis’ ascension to Emperor, others to the defeat of Cambria and Andaria. The more educated assessed it was because noble offspring were being married outside of a single family more often than previous generations. However, these educated scholars held their tongues when Laric the heir was married to Rosetta, a daughter of Cambria and a distant cousin in 309 AC.

A side note: after conquering Cambria and Andaria, Prevalia's gravity for scholars, wizards, poets, bards, and so forth increased which furthered Prevalia's reputation as the foremost authority on all intellectual matters until the establishment of the Great Lycaeum in 323 AC.

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(With the loss of the Lycaeum, Prevalia remains as a well-known intellectual center of the three Kingdoms. The Andarian Mage's Guild is a fitting rival)




Emperor Laric the Industrious and the Prevalian Golden Age
In 311 AC, Emperor Laric ascends the throne of Prevalia. In a tribute to his now deceased father, he commissions a great work that would be named The Walkway of the Emperor. This walkway was set into the western cliffs of Prevalia and served as tombs fit for the former Kings and Emperors of Prevalia. Each tomb was set upon a path, giving the area a canyon-like feel. The doors to the tombs were set with warnings, and also with precious gem stones that reflected the sun during the winter months to create cascades of rainbows all up and down the walkway. It is even said that when the wind blew through the tombs, the voices of the dead Kings could be heard.


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(A statue among the tombs on the Walkway of the Emperor)



In addition to the Walkway of the Emperor, Emperor Laric procured a great deal of stone from a nearby quarry north-west of the city. These expertly-cut stones were used to create strong walls and bolster the defensive measurements of Prevalia. These works, in addition to the construction of numerous new structures throughout the city, earned Emperor Laric the moniker “The Industrious.”

With much of Prevalia now safely behind thick stone walls, and the spirits of his ancestors appropriately honored, Emperor Laric turned his attention outward. With a powerful military of combined Prevalian, Cambrian, and Andarian soldiers, war is waged across the greater part of Avadon against the many tribes of Orcs, Ratmen, Lizardmen, and other nefarious creatures. The noble Moores and Rookwoods of Prevalia were tasked with defeating the forces of Garnuk the Ogre, a task with which they were quite successful.

With the successful military campaigns across the Avadonian mainland and trade freely flowing through ports and across all roads through all three Kingdoms, 315 AC marks the beginning of the Prevalian Golden Age.

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(The Prevalian Public Forum)


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(The School for the Bardic Arts)



After seven years of relative peace throughout most of the land, Emperor Laric decided to strengthen the political bonds between Prevalia and its two vassals by marrying his sons to the daughters of Cambrian and Andarian noble families in 327 AC. This decision by Emperor Laric was well-received in both Cambria and Andaria.

Emperor Laric “The Industrious” set his eye towards expanding Prevalia’s military prowess in the year 348 AC. With a lack of native lumber sources to build a true Prevalian fleet, he turned his eye westward to where a small gypsy lumber camp had been established. This gypsy lumber camp was transformed and expanded upon greatly, turning into a tried and true town in its own right, now known to us as Terran. Between 348 AC and 370 AC, the efforts of lumbering took a toll on the Terran Plateau, which now lies barren of trees.

During this same time period, up until around 370 AC, Emperor Laric set about establishing numerous military strongholds across the Avadonian Empire. These stone structures stood as bulwarks against any tribal menaces that encroached upon the borders of mankind. It was also during this time that the Societies building was constructed in Prevalia, a center for craftsmen and adventurers alike to find employment and tasks.

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(The Prevalian Societies building)



It was to the great happiness of Emperor Laric that he lived long enough (to the grand old age of 95) to bear witness to the defeat of the Orcs upon the Avadonian mainland. A rigorously genocidal campaign against the Orcs was carried out in 383 AC by Marshal Emil. This campaign culminated in a final victorious battle against the Orcs at Carse Lake.

When Emperor Laric passed from old age, a great mourning fell upon the city. His son and successor, Laric II took up the throne in 384 AC and ruled until 441 AC. Laric II did not have his father’s grand vision, nor aptitude with building or even with military campaigns. Very little of significance happened during Laric II’s reign.



The Reign of the Mad Emperors
The period of time spanning from 441 AC to 490 AC is a different matter entirely. This era became known as the ‘Reign of the Mad Emperors’, and a great deal of what had been built and accomplished by Emperor Laric I fell by the wayside, or was undone entirely. Most critics agree that generations of unvirtuous familial couplings led to the horrible curse that befell these three Emperors, and that they were a punishment for the entire land who allowed it to happen.


In 441 AC, Emperor Canack ascended the throne, replacing his otherwise insignificant father. His rule only lasted a mere eight years, but it was marked heavily by mistrust. Emperor Canack was said to be incapable of trusting anyone. He took no advisors, and refused to treat with Andarian and Cambrian diplomats. His paranoia and mistrust grew so powerful and wild that he began to have prominent nobility kidnapped, tortured, and killed if he even remotely suspected them of treason. Of course, there was never any evidence that any of these people were plotting treason, but Emperor Canack did not seem to listen to reason. His mistrust expanded to the point where he had two of his young sons, along with three of his wives tortured and executed over those eight years. His fourth wife was slated for the same fate, but before he could give the official order to have her tortured and executed, Emperor Canack suffered a fall from the battlements of the castle in 449 AC. The exact cause of this fall is never recorded.

In 449 AC, Emperor Reilquios ascends the throne. After eight terrible years under Emperor Canack, there was a spring of hope among the nobility of Prevalia as well as among the Cambrians and Andarians. Their hope would be greatly misplaced, though. Emperor Reilquios came into the throne at a very young age, being merely 12 years old. His first act as Emperor was to have his mother imprisoned, whom he suspected for his father’s death, and sent off to the Cloisters of the Sisters of Honor. Over the course of his 23-year reign, Emperor Reilquios became known primarily for two things: hosting extremely lavish parties, and executing those who refused to attend his parties. The Emperor obtained great satisfaction and mirth at these parties because he would often poison half of the food and drink and watch as half of his guests died in terrible ways. It is not without a helping of irony that Emperor Reilquios’s reign ended in 472 AC when he accidentally drank from a poisoned cup meant for his wife. He left behind two sons, the eldest being Leopold and his youngest being Linus. If there is one positive legacy left upon Prevalia by Emperor Reilquios it is that his exuberant spending did greatly enrich the Emperor's Palace.

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(The Emperor's Palace)



Leopold and Linus naturally attended the mourning of their father. This would be the same day that Leopold would have also ascended the throne. However, the crowning ceremony was to take place later in the day, after the mourning of Emperor Reilquios. Although nobody knows for certain, the common story told was that Linus and his brother Leopold went for a stroll along the Walkway of the Emperor during the mourning. It was at this time that Linus thrust a sword through his brother’s back. The stories tend to go on and mention that Leopold’s blood splattered across the precious gems set into the tombs of the dead kings. One such gem was said to actually be an ancient shard from the Gem of Immortality, and the blood of Linus’ dead brother freed a Shadowlord from it.

Whether or not this is true, it is highly peculiar that when Linus ascended the throne that evening in 472 AC instead of his brother, there was a mysterious advisor at his side that nobody in court knew. Linus seemed to only take this mystery advisor into his confidence and did not listen to the advice of any of the court advisors, diplomats, or generals. It is said that this advisor informed Linus that his death would come at the hands of his son. This dubious prophecy would set the tone for Emperor Linus’ reign.

Emperor Linus married the “Lady of the Ice”, Delia of house Hosenfield. Together, they had a number of children. All of these children were males. At the advice of his sole advisor, Emperor Linus would have the newborns thrown from the cliffs of Prevalia. After multiple of such incidents, Delia, once more pregnant and bereft with grief, devised a plot with one of her ladies in waiting. If Delia were to give birth to a son, she would switch the child with the lady in waiting’s daughter. Naturally, Delia gave birth to a son. Enacting her plan, she swapped the child with the lady in waiting’s daughter. Delia’s son was sent to one of Delia’s sisters in Andaria to be raised. This child would never learn of his true identity.

When presented with a daughter, Emperor Linus was overjoyed. In honor of his wife and newborn daughter, he had a mighty Keep built in the valley northwest of Prevalia. It was named Delia Keep, after his wife. Around this same time, under the direction of his shadowy advisor, Linus ordered the creation of another Keep just south of Prevalia among the cliffs. Why this location was chosen was known only to Linus and his advisor. Many craftsmen were reluctant to build this keep due to the difficult terrain, but under the promise of ‘eternal life’ from the mysterious advisor, the Keep was built. The Keep was ultimately named after Linus’ daughter, Vell.

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(The Fortress Vell, now known to us as The Forsaken Keep, as it stands presently)



In 490 AC, somehow Linus learned of the deception carried out by Delia and her lady in waiting. Some say the advisor told him of the betrayal, some say Delia herself told him. Nobody knows for sure. But what happened next marks the end of the Reign of the Mad Emperors. In a fit of the most extreme rage, Linus threw both Delia and Vell off of the cliffs of Prevalia, dashing their bodies on the rocks below. He ordered the execution of everyone within Delia Keep and Vell Keep. Delia Keep was henceforth known as “Contempt” and was left abandoned for a very long time. Vell Keep was dubbed “Forsaken Keep”. Upon exacting his rage, Emperor Linus threw himself from the cliffs of Prevalia, joining his wife, false daughter, and all but one of his sons.

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(The Sacrificial Cliffs, where Mad Emperor Linus took the lives of his sons, wife, false daughter, and ultimately himself)



The Reign of the Mad Emperors took a heavy political toll on the Realm at large. Both Andaria and Cambria were neglected politically, and exploited of raw materials and resources. When Emperor Linus died with no clear heir to the throne, a number of claims came, including some from Andaria and Cambria. These simultaneous claims for the vacant throne of the Avadonian Empire was the final crack that would shatter the Empire.



Cambria and Andaria Secede, the Empire Splinters
Both Cambria and Andaria formally seceded as Prevalian vassals in 491 AC. Without a central governing force in Prevalia, the richest noble families took it upon themselves to push their personal interests as well as what they believed were the interests of the Prevalian people. Distant relatives of Linus began civil wars for the throne. For many years, civil war grips the center of Prevalia and pervades all aspects of Prevalian life.


As a side note in this tumultuous history, a boy is born in Lower Prevalia to a commoner. This boy was named Landau, who would go on to become one of the most powerful and influential mercenary commanders (and lords of the land) in more modern history. But, around this time period, he was expelled from Prevalia after he killed the son of a powerful member of House Solemn, who were among the richest family in Prevalia at the time.



The Siege of Prevalia and the New King
Around 558 AC, a large Cambrian host marched upon Prevalia, led by Lord Falthar of Cambria, who was the grandson of the Cambrian King who seceded from the Avadonian Empire. With him was Captain Landau, the most famous mercenary captain and leader of the Dark Banner Company. The imminent peril of Prevalia perhaps spurred the impetus for a new King to emerge. King Calym III, one of the distant cousins who had been fighting over claim to the throne, was ultimately crowned King in time for the defense of the city.


After so many years of infighting and civil war, Prevalia’s standing army simply was not strong enough to stand against the Cambrians and the Dark Banner Company. Not in an open field, at any rate, and they couldn’t protect the entirety of the city. King Calym III made the decision to use the small Prevalian army and the Prevalian navy to defend Upper Prevalia, as it was a far more defensible position. Lord Falthar of Cambria did not fail to seize upon the opportunity to sack Lower Prevalia and slaughter the population. Lower Prevalia, to this day, reflects the scars of this brutality in its poverty.

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(Poverty struck Lower Prevalia hard after the Siege of Prevalia. Much of Lower Prevalia remains impoverished today)


In an effort to prevent further death and destruction within Prevalia, King Calym III offered a challenge to Lord Falthar. The two would each send their best champions for single combat. Lord Falthar, knowing he had perhaps the greatest swordsman ever known at his side, agreed, as no doubt the defeat of the Prevalian champion would land a severe blow to morale. King Calym III chose a proficient warrior by the name of Owaen, who had never lost a duel in his life. Lord Falthar chose Captain Landau.

As much as the poets and bards attempt to glorify this fight between champions, the reality was quite more mundane and simple. Captain Landau won very easily and quickly, much to the dismay of the on-looking Prevalians.

With only the Prevalian navy as the last true defense of Upper Prevalia, it seemed only like a matter of time until all of Prevalia fell to Cambria’s might. This is why it was so unexpected that the siege was lifted suddenly in 560 AC. Captain Landau, for reasons that can only be speculated at, killed Lord Falthar and his guards and left with his Dark Banner Company. With no leadership at the head of the Cambrian forces, and the best fighters having left, the remaining Prevalians rallied and routed what was left of the Cambrian army. Prevalia was saved by the betrayal of one man, the very one that had been expelled from the city years previous, Captain Landau.



The Weakened Prevalia
Over the following 10 years, King Calym III focused his efforts on rebuilding Lower Prevalia and attempting to put together a new Prevalian army. With most of the veteran soldiers killed during the civil wars and the siege of Prevalia, the bulk of the new army were green recruits. This made it especially difficult to resist the Andarian military’s rise to power between 570 AC and 585 AC. Queen Klara of Andaria married the now Lord Landau and their combined armies were nigh unstoppable, as both Prevalia and Cambria tried and failed to defeat them.


In 577 AC, a future king of Prevalia is born, Laric IV. He is brother to King Calym III, and nephew to another future King, Alyan.

On through 604 AC, Prevalia attempted to fight back against Andarian incursions. The son of Queen Klara of Andaria and Lord Landau, Luka the Cruel, replaced his father at the head of the Dark Banner Company, often striking and raiding deep into Prevalian lands. Due to these frequent and brutal raids, Prevalia simply did not have the army to fortify many of the strategic settlements that had been built under Emperor Laric “The Industrious’” rule. A powerful and prolific group of Weald Ratmen established Fort Chikek in the valley northwest of Prevalia, cutting the former Prevalia-Andaria roadway.

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(Fortress Chikek, established by Weald Ratmen)




The Peace That Never Was
In the year 609 AC, it became quite clear to King Calym III that the constant warfare was simply untenable and sued for peace between the three Kingdoms. As luck would have it, both Andaria and Cambria likewise felt the negative effects of the prolonged wars and agreed to a meeting. King Calym III and his uncle, Alyan, attended a meeting of the three Kingdoms in the Ancient Glade. King Calym III sent his uncle and attendants away, as did the Cambrian King and Andarian diplomat. What happened afterwards remains a mystery. By all accounts, when Alyan and the rest of the attendants returned, King Calym III and everyone else at the meeting were simply gone, and instead there was a black moongate. Fearing deception and an ambush, Alyan, now the rightful King of Andaria, ordered his men to leave the Ancient Glade and make their way back to Prevalia. En-route to Prevalia, a large group of Weald Ratmen from Fortress Chikek set upon King Alyan’s retinue. Everyone, including King Alyan, were slain. King Alyan’s reign lasted but a day.


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(The Meeting Spot to discuss peace among the three Kingdoms. None of the sovereigns or representatives were seen again)


Once word reached Prevalia of the fateful news, the young Laric IV was crowned King of Prevalia. Inexperienced and green, King Laric IV was unsure about how to proceed with the events that recently unfolded. Prevalian forces were ordered to withdraw from their furthest outposts to protect the immediate Prevalian borders.

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(The Prevalian Barracks, now empty with most of the army gone)



In the wake of Prevalian soldiers being moved, an opportunistic clan of Trolls attacked and sacked Fortress Vell (the Forsaken Keep), slaughtering the few soldiers that remained garrisoned there. The more superstitious among us claim that the souls of the dead still linger within the Forsaken Keep, as was the nature of the promise of Linus’ mysterious advisor.

After the fall of the Forsaken Keep, Carlyn the former Captain of the Prevalian Guard established a venture named the Iron Assault. This venture continues on this day, hiring adventurers and soldiers alike in campaigns to turn back the hordes of creatures that now plague not just Prevalian lands, but all of Avadon. Laric IV tasked himself with keeping the local populace of Prevalia happy. To that end he commissioned the construction of the Golden Ingot Casino in an effort to provide distraction and entertainment.

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(The Golden Ingot casino)
 
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Andaria
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The Humble Beginnings
The Kingdom of Andaria is one of the two oldest Kingdoms in all the Realm, with Cambria being the other. Andaria was founded about 140 years after the Cataclysm that shaped Avadon into what it is today. From the ruins of old Britain, this new city sprung up, the architecture and stonework reminiscent of the ancient destroyed former capital of Britannia.


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(The Andarian Courthouse, note the style of stone and architectural flare reminiscent of old Britain of yore)


The weather in Andaria tends to favor the cold. As the lands of Avadon formed, polar ice caps covered across much of the greater northern regions, of which Andaria is betwixt two. As such, there is a stark chill in the Andarian air for most of the year, with enough sun and warmth during the late spring and summer to allow for moderate farming. However, due to the shortened harvest season, the people of Andaria do not always have as full a table as they would otherwise enjoy.

In spite of this, Andarians are incredibly industrious people. Their ability to create great stone structures rivals that of either Prevalia or Cambria. One of the crowning structural achievements of Andaria is the Mage's Guild.

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(Scholars from around the Realm visit one of the great homes of Magic)


War with Prevalia
Not much is known about the rise of Andaria during its early years. A combination of inconsistent record-keeping and constant wars made Andarian (and Cambrian) history spotty at best. However, it would appear that the Andarians more or less were isolated in the north until about 251 AC when Prevalian forces for the first time reached the Andarian borders. Conflict broke out immediately between Prevalia and Andaria, with a great deal of blood being spilled on Andarian soil. Andarians never had to fight in a war before, and as such they were green and unseasoned in comparison to the Prevalian armies which was comprised mainly of veteran soldiers who fought for over a decade against the monster tribes of the Outlands.


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(The Andarian forum and stage, often used to muster recruits and militia)



The Andarians, in spite of their green recruits early in the conflict, became staunch defenders of their homeland. Where they lacked in experience and training, they made up in passion and conviction to defend their homeland. Andaria held their southern border for over a decade against Prevalian assaults. However, the Andarians knew this was an untenable situation. They were ultimately losing more soldiers than inflicting casualties, and their resources waned. It was decided that the Andarians would go on the offensive in an attempt to push the Prevalians away from their borders, bringing to mind the adage ‘the best defense is a good offense.’

In the year 287 AC, the Andarian army marched through the lowlands of Prevalia, seeking to attack Lower Prevalia, as it was more strategically open to assault than Upper Prevalia which was situated high upon white cliffs. The Prevalian King sent his army to intercept the Andarian force, and the two armies clashed in the town of Ardun, south-west of Lower Prevalia. The battle left Ardun completely destroyed, and the Andarian forces decimated.

After the pivotal battle of Ardun and having learned that the Kingdom of Cambria had submitted to Prevalia, as well as having no military force to continue its campaign against Prevalia, Andaria submitted to Prevalian rule.

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(The Andarian throne room. Note the missing throne)



The Prevalian Golden Age
In around 315 AC, Andaria had built up a modest force and joined it to the combined forces of Prevalia and Cambria in a joint effort to push back against the Orc, Lizardman, and Ratman tribes that proliferated the Outlands. Two noble families, The Hosenfields and Schmaltburgers of Andaria were tasked with defeating Thelmhurst, the Lord of Trolls, and Utaruk, the King of Orcs. A matter in which the Andarians were successful. This time period is often hailed as the Prevalian Golden Age, a time when all three Kingdoms were at peace and trade flowed freely from both land and sea.


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(During the peaceful times, Andarian inns and taverns are often quite packed!)



The Prevalian Emperor Laric in 327 AC began the practice of marrying his sons into the royal families of both Cambria and Andaria, which is a practice that the Andarian nobility welcomed. This strengthening of family bonds also strengthened Andaria politically.


War and the Expansion of Power
In 348 AC, Andaria’s recovery from the previous war with Prevalia more or less reached its summit and began eyeing expanding its power and influence. An Andarian survey team found what they felt was a perfect location for a stone keep that would help protect the southern Andarian coast and serve as a military outpost. Thusly, Outpost was founded, strengthening Andaria’s grip on the north.


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(A tourney ground was established within the Andarian castle walls as a means to not only entertain the nobility, but train knights and soldiers)



An uneasiness set in the Andarian Kingdom during the years of 441-490 AC, a time that became known as the “Reign of the Mad Emperors.” A succession of three brutal an unhinged Prevalian Emperors greatly battered the relationship Prevalia had with both Andaria and Cambria to the point where, in 491 AC, Andaria formally seceded from the Prevalian Empire and war against Prevalia for a second time began the following year.

In spite of the war efforts on its southern borders, Andaria still sought to expand its power and influence across a wider swatch of the Avadonian mainland. To that end, Andarian settlers re-founded the ancient and lost city of Cove on the western coast in 559 AC. Cove, along with Outpost, gave Andaria a coast-to-coast power base across the entire northern part of the continent.


The Height of Andarian Supremacy
During the years of 561-570 AC, the infamous Lord Landau and the Dark Banner Company hired themselves out to whichever of the three Kingdoms that could afford their services. Queen Klara of Andaria invited Captain Landau to meet face-to-face to hire on the Dark Banner Company to fight for Andaria.


The following 15 years saw a world helmed by Andarian superiority. Queen Klara and Lord Landau married and together led the most powerful military that even outshined that of Prevalia. Andaria soundly defeated by Cambria and Prevalia in battle after battle during these years.

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(A prominent and famous Andarian statue of Queen Klara and Lord Landau, lighting the way forward with their lanterns of strength and wisdom)


The Invasion of Andaria
In the year 585, Queen Klara gave birth to a son and heir, Luka, the future King of Andaria. Later during this same year, an incredibly massive Orc army sailed to the southern coast of Andaria through the Spirituality Bay. Both Queen Klara and Lord Landau led their forces against the might of the Orc Warlord Goth Vultog. The battle was long and bitter, and in the ensuing chaos, Queen Klara was slain.


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(The Abandoned Quarter on the south end of Andaria. Nobody returned to live here after the invasion)



It is said that upon the Orcs being defeated, Lord Landau in his cruel rage savagely executed every single prisoner. Upon completing this task, Lord Landau left Andaria for Corpse Creek, leaving his infant son in the care of the now governing Regent Marius of Andaria.

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(Andaria was never quite what it was after the great invasion. On the left, the market stands empty even today. On the right, a pier that was never repaired)



With the loss of both of its strongest military leaders and having suffered a terrible blow by the surprise Orc invasion, the Andarian forces pull back from their further borders to protect their homeland.

In 594 AC, the Orc tribes gathered under the new leadership of Goth Yubgub, who is rumored to have had a mysterious advisor at his side. Goth Yubgug laid siege to the Andarian city of Cove and razed it to the ground. The fires still burn to this day.

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(The still-smouldering remains of Cove)



The Regency
A year later it is Cailith the Sagacious of the Andarian Mage Council who posited the theory that the mysterious influencer of the Orcs and some of the mercenary companies are none other than the Shadowlords. It is uncertain as to whether or not there is any proof of these claims or if they are mere suspicions.


In the year 604 AC, Luka, the rightful heir to the Andarian throne, left Andaria in the middle of the night and rode for Corpse Creek where he took up his father’s mantle as head of the Dark Banner company. Afterwards, Luka led his army on raids deep into both Prevalian and Cambrian lands. A year later, he even raided Andarian lands, much to the dismay of the Andarian people who were his subjects. In spite of his raids, there remains to this day a strong contingent of support for Luka as the rightful King of Andaria.

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(Statues of the governing Regents. On the left, a more modern and modest statue of Regent Cailith the Sagacious. On the right an older, more embellished statue of former Regent Marius)


In the same year as the Andarian raids (605 AC), the governing Regent Marius went missing under unknown circumstances. Rumors abound that a black moongate was spotted within Luka’s field encampment around this time, so if there was a connection between the gate and the disappearance of Regent Marius, it is unknown. Cailith the Sagacious replaced Marius as the governing Regent of Andaria and sought to legally remove Luka from his claim to the Andarian throne, as Luka was reluctant to rise up and claim the throne, instead he opted to remain at the head of the Dark Banner Company.


The Peace That Never Was
Facing an uncertain political future, under the governance of a foreign-born Regent and a rightful King who would rather raid his own country than rule it, the Andarian people were ready to put aside their swords and sue for peace.


During the year of 609 AC, the rulers of all three Kingdoms met to discuss peace for the first time in a long time. The Prevalian King and his son attended, as did the Cambrian King. Regent Cailith sent a trusted diplomat to take his place during these talks. Nobody knows what happened that fateful day. The rulers sat down to talk in the Ancient Glade and sent away their guards and generals. When the guards and generals returned, all of the rulers had vanished and a black moongate was present. Each Kingdom’s generals blamed the other Kingdoms for the disappearance of the rulers, and each retreated back towards their own lands. However, a great deal of suspicion fell upon Luka as the mastermind behind the disappearances.

The faction within Andaria that still supports Luka’s claim to the Andarian throne remains to this day, slowly undermining Cailith the Sagacious’ work as Regent. Because of his Cambrian descent, he also lost favor in court and among the general populace as he is seen as an outsider.
 

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#3
Cambria

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From the Ashes
The cataclysmic events that unfolded upon the shattering of the Gem of Immortality greatly deformed the world of Britannia, turning it into what is now known as Avadon. 140 years past the day of the initial cataclysm, a new sandstone city in the spirit of the old Trinsic rose up, dubbed Cambria.


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(The famous Smuggler's Gate of old Trinsic, more or less faithfully recreated in Cambria)



Due to decades (or perhaps over a century) of extreme heat in the southern reaches of the Realm, a large desert formed in the southwestern area of the Avadonian mainland. Cambria evolved in this climate, it’s people becoming quite accustomed to the blazing heat of the sun (much to their chagrin when they travel northward to Andaria!) Tropical fruits and plants thrive all around Cambria, and those along with precious gemstones found all along the rocky coasts became their primary exports.

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(Although fairly run-down today, these Cambrian farmsteads were once incredibly industrious)



For the first 100 years or so of Cambrian establishment, the Cambrians utilized their time more leisurely than the peoples of Andaria or Prevalia. Due to the warm climate, it was easy to grow food, and shelters did not need to be as fortified as those in Andaria, as there was no biting cold to ward off even during the winter seasons. As such, Cambrians enjoyed fighting as a hobby instead of a profession, and both a Fighter’s Guild and Warrior’s Guild were established in the city. Fighting for personal betterment as well as entertainment was a way of life in the early days of Cambria.

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(The Fighter's Guild of Cambria)




War with Prevalia and the Rise of the Condottiere
Around the year 251 AC, contact was made at the northern Cambrian borders with Prevalia for the first time. The Prevalians sought conquest and waged war with Cambria (as well as with Andaria at this time). Although competent if not superior fighters individually, the Cambrians did not fare particularly well in battle against a professional Prevalian army. For this first year of the war, Cambria was beaten back time and again until the Prevalian forces sat outside the Cambrian gates.


It was in the year 252 that the first “Condottiere”, or mercenary company of Cambria, was formed. The Free Company led by Captain Lorenzo was thusly paid by the Cambrian King Artemius to fight on behalf of Cambria. The Free Company defended the gates of Cambria against the invading Prevalians. The Free Company is soon joined by additional, newly-formed Condottiere groups. Together, the gates of Cambria held firm for over a decade.

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(Heroes of the Condottiere were, at times, given prominent tombs of honor complete with statues and gilded artifacts. It is said that Captain Lorenzo lies within these tombs in Cambria)



Capitulation
Somewhere between 267 AC and 275 AC, a wide gap in historical records, King Aron of Prevalia succeeded in finally defeating the Cambrian Condottiere and occupied Cambria. King Artemius surrendered his crown and knelt before King Aron or Prevalia. With his capitulation, King Artemius was allowed to remain a Lord of Cambria upon pledging fealty to the new Emperor of Prevalia.


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(The presumed hall in which King Artemius surrendered to the King of Prevalia)



The Prevalian Golden Age
In 315 AC, Cambria gladly joined forces with Prevalia and Andaria (combined having formed the first Avodonian Empire) in a sweeping campaign to rid the Outlands of the various monster tribes. The noble families of Corsair and Montague of Cambria laid waste to the gargoyle strongholds that pockmarked the desert west of the city up until this point.


It was in 327 AC that Prevalian Emperor Laric married his sons to the daughters of Andarian and Cambrian nobility. The Cambrian nobility were pleased with this arrangement, and it strengthened their relationship with Prevalia.



Secession from the Avadonian Empire
Much like Andaria, Cambrian nobles grew angry over the governing of the “Mad Emperors” that reigned over Prevalia during the years of 441 AC through 490 AC. As Cambrian discontent grew at the poor governance of Prevalia, the nobles spoke openly of secession. Cambria formally seceded in the same year as Andaria, in 491 AC, after the death of the Mad Emperor Linus. Cambria went to war with the other two Kingdoms the following year.


During these troubled years, in 468 AC, Cambrian prospectors surveying the desert discovered a large burial chamber surrounded by ruins. This becomes known as the Ossuary.

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(Entrance to the Ossuary, located due west of Cambria)



Newfound Wealth and the Rise of Cambrian Power
While fighting a war on its northern border, Cambrian royal coffers began to run low due to prevalent strategy of outsourcing their fighting power to the Condottiere. Cambria was running low on gold to hire mercenaries to continue the wars against Andaria and Prevalia. With a shortage of precious gems being found, a prospector team was sent to the Grey Desert, on Greypeak Island. Fortune smiled upon the Cambrians as a substantial gold vein was discovered upon the island in 552 AC. King Venriel of Cambria used this newfound wealth to hire the most infamous Condottiere, the Dark Banner Company, led by Captain Landau. The Dark Banner Company, among other Condottiere, were put under the leadership of Lord Falthar of Cambria, the grandson of King Artemius and son of King Venriel.


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(An influx of wealth combined with the love of leisure contributed to the creation of idyllic spaces in Cambria, such as this)


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(This gazebo is a perfect resting place, overlooking a small stream)



The Siege of Prevalia and Betrayal
In 558 AC, Lord Falthar led his Condottiere and Cambrian forces northward into Prevalian lands and successfully laid siege to Prevalia. Lower Prevalia is sacked and the population put to the sword at Lord Falthar’s command. In an attempt to end the siege without much more loss of life, the Prevalian Emperor sent his personal champion, a warrior named Owaen, to challenge Falthar’s champion. Falthar chose Captain Landau, and the Captain of the Dark Banner Company single-handedly defeated the previously undefeated Owaen. The siege continued for two more years, with only the Prevalian navy and the high white cliffs managing to keep Upper Prevalia relatively safe from Lord Falthar’s forces.


However, fortunes shifted in 560 AC. Captain Landau slaughtered Lord Falthar and his retinue, thus abruptly ending the Cambrian siege of Prevalia.

It remains unclear exactly as to why Captain Landau turned traitor against Lord Falthar of Cambria. It was not unheard of for Condottiere to shift allegiances when paid more by opposing sides. However, the fact that Captain Landau took Lord Falthar’s body with him all the way to Corpse Creek and chained the body up over the river speaks to a more personal motive. Perhaps Lord Falthar gave the Captain of the Black Banner Company an order that he did not wish to carry out? Or maybe Captain Landau was rebuffed by Lord Falthar in some personal matter? Whatever the case may be, it was a deciding turning point against the Cambrians in their campaign against Prevalia.

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(While the war looked optimistic for the Cambrians, construction began on a new lighthouse on Barrier Isle. When the war took a turn for the worse, funding for the project ceased, leaving it in an unfinished state)



The Decline of Cambrian Influence
For the next 40 or so years, Cambria held on to its own borders, but did little else. The Dark Banner Company took with it much of the gold from the Grey Island gold vein, and the Cambrian coffers could only afford to pay enough Condottiere to hold the border gates. In 604 AC, Luka, the son of Lord Landau and Queen Klara of Andaria, led the Dark Banner Company on raids deep into Cambrian territory.


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(It is said that farmers created this tunnel to quickly escape from raids. The tunnel connects the southern Cambrian vineyards to the interior of the city. One simply must walk through the waterfall)



In 606 AC, the Cambrians mounted a strong defense against the encroaching forces of Luka and the Dark Banner Company. The Cambrian army fortified itself in the mountains north of the great desert at a location known as Break Pass. Rumors surrounded the camp stating a black moongate was seen within Luka’s field encampment the night before. When Luka led his army against the Cambrians, his forces were bolstered by a great number of ogres and trolls. The Cambrian force was routed handily at the battle of Break Pass.


The Eruption of Inferno
After suffering a crushing blow by Luka the Cruel, Cambria was once more rocked by catastrophe the following year. The volcano, now known as Inferno, erupted southeast of Cambria. Great plumes and spires of ash and rock hurled through the sky and for longer than a fortnight, Cambria was covered in darkness. The resulting tidal waves caused by the eruption flooded and destroyed a large portion of Cambria, where it remains underwater even today.


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(The flooded ruins of Cambria after the eruption of Inferno)


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(The peak of Inferno, the volcano which destroyed a portion of Cambria)



Once the ash and dust of Inferno settled and the devastating toll of the constant warfare and natural disaster was assessed, the Cambrians were ready for peace.


The Peace That Never Was
The fateful day to discuss peace came in 609 AC. The Cambrian King joined the Prevalian King and his son, along with a ranking Andarian diplomat in the Ancient Glade to discuss peace between the three Kingdoms. Each sovereign sent away their personal retinues. What happened next is anyone’s guess. When the respective retinues returned, the Kings and the diplomats were gone. Instead, a black moongate stood in its place. There were many in Cambria, still bitter about the defeat at Break Pass, who openly blamed Luka the Cruel for their King’s disappearance.


That same year, King Arshiya rose to the throne when it became evident that his father would not be returning immediately, if ever. He pulled the remaining Cambrian soldiers and the few Condottiere left in the Cambrian employ back to the city gates. Unable to secure funds for additional Condottiere, and still recovering from the natural disaster of Inferno’s eruption, Cambria can do little more than merely protect its immediate borders. Bandits, rebels, and tribal creatures very quickly filled the power gap in the southern region.
 
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#4

Horseshoe Bay

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From Gems to Riches
Prior to its official founding 312 AC, the area now known as Horseshow Bay was a small trading camp that specialized in Cambrian gemstones. The southeastern coast of the Cambrian region was known for its gems. In 312 AC, a greater need for a port of trade was identified by both Cambria and Prevalia. As such, Horseshoe Bay was initially a joint venture, with Andaria eventually also joining the effort of establishment, for they too would benefit from the port.


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(The Horseshoe Bay docks and shipwright)

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(Horseshoe Bay is famous for its trade in precious gemstones)



It was agreed that there would exist a co-rule among three leaders within Horseshoe Bay, each leader representing the interests of their native Kingdom.


The Establishment of Aegis Keep
Around this time, Aegis Keep was constructed, primarily as an effort by Prevalia moreso than the other Kingdoms. Aegis Keep was to ensure the safety of the port and immediate waterways so that trade could always pass through unhindered.


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(The entrance to Aegis Keep, as it stands today)


A Neutral Place
Over the course of its existence, Horseshoe Bay was generally omitted from the various wars and conflicts that mar much of Avadonian history. The importance of this trade hub was always kept in mind and with leadership from each Kingdom, Horseshoe Bay remained fairly bi-partisan. In spite of Prevalia having a larger control of the area in the form of Aegis Keep, this was never leveraged against Cambria or Andaria, for any strike or destruction within Horseshoe Bay would impact all Kingdoms, particularly Cambria and Prevalia.


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(Known for its relative neutrality and safety, farms sprung up around the outskirts of Horseshoe Bay)


This is not to say that the triad of rulers did not, on occasion, attempt to gain advantages over the others. Stories abound throughout Horseshoe Bay and other regions (for word travels fast by way of ship) of backroom dealings, political intrigue, alliances, and so forth. In spite of this, though, nothing truly changing ever took place, and co-equal leadership remains in Horseshoe Bay to this day.

The fact that much of the population of Horseshoe Bay views itself as independent from the Realm of the three Kingdoms lends to Horseshoe Bay's image of neutrality.


The Mysteries of Aegis Keep
In 607 AC, for reasons not entirely known at this time, Aegis Keep fell silent. No daily reports from the Prevalian garrison came to the town, and a weekly supply caravan simply disappeared. Some of the Horseshoe Bay residents attempted to investigate, and very few ever returned. The few that did return spoke of blood, but little else. What happened here remains a mystery.
 

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#5
Outpost
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An Expansion of Power
As the Andarian Kingdom eyed expanding its power and influence across the north, surveyors discovered a most perfect location. Andaria established Outpost in 348 AC, a modest-sized keep in a strategic position at the far head of Spirituality Bay and overlooking the Great Eastern Ocean. The initial keep was only large enough for a small group of merchants and lodging enough for humble adventurers and soldiers. The keep did not expand much in the centuries since.


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(The center of Outpost is as packed today as it was when it was founded)


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(The forge of Outpost is often busy churning out arms and armor for the Andarian troops)



Over the course of its existence, Outpost has done a magnificent job with keeping the eastern side of Andaria safe from tribal invasions with the exception of the massive Orc invasion of 585 AC that left a great deal of Andaria in flames.

For the residents of Outpost, the gale winds are among the harshest obstacle to living well. Luckily, or perhaps through forethought, Outpost is situated among tall pines amidst a rocky outcrop that helps break the winds.

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(The Outpost Falls, situated in a rocky outcrop and amidst pines that help buffer Outpost from the elements)



Defection Among the Ranks
During the ‘Reign of the Mad Emperor’ between 441 AC and 490 AC and the height of Andarian discontent with the affairs of the Avadonian Empire, a contingent of Andarian soldiers defected from Outpost. They traveled west, back across the sea, and settled in a valley now known as Falkvangyr. For generations they remained more or less peaceful, nestled halfway between Andaria and Outpost.


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(The town of Folkvangyr, in a valley due west of Outpost)


Occasionally, a group would be gathered in Outpost in an attempt to go and bring back the defectors, but none were successful. The people of Falkvangyr became strong fighters in their own right, and also created a network of tunntels throughout the mountains that they could hide in and travel through whenever an Outpost raid approached.
 
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#6

Terran
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The Need for Lumber
During the great Avadonian Empire expansion, the need for lumber to support the growing Prevalian navy brought scouts and rangers to the western coast. A small gypsy lumber camp was discovered by Captain Calvarn of the Prevalian navy, with all of the necessary tools and supplies to begin a larger logging operation. The area proved suitable for his immediate needs as a storage area for the Prevalian navy, but soon turned into much more than that.


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(The remnants of the gypsy lumber camp, on the north beach of Terran)

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(A campsite overlooking the gypsy lumber camp on the north side of Terran)


In 348 AC, the small gypsy lumber camp was transformed into an industrious and robust town, now known as Terran. A great deal of Prevalian citizens migrated west to join the work in the lumber mills of Terran in the years following. Terran Pine was, at the time, considered the best lumber that could be found anywhere in the known Realm.

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(Terran is known for the finest pine lumber that can be had anywhere.


Happy People Are Busy People
With a great host of people, the need for entertainment was observed by the leaders of Terran. To that end, the Tourney Grounds were established, where jousts could take place, melees, and even archery contests. It was a great success and the workers were happy.


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(The Terran tourney grounds)


Unsafe Grounds
Due to its relatively remote location far to the west, as well as sizable population, Terran is an annual target for the Orcs of Buurz'Uzg, located to the east.


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(Buurz'Uzg, east of Terran)


The Loss of Trees
Over the course of generations, the constant farming of lumber from the nearby plateau had made it barren, and the amount of wood products produced in Terran diminished. The loss of most of the trees combined with the constant warfare that gripped the Kingdoms in the following centuries caused a great downturn in the economy of Terran. Many of its inhabitants have left, though there is still an abundance of skilled laborers and woodworkers.


In present day, Prevalia has a somewhat tenuous ownership of Terran, though the town mostly operates on its own volition.
 
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#7

Corpse Creek
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A Lawless Land
For most of known Avadonian time, the far northwestern reaches of the mainland remained free of the laws of mankind. Even the Avadonian Empire at its height did not have influence reach these remote regions. It was not uncommon for bandits and criminals to make their way into these lawless lands in order to escape from the law.


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(The center of Corpse Creek. You will find most amenities that you might require here. Just watch your back)



The Actual Corpse in the Creek
In 561 AC, the head of the Dark Banner Company, Captain Landau, brought his entire mercenary company to this region. Having just killed Lord Falthar of Cambria during the siege of Prevalia, Captain Landau hung the corpse in chains over a creek that would become the central part of a new town, now known to us as Corpse Creek.


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(The corpse of Lord Falthar remains on display even today)



The reasons behind Captain Landau’s murder of Lord Falthar remain a mystery to this day, but the fact that Lord Falthar’s bones remain on display at Corpse Creek speaks to a certain level of vendetta owned by Captain Landau.


The Expansion of Bandit Town
Once the Dark Banner Company set its roots down in Corpse Creek, the area became even more of a haven for criminals and mercenaries than it was before and Captain Landau took on a self-proclaimed Lordship. Corpse Creek became known across the three Kingdoms by another moniker: “Bandit Town.” The only sovereign among the three Kingdoms that recognized Corpse Creek as a legitimate town was Queen Klara of Andaria, and it is often said that she only did this as a means to help broker a relationship between herself and the infamous Lord Landau.


From between 561 AC to 570 AC, Lord Landau hired out his Dark Banner Company to whichever of the three Kingdoms could afford to hire them. Lord Landau and his Company became incredibly wealthy and gained a fair amount of influence in the Realm. Intrigued by Queen Klara of Cambria’s offer to meet him, he agreed to do so. The two formed a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship.


The Absence of Lord Landau
Between the periods of 570 AC and 585 AC, Lord Landau remained abroad and apart from Corpse Creek. As he and his new wife Queen Klara of Andara led armies for the glory of Andaria, Corpse Creek was very much left to its own devices. With no leadership or ruler, the town was a lawless one. A black market soon became established a short way south of Corpse Creek proper, and thus Corpse Creek entered into the trade market with the other Kingdoms (quietly, of course). Although Corpse Creek was without law and order, and was inhabited by all manner of criminal, there remained a sort of soft code among its denizens to not commit too much murder while there.


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(The Black Market, located south of Corpse Creek)

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(A Corpse Creek watchtower, seldom used during Lord Landau's absence)



In 585 AC, Lord Landau returned to Corpse Creek, bereft with grief at the loss of his wife. He left behind his son Luka in the care of the governing Andarian Regent, Marius. What Lord Landau did in Corpse Creek between the time of 585 AC and 604 AC is not known, as no records of any sort were ever kept in this town. What is certain is that sometime during that time period, Lord Landau disappeared. Although no official records, many stories and rumors did rise up out of the thickets of Corpse Creek as to the fate of Lord Landau. Some stories tell of his tragic grief leading to suicide, turning the creeks red. This is a folly, as the creeks have run red for centuries due to the red clay found in the mountains which the streams feeding the creeks hail from. Other stories suggest that Landau took a new name and started a new life elsewhere. More fanciful rumors were that Landau made a pact with a Shadowlord and vanished, though nobody knows anybody who actually witnessed any such event.

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(It is a common mistake to think that the creeks run red with blood. The amount of blood required to keep these creeks this red for so long would be a truly ungodly amount. Instead, it has been found that the water is tainted this color by red clay that resides in this region)



The Prodigal Son Returns
In 604 AC, Lord Landau’s son Luka left Andaria and came to Corpse Creek. He took his father’s mantle at the head of the Dark Banner Company. Over the next several years, Corpse Creek was the base of Luka’s operations. He raided prolifically into Cambria and Prevalia, and eventually even into his home country of Andaria, much to the shock of his own people. He greatly enriched himself and the Dark Banner Company with the spoils of these raids.


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(A famous 'Tree of Corpses', often a warning for outsiders to keep away)



Rumors circulated in 607 AC about a black moongate appearing in Corpse Creek. Many tales say that this gate linked the town with the Orc town of Buurz’Uzg. It was also said that mysterious figures were seen in the company of Luka at this time, one such figure matching the description of the old Emperor Linus’ advisor. Whether there is truth to these tales or not, there was no mistaking the fact that during the following battle at Break Pass, Luka’s ranks had swelled with the likes of Ogres and Trolls.

After the Kings’ summit at the Ancient Glade in 609 AC, a great deal of suspicion was cast upon Luka as the possible mastermind behind the disappearance of the rulers of the three Kingdoms. To this day, it has never been confirmed nor denied, and Luka remains at the head of the Dark Banner Company.
 
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#8
Shelter Island and Haven
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Established in 470 AC by the Prevalian Court mages, Shelter Island was to serve as a sanctuary for weak and feeble citizens. It was the hope that their stay upon the isle would ultimately grant them strength and competence for when they travelled to the mainland.


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(Shelter Island is such an idyllic place that some citizens find it difficult to ever leave)

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(Training is important to those who reside on Shelter Island. On the left, the entrance to the training dungeon. On the right, battle trainers are often engaged with to improve combat skills)

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(On the left is the blacksmith and entrance to the mines. On the right is the town square where you can find the bank and a sculpture of the wizard who helped establish Shelter Island)


A second, smaller sister settlement was established just west of the island on the eastern coast of the Avadonian mainland. This small, idyllic town was named Haven.

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Throughout the years since its establishment, both Shelter Island and Haven have remained untargeted by any Kingdom or tribes and remains as safe a place for the weak as it did when it was established.


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(The hidden tunnel connected Shelter Island to Haven on the mainland to the west)

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(Haven houses several taverns and inns, as well as farmland suitable for raising sheep)


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(On the left, the center of town where the well resides. On the right, a prolific garden and the Haven beekeeper)


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(A view of the docks from the various rooms of the inn)
 
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