Aldrain and the Northern Reaches
[Note: major WIP; may change dramatically to match Ebongrasp Lore]
Aldrain is the geographically massive and economically vital northern province of the Ebongraspian Empire. Formerly an independent kingdom consisting of a loose confederation of clans, Aldrain was conquered in 1249 and fully annexed in 1253 (Ebongraspian timescale) . Currently, the region is a profitable and loyal part of the Empire.
- Geography and Economy
- Important People
- Cultural Fundamentals
The Aldrainian people have a great love of history and genealogy: this means that the history of the kingdom is thoroughly documented, with chronicles dating back to 500 F.A., (First Age), and family trees tracing the lineages of families great and small back through the ages.
In 827 F.A., Dalros the Bold declared his kingship over a land of perpetually warring clans. Within 5 years, he had subdued four of the other major clans and utterly annihilated a resistant fifth. From the new king’s two children were born the two greatest noble houses in Aldrain, Ranrall and Annor, the current ruling family. Their military prowess and administrative talent has led to their preservation in the intensely meritocratic political system of Ebongrasp. In 1249, the Aldrainian War of Conquest was waged by the neighboring Ebongrasp. After four years of resistance, King Philos III bowed to Ebongrasp, establishing an integrated imperial province ruled currently by his grandson, Camriann, under the absolute authority of Xial II. Several small regions to the west broke away in open rebellion against Ebongrasp and Aldrain, as they remain to this day. They formed the kingdoms of Tehrnn, Mehrnn and Kornol, as well as the corrupt Kvelian Republic and the Maethorian Dominion.
Aldrain is subject to the decisions of the Emperor of Ash; however, it is effectively ruled by Lord Camriann Annor, who reports to Xial to give and receive counsel on important issues. Aldrain is divided into several geographic regions, each ruled by one of the ancient clans, now noble Houses. From his seat at Dun Rath, Camriann hold power over the five other areas.
Because Ebongrasp is an extremely militaristic society, Aldrain supplies a large number of soldiers to the army. All able-bodied citizens fulfill the obligatory minimum military service demanded by the Empire, and most of the population of Aldrain is young and fit enough to mobilize in times of war. Soldiers from Aldrain either join a mixed regiment anywhere in the Empire, or remain on garrison and patrol duty in Aldrain.
Diplomats are regularly dispatched to other parts of the Empire to speak on behalf of the Lord. Otherwise, Aldrain is represented by imperial ambassadors in global politics.
Kleriel Imperium: Although Aldrain has never come into direct contact with Kleriel, it shares the fierce enmity Ebongrasp has with the Keelish and their Imperium.
The Sapphire League/ Mon-Taizon: Apart from the occasional traveling merchant, Aldrain has little connection with Mon-Taizon or its people.
Charkov: Aldrain and the Charkovian States have a friendly relationship due to their mutual connection to the Empire.
Milites: Aldrain is unaware of the Milites
The Northern Realm: Aldrain has had little contact with the Northern Realm, a distant and mysterious power whose language is almost completely unknown in the Empire.
AXCOM: Aldrain is unaware of AXCOM.
Empyrean Kingdom: Aldrain is unaware of the Empyrean Kingdom.
Aldrain has a massive population, but it is bordered by a host of constantly warring petty kingdoms and duchies, not to mention the handful of rebellious nations to the west that broke away rather than submit to annexation. These squabbling nations frequently infringe on Aldrain’s territory, venturing across the border to raid or attempting to quietly steal land. Because of this, the Aldrainian military, much of which is diverted across the Empire, is stretched and hard-pressed to control its neighbors.
Structure: Aldrain’s military is structured similarly to the rest of Ebongrasp’s: a hierarchy of accomplished leaders who have worked their way up through the ranks direct the well-disciplined force of soldiers. The kingdom wields a large force of infantry, archers, and cavalry, and its fleet is composed of several hundred small to medium sized vessels. The most common duties for soldiers involve manning border posts and forts and patrolling the boundaries of the kingdom to repel rebel incursions.
Aldrain is a major economic power in the Empire. The noble families raise funds by taxing the import and export of goods in their territories, a portion of which is paid to the Empire. Taxes are strictly regulated by well-organized customs departments in major towns. Since before conquest, slavery has been explicitly forbidden in Aldrain, a law that the Lord of Ash acknowledges and enforces.
+The Winterwaith: Aldrain’s northernmost region is inhospitably cold: the ground is locked in permafrost, making cultivation of crops almost impossible. The rich mineral resources of this area are the major economic feature.
Main import: Foodstuffs
Main export: Mineral ore, raw stone
+The Dimwood: This boundary between the Winterwaith and the Flowering Plains is dominated by a massive, ancient forest. Timber is harvested, along with forest goods such as herbs, fruit, nuts, and game meat.
Main import: Grain, stone, steel tools
Main export: Raw timber & processed lumber
+The Flowering Plains: Also called the Plains of Plenty, this vast area is Aldrain’s breadbasket, feeding half the Empire on the cereal grains, root vegetables, and meat it produces. Food is produced by small, independent farms or villages on communal land, and is bought and resold by brokers and merchants.
Main import: Timber, stone, manufactured goods
Main export: Grain, root vegetables, meat, leather, & manure
+Annorian Highlands: Located on the western side of Aldrain, this hilly highland region is the ancestral home of the noble house of Annor. Sheep grazing and fine textile production makes up the bulk of its economy, but it is also renowned for its skilled blacksmiths and bowyers.
Main import: Foodstuffs, ore, manufactured goods
Main export: Wool, steel tools, bows
+Tailghne Marsh: The marshes are Aldrain’s poorest region, but its inhabitants don’t mind; the only people in the region are subsistence fishermen and gatherers who live in temporary camps and on small boats. These people, of house Celticoss, are mysterious, short, and skilled at fighting.
Main import: Steel weapons and armor
Main export: Peat, freshwater fish
+Glanaighre: The capital city of the kingdom; Glanaighre is a mid-sized walled city located in the Flowering Plains. The city straddles the river Aighre, and controls all water traffic to and from the mouth of the river. Because of this, Glanaighre is Aldrain’s largest and most profitable settlement, and its major trading hub. Food, timber, stone, and minerals are floated down the river or brought into the city on carts, where they are sold and loaded onto seafaring vessels at port.
+Winterhold The small wooden fortress of Winterhold perches sternly on an icy ridge on a mountain in the Winterwaith. No bigger that a large lowland border post, the fortress is more than enough to watch over the quiet, sparsely populated North and serves as the home of Lord Haldross Hrun. Not far from the fort is the small village of Bitterwind, home to a renowned meadery.
+ Annor: The current ruling family of Aldrain; one of the two oldest clans and the lords of the Annorian HIghlands. The Annor are skilled archers and horsemen, and are known for their expertise in strategy.
+ Ranrall: The most closely related to house Annor; house Ranrall inhabits the western portion of the Flowering Plains, making a substantial fortune by taxing the sale of grain, vegetables, and meat.
+ Celticoss: House Celticoss and its subjects are unique in Aldrain in that they have few permanent structures and are extremely secretive. They rule the Tailghne marshes and provide deadly guerilla fighters to the army.
+ Baethrath: Natives of the Dimwood; related to Celticoss and practitioners of the ancient Aldrainian religion.
+ Hrun: Lords of the Winterwaith; Hrun nobility and their common people are hardy and stout, used to the harsh conditions of the northernmost expanses of Aldrain.
INDIVIDUALS *=NPC, +=Deceased
Lord Camriann Annor: Camriann is the Lord of the Annorian Highlands and formally the King of Aldrain. He is also a vassal and general of the Ebongraspian Empire.
Basics: Aldrainian culture is distinct from that of the Ebongraspian archipelago, but the two societies have intermixed extensively since Aldrain was annexed. A large emphasis is placed on history, genealogy, and tradition in Aldrainian culture, and tales of ancient ancestors are preserved by each new generation. Honor and loyalty are also vital, and a traitor is deemed the worst of all criminals.
Religion: Several religions are practiced in Aldrain: The Atlesian Pantheon is worshipped extensively in the south of Aldrain. Atlesians attend religious services on the first morning of every week.
In the Dimwood, Tailghne, and the Winterwaith, and ancient religion revolving around powerful spirits of nature is most prominent. Wild animals, especially wolves and snow bears, are considered sacred, as are the colossal grey godtrees dotted through the Dimwood.
Celebrations: Holidays introduced by the Empire include the Dance of Lances and the Day of Conquest, in which the end of the War for Aldrainian Annexation is celebrated with feasting and drinking.