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  1. The Annals of Anduvia “When the gods deem it so, the world turns. Spiraling deeper into the Ocean of Truth, its waves crash violently against us, bringing terrible disasters that mark the end of ages.” [ The Anduvian Empire, Circa 181 A.S. ] [ The Continent of Ilhder, as rendered by Imperial Historian, Prescil] Music One hundred and seventy-five years ago, St. Ralek, The Blessed, Phalanx of Sendil, Toppler of the White Tower, and First King of Anduvia landed upon the shores of Ilhder, beginning a series of conquests that would last for the next hundred years - propelling his new realm into the preeminent power of the continent, but now the dawn of the Anduvian Empire has undoubtedly passed, and the sun now rises on the state which conquered all who stood before it. Yet still, the times are precarious and there are many who believe that Anduvia’s fate lies on a knife’s edge. The Hero-Emperor, St. Ralek Sedorva, has not left the royal capital in the better part of a decade, overcome with grief following the loss of three of his five Blades, his wife, and most recently his sons Orbek and Tellos. Without his watchful eye and commanding presence the realm has suffered greatly, greed, instability, and corruption begin to gnaw on the corners of the young empire. Many lords and generals have grown wary and unruly. Others plan for the worst, speaking in hushed tones that the Emperor has lost his mind. Even as the last of the Emperor’s Blades, Ruul, attempts to stabilize the realm, acting in Ralek’s stead, the path ahead is uncertain.. Of major note is the widespread talk of succession within the Sedorvan line. For well over a hundred and fifty years, St. Ralek has ruled Anduvia - never doubting the strength of his divinity nor bothering to name an heir. With his absence being considered a real possibility for the first time since his canonization in the year 95, many of the Emperor’s relatives have begun to jockey for power and position - setting up a political situation that will not so easily be diffused. Chief amongst these headaches is Tellos Sedorva, son of Tellos Sedorva, of Ralek’s Vindaric line. In an effort to eventually claim his grandfather’s crown, the young prince has traveled to the northern frontiers to win glory and prestige through conquest. Gathering up the local garrisons from the Surkhish Marches and the Burning Coast as he traveled, the prince began the first Anduvian war in half a century - invading the neighboring realm of Estria alongside a coalition of like-minded lords. But he is not the only vulture to flock to the grieving Emperor’s reign. Outside Anduvia’s borders, the continent of Ilhder has steadily destabilized, and threats to Anduvia’s hegemony grow with every passing moon. To the west, in the Sea of Fire, piracy has increased dramatically with the emergence of the self proclaimed “Thunder King” a pirate lord who is said to wield the power of lightning itself. Less than a year ago, his fleet clashed with Carathar VI, the imperial admiral sent to contest the pirates - and descendant of one of the original Blades. Carathar’s fleet was smashed in the battle, and the pirates have only grown more bold in the wake of his defeat, going so far as to land on the coast of Galaran to raid and plunder. Within the interior of the Empire, the ever defiant Cloudmurk deepens. The few roads through the ominous forest have grown unsafe and treacherous in recent years, with many caravans and merchants avoiding the area entirely. From settlements along its borders comes word of strange dancing lights spotted deep past the treeline, and thunderous booms that wake whole villages. In the north, past prince Tellos’ personal quest for glory, the Dwarven Realm of Akizbuzal has begun to splinter and collapse in the face of a resurgent Dahgaan. While not yet a direct threat to Anduvia, the lost holds have become overrun with Goblin hordes who routinely spill out into the plains of Northreach, Galrun, and Torbak. To make matters worse, long “inactive” tribes of Orcs and Gnolls have begun to reorganize, their warbands more frequently crossing the border into Anduvia. Words on the wind speak of gray omens, and flocks of midnight crows circling above the plains of the lands of Dohrak. The only true threat to Anduvia’s domination, though, is the Golden Empire of Sudryal, who’s reign (nor ego) know no end beneath the burning sun. It has been over 50 years since the end of the Second Golden War, during which Anduvian armies very nearly captured the Golden City itself, a fact which the Elven Emperor has not forgotten. Ever since, his Empire has been steadily consolidating its eastern territories, and marshaling its forces for the seemingly inevitable third conflict - so say the Crown’s spies, at least. It is in these most pivotal of times that the Consul and Sorcerer Ruul, one of the two remaining Blades, has, in light of the Emperor’s prolonged grief, summoned all the major lords, generals, and vassals of the realm to the Holy Capital of Sendil for the purpose of reforming and reorganizing the Empire’s administration. To defy these summons would be unwise.. A timeline, describes the glorious conquests of St. Ralek Sedorva. THE NATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS OF ILHDER The Red Legion It was not long before the cataclysmic Shearing that the General Opret saw the vision of a child, wreathed in the flames of heaven - of a promised emperor, of Paradise, Eternal - of impending doom.. Opret took whomever he could and vanished into the Great Sea, his fleet’s sails dipping beneath the horizon as the first shards of earth began to wretch themselves into the sky. Only through the blessing of heaven did Opret survive the cataclysm.. For a hundred years, the Red Legion trawled the Great Sea, constantly blown about by the relentless storms, constantly pushed to the brink of starvation. A dozen times, the men recount, Opret’s fleet was thrown against the scattered islands and archipelagos, and a dozen times they rebuilt and set sail once more. Only through the blessing of heaven did Opret find the way to Ilhder. When the Red Legion finally landed upon the shores of the Dreaming Sea, Opret, having finished his duty, collapsed. Since then, his men have embarked on a steady string of conquests eastwards, absorbing countless tribes and petty kingdoms as they go. Culminating in a brief confrontation with the Anduvians during the Second Golden War, the Red Legion is a force to be reckoned with, to be sure. The Legion is a festering pit of religious fanatics, drawn to the flame of the Child’s Adventism, one that cannot be allowed to spread further, in the words of the Golden Tongue.. The Goldwood Princes For many thousands of years now, the Elves have lived within the Goldwoods. Before the arrival of St. Ralek and his armies, though, their princedoms were fragmented and always warring, forever locked in an endless struggle for domination of the realm, deep in their self-induced delusions of grandeur. It was only when Enalidus’ armies marched through the lands of Rzhekia, cutting a bloody swathe as they went, did the Princes of the Goldwood begin to think they might be forced to avert their focus beyond their treelines. Whatever it was - they did not move soon enough, and swathes of the forest’s borderlands fell to the Anduvian invaders. Today, the Goldwoods are united into a very loose confederation around a council of the elder princes. While they continue to squabble amongst themselves, as they have for generations, they are at least united in their hatred for their Anduvian neighbors - a fact which they are not afraid of making known. The Golden Empire of Sudryal An age ago, when the Elves arrived in Ilhder - their fondness and aptitude for war and bloodshed was quickly made known across all the lands. The Elven empires quickly took root across much of the continent, and the greatest of these empires was that of Sudryal’s, the mightiest of the Elven Princes. While the other Elven states have since collapsed and faded away generations ago, disappearing with their rulers, Sudryal has endured.. The Golden Empire’s history is long and storied, apparently tracing its origins far across the sea, to the Elven Homelands. In the modern era, though, it remains one of if not the greatest states in the whole of the continent- stretching from the league of the five cities all the way to the Red Mountains, and from the Inner sea to the heart of the Surraq badlands. The Empire itself adheres to a strict religious code, paying homage to the Sun, as well as the chief among its avatars, Sudryal. Within Sudryal’s domain, Anduvia is seen as an antithetical force to that of the Empire - a machine that will only plunge the world further into darkness and disorder, bringing it further from the righteous order that the Prince of Princes has worked so tirelessly to create. Dwermark One of the first Dwarven Colonies established during the zenith of their Empire. Before Anduvia, the rulers of Dwermark held control over many of the shards, as well as scattered ports across the eastern coast of the Inner Sea. Well past their prime, the Dwarves of the Island were conquered by the Anduvian nobleman Kras Botin, who absorbed the remnants of their once sprawling empire into his own. The hold itself has been allowed to retain a precious little amount of autonomy, and is essentially a vassal to the Anduvian Crown. Splintering Akizbuzal Once the mightiest and most illustrious of the Dwarven Realms, now laid low. The works of the ancient dwarves of Akizbuzal were without equal - but their descendants have long since fallen from their former glory. Over the past centuries, Akizbuzal has been in a steady state of decline, enduring numerous goblinoid and kobold incursions from the north and west, as well as several periods of brutal civil war. The state that the realm now finds itself in is one of near collapse. The regency council, which has reigned since the death of the last king, has not convened in several years. Many of the dwarven armies which still remain active are without reinforcement, critically low on supplies, or without proper leadership. Communication between the different holds have begun to break down with deeper goblin incursions becoming more common, and even the long traveled underways are no longer safe. Some even say a long dormant dragon has since emerged far to the north, sensing the weakness of the Dwarves.. The Kingdom of Estria The Kingdom of Estria is one of the few remaining human realms to escape Anduvia’s all powerful influence. Positioned on the western coast of the continent, the realm was originally formed directly in response to the aggressive Anduvian expansion to the south. As such, they have long since been considered a natural enemy to the Anduvians. In terms of the realm itself, Estria is known to have a very large knightley caste, far surpassing that of Anduvia’s (proportionally speaking). Their heavy cavalry and foot-knights are of great-renown throughout the continent, known for their resilience and ferocity in combat. In recent years Estria has been subject to Anduvian invasion, and while the young prince Tellos’ army has captured a significant portion of the realm, it would be untrue to say that his war there has been anything but a cakewalk. There has not yet been any large, pitched battle as of yet, but the few skirmishes and sieges the Anduvians have endured have not been the cleanest of victories. The Black Army of Galrun When the cataclysmic Shearing sank the human homelands, the Lord of Night, Derathas, fell with it, sunk beneath the waves. His vast legions which once threatened to overcome the whole of the continent, though, managed to escape - at least fragments of them. One of these such groups is the Black Army, led by one of Derathas’ lieutenants, Aramath. Following their journey across the Great Sea, the remnants of the once mighty Black Army landed in the northern reaches of Ilhder, where Aramath would begin the process of establishing his own domain. The Black Army frequently wars with the Orcish, Kobold, and Gigantic peoples of the north. Though its landing in Ilhder was considerably delayed, the Black Army has already made significant progress. The Blackwing Company Named after the distinct flights of black scavengers which follow the group on campaign, The Blackwing Company is perhaps the most experienced and sought after mercenary group in all of Ilhder. Led by Sigismund Geld, a disgraced nobleman who would later take on the name of the group after its notoriety became widespread. Blackwing is mostly active throughout the Western Realms. Well trained and led, the Blackwing Company numbers roughly 10,000 men strong, battle hardened through and through. Perhaps the best known unit of their ranks are the Blackwing Knights, a core of Heavy Cavalry whose helms are adorned with decorative black wings that sprout from either side. Praised for their skill and bravery in battle, the Blackwing Knights have shattered many a battle-line, their charge alone winning countless victories. The Company is composed mainly of human units, but it is not uncommon for Geld to take on other races into his ranks, assuming they share the ferocity and skill of the organization as a whole. Examples of this include a number of Giants who are currently employed by the company, as well as groups of Orcish and Dwarven Infantry. Though not known to break agreements, any lord who purchases the company’s service would be well advised to make sure payment is arranged in a timely fashion. Sigismund, on more occasions than one, has been known to turn on the lands of his host, extracting what has not been paid, one way or another. The Sacred Order of the Golden Tongue The Knights of the Golden Tongue are a sacred order on an endless crusade against those who would blaspheme against the Marble Court. Enormous by human standards, they wield the blessed armaments and relics of the holiest power. Being an ordained Sacred Order brings with it a series of protections in the way of custom and tradition. To uproot an Order or take hold of its property is considered a grave sin, and as such, the Golden Tongue is allowed to spread relatively unimpaired across the whole of the continent, where they hold a number of stout castles and monasteries. Originally, The Golden Tongue was created by the Consul Ruul to regulate the spread of blasphemies throughout the Empire. Since his death, the Order has slowly grown into something more of an inquisition, persecuting wildly at even a mere whiff of sacrilege. None are safe from their accusations nor their prosecutions, which they carry out violently. The Old Empire of Dahgaan Founded in the age of the Dwarven Empire, Dahgaan was once a mighty Goblinoid Realm carried to the zenith of their power by the Emperor Sharaat, a Hobgoblin Warlord. Since its collapse many thousands of years ago, the Dahgaani tribes of the western forests and warrens have been routinely culled and stamped out by the Dwarves of Akizbuzal. For the first time in millennia, though, a Dwarven Emperor has not campaigned into Dahgaan, and the goblins here have been allowed to marshal their strength relatively unopposed. Now, the Empire has reemerged, launching a massive invasion of western Akizbuzal as it does. THE THUNDER KING A side effect of the mismanaged Anduvian Realm, the self proclaimed “Thunder King” is an upstart pirate-lord based within the Sea of Fire. Having emerged only recently, he has wrecked havoc on Anduvian Shipping up and down the coast, and even smashed the Imperial Fleet off the coast of the Cloudmurk. Apart from his large collection of ships, and apparent skill at naval warfare, the most concerning aspect surrounding the mysterious pirate is his domain within the Sea of Fire. Prior to his emergence, several expeditions had been launched into the islands that reside there, none of which have been anything but failures. The region had been deemed unnavigable and too dangerous for travel - an assumption which has apparently been proven wrong. The League of the Five Cities The five ancient cities of Shejar, Chimuz, Sumar, Hrashaan, Reijuz. The League originated from a consortium of merchant guilds within the warlike Hobgoblin realms of the deep south, the League gradually grew in strength in influence until it came to dominate all of the region, including the cities themselves. The League now exists as a major economic region, exporting many rare minerals and wares, such as wellstones and glasteel, despite its disconnection from the rest of the continent. While not a militaristic bunch at heart, the league has been forced into armed conflict several times in recent years against the Golden Empire to their north. Recruiting mercenaries from across the region, they were narrowly defeated in the ensuing Dust War, which resulted in a humiliating treaty and a loss of two of the original seven cities. APPLICATION You will be taking the role of an Anduvian vassal, sworn to the Anduvian Crown, and the Emperor who bears it. Whether that be a King, Governor, General, or anything in between, the choice is yours. Inside the Anduvian realm is a myriad of peoples and client kingdoms, from warlike princedoms of the Elves to the stout holds of the Dwarves and festering mires that the Lizardfolk call home. No race has escaped from the Anduvian yolk. Each race possesses unique strengths, the list of playable races is as follows: --- Humans: Humans are the most prolific of Ilhder’s races. They arrived from across the Great Sea in huge waves after a cataclysmic event known as the Shearing sank their homelands. Since their arrival, humans have proven to be a hardy and versatile folk, thriving in a vast range of environments. They are known for their predisposition to warfare, which they excel at, but also great works of art and magical feats. The average man stands around 5’11”, both their strength and senses are very run of the mill. There is a wide variation of hair and skin tones found. Their affinity for magic is notable, but not comparable to that of the Elves. Elves: The first Elven settlers arrived in Ilhder an age ago, sent from their Empire across the Silver Sea. Noble as they were, they would put tens of thousands to the sword in the wars that the Elven Princes and Prophets would wage to carve out their princedoms from the local peoples. Though they have since grown into a slightly more insular people, especially since word from their homelands mysteriously stopped arriving. The Elves are not a race adverse to warfare, and they are among the most warlike on the continent. They are a disciplined, xenophobic people, known for their powerful magics. There are two distinct types of Elves, the Lunaerin, and Sulaerin Lunaerin share many similarities with their Sulaerin cousins, but yet possess unique features. They stand around 7’4” on average, and are as strong as three men. All their senses are far more honed than that of a human’s. Their skin is pale white to silver in color, with hair of comparable colors. Lunaerin have an immense affinity for all magic and magical knowledge, being considered the greatest wielders of it. They live as old as 800 or so years. Sulaerin share many similarities with their Lunaerin cousins, but yet possess unique features. They stand around 7’6” on average, and are as strong as three men. All their senses are far more honed than that of a human’s. Their skin ranges from tans to deep oranges, with blonde or red hair. Sulaerin have a great affinity for war, being considered among the best makers of it. They live as old as 800 or so years. Dwarves: Legendary craftsmen and architects, the Dwarves are famed for their enormous holds, built deep into the heart of Ilhder’s mountains, and the fabulous works they adorn them with. The Dwarves are a proud and ancient race, being known for their stoic (or grumpy) demeanor, which is often taken as cold by many races. They are known for their adherence and honoring of tradition as well as their long, multi-generational grudges. Well past the heyday of the Dwarves, their race is still a major force in Ilhder. The average dwarf reaches heights between 4’10” and 5’5”. Their strength is akin to that of a humans, and their senses are also comparable with the exception of eyesight, which is notably more suited to dark environments. All Dwarves have an abundance of facial hair. Goblinoids: The family of Goblinoid races is extensive and diverse. Traces of these beings are among the first of the non-Giant races to appear in the Dwarven histories, marking them as some of the oldest races on Ilhder. The Goblinoid races are synonymous with warfare, brutality, and plentiful numbers. Their histories are marred by an almost constant series of conquests and battles. While certainly not true of all of their people, to say that Goblinoids were not predisposed to violence would be a blatant lie. Even so, there are rare examples of great feats of Goblin architecture and metalworking that rival even the work of the Dwarves. Among the Goblin clans are the many who wish to see a revival of their grand empires of old. There are three distinct types of Goblinoids: Goblins, Bugbear, and Hobgoblins. Goblins are the most abundant and oldest. They stand between 4’ and 4’6” typically, and have lighter builds, being weaker than an average human. Their hearing and sight is surprisingly acute, and their skin ranges in color from greens to blacks and browns. They are known for plentiful numbers, greed, and cowardice. Bugbears A large and hairy variant of the goblin. They stand around 6’0” on average, and are covered in brown or black fur. Bugbears are far less intelligent, and much more violent than the rest of their kin. For all their brawn though they are, however, surprisingly nimble and stealthy when they chose to be. They are almost totally incapable of magic. Hobgoblins, also called High Goblins, have a strange combination of features from Elves, Goblins, and Humans. They stand around 6’2” on average, with greater strength than a human and their skin ranges in color between pale reds to deep crimson. They are known to be much more intelligent and more disciplined than other goblinoids. They are, however, totally incapable of magic. Orcs: Orcs are a mysterious bunch, spawned from unknown sources, and found even on the Human homelands. Like humans, they are a versatile people, found in all sorts of environments, from plains, to highlands, to even the underdark. They are known for their ferocity in battle, stubbornness, powerful builds, and raging temper. Apart from short, mostly incomplete tribal histories, very precious little is known about these creatures. Most orcs stand roughly 6'0 tall, and are stronger than a man, with senses of comparable level too. Orc skin ranges in color from shades of green to gray. Lizardfolk: The Lizardfolk are the easily the strangest and most alien of all the sapient races in Ilhder. Coldblooded and feeling, they lack most things one might think of as 'human' as far as emotions go, thinking only as far as their next meal in many cases. Still, the Lizardfolk are an ancient race said to have served the ancient Dragonlords in a time before time. Covered in a thick coat of protective scales, they prefer to dwell within the fetid swamps and mires amidst their crumbling ziggurats and sunken cities where they are said to perform ancient rituals - long since forgotten. Most Lizarfolk stand around 6'0" tall, with similar senses to that of a human. Their scales can posses a wide variety of colors, from vibrant yellows and reds to dull greens and browns. --- At the heart of every civilization in Ilhder is faith. On the continent, a number of important cults and pantheons have developed from which powerful magi and their adepts draw magical power. Away from this long trod path are the sorcerous arts - foul blasphemes in the eyes of some - the way to true power in the eyes of other. Choose a faith: Not pictured is the sorcerous arts, which march in defiance of the divines. NATION NAME: RACE: MAGIC / SORCERY: BRIEF DESCRIPTION / HISTORY: LEADER / NOTABLE CHARACTERS: MAP LOCATION (ONLY WITHIN OR NEAR TO ANDUVIA): UNIQUE UNIT: POINT OF INTEREST: this can be a place or a thing, such as an ancestral sword, for example This rp will take place exclusively on discord, if I do not have you and you apply, leave discord. thanks everyone! :)
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