Brevoy is a nation in far northeastern Avistan on the verge of tearing itself apart. The political entity known as Brevoy was once two vastly different nations locked in a constant state of war before being conquered by a despot. After centuries under the rule of a line of conquerors that only recently disappeared, Brevoy must now decide its own destiny.
Brevoy is a relatively young nation, having only existed since 4499 AR (making it just over two hundred years old) . The history of Brevoy before this time is the history of two often-warring nations, Issia and Rostland. The coming of Choral the Conqueror changed all this. After securing the defeat and surrender of the two nations, Choral christened his family House Rogarvia. Choral only ruled his new land for a decade before disappearing, leaving his descendants to rule, using the threat of the conqueror’s return and his fearsome dragon allies to maintain their power. The dragons seemingly disappeared after Brevoy’s creation, but they returned once to lay siege to Skywatch, an observatory-come-fortress held by those still loyal to Rostland. The Rogarvians’ rule ended with the mysterious disappearance of every member of House Rogarvia in 4699 AR, leaving Brevoy in a precarious political position.
Legend of Choral’s Conquest
Folk tales and legends speak of Choral as arriving at Needle Lake, the current Lake Reykal, with a ragged band of soldiers and knights numbering just over three hundred. After his arrival he declared the creation of a new nation called Brevoy that would encompass much of the land that was then Issia and Rostland. This declaration was almost completely ignored by both nations as neither perceived Choral as a threat. Rostland eventually had to deal with Choral when he began sending tax collectors from his settlement of New Stetven to force the citizens to support his usurping government. They sent a small army to deal with the proud warlord. Rostland’s army seriously underestimated Choral’s cunning, and their army walked into an ambush. They were lured into a river canyon south of New Stetven where Choral unleashed his secret allies, red dragons. Their flames devastated the Rostlandic army as it was trapped in the canyon with no way to escape. There were few survivors. After this the dragons rampaged across much of Rostland proper, forcing its leaders to surrender within days. Seeing the devastation Choral caused in Rostland, the Issian lords surrendered immediately, declaring themselves to be a part of his new aristocracy.
House Rogarvia ruled Brevoy for exactly 200 years, until the entire family vanished in mid-winter. No evidence was found to indicate why or how they disappeared. The country is currently ruled by King Noleski Surtova of House Surtova, who claimed the throne on the 21st of Kuthona, 4699. At his side sits his sister, Natala Surtova, who reigns as an unofficial Queen, ostensibly only until the King Noleski marries—something which the populace has been hoping he will do. The monarch lives in the Ruby Fortress within New Stetven, sitting on the Dragonscale Throne.
They have only maintained this rule by allying with former enemies and using fear of the return of Rogarvia as a tool to unite Brevoy and its seven noble families. Most of Issia supported the ascension, but Rostland has done so reluctantly. Increasingly, it appears that Brevoy is on the verge of collapsing back into two separate nations.
Three deities are the most prominent within Brevoy:
- Abadar is the most unifying religious force in Brevoy as many respect him and all have interactions with his followers each time they travel to the markets. Merchants and tradespeople are Abadar’s most diligent worshipers in Brevoy, and his temples are places for judgement and trade. Those who bear Abadar’s golden key are often given recognition as neutral arbiters or judges.
- Gorum‘s household priests often serve Brevoy’s nobility and often walk around dressed in gaudy dark red tabards.
- Pharasma is most beloved by Brevoy’s common people. Pharasma’s clerics are also the most simple, serving as midwives, healers, and mortician-monks.
Although these are the most commonly revered, the older rural areas of the country still have various idols to two gods who used to have more power before Choral’s Conquest; Erastil and Urgathoa. In addition, Lamasthan cults tenaciously endure crusades to exterminate them.
Cloth, exotic curiosities, and spices are Brevoy’s main imports, while common exports include copper, fur, fish and shellfish, grain, iron, salt, and timber. Stone for building is uncommon, so most buildings are constructed from wood/ The few notable exceptions include the Ruby Fortress and the Bulwark of Gorum.
Brevoy’s main geographical features are the Lake of Mists and Veils that forms its northern border and the Icerime Peaks on its eastern border. Other notable geographic features include:
- the Golushkin Mountains on Brevoy’s western border with Numeria,
- Acuben Isle, which hosts the city of Winterbreak and that borders Winterbreak Bay,
- the city of Eagle’s Watch on the majestic Mount Veshka,
- the melted Valley of Fire where Aldori rebels had their last stand against Choral the Conqueror, and
- Brevoy’s Lake Reykal, where just over 200 years ago the capital of New Stetven was built on the ruins of the old Taldan settlement of Stetven.
The farthest point north in Brevoy is the highly inaccessible Claw Point, on the edge of Iobaria. The farthest point south is where the city of Restov meets the Shrike River.
Brevoy’s geography differs markedly between the country’s northern and southern reaches. The change in geography marks the old boundary between the kingdoms of old Issia and Rostland. The northern part of Brevoy, the former kingdom of Issia, is mostly rugged hills that are unsuitable for agriculture. South of the massive Gronzi Forest lies what was once Rostland. This area, the Rostland Plains, consists of rolling fertile grassland and is thought of as the breadbasket of the north.
It can take days to travel between small settlements and longer between larger population clusters. Most of the towns and cities are located at the bases of mountains, along the lakes, or beside the riverways.
The peasants of Brevoy are the largest part of the population and owe taxes and fealty to one of the house lords. Their life consists of working from dawn to dusk, farming if they live in Rostland, or either fishing or mining if they live in Issia. The man of the house may visit the local tavern in the evening. During the winter when fishing or farming cannot be done, household chores fill the days. The peasants try to live simply, support their families, and avoid the notice of nobles and priests.
Taldan humans, many descended from its early explorers, make up most of Brevoy’s population, but the nation’s broad cultural tolerance results in many ethnicities and races calling Brevoy home. This includes lost Kellid clans from west-bordering Numeria and descended from Choral the Conqueror’s armies, migrating Varisians passing through, and Chelaxian, Keleshite, Tian, and Ulfen visitors and outcasts. Brevoy also hosts notable populations of dwarves (particularly in Brunderton), half-elves, half-orcs, and halflings.
Having received waves of migration from all over Avistan, the people of Brevoy speak a large number of languages, depending on their own ethnicity. These include Hallit, Skald, Varisian, and of course the common language of that part of the world, Taldane. Strangely, a significant minority of people also speak Draconic, which is quite unusual for non-dragons to be conversant in.