Brevic History

The history of Brevoy is actually the history of two lands, Issia and Rostland, united into one by force. Issia, the northern half of the nation, has been sparsely settled for centuries. Numerous small villages cluster on the southern shore of the Lake of Mists and Veils and in the foothills of the mountains to the east. With the land too rocky and cold elsewhere for proper farming, the people of Issia survived on a combination of fishing and raiding—the most successful tribes even venturing across the great lake to sack settlements along its western or northern shores.

Rostland, south of Lake Reykal and the Gronzi Forest, is quite different than Issia—a vast stretch of rolling hills and grasslands fed by the East Sellen River and its tributaries. Taldan colonists settled this area centuries ago under the leadership of Baron Sirian First, who became Sirian Aldori, first of the Aldori swordlords.

Choral the Conqueror

In 4499 AR (211 Before Campaign Start), the Iobarian warlord Choral Rogarvia, known as “the Conqueror,” crossed the Lake of Mists and Veils with a considerable force under his command. Lord Nikos Surtova of Issia met with the Conqueror on the shores of the lake under a flag of truce, and there the two men worked out an agreement whereby Issia would surrender its land and people to the Conqueror but the Surtovas would retain their power and wealth, serving the new ruler as stewards and duly sworn vassal lords.

The Aldori swordlords of Rostland, with their history of resisting bandit raiders, were not so willing to bend their knees to a foreign conqueror. They immediately rallied for war and secured their strongholds south of Lake Reykal. Yet the fractious swordlords were no match for the discipline and tactics of Choral’s forces. By the time the survivors of the war against the Conqueror were able to unite in a last assault, they believed they had cornered part of Choral’s force in a narrow mountain valley. When the swordlords entered, the Conqueror unleashed his greatest weapon—a pair of red dragons. The devastation inflicted by these monsters upon the swordlords was the final blow, and with this fiery defeat Rostland pledged itself to Choral the Conquerer as a way to save its traditions from eradication.

The Vanishing

The Conqueror sat only briefly on the Dragonscale Throne of the new nation he forged, soon leaving his family to rule in his name. For two centuries, the Rogarvias held the Ruby Fortress and ruled from New Stetven, pacifying minor uprisings and rebellions, and working to weld two disparate lands into one. Under Rogarvian rule, the nation came to be known as Brevoy and grew into a significant northern power. Yet even the greatest of dynasties do not last forever.

In the middle of winter in early 4699 AR (11 BCS), every member of House Rogarvia vanished without a trace. Rumors flew of palace coups and sinister plots, but it quickly became clear that what had occurred was something altogether stranger than a mere rebellion. There was no evidence of foul play or struggle within the royal palace, nor in any of the noble villas owned by the Rogarvias throughout the land—the nobles were simply gone, leaving empty manors scattered across Brevoy. A brief period of chaos and panic followed, but by the end of the year, the Surtovas had made their move. Citing their age-old ties with the Conqueror’s line, they were quick to seize power in New Stetven and extend their reach across Brevoy. With all of Issia seemingly backing the move, Rostland (whose standing army and defenses had increasingly shifted north during Rogarvian rule) had little choice but to bend its knee again. Today, King Noleski Surtova holds the Ruby Fortress and the Dragonscale Throne, yet it remains to be seen how long he can maintain this rule over a kingdom growing increasingly fractious.

How Magic Affects Kingdoms

Magic changes many things from the medieval system we all know on Earth, with several major areas that are changed drastically. History has shown us that those privileged enough to rule usually took care of themselves and their continued wealth before all else, and so all rulers in Pathfinder must spend some of their resources on magical aids. This includes protection magic, hired clerics and wizards, magical castle defenses, etc.

Communication

Historically, messages not getting somewhere in time has been shown to cause the rise and fall of empires. In a magical setting, high-level critical communication is far more reliable, so armies will almost never steal the march on anyone that isn’t a commoner. For smaller groups or more remote outposts, ravens serve if magic is not available.

Transportation

Transportation is relatively unchanged. Due to the expensiveness, physical discomfort, and occasional side effects of teleportation travel, nobles probably would opt for a more mundane means of travel. In addition, most had retinues of retainers, guards, and servants to move around with them, and so it’s unlikely that you’d see a noble travelling via flight or teleportation very often.

Magic in Mass Combat

This is an area that magic has a huge impact on. Any standing army of merit would likely have a wizard, alchemist, etc. and one, if not a whole group of, divine healers as part of their contingent. As a battlefield commander, having an arsenal of magic would be one of your most powerful tools. Additionally, having a brew wagon with a store of potions and a potion brewer could be the difference between victory and annihilation. Being able to scout enemy positions with levitate, invisibility and even clairvoyance potions would be hugely informative. As these are all expensive additions to an army, the funding would mostly come from the spoils of war, which would be even more sought after than normal.

Aerial Combat and Defenses

A major aspect of battle that no one was worried about during the middle ages was aerial attacks. Not so in Golarion. Even if your opponents have no flying combat units, you could still be assaulted by drakes or other magical flying creatures from time to time, or be surveyed from the skies by flying enemy surveillance. Castle turrets should all be covered, ballistas should be able to swivel up and around, and archers should become even more of a required commodity.

Brevic rules about Magic:

  • Casting any sort of spell (even a cantrip) in the presence of a high noble (Baron and up) is punishable by death on the spot. A formally written request must be made and granted to allow this to anyone beyond that noble’s personal staff.
  • All rulers will have significant magical defenses, including:
    • Magical Detection and Mind-Shielding Devices
    • Teleportation Blockers
    • A Personal Wizard/Witch/Sorcerer, usually equipped with an item that offers arcane sight. Anyone visiting the noble would be scrutinized by this spellcaster.
  • Necromancy and Mind-Controlling spells are outlawed completely in Brevoy. Anyone witnessed casting one of these spells is sentenced to death.
  • Pharasma, a major deity in Brevoy, speaks for the dead, and such requires that her reign be respected.
    • Speaking with the dead is not allowed except when done at the request of a ruler directly to one of her high priests, and even then it should only be in the case of a state of emergency of most dire need.
    • Raising/Resurrecting the dead requires that a priest of Pharasma be consulted and her permission granted before anyone receives either of these spells. All other priests in Golarion know of this requirement and typically will not cast these spells without consulting with one of her priests. Who receives approval and who does not appears to be random to those not of her calling, and even her own priesthood do not always understand decisions handed down by their goddess. In general, requests are often denied.
    • If anyone wishes to risk the wrath of Pharasma and not ask permission, they run the risk of a visit from one of her magical servants.
    • The official period of mourning for a fallen ruler is a fortnight, or the length of time that it would be possible for a priest to intervene with a Raise Dead spell. After this time, the scion officially inherits the rulership, regardless of whether that person is brought back afterwards or not.
    • Reincarnation is an abomination of the Old Gods, as it bypasses the judgement of Pharasma completely and alters the lifestream of the recipient. Typically only those druids of the old ways (most notably the Green Faith) that dwell in the Gronzi Forest would cast reincarnate. A ruler who is reincarnated immediately loses all rights as a noble and is considered a commoner.

Brevic Law Enforcement

While most of the campaign will be theoretically outside of the country of Brevoy, the Associates may travel within it’s borders and may eventually find themselves writing laws for their own holdings. And so, here is a loose outline of official Brevoy law, as proclaimed and slowly tailored by House Rogarvia in the century after the forming of the country. These are the laws that the Associates are most familiar with, and thus they will be aware of anything in this article.

Law Jurisdictions

Generally, the kingdom of Brevoy is divided into duchies, and further into baronies. Throughout each Duchy are various settlements, including cities (> 5000 residents), towns (> 200 residents) and villages (< 200 residents).

(Note in advance: the term “Lord” is a loose term associated with anyone who has a large amount of landed property. In terms of large-scale land ownership, Barons and Dukes can both be referred to as the “Lord of the Land”, depending on whose asking. Local peasantry usually only confer with the local Baron, whereas dukes and wealthy travelers may have an audience with the local Duke. Also the term “Lord” may be added to an existing title, such as “Lord Mayor”, to distinguish it from similarly named roles of smaller importance.)

Every duchy is run by a Duke (or Duchess). There are seven duchies in Brevoy, each named after the Noble House that had been given the land by Choral the Conqueror; and so a duchy like Lebeda would be owned by House Lebeda. If land is ever exchanged between Houses, the duchy boundaries are adjusted to reflect this.

Every barony is run by a Baron (or Baroness). The amount of baronies in each duchy varies, depending primarily on the resources available. In the northern Issia, there are less baronies simply from the resources required to sustain each one. In the southern Rostland, the plentiful food supplies allow more baronies to exist. Generally, the amount of baronies in the Issian duchies ranges from four to six, whereas in the Rostlandic duchies it usually ranges from nine to eleven. Baronies are by no means uniform within a duchy, and historic infighting or preferential treatment by the duke has given some baronies more land, and power, than others. While most barons have large, mansion-like estates, the more powerful barons can afford fortified strongholds.

When settlements become too large to be properly accounted for by a single lord, local governments will have their power expanded and new positions are instituted:

Every town is run by a Mayor and it’s laws are enforced by a Sheriff. The sheriff, who is typically appointed by the mayor, will recruit and train subordinate Deputies, who oversee nightly patrols, and may have a local garrison, depending on the size of the town. When a sheriff retires or otherwise becomes unable to fulfill their duties, the mayor must a new one, usually from the pool of existing deputies.

Every city is run by a Lord Mayor and it’s laws are enforced by a Captain of the Guard. The City Guards follow a more formal, militaristic structure, with the captain having many subordinate Officers, each with their own unit of Guardsmen. The officers each have their own jurisdiction of responsibilities, which could either be overseeing a section of the city or attending to certain logistical duties or individuals (such as acting as bodyguards or monitoring trade shipments). (Note: within cities, while large decisions are decided by the Lord Mayor, most of the grunt work is actually performed by someone appointed by the Lord Mayor, called a Chancellor. While all Officers technically report to the Captain of the Guard, it is customary for the Officers overseeing more logistical jurisdictions, such as overseeing trade shipments and enforcing laws on guilds, to report to the Chancellor. In any conflict between the Chancellor and the Captain of the Guard, the Captain may revoke these Officers.)

Mayors and Lord Mayors are appointed by the local Baron to rule over a specific settlement in his name. Their appointment can change at any time on a whim, as they have no owned land, unlike a regular landed noble bannerman. Generally these Mayors and Lord Mayors are the final say in law in a settlement, and only send a judgment up to a lord if it is a complicated political situation.

 Who handles Law Enforcement?

There is no judge, jury, or judicial system to speak of. Someone accused of a crime must attend a hearing, at which they have the right to be heard by whoever is holding the hearing, which is usually the sheriff, lord mayor, or local lord, depending. The holder of the hearing may call upon other witnesses, experts, or advisors for input into the situation, but only if the ruler chooses to do so.

  • If you are a resident in a town and break a minor law, you answer to the Sheriff. The sheriff handles the drunk and disorderly, disputes between townsfolk, minor thefts, suspicious activity, the enforcement of fines, etc.
  • If are a resident in a city and break a minor law, you answer to the Officer of your area of the city. They handle minor crimes, similar to the sheriff of a town.
  • If you either a resident of a town or a city and commit a major offense, your case is first considered by the Captain of the Guard of the closest city, who will either consider it a minor case and keep it within the Sheriff/Officer hearings, or move it to a higher court in front of the Lord Mayor of the captain’s city. The Lord Mayor handles major crimes, such as murders, rapes, etc., or ones involving children or nobles.
  • If you are a foreigner, traveler, important personage, such as a noble, priest or foreign dignitary, or live outside a town or a city and you break any law, you answer to the Local Lord. In most cases this is the local baron, but if you are an individual of international importance, the duke may preside over your hearing. Lords are more likely to throw people in the dungeons (while they figure out a way to leverage the case for more gold, power, favors, better trade agreements, etc.) than they are to see out justice fairly. They often hang commoners on a whim if it’s a case of a commoner committing a crime against a noble, and so the number of common appeals they receive is a manageable number.
  • An accused coming before a Lord Mayor may appeal to the Local Lord that the town or city resides in, but realistically only nobles would do this; commoners are more likely to be looked upon favorably by their local ruler than a distant noble, and regional lords may inflict harsher punishments to dissuade the populace from ‘wasting their time’.
  • An accused noble or foreign dignitary coming before a local baron can request an audience with the ruling duke instead, but doing so is a major slight against the baron, as it is considered a sign of weakness on the part of the baron if their case is taken from them and administered by the duke, implying that the baron was unable to handle it in whatever fashion it required. If the request is denied by the duke, one can expect a harsher sentence from the baron as punishment.
  • If there is a dispute between two rulers, regardless of their respective statures, either can appeal to the King of Brevoy, or in the current case, the Regent. None of the parties that openly oppose the current Regent, like the Orlovsky, Medvyed, or Swordlord factions, are likely to respect or honor a ruling made by the Regent, as that would seemingly grant him too much authority.

Types of Offenses

Major offenses include torture and/or muder of a child or noble, treason, necromancy, or magical mind control. These crimes earn colourful, painful deaths, that vary by Duchy:

  • in Orlovsky, you are dropped from a great height by a wyvern
  • in Medvyed, you are staked out, covered with blood and left to the wolves or the Brotherhood of the Silver Orb (which are lycanthropic druids from the Gronzi Forest)
  • in Garess, you are hung in cages from the city walls to slowly starve
  • in Lebeda, you are torn in quarters by horses
  • in Lobodka, you are crucified to the bow of a ship until you die
  • in Surtova, you are subject to novel and cruel execution devices
  • in Rogariva, you are tied to stake and lit aflame

Serious offenses, such as the rape or murder of a commoner, are punishable either by hanging or a life sentence in a harsh place like a mine, swamp or quarry pit.

Moderate offenses, such as theft, kidnapping, attempting to cheat a contract, blackmail, assault, etc. are usually punishable by maiming, imprisonment, enforced local work crews, humiliation in the town square, and/or heavy fines, depending on the severity and circumstances. Recreational beatings along the way sometimes occur for any of the above punishments, depending on the lawfulness of the enforcing agents.

Minor offenses are any crimes not listed above and usually just result in a beating and a fine.

Sentences, according to Status

Sentences vary drastically depending on the status of the accused:

  • Foreigners: If you are a  foreigner or travelling dignitary who is well connected, you are most likely to have your possessions taken, pay large fines, and be ejected from the kingdom, at least temporarily. If you are a foreigner who is no one special, you could end up paying huge fines or just disappearing into the dungeons forever.
  • Local Nobles: If you are a local noble typically apologies and fines paid directly to the aggrieved are due. For example, a noble who wrecks the local tavern in a bar fight or who injures a commoner pays the fine directly to the commoner. Successful Lord Mayors like to make this happen as often as possible, to maintain the loyalty of the commoners and discourage bored nobles from stirring up trouble. If a noble commits a major crime or is important enough, the hearing is moved to the local lord.
  • Distant Nobles: If you are a local from another region, chances are you will have to provide a major favor or pay a large fine. If you cannot personally pay the large fine, someone in your family will be expected to pay it or grant favors/concessions to the ruling lord. If you are extremely well connected, you are usually ejected from the region with no penalty or fine.
  • Commoners: Those with money and standing are usually treated as minor nobility as far as the law is concerned. Wealthy merchants, longstanding key citizens and families, and military officers fall into this category. Typically, commoners are at the mercy of anyone in judgment, and they know this. Most will be supplicating, begging, and very humble. Fair hearings usually result in some modicum of justice, though if it involves anyone important or noble, they get preferential treatment. Most commoners have no real money or power, so judging parties have nothing to lose in ruling against them.
  • In a dispute between equals of any level, you can expect a relatively fair hearing and judgment, since these are easy to mediate and help make the rulers look impartial. It is the only time most of them truly can be fair or just.
  • In a dispute between nobles and commoners, nobles nearly always win. In disputes between citizens and a commoner, the commoners lose there too. Basically, if you are a commoner, you are screwed.
  • If you are a noble and you or your family have money or power, typically the most you will get is a slap on the wrist. Only in the face of severe financial or military consequences is this not the case.

 

 

Rostland

Compared to the land north of Lake Reykal, Rostland is a gentle and fertile place of grassy plains and rolling hills. Watered by the lake and rivers, Rostland’s soil is better suited for farming, and the mountains and forest help to blunt the worst of the storms that roll down off of the Lake of Mists and Veils. Still, Rostland is known for its chill winters and its long, slow, and muddy spring season. Rostland is relatively poor in minerals, so most construction is of wood, supplemented by local fieldstone. A few great structures, like the Ruby Fortress or the Bulwark of Gorum in New Stetven, are built with imported stone, but otherwise even the great manor houses are built mainly of wood.

Rostland was first inhabited by Taldan explorers in the latter half of the Age of Enthronement under the leadership of Baron Sirian First, a hotheaded, impulsive noble forced to emigrate from Taldor after losing one too many duels. When the fledgling colony suffered a number of brutal attacks from bandit lords to the south, First accepted the challenge of the ruling bandit lord—a duel for the future of the burgeoning settlement. Unable to best the bandit king, First paid his wager and disappeared, most assuming he was gone for good, too embarrassed to show his face after the defeat. Several years later, First returned a changed man.

Answering to the name Sirian Aldori , the “Sword Baron” challenged to bandit lord to a rematch and defeated him handily in seconds. He followed this with a standing offer of 100,000gp as a reward for any who could best him in a battle of blades. None could defeat him, whether through legitimate means or trickery and magic. At first, Aldori refused to teach any his techniques, but he eventually capitulated and began to train a select group of swordsmen under the condition that they each swore to change their name to Aldori and never teach their techniques to any outside the swordpact. These swordsmen became known as the Aldori swordlords. They ruled Rostland for generations, each as prickly and impulsive as the order’s founder.

In 4499 AR, the armies of Choral the Conqueror swept into Rostland, and despite a strong resistance mustered by the swordlords, the nation fell at the barbarian’s hand and at the talons of his red dragon servitors. The most memorable conflict between the Rostlandi and Choral’s armies is now known as the Valley of Fire, and somber songs of swordlord Estruan Aldori’s defeat remain a popular aspect of folk culture in Brevoy, the River Kingdoms, and Mendev. After annihilating the Rostlandi army, Choral’s red dragons turned their attention to Rostland itself, and initiated a brutal onslaught of fire and blood that brought the once-proud nation to its knees. In only a handful of days, the people of Rostland surrendered to their new ruler and his heirs in House Rogarvia.

Many Aldori swordlords fled Rostland under Choral’s rule, establishing a strong presence in the city of Mivon to the south, amid the River Kingdoms. Others fled to the Free City of Restov in the far south of Brevoy. The Aldori stronghold of Skywatch maintained the resistance even after the rest of Rostland had fallen, but even this seat of independent Aldori power was reduced to ashes by Choral and his dragons, eventually to be rebuilt by House Rogarvia.

Issia

The northern half of Brevoy, Issia, is a broken expanse of rugged, rocky hills stretching between the bordering mountain ranges of the Icerime Peaks and the Golushkin Mountains, with the lone peak of Mount Veshka rising in its midst. Small, windswept scrub and spiky grasses are all that grow in the rocky soil, save for in small, painstakingly tended plots and in some of the more fertile areas long the lakeshore (which must deal instead with storm surges, floods, and other hazards of equal concern). The mountains offer plentiful stone for quarrying and building, and occasional veins of metals and precious stones for mining, although the locals are generally poor at mining.

Issia first came into existence when explorers from Taldor came across a disease-ravaged frontier colony of the ancient Iobarian empire. The area that came to be known as Issia was too barren to allow true agriculture so the inhabitants turned to raiding to support themselves. Issia became renowned as a land of river pirates and other such scoundrels with the center of raiding activity being the boisterous Port Ice. Despite Issia being a nation of raiders and pirates it was relatively stable, being ruled by House Surtova for the last thousand years of its existence. House Surtova ruled by virtue of being the most cunning of all the river pirates and by beating the resistance out of all who would oppose them.

When Choral the Conqueror came to the region in 4499 AR and laid waste to the nation of Rostland to the south, House Surtova surrendered, deferring to him and the self-proclaimed nobility of House Rovargia. As a result, Issia survived the transition into the new nation of Brevoy far better than Rostland did. Their surrender also allowed House Surtova to ingratiate itself into the new regime more easily, eventually allowing it to gain control of Brevoy after every member of House Rovargia within Brevoy’s borders mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind a power vacuum in the capitol of New Stetven.

The Stolen Lands

The Stolen Lands have long resisted attempts at colonization. Wedged between the River Kingdoms and Brevoy, the approximately 35,000-square-mile swath of wilderness has a long history of being regarded a “stolen”—from and by whom depending on the point of view. In Brevoy, the lands are considered stolen from that nation’s southern expanse by bandits and barbarians variously from Numeria, Iobaria, or the River Kingdoms themselves. In the River Kingdoms, the general impression is that Brevoy allowed the lands to fall into the hands of monsters and worse in order to rob the lords of the River Kingdoms of more lands to rule. Even within the wildlands themselves, lands are stolen and conquered in constant struggles between bickering tribes of centaurs, kobolds, fey, trolls, bandits, lizardfolk, boggards, barbarians, and more, all constantly skirmishing to expand their holdings while not ceding their own lands to the enemy.

In truth, the Stolen Lands belong to no one, and are stolen from no one. Many have tried to claim them, but the abandoned ruins that dot the swath of wilderness stand as testaments to the difficulty of ruling these savage lands. They have remained wild with a fierce tenacity, a haven for monsters and criminals and dangerous secrets, and as such have posed a menace to their neighboring nations as long as anyone can remember.

The Stolen Lands are typically divided into four regions:

The Greenbelt

With the tangled woodlands of the Narlmarches to the west and the rugged hills of the Kamelands to the east, the Greenbelt is a haven for bandits. The lack of dangerous inhabitants other than indigenous tribes of kobolds and mites makes this the safest of the four regions for “freelance banditry,” although recent rumors hold that a particularly powerful bandit known as the Stag Lord has risen to unite and lead the region’s brigands. To the south, tribes of trolls and more dangerous creatures provide a quite effective buffer between Brevoy and Mivon.

The Nomen Heights

With a southern skyline dominated by the ragged, stony mountains known as the Tors of Levenies, the Nomen Heights are named after the aggressive tribes of Nomen Centaurs who view the eastern steppes of the region as their own. Ancient ruins dot the Tors themselves, hinting that the region may have once been the most civilized of the Stolen Lands.

The Slough

East of the Glenebon Uplands, the rugged hills and rolling grasslands soon give way to a swath of reeking swampland known as Hooktongue Slough. Inhabited by lizardfolk, boggards, and stranger beings, this region has long been a battleground between the Tiger Lord barbarians and the more monstrous tribes of the swamp.

The Glenebon Uplands

The westernmost quadrant of the Stolen Lands is a contested zone between the barbarian tribes known as the Tiger Lords to the north and the bandits of Pitax to the south. Further complicating this scene is the not-insignificant presence of several powerful fey and dangerous monsters in the Branthlend Mountains and the forest of Thousand Voices.

The Swordlords

Bandits from the River Kingdoms and Issia nearly spelled the end of the Taldan colony of Rostland in its early years. Sirian First’s reputation as a duelist drew the attention of a bandit chieftain, who offered the baron a wager: half his fortune against the bandit leader’s head, if he could best him in a duel. Baron First accepted, and lost. He paid his due and disappeared, too ashamed to show his face any longer, most assumed. Yet Sirian returned years later as Baron Aldori and, in a highly-publicized “rematch,” defeated his foe in seconds and reestablished his rule in Rostland. Baron Aldori then issued his own wager: 100,000 gold pieces to anyone able to best him in a duel of blades. Thousands flocked to Rostland to answer this challenge, and the “Sword Baron” defeated them all. He founded the Aldori school of sword fighting, and established the influence of the Aldori swordlords over Rostland for centuries.

With the change in regime, many swordlords fled Brevoy to other realms, such as the River Kingdom of Mivon. A few became sell-swords, prostituting the arts of  the Aldori School for the coin needed to buy them food and shelter. The rest primarily settled in or near the free city of Restov.

The Council of Swordlords now only has an official capacity as an advisory board to the Rostland municipal governments. However, all of the members of the Swordlords are powerful nobles in their own right and through their unified might the Swordlords could pose a threat to the ruling government of Brevoy — their separatist ideals are widely known.

Sir Richard Iannuchi (Lord Commander of the Council)

Richard Iannuchi no label

The Lord Commander of the Swordlord Council is a regal bearing, older man in his 50s. Despite his age, Iannuchi is still quite capable in battle, and he’s a seasoned leader and a veteran of many battles and duels. When discussions between various Swordlords breaks down in argumentation, all look to Iannuchi to settle disputes and remind the council members who their true enemies are. Hailing from a powerful political family amongst the Rostlanders, Iannuchi himself is known by many of common folk as the honour of the old Swordlords personified.

Lord Mario Derro (Council Banker)

Mario Derro no label

Mario Derro is a younger lord in his late 20s, who is known for his ruggedly handsome looks and his talent for finance and trade, a skill that he employs as the record-keeper and banker for the Swordlords. Derro’s financial influence extends beyond the Council itself. Through his own backroom politics and trade deals he has amassed many farms and orchards in Southern Brevoy, and has a large influence with many mercantile factions in the North due to various financial involvements.

Lady Ariana Santorini

Ariana Santorini no label

Ariana Santorini is an aggressive lady in her late 30s, who is known for her passion and tactical abilities. She is usually dressed in full battle armor and weapons, often looking as if she just walked off the battlefield (which perhaps isn’t far from the truth). She often hires out her armies out as mercenary support for nearby conflicts to keep her troops seasoned and prepared for war, as well as to provide gold for her house. She is rumoured to have an extensive druidic resources under her command, and most of her lands are wilderness in return for their support, which includes raising her famed hippogriff mounts.

Lord Stefan Mandor (Cavalier of Quality)

Stefan Mandor no label

Stefan Mandor is a charismatic man in his late 30s who is known as a cavalier of high regard. He competes often in tournaments and almost without exception wins handedly at everything he competes in. A paragon of lancework, riding, and archery, Mandor prefers a greatsword to the regular aldori sword for battle, donning the traditional blade only for honor duels. An extremely large and powerful man, matched with exceedingly quick reflexes, he is resolute in determination and is loathe to retreat, often succeeding due to bullheadedness where others would give up. His heavy cavalry are the strong right arm of the Swordlords military might.

Lord Gerrol “Torregrossa” Manolo

Gerrol Manolo no label

Raised as priest of Gorum, this enormous man is the epitome of the War God in battle. Torregrossa, or ‘Big Tower’, as he is usually referred to, is an enormous man who stands over 7’ tall and weighs so much he must ride a huge stallion into battle. It is said that his stallion was granted him by Gorum himself, which most believe due to the black stallion’s massive stature. Anything political outcome that will result in battle appeals to Lord Manolo, and he has focused his house’s resources to provide support for his war efforts. His farms produce food that is immediately prepared for use in field support, and his other industries are wood and wagon crafting (siege engines and logistical caravans) and weapon and armor smithing. He is the single most needed Swordlord by the council, as he is often used as an intimidating hammer against their adversaries.

Lord Antonio Ghirlandaio

Antonio Ghirlandaio no label

Lord Antonio Ghirlandaio, or the Lord of Flowers, is the consummate Swordlord, and is an expert swordsman, poet, artist, and romancer of ladies of refinement everywhere. Extremely handsome and confident to the point of being arrogant, his sword skills are unmatched in Brevoy. He stands as the champion of the council in any honor duels, so needless to say, the Swordlords are rarely bothered with challengers these days. He has little interest in war or battle, but will eagerly engage in a duel to test the mettle of another swordsman. His beauty is marred only by a single scar running down his right eye, the origin of which he has never disclaimed.

Lord Ivan Vasseri

Ivan Vasseri no label

Lord Vasseri is the eldest of the Swordlords and the only one who can remember the battles that took place over 40 years ago with strong emotion. He was a young swordlord at the time of the last uprising, and harbors a great hate for Issians, despising them with an unreasoning passion. He resents the Manning (Issian) presence in Rostland and has been unhappy since the Blessed Union, constantly pressing for open conflict with the current Lord. Usually dismissed as an angry old man, his words have found fertile ground of late, with the constant offenses of Lord Darren against his fellow Swordlords. It was his idea to create a foothold in the Stolen Lands.

Lord Victor Vasseri (Council Diplomat)

Victor Vasseri no label

Victor is the youngest of the Swordlords and the heir to the Vasseri House. He’s only been attending the council for a little over two years after being approved as a stand-in for his father, who rarely attends meetings unless an important vote (which for him means one approving war with the Issians) is up for discussion. He is handsome, well-mannered and well-spoken, and often travels the South with Lord Ghirlandaio. He serves the council as a diplomat and ambassador to other factions in Brevoy.

Albino Raspberry Grove

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While exploring the grasslands west of Oleg’s Trading Post during a torrential rain, the Associates discovered a large, hidden grove of white raspberries. While they initially thought they were simply not ripe yet, a further inspection revealed that they were actually a rare breed of albino raspberries.

House Rogarvia

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“With Sword and Flame”

Looking to secure himself and his progeny as high a place in the new order as he could, Nikos Surtova offered the hand of his daughter, Myrna, in marriage to Choral, binding the house of the Conqueror with his own. Since Choral’s final victory in the Valley of Fire, House Rogarvia has ruled Brevoy, until the recent mysterious disappearance. The house built the Ruby Fortress in the city of New Stetven as its stronghold, and Urzen Rogarvia sat on the Dragonscale Throne up until 4699, when the entire family vanished overnight. The Rogarvias were well known as ruthless rulers, determined to hold Brevoy together in the Conqueror’s name by whatever means necessary. Still, while their loss was not overly mourned, the stability they represented has been. Loyalists have continued to call for investigation into the Vanishing and make much of the fact that their rule lasted precisely 200 years, but it has become increasingly clear that House Rogarvia will not return soon, if ever.

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Choral the Conqueror

 

 

 

 

House Surtova

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“Ours Is the Right”

The most influential house in Brevoy, House Surtova, is also the oldest, established in Issia centuries before Choral’s arrival. The Surtovas were infamous pirates and raiders in those early days, and with the Conquerer’s coming were able to parley captured wealth into lands and titles. What started out as a defensible fortress became Port Ice, a settlement that has been the seat of Surtova power for generations. Nikos Surtova’s alliance with Choral secured House Surtova’s place at the right hand of the ruling house, and allowed them to move quickly into place after the Vanishing. The Survotas established a “regency” in the absence of King Urzen, which has quickly become the de facto succession to the crown. King Noleski Surtova sits upon the Dragonscale Throne, while his sister Natala Surtova reigns as unofficial “queen,” as her brother is as yet unmarried. Rumors say Natala enjoys her role (and her influence over her brother) far too much to embrace the idea of a proper sister-in-law. Still, there is considerable pressure for Noleski to choose a bride and produce heirs for his new dynasty.

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Noleski Surtova, current ruling Regent of Brevoy

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Natala Surtova