The Fires of War
just to the south of Heimark lies the Kingdom of Vastinth. Here the land is harsh and the people harsher. The protection granted to the lower class by the knights and other ruling lords is legitimate. Monsters prowl the land and raids are common enough that a standing army is warranted. The royal cabal of arcanists focus most of their efforts on subduing dangerous creatures and even bending them to their will. The population is dominantly human with a strong orc presence due to their proclivity for surviving in harsh environments.
The Archduke, Bannagran, has two sons and three daughters, all vying in their own way for the throne. The Archduke is aging and wishes to reclaim his glory days, yet he is a shrewd and ruthless man. His cunning in arranging the merger with Shirenbas allowed him to keep his throne, if not his title of King. He’s a warhorse past its prime, wanting badly to rejoin the fray and finding only frustration with his inability to take up his sword. Lately the Archduke has taken somewhat of a backseat to the politics of newly formed Ragnomer and turned to wine, women, and planning the occasional battle. Archduke Bannagran retains a Hallsinger (a house Bard) named Kelsier who is responsible for the training and education of Bannagran’s children and managing the everyday affairs of the state. Kelsier is powerful, imposing, and inscrutable. Many whisper that with the aging former-king turned to indulging himself, Kelsier is the power behind the throne. Whatever the case may be, Kelsier certainly holds sway over much of Vastinth, especially through the ear of Bannagran’s children, all of which Kelsier has influenced practically from birth.
the land of Shirenbas is very fertile due to being very near the Dragon’s Throat. Because of this fertile but small quantity of land Shirenbas focuses heavily on sea trade and naval activity. Of the three kingdoms that form Ragnomer, Shirenbas is the most densely populated and the most metropolitan. The racial demographics are far more even in Shirebas than either of its neighbors, with human being only slightly dominant, followed equitably by halflings, elves, and dwarves. Shirenbas possesses the most accomplished mages of the three kingdoms, notable especially for their discoveries regarding volcanoes and weather patterns. Due to the density of its population, Shirenbas also has the most diversified economy.
Shirenbas is the magical frontier of the south. Mages flock to Shirenbas because of the freedom provided to those who would conduct magical research. Shirenbas is home to many wizard, sorcerer, and other spellcaster cabals and organizations. All these mages, no matter how great, abide by the law of the land under the watchful eye of the Sorcerer-King*. The most powerful spellcaster in Shirenbas, the Sorcerer-King funds significant amounts of the arcane research that goes on within his borders, and works tirelessly to reign in any unruly mages.
*From “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “To follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bound of human thought. This is my son, mine own Telemachus, to whom I leave the scepter and the isle – well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill this labor, by slow prudence to make mild a rugged people, and through soft degrees subdue them to the useful and the good.”