The Five Nations
The Five Nations is the historic name for a region and a group of governments now absorbed into the Varraski Empire.
The historic five nations are:
The Durrask Confederacy Taking the name from the Durrask Mountains, the Durrask Confederacy was an aligned group of six Dwarven strongholds, most recently led by Ulrash the Vast, last occupant of the Adamantine Throne. Though each stronghold had its own economy, ruler, and to some extent unique culture, the Confederacy as a whole were renowned for their military might, their crafting skills, and their fierce defense of their allies. The Durrask Confederacy was among the nations most devastated by casualties in the initial Varraski invasion, and several of the strongholds are now entirely unpopulated.
Erlathenglin also known as “The Queen’s Woods.” An Elven nation, founded in ancient times, Erlanthanglen was ruled by the legendary Queen Gavalia Artenal. According to her followers, Iantari was also the founder of the Erlanthenglin nation many thousands of years ago. Reclusive, noble, and rich in magical traditions, the ‘Woodlanders’ offered little opposition to the Varraski Horde once they proved their strength. Iantari has not been heard from since the early days of the invasion. The tree-city capitol of the nation, Almada Tal, still stands in giant cedars, but it has been turned into a terrifying prison by the Varraski invaders. No one in the province has ever returned after being sent “to the trees.”
The Brightfount Barony was a largely-human agricultural nation. The Varraski Horde first arrived in the Five Nations via the Barony’s large swath of mostly-unguarded farmland, and the human government was the first to surrender to the Empire. Baron Euric Brightfount the LXVII, hereditary ruler of Brightfount, was quickly imprisoned. The whereabouts of his two surviving daughters are unknown. The Brightfount Barony was founded as a colony of the Allanwine Throne about five hundred years ago, but it was one of several colonies that outlasted the fall of its parent nation.
The Illani People were a peaceful “nation” of transient, riverboat-dwelling halflings. The Illani, meaning “folk” in the halfling river-tongue, were always more of a culture and a set of traditions than an ordered government, and the Illani served as traders, messengers, and entertainers for many members of the other nations. Some Illani fled the territory during the invasion, but many were captured and enslaved by the Varraskian Horde. Rumors persist that some among the hobgoblin invaders consider halfing to be a rare delicacy, and so halflings in positions of honor within the Province watch their captors closely.
The Commonwealth of Full Assemblage, now called The Iron Citadel is an ancient cosmopolitan trade city. Its origins are lost to history, but it hosted merchants traveling through before there were any known settlements in the region. The Commonwealth is noted for several unique features. First, 300 years ago, a necromancer named Ivran of the Necropolis arrived with an army of skeletons. The city feared for its safety, but Ivran explained he was looking for a permanent residence, and would be glad to provide for the protection of the city in exchange of its hospitality. To this day, the Commonwealth is guarded by an army of skeletons and other undead. Most of them dwell in the river that surrounds the Commonwealth, but it is not uncommon to see them guarding locations within the City.
At the center of the city is The Glorious Tower, a center for magical learning and power. Pure water flows from the top of the tower in 12 streams that spread throughout the city like the divisions of a great clock.
Because unwanted dead are quickly “recruited” into The Endless Ranks (the skeleton army that guards the city, there is a size-able and profitable grave quarter. Our heroes have befriended The Banforth Family, proprietors of The Silver Spade, a gravedigging house of some repute.