Eldara
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Capitol: Eldarand (population: 58,000)
Population: 1,758,000 (92% Thann, 4% Ralani, 2% Eloysians, and 2% other)
Demi-humans: 33,000 (55% dwarves, 24% elves, 20% halflings, 11% gnomes)
Humanoids: few (mostly kobolds)
Government: Monarchy (currently ruled by the Irazadi Dynasty)
Current Ruler: King Morgan IV
Coat of Arms: seven stars, a crown, and a battlement; all in gold, on a purple field
Exports: fruit, vegetables, grain, cloth, gold, stone,


Eldara is the strongest kingdom of the Heartlands, and the largest nation of ethnic Thann on western Corwyn. It is a nation of deep traditions, with a long and bloody history. Eldara’s geography is as diverse as its people; in the northern regions, the lands are lush and green, whereas in the south, near the Sea of Sand, the lands are mostly dry scrublands. But northern Eldara is a land of plenty, with thousands of lemon tress, orange groves, and apple orchards, as well as vast fields of grains and vegetables that can feed half the continent.

Borders


Eldara’s eastern borders are the rocky shores of the Bloody Coast; its western borders are the sandy shores of Storm Coast. The kingdom’s northern borders are the Melinar Forest and the Gulf of Alesard, and her southern border is the vast Sea of Sand; protected by the Kerak. Eldara constantly patrols her desert borders; for her southern neighbor is the hostile, barbarian nation of Vilzar.

Politics


The current ruler of Eldara is King Morgan IV, who is the 55th ruler of the long and distinguished Irazadi Dynasty. King Morgan IV rules the kingdom from the Iron Throne, located in the great hall of the massive fortress of Castle Ironfist. Politically, Eldara is a monarchy, but local and administrative rule is sub-divided into 21 Duchies and 170 Baronies, all of whom are ruled by powerful Vassal Lords, un-waveringly loyal to the throne.

Prominent Eldaran noble families: House Adorno, House Akardi, House Belvor, House DeMaar, House Erwald, House Falkirk, House Harrigan, House Irazadi, House Kellani, House Kromar, House Nystrom, House Skorupio, House Tesarani, House Trask, House Verizano, and House Whitehall

Military


Eldara is a nation of great fortresses and fortified cities. It has to be, for along its southern border is the easiest invasion route known by the hated Vilzari.

For millennia, the nation's chief enemy has constantly invaded along this route and threatened its native people. This is why Eldara’s cities are fortresses, and the sole reason that Eldara spend so much of its treasury on the Kerak; a gigantic 300 mile-long barrier wall across the southern Eldaran border.

Two things have always defined the defenses of Eldara; military strength and strong fortifications. For its protection, Eldara has a large standing army of 16,000 soldiers. But in times of war, the Kingdom can muster well over 70,000 troops, due to large noble contingents.

Eldara also maintains a large and professional navy of 52 warships that patrol both the Sea of Ralas from their main western port at Sathay and the Sea of Orel from their eastern port at Kingsport. Eldaran warships are recognizable by their brightly painted purple teakwood hulls, gold trim, and white silk sails.

Climate


Most of the realm is made up rolling hills, sharp valleys, and grassy, high, windswept plains. The climate of Ammarind is usually cold because of its northern location, and the chilly winds off the mountains, give a dampness that outsiders find distressing. The harsh northern climate is what makes Thannish folk so hardy.

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Life & Society


For the most part, Eldarans live a life of trade, agriculture, and sailing. Despite this quiet life, the people of this kingdom live under the constant threat of attack by their southern neighbors, the hated Vilzari of the desert. Most towns and villages of Eldara are walled and well protected, because the local folk know too well the stories of Vilzari raids and invasions that have occurred hundreds of times over the last 3,000 years.

Eldara’s fruits, vegetables, and grain are her chief offerings, but the kingdom receives much additional income from the vast overland trade that takes place on the Eldaran Isthmus, a tract of land that serves as the narrowest point between the Wyn Myr and Vhan Myr oceans.

At any given time, hundreds of rich caravans can be found, traversing the Eldaran Isthmus with every good imaginable.

The monarchy that rules the kingdom is just and fair, and the people are not overly taxed; although many traders and merchants complain anyway.

Many caravans of Eldara’s fruits and vegetables travel from its borders in return for exotic goods from the continent of Avokhar and the West.

This abundance means that even the most common markets carry rare and exotic goods from exotic locales; the Seven Cities of Brass, Yamada, even far-away Khalifar.

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Geography


Eldar Plains: also known as the Breadbasket of Eldara, these fertile lands are rich in farming soil and moderate temperatures and serve to feed the Eldarans and many of the peoples of the Heartlands.

Eldaran Isthmus: narrow strip of land a little over 300 miles across between the jutting peaks of the Redpeaks Mountains and the coast of the Sea of Ralas.

Erehui Mountains: these steep and jagged peaks form the border between the Myr Gelyn desert and the Erehui Valley.

Cyrien Sea: large inland body of water located in the Heartlands of Corwyn. This large inland sea is an enormous oxbow from the River Cyr.

Redpeaks: range of mountains, running southwest along the far southern border of Eldara, and stretching into the Erehui Valley.

Sokoro Highlands desolate region, near the coastal city of Varistan. These hills are home to the infamous Velskir Barbarians.

Vrusk Scrublands: the southern region of Eldara is home to vast desolate plains, where the population is sparse and very little grows.

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Important Sites


Argrenn: site of a battle in 425/5, during the First Vilzari War.

Athos-Gelynar: also known as the "Gateway Keep." This powerful fortress guards the main entrance through the Kerak.

Castle Greyguard: important border outpost in southern Eldara, guarding the junction of the Isthmus and Desert Roads.

Castle Sandstone: fortress located at the extreme eastern edge of the Kerak, in the northern foothills of the Redpeaks Mountains.

Castle Ironfist: the royal citadel of Eldara, located in the capitol city of Eldarand. Within this fortress is the famous Iron Throne.

The Cyphergate; an ancient and mysterious circular stone arch, straddling the entrance to the Varistan harbor.

Desert Road: partially paved road that runs south from the city of Eldarand to the junction with the Isthmus Road at Castle Greyguard.

Dhorya Keep: important outpost on the Kerak, used by the army of Eldara to guard against Vilzari raids.

Eldarand: (population: 58,000) capitol and largest city in the kingdom of Eldara. Within the city is Castle Ironfist. Eldarand is currently ruled by Duke Lukan Whitehall.

Erôn-Henath: castle located in far northern Eldara, near the Forlorn Mountains.

Flint Harbor: site of a battle in 1264/4, during the Incursion Wars.

Herrenden Fields: site of a battle in 430/5 which ended the First Vilzari War.

Iron Throne: the royal seat of the kingdom of Eldara, located within Castle Ironfist.

Isthmus Road: (the Trader’s Road) road that runs between Sathay and Southcliff.

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Kerak: 300 mile-long fortified barrier wall built by the Ravinian Empire, now manned by Eldaran army

Khossen: site of a battle in 559/5 between the Ravinian Empire and the Vilzari, which ended the Third Vilzari War.

Kingsport:(pop:46,000) large seaport located on the Storm Coast, currently ruled by Duke Brocar Irazadi.

Relanoth: site of a battle in 1279/4 between the northern kingdoms of Corwyn and the Vilzari, which ended the Third Incursion War.

Rin Falar: (population: 51,000) second largest city in Eldara, currently ruled by Duke Crispin Falkirk.

Rin Falar Road: road that runs between Eldarand and Rin Falar.

Sathay: (population: 25,000) large seaport located on the Storm Coast, currently ruled by Duke Brüenor Erwald.

Southcliff:(population: 23,000) small city located at eastern edge of the Kerak, currently ruled by Duke Amalric DeMaar.

Varistan:(pop: 13,300) small seaport, located on the Bloody Coast, currently ruled by Duke Avery Kromar.

Westfall:(pop:63,000) large seaport located on the Bloody Coast, in the foothills of the Redpeaks, currently ruled by Duchess Nalia Skorupio.

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LOCAL HISTORY


As the largest and and most powerful of the Thannish nations, the Kingdom of Eldara has a long and detailed history, dating back thousands of years into the late Third Age.

The Kingdom is Founded


The kingdom of Eldara actually grew out of the shadow of an even larger kingdom called Valdor, which was founded in the late Third Age by Valden the Conqueror. By the end of his life, Valden controlled what is today, Eldara, Orel, and Gwynne. But upon his death, Valdor quickly collapsed into two separate kingdoms, largely due to bickering between Valden's two sons: Eldan Durethë and Rhodan Mallistäer.

Within a year of their father's death, the two half-brothers openly declared war upon each other, and Valdor became ravaged by a terrible conflict known as the Twilight War. This war ended badly for Rhodan, and after his defeat at the Battle of Ossenfort, two-thirds of Valdor remained under the control of Eldan and became "Eldara," while one-third was controlled by Rhodan and became "Rhodara."

So it came to pass that in the year 0024 of the Fourth Age, King Eldan founded the Kingdom of Eldara. Once he was crowned, Eldan moved the capitol of his new realm from Kingsport to the city of Azimar; which he re-named "Eldarand." Eldan also ordered a magnificent fortress built for himself there, which he named "Castle Ironfist." Within that castle he installed the famed "Iron Throne" of Eldara, which he decreed was to be the seat of his Dynasty until "the end of days."

As King, Eldan was even more proud and vain than even his father had been. He believed it was the destiny of the Thannish people to someday control all of Corwyn, and that he had been chosen by the Gods to lead them in that quest.

Under his ruler-ship, Eldara quickly grew in power and wealth. The small settlements of Rin Falar, Eldarand, Kingsport, Sathay, and Varistan grew into mighty cities. Eldan's people were also great seafarers and the rich eastern Eldaran seaports of Morathad, Olthad, Ordana, and Ormath soon grew in size and wealth as well.

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Eldan was aided by Eldara's climate and terrain, which allowed the kingdom to grow vast quantities of grains and fruits. Soon after, enormous deposits of both iron and silver were discovered in the mines beneath Eldara. Based upon these lucrative exports, Eldara soon became the wealthiest nation on Corwyn. Upon Eldan's death, his legacy was a kingdom that was as wealthy powerful on the seas as it was on land.

The "Glorious Conquest"


Even after Eldan's death, later Eldaran kings remained obsessed with wealth and power. In the year 159/4, Aron Durethë became the fifth ruler of Eldara. King Aron was ambitious and cruel, and greatly desired to expand the power of Eldara further than even his forbears had done. He decreed he would "outshine" both King Valden and Eldan.

To achieve his goal of world domination, Aron turned his attention eastward, across the South Sea. The king ordered his eldest son, Prince Daghon, to sail across the sea and colonize the lands of the East; specifically, a relatively unexplored territory known as the "Kratheri Peninsula."

In the year 179/4, Daghon gathered a great host of Thannish soldiers, boarded a massive fleet of ships, and sailed east from Ordana. He first landed on the Kratheri Peninsula at a secluded, natural inlet which he named "Durendar," and established a small colony there.

At that time, the Peninsula was home to the Kratheri people and ruled by an ailing Kingdom called Kerathos. Over the next fourteen years, Daghon and his Eldaran colonists waged a brutal military campaign against the Kratheri natives. This campaign climaxed with the capture of the Kratheri city of Jareesh, after an eight year siege. In an ominous portent of future Thannish rule, the victors burned the city and massacred its entire civilian population.

Within a century, all remaining Kratheri resistance had been crushed and the Eldarans gained control of the entire peninsula. This period became known as the "Glorious Conquest." The Kratheri Peninsula then became a sister kingdom to mainland Eldara, called; "East Eldara." The East Eldaran princes soon signed treaties with the neighboring Xholar Empire of the Far East and became trading partners with them. Afterward, Eldara became the richest nation in all of Corwyn.

The First Eldaran Civil War


Eldara’s fortunes began to wane in the late Fourth Age. First the kingdom was beset with a terrible plague in the year 976/4 and a second one in 1142/4, which was even worse. Many Thanns died and the kingdom was severely weakened. Around this time, the Thannish nobility of East Eldara desired greater autonomy, and in the year 1202/4, Prince Castenar revolted against his own father; King Arathar IV.

This conflict came to be known as the "First Eldaran Civil War," and lasted for seven bloody years. The war ended in 1209/4 with the horrific battle of Ordana, which saw the entire city burned and thousands butchered. After a series of military defeats, King Arathar granted his son full independence and East Eldara became a new, fully-independent kingdom, which Castenar named; "Thûle."

The Second Eldaran Civil War


Eldara continued to decline under the reign of King Arathar IV and the reign of his son; Agathar III, who succeeded him on the Iron Throne in the year 1225/4. Around this time, the "Oramar;" the Thannish merchant's council of Ordana, which had long been resentful because of the unfair trade policies of the Royal Court in Eldarand, decided upon open revolt. The most prominent of these rebellious nobles was Duke Rygar Alesard, an extremely influential member of the Oramar.

Rygar, like many Oramar members, felt much bitterness over the destruction of the city of Ordana 40 years earlier. He also believed the Eldaran court had not done enough to save the city and its inhabitants from Castenar’s wrath.

In the year 1246/4, King Agathar III of Eldara died suddenly, leaving the crown in the hands of his seventeen year old son, Hagar II. Rygar and his fellow Oramar nobles saw the opportunity they had been looking for. Within weeks of Agathar's death, the eastern duchies of Eldara were in open revolt, led by Rygar.

Thus began the "Second Eldaran Civil War." King Hagar II; a young, inexperienced ruler, was no match for Rygar Alesard, a man with decades of both politicla and battlefield experience. By the year 1248/4; the disastrous Battle of Stonehedge resulted in an overwhelming loyalist defeat. Soon afterward, King Hagar II granted independence to all of the eastern Eldaran provinces. Those territories then became a new nation ruled by King Rygar, who named his new Kingdom; "Orel."

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The Incursion Wars


The fact that Eldara had gone through decades of war, disease, and political upheaval had not gone unnoticed by her southern neighbors. In the 1256/4, a cunning Vilzari warlord named Alzakar K'Noth decided that Eldara was so weak, he could successfully invade the country. That same year, the first of the, so-called, "Incursion Wars," began. In a series of three terrible, bloody wars,

King Hagar himself was killed in a Vilzari ambush and his dynasty ended. King Dareon Arellani assumed the Iron Throne and continued to fight the hated desert invaders until their final defeat at the Battle of Relanoth in 1279/4.

War of Annexation


Eldara was by then was terribly weak and divided. In 1283/4, the Mad-King Gayorg of Rhodara invaded Orel because of its weakened condition. This bloody conflict was called the War of Annexation. By 1289/4, the Rhodarans were defeated with the help of Eldara’s many allies, But King Dareon was killed in the Battle of Keslyn.

Wars against Vilzar


Over the last two millennia, The Vilzari; Eldara's southern, desert-dwelling neighbors, have invaded the Kingdom over a dozen times and launched hundreds of smaller raids and incursions into Thannish territory. These various conflicts have killed hundreds of thousands of innocents and caused much suffering and misery on both sides. There has never been any love lost between these two civilizations.

The six largest and most destructive conflicts between Eldara and Vilzar are listed below:

Under the Arellani Dynasty


The Arellani Dynasty continued to rule the kingdom until 422/5, when King Ragnar II was slain in the First Vilzari War. Eldara was then ruled by the Valencio Dynasty from 422-621/5. In that terrible year, King Aden rode out with his two sons to battle Sorimmar’s hordes during the Siege of Arynäe. During that terrible battle all three were slain and the rule of the kingdom passed to King Damion Irazadi.

Under the Irazadi Dynasty


Since the Cataclysm, the kingdom of Eldara has been ruled by House Irazadi. Much of Eldaran history has been one of blood and death. The people of this region have always lived under the shadow of fear. .