Elyria
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Capitol: Rilsavar (population: 35,000)
Population: 989,000 (83% Vaas, 11% Iskari, 4% Ralani, 2% other)
Demi-humans: 58,000 (45% dwarves, 15% elves, 15% halflings, 25% gnomes)
Humanoids: few (mostly kobolds)
Government: Monarchy (currently ruled by the Whitacre Dynasty)
Current Leader: King Ramelos I
Coat of Arms: Black stag over diagonal yellow stripe on a white field
Exports: grain, copper, wool, livestock, dyes, coal


Elyria is an ailing strife-filled monarchy, beset with bitter political infighting and intrigue. It is thought to be the least stable nation in western Corwyn.


Most Elyrians tell outsiders they fondly remember better days, soaring heroic tales of historical exploits, and the great wealth achieved by their forbears. But most Elyrians will admit that little of that grand history is present today. Even though the kingdom may be falling into cultural and political decline; its peoples retain the fierce, stubborn pride of the Vaas in their attitudes and customs.


Borders
Elyria's northern border with the Theocracy of Derianor is made up of three distinct regions. Furthest east is the large forest of Greenwood; in the center is the Almyron Sea, and furthest west are the disputed lands of Irondale. Elyria’s southern borders with Serathyr are the Purple Mountains to the southeast and the disputed Greymist Hills to the southwest. The Kingdom’s eastern border with Erindar is the great Eldir Vaas River, and its western border is the Jagged Coast of the Iron Sea.

Politics
The current ruler of Elyria is King Ramelos Whitacre, who is the ninth ruler of the troubled and corrupt Whitacre Dynasty. King Ramelos rules the kingdom from the Darkwood Throne, located in the great hall of the impregnable fortress of Castle Krasdan. Politically, Erindar is a monarchy, but local and administrative rule is sub-divided into twelve Duchies, all of which are ruled by squabbling vassal lords who have varying degrees of loyal to the throne. The twelve Duchies of Elyria are: Amhurst, Azmaran, Buxton, Eastgarden, Ender Falls, Halcyon, Kildeere, Norbury, Rhea, Shackleford, Shadowfen, and Tamworth. These 12 Duchies are further sub-divided into 64 baronies.

Military
For its defense, Elyria maintains several major fortifications; including Castle Krasdan, Castle Ilnavar, and Wymerly Keep. The Kingdom maintains a small standing army of 7,500 troops; but with noble contingents, it can raise nearly 20,000 troops in times of war. The Kingdom also maintains a small navy of 20 warships, based out of Pike's Ferry. These warships patrol the Iron Sea and protect Elyrian settlements on the Jagged Coast.

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Climate
Elyria’s geography is made up of mostly rolling hills and grassy farmlands; giving the country warm, humid temperatures most of the year, even the winters are warm here. Summertime can be quite humid, apart from coastal areas and the highlands around the gigantic Purple Mountains.

LIFE & SOCIETY


For the most part, Elyrians live a life of herding and breeding livestock. Vast, unchecked prairies and grasslands form a great part of the countryside, and the roaming herds of sheep, horses, goats, and cattle that are found there, are the lifeblood of the nation. The sales of these products make up the largest portion of the Elyrian economy. Elyrians also export both copper and coal from various mines in the country. Many Elyrian farmers sell their grain to the dwarven nations to the north and to the south; whose mountain homes do not offer an adequate food source. Overall, Elyria is not a wealthy nation, and most of its people lead a quiet simple peasant life. The only sources of wealth are found in the three largest Elyrian cities. These three cities are also the only real sources of Elyrian culture and sophistication

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GEOGRAPHY


Almyron Sea: A large inland body of water, that constitutes much of the Elyria’s northern border with Derianor. On the western shores of this sea is the disputed region of Irondale; which holds the competing and sometimes hostile Freeholds of Arkadia and Grüenwald.

Golden Hills: This hilly region is located in central Elyria, north of the city of Ilnavar. The Ilnavar Road cuts through this region on a diagonal route from northwest to southeast as it connects the cities of Rilsavar and Ilnavar. The hills derive their name because all throughout the year they are covered in bright golden fields of Maize.

Greymist Hills: This rugged, hilly region runs east from the Jagged Coast of the Iron Sea to the western foothills of the Purple Mountains. The Hills derive their name from the cold, clammy climate that leaves a constant layer of fog on the hilltops throughout the year. The Elyrian stronghold of Wymerly Keep is strategically located in these hills. For many years, control over this region has been disputed between Elyria and Serathyr, and several bloody wars and innumerable skirmishes have been fought here over the centuries. The bloodiest of these wars was the infamous War of the Fallen Crown, which was fought between 1008-1011/6. Several competing freeholds and baronies are located within the hills, and most are constantly at odds with each other. Usually these disputes are sanctioned by 'royal interests' from either the Darkwood Throne of Rilsavar or the Dragon Throne of Rastios.

Narchion Valley: This small region is home to the large freehold of Arkadia and its twin villages of Falken and Larken. The valley is located on the northern border of Elyria in Irondale.

Perdion Valley: This small region home to the freehold of Grüenwald and its central village of Grüen. The valley is located on the northern border of Elyria in Irondale.

Purple Mountains: This gigantic mountain range stretches east from the Greymist Hills to the Eldir Vaas River. The mountains serve as the boundary between the kingdoms of Elyria and Serathyr.

Serenica Valley: This lush, grassy region is located south of the Almyron Sea. It is sometimes called the “Erindar Valley.”

Vanadon Forest: This is the largest forest in Elyria. It is located north of the Golden Hills, and is the source of much of the kingdom’s lumber supply.

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IMPORTANT SITES


Anley: site of a fierce battle that took place in the year 1011/6, between the kingdoms of Elyria and Serathyr. It was the last major battle during the War of the Fallen Crown.

Castle Ilnavar: Elyrian stronghold, located in the city of the same name.

Castle Krasdan: the royal citadel of the kingdom of Elyria, located a large hill overlooking the capital city of Rilsavar.

Daggerfell Keep: (also known as; Erôn-Kelerath) At the end of the Tunston Uprising, the infamous Night of the Red Knives took place in this castle, in which Viscount Silas Tunston and dozens of his family members and vassals were murdered at a victory feast. Since that incident, the castle was rumored to be haunted and mysteriously burned a few years later. The ruins of the fortress are located near the crossroads of the Axeway and Kingsway, in sight of the famous Green Gryffon Inn.

Darkwood Throne: the royal seat of the kingdom of Elyria, located within the fortress of Castle Krasdan.

Ilnavar: (population: 33,000) second largest city of Elyria, and once a major city of the realm of Erindar, before the War of Succession. The city is governed by Duke Loris Caswell.

Greypoole: (pop: 5,000) Large village, located on the western banks of the Eldir Vaas river. The village is famous for containing the Kingsmen Inn; where the Treaty of Greypoole was signed over 1,200 years ago. For travelers, there is a popular ferry that operates out of the village because, here, the river is too wide to ford. Greypoole is the farthest eastern settlement on the Elyrian side of the Elyria-Erindar Border.

Pike’s Ferry: (population: 14,000) This city is an important trading center, border outpost, and the main crossing point for passage across the Iron Sea to the Cyrendari city of Natharos on the opposite shore. Pike's Ferry is governed by Baroness Lorelei Mondragon.

Rilsavar: (population: 35,000) This sprawling city is the capitol of Elyria, located along the eastern banks of the Eldir Vaas. The city is a major trading center and the crossroads of the Kingsway, the Greenway, the Academë Road, and the Olde Peninsula Road. Rilsavar is governed by Duke Rand Tokari.

Wendonford: the site of a fierce battle that took place in the year 1036/6 between the loyalist army of King Corbray Crannock II and the rebel army of Viscount Silas Tunston of Grüenwald. It was the last major battle in the Tunston Uprising.

Wymerly Keep: This large castle is a crucial southern border outpost of Elyria, strategically located within the Greymist Hills region. The fortress was built in the early Sixth Age, to keep vigil on the Serathian fortress of Erôn-Esroth. It is considered one of the most important Elyrian military strongholds.

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LOCAL HISTORY


The lands of Elyria were once part of the larger realm of Erindar, but became a separate country after the famous Treaty of Greypoole. That treaty ended the War of Succession and divided the realm into two smaller kingdoms.

The Kingdom is founded


The realm of Elyria was founded in the year 0032/6 by Queen Elwyn Fremantle, at the conclusion of the bloody War of Succession. Queen Elwyn had formerly been the ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Erindar, but was forced to abdicate the Ivory Throne after being defeated militarily by the forces of Eldred Orsini. Eldred then proclaimed himself the new king of Erindar, and western Erindar became the new Kingdom of Elyria, with Queen Elwyn as its ruler.

After its founding, the new kingdom of Elyria continued to be ruled by the Fremantle Dynasty for over 600 years, until King Ezgur II was slain in the Battle of Krell in the year 674/6.

After Ezgur’s death, Elyria came to be ruled by King Corvin Crannock, The House of Crannock was an old and distinguished noble family of Elyria, which had loyally served the Fremantle Dynasty for centuries. Their succession was virtually unopposed by other nobles families at that time. For nearly 400 years, the Crannock Dynasty ruled Elyria without incident.

The Tunston Uprising


Over the years, not all of the Elyrian nobility remained happy with the Crannock Dynasty. Trouble began when Lord Silas Tunston became the Viscount of the Elyrian Freehold of Grüenwald. Silas was an ambitious, greedy, nobleman who desired the Darkwood Throne for himself. Secretly, he was backed by Duke Furion Whitacre, who had ideas of his own. In the year 1033/6, Queen Vanessa Crannock died, and her young son, Corbray II, took the throne. Soon after, Silas openly declared against King Corbray II. He sensed the young king was weak and inexperienced and that the Darkwood Throne was ripe for the taking. The Elyrian countryside soon became the site of bloody fighting; as the forces of Grüenwald and other rebel lords sparred with loyalist forces. The fighting went on for nearly four years, and it appeared that the war was becoming a stalemate.

In the year 1036/6, Duke Furion Whitacre; ruler of the duchy of Shadowfen, saw an opportunity. He had been playing the role of loyal vassal for three years, all the while plotting to destroy the Crannock family. Furion convinced King Corbray to ride out with his soldiers and engage the rebel forces on the fields of Wendonford. Once there, Furion betrayed Corbray and ordered the forces of Shadowfen to switch sides. The loyalist army was caught between the rebel forces of Grüenwald on one side, and the forces of Shadowfen on the other. The battle soon became a rout; and in the ensuing melee, King Corbray was killed leading a desperate cavalry charge against a line of pikemen trying to prevent his escape. With his death, the Crannock Dynasty ended.

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The Night of the Red Knives


With the tragic death of King Corbray, it appeared that Lord Silas Tunston would soon become the new king of Elyria, but this was not to be. During the uprising, Silas had been secretly supported by another noble lord; Duke Furion Whitacre of Shadowfen. It was Furion’s treachery that had secured the victory at Wendonford, when his soldiers had changed sides and routed King Corbray’s loyalist troops.

After the battle, Furion invited Silas and his vassals to the recently captured castle of Erôn-Kelerath; located near the crossroads of Elyria. The official purpose of this celebration was to coronate Silas Tunston of Grüenwald as the new king of Elyria. However, Furion had other, more sinister plans. Furion, along with several other nobles, planned a bloody ambush within the castle on the night of the victory feast. After dinner, the guests went to bed. Later that evening, Silas, his entire family, and all his vassals, were butchered within the castle walls. This massacre came to be known as the “Night of the Red Knives.” After the massacre eliminated all of his rivals, Furion Whitacre proclaimed himself the new king of Elyria.

Under Whitacre Rule


Since the Whitacre Dynasty took power, the kingdom of Elyria has always been unstable, with rival Dukes and Barons competing for land and wealth. These struggles have led to numerous internal wars over the past two centuries. Elyria has always tried to maintain peaceful relations with her outside neighbors, because she cannot guarantee the loyalty of her own vassal lords.

the War of the Fallen Crown


Because of this perceived weakness and the internal bickering among the Elyrian vassals, the kingdom of Serathyr invaded Elyria in the year 1008/6. This terrible conflict became known as the War of the Fallen Crown. The War was a terribly bloody conflict that lasted from 1008-1011/6 between the kingdoms of Serathyr and Elyria, and later, the kingdom of Cyrendar entered the conflict on the side of Serathyr, and Rennsfar entered on the side of Elyria. The war was largely fought over the disputed ore-rich mines of the Greymist Hills region.

The war began when Serathian King Durand Hansafar, who claimed territorial rights to the many deposits of silver, gold and tilvium located in the region, ordered a series of raids and skirmishes. The Elyrian king; Corvin Crannock II quickly retaliated. The war soon spun out of control, drawing King Ilnavel Brevald of Cyrendar in on Serathyr’s side and King Aradan Garistano II of Rennsfar in on Elyria’s.

For three years, the four kingdoms and their armies butchered each over in a series of bloody sieges and battles, and many massacres of civilians were committed by both sides. In its fourth year, the war finally ended with a bloody stalemate at the Battle of Anley.

The war cost the lives of King Durand of Serathyr, King Corvin II of Elyria, King Ilnavel and Istavar III of Cyrendar. Only King Aradan II of Rennsfar survived.

Locals still claim that the only victors in this conflict were vultures; who feasted on the 100,000 corpses caused by the war’s end. No real territory changed hands, and the peace left only bitter memories of pillage and slaughter committed by both sides. Even today the war is still a painful memory to most Elyrians.