Gwynne
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Capitol: Ashara (population: 47,000)
Population: 1,383,000 (96% Thann, 1% Üthrari, 1% Adari, 2% other)
Demi-humans: 85,000 (70% dwarves, 15% elves, 5% halflings, 10% gnomes)
Humanoids: few
Government: Tyrannical Monarchy (currently ruled by the Hekkarë Dynasty)
Current Leaders: King Garik Hekkarë II (N 14th level aristocrat/3rd level fighter) & Prince Gerold Hekkarë (LE 6th level aristocrat\4th level fighter)
Coat of Arms: a yellow rose on a dark red field, outlined in yellow.
Exports: copper, iron, weapons, lumber, mercenaries, rope
Imports: grain, textiles, spices, oil, coal


Gwynne is the proudest and most warlike of the Thannish nations on Corwyn today, and one of the few western kingdoms that seem likely to ally itself with the East in the coming darkness. Gwynne is bordered on the west by the realm of Orel, on the east by the realm of Üthrar, on the south by the Sea of Orel, and on the north by the Salakrün Mountains, which make most of Gwynne's eastern borders as well.

Politically, Gwynne is divided into 12 Duchies:Arcata, Brandiar, Bryndon, Carmathan, Darokin, Hekron, Morov, Ostel, Polten, Satoris, Soravia, and Tyr. These 12 Duchies are ruled by Dukes, who in turn control 97 different Gwynnish Baronies. Gwynne is technically ruled by King Garik Hekkarë II, but in actuality, the kingdom is run by his ambitious son Gerold. This is due to the severe illness of the king and the blind ambition of the prince. Prince Gerold is a dangerous leader for he has actively allied himself with Morgoth, the Dark-Elves, and Üthrar. Because of these alliances, Gwynne is in a very good strategic position. Gwynne maintains a standing army of 10,000 troops, but can raise that number to over 45,000 troops in times of war; based mainly on ducal contingents, conscription and some mercenary units. Gwynne also has a small navy of a dozen ships.

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Life & Society:


Gwynne is the proudest, the most militaristic and most violent of the Thannish states. Its current ruler is a despot, and the people of the land are suspicious and miserable. The country is poor despite sales from its abundant copper and iron mines and its famous weapon smiths, who are the marvel of the Heartlands. The Gwynnish nobility live lavishly, while the majority of the common folk live a dreary life of abject poverty. Gwynne derives much of her meager income from weapon sales. Gwynnish blades are in much demand throughout Corwyn, but are not enough to feed the coffers of the nation. The little money remaining in the royal treasuries is drained for the large army that the Royal Gwynnish Court demands. Part of the reason this nation is essentially an armed camp is her proximity to Morgoth in the north and Üthrar on the east, both warlike and greedy in their own right. The one thing missing in Gwynne is food, her regions are made up of rocky soil and stony hills, with a few dense forests, so there is little room for planting fields. Because of this Gwynne must rely upon her neighbors to buy food. This poor economic situation keeps the nation in near poverty and usually on the verge of war. It is no wonder that rumors say the King of Gwynne is in league with both the Dark-Elves and Sorimmar.

GEOGRAPHY


Knifewood: nearly impenetrable forest of thorny trees, razor-sharp bushes and tangle weeds, near the eastern border between Gwynne and Üthrar. The independent freehold of Taraghon is also located in this region.

Ravenwood: (Haunted Forest) dark and dense woodland is home to many foul beasts and other more terrifying creatures of the night. Once a part of the realm of Gwynne, now the forest is ungoverned and seldom traveled. The few Wood-Elves that dwell here are secluded and wary of outsiders. The forest is also home to the abandoned fortress of Castle Vilmartine.

Three River Valley: aptly named region in west Gwynne, near the Ravenwood where the Arkhona River, Myrival River, and Rose River all run southeast from the Salakrün Mountains into the Sea of Orel. The land here is fertile and rich due to the silt deposits from the many river and stream running through it. Because of this, the valley has some of the best farmland in Gwynne.

Waymeet Pass: A narrow winding passage through the Salakrün Mountains between the realms of Morgoth and Gwynne. Beyond this pas is the Freehold of Trevalia, while the southern tip is the freehold of Trevalia.

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IMPORTANT SITES


Ansilay Road: road that runs from Ashara through Waymeet Pass into Morgoth.

Ashara: (population: 47,000) capitol city of the kingdom of Gwynne, governed by Duke Joran Renfro.

Castle Myrkur: royal citadel of the kingdom of Gwynne, located within the center of the Gwynnish capitol city of Ashara.

Castle Vilmartine: large fortress located deep within the Ravenwood.

Carthac Keep: small military outpost of Gwynne, located on its eastern border with Üthrar.

Crimson Throne: the royal seat of the kingdom of Gwynne, located within Castle Myrkur.

Keslyn: site of a terrible battle in 1289/4 that ended the War of Annexation.

Kholis: (population: 19,000) Small city in western Gwynne, governed by Duke Halder Van Deen.

Ralansyr: site of a terrible battle in 43/5 which ended the Unification Wars.

Renford: (population: 47,000) Second largest city in the kingdom, located in the far eastern Gwynne,

Stoneway: Paved road that runs east from Kholis, then east to Ashara, then east to Renford, then into Üthrar.

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LOCAL HISTORY


The history of Gwynne is one of violence and treachery. Gwynne is the proudest and most war-torn of the Thannish states, and has the bloody history to prove it. The kingdom of Gwynne was once part of the ancient kingdom of Rhodara, one of the two Thannish nations founded in the early Fourth Age and given the rights to a Melanthir sword. The power of Rhodara began to fade in 1279/4, after the death of King Radovan Mallistäer II and the end of his dynasty.

After his death, the Rhodaran Melanthir came into the hands of Gayorg Gwyharë, and at that time, many Rhodarans foretold that doom would befall the kingdom once it had lost its founding family. It would seem those prophets were correct, for once the last Mallistäer king fell in battle with the Vilzari; a new dark dynasty ascended the throne of Rhodara, the royal family of Gayorg Gwyharë. The Gwyharë family of Rhodara had always possessed a lust for power and they soon claimed the Rhodaran throne. King Gayorg was a ruthless tyrant and cruel sadist, who believed that through sorcery and the black arts he could attain greatness for Rhodara and immortality for himself. Gayorg’s short reign of twenty-five years was marked by terror and bloodshed unsurpassed in Thannish history. Soon after his crowning, Gayorg broke off all alliances with other kingdoms and soo after invaded the weaker kingdoms of Orel and Eldara in 1283/4. Thus began the War of Annexation, a bloody civil war where Thannishman fought Thannishman, and the entire Heartlands region was laid to waste. At the Battle of Keslyn in 1289/4, Gayorg was slain and the kingdom of Rhodara destroyed.

But the Gwyharë family survived. They soon set up court in the former Rhodaran city of Ashara, and crowned King Grenn; the young nephew of Gayorg. He was named the first king of the new country called Gwynne in honor of his noble family. After the War of Annexation, Gwynne went its own way, forging ahead with grandiose plans for conquest and wealth. During the Unification Wars, Gwynne chose the losing side and attacked the kingdom of Alveron and the young Empress Ravinia. Gwynne's defeat in that conflict led to the kingdom being forcibly annexed by the Ravinian Empire and becoming a subject nation for the next 600 years.

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The Gwynnish people and the nobility especially, always resented the Ravinian Empire and its dominance over their people, their lucrative copper and weapons industry, and the heavy taxes imposed on them. By the sixth century of the Fifth Age, Gwynnish malcontent was at a boiling point. An extremely popular noble named Duke Malachar Vilmartine vowed to avenge Gwynnish humiliation and restore Gwynne to its rightful place. He secretly began meeting with Sorimmar to plot the fall of the Empire. At the same time, Malachar was a rising officer in the Ravinian military, with a superb reputation for courage and leadership. Malachar became most famous after the Battle of Corrensyr, in which his small force completely annihilated a large orcish army from Morgoth. This entire battle was a set-up, as Sorimmar allowed Malachar to know his battle plans to ensure his victory and lull the Empress into a false sense of security. After the battle, the Empress promoted Malachar to her Imperial Military Council, and gave him the rank of Lord Marshall. Malachar used this position to become a close advisor to the Empress, and some rumor, her lover as well. By 621/5, Sorimmar launched his final invasion of the West. Malachar stole into Ravinia’s chamber, murdered her and stole the Orenthir. He promptly gave the artifact to Sorimmar, and then rose up with his own army to besiege the city of Arynäe. Malachar successfully destroyed the city of Arynäe and slew King Erondar Myrnäe as well. He was himself slain four years later at the Battle of Harkalad by Erondar’s son Elrovar. With his death and Sorimmar’s defeat, Gwynne soon fell into complete anarchy.

By 625/5, Lord Garrett Baldurin managed to take control of the war-torn country and crown himself king. The reign of the Baldurin Dynasty was short, however. By 260/6, King Garathon was under attack by the rebellious Duke Gorion of House Taraghon. Gorion successfully overthrew Garathon and took the crown for himself in 263/6, after a bloody civil war in which thousands perished, and the capitol city of Ashara was sacked. For a time, there was peace and stability in Gwynne, until the War of Crows in 670/6. During Sorimmar’s assault upon the West, Gwynne fought this time on the side of the West and paid dearly. King Gheren Taraghon III was slain in the Battle of Krell, and his dynasty ended. Lord Garathar Hekkarë assumed the Gwynnish crown and began to once again rebuild the shattered nation. The Hekkarë family has always been ambitious and greedy, and Gwynne has suffered for that over the centuries. Gwynne was barely able to defend herself during the Forgotten War, when a huge orc horde invaded the region in 821/6. As a result, much of the country was ravaged, and it took the aid of neighboring countries to free Gwynnish territory of the orcish host. After this defeat, Gwynne began a long period of decline, leading to misery and poverty throughout the land. With the coming rise of Sorimmar and Morgoth, Gwynne seems an eager political ally, out for both material gain and revenge in one bloody stroke of the sword.