Marundi
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Capitol: Derilath (population: 24,000)
Population: 1,292,000 (89% Thalari, 8% Amari, 3% other)
Demi-humans: 63,000 (75% dwarves, 12% halflings, 9% gnomes, 4% elves)
Humanoids: some
Government: Tyrannical Monarchy (currently ruled by the Norax Dynasty)
Current Leader: King Briand Norax II
Coat of Arms: a white polar bear over a black field outlined in bright green
Exports: ice, furs, fish, iron, whale oil, coal, wool


Marundi is the only Thalari realm in the North, descended from the days of the Ravinian Empire and the reign of the Alaghon Dynasty. Today it is a region of terror, abject poverty, and constant bloodshed.

The kingdom of Marundi is a cold and desolate place; scarred by wars and torn by strife. Its peoples are like its climate; cold, harsh, and often unfriendly. The most troubling state of affairs today in Marundi, is the kingdom’s hostile relations with the northern tribes of Hüornen barbarians. Since the king cannot hope to conquer his southern neighbor Ammarind, he is content to raid and slaughter the Hüornen tribes to his north.

As a result, the northern regions of his kingdom are considered quite dangerous because of constant retaliatory raids, and this conflict has pushed this ailing kingdom deeper into decay and poverty. More troubling still, are the close relations King Briand currently enjoys with the Dark Lord Sorimmar and his realm of Morgoth.


Borders: Marundi's eastern border is the rocky coast of the Frozen Gulf; its western borders are the frozen shores of the Myr Thalal. The Kingdoms's northern borders with the Northern Wastes are the gigantic peaks of the Sable Mountains; and its southern borders with Ammarind are the rugged Ironrock Mountains. Marundi constantly patrols its southern border with the hated rival nation of Ammarind, because of a long and bloody history of border skirmishes.

Politics: The current, despot ruler of Marundi is King Briand II, who is the 11th ruler of the feared and despised Norax Dynasty. King Briand rules the kingdom from the Bearclaw Throne, located in the Great Hall of the enormous fortress of Castle Obsidian. The Castle is located on a great pillar of black rock, overlooking the capitol; Derilath. Politically, Marundi is a monarchy, but local and administrative rule is sub-divided into 12 Duchies and 79 Baronies, all of whom are ruled by powerful Vassal Lords, chosen for one reason only: un-waveringly loyal to the Bearclaw Throne.

Military: Marundi is a nation of great fortresses and fortified cities. It has to be, for the North has always been a hostile, unforgiving region of Corwyn. Constant threats of raids by the barbaric Hüornen tribes, as well as terrible creatures roaming the frozen north have always been constant threats to the Marundian people. As a result, Marundi has a powerful and well-trained military. For its protection, Marundi has a large standing army of 12,000 well-trained, heavily armed soldiers. But in times of war, the Kingdom can muster well over 40,000 troops, due to large noble contingents. Because of its bloody history, Marundi has many strong fortifications including, Castle Obsidian, Icerock Keep, Kren’s Keep, Norgard Keep, and Winterhold Keep.

Climate: Most of the realm is made up snow-covered hills, icy valleys, and bitterly cold, windswept plains. The climate of Marundi is extremely harsh cold because of its far northern location, and the chilly winds off the mountains, gives the region a dampness that outsiders find distressing. The harsh northern climate is what makes Thalari folk so hardy.

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LIFE & SOCIETY


Most of the peoples of Marundi struggle to survive the harsh climates of the North, the oppressive government, and the weak local economy. The largest incomes come from the sales of furs and ice, and there is little profit in either. Food and goods are scarce, so most people go without. What little money the commoners receive is taxed heavily by the king in Derilath. Every year hundreds of citizens migrate south to Ammarind, or east to the Khorlann Steppes in search of a better life. The ones who stay are usually bitter and unfriendly to outsiders. The Marundians also live in fear of the dark. The realm is infested by terrible creatures that roam the night, such as Ice Wraiths and Remorhaz. This dangerous region does attract adventurers and young fools desiring to test their mettle against such foes. Few return to tell of their exploits.

GEOGRAPHY


Alaghon Mountains: (Mountains of Frost) large mountain range running northwest across Marundi until it intersects with the Sable Mountains.

Ironrock Mountains: small mountain range that forms the border between Ammarind and Marundi.

Sable Mountains: mountain range of dense black volcanic rock that stretches across the Northern Peninsula to the Myr Thalal.

Thalar Islands: small island chain in the Myr Thalal. Home to many Hüornen tribes called Variags.

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IMPORTANT SITES


Bearclaw Throne: royal seat of Marundi, located within Castle Obsidian.

Castle Obsidian: the royal citadel of the kingdom of Marundi, located on a great pillar of black arctic rock, overlooking the city of Derilath. Within the castle is the Bearclaw Throne.

Cragway: seldom used road that runs north from Derilath to the ruins of El-Gerath.

Derilath: (population: 24,000) capitol and largest city in Marundi, located south of the frozen Northern Peninsula. Derilath is governed by Duke Gerard Norax.

Frozen Ford: site of a battle in 1230/6, between Marundi and the Hüornen tribes of the Northern Wastes.

Icerock Keep: farthest northern military outpost in the kingdom of Marundi.

Iceway: road that runs along Northern Peninsula, from Kren’s Crossing to the fortress of Sol-Kathad.

Forgotten King Inn: infamous tavern located in Kren’s Crossing.

Kren’s Crossing: (population: 6,000) important trading center in the southeastern region of the kingdom of Marundi.

Kren’s Keep: small military outpost guards the town of Kren’s Crossing and the regions nearby.

Krensway: road that runs west from the fortress of Kren’s Keep to Norethë.

Norethë: (population: 3,000) small northern seaport in Marundi, governed by Baron Durand Voskov.

Norgard Keep: eastern border outpost that guards the northern passage over the Shadow Mountains.

Winterhold Keep: small outpost in western Marundi located near the small trading village of Norethë.

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LOCAL HISTORY


Marundi is a nation that is years old. It has a long, and often dark history, that stretches back all the way to the early Fourth Age.

Early Origins:
Long Before the current kingdom of Marundi existed; its territories were part of an ancient kingdom called Thalar. This was the first united kingdom of the Thalari people; founded by King Algerd Marothe; one of the famed Seven Champions of the West.

Storm of the North
A terrible period of extreme weather came over the region in the year 785-825/4. Within forty years, the weather, and the dark creatures that came with it, had destroyed Thalar and left the Northern Peninsula a wasteland of snow, ice, and squabbling tribes and ethnic groups in constant conflict.

Formation of the Kingdom under the Alaghon Dynasty:
Marundi was once the ancient Thalari kingdom of Thalar, which was destroyed in the terrible Storm of the North between the years 785-825/4. For over 800 years this region was ungoverned and in complete anarchy. In 83/5, Empress Ravinia sent Lord Kren Alaghon to the North to quell the anarchy and found a Ravinian royal province there, which he successfully did after battling Hüornen tribes for fifteen years. The kingdom of Marundi was then founded by Kren in 98/5, and ruled by his family until 625/5. The Alaghon Dynasty ruled Marundi as part of the Ravinian Empire for 523 years, and before the Cataclysm, twenty-five monarchs sat upon the Bearclaw Throne under the Ravinian banner.

Province of the Ravinian Empire:

The Arctic War:
Marundi was devastated by a series of orc raids during the years 435-497/5, and later, between 521-524/5, Marundi fought in the disastrous Arctic War against the Zûl and Sorimmar’s orc legions. Finally, the last Alaghon king; King Beren III was slain during the Siege of Arynäe in 621/5.

Under the rule of the Haldane Dynasty:
After the end of the Alaghon Dynasty, Marundi came to be ruled by the Haldane Dynasty under King Leovard, and total of twenty-eight monarchs of that family sat upon the throne. The Haldane Dynasty was corrupt and cruel, and the people of Marundi suffered greatly during its 683-year reign. The Haldane Dynasty finally ended in 674/6, when King Cerland II was slain in the Battle of Krell.

Under the rule of the Uzren Dynasty:
After the War of Crows ended, the throne of Marundi was assumed by the Uzren Dynasty, under Cerland’s cousin, King Leland. The Uzren family ruled Marundi for 315 years and a total of sixteen monarchs sat upon the Bearclaw Throne. The Uzren Dynasty ended in 989/6, when King Morland II was slain during a failed attempt to capture the arctic fortress of Sol-Kathad.

Under the rule of the Norax Dynasty:

Recent troubles with the Hüornen tribes

With the end of the Uzren line, Marundi came to be ruled by the Norax Dynasty under King Berand. Marundi had been a second-class power ever since the Cataclysm, and had been plagued by poverty, decay, and corruption for many years. This decline began to increase with the reign of the Norax kings, who ever lusted for more power and territory. Beginning in 1111/6, King Weyand ordered frequent raids into the Northern Wastes to wipe out settlements of the arctic people known as the Hüornen. The raids were successful and thousands of the Hüornen people were slaughtered, but the constant warfare brought only more misery and poverty to Marundians. Marundi’s sharpest decline began 80 years ago, when, in 1167/6, Briand’s great-grandfather; the Mad-King Cerland, began the disastrous War of Succession against Ammarind. By 1169/6, Marundi was severely defeated by Ammarind and forced to cede territory and to make huge monetary reparations. To quell the popular uprising against him that began after that defeat, Cerland started another, easier war. In 1184/6, when the Hüornen tribes refused to pay even higher taxes and levees, Cerland again invaded the Northern Wastes and declared war on the helpless Hüornen tribes living there. Over the next four years, Cerland’s armies caused much slaughter and misery before their final victory in what became known as the War of the Bloody Snow. In 1188/6, the war was finally ended by Cerland’s son, King Berand II. Cerland died of illness in 1187/6.

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Relations between Marundi and the Hüornen have been bitter ever since, and by 1188/6, the northern borders of Marundi began to be plagued with retaliatory Hüornen raids. In 1227/6, Briand’s father Morland had to quell the most powerful Hüornen invasion yet, in what was called the Winter War. The Hüornen, led by war-chief Sicard, invaded Marundi and actually besieged the city of Derilath for three months, but the barbarian armies never had a chance. In late 1229/6, Morland’s armies broke the siege and drove the barbarians north back over the border. A few months later, King Morland’s army finally defeated the Hüornen in 1230/6 at the Battle of the Frozen Ford, but both Morland and Sicard were slain in the battle. King Briand assumed the throne after his father’s death, but the victory was bitter and hollow. Even though the Hüornen were broken and Sicard slain, the Marundians dictated very harsh terms to the arctic folk. Even with a period of relative peace for the last 17 years, King Briand has still ordered frequent raids into the North to kill innocent Hüornen folk to avenge the memory of his father. King Briand firmly believes that by keeping the barbarian tribes on their knees, there will never be another uprising.