Capitol: Derilath (population: 24,000)
Population: 1,292,000 (92% Thalari, 6% Amari, 2% other)
Demi-humans: 63,000 (75% dwarves, 12% halflings, 9% gnomes, 4% elves)
Government: Tyrannical Monarchy (currently ruled by the Natharë Dynasty)
Current Leader: King Briand Natharë II (LE 8th level aristocrat\6th level fighter)
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 major realm in the North, descended from the days of the Ravinian Empire and the reign of the Alaghon Dynasty. The kingdom is a cold and desolate place, scarred by wars and torn by strife. Its peoples are like its climate; cold, harsh, and unfriendly. Marundi is constantly at war with her tribal neighbors to the north and its abject poverty has now driven the Marundian rulers into an unholy alliance with the dark powers in the East. The kingdom of Marundi is bordered on north by the desolate Northern Wastes and on the south by Ironrock Mountains range, the northern shores of the Athlan Myr, and the Warlock Mountains. Marundi is bordered on the east by the Alaghon Mountains, and the northern mouth of the Aeryn River. Marundi is bordered on the west by the rocky coast of the Myr Thalal. Politically, the kingdom of Marundi is divided into 12 duchies and 99 baronies. Marundi has only one major city; Derilath, but has several major fortifications. They include Castle Obsidian, Icerock Keep, Kren’s Keep, Norgard Keep, and Winterhold Keep. The kingdom of Marundi has a standing army of 12,500 troops, but in time of war can field up to 45,900 through conscription and noble contingents. Mobilization is sometimes necessary because of the kingdom’s hostile relations with the northern tribes of Hüornen barbarians. The present King, Briand II, is petty, ruthless, and cruel. 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 are the close relations King Briand currently enjoys with Morgoth.
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 the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. After the end of the Alaghon Dynasty, Marundi came to be ruled by the Myrolan Dynasty under King Leovard, and total of twenty-eight monarchs of that family sat upon the throne. The Myrolan Dynasty was corrupt and cruel, and the people of Marundi suffered greatly during its 683-year reign. The Myrolan Dynasty finally ended in 674/6, when King Cerland II was slain in the Battle of Krell. 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.
With the end of the Uzren line, Marundi came to be ruled by the Natharë 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 Natharë 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.
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.