Serathyr
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Capitol: Rastios (population: 48,000)
Population: 1,342,000 (87% Ralani, 9% Iskari, 2% Eloysian, 2% other)
Demi-humans: 72,000 (64% dwarves, 11% elves, 1% halflings, 24% gnomes)
Humanoids: some
Government: Monarchy (currently ruled by the Hansafar Dynasty)
Current Leader: King Doran Hansafar II (LN 12th level aristocrat\6th level fighter)
Coat of Arms: three gold interlocked rings on a dark green field
Exports: salt, timber, ships, stone, fish, fruit, copper


Serathyr is a Ralani nation long bereft of glory, living on the laurels of the distant past. Once a major part of the ancient and glorious kingdom of Ralas, the country has withered away little by little until the present day. Its rulers are now dour and suspicious, and its people suffer for it. The laws are strictly enforced here, and the pursuit of wealth and power is the only goal most Serathians have these days. In recent wars against both Tar Vielca and Rennsfar, the Serathians have not fared well, and their injured pride has led to a hard and grim attitude with most outsiders.

Politically, Serathyr is divided into 17 duchies and 122 baronies. Serathyr’s northern border with the kingdom of Elyria are the disputed Greymist Hills. The remainder of the kingdom's northern border is the southern coast of the Almyron Sea. Serathyr's southern borders are the rugged shores and coastline of the Sea of Ralas. Serathyr’s eastern borders with the Reach and the dwarf-realm of Kharos-Thûngol are the gigantic Cairn Mountains, and its western border is the coastline of the Iron Sea.

Although the country is not the most benevolent realm, it is a member of the White Alliance and has fought valiantly for the West in its time of need. The kingdom of Serathyr has a standing army of about 12,000 troops, and a large navy of 38 ships, but in time of war can field up to 60,000 troops, through conscription and noble contingents. Serathian warships are identifiable by their dark wooden hulls, white sails, and dark green banners.

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LIFE & SOCIETY


Many Serathians make a good living as merchants and dealers, and have grown wealthy from their status as intermediaries of trade. Much of the Rennsfari wine and olive oil comes up through the Serathian seaport of Rastios, as well as southern dwarvish crafts, toys, and weapons, going south toward the sea, and the Serathian people make a profit on all these commodities as they pass through. Serathians are also known as the great shipbuilders of the South, and their ships carry the goods of the Reach, Rennsfar, and southern Cyrendar. Serathians enjoy sales of rich iron, and most of all the wonderful and exotic rich timbers of the Celadon forest, their greatest natural resource. What sets Serathians merchant apart from others is their greed combined with their conniving nature. There is a common saying about untrustworthy characters that they are as ‘crooked as a Serathian trader.’ With a reputation for swindling and ruthless governmental rules regarding trade and taxes, it is not exactly a free market system. In fact these unfair Serathian trade practices have led to bloody wars on more than one occasion.

GEOGRAPHY


Laughing Forest: small woodland region in northwestern Serathyr, located south of the Sea of Almyron. Locals say that at times the sound of laughter can be heard from inside the forest, thus its name. The source of the laughter is unknown, but is not considered dangerous or evil. Rumors say the source is either dryads or fairies. Unfortunately for Serathyr’s economy, this forest has few of the rare woods of the Celadon, and is not harvested for its timber to any real degree.

Saltmarsh: large marshy region lying between the two forks of the Eldir Vaas River, in southeast Serathyr. The region is a series of hard rocky plateaus, called the Salt Cliffs, intermingled with swamp and marshland. The only large Ralani settlements located here are located along the coast of the Sea of Ralas; the interior marshlands contain nothing but scattered salt mines, small villages, and demi-human tribes. This region has been the site of two invasions by the raiders of Tar Vielca, in 663/6 and 695/6.

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IMPORTANT SITES


Alordan: site of a battle in 695/6 between Serathyr and the raiders of Tar Vielca, during the early days of the Second War of the Saltmarsh. The Serathians were defeated and King Arondel Suvarë was slain and his dynasty ended.

Castle Seaguard: strong military outpost of the kingdom of Serathyr, located in the far southeast region of the kingdom at the southern base of the Cairn Mountains.

Dragon Throne: the royal seat of the former kingdom of Ralas and the current kingdom of Serathyr, located within Iron Crown Keep.

Erôn-Esroth: ‘castle of eastern winds.’ (Svt) large fortress located in a rocky passage in the Purple Mountains along Serathyr’s northeast border with Elyria.

Falkoth Bay: site of naval battle in 1229/6 that ended the Emerald War between Rennsfar and Serathyr.

Iron Crown Keep: the royal fortress of Serathyr, and former citadel of the former kingdom of Ralas. Located on a jutting black rock protruding from the Bay of Rastios.

Korthos: (population: 38,000) third largest city in the kingdom of Serathyr, located in the the northern region of the kingdom. Korthos is governed by Duke Axel Garigan.

Rastios: (population: 48,000) Massive seaport that is also the capital of Serathyr, located on the far southern point of the kingdom. Rastions is governed by Duke Vharan Sternhelm.

Saltmarsh: (population 7,200) small city on the southern coast of Serathyr, ruled by Duke Algor Karston.

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LOCAL HISTORY


The kingdom of Serathyr was founded in 553/6 in the wake of the bloody War of the Celadon, also known as the Ralani Civil War. This war began with unfair price gouging and taxes on timber from the Celadon Forrest which was traded with the southern peoples of the Isle of Renthara. Renthara was itself a southern province of Ralas at that time. By the Sixth Age, Ralas was no longer the glorious nation it had been. The Ralani monarchy was cruel and corrupt, and Ralani vassals who objected to the king’s policies were usually thrown down and their peoples put to the sword. The cruel King Durendil II was the worst of the Ralani monarchs, and his policies regarding taxes and the rich timber of the Celadon Forest finally caused the southern Ralani nobles of Renthara to openly revolt against him, led by a noble lord named Alaron Baranthyr. For nearly three bloody years the Ralani nobles fought one another as Durendil tried to crush the rebellion by brutal military force. Durendil ultimately failed and was later slain by Alaron in the Battle of Edgecliffe, ending the war once and for all. In 553/6, the mainland provinces of Ralas became the nation of Serathyr, the island of Renthara became Rennsfar.

Serathyr and Rennsfar remained bitter rivals until the War of the Saltmarsh, beginning in 663/6. Both kingdoms were invaded by a fleet of raiders from Tar Vielca, their historical common enemy. Much of Rennsfar was occupied and the Rennsfari royal family fled to Rastios for protection. The Ralani nations soon joined forces and their combined strength defeated the Tar Vielcans and defeated them at the Battle of Sedgebrook in 668/6. The Serathian King Ketharon Serathë was slain in this battle. The Serathë Dynasty had previously ruled Ralas and had continued to rule Serathyr until this time. The throne of Serathyr was then assumed by Lord Atanamir Suvarë, whose dynasty lasted only a short span of 27 years. Atanamir was slain in the Battle of Krell in 674/6, and his only surviving son Arondel was slain in 695/6, during the opening skirmishes of the Second War of the Saltmarsh. A mighty warrior named Damron Hansafar was named king of Serathyr during this war and went on to avenge Arondel in the Battle of Ironclaw Point in 697/6 and in the campaign to capture Tar Vielca that same year. Damron had been a veteran of both the First War of the Saltmarsh and the War of Crows. After the Second War of the Saltmarsh, the kingdom of Serathyr came to be ruled by King Damron Hansafar. The Hansafar Dynasty was nowhere near as harsh and cruel as its predecessor, but the rule of law was still strictly enforced, with harsh penalties for even small crimes. Later kings of the Hansafar Dynasty were not above declaring a quick war for a territory grab. The worst of these incidents resulted in the War of Four Kings; fought between 1008-1011/6, when the King Durand of Serathyr decided to invade Elyria after it had suffered a nasty internal conflict. The war spun out of control, drawing Cyrendar and Rennsfar into the conflict on the side of Elyria. There was so much slaughter that it is still said that the only victors were the flocks of vultures who feasted on over 100,000 corpses by war’s end. King Durand was killed in 1011/6, at the bloody Battle of Anley.

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There was a period of relative peace in this region until about twenty years ago, when the kingdom of Rennsfar discovered new deposits of emeralds deep in its gem mines. The savage jealousy of this precious resource led to a whole new round of trade disputes, and ultimately; the Emerald War. In 1227/6, King Doran II invaded Rennsfar to capture its emerald mines and crush the upstart nation once and for all. Doran’s father; King Damron III, was so crazed with greed and hatred, that he demanded a bloody war when he could have easily negotiated a simple trade deal. Only two years after Damron’s death, his young son attacked Rennsfar. This war went very badly for Serathyr. In 1228/6, the invading Serathian army was smashed at the Battle of Kestra by a far smaller Rennsfari host, and in 1230/6, the Serathian navy was nearly annihilated by the Rennsfari fleet at the Battle of Falkoth Bay. Shortly thereafter, the humiliated King Doran had almost to beg the Rennsfari Queen Arathea for terms, which were indeed harsh. The Queen undoubtedly gave such terms because her husband Argilan II had been killed in the war. Since that time, Serathyr had consistently upped tariffs on Rennsfari goods, and begun to rebuild her shattered military. In the last few years, the Serathian court has once again made bold statements and veiled threats against Rennsfar, and yet another war doesn’t seem out of the question. King Doran still broods over his defeat 17 years ago, and the Rennsfari nobility do not let him forget it.