Thûle
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Capitol: Durendar (population: 58,000)
Population: 2,650,000 (83% Thann, 15% Kratheri, 2% other)
Demi-humans: 15,000 (88% dwarves, 1% elves, 1% halflings, 10% gnomes)
Humanoids: some
Government: Tyrannical Monarchy (currently ruled by the Kelwyn Dynasty)
Current Leader: King Alogren Kelwyn III (NE 11th level fighter\4th level aristocrat\4th level rogue)
Coat of Arms: a white swan centered on a black field
Imports: trade goods from the Bronze Coast, slaves, iron, gold, silver
Exports:trade goods from the Bronze Coast, ships, spices, silver, gems, mercenaries


Thûle is the most aggressive of the Thannish nations, which always yearns for more wealth and territory. Thûle was once East Eldara, the shining star of the East, and was the wealthiest of the early Thannish kingdoms. But now it is in a state of decay and upheaval, as rival nobles and warlords vie for power and influence at the royal court in Durendar. The kingdom of Thûle is politically divided into 27 duchies and 284 baronies. The northern border of Thûle with Üthrar and the Vakara Grasslands is the Torak Mountains range, and her other three borders are the waters surrounding the Kratheri Peninsula. Thûlians are primarily a militaristic people, largely because of their unbridled hatred of Orel, their competitor and rival across the sea. There have been many wars between the two nations over the centuries. Because of this history of conflict, Thûle maintains a large standing army of over 25,000 troops and a powerful navy of 63 warships. In time of war, Thûle can raise over 120,000 troops through conscription. Thûle has recently become a strong ally of Morgoth and her navy threatens the Sea of Orel once more as war looms again.

LIFE & SOCIETY


The realm of Thûle has wealth, resources, and power, but the kings are greedy, corrupt and evil. Therefore Thûlians live in fear. The Thannish society here is not altogether that much different than the western Thannish societies of Gwynne and Eldara. Most folk are peasants, but there is a wealthy merchant class and strong nobility. Most eastern Thannish people hate the folk of the West, especially their nemesis; the kingdom of Orel. The realm is ruled with an iron fist from Durendar, and a vicious secret police keep locals in line and force them to be loyal. Unlike other eastern states, Thûle had much wealth from its resources, such as gold mines, rich ore deposits, iron, spices, timber, and grain. Thûle has expanded its wealth and influence by being a seafaring nation. Thûlians ply their wares all across the Vhan Myr, and south to the Bronze Coast and its seven cities. Because of the competition for wealth and shipping rights, Thûle has come into conflict many times with her neighbor across the Sea of Orel. When it comes time for war, most Thûlians willingly join up against the West for what they see as unfair business practices and Orel’s monopoly on trade inland throughout western Corwyn. One might say that Thûle’s largest weakness is she is a victim of geography.

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GEOGRAPHY


The realm of Thûle has similar features to that of the West, although there are few great mountain ranges, with rolling hills that span hundreds of miles. Most of the population lives along the coastal areas, and there many small seaports and coastal villages. In the center of the peninsula are vast ore deposits and gold mines under the hills. But there is little else of geographic significance.

Thronar Islands: small island chain off the Kratheri Peninsula, site of a terrible naval battle in 445/5.

Torak Mountains: steep and treacherous range of mountains that stretch across the top of the Kratheri Peninsula, separating the realms of Thûle from the Vakara Grasslands.

IMPORTANT SITES


Avek Nahr: powerful castle inside the realm of Thûle. The castle was built in the Fourth Age by the eastern Durethë Dynasty of Eldara, but when they turned to evil, it became a place of dread. This castle has a sinister reputation as the citadel of the Thûlians. Many a captured Orellian sea-captain has been tormented in its horrific dungeons. The fortress sits upon a rocky cliff overlooking the eastern shores of the Sea of Orel, and is massive in size. It is one of the largest castles ever built throughout the realms of Corwyn.

Castle Terathar: royal citadel of the kingdom of Thûle, located within the center of the capitol city of Durendar.

Durendar: (population: 58,000) capitol city of the kingdom of Thûle.

Durendar Road: paved and well-maintained road that runs north from the Thûlian city of Jhovar to the fortress of Avek Nahr.

Herakan Reef: site of a fierce sea battle in 731/6 between the fleets of Orel and Thûle.

Jharë: (population: 47,000) major city in the kingdom of Thûle, and former capitol of the lost realm of Jareesh.

Ruins of Jareesh: once a large and beautiful Kratheri city, Jareesh was completely destroyed by the Thûlians in their bloody campaign to conquer the Kratheri Peninsula during the Fourth Age.

Jhovar: (population: 38,000) major city in the kingdom of Thûle. This ancient city was once part of the Kratheri civilization.

Ruins of Nystal: great Hakeen city that was built in the late Third Age as part of the Xholar Empire.

Obsidian Throne: the royal seat of the kingdom of Thûle, located within Castle Durendar.

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LOCAL HISTORY


The history of Thûle and the Kratheri Peninsula is a history of exploration, conquest and the search for fabulous riches. In the early Fourth Age, as the kingdom of Eldara expanded into what are today the realms of Eldara and Orel, it became known there were limits to the resources of that region. The Eldaran Kings wanted more, so in 179/4, King Aron Durethë of Eldara sent his son Prince Daghon east across the sea to the Kratheri Peninsula. The peninsula was populated by a quiet people known as the Kratheri, whose own great civilization of Kerathos had peaked a thousand years earlier, and was on the decline. Remnants of that ancient kingdom dotted the landscape of the peninsula, as well as scattered villages, towns, and cities of the Kratheri people. The Thannish pilgrims could have befriended the locals but instead conquered and enslaved them, as over the next century, the entire peninsula became a gigantic colony of Eldara; called East Eldara. The new colonial kingdom quickly expanded throughout the Kratheri Peninsula, and conquered much of the ailing realm of Kerathos, capturing or destroying its major cities and deposing all of its rulers. Kerathos was in decline,m weracked with internal strife, a failnig economy and plagued with corruption. Only the capitol city of Jareesh offered any resistance to the Thannish invaders. That city was besieged for eight years before it was conquered and utterly destroyed by the Thannish, but Prince Daghon himself was slain in the siege. After the defeat at Jareesh in 201/4, the remaining Kratheri strongholds soon lost hope, and by 229/4, the last Kratheri stronghold surrendered to the Eldarans. Within 120 years of the establishment of the first Eldaran colony, the Thannish pioneers had completely conquered all the native peoples of the region.

For many centuries, Eldara became East and West Eldara; sister realms ruled by different branches of the Durethë Dynasty. But this family unity ended in 1108/4 when Price Castenar declared war on his own father, King Arathar IV and rebelled against the kingdom of West Eldara. Castenar was the ruler of the kingdom of East Eldara, and ruled the eastern kingdom of the Kratheri peninsula from the Eldaran city of Durendar. In the war that followed, Castenar gained a reputation as both a brilliant military leader and a heartless tyrant. During the war, Castenar’s army captured the Eldaran city of Ordana, butchered most of its inhabitants, and then burned it to the ground. He then formed a new kingdom called Thûle and made the city of Durendar his capitol. The eastern line of the Durethë Dynasty ruled the kingdom until 42/5, and then the kingdom was ruled by the Mallistäer Dynasty until 674/6, and has since been ruled by the Kelwyn Dynasty. The kingdom of Thûle soon began to compete for resources across the Sea of Orel with her western neighbor and rival. Over the centuries, there have been eight major wars fought between the two powers, what follows is a detailed look at each conflict.

Rygar’s War: conflict lasting from 1273-1274/4, in which the fledgling country of Orel was attacked by the Thûlians. Orel had just broken away from Eldara, and fought a long and bloody war of independence. Even though the Orellians had been victorious, they were still weak and tired. The Thûlians’ goal was to destabilize and conquer the new kingdom and gain complete control over its territories, seaports, and the sea lanes of the South Sea. The Orellians fought back stubbornly, and although weakened from their earlier war against Eldara, managed to defeat the Thûlians in the first of what would be many more wars to come.

First Sea War: conflict lasting from 370-371/5 between the kingdom of Orel and the kingdoms of Thûle and Üthrar. The war was primarily a naval conflict and during several major battles and dozens of skirmishes the Orellian Navy proved itself the master of the Sea of Eldara, which the victors named the Sea of Orel after the conflict ended. The war came to an end with the gargantuan Battle of Ekkryn Sound in which the combined Thûlian and Üthrari fleets were virtually annihilated. This terrible battle also cost the life of Orellian King Royce Alesard.

Second Sea War: conflict lasting from 440-445/5 between the kingdom of Orel and Thûle. The Orellian Navy defeated the Thûlian fleet in the Battle of the Thronar Islands, and they were forced to sue for peace to save what was left of their fleet.

Third Sea War: conflict lasting from 523-525/5 between the kingdoms of Orel and Thûle. The Thûlians had several victories but in the end their fleet was worn down and utterly defeated.

Fourth Sea War: conflict lasting from 381-384/6 between the kingdoms of Orel and Thûle. The Thûlian fleet was destroyed in their home port during the Battle of Durendar, and the war came to an abrupt end.

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War of Storms: conflict lasting from 485-491/6 between Orel and Thûle, in which the Thûlians were defeated by weather more than by Orellian naval strategy. During the initial period of the war, much of the Thûlian fleet was lost in a series of violent gales off the Orellian coast. Then five years later, during the Battle of Shult, the entire Thûlian fleet was lost in another series of terrific gales that swept through the Sea of Orel. Many Orellian ships were also lost, including the Orellian flagship carrying King Agathar II, the last king of the Xantheras Dynasty. At the conclusion of the conflict, Orel came to be ruled by King Byron Zheren.

War of the Broken Crown: conflict lasting from 729-731/6 between the kingdom of Orel and an Üthrari-Thûlian alliance. The war began with a devastating attack upon the Orellian city of Ormath, which resulted in the destruction of the entire city. Over the next three years, the Orellian fleet pursued and destroyed the combined navies of both Thûle and Üthrar, and Orel was once again victorious. In the last days of the war, the Orellian King Bryce Zheren was slain during the Battle of Herakan Reef, ending his dynasty. The Zheren Dynasty was succeeded by King Larkin Korannen.

Lady Jeyne’s War: conflict lasting from 1210-1211/6 between Orel and Thûle. This most recent conflict saw fighting both at sea and on land, with the Thûlians holding several key ports at one point. The Orellian navy inflicted three humiliating defeats upon the Thûlian fleet, and in short order, they once again sued for peace. Many naval veterans of the present Orellian navy are veterans of this last conflict, and are quite fond of bragging of their exploits against the hated Thûlians in that war.