The definitive guide to the Principality of Ravenwind
Ravenwind | Far and away, The Principality of Ravenwind is the central metropolitan area in the region, and Sternhaven is her crown jewel. Although other cities in turn may boast of higher populations, more trade, larger ports, wider avenues, higher towers and richer treasuries, none seem to match Sternhaven in sheer influence across the entire continent. Part of Sternhaven’s influence certainly stems from its central location – a natural hub for trade. Some also mention the unusually fair and effective system of feudal rule and territorial administration. But most sages agree that Sternhaven’s dominant position stems primarily from its concentration of military and magickal power. For it is in Sternhaven – with its various Orders, it arcane schools, and its preponderance of adventurers – that the powerful and perilous seem always to eventually arrive.
Sternhaven’s rise stems from the aftermath of the Second Canistani War. Baron Stern, a local soldier having assumed lands and title from his spoils, was convinced by his followers and near neighbors to extend and consolidate his holdings, and bring the rule of law to the region. Taking the title of Prince Stern du Arc, Stern expanded the Principality of Ravenwind far to all points of the compass, eventually including the towns of Norport, Port Wyrim and the Osprey Peninsula in its entirety.
Stern divided his newly-won holdings into five counties: Ravenwind (or Main), Amedio (north) Drake (south), Krishian (west), and Ollman (east). Today, they are administered from Stern through a sea-borne aristocracy on the Sea Prince model.
*Prince Stern du Arc of Sternhaven – Ruler of the Principality of Ravenwind, High Lord of Ravenwind County, Lord Mayor of Sternhaven, Supreme Knight of the Phoenix.
*Count Sebastian Artropolous – ruler of Amedio County, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
*Count Regis Brandon – ruler of Drake County, Armsmaster of Ravenwind, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
*Count Perthius – ruler of Krishian County, Lord High Magister of Stern, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
*Count Lamron uth Glitner – ruler of Ollman County, Lord High General of the Armies of Stern, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
Greater Territorial Lords
*Sir Lastel Sharade – Ward of Dragon Chateau, Master of Osprey Peninsula, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
*Sir Zorac Romaro – High Prelate of Sternhaven, Governor of New Essex, Ward of Castle Phoenix, Lord High Priest of Osprem, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
Ministry of Sternhaven
*Sir Bastonel – Lord High Minister of Justice, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
*Sir Zorba – Baronet of Sternhaven, Lord High Master Bard, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
*Sir Pirid – Lord High Prelate of the House of du Arc, Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar.
Ravenwind (Main) County | The county of Ravenwind is directly administered from Sternhaven, and contains eight towns of geopolitical significance: Sternhaven, Farmington, New Essex, Wessex, Middlesex, Dundar, and Colleton. Ravenwind also contains the mighty Viscum Forest.
Sternhaven is a city of 25000+ people, one of the most populous in the region. It’s principal commercial resources are seafaring technology (shipbuilding, ship-based armaments), foodstuffs (fish and seafood, primarily), smelted metals, and livestock. Sternhaven, despite drawing its primary sustenance and provenance from the sea, also serves as the regions premiere site for the breeding, training and equipping of warhorses. The population consists primarily of humans (80%), with small but notable minorities, including halflings (8%), dwarves (5%), half-elves (3%), elves (2%), gnomes (1%) and others (1%). Commercially and from a services standpoint, Sternhaven has significant resources. Because of its size, numerous well-stocked inns and taverns, and wide range of traders dealing in a variety of goods and services, Sternhaven is a mecca for travellers and adventurers, where they are welcomed for the gold and silver they bring to the city coffers.
The Forces of the Main are based in Sternhaven, and fly a banner featuring a black raven on a gray field.
Although many of the original settlers of the area around Sternhaven were colonists from the Hold of the Sea Princes, since Stern’s come to power many of their cultural norms have been eliminated, notable among them the holding of slaves, which is especially hated by Stern and his followers.
Farmington is a village of approximately 650 people. It is principally a farming community (hence the name), specializing in dairy and grain products. It is also remarkably diverse for Main County, with a 70% human population and a 30% halfling population. The Mayor, Toady Hornblower, is a hobbit of some means, with prodigious experience in dealing with “big folk.” The nickname “Toady” refers a large prominent wart on the hobbit’s nose. Mayor Hornblower runs the most successful inn in Farmington, called “Toady’s”
Although odd tales and legends are common among farm folk and even commoner among hobbits, Farmington boasts a single legend that most believe to be true: it is the story of a duel between one Maximillian Zeldov, an illusionist of some local note, and a devil. The details change as often as the teller, but always Zeldov is said to have bested the devil with various illusions and trickery. Zeldov is a native of Farmington, and he returns on rare occasions to regale the townsfolk with stories of his travels and promote the continued telling of his duel with a devil.
New Essex is a large town of 3500+ inhabitants. Primarily a farming community, New Essex’s principal resource is grain, typically wheat but also rye, maize, barley and some rice. It is predominantly human, with a 5% half-elven minority.
Although ostensibly without overt political authority, Zorac Romaro, the High Priest of Osprem and Knight of the Phoenix, oversees the operation of the town from his pulpit. He is aided by Paranon Truvec, another Knight of the Phoenix and Captain of the New Essex militia, and Keenan Truvec, Paranon’s younger brother and headmaster of the parish school. The population of New Essex is overwhelmingly human, generally the descendants of explorers and masters from the Hold of the Sea Princes, and as such almost the entire population engages in the worship of Osprem.
Towering over New Essex is the sprawling Castle Phoenix, the quarters of the Order of the Knights of the Phoenix. Essex was destroyed almost totally during the Second Canistani War and, like the phoenix of legend, New Essex was born out of the ashes of the old. The Knights of the Phoenix chose to headquarter their order here in the spirit of the legend and the towns history. Additional places of note include: (a) the Grand Temple of Osprem, Zorac’s headquarters and the nominal city seat, a grand structure built entirely of white marble. At sunset, the entire structure seem to glow with an inner light. Zorac, in addition to his duties as High Priest, is said to be an avid librarian, and the library at the Grand Temple is considered to be the finest collection of engineering and architectural tomes in the entire five counties, and (b) the Artery, a 25′ tall statue of a female warrior, spear raised, and covered by a large arched dome. This entire structure sits astride the main crossroads of town, and shields a continually burning flame flanked by four guards. The structure is a memorial to Old Essex war dead, and local legend has it that, should a passerby toss the bone of a humanoid into the flames, good luck with follow him.
Wessex is a smaller village of 400 inhabitants, primarily human but with very small half-elven and gnome minorities (1% each). A coastal village with good fishing seaward and fertile ground landward, Wessex remains prosperous by engaging in both successful fishing and skilled farming. In addition, there are several scrimshaw craftsmen in the town, and Wessex is widely known as a source of fine scrimshaw artwork. The local inn is called the Ivoryman’s, and buyers and sellers of scrimshaw gather here frequently to trade. Wessex’s political authority is vested in one Gibraen Woods, a priest and Knight of the Falcon.
Middlesex is a small city with a population of approximately 5000. Once the ward of Lord Bastonel prior to his appointment as Lord High Justice Minister, Middlesex has blossomed under the leadership of Jenel du Charlet and the informal administration of the elven mage Ubik Tarragon.
Middlesex is a diverse city (89% human, 6% half-elven, 3% elven, 2% gnome) whose fortune is rising. A troubled, lawless town during Bastonel’s tenure, the law brought to Middlesex by du Charlet and Tarragon have much improved the city, and today it is a clean, well-run community and crossroads whereat the men of the plains and the denizens of the Viscum Forest may interact and trade in peace and harmony.
Dundar is a small fishing village of 120 humans, overseen by the Constable Elgin – a Knight of the Falcon – and his seven followers. These eight persons comprise the entire combatants of the village, the rest being fishermen and some merchants.
Colleton is an extraordinarily diverse (75% human, 10 elven, 10 half-elven, 3% gnome, 1% dwarven, 1% halfling) farming community with a population of approximately 1750. Although the principal products of Colleton are grains, few of the townsfolk engage in farming; rather, the principal activity of the majority of the denizens of Colleton is scholarship. Students of all races meet here on the edge of the Viscum to learn in the parlors of sages and wise men in this bucolic place, before taking their places among the ranks of the educated and learned throughout the five counties.
A prominent feature of Ravenwind County is the Viscum Forest. The Viscum is divided neatly in twain by the Viscum Road into an eastern hemisphere, known as High Viscum, and a western hemisphere, known as Low Viscum. To the east dwell the Elvenfolk, while to the west dwell the mysterious and cursed Druids of Viscum.
Two types of elves make High Viscum their home: three tribes of wood elves, and a single village of wild elves. Faengari is the largest of the woodelven villlages, a substantial encampment of over 4500. Faengari is actually an elven metroplex, encompassing three connected villages – Solari, Seker, and Viscum. Solari is the largest, with 3000 elves living within its nominal confines. The village boasts a wide variety of educated craftsmen, mages, scholars, healers, hunters and merchants, and the local architecture is notable for its striking beauty and elegant simplicity. The High Elder, Valstil Vangari, is widely considered one of the wisest and most learned of the Viscum elvenfolk.
Seker, a smaller village of approximately 500 perhaps a half-hours walk from Solari, is primarily a religious community devoted to the study and expansion of the teachings of Labelas Enoreth. The buildings of Seker are primarily of stone, although they show the same excellence of construction that is typical in Solari, and the library at Seker is said to be one of exceptional quality and variety. High Elder Stacious Silvermann presides over both the rectory and the scriptorium.
Viscum is the oldest village in the forest, and the one from which the region takes its name. Once significantly larger than its current population of 1000, Viscum’s elder – the ancient High Elder Solotharius Viscum – sits at the head of the Council of Elders and serves as High Speaker. Solotharius Viscum is said to have seen two millennia pass, and is known to have little patience for cultural change, persons who speak too swiftly, ill mannered folk, and humanoids of any stripe.
Outside of the Solari-Seker-Viscum complex are two other wood elven villages: Solonari (not to be confused with Solari) and Labeli. Solonari, a small village of 400, is located north-northeast of Elfpoint Keep and the elves there live traditionally, in tree-based homes of stunning ingenuity and complexity. Labeli is even smaller, located due south of Colleton and with only 200 elves dwelling there, but the denizens are widely known as spellcasters of note. Peaceful folk with good reason to be in the Viscum are generally made welcome in Labeli, but the elves there are adept at determining who is truly in need and who is just curious. Members of the Labeli tribe often travel abroad, and may encountered in Colleton regularly.
The High Elder of Solonari is Elodisc Sundroll, and Flastil Treoll serves on the Council as well. They are both suspicious of outsiders and travellers, and many a ignorant wanderer has ended up many miles out of his way, charmed, befuddled, escorted and abandoned in Low Viscum. Labeli, despite its size, sends three Elders to Council: High Elder Lavalius Lorelock, Elder Stavius Trulock, and Mistress Myliw Fenlock. ‘Twas Trulock and Fenlock who brokered the treaty between Stern and the elves of High Viscum, and they are proud of this fact and, so far, pleased with the results.
The wild elves of High Viscum, 2000 strong, dwell far to the south of Essex in the loose, migratory “village” of Noraldi. The wild elves exhibit the typical xenophobia common of their ilk, although they do have cordial relations with the native centaurs and pixies. Led by Arias Goldrow, the Noraldi tolerate no trespassers, and have been known to eject even the most personable of lost travelers at arrow point.
Low Viscum is home to the Druids of Viscum, and of them is told as dark a tale as ever known. Once numerous, and staunch in their defense and care of the forests, an evil fate befell many of the Druids, and the elves reported that several had been found dead – murdered, most foully – while others had simply disappeared. The Druids were apparently helpless against these attacks, and their numbers declined swiftly. Word of this reached the His Emerald Highness the Great Druid Lain of Anshar , and he dispatched one Cathbad mac Finn (an elf with more than a little human blood by the look and height of him), to regroup the Druids of Viscum and put a stop to the menace. With him came a varied band: one Galthanus Taft, and odd looking elf of neither wood or wild blood; a hobbit named Pawldo Baggytrousers; and a rare Grey Elf called Conseco Villa Geraghty. They have managed to find but two of the druids: Zoran Donovan and Sean Angus McTavish, two hardy Viscum natives and capable defenders of the forest. Of the rest of the Druids of Low Viscum, one can only speculate.
Amedio County (north) | Amedio County is administered by the Count Sebastian Astropolous, and it flies the House Astropolous banner of sea green, with golden seahorse.
There are three points of note in Amedio County: Norport, Hammerhold Keep, and Sundown.
Norport is the largest city in Amedio county, as well as having the distinction of being the northernmost city in the demesne of Stern. As such, Norport is a key inflow point for both news and shipping from Greyhawk. It’s principal resources are fish, woodcrafts, and trading. Norport is a trading hub, and its warehouses and piers are continually full of goods and ships. The open market, in the main square, is reknowned throughout the five counties for its size and volume of available goods.
Norport is is primarily human, with small half-elven (3%) and other demi-human (1%) minorities. It is the home of Count Astropolous, and he directly administers the business of the city with his advisor, Asin Lostil, the Sage of Westkeep.
Norport’s rise to prominence has been extremely short – only eight years ago, Norport was a simple if successful fishing village of perhaps half its current population. But the Grey Hawk Wars and, in particular the Sea Prince campaigns, turned Norport into the large merchant and military outpost it now is. Astropolous’ keep overlooks Norport’s two harbors, and over 100 ships of the line call Norport their home base. Astropolous continually recruits seamen from all over the five counties, and adventurers are heavily recruited for excursions against the Sea Princes.
Hammerhold Keep sits astride a small farming and mining community of the same name, and is the home of 1250+ dwarves and humans (60% and 40% of population, respectively). Under the leadership of Knight of the Falcon Trablem Fist, the denizens of Hammerhold (or “the Hold,” as it is referred to locally) produce grain and sundries for export, but the primary source of peacetime revenue for the Hold comes from the copper mine. The mines in and around Hammerhold Keep provide approximately 85% of the five counties’ total copper, zinc and tin ore production. In addition, the Hold mines produce some mithral and adamantine, and the the clanging of the smith hammers are said to be heard round the clock.
Hammerhold Keep was originally a toll outpost and military post designed to slow the potential for a northern humanoid advance around the Viscum Forest. But the Hold’s proximity to Cabbage, a well-known haven for adventurers, explorers and mercenaries, added to the Hold’s prosperity.
Sundown is a small farming village of perhaps 250 persons, overwhelmingly human but with a 1% half-elven minority. Led by one Gillian Smith, a gentlemen farmer of good family from the area, Sundown’s single notable feature is an inn of such exceptional quality that Astropolous himself is known to make a point of staying there on his way to Sternhaven.
Drake County (south) | Drake County is administered by the Count Regis Brandon. There are several places of note, including Prism Keep, Laurel, Dragon Chateau, Vidar Harbor, and Port Wyrem.
Three notable points of interest may be found on Osprey Peninsula: Laurel, Dragon Chateau, and Vidar Harbor. Laurel is the primary seat of administration on Osprey Peninsula, and is overseen by Baron Achieles de Quizznart, Knight of the Eagle. In the past two years, Laurel has grown rapidly, swelling to over 2000 from an influx of both humans and demihumans, most of whom were under de Quizznart’s command during the sorties against Canistan two years previous. This demographic is leavened by refugees from the Sea Prince isles, Canistani expatriates, and a security contingent of Sir Sharade’s Red Dragons.
The Chateau d’Dracul, or Dragon Chateau, lies east of Laurel and is the demesne of Lady Wilhelmina and the notorious Sir Lastel Sharade, the Lord High Marshal of the Red Dragons and Knight of the Phoenix Exemplar. Dragon Chateau and surrounds has a total population of 2700, 1900 of which make up the Red Dragons, Sharade’s fiercely loyal and independent cavalry of superbly trained heavy horse, who are the primary defenders of the Osprey Peninsula and conduct regular, efficient patrols. The denizens of Dragon Chateau look not to faraway du’Arc’s for leadership, but are loyal first to Sharade, then to Achieles, and only then to the Lords of Ravenwind. Sharade and the majority of the his subjects are worshippers of Hextor.
West of Laurel, on the coast, is Vidar Harbor, home of Lord Niom of the Shieldlands, Knight of the Phoenix, and his 850 kinsmen. A hardy, forthright folk who have established the largest farms and fisheries on the Peninsula, the Shieldlanders can raise a formidable battalion of elite heavy infantry. What they lose in esprit d’corps to the Red Dragons, the Shieldlanders more than make up for in military rigor and innate toughness. Followers of the grim demigod Zuoken, these gray, industrious people have no love for leaders other than their own, but have in the past come to the aid of de Quizznart and Cromwell.
Krishian County (west) | Krishian County is administered by the Count Perthius.
Ollman County (east) | Ollman County is administered by the Count Lamron uth Glitner. There are several notable geographic points, and first among them are the Ollman Islands.
The Kingdom of Capurnia | King Nodra Ironhelm and the dwarves of Capurnia are experiencing a resurgence of past glory. Since the end of the Second Canistani War, Nodra and the Capurnians now claim all the lands contained within a volume bounded on the west by the Amedio River, on the North by the Amedio Jungles, east to the Coast Road and south to the very crossoads of Canistan. Now cleared of the humanoids that bedeviled the dwarves for decades, the Capurnians are once again mining the rich underdark below, and rich veins of mithral, adamantine, gold, platinum, silver and gems have been found.
These border, of course, are kept stable only by the axes of the Capurnia Army. Nodra current fields an army of 8000 heavy infantry, primarily comprised of veterans, well armored and well armed. This formidable troop is supplemented by the famed Ironhelm Riders, a battalion of 50 charioteers. When the Riders enter the fray, Ironhelm has been known to say, the ground rumbles under orcish feet for 100 leagues.
In recent months, Nodra has been cementing his alliance with Stern in an effort to prepare for continued fighting against the humanoids returning north. In addition, the Capurnians have taken a step rare for dwarves – they have commissioned the construction of warships, and are in the process of crewing them for the purpose of searching for other allies and raiding Viridistani shipping.
Barbarians of the Krishian Plains | There are presently two tribes of barbarians that travel between the Amadego Basin and the Osprey Peninsula: the Arawak, and the Aymara.
The Arawak tribe, comprising roughly 1200, at one time lived exclusively on the eastern Krishian plains. Prior to the war, the Arawak numbers 3000+, but after the fighting devastated the Arawak population, the tribal elders moved the group west of Capurnia, both for the providence of the remote location and the military buffer provided by the Capurnian troops.
The Arawak are led by Chief Ojibwa and subChief Sauk Seneca. The Arawak are typically excellent horsemen, skilled long distance runners, canoeists of some note, and highly capable in such woodland crafts as animal handling, sound imitation, and the building simple and complex snares. Arawaki fighters prefer are traditionally trained in the use of clubs, javelins, short bows and lassoes, while swordsmanship and lancery is learned infrequently, usually at the higher social levels of the tribe.
In recent years, Arawak youth have left the safety of the tribe, both individually and in groups, to conduct informal sorties against the orc population east of Capurnia. Although not officially sanctioned by the tribal elders, the younger tribesmen consider doing so a test of one’s manhood, in addition to an opportunity to see unknown lands. The Arawak worship the goddess Ehlonna.
The Aymara tribes comprises approximately 3500+ members, and they reside almost exclusively west of the Amedigo river, rarely venturing east unless provoked. The Aymara are marked by their fierce racial pride and warlike bent, taking offense easily for perceived slights and engaging in regular ritual combat.
The Aymara are led by Chief Kaska Yuchi, subChief Calusa Yuchi and Chief’s Shaman Yamasee Aakapaa. In addition to their prodigious skills in interpersonal combat, the Aymara are also excellent craftsmen who are especially adept in wood, gold, and silver. Nearly every family within the tribe has a small “horde” or gold to their credit.
The Aymara are not horsemen, unlike their Arawaki counterparts; however, they are extremely skilled in the domestication and training of dogs and wolves. They also excel at running and snare-building, and have developed am extraordinary complex and effective form of signaling over long distances, which they use to maintain communication with hunting parties. Aymaran hunters and fighters prefer to use javelins, darts, short crude swords and well-crafted short bows.
Many of the Aymaran youth have a restless bent, exacerbated by the naturally warlike and prideful demeanor of the tribe as a whole. They, like the Arawak, often leave the tribe to test their mettle against the orc populations to the east. The Aymara also worship the goddess Ehlonna, although in a moderately different fashion than their Arawaki counterparts.