The Once and Future Coralden
World We’ll be in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, however, we will not be on the commonly known parts of the world. The current timeline is post-Time-of-Troubles but other than that, it should not be assumed there is any sort of tie-in with any of the common events or NPC’s of the world (Elminster, etc). The Forgotten Realms Pantheon is accessible.
You all inhabit the island of Maralon, under the flag of the kingdom of Arkslend in what is called the Scattered Isles. In relation to size, Maralon is much the breadth of the British Isles (England and Scotland). There are at least a dozen other islands that surround Maralon but yours is by far the largest and most powerful as far as military prowess and technology. Maralon lies in the West region of the Sea of Swords, far enough to the west that you remain unconnected to the continent of Faerun. Only those with high lore and intelligence will know of this continent and the trials it has gone through. Otherwise, assume your character to be of the common mind that the entire realm is centered around your region as the time-period is still that of a very regionalized vision of the world. Unless your background is in scholarly or that of a sailor, most of the tales you know of the rest of the world are centered in myth and legend rather than known fact and experience.
While Arkslend rules the seas and the region in trade, there is of course the usual tense relations. Ervohl to the south poses a threat to expansion if ever the thought is considered as its a wild kingdom ruled by warlords and what are considered barbarians. As well, to the north the Isle of Imershem and it’s Kingdoms are the only real competition in the rulership of the region for Arkslend. While tensions have been tense over the years, only a few minor skirmishes, mostly naval, have occured between to the two islands. Arkslend still holds the military might in the region but Imershem and its many kingdoms have recently began uniting their forces to try and stay a decent power in the region as fears grow that Arsklend is planning expansion in the region with the advent of their new found black powder.
While Imershem is a trade and possible threat to Arsklend’s expansion, Ervohl is considered a barbaric alliance of warlords and barbarians who have for the most part, kept to themselves due to a lack of ability to demonstrate any unity and naval presence that could cross the Argian Sea that seperates Maralon and the Ervhol Kingdoms. Maralon has left the kingdoms alone, focusing instead on the colonization of the other islands far less wild than Ervohl. To most, Ervohl is considered a wild, dangerous land that most avoid unless having an absolute necessity to traverse its rocky terrain.
The Isle of Maralon
The Isle of Maralon for the most part, can be divided into the sections.
Arkslend rules the majority of the island, its borders extend from the western shores to the Nightspeaks to the north that protect the Barrendsmore (desert) and then to the east where it’s borders end at the Eveningvale jungle that envelops most of eastern region of the island.
The Nightspeaks are a mountain range that extend from the northwest corner of Maralon and cut to the East, eventually heading to the Northeast and ending in the Blistered Gulf. The Nightspeaks were once the proud home of an ancient race of dwarves who inhabited most of the island several centuries ago when the islands had been more or less, complete wilderness. While their civilization has long passed from the island, they left the range dry of minerals and any valuable resources in their greed. It is known that the dwarves of that time had strip-mined the entire range dry to build their glorious cavern cities that, over the centuries, been stripped clean of valuables by time. What valuables still lay there are only protected by collapse and a lack of knowledge to their location and still attract various adventurers in search of ancient treasure.
Beyond the Nightspeaks lie the Barrendsmore desert that stretches to the north western coast. While the island is known for it’s almost tropical climate, the desert is still a mystery to most scholars as it seems almost foreign amongst the landscape. Tales tell that it was created in some fashion by the ancient dwarves that resided in the mountains and that they had tapped the area so dry of it’s resources that only sand stands there as a testimant to the effects of greed and pride. Others say it’s the result of a great cataclysm of magic from before the time of even the ancient dwarves and that now, the desert is the desolate home of an old civilization of nomads that once controlled the area that is now the kingdom of Arsklend. Little is known of the desert as the coast is riddled with cliffs unclimbable by the most skilled climber and the desert itself is harsh and uninhabitable for the most part to even the most prepared adventurer. Most of those who have tried to cross it have not returned or when they do, have gone insane from the heat and other forces of nature at work in the desert.
The Eveningvale jungle to the east is makes up the whole of the eastern quarter of the Isle of Maralon and even less is known of what lies beyond its vine-twisted borders. Arsklend, while a powerful kingdom in the region, is as well the youngest. The Isle of Maralon itself had been mostly uninhabited by what could be called a civilized nation for some thousand years after the fall of the ancient dwarven society, Arkslend only becoming a full-fledged kingdom 500 or so years ago, staking its claim to the Western coast as it was where the Coralson family, the current monarchy that rules Arkslend, first came ashore. While the East has long been desired by the kingdom to be brought under its flag, the jungle itself is surrounded by tales of evil and ghost stories, making most of the populace too afraid to enter its borders. Even the military has in the past, refused to enter it’s borders due to the high superstition surrounding the jungle. Most of the tales are the result of earlier attempts, around the time of the arrival of the kingdom, where a large contingent of the kingdoms army never returned upon entering Eveningvale. A few of the soldiers had been found mutilated days later, laying at the border of Eveningvale and has since been the cause of fears of ever entering the vale again. Arkslend has kept to keeping a close eye on that vale but has no wants as of yet to try and tame whatever lays beneath. It’s commonly used as a place to house some of the kingdoms worst criminals who are dropped off on the eastern shores of the Vale with a days rations and is sometimes referred to as DeathsVale.
Arkslend itself is a wealthy kingdom founded some 300 years ago. While the western edge has been occupied for some 500+ years, they had only become a united kingdom in the last 300 years after the Coralson Family waged to unite the fractured communities into one kingdom. The Coralson family, who is the ruling monarchy over the Arkslend kingdom, came to Maralon 500 years ago along with other refugees looking for a new home. The Coralson’s had been a noble family in their former lands, which is now known as the Ervohl Kingdoms, until the barbarians that now occupy the southern continent revolted against the kingdoms and overtook the lands, forcing most of the survivors to flee to the northern islands for refuge. The Coralsons came to be the driving force as they had been known for their ability to lead and wage war before being driven from their homeland. Over the course of the next 200 years, the Coralson’s waged to unite the scattered communities that had come to Maralon through diplomatic and at times, forceful means and had eventually established the Arsklend kingdom. The kingdom has had an unusually peaceful reign over its people who for the most part, enjoy a decent life under its rule compared to the surrounding kingdoms in Ervohl and Imershem.
Most races are seen as on the same level as far as freedoms and rights, save that of the halfings who are regarded as a lesser race and mostly find their homes in the rural areas tending to agriculture and other jobs. Their lands are less patrolled by the military and are usually those who fall victim to raids by goblin and orc. Despite their low-station, the halflings have become accustomed to this life and are hardened to the fact that regardless of their station in Arkslend, it is by far more enjoyable than how they are recieved in any of the surrounding kingdoms where most are seen as slave labor or worse.
Arkslend’s government is ruled by the Coralson family and is a hereditary Monarchy passed down each generation to it’s eldest male. They’re rule has been marked mostly by kindness and perseverance and are mostly regarded in kind words, save the last King. King Bizrup was the first half-line of the Coralson to sit on the throne and proved to be more a tyrant than a king. Some of the worst times in Arkslend were found under his rule and until the Seeded Revolt that overthrew his reign and handed it to Prince Gerick, the land had been put under thumb. King Gerick has proven to be a great leader, even providing the Kingdom with promise of enterprise and expansion as now it has become owner of a new power, that of black powder. Arkslend has long been the military power in the region, it’s navy unparalleled and it’s army unmatched in skill and training. Despite their strength, the concern had been under Bizrup’s reign that he had let the Kingdom of Imershem too close and had endangered Arsklend’s rule in the region by selling secrets and the like to the beleaguered kingdom. Gerick has taken great strides to improve life for the citizens and has done much to restore trust in the Coralson family.
Magic has long been a muddied detail in the realms. As a relatively new kingdom, there has never been much of an organization to govern magic and therefore, superstision and fear has over-ridden the usual acceptance of magic-users and their practices. Due to this, wielding magic is often seen as mysterious and at times, demonic and depending on where you go outside of the capital city, the reaction to magic-use is mixed from mostly accepted to the persecution by fire and stoning. Most magic-users are self-taught or broker deals in back-alleys to be mentored by the most affordable teachers, making most magic-users reckless and undisciplined. This has only worked to hurt the acceptance of magic around the realms as many accidents and the like have managed to tarnish the practice. Most magic-users keep a low profile and do not parade around their abilities unless they are in the capital city and it’s surrounding villages for fear of reprisal. Many have made homes in Imershem as it is more accepting and is rumored to have institutions and universities that teach the arts, of which many of Arkslend travel too and then return with more disciplined understandings of the art. This has long been a sore point in the relations between Arkslend and Imershem as the two have very different views on the matter.
Religion is seen as a very important part of Arklend life and is mostly dominated by the church of Tyr. While religion has take a backseat to the promise of science as of late, it still remains as a right-hand to the government and the church of Tyr especially reserves special seats upon the government, with special advisory rights to the Monarchy.
Science has been a great interest of the realm, especially under the rule of King Gerick who is a self-taught scholar and who has a very good relationship with the Gnomish races around the region. Most of his council is made up of scholars and scientists and even has a cabinet of gnomish engineers, dubbed Tinker Gnomes, that he has high regards for. The largest accomplishment of science has been the advent of black powder. Already, since it’s discovery a year ago, it has been implemented among the defenses of the castles and coastlines, as well as being implemented on the naval warships in canon form. While still rudimentary and unstable, the advent of the canon has proven a large power-card in the region and is guarded with more ferocity than a dragon guarding it’s treasure. A special unit of guards was created specifically to guard this secret and the technology.
The most common threats of a non-human nature are that of goblin and orc who have taken to the northwestern region of Arkslend as it’s less defended in the interior. They’ve met mostly hard battles with the army of Arkslend and manage the random raid and attack on villages and outskirt farms but have remained mostly to themselves out of fear of reprisal by the guard.
Eveningvale and Barrendsmore are surrounded by rumor of beats and monsters but have remained mostly tales than fact. Dragons, undead and demons have never been confirmed past the tales of drunk men and women or the fevered tale of those returning from attempts to travel the areas. The occassional large beast or monster has been cited but usually are that of giant spiders or menacing dire bears. For the most part the region around Arkslend has lived without much fear of monsters and the like save the occassional goblin and orc raid. An adventurer can expect the basic pantheon of beasts and monster while in Arkslend but nothing of such great stature as dragons or the like have ever been confirmed.
The same can not be said of Ervohl which is made famous by it’s large amount of lizardmen and orc tribes that are said to even rule parts of the kingdom through warlords. The monsters Ervohl contends with have not become a problem for Maralon as none can cross the Sea that separates the two.