Nations of Stormfell
More than four centuries have elapsed since the final gasp of the Nerathan Empire. Its death throes left behind a world splintered by factions and weakened by brutal ambition. It represented the last of the great empires of the mortal races, and no other nation has approached even a tithe of Nerath’s former glory. In these tumultuous times, new kingdoms rise and fall each year. The deceased kingdoms leave behind a legacy of bloodshed, dark memories, and shattered dreams. Each year, the points of civlization’s light fade and dwindle in the face of the encroaching wilderness.
With rare exception, the days of Nerath are gone from living memory. Few people alive today remember the glory days of the empire or lived under its laws. Today, the vast majority of people know little, if anything, about Nerath or its epic history. In these times, most people are far more concerned about current events and surviving day-to-day.
Nerath has perished from this world, but bits and pieces of it remain. Many laws still practiced originated from imperial laws, while the Lightbringer Edicts still hold weight in many locations. Villages and towns still make use of the imperial road network. Most realms continue to use a derivative of imperial currency. The most widespread language in use, i.e., Common, traces its roots back to the imperial tongue. Even more obvious, names such as Lightbringer, Aeddon, and Michaelis live on through bardic songs, stories, and poems. Storytellers still tell the story about how Lord Lightbringer and his knights slew Raal Saraat and saved the world.
All the mortal realms in existence today stand upon layer after layer of forgotten ruins. The castles, manor houses, and villages of the present were built upon the ruins of past civilizations. In turn, those forgotten civilizations were once built over the ruins of even older cultures. In some places, the intrepid explorer can discover four or more different layers of ruins, each built over the remnants of the past.
What follows is a discussion of the realms, domains, and kingdoms of Stormfell as of 1358 S.Y. The chapter provides an overview of each land, followed by a discussion of its goals, ambitions, lore, and culture. In many cases, there exists a large gulf between a kingdom’s declared borders and its true boundaries – those borders it can hold and protect. On the map, the realms of Stormfell occupy large areas of land. In truth, most kingdoms have devolved into a collection of petty fiefs and independent demesnes, each dominated by a feudal lord, warlord, or brigand prince.
The kingdoms and states described in this chapter exist in a state of constant flux. Leaders die, governments fall, and names change. With no single unifying element, the realms of Stormfell are doomed, for the foreseeable future, to rise and fall with oppressive regularity.
Each nation receives individual attention. The discussion of each realm begins with a quick overview followed by more in-depth background and description.
The overview section follows a standardized template as described below.
Name of Realm: This is the realm’s formal and most recognized name as known throughout Stormfell.
Names of Renown: Many nations and states use “names of renown” to identify their domain. For example, the Kingdom of Nerath is also known as “The Dragon Throne.” Scholars and historians often use names of renown in referring to a state; such names are also considered the more formal title of a given state.
Capital: The name of the realm’s political capital or primary city of importance (with the city’s total population listed parenthetically afterwards), if any.
Government: The realm’s current form of government. In a few cases, multiple types of government exist within a given state. A few regions have devolved to the point where, for all intents, they no longer possess a central government at all.
Ruler: The name and titles of the current ruler or rulers of the realm.
Major Settlements: The names (with total populations listed parenthetically) of the largest or most important settlements in the realm.
Population: The realm’s total population of sentient citizens, human and otherwise. This number reflects best possible estimates, and fluctuates frequently.
State Religion: The preferred or state-sponsored religious faith within the realm, if such exists. This also refers to a kingdom’s patron deity. Several kingdoms have no “official” religions, while a few states possess more than one. “None” signifies the realm has no preferred or state-supported religions, and all (or at least most) faiths are welcomed or tolerated.
Major Exports: The products and natural resources this region exports to other realms.
Major Imports: The products and natural resources this region imports from other realms.
Alliances: This section lists the current alliances, whether official or unofficial, the realm holds with other states. Some of these alliances are military or mutual defense agreements, while others relate to trade and commerce alone.
Hostilities: A list of the realms with hostile relations towards the kingdom.
Ambitions: Every state, regardless of its outlook, pursues its own agenda. This section describes the plots and schemes of the realm, as well as its hopes and goals.
Relics & Artifacts: A list of the known major relics and artifacts at the kingdom’s disposal. These items are typically powerful, dangerous, and often carry tremendous history. Many such items are used to defend the realm or attack enemies, while others provide divinatory powers.