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elcome to the Barony of Ghoere, a land

W surrounded by powerful enemies who guard


against the ever growing might and strength
of the Baron. Traditionally denied the rightful rank
and position it deems itself worthy of. The Barons of
Ghoere play a continuing game of cat and mouse with
the other Imperial realms of Anuire. The Crown of the

The Barony Empire is coveted by many, and in the quest to claim


the Iron Throne, friendships and alliances are as
fleeting as the winds. Intrigue and subtlety abound,
but it shall take a strong arm and ingenious diplomatic

of Ghoere savvy to claim the Throne of Anuire for yourself.

What you need to play


This accessory is designed to be used with the 2nd
Table of Contents Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game, and is
Introduction............................. 2 specifically designed for the Birthright™ campaign
Missives From the Court ........ 3 setting. The Birthright Box set is required, and the
History of the Barony.............. 4 Players Secrets of Roesone, Book of Priestcraft, and
The Lands of Ghoere .............. 8 Book of Regency are very useful but are not essential
Ghoere Society .................... 29 to incorporating this writing into play. The material
Important Personages ............. 32 presented here can easily be altered to fit any mid-
Holdings of Ghoere ................ 35 size, martially inclined kingdom.
Rumours, Secrets & Plots ....... 38
Strategy Tips ...........................
Appendix ............................. 40
39
How to Use this Sourcebook
It is assumed that the Barony of Ghoere is to
be used as an NPC realm, and this book takes the
Credits Dungeon Master through a journey of the many
Written by Terry Keith and Mark VanderMeulen secrets and dangerous locales within that Barony. It is
Edited by: Terry Keith and Mark VanderMeulen not meant to be read outright by your players, and as a
Creative Consultation by Tommy Ashton, DM, you should allow only those portions which you
Craig Greeson and Mark VanderMeulen feel might be common knowledge to be seen by your
Cover Art & Colour Plates by: Luis Vilaça players. You are free to alter, ignore, or expand upon
Interior Art by: Dominic Hamer any of this information as you see fit in order to
Cartography by Terry Keith mould the knowledge herein to fit your personal
campaigns.
Special Thanks to Craig Greeson and Mark VanderMeulen who both I have referred to published material as much
contributed several of their own ideas and writings to this document, as possible and conceded to it in each instance.
and to the membership of the Birthright mailing list at large : a heart
felt note of appreciation. A better group of folks you’ll not find!
Much of the geography and history of this writing is
Subscribe to the mailing list at: based on information presented in the Player Secrets
http://209.67.104.4/scripts/wa.exe?SUBED1=birthright-l&A=1 of Roesone by Richard Baker and the Atlas of Cerilia
by Richard Baker and Collin McComb. Additional
AD&D, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and Dungeon Master are resources used in this writing include: the Book of
registered trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Priestcraft by Richard Baker, Dale Donovan, Duane
Birthright, and the Birthright Logo are trademarks owned by Wizards
of the Coast, Inc. (formerly TSR, Inc) © 1995 Maxwell, and Ed Stark, The Book of Regency by Ed
Stark, The Book of Magecraft by numerous authors,
This product is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual people, and of course, The Falcon and the Wolf by Richard
organizations, places, or events is purely coincidental. Baker. I would like to thank all these authors for their
works.

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enough for my archers to plant a shaft in him.

Missives from - Lord Havriel Sein


Lord General of Ghoere

the Court The Lord Seneschal’s Report


y liege and Lord Baron, greetings. Our realm

The Lord General Havriel’s


report
M is wealthy beyond measure, and we have
little worry for monetary matters. Yet our
martial policies are expensive sire, and much of our
resources are used in maintaining the men of your
reetings my Lord Baron! Our armies are the

G largest and best trained in all the heartlands


and without exception, our neighbours fear our
strength. This is both bane and boon to our cause my
legions. Though I do not propose to question your
wisdom or policies sire, there are many areas of our
realm which might well benefit from an equal share of
our treasuries attentions my Lord.
Lord. There is little that occurs within our land that The docks of Ghieste are in dire need of
does not escape the attentions of our neighbours, and repair my liege, and the entire town crumbles with
our political manoeuvres are monitored with close age. The border town of Achiese cries out for
scrutiny by every regent within Anuire. All eyes are increased funding to maintain and upgrade its
upon you my Lord, but our military might is defences Lord, and in light of the recent usurpation of
unquestionable. Your troops are strong, well the Osoerdean throne, it might well be wise to
equipped and loyal. The many mercenary captains of relocate funds and forces to that province’s defence
Anuire flock to your banners my Lord, and we are sire.
prepared to march at a moments notice. I believe The people, though well fed, are not overly
lord, that if the Prince Avan could be distracted, and happy in regards to the rather heavy taxation which
our ancient rivals in Diemed as well, that we might at they are subjected to, and some amount of dissent has
last be able to conquer our northern nemesis in arisen in the provinces which yet remain to be
Mhoried within the span of a season. completely secured by your rule.
To the east, the Khinasi of Elinie sit ripe to Aside from these concerns Lord, there are
be plucked, and in Osoerde, the Usurper Duke some in your land who turn their ears to the voices
struggles to lock a yoke upon his people. To the and promises of the more liberal Mhoriens, and
south, the Baroness Marlae Roesone as yet to learn the already our lands have become infected with the
rules in the game of thrones, and her own nobles religious teachings of the humanitarian temples of
approach us, secretly seeking alliance. These realms Avanlae from our Khinasi neighbours. Your nobles
are no threat to us as yet sire, and our strength could have begun to test your resolve these past months also
be used to force them to our cause. sire, and several of your Counts have grown lax in
To the west, the Duke Alam hides behind his their duties. Lord Baron, I fear we might soon
shield, and utters empty threats at his enemies across encounter some fair amount of resistance and uprising
the river in Tuornen. We need fear nothing from him, over the strictness of your rule, and I urge you to
though he might too, be turned to our own ends with a reconsider your policies before it is too late.
small dose of manipulation. - Landen Truemar
Only the dark woods of the Spiderfell are Lord Seneschal of Ghoere
cause for immediate concern Lord Baron. The fiend
of those woods has been overly quiet these past
months, and the perpetual storm which rages over that The Senator’s Report
dark mire has grown more ferocious of late. If I were ire, I report to you concerning our realms’
a superstitious man Sire, I might think the storm bodes
some imminent disaster or that it portents the coming
of the Spiderlord. Of course sire, I am neither worried
S popular opinion amongst the diplomats and
Senators of the Imperial Senate in the City of
Anuire. Know Lord Baron, that much of Anuire looks
nor fearful of such an incursion. The brain-fevered upon our land as a rabid hound, eagerly awaiting the
fiend could be put down as quickly as a Ghieste trader first sign of weakness from our neighbours so that we
should he but poke his head out of his woods long might strike. Lord, your reputation as a warrior and

3
conqueror precedes our every move. None trust us to foodstuffs had long been imported from the markets
respect the sovereignty of the surrounding lands, and of Ghieste.
every action our land takes is closely scrutinized by When the Imperial Steelworks was moved
our peers. If it were not for the recent outbreak of from the Imperial City to Bhalaene in 732 H.C (-792
hostility and chaos throughout much of Anuire, I fear MR), the might and influence of the Duchy became
sire, that our land would be beset upon by an alliance nearly unparalleled throughout the entire Empire, and
of our most formidable opponents, eager to end the the words of the Bhalaene Dukes were said by many,
threat which they perceive we present to them. to have carried nearly as much weight as those of the
It would do well to perhaps offer some Emperor himself. With the death of Michael Roele and
display of friendship toward our fellow regents sire, the destruction of the majority of the Imperial Legions
and perhaps even some manner of self sacrifice might on the slopes of Battlewaite, the foundations of the
be in order, in hopes that we might better our relations Empire quickly began to decay, and the very fabric of
and allay the fears of our peers my Lord Baron. Anuirean life quickly unravelled as the regents
- Lord Peityre Noried scrambled to maintain their thrones and power in the
Senator of Ghoere ensuing chaos.
As a result of it’s mineral wealth and strong
martial and religious tradition, the Duchy of Bhalaene
From Duchy to seemed largely unaffected by the initial decay of the
Empire. The Duke rapidly seized the opportunity to
claim the Imperial Steelworks as a Ducal Protectorate,

Barony; and supported in this claim by the Prelate of the


Imperial Temple, the might and influence of the
Duchy remained largely intact.
an introduction to the history In Ghieste however, the loss of the Imperial
Bureaucracy nearly broke the power of the Duke, and
of Ghoere with the Imperial Legions decimated and scattered,
he lands that are now known as the Barony of the backbone of Ghieste’s political might was largely

T Ghoere were once separate, but closely aligned


Duchies known as Ghieste and Bhalaene. These
two Imperial powers had long been allied and
gone. The nobles quickly seized the right to sell and
distribute their grain independently from the Crown,
and the Duke of Ghieste lost one of the last vestiges
dependant upon the other, and together, the two of influence and control over his lesser nobility.
realms seemed to exemplify everything which the Seemingly overnight, the rising middle class came to
Empire stood for. dominate the entire trade of Ghieste, and within a few
Ghieste was composed of rich bottomland decades, the lesser nobility of Ghieste had grown rich
throughout her provinces of Ghiere, Rhumannen, and powerful in comparison to the Duke which lead
Tireste and Tornilen, and her fields yielded vast them. Common born traders and minor noble born
amounts of grain and other staple crops. Eventually merchants grew fat from the economic contracts
tasked by the Emperor with keeping the Imperial which the Ghieste land owners tendered to them, and
legions provisioned, the nobles of Ghieste soon many thought the trade town of Ghieste might come
became known for their skills of administration and to rival the Imperial City in both size and economic
distribution, and the Duchy quickly became the centre might.
of trade for the entire heartlands. The following years would bring strife and
The Imperial Duchy of Bhalaene, on the war throughout Anuire as each realm struggled to
other hand, enjoyed rich deposits of mineral wealth, maintain what little influence remained to them, or
and the hilly uplands of Achiese, Bhalaene, Bheline, else scrambled to usurp it’s dominance over their
Conallier and Danaroene soon became the dominating neighbours. Age old alliances fell apart, and friends
source for coal and raw iron ore for the majority of turned to enemies as the nobles of Anuire quarrelled
Imperial Anuire. The province of Conallier, and to an over land rights and the succession of the Iron Throne.
extent, Thoralinar, were mediocre agricultural based Even the religious doctrines of the Empire were to fall
lands, but the legumes and tubers produced there under contest, and within a few decades following the
could not supply Bhalaene’s ever growing populace death of Michael Roele, the pillar faith of Anuire, the
alone, and so large amounts of grains and other Imperial Temple of Haelyn, began to crumble and

4
splinter. There was little peace throughout Anuire, spring of 227 M.R., Ghieste could have very nearly
and internecine warfare had become commonplace. given birth to the beginnings of an Anuirean
The Duchy of Bhalaene meanwhile, had Renaissance.
always been a cornerstone of the teachings of Haelyn, However, a large force of humanoids invaded
and held a long history of military expertise and the Duchy from the depths of the Spiderfell early that
warfare. The shattering of Empire and the schism of spring, and Ghieste was forced to call upon their
the Imperial Temple did not overly effect Bhalaene, neighbours in Bhalaene for aid in lifting the siege of
and the Duchy largely held to the ancient Imperial their realm. With the Bhalaese aid, the Spiderfell
Laws. It’s strength lay in her vast supply of iron ores, forces were defeated by the autumn of 227 M.R., and
and it’s enormous population. Few realms in Anuire the realm of Ghieste was much indebted to their
could raise, supply and field a larger nor more well eastern neighbour. Thus, it was decided that Graeham
trained army of religious minded troops than could Bhalaene, son of the Duke Bhalaene, was to wed the
Bhalaene. Due to this strength, many of the eldest daughter of Duke Eldant Ghieste, the Lady
surrounding domains sought Bhalaene’s friendship Caerellyn. It appeared the two duchies would
and courted her in hopes of gaining a strong alliance. eventually be made one through the union of the
In contrast, Ghieste was one of the leading eldest born. However, when the Lady Caerellyn,
advocates for change in the new political tapestry of (perhaps due to her lands more humanistic views
the post Imperial age, and with her paramount regarding personal freedoms) spurned the young
institution of trade, it is little wonder that the Graeham of Bhalaene, and refused to marry him, the
teachings of Saramie would eventually replace the Duke Eldant Ghieste tried in vain to rearrange the
more martial philosophies of the Haelyn temples. By agreement with Bhalanene, and offered them great
the middle of the second century following the death trade agreements and large tributes of gold in place of
of Roele, there were few temples left in Ghieste that his daughter. Graeham and his father would not have
held Haelyn as their patron. This shift in base it however, and demanded that the wedding take place
religious beliefs obviously caused many of the as arranged. With the apparent suicide of the Lady
surrounding Duchies concern, but few domains had Caerellyn in light of the Bhalaene demands, the first
cause nor wealth enough, to openly challenge the seed of conflict was planted between the once staunch
economic giant which Ghieste had become. Never a allies.
military power, Ghieste’s strength lay in it’s trading The Duke Ghieste, now heart broken and
policies and it’s sizeable treasury, and in these mournful over the death of the Lady Caerellyn, looked
matters, none of the regents would risk the enmity of upon Bhalaene as the cause of his sorrows, while the
the Ghieste lords. By 85 M.R. nearly every realm young Graeham, obsessed with the lack of his rightful
within the Heartlands of Anuire was heavily boon owed to him, began to lobby the surrounding
dependant upon Ghieste trade and relied on Ghieste realms to begin pressuring Ghieste to fulfil the boon
imports to feed their own populace. which was owed. Graeham argued that Ghieste had
As such, Ghieste was largely left uncontested abandoned Haelyn and the Empire, and petitioned that
during the pivotal years following the collapse of the they should be made to forfeit their mercantile
Empire. The duchy gradually grew farther away from interests in favour of Haelyn’s more noble and
the traditional values and teachings of Empire, and righteous teachings of duty, strength and charity. In
with each passing year, the rising middle class became this way, he argued, the Duchy of Gheiste could be
more powerful and apparent as the trade consortiums brought back to the traditions of Empire, which yet
and economic unions came to prominence and slowly was held in high regard by many of the realms
replaced the rights of the nobles. By the late 100's, throughout the Heartlands.
the nobility of Gheiste had become little more than a Despite his best efforts, Graeham could not
collection of titled nobles scrambling frantically to break the Heartland reliance upon Ghieste trade, and
survive amongst the wealthy trade unions and though his son continued the quest following his
merchant consortiums which had arisen throughout death, Bhalaene would only eventually manage to
the Duchy. convince a few foreign nobles that something ought to
Ghieste seemed on the verge of forging a be done about Ghieste policy and device, but no
land based on the humanities and structured on individual regents would unite with him in military
individual merit rather than the traditional right of action against the Duchy. The Bhalaene campaign to
birth. If it were it not for the pivotal events of the turn Anuire against Ghieste seemed lost, and for the

5
next 170 years, relations between the two Duchies Crown of Bhalaene.
would continue to degrade. Duke Ghilbaer was initially inclined to be
As fate would have it, Ghieste was to host the merciful to the people of Ghieste and their fallen
Sword and Crown of 396 M.R., and as the Anuirean duke, but High Priest Enrik, the Prelate of Bhalaene
nobility descended upon the Duchy of Ghieste, their and Ghilbaer’s primary advisor, continually warned
simple presence did what no amount of reasoned and him away from such a path. Throughout the long
impassioned words could do: it moved them to action. winter, Enrik counseled harsh punishments for the
In Ghieste, the visiting nobility experienced first hand merchants and bureaucrats of Ghieste, for their crimes
how the traditional values and rights of the resident against Haelyn and His Empire were unforgivable in
nobility had been replaced by the power of the trade he eyes of the church. Ultimately heaping guilt on the
guilds; how even simple born commoners would feel young Duke for considering mercy to those who
free to interrupt and even contradict their betters; and would betray Anuire, Duke Ghilbaer finally
how their noble counterparts in Ghieste lived either in capitulated to Enrik’s demands, and began a series of
tattered ruins of once great manors, or else spent their harsh campaigns to restore the will of Haelyn
time scurrying around making business deals and throughout Ghieste and punish those who had
currying favor with bureaucrats and administrators betrayed the very core of the Anuirean being. During
like common merchants. the coming months, Ghilbaer organized inquisition
After the Sword and Crown, a cabal of styled militias and empowered his troops with special
nobles, including not a few of the surrounding regents, civic powers that denied the people even the most
agreed to support the Duke Bhalaene in his efforts basic of personal freedoms or privacy. Many were
against the depravity, which was by now, rampant thrown into the Ghieste dungeons after only the most
throughout Ghieste. Although they still feared basic of trials, and hundreds were put to death with
Ghieste and her economic might, and yet relied little or no substantial evidence which might prove
heavily on her trade, they secretly began funneling the their guilt. Being suspect was enough to warrant
men and coin that Duke Ghilbaer Bhalaene needed persecution, and thus the later half of 397 M.R.
begin his campaign against his western enemies. In became known as the Winter of Sorrows.
this manner, the Heartland Duchies were able to With the spring of 398 M.R., it had become
support the traditions and values of the Empire, while apparent to many that the Duke Ghilbaer was losing
also maintaining the much needed trade with the very his grasp of reality, and that it was the High Priest
realm they sought to put down. Enrik who was actually in control of both the Ducal
And so it was that in the spring of 397 M.R. thrones. At great urging from his other advisors,
Duke Ghilbaer Bhalaene and his forces marched upon Ghilbaer finally agreed that the Duke Ghieste and his
Ghieste. Though Ghieste was wealthy almost beyond family would be transferred to the Imperial City of
measure, it’s armies lacked the battle-hardened zeal of Anuire in order to stand trial for their crimes against
the Haelynite faithful that fought for Bhalaene. With Haelyn and the Nobility. He invited the Imperial
the timely employment of the majority of mercenary Chamberlain and his Royal Entourage to the city of
companies by the other Heartland realms, Ghieste Ghieste, and by mid spring, the imprisoned Royal
realized it had lost one of it’s primary defensive Family of Ghieste was readied and provisioned for the
measures - there were no mercenaries available for return to the Imperial City of Anuire.
hire with which they could easily swell their numbers. However, the long winter and the incessant
Without the advantage of simply outnumbering their whispering of Father Enrik had taken its toll on the
opponents, (a strategy which Ghieste had always Duke Bhalaene, and before the Imperial Entourage
relied upon) their armies were unable to adequately could depart, Ghilbaer brought forth the Duke Ghieste
defend against the Bhalaene threat, and were and his family, and placed them on public trial before
repeatedly routed from the field. After an intense but the assembled crowds of the city. Ghilbaer was
short siege, the city of Ghieste fell to Duke Ghilbaer, determined that the Ghieste Lord would first admit his
and by the close of the summer of 397 M.R., the Duke guilt and beg forgiveness from the very people which
Rhegor Ghieste and his entire household had been he had wronged, before his families transfer to
captured and imprisoned within their own dungeons. Anuire. For hours, Ghilbaer ranted, screamed, and
By the end of autumn harvest, the last remnants of accused Duke Rhegor and his family of heresy and
resistence throughout the Duchy had been put down, dozens of other crimes, but try as he might, Ghilbaer
and the realm of Ghieste was firmly held by the could force no admission from Rhegor. His anger now

6
at it’s zenith, the Duke Ghilbaer flew into a rage The civil war ended and the realm of Ghoere
spawned by madness, and thrust Rhegor’s own sword was born in 399 M.R. when Baron Regien Ghoere
through his chest as the Duchess and her children won a decisive victory against the mad Duke
looked on in horror. As the bloodline of Ghieste Bhalaene’s final vestige of power at the Lionsgate
coursed into the enraptured body of Duke Ghilbaer, Pass in southern Danaroene. Following his victory
the assembled crowd, including the Imperial there, the Baron Regien Ghoere claimed the Ducal
Chamberlain’s representatives, stood aghast at the mantle of both Ghieste and Bhalaene for himself.
crime which they beheld. When at last his ecstasy Still, rumors of a possible Ghieste heir persisted, and
ended, and Duke Ghilbaer turned to see the eyes of his although the Baron Regien was said to have had a
peers staring with revulsion and outrage upon him, he nebulous connection to the House of Ghieste, he had
lost all semblance of sanity. He flew into absolutely no connection to the House of Bhalaene,
uncontrollable rage, screaming his hatred of all things and so could not, under the laws of the Empire, claim
Gheiste, and cursing the family line with the very core the rank of Duke. Despite his victory and clear right
of his being. Quickly murdering the Duchess Ghieste to the titles, he was denied the ranks which he felt he
and her two children as they lay weeping over the so rightly deserved, and would never be named a
body of the late Duke Rhegor Ghieste, Ghilbaer Duke by his peers. Thus was the Barony of Ghoere
marched from the public dais and left the shocked born from the havoc spawned by the destruction of
assembly behind. He called all his loyal officers to two of Anuire’s most ancient Ducal Houses.
him, and rode from the city, determined to hunt down The years following the war saw Baron
and destroy every last vestige of the Ghieste Ghoere secure his new lands, and he managed to
bloodline. He would see the line driven to extinction. cement the former duchies into a single entity
The Duchies that had once supported surprisingly quickly and efficiently. The Baron’s
Bhalaene against Ghieste were dismayed at what had success lead to a surge in interest in the Cult of
become of their champion, and quickly declared him a Cuiraécen, and the faith quickly rose to prominence
madman and murderer, denouncing rather than throughout the newly born realm. Despite his wise
supporting his claim to the throne of conquered and effectual rule, it was soon whispered that the
Ghieste. They withdrew their political and monetary Throne of Bhalaene may have been tainted and cursed
support, called back what soldiers weren’t already with the bloodlust of the Mad Duke Ghilbaer, for the
caught up in the fanatical madness of the region, and thoughts of those who sit in it seem to turn quickly to
in repentance, began to funnel aid to the rebel factions battle and domination over all which they surveyed.
that had sprung up anew throughout both Duchies in In 429 M.R., in response to insults and slights
the aftermath of the public bloodtheft. As their made by Duke Harlan Diem, as well as continued
champion, they seized upon Lord Regien, Baron of interference in the affairs of Ghoere by the Patriarch
Ghoere in Tireste, who was a former general of the of the Imperial Temple, the Baron Regien marched
Ghiestan army and a follower of the Cult of his forces through the still sparsely-populated lands of
Cuiraécen. He managed to rally the rebel cells of eastern Diemed, and assaulted the City of Ilien. The
Ghieste and Bhalaene into a unified body, and within siege lasted several months, but his armies were
a few short months, Regien had organized a finally forced to withdraw by the superior magic of
revolution against the Mad Duke Bhalaene. The Countess Azlea Aglondier.
Baron lead the now suddenly allied nobles of The Baron Regien would pass away a few
Bhalaene and Ghieste against the mad fanaticism of years later, and in 434 M.R., Regien’s son Gherryt
Ghilbaer’s administration, and his cause would would succeed the throne of Ghoere. Gherryt’s reign
continue to gather support over the coming months, was unremarkable, for he was a far better
while that of the Duke Bhalaene was quickly falling to administrator than warrior. Despite his lack of martial
ruin. prowess, Baron Gherryt’s efforts resulted in the
In the following two years, the Duke strengthening of the Ghoeran economy, and the land
Bhalaene would churn up the very fields of Ghieste in began to recover from the incessant wars and strife
search of even the slightest link to the former Ducal which he had endured for so long.
line of Ghieste, and the viciousness of his Inquisitions In 471 M.R. Noered Tuorel rose to power as
are legendary to this day. It was a dark time for both the new Baron Ghoere following his marriage to
realms, as brother turned against brother in the Regina Ghoere, Baron Gherryt’s only daughter. For a
conflict, and the loss of life was incredibly high. brief time, the entire Barony was at peace. The Baron

7
Tuorel was a strong leader, and his wife was an recover, and by early 531 M.R., Orvaene was dead.
accomplished diplomat who traveled the barony The of the Barony was claimed, uncontested, by
creating peace and prosperity where she passed. In Orvaene’s cousin, Gavin Tael. Many suspect that it
482 M.R., however, the Baroness Ghoere died of a was Taele who delivered the stomach wound to his
strange fever after returning from a trip to Elinie, and incompetent cousin, but there has never been any
soon afterward Baron Tuorel succumbed to a evidence brought forth to support such a claim, and
cancerous black brooding over her loss. Heirless and any who were present at the battle who might choose
lonely, Baron Tuorel blamed ‘the khinasi savages’ on to press the matter have quietly disappeared.
his eastern border for his beloved wife’s death, and Since his reign began, the Baron Tael has
unleashed his vengeance upon them. managed to cement the Barony into a firm and strong
By 484 M.R., the armies of Ghoere realm once again, and under his guidance, the Barony
conquered the entire land of Elinie through a series of has truly earned it’s reputation as the premiere war
lightening-quick battles, whose strategic brilliance is machine throughout Anuire. The nobles of Ghoere
still legendary today. The following year saw Tuorel are powerful and strong thanks to Tael’s many rulings,
strike into Mhoried, and by spring of 486, the Barony and the barony has clearly earned the right to be
of Ghoere held most of Mhoried under its control. considered as an Imperial Candidate, despite heavy
Tuorel’s success was not to last, however, for opposition.
he would loose his grasp upon Mhoried the following
spring, and within a year of his army’s retreat from
Mhoried, Tuorel was slain and his throne usurped by
his general and cousin, Orvaene Ghorelle. The Lands of
The young Baron Orvane ruled Ghoere with
an iron first, but failed to continue the martial might
the Barony experienced under Tuorel or those before
him. Within the decade Ghoere had lost its hold over
Ghoere
he Barony of Ghoere is one of the largest realms
Elinie, through ineptness and internal corruption, and
even his own provinces began to drift. For a time it
seemed that the Barony of Ghoere would collapse
T within Anuire, and also ranks amongst one of
the richest.

altogether, and by 515 M.R., the Barony of Ghoere


was reduced in might to little more than a loose Climate
collection of only barely aligned provinces. Despite he Barony enjoys a vast array of climatic
his inability to weld the realm together, Orvaene
would reign for over 40 years.
It was not until 530 M.R., that Orvaene’s rule
T
law.
conditions throughout the year, and the weather
tends to be as harsh and extreme as the Baron’s

could be seen drawing to a close. His armies met the The spring winds are generally warm and
forces of the fledgling Barony of Roesone in the field light, bringing with it a fair amount of precipitation,
in what is now known as the Battle of Danaroene and light rain often falls in a steady drizzle for weeks
Field. The forces of Roesone, lead by the violent at a time. During the height of summer however, the
Baron Morghan Roesone himself, had managed by region turns muggy and hot, and the winds that blow
stealth, to strike deep into the County of and were over the hills from Coeranys fail to bring any relief.
only discovered through a fluke encounter with During the autumn and winter months, the winds shift
Orvaene’s own vanguard as they marched to treat with from the north, and turn frigidly bitter and sharp.
the Count of the province, the Lord Gwynaard. The Storms commonly blow down from the Stonecrown
resulting battle of their meeting is legendary among Mountains and can bury the region in blinding snow
Danaroene’s populace, for although the raiding force for days before finally blowing themselves out. These
of Roesone were greatly overmatched, they fought a chilling winds are thought to be the breath of the
hard-won victory against the Ghoerans, and escaped Gorgon by the more superstitious of the common folk,
back into Ghoried with a great deal of booty. and when they begin to howl, the chapels of the
As the fog of war cleared, the Baron Ghorelle Barony tend to fill beyond capacity with fearful
was found on the field, suffering from a vicious peasants seeking divine protection from the evil
stomach wound. Although he was healed upon arrival winds.
at Count Gwynaard’s keep, Orvaene would never fully Despite these extremities, the region is

8
perhaps one of the richest regions with the heartlands mounds have become known as the ‘Gorgon’s
in terms of arable land, and those areas unsuited for Spine’- for many fell creatures have been known to
cultivation tend to reap other riches, iron and coal travel in secret through the crumbling ravines and
being the most abundant, though some small silver sharp valleys. Several ancient cairns and barrows have
deposits have been found. Unfortunately, these few been unearthed over the years, and these regions are
precious deposits are quickly exhausted and seldom thought to be haunted by the spirits of the goblins and
last more than a few years before being mined out. giants which were once thought to have roamed the
continent. More than a few shadow world incursions
are reported to have occurred at these sites as well
over the ages, adding even more reason for these
crumbling hills to be avoided at all costs.
Topography The dark and twisted trees of the Spiderfell
rise like fingers from a natural bowl-like depression
he Barony of Ghoere was once believed to be

T the territory of over a dozen different pre-flight


Deismaar goblin tribes, and many of the mines
that are still in use today are remnants of their ancient
all along the south western reaches of Ghoere. Dozens
of motte and bailey styled fortifications, collectively
known as the Fellwatch, have been built (and rebuilt)
along the borders of the dark forest for centuries.
excavations. It is popularly said that a vast Raids from the minions of the Spiderlord are most
labyrinthian network of tunnels and ancient mine common in Tireste and Rhumannen, and much of the
shafts lies beneath the Ghoeran landscape, but if this timber of these lands is used in repairing these
is true, much of the network has collapsed or been fortifications following the incessant goblinoid raids.
sealed into isolated pockets. Certainly, the earth The north and western borders of the Barony
beneath the Barony is not as hollow as most fools are demarcated by the mighty River Maesil, which
believe it to be. wards against invasion better than the mightiest wall
Small stretches of light forest are common ever could. Flood plains, wetlands and oxbow lakes
throughout the entire Barony, and most of these serve are common all along the entire river’s edge, and the
as Royal hunting Grounds for the nobles of each strong currents and eddies of the river make erosion a
region. Since hunting and hawking are popular past common problem. As such, travel along the river’s
times of the nobility, these areas tend to be heavily bank is generally dangerous and uncertain, as all too
patrolled, and trespassers and poachers alike can often, the banks suddenly cave in on upon themselves
expect harsh treatment from the Baron’s law. and travellers can find themselves trapped in a
The land in western Ghoere is very rich and sinkhole, or lodged waist deep in a submarine grotto
produces a vast amount of agriculture, which is very quickly.
primarily used to feed the massive legions of Ghoere’s Where the Stonebyrn River joins the Maesil,
military. Windrows and wind breaks are common the waters spill over the surrounding banks to form a
throughout the region, and the land is generally well morass of swirling, hypnotically treacherous eddies
tended for. It is rare to travel more than a few hours and currents, which can suck a swimmer beneath the
on horseback without sighting at least a few dark surface of the river with the strength of a giant.
farmsteads. These same currents have carved a wide path through
The Gray Hills of north eastern Roesone rise the surrounding bog of rotting filth which has become
in high, rocky spines throughout the southern most known as both the Shadowmere Swamp, (its Ghoeran
regions of Ghoere, and the provinces of Achiese, name) and the more common, Riverport Marsh. The
Danaroene and eastern Bhalaene are all high fetid bubbling waters of this bog are heated by
tableland, and as such, suffer from almost perpetual thermal vents, and the cool waters of the Stonebyrn
winds. and Maesil rivers mix with the acrid muck of the
From the depths of the Spiderfell, a thin fibre swamp to form a thick, low lying murk which often
of crumbling tors stretch forth to bisect the Barony on blankets the entire region in a blinding stench. There
their route into Elinie and beyond to Markazor itself. is little good to be said of the swamp,
It is along these ancient mounds that the majority of and only the insane and foolhardy of
ancient goblin mines can be found, though most of adventurers leave the rivers flow to
these entrances have long since crumbled and attempt to explore the region.
collapsed. Though lacking a proper name, these low

9
The River Maesil territory. It is commonly accepted that the a realm
may consider a claim upon the first dozen feet of
pringing from the high passes of the Stonecrown

S Mountains, the River Maesil is the life’s blood


of Anuire, and is arguably, the single most
important and heavily trafficked highway upon
water from their shoreline, but beyond that point, the
river remains free of any realms’ dominion.

Cerilia. The flow is swift and rough in the north, Flora and Fauna
where rapids and falls are common, but by the time it he temperate climate of Ghoere allows for an
passes the woods surrounding Shieldhaven, the Maesil
slows considerably, growing wider and deeper with
each passing mile. Nearly half a mile wide at the city
T impressive variety of growth within it’s borders,
and the land yields a bounty of flora which
flourishes throughout the Barony. The people depend
of Gheiste, the Maesil brings a constant flow of trade on the land to produce enough food to feed the
and river traffic to an ever increasing number of towns Baron’s armies first; what remains as surplus is left to
and villages along the banks of the mighty river. the people, and they know it. The average Ghoeran
An entire sub culture of rivermen exists on takes great pains to ensure that the earth remains
the Maesil, selling their services to carry passengers healthy and productive.
and cargo along the length of their beloved river. A wide variety of deciduous trees grow
These rivermen do not commonly claim or owe fealty throughout the region, and these tend to form small
to any particular realm, but rather consider their groves and bluffs in the sparsely settled regions of the
vessels and the Maesil itself to be their native Barony, but commonly tend to be cut and shaped in
homeland. Commonly looked upon as gypsies, order to form windbreaks and sheds in the more
tramps, and thieves, the brightly coloured barges and heavily farmed lands of western Ghoere.
keelboats of the rivermen are not overly welcomed in Birch, willows and other wetland trees grow
many of the river ports, and most of the ‘legitimate’ along the banks of the Maesil and may also be found
guilds who ply the river do their best to promote the in small copses around the marshes of both Conallier
discrimination against them. The guilds look upon and Ghiere. Caragana is common in the west, and
them as pirates and freebooters, for they operate ash, oak, maple and pine trees grow in sporadic
independently of the guilds, and infringe upon their abundance throughout Ghoere, but are concentrated
mercantile interests by under cutting prices and most heavily in the Baron’s Wood of central
ignoring guild sanctioned embargoes and duties. Bhalaene. These are also seen to be growing from the
Aside from the rivermen, pirates are a depths of the Spiderfell itself (though these are
common threat along the entire length of the mighty warped and twisted specimens to be sure) and there is
river, for much wealth is shipped along the water. known to be more than one specimen of unknown
Many of the bordering realms maintain fleets of keel origin or nature growing within that dark region.
boats and river barges which are used to police the Barely, wheat, oats tubers and lentils tend to
lengths of river along their borders, and the Barony of be staple crops of the Barony, and much of the
Ghoere is no exception. The red and green painted produce is taken to feed the massive standing army of
keelboats of Ghoere are most common between the Baron. Rabbits, field mice and gophers abound
Ghieste and Riumache, though weekly patrols travel throughout Ghoere, and frequently cause pest
to Klehrs and occasionally police as far south as the problems as their population explodes every few
Endieran border. Baron Taele has made it quite clear years. Squirrels, owls, coyotes, and foxes are
to his river captains that he will not tolerate piracy common near the woods of Bhalaene, Bheline and
along his borders, (except his own most folk believe) Danaroene, and deer are a common sight along the
and the punishments for such a crime is swift and southern borders of Ghoere. The ferocious multi
heavy. legged prairie sleen are frequently reported in
Despite the common practice of policing the Conallier and Thoralinar, and larls, a variety of giant
rivers, the Maesil is largely considered a neutral zone predatory cat, are common throughout the wooded hill
between the realms of Anuire, and though a few lands of central and southern Ghoere.
realms try to lay claim to the waters on their banks, Humanoid appearances are rare within
most are not willing to stymie trade or entice Ghoere’s interior, though far more common and
hostilities with neighbouring realms by openly frequent along the borders of the Spiderfell. Goblins,
claiming portions of the river as their sovereign gnolls, ettercaps, and an occasional owlbear

10
frequently create problems throughout the bordering Haelyn Aegis that has captured the hearts and spirits
provinces of Tireste, Rhumannen and Bheline. of the people.
Luckily, they seldom raid in large numbers, or travel
far from the borders of their dark wood, but when they
do, the Spiderlord himself is commonly amongst their Towns
numbers. The largest settlement in the county is also
Wandering gnolls and a few goblin bands among the oldest of the Barony. The heavily fortified
have been encountered among the peaks of the Gray town of Achiese has stood as the gate to Osoerde for
Hills in Achiese, and along the fringes of the centuries, and has never yet been taken by siege,
Gorgon’s Spine, but these incursions are rare. Other though it has seen no less than a dozen foreign armies
mundane monsters have been encountered at times in at it’s gates since it’s founding. However, the once
the marshes and swamps along the River Maesil, but proud military might of this town is begun at last to
far more common are bear and wolf sightings, falter, and as the politics of Empire change, Achiese
especially in the Baron’s Wood and in the forested sees less and less support from the capital with each
highlands of southern Achiese & Danaroene. passing year. If the political interests of the Barony
remain unchanged, then it will soon be left to the local
officials to raise the gold needed to maintain the walls

Achiese and towers of once mighty Achiese.


Achiese has hosted the seat of the Baron’s
regional government since the earliest days of ancient
he County of Achiese is a rugged region, and

T nearly every type of terrain can be found within


it’s border. To the south, the Gray Hills tower
over 600 feet above the Achiese Valley, and many
Bhalaene, and has grown from a simply wooden
village to a leading industrial city of nearly 4,000
persons. Smithies, smelters, armourers and soldiers
look upon these crumbling mounds as small abound, and nearly every industry is represented in
mountains rather than hills. Goats and horned sheep the city in some fashion, but most recently the city has
are common amongst the steep slopes, and snow can become known for it’s more intellectual contributions
remain in the shadowed ravines and gullies here well to the growing strength of the Barony.
into the spring. Stone and shale quarries litter the The recently completed “College of
entire region, while iron and coal mines are more Architecture and Design” specializes in the pursuit of
common in the heights of the Gray Hills. The architecture and engineering. It is rumoured that the
northern plain is grassy and rough, and is suitable for University has created several improved war engines
only grazing land and pasture. The entire region is within the last two years, though these have yet to be
difficult to cultivate, yet between the city of Achiese proven in battle. The College itself is generally not
and the Iron Citadel, home of the infamous Iron taken very seriously by most people, as the
Guard, the persistence of a dozen centuries of effort institutions philosophies, theories, and ethics are
has paid off, and thin strips of farm land manage to rather controversial. Still, the Baron puts up with the
produce a meagre crop each year. Despite this eclectic professors, so there must be some measure of
achievement, grain must still be imported to worth to their proposals.
supplement the local production, and locally raised As the seat of the Baron’s power in the
stock and tubers tend to form the staple of the County, the city centre houses the government
Achiesean diet. buildings and estates, but since the recent death of
The folk remain a proud and willful lot, and Count Agelmore Pelien during a hunting accident in
are perhaps the most troublesome people (in Baron the Gray Hills, the County has been run by the
Tael’s mind at least) in all of Ghoere. Where the Baron’s officers, bureaucrats and agents of the region
oppression and harsh rule of the Baron has quashed in what is referred to as the “Small Council”. The
the will of the populace in other counties, the people Baron has yet to appoint a successor to the title of
of Achiese refuse to break or suffer under Tael’s Count, and this hesitation has sent the nobles of
subjugation. The folk here are as hard and rough as Achiese squabbling amongst themselves in hopes of
their land, and do not bend knee easily, much to gaining the favour of the Baron, and thus the title to
Gavin’s chagrin. Even the temple of Cuiraécen the office of Achiese.
cannot bend the peoples will, and despite the violent
history of the region, it is the noble temples of the

11
The Iron Citadel
Standing square on the Baron’s Road from
Achiese to Bhalaene is the Iron Citadel, home of the
feared knightly order known as the Iron Guard of
Ghoere. Little more than a squat fortified tower and
walled grounds, the Citadel has a
reputation that belies it’s
appearance. At first glance, it
appears a simple walled
compound and central tower, but
cleverly concealed murder holes
and arrow slits line it’s dark
walls, numerous ballistae can be
seen atop the tower’s tiled roof,
and the numerous balconies could
easily afford a half dozen archers
abreast.
A small town of farmers
has sprung up around the citadel,
and their sole existence is to
supply the needs of the Citadel.

Shepherds camp around the Guardian Stone in the


hills of Achiese

The Guardian hidden grottoes and valleys


throughout the county. Others
Stone suggest that it is some sort of golem or a sleeping
The ancient Guardian Stone has stood in this giant that awaits for the proper ritual to be performed
rocky pass since the arrival of the first of the Five in order to break it’s slumber. Rumours and theories
Tribes crossed into Cerilia. In all that time, none abound, but many sages and some of the greatest
have discerned the nature of this giant monolith, as it mages of the Imperial College have studied the
was said to have been worn and weathered even then. structure and all have come to the same conclusion - it
Whatever it’s original purpose, the giant is, for all intents and purposes, simply a cleverly
humanoid figure (nearly 60 feet tall) has been worn carved chunk of rock.
smooth by millennia of rain and winds, and the small
creek which flows around the base has undermined The Nobles
the statues support, causing it to lean at a deceptively The Pelien clan of Achiese has controlled the
perilous angle over the rocky gorge below. County for more than 400 years, having initially been
Constantly swaying back and forth in the strong awarded the title following the numerous victories the
winds, it would seem to be in danger of toppling into then Baronet Frederick Pelien won against Osoerde
the pass below, but even the oldest ballads make Elinie, and Aerenwe. Count Agelmore Pelien (MA;
mention of the ‘dancing monolith’, which seems to F4, Re, minor, 21, LE) was the aged Lord of the
suggest that it has stood as it has now for at least a Pelien clan, and lawful Count of the region until
good many centuries. recently. (See “Recent Events” for further details.)
It is said by many folk that the Guardian Agelmore was a vain, cruel
Stone is somehow connected to the goblin mines and untrustworthy man, and there is
known as the Tarkal Deeps, (which lie just south of much suspicion surrounding his
the border in Roesone) and popular rumour suggests families household and wealth, for as
that those mines extend under Achiese and open in

12
the county begins to slide into decline, the Pelien as a safe hold while abroad. No claim or
household thrives, and their vaults grow larger. It is acknowledgement of such a hold has been made by
often whispered that the Pelien’s have gained much of any of the known dwarven realms within Anuire, but
their wealth by embezzling royal funds intended for it might be possible that the source of this rumour is
the upkeep and maintenance of the fortifications of actually the dwarven guilds of Osoerde. It seems not
Achiese. overly difficult to believe that they might be making
Baronet Eldred Ghent (MA;F6; unblooded) use of some abandoned or undiscovered mine in order
and his family control two manors within Achiese, to smuggle contraband in and out of Osoerde.
including the heavily garrisoned Granite Hall, located
north east of Achiese, only a few short miles to the
borders of both Elinie and Osoerde. Eldred is a
veteran of many campaigns in the Barony’s service, Bhalaene
and is the leading candidate for the office of Count of he county of Bhalaene has long been the heart
the region.
Baronet Percival Glynn (MA;T2;Br,
tainted,9) controls a single manor near the town of
T of the Barony, and even in the days of the
original duchies of Ghieste and Bhalaene, the
province was paramount in the politics of the
Achiese. A budding guilder, he is Ghorien Hiriele’s Heartlands. Following the merger of the two duchies,
chief lieutenant in the area. the province quickly became the undisputed centre of
the civilized Heartlands, and many still insist that
Recent Events Bhalaene plots the political course of the Heartlands.
Being home to a population of over 30,000
Count Agelmore Pelien was mauled by a persons, the county of Bhalaene is the agricultural
great black bear in the Gray Hills whilst hunting with centre of Ghoere, and there is little free land left in the
his eldest son Boern, (who was gravely injured and is province that is not already planted or grazed. Most
currently in coma at the families manor). He is not of the land is owned by wealthy noblemen, and there
expected to survive. Baron Tael has since denied are precious few free homesteads. Farmland is either
Agelmore’s sons the succession of the title, and has rented out to wealthy freemen, or worked by peasants
ordered an inquiry into the affairs of the Pelien estate. for their respective Lords in the typical Ghoeran style
The reasoning behind Tael’s rather controversial of repressive serfdom. In each case, the farmers of
decision remains a mystery, (though the rumour of Ghoere must not only pay the Baron’s taxes, but must
their ill gotten treasury might have finally reached the also surrender large portions of their crops to help
Baron’s ear) and the surviving Pelien’s are protesting support the enormous military of the Barony.
the decision with every resource available to them. The eastern region of Bhalaene is demarcated
Rumour has it that they may even be attempting to by the rising tors of the Gorgon’s Spine, and is largely
bring the Imperial Chamberlain in to mediate the used as pasture and grazing land by herders and
affair, though few believe Dosiere will involve shepherds. The southern reach of the province is
himself in such a trivial matter. bisected by the thick and twisted boughs of the
The miners and guilds men of the Baron’s Wood, while the north and western reaches
Highland/Overland Traders are disappearing in the settle into featureless plains, the endless farmland
deepest of the Gray Hill Mines, and none can broken only by the occasional hill or fence.
determine the nature or manner of these occurrences.
There is speculation that the miners may have
inadvertently connected their excavations to the Towns
ancient goblin mines of Roesone known as the Tarkal The capital of the Barony, and the one of the
Deeps, but this has yet to be proven. largest cities in the heartlands, the walled city of
An ancient and abandoned dwarf stronghold, Bhalaene has stood since the earliest days of the
referred to in the taverns of Achiese as Rivenrocks Empire.
Hold, is said to exist somewhere in the heights of the Home of the Baron’s Royal Court, the city is
Gray Hills. Many whisper that the halls of this also the political centre of the Ghoeran chapter of the
stronghold still hosts the audience of the occasional Militant Order of Cuiraécen. The order has erected an
dwarven thane visiting in secret from Baruk-Azhik, impressive cathedral (as a castle level 5) south of the
and a good many dwarven wanderers are said to use it city gates, and many consider it a greater work than

13
the Cathedral of Haelyn in the Imperial City
itself. The Haelyn Aegis receive only token
worship here, though the faith has begun to
spread amongst the common folk, and several
small churches have been erected in the common
quarters of the city within the last few years.
The city is governed directly by Shames
Levallier, the Lord Mayor of Bhalaene, though he
does not do so with impunity. Shames’ authority
ends at the cities walls, and he must report to the
Castellan of Rook Roost each month, who in turn
must attend the Baron’s Small Council (see
Appendix).
The small hamlet of Aergon’s Pass in
southern Bhalaene is named for the hero of
ancient Bhalaene who fought at Deismaar, but is
known primarily for the strong and bitter (but
highly regarded) dark lager which is brewed here.
Baronet Halmied Dekker (see “Nobles” below for
more information) holds a manor near the village,
and his support of the Haelyn Aegis is well
known. The Haelyn Aegis temple enjoys
exclusive privilege in the village, though recent
events in the area are beginning to disrupt this
sleepy little hamlet.
The town of Caplan is the largest
settlement outside of the capital itself, and is the
agricultural centre of the province. The entire
economy of the town is centred around the
collection, refinement, and shipping of the “There are few places a man can hide from the shadow of the Rook Roost,
and the Watchers on the Walls can see your every move...”
produce and crops of the surrounding farms and
free holds. Many wealthy land owners and
merchants live here, and perhaps nowhere else in the well) was destroyed during the elf-human wars, and
Barony is the difference between the peasantry and was eventually replaced by the massive castle known
wealthy more evident. simply as the Bhalaene Castle. An impressive fortress
in it’s own right, Bhalaene Castle stood for centuries,
Rook Roost Castle but was finally breeched and sacked during the civil
wars which rocked the region following the bloodtheft
An impregnable fortress, the massive stones of the royal family of Ghieste. Once the Duchies
of the Baron’s dark keep are said to have been cut were united, the newly appointed Baron of Ghoere
from the very peaks of Mur-Kilad, but whatever the immediately began construction of Rook Roost castle.
truth, the oppressive shadow of the keep lays over the Though most dwarven smiths scoff at the notion,
city centre like a cloak. There is no location in the popular legend has it that the Rook Roost was
city where a man can hide from the gaze of the dark designed and crafted by dwarven engineers, and that
keep. many of the ancient defences of the most renown
Built on a massive tor in the very centre of dwarven holds were also incorporated into Rook
the city of Bhalaene, Rook Roost Castle stands over Roost’s design.
the ruins of several previous keeps, and is now The walls and towers of the Roost are highly
thought to be nigh invulnerable. The ancient and ornamented with frescoes and reliefs, though they
original keep that once stood during the earliest days seem to have been carved to inspire fear and awe in
of Bhalaene (little more than a motte and bailey to be an assaulting army than to beautify the building.
sure-though legend says it was crafted in stone as Ravens, gargoyles, and other fell creatures grace the

14
heights of the keep, casting their stony gazes upon Shames is responsible for governing a major portion
the market square below, and watching over the city of Ghoere’s populace, though his authority ends at the
in an endless vigil. It is from these carvings that the gates of the city.
castle attributes it’s name. Shames was once a skilled bureaucrat and
There are thousands of rumours and stories administrator, but in his advanced age, he has become
of the Roost, each one more terrible and fanciful than forgetful and enfeebled. At the advice of the Royal
the last, but nearly all of them associate fear and Castellan, Shames’ son Huebaert (MA; F3,
darkness with the keep. Tales insist that miles of unblooded) has begun to handle an ever increasing
secret tunnels, passageways, ancient sewers, and long amount of the day to day responsibilities of his father,
lost burial crypts exist throughout the keep, and more and is expected to be named as the new mayor of
than one claims to relate the tale of tragic princesses Bhalaene by years end.
(and a few aspiring thieves) who became lost in the Onwen Tuorven (Ma, F5, unblooded) is both
labyrinths of the “Underkeep”, and who may yet Castellan of Rook’s Roost Castle, and Governor of
wander there in search of escape. Spectres are said to Bhalaene. Where the mayor’s authority ends,
walk the walls at night, and the ‘Watchers of the Onwen’s begins. His is the voice of the Baron
Walls’ can spring to life at the Baron’s will. None of throughout the province of Bhalaene (and even
these tales have yet proven true, but the Baron would beyond some believe), and though he is not a titled
hardly deny such fear inspiring tales. noble, Onwen enjoys many of the same benefits and
political exemptions that the landed nobility do, and
even some which they do not. Much to the chagrin of
The Baron’s Wood the upper class, Onwen keeps charge of the lesser
Protected by ancient decree, the Baron’s nobles of the province, ensuring that they do not
Wood is commonly used as the private hunting overstep their station or permit their personal edicts to
grounds of the baron and his closest nobles. Though conflict with those of the Barons.
it is true that the wood is frequented by the Baron’s Although he is nearing his fiftieth year,
court, few royal expeditions have actually penetrated Onwen remains an impressive physical specimen, and
deeper than the northern most borders of the wood in his strength and stamina belies his age. As a veteran
centuries. of many military campaigns, and a long time student
Effectively bisecting the province, the only of siege craft and artillery, he and the Baron Taele
road through the thick forest is the Aergon Road, and enjoy a fast friendship, and as such Onwen is
few travellers willingly leave sight of the narrow path generally considered to be amongst one of the most
while passing beneath the thick forest canopy. powerful men within the Barony.
The Baron’s Wood has grown wild and Baronet Liemen Deloitte (MA; F3; Br,
unhindered for hundreds of years, and the depths of minor, 13) controls four manors in the northern part of
the wood are largely unexplored. Tales of fairies, the province. He is a favoured hunting companion of
centaurs, and other mythical beasts abound, and many the Tael family, and few within Ghoere would dare
of the common folk believe the wood to be haunted cross him. Of all the nobles, he alone can slight
by spirits and other foul spectres. Many folk claim Onwen Tuorven without fear of some form of
that the forest has eyes, and that it watches all who repercussion from the Castellan.
pass beneath it’s boughs, and that it was once even a Baronetta Dierdren Windel (FA;0-level;
part of the Spiderfell itself, but whatever the truth, the unblooded) controls 3 manors, including the
forest has managed to grow unhindered by the magnificent Windel Estate on the outskirts of Caplan.
encroachment of man for centuries, and doubtless Her husband was an avid adventurer who travelled
houses more than a few secrets of the ancient world. frequently. He was slain four years ago while
exploring elven ruins near the Spiderfell border, and
The Nobles he left Dierdren with an enormous fortune. The
Windel family is a favourite patron of merchants
Shames Levallier (MA; F0, unblooded) is the
seeking capital for investment opportunities, and the
Mayor of Bhalaene, and has served in this office for
Baronetta has proven to be a shrewd businesswoman,
more than thirty years. Appointed by the baron, the
and frequently sponsors adventuring companies.
title is usually granted for life, though it may be
Baronet Halmied Dekker (MA;F3;unblooded)
rescinded at any time by royal decree. As mayor,
is the Lord of three manors in southern Bhalaene.

15
the Aergon Road during the darkest of nights,
claiming the heads of any which it encounters. The
small hamlet is in a panic, and have called upon the
Governor for help. Many blame the rather vocal
outcries of Baronet Halmied Dekker against the
temples of Cuiraécen for the wraiths appearance, and
fear that the rider is a sign that Haelyn is angered by
the Baronets public denouncement of his son’s earthly
temples.
Several members of the Maesil Shippers
Guild have been arrested in the city of Bhalaene,
apparently caught trying to find an entrance into the
halls of Rook’s Roost. Guild mistress Moerele
Lannaman has sent a diplomat to the court of
Bhalaene in attempt to negotiate their release.

Bheline
he County of Bheline rests at the bottom of a

T great valley which is nestled between the Gray


Hills of northern Roesone, and shallow mounds
of the Gorgon’s Spine in central Ghoere. The
southern slope of Bheline rises only a few hundred
A manifestations of Godly Wrath, or a Fiend of the Shadow? feet into Roesone, and then falls again into the Spider
River Valley of Ghoried. The crest of this slope is
This young man (age 26) is a devout supporter of the generally considered to be the political border
Haelyn’s Aegis. He has spoken out on more than one between the two rival realms, though in practice, it is
occasion regarding the rather draconian practices of not so well defined.
Stiele Ghieste, the head priest of the Ghoeran Militant Fogs are common throughout the valley in
Order of Cuiraécen. The High Priest is not known for the early morning, and often lingers well into mid day
his tolerance of criticism, and so many of Dekker’s before the heat of the rising sun finally burns it away.
vassals have tried to distance themselves from the Flooding is always a concern during the
baronet’s outspoken opinions. spring, and in particularly rainy seasons it is not
Baronet Frederick Hess (MA/Br; T2; Ma, uncommon for the province to turn into a soggy
tainted, 9; CN) controls a single manor just outside marsh. As such, little farming is done in the province,
the city of Bhalaene. This estate, Redstone Fields, is and if not for the sheep herds and cattle industries of
one of the largest and most profitable in all the the Highland/Overland Traders, the province would be
Heartlands. The Hess family actually won it during a hard pressed to sustain itself.
game of chance at the royal palace nearly 70 years The county is a popular site for military
ago. The man who lost the manor, Luethyr Aernass, campaigns and exercises, due largely to the
would have liked to back out of the wager, but too topographical nature of the region, and it is common
many other lords had witnessed it. The Aernass for Ghoeran generals to march their troops here for
family has never forgotten their loss, for only a year war games and other training exercises. The populace
later their entire household lost it’s lands due to a greets these expeditions with open arms, for they
poor choice in political alliance. The Aernass family bring with them much needed gold.
now dwell in squaller as fishermen in Ghieste.
Towns
Recent Events Aside from the walled town of Gweirlaen,
A strange spectre is lately said to be haunting there are few communities in Bheline which could be
the hamlet of Aergon’s Pass in the form of a headless considered large enough to constitute more than even
horseman. The fell spirit is said to ride the path of a small hamlet. By far, the vast majority of the

16
regions populace tend to congregate into small, Enderiane (See the Player Secrets of Ilien by Kevin
fortified free holds from which they may guard their Melka,) once held this province, but were unable to
flocks and herds. defend it from the Spider’s incessant rampages.
A typical Bheline free hold is surprisingly Following the ascension of Gavin Taele to the Throne
similar to those found in the Roesonean province of in 531 M.R., the Beldere’s quickly and quietly fled
Ghoried, and the two people are actually more alike the nation, seeking sanctuary in the neutral realm of
than either would care to admit. Typically comprised Ilien. Gavin soon after decreed the family exiles and
of no more than a half dozen families, these walled traitors, and levied a standing bounty on the heads of
and lightly fortified holds tend to contain only the all Belderes. At only five Gold Crowns a piece, the
family homes, a barn or two, and perhaps a common sum is just enough to insult the estranged nobles, but
hall. Very few have any sort of industry beyond what not enough to entice most bounty hunters of note into
they produce for their own consumption, and what actually pursuing the family.
cannot be manufacture for themselves, they simply The current Count of Bheline is a man named
buy from the markets in Gweirlaen. Raesene Cardael (Ma; F7, Unblooded), and he makes
The lone town in the region, Gweirlaen was a point of earning his name sake. A fierce warrior and
built to originally serve as a Keep against the general, Raesene is often called “The Black Count”
encroachment of the Spiderfell humanoids, and as by his subjugated peasants, for he accepts little
such, the majority of the towns population belongs to challenge to his authority, and enforces his laws with
the military in some fashion. The remaining citizens a heavy hand.
supply the goods and services to the Count’s militia, Being practically born in a horses saddle, he
though a small amount of farmland has been is an accomplished knight and a powerful warrior who
developed around the walls, and the towns economy eagerly awaits the day when the barony embarks upon
is beginning to reflect this recent growth by a war of conquest against neighbouring Roesone. He
diversifying it’s focus and products long unavailable makes sure his Lords and squires are well prepared for
within the region are now being imported more conflict, and he accepts no disobedience from his
regularly. charges.
Although Bheline borders the Spiderfell, the
The Abbey of Haelyn’s Shield province suffers surprisingly few raids by the goblin
and gnoll forces of the vile bog since Raesene came to
The lone edifice of the Haelyn’s Aegis power. This is a testament to the regions military
within Bheline, the small abbey rests near the preparedness. Raesene has been the Count of Bheline
Danaroene border. It’s construction has only for 11 years, and during that time, only a handful of
recently been completed, and much of the clergy have humanoid raiders have ever returned from excursions
yet to arrive and staff the facility. into his lands.
At the moment, there are fewer than 20 Now in his mid fourties, Raesene is widely
priests and a handful of retainers who man the tower considered to be the baron’s most favoured count and
and prepare the surrounding fields. Wagons and is certainly amongst one of his closest friends. A
caravans have begun to arrive at frequent intervals, giant of a man, the Count seems to share many of the
laden with the orders articles and possessions that will Baron’s traits and opinions, though Raesene has never
be kept within the newest House of Haelyn in Ghoere. learned to control his feelings; jovial and merry one
As a fanatic disciple of Cuiraécen, Lord instant, he can suddenly become murderously enraged
Raesene, Count of Bheline, is known to have been in a moment. As such, justice tends to be swift in
opposed to the creation of the abbey, but with Baron Bheline, and crime of any sort is not tolerated. The
Tael’s recent acknowledgment of the order, Raesene count’s family directly holds 4 manors, including their
dare not voice his concerns too loudly. He has ancestral home of Greymantle.
ordered his men to keep an eye on the small keep and Baronet Ruorven Desailly (MA; F3;
tower however, and plans on taxing the priests quite unblooded) holds two estates within the province,
heavily. both of which lie in the north eastern corner of the
County. Being the only other noble family aside from
The Nobles Raesene’s, the Desailly’s have long chafed at the
Counts overbearing manner and heavy-handed
The exiled family lead by the Lord Beldere
methods of governorship. The two men are far from

17
friends, and the locals often fear that the two lords
shall sally forth to wage war between themselves -
vassalage be damned, and there by destroying their Conallier
herds and livelihoods in the process. onallier is a true borderland province, and when

Recent Events C compared to the rest of Ghoere, the county


seems nearly devoid of habitation. In all the
province, there are fewer than 3,000 folk, most of
It has been nearly 20 years since the whom dwell near Klehrs Keep in the northern-most
Beldere’s fled Ghoere for Ilien, yet that families region of the plain, and nearly everyone of them is a
notoriety has never dwindled amongst the populace of thief, criminal, scoundrel and cheat. The region has
Bheline. The legend of Beldere incompetence is long attracted the less desirable people of the
constantly being fuelled by Raesene Cardael, as it Heartlands, and the nobility of the region is little
was with his father before him. Recently however, better, but as long as the Mhor is held at bay, the
Raesene has begun speaking to the Baron concerning Baron is all too happy to forget about the unruliness of
the traitors, and is urging him to increase the bounty Conallier.
on the family in hopes of having them brought to bear The land is rocky and bogs of swampy earth
responsibility for their failures to the Barony. and grass are common along the length of the Maesil
A strangely intelligent goblin has recently shoreline. The eastern portions of the county are flat
been captured by Raesene’s patrols only a few miles and largely featureless, marked only by an occasional
from the town of Gweirlaen. The goblin is being held ruined fence or abandoned cottage. Theses reaches
in the Count’s Hall in the town centre, but initial are common grazing land for shepherds, but have
interrogations have not proven fruitful. The towns proven too rocky and sterile to farm much more than a
folk are whispering that the goblin is a spy for the few tasteless tubers and other roots.
Spider, and some suggest that he may even be some The Maesil spills over it’s banks every spring
form of shaman or is somehow magically charmed by between Klehrs and Toren’s Ferry, trapping the water
the Spider, for he has repeatedly resisted the pleasures in a dozen natural depressions, and by mid spring, the
of Raesene’s inquisitors while the most stalwart small wood north of Toren’s Ferry is knee deep in
warriors known to Anuire have traditionally broken in water. The ox-bow lake known as Stein Pond is clear
moments. Raesene is said to be considering hiring a and full of fish in early spring as the flooding
wizard of his own in hopes of breaking the goblin refreshes the ecosystem, but by mid summer, the river
magically, for the Count is determined that he will has long since receded, and the lake has grown
not be bested by a simple goblin, and is determined to stagnant, becoming little more than a lifeless slew of
see the creature willingly scream it’s inner most stinking weeds and rotting slime.
secrets to him. Patrols have been increased, and the
Count has begun conscripting more men from the
region in anticipation of an assault from the dark Towns
wood. The largest community within the County,
There is word that a local woodsman of a and seat of the regional government, (such as it is) is
nearby hold has discovered a huge cache of amber the small but heavily garrisoned keep known simply
just within the border of the Spiderfell. Since the as Klehrs. Boasting a population of only 1,000
region naturally drains into the wood, which is rich in people, (most of which dwell in the outlying villages
organic deposits, it seems quite likely that the source and shanty towns) the keep is a bustling centre for
might indeed exist. Unfortunately, after returning to traders and rivermen of the most questionable sort, but
his home to gather tools with which to begin relatively few overland visitors ever approach it’s
harvesting the substance, he has not been heard from thick oaken gates.
again. His family is certain that the Spiderlord has The keep is the keystone in the Ghoeran
captured him, and they are pleading with the Count to defence against the Mhor’s land, and the hostilities
send a rescue party after him. The Count of course, is between these ancient rivals is perhaps no where more
more interested in finding the amber than the missing pronounced than here. Altercations are common
peasant. between travelling folk of the two lands, and even
upon the river Maesil, fishermen have been known to
leap aboard a rival barge and begin wrestling one

18
another. This enmity is well fuelled and encouraged the Abbey has also begun to establish itself amongst
by the Baron, and he has carefully chosen his vassals the more scholarly of Anuire, and is beginning to
and lords who comprise the Keep’s upper echelon emulate the Khinasi based institution known as ‘The
with this sole concern in mind. Discourse’ (See Book of Priestcraft) in it’s method
and practice.
With the Orders domination throughout the
The Ruins of Conallier Castle province of Thoralinar, it would seem that many
The Castle Conallier was once a magnificent Ghoerans have grown weary of the continual struggle
fortification, looking over the River Maesil from it’s for Empire, and are searching for a more personally
lofty towers and guarding against Mhoried incursion. fulfilling state in their lives. Though considered only a
The swamps around the castle formed a natural temporary fascination by many of the more traditional
barrier against enemy armies, and the castle was long minded of the realm, vast amounts of gold and other
thought to be impossible to siege. For generations the goods have been donated to the Abbey over the last
castle stood as a symbol of Ghoeran might, but at few years by the eager nobility, and the entire church
length, the strength of the Maesil proved greater than is surprisingly wealthy.
the stone walls of the keep, and the foundation of the
magnificent castle crumbled on top of itself, casting
the mighty walls into the very marshes that once The Nobles
protected it. The office of Count of Conallier has
The castle lay abandoned for generations, remained vacant since the Ghoeran-Mhoried War of
and the Keep at Klehrs was eventually built to replace 486 M.R. and the ruling nobles of Conallier have
it. Many adventurers met their fate in the ruined since plotted and schemed against one another to gain
passages of Conallier Castle, for it’s flooded halls the favour of the Baron and his appointed governors.
have laired many foul creatures over the years, but of Upon Gavin’s ascension to the throne, he
late, the ruins have been claimed by the entity known abolished the title of Count altogether, and instead
as the Sword Mage and his vile incarnations. Undead created the office of Provincial Governor and
are said to roam the swamps now, forced into appointed a trusted general as Sheriff of Conallier.
servitude by the strength of the mage’s will, and a He then began hand picking his less desirable nobility
great many stories tell of the horrible demons that the from other reaches of Ghoere to fill the ranks of
mysterious Vos mage has summoned from the offices within the province. Each was carefully chosen
shadow world.. Now only the fool hardy venture into by Baron Tael, and awarded lands or offices here in
the swamps, and of these, most now serve the mage in light of their notable hatred of all things Mhoried. As
a mindless undeath. such, the province is a hodgepodge of pompous,
incompetent, over zealous and non too bright nobles;
each one thinking themselves the favoured of the
Abbey of the Celestial Sun Baron, but are actually of little use to either him or the
One of the few religious monasteries Barony as a whole. In fact, the only office to hold any
dedicated to the Sun Goddess within Ghoere, the true political power is that of Sheriff, and even the
Abbey of the Celestial Sun serves as a Mecca for the Provincial Governor is little more than a figure head.
Avanlaese faithful of Ghoere. Of no true consequence or influence to the overall rule
Preaching peace, contemplation, and of Ghoere, these offices and titles are constantly being
learning, the missionaries of the Abbey travel the won and lost, and seldom are they held by the same
eastern lands of Ghoere, attempting to convert the man for long.
populace away from the more martial doctrines of the Gaerik Bellerran (MA, F5, An, minor, 18) is
Haelyn and Cuiraécen temples. Many peasants have a minor noble who has recently moved his household
been tutored by these travelling priests, and there has to Klehrs from central Alamie. Since his arrival at the
been a surge of literacy amongst the lower classes of Keep, he has been rapidly growing in power and
eastern Ghoere over the past few seasons. Several of influence, and is taking obvious pains to befriend the
the regions noble families have also converted to the officers and advisors to the Baron Tael. He is known
worship of Avanlae, and they have begun to pursue to be an ambitious man, and some suspect he will be
knowledge and understanding of the world around the next Governor General of Conallier if he is not
them. With their sudden introduction to the religion, first sabotaged by one of the other nobles of the

19
provincial court. Unknown to any in the region, the Berendor River and thence to the Gulf of Coeranys
House Bellerran is a minor offshoot of the Avan beyond.
family, and though Gaerik’s loyalties to the Prince are The Lionsgate Pass is a wide valley that
questionable at best, there is little doubt that he could breeches the southern hills which separate Roesone
use his connection to the Royal Family of Anuire to from the Barony, and it is through this deep channel
either aid the Baron’s cause, or thwart it utterly. that the armies of both realms frequently march. Also
the historical site of the final battle between Baron
Recent Events Regien Ghoere and the mad Duke Bhalaene in 399
M.R., the valley has a long history of warfare.
The swamps around the ruins of Conallier So many battles have occurred in this valley,
Castle have long been thought haunted, but since the and the earth has been so frequently saturated in
arrival of the mysterious Sword Mage to the court of blood, that the very flowers which grow along it’s
Ghoere, the entire region has become a nightmare. steep slopes have been stained red, and their stems
Undead monstrosities, dark shades and shadows, and have grown sharp thorns. Named the Bloodthorn
creatures even more dire, have been seen combing the Flower, it’s dark crimson petals are said to be key
swamps for the past several months. Seemingly ingredients in several necromantic spells, and are
searching the depths and muck for some ancient coveted by the those who practice such vile magic.
artifact or device, these fell creatures have recently
begun to attack any they encounter. This has lead to
the belief that the Sword Mage is at last nearing his Towns
mysterious goal, for why else would he suddenly send There are several small towns throughout the
his dark minions to protect the mire from incursion? region, but few of any importance. The only notable
What is he trying to protect? community within the region is the ancient hall and
The missionaries of the Abbey of Celestial castle known as Umleigh Keep which stands at the
Peace begun to concentrate their conversion efforts in mouth of the Lionsgate valley pass into Roesone.
the Inns and brothels of Klehrs Keep. Several Inns The ancient keep has stood since the earliest
and a good many of the most seedy brothels have days of Bhalaene, and was the hereditary residence of
been burnt to the ground of late, and some good the Lord Baron Tuorel. When Noered Tuorel rose as
amount of suspicion has begun to fall on the order as Baron Ghoere in 471 M.R., he moved his household
a result. Could these priests be hiding some dire plot to Rook Roost Castle in the city of Bhalaene, and
or agenda behind the mask of religion, or is their granted this keep to the Gwynaard family. The castle
arrival in the area only coincidental with the recent and fief was renamed in honour of the families first
rash of arson? Some even whisper that the entire Lord, Umleigh Gwynaard, in 476 M.R. The Gwynaard
order is little more than a spy network for the family has remained the county’s ruling noble family
Patriarch of Elinie. Tensions are mounting to this day.
throughout the north, and several travelling A large market town lies on the northern side
missionaries have been mobbed in the streets. of the great gates, and a dozen small communities
have grown throughout the surrounding lands. From
the tall watch towers of Umleigh Keep, the northern
Danaroene fields of Danaroene sprawl out in a patch work of tiled
fields and grazing lands, and the chimney smokes
he terrain of Danaroene is as varied as it’s from the many hamlets rise into the air like a thousand

T people. From the steep rocky slopes of the


Gray Hills in the southern corner of the
province, to the wooded vales of the north, and
spindly pillars. To the south of the great gates lies the
pass into Roesone, and all traffic through the channel
is halted at the great gates of the Keep and thoroughly
through the deep valley passes into Roesone, searched and recorded. It is said that, the Count of
Danaroene is a true marvel of variety. Danaroene, Aeric Gwynaard, holds nearly a hundred
The small but swift Eryin Creek bisects the volumes of such records dating back nearly 40 years.
province, and is fed from the small lake near As a result of the martial history of the pass
Aergon’s Pass in southern Bhalaene. The river bank which the keep wards, the Baron has placed large
is rocky and has carved deep gorges through the hilly contingents of his military might within Umleigh
regions of the south, where it ultimately joins with the Keep, and a force of some 500 men can be marshalled

20
at a moments notice. The Militant Order of Cuiraécen and most eagerly await the death of Aeric (and some
also has a large following in the region, and can add may even be trying to hasten it) so that they might bid
an additional 200 infantry men to those of the Baron for the title.
if needed. The Thuried family (see Players Secrets of
Roesone) has long held manors throughout the region,
The Bandit’s Demise but has suffered severe loses to both their holdings
and political influence since Gavin Tael rose to
The Bandit’s Demise is the site of the most power.
recent battle between Roesone and Ghoere. A The families patron, Lord Donal Thuried
rolling field only a few miles northwest of Umleigh grew up with Gavin Tael, and even in childhood the
Keep, the battlefield remains heavily rutted and two could not stand one another. Pitched in a life
scored from the ravages of battle, and the once gentle long competition with the other since birth, Tael
hills of the clearing have been overturned and now managed to win the seat of Baron, while Donal was
serve as a series of deep burial mounds for those who doomed to remain a general in the Baron’s armies.
perished during the fight. Despite a career of outstanding performance
Known as the Battle of Danaroene Field, it and achievement, Lord Donal receives little respect,
was also the site where the Baron Orvaene was recognition nor admiration for his sacrifices and
mortally wounded. History records that the battle was accomplishments he has performed in the name of the
so vicious and that so much blood was spilt, that only Barony. After suffering a broken spine in battle
weeds, briars, and hardy field grass will grow in the against Roesone some years ago, the Lord Donal was
rutted and scored earth. Many tales tell of the forced to retire from active service despite petitioning
spectres of the dead rising in the night to slaughter Gavin for a ceremonial position with the Baron’s
any foolish enough to be near, and more than a few Southern Guard. Lacking the use of his legs, the once
goats have been found drained of blood amongst the noble and proud Lord Donal must now be carried
cairns as well. Despite the popular rumours, no about like a child, and is forced all the while to grin
actual encounter with these undead has ever been through gritted teeth as the Baron Ghoere forces
documented, but the locals are convinced that the humiliation after humiliation upon him and his family.
field is haunted all the same, and many believe that a As a result of Tael’s cruelty, the attractive
gate or a shallowing has evolved here which leads young daughter of Lord Gareth Thuried, the Lady
into the Shadow World. Saerena (FA; T1, unblooded) means to have
vengeance upon the Baron by any means possible.
The Nobles Recently, she has sworn her service to the Baroness of
The Gwynaard family has long held much of Roesone, and is supplying her with information in
this land since the founding of Ghoere, and until hopes of eventually having the pleasure of watching
recently, the family enjoyed a grand and proud Gavin Tael fall from grace. Saerena is so embittered,
history. With the last few generations however, the that she constantly fantasizes about the day she can
strength of the Gwynaard family has begun to wane, watch Tael crawl on his belly like a worm, an she is
and it is only the achievements of the families only barely able to conceal her contempt for him.
ancestors that has kept the Gwynaards from being
cast down years ago. Recent Events
Aeric Gwynaard (MA, F3, Re, minor, 19) is The Lord Count Aeric Gwynaard has long
the current ruling Count of the province, and is the excelled in his ineptness, and the Baron Ghoere has
most incompetent of his line without exception. As had enough. Since it is public knowledge that the
his father before him, Aeric suffers from several Gwynaard’s are not likely to remain in their position
psychotic conditions, not the least of which is mild for much longer, the Count has grown paranoid and
paranoia and sporadic bouts of dementia. Coupled suspicious of everyone around him. He is claiming
with the fact that he is a complete coward who faints that he has survived no less than five assassination
at the site of blood, Aeric will very likely be one of attempts in the past year, but whether these are real or
the last of the Gwynaard family to rule Danaroene as imagined is unknown (and largely irrelevant in the
Count. It is common knowledge that Gavin Tael is eyes of his peers.) Whatever the truth, Aeric has been
priming his other nobles in the region for the position, obsessively barricading himself within the towers of

21
Umleigh Keep these past months, and if the Baron mention is the crossroads town of Stunder in central
Ghoere does do something soon, then he will be Ghieste.
forced to besiege his own county in order to evict the Situated at the crossroads of the Imperial
Lord Gwynaard and his family. Highway between Endier and Bhalaene, the town of
Several dark robed figures have been sighted Stunder serves the needs of the many travelling
riding atop mounts as black as midnight in the merchant caravans, and many of Anuire’s larger
Lionsgate Pass recently. Though these figures have guilds maintain offices and warehouses here.
yet to threaten the area, they have not made their The capital of the province is the trade town
intentions known either, and speculations are running of Ghieste, and it is here that the Haelyn Aegis and
wild. Some say that these are agents of the Duke the Militant Order of Cuiraécen both hold a large
Osoerde, while others insist that they are some court. An ancient community dating back to the
outlandish agents of the Baroness Roesone, sent to earliest days of Empire, the town shows well it’s age.
find some weakness in the Ghoeran defence. Of Buildings lean at precarious angles throughout the
course, the Lord Count Gwynaard is certain that they wooden town, the entire dock network sags deeply,
are minions of death come to take him to the afterlife. and the thick planking constantly creaks and moans as
In order to protect himself, he has recently declared the waters force the foundation pillars to shift. The
that it is illegal to harvest the Bloodthorn Flowers northern most quarters of the town are built along
which grow throughout the pass, since these could mighty wooden piers and docks, while only the
obviously be used to perpetrate his untimely demise. southern most quarters stand on firm enough ground
to support stone foundations. The entire town appears
as a great sore to the eye, and seems on the verge of
Ghiere crumbling into the Maesil any moment. Despite it’s
decrepit appearance, the town is one of the
he River Maesil is often said to be the lifeblood cornerstones of the barony’s economy, and few other

T of the Heartlands, and the many ships and


merchants which travel it’s waters have brought
incredible wealth and opportunity into the province of
communities within Anuire can boast such a high
proportion of wealthy citizens.

Ghiere since the earliest days of Empire. Once the


capital of the old Duchy of Ghieste, the region is now
Brotherhood of the Spur
a denizen of thieves, cutthroats, mercenaries and Known as the Redspurs by their enemies, the
undesirables of all sorts. It is easy for such folk to Order of the Spur is a militant order of Knights
become lost in the bustling trade centres of the fanatically devoted to the teachings of Cuiraécen.
region, but for this very reason, some of the finest These violent minded fanatics are affiliated with the
craftsmen and artisans can be found here as well. Militant Order of Cuiraécen, but are only marginally
The southern region of Ghiere is heavily tolerated by them, and are generally held in great
farmed, and only a few hours of travel lay between disdain by the more honour bound warriors of that
each of the many small roadside taverns and Order. Hostilities are not uncommon between the two
farmhouses. Small bluffs of woods grow in organized factions, as each considers the other to be a perversion
patterns, craftily tended to form wind breaks that keep of the faith in some fashion, and it is a constant
the precious soil from blowing away. The north is struggle to keep these two orders working in harmony.
swampy and bogs become common as one draws Where the Militant Order serves the invested
closer to the Shadowmere Swamp. The bogs bubble patriarch Fhylie the Sword, the Redspurs are fiercely
and froth with decaying organic matter, and many loyal to the edicts of the Ghoeran High Priest, Stiele
herbs are harvested from the rich earth of the mires, Ghieste, and pay Fhylie only token respect. There is
but they also hide many foul beasts and creatures best no question who commands the Redspurs, and this
left undisturbed. division in power only fuels the friction between the
two factions.
Vehemently opposed by
Towns the Lances of the Dawn in Elinie,
There are dozens of small hamlets and these knights mercilessly ride
villages scattered throughout the province, but aside their mounts across Anuire to do
from the capital, the only community worthy of the Stiele Ghieste’s bidding.

22
They are famous for riding their mounts to death, and become the next Countess Ghiere.
their spurs are often bloodied from kicking their Bruider inherited the title and lands from his
mounts to ever greater speed. father Bairenor, and has much yet to achieve if he is
to live up to his fathers legacy, who was best known
for his responsible and exacting service and
The Shadowmere Swamp administration to the baron. In contrast, Bruider
The swamp has existed since the first prefers to live life to it’s fullest, and uses his position
trickling waters of the River Maesil began to flow. to get what he wants while avoiding the majority of
The foul waters are fed by slow geysers of thermally work and a fair share of the responsability.
heated water, and when the cool waters of the River Lord Mayor Halivier Maellen (MA, T10,
Maesil flow into the swamps, heavy mists rise with unblooded) rules the trade centre of Ghieste in the
incredible speed, and cloak the land for miles around Baron’s name. A devious man with an infamously
in a blanket of stinking fog. cunning smile, the Lord Mayor manages the city as
It is an ancient and fetid marshland, infested his personal enterprise, and has his fingers in almost
with countless mosquitoes and biting flies. The most ever facet of the city. Halivier commands an intricate
feared creature in the swamps is not the giant wooly network of spies and informants within the city, and
lizard which infest the swamp, nor the many varieties his police force is little more than a trained group of
of vipers which live amongst the boughs of the sanctioned thugs. It is not uncommon for them to
twisted trees, but rather it is the simple Mere Leech accept bribes and other forms of corruption. Though
that commands the most terror. his nature and habits are generally well known,
Little more than a pale coloured slug, the Halivier somehow manages to legitimise even the
Mere Leech often grows to be over a hand in length, most underhanded of deeds in the pursuit of his office,
and a single leech can drain a mans body dry of blood and he is frequently called upon to perform matters
in only a few hours. Most often found floating with deemed too delicate for the Baron to become directly
the currents and eddies of the water, the leech involved in. He is generally suspected to be the
attaches itself to the flesh of passing creatures as they baron’s spy master, but as might be expected, this
brush against it. The slug-like body of the leech cannot be confirmed nor denied.
exudes a numbing excretion, and the victim will often
not be aware that his Lifesblood is being drained from
him until it is too late. Recent Events
A violent clash has recently erupted between
a squadron of Redspurs and a unit of Militant Order of
The Nobles Knights Templar just south of Stunder. By all
Bruider Arlannis (MA, F1, An, Minor, 23) is accounts the two factions refused to give way to the
the current Count Ghiere and is the quintessential fop other on the road until boiling tempers and stubborn
and dandy. Resplendent in his polished silver plate pride finally manifested in swinging swords and
mail, he frequently plays at being a knight, though he clashing steeds. Though there are no reports that any
has never received nor earned that honorific, nor even in either host were slain, several warriors from both
so much as rode in an armed campaign. Handsome factions were severely wounded in the encounter. The
beyond measure, and overly vain, he has been High Patriarch of Ghoere, Stiele Ghieste, is said to
married no fewer than four times in his ten year as have erupted in anger over the matter, and has
Count, and has released each one of his wives for a dispatched a missive to Fhylie the Sword in Tuornen
variety of surprisingly creative reasons. He has sired expressing his outrage in the matter, and condemning
nearly a half dozen children throughout his many her for her Templars blatant audacity at daring to raise
marriages, but refuses to take an active role in the hand against his personal guard.
rearing of any of them. Instead Bruider leaves their Several of the masked minions of the Sword
upbringing in the hands of the many servants and Mage, known throughout the land as “The Daemeon,”
maids which his household employs, and sees his have suddenly made their presence within Gheiste
children only rarely. Despite his rather questionable known, and have demanded positions amongst the
morality, he remains one of the most eligible civil court of the town. The Lord Mayor Halivier is
bachelors within the barony, and is frequently said to have been outraged at the audacity of it all, but
pursued by many young maidens, each one hoping to fearful of their sorcerous powers, he grudgingly

23
granted them a table. What their intent and purpose bridges and a seemingly endless labyrinth of stairs and
is within the town remains as mysterious as their dark winches connect the many ‘levels’ of the town
master, and if Baron Tael knows their purpose here, together. The town boasts enough taverns and
he has not deemed it necessary to inform the Lord brothels for a community twice it’s size, but despite
Mayor. that, there never seems to be an empty bench in any of
With the sudden exposure of the Daemeon, them once the mines close for the day. A common
reports and rumours of sorcerous occurrences are saying in the area is “A man can find a fight easier in
erupting throughout the region. Every rare streak of Bhrier, than he might find a mug of ale”, and this
luck, mysterious oddity or unexplainable event is axiom is not far from the truth. It is a tough town,
being accredited to some secret council of mages that inhabited by tough men. The surrounding area is
is rumoured to be harboring itself within Ghieste. littered with mines for miles around, most of which
The general populace seems convinced that a cabal of are owned by Ghorien Hiriele, though Guilder Kalien
wizards has moved into town, and the region seems to has also managed to capitalize on the abundant ore
be suffering from some sort of mass wizard-phobia. that is harvested from the region.

The Nobles
Rhumannen The office of Count of Rhumannen is
supposedly a hereditary title, though few families
humannen has never been completely tamed by

R the Barons of Ghoere, and even today, the land


proves a challenge to Tael’s rule. Aside from
the usual troubles of occasional raids into the region
have managed to hold the rank longer than a few
generations. The region is plagued by troubles of
nearly every sort, and the Baron of Ghoere seldom
allows his nobles to fail him twice. As such, the title
from the Spider’s minions, the Mhors of Mhoried
frequently passes to a new noble by Royal Decree
have always managed to maintain a notable amount
once the Baron has grown tired of the continued
of influence throughout the province. Despite
failures of the current Count. The Barons of Ghoere
repeated efforts on behalf of the Barons, Mhoried’s
have a long history of hanging the Counts of
influence has never been completely removed, though
Rhumannen, and it is generally regarded as a death
it has waxed and waned throughout the years. Today,
sentence to be named Count of the region. Though
the Mhor holds nearly as much political power within
few nobles would openly admit it, none seem eager to
the region as does the Baron Tael, and even the
accept the office.
regent of Endier, the Guilder Kalien, has managed to
The current Count is also nearing the end of
invest some sizeable interest in the markets and
his reign, though he has managed far better than most
economy of the land.
of his predecessors. Count Rheghor Saerel (MA, F5,
The land itself is covered with small bluffs
unblooded) has held this precarious position for nearly
of trees, especially along the south and west borders,
twelve years; far longer than most. It is said that he
while the north and east of the province has long been
has only managed to keep his life and office so long
clear cut to provide land for farming. The Spiderfell
simply by keeping the truth from reaching the Baron’s
is a boggy swamp of a forest and sits at the bottom of
ears. It seems well known amongst the populace that
a tall ridge of hills that run the width of the province.
the Count has nearly every baronial assessor, agent,
and official within the province on a sizeable stipend
Towns from the regions mines if their reports first filter
There are numerous small farming villages through the Count’s own offices.
along the road from the capital of Bhalaene, and the However, since the old mayor of Bhrier was
western reaches of the province are home to many found dead in his bath, Rheghor has watched his
shepherds, but the only sizeable community worthy of position of security slowly slipping away. The new
mention is the mining town of Bhrier. mayor, a young and eager man named Gaelyn Aerlier
Built entirely on the hillside, Bhrier is (MA, T2, Brenna, tainted, 6), lusts for power and
primarily a town of miners, trappers and merchants. seeks rapid advancement within the Baron’s
The town is actually built into the very hillside itself, hierarchy. He has managed to befriend the Baron’s
and the buildings are supported on the leeward side of vassal, the Guild Lord Ghorien Hirele, and together
the slope by a web work of stilts and pillars. Wooden the two have begun to threaten Count Rheghor’s

24
position by discovering the identities of the Count’s
agents, and essentially ‘outbidding’ his stipends with
their own. Thus, the two rogues are able to rewrite Thoralinar
the reports as they wish. Rheghor has odds placed on barren region, Thoralinar is little more than a
the date of his death throughout the town, and popular
opinion is that he will hang by the harvest. A vast prairie of wheat and rye. It is perhaps the
dullest region within Ghoere, and aside from
an occasional sighting of a goblin or two along the
Recent Events hills, very little of note unfolds within it’s borders.
Home to only a few thousand farmers, herdsmen and
Several of the older mines have begun to shepherds, the folk are generally considered by the
collapse with surprising frequency throughout the majority of Ghoerans to be little more than ignorant
region, and some suspect that the Spider’s minions country bumpkins. The good folk of Thoralinar must
might be undermining the supports and foundations in suffer as the butt of many jokes, most of which, call
an effort to seal the tunnels of Ghoere. Many suspect their intelligence and ancestry into question. The fact
that the mines of the region have begun to encroach that the populace has largely embraced the more
upon the goblin tunnels, (which are believed to benevolent teachings of the Life and Protection of
radiate like a web beneath the Spiderfell) and there is Avanlae only reinforces the prejudice which the
considerable debate within the courts to either close common Tharaliese must suffer.
the mines completely, or else purge the wood of the Still, the folk of the land prove a hardy lot
awnsheigh and his minions for good. and are quick to unite together if presented with
Baron Tael has begun to suspect the Count troubles. Many goblinoids seeking to raid the lands
of Rhumannen, and is considering replacing him from the hidden ravines and gullies around the
soon. However, there does not seem to be any nobles Gorgon’s Spine have been surprised by a united and
worthy of the office. The young Mayor of Bhrier is competent militia that suddenly mobilizes from the
eager enough for the position, but Gavin Tael cannot country side. The people of Thoralinar are good
stand the sight of him. There is some speculation that natured, but can turn as hard as nails in order to over
Tael might be considering abolishing the title come hardship.
completely, and instead naming his vassal Ghorien
Hirele as the new regional governor of Rhumannen.
Nobles have failed to quench the resistance of the Towns
region since the unification so long ago, so Tael is The lone settlement larger than 500 persons,
wondering if an eager-to-please guilder might be able is the farming community of Faerlan’s Field, and
to succeed where noble blood has failed. home to the Count of the province, Belryc
The previous mayor of Bhrier, the Lord Wiermaeon.
Mayor Harrigan Toele, was found dead in his bath The town serves the dozens of farms and
water only a month ago. Though there was never any shepherds of the province, and the entire economy of
investigation, many rumours have surfaced about his the region revolves around agriculture. Tall silos,
death. Some say that Harrigan was about to reveal mills, and granaries line the highway to Bhalaene, and
the Count’s duplicity to the Baron, and that Count what produce is not consumed locally, is shipped in
Rheghor had him poisoned in order to keep his secrets great caravans to the capital city. Famous for it’s ale
from the Baron’s ears . Others insist that it was and bread products, the populace holds a great
Harrigan’s successor, the eager Gaelyn, who seasonal fair following the autumn harvests, and folk
murdered the aging mayor in order to achieve the travel here from the furthest reaches of Ghoere in
rank of office for himself. There is also some order to partake of the festivities.
suspicion that Harrigan may have been slain by a
group of greedy miners in order to keep their
discovery of some great treasure within one of the old The Nobles
mines a secret. This rumour, though a bit far fetched, The Wiermaeon family has held this
is also one of the more popularly believed, since it province in the name of the Baron since the
also explains why there have been so many cave ins Unification occurred in 399 M.R. Originally a
of late, and the old mayor was famous for his powerful family of Brecht nobles once loyal to the
inspections and tours of the tunnels. Overlords of Anuire, the Wiermaeon family was

25
forced to flee their holdings in western Massenmarch reporting it to the local militia. He took a small silver
following the rise of Karl Bissel. Already much and ebony ring in the shape of a horned owl and also
inbred with Anuirean blood, the true heritage of the found a small iron bound box which contained a
family is only barely recognizable. They are more thumb sized ruby. Though he has told no one of his
Anuirean now than Brecht. booty, he has become very paranoid and protective
Currently, the aged Belryc Wiermaeon (MA, over the items, and spends most of his time
F2, Andurias, tainted, 8) reigns over the land, and obsessively coveting the stone and talks to it as if it
though his body is failing him, his mind is as sharp as were a child which needed his protection. His friends
ever. The entire household has fallen under fire from have become concerned over his odd behaviour, and
the other noble houses of Ghoere for their recent have begun to suspect that something is amiss.
public support of the Avanlae temples, but the old
Count Belryc refuses to bend knee to these pressures.
His family had lost their ancestral holds in Brechtur
due to violence and a lust of conquest, and throughout Tireste
their history within Ghoere, they have never managed he province of Tireste is another of the great
to regain their former power. Now is the time, Belryc
believes, to establish peace. Gavin Taele has left the
old man to his rumblings, thinking the old mule will
T centres of trade within the Barony. It’s
geographic location along the River Maesil, and
it’s proximity to the mercantile realm of Endier,
soon die anyway, and besides, Belryc’s only son provides the province endless opportunities for trade.
Gavnar, is a captain in the Ghoeran military - a The province is perhaps one of the most
convenient hostage if the Baron needs to silence the beautiful in the Barony and the great willows which
old Count. Still, Belryc is a dissident, and a rather grow along the rivers edge drape their boughs into the
charismatic one at that. It may only be a matter of water like curtains. Rolling hills of verdant grass and
time before his views of peace begin to spread across wildflowers cover the province like an artists canvas.
eastern Ghoere. Only in the east, where the dark wood of the
Baronet Elamien Rhondal (MA; F5; Spiderfell rises and the gentle hills turn craggy and
unblooded) is the aging Lord of 2 manors in western steep, does the land begin to loose it’s lush
Thoralinar. In his younger days, Elamien was known appearance.
as one of the barony’s most brave knights. His sons Fogs and mist are common throughout the
Aelvin (MA; F4; unblooded) and Pierden province, and are especially thick in the early morning
(MA;F3;unblooded) do their best to carry on the and evening. Seeming to rise out of the Spiderfell and
family’s military tradition, and are both ranking snake it’s way towards the river like a viper, the fog
officers in the Baron’s armies. becomes thick enough at times to limit vision to only
Baronet Friemen Collier (MA;F1; a few dozen feet, and it deadens the air in an
unblooded) is secretly in league with the Duke of unnatural silence. During these times, most folk stand
Osoerde, Jaison Raenech. He is very crafty and with weapons ready, staring towards the Spiderfell,
cunning, and his loyalty and allegiance has not yet awaiting the coming raids of the goblinoids of Tal-
come into question. The Collier’s control two manors Quazar.
along the province’s southern border. Though the country side appears serene and
peaceful, the politics of the region are quite the
Recent Events opposite. Guilder Kalien of Endier has managed to
dominate the province’s economy over the last few
A twisted goblin corpse has recently been years, and his influence rivals the Baron’s own. Most
discovered in the hills north east of Faerlan’s Field. nobles tread a treacherous path within Tireste, for
Though the incident would hardly be worthy of their security and welfare rests with the whims of both
mention elsewhere in the Barony, it is great news the Baron of Ghoere, and Guilder Kalien’s mob
within the province, and there are few folk here who bosses. More than one noble has fallen from grace as
do not debate the original intent of the goblinoid. a result of offending one of these two powers.
Many believe it was sent to spy out the weakness of
the region, though the nobles of the region dismiss
this rumour outright. Unknown to most, the farmer Towns
who found the corpse first pilfered the body before Though the province is heavily populated,

26
there are few towns larger than a few hundred folk. but the most ranking priests and renown theologians
The close proximity to both Endier and the trade city into the library proper.
of Ghieste has resulted in little need for another large
settlement, but instead, the land is dotted with
numerous towns and villages. A man can walk to
The Nobles
four different settlements in the span of a day with Though not a proper noble himself, the Guild
little trouble. Lord Kalien of Endier (see “Player Secrets of Endier”
The town of Maeren’s Crossing is perhaps for details), parades through the streets of Aendar as if
one of the largest settlements within Tireste, and is he were, and receives greater respect from the
the only ferry and crossing into the Duchy of Alamie citizenry than do many legitimate nobles of the
south of Ghieste itself. It also holds the distinction of region. He controls nearly the entire economy of the
being the birth place and centre of the ancestral fief province, and can close the borders to trade with a
of the Lord Regien, first Baron of Ghoere, and it is single word. Though he is far too cunning to openly
from this fief that the Barony takes it’s name. The threaten this course of action, he has made it known
fief of Ghoere has long since been in the control of that he can do just that, and has withheld popular
the Vathormane family however, (See “Nobles” items and common necessities for brief periods in the
below for additional information) and that family also past-just to prove that he could. The resulting famine
holds the title over the county. is not something the folk of the region wish to repeat,
Aendar is another large town, home to nearly and they often pressure the Baron’s nobles and
2000 persons, and is located only hours from the officers into seeing things the way Kalien wants them.
Endieran border. Aendar is built around the Imperial The Countess Gwyllese Brimnance
Highway that connects Bhalanene to the lands of Vathormane (FA, F0, Ba, major, 36) is the ruling
Diemed and beyond, and so many merchants have Countess of Tireste, and her house is as old and
established warehouses and other holdings here. ancient as the Maesil itself. The Countess prides her
Aendar also serves as the centre for the eastern House’s ability to be able to trace it’s lineage back to
Borderwatch patrols, and several fortified watch the pre-flight tribes of Aduria, and she takes the
towers have been built in the surrounding area. opportunity to remind her peers of this at every
opportunity. Snobbish, conceited and condescending
in the extreme, the Lady is the epitome of nobility at
The abbey of Haelyn’s Cross it’s extreme. Though a powerful bloodline flows in
One of the many abbeys throughout the her veins, very few men can stand her haughty
Heartlands of the ancient faith known as the Haelyn’s attitudes, and the few suitors which her late father
Aegis, the Abbey of the Cross has stood in this region managed to bring forward were quickly dismissed or
since time immemorial. ran away on their own volition after only a few hours
Heavily fortified, the Abbey appears to be in her presence. Thus she has remained a maid, and
more a well defended keep than a vast library, but no prospective husbands are forthcoming. The
there are actually very few militant clergy dwelling ancient Vathormane line appears doomed to
within the tall towers of the Abbey. Only a skeleton extinction.
regiment of knights Templar are posted at the abbey, As might be expected, she cannot stand the
and the number of resident librarians, contemplative sight of the Guilder Kalien, who she sees as little
monks, and scribes here far outnumber the more more than a common thief and scoundrel. Though she
martially skilled of the order. cannot deny his political power and strength within
Serving the Haelyn’s Aegis as one of the her County, she only barely manages to belittle herself
primary research and contemplation centres of the and her position by playing a game of peerage with
faith, the Abbey of Haelyn’s Cross is tasked with the him. Blatantly sweet and grotesquely polite in her
study and interpretation of the ancient histories of the dealing with him, it is all too apparent that she detest
Anuirean peoples. The libraries of the Cross are said him with her every fibre, and Kalien knows it. The
to be so extensive, that the towers alone can not Countess is certain that Kalien goes out of his way to
contain it all, and so have been expanded over the test her resolve in this matter, and that he takes every
centuries in a great labyrinth of books, scrolls, and opportunity to slight her dignity (which he does -
tomes deep below the keep. The Abbey refuses to much to the delight of the attending nobles.)
confirm this issue however, and seldom allows any

27
Recent Events saying throughout the Barony for a man who refuses
to yield his position despite apparently
There are always minor instances of goblin insurmountable odds.
activity along the Spiderfell border, but of late, there
has been a significant increase in the sheer number
and frequency of such incursions. There are also
several reports of massive ‘curtains’ of spiders that Towns
are seen writhing from the boughs of the dark and Across the river from the Mhoried port of
twisted trees only a dozen yards from the edge of the Riumache, lies the Ghoeran port of Almen. A smaller
wood. Many fear that the Spider Lord is planning a version of its sister city of Ghieste to the west, Almen
major offensive very soon. serves as both a way station for the many ships and
The philosopher and writer, Sir Daerren barges that ply the river, and also as the home port of
Peirvian, has recently completed a study on the nature the Baron’s river patrols. From Almen, the port in
of the old Ghieste society and its focus on the Riumache is easily visible, and river captains from
humanities during the height of the Duchies power. both realms sail the area in an uneasy peace.
Though it is not yet widely known, his writings are Brona is a small town nestled near the centre
causing a wave of outrage amongst the nobility who of the province and is best known for it’s breeding
have read it. Sir Peirvian concludes in his writing that stables as well as the many wind powered mills which
the rise of the middle class and the loss of power have been built throughout the hillside all along the
amongst the noblesse which occurred following the Riumache Road. Merchants from across Ghoere ship
collapse of Empire was a renaissance well ahead of their goods here to be ground into flour and meal.
it’s time. He goes so far as to suggest later in his Long used on the farms of the region, the
writing, that the same state will inevitably come to Tornilen Mule has been bred over many generations
pass again throughout modern day Anuire, a for their strong backs and legs, as well as for their
revelation which the nobility has no wish to see come remarkable hardiness and endurance. Famed for it’s
to pass - again. Though the various sects of Haelyn single mindedness, the mules have been known to
have yet to comment on his writings, there is some work themselves to death if not properly supervised.
concern that Daerren may have also committed Unfortunately, the beasts must frequently be
heresy in the course of detailing his missive, for in his ‘convinced’ to perform the task in the first place. It is
attempt to define the state of being which lies a skilled trainer and handler who is able to direct these
between the nobility and lower classes, he may also beasts of burden consistently and without incident.
have brought the core of Haelyn’s scriptures into The Three Roads Inn is not a proper
question. community in itself, but rather is a large coaching Inn
and sizeable stable yard which caters to the many
travellers and caravans which traverse the Imperial
Tornilen Highway between the Ghoeran capital and the
southern realms. The Inn is owned by the Maerrel
Another agricultural centre, the province of family, an ancient line of fallen Ghieste nobility, and
Tornilen has always produced an abundance of the Inn is all that remains of their once vast holdings.
foodstuffs, though it frequently suffers as a battlefield Many of Anuire’s most well known bards
between the forces of the Mhor and the Baron. Since have played the Three Roads Inn at one time or
it is not uncommon for the farmlands of the region to another, and the epic ballads and tales which have
be torn asunder by clashing raiding forces from either been woven beside the Inn’s massive hearth are
realm, the folk of Tornilen have become hardy and considered by many in Anuire’s Bardic Colleges to
are stubbornly indomitable. Though their entire crop have been legendary performances.
might be confiscated in order to supply the Baron’s
troops on his latest campaign against Mhoried, the
people refuse to give up, and simply begin their
The Nobles
planting again. No matter the manner of hardship, The High Lady Margaery Khellevien (FA,
the Tornilen people seem to grudgingly endure, M4, Vo, minor, 28) is a young and beautiful graduate
refusing to surrender or succumb to despair. of the Royal College of Sorcery. She inherited the
“Stubborn as a Tornilen” has become a common title of Countess of Tireste following the drowning

28
deaths of her family last autumn
when their river barge was
attacked by river pirates as they
journey to the City of Anuire to
attend her graduation. Thrust
into a position for which she
was not prepared, she is finding
the intrigues and subtleties of
court very difficult, and she
longs to be free of such duties in
order to pursue her love of
magic. Despite this, she suffers
her duties well, and strives to
learn the art of regency.
Though she has much
to learn, she has made
significant progress over the last
months, thanks in large part to
the efforts and attentions given
to her by the Royal Captain
Brence Caragrane. There is
substantial rumour that the two
have become romantically
involved, but they both deny You can’t hide anything in Ghoere without the Iron Guard finding out about it.
these stories out right. Both are
painfully aware of their respective stations and the his offices strong house in the town of Almen. His
complications which would arise from any office is tasked with keeping the Barons Law upon the
relationship which they might engage in. This suits River Maesil and it’s surrounding environs, and Lord
many of the Lords of Ghoere fine, for there are Brence takes the task very seriously. He is also
several ranking nobles who eagerly seek the High extremely good at what he does. Very few river
Lady’s favour, and of late, even Baron Tael’s pirates escape his notice or the reach of his arm.
chamberlain has begun to think that the Lady Unfortunately, the officers and men who serve him
Margaery would make an excellent Baroness. are not so loyal or dutiful, and the Lord Brence is
The Maerrel Household is an ancient line of often forced to police his own men as well as the
Ghieste nobles who were once prominent figures in rivers which surround his beloved land.
the Ducal courts of that realm, and held the honour of
caring for the Ducal Winter Palace during the
summers while the Royal family was at court.
However, following the arrest and subsequent death
of the Duke Rheghor Ghieste and his family, the
Maerrel family was also persecuted as Ghieste
sympathisers, and much of their lands were
confiscated by the Throne. Now little more than Recent Events
impoverished nobles, the entire household consists of The hearth at the Three Roads Tavern is said
only the land and buildings which are the Three to have been the vessel for a recent apparition.
Roads Inn. It is the families shame that they have According to eyewitness accounts, the hearth began to
been reduced to common labour, but the household glow a soft blue, and the common
has accepted their lot over the intervening centuries, room was filled with a soft, sparkling
and they take great pride in their inn. radiance, described as being like unto
Brence Caragrane (MA, R7, unblooded) is a full moon. All within were said to
the Lord Captain of the Barons Fleet, and commands have fallen speechless at the sight of
over a dozen river boats and half as many barges from

29
it, and then every lantern in the room suddenly burst more than 200,000 people, most of which are
into a blazing flame, blinding all within with it’s indentured serfs. The presence of the free middle
intensity. Some have begun to postulate that the class, which is becoming more common throughout
event was a prophetic vision sent by Ruornil, and Anuire, is most evident in the mercantile provinces of
taken it to mean that the extinct Ghieste family Ghiere and Tireste, but is slowly growing in size and
bloodline shall be reborn, while others suspect the strength within Bhalaene over the past decade as well.
Maerrel’s may have interpreted the occurrence to Elsewhere in the Barony, the vast majority of folk live
mean that their lost station and lands shall soon be as serfs who work their Lord’s lands and are seldom
returned to them. The Baron’s closest advisors warn permitted to leave the confines of the fief in which
that he should beware possible treachery from the they serve.
fallen nobles, for though they appear beaten, they By far the most common character class
might yet rekindle the lost loyalties of the old Gheiste within the Barony is that of a warrior, and the long
lines. Whatever the truth of it, the popularity, as well military tradition of the barony encourages folk to
as the infamy of the Inn, has grown three fold since pursue the proficiencies of that profession.
word of this occurrence first became known. Excellence in the martial skills is the quickest and
A large river barge which was headed for the easiest route to power and prestige within the Barony.
Imperial City has recently left the port town of Those who cannot fight tend to gravitate towards the
Almen, but has failed to meet it’s scheduled arrival more mundane mercantile pursuits which remain
date at the port of Ghieste. It is suspected that the prevalent in the core psyche of old Ghieste. The ratio
barge was attacked by river pirates and was quite of career minded thieves (that is to say, those thieves
likely scuttled in the murky depths of the who organise themselves into a business-like entities
Shadowmere swamp. It is uncertain what cargo the and brotherhoods) is perhaps higher within the
barge carried, or if the pirates managed to loot the province of Ghieste itself than in all of some of the
entire hold before the barge met it’s end, but several smaller realms of Anuire.
agents representing the College of Sorcery have
arrived in the region to begin searching for the hulk.
This has lead some to speculate that the cargo was
A Brief Word Regarding
worth more than what was first believed. There is a Ghoeran Feudalism
growing treasure hunt underway as a result, and the The vast majority of citizens are common
quest for the missing barge has become something of folk who are indentured to some lord or other, and
a local sporting event. there are relatively few ‘free men’ amongst the lower
classes. With the general appearance of a rising
middle class throughout Anuire over the past years,
the number of free men is increasing within the
Ghoeran Society Barony, but very few of these are land owners, and so
are not entitled to hold serfs under Ghoeran law as
he Ghoeran way of life is rather simple: obey landed nobles are. The very nature of the Ghoeran

T well and thrive, or rebel and die. Disobedience


is not tolerated in any form within the Ghoeran
mind set, and ranks amongst the greatest crimes
feudal system is such that in matters of a lord to a
vassal, the Baron and his officials have very few
rights nor privilege with which to intervene. As long
known throughout the Barony. as the over lying laws of Barony are not in themselves
There is little in the way of personal broken, titled lords and nobles are within their rights
freedoms within Ghoere, as many aspects of daily life to dispense their own justice amongst their vassals and
are structured and regulated in some way. The entire serfs as they deem fit.
realm is rigidly militaristic which manifests itself in Though the Baron holds and maintains his
the form of civic oppression, and own troops, and also has command of the dreaded
every where a man turns, there is Iron Guard, it is also important to note that the
an official or officer of some sort practice of “Calling of the Banners” (see “Special
policing the populace and Action: Calling of the Banners” for additional details)
ensuring that the status quo is is still practised throughout Ghoere, and all land
followed to the letter. owners within the barony are expected to supply a
The barony is home to

30
percentage of their house guards to the service of the edicts were obeyed by all his citizens. Essentially the
Baron and his armies if called. Though there is need Iron Guard still serves it’s original purpose, but now
for this ancient practice to be invoked only in times of has the power to act as Tael’s personal brute squad
massive campaign, failure to comply will throughout the entire realm. The Iron Guard are
immediately result in the complete and total forfeiture renown throughout Anuire, and follow the Baron’s
of all lands and holdings to the Crown of Ghoere, and orders without question or hesitation.
the irrevokable stripping of any titles and rankings
currently held within the barony. Essentially, the The core of the Iron Guard is comprised of
noble in question is reduced to a common free man, the best soldiers and officers which are hand picked
and will quite likely end up being forced to indenture from amongst the regional military regiments. Each
himself and his family to another in order to survive; one pf them has proven their loyalty to the Baron first
a harsh punishment and significant deterrent in the and the realm second, in some fashion, and has at the
mind of any noble worthy of his blood. least, been awarded the ‘Badge of the Lion Rampant’
(an honorarium which recognizes a mans exceptional
The Nobility of Ghoere courage and bravery in battle) at least once.
With the recent troubles he has had in regards
The highest title achievable within Ghoere is to his nobles loyalty, Taele has begun swelling the
that of Baron, and only the current ruling family may numbers of the Iron Guard by declaring that all
claim it. Since Ghoere has not yet managed a long cavalry and elite units within the Barony must serve a
lived dynasty, this title tends not to be hereditary, but term of at least one year under his direct command
is instead claimed by the successor (or usurper (which essentially means his Captains in the Iron
depending upon your point of view) of the throne of Guard get a year to brain wash as many of these men
Ghoere. It is important to note that there is no such as they can, and use that resist as cannon fodder in the
limit in place concerning a families rank however, event of war.) Thus he hopes to hold his nobles in
since the Baron of Ghoere cannot possibly enforce check with possible noble born hostages who might be
any decrees to suppress such ancient claims. amongst the units so sequestered, and is also able to
Titles and position are an important aspect of maintain a large force under his direct command in
life within the militaristic realm of Ghoere, and the case he should need to march against a recalcitrant
Baron and his nobles are fond of granting titles, noble or put down a possible revolt against his rule.
honours and medals (of some form or other,) upon Employed mainly as an elite civic police
their subordinates which they deem worthy or who force, the Iron Guard is not amongst the standing
have excelled in some fashion. Since such military units of Ghoere which are able to engage in
bureaucratic titles are not generally hereditary in traditional war moves. There are simply not enough
nature, the nobles of Ghoere are relatively free to cast individuals in the core of the Iron Guard to constitute
such positions around without having to overly worry the improved statistics described on the war card unit.
about the long reaching effects. As such, there are In order to raise an actual unit of Iron Guard for use in
numerous administrative and bureaucratic titles in use the field, the Baron must use the ‘Improve Unit’
throughout Ghoere, many of which have not been domain action as described in the Book of Regency
employed since the height of the Empire, and even page 85.
several dozen positions which are unique to the
Barony itself. However, very few of these titles hold
any degree of meaning or effect outside of the realm. The Ghoeran Military
The Barony of Ghoere is without a doubt,
The Iron Guard of Ghoere one of the most militaristic realms upon the face of
Cerilia, and it’s extensive natural resources are
First formed by Gavin Tael prior to his quickly consumed in order to support the massive
ascension to the throne of Ghoere, the Iron Guard military engine that the realm maintains. The
originally served as Tael’s House Guard and his standing army of the Barony and their traditional
private elite units. It was with their aid that he locations consists of the following:
managed to secure his throne so easily. Upon his
coronation, the Iron Guard was given the honour and Achiese
duty of policing the entire realm and ensuring his 1 unit pikemen

31
1 unit mercenary cavalry Essentially the Baron issues a decree that requires his
Bhalaene landed nobility to supply him with a percentage of
1 unit archer trained and equipped units based on the general net
2 units cavalry worth of their estate and the amount of land which
1 unit elite infantry they directly hold.
Bheline These units will arrive in the capital (or
No standing army another appointed domestic province if desired) at the
Conallier opening of the third round of the same war move in
1 unit archer which this power is invoked. Troops so mustered are
1 unit mercenary cavalry considered to be mercenary infantry units, though for
1 Patrol Barge every 3 units of infantry so mustered, one unit may be
Danaroene knights if so desired. All these additional units
1 unit elite infantry function as the equivalent mercenary card of the same
1 unit pikemen type.
Ghiere The regent of Ghoere is able to perform this
1 unit cavalry special action only once every other season at most,
1 unit elite infantry but it should also be noted that there is a finite number
1 unit knights of trained warriors within the Barony. Excessive use
6 River Boats of this special action will weaken the defensive ability
1 Patrol Barge of the barony at large, and cause considerable strife
Rhumannen and unrest from the over taxed nobles (not to mention
1 unit archer the common folk who must form the bulk of these
Thoralinar units). The regent of Ghoere is warned to employ this
No standing army special power only as a last resort.
Tireste
1 unit mercenary cavalry

Tornilen
1 River Boat
Important
1 unit knights
1 unit pikemen
5 River Boats
1 Patrol Barge
Personages
hoere is home to many powerful people, for the

Aside from these Royal troops, the regent of


Ghoere can expect additional support from the
G very nature of the Barony dictates that only the
strongest are able to rule for long. Of course,
Gavin Tael keeps both eyes on his nobles at all times,
Militant Order of Cuiraécen, and might also be able and though he may not appear to be aware (or even
to convince the Haelyn’s Aegis to supply additional concerned) of their behaviour, there is very little
units if he is able to convince the Prelates of that which occurs in the land that he is not quickly
temple that the cause is just. appraised of. Indeed, many would argue that the only
events which unfold within Ghoere are those which
Special Action: the Baron has put into play himself.

The Calling of the Banners Gavin Tael, Baron of Ghoere


Aside from it’s standing units, (listed
9th level Anuirean Fighter
previously) the Barony is able to muster an additional
force of 10 units worth of troops, (without direct or
immediate cost to the throne) upon the close of the
second war move of any given military campaign.
These additional troops are considered to be
the result of the Baron invoking the ancient feudal
practice known as “The Calling of the Banners.”

32
Str: 18/25 rewards of doing so. Should he choose to produce or
Dex: 14 recognized an heir one day, then he can go and secure
Con: 16 his own power, just as Tael has done.
Int: 12 Though his temper is said to be only slightly
Wis: 13 less fiery than the Gorgon’s own, Tael has learned
Cha: 11 considerable patience, and has mastered the art of
AL: LE playing his enemy’s own fears and doubts against
AC: -2 them. He often jokes with his advisors that he will be
hp: 73 known as Anuire’s greatest puppeteer, for he has
MV: 6 craftily forced many of his enemies to dance to the
THACO:12 (10) rhythm which he has set for them - and many did not
#AT: 3/2 even know it! A masterful manipulator, more than
Dmg: 2d4+2 (Warstar) one enemy has ripped himself apart with their own
Bloodline: Reynir, major, 49 doubt and apprehension as a result of Tael’s skill.
Blood Abilities: Iron will, Long Life (major). Gavin Tael is fully described in the Book of Regency,
Special Items: Warstar (morning star +2), Crown of page 55.
Ghoere (provides 25% magic resistance while worn),
field plate +1, shield +1 (with raven symbol of
Ghoere emblazoned on a red and green field).
Jonathan Miechale, First
Ruthless and cunning, the Baron Taele is one Lieutenant of Ghoere
of the most dangerous and powerful men within 5th level Anuirean Fighter
Anuire. His word is law, and he expects his law to be Str: 17
obeyed. Disobey him, and you will be destroyed. Dex: 13
Serve well, and you will be rewarded. Patient and Con: 14
manipulative, his true strength lies not in his skill of Int: 12
arms (which is substantial to say the least,) but rather Wis: 10
it is the loyalty he inspires amongst his vassals which Cha: 11
makes him so powerful. Though not a kind or gentle AC: 4(3)
man, Tael has proven that he is willing to reward (and hp: 38
punish) equally and fairly, without class or social THACO: 15
discrimination, and the people of Ghoere seem to love #AT: 3/2
him for it. His nobles on the other hand, tend to Dmg: by weapon
resent this rather Bloodline: None
odd habit of the Blood Abilities: None
Baron, and despite Items: Half Plate armour, shield, crossbow, lance,
his continued long sword, ring of office (signet ring).
examples, the One of several unblooded and common born
Baron must lieutenants in the Baron’s employ, Jonathan Miechale
continually is proud of the honour which Gavin Tael has placed
struggle to remind upon him, and he is determined to excel in his new
his nobility that he station. He serves the Baron without question, and is
will not let their eager to please his Lord.
stations hide them Gavin is smart enough to know that by
from his wrath or permitting such common folk to achieve positions of
his law. importance and power that it improves their loyalty
Where towards him, and also inspires others to work hard in
other regents hope hopes of achieving a similar reward for themselves.
to build and secure In this manner, Jonathan has already exceeded his
a dynasty for their Baron’s hopes, for Jonathan is already a true hero
rule, Tael wants it all for himself, and he wants it all amongst the common folk. Only a little more than a
now. If it is his might and strength which forges a year and a half after his rise to the position, many
realm, then he feels he should be the one to reap the

33
farm boys play at being ‘Sir Miechale’ and pretend at this thought has occurred to Moergan, and he will
protecting the Barony from her enemies. Tael is quite surely be sent to his death in the name of duty soon.
happy with Miechale’s performance in this regard,
but he is also aware that too much popularity could
prove to be a threat to his rule, lest the populace rally
The Sword Mage
behind the unblooded hero. Tael is therefor already 10th level Vos Wizard
planning Jonathan’s fall from grace if he does not do Str: 11
so on his own first. Dex: 17
Con: 16
Int: 17
Moergan Braelaunt Wis: 13
4h level Anuirean Fighter Cha: 15
Str: 14 AC: -5
Dex: 17 hp: 43
Con: 15 THACO: 18
Int: 17 #AT: 1
Wis: 13 Dmg: 1d4 (dagger)
Cha: 16 Bloodline:
AC: 3/2 (-3 Dex adj.) Vorynn, major, 42
hp: 80 Blood Abilities: Alter appearance, resistance (major).
THACO: 12 Items: Cloak of Swords AC 0, blade of protection +2,
#AT: 3/2 blade of magic protection (as a scarab of protection),
Dmg: By Weapon blade of opening (as a chime of opening), numerous
Bloodline: Reynir, major, 24 potions & scrolls.
Blood Abilities: Enhanced Sense, Iron Will A rumoured summoner of demons, the Sword
Items: Plate mail, shield, long sword, lance, Mage has earned his reputation well. Perhaps no
crossbow, battle axe. other being is more feared or more mysterious within
Moergan is the unrecognized bastard of Anuire than this masked wizard with a warriors heart.
Gavin Tael, and the Lady Emillie Braelaunt of So mysterious and secretive is the mage, that none can
Aendar. A minor courtier in the service of the even accurately
Countess of Tireste, Gavin had a brief affair with the discern the mages
lovely Lady Braelaunt during his time as a general in sex, though he is
the armies of Orvaene Ghorelle. Since his ascension popularly believed
to the throne of Ghoere, Gavin has ‘orchestrated’ to be male. The
events in order to secure Moergan’s loyalty. The mage is renown as a
Lady Braelaunt now serves in Rook Roost Castle (a cruel, ruthless and
convenient hostage, and Moergan understands this evil sorcerer,
well.) perhaps the most
Moergan is young and prideful, and he black hearted being
resents the hold which Tael has over him, but as yet this side of the
he is powerless to do anything about it without risking Gorgon’s Crown.
the life of his dear mother. Moergan knows that his The current
life is always in danger, for if Gavin perceives him as alliance the Sword
a threat, then he will simply be sent on some Mage holds with the
impossible mission from which he will never return. Baron Gavin Tael is
Still, Moergan frequently clashes with the Baron and as mysterious as the
his men, and is in need of reminder of his tenuous mage himself. It is
position rather frequently. surely an
If Moergan can manage to curb his temper arrangement of
and his pride for a few years, he might survive long mutual
enough to build a following of his own, and then convenience, and
press his claim upon the throne. Gavin is sure that little actual interaction is known to occur between the

34
two. it is commonly believed that he will instead cement
The minions of the Sword Mage, commonly his hold over his regional diocese and then splinter
known amongst the Ghoeran people as ‘The from Fhylie and her order completely.
Daemeon.’ Despite his namesake, Stiele Ghieste has no
As far as anyone knows, the mysterious order has no claim to the ancient bloodline of the same name, or at
official title or anything as formal as a name - and no the least, none that can be legally supported or
one has thought to ask the Sword Mage the question. proven. This suits Stiele fine however, since he is not
Whatever these agents and minions are overly interested in anything other than the pursuit of
called, they are feared just as much, if not more, than glory in the name of Cuiraécen. Despite this apparent
Ghoere’s own Iron Guard. When they appear in lack of interest in laying claim to the ancient title, the
public, they shield their faces behind a full face, Baron Tael has placed several spies within the temple
silver cloth mask with a black sword bisecting the hierarchy with which he may closely monitor the aims
face. As they pass, fear follows. and agenda of the Priest and his clergy.
The Sword Mage is fully detailed in the Book of
Magecraft, page 41.
Ghorien Hiriele
5th Level Anuirean Thief
Stiele Ghieste Str: 13
9th Level Priest of Cuiraécen Dex: 17
Str: 16 Con: 13
Dex: 13 Int: 12
Con: 14 Wis: 10
Int: 12 Cha: 11
Wis: 14 AC: 8/5 (-3 Dex adj.)
Cha: 16 hp: 24
AC: 0 THACO:18
hp: 42 #AT: 1
THACO:16 Dmg: by weapon
#AT: 1 Bloodline: An, minor, 20
Dmg: by weapon Blood Abilities: Resistance
Bloodline: Andurias, major, 27 (minor):enchantment/charm magic school
Blood Abilities: Battlewise (major), Courage (minor) Items: Leather Armour, long sword, dagger, crossbow
Items: Full Plate, the Storm Shield (shield +1, A competent guilder in his own right,
protection against heat/cold 10'), Cuiraécen’s Ghorien Hiriele seems cursed with an endless streak
Glittering Blade (long sword of sharpness +2), lance, of bad luck, and even the greatest of his schemes
flail seldom develop or mature as they should. Despite his
The High Priest Stiele Ghieste is an active best efforts, he has been unable to greatly impress the
and aggressive proponent of the war aims of the Baron of Ghoere, and seems hopelessly trapped in a
Baron Tael, and works closely with him and his strict vassalage contract with him. In fact, Ghorien
generals quite frequently. Stiele is well known for his Hiriele holds his title and position over the
despisal of the order’s invested ruler, Fhylie the Highland/Overland Traders only because Tael lets
Sword, (see the Player Secrets of Tuornen for details) him keep it, and Ghorien knows it all too well. He is
and he seldom follows her dictates or directives with not overly bitter in spite of this, and instead strives to
more than a modicum of compliance. excel in his assigned tasks. Thus he hopes that the
The High Priest commands the loyalty of Baron Tael will at last realize his true potential, and
more than half of the Ghoeran temples, but also holds grant Hiriele the freedom and control of the guild
the complete and utter allegiance of the affiliated network which he currently only oversees.
order known a The Redspurs, and these serve him as A handsome man in the prime of his youth,
his personal guard and private army. Despite his Ghorien has little trouble attracting potential brides,
power and dominance over the Ghoeran temples, the but as yet, he has resisted obligating himself to any
High Priest has much left to accomplish if he is to single woman. Better he reasons, to remain mobile-
challenge Fhylie for the regency of the entire faith, so and besides, the last thing he needs is another

35
responsibility which could be used to hold him back. The Mhor does not hold enough direct power
Ever the under dog in the contest for the to actively oppose Tael in any but the most minor
Ghoeran markets, Ghorien hates the Lord Kalien of actions throughout the majority of Ghoere, but he has
Endier with every fibre of his being, and is constantly been known to use his resident power to influence the
plotting the untimely demise of the half elf. decisions of local magistrates in the past. As well, a
Unfortunately for Hiriele, Kalien is all too aware of good many of Ghoere’s lesser nobility (and in turn,
his desire, and he forces the Ghoeran merchant to these noble’s vassals) are secretly on the Mhor’s
play an amusing game of cat and mouse - a game that payroll or have been promised some other great
Ghorien is seldom able to win. reward in return for their efforts. In the lands of
Despite his lack of great success, Ghorien Ghiere and Rhumannen however, the Mhor has long
truly believes he is destined for great things. He only held a stronger presence, and is frequently able to
needs the opportunity and the chance to prove more directly affect the affairs of those regions.
himself. Within these provinces, the Mhor has
actively managed to construct a physical semblance of
law, and he actively works to thwart the Baron Tael.
Holdings of Within Ghiere, the Mhor maintains a handful of small
but fortified holdings and even a defensible ship yard
near the edge of the city of Ghieste. From these

Ghoere walled compounds, the agents of the Mhor are able to


cause the Baron and his officials no end of grief, and
more than a few exposed spies and nobles of the Mhor
here are many factions and groups within the

T Barony of Ghoere who hold power aside from


the Baron and his officials. Despite this, only a
very select few of these have managed to attain a
have been smuggled out of the land from here.
His hold over the province of Rhumannen is
equal to the Baron’s own, and the land is neatly
strong enough presence to effect the workings of the divided in half between the two. Always a thorn in
Barony at large. Ever mindful of the various groups the side of the Baron’s rule, the people of Rhumannen
and factions within his land, the Baron Tael is wise have long held to the Mhor’s presence as an excuse to
enough to know that even smallest fish might avoid losing the common freedoms which the region
eventually grow into a shark, and so he permits very is so renown for. Something as simple as declaring a
little in the way of rival powers within his lands. He curfew upon the province would be cause for
is constantly policing his lands and routing out such domestic uprising. As such, the rulership of
holdings and factions which he deems a threat. The Rhumannen has always proven to be an impossible
only holdings in Ghoere are either the ones that he challenge, and most Ghoeran nobles avoid the charge
permits to be there, or the ones he is currently with all they are worth.
working on removing. As such, it is very difficult for
any new holdings to get a foot hold within the Barony
without first gaining his blessing to do so.
Temples
lways a stoutly religious people, the folk of

Law Holdings
he Baron of Ghoere would love nothing more
A eastern Ghoere seldom take exception to the
dictates of the sanctioned temples within the
Barony, and even those who are more directly

T than to attain total and complete control and


domination over all vestiges and manifestations
of law within his realm, but unfortunately, the Mhor
descended from the Ghieste lines of old have learned
to respect the edicts of the church. This is not to say
that the temple regents can expect an easy time within
yet maintains several small law holdings throughout the Barony, for the Baron Tael is a crafty and cunning
select portions of the Barony, and Ghoere has grown negotiator, and a man can never be certain he is
large enough to keep the Baron largely busy with the hearing what he thinks Tael is saying. Still, if the
many other matters of state that prevent him from Prelate of Ghieste says the sky is green, few will dare
actively increasing his strangle hold over the realm. nay say him in public.

The Mhor Of Mhoried Haelyn’s Aegis

36
Aside from the staunch support of Cuiraécen, The hills of Rhumannen are the site of the first abbey
the Baron also supports the Order of Haelyn’s Aegis, in Cuiraécen’s honour and was built late in the sixth
though with substantial less reverence and century following Deismaar. Built in the hills to ward
enthusiasm. Though the Order is headquartered in the the Spiderfell, the small abbey existed without much
Mhoried capital of Shieldhaven, the Baron of Ghoere note until the Baron Regien Ghoere won the throne
has given his support to the Ghoeran temples of the and united the Duchies of Ghieste and Bhalaene.
Order as well, and in return, the High Priestess Anita Following his successful campaign, the faith of
Maricore has promised the Baron that her Order will Cuiraécen quickly rose to prominence, and Ghoere is
not actively spy for either him nor the Mhor. The generally considered to be the birthplace of the entire
duty of the Haelyn’s Aegis is to defend all of Anuire, faith of Haelyn’s son. With such a strong following, it
not just a single realm or the interests of an individual comes as a surprise then that the actual political centre
regent. Despite this, (or perhaps because of it) the of the faith is based in Tuornen rather than in the
temple is often forced to act as a mediator and realm which founded the faith.
diplomat between the two realms. The Order preaches that the spirit can only be
trained through the body, and as such, the majority of
the monks and priests of the temple are able fighters
Life and Protection of and warriors. Since it is a faith of strength and
Avanlae courage, the abbeys and monasteries are not known
for their hospitality nor charity - any who seek
Several members of the barony’s upper class
sanctuary within their walls are permitted a single
have taken to the worship of Avanlae in the last few
days respite. Once this time has passed, they are
years, and the faith is growing in popularity
forced to depart or else pledge themselves to the
throughout the eastern border provinces - despite the
Order and Cuiraécen’s service.
Baron’s somewhat mediocre attempts to stop it.
Under the purview of the High Priest Stiele
Medhlorie Haensen, the Hierophant of the temple in
Ghieste, the Militant Order continues to expand
Elenie, is very pleased that the teachings of the patron
throughout the Barony. The largest temple belonging
of the Khinasi folk has begun to be embraced by the
to the entire order has only recently been completed
Ghoerans at last, and it is her sincere hope that the
just outside the walls of the City of Bhalaene. The
martial minded folk of the Barony will be tamed by
temple is heavily fortified, (as a castle rating 5) and
the enlightenment which they are bound to discover
houses an entire company of elite infantry and cavalry
under Avanlae’s teaching.
within the abbey walls, with plenty of room for
The militant affiliate of Avanlae in Elenie
additional troops if needed.
known as the Lances of the Dawn are frequently
The Temple is strongly supported by the
encountered along the border of Ghoere, and they
Baron’s Iron Guard, and along with the affiliated
have begun to take it upon themselves to safe guard
order commonly known as the Redspurs, the warrior
the Ghoeran temples of their Goddess. Though actual
priests of Cuiraécen patrol the barony and help defend
conflict has thus far been avoided, it seems only a
it’s borders and people. As the strength and
matter of time before one of the many militant groups
popularity of the Order grows within Ghoere, it is
of Ghoere meet the Lances of Elinie in battle.
becoming more common for the various groups to
The Baron Tael has surprisingly done little
begin competing with the other, and there has been
to prevent the faith from establishing itself along his
several instances over the past few years in which the
border, and seems content to let the temples of
Baron’s troops and those of the Blackguard have
Cuiraécen and Haelyn deal with this sudden spiritual
come into conflict. The definition and distinction
revolution. Interestingly enough however, he has
between the jurisdiction of state and faith has been
given the militant orders several incentives in order to
constantly growing more blurry and hazy of late.
keep the LPA from infesting the rest of Ghoere.

Militant Order of Cuiraécen Guilds


s with most other Anuirean realms, the land of
Most commonly referred to as the
Blackguards, the Militant Order of Cuiraécen is
renown throughout Anuire, but perhaps nowhere else
is the faith so strongly supported than it is in Ghoere.
A Ghoere is the host for a variety of guilds, and
the control of the economy of the realm is
hotly contested by each one. The only sanctioned

37
guild within the barony is the Highland/Overland not mind his vassalage overly much, but would prefer
Traders however, which is in fact, directly vassaled to more direct control over the guilds, and of course
the Baron himself. As for the remaining guilds, they greater security in his position wouldn’t hurt either.
have either managed to force their way into the local The Highland/Overland Traders holds a wide
economies, or else were already established when the variety of mercantile interests. Throughout Ghoere,
Highland Traders first established itself some decades the guild primarily operates the many state sanctioned
ago. While the temples of the land are given much mines and is in charge of collecting and distributing
freedom in their affairs, the guilds are closely the Barons grain and produce. The entire guild is
monitored and regulated by the Barony. based in the City of Bhalaene, and holds it’s
secondary offices and warehouses along the docks in
Heartlands Outfitters the city of Ghieste. The guild also operates
throughout eastern Alamie, and has broken into the
Guilder Kalien of Endier controls the Mhorien markets of Tenarien province over the past
Endieran based Heartlands Outfitters guild, and decade as well. In both these regions, it is well known
controls a great deal of the economy throughout much who the guilders serve, and especially in Mhoried, the
of Ghoere. One of the chief rivals of the activities of the merchants and the movements of it’s
Highland/Overland Traders guild, Kalien is viciously caravans are closely scrutinized. Ghorien Hiriele has
aggressive in the defence of his guild interests in attempted to counter this scrutiny by burying his
Tireste and Thoralinar most especially, and actively guilds under pseudonyms and paper companies, but if
pursues expanding his mining operations in the Mhor and Duke Alam are aware of this or not,
Rhumannen. He would like nothing better than to none can be sure.
corner the markets of Ghieste, but he has been unable
to outstrip the influence held there by Hiriele.
Ghorien Hiriele would love to plant a blade Maesil Shippers
between the half breed shoulders, but the Lord of Moerele Lannaman of Mhoried controls the
Endier actually seems to enjoy the intense rivalry interests of the Maesil Shippers throughout Ghoere,
between them, and looks upon it as a game of some and as a sometime ally of Kalien, the two have
sort. Kalien takes every opportunity he can to make managed to make considerable inroads throughout the
Ghorien look like a goose, and in return, Ghorien tries Barony.
in earnest to bury Kalien in the muck at the bottom of Moerele is infamous for his love of his
the Maesil River. homeland, and he uses his resources and connections
In stark contrast, Kalien enjoys a relationship throughout Ghoere to aid the Mhor. The majority of
of cautious respect with the Baron Tael. While Mhorien spies caught within the Barony are under his
Hiriele is the Baron’s vassal and urges the Baron to employ, but none can be certain if these are merely
rid the land of the half elf, Gavin Tael does not seem distractions to keep the Baron’s men from finding the
to see Kalien’s presence as a threat. Rather, he views true agents of Mhoried, or if they are in fact, the best
the competition and rivalry between the guilds as an that Mhoried can offer.
asset to the economy of his realm. Of course, he has Despite both the Baron’s and Hiriele’s best
heard of Kalien’s shady history and reputation and efforts, the Maesil Shippers continue to dominate
might well be able to make use of the guilder trade north of Conallier, and it is all that Ghoeran
someday, but is wise enough to watch his movements merchants can do to get their wares to northern
like a hawk. Kalien, of course, returns the favour in markets.
kind.
Source
Highland/Overland Traders The old Duchy of Ghieste was once strong
Ghorien Hiriele is Taele’s puppet Guilder with wizards and mages of all sorts made their homes
and he controls the majority of trade within Ghoere in here. However, following the unification of the
the Baron’s name. It is a little known secret that Duchies and the subsequent formation of the Barony
Hirele holds his position only because Tael permits of Ghoere, many of these wizards left for quieter
him to do so, and this has been the cause of some retreats of greater power, or else were forced away by
amount of distress between the two. Ghorien does those strong enough to claim the remaining

38
manifestations. By the end of the first century as the publically acknowledged this trend, there is
Barony of Ghoere, there were only a handful of considerable evidence that would suggest that he is
mages left in the area, and of these, only half held preparing to do just that. Several couriers and
power over the mebhaighl. Since then, mages have missives have lately been speeding their way between
come and gone, as few of those sort can long stand Ghieste and the Militant Order’s home quarters in
the intense scrutiny they are forced to endure in the Tuornen, and some rumours have been circulating that
midst of the martial disciples of the region. Fhylie the Sword is en route to Gheiste to personally
treat with Stiele Ghieste in this matter.
The Sword Mage Constant rumour has been sweeping the
taverns of southern Ghoere that the Count Sedrie
The soul being to control the source potentials of Bellamie (MA, W3, Vo, minor, 23) of Bellam
Ghoere is the mysterious figure known only as the province in Roesone is in negotiation with Baron
Sword Mage. Since his arrival in Ghoere, he has Taele and has been promised a sizeable amount of
systematically hunted and destroyed any mages which land in return for the Count’s oath of fealty to the
might prove a threat to his power and control of the throne of Ghoere. With the sudden surge of
lands source manifestations, and he now enjoys delinquent nobles throughout the provinces of Ghoere
complete control of every ounce of Ghorien of late, there seems ample lands from which the Baron
mebhaighl. might choose to award Count Bellamie, and though
As the Vos sorcerer is also said to be able to his defection would certainly mean war with Roesone,
summon and control fiends and demons, it is not it seems a small price to pay. Sedrie’s allegiance, and
known what the true limits or actual extent of his the subsequent addition of the province of Bellam to
power might really be. Rumour insists that he is Ghoere, could only strengthen the Barony and Tael
somehow able to draw power from the fiends which would be one step closer to achieving the Iron Throne.
he reputedly so frequently communes with, and if so, The Baroness Roesone, Marlae Roesone, is said to be
his actual strength might be boundless. Due to the watching Sedrie closely, and may be preparing to
vast number of fanciful stories of him and the simple make counter offers to him in hopes of securing his
fact that he is so mysterious, he has inspired more fealty.
fear in the Ghoeran people than any display of power The court wizard of Mhoried, the Mage
ever could. Regien, is rumoured to have penned an alliance with
With the sudden return of the Countess Baron Tael. Though the details are not known, the
Tornilen from her studies at the College of Sorcery, timely aid of Mhoried’s only wizard would be pivotal
and the recent rumour that Sedrie Bellamie of Bellam in determining the success of a campaign against that
province (See Rumours, Secrets and Plots for Duchy. The Sword Mage shall surely balk at any
additional information) might also be given regency offers or rewards the Baron has promised Regien in
within Ghoere, the mage is suddenly not as secure in return for his aid, and is not likely to allow a rival
his position as he once thought. It is suspected that sorcerer to gain a foothold upon the mebhaighl of
he has placed more than a few agents and minions Ghoere. Some of the baron’s generals are said to be
close to the Countess at least, and very likely has growing concerned that Taele is putting too many
designs in the works in case of the eventuality that eggs in his basket, and that even if his strategies are
Bellamie also gains an interest in the Barony. successful, that he will have to divide the spoils
among so many allies that he would effectively gain
very little.
Rumours, With the uprisings in the neighbouring Duchy
of Osoerde since the throne of that realm was usurped
by Jaison Raenech, many of the traditional enemies of
Secrets & Plots Ghoere have been forced to turn their attentions in
that direction. There is a strong movement within the
There has been a growing movement within Baronial court to begin funnelling resources towards
Ghoere for the regional temples of Cuiraécen to expansion in light of this event, while others insist
separate from the Militant Order and form their own that the wisest course would be to simply wait and see
faith with the grand Cathedral in Ghieste as the centre what happens with the Duchy. Should the
of this new order. Though Stiele Ghieste has not neighbouring realms, which have so long been

39
holding Ghoere behind a fence, suddenly be forced to trade throughout Rhumannen or Tireste, just as you
march upon Osoerde, then the Barony would have the were about to sack Proudglaive. Or if the Haelyn’s
opportunity to expand into one of these lands with Aegis suddenly decided to support the Mhor as your
little or no opposition until it was too late. The Baron last unit crossed the Maesil.
is said to be considering these courses of action While it is not necessary to completely
closely, and it is as yet, uncertain what he plans to do. remove all foreign holdings within the realm, it would
The entire realm however, is certainly preparing to be wise to at least be able to ensure that these regents
march, for conscription rates have nearly doubled are indebted to you in some way. Then you could
over the past year, and there is word that Tael might ensure their neutrality while you campaign abroad.
announce a Calling of the Banners to his nobles -
something that has not been done since the Baron
Tuorel invaded Mhoried so long ago.
Listen more than talk
The true strength of the Barony, and it’s
greatest advantage, is that it does not need to make the

Strategy and first move. Be patient, listen to your lords and


neighbours, and let them do the talking. In this
manner, you will be in a better position to twist their

Advice words and probe them for holes in logic and


consistency. Remember well the words of the
philosopher Trevyr of Ansien, my Lord Baron: “A
hoere is surrounded by strong realms, and each

G one taken individually would be little threat to


your power. However, history has proven that
your neighbours are quick to unite under a common
man will often times betray himself if permitted to talk
long enough.” If you remain silent, a man may hear
words you did not say, and this is a powerful weapon
when employed masterfully.
banner in order to halt the expansion of Ghoere, and
as an allied force, Ghoere is powerless to defeat them.
The only solution to this problem seems to be to find Gain their Trust
some way to divert the attention of these regents, and If possible, you might try the unexpected,
keep them from uniting against you. With this and befriend one of your powerful neighbours. If you
accomplished, your armies could easily march across could somehow manage to convince the Duke Alam
any one of the borders which surround the Barony. In that your plans are also beneficial to him, then he will
order to accomplish this task, the wisest strategical be more likely to ally with you, or at the least, be
minds of the Barony have compiled the following list slower to unite against you.
of possible strategies. Heed what you will, but Alternatively, you might approach Roesone
remember, the Iron Throne is at stake, and a single and negotiate an alliance against Osoerde or promise
action can either lead to your downfall or rise you to aid against Diemed. It would be an easy matter to
glory. gain new lands in Osoerde while maintaining a mask
of goodwill. In such a campaign sire, Ghoere might
Dominate Your Own Land easily be seen as a liberator and force of justice...
especially if we concentrate on making Raenech’s rule
First seem even worse and more vile than it truly is.
Though Ghoere is held in a tight fist, there
remains several pockets of resistance to your ultimate
control. The Mhor yet holds power throughout the
Make you enemy seem the
realm, the economy relies heavily on the whims of greater villain
foreign guilders, and even the spiritual aspects of the The regents of Anuire are soft when it comes
realm are divided amongst many. While such to matters of political relations, and they seem eager
divisions of power keeps a single group from rising to to side with the victim over the hostile instigator in
threaten your position, it also creates possible many instances. Where possible, it might be wise to
weaknesses for your enemies to exploit while your manipulate events so that Ghoere looks the victim,
armies are abroad. Image what would happen if and thus you could more easily legitimize your
Guilder Kalien should suddenly be convinced to cease actions in the defence of the realm. Should Osoerde

40
decide to test your resolve and strike your weakened A large predatory cat roughly the size of a
defences in Achiese for example, a counter invasion large hound. Physically powerful and well muscled,
might be easily legitimized. Properly manipulated, it’s razor sharp claws can rend even the toughest of
such events could easily be twisted to appear that a leather armours effortlessly. Ferocious and otherwise
counter strike is just and appropriate. The key to generally nasty kitties, they are believed to have been
conquest lies in convincing the other regents of imported from Aduria sometime during the flight of
Anuire that your actions are justified, and that your the Five Tribes. The beast has dominated the wooded
response to provoked hostilities exonerate you from hill lands of Anuire. The sleen is the Larls only
blame. Once you are able to do that, the Iron Throne natural predator.
is as good as yours.

Appendix Additional
Small Council:
Resources
A term I borrowed from the novels of The Gates of Mhelliviene
George R.R. Martin’s epic tale “A Song of Ice and (http://mhelliviene.tuarhievel.org)
Fire.” Essentially interpreted for use in the Birthright My personal site and archive of my Birthright and
Campaign to mean a ruling council comprised of the other D&D related material. Contains an HTML
minor officers, officials and agents of the Crown. version of this document (complete with original art).
Such bodies are generally empowered to act as a Of course I would plug my own site... thanks to Arjan
unified body in the absence of a local ruling noble, or for hosting it!
by direct appointment of the domain regent.
Alternatively, such a council might also be
created by the regent himself, and it’s membership The Official Birthright
might instead be comprised of only his closest and Campaign Home page
most important or trusted of advisors. It is important (http://www.birthright.net)
to note that in this later version, such a council need
not consist of the standard or traditional members of
the regents court. In a small council, the regent is The Birthright Mailing List
free to select the members from amongst any of his
cadre of servants and advisors. Though seldom given
Archive
dominance or precedence over the traditional and (http://209.67.104.4/archives/birthright-l.htm)
complete court, appointment to a small council is a The highest calibre list maintained by WotC in my
great honour and council’s the regent in the most opinion.
personal matters in a more direct but much less
formal manner.

Sleen
A large multi legged, snake-like predator
distantly related to the varsk. An excellent hunter and
generally an all around ferocious beast. They are
infamous for their cunning and relentless behaviours.
They are able to coil around a victim and constrict
them to death, or rend them to shreds with one of
their many claws. The beast is incredibly fast, and
can easily out pace even the fastest horse.

Larl
41
Luis Vilaça’s Birthright Gallery
(http://gallery.tuarhievel.org/)
The home page of the artist responsible for the colour plates
throughout this work. Go check out his site for some serious
eyecandy!

Terry Keith
March 2001

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