This is a little more than what’s in the conbook.
Sumerilon. Sumerilon began as a small, mountainous, landlocked country. When Malchion took power, Sumerilon had expanded northward to the coast and was considered an “up and coming” continental power. Under Malchion’s rule, the black-and-purple uniformed Sumerilon armies crushed the Hellenic Empire, Ljung, and Auritania, occupied Thisted, and invaded Almere and Falconberg
Hellenic Empire. This was the premier power on the continent prior to the Sumerilon War, and fell quickly as Malchion’s first conquest. The Empire did not survive the war, though its greatest city, Delft, was never taken and enjoys a reputation of invincibility. It is the location of Hireling Hall. Delft and Wooking, now city-states, are ruled by the city Archons, Adon Zandra in Delft and Talia Horos in Wooking.
Hadriania is the island nation of King Romulus Pendragon. His Knights of Mavors, both traditional horseborne and a skilled griffon air force, expert longbowmen, and a powerful navy held off the vicious attacks of Sumerilon after the Hellenic Empire fell.
Umwelt is a mostly dwarvish country and Ironhewer’s home. The people of Umwelt held off the Sumerilon army at the neck of Thisted (the piece of land connecting it to the continent) and eventually pushed them back to join with the elves of Almere. A Sumerilon assault on the Umwelt homeland was foiled by the Floating Cities of the Perrin and the Hadrianic navy. Umwelt is ruled by a cousin of the famous General Ironhewer’s, King-Under-the-Glacier Delven Ironhewer, but the Craftsman’s Guild, headed by Theodoric (a Champion), is probably more influential to the daily lives of the people of Umwelt.
While the Neck of Thisted was able to hold out against Sumerilon (with the aid of Umwelt), the rest of the country suffered a long and brutal occupation. The natives of Thisted are still proud of the underground resistance efforts to aid the Umwelt army to connect with Gal Pol-Li’s and Pendragon’s forces to go on the offensive against Sumerilon. Magnus deCharle, leader of the Free Thisted Resistance during the war, is the current sovereign of the country.
Almere is the Elvish homeland. After the fall of the Hellenic Empire and the occupation of inland Thisted, Almere’s fate was sealed, but for the leadership of Gal Pol-Li, who brought his people through the worst times, long foiled Sumerilon attempts to penetrate the heart of the woods, and finally brought together an alliance of dwarves (led by Ironhewer), humans (led by Pendragon), and elves (led by himself) that would ultimately defeat Sumerilon. Current Almere policy is guided by the three members of the Elder Council, Alassë Elensar, Erle Pallanén, and Elessan Véneanár.
Camborough is a quiet land largely untouched by the Sumerilon war, aside from the heroes who went to fight in it. Camborough does not have a king (and most citizens feel it doesn’t need one), so most outsiders look to the mayor of Blennam, currently Prisca Hamwich, to fulfill the normal executive duties of Camborough.
Falconberg is a land of sea cliffs that house the largest concentration of Fey on the continent. Sumerilon made some attempts to wipe them out, but found it not worth the effort. Falconberg is currently nominally ruled by King Tam XXXVI, but no one knows whether he’s actually the 36th of his line, or if Falconberg history stretches back far enough for there to have been 36 kings (much less 36 king Tams), or if fey actually pay attention to anything he says or does, or simply do whatever they damn well please.
An old country with a long-gone military past, Auritania was a favorite destination for travelers who enjoyed mountain views. It secretly joined Sumerilon shortly before the war, and Sumerilon troops secretly prepared for the surprise attack on the Hellenic Empire. After the war, Auritania’s government was not brought back, and it is an occupied territory of Hadriania.
Ljung was a sparsely settled land prior to the arrival of the grafts, the population more than doubled with the arrival of Eponai who liked the open spaces and a smaller number of Catfolk who enjoyed the grassland hunting. The demihuman population was killed during the graft betrayal, and what government exists among the remaining Eponai and Catfolk is unrecognized by other governments.
The Floating Cities were the pride of the Perrin and the delight of the peoples the Perrin saved from Sumerilon’s naval strikes. After the graft betrayal, however, the Perrin were no longer trusted and people refused to trade with them. Over time, the floating cities lost their motive power and are stuck in the northern seas. It is a haven for Perrin outcasts from society.
There were many faithful soldiers who carried arms into battle against Sumerilon. Many died anonymously on the battlefields. Many also were the “Ones Who Returned” as Veterans. They did their best to return to a life of peace.
Clerical healing was always in short supply during wartime, which made much rarer still the Great prayers of restoration from grievous wounds. The war’s end and the return of peace helped reduce the demand, but with the loss of so many healers and the cursed nature of many of the wounds, shortages were acute for years: the records show that it took the Aru Order six years and three months just to cure all of the known war-caused cases of deafness. For a foot soldier trying to return home from war to a life of peace, disabilities were profound and long-lasting. Nevertheless, many did well and lived their life as best they could, but many were also utterly destitute due to their war-caused infirmities that prevented them from making a living.
By 1614, the Archon of Delft decided that these destitute veterans merited additional compensation (and compassion). An act was passed in Delft to provide for “Adjusted Compensation” for their prior war service. Unfortunately, his expectation was that he would only have to finance the local veterans and that the other City-States would enact similar measures. When the latter did not happen, the poor veterans from many regions descended upon the city of Delft and expected payment. Thus, another large “Army” threatened the city, although it was claimed to be a “friendly” siege. The Delft army was ordered to clear the veterans’ encampment, which was performed by Brigadier Gabriel Baton in 1617, and the Compensation Act was suspended. It took years of diplomacy for the situation to be resolved, but eventually, State Aid was given to the Aru Healers who ran small clinics and infirmaries to help them build great Hospital-Churches, Hospices and peaceful Godshuizen courts in various cities, to service the veterans. We also recognize and thank the Dwarven craftsmen who were sent south to help build these edifices. We also recognize and thank the service of administration of these Aru houses by their friends the Mavor Oblates: they reduced fraudulent claims of veteran status. Any week now, the Mavors will again have their annual spring banquet and ‘roast’ of their Aru friends with the more brazen examples of healthcare fraud that they have found in the old Aru records. Last year’s story was from the 1633 records, when a human woman (who wasn’t even thirty years old) claimed to have been an Aru Shieldmaiden in the War. In this year 1663, the institution to aid veterans is now 36 years old since its formal incorporation, and is entering the twilight of its charter: many of the human veterans have left this mortal coil, so with each passing year, more of the old Godshuizen courts are now empty of their honored guests.
Broderick Bracegirdle, hobbit hero (pantheist), is credited with discovering Auritania’s allegiance to Sumerilon while on holiday in Auritania. He noted, in a letter to a travel journal he occasionally wrote for, the greatly increased number of statues commemorating Auritania’s long-gone military past. The journal article caused immediate concern in certain high circles, and just as they were confirming that the new statues were, in fact, Sumerilon war golems, Malchion gave the signal to attack the Hellenic Empire. Fortunately for us, his forces for attacking Thisted and Almere were not in position yet, and so those countries were not overrun.
Broderick later marched in the Army of Unity under Gal Pol-Li’s banner, and survived the Graft Betrayal. He is retired to his native Camborough in a manor outside Blennam, where he plans to celebrate his eleventy-first birthday in the near future.Read More
Perhaps better known under his stage name, Foxley, Nasiat Stoneblood was a dwarven jester employed in the Sumerilon courts. Early on in the war he was recruited by the boggies; Foxley’s ability to insult people in such a way that the one insulted was usually laughing harder than anyone else quickly gained him access to the High reaches of Sumerilon nobility. Soon Foxley was performing regularly at the Imperial palace. Even though Malchion himself rarely attended the performances, Foxley gained much information from the leaders who did.
In the brief leadership vacuum that followed Gal Pol-Li’s death in the Graft Betrayal, William the Brown-Haired set up a desperate assassination attempt. Armed with magic supplied to him by the allies, Foxley tried to maneuver himself near Malchion during a feast, but was captured by the guards before he could strike. He was summarily handed over to Malchion’s torturers and soon the other members of his cell operating within Sumerilon were hunted down and destroyed.
The Allies were therefore surprised when he was delivered weeks later to Ironhewer’s command base by Berin Viperson. This was the first step in Berin’s great betrayal of Malchion.
Crippled in body and spirit Foxley was given over to the clerics of Aru and spent the rest of the war recovering, though he never performed again. After the war Foxley, reverting to his birth name of Nasiat Stoneblood, was knighted and given land to the southwest of Thisted as his fee. He has spent the years since involved in local politics and amassing great wealth.
While the heroic exploits of the great generals and heroic warriors are justly celebrated, great wars cannot be won solely by following the Seven Commandments of Janda*. There is a need for deception, spies and dark deeds in the service of the Light. The Order of Redoubtable Ratri was founded by the colorful and accomplished William the Brown-Haired: scholar, adventurer, magical adept and sometime priest. Its agents performed many dangerous missions inside Sumerilon-held territory: the most dangerous performed by a secret circle within the order, known as the Department of Dirty Tricks, dominated by hobbits and somewhat affectionately known as the Boggies. The master (she preferred not being called mistress) of the boggies was Allison Searock.
The most famous and successful of William’s exploits was Operation Arctic Wolf, better known as the “Army that Wasn’t”. This was an elaborate deception in which numerous Janda clerics were systematically fed false information that certain Sumerilon agents were themselves being told lies about Ironhewer’s plans. Because of the commandment “never through inaction [to] allow a lie to be believed”, they were compelled to reveal the “true” information in their possession, then to turn themselves in for violating the laws regarding secrecy, expecting an ignominious death on the scaffold. Because they were believed, Malchion diverted significant force away from Ironhewer’s army at a critical juncture. When the operation became public after the War, it caused a rift in the religious community. The few remaining Janda clerics abandoned public life, and the judicial functions formerly performed by her clerics were taken over by Mavors.
William the Brown-haired never settled down after the War. Although human and well over sixty when the war ended, he led several fact-finding expeditions deep into Sumerilon territory, adamant that all of Malchion’s secrets should be searched out long after others had lost interest. Twelve years after the end of the War, he fell down a crevasse and his body was never recovered.
Allison Searock served for a time as spymaster for King Pendragon, but the strain of working among so many Mavors caused her to leave and to take service with Almere. She now lives in retirement in Camborough and has recently celebrated her eleventy-first birthday.
* = “I am Janda, goddess of Truth, and these are my commandments. Obey them all if possible, but if not, obey the one stated first in preference to the latter-stated. Thou shalt not tell a lie. Thou shalt not through inaction allow a lie to be believed. Thou shalt give worship to Janda as meet and due for your station in life. When Thou art called to judgment, thou shalt give true judgment to the best of thy ability. Thou shalt obey the laws of the land wherein thou art. Thou shalt perform all thine oaths. Thou shalt endeavor to do justice in all things.”
Twin brothers Tirion and Cadmus Elkone were members of the Janda order of the Wrathful Avengers, and active leaders in the western resistance against Sumerilon. Their unit captured a strongpoint in the mountains that allowed safe passage for the Army of Unity, and the Elkone brothers themselves defeated the twin guardians of the citadel in single, er, double combat.
Sadly, a few weeks after Malchion was defeated, a madness took Cadmus and he tried to kill Tirion. Cadmus fell to his death, and though the gorge was searched, the body was never found.
Shouldering his magical blue oilskin, Tirion went into the Sumerilon wastelands, seeking answers from his god, and his current whereabouts are unknown. He was unavailable for comment at the time of the printing of this article.Read More