Difference between revisions of "Greater Pentland"

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=Government and Politics=
=Government and Politics=
Strong central authority is a recent phenomenon. The early Pentlanders’ tendency to form survivalist enclaves developed into a sort of feudalism with strong, turbulent nobility that doesn’t always obey the will of the Imperial Liege. Noble enclaves dot the land, fortified behind keeps and castles. In the past decades, a number of towns and villages sprang up in south of the main island, as Pentland is now safe enough not to require people to live behind walls.
Strong central authority is a ''relatively'' recent phenomenon. The early Pentlanders’ tendency to form survivalist enclaves developed into a sort of feudalism with strong, turbulent nobility that doesn’t always obey the will of the Imperial Liege. Noble fiefs dot the land, fortified behind keeps and castles. In the past few centuries, a number of towns and villages sprang up in south of the main island, as Pentland is now safe enough not to require people to live behind walls.
Many thousands live in the capital city of Valgrade where stern, grand constructions loom over the city's wide open plazas and expansive squares. The palace itself, a spiky semi-ring broods over a short artificial waterway constructed from it to the sea. The Pentlander monarch sits on a throne made from obsidian from nearby volcanoes.
Pentland became an empire several hundred years ago and since then, has been more centralized. The imperial ruler is called either King or Emperor, depending on the social context of the conversation. The kings, usually dynastic, inherit the Obsidian Throne in the capital city of Kalimnost. The king's power is somewhat balanced by a council of nobles. While it's rare for a noble coalition to successfully challenge the king's decisions, the monarch depends on his nobles for his power and must have at least some of them on his side to govern effectively.  
==Notable Government Officials==
==Notable Government Officials==

Revision as of 16:45, 19 April 2018

Country Information
Motto: Proud we stand forever
Capital: Valgarde
Language: Pentlandite Common
Ethnic Groups: Humans, Malkraan lizardfolk, Oneidhae merfolk
Religion: Mixed
Government: Monarchy
Current Ruler: King Andrathon Philemonis
Currency: Pentlandite "pieces of five" are in wide foreign circulation

Greater Pentland is a multi-ethnic empire stretched across a series of large volcanic islands to the south of the continent. The islands are known for their breathtaking abundance of life, including great dragons, dragonkin, dinosaurs, merfolk and thousands of exotic species of plants and animals that can't be found anywhere else.

The people are known for having one of the most powerful navies in the hemisphere; a substantial air force of drake and wyvern riders; and their militant expansionist doctrine. Though Pentlander ambitions have once been curbed by a prolonged civil conflict, the reunited empire has once again set its sights on its neighbors.


Ancient History

In ancient times, most of the isles were part of a landmass inhabited by High Dragons, who used it as a laboratory of life, according to research by religious scholars. The stewardship theory posits that dragons created new species to thrive or perish. This explains the abundance of dinosaurs and strange plants and animals. Scholars argue about whether the stewardship is still ongoing.

Thousands of years ago, a colossal volcano exploded and shattered the landmass into islands. The blast also caused tsunamis and darkened the skies, killing tens of thousands across the South Sea.

Meanwhile, the merfolk living on continental shelves throughout the area slowly developed a centralized society and entered a golden age, according to Oneidhae loremasters. But harsh treatment of the laborer castes caused an uprising, after which the society entered a decline. As unity dissolved and Tuil Sianaach was no longer the center of merfolk life, cultural progress slowed and decentralized. Conflicts drove out several factions, spreading them across the oceans.

Early Human Migrations

The Tuil Fionn people are the earliest recorded humans to populate the remaining archipelago. It's unknown whether they came from Veth's main landmass or from undiscovered lands in the Great Ocean. Using their multi-hulled canoes, the tribal Fionn explored most of Greater Pentland's current territory, settling down and forming communities on some of the islands. The main community settled on the Tuil Sianaach's above-surface portion. The Fionn were the first surface men to make contact with the Oneidhae.

The proto-Pentlanders came to the isles from the continent, most likely from Vallaria. They settled on Kargaan-Eurymedon, which is now called the Imperial Isle. Most of the area's volcanoes were still active and massive dragons and dinosaurs roamed the land. The Pentlanders survived against these odds, carving out ever greater feudal enclaves and slaying or taming the terrible beasts. As they expanded, the Pentlanders pushed existing Fionn communities aside and came to intrude on the dragons' territories.

After a prolonged and terrible stalemate, the dragons made an agreement with the humans about how much land can be developed and how much must remain wild. The dragons are rarely seen these days, preferring to stay in the wilds for mysterious reasons. The militant history left a mark. Pentlanders see themselves as heroic monster hunters and bringers of civilization.

Later Human Migrations and Imperial Formation

Tollorian explorers also came to some of the isles and settled several of them. Though some Fionn and a handful of Pentlanders already lived there as independent enclaves, the Tollorians' negotiation skills let them establish colonies. The largest was called Arrantiada, which became their collective name. After a few generations, hostilities broke out between the colonial residents and the Tollorian governor, who was overthrown by a nascent spiritual-revolutionary movement.

Elluria and Tollor sent warships to reclaim the area and the Arrants asked Pentland for help, knowing that the Pentlanders were several years away from conquering the area anyway. Through shrewd diplomacy, the Arrants retained a great deal of independence including the right to a representative republic, while becoming Pentland's tributary.

While this was happening, Pentland made the transition from a union of semi-independent fiefs and cities into a true empire. Bloodshed accompanied the change, but relatively few people died and the newly Imperial Pentland remained a strong nation, with everything to gain from its newly expansionist doctrine.

Colonial Expansion

As Pentland's naval technology developed and grew thanks to independent discoveries and cribbing from neighboring cultures, their ships became a growing presence in Tuil Sianaach. Eventually, Pentlanders discovered a wealth of natural resources, both organic and inorganic. The ensuing exploitation was the last straw for some of the locals, who killed several ships' worth of Pentlander sailors, marines and scholars.

Soon, the imperial navy navy descended on the atoll in force. The Fionn were eventually subdued but Pentland had more trouble with the Oneidhae. A solution was found in the form of alchemical ships designed to release concentrated poison into the Tuil's massive coral reef system. The Oneidhae surrendered instead of watching their ecosystem be destroyed. Pentlanders deny ever using the poison in a demonstration, while the merfolk insist that a demonstration did occur, ruining part of the reef for several generations.

Pentland's colonial ships also sailed around the Inland Sea and the western edge of the continent, establishing cities like Amparos, Placida Nova, and others. They often clashed with the local cultures and made heavy use of their powerful warships and their drakes, wyverns and dinosaurs to claim territory and pacify insurgents.

Civil War and Modern Day

A few decades ago, King Arcturus died while on the throne, leaving only his infant son as heir. As Pentland was already having economic trouble from colonial over-extension and a bloated military, some of the opportunistic nobles saw their chance to fight for dominance. This turned into a brutal internecine conflict that almost resulted in the loss of most colonies. Former lord general Wyrne seized the throne and held onto Pentland's territories but also instituted brutal repressions at home.

Wyrne's opponents rallied against lord general Philemonis, who had a drop of royal blood and showed himself a more honorable ruler. Philemonis killed Wyrne and became king, launching his own dynasty. He continues to be a generally competent but not amazing ruler. One of his goals is to greatly increase Pentland's trade with Arangoth, the Southlands, Najjir, Mwayambi and the Orient.

Geographical Features

Greater Pentland consists of one massive island (Kargaan-Eurymedon), four very large islands (Tuil Sianaach, Arrantiada, Thule and Adoración) and dozens of smaller isles. It also has respectably sized colonies on the mainland, along the north and south coasts of the Inland Sea.

Kargaan-Eurymedon, also known as the Imperial Isle, has the lion's share of the population living in its well-defined provinces, united by decent roads and over a dozen rivers. It is also home to the famous wilds of Kargaan Vale, situated around the massive Eurymedon river. The vale is the most intact piece of the former Draconic life stewardship experiment. Its unspoiled nature is both breathtakingly beautiful and extremely deadly. The north of the island is mountainous, with small dead calderas clustered around the single massive Halistur volcano, which hadn't erupted for centuries.

Arrantiada is technically four islands - one big and three small. It has a mild climate, ideal for agriculture and the sea around it is usually teeming with fish. It is mostly settled, with cities and large plantations covering much of its arable land. The island faces the strait of Aranquivir, which is used by many imperial and foreign ships.

Closer to the equator, a crescent island juts from the water, surrounding a round seabed shelf that supports an enormous coral reef and drifting motile isles made of flotsam and life. Indigenous peoples call this place the Tuil Sianaach – sickle of the ocean. Two intelligent species share this ecosystem: the air-breathing Fionn and the underwater Oneidhae merfolk.

Thule, Adoracion and other islands have features that are a mix of what has already been described.


Perhaps the most noteworthy of Pentland’s tall trees is the Thymvraan Oak. Distinguished by their colossal size (hundreds of meters), and their teal-colored leaves, their wood is exceptionally strong for its weight. When the wood breaks, it has a fantastic ability to repair its own structural failures, even after it's been cut to planks (up to a certain degree). It is extremely prized in shipbuilding. The leaves and sap of the Thym-Oak contain medicinal properties that can be used to remove pain and greatly increase a body's healing rate. Each cultivated oak is a plantation unto itself, carefully harvested and kept alive for many hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Iridion Trees describes pairs of species: the Wyrdant Nightshade and Feyglow fungi. Primarily growing next to streams, the twisting tree spreads its night-flowering canopy overhead while the symbiotic fungi grow on the branches of the tree, feeding off its juices. Once fully mature, the fungus begins to glow with a soft light that ranges from pale blue to violet. This light attracts nocturnal insects which then pollinate the tree and keep it reproducing. Sometimes, the fungus releases luminous spores which drift through the forest like sparkling fey.

One thing to always look out for is the magical Krimian pine: short and solitary trees that have developed a frightening defense method. Their reddish needles contain traces of magic elemental fire along with hollow cavities in the stubby branches. If someone disturbs the tree with force, the cavities burst, showering the offender with incendiary needles that burst into flames and cinders. The tree self-reproduces by growing a number of rounded pine cones that explode violently when the time comes, scattering their rock-hard seeds throughout the surrounding area. These trees usually have a several yard barren space around them. Resourceful humans have learned to carefully harvest them for alchemical and military ingredients.


Pentland is renowned for its reptilian and draconic life. It also has many other strange beasts and critters.

High dragons are the undisputed masters of the wilds. Kargaan Vale, which takes up nearly a quarter of the Imperial Isle's total landmass, is off limits to human habitations larger than ranger huts, because of an agreement for the humans to keep settlements out.

Imperial drakes look like two-legged dragons with wings, roughly the size of a camel. Drakes aren't fully self-aware but some species are highly intelligent and possess weak telepathy. The dumber, more common varieties are called "wyverns" - instead of empathy and breath weapons, they evolved quills and stingers. Humans have trained both types as mounts and all airborne cavalrymen are called drake-riders.

Kargaan Raptors are fast carnivorous lizards about the size of a horse. They walk on two powerful hind legs and have smaller vestigial front “arms” that are mainly used for balance and bracing. They use long jumps and bursts of speed to chase down their prey and devour it with their jagged teeth. Though extremely dangerous when encountered in the wild, humans have been able to capture, train, and even breed them as mounts.

The drakontos (or 'ontos) are herbivorous beasts distantly related to dragons. Far less sinuous, they have large stocky bodies resembling a longer-legged version of basilisks, with hind legs that are notably bigger than the other limbs. They are covered in hardened scales and massive horns on their heads that protect them against predators. The bull varany have magical breath weapons: usually fire or corrosive gas that they also use for protection and territorial fights. These have also been domesticated in parts of Pentland. Bulls are sometimes trained as special mounts for important people.

Kaas rippers are numerous small lizards that travel in packs. They like to swarm larger prey, surrounding it and eventually gnawing it to death. Many rangers have horror stories about these little creatures. One way to hold them at bay is to exploit their fear of fire.

Glowscales can generate an electric charge from the hundreds of tiny filaments on their bodies. One shock is usually enough to deter most predators. If many are close together and shock at once, it can kill a human.

Vampiric gliders are furry tree-dwellers with flaps of skin between their arms and legs. They usually pounce from trees and glide up to their prey, injecting their fangs into the flesh and releasing a numbing, paralyzing toxin that makes it hard for the victim to move. They then drink the victim's blood. Few victims ever die from the blood loss but their hampered movement makes them highly vulnerable to other predators.

Kargaan vale is home to a big number of insect species, some of which are quite large and range from annoying to deadly.

Government and Politics

Strong central authority is a relatively recent phenomenon. The early Pentlanders’ tendency to form survivalist enclaves developed into a sort of feudalism with strong, turbulent nobility that doesn’t always obey the will of the Imperial Liege. Noble fiefs dot the land, fortified behind keeps and castles. In the past few centuries, a number of towns and villages sprang up in south of the main island, as Pentland is now safe enough not to require people to live behind walls.

Pentland became an empire several hundred years ago and since then, has been more centralized. The imperial ruler is called either King or Emperor, depending on the social context of the conversation. The kings, usually dynastic, inherit the Obsidian Throne in the capital city of Kalimnost. The king's power is somewhat balanced by a council of nobles. While it's rare for a noble coalition to successfully challenge the king's decisions, the monarch depends on his nobles for his power and must have at least some of them on his side to govern effectively.

Notable Government Officials



When talking about the military, it’s useful to note that there are two types of armies: that fielded by the king, and that fielded by the nobility. The latter consists mostly of vassals, conscripts and however many knights a nobleman’s dominion might have. Frequent alliances keep a shifting balance of military power. If Pentland is called upon to fight some battle, the nobles are clearly obliged to unite under the flag of the king. Depending on the strength of the monarch, that may not always happen immediately.

Still, it’s a bad idea to get on the monarch’s bad side. He commands a standing army as well – this one mostly volunteers, around Valgrade and Perrenia. These soldiers are considerably better trained and better paid, which speaks of their superiority. The Lord Protector commands the king’s infantry and dragoons.

The regulars are subdivided into arms (battalions) and claws (companies) in that order, named after parts of the dragon anatomy. Each claw is commanded by a high officer or knight. Each arm is commanded by a general.


Pentland’s navy is the pride of the empire and definitely the strongest military branch. The Lord Admiral has command over all naval vessels and in emergency situations declared by the king, over all forms of marine vessels belonging to Pentland, including personal fishing and mercantile boats of individual proprietors. These are divided into fleets, each with a lesser admiral of its own.

The naval force contains the infamous Thymvraan ships of the line which are made exclusively out of self-regenerating wood from the trees deep in the kingdom’s heartland. Scores of frigates and various smaller brigs and cutters for fast reconnaissance round out the mainstays. The Hyperion is the flagship of the admiral’s personal fleet.

The Pentlander navy employs some Tuil Oneidhae expatriates. It presents some logistical challenges to accommodate a water-breathing species aboard ships but a handful of Oneidhae myrmidons can dive underwater, swim underneath an enemy ship and make a big hole through it. The merfolk who are gifted with transformation also make ideal marines, being able to sneak up on enemies right from the shore.

A number of naval ships are outfitted with wyvern handler decks – designed to carry either one or two flying mounts and all their feed. Cavalry dragonriders striking from the decks of ships can scout ahead for enemy ships or cause severe damage to them.


While Pentland has horses and routinely uses them for internal communication and transportation, the military cavalry utilizes mainly reptilian/draconic creatures as mounts (see fauna.) On the ground, riders are trained in the use of Kargaan raptors, and the highland drakontos. The latter are used by particularly gifted riders, usually in conjunction with various shooting weapons. The raptors with their rapid speed and sharp jaws are considered lighter cavalry, while the drakontos with their tough hides, large size, and breath weapons are considered heavy. The king has a number of personal 'ontos specially kept for him and no one else.

The flyers are slightly less numerous than the ground cavalry and use drakes and wyverns as mounts. The Pentlandite drakes are semi-sentient beasts that make use of their breath weapons and spell-like abilities in combat. Wyverns are considered of a lesser quality, because they are just beasts that must be guided with limited vocal and tactile commands. Neither has an advantage in speed but wyverns lack breath weapons, which adds to their list of drawbacks.

That said, drake riders are somewhat less common due to the greater level of skill and commitment it takes to handle one. Since drakes operate best under a single rider with a close mental connection, they are less interchangeable than dumber mounts, and bonds between drake and rider tend to last for a long time. Wyvern riders are a little more common, and what they lose in striking power and prestige, they make up for in rider-mount versatility. Still, the act of taming a drake is considered a paragon act of manhood in Pentland and the flyer corps are some of the most smug and oversexed in the military.

The flying unit often does not resemble the rest of the military. It consists mainly of small-framed and light individuals (because lighter riders fly better). They are divided into the first and second wings, and trained in the use of bows, crossbows, lances and javelins, as well as how to use the claws, teeth and stingers of their mounts to maximum effect.


Finally there are the battle mages and clerics. While there are few dedicated evokers in their ranks, Pentland’s supernaturalists excel at using the mana-drenched organic life in their country as a weapon. Their acumen ranges from externalizing the explosive potential of a Krimian pine into their foes or imbuing allies with some combat features of dragons. Many of these mages tend to be Arrants who are ecstatic to study something as exotic as Pentland’s flora and fauna. Priests form the medical corps of the military and are called upon to use their knowledge of chirurgery and magical healing.


Religion is a tangled subject in the empire mostly because its constituent races have different viewpoints about gods and afterlife. Pentlanders and Arrants have three divisions of the world: earth, sea and sky. Fionn and Oneidhae take out the earthy middleman. The lizardfolk worship only their supposed creator. Minor deities and spirits from each of the faiths bleed over into one another through cultural diffusion.

The Pentlanders worship a trio of major gods: grim and reclusive Jormandares for the earth, impulsive and hotheaded Sevelos for the sky and wise but malleable Thurisaaz for the ocean. Each god commands two different colored dragonflights. A variety of smaller gods and goddesses have more specialized roles delegated by the trio. Pentlanders will pray at different shrines depending on what they want.

The Arrants also have a major trio of gods they inherited from ElluriaGitaro, Ekki and Seviro. Attempts have been made to reconcile the two religions but there are some major differences – for example, the Arrant sky/sun god is calm and wise while the Pentlander one is frequently angry. One forward-thinking king built a series of shrines dedicated not to gods but to elemental domains. These caught on in bigger cities and it’s common to see a Pentlander merchant praying to Thurisaaz for fair winds next to an Arrant fisherman’s widow begging Seviro to restore her husband.

Outside of their pantheon, many Arrants also follow the teachings of Sofia Sidonia. Some of what she preached seems contradictory: standing up to unjust rulers but also nonviolence; justice and fairness for all but also unlocking individual human potential through the gathering of knowledge. There are multiple interpretations but the philosophy’s bent away from confrontation, towards negotiation predisposes Arrants to be an indirect, manipulative people. The mystic core of the discipline allows for near-arcane feats of misdirection, pattern reading and human influence.

The Fionn believe themselves to live on the narrow strips of land that separates the two great abysses of sky and ocean. They have gods similar to the sky and sea gods the Pentlanders but these are background watchers and most movers and shakers are the many spirits and entities that live throughout reality. Spirits come in two types: Tuatha de Siamnhaill and Tuatha de Tuilseach for air and water, respectively. The Oneidhae merfolk have similar notions of these spirit-realms but they revere the totemic “Deeplords” such as the dreadwhite shark, the sea serpent, the kraken, etc.

The dragon-god, Malkras, appears heavily in both the Pentlander and lizardfolk mythologies. He is the master of Pentland’s wilds and makes his home deep within the spirit-mirror of Kargaan Vale, invisible unless he wants to be seen. He maintains the natural balance, introduces and removes species from existence and assigns caretakers. The Malkraan lizardfolk believe that they are one such caretaker race but many human rangers revere Malkras as well. They say say that only the beasts that Malkras had personally killed, eaten, and revived can be seen by hunters; the others are invisible to the human eye.

Society and Peoples

Main Article: Peoples of Pentland has more detailed information about the five major races of Greater Pentland.

The Pentlanders are the dominant ethnic group that lords over all the others. Most of the nobility comes from their stock and they are stereotyped to be cool and haughty. Like most stereotypes, it doesn’t always hold up to reality and Pentlanders come in both rich and poor. However, there is a culture of supremacy among the Pentlanders and they enjoy the best standard of living compared to the others.

The Arrants were originally Ellurians who colonized a hospitable segment of the archipelago closest to Bahija and declared independence, only to be reconquered and made a protectorate by Pentland. Unlike their staid colonists, Arrants are considered inquisitive bon vivants who enjoy intellectual labor more than the art of war.

The Tuil Fionn are the sullen sons of the Tuil Sianaach, a big, crescent island to the extreme west of the Archipelago. The Fionn are humans with a twist: extra large hands and feet and a much greater lung capacity. These adaptations make them perfect swimmers and divers, allowing them to take advantage of the maritime topography of the island. Sizable Fionn ghettoes exist throughout the empire. They share a lingering resentment towards the Pentlander ruling class for their bloody conquest and towards Arrants whom they consider “bootlickers.”

Probably the strangest of the empire’s ethnic groups, the Oneidhae are a race of water-breathing humanoids that live under the ocean surface. They are able to spend limited time (a day or so) on land. Few detailed accounts exist of their underwater cities. The Oneidh have great variation in the way they look, from different fish tails, to manta-like ‘wings’ to sea-dragon-esque spines covered with leafy membranous ‘plumage’. Appearance usually determines capability and, as such, caste.

Malkraans walk on two legs but share the blood of dragons. They are found mostly in the forested wildlands of Kargaan Vale and the volcanic heights of the central island where they revere Malkras, the Draconian god of wilderness and the hunt. The group is somewhat aggressive and xenophobic and its tribes have accepted the preeminence of their human liege to different degrees. Still, as time wears on, it became increasingly common to see Malkraans in human cities. They keep to themselves and tend to favor careers in ranging and smithing.

Kargaan Rangers

Stalking through middle Pentland’s wilds are those best suited to the zone’s survival: the Kargaan rangers. These hardy men and women were usually born in the vale and have learned to thrive in the midlands. They know most nooks and crannies in the woods, the safest paths from town to town, and whether a herd of ontos has passed by, and how long ago. The rangers tend to be consummate lifers who don’t imagine a life outside the kingdom’s forested heartland. Fortunately, their services are in high demand. Rangers tend to be Pentlanders and Malkraans.

Most rangers split their time equally between human towns and their wilderness dwellings. They are usually on the move, whether escorting their countrymen through the vale, scouting for useful flora, or following prey. The king and nobility, recognizing the rangers’ usefulness have been known to issue “letters of domain” that give the rangers certain rights like policing lumber works and freedom from taxation. The letters are often given in exchange for services like surveying and reporting on the state of the forests, rivers, and activities therein.

Kargaan rangers are best known for the following:

Bestial Ken

Living so closely side by side with Pentland’s animals and semi-sentient creatures gives the rangers an in depth understanding of their behavioral and communication patterns. Unlike the royal dragonriders who might have a mental connection to one particular drake, the rangers have a more diffuse almost-supernatural knowledge of just how to handle Kargaan vale’s unusual beasts and tame them if necessary. The royal cavalry depends on the services of rangers for some of their mounts.


An esoteric weapon that only the rangers typically know how to use. When made out of Pentland’s magical trees, these tools become invaluable. Besides returning, they can be used to efficiently kill several creatures in one throw, draw out prey with an affixed noisemaker, and strike a target from a completely unexpected direction. Depending on their makeup, the boomerang can occasionally have other functions. Designing a ranger’s boomerang is a trade skill in and of itself and oral traditions abound throughout the kingdom.

Huntsmaster’s Patrons

A ranger’s career by definition falls under the purview of Malkras, the god of the hunt and caretaker of the wilderness. While the Huntsmaster does not require dedicated worship per se, there’s a certain set of understood rules among the ranger and hunter communities of what Malkras does and does not allow. For instance, white animals are not to be touched; creatures are not to be hunted for enjoyment alone; pay attention to the balance of plants and animals in your area and don’t just kill or chop down one kind, etc. In addition, Kargaan raptors are sacred to the Huntsmaster and have a set of rites associated with either killing them or trying to tame them for a mount. These rules are not always observed by non-rangers, and are sometimes a point of friction. Rangers always mention terrible things that supposedly happen to people who break the Huntsmaster’s covenant.