Chapter 3: Geography:
The Kingdom of Koramia
Contested Monarchy (King, Earl, Count, Baron, Lord, Knight,
World Map 001
List, List, List
Chadric Greysword (Ftr 6, Nob 4) and King William Asheva (Ftr
5, Nob 5)
150,000 (92% human, 5% hobbit, 2% dwarven, 1% other)
Berryrine (pop 3,050)/Paeldain (pop 2,450)
a sword Argent over a solar disk Or (King Chadric); Quarterly
Gules, a lion Or rampant and Azure, a sword over a solar disk
Or (King William)
sword inverted over a solar disk (King Chadric), A lion
rampant over a sword inverted over a solar disk.
Mainly barter, but where used: 1 penny (1 cp) = 4 farthings, 1
shilling (1 sp) = 10 pence (pennies), 1 crown (1 ep) = 5
shillings, 1 pound (1 gp) = 4 crowns, 1 noble (1 pp) = 6
shilling, 8 pence, 1 mark = 10 pounds.
Persons: Baron Lowry Spade-Marn (Ftr 3, Nob 9), Lord Henry
Cheldoria (Exp 6, Nob 3), Count William Strongblade (Ftr 6,
Nob 3), Prelate Michael II (Cl 16)
Hostilities: Imperial Cimmeria, Icenia,
| Open Warfare/Skirmishing:
Koramia is currently in the throes of a civil war between the
Greysword and Asheva factions, though actual fielded conflict
between the two factions has been rare in the last decade.
Though both sides are formally enemies with Cimmeria, Icenia
and Dunkirk, Koramian forces are substantially more interested
in attacking one another than dealing with the other
balkanized states that Koramia once held influence over.
The Kingdom of Koramia is barely a century old, but the society is
much, much older. The area was originally composed of several small
barbarian kingdoms, such as Simmeria in the east, Tracinia in the
south, and Norlund in the north, just to name a few of the more
powerful kingdoms. In -123 IC, the Tracini sent a messenger to Zeth
in the hopes of purchasing experienced mercenaries to fight a petty
war against a neighboring kingdom. The messenger described the
despair with which the Tracini were fighting, and the Senate decided
to commit troops to the defense of the Tracini if they would pay a
specific amount of taxes, in goods, to Zeth. The terms were very
amicable, and the Zetian legions soon arrived on the Tracini shores.
didn't take long for that forgotten neighbor of the Tracini to be
decimated and annexed into Tracinia, and the Zetian troops continued
to march into other neighboring territories. Soon, the Tracini, as a
whole, were considered by Marcus Argentis, the Count of the Tracini
Shore, to be his clients. He continued to other lands north and west
of the Tracini, and eventually attained the title of Duke of the
Simmerians. This treatment of an entire nation as a client and his
actions to make his troops loyal to him and not to the Senate or
State was one of many factors considered to have led to the downfall
of the Zetian Republic.
after Octavius of House Zetar was proclaimed the first Emperor of
Zeth, he established a system of colonization amongst the states
that were formerly considered Allies of Zeth. He appointed a
governor to oversee the Simmerian people to insure the collection of
taxes and the enforcement of Imperial rule. As a whole, the people
either were too far away to feel the real effects of Imperial rule,
or they encouraged and enjoyed the 'civilization' that Imperial rule
provided. Most of the governors appointed were somewhat ineffectual,
though intermingling with stationed legionaries provided for a
mixture of societies.
society survived under Imperial rule, but it was not a strong force
in the world until one fateful day in 186 IC when a young man,
reputed to have been the direct descendant of the last Simmerian
king, discovered a flying ship near his hillside home. He found a
way to board the floating vessel, and discovered that it was
uninhabited and rotting. Within the vessel, however, he discovered
the rotting corpse of some sort of noble man of an alien culture,
with a book clasped roughly in his skeletal hands. The boy, Garimund
of Ryard, took the book to scholars, who pondered over it's meaning
and language. Eventually, they deciphered that it was a holy book of
the deity Vortumnus, god of honor and chivalry, and promoted him as
being lord of all gods, even over Ptharos. The boy became Garimund
the Sainted, and he began to spread the word of Vortumnus across the
land. The religion caught on with the people like wildfire, and soon
they began to refer to themselves, as a religious group, as
Koramians, after the name of their holy work, the Koram. With the
Koram as their inspiration, the Simmerian people began to truly
flower as a society; in some respects, such as in the area of
chivalry and feudalism, they shined even brighter than the Empire
186, a group of Imperial legionaries were ambushed and slaughtered
to the man, by a mysterious group of people from across the Antosian
mountain range. These savage people, known then as the Narbars,
provided Zeth with its greatest enemy since its conflicts with
Cardos during the days of the Republic. The Narbar people fought
savagely against an unprepared Empire, and, after ten years of
fighting, a small outpost in what was formerly Norlund was abandoned
as the troops headed back to defend Zeth. It would be the first of
many legions ordered home in the name of defending the Empire.
Eventually, the Narbars were defeated and pacified, but Imperial
troops remained to keep the peace and insure no further uprisings.
When an old enemy of the Narbars, the Mitarians, rose up to wage war
against their old enemy, the Imperial troops counterattacked and
quickly took the Mitarian capital. Soon thereafter, tacitly trying
to insure no invader could threaten Zeth again, they continued to
move inland, and pulled troops out of the seemingly pacified
Simmeria to facilitate this move.
followed in Simmeria whenever troops departed as warring and feuding
factions vied for control over the weapons and fortifications left
behind, as well as for the responsibility and pleasures of command.
Finally, in 628, the last two groups of legionaries left in the old
province of Simmeria proclaimed independence from the Empire,
signifying the end of Imperial rule in Simmeria. The centuries that
followed were filled with war and desolation as various power groups
and individuals vied for control over ever-smaller parcels of land.
Orcs slipped in from Vor Midal and the Webwood forest, and, with the
giants who had been beaten almost to extinction in the mountains,
raided the wealthy human and hobbit agricultural settlements
heartlessly. As the Empire's grip strengthened in the south,
Simmeria wallowed in petty warfare. It was during this time of
confusion and conflict that the original Koram was stolen. Copious
copies existed, but the original was never recovered.
a son was born to the Lord Earl of the southern city of Paeldain,
and named William Greysword, after his grandfather. This son assumed
his title of Lord Earl of Paeldain at the age of 18, and one of his
first actions was to eradicate the various warring religions in the
city and re-establish the Koramic code amongst the lower classes
(the upper class had clung to it for quite some time). By 1173,
William made a case before the Supreme Assembly of Paeldain that he
was the direct descendant of Andros, the brother of Garimund the
Sainted, and therefore not a mere Lord Earl, but a monarch. In an
extremely close vote, the Supreme Assembly dubbed the young Lord
Earl William I, King of Paeldain and Lord Protector of the Koramic
code. William I sent priests, under the direction of the Prelate of
Paeldain, out to neighboring kingdoms, in an attempt to convert the
populous back to the Koramic code and end the endless warfare his
people seemed to be caught up in. Some of his neighbors considered
his priests to be spies, and had them executed as such. William's
retribution for this crime was quick and final. He executed not only
the lords who had ordered the executions, but the executioners
themselves, and confiscated the lands of those lords he had
night after he had tried and executed 20 nobles for crimes against
Vortumnus, William had a dream in which he was transported back to
the days of Simmeria, when chivalry was flowering its brightest and
the nation was whole. He was told by Vortumnus himself that he could
unify the land, bring it under one king, and give it life again, or
he could doom it through inaction to eternal warfare and
destruction. The next day, William began to march with his troops
across the coastal fields of Koramia, either forcing petty rulers to
vow fealty to him with the sword, or, more often than not, used
diplomacy and guile to convince them to join his cause. The first
nation to ally under the Greysword banner was Charles Crownwarden,
King of the nation of Firthham. He pledged himself to the
Greysword's cause, becoming the Earl of Firthhamshire.
five year period, William I had conquered most of the southern coast
of Simmeria, including the nations of Dunkirk, Sarworth, Calmirsha,
Tracinia, Kirthdan, Collochia, Harkworth, Nordaria, Estoria, and
Markham. Unfortunately, one of his most powerful allies, the Prelate
of Paeldain, died in 1201. The Emperor, in his role as Pontifex
Maximus, sent an Imperial man to take up the powerful position as
the Prelate of Paeldain, but, upon his arrival, he discovered that
the Prelatal Estate was already being inhabited, by an individual
chosen by William himself. The nominee was outraged by this blatant
disregard of the Emperor as the voice of the gods themselves, but
found little assistance among the local priesthoods of Vortumnus.
The nominee fled, and the Emperor made no real protest, so Urbanus
became the First Prelate of Vortumnus, and King William I made a
vocal and very public denunciation of the Emperor and the Imperial
pantheon as being heretical in nature to Vortumnus. The Emperor
never recognized William's proclamation of independence or his claim
to the right to select clergymen, but neither did he oppose it.
continued his conquests, absorbing Vascore, Fortan, and the Schal.
In 1208, he was crowned William I, King of Koramia by the Prelate of
Paeldain, and proclaimed himself and his descendants monarchs over
the new Kingdom of Koramia by right of divine selection by
Vortumnus. William I died three years later, at the age of 49, after
conquering the Iceni and Norlunders of the northernmost coasts (the
former of which so repulsed the aging King that he refused to name
one of his Earldoms in memory of it). His first son was crowned
William II upon his father’s death. William I had succeeded in
unifying all of the former states of the province of Simmeria,
excepting the mountainous regions in the center of the nation to
which the surviving bandits, orcs and giants fled, and the nations
of Nagos, Pelusia, Medea and Illyria. Nagos and Pelusia made
agreements with the young King William II to ensure their
sovereignty, and Medea made an implicit agreement not to interfere
with the ongoing war with Illyria. For almost forty years, the
Illyrian front was the only border in Koramia that experienced
constant warfare, and most young nobles did some time working in the
cavalry there. Koramia was slowly winning the war, but at a terrible
cost. Illyria was composed of stubborn and highly independent people
(descendant from the Norlunders), and the majority would have rather
died than surrender to what they considered to be a foreign King.
But in the middle of the 13th century, they would find themselves
doing precisely that.
I.C., while Koramia seemed to be in the height of its glory, the
Emperor of Zeth commanded his navy to reassume control over their
former colony. Unbenknownst to most in Koramia, the Empire had
settled its difficulties with the Gaels in their souther territories
and looked to the reconquest of Koramia as their next great victory.
The Empire offered an alliance to Illyria, who was all too willing
to submit to the terms of an Imperial alliance if it meant the end
of their war with Koramia. And, of course, the See of Cambrecia,
long loyal to the Empire, sent troops into southeastern Koramia to
assist in the reconquest. When the Imperial ships landed on
Koramia’s southern shores, King William II was relatively
unprepared, with the vast majority of his fighting force in the
north on the Illyrian front.
William II quickly pulled his troops from the north, a young
Koramian noblewoman revealed herself to be the heir to the old Iceni
dynasty and secretly proclaimed herself Queen Claudia Arox of the
Iceni. The Iceni people quickly rose to join her cause, further
weakening Koramian efforts against the three-pronged Imperial
offensive. It seemed that Koramia, despite the successes of the
past, would certainly fall quickly to the Emperor’s aggressions.
during Koramia’s darkest hour that her founder, King William I,
returned to Paeldain with the Iceni Queen in tow as an ally. King
William I had, indeed, died forty years before, but he had been
resurrected by the will of Vortumnus and had lived out his years as
a hermit in the Divian Mountains. Renewed to youth by equally mystic
means, William I returned to lead his people against the Empire.
With recently forged alliances with both a clan of giants and the
dwarves of the Divian mountains, Imperial victory no longer seemed
as certain. Events were transpiring in the Empire, however, that
would lead not only to the fall of Koramia, but send the entire
region into turmoil for the next six decades.
the Koramian War, a newcomer to Zeth named Lucius arrived from
foreign shores and revealed himself as the Potens Maximus of Abaris
(the Empire had been without an Abarisian Potens Maximus for
centuries). Furthermore, Lucius was able to show lineage in House
Zetar, through a minor branch that had moved to Koramia centuries
before. It was Lucius who urged the Emperor to attack Koramia and
quickly became his closest advisor. Even so, when the Emperor’s only
heir died in 1252, it was still a scandal when Lucius was named heir
to the Imperial throne.
Lucius asked to assist in the faltering war effort in Koramia and
the Emperor agreed to send him to the front. Under Lucius’ command,
the Imperial army regrouped and finally marched on Paeldain. In the
Second Battle of Paeldain, Lucius lead the Imperial armies to a
stunning victory. By the end of the battle, not only was the
Koramian capital city firmly in Imperial hands, but most of the
Greysword family was dead on the battlefield, including both William
I and II.
Greysword, a young son of William I’s brother, was determined to be
next in line for the Koramian Crown, but Ayric refused the crown.
Ayric had been kidnapped by his own mother from the Royal Castle
some twenty years earlier and was not raised in the Royal Household.
This, coupled with crippling injuries he had received in the Illyria
War, were the reasons he gave for surrendering the crown.
Unfortunately, no one quite realized at the time the repercussions
that this decision would have for Koramia’s future.
crown then fell to Gawyn Asheva, husband of Ayric’s eldest sister.
Asheva, who was Earl of Margwenth, had been extremely active in
leading troops against the Empire and was a well respected
commander. Despite King Gawyn’s military acumen, Prince Lucius was
able to counter his every move and Koramia continued to lose
territory to Imperial forces.
Zetian Emperor died late in 1252, Lucius quickly assumed his role as
Emperor and was crowned in the field in Koramia. It was at his
coronation that he revealed himself as Lucasa, Mage-King of Lun
Dorak. He ordered the Imperial capital moved from Zeth to the
Sapphire City and quickly began to establish the Mages of Lun Dorak
as leaders within the Empire. Lucasa, who would be known as Emperor
Lucius “The Heretic” in the Empire, retired to the Saphhire City to
rule while his forces in Koramia continued to clean up King Gawyn’s
remaining forces. Lucasa, well aware of the treachery he faced both
from his new subjects and his enemies, became increasingly secluded.
Lucasa was on the brink of victory, the Order of the Brilliant Lance
arrived to fight against his aggressions. These Dragonknights
quickly helped stabilize the Koramian front and then turned their
attention on the Saphhire City itself. As they lay siege to the city
with a combined Koramian, Illyrian and even an orcish horde. The
Dragonknights succeeded in assaulting the Sapphire City, but as they
reached the Mageking, it became obvious why he had become secluded.
The Mageking had fallen to a mysterious disease and succumbed to the
disease in the very presence of the Dragonknights.
Lucasa dead, the Fourth Succession War flared in the Empire and few
there were any longer interested in The Heretic Emperor’s foreign
war. King Gawyn began the long task of rebuilding his fractured
nation. Though its Queen had long since disappeared, Icenia was
still rebellious against the Koramian Crown and a legion of Imperial
troops remained stranded in Koramia, intent on presenting it as a
prize to whatever Emperor emerged from the Fourth Succession War.
King Gawyn was able to re-establish control of much of the region
near Koramia before a new conqueror arrived to bring new terror to
Great Khan of Vor Midal and one of the allies who had fought with
Koramia at the Sapphire City found himself with thousands of loyal
orcs and no enemy to fight. His alliance with Koramia at an end with
the defeat of the Mageking, Gar’dun turned his armies west. The
Horde quickly overran Illyria, which had suffered almost as much as
Koramia in the wars., and turned its attentions on the remnants of
Koramia itself. For reasons still unknown, Gar’dun reached the
border of Icenia and turned his Horde southward, though the Divian
Mountains and towards Paeldain itself.
defenses were weak, but still the people of the city held out for
two weeks while Gar’dun’s forces besieged the city. But finally, the
unstoppable Horde broke through Paeldain’s walls and sacked the city
in 1256. King Gawyn was killed during the fighting and it is said
his skull was tied to Gar’dun’s war chariot, resting ironically next
to the skull of the Illyrian king. Gawyn’s young son, William, was
crowned King William III and spirited away to a secret enclave in
the Divian Mountains.
nation now leaderless, Gar’dun, now known as “Kingslayer,” took his
horde into southeastern Koramia before turning northwestward. Over
the course of the next five years, Gar’dun’s horde all but destroyed
what remained of Koramia. The Horde finally faltered in 1261 in
western Koramia, when Gar’dun died from extreme old age (he was
sixty at the time of his death, almost twice the normal lifespan of
an orc). Instead of choosing a new Khan and continuing their
conquest, the orcish Horde fell to infighting and instead remained
in western Koramia, renaming it Vor Scheral.
William III returned to Paeldain, but did not have much time to
attempt to reorganize his dying kingdom. In 1262, the Crimson Plague
finally reached Koramia, killing off more than a third of the
population over the next two years. The eight-year old child-king
proved weak and ineffectual in the face of such a tragedy. His
advisors fell to bickering and little was done to alleviate the pain
of his subjects. In 1263, the gates of Paeldain itself were closed
(a symbolic gesture at best, due to the dilapidated nature of its
defenses) and military rule was established to prevent the spread of
plague in the city.
plague passed, several rebellions sprung up against William III’s
rule. To the north, Norlund, which now included the former Kingdom
of Illyria, asserted its independence and Dunkirk followed suit in
in the south in 1265. Meanwhile, in Icenia, the First King, Aelric,
was reborn as an undead lord and over the next decade reestablished
his rule over the region. Koramia was whittled down to barely a
fifth of its former size, mainly centered near Paeldain.
there had been periodic peasant rebellions even near Paeldain, in
1275 they finally found their voice. Chadric Greysword, son of Ayric,
claimed that his father and grandmother had been victims of a
conspiracy and claimed William III was a pretender to the throne.
Disaffected Koramians flocked to Chadric’s banner. Most
significantly, elements within the Koramian Church of Vortumnus also
flocked to his banner, despite protestations of the Prelate of
Paeldain. In 1277, Chadric was crowned King of Koramia by one of his
Archbishops and the nation quickly polarized around the the kings.
now being in the broils of a formal civil war, Koramia saw few
battles between the two King’s forces. Both Kings simply did not
have the resources to field a large army and most conflicts were
restricted to small skirmishes. But the Civil War ensured that
Koramia would not be able to even consider retaking her former
territories. If it weren’t for the troubles her neighbors were
facing, it is likely Koramia would have long since fallen.
today is still divided along lines loyal to King Chadric and King
William III. Despite the Civil War having lasting thirty-five years,
there is little likelihood that either side will capitulate while
both Kings and their heirs still live. And the Koramian people will
also continue to suffer under the unfailing egos of their kings.
Koramia was primarily an agricultural kingdom, but decades of war
and plague have completely destroyed that economy. Most people, even
in the larger cities, have turned to barter for manufactured items
and the usage of coinage is extremely rare. Primary crops includes
wheat, barley, and corn. Fishing is, of course, a strong trade along
the southern coast. Beef is not a popular food, as cattle are more
often used as laborers than grown for food, but sheep are
particularly popular as livestock, especially in the foothills of
the Divian Mountains. There is evidence of fantastic lodes of
precious metals in the Divian Mountains, but most are inaccessible,
due to the bandits and unsavory monsters who continue to plague the
Worship of Vortumnus once dominated Koramia, but worship of the God
of Honor has been decreasing in the last few decades. Too many
people feel that Vortumnus has abandoned them and instead turn to
Podalirius in the hopes that he will bring them crop enough to
survive the next winter. Even the Great Cathedral of Vortumnus in
Paeldain now lies abandoned and the Prelate has moved into the
King’s castle, where he holds mainly private ceremonies for King
William III and his guests.
UPDATED for the Fourth Age