1360x1260 km or 1,710,000 km2
8-11 million (humans)
7 (list of fiefdoms)
Adylheim (eɪ'dɪl-hʌɪm) is a realm comprised of seven independent fiefdoms: Arameia, Starkwater, Nevros, Longmoor, Nerin, Andragoria, and Teslan. The boundaries of the realm are those of the ancient Arameian Empire, which collapsed in 3896 following the separation of the fiefdoms.
The realm's boundaries are generally regarded as being: The Great Sea to the west, The Ribs to the north, the Ogre Lands in the east, and the Dae'Vol Lands and the Growling Marshes to the south. Because the sea and the lands beyond its borders have been proven impassable and deadly by even the most intrepid of explorers, Adylheim and its immediate boundaries comprise the entirety of the known world.
The first record of the name Adylheim, which roughly means "Noble Home," appeared in 3689 following the secession of Starkwater and Nevros from the Arameian Empire, in the deerskin journal of an amateur Threakian poet:
|“|| The Empire falls ash
Her brittle bones break
Main article: History of Adylheim
The Arameian Empire was forged and divided among the sons of a dead emperor, then united once more and expanded to encompass the known civilizations. The Fae, led by the Queen of the Faeries, objected to the emperor's delusion of control over them, but they were overcome by the empire's legions. The Threakians, led by the Gamb Lords, rebelled and were conquered. The mages and wizards, led by Robin the Black, tried -- and failed -- to usurp the throne.
And then, the Naga emerged from their alternate plane of existence and descended upon the empire in order to conquer the world for their own. At the conclusion of The Great Snake War, the Naga were turned back, but at a great loss to the empire's strength and funds. While the emperor slowly lost his grip on the outlying lands, and while the empire itself grew bankrupt, the noble families began to declare their independence.
Starkwater and Nevros seceded first, followed by Nerin and Andragoria. Longmoor became independent not long after, and finally Teslan removed itself from the rule of the politically crippled emperor. Arameia, all that was left of the old empire, destroyed the last of the emperor's seat and lifted up the Prelate of Luxor to take his place.
To the north of Adylheim are the Ribs, whose jagged, snow-capped mountains tower over the continent. Starkwater and Nevros, the two northmost fiefdoms, boast rolling hills and sheer valleys among their own small mountain ranges. Snow and ice dominate the North for nearly half the year.
Farther south, in the fiefdoms of Arameia and Longmoor, the hills are fewer among the wide plains and rocky forests. The Old Woods dominate central Adylheim -- but the climate and geography within the forest fluctuates so often it would be pointless to describe here. To the east are the Ogre Lands, where the hilly forests are thick, humid and teeming with predators.
In the southernmost fiefdoms -- Andragoria and Nerin -- the land is flat and open and enjoys mild winters but hot summers, thanks to the volcanic activity of the Dae'Vol wastelands to the south.
Main article: Fauna of Adylheim
The temperate Adylheim boasts a less diverse selection of wildlife than warmer regions might, but those native to the realm are sometimes as odd as they are rare. From the aeshnida to the griffins, brushkats to warbears, there are plenty of beasts and monsters behind every tree to keep a well-prepared traveler on her toes.
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The Prelarchy of ArameiaEdit
Main article: The Prelarchy of Arameia
Arameia is the largest and arguably the most powerful fiefdom. Arameia is divided into two parts: the Highlands and the Heartlands. The capital of Arameia is Aram, which is the largest city in Adylheim and one of only three to have a university. Arameia's leader, the Prelate of Luxor, has relatively limited control of the outskirts of his fiefdom. His military strengths are tied up in the Highlands conflict with Starkwater and in protecting the immediate vicinity of the capital, leaving him relatively little control over the rest of the fiefdom.
The Archduchy of StarkwaterEdit
Main article: The Archduchy of Starkwater
Starkwater is one of the Northern fiefdoms and as such is heavily militarized and known for its ambitions towards the Arameian Highlands. The Archdukes of Starkwater have been known for ruling with an iron fist; their lands are often heavily taxed. Border raids and peasant insurrections are a common occurrence.
The Principality of NevrosEdit
Main article: The Principality of Nevros
Nevros is another northern fiefdom and remains heavily militarized, guarding its borders against both the northern raids and the Ogres. They are very isolationist in their principles, preferring not to take stands in conflicts with others. Their military is reckoned to be one of the strongest in the fiefdoms despite this stance, but it is heavily tied up in border defences. Its capital is Alden.
The Barony of LongmoorEdit
Main article: The Barony of Longmoor
Longmoor is arguably the poorest of the fiefdoms, lacking in resources and prone to border raids from Ogres. They survive mainly by playing the Ogre tribes against one other. This swamp-infested fiefdom has little to offer in the way of exports.
The Khaganate of NerinEdit
Main article: The Khaganate of Nerin
Nerin is one of the wealthiest fiefdoms. It is largely untroubled by border raids. Though they do not trade with the Dae’vol they enjoy an abundance of natural resources which allow them to maintain a limited military.
The Kingdom of AndragoriaEdit
Main article: The Kingdom of Andragoria
Andragoria is the wealthiest of the two southern fiefdoms, with rich natural resources and an extensive trade with the elusive Dae’vol. The Andragorians have a supreme grasp of culture and wit. It is their capital of Nander which, with a population of 70,000, is the second largest city in Adylheim and is one of only three cities with a university.
The Grand Barony of TeslanEdit
Main article: The Grand Barony of Teslan
Teslan is the smallest of the fiefdoms and the one with the second largest naval fleet. The Teslans are renowned for their technological advances and is home to some of the best Artificers. Teslan is generally known to have the largest library and the best university of the realm in their capital city of Salen.
Main article: Economy of Adylheim
Most transactions within Adylheim are through a trade of goods or services. Coin money is rarely used outside the most populated cities, and paper money is even rarer still.
Each fiefdom (and in Starkwater's case, each duchy) mints its own coinage with different mold and name, but the material and value remain interchangeably consistent across the realm:
1 Silver Coin = 100 Copper Coins
Most everyday purchases in cities are made with copper coins. Silver is rarely used, and gold rarely seen.
Main article: Playable Races
Humans dominate the population within the borders of Adylheim. Arameians, the most common of humans, may be found in plenty throughout the fiefdoms, though they are most dominant in Arameia and central Adylheim. Threakians mostly populate the North, Maradin villages line the coast, and Andragorians dominate the southern fiefdoms.
Elven caravans frequently pass through each of the fiefdoms without bias; their camps are a nuisance to settlements everywhere from Starkwater to Nerin.
Most Adylheimians have never met a Dragonkin or a Dae'Vol. These races tend to keep to themselves and to their own lands. For the average person, sighting a Dragonkin or a Dae'Vol is a rare curiosity.
Main article: Languages of Adylheim
The most spoken language of Adylheim is Aramic. It is divided into High Aramic, or proper speech; and Low Aramic, or vulgar or trade speak. The great majority of the mainland population has a fluency in Aramic.
Each of the nonhuman races makes use of its own language. Elvish is spoken by the elves, Sidaen is the language of the Ursidaen, Ogran is the language of the Ogres, and Drakken is spoken by the Dragonkin.
The Dae'Vol do not name a language of their own but rather communicate via telepathic ideas and images.
Main article: Religion in Adylheim
Religion doesn’t know boundaries in Adylheim: it interacts with daily life at every level. The fiefdoms all worship the same gods, but religious structures are not necessarily the same from fiefdom to fiefdom. There is no single dogma or cult that defines religion throughout the realm. Religion is a series of disparate gods being followed by different people.