Torunsport is named after a very successful Olmec sea trader from the Empire. Torunsport rapidly grew due to its control of the trade in unusual items and commodities from the wildlands into the Empire. Torunsport is administered much like the other Olmec dominated city states; along the traditions of the Empire with a First Minister and other administrators elected by the land owning citizens. However, Torunsport is heavily dominated by traders who still run the lucrative trade across the Great Lake. The powerful guilds of Merchants and Shipwrights has its headquarters here.
The defense of Torunsport is largely made up of sailors/marines based upon its fleet of Great Lake ships. it does have a small city guard and local troops, but these are concentrated around protecting Torunsport and the coastal road that links to Karodracia. Torunsport has a long standing emnity for Katurem and it pirates.
Karodracia is a province that was founded by the great saint, Karodra the Traveller. He was a prominent templar in the Empire who took it upon himself to travel and help protect the poor and needy on the roads of the imperium. In his later years he came to the Wilds following a vision and set up a settlement with his most loyal followers. Upon his death, his followers raised up an abbey and set up their own order of monks and knights to continue Saint Karodra's work. The monks and knights took it upon themselves to protect travellers in their lands and the province developed along the main trade route from the Great Elder Lake to Lauria.
The lands are fertile and good for farming but the province is flanked by the Dark Dale to the north and the dangerous Karodran forest to the south. Consequently, the monks and their knights have developed into a martial order devoted to protecting their lands. The whole province is ruled under monastic laws and governed by the Grandmaster of the Order and his Abbot advisors. The knights are perhaps the most dangerous warriors in the Wildlands; they are heavily armed and armoured and superbly trained heavy cavalry. The province is peaceful but heavily religious, following the Karodran interpretation of the teachings of the Prophet Alba.
Possibly the most unusual of the city states and one of the more recent, Shandrilos is the best known of all the cities of Darylor as it is home to the College of Magic. Nowhere else have magic users of all kinds and philosophies been able to come together and share and learn from each other. It began as a secret community of magic users on the island of Shand which was shunned by early settlers in the land as many feared the Elder ruins there. Later the druids joined, bringing their philosophies and beliefs in the old gods of earth, sea and sky. More incredible was that the Sironacian Order of Monks joined the College with their opposing view of the One God and the teachings of Blessed Alba.
The city is administrated by the Conclave of Magi, the heads of the eight schools of magic at the college. The eight leaders are: the Sorceror Supreme, the High Enchanter, the First Wizard, the Abbess, the Arch Druid, the Magus General, the Mage Master and the Allseer. The Archmage is the head of this group and leads the city and the provincial areas that swear fealty to it. The city and province are governed by councillors who are elected by all the landowners.
The defence of the province is by a small army, supported by river boat patrols and local militias. However, the magi of the college are assigned to support in the defence and add a formidable might to the Shandrilosi guard. The elite defenders of the province are the Fighter-Magi who are warriors that combine swordcraft and magical might.
The last of the province/city-states to rise to prominence was Katurem. The city of Katurem was originally founded as a haven for the pirate fleet of Katur the Cold, the most feared priate of the little sea. The little sea is the nickname given to the Great Elder Lake, the largest of the lakes of the Wildlands. Katur set up his haven on the furthest shore from the Imperial ports. It grew over the years and became a haven for bandits, pirates, thieves and villains of all kinds. It was the headquarters of the infamous thieves guild and the feared assassins guild. Eventually, the sway of Katurem spread along the coast and after many disputes with the other provinces of the Wilds, it was finally recognised and given a place on the Grand Council of the Wilds, but is still distrusted.
Katurem covers the north western shores of the Great Elder Lake and borders the Darkheart Hills and the Mist Marshes. It has precarious relations with the goblins of these areas and its livelihood relies on trade, both honest and illicit as the lands it governs are wild and poor for agriculture. Katurem is ruled by a council that is led by the most ruthless and powerful. The council appoints its own usually by an individual forcing their way in or killing a previous member. Katurem's prime military strength is in its fleet, but it has developed a small guard and can also rely on its large network of spies, informants and assassins.
Darylor is really a collection of territories and city states. Its borders are not really defined nor its internal boundaries between the many different territories. Huge swathes of land are unclaimed and relatively unexplored. It is one of the strangest places in Primus since so many different races inhabit the land.
The history of the land is at once both recent and ancient; recent in the sense that humans have only inhabited the land for around 4 centuries, ancient as the lands are said to be where the former Elder kingdom of Dah'Ryllor was centred. There are Elder ruins throughout the land and the remnants of the Elder races still dwell in the more remote areas of the land.
Below are detailed the different areas, city states, and territories that make up the Wildlands of Darylor along with an indication on the map of Darylor of where these are situated and hold sway. For clarity these places have been separated and put into order by the main race that dominates that area.
Hadek is a city state that sits on the border of the Wildlands of Darylor and the Kilimarian Provinces of the Empire. As such its culture and people are very much Olmec and Imperial laws and customs dominate. The city state covers an area of high valleys in the Barrier Mountains and straddles the main passes between the Empire and the Wildlands. Hadek itself lies in a high valley area where some farming and crops grow but the main industry here is mining. Apart from taxing trade through the mountains, mining is the main source of income for the people of Hadek. This has brought them into close contact with the remnants of the hill dwarves who live in that area of the high valleys and mountains. After initial battles with the dwarves, the people of Hadek have reconciled themselves to their non-human neighbours, primarily because of the trade opportunities the people of Hadek have from dwarven made goods.
Hadek is governed as other Olmec states by a First Minister and a council, both elected by citizens who must own land to be able to vote. However, the Crafters and Miners Guilds are based in Hadek and they have a strong influence on the administration of the city and state. Hadek's defence is maintained by a small but efficient army modelled on the Empire with heavy foot troops patrolling the passes and the road through from the Empire to the Wildlands.
Lauria is the largest and oldest of the city states that humans have settled over the last 4 centuries. Its population is dominated by Olmec people from the Empire to the south. Settlers arrived from there looking for new land to settle and over the centuries more have come due to the wars in the south.
Lauria is situated on flat and rolling uplands that provide good farmland for the local population. The city has spread its influence over all the uplands that surround the western lands around Lake Laur. The city of Lauria itself is nestled against this large lake and a lot of its success lies in the fact that trade can go from the lake, down the river to Shandrilos, Ostia and even on to the new city of Sironac in the north. The prevailing winds also allow for trade to move back up the river against the current making river trade a large part of Lauria's economy.
The city-state is administered in the manner of the Empire with senior leaders elected from amongst the most prominent citizens (people must own land to be considered a citizen). These usually come from the main guilds of Darylor who generally have their guildhouses in Lauria. These dominate trade across the Wildlands.
The main defence of the city-state and its environs is maintained by a small well trained army based upon Imperial structures from the south. These soldiers are predominantly infantry. The river and lake are also patrolled by ships that carry small groups of soldiers. Lastly, sizable groups of militia and personal guards are widely used by smaller towns and by guilds and wealthy land owners.
Human dominated lands
Dunegan is the most martial of all the city states of the Wildlands of Darylor. Dunegan was originally settled by Calonian Highlanders who moved east in search of easier land than the tough highlands of their homeland. They moved along the main river and lakes that mark the edge of the Wildlands and the start of the endless Forests of Shadows. The city of Dunegan is a formidable walled city with a large castle that sits on an island in the mighty river Egan. All of the lesser towns and villages are fortified to one degree or another as they generally sit along the River Egan looking across at the dangerous Cursed Woods which host goblins, trolls and other less savoury creatures in large numbers.
Dunegan is a Nordic city state that is ruled by an hereditary High Lord with lesser Lairds ruling the towns and settlements that are aligned with Dunegan. All lairds maintain a strong warband to protect their lands, but the High Lord maintains a strong elite of well armed and armoured warriors to protect the city of Dunegan. There is also a small fleet of river boats that ferry the warriors along the river as needed to meet incursions from the Cursed Woods. Dunegan's wealth is not great but it is supported by its link with Calonia to the west and its trade in rare resources is strong from the Wildlands to the highlands of Calon. It also has some more protected fertile land in the south of the province that provides its food. The mercenary and adventurers guild has its headquarters in Dunegan.
Ostia was mainly settled by people from all over the Wildlands as opposed to settlers from beyond Darylor. It is much further into the Wilds than the other early settlements. It was primarily settled by Nordics looking for better farmland from the then established settlements of Dunard, Dunegan and Arondar. Disputes between these settlements forced many to look for other places to settle.
Ostia is situated at the mouth of the river from Lauria and Shandrilos on the shores of Lake Ost (meaning east - named that from the fact is was the furthest east the Nordic had pushed into the Wilds). Ostia is surrounded by flat, fertile land, however, the region of Shadow Dale to the east of it has a high population of goblins and other foul creatures who made settling Ostia very difficult. Ostia and its surrounding towns have grow up as strongly fortified settlements with active armed forces to defend them. Ostia has a very warrior based culture much as other Nordic communities but it has also adopted some Olmec traditions such as gladiatorial battles and arenas.
Ostia has become a trading hub as it has benefitted from river trade with Shandrilos and Lauria as well as being a gateway to the north and the trade in rare wildland artefacts, furs and minerals. Ostia also provides a key link to places such as Sironac and Dunegan.
Ostia is ruled by a hereditary High Lord with lesser Lairds or Lords that swear fealty to him. Ostia's defence is headed by the High Lord's elite Gladiatorial Guard and Huntmasters. This is supported by a sizable river and lake fleet and the warrior lairds and their men of the lesser towns and settlements.
Dunard is the oldest and largest of the Nordic city states, but it is spread out over the rough terrain of the foothills of the Druidhome Mountains. The high hills and steep valleys provide land for both arable and animal farming but also provide areas for non-humans to hide and prey upon the human settlers. Dunard has a good trade with the Nordic Kingdoms to the west, but also has its own mineral resources as well to provide some wealth. The druids and the old faith hold sway in Dunard.
Dunard, like the other Nordic city states is ruled by an hereditary High Lord and lesser lairds who rule the smaller settlements that owe the High Lord allegiance. Each laird maintains a strong warband to protect its settlements and the High Lord has his own army to maintain peace and to guard against non-humans from the Dun Marshes, the Druidhome Mountains and from within the high valleys of the the province itself.
Kalizern is named after its founder, the Imperial general Sereles Barates Kalizern. Kalizern was a full Imperial legion commander in the Varitian Wars who it is said was caught between his conscience and his military judgement. Knowing his legion was hopelessly isolated and would be annihilated, he chose to flee into the uncharted north rather than see his men slaughtered for no reason other than politics. His act meant he and his men would never be able to return so they and their camp followers set up in the wildlands and their camp eventually became the city of Kalizern. It is primarily populated with people of Olmec descent from the empire.
The city and its province spans a rough terrain of valleys and bare rocky hills. The province's agriculture is primary based upon animal farming and on its mining. There is some agriculture in the valleys and these are easily protected. The city's administration is based upon imperial lines like Lauria with a council elected by the landowners. The only difference is that the position of First Minister is hereditary and is always a descendent of the general Kalizern. The forces of Kalizern are primary legion infantry as in the Empire and they are highly trained and guard their highland lands fiercely.
Arondar is the most populous of the Nordic city states of the Wildlands of Darylor. This is mainly due to its position. It lies within a lush, fertile area of the Wildlands, dominated by the calm waters of the Lake Aron. It also lies on a crossroads between the other Nordic city states of Dunegan, Dunard and Ostia. Dunard is easily accessible by river too. Also, although it has the Aron Forest to the south and the Dun Forest to the north which are 'no-go' areas because of the remnants of the elves that live there, this also means that there are relatively few goblins, troll and other dangerous creatures, making the Aron Vale a very safe place to live for the Wildlands. There have also been no border disputes between the Nordic cities in many years.
Arondar's wealth and trade are based upon farming and agriculture with some trade in wood from the edges of the great forests around it. The city and state is governed by Nordic culture and so there is an hereditary High Lord who rules and he in turn has lesser Lairds who rule the lesser towns and villages and raise warbands of men to support the High Lord if needed. The High Lord does keep a force of his own that is dominated by the famed longbowmen of Arondar. Also, the dominant religion here is that of the old gods of earth, sea and sky and the druids. Arondar is the centre for the druidic faith in the Wildlands. The Albanite faith holds no sway here.
The Wildlands of Darylor
Sironac is the most recent of the city/provinces to develop to a large enough size and influence to be recognised on the Grand Council of the Wilds. Nevertheless, the only settlement of any real size is the heavily fortified city of Sironac. This sits on a fortified headland at the north end of the Great Serpent Lake. It is flanked by the Black Bogs, the Forest of Shadow and the Bloodland Heights. Sironac is built around the huge Grand Abbey of the Monastic Order of Sironac. This was settled by Alinus Quan Sirona, the Grand Abbot of the Order and his followers.
The city controls the headland on which the city stands and this is home to smaller settlements that have grown up under the protection of Sironac. The city is administrated by the holy order and is run with iron discipline as its main population are adherents to the faith or are tough mercenaries, trappers and adventures who need a firm hand.
The city has managed to survive and grow in the isolated wilds because of its use of its clerical magic and the development of its warrior monks that head the defence of the province. However, the monks have also cultivated strong links with the dwarves of the Bloodland Heights and have even begun trading ties with some of the friendlier goblin tribes that live nearby.
More Coming Soon!
by Iain Hope
Welcome to the World of...