Sachsenheim

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The highland region of central Lorandar to the eastern coast is the land of Sachsenheim. It has many majestic mountains and great rivers, and unlike Alteraan and Korashur, it is still covered in vast tracts of woodland including the foreboding Dark Forest. Further to the east, the Sea Holds of the Stormreach Strait also swear their allegiance (at least nominally) to the Sachsenheim Crown.

Sachsenheim is populated by the descendants of King Sirastus of the Sachsens, the ancient hero of their people that led them across the Frostwind Sea to Lorandar from Aluvinor. It was the Sachsens that freed the ancestors of the Alteraanians and Korashurans initially from the yoke of the Ancients slavery and formed the High Kingdom of Lorandar that for 800 years united their peoples. While such glory is now history, the people of Sachsenheim are still a proud and resilient lot, equally capable wielding a sword, a plough or a tiller. Amongst the Sachsens, gender is of lesser importance than the courage and capability of the individual, and any young girl that wishes to pick up a sword, or boy who wishes to sew is fairly taught by their elders. Classes exist in the society, though the distinction is a lot more subtle than in Alteraan or Korashur. Nobles are the lords and ladies that rule the Greatmarches, Lesser Marches and Holds of Sachsenheim, often capable warriors, but sometimes skilled diplomats or master crafters. The middle class consists of warriors, tradespeople, hunters and farmers; anybody that has a profession and holds title to land. The lower class are those who, despite holding a profession, have no land of their own and instead dwell upon the land of another, and the main functional difference is that they must abide by the rules of their landlords in addition to their nobles. Slaves in Sachsenheim are almost exclusively foreigners, as any Sachsen with a trade is considered part of the lower class rather than someone’s property.

They are constantly tested by the expansionist desires of the Alteraanians to the North, and the evil creatures that dwell within the Dark Forest and the Wastelands to the South, but they rarely falter. Of recent lament though is the occupation of Northern Sachsenheim in the wake of the last Crown War by Alteraan. Though the peace accord struck with their northern neighbours has effectively seceded it to their control, many Sachsens agitate for reclaiming it as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Heraldry and Fashion

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The common colours in Sachsen dress are blues and whites with bronze accents, and eagle or runic motifs figure heavily in ornate outfits. The most common items that a noble or person of renown will invest resources into enhancing are their weapons.

The general style of dress is fairly consistent from upper to lower classes, with sturdy leggings and a comfortable shirt covered by a tunic or dress being the base outfit, with various leather belts, baldrics, bracers and breastplates often worn for functional and aesthetic purposes, commonly embossed with ancestral designs. Armour for battle is commonly chainmail, though those with less resources or those that skirmish tend to prefer leathers.

Life and Society

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Family

Marriage can be proposed by either men or women in Sachsenheim. Arranged marriages do occur, but commonly allow either party to decline if they believe it is unlikely to last. This allowance originated with a judgement made by Queen Nicollete in 4:412 after an unfortunate incident between her brother and his lover that led to their deaths after he was to be forced into a marriage with another woman. Children born of a Sachsen couple traditionally take the name of the father, though nothing stops the parents from carrying on the matrilineal line instead, especially if it is the woman who is of higher status.

Much like their Alteraanian neighbours, Sachsenheim have midwives within most towns and villages that take care of pregnant mothers. It is a blessed duty in the eyes of the Sachsen people to welcome new life into the world, and as such midwives are held in high esteem. The Sachsen mothers themselves are not required to remain active once they reach a certain point in their pregnancy and are expected to be cared for by others in their household.

Education and Employment

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Sharing the legacy of the High Kingdom with their neighbours in Alteraan, the Sachsen people maintain a substantial network of primary schools throughout their settlements, and colleges in the larger cities. Tutelage is free for those attending the primary schools, and in most places as well for the colleges, though it is expected that the local community support the college with funds and labour where necessary. Apprenticeships are provided for and trained for at these colleges, with students taking time to work in nearby communities to gain practical experience, and relocating to other parts of the Kingdom once graduated where they can put their skills to use. Employment, where not gained by an individual on their own accord, is provided in a number of ways by local lords, from manual labour, to civil service, to militia duties.

Entertainment

Across the marches of Sachsenheim, communities connect with each other and entertain their inhabitants through events such as full moon dances, solstice feasts, and bardic challenge displays. As a regular venue for such events and theatrical performances, many towns will have a large outdoor wooden circular theatre, or a natural amphitheatre if the geographical conditions permit. Throughout the realm the violin and guitar are common instruments, though many Sachsen bards will play a range of different instruments to accompany their storytelling.

What a Sachsen citizen chooses to indulge in is generally up to them, as long as it does not harm others or bring shame upon the community. Alcohol is a common indulgence, though due to the multitude of hazards in the world, it is seen as poor form to be unable to defend oneself or ones people through overconsumption. The taking of drugs while rarely forbidden, is discouraged, and those that neglect their work, friends and family quickly find themselves outcasts from the communities. Prostitution is far less formalised than in Alteraan or Korashur, and those that do practice the profession often do so out of their own homes, or from collectively owned establishments.

Life and Death

Medical care in Sachsenheim, though in many places as advanced as in Alteraan or Valeria, still owes a lot to the traditions of village healers and highland witches. A patient ill with sickness or crippled by injury can expect a combination of doses of modern medical elixirs and guided meditation to heal both body and mind. Even in the large hospitals of the major cities there are contingents of these healers to provide their particular services. The Sachsens bury their dead in barrows or in catacombs with shrines or temples nearby where they can be visited, paid homage to, and put back to rest if they have re-animated. For the larger cities, graveyards are more and more employed due to the ease of their establishment, and for dealing with the bodies of any non-Sachsens that die there.

Duelling in Sachsenheim

While Sachsens are less formal in duelling they take the practice no less seriously. Duels are a public affair and are expected to be held where the community of the duellists in question can witness the event. Duelling is a tradition that has been adopted by commoner and nobility alike as a means to defend one's honour, and the duels themselves are performed with ritual significance. For more information, see Duelling in Sarradar.

Commerce and Construction

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As the Sachsens honour their ancestors, that gave them life, so do they equally honour the land that sustains them. Trees are hewn to build houses, ore is mined to make tools, and fish and game are caught to feed the people, but they strive to minimise any waste. The primary exports of Sachsenheim are most notably the dense hardwoods of the highland forests, salt from the salt-mines, and high quality iron from mines in the Cloudpeaks. Of special note is the industry that exists around the harvesting of magical reagents, a resource tremendously useful in the arts of magic and alchemy. In the vicinity of both the Dark Forest and the Wastelands, the abundance of magical plants and creatures is significantly higher than anywhere else in the Five Realms.

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The highlands and lowlands of Sachsenheim are home to a mixed assortment of construction methodologies within the Sachsen settlements. Hardwood timber carefully hewn from the great forests and prepared by skilled carpenters is the predominant structural material for most buildings, followed closely by cut stone from the mountains for foundations and cladding. Brought over from their ancient homeland, the Sachsens have a strong tradition of ornamentation of their structures with stone and wood carvings of gargoyles and intricate scrollwork.



Religion

The religious beliefs of the inhabitants of Sachsenheim vary with which region they live in. Towards the north where the lands are relatively open and the land is close to Alteraan, most people pay homage to the gods of the Silver Court. This is in part due to existing belief in the Court, or due to the fervour displayed by the missionaries of the Church after the nation’s occupation by Alteraan. Throughout the rest of Sachsenheim though, the dominant religion is the worship of the ancestors. Those that came before and all that they laboured at and sacrificed is honoured by the living. Once a fortnight a Sachsen is expected to pray at a shrine to the ancestors and in particular give thanks to their personal ancestors. On nights when the moon is full, songs are often sung of ancestors and the history of Sachsenheim is told in tale by the priests in alehouses amidst the food and drink. Twice a year when the sun is at its highest or lowest, a Sachsen is expected to travel to the barrows in which the dead are interred and along with their prayer they are to fix any deterioration in the barrow and put back to rest any that have risen as undead. It should be noted that the state of undeath is seen most often as a natural thing by Sachsens, though not one that is desired. Though they might fight with and have to butcher such walking dead as any inhabitant of one of the other Five Realms might, a Sachsen will if the situation allows it, clean up the body and re-bury or cremate it with as much dignity as they can.

Language and Communication

Though the Sachsens brought the Old Tongue to Lorandar with them from Aluvinor, their interaction over the millennia with the Carran peoples of Alteraan and Korashur gave rise to what is now the Common tongue. All bar those in the most isolated hamlets now speak Common, though at least a third of the populace maintain a level of proficiency in the Old Tongue, particularly for religious rituals. The Old Tongue originated in the south-east of Aluvinor and academics believe it draws from elements of the Bestial tongue. Unlike Alteraan, the language of the Ancients is not forbidden in Sachsenheim, though only those that guard the borders of the Wastelands or explore the strange ruins of the Dark Forest are believed to have any proficiency with it.

Though the land of Sachsenheim has seen the establishment of newspapers in much the same manner as Alteraan, the older form of communication through the bards of the Bardic Colleges still plays a prominent role in keeping people informed on what goes on. Welcomed as brother or sister by the villages they travel to, bards are traditionally given hospitality in exchange for tales and news from elsewhere. More recently a favourite amongst inn patrons is listening to a bard’s comical interpretations of the Alteraanian newspapers (which more often than not see later use in the toilets of the inn).

Crime and Punishment

With many similarities to Alteraan, much of the law of Sachsenheim follows a similar path, though Sachsens follow somewhat older tenets of justice. In their eyes, acts such as the desecration of ancient structures and the various forms of theft are deserving of a stronger punishment than Alteraanian laws tend to grant. On the other hand, one is far more likely to get off or face a reduced punishment for crimes involving bloodshed, provided reasonable grounds for the act are proven.

Military

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Though biological differences mean that the bulk of the standing Sachsen military is male, as all Sachsens are encouraged and given ample opportunity to learn to fight, most units contain a portion of females. It is the duty of each Lord to hold several units of soldiers ready to march within a days notice in support of the Crown, and most also have an elite force of Huskarls that act as their own bodyguard in both peace and times of war. When war calls, a Lord will also call upon his people to take up arms, and the bulk of a Sachsen army is made up of well-equipped units of citizenry of far greater quality than any other militia of the Five Realms. In massed warfare the Sachsen military fields substantial formations of heavy shock infantry. The devastating combination of thrown spears and a forceful charge makes these troops feared above nearly all else. Archers and cavalry also play an important role in Sachsen warfare, with skirmishing rangers and mounted archers providing potent harassing fire upon enemy formations. Some spear armed medium cavalry feature in lowland Sachsen forces though efforts to arm and train formations effectively wielding both bow and spear have repeatedly failed to impress. The second major advantage of the Sachsen military style is that the same units can serve as heavy infantry fighting in close formation, medium infantry fighting in looser ranks to manage terrain more effectively, or as skirmishing light infantry without any changes in equipment or additional training but as the situation demands. It is highly unusual, however, to see the elite Huskarls employed as anything other than the tightly formed shock role at which they excel. While the bow offers a common alternative to the spear and axe otherwise favoured by the soldiers of Sachsenheim the comparative lack of heavy cavalry, or of numerous cavalry of any kind, makes their armies somewhat less flexible and mobile on the battlefield. In siege warfare however they are almost unmatched, skilled engineers having the ability to construct engines in a matter of hours to make the breaches which will allow the infantry to be unleashed, a tradition dating back to the time of the Avyrnian Crusade.

Government and Politics

Sachsenheim has been ruled by a number of noble lineages over its history. Rulership is not gender-discriminative and while a ruler may pass the crown to any one of their sons or daughters, it is up to the Elder Council to decide if they wish to support the new ruler’s claim to the throne. If the ascending ruler does not have the support of at least three-quarters of the Council, a Trial of Leadership is called and the ascending ruler must pass three tests of strength, wits, and fortitude to prove themselves. At this time other contenders may compete against the ascending ruler to attempt to take their place, though they themselves must have the backing of at least half of the Elder Council to be considered.

The ruler of Sachenheim has overall authority in matters of nationwide importance, though the local governance is left to the lords of the Elder Council and the lesser nobles that rule individual Holds. All must obey the edicts of the ruler, but the wise rulers of Sachsenheim know how far they can push their power and what they can demand of their people so as not to cause upset and find themselves face-to-face with a vote of no-confidence by the Elder Council. Though not many rulers have been deposed in the history of the Realm in this manner, the few cases that have occurred have left such a lasting impression that few would be foolish enough to let it happen to them again.

Power Groups and Organisation

Sachsenheim Crown

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King Raynor Faulkner leads the royal family of Sachsenheim with his second wife, Queen Marenna. He is the grandson of Albrecht Faulkner, who was the first son of Wilhelm Faulkner. His immediate family consists of four sons and three daughters (all to his deceased first wife), and his two younger sisters, one of whom is married and has two young sons. Raynor’s two eldest sons Theodrick and Joachim both currently serve within the Knights of the Azure Dragon, with Theodrick holding a captain’s position and Joachim serving as a cleric or the order. The older of his two sisters, Natasha, acts as his advisor and has done so since the death of her husband, the king’s former advisor, at the hand of assassins in the Second Crown War. The people of Sachsenheim respect and revere their king for the most part, but there are those that dissent, especially on the topic of the occupation of Northern Sachsenheim.

Elder Council

This is made up of the Lords of the Greater and Lesser Marches, with the present total consisting of 41 lords, though this has fluctuated over time. At the time of the fall of the High Kingdom, 6 seats were granted, one to each of the lords of a Greatmarch, and seven under them each for their Lesser Marches. With the occupation of the Highwind Greatmarch by the Alteraanians, only two lords sit on their thrones, rebel leaders dispossessed of their lands, and in the Dark Forest the seat of the Lord of the Greatmarch has forever been left empty for mysterious reasons known to few apart from the Princes of that place.

Library of Raven Tor

Founded 200 years after the defeat of the Ancients, the Library of Raven Tor is the grandest and most comprehensive repository of general knowledge in the Five Realms. The location and its keepers began as some Avyrnian scholars set about collecting the wisdom of the Ancients and the new writings of the High Kingdom. It has remained politically neutral for much of its history, and with a highly defensible position atop the craggy Raven Tor, is resistant to those who have desired to take its treasures by force. Its influence is felt across the Five Realms by it’s wandering librarians, who convey copies of important and useful works to academic institutions and libraries across the realms, and likewise returning with information that they have gathered.

Order of the Azure Dragon

Another offshoot of the Order of Avyrnas, the Order of the Azure Dragon arose after the fall of the High Kingdom and consisted of Knights that chose to pledge their loyalty to the Sachsen Crown rather than the Alteraanian. Like their estranged brothers and sisters of the Order of the Crimson Dragon, they eschew the use of Alchemical Mutagens as the Hounds still practice, but maintain the joint arts of combat and magic. The Azure order has focused its efforts on defending Sachsenheim, but its crushing defeat at the hands of the Crimson order in the Crown Wars has led to a waning presence in the realm. Many of its knights have since converted to the Hounds, where they have been welcomed with open arms.

Princes of the Dark Forests

Technically one of the Great Marches of the Realm, the Dark Forest is almost a realm unto itself that the rulers of Sachsenheim have throughout history managed carefully to avoid antagonising its peculiar inhabitants. Its Princes (as the lords of its Lesser Marches like to call themselves) have always totalled seven, though few ever see them. It is rare that they appear at an Elder Council meeting, sending delegates in their place who almost always act in support of the Crown. Though most of the other Lords view them with a certain degree of suspicion, few speak openly on such matters without later coming to regret it.

Order of the Wolf (Hounds)

Within Sachsenheim the presence of the Hounds is strongly felt. Not only have they, for millennia, held watch over the Wastelands and the terrors it spawns, but with the recent Crown Wars their diplomatic efforts have proven invaluable in re-establishing peace. It is from Sachsenheim that the most new recruits join the Order.

Figures of Note

King Raynor Faulkner

The Faulkner family line has seen Sachsenheim through good and ill times, and this situation has not changed with much with King Raynor on the throne. He has never had much of a public presence though, leaving matters that require such a touch to Queen Marenna, who is as well-loved by the people as his first wife was, and therefore offsets some of the discontent against her husband. He is a shrewd negotiator though, and has made many deals and alliances which have benefited the realm. In addition to the lords and legions of huskarls of Sachsenheim’s Marches, King Raynor also calls the Princes of the Dark Forests his allies, as well as the Sea Lords of the Stormreach Strait.

Grafin Nina Reinhardt

The Grafin Reinhardt is a shrewd and gifted councillor serving the King’s council, an eminent trader and a founding member of the Reinhardt Trade Houses. She is a hard nosed negotiator something that has kept her in good stead with the King all these years. Some say that she could negotiate the tusks off a tuskjaw, or sever its neck it with her sword “bregða. Whilst never as beautiful as her younger sister, she was considered quite beautiful in her younger, wilder years.

Jakob Bauer

Something of a folk hero amongst the Sachsen people, Jakob was a member of the Azure Dragon Knights and a personal bodyguard to King Raynor since around the time of the Highwind Revolt. He is personally credited with having put a stop in short order to several attempts on the King’s life and conspiracies against the realm. His present whereabouts are unknown, but it is rumoured he has been dispatched on a mission of utmost importance to the future welfare of Sachsenheim.

Lord Manfred Krueger

Though formerly a cavalry commander and lesser noble in the Sachsenheim army, Lord Krueger sided with the Alteraanians during the last Crown War, and in recognition of that fact and his ardent support, was granted the Dukedom of the Highwind Plains. As a result he is one of the most loathed figures in Sachsenheim, and effigies of him are burnt about as regularly as those of King Richard or the Butcher of Hallowfeld.

The Scarlet Wolf

This notorious individual is rumoured to be anyone from a night-demon of the Ancients, to the king of Sachsenheim. If one thing’s for sure about this individual though, it is that he is an immense thorn in the side for the Alteraanians. He seems to single-handedly ambush Alteraanian supply caravans, knocking out the guards before stealing off with the supplies.

The Underking

Known by legend across the Five Realms, the Underking is the bogeyman of all children’s bedtime stories. He is whispered to have his undead spies in every city and town, from lawyers whose hearts stopped beating three decades ago and have not aged since, to glassyeyed pigeons with a taste for blood rather than bread. From children to adults it is said that those who are bad or evil will end up in his halls eventually, where for the rest of eternity they will be made to suffer for their sins.

Marches

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Skyrnehal

The heart of Sachsenheim is the Greatmarch of Skyrnehal where King Sirastus while on campaign against the Ancients marvelled at the landscape and spoke of how he would like one day to build a city there. Several generations later once the Ancients on Lorandar had been pushed back his wish was enacted as the Kingdom of Sachsenheim expanded into the area and the great city of Ald Wesenberg was built over the rock from where he made his statement.

Sonbergen

The earliest part of Sachsenheim is the easternmost Greatmarch of Sonbergen, named for the eastern mountains of the same name on either side of Tenebrae Bay wherein the city of Taymos sits. It’s people are an industrious assortment of craftsmen and sailors, and its coastal cities and towns boast some of Lorandar’s best shipyards and fish markets. During the Second Crown War, Sonbergen held out completely against the forces of the Alteraanians, and when reinforced by forces from the Stormreach, aided significantly in the Sachsen Reclamation.


Dark Forest (Schwartzwald)

Consisting of three different forests and seven lesser marches, the Dark Forest sits high above sea level and is home to old growth trees and dense undergrowth with few tracks of any substance. Nestled here and there within its vast expanse are hamlets of hardy Sachsens, hunters, foragers and woodcutters for the most part. Deep in the forest beneath shadowed boughs, it is said there can be found caverns and ancient temples and other structures from the time of the gods and when the world was remade after their war.

Auleholz

Populated by a large number of farmers of cattle and crops, Auleholz is the hub of agricultural activity for Sachsenheim. It was the first areas of Lorandar settled by the Sachsens in conjunction with Sonbergen, and some of its hamlets still have buildings that date back to that time. It’s capital is the city of Hochbrucke, the site of a great causeway half a kilometre tall and two kilometres long that was built by the mountainfolk in the time of the High Kingdom.

Stormreach

Located on either side of the Stormreach Strait on the shores of Aluvinor and Aunwe, the Stormreach Sea Holds have each on and off sworn and broken their allegiance to the Crown of Sachsenheim. Its inhabitants are in large part descended from the armies of the legendary King Sirastus, and though they retain a noble and hardworking aspect to their natures, many find the temptation to turn to a life of piracy and raiding too good an alternative to legitimate endeavours. Whether they are fishing or raiding trade ships, the inhabitants of the Sea Holds are irregardless some of the best sailors in the world.

Major Settlements

Ald Wesenberg

  • Metropolis

The capital city of Sachsenheim is a spectacular example of Sachsen architecture. Built on both banks of the Glassen River at a widening large enough to slow the water and allow the boats to easily dock, the city is central to the trade from all over the Skyrnehal Plains. Unfortunately for its people though, the city has became one of the most heavily occupied cities by the Alteraanian troops during the last Crown War, and though free again, still bears many scars of the occupation.

Samelheim

  • Large City
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Sitting at the congruence of the Southern Highway of the Ancients and the mighty Velspaar River, Samelheim is a focal point of trade north into Alteraan. With the continued occupation of the cities of Semmingen and Waldburg by Alteraan, Samelheim is the northernmost Sachsen city and much to the continued frustration of the Alteraanians, a hotbed of rebel activity. Schwartzmoor (Large City): During the war against the Ancient realm that occupied the heart of Lorandar, Schwartzmoor was a major military fortress settlement from which Sachsen and Alteraanian forces launched attacks against the Ancients. Following the destruction of the Ancients, and despite the appearance of the Wastelands, the fertile plains of Skyrnehal upon which it sat became the home for many farmers and craftsmen, along with numerous soldiers now keeping an eye on what came out of the wastes.

Stormwind

  • Small City

Closest to what some might call a capital city of the Stormreach Sea Holds, this stoutly walled settlement is more a fortress than a city. Located on Stormwind Isle in the middle of the strait, it is home to the most grizzled assortment of privateers and reavers in the Five Realms. It is thankful then that for nothing more than the continued provision of Skyrenhal Ale from the mainland that those that call this place home swear fealty to the Sachsen Crown.

Taymos

  • Metropolis

The oldest human city on Lorandar, Taymos is located in an estuary where the Sachsen forces from Aluvinor first properly landed on the continent. The majority of the city is a sprawling collection of two-to-four level structures riddled with alleyways and dark recesses. The industry of the city revolves around the sea, and the smell of the fish markets can be detected from almost anywhere in the city.

Locations of Interest

The Black City

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In the midst of the ash-caked Wasteland, that was once the heart of the realm of the Ancients that lorded over Lorandar, lies the blackened ruins of their former capital. Hounds, along with Sachsen and Korashuran border forces still routinely make forays into its crumbling expanse to track down and dispatch the bandits and rogue spellcasters that seem so attracted to the place. They never stay long though, for the very elements have cursed this place, and the risk of corruption to those that linger is high.

Boneshadow’s Bastion

Fortress of the Hounds on the edge of the Wastelands. Dating back to the destruction of the Ancients on Lorandar, the fortress is a bleak and purposeful place where Hounds and supporting soldiers of the Sachsens watch over the Wastelands against the fell horrors that arise there.

City of the Dead

Rumoured to lie somewhere within or beneath the White Mountains, this ancient necropolis is said to be the home of the dreaded Underking. Within its ghostly halls the souls of the dead bound to the Underking writhe and wail in torment until released on certain nights of the year to roam free and and feed on the living, taking those whose souls burn black with sin.

Drakeholm

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Located in the depths of the Ghostwood, Drakeholm is a principality that has remained well beyond the control of the army of Alteraan. During the Crown Wars, all attempts by Alteraanian forces to penetrate its borders ended swiftly with their crushing defeat and few survivors. Its ruler is Prince Syranar, and he is one of the few princes of the Dark Forest that people outside of that realm are aware of. This is due to his frequent patronage to high society events all across the Five Realms. Notably, his infamy has increased following his attendance at the coronation of King Richard, where he presented the young monarch with a leather bound tome on diplomacy and the duties of a prince, penned by himself. It was only after he had left that to the horror of those assembled, that it was discovered the book in its entirety had been fabricated from the blood, skin and sinew of the Alteraanian officers that he and his forces had slain in the last war.

The Field of Bones

In the days before the cataclysm that wiped out the Ancients on Lorandar, a great battle was fought in the valley that now bears this name. An army of human soldiers and their allies faced off against an army of the Ancients, and tactical stalemates saw it degenerate into a battle of attrition with thousands dying on either side. No one is sure if it was the cataclysm that killed the remaining forces off, as all contact was lost with the participants in the wake of the destruction of the Ancients. When people next located the site though they found the floor of the valley carpeted with the bones of the fallen of both sides, with some saying that on certain nights these bones reanimate and reenact the battles that occurred there.

Feathercrag

High in the Cloudpeak Mountains there stands Feathercrag, a sheer-sided mountain upon which many silvertip eagles make their nests. Since the time of the High Kingdom it has been the place of choice for the Endurance tests of potential rulers, as it is most assuredly not a climb for the faint-hearted.

Lightstone

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Once the great capital of the High Kingdom of Lorandar, Lightstone is now now more than a small town nestled in the ruins of this once proud metropolis. Its grand central park, has become overgrown and wild with the local flora and fauna, vines cling to the great gate, and swiftjacks flit around the great pillars of virðing. The main citadel is still mostly intact, and it is said that from the tallest tower you have a clear view on a good day all the way to Witchcliff, but much of the rest of the city has been reduced to ruin.

It was reduced to this state over time following the fall of the High Kingdom, first as the various factions vied for control of it, and then falling into neglect after the realms properly split. Though it has remained under Sachsen control for much of the time since, the new kings and queens of the realm chose to restablish their capital in Ald Wesenberg, the favoured city of Sirastus. Since shortly after the fall, the noble house of the Reinhardt family has claimed its lands and taken care of its upkeep as much as they are able to do, slowly building up the ruined city into a trade town between the prosperous Hochbrücke and Catterbourne over the other side of the Alteraanian border.

Skara Kaldr

To the south of Korashur and off the western coast of Aunwe sits a wind-blown and frigid isle known in the Old Tongue as Skara Kaldr. When the Sachsens first sailed to Lorandar, several vessels wre blown off course for many days, eventually coming to land on this place. There they encountered a population of humans living under the dominion of a race of wildlings that covered themselves in white furs and wielded weapons fashioned from the bones of great sea creatures. These humans had been taken from the lands of the Ancients when the wildlings made their raids, to become servants of these new masters. It is reputed that the Sachsens and the wildings along with their humans, allied and raided the Ancients for several decades until being wiped out by the Ancients in retaliation, leaving only ruins and scattered remains behind. More recently the island has once again become a base for raiding activity by Stormreach warbands targetting the rich dominions of the southern Korashuran magelords.

Other Subjects of Note

King Sirastus

Despite being the eldest surviving heir of King Tallias during the Grand Crusade, Sirastus set aside the birthright of the rulership of the reconquered Aluvia that had been promised to him by his father, leaving it to pass to his younger sister Maryibelle rather than defy the words of the prophets and claim it himself. His journey would lead him onward to Lorandar with the rest of his army.

In Lorandar he helped free many Carran people from their slavery to the Ancients, so that eventually they came to rise up en masse and form their own realm of Alteraan, just as his people were building their own realm of Sachsenheim to the south. Though he passed into the Dark Forest and into legend well before the Ancients were properly defeated, his victories set about the weakening of their hold on the land and set a course for their eventual defeat. Sirastus became seen as a saviour of Lorandar and its peoples, by Sachsen and Alteraanian alike, the latter recognising in particular the part he played in supporting their uprisings as well as a supposed number of illegitimate offspring he is said to have sired with Alteraanian women during those campaigns.

The legend told across Lorandar goes that when an evil as great and terrible as the Ancients rises in darkness and seeks to burn the world and lay low the works of humanity, Sirastus will return at the head of a great host of legendary warriors. He and his knights will rally the faltering remnants of the armies of the Five Realms, and they will fight on land and in then across the planes all the way to the den of the great beast that leads the dark host, there dueling with it and deciding the fate of humanity.

Treble

Treble is a game for two players using a shared deck of twenty-seven cards. Cards each have three elements; numbers (one, two & three), colours (blue, red & purple), and symbols (dragon, eagle, and lion). Each card in the deck has a different combination of elements.

Players are dealt three cards face up. The deck is placed in the centre with one card beginning in the Discard Pile. The object of the game is to make a Treble - All three cards matching with two elements: The same colour and symbol, or the same number and colour, or the same number and symbol.

Each player picks a card - either from the Deck or the top of the Discard Pile. The first player to match all three cards with two elements wins the hand by declaring Treble. The first to win three hands, wins the game.

Saltmarsh Treble

In the Saltmarsh Docks, Treble has these extra rules: Play begins with an ante of aethershards. Each player is dealt three cards face down. The player turns two up and holds a “secret” card. (“Secret cards can be changed from draw to draw.) Before beginning a turn, each player has the option to place a bet. Their opponent can match the bet, raise it, or drop out. (If can be profitable, but risky, to hold a secret Treble.)

Jakob Bauer’s Favourite

A variation of Saltmarsh Treble introduces “Royal Chaos” - a hand where no elements match. Royal Chaos beats Treble. If there is more than one Royal Chaos, the first to be declared wins.