The Kingdoms Region in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

The Kingdoms Region

Saint Ancelin taught us to cooperate... to work together to ensure that Humankind takes its rightful place among all the Folk of Cartyrion. It's a shame those rebellious miscreants in the west and those so-called enlightened fools to the southeast don't remember this.
— First Servant of the True Church of the Humanar in discussion with the High Sovereign of the First Kingdom
Plots and subterfuge... intrigue and assassination. The First Kingdom of Humankind was once the dominant power of this region, but the Great Strife - the god-war of 2000 years ago - saw its lands, power, and influence vastly reduced. What was once one a mighty kingdom that stretched from the Great Basin in the West to Icefell Bay and beyond in the East is now vastly reduced in size. Smaller kingdoms established themselves along the Inner Sea during the times of the Strife. The cities that rebuilt along Icefell Bay have declared their independence. And a hostile breakaway kingdom to the west threatens the kingdom's borders.

The leaders of the First Kingdom long to see their land restored to its former glory, and some will do anything to see this happen. But they must also watch their backs because forces within the kingdom also desire more power, and will stop at nothing to get it.

This is the world of the Eastern Kingdoms of Cartyrion.

The Lands

The region contains the four kingdoms that border the Inner Sea, as well as the land of Lanlokan in the northwest. It is bordered on the north by the Worldtop Sea and the desolate lands called the Northern Wastes. To the east, the Iron Mountains and the Elvenring provide natural borders, and to the west lies the mountain range called the Eastern Basin Wall and the vast North Grove Forest.

The Eastern Kingdoms

The Kingdoms

Four independent realms exist in the region known as the Eastern Kingdoms.

The First Kingdom of Humankind (usually referred to as just the First Kingdom) is a realm that grew up around the place where the first Humans and Halflings were Awakened on Cartyrion almost 17,000 years ago. The first permanent Human settlement, established by a leader now revered by many as Saint Ancelin, eventually grew into the sprawling city known as Elderkeep.

For many years, the First Kingdom was the Only Kingdom of Humankind, but as time passed, humans who had moved beyond its borders - either because they were dissatisfied, or ambitious - began to form rival kingdoms. In many cases, Human fought against Human in wars to determine borders. Kingdoms rose and fell in power. When the Great Strife struck, the region experienced great turmoil as some kingdoms aligned with the gods on each side of the conflict. By the end of the god-war, all of the kingdoms had been greatly diminshed, but none moreso than the First Kingdom.

The Grand Duchy of Elvenpasss lies south of the First Kingdom between the Elvenring Mountains and the eastern shore of the Inner Sea. This land was once part of the First Kingdom, but when the god-wars cut the region off from the kingdom's capital, its residents set up their own government. Distant relatives of the First Kingdom's royalty, the Duchy maintains good relations with the kingdom that spawned it, but it is sometimes a safe haven for those who plot against the rulers of the kingdom.

I tell you, one of these days, those zealots in the First Kingdom are going to start another god-war. How they can hold the beliefs they do after what happened to the world 2000 years ago is beyond me. They're dangerous.
— Overheard from two bishops of the Reformed Church of the Humanar
discussing religion and politics in the Grand Duchy of Eastguard

The Grand Duchy of Eastguard lies even further south. It, too, declared itself independent when cut off from the kingdom by the war. While trade relations with the kingdom and the grand duchy to the north are amicable, there are religious differences that flare up from time to time.

Second in area only to the First Kingdom, Lanlokan is a sparsely populated nation. Once considered the western frontier of the First Kingdom, its people are fiercely independent, and resentful of the fact that they were left to their own devices during the Great Strife. They, like the residents of the Free Cities that border Icefell Bay, declared that they would no longer bend the knee to a throne too far away to protect them. There are many border disputes, and many factions on both sides of the border that feel that the government on the other side is illegitimate.

A fifth Kingdom, and several independent city-states are also found in the region:

On the western side of the Inner Sea lies the Kingdom of Felisia - the land of the catfolk. The city of Baron's Point near its border with the First Kingdom is known as the most cosmopolitan city on all of Cartyrion. This city marks the end of the trade route used by Chittiki (ratfolk) gem traders to bring their goods to market; it acts as the main port for the Awkwani (birdfolk) city of Tuulwana Ruk as well. It also boasts one of the two great Arcane Academies of the world -- the other being in the Free City of Endmere in the northern Frontier lands.

Who do those rock-dwelling, bearded heathens think they are?! Doubling the gate tolls for our metal traders in Irongate? If they're not careful, they'll be taught a lesson soon enough!
— First Kingdom guildmasters discussing rising costs of raw materials in the First Kingdom

At the borders of the First Kingdom, the Dwarven citadel called the Crystal Delve can be found. This independent stronghold, and that of the Iron Hills Delve farther east, are important trading partners with the humans of the kingdoms. The Dwarven city of Irongate marks the eastermost border of the First Kingdom south of the Iron Mountains and stands along the trade route to the Iron Hills Delve.

The Awkwani, who do not establish kingdoms anywhere, have two established cities within the region; both in border areas. They are both autonomous; unclaimed by any of the surrounding kingdoms. These are Tuulwani Ruk (The City of All Peoples) not far from Baron's Point, and Wuwari Ruk (The City of Winds) that controls the pass between Felisia and Tyrnabay to the west.

The People

Like everywhere else on Cartyrion, there are representatives of all the Folk - all twelve major ancestries - living in the Eastern Kingdoms. But demographics are different in each of the lands, and tolerance for foreign cultures and faiths varies widely.
In the First Kingdom, Humans, and to a lesser extent Halflings, vastly outnumber those of other ancestries - and are the only Folk eligible for citizenship. Besides the few Dwarves and Gnomes in First Kingdom cities that are willing to tolerate second-class citizenship, the Crystal Delve is where most of these folk can be found. A few wandering Elves have also made their homes in the First Kingdom; these too tend to have personal, compelling reasons to stay where they are not appreciated.

Elvenpass and Eastguard are far more tolerant of the children of gods other than the Humanar. Any of the Folk can become citizens if they wish. Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Goblins are far more common, though are still outnumbered by the Humans and Halflings. This tolerance extends to religion as well - open worship of any god is permitted in the Grand Duchies. Even the Humanar Church became far more relaxed in the centuries of the Great Strife and beyond when the duchies were isolated from the Kingdom - a fact that the leadership of the True Church in the First Kingdom is not happy with.

First time in Baron's Point, eh? i'll tell ye... it's nothin' like Elderkeep! There'r times ye'll have to look for a while afore ye see a human face starin' back at ye. If that sets ye on edge, be prepared. But the Folk are decent, and the markets have everything. Ye've heard that ye can buy anything in Endmere given the money and time? Well I'll tell ye that half of the shady stuff ye find in Endmere came from 'ere.
— Ship captain 'educating' adventurers as they disembark in Baron's Point

Felisia, on the other hand, is predominantly Felisean and Chittiki in makeup. It is the only kingdom in the region where Humans and Halflings are a minority. Most of those Humans and Halflings iive in the few cities and towns that dot the land. A notable exception is the city of Baron's Point at the northern border. This city's population is almost uniformly divided among all of the Folk, with the possible exceptions being Kobold and Orc. But even these are represented.

Lanlokan is the most uniformly distributed population of the kingdoms, though that population is small. A notable number of Orcs originally from the Great Basin region can also be found not only in the wilderness lands, but in the cities as well.

The Religions

On Cartyrion, religion is not so much a thing of faith -- there are very, very few Folk who do not believe the gods are real and can have a significant effect on their lives. The god-war twenty-two hundred years ago proved that, and the scars of that war are still visible. Instead, religion is focused on specifying how one pays homage to the gods.

The three main Humanar faiths are really quite similar, but their adherents - particularly those among their hierarchies - prefer to focus on the differences. As a result, there is as much intrigue and conflict brought about by religious difference as by political difference. Sometimes one is used to justify the other; other times "shadow holy wars" erupt from time to time.

The Adventures

Adventurers in the Eastern Kingdoms can expect to get embroiled in the many nefarious plots and subterfuges being conducted by those in power and those who are not, but wish to be. Nobles, churchfolk, and guild artisans all work to advance personal causes while claiming to be working for the benefit of all.

Away from the settled cities, well-hidden reminders of the devastation of the Great Strife. Ruined remains of town can be found in the foothills of the Elvenring and Iron Hills - and perhaps the rubble of a long-forgotten manor house or mage's tower as well. In these areas, descendents of the fell creatures that help cause the devastation may remain as well. Unknown treasures and ancient secrets await the hardy adventurers that find their way to the Eastern Kingdoms.


Maps (page banner and inset map) by RPGDinosaurBob on Inkarnate
Page background cathedral Image by 5163451 on Pixabay
Page background manor house image by Josef Pichler on Pixabay
Page background hut image by PamelaAndrey15 on Pixabay
Page background forest image by Waldkunst on Pixabay
Character portraits by RPGDinosaurBob on Hero Forge®


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