Kingdoms of the Sea of Isles

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Nuram

Capital: Guldargalj
Ruler: The Novanus Mercantile
Govn’t: Mercantile Bureaucracy
Language: Dworghen (official)
Nuram is an island about 300 miles across that sits 800 miles southeast of Celaphania. The massive volcano Novanus takes up the entire western half of the island. The main mouth of the volcano is a great caldera some twenty miles across at its widest and five miles down to the lava lake boiling in its depths. Novanus, and thus Nuram, is the only known source of novarite—the magical ore that is found in the marvelous floating stones that rise up or break away from the writhing volcano. Mining operations to extract novarite ore have been underway since the days of Elinica, but today the Novanus Mercantile, owned by the Dworghen Kingdom of Nuram, has monopolistic control over the mining operation on Nuram. This makes the aristocratic and merchant castes extremely wealthy and has forged the Novanus Mercantile into one of the most powerful companies in the world.

The great volcano Novanus on the island of Nuram

The largest city in Nuram is the mining town of Korgalj (“Earth City”), which has a population of nearly 100,000. Slavery is legal here, and although many Dworghs of the Worker caste also labor in the mines, overseen by Dworghs of the more elite Miner caste, the most dangerous mining is carried out by slaves or prisoners. Another important, though harrowing, city is Svarhads (literally, “Sorrow Town”), where slave ships from Sculdora and the Dark Kingdoms regularly dock to unload their cargo of slaves, criminals, and debtors, who will spend the last of their days in the pitiless mines of Novanus.

The estates of the Dworghen lords and merchant elite are located in the capital city of Guldargalj (“City of Gold”), which sits on the southern side of the island as far from Novanus as possible. Visitors to Nuram see little else but Guldargalj and are kept well clear from the true horrors of the volcanic island.

Sculdora

Capital: Last Hope (largest city)
Ruler: Loose pirate confederation
Govn’t: Piratocracy
Language: No official language
Sculdora—its name alone spills fear into the hearts of sailors. Sculdora is not a nation or kingdom in any official sense of the term. Sculdora has no army and no navy. There are no laws, no taxes, and no courts of law. No king rules Sculdora and no prince claims its land or the surrounding islands. And yet Sculdora’s coast is dotted with ports, harbors, and cities, bustling with activity and flourishing with commerce and trade. Sculdora is also the largest island in the Sea of Isles, although its square mileage is only marginally greater than that of Nuram and Tricar.

Sculdora is a haven to pirates, smugglers, buccaneers, privateers, slavers, murders, and criminals of every sort. Every harbor is filled with ships flying the skull and cross bones, and many of those ships are as powerful as any first-rate ship-of-the-line. Trade ships from Nuram, the Dark Kingdoms, and the Karghen Warhold all find safe harbor here, trading slaves, weapons, and other needed goods for the bountiful riches the pirates have plundered. The Sculdoran pirates are strong allies with the rulers of Nuram, for it is through Sculdora that Nuram acquires many of their slaves, and it is with Nuram that the pirates trade for novarite to construct their most prized flying ships.

Ominous carvings off the coast of the Bay of Last Hope

Sculdora’s major city is Last Hope, which is more commonly known as “Wicked City.” Other prosperous port towns and pirate havens include Hell’s Harbor, the Bay of Bones, Port Nassula, Thunder Sound, and Dead Man’s Cove. There are at least four pirate kings of exceptional notoriety who operate from Sculdora: Captain Galiot, Captain Blackheart, Captain Redscare, and Captain Robert Reis. All four have fleets of ten or more ships, some with flying ships, and they can plunder the seas with near impunity. These pirate kings, and others like them, constitute the only real lords of Sculdora.

Tricar

Capital: Sthaktonar
Ruler: The Triumvirate
Govn’t: Egalitarian Triarchy
Language: Trican (official)
The Triclopes have a long history, but little is known of it. Rumors suggest that they have a tremendous library of ancient tomes and sacred texts beneath their capital city, Sthaktonar, and are said to possess the “true history of the world.” Human scholars have no access to their archives and can only rely on copies of books smuggled out and the stories whispered by travelers. What has been pieced together gives a tantalizing taste of the great story this race of people has to tell. Little was recorded of their history during the Dark Age that followed the War of Golla and Marada, and Tricarian civilization did not recover until around 500 CA.

By the 600s CA, the kingdom of Tricar came under the rule of the Triclops Lords, who headed the three most powerful noble houses that then ruled over Tricar. In 830 the Tricarian Triumvirancy claimed the island-continent of Megonia. Between the 900 and 1100 CA, Tricar traded with the kingdoms of Tarrona and the Three Realms of Celaphania, chiefly providing crystones, aurium, and orichalium in exchange for other goods. However, by the 11th century, the Triclops Lords began to grow more ambitious.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, the Tricarian Triumvirancy continued to spread across the Southern Sea and Coral Sea. In 1315, Prince Renek mobilized massive forces to seize control of the island of Nuram, securing the valuable novarite mines and refineries there. Under Renek’s command, the Tricarian Triumvirancy then took control of Arkana and Antilla as colonial annexes. Following the assassination of the High King of Celania in 1320, Triclops forces launched a massive invasion of Celaphania. The War of Tyranny had begun.

The Great Tyranny lasted some 10 years until 1330 CA, when the empire collapsed from a combination of internal feuding among the remaining Triclops Lords and countless uprisings of humans and other races across the globe. In time, the world would recover, but civilization would never be the same again. Because of the Great Tyranny, Triclopes are the most hated of all the races of the world even 150 years after that terrible war’s end.

Today, all but a few Triclopes live exclusively on the island of Tricar under the rule of the Triarchy’s three elected rulers. There are no Triclops Lords known to have survived the War of Tyranny. There are only a few places where a Triclopes can venture in peace, as they are mistrusted everywhere, but as time passes, old wounds heal. More and more Triclopes are being accepted back into society; in decades to come they may eventually redeem themselves on the world stage.

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