The World of Novi

THE VIEW FROM AFAR

Part II - Nations

Lowell R. Matthews, © 19911999

Now that we have seen the shape of the World of Novi from afar, let us look at some of the nations its sapient races have carved from the land. The following selected entries from the Encyclopedia of Novi describe some of the more prominent nations of Novi.
Yes, as is true for most fictional worlds created as settings for role-playing games, these nations are the ones about which the most has been written to support adventuring campaigns.

NATIONS
Abilla, Kingdom of: Abanyi Human nation in central Annuvia (Cylonuvia), near 40 N, 100 W, currently part of the Empire of Cylondir.
Citizen: "Abillan."
Allon, Kingdom of: A nation of southwestern Almaren that controls some 500,000 square miles of the Lon River Basin. Since the collapse of the Pentarchy, Allon has become the largest unified state in Almaren, governed by a feudal monarchy with a powerful but not absolute king. On New Sun, 3868, both King Frederick IV (Mowbray) and Crown Prince Gregory were murdered, and now the rival pretenders Harold II (Cromwell) and Elaine (Mowbray) fight for the Lion Crown. The Lon, Luel, and Gaellor Rivers cut Allon into northern, eastern, and western thirds. The kingdom is divided into ten duchies: Wondervale, Hissell, and Vivacar to the west; Formelon, Nordelon, and Rollon to the north; Gaellor, Hollingael, and Sungael to the east; and the Crown Duchy of Londell, which is reserved for the heir to the Lion Crown. Allon gained its newest provinces, Camelon and Cambria, from Limellia in 3863; they are ruled by military governors and are not part of a duchy. Each duchy is divided in turn into counties, baronies, and other feudal or administrative units.
Citizen: "Allonan."
Arms of Dominion: Gules, a lion rampant argent for Richard "Roaring Lion" Mowbray, Allon's founder and first king. Queen Elaine uses this device unaltered; King Harold quarters these arms in first and fourth and his own arms in second and third, namely, sable, a lion rampant argent. The similarity of their arms led to the names "Red" and "Black" for their factions and "War of the Lions" for their conflict.
Londell (3666): The largest, oldest, and most famous city in Almaren, population 100,000. It is the largest of the four major Almareni seaports. Londell is built on three hilly islands near the mouth of the Lon River, near 26 N, 71 E; three collapsible bridges on either side connect the center island to the other two, but there are no bridges to the mainland.
Almadil, Duchy of: A sovereign duchy of southeastern Almaren that controls some 12,000 square miles of the Almadil River Basin. It is currently governed by an enlightened absolute monarch.
Citizen: "Almadilian."
Almaden: The capital of the Duchy of Almadil and seat of the Power Arisa, population 55,000. It is the smallest of the four major Almareni seaports, located between the mouths of the Almadil and Den Rivers, near 30 N, 99 E.
High Crags Pass: A narrow break in the King's Range, centered at 315'13" N, 9957'27" E, 75 miles north of Alvaron on Almadil's eastern border. It has a peak elevation of 8,750 feet and is about three miles long, east-west, and 250 feet wide. Before the abandonment of Aquilonia in 3663, a paved road, now in ruins, ran through High Crags Pass, connecting Aquilonia to Almadil. Two centuries of neglect have made the High Crags Pass very dangerous and crossings are rare.
Wereguard Castle: A border citadel of Almadil, garrison 1,000 (by treaty with Alvaron), population 2,500, located about 80 miles northeast of Almaden in the northwest end of Redgate Pass. It is the administrative center for Almadil's Redgate Pass traffic and the surrounding area.
Alvaron (Nation), Republic of: A large city-state, population 120,000, with 100,000 in the city proper. It is located in a fork of the Great Central Mountains which divide Almaren from Almoria, around 30 N, 100 E. It is governed by a republic with a strong head of state. Its oldest institution, the Alvaron Academy, was founded in 2001 A.R., and the city-state grew up around the Academy. Except for brief periods, Alvaron has been independent throughout its history, protected by two high mountain ranges and the sea. Its population is mainly Almareni, but with large numbers of other peoples of all mannish races.
Citizen: "Alvaronan."
Alvaron (City): The city-state's largest population center, seat of the Powers Mikhail and Sirene. Its strategic location between Almaren and Almoria and halfway between Amazulia and Kharlak across the Sundering Seas has made Alvaron a major trading seaport rivaling Londell, Allon.
Council of Captains: The city-state's governing body, composed of 20 Captains or Lords and the Prince. Each Captain represents a district of Alvaron and is selected by Electors or voting citizens for a ten-year term.
Electors: Alvaron's voting citizens, about ten to twenty percent of the total population, automatically armigers. Electorship may be bought, inherited, or awarded by the Council of Captains. The prospective Elector must meet certain qualifications, including a minimum age of 30.
Grand Fork Bay: The protected inlet of the Sundering Seas immediately south of Alvaron, some 25 miles long and wide.
Guardians: The city-state's special protectors, very powerful mages who have transformed themselves into Mage Drakes (or Arcane Drakes) and have become Earthguardians of Alvaron's huge Earthnode. They regulate the flow of Earthblood in the Alvaron Valley, serve as defenders or champions of the realm, and perform other services for the state. Most of Alvaron's Guardians were former presidents of the Alvaron Academy. The current Guardians are Arloki and Aruruwen.
Prince: The city-state's chief executive, head of state, and head of government; currently Prince Cirgon Travara. Princes are selected for life terms by two-thirds majorities of the Council of Captains, but may also be removed from office by two-thirds majority. By law, no two individuals from the same house or family may serve consecutive terms.
Redgate Castle: The land border citadel of Alvaron, garrison 1,000 (by treaty with Almadil), population 3,000, located about 60 miles north of Alvaron at the source of the Alvaron River in the southeast end of Redgate Pass. It is the administrative center for Alvaron's Redgate Pass traffic, which is essentially all of Alvaron's land traffic.
Redgate Pass: The pass which joins the Almadil Range to the King's Range at the northern end of the Alvaron Valley, centered at 3051'18" N, 9955'26" E. It has a peak elevation of 6,500 feet and is about four miles long, southeast-northwest, and 1,000 feet wide. By long-standing treaty, the states of Almadil and Alvaron consider Redgate Pass neutral territory; Almadil maintains Wereguard Castle at the northwestern end of the pass and Alvaron maintains Redgate Castle at its southeastern end.
Amelianan Union:: The confederation of the city-states of the Golden Island of Amelian. It is governed by a council composed of the rulers of the individual city-states; the presidency of the council rotates each year. The Amelianan Union pays tribute to Paragon for the protection of its navy.
Citizen: "Amelianan."
Loveport: A city-state republic located just south of Love Point on Amelian's west coast, near 8 N, 81 E, population 20,000 with 10,000 in the city proper.
Anaril (Nation), Grand Duchy of: Almareni nation which controls the island of Anaril (one of the Sundering Seas Emerald Islands), governed by a nominally sovereign absolute monarch who nevertheless pays tribute to Paragon for noninterference and the protection of its navy.
Citizen: "Anarilian."
Aquilonia, Principality of: A historical city-state abandoned in 3663, Aquilonia was a demon-infested magical wilderness until 3869. At its height, it had a total population of 150,000, with 60,000 in the city proper. The city's ruins are located on the north shore of Lake Mornen in a valley of the Great Central Mountains, near 3056.5' N, 1006.5' E, about 65 miles north of Alvaron. During the Pentarchy, Aquilonia was the capital of Ambarlach, Pentarch of Fire. On Firesong 7, 3663, the Free Alliance defeated Ambarlach in the Battle of the Scarlet Tower, which is located 15 miles south of the city proper, but not before Ambarlach cast a powerful curse which opened a rift in the area's dimensional fabric and allowed many demons of all kinds to enter it. The horrified Free Alliance mages could not undo the damage, so they limited it by magically confining the demons to the Mornen Valley and imprisoning Ambarlach in the Scarlet Tower. Ambarlach gained his freedom on Sun's End, 3868, by marrying Crown Princess Valonya of Rona; he has assumed the title of Prince of Aquilonia and has dedicated the bulk of his vast resources to rebuilding the city-state.  Citizen: "Aquilonian."
Astarra, Kingdom of:: Eldani nation in central Annuvia (Cylonuvia), near 42 N, 90 W.
Citizen: "Astarran."
Axel, Kingdom of: Omikhani nation in central Annuvia (Cylonuvia), near 30 N, 103 W.
Citizen: "Axellian."
Beretaur, Forest See of: A country of west-central Almaren which controls about 79,000 square miles between the White Luel and Luel Rivers to the southeast and the Schwartze and Murgen Rivers to the north. Beretaur is a densely forested, sparsely inhabited country hemmed in by larger neighbors, including Calamar, Seremon, Murgenheim, and the powerful kingdoms of Allon and Limellia. Most of the inhabitants are Eldani, with significant Onovani and Novani minorities. As is true for many Eldani countries, Beretaur is governed by churchmen in a relatively enlightened "feudal theocracy." The head of state is the primate, chosen by election
from the ranks of the archbishops of the various Powers (one archbishop per Power in Beretaur); likewise, the 20 provincial prefects are chosen from the ranks of the bishops.
Citizen: "Beretauran."
Arms of Dominion:Vert, three fleurs-de-lis argent.
Coryland, Kingdom of: Corloni Human nation in central Annuvia (Cylonuvia), near 35 N, 82 W.
Citizen: "Coryllan."
Cylonacar, Kingdom of: Corloni Human nation in central Annuvia (Cylonuvia), near 35 N, 90 W, currently the center of the Empire of Cylondir.
Citizen: "Cylonan."
Cylondir, Empire of: Human empire centered on the Kingdom of Cylonacar; includes Abilla.
Del Rio, Grand Duchy of: Abanyi Human nation in central Annuvia (Cylonuvia), near 40 N, 100 W.
Citizen: "Del Rian."
Grindenwald, Kingdom of: A nation of southwestern Almaren which controls about 122,000 square miles between the Moon River and the Grinden Mountains, also called the "Seventy Caverns." It is governed by a feudal monarchy with strong theocratic overtones. Its population is roughly half Almareni and half Sisaromikhani, but the founders and rulers have always been Sisaromikhani. Grindenwald has become Allon's most important trading partner, and vice versa.
Citizen: "Grindenwalder."
Grindenhold: The capital of Grindenwald and seat of the Power Arkan, population 87,000, located in the Grinden Mountains near 2636'10" N, 6550'40" E.
Margand, Principality of: A city-state located at the mouth of the Margel River, near 20 N, 78 E, population 250,000 with 75,000 in the city proper. It is governed by a democratic monarchy and is the second of the four major seaports in Almaren. The city of Margand is also the seat of the Powers Hadrak and Sonya.
Citizen: "Margandan."
Mintakan Empire (Mintaki Teikoku): Mintaki empire centered on the Islands of Night, which currently includes portions of the eastern coasts and mountains of Almoria, eastern Zoria, and the northern coast of Kharlak.
Citizen: "Mintakan (Mintaki-jin)."
Mintakan Empire (Mintaki Teikoku): Mintaki empire centered on the Islands of Night, which currently includes portions of the eastern coasts and mountains of Almoria, eastern Zoria, and the northern coast of Kharlak.
Citizen: "Mintakan (Mintaki-jin)."
History: In 1499, the last two hundred survivors of the Min Dynasty of the Khar Kang people of northern Kharlak, led by the six-year-old genius Min Taki and four of his father's generals, fled from their Hung Dynasty conquerors only to be shipwrecked on the island of Okama by a Sunsea Ocean hurricane. In spite of the exiles' small numbers, their relative sophistication enabled them to subdue the few thousand primitive Almori fishermen and herders already inhabiting Okama within two years. When the conquest was complete, Min Taki ascended the Peacock Throne as Emperor of Okama on New Sun, 1502, and gradually extended
his power to the small islands nearest Okama. After Min Taki's death in 1578, his son changed the Empire's name to its present form to honor him. Over the centuries, the Khar Kang and Almori peoples mingled and multiplied to become the Mintaki, and their Empire spread north to Yakaza, south to Yakinta and Kirinanda, west to the coasts of Almoria and Zoria, and finally south to the coast of Kharlak. With that conquest, the heirs of the Min Dynasty had finally regained their ancestral homeland. The Mintakan Empire has existed as a sovereign nation since its founding except for the World Empire period, the High Kingdom period, and the early Pentarchy. The Empire was one of the first nations to reclaim sovereignty from the Pentarchy in a successful revolt against the tyrant Calien, Pentarch of Light, in 3477.
Order of the Dragon's Fang (Ryú no Ha Dantai): A Mintakan religious organization and martial arts order dedicated to Mikhail. Most members of the Order are High Warrior Monks, with lesser numbers of Sohei, Warrior Monks, and other professions; they concentrate on self-discipline, philosophy, and combat arts. All members forswear the use of magic and poison; in return, they learn the Adrenal Move Magic Strike (see below), gain a +10 bonus to all Meditations and BDS, and earn double development points (as the Focus background option) for Self-Discipline. The Order's ranks, in English, are Petitioner (Apprentice), Novice (Journeyman), Initiate (Senior Journeyman), Disciple (Master), and Master (Shujin) (Senior Master and above); the head of the Order is the Grand Master (Yúdai na Shujin). All members wear a red and blue dragon tattoo on their upper right arms.
Magic Strike: Preparation for this Adrenal Move follows the normal procedures. If the attempt is successful, the user's next attack is treated as a magic weapon for scores of 101+, mithril for 151+, holy for 201+, and slaying for 251+. This Adrenal Move may also be extended following the normal procedures.
Mormelar, Kingdom of: A nation of southeastern Almaren that controls some 400,000 square miles of the Elar River Basin. It is currently the second-largest state in Almaren, behind Allon. It is governed by a parliamentary monarchy in which Parliament is the most powerful entity and its chancellor is by far its most powerful individual (virtually a dictator, since it requires a two-thirds majority to overrule his decrees); its king is the head of state and is effectively the second-most-powerful individual as he usually commands the loyalty of the masses.
Citizen: "Mormelarian."
Elarven: The capital of the Kingdom of Mormelar and seat of the Power Ariella, population 60,000. It is the third of the four major Almareni seaports, located just north of the swampy delta of the Elar River, near 26 N, 94 E.
Ostengael (Nation), Kingdom of: A nation of south-central Almaren that controls some 170,000 square miles between the Gaellor and Margel Rivers. It is governed by a centralized (nonfeudal) monarchy with a powerful but not absolute king. Ostengael is divided into eight provinces, which are divided in turn into counties.
Citizen: "Ostengaelian" or sometimes "Gaelian," although that reference is better reserved for the old realm of Gael.
Arms of Dominion: Quarterly Or and sable, four chessrooks counterchanged.
Ost-en-Gael or Ostengael (City): An old, famous fortress city, population 43,000, near 3031'35" N, 8148'45" E. It is currently the capital of the Kingdom of Ostengael and the seat of the Power Rhiana, but it has been an important center of government since its founding in 251 A.R. by Gael, later Targael, first King of Gael. Following the collapse of the Gael Empire in 486, Ost-en-Gael has been the capital of several successor states, both independent and provincial.
Paragon (Nation), Kingdom of: The nation that controls the Island of Paragon. It is a nominally feudal monarchy in which the true power resides in the royal government ministries, not the feudal titles. Paragon claims dominion over all the Sundering Seas islands, but directly controls only Paragon Island and several small neighboring islands. Its navy is superior to that of all states except perhaps the combined Westerendi dominions. The kingdom is peaceful and ordered, but its reputation suffers because of its harsh judicial system. Its racial tolerance is noteworthy, and it encourages immigration from all countries and all races of the Savatari. It also emphasizes merit over primogeniture in both inheritance and social advancement.
Citizen: "Paragonian."
Arms of Dominion: Or, a lion passant gardant azure, armed and langued gules, upon a trident fesswise points to dexter of the second.
Law: Paragonian law is harsh by many standards. Paragonians firmly believe in the deterrent effects of beatings, criminal slavery, and savage methods of execution (not without justifiable results). They also have a thriving gladiatorial-combat circuit, so many convicts are condemned to the arena.
Paramir: Paragon's principal naval base and seat of the Duchy of Paramir, population 40,000, located near 8 N, 100.5 E.
Paraven: The capital of the Kingdom of Paragon and seat of the Power Jenelle, population 60,000. It is located on a protected fjord on Paragon's north coast, near 11 N, 101 E, and is the most important trading center in the Sundering Seas islands. Its towering black basalt walls are both imposing and beautiful.
Western Empire: Westerendi and Eldani empire centered on the Western Isles which currently includes portions of western Almaren, the coasts of Zulia, and the Southsea Isles.
Citizen: "Western."
Arms of Dominion: Sable, a warship in full sail argent.
Alzudor (Island)  
Rayel (Kingdom): The northern kingdom of Alzudor.
Uister (Kingdom): The southern kingdom of Alzudor.