Elminn

Elminn

Overview

For a while, Elminn ranked amongst the most powerful of the northern nations, with its supplies in precious stones and gold underpinning their powerful naval presence. However, things have changed greatly. Three disastrous civil wars have seen the nation split into four, including the catastrophic loss of their southern peninsula, where the greater part of the national wealth was to be found. Elminn is now an embittered, poverty stricken nation who continue to war with the Freecity of Yerad and the lands that it has stolen from them.

With the majority of political life in Elminn geared towards their war with Yerad, the country has suffered as a consequence. Control of the administration of Elminn has fallen into the hands of the powerful and the corrupt, who control the villages and communities with an iron fist. Taxes are high, in order to pay for the war effort, but a large portion of this is siphoned off well before it reaches the King's vaults and with deep seated poverty rife, not enough tax can be raised to pay for the war effort.

Crime is high, with bandits roaming the countryside. Roads have fallen into disrepair and attacks on those traveling them, especially those that look like they might be carrying anything valuable, are common. In this chaotic political climate, orcs and goblins, for centuries confined to Hardale and The Weir Downs, have re-established themselves and attacks have become frequent as their numbers slowly grow.

The Elminn navy, once amongst the greatest of those in Arrasia, has also fallen into disrepair, with many of their ships now old and unseaworthy. However, the skill and pride of the Elminians in ship craft remains and their naval presence is still considerable, despite its ailing health. The navy now acts as little more than privateers, attacking the merchant vessels from Yerad in the hope of capturing both the ships and their precious cargoes. Smuggling and piracy has increased dramatically, with powerful gangs having a significant influence on local political affairs in coastal regions.

Significant Trade Export

Grains: Exporting grain to The Savage Coast, The Badlands and Norvsond is now Elminn's most significant trade export. However, competition is fierce and the price of grain cheap.

Brief History

This northern peninsula was populated by the Norv people during the early explorations and, later, after the large migrations from Norvsond under the reign of King Ould the Unforgiving. Initially little more than small communities who relied heavily upon the sea for their livelihood, keeping at bay the large numbers of humanoids who regularly launched vicious attacks against them, life was harsh and short, with communities regularly wiped out. Slowly, alliances between communities increased and powerful warlords emerged who controlled vast tracts of land and the communities within them.

Elminn emerged as a unified nation after Gardin Hordoth, a powerful and ruthless war lord, declared himself the Black King of the North and challenged the other regions to join him or face war. Under his leadership, the self-proclaimed King of Elminn, King Gardin I, undertook a series of wars against his rivals. Although he was slain long before the full unification of Elminn, he controlled a vast tract of land upon his death.

Over the following century, Elminn was unified and had soon expanded so that it had consumed the entire northern peninsula. With Norvsond, where the cultural roots of their people lay, as their main northern rival, war between the two nations soon broke out and would remain a constant theme for both nations throughout much of their history, with massive naval engagements between the two nations a matter of national pride or disgrace. It was only during the Second Elminn-Norvsond war that Norv troops managed to land on the shores of Elminn, where they were quickly defeated. A major naval conflict between the two nations at The First Battle of Nuthend during the third Elminn-Norvsond war saw the mighty Elminn navy score a major victory, forcing Norvsond to recognize them as an independent sovereign state with the signing of The Treaty of the North. There have been a total of five official wars between the two nations and countless skirmishes.

The first civil war of Elminn occurred after the death of the heirless King Pethick II. With five rivals making a claim to the throne, the civil war was a chaotic affair. With Prince Ethenbal and Prince Brynt defeated and slain in battle, and Prince Harnold forced into exile in Norvsond, the two remaining protagonists, Prince Thorrem and Prince Klaust, took center stage in their power struggle. With both commanding a large and loyal allegiance, it was Prince Thorrem who was the first to ride into Fulton and declare himself King of Elminn.

Prince Klaust, realizing the fight for Elminn was lost, declared himself King of Angor, a large and important region of Elminn on the west coast. The smaller surrounding provinces loyal to the prince declared their support and Prince Klaust was crowned the first King of Angor. The hatred between the two kings was such that peace was impossible and would be continued by their heirs for generations.

With their forces looking west to Angor, a massive orc army, the tribes having been unified under the great orc leader Urup Long Arm, swept south out of the Cirrik Peaks, running amok in the villages of that region. Without adequate defense, the people were forced to uproot and head south to safer lands. Caught in a war on two flanks, the soldiers of Elminn were forced north to counter the threat that had emerged there and the Battle of Laketown marked the end of the orc invasions. However, the defense of their new northern border, marked by the Elminn Downs, meant that their forces were split and could no longer command the same strength of force required to recapture Angor and unify Elminn once again.

One hundred years later, Elminn underwent its second civil war, once again between two opponents for the throne. However, the internal strife of the second civil war was short lived, with Lord Kender and his followers defeated and forced to retreat north into the humanoid infested lands that had become known as Hardale. These had long since been given up as indefensible - especially with their troops required in the continuing war against Angor. Lord Kender, however, founded Hargond and declared himself King of those lands.

With conflict on two fronts, Elminn also found itself embroiled in a third war, with Norvsond. A massive naval battle saw their fleet destroy the Norvsond navy in a decisive battle at the Battle of Nuthend. However, as Elminn basked in the glory of their victory, Angor mustered their forces and began a large-scale attack. The Battle of Isbury saw King Theon II slain and his son, Thorrem, declared King Thorrem III. Thorrem, aware of the dangers that now threatened the very existence of Elminn, as well as the immense cost of the wars, sought peace with his enemies.

Angor claimed all the lands east of the Elminn River and, to the north, Lord Kender was recognized as King of Hardale. Norvsond, meanwhile, humiliated from their defeat, were also forced to sign the Treaty of the North, which recognized the independence of Elminn, and all the other Norv nations, as nation states in their own right. Peace had finally fallen upon the northern peninsula, though at a substantial cost for all concerned. King Thorrem III was never forgiven for this treachery, as some saw it, and was later assassinated, though the agreed peace between the nations remained as his legacy.

For a period, Elminn prospered. Without wars to consume their wealth and with Norvsond as a trading partner, the precious stones and gold of the southern peninsula saw the wealth of the nation increase dramatically. However, a third civil war after the death of King Beowyn II between his two sons, Rasmus and Ferapey, saw a bitter and bloody war render the nation in two, with the north against the south. With Rasmus controlling the capital, Fulton, he declared himself King of Elminn. In response, Ferapey, with the vast loyalty of the southern regions, declared himself King of Yerad and seceded from Elminn.

After a succession of rapid gains by Yerad, Elminn not only lost control of the entire southern regions of their nation, but had also given up control of the vast wealth that was found there. Despite this, the war has continued ever since, with the people forced to pay for the war through high taxation. Humanoids have found the present climate of Elminn much to their liking and their numbers have increased substantially. Once a rich and powerful nation, Elminn has been reduced to poverty and chaos and surrounded by nations that once fell within their own borders.

The Major Towns and Cities

Fulton: (pop: 17,500) This run down and ramshackle city can trace its roots back to before the Amman empire. A typical northern city, with wooden long houses the norm and very few high or stone buildings, it is now run down and infested with rats that enjoy living in the filth covered streets. The port is still essential to Elminn and it is here where what remains of their navy is located. The stench of poverty wafts over most of Fulton and much of the city is crime ridden and dangerous for those who do not keep their wits about them.

Important Personages

King Hengarg II: Monarch of the ailing nation of Elminn, King Hengarg II is obsessed with Yerad and, like his fathers before him, desires nothing more than the destruction of his enemy and the unification of Elminn. However, he is neither tactically astute, nor worldly wise and does little more than talk about defeating Yerad, while letting his navy and army go to ruin. He is hated by the common people and despised by the aristocracy, who plunder the nation's wealth from under his very nose.


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