The League of Ordwyn

League of Ordwyn

Overview

The League of Ordwyn is a confederation of independent city-states who rely on political co-operation for their survival. The expansion into lands that the League now occupies has been a slow and painful one, with barbarians and goblinoids fighting every step of the way. The environment remains hostile, with barbarians, goblinoids and kobolds a real menace and constant threat. However, since the signing of the Treaty of Ordwyn, the city-states have flourished and their influence over the region has grown.

Dominated by 10 independent city-states, the League of Ordwyn is in fact made up a vast number of communities, all of who have an allegiance to one of the dominant cities. Ordwyn, Kreyt and Spa are the strongest members of the alliance: Spa, located precariously as it is on the border of Yarasal J'naria, is militarily the best equipped and trained and its troops not only stem the tide from external threats, but help police the lands within the League. Ordwyn also has a sizeable land force, though their real strength is in their navy, which helps defend the coastal waters around the League. Kreyt has found itself abundant in natural resources, which have brought in great wealth and influence. These strengths are reflected in the politics of the League of Ordwyn, although theoretically all members of the League are equal.

Barbarians, goblins, kobolds and orcs play a significant factor in the politics of the League, for their tribes and clans are scattered across the plains, woods and hills. Numbering in the tens of thousands (there are estimated to be some fifty thousand goblins and about the same number of kobolds), these tribes and clans are disparate. The different races are often too busy fighting each other, or amongst themselves, to pose a serious threat. Occasionally, alliances occur and large armies materialize out of nowhere to launch savage attacks on the League. Generally, however, these are short-lived affairs.

Of a more serious concern is the large number of nomadic barbaric tribes that inhabit the lands. It is estimated to represent nearly 10% of the human population and their loose alliances can be far more devastating than those of the humanoids. With the constant incursions of the tribes from Yarasal J'naria in addition to the internal threats, the danger to the civilized city-states is great. In the Battle of Jappur and the Battle of Iodor's Creek, it is estimated that the mustered numbers of the barbarian forces were on both occasions over ten thousand strong. While the Battle of Jappur ended in the successful routing of their enemy, this was not the case in the Battle of Iodor's Creek, which saw the League's allied forces smashed and the destruction of Iodor.

Karnish culture heavily influences the the city states of the League of Ordwyn, with all of the founding fathers originating from there. They are also significant trading partners. Karnish see the survival of the League as paramount and regards them as an ally against the uncivilized world that neighbors their eastern border. The city states also unserstand the importance of this alliance and each the League has sent a large joint force to aid Karnish in the war against Zykerathox. The alliance is also a good source of mutual trade. For the League, their close proximity to the Falagrim Peninsula has opened up strong trading routes and under the protection of the Ordwyn naval vessels, regular trade routes are open with all the nations bordering the Sea of Guardians, the Aggenbor Sea and the Enchanted Bay.

Significant Trade Export

Coral: The waters around Jappur and Ideng are home to magnificent coral reefs, which are farmed and carved into beautiful and delicate objects of beauty and then exported to Karnish.

Darkwood: Much of the Darkwood that finds its way to Karnish does so from Kreyt, which exploits the local forests for this valuable resource, despite the friction it causes with the elves and gnomes.

Pearls: The shores around the League of Ordwyn are abundant in pearls. Mostly, these are irregular, but exquisite ones have also been found. Ordwyn, Ganymel, Attoa and Ideng seem to be located in especially productive areas.

Precious Stones: Diamonds, Sapphires, Emeralds, Topaz and Quartz are all found as alluvial deposits around the coasts and rivers of the League of Ordwyn, as are many other precious stones. These are often cut and exported to Karnish, but are also exported in their raw form.

Brief History

The League of Ordwyn has grown out of the desire of entrepreneurs and settlers to populate this mineral rich peninsula. For decades, settlers sailed from the ports of Eastleigh, Nend and the City of Karnish in the desire to populate this region, but were thwarted in their attempts by the indigenous barbaric and humanoid populations. As settlements appeared, so they were burnt and pillaged. However, under Lord Ordwyn of Helmsgrove, six ships set sail from the City of Karnish and established a settlement on the northern tip of the peninsula. Ordwyn, having learnt from the mistakes of his predecessors, was prepared, having brought a small, but well trained force with him, which enabled the settlement to grow and build its defenses, establishing itself as the first civilized settlement.

Soon, more people arrived, building small encampments near to Ordwyn's and relying on the growing strength of his settlement to defend them. In return, Ordwyn demanded a small tax tribute that allowed him to further strengthen his own position. Other settlements began to appear, having learnt from Ordwyn's success, and soon the peninsula was dotted with small, but well defended, coastal settlements. Ordwyn's settlement soon took on his own name.

A massive uprising of the barbarian hordes against these civilized foes saw many of the settlements smashed and burnt. Ordwyn, fearful that all his hard work was soon to be destroyed, called together a council of the settlement lords and an alliance was agreed. An army was mustered, numbering but a quarter of their ferocious enemy, and the two armies met on the Faramea Hills, where Ordwyn took up a superb defensive position. Despite being outnumbered four to one, the allied forces managed an overwhelming and devastating victory against the barbaric hordes. He immediately moved the army against a large goblin alliance that was causing serious damage to the settlements of the peninsula, again sweeping to a swift and emphatic victory.

With victory and safety ensured, Ordwyn again brought together the lords in a loose, mutually beneficial political agreement. The League of Ordwyn, as it was known, formed the basis for the growth and expansion of the settlements, some of which grew into towns and cities. Ordwyn himself was killed in one of his many battles with the barbarian clans, but the League grew stronger and larger and the alliance became tighter as it was realized that through mutual cooperation, the odds of survival greatly increased.

With greater security came greater stability and trade routes soon opened up. Wealth poured into and out of the League of Ordwyn, which prompted the great expansion of the League with settlements appearing all over the coastal regions. Many were destroyed before they had a chance to develop, but many, under the umbrella of the protection that the League offered, grew and prospered. Spa, one of the greatest of the city-states, represents the League of Ordwyn's most southern outpost - and this only exists through its strong army and defenses. All other attempts to expand beyond this have proved fruitless, with expansion west moving into the heart of the clans of Yarasal J'naria, and expansion east and south into the unforgiving environment of The Dark Lands, where savages and disease have quickly halted any progress.

With the reduction in Karnish forces defending the Pass of Merin, there has been an increase in barbarian and humanoid activity, but not as much as many has suspected. Indeed, with the Pass less well defended, the hordes have been able to pass more easily into Karnish and many of their raids now seem focused on that region, rather than on the free cities of the League - something which the ruling elite of the cities are not too unhappy about.

The Major Towns and Cities

Ordwyn: (pop: 8,500) Being the earliest of the settlements, Ordwyn is both the largest and most developed of the cities that now make up the League of Ordwyn. A stone, crenellated, defensive wall is slowly replacing a wooden palisade that once surrounded all of Ordwyn. Roughly a third has been completed, along with the new gatehouse. With a new stone keep also presently being built, scaffolding and construction equipment are common sights. The road map of Ordwyn is inconsistent, with the original settled area a web of muddy streets that have little rhyme or reason, while the more modern roads are set out generally in a grid. Mainly the roads are little more than rutted mud tracks, but the wealthier quarters are beginning to see the development of cobbled streets. In the center of Ordwyn, a large, grassy field is the where the busy market is located.

Kreyt: (pop: 6,500) With barbarians and humanoids a constant threat, a large wooden palisade, dotted with several wooden towers, acts as the main defense of Kreyt, around which has been dug a large ditch. A ring of pickets also surrounds the defensive ditch and two freestanding towers act as additional defensive structures. The roads of Kreyt are little more than muddy tracks, which become badly rutted during the winter storms, and the houses are almost entirely made from wood. A large stone building in the center of Kreyt acts as a jail, where criminals are often placed in stocks. The port area is quite lively and filled with pickpockets, cut throats and unsavory individuals.

Ideng: (pop: 5,500) Built on a rocky peninsula which juts out into the sea, Ideng is one of the best defended settlements in the League. A cleared, rocky path leads to the main gatehouse, a well-defended wooden structure, which is Ideng's weakest point. The city is built around the geography of the peninsula, with many buildings carved out of the very rock, with wooden buildings located along the grassy areas. It is home to a sizable dwarven population, who tunneled into the rock and made their homes there. The port is situated at the tip of the peninsula, where steep paths lead down to the flat point which is at sea level and provides excellent access to the sea, but very little in the way of protection from the elements. A sharp sea breeze constantly whips across the peninsula and through Ideng.

Spa: (pop: 4,000) The southern most of the city-states, Spa is under constant threat from the barbarians and humanoids and also from the barbarian hordes of Yarasal J'naria. As such, it is heavily fortified, with both an inner and outer wooden palisade, into both of which have been built impressive stone defensive towers. Spa is also the most militaristic of all the city states, with a small professional army augmented by a highly trained militia. The city is set out in a grid, though the roads are little more than tracks, dusty during the summer heat and rutted during the winter storms. It is a frontier city and as such the people both work and play hard, with drunkenness and bar brawls all too common and the stocks always filled by the criminal elements that are active here.

Attoa: (pop: 3,000) A wooden palisade which sits atop a high embankment, around which has been dug a deep ditch, defends Attoa from the menace that surrounds it. The town itself is much more spacious than many of the other towns and cities of the League, with leafy suburbs and well spaced out buildings. The port area is the most densely populated and here the buildings are much more tightly packed, with small streets and alleys, enclosed by two and even three story buildings, much more common. A large wooden keep sits on top of a tall hill, which is enclosed by the palisade, and dominates the entire town landscape.

Ganymel: (pop: 3,000) Built in a beautiful cove and up the steep cliffs which stretch upwards on all sides, which is crisscrossed with stony paths and roads, Ganymel has taken advantage of the natural defenses that this area offer. Set back at the very top of the cliff, a wooden palisade runs in a wide arc from one cliff to another, with a well-defended gatehouse. The homes along the cliff front are built on wooden platforms that are supported by wooden posts driven into the rock. In the cove, the homes are quite tightly packed as space is at a premium, with a web of muddy streets and alleys.

Jappur: (pop: 3,000) Close to the southern extremities of the League of Ordwyn, Jappur is well defended against the many enemies that are constantly set against them, with a large wooden palisade, around which is a deep moat. Entry into Jappur is across the drawbridge and under a portcullis, which are housed by an impressive stone gatehouse. The buildings of Jappur are well spread out, with the outskirts dominated by small farms. The center of Jappur is denser, though still open, with wide roads lined with trees. The roads themselves are amongst the best in the League, mostly having been packed down and covered in gravel, but nonetheless become rutted during winter, though not as badly as before the roads were repaired.

Ham: (pop: 2,500) Ham sits atop a tall hill which slopes down to a small bay where the port is located. An extensive wooden palisade, with a further line of pickets, acts as the town's defense against the humanoids. At the highest point, a large stone tower gives an excellent view of the surrounding countryside, giving early warning of any approaching dangers. The palisade is so extensive that large outlying farms and small communities are isolated from Ham itself, but still fall within the protection of the town boundaries. Ham itself is built upon the top of the hill with slopes that fall away to the bay, where the port is located, which is also the most built up quarter of Ham.

Port Yerith: (pop: 2,000) Built upon an enormous wooden pier, the vast platform on which the town sits is supported by a network of wooden posts which have been driven into the seabed. A long, wooden bridge connects the platform to the mainland, where the town has begun to overspill. A wooden palisade is in the process of being built, but those located on the mainland are seriously exposed and retreat into the town proper when attacked. The buildings and roads of Port Yerith have been built to maximize the space on the vast structure, so are very orderly and compact. A second, lower platform acts as the port area, where ships have easy access to the sea. Port Yerith is constantly being pounded by the sea and demands constant upkeep.

Sudamon: (pop: 1,500) Sitting amongst the dramatic chalk cliffs which act as a backdrop, Sudamon is well protected from sudden attack with only a number of steep and exposed rocky paths giving access to the town. Several wooden towers have been built along the roads and hover precariously on the side of the cliffs, with enormous wooden posts supporting them from below. Sudamon is relatively spread out, with wide, clean roads. The dock is always busy and is also the roughest part of town, with the seamen visiting Sudamon frequenting the bars there.


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