Darryl Speed's Collection of Characters
It’s the 250th anniversary of humans landing in Stonefall valley, and in these 250 years there has been nothing but peace and prosperity. Mercenaries keep the gnolls in their holes. Behind the scenes tensions have been growing. For over 60 years a treaty has kept the kingdom of Knorick out of a lucrative trade deal between the kingdoms of Mordridge and Nelphi.
The kingdom of Knorick is very poor compared to their neighbors due to a lack of natural resources and a more fervent gnoll population. Being cut out of this deal has left them even poorer than they have ever been leaving the coffers used to pay the mercenaries running dry, causing many to desert and turn to banditry. The neighboring kingdoms have taken notice to this and have been tightening security to watch out for the growing number of Knorish bandits.
Over 250 years ago the kingdoms of Skane were under attack by a very orgazined dwarvern invasion(why they’re invading is another can of worms we can ignore for now). This war was rapidly being lost by the Skani people and many of their leaders decided that fleeing was superior to occupation so they fled North into the Norlands.
A prophet named Gladrios felt differently. He had visions of an idol in the South, over the mountains. At this point in time it was believed that the region now known as Stonefall was just an extended area of mountains, sea voyages of the time also confirmed this fact, the mountains stretched all the way to the coast of Skothar. Gladrios gathered a following, telling his flock that the endless mountain range was all a lie to conceal the verdant paradise that lay beyond. Most Skani people believe that Gladrios and his following died on their trek across the mountains.
The idol he saw in his visions was the egg containing a deity named Eos. They believed the entrance to the valley can only be opened by the true believers of Eos. Gladrios told the people that now that the gate had opened it was their duty to protect this paradise gifted to them by a god. It is said that the egg was found where the Brige to the Sky currently sits and the egg was so beautiful that Gladrios died upon laying eyes on it. The Church claims the egg sits on the highest perch of the cathedral, awaiting the day that it will hatch and Eos will revive their prophet, opening a gateway to a divine paradise that dwarfs Stonefall in beauty and fertility.
Houses of Stonefall:
Mordridge is generally where the natural resources of Stonefall valley come from. Lumber, Iron, Leather, etc. the resources collected all throughout run through the capital at some point before making their ways to the coast to be sold in the more populous regions of the valley. The ruling house(The Donvall Family) started as miners and are deeply protective of their working class brethren. Thus the city of Mordridge looks rather rugged and barbaric by the standards of the cosmopolitan coast, but there is often less class tension as the overseers and the miners often drink in the same dirty taverns sharing the same dirty jokes
Knorick, as I mentioned before has been going through a tough time in the last 60 years after a treaty ceded a small section of their land, a common trading route, to the Donvall family. Since then their economy has rapidly turned for the worst, causing the uptick in bandits and resentment of the other kingdoms among the populace. All the Knorish people have left is their piety, which has been part of their downfall. Many other houses would charge for pilgrims to visit the site of their prophet’s ascension but the Kranbyn familly has held the stance that holy sites should be available to all. The City of Knorick has hit especially hard times with church handouts not being enough to feed the homeless that continue to fill up the shantytowns that have begun cropping up all throughout the poorer sections of the city
Surif and it’s rulers, the Whetly family, are certainly the least political of the 6 kingdoms. They directly oppose conferences with other kingdoms and wish to remain self sufficient, especially after the events sourounding Knorick in recent history. The City of Surif has deep roots in the fishing that has sustained it for over 200 years. The fish market has spawned legends throughout the valley of colossal beasts being felled by stern Sirifian men in rowboats. The men of the docks know these are tall tales but they continue to dazzle sheepish foreigners with myths of Surifian might.
Nelphi and House Trent are easily the most “englightened” in the valley. Selling Donvall goods across the known world has earned Trent quite a name in faraway lands like Traedorn and Ylindre. When the valley is mentioned elseware, Trent is often the first name people think of. The wealth being brought home has turned the city of Nelphi into a palacial forest of massive marble towers and statues of powerful lords of Trent. Throught diplomacy and economic pressure Trent has managed to inch its way farther inland as the years go by, furthur expanding its poplulation and cheap food supply which continues to expand the city itself.
Theoceos and House Mandry do sit in a similar place that Nelphi does but their wealth often goes into bizarre artifacts and strange magics from across the world. The Phoenix priests of Knorick have sent several accusations of inviting foreign heresies into the valley, spoiling the sanctity of the valley. Mandry has continued to ignore their pleas and continues to delve deeper in forbidden magics behind closed doors. The city itself has taken a toll, the church continues to condemn the foreigners who enter the city, causing a great divide between the more intellectual rich and the very pious poor.
Finally lies Alvos, headed by House Molth. The last of the 6 kingdoms to rise, Alvos primarily deals in mercenary work and privateering, frequent skirmishes with the dwarves that invade from their Western border has left Molth with a much more militant populace. Battle has become imbued within their culture, they hold the most tournaments and partake in some rather horrifying entertainment. In the capital, the battle pits have made many man a popular hero among the lower classes. Alvos is often spoken about behind closed doors as a threat to the peace and quiet of the valley, with several secret plans hatched up to eliminate this troublemaker and replace them with something more presentable