Friday, July 11, 2014

Southern Golm

The Nations of Southern Golm

Elven Thanduilin

The elves came to Golm before human memory (in fact, before elven memory as well) from far over the eastern sea.  They crossed half the continent to find Thanduilin, a high mountain vale. There they built their first city-in-exile which eventually became the heart of elven culture in Eldreon. They have since spread through much of the forests, jungles, and plains to the west, and all this land was absorbed into the traditional elven territory and is now also called Thanduilin.

Politically, there are a number of traditionally "royal" houses amongst the elves. A High King rules over Thranduilin Vale itself and delineates the various lesser kingdoms, of which there are currently five. However, the borders of these kingdoms are not fixed, as cities and settlements are relatively free to associate with whichever King they please according to a multitude of customs and traditions. The only exceptions to this are the Crown cities where the five kings have their thrones.


The home of the first great human civilization, the Kadeshi Empire, is now split into two independent nations: Inner and Outer Kadesh. Both nations possess governments and institutions in mimicry of the old empire, though by mutual agreement neither claims the Imperial title - a highly stratified society of class and caste divides the people into a rigid hierarchy. Kadesh is a great center of learning both magical and mundane - especially for the arcane school of Necromancy, which while still viewed with caution is not illegal.

The region known as the Kadeshi desert stretches across the entire continent, forming a natural barrier between Golm proper and the subcontinent of Durnauc. Far from being a homogenous region, there are patches of vast dunes as well as more firm ground upon which a modicum of life scratches out a niche. Rich oases dot the expanse, providing shelters for towns and even entire cities.


A culture founded by and still very similar to Kadesh, Mirem long ago achieved independence in both practice and name. Now they have wealth and prestige of their own, and the Miremese cities are a byword in luxury and excess of every kind.

Haljuk and Brin

 A pair of kingdoms created by ancient Kadesh out of a multitude of warring clans, Haljuk and Brin ceased to have any political unity as soon as Kadesh ceased to enforce and maintain it. Stuck in the mountains and highlands between Kadesh and Golapor, the clans of Haljuk and Brin have always been marginalized, looked down on as thieves and raiders even as they were stolen from and raided by their richer neighbors. This has bred a tough, independent streak into them, and the hillfighters are often convinced by the relative poverty of their homelands to travel the world.


A land of dense jungles, most of the heavily populated areas of Golapor have been hacked out near the coast.  Set apart from its neighbors by the mountains and jungles, the region has always been regarded as a whole, despite never having known political unity in known history. Due to their geographic isolation the land and its peoples tend to have few dealings with the outside world beyond the coastal port cities and few overland trade routes through Haljuk. Recent rumors speak of monstrosities that are crawling out of the dense inner jungles.

The Arkandren Steppes

Though there are several semi-permanent power structures within the steppes, the borders themselves are constantly shifting and so western geographers rarely attempt to delineate individual nations. Lands ruled by humans, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, and even gnoll from the desert exist in the steppes, as well as lands where they all manage to coexist in uneasy terms under the rule of powerful warlords.

The Eastern Shore

Independent city-states  survive on the far side of Golm, mostly inhabited by humans. Notable exceptions include Ultuwen in the south, which is a haven of elven mariners searching for their long-lost homeland, and Inzeldrab in the north, which is a semi-barbaric state most notable for being under the direct rule of an ancient and powerful dragon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Northern Golm

The Nations of Northern Golm

The Auchtland Nations 

In the far north, beyond the imposing Aulgrodd mountain chain, lie the lands collectively called "Auchtland." Attempting to put a single label upon them is misleading, however, as the many human peoples there are staunchly independant and rarely will more than one clan acknowledge the same leader. This rule is broken only in the land of Ansgef, where there is a elected High Chieftan and the political landscape is more stable than the norm.

The Dwarven Homelands

In the distant past, the First Ancestors of the dwarves awoke in deep caverns beneath the peaks of the Aulgrodd mountains. They carved the original hold of Braeburgh (often called Deephaven by the rest of the world), and over many generations spread out through the mountains. For a long time they stayed within the deep places of the world, only venturing to the surface when absolutely necessary. Thus they remained secret from the other races - save for the goblins, who also dwell in caverns and tunnels and are the dwarves' most ancient enemy.

Braeburgh is the oldest and largest (though no longer the most prosperous) of the dwarven holds and is the seat of the High King, though that throne has been vacant for hundreds of years. Each Great Hold is technically an independent realm of its own, ruled by a Thane and a council of elders. Some especially large and powerful holds manage to exert hegemony over their neighbors, but this is never formalized. Most Great Holds also establish a number of lesser holds to serve as mining towns, trade posts, and fill other specialized roles.

Kulmar and its Client Kingdoms

Until the fall of the Obanese Empire, Kulmar existed as a powerful kingdom swearing allegiance to the emperor. Now, it is possibly the most powerful single nation in Golm. Two neighboring kingdoms now bend the knee to the Kulmaran monarch, though said ruler has not yet taken to styling himself an emperor.

Daily life in Kulmar is heavily influenced by the Faith of the Father, which acknowledges, worships, and seeks to further the teachings of The One True God of all humankind. Through their energetic preaching, their church has spread into the Obansul, Liria, and parts of the Auchtland tribes - though the more it grows, the more other religions became wary and even downright hostile. Faith is of great importance in Kulmar and while not technically a theocracy, in practice the King must often contend with the Patriarch for political control.

The Obansul

The original provinces which formed the Obanese Empire were restored to independence when it fell.


As the northernmost of the provinces, Kholvendal escaped much of the destruction from the war. It is now the most powerful of the Obansul, with a population bolstered by the many refugees it absorbed and whom never returned home after the elves departed. The many powerful nobles of the Obanese Senate, whose authority had long been reduced to ceremonial under the Emperor, revived their old practices and now rule Kholvendal in truth after the old custom of Oban.


In direct contrast to Kholvendal stands Obandal, the original heartland of the Empire. The people of this province fought bitterly to turn aside the elvish armies, but were unsuccessful in the end - leaving the homeland shattered and depopulated. The elves utterly destroyed the capital city of Nerenth and now it stands as a vast ruin in the center of an abandoned region. In the east the province has begun to recover, but there the population are threatened by raids from the Valsarian peoples. Obandal is ruled over by its Archduke, but his ability to offer aid and protection to his people is still severely limited.


Vokrendal received the second-worst treatment in the fall of the Empire, though it has recovered far faster than Obandal and has even managed to quietly annex some lands from its neighboring province. Various factions of the Senate also tried to flee to Vokrendal, but the Archduke cleverly applied propaganda and convinced the populace that the war (or at least, the fact that the Empire lost) was the fault of the senate. As a result, the authority of the Archducal throne is firm.


 Though Iskendal was the site of many of the early battles of the war, this was before it grew grim and bitter and thus the long-term effects were minor. Iskendal's nobles adopted a policy of appeasement towards the elves and their southern border is now peaceful, if tense. This did not endear them to the other provinces, though, and the nation has few political allies, leaving it in a precarious position.


Largely ignored by the elves on their march to destroy Nerenth, Anzendal came out of the war little the worse for wear. However, it was never the richest of the imperial provinces due to its landlocked status and somewhat poor soil. Only in Anzendal has the traditional Obanese power structure of Archduke and Senate remained intact, with neither one having managed to marginalize the other - yet.

The Valsarian Tribes

Another attempt by scholars to put a single name upon a varied people, the many tribes of the Valsarian plains and steppes are perhaps the most defiant of easy classification. They are constantly at war with their neighbors in all directions, raiding back and forth across extremely blurred "borders." Only the dwarves to their north escape this hostility, for none of the Valsarian peoples have the ability to effectively attack the heavily fortified dwarven holds. Thus, the dwarves often trade with the tribes, even allying with them against marauding hordes of goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs that often sweep out of the far east.