A Pact of Gold
Nations of Khorvaire
Khorvaire is made up of the Five Nations, Thronehold, and an array of smaller nations, kingdoms and regions. Characters from a particular nation will naturally know more about that nation, below can be considered common knowledge for all characters.
The Five Nations
Aundair is two nations in one. Pastoral villages and farmlands line its borders or cluster around the keeps of the region’s feudal lords. The people here are simple, even rustic. The nation’s great cities, however, are alive with commerce and bustle with a crowd nearly as cosmopolitan as that of Sharn. The houses of government and institutions of higher learning nearly burst with the learned, the scholarly, and the magically inclined. Yet whether one is listening to scholars or farmers, mages or laborers, Aundairians speak of their nation with pride. They are unified in their identity, and they don’t care how greatly their customs and preferences vary.
Of all the Five Nations, Breland has made the greatest social and economic recovery following the war. Breland has vast tracts of workable land-it is one of the major food producers of Khorvaire-as well as a society of great personal freedoms, which has inspired immense loyalty and patriotism in its citizenry. The Brelish are proud of their heritage and consider themselves cosmopolitan, and the nation currently leads all others in social progress. Breland’s people are convinced that their social and economic advancements will keep them at the forefront of the Five Nations for generations to come.
Although part of the nation of Breland, Sharn is a society in its own right. People and cultures of nearly every imaginable sort are brought together there. They talk, they do business, they travel together, they pass one another on the street, and the result is a true melting pot, perhaps the only one in all the Five Nations. Members of monstrous or disfavored races who aren’t welcomed in Sham’s towers can find a place in the shadows deep beneath the lofty spires and floating towers that give the City of Towers its title.
Once the strongest bastion of the Five Nations, Karrnath suffered terribly during the Last War. A proud military tradition and a drive for excellence in all aspects of life empowered Karrnath before the war. However, the reputation of its military proved false after Aundair delivered several swift defeats during the war. Karrnath used necromancy to create undead legions from its fallen soldiers, to no avail. Today, Karrnath struggles against plague and famine.
The Purple Jewel of Galifar’s Crown, the most beautiful and artistically advanced of the Five Nations. Cyran fashion tends toward bright colors—similar to Aundairian fashion but without the flamboyance of Aundair’s hats and ruffles. Cyran style also favors large amounts of jewelry, in quantities that others sometimes found gaudy. King Jarot’s daughter Mishann should have, by all rights and traditions, assumed the throne, but she was prevented from doing so by her ambitious siblings. For a hundred years, Cyrans have viewed the Last War as a personal affront, a war against them as a nation. During its heyday, Cyre was a land of plenty, with lush farmlands, thriving cities, traditions of art, and elegant styles. As the primary battleground of much of the Last War, however, many of its outlying settlements are all but razed, and its cities begin to fill with the hopeless, the homeless, and the destitute.
The heart of the Silver Flame, Thrane has a heightened sense of its own importance. A major military and economic power in the region, Thrane’s theocratic government is ostensibly devoted to stamping out evil and making life better for all. However, privileges of power can sometimes lead to arrogance and corruption. Still, Thrane’s people aspire to lead virtuous lives, and Thrane could potentially become the brightest light in a darkened world.
Thronehold was the home of Galifar’s kings for centuries, but it was abandoned at the start of the Last War. No government holds the castle, and no lord rules the island on which it stands. Its sole occupants are the Throne Wardens, House Deneith soldiers charged with protecting the castle.
Below the castle’s walls stands Throneport, a small town that arose during the old kingdom’s height. Throneport contains a high population of criminals, exiles, mercenaries, and other scum that have settled there during the years Thronehold has been abandoned.
Beyond the Five Nations
Depending upon one’s point of view, Darguun is either the strong rightful heir of a defeated land, or it’s a scab growing over the wounds of deception and deceit. A nation of warriors (mostly made up of goblins and hobgoblins) built on the ruins of Cyran settlements, Darguun was born less than three decades ago in a single moment of betrayal. A harsh, dangerous land, Darguun still struggles to determine precisely what sort of nation it is—and what kind it will become.
The Demon Wastes
At the northwestern edge of Khorvaire, the blasted lands form a twisted window into the past. For here, where monsters roam and barbarian tribes eke out an existence amid the horrors, is the loudest echo of the Age of Demons, a land that hasn’t fully recovered even after thousands of years.
Droaam is a land of monsters, creatures that—to the outside eye-make even the goblin tribes of Darguun look civilized. The mountain passes of Droaam teem with giants and gargoyles, and the forests are thick with trolls and orcs more savage than the fiercest tribes of the Eldeen Reaches. Yet the region contains more than random horrors. Ruled by the mysterious Daughters of Sora Kell, Droaam grows ever more disciplined, ever more structured-and the people of Khorvaire grow ever more frightened.
The Eldeen Reaches
A largely untamed region, the Eldeen Reaches is home to both simple farmers, practitioners of the most primal magic, friendly villagers, and savage tribes. It is a fountain of life, a land where nature, unchecked by the walls of civilization, spreads in all its beautiful—and terrible—glory.
The Lhazaar Principalities
Lhazaar is either a wretched nation of pirates, outlaws, murderers, and brawlers, or the home of the world’s best mariners and richest seagoing merchants, depending on who you ask—or, for that matter, where you’re standing. Consisting of a tiny strip of Khorvaire proper and a vast archipelago, the Lhazaar Principalities stand at the edge of civilization, and of civilized law.
h3.The Mror Holds
Ancestral home to all of Khorvaire’s dwarves, the Mror Holds are located in a rugged frontier region of rocky plains and craggy mountains. Here, dwarven clans compete to mine the rich veins of ore and for the money and trade of the continent’s nations.
A wild land of untamed frontiers extends beyond the Endworld Mountains. Here, fugitives from the Last War found an unclaimed region—at least, unclaimed by other humans, dwarves, or elves—in which they could escape the bloodshed back home. Lizardfolk, dragonborn, and kobold communities can be found here. These beings have ties stretching back thousands of years and no desire to lose their lands to the mammals of the west.
The Shadow Marches
A land of fetid marshes and biting insects, primitive tribes and slithering serpents, the Shadow Marches is a region the rest of Khorvaire could happily ignore were it not startlingly rich in dragonshards, and were it not the location of a dragonmarked house’s enclave.
The only true elven nation in Khorvaire, Valenar is also one of the youngest. Inhabited by a warrior people with no desire to maintain any connection with their homeland, Valenar is in a state of constant conflict with its neighbors. Valenar might be the spark that ignites the next war.