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Hold of the Sea Princes

Page history last edited by John 12 years, 1 month ago

Region 6: South-West Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley





Bright and prosperous, this beautiful, tropical land was home to a decadently wealthy nation with seemingly bottomless pockets. The nation established by the pirates who seized control of the southern reaches of Keoland during the reign of Tavish III was a place of wealthy nobles living in large manors and plantations, grown fat and wealthy from their decadent slave trade.

All that ended with the Scarlet Brotherhood, however. Slaves were incited to riots, assassins convinced the Suel Sea Princes to join them, and those who would not go with the established order were imprisoned in chains. The Scarlet Brotherhood had converted the Sea Princes into a purely Sueloise realm, extending those who were enslaved to be all those who were not of the ?proper? race.

Or so it would seem. The Brotherhood made an error in bringing so many Suel and Olman savages into the realms of the Princes, and of putting their former owners in chains beside them. The boiling cauldron of violence exploded in a frenzy of battle that rocked the western end of the Hold, and was barely contained by the Brotherhood in the east. Now, bitter fighting reigns across the Hold, with only Monmurg, Port Toli, and the Islands still under Brotherhood control.


Society and Culture: The old realm of the Sea Princes was quiet, calm and peaceful, its people smiling and laughing in the hot sun. Knowing considerable freedom, they did not grant it to their many slaves, who toiled endlessly on their rich plantations, yielding tremendous amounts of food to be consumed at home and traded abroad.

The social structure of the old Sea Princes was relatively loose; the thirty Sea Prince positions were hereditary, with each noble ruling over his dominion, the thirty coming together in common cause to govern, electing a single Prince to act as the general head of state. Below all this was the common people, who could trade slaves, conduct piracy, smuggle, or do whatever else they liked, so long as the Princes got their cut of the money. Unscrupulous scalawags came from as far away as the Sea Barons and the Wild Coast to make their fortunes here, with demihumans just as welcome as their human counterparts.

And now?

People debate endlessly about whether the Brotherhood really intends to destroy and enslave the other peoples of the Flanaess, or let them live so long as they recognize the authority of their 'betters'. To be certain, many of those who resisted the Brotherhood were assassinated, though their families were allowed to live as long as they signed over their possessions to the Scarlet Sign. Those that surrendered, were they not Suel, were blatantly treated as second-class citizens, with many of the law's rights and freedoms (to own land, for instance) not applying to them. Those Suel who threw their lots in with the Brotherhood found that little had changed in their lives, except that they could now command their non-Suel friends as they liked.

One bizarre quirk of the Brotherhood, at least as far as their conquests in the Lordship of the Isles and the Sea Princes indicate, is that they do not radically change the socio-political structure of a conquered realm. Instead, they simply place the Suel at the top of whatever institutions exist, and render everyone else commoners or slaves. Thus, the Suel Sea Princes who surrendered were allowed to maintain their position, with Brotherhood monks taking over the remaining positions of nobility.

Non-Suel traders and adventurers who came to trade within the conquered realm could move about as they wished, though they would be singled out for harassment and possible enslavement, with no protection from the authorities.

The Brotherhood maintains its control over the eastern parts of the Hold, as well as the crucial plantations and sailing ships. The western and central areas of the realm, however, are currently in civil chaos. The volatile collection of ethnic groups has stirred up great enmity between the various peoples, so that the fighting has become chronic. Some of the Brotherhood Sea Princes are thought to have been killed by now, and rival governments are already challenging the Brotherhood's supremacy, some led by minor nobles of the old regime.

What caused the fighting is unclear-certainly the various savage races imported by the Brotherhood hated each other and the Sea Prince masters, with the norker mercenaries employed by some Princes only making things worse. What sketchy news comes from adventurers and spies who have explored the area say that the Olman slaves went berserk when pillaging a certain Sea Prince manor and the dungeons beneath it. Many of the savages seemed to be searching for something. One finally returned, wearing a crown of bone that has some hypnotic effect on his warriors, turning them into savage, berserk killing machines. From there, it was as if every creature in the western Hold gave in to its hate and fury against the other ethnic groups it despised, causing a horrific cycle of violence that spread across the entire nation, which the Brotherhood barely managed to keep from reaching the western cities.


Military Structure: The old Sea Princes had a small army of average training and morale, which was rarely called on except to suppress slave revolts. The grand navy they commanded, however, was the envy of the Sea Barons and Lordship of the Isles, who both hated and loathed the Princes for their good fortune. No nation could match the Princes at sailing, piracy, or war when on the ocean.

Now, the chaotic mass of warriors of all levels of training, equipment, and morale are the only effective military forces in the Hold. Their savage frenzy is frightening to behold, as even civilized Oeridians would be foaming at the mouth with fury, swinging their swords as if possessed by fiends. At least one member of the Circle of Eight believes that this is precisely what is going on.


Foreign Relations: The old Sea Princes conducted trade with Nyrond, Keoland, Greyhawk, Dyvers, the Sea Barons, the humanoids of Bone March and the Pomarj, any and every Aerdi lord, certain dwarf kings, Iuz, and the Horned Society. Each was willing to pay huge sums of coin for the slaves the Sea Princes brought to their doorsteps.

When King Kimbertos Skotti took the throne, he made trafficking with the Sea Princes illegal, earning him their enmity, though some of his nobles continued anyway. Nyrond gradually phased out slavery, except as concerned Aerdi prisoners of war. The fall of Bone March and Iuz would have meant the loss of more clients, even as the Slave Lords of the Pomarj provided unwelcome competition.

None of this matters now, with the chaos and violence in the lands of the Princes. Greyhawk and Dyvers have gone for better markets elsewhere, even as most of its former trading partners turned a blind eye to a realm that would no longer do business with them. King Kimbertos has declared his intentions to take back the Hold, as it was once part of Keoland, though he was widely criticized for doing this after seizing Westkeep in 588 CY. Other than Keoland, no foreign state has a share of affairs in the Sea Princes, the Scarlet Brotherhood struggling to keep the warring forces from spilling into its own areas of control.


Region 6: South-West Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley, South-Western Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley map

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