Visions of Aquelae: The Redstone Band
Isle of Ibavene
The Isle of Ibavene is a temperate island in the Isles of Man. Ibavene and the nearby Cathicor Isle, together with Norovis nearby form the hub of the Isles of Man. From Ibavene, ships depart to the various other isles, though the mouth of the Great Harbor to the north becomes icy and treacherous during the winter season.
Ibavene was settled from the south, primarily, with many of its original people coming from northern Canthicor. Ibavene has always asserted its independence from Canthicor, and its rulers have always been at least on speaking terms.
In its beginning, Ibavene was not found to be desolate. There was a strong goblin presence in the northern east section of the island, including several goblin cities and a few goblin fortresses, mostly coastal. The most famous was Ack-Uhl, the inland fortress-city. When the Duke-errant and later his son, the Grand Duke of Ibavene began pushing north, the goblins resisted strongly. There was a brief war (the Ibavene Goblin Wars), which concluded when General Radcleff destroyed Ack-Uhl in a day. Since then, goblins have been a present but dwindling threat to Ibavene.
The Isle of Ibavene was only peripherally involved in the Sandisle War. The majority of the fighting occurred in The Scatters, a cluster of smaller islands far east of Ibavene, but Mirnm raiding drags were common enough in Ibavene, as it is sparsely populated and close to Canthicor. Mirnm even briefly established a presence on Ibavane’s east coast. They were eventually driven out, and the town they established was eventually resettled as a free port, and retained its Mirnm name, Orissa. “Cat patrols” were common along the roads of Ibavane, and hundreds of scouts were volunteered or pressed into service to find Mirnm drags and their landing parties. After the war, most of the scouts were thanked and sent on their way, as were some of the “Cat Patrols”: most of the patrols and some of the scouts were absorbed into Low King Ageere D’Ether’s newly-expanded army, expanding his land and sea influence (Some suspect that this was the first step toward his eventual rise to High King). A few villages were destroyed, and some people of Ibavane were kidnapped and pressed into the Mirnm slave trade, but Ibavane escaped the Sandisle War relatively unscathed.
Ibavane is ruled by two kings, a High King and a Low King. Currently the kings are High King Biann D’Ether and Low King Leodin D’Ether. They happen to be brothers, though the High King and the Low King are not always related. The High King of Ibavane rules the southwestern portion of Ibavane; traditional lines are a straight line from the western coast to the Rolling Range, up to the Iben Sea, and back down to the Eastern Shield (the area the High King rules is referred to as the High Realm, the Low King’s realm the Low Realm). While this is not even half of Ibavane, it does encompass the mineral wealth of the Rolling Range and the fertile flatlands in Ibavane’s most temperate regions, which provides most of Ibavane’s food production, Merrigate (the largest port city of Ibavane), and the enormous and wealthy trade city of Alaspar. The High King appoints the Low King, and the Low King becomes High King (almost always) when the High King vacates the throne. The Low King can be anyone the High King wishes, but is usually a sibling, relation, or favored adviser. The High King is the ruler of the Low King, but the High King is not the sovereign of the Low King’s subjects. The realm of the High King is divided into three Duchies (modeled after Canthicor), with the High King ruling the Duchy of Firth, and the Duchy of Trinslbald and the Royal Duchy, ruled by the noble families that have ruled them for generations. The Low King’s realm, being far less settled, has only a scattering of baronies, who’s influence extend as far as they can enforce it. There is something of a competition among the barons: most are striving to have influence and wealth enough to be named first Duke of the Low King, securing a Duchy. They must at least approach the size and wealth of Summerhill, though, the largest city in the Low King’s realm, on the northern shore of the Iben Sea.
Cities and places of note:
The furthest northern barony in the Low Realm is the Barony of Lochdon, currently ruled by Baron Prisius, in the Lochdon Hills, from the city of Lochdon. There a small but apparently deep gem mine has allowed the Baron to rapidly establish his power and expand.
Lochdon (walled city, Barony of Lochdon, capital city of Lochdon): Population 1320 (1248 Humans, 13 half-elves, 23 dwarves, 36 halflings); Standing army/guard 9; Clergy 0; Services available Inns 1, Taverns 3, Blacksmiths 1, Healers/Herbalists 1, Weaponsmiths 1, Armorers 1, Boyers 1, Merchants 3, Leatherworkers 2, Tailors 4, Jewelers 2 (1 dwarven), Cobblers 4, Farriers 3, Carpenters 3, Masons 2
There were 17 lesser priests and one minor Chosen to the The Shining One until recently (about a week before the Sane arrived), when the temple burned, killing all the clergy.
Seastone Mine garrison (garrison, Barony of Lochdon): Population 30 (25 human, 5 dwarves) (10 guards, 20 miners)
A small-ish bustling town in the shadow of a large and old necropolis. The necropolis has been used for a century as a resting place for troubled spirits, necromancers, otherworldly corpses, and things that you want to stay dead. The necropolis was re-purposed for this: no one is sure what it was before, only that it is very large. The necropolis is guarded by the Keepers of the Dead, and its powerful wards are maintained by the priests and occasional cleric of that guard. In the shadow of the Steppes, the town thrives as a trade nexus, a burial trade, and a strange morbid scholarly tourist destination. Historians, magical scholars, and politicals all wish to glean knowledge from who is dead where and any extraneous information they have writ. Activity in the necropolis is strictly regulated, but the streets hold a bustling information trade. Recently, the Order of the Copper Flame has established a strong presence in the town, and is trying to gain control of the necropolis, citing the reason that there needs to be a trustworthy, constant, and pure guardian of the dishonored dead.
The ruins of the fabled great goblin fortress-city, laid waste by Radcleff nearly two hundred years ago. Very few know its location, and over the years it has been occasionally discovered, briefly inhabited, and again abandoned, entrances sealed and warded. The current denizens of the fortress are a band growing band of goblins who have been raiding caravan routes for quite a while.
The barony located near the mouth of the Kythi river, where it empties into Iben Sea. It’s ruler, Baron Douglas Gethinydd, has been competing fiercely for the title of First Duke of the Low Realm.
Redstone is found in the southern foothills of the Rose Range, a fairly extensive mountain range running along Ibavene’s northeastern edge. The lands near Redstone is rocky and sparsely wooded, with the lands around town cultivated to grow crops and corral livestock. The town of Redstone is small but thriving, with a permanent population of ~400 permanent inhabitants, primarily human, and ruled by Lord Fritzfram. During the height of the trade season (late summer), this number can increase by half. The chief economy of Redstone is as a meeting place for trade. Here dwarves regularly make the half-day journey from their halls under the Rose Range to trade well-wrought goods for supplies and luxuries not found under the mountains. They are met by Humans from the south and north, bringing treasures, and on rare occasions even a Mirnm band. They all meet here in the Mercantile Hall, a large open roofed structure to trade and return to Orissa, or the great city of Alaspar to the south, or the Great Harbor when the season is early.
The residents of Redstone generally live in stone and mortar houses. Besides the Mercantile Hall (also referred to as the Trader’s Hall), other places of note include the large Redstone Inn and tavern (which serves a variety of brews from behind a shining bar top of polished redstone and its two stories provide many rooms), an impressive smithy that is overseen by a dwarf-trained Master Smith, a general goods store that doubles as an off-season trading post, and a Church to The Shining One (attended by Illuminator Abendessen, a priest), which has near it many small shrines to Moridin and various gods and aspects associated with travel.
The dwarves of the Rose Range and the folk of Redstone are on amiable terms, but the dwarves do value some degree of isolation from the surface-dwellers. The residents discourage anyone from continuing up the trail to the Door of the Hall. During the Sandisle War, the Rose Dwarves formed the Redstone Pact, pledging support of Redstone and allowing quarrying of rock for Redstone’s wall (the Mirnm never invaded Redstone proper, but there was a clash with a raiding party of ~30 Mirnm and a “Cat Patrol” very near Redstone).
Large coastal city on the southern edge of the Isle of Ibavene, population ~28000, mostly Human but with a small community of Halflings and a smattering of halfbreeds, Mirnm, and others. Largest city in Ibavene.