A New Nation
Amicomes: The “first friend” of Essalim. Centuries before creating their empire, the Amicons allied themselves with the Essalites and fought their wars with them. Today, they are rewarded by serving as an independent protectorate within the empire.
Ancroix: Independent nearly 2 decades before Hilbensal. A theocracy, they are ruled by the 12 man Conseil de Zélateur, who enforce strict Christian religious orthodoxy on the people. Fanatical clerics and proselytizers are their most famous exports. Allied with no one. Their capital, La Paix, is known for it’s beautiful architecture, built in its days as an Essalite colony. Today, its residents wear all-black, high-necked robes and women must keep their hair covered at all times.
The Ankumhohe: Eastern highlands that are sparsely settled but full of danger. They separate the denser, more civilized area of western Hilbensal from the Ost, the more remote eastern part. Although they are only hills, they tend to be treacherous with sheer cliffs, rockslides, overgrown vegetation, and few easy paths. Mt. Akum is the highest point in these hills.
Baeron: A smaller and less significant port than Gdann. The small inlet it sits in, known as Baers Cove, is rich with shellfish. The town economy is mostly fishing.
Essalim: The home state of the Essalite Empire. It is ruled by the Purple Emperor from the great metropolis of Essal, a city of more than one million inhabitants.
Gardeseaux: A twin city, located on both sides of the straits that provides access to the Crique de Pirates. Despite the name, pirates have been eradicated from the cove for decades. The city itself, though separated by the straits, functions as one. It is the largest city in the region and, though subjects of the Tiranne of Letendu, they seek independence and may have the strength to do so.
Gdann: This small walled town serves as the primary access to the Trade Sea for Hilbensal. A few craftsmen make their homes here as well.
Grosse Endhug: A mining community. Silver, arsenic, antimony, lead and galena are mined here. Several craftsmen who make trinkets, pottery, jewelry and statuary have made their home here to be near the raw materials.
Hilae: Once an independent kingdom but long since a conquered territory under Essalite rule. Today, all vestiges of an independent culture are gone save for the secret fantasies of a few committed patriots and revisionist Hilae-ophiles.
Immanis: The “second state” of Essalim. For centuries, they rivaled their southern neighbor in power before finally being brought to heel under the Purple Banners. Today, they are ruled as a direct possession of the Purple Emperor, with none of the trappings of a representative republic found in Essalim.
Itrenera: The March. A sparsely populated stretch of wilderness that has always been a source of difficulty for Essalim. Every few generations, a governor with ambition and intelligence manages to control the province for a decade or so, but orcs and other monsters from the hills and mountains nearby, as well as the barely civilized native humans, manage to break that hold.
Les Iles: A small, rural island kingdom that is almost irrelevant in local politics.
Letendu: Independent nearly 2 decades before Hilbensal. Ruled by a monarch known as the Tiranne. The current Tiranne, the third in the nation’s history, is Gaeton la Coupe-Os.
Lytindown: This town serves as the administrative center for the rich central valley here known as the Lyte. This is where the game will start.
Mittersport: The old administrative capital and closest culturally to Essalim. They only joined the rebels when Bersandi defected. The largest and most cosmopolitan of Hilbensal’s cities.
Nesdisle: A small city-state that concerns itself only with trade. It has an alliance with Stülla and Hilbensal, but has only a small standing army. They hire mercenaries where needed.
Nordufer: This area has the richest soil and is the most bountiful agriculturally in Hilbensal. It has no administrative center; under Essalite rule it was made up of a series of plantations, each owned by Essalite nobility and run by managers who were famous for their cruelty. After independence, local Hilben strongmen have taken over, claiming these rich plantations as their own in payment for fighting for the young kingdom. A sort of medieval manorial system of land-owning vassals is beginning to form.
Nottersland: Never conquered by Essalim, this island remains a place free of modern civilization. Barbaric tribes of many races are its only inhabitants.
Ostdown: A remote part of the nation. It was settled to provide an administrative and trading center for the region, known as the Ost.
Procul Vallis: “Far Valley”, an early Essalite settlement. Unlike many of the later colonies of the empire, this area is populated almost entirely by Esslaite ex-patriot colonists. Today, it is a mostly peaceful community of plantations owned by local and Essalite lords. Compared to the rest of the empire, the locals are well-treated. This also serves as a sort of quiet resort getaway for the nobility and elite of Essalim.
Protujia: An old Essalite colony. Sparks of independence have flared here once or twice, but have always been quickly extinguished.
Rith: Once an island of many small petty kings and chieftains. Essalim attempted to conquer it 50 years ago, which led the Ritheyg to band together under the leadership of Brawnin. They successfully fought off the invasion. Brawnin became king of all Rith thanks to his war leadership, and the decline of the Essalite Empire can be traced to that failure.
Stassenkeep: A stone fortress built by Essalim to protect the road from bandits and highwaymen. It now serves as the home of the temporary king of Hilbensal.
Stülla: An island city that has elected not to be part of Hilbensal but to remain independent as it’s own city-state. It’s residents are known as traders but also as industrious craftsmen. Goods made from materials captured from the sea are their primary crafts. They do not work with wood. They are allied with Hilbensal. They have the largest navy in the Trade Sea, though it is still dwarfed by the Essalite navy.
Tambora: An early Essalite colony. The native population had been mostly halflings and gnomes, but almost 800 years ago they were slaughtered, with the few survivors forced to flee. Human settlers then moved in and created what is today a small satellite city with the empire. This happened even before the conquest of Hilae, and it served as the primary base of operations for the conquest of that once kingdom. Two of the Purple Emperors have been born in this city, and its ties to the Motherland are close.
Uhr Keep: Originally built by Essalim to guard against bandit and barbarian raids. It is now occupied by Auderat Bersandi and his army of ~6000 soldiers. Many have asked Bersandi to claim the crown of Hilbensal, but he refuses, saying he is a soldier not an administrator. For now, he protects the kingdom from here but leaves the interior unguarded.
Vilenjeci, Island of the: This island is home to a group of elves, known as the Vilenjeci. They are high elves, but a few wood elves live among them as second class citizens.