Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Campaign Design - Nations: Cadfor


Largest City: Celliwig

This land has been free less long than any other in the Freeholds, most of which was previously having been under the dominion of a tyrant known only as the Crimson Duke. The Crimson Duke rose to power in the chaos following the collapse of the Rhadynnic Sky Empire, and under his iron rule the inhabitants of the land groaned. He was a known devotee of Ishi, the Oathbreaking Ruby Sorcerer. The Crimson Duke was a vicious, cruel ruler, who enforced harsh laws and condemned those who opposed him to slavery, torture, and death.

That all changed three decades ago, when Girion Lámh Casúr, an adventurer from across the sea and long time servant of the High Council rallied his followers and went to war against the Crimson Duke and his armies. After more than a decade of war, Girion drove out the Crimson Duke and asserted his power over the land, assuming control over the the Duke's former capital city of Celliwig and expanding his dominions to much of the territory between the Tinnsaker River and the Crespor Mountains. The war came to a climatic end after the decisive Battle of Bythwrdd Meadows in 533 IR, and in the following year Girion's forces laid siege to and destroyed the Crimson Duke's fortress of Caer Colur, imprisoning the Duke's demonic mistress inside its walls.

Dominated by the virtually barren Hills of Brann-Galedd to the north and west and the hostile Crespor Mountains to the north and east, this land had long been eschewed by the rulers of the more established kingdoms. In more recent years, Girion has expanded upon his hard fought gains, pushing his reach deep into the Don River valley all the way to the Glasddu Pass, and extending his dominion deep into the Hills of Brann-Galedd.

The most important contributor to Cadfor's economy is the northern trade route that runs through Celliwig and then down the Tinnsaker River, bringing goods across the Hills of Brann-Galedd from east to west and then sending commodities back again. Although this northern route is longer and more dangerous than the southern trading route, in recent years it has gained greater favor among those merchants who desire to avoid dealing with the increasingly authoritarian Queen Mæva of Ersav. Otherwise, Cadfor relies upon shepherding, pig farming, and a moderate amount of barley farming for much of its income, supplemented by a single rich silver mine that has only recently been discovered near Celliwig in the foothills of the Crespor Mountains.

This kingdom sits astride the linguistic split between Sorglish and Jedlic, with many of the inhabitants being fluent in both languages. This split has caused some friction, but since King Girion has taken power this has been minimized. Due to the polyglot nature of this land, coupled with the fact that it has only been recently organized, troops from this area use a wide variety of weapons and no particular method of warfare is associated with the military of Cadfor. Battles are frequent in this land, as humanoids, giants, and other dangers are all to common in the Crespor Mountains. The White Hand, which dominates the nearby land of Loring is a perpetual threat, and the fact that the Crimson Duke was never captured or killed is a source of constant worry.

Cadfor is also home to the sage Dallen, who resides in Cær Dallen deep in the Don River valley, and who has provided Girion and other members of the Council with invaluable advice over the years. The Order of the Shield, the Order of the Gauntlet, and the Warders of the Council all maintain a strong presence in Cadfor, which Girion seems to regard as a mixed blessing: He is grateful for their assistance, but the presence of so many powerful organizations that do not answer to him is chafing.

King Girion is closely allied with King Œngus Lairdsonne of the neighboring kingdom of Melin, and Girion's only living son Padraig was betrothed to Œngus' daughter Iarfhlaith, a union that would have united the two kingdoms in a mutually beneficial alliance. Unfortunately, Padraig vanished while campaigning in the Lloftmelin Mountains in 467 IR, and he is presumed dead.

Ruler: Girion Lámh Casúr of the House Lámh Casúr

Girion is a native of Cadfor who became an outlaw in that nation after a brief apprenticeship as a blacksmith. Forced to flee his homeland by the forces of the Crimson Duke, he enlisted on the side of the High Council early in his life, and after an extensive career as a privateer and sellsword, he returned and eventually carved a kingdom out of the inhospitable terrain. Bringing with him several companions, Girion focused his considerable will on taming the area, and in less than ten years had ascended to the High Council.

Girion is now a middle aged man in his early sixties who remains a formidable warrior. He is a popular and charismatic leader and regarded as an excellent warrior. As one would expect, Girion is a vocal proponent of taking the fight into the Hills of Brann-Galedd and the Crespor Mountains even suggesting punitive expeditions into the wild regions of Elizon and Loring, and has vigorously campaigned in Council meetings for an aggressive policy towards the northerners, putting him somewhat at odds with King Seluc of Nuþralia, but aligning his interests almost completely with King Œngus of Melin.

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