Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Campaign Design - Nations: Eidling


Largest City: Arras.

With no particular trade routes crossing through it, Ersav has a decidedly provincial reputation, with jokes about dim-witted Eidlingers being popular throughout the rest of the Freeholds. In truth, Ersav is often plagued by trolls, hill giants, and ogres from the Nimlau Mountains, and many of its inhabitants are experienced giant fighters. Ersav is ruled by House Hæl, a house of limited note save for the prevalence of giant-slayers among its ranks, including the legendary King Olvin Howelsonne who is credited with turning a massive two-headed giant into what is now Mount Pire.

Eidling is farm country, a fact that serves only to reinforce its reputation as a land of country bumpkins. However, this fact means that when the harvest is good, the kingdom is prosperous, as her farmers are able to export all of their surplus grain, whiskey, and vegetables down the Gjol River through Dunnum to the ever hungry port of Enselm. The open fields of the south and west of the kingdom are excellent country for raising cattle and horses, and the Warknights of the Council often come to Eidling to purchase mounts for their members.

Unfortunately, the ruling House Hæl has seen its coffers and military power wane in the last few years due to the neglect and mismanagement of its young ruler. Queen Astryd has shown little interest in military affairs and has neglected them, resulting in a substantial degradation in their morale and effectiveness. As a result the famed cavalry of Eidling has degraded into a poorly equipped force with low morale and limited effectiveness, a development that especially worries Astryd's neighbor Smoit, who fears that he will have to spread his already stretched forces even thinner to shore up his erstwhile ally.

Duin Deva, located at the foot of Mount Pire, is the location of the Fochluchan College of Bardic Study, and one of the most important bases of operations for the Warders of the Council, which serves to offer the kingdom some measure of protection even though its own military forces are in disarray.

Ruler: Astryd Eatunsdottor of House Hæl

This kingdom has been traditionally ruled by the members of House Hæl and is currently governed by Queen Astryd Eatunsdottor of that line. Despite the military fame of House Hæl, Astryd has allowed her military forces to decline through neglect. As the only real threats facing the kingdom are the nefarious denizens of the Nimlau Mountains who are mostly held in check by the power of her neighbor King Smoit and the Warders of the Council, Ersav's military decline has not had any substantial consequences as of yet, but should the bands of humanoids and giants on her borders ever organize under one banner, Astryd may find herself unable to effectively deal with the invasion.

Before his disappearance, Astryd was betrothed to Prince Trystan of Ceniþ, a pairing that her father Eatun and her intended father-in-law Smoit saw as a means of unifying their two kingdoms, ostensibly to provide a counterweight to Queen Maeva's growing political influence. Others in the Freeholds believed this to be the first step in a long term plan to weld the Freeholds under the banner of a single king, but whatever the intent was, it was derailed when Prince Trystan went missing four years ago. Since the disappearance of her fiance, Astryd has shown little interest in other suitors, although it is unclear whether this is out of devotion to her lost love or simply due to the inattention of a somewhat flighty young woman.

Astryd, in the meantime, relies upon a collection of advisers to administer her kingdom while she indulges her whims. It is the general opinion of many individuals throughout Eidling that Astryd has been poorly served by her chosen advisers, who are said to have given concessions and monopolies to their friends and pocketed much money that should be going to her coffers. Astryd is convinced of the value of these men, however, and those who speak against them do so at their own peril.

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