Chains of Fire
Once a thriving empire, reduced but not forgotten.
Capital: Port Nerath
Government: Centralized monarchy with seven subordinate fiefdoms.
Ruler: King Janus Polis IV
The Nerathian Empire was once the strongest in the world, and was the most recent of the Great Empires to fall; so recent, in fact, that most places in the western half of the world still measure years since the Fall of Nerath, 127 years ago. Nerath was unique among the Great Empires as the only one that was built primarily on trade and clever financial arrangements rather than outright conquest, and there was a saying-still used-that “All paths lead to the Port, and all winds blow towards its docks.” After the Fall, Nerath was reduced to a small kingdom-the only area she was able to hold against the Orcish hordes-and subsequently divided into seven subordinate fiefdoms by Kaifus XII, first king after the fall.
Nerath was and is a primarily human land, although its status as crossroads of the world ensures a smattering of transients of all races, particularly wandering halfling clans. There are also a good many dwarfs from the relatively nearby Stonehome, and elves coming in from Du-Eopharneh are not an uncommon sight. Most other races are represented to a lesser degree in urban areas, although Nerathians continue to have an abiding hatred for orcs and their ilk. In the rural areas of the country, people are much more likely to believe in the truth of stereotype, which can make travel for shifters, drow, and other “suspicious folk” difficult.
Nerath is ultimately ruled by King Janus IV, but is divided into seven fiefdoms that are all more or less autonomous. Every five years – or in emergencies – the king will call the Lords of the Fiefs together for a Conclave.
Fief Nerath: Ruled over by Janus himself as “Lord of Nerath,” this includes the port and surrounding areas for several miles.
Fief Lorrich: Ruled by Lord Gareth Junipson, Lorrich is a hilly region in the northwest that borders on Yallach and is mostly home to woodcutters and miners who work in the forested hills.
Fief Nentir: In the northeast of the kingdom lies Nentir, ruled by Lord William Markelhay. Nentir thrives primarily on trade – it’s the main route to the east – and agriculture, being mostly comprised of the fertile Nentir vale.
Fief Sarnak: The largest of the fiefs, Sarnak is ruled by the aging Lord Christof Emmirthof. Sarnak is mostly rolling hills and wide fields, bounded on the east by the sharp teeth of the Dawnforge mountains, which peter off not to far from its border.
Fief Landret: Landret, the only fief without an international border, is known as the center of intra-Nerath trade and activity, and as such is home to the most prestigious university in Nerath, the Golden Pendulum. Other than this, it has few claims to fame. It is ruled by Lord Hammeth Lammdin.
Fief Pernoth: The southern-most fief, Pernoth enjoys a milder climate than the rest of the country and therefore devotes much of its land to growing exotic fruits that require temperate conditions. It also makes a good deal from trade with Frensha, which it borders. The young and impetuous Lord Russel Ergot rules Pernoth.
Fief Tharish: The only other seaside fief besides Nerath, Tharish enjoys less trade because its coastline is mostly precipitous bluff. Its residents, however, are expert fishermen and whalers, and are ruled by the able-bodied Lord Angus Swabson.