The Song of the River Kingdoms
The Song of the River Kingdoms : Kingmaker
The bards sing tales of nations rising and falling. The River Kingdoms see this more often than most. What songs will you inspire?
Brevoy is a nation divided. Its southern lands balk under the rule of kings they never wanted, and while its northern territories compete for greater esteem. Its noble houses feud over honor and power. Civil war lies on the horizon, though no one dare utter those words aloud.
In preparation for the upcoming conflict – and hoping not to repeat the defeats of the past – Restov, capital of the Rostland, sent scouts southward. These lands are technically a part of the River Kingdoms, but have changed hands countless times: at one time belonging to numerous local lords and petty kings, Numeria, Brevoy, and even Restov itself. But time wears away all things – and, in time, these lands came to be leaderless. Stolen from everyone and belonging to no one, the Stolen Lands were born.
In the midst of summer, with tensions rising and tempers flaring, the Swordlords of Restov – firebrands that they are – put forth a charter. Dividing this unclaimed land into four portions, the charters were presented to adventuring companies, mercenaries, wanderers, and dreamers. They would go into these Stolen Lands, and tame the untamed wilderness.
And thus, in Sarenith of the Year 4714 of the Age of Lost Omens, did a song of truly epic proportion begin its first verse…
The Noble Houses
Brevoy, and its component nations, Rostland and Issia, have long been dominated by the nobility. With the harsh northland weather battering the land, life has long been one of toil in Brevoy. Strict classist feudalism has insured the productivity and survival of the two nations for generations. Though some of the families are little more than thieves and scoundrels granted titles and lands, some of them do try to hold themselves to an old Taldan standard of nobility.
Most Taldan nobility would scoff at the Brevic imitation.
There are seven primary Houses, and many minor ones that have pledged themselves amongst these powerful families. The one exception to the usual rule by title is in Restov, and its surrounding regions – where the Swordlords of the Aldori Dueling Art claim leadership through both prestige and extortion.
- House Garess, motto: “Strong as the Mountains”
- House Lebeda, motto: “Success Through Grace”
- House Lodovka, motto: “The Waters, Our Fields”
- House Medvyed, motto: “Endurance Overcomes All”
- House Orlovsky, motto: “High Above”
- House Rogarvia, motto: “With Sword and Flame”
- House Surtova, motto: “Ours Is the Right”
- Swordlords of Restov, motto: “For Rostland!”
The Vanishing of 4699
Approximately fifteen years ago, Brevoy’s crown family, the Rogvarias, disappeared. Brevoy fell into chaos for a mere moment as House Surtova, Rogvaria’s closest ally, seized the throne. None of the other Houses decided to debate the matter, though many have held private resentments. The Swordlords have held not-so-private resentments, though open rebellion has since stayed off the table.
As though Rogvaria’s disappearance was not strange enough, the effects of the Vanishing were felt across Brevoy.
Skywatch, a city constructed high atop the nation’s eastern mountains and centered around an ancient observatory, closed its gates. Its mighty walls have remained unperturbed by mundane and magical means. No messages have received a reply, and not a soul has entered its body for over a decade.
The Golka Clan Dwarves of the Golushkin Mountains similarly vanished. Those who brave the vast network of ancient dwarven tunnels to reach the city Golushkin rarely return to the surface, and those that do never made it past the dangers lurking within the depths; merely turning back before death claimed them. Only the dwarves who were not with their brethren seemed to evade this fate; but they too find themselves lost in the once-familiar tunnels of Golushkin.