Be it known that, as it has been seven months to the day since the disappearance of King Urzen Rogarvia and his heirs and kin, and furthermore that no true bearer of the blood and rights of Choral the Conqueror has been found in all the land, for the good of the Nation of Brevoy and its people it is so declared that Lord Noleski Surtova, right wise Regent of the Dragonscale Throne, by virtue of descent from the line of Nikos Surtova and Myrna Rogarvia, daughter of Choral the Conqueror, shall henceforth be honored as King of All Brevoy, in the Name of Choral, Lord of Issia and Prince of Rostland, Suzerain of New Stetven, Overlord of Restov, and Defender of the Lake of Mists and Veils. His heirs shall follow him in the rights to these titles, unto the ages.
So witnessed and sealed on this 21st Day of Kuthona, in the Year 4699, Absalom Reckoning
The Turmoil for Power
In the far northern reaches toward the Crown of the World, the land and its people become harsh and unforgiving. Winters are long and deadly here, forcing common folk to scratch out a sustainable existence from near-frozen soil during an all-too-short spring and summer. All the while, the lords of the land plot in their keeps and strongholds, jealously eyeing their neighbors’ domains.
For centuries, the firm and forceful hand of Choral the Conqueror’s lineage has held these nobles in check, but in 4699 ar, the royal house of Brevoy vanished, leaving the kingdom in turmoil. House Surtova took the contested crown, yet not all of Brevoy agreed that the new king had the right to rule. In the decade that followed, noble ambitions burned hotter even than the hearth fires working to drive away the chill of winter, and now all of Brevoy lies on the edge of civil war...
The Stolen Lands
The Stolen Lands have long resisted attempts at colonization. Wedged between the River Kingdoms and Brevoy, the approximately 35,000-square-mile swath of wilderness has a long history of being regarded as “stolen”—from and by whom depending on the point of view. In Brevoy, the lands are considered stolen from that nation’s southern expanse by bandits and barbarians variously from Numeria, Iobaria, or the River Kingdoms themselves. In the River Kingdoms, the general impression is that Brevoy allowed the lands to fall into the hands of monsters and worse in order to rob the lords of the River Kingdoms of more lands to rule. Even within the wildlands themselves, lands are stolen and conquered in constant struggles between bickering tribes of centaurs, kobolds, fey, trolls, bandits, lizardfolk, boggards, barbarians, and more, all constantly skirmishing to expand their holdings while not ceding their own lands to the enemy.
In truth, the Stolen Lands belong to no one, and are stolen from no one. Many have tried to claim them, but the abandoned ruins that dot the swath of wilderness stand as testaments to the difficulty of ruling these savage lands. They have remained wild with a fierce tenacity, a haven for monsters and criminals and dangerous secrets, and as such have posed a menace to their neighboring nations as long as anyone can remember. And unknown to many who look upon these lands from surrounding nations and empires, a hidden hierarchy of latent power resides within the Stolen Lands...
Yet these times of relative calm in the Stolen Lands are coming to an end. Spurred to action in part by an increase in aggression among the bandits and barbarians of the Stolen Lands and by building political tensions to the north, the swordlords of Restov have sent agents and colonists into the disputed region to explore and settle and, if need be, conquer.
The establishment of four new puppet kingdoms, all beholden to Restov’s swordlords and the rest of Rostland, would not only bring freedom from banditry and raids along Rostland’s southern border, but also the resources and clout needed to make a play for a higher station in Brevoy’s complicated political scene. If all goes well, the just return of the Stolen Lands to Brevic control could well give Rostland the footing it needs to challenge the Surtova hold on the crown. Working quickly and quietly through pawns and minions, numerous agents have set into motion four separate campaigns against the Stolen Lands, each on the surface appearing to address minor elements of banditry or securing of trade routes, while in fact they are preparing the way for annexation and conquest of the entire region. Unfortunately, the swordlords did not anticipate the result of these four pushes into the Stolen Lands, for in each of these regions mysterious agents are laying their own plans, and when confronted by explorers and expansionists from the north, their reactions will be anything but calm and serene. The swordlords may not realize it, but they might be bringing war to their border, and their own agents may well become liabilities and enemies when they gain a taste of what it is to rule.
The pieces will fall into place, soon...