|Main Ethnic Groups:||Asher (69%), Aion (22%), Vildianos (5%) and Zínner (4%)|
|Government:||Plutocracy (Imperial Principality)|
|Flag:||A bell ornamented on a blue bottom sky|
|Masculine Names:||Adrian, Alfred, Arden, Bentley, Blaze, Bradley, Branson, Clark, Dunstan, Edgar, Godwin, Graham, Hudson, Keaton, Norton, Scott, Tucker, Vince, Wolf, Zachary|
|Feminine Names:||Aura, Blossom, Celeste, Coral, Edith, Ellen, Faith, Ivy, Jera, Mildred, Nicole, Scarlet, Vienne, Willow, Wren|
|Last Names:||Auvrey, Bellecote, Dunham, Dunmore, Elison, Everlee, Frick, Falken, Galdwinn, Harford, Heridan, Jareth, Laith, Markham, Ormand, Remington, Stanfield, Turner, Tannor, Wilburn|
Arlan, a nation made up mainly of merchants and bourgeoises, is an important commercial principality that brings significant benefits to the Empire.
The region, with a pleasant climate all year long, has large green areas, small hills, lush forests and numerous vineyards (the making of delicious wines is one of its most traditional characteristic). Its northern section is slightly more inhospitable, with several smaller uninhabited mountains and marshes.
A rich and prosperous nation, Arlan thrives on the important commercial centers which are its cities and the goods that they produce and transport all over the world. The principality is especially well known for having a wide and prosperous maritime trade, no doubt its main source of income. In fact, its ports are considered the most important in the entire Torn Coast, and thousands of exotic products from the New Continent pass through there every day towards the borders of Gaia.
Traditionally it is a nation without a prince and instead, the seven richest men and women govern Arlan. Known as The Council, they control the trade and administration of all the cities and ports. The people of the region are very comfortable with their mandate, because it usually benefits the principality.
There are many rich, advanced metropolises throughout Arlan, among which the proudest is its capital, Karh. There are also many farming villages that specialize in supplying basic commodities to the larger cities.
With exception of a well-armed navy, Arlan lacks a robust army. In fact, it is because The Council has always depended on the tight support of the Lords of War and the absolute safety that they provided; the rulers of the principality have traditionally thought that funding a professional army was a waste of money. On the contrary, concerned about the protection of the trade in its cities, they have invested exorbitant amounts of money in having some of the best guards worldwide, resulting in the high security that flows through its streets.
Currently, Arlan is the true jewel of the Empire for the large profits it rakes in for them. The principality and its leaders are striving to extend their control over the maritime trade to increase their own wealth. Now more than ever, The Council supports the Sacred Holy Empire, working to strengthen it and return it to its former glory.
Arlan aspires to become the core of commerce of Abel, but above all, it also wants to keep the enormous power conferred by the presence of the imperial armies in their principality. Their leaders are concerned about the formation of the Azur Alliance and fearfully realize how Remo, its traditional enemy, reinforces and prepares a large armed contingent near the southern border. They know that, if it weren’t for the Lord of War Thadeus Kisdain, they would already be under attack.
Culture and SocietyEdit
The people of Arlan are characterized by a keen commercial instinct that leads them to engage in risky businesses. Most run good and prosperous companies that make possible, even in the worst cases, to lead a decent life. Typically, they greatly stress the significance money, since it is what allows them to live a luxurious and worry-free lifestyle. Thanks to its proximity to Abel, its inhabitants enjoy a high cultural level and schools are common in their cities. Furthermore, because of its trade with other principalities, Arlan have a grand cultural range and travelers from everywhere tour around its main ports.
While the nobility holds some power, the middle class is truly dominant, as they are the ones who ship and manage almost all the goods in the country. Some years ago The Council ended the feudal structure, paying the few remaining aristocracy high sums for their lands.
Due to the recent commercial boom, the principality has little unemployment, because of the ease in finding a job in this period of expansion. However, unlike in Gabriel, the economic imbalance has not split society into two castes, and the people do not consider the disadvantaged “social garbage.”
In recent years, there has been a huge migration of people to the cities from the rural towns, as they seek the easy wealth of which the travelers talk about. If this continues, it may end up being a long-term problem because of the lack of manpower in the farms.
Regarding the SupernaturalEdit
For the people of Arlan, the concept of the supernatural is practically identical to the people of Abel; they have some tolerance for the seemingly impossible, as long as it does not exceed common sense. Nevertheless, unfamiliar with the inexplicable, most people think that magic and other supernatural skills are no more than fairy tales without a grain of truth.
The Church, which holds little power in the region, has only a small presence in the principality, and the influence of the Inquisition is greatly reduced.
The Council of EntitiesEdit
The Council of Entities, the supreme rulers of the principality, is composed of the seven richest and most influential people of the country. Their current members are:
Duke Albert Minster: Duke Albert Minster is the current leader of The Council and its representative in the High Senate. This elderly man is characterized by his sharp acumen. It’s taken generations to make the Minster family the richest and most influential in all of Arlan, although with some lucky trades, Albert has managed to increase his fortune and personal power even more. He is an old friend of Thadeus Kisdain, and between the two there are many secret alliances. He is aware of the intrigues of Black Sun and tries to snuff out its influence in the principality, which has make him many enemies and unexpected allies.
Lady Andrea Rotermaiyer: Known as the old wolf of Arlan, Andrea is a fierce businesswoman who has increased her family’s power since she took over. With Albert Minster as her main rival for the position of council leader, she is willing to do whatever it takes to accumulate power for her grandchildren. Along with important legal business, she controls the underworld of Arlan and trades in slaves brought from the New Continent, which she sells to Kushistan.
Richad Von Burman: Richad Von Burman is a chubby merchant who most notably controls the biggest shipping fleet in the world. He specializes in the trade of spices and other exotic goods. He has an instinct for good business, but is blind with the dream of transforming Arlan into a richer principality than Gabriel. Its only apparent weakness is beautiful women, which has caused him to lose his head more than once.
Richard Gibson: A cold and calculating man known for his unusual extravagance. People often think that Richard is completely insane, but from time to time he surprises everyone with a brilliant idea that nobody expected. An outlandish businessman who made his own fortune with random strokes of luck and talent, his arrival at the council shocked everyone, but his talent leaves no doubt that he deserves the position.
Michael Haig: A nice and good-natured looking old man, who hides more than anyone is aware of. He is the highest Black Sun representative in the principality, and coordinates all the operations directly under the orders of the Steiner family. So far, he has refused to experiment with undead entities, trying to focus the organization’s operations towards something less dark.
Countess Shaila Fernova: At only seventeen years old, Shaila is youngest of the member of The Council. Her incredible family fortune, inherited after the death of her parents, has elevated her to a position of power that she is not certain she wants. She likes to travel a lot and, although she’s unaware of it, Shaila has established a great personal friendship with the Empress, who she met under the identity of Ana Never during one her voyages by sea.
Baron Paul Hurley: Young and idealistic, baron Paul Hurley is the representative of one of the largest commercial firms in Arlan. Of impulsive behavior and high ideals, Paul is not a talented businessman because of his good heart. Sometimes he has waste large amounts of his personal fortune to help to the most underprivileged and has founded many orphanages and asylums. If he continues spending money this way, he may soon be forced to retire his position on The Council.
The History of ArlanEdit
Originally, the area that comprises Arlan today used to be part of Abel, but became an independent principality in the year 284, when Aeolus granted the control of the zone to Duke Ernest Bruningham to focus on rebuilding and restocking. The Duke’s work was excellent, so he and his descendants were granted the title of princes of Arlan. Unfortunately, the rule of the Bruningham family only lasted three generations, since in year 327 the last member of the lineage died without any heirs. As a temporary measure and pending the appointment of a new sovereign, the first council of nobles was formed; whose work on the region was so successful the Emperor decided to leave the control to them indefinitely. Henceforth, The Council became the official rulers of the principality.
Arlan took on a special significance during the occupation of the New Continent, since Abel built numerous ports along the coastline to better bridge the two continental masses. It’s then when its people would benefit from the infrastructure to consolidate the principality into a major commercial center, always behind Remo, the leading power on the west coast at the time.
However, when Remo saw its trading position on the New Continent jeopardized, it used various political tricks to thrice declare war on Arlan for the sole purpose of undermining the economic power of its rival. Following imperial law, the Lord of War supervised all conflicts and, despite Remo always emerging victorious, it could not curb the flourishing trade in Arlan. Several decades later, the Emperor himself denied a fourth declaration of war, giving the principality the impulse it needed to become the commercial leader of the west coast.
Arlan supported the Empire in its darker days and continues to do so with the full force of its economic power. The Council only seeks the highest stability for Abel, and believes that Adelina can be a magnificent Empress if given the chance.
Relevant Geographical FeaturesEdit
Arlan is a principality that doesn’t stand out for its varied geography. Its eastern area shares many common elements with the Prairies of Abel, which is why its land is fertile and suitable for cultivation. The reefs of the Torn Coast surround its coastline, but in many places there are large openings that allow easy transit of vessels of all size.
Lhenas Marsh: This infected morass of putrid water is located south of the principality near the border of Remo. The marsh swarms with infectious mosquitos capable of transmitting fatal diseases and is full of quicksand, so visitors tend to avoid it. An old legend says that some malevolent force lies beneath the debris. Centuries ago, a powerful sorcerer who had attained immortality sealed herself in the depths of the earth. She raised a small citadel around her to keep anyone from wakening her up. Lhenas, which was her name, only wishes to be left in peace to slumber eternally.
Forest of Lacan: The green expanse of Lacan is undoubtedly the largest forest in the principality. Dense and lush, the wood has a wide variety of fauna, but with very few wild animals. The lumberjacks of Arlan often take from it, but never excessively. Scattered within the forest the Rotermaiyer family has many secret warehouses in which they stash stolen goods and contraband. These places are much safer than the sewers of the cities, since the guard has no jurisdiction over this area. They even use them to harbor slaves, for those times when a land hideout is needed.
The Great Plains: The vast grasslands of central Arlan are called The Great Plains, because they are large tracts of lush vegetation. The area is filled with farms and agricultural towns too small to appear on maps, and some insignificant woods scattered throughout the place. Along the main commercial routes guard posts are laid, whose major function is to ensure that criminals do not attempt to raid the shipments.
Marshal Mountains: Located near the coast, the Marshal Mountains are a group of small rocky elevations. Formally old hunting grounds for the nobility, these mountains are still inhabited by some wild animals, although attacks on humans are becoming less common.
The Crack of the Sword: An enormous fissure that originates in the highest part of cliffs of The Torn Coast and extends over several miles into the principality. The crack, which connects directly to the sea, is filled with salt water and can be journeyed with low-draft boats. It’s strange shape, completely straight with smooth walls, has made more than one occultist theorize the possibility that the huge fissure was caused by some supernatural force of immense power. In recent years, Tol Rauko has shown interest in the area, which also has attracted the attention of Black Sun, who yearns for whatever it was that caused the crack to still be there.
Coast of Alamadir: Easily found to the south of Karh and near the border of Remo, the Coast of Alamadir is a place dreaded by all the sailors who have the misfortune of navigating its waterways in the last weeks of summer. Due to the peculiar geographical location of this enclave, the confluence of the currents creates a very threatening navigational area. Storms in the coast are unusually violent and only the most experienced captains dare to come near when the waters are choppy. Sometimes, several vessels shipwreck into the gulf, and many sailors have lost their lives on the coral reef below. As if this were not enough, the reef is populated by a strange species called Coral Sandpaper, silver-plated fish roughly five feet in length. These highly dangerous carnivores are normally solitary hunters, but if they locate very large prey, they make a characteristic clicking noise with their jaws to attract others of its kind looking for help to take it down. The sailors call that sound “the jaws of the sea” and most of them are afraid of it.
Places of InterestEdit
The large commercial ports hold the most interesting sites of the principality, because of their various shopping sites and the tourists who visit them.
(City, Population 32,000+)
Londure is the first human city built in the principality, long before the ports of Arlan became the commercial centers that are today. The place is styled in baroque architecture and well known for its intricate and maze-like alleys. Even citizens of Londure lose their way occasionally, so it is not hard to imagine how the foreigners must feel. Londure has a great relevance for the trade in the principality, since is a must for shipping goods to Abel. Many merchants of Archangel, unable to travel to Karh because of time constraints, make their purchases and orders directly from here.
(Fortress, Population 5,000+)
Iborr is a great fortress, recently restored, located on the principality’s southern border at the intersection of Togarini and Remo. This place, abandoned centuries ago at the end of the last war with the south, has been updated and modernized in record time thanks to the funds invested by The Council. For now, Iborr is Arlan’s first and only line of defense against a possible attack from the Azur Alliance. Presently, it’s home to ten thousand soldiers of The Lord of War Thadeus Kisdain, who’s had no problem mobilizing men to secure the borders. He expects to send a new division into the area soon, in preparation for new renovations to the fortress.
The Lord of Iborr is the gigantic Fritz Baldwin, a tremendous man almost eight feet tall, who inspires a sense of awe whenever anyone sees him in his heavy armor wielding his gigantic two-handed axe. Baldwin participated in the attack on Remo a year ago and was brutal, so his position at the fortress clearly has a deterrent effect.
The Bronwen LighthouseEdit
(Building, Population approximately 100+)
The Marshal Mountains are the location of ancient imperial ruins constructed in the year 332. These are the remains of the first lighthouse that showed the way to the sailors navigating through the cliffs of the Torn Coast. The lighthouse was destroyed in the great earthquake of 711, and the ease with which it collapsed forced The Council to choose another location for any future construction. A legend among mariners says that on some nights the lighthouse can be seen illuminating the coast, attracting ships to their doom. Actually, local smugglers, who use the immense underground caves beneath the lighthouse to unload their goods using low-draft boats, have spread these rumors. The sailors who believe in the legend of the lighthouse are simply misinterpreting their signals. Sometimes, the smugglers deal with the particularly curious ones in an atrociously violent manner, just to spread the gossip about any possible ghosts in the area.
(City, Population 127,000+)
The second most important port of Arlan, Bhrame is a smaller version of the capital, and although it doesn’t have Karh’s diversity or scenery, offers the same services to the merchants and their vessels. The place enjoys a sterling clean reputation for having little crime and almost no problems in the streets. One of the guards of Bhrame, Vincent Remilton, has become exceptionally famous after dealing with the entire crew of the privateer ship The Punishment of the Sea, and sailed it into the Pirate King Bloch Demoneyes’ galleon. Vincent, a swashbuckling womanizer, is considered a true hero of the nation, and often attracts fighters who want to prove they’re worthy of facing him. However, thanks to his skill and devilish luck, which has saved him from apparent death more than once, he is still undefeated.
Bhrame is also the city in which Tol Rauko has its base of operations in the principality; a large mansion in the outskirts where the Templars operating in the territory meet.
(Metropolis, Population 770,000+)
Karh, the capital of the principality, is the largest port on the entire west coast of the Old Continent and the largest of Arlan cities. Built into the Gulf of Bitterwind, the metropolis is unusually designed being that it’s separated into two distinct parts. The first and largest of them, called The Old City, is built along the coastal area, while the second, its core, is built on a huge block radius of several miles in the center of the Gulf called The Heart. Uniting the two sections there is a monumental bridge of metal and stone decorated with hundreds of statues, undoubtedly the most well-known construction in the city. Occupying nearly one-fifth of the Old City is the district of Seven Unions, the main attraction for tourists and the place where all the trade goods that aren’t from overseas gather. Each one of the areas is named by the type of business that has settled in it throughout the years and belongs to one of the unions: the Potters, Gunsmiths, Constructors, Booksellers, Goldsmiths, Tailors and Cooks.
In The Heart they deal with overseas products in the Great Market Square, presided over by The Council’s towering headquarters.
The thousands of ships visiting Karh use the entire length of the gulf wall like a wharf, where they receive excellent service and unparalleled access to major department stores in town. The city is also noted for its guards, possibly some of the best in the world, who are responsible for keeping everything safe. Only a truly foolish person would dare to challenge them, because they have been known to defeat groups of mercenaries without a single scratch.
The Council, who administers the municipalities and imposes the customs tolls and costs, directly controls Karh.
The Guild ContestEdit
Once a year, after the festivities of the harvest, a large fair is held in the capital where merchants and craftsmen from neighboring principalities gather attracted by the allure of quick profits. This fair is the event in which The Council decides the outcome of many disputes by celebrating The Guild Contest. Wealthy bourgeois and noblemen of high rank exert their patronage on the most prominent craftsmen, who exhibit their best works or inventions for the public to decide the winners. The award brings great prestige, and the patrons of the victors gain enormous political pull with The Council and the unions.
The contest is free and, in theory, anyone can apply. In practice, if a craftsman does not belong to one of the city’s guilds, competing becomes harder, either because during the selection of candidates he is asked to leave or because his work is directly ignored. It goes without saying that more than one family will do whatever it takes to reach that position of privilege, including accidents, sabotages and even committing kidnappings and murders.
The winners of the last three years have been artisans of the Rotermaiyer family, although there are many who argue that there could have been some “irregularities”. This year’s competition promises to be wild.
(City, Population 17,000+)
Along the northeast coast of Karh is Dylaen, a small city whose main activity is the building of boats. Their shipyards have a fair reputation thanks to the success of their workers and artisans, as well as the raw materials they use. Although their ships cannot compete with the extraordinary quality of Kanon’s or Arabal’s, the people of Dylaen follow the commercial spirit of Arlan, and have achieved huge profits due to their competitive pricing. Anyone looking to buy a boat for a reasonable price will go visit Dylean’s shipyards.
A leafy forest surrounds the locality that the people use to get all the wood needed to fill their orders. In anticipation for the future, the leaders of the shipyards have devoted much of their staff to planting new trees, knowing that their children will one day depend on them.
The lord of the city is mayor Harold Weis, a businessman who has plans to expand the power of Dylaen by bribing senior imperials, with intention of them granting him the important task of extending the Navy of Abel for a possible war.
Woods of GwenlynnEdit
(Village, Population 100+)
Located near the top of the principality, these woods are in a small valley under the protection of the ancient nature spirits and the few settlers who reside there. A small group of Rafael’s followers live in the valley, which is considered a sacred site, to protect it under the guise of simple town of hunters and foresters. Its leader, the wisest and oldest of them, takes the title of Gaius.
The area is rich in natural resources, such as all kinds of healing herbs (some really strange) and diverse wildlife (mainly herbivores, although not without some unusual predators). In spring it is quite common to receive visits from herbalists, who often contact the local rangers responsible for making sure the woods are not disturbed too much. The presence of poachers is rare, but many of those that enter without guide “disappear” inside the woods and are never seen again. Because the families of The Council receive an annual shipment of precious herbs and spices from the guardians of the valley, the requests for mass exploitation by other traders is ignored, leaving the site to the people traditionally considered the legitimate owners.
Tol Rauko is aware of the rumors but has not disclosed anything on the matter, so it prefers to use its resources in other more interesting arenas.
Other Settlements: Kalmar, Ennis, Renvyl, Navan.