The Sea of Pearls
Often called "The Necklace of Leng", the Sea of Pearls is an expanse of island-dotted waters that stretches from the western coast of Leng. These isles are famed for their crystal-white beaches and the richness of mineral deposits beneath them - it is for these beaches that the islands receive such analogisms with pearls. The majority of these islands are colonies of the Kingdom of Arelon, especially in the eastern waters; maintaining the Sea of Pearls is the primary conquest of Arelon, serving to tie up its considerable navy. It is widely believed that if it had not been for its interests in the Sea of Pearls, Arelon would long since have sought to expand its power throughout Leng and establish an empire. The Kingdom of Arelon wages a constant battle to maintain control of the islands, for the prevalence of piracy and the sheer number of islands make enforcing the royal law difficult at the best of times.
While the Sea of Pearls is rich in resources and is a vital stepping-stone to possible further explorations to the fabled "Far Continent", they have a strong incumbent piracy problem. Many of the smaller, uninhabited isles that dot the Sea are inhabited by neutral towns that are friendly to smugglers and outlaws, and ships moving between colonies often find themselves waylaid and robbed. The Empire of Arelon has bent its considerable navy towards eradicating the pirates, but they simply do not have the manpower to completely quash them; like bandits on land, it appears that piracy is here to stay. The western portion of the Sea of Pearls and the Ocean of Fate beyond it comprises a piracy-infested "no man's land" that is known as the Sea-Barony, ruled over by the self-styled Baron of the West, who enforces the so-called Pirate Code. The Sea-Barony is generally considered to begin about 2,500 miles west of the coast of Leng.
Ship travel is a necessity on the Sea of Pearls - see the associated page for rules.
The Sea of Pearls is very different from most of Leng. Even in the depths of winter, the isles are pleasantly warm - and in the summer, it is sweltering hot even to those dressed in the lightest of silks. Armour is rarely worn on the Sea of Pearls; some professional soldiers wear it, particularly on the colonies in the east where it is a little cooler, but for the most part it is too hot. The use of armour is also discouraged by the greater prevalence of firearms on the sea. The dangerous and explosive redfish from which black powder is cultivated can only be found in the Sea of Pearls, and so it is easier and cheaper to obtain there than anywhere else in the world. Guns are still expensive and rare, and they are still expensive to keep loaded, but they are not unheard of as they are in the rest of Leng. When combined with the fact that swimming and seafaring is a necessity for those travelling the Sea of Pearls, it is no surprise that many eschew armour. In its place, those who can afford it outfit themselves with crossbows and guns, and many practice the art of the blade dancer. The people of the Sea of Pearls favour light, swift weapons - maces and warhammers are rare, as few wear the kind of armour that requires it. Blades are the order of the day.
The Sea of Pearls is populated mostly by humans - the west coast of Leng is covered entirely by human kingdoms, and the realms of dwarves, gnomes and elves are distant. There are some halflings, as there are halflings wherever men can be found. The gods of the men of Leng are not the gods of the Sea of Pearls, however. While the Trinity is kept in the eastern colonies, the old ways are kept throughout most of the sea. Myrkul the Flame-God, who is neither good nor evil, is chief amongst all the heathen gods of the peoples of the Sea of Pearls, but there are many others. The gods of the sea are a primitive, bestial kind of god - they are not the civilised and refined deities of Leng. Besides Myrkul, their number includes:
- Ahti, the Norse sea-god and Myrkul's natural foe
- Deep Sashelas, elvish god of the deeps
- Incantus, the ever vigilant watcher
- Xan, the enigmatic Keeper of Books
- Boreas, an old god and the personification of the North Wind
- The Rat God, protector of the downtrodden and invisible and enemy of the self-sufficient, wealthy and powerful
Organisation & Interests
The following interests and organisations are not confined to a single island, but have significance throughout the entirety of the Sea of Pearls or a region of it:
The Trinity of Leng, The Old Gods, The Admiralty, Iron Dwarves of Hell's Gate, The Guild of Porters (merchant guild), Brotherhood of Privateers (sponsored by the admiralty as an auxiliary navy and to hunt pirates), League of Names (see Black Isle), Vassals of the Baron in the West, The Fraternity of Eternal Light (aligned with Myrkul, good-aligned, well liked in the west and seek out evil and danger - akin to knights, but most blade dancers and Sons of Myrkul, headquartered in Godfall).
For sea trade, see the economy system and the export sheet for the Sea of Pearls. The export sheet lists things which can be bought at source from each island; anything else will be priced according to supply & demand.
Blackport is a colony of Arelon between the Iron Republic and New Haven. It contains embassies to both countries, but because of its location and decentralised merchant council of a government, there are many disreputable sailors there and the waters around it are known for smugglers and the occasional pirate.
Easthaven is the first of all Arelonian colonies, and the stepping stone from Arelon into the Sea of Pearls. For any who travel into the port of Easthaven for the first time, the message is clear: we are here, and we are bringing our gods with us. Those who dock at Easthaven sail between three great statues - robed and compassionate Enod and Ravi flank the entrance, and stern Belzor wards the center. The Justicar breaks a sea-serpent over his knee instead of a dragon - "there is no foe too great" is inscribed at his base. Because it is so far east, Easthaven is the coolest and most temperate of islands; it was built early, before the Kingdom of Arelon abandoned many conventions for their colonies. Imposing stone keeps guarded by armoured crossbowmen still stand watch over the ports, and knights make their home there to defend the Kingdom of Arelon from assault by the sea.
Easthaven does not have much of anything in the way of industry; besides the Freehold Mine, fishing villages and game from the forests, there is little of interest on the idyllic isle. However, the twin port towns of Kingport and Stormport provide most of the income from the island. Shipwrights, smiths and carpenters repair and built boats, and there is a proper shipyard at Kingport. Traders own great warehouses, and rich merchant captains own beautiful manor-houses in the richest parts of the twin cities. The entire colony is ruled by Lord Devan Alastair from his manor-house at the southern end of the island. Easthaven is warm, pleasant and unspoiled in its natural beauty once outside the port cities, and it is often said that its greatest industry is real estate. Noblemen and rich merchants pay steep prices to maintain their summer houses there, despite the great coast of having things imported to their manors. Most of these can be found along the road to Alastair Manor, though there are a few nestled amongst the houses of Waymeet.
Last Hold is the westernmost Arelonian colony. Because of the Door of Sashelas and the Baron's Reef, it comprises one of two sea routes between the east and west, and it is the safest (though longest) one. As such, it is vitally important. Most of the people are natives and worship Myrkul, however, and loyalty to the kingdom is low. The port towns bristle with Admiralty and Arelonian citizens, but the ancient cities of the considerable inland have not forgotten the old ways, and they mostly ignore the Admiralty's antics. Its main value to Arelon, despite being the literal "last hold" between the colonies and the west, is the stable trade route it provides to the southern Isle of Smoke.
New Haven is the place from which trade routes begin and end; it is the greatest Arelonian colony, and is often referred to the as the Crown Jewel by the Admiralty. It is a huge island, comparable in size to Breivis and Porthos, and unlike many of the islands of the Sea of Pearls, it is suitable for agriculture, game, and other industries. Its true export, however, are the many silver and jewel mines that dot the land and which contribute to its title as Crown Jewel of Arelon - its cities are renowned for the legendary Guild of Artisans, which produces fine silverwork and jewelry. New Haven is also greatly benefited by its location and its soft, gentle coasts - it is the locus of Admiralty trade routes and its shores can be landed on at almost any point. The island is covered in small rivers and streams which empty out into bays, the freshwater killing coral reefs that might otherwise appear and making it easy for ships to land. These rivers also make travel and transportation around the island easy, making New Haven a godsend for merchants - instead of paying a premium for storage in the port cities, poorer merchants can send their goods upstream to warehouses at inland towns for longterm storage.
New Haven is covered with lush forests that grow around the many streams that criss-cross the landscape, which provide essential and valuable lumber for the shipyards. Outside of the forests, the arable land of New Haven is heavily settled, with great farms and plantations covering a large part of its unforested surface. This had made New Haven even more of a trade center, as it is covered in towns and villages that both provide food and other produce and drive the economy of the colonies. With bustling and well-policed port cities, lush forests, large regions of arable land, and lucrative mines connected to the coasts by well-maintained roads, it is no surprise that New Haven has become the political and economic capital of Arelon's colonies. New Haven's unique position in Admiralty waters attracts craftsman of the highest quality from far and wide to a place where their masterful worksmanship can be appreciated, and it is the aspiration of many a fledgling sea-merchant to settle in New Haven.
The Admiralty realised the political importance of New Haven early on, seeing that it is the center of all natural trade routes that sprung up in the east Sea of Pearls. As a result, New Haven is their absolute powerbase - royal shipyards outfit Admiralty ships, soldiers of the Admiralty are trained there, and the headquarters and primary offices of the Admiralty are located in the capital city of Bridgetown. While it is often fairly simple to dodge customs in many of the smaller Arelonian colonies, the Admiralty presence makes it almost impossible at New Haven. It is very difficult to sail out of the Crown Jewel with goods that have not been taxed and stamped by the offices of the Admiralty.
Silkworm Isle produces silk, unsurprisingly. It is rich and despite being a colony of Arelon, it has been around for a long time before it was taken by the kingdom. Although it pays a tithe of Arelon for protection, it trades freely with the Iron Republic, Hammerwatch Island, and all of the coastal kingdoms. Although it is a detour for most sea trade routes that are not leaving the Sea of Pearls via the south, it is commonly visited due to the cheapness with which silk can be purchased there, overseen by the Guild of Fabrication. The people of Silkworm Isle are proud of the fact that even Arelon was unable to threaten their legendary sailors - this, they say, is why Silkworm Isle merely pays Arelon a tithe for protection rather than being a true colony. Regardless of whether this is true, it is well-known that the people of Silkworm Isle are masters of shipbuilding and nautical combat, and skilled sailors or marines can usually be hired here.
The Shepherd Isles are another colony of Arelon, though perhaps only technically, for they are mostly uninhabited. They consist of five separate but tightly clustered islands that are mostly empty but for shepherds and their herds. The islands are covered in lush grassland and sparse forests, but do not quite hold enough game for hunting to be worthwhile. They are also just rocky enough to make farming or other forms of subsistence not viable, but they are ideal for herds of sheep and goats to graze upon. The islands are dotted with tiny fishing villages where they draw close to each other that also serve as ferries to facilitate transport from one island to another. The two southern islands support small trading towns at their southernmost shores where wool, mutton, water and salted fish are sold to passing sailors in exchange for necessities, and the Shepherd Isles are most widely known as a waystation on the way to the Isle of Dogs.
The Isle of Dogs is an old trading isle, now a colony of Arelon. It is named for the dogs that roam the island, both wild and tamed. They are of prodigious size - even the smallest breeds rival the greatest of war dogs, and the largest approach the size of a dreaded dire wolf. It is larger and far more developed than any of the Shepherd Isles, but most of it is taken up by mountains and lush green forests. There is as much fishing on the coasts as in any island, but the hunting in those great forests is also extremely good. It is not just game-hunters who walk the woods, however - the Isle of Dogs is home to many strange beasts even besides the great wargs and wild direwolves that make their home there. Adventurers, monster hunters, mages seeking rare components - these and many more come to hunt firedrakes, basilisks and other strange creatures. The forested mountains are also home to shapechangers - some say they are werewolves, others say they are more akin to the Woodstriders who walk the forests of Leng. These people are known as Northwargs, after the great beasts they live amongst.
About two-thirds of the island is covered in this dense wilderness, and the remaining southern third (which mostly occupies the southern coastlines) is home to the Arelonian colony known officially as Houndrest, occupying the rocky coasts and cliffs of the south. Many natives dwell in Houndrest, for it was a satellite of the fallen kingdom that once occupied the isle of Breivis. They keep to the old gods despite Lord Wintermere's efforts to bring the Trinity to these heathens, but it has been difficult to root out. The secret lore of canines is held by the oldest families of Houndrest, and they do not share it easily - many traditionalists claim that it cannot be shared, and that it is a bond with canines akin to the power of the Northwargs themselves. Either way, these old families hold a great deal of political and financial power in Houndrest, and they perpetuate the worship of the old deities. Besides dogs and hunting, Houndrest has several other useful industries - there are great petrified forests on the seafloor off the southern coast, and amber is dredged up from the shores. The great forests of the Isle of Dogs also contain a large number of acacia trees. Though the trees are found most frequently inland, it can be lucrative (though dangerous) to journey into the woods to harvest their sap, which hardens into gum akkadian. Gum akkadian is a prized component for Invisibility spells, and is used in the preparation of glues, inks and paints, making it a valuable export.
The Isle of Smoke is the southernmost colony of Arelon. Its distance from the power center of the Admiralty makes it somewhat difficult to reach, especially as the waters around it are home to especially high concentrations of sea-serpents, but it is nonetheless a valuable colony. The warm waters to the south of the Isle of Smoke are filled with redfish, and - for those brave enough to harvest them - it is Arelon's prime source of black powder. The process of harvesting redfish is still a new one, and trained alchemists who are skilled enough to harvest it and foolhardy enough to choose it as a career are few, but the Isle of Smoke is quickly becoming a colony of great importance as Arelon realises just how valuable black powder is.
The Chapel of Storms (Stormhold)
Whitehelm is a place that is hundreds of miles from the sea routes, and cut off from much of the Sea of Pearls by the Baron's Reef, with no neighbours but the dreaded Black Isle and the shadowy Isle of Mystery. In the early days of the Sea of Pearls, it was the furthest-reaching colony of the Kingdom of Arelon. There were no towns on the island, but keeps and castles looking onto the west. Arelon was naive in those days, and believed that the piracy problem could be solved. Whitehelm was to be the warden of the west, protecting the colonies from pirate invasions. It failed. It was too far away, too poorly placed. Shoals of coral reefs made it impossible to travel easily, pirates raided the coasts, and all their stone keeps and sweltering armour were useless under the noonday sun, and on the open seas. Now Whitehelm is a ghost town. The shores are littered with ruined castles and abandoned ships. Century-old battlegrounds still lie intact, rusted swords littering the beaches. Many believed that with the Black Isle so near, this is where the League of Names is headquartered, but it has never been confirmed. Others say that the place is cursed, and a dread knight now rules over Whitehelm Keep in the center of the island. Few stay long enough to find out for sure, and the only way in which Whitehelm is used is as a temporary stopping point for intrepid sailors, to scour the shores for game and fruit and to draw up fresh water from its pristine lakes.
Black Isle is difficult to reach; for the Baron's Reef makes it very inaccessible and sailing north around Whitehelm is dangerous - it takes one near the Sea-Baron's terrirory and the Isle of Mystery, where deadly things are said to brood. Nonetheless, there are two reasons why people make the journey: one is for the black lotus that grows wild in the swamps and forests that cover every inch of the island. The other is for the City of Stones, which is not a city at all. It is a labyrinth of stone in the middle of the forest, into the walls of which hundreds of names have been scratched. Go there and scratch your name, and the name of the one who must die below it, and you will have contracted one of the most expensive and efficient assassin guilds in all of Leng - the League of Names. No one knows where these assassins are trained, but going to Black Isle to seek an assassin's location is not an easy task even once the island is reached. It is said that assassins-in-training stalk the forests in the hope of being selected by the Order, slaying those who are not worthy or who leave false names. See the document on the League of Names for further information.
Godfall is the center of Myrkul's worship and a free island - many would say it is the freest of all. With Last Hold to the east, it is a symbolic place; the first great haven of the free peoples of the Sea of Pearls. Last Hold is the edge of the Admiralty's influence, and Godfall revels in reminding Arelon of this fact. The towns around the edge of the island are thriving port towns where heathen temples hold pagan festivals in the streets. Of all the gods, Myrkul is the most major on Godfall - one set of teachings tells that the worship of Myrkul began on Godfall - but all the old gods are revered there. The Trinity are almost unheard of, a marginalisation which almost becomes unpleasant and violent at times when priests of the Trinity visit.
The many port towns of Godfall are prosperous and beautiful - they form the most major trade route between east and west. All those who do not wish to brave the more dangerous northerly route to Journeyman's Respite must pass through Godfall, and thus the port towns are bustling with activity and trade of all kinds. Inland, however, the sociology of Godfall changes drastically. Godfall is a large island, and its lush fields and forests are home to many exotic fruits and plants that support those who live upon it. The people there have dwelled there for a long time - it is from them that the heathenism of the island first sprang, for they are an old people with old ways. Towns of carved masonry laid hundreds of years ago still stand with ancient temples bearing braziers to the glory of Myrkul. Further inland, the island becomes thick with jungles and covered in steep, volcanic mountains. These mountains or home to the Makkalar, the Fire Giants of Godfall. They are said to be the ultimate servants of Myrkul, and the towns of Godfall leave them a great tribute to Myrkul each year for their continued safety.
Hammerwatch Isle is a small island just off the Agatean Coast. The town of Redwatch makes for a small trading stop on the way from the mainland to Silkworm Isle or Blackport, but it is not for this that Hammerwatch Isle is famed. It is home to the esteemed Red Tower and its Magisters, as well as to the Crimson Fortress of Tempus. See the link provided about the Red Tower for information.
Isla Morgul is said to be home to a demon-king. No one travels there but the Sea-Baron's personal ship, and he never speaks of it. Nothing is known of it, as no one is foolish enough to travel there.
Journeyman's Respite is so named because of how much more dangerous the northern sea routes are. It is close to the Sea-Baron's territory and bears all that brings with it, but those that dwell there are master shipbuilders. Ships refitted or built there gain a +5% to +10% seaworthiness bonus, depending on the shipwright. It is also the home of the Iron Dwarves, who dwell in Hell's Gate, an underground kingdom accessible by a great gate in a deep valley in the center of the island. It is said to be impenetrable, and the Iron Dwarves are fabulously wealthy. They loan money to kings and lords - never less than 10,000 gold pieces at a time. When those kings fail to repay, they fund their enemies and foes. They are dangerous and their supply of gold is legendary. It is said that in ancient times, their hoard attracted dragons, and they fought them away two at a time. Others say that their true home is deep in the Underdark, and Hell's Gate is just their office.
Mount Nevermind is an independent kingdom about 100 miles from the coast of New Haven, and one that occupies a unique position. It is home to the only nonhuman kingdom (above sea-level) on the Sea of Pearls - the entire island is comprised of a single massive mountain that is said to extend beneath the waves to the sea floor, inhabited by a splinter race of the gnommish people known as the Dervish Gnomes. Much of the mountain is delved out to create a massive mountainhome, and some have even supposed that the deepest caverns connect with the Underdark. Despite the usual exports created by gnomes, Mount Nevermind is known for two things - black powder and firearms. There are no redfish in the waters around the mountain, and to this day no one knows how the Dervish Gnomes create black powder - but they do, and they are willing to sell it for a steep price. Though obtaining it from the mountain is convenient, the exorbitant prices they charge mean that it is usually wiser to travel to the Isle of Smoke, though it is riskier. The firearms of the Dervish Gnomes, however, are singular. Though the incredible power of guns is beginning to be realised throughout the Sea of Pearls, gunsmiths are rare. The gnomes of Mount Nervmind, however, are amongst the most artful craftsmen of these weapons that exist. Though their guns are expensive, gnommish firearms are known throughout the Sea of Pearls to be of the highest quality.
Tharn & the Cursed Isles have a dark reputation, and a true one. It is ruled by the Black Wizards of Tharn, who hold the island in their iron grip. Few who do not dwell on the Sea of Pearls know it at all; those who do know it by the legendary Black Nectar of Tharn, a necromantic elixir that grants wondrous sorcerous power to those who drink, at the cost of the very life force of the imbiber. It is made with black mushrooms grown in the Hall of the Forbidden, black lotus harvested from some unknown part of the Cursed Isles, and dragon's blood - it is known that the Black Wizards will pay a kingly price for preserved, unsullied dragon blood. The most important structure on the isle of Tharn is the Hall of the Forbidden. Besides growing deadly black mushrooms, it is where the Black Wizards meet and take council, and where many mysterious and imponderable magics are worked. It is built on a convergence of three leylines and is a very old structure, older than Tharn - it is believed that it was built in ancient times by the same civilisation that once occupied the island of Breivis, even though it is on the opposite end of the Sea of Pearls.
The power of Tharn seems monolithic at first glance, but this is a carefully crafted illusion. While the Black Wizards have great powers at their disposal, they are not unshakable. They rely on a mixture of illusory magic - which they excel at - along with minor enchantments and workings to impress the common folk and maintain their reputation. The true workings - the powerful spells and the secret ritual - they use rarely and only in time of need. This is part of the reason they are so successful - they do not use their power frivolously. They are careful, preferring to use assassins and work in the shadows when possible - this is not to say they lack power, but they would rather openly display false strength than show their true strength.
The Iron Republic is the only colony of Astinus on the Sea of Pearls, and is the primary base of its navy - which, though far, far lesser than that of Arelon, is still considerable. Most of Astinus' naval power in concentrated in the waters around the Iron Republic, and it is well-known that pirates do not survive Astinian waters. It is not only from piracy that Astinus is on guard, though - Arelon would dearly like to make it a colony, and they are constantly vigilant for any sign of weakness. The Iron Republic is a vastly profitable territory - beneath its soil is a treasure trove of valuable minerals. Coal and iron there is in bountiful supply, and there is more gold mined from there than anywhere else in Leng. This is enough to tempt some foolhardy pirates to attack its ships despite the security, and it is often said that the Warden of the Iron Republic is at any given the time richest man in Leng, though this is not quite true.
The Isle of Sorrow is a distant southern island that lies at the edge of the Sea of Pearls, where the waters are warmest of all. It does not lie upon any of Admiralty trade routes, for it is totally uninhabited by humanoids. Few dare brave the waters that surround the island, and those who do rarely return. With its proximity to Tharn and the Cursed Isles, the rumours that surround it are manifold. In truth, besides the other denizens of the island, it is to the eyrie of an ancient bronze dragon named Ancalmo. Despite the terrible stories that surround his lair, Ancalmo is not hostile to humans, though he is irritable and may well torch a group that ignores him or does not show proper deference to his status and age. Though none realise it is he who dwells on the Isle of Sorrow, the elvish and dwarvish records know the name of Ancalmo - in his youth, he dwelt on Leng on joined the dwarves and gnomes of the frontier kingdoms in their crusades to hold back hordes from the Uncharted Lands. In his old age, Ancalmo is protective of his hoard and his clutch of three bronze dragon eggs, but still has a deep love of riddles and puzzles and an incredible knowledge of lore. He welcomes visitors and will treat them well, but getting him to rouse himself and take decisive action is incredibly difficult; he loves the Isle of Sorrow and never leaves if he can help it. The lair of Ancalmo is cleverly hidden - there a massive grotto on the island's coast that often floods at high tide (though this poses no worry to Ancalmo, who is an expert swimmer). This water-filled cave is connected to a network of dry cave systems that extend upwards into the island, one branch of which leads to Ancalmo's own lair. Here, he protects his eggs behind an illusory wall of stone and guards closely his hoard.
Visage is an old island with many steep cliffs and hidden bays. Its rocky sea-caves are filled with treacherous crags and deadly to sail into, but are perfect hideouts. It was a colony of Arelon for a time, but the people of Godfall blockaded the kingdom from passing and the people of Visage openly revolted in the War of the Pass. Eventually, Visage agreed to grant passage to Arelonian troops in exchange for its independence. The colonies gladly agreed, as none of them wanted to sail through Tharn to get to the west any longer. There are rumours that Visage was once home to the League of Names, and this is where it gets its name - for their ability to change faces. Whether or not this is true, there is certainly strangeness in the rulership of Visage.
Smuggler's PointThe Isle of Mystery
Slate is a tumultous and ashen island, covered in volcanoes. Not just on land, but to sea as well. Many dormant underwater volcanoes dot the shallow sea floor around the island, and at least one of them is always active. While not widely known, it is a matter of record amongst the Singers of Twilight in Porthos, the Black Wizards of Tharn, and the Magisters of the Red Tower that Slate sits upon a deadly and wondrous portal to another realm - the conjectured but never proven Plane of Elemental Fire. None have ever braved the flames to confirm its truth, but all agree that the volcanoes of Slate should, by all rights, be dead and dormant, and some incredibly force of flame keeps them alight. It is apparently a sacred place to red dragons as well as all of the metallics, and the drakes meet there in peace. When the island is occupied by dragons, any mortal who sails near forfeits his life. It is said that an ancient wyrm or even a Linnorm sleeps at the entrance to the great portal and has not woken in a thousand years.
Porthos is the oldest island on the Sea of Pearls, and it has held thriving civilisation since long before the Kingdom of Arelon began colonising the sea. It is renowned for many things - for the redfish seas which sprawl to its west, creating an industry of blackpowder and firearms. For the art of blade-dancing, which was born in Porthos. For Bard Blackhammer, who grew up as an orphan there. For the Singers of Twilight, the prophets and sorceresses who advise the King of Porthos. For the open invitation for peaceful agents of the Baron of the West to come trade there, and for its reputation as a haven for refugees of all kinds. For the benevolence of its King and Queen, and for the mysterious colleges of blade dancing and other arts, each slightly different, which dot the cities. It is the only reason that Arelon still maintains trade routes west of Last Hold - not just a country in its own right, but the most powerful and valuable of the islands in the whole Sea of Pearls. It is known as the Crown Pearl for this reason.
Breivis is a kingdom shadowed by that which lies besides it. It is an island of sapphire mines, and of beautiful beaches and soaring mountains - but when people speaking of Breivis, they speak of Sea Elves. The Kingdom of Deepwater lies in the seas to the west of the Twilight Kingdom. On the rare occasion the sea elves emerge to trade, it is to Breivis that they have come. This brings Breivis great profit. Besides this, Breivis does great trade with Leng and with Dalmar to the north. Breivis is also home to water elementalists known as the College of the Deep, who dwell in a half-submerged complex on the west coast and consort with the sea elves. While the coasts of Breivis are covered in sprawling merchant-cities, the inland is covered in harsh mountains amidst which the ruins of an ancient civilisation still lies in tatters. There are many dangers on the mainland and few venture far into the wilderness, but it is said that the mountains and forests of Breivis hold many secrets, and that not all of them are merely beasts or orcs.
Draeghar, even though it is a major island, has no trade routes listed on the sea-charts. This is because the sea-charts are made by cartographers in Arelonian colonies. People may sail from Porthos or Journeyman's Respite to Dreaghar, but they do not do so with the blessing of the Kingdom of Arelon. While Porthos accepts all with mercantile intent regardless of their origin, Draeghar is actively friendly to servants of the Baron in the West. Like Porthos, Draeghar is an old kingdom with a great provenance. In ancient days, it was known as the Griffon Kingdom - both for its symbol and for more practical reasons. There is a mountain of Dreaghar named Mount Kingmaker, upon which griffons roost in great numbers. Before their 16th birthday, members of nobility must make the lonely pilgrimage to this mountain. Young highborn men and women, too, have the privilege of making the journey, though it is not required. It ends one of two ways: either they return within a month cradling a griffon in their arms - a cub, less than three years old - or the bloody shreds of their body feed the adult griffons. It is they who judge the worthiness of kings and heroes, and this is why it is called Mount Kingmaker. Those who have been chosen by a griffon spend their life with it - a griffon grows to adolescence within 2 years, just long enough for an adolescent knight to train to ride it, and they live for 30 to 40 years. They even develop a kind of empathic bond with their griffons, and there are many tales of griffons saving their riders from poison, flying into an unprovoked rage at those who intend to betray their rider, and so on. Those who ride the griffon were considered the highest caste of the Draeghar, and still are. In the old days, the Griffon Kingdom extended from the isle of Draeghar and west into several islands of the region that is now the Sea-Barony. Over centuries, though, they declined and weakened - the griffons make Dreaghar almost impossible to conquer, but they cannot fly long distances without tiring, and this makes overseeing a kingdom of islands seperated by hundreds of miles difficult. The current king's grandfather, it is said, had a huge respect for the former Sea-Baron, and he dined in good will with him on the eve that the Sea-Baron conquered his colonies. They remained friends, with the Sea-Baron knowing he could not take Draeghar by force and the King of Dreaghar knowing he did not have the navy to retake his islands. Despite its defeat at the hands of the Baron in the West, Dreaghar remains friendly with the Sea-Barony (though the current Baron and King do not share that close friendship that first created the alliance), and it trades freely with their ships. It does not have the slightest shred of fear for repercussions from Arelon - perhaps because Arelon is so far away, perhaps because it does not respect such a young kingdom, or perhaps simply because no one has ever stormed the mainlaind. Griffons do terrible things to the masts of ships. Non-highborn who set foot on Mount Kingmaker are executed when caught unless they are recognised as worthy and return with a cub. In this case, the Law of Griffon's Choice states that the offender must have noble blood, and they are elevated to highborn status; this has only ever happened for foreigners three times in the history of the kingdom. However, the procurement, sale and trafficking of griffon eggs in Draeghar is the most heinous of crimes. Anyone who does it will be hunted to the ends of the earth by the griffon-riders.
Sea Elven Territory
The Door of Sashelas (AKA Sashelafen)
The Kingdom of Deepwater (AKA Malefind??)