|Ruler:||King Jarrad I|
|Size:||165 miles east to west by 180 north to south|
|People of Note:||Cardinal O'Connor, Duke Edward, Duke George, King Jarrad I, Lord Thomas, Myrddin|
|Historical Figures:||Ashardalon, Callindrill, King Richard II, Sir Mangarack, Titus|
|Organizations:||The Albion Royal Family, The Dwarven Trade Missions, The Monasteries of the Way|
Places of Interest
|Villages:||Ashtar, Hollytree, Waymeet|
|Mountains:||The Jagged Peaks|
|Forests:||Bandit Wood, Deepwood, Eldaran|
|Swamps:||Southern Swamplands, The Black Swamp|
Albion is a land of farms and fields, of apple orchards and streams, of strawberry-hedged lanes and bumblebees. But Albion's quiet and rural life is always under threat. The orcs in the mountains; the warlike Easterners; the malformed and hideous creatures of the Barren Wastes: all these threaten to upset the peace.
The kingdom is some 180 miles from north to south, meaning it would take about a week to cross on foot or about three days on horseback by the Kings Road. Its primary terrain is rolling fields and gentle hills.
It is a feudal monarchy, ruled by the just king Jarrad I from his castle walls in Littlebrook. His two cousins rule the eastern and northern reaches of the Kingdom by his decree; Duke Edward overseeing the town of Eastward and Duke George overseeing the town of Thistledelve in the north. There are numerous strongholds dotted around the countryside and various nobles rule each of these, as vassals of the king or the dukes.
Places of Interest
Littlebrook is the current capital of the Kingdom of Albion. It is said by some (typically those living far away) to be too far away from what is really happening in the land. It is said by others (typically those living nearby) that anything that happens away from Littlebrook is not worth knowing about.
The frontier town of Eastward is the first defence against the hordes of the east. A fortified town that is constantly at a state of readiness for war, this place is in everyway a frontier town. Times are tough here and luxury is not well known.
Not far south of the Furrowed Hills, in the north-eastern corner of the kingdom, rolling farmlands and a few picturesque copses of ash and oak surround this town. It was a corner stone of the Old Faith and the ways of nature are still revered in this area today.
The very centre of the kingdom, where the three spurs of the King’s Road meet is the village of Waymeet. It is a very safe place and a great place for people to meet and chat about what is happening in the kingdom. Very little occurs in Albion that does not get told of in the Waymeet Inn.
The Jagged Peaks are a range of high craggy mountains that form the entire length of Albion's northern border. They are inhospitable and dangerous to the unwary traveller but there are passes through the mountains and tribes of intelligent people and creatures that scrape out a living on the slopes and in the valleys.
To the north lie the Furrowed Hills and beyond them the Jagged Peaks, dominated by the towering Dragon’s Perch - an extinct volcano.
To the west lies the Elvenwood, or Sylvandale, the realm of a xenophobic elven nation, where no humans are permitted to tread. Some light tree logging goes on along the fringes of the Elvenwood but no one goes too far in.
To the south, beyond the Barren Scrubs lies an uninhabited desert, completely devoid of life. It is said by the people of Albion to be impassable. Known locally as the Great Desert, in truth this region of wasteland and sands is quite small, and not far beyond it lies the state of Hishan.
To the east lie the lands of the Easterners, as the locals know them, the people Albion have been at war with for countless generations. The Easterners are a brutal race, ruled by an agressive emperor, who will execute a resident of Albion on sight. Vast tracts of uncharted marsh, and the town of Eastward lie on the eastern borders. Also guarding the eastern flank of Albion is the forest of Eldaran. No one is too sure what or who lives in Eldaran now.
There are three major towns in the Kingdom: Littlebrook, the capital which lies in the south western corner, between the Elvenwood and the Barren Scrub; Eastward which lies on the eastern border, protecting the Kingdom from the ravages of the Easterners; and Thistledelve, which is situated in the northeast corner of the lands, near the Black Marsh and the Furrowed Hills. Numerous hamlets dot the landscape between these towns, which are linked by the well-patrolled King’s Road. The King’s Road has three spurs, one to each town, and these meet at the village of Waymeet, in the centre of the Kingdom.
There are just three monasteries in the Kingdom that teach The Way, one situated nearby each of the major towns. The reason for the small number is probably that they represent the Easterners’ culture and most things from the east are viewed with scorn and suspicion by the people of Albion. The populace do not generally trust the monks and consider them spies. As a result, the monks tend to keep their backgrounds secret. However, since the Chaos Wars, when one monk was pivotal in helping save Albion from the Demon Prince, the study of The Way has become much more acceptable in the kingdom.
Barbarians roam the highlands and mountains to the north of the Kingdom and are uncommon but not unheard of in the northern reaches. Numerous tribes of these filthy humans mix and breed with the orcs of the mountains and half-breeds are not uncommon. The elven homeland of Sylvandale lies west of Albion and is closed to humans by the isolationist queen that rules there. A few dwarves live in the hills south of the mountains, mostly in the northwest, and it is now known that a large stronghold of dwarves, called Khazagrim, lies somewhere under the western Furrow Hills.
The peasants are reasonably well looked after by the royal family and their vassals and generally the morale in the country is high. Taxes and tithes are also high, due to rebuilding of the country after the Chaos Wars, but the proud people of Albion consider this money well spent. The life of the peasants is nasty, brutal and short, but that is considered totally normal. Life in the peasant community revolves around the farming year. This gives structure to their whole existence.
The state religion of the Kingdom is that of the Church of the Sun - an aspect of the Light. The royal family are devout worshipers and supporters of the church. The leader of the Kingdom’s religion is Cardinal O’Connor, an old and experienced campaigner who resides in the fabulous Cathedral in Littlebrook. The Old Faith, a religion based around herbal remedies and ancient knowledge of nature, still has some followers in the countryside but the effort of building a church in every hamlet in the Kingdom by the current King’s grandfather, Richard I, has meant the worship of the Light is almost unrivalled now. The two faiths get on reasonably well where they meet. As for the religions of the Easterners and crude barbarians, only they can guess. Demon worship is an all too common threat to Albion. Worshippers of demons are heretics and are burnt at the stake for their sins.
Standard cavalry units wearing the livery of their employer patrol the King’s Road. Sky blue is the colour of the northern army, navy blue the colour of the eastern army and royal blue, the colour of the King’s army. This keeps the road a very safe place to travel. Off the road however, things are not so settled, especially on the edges of the Easterner’s lands where red uniformed soldiers of the enemy occasionally launch raids into Albion’s lands. The Knights of the Sun, a holy order of warriors, protect the churches and clergy of the lands. They also help out in protecting the kingdom in dire needs but that is not normally in their remit. Local law enforcement is performed by the local Sherrifs who work for the local lords.
Albion is an illiterate place. Only a very few can actually read, and these are generally the clergy. Books are a rarity in Albion and the only known library is located at Mount Macarack and is so important it has a chapter house of the Knights of the Sun to protect it.
Heavy armour of any description is illegal to the peasants of Albion. The only people who are allowed to wear heavy armour are the nobility. In practical terms the only people who normally wear heavy armour are the Knights of the Sun. They wear the platemail of their station.
Humans are by far the most common race in Albion and live everywhere. Dwarves typically come from Khazagrim, but are sometimes seen wandering on their trade missions. Fey are almost non existent in the Kingdom as they have shut their borders - their only contact with humans is on the edge of the Elvenwood. A very few half-orcs can be found in the northern reaches. A few of the humans found in the Kingdom are of Eastern origin. They must be very careful to avoid getting lynched wherever they travel, but they are usually found inside the cloistered walls of a monastery, and anyway, the peasants fear Easterners enough not to attack them wildly, especially if they are unarmed!
History of Albion
two thousand years agoThe great chieftain Albion finally succeeded in driving the orcs back into the Jagged Peaks, united the tribes of the lands, named himself king and formed the Kingdom of Albion.
one thousand five hundred years agoCallindrill was born and active in the lands now called Albion. He was a great wizard whose interests apparently centred on the creation of magical constructs. He is said to have been the creator of most of the important enchanted items in the lands today.
Callindrill created a magical construct that walked and fought like a man but was the size of a giant. This thing apparently was indestructible and he set it to guard his base that lay somewhere in the Barren Wastes.
Callindrill began the construction of a final resting-place that he was to be put into should he die. He put his greatest talents into creating a tomb like no other, full of magical traps and constructs to defend it. Here he also stored many items of a magical nature that he had created.
Callindrill decided he would complete the final act that would set him above all others – he would defeat Ashardalon. He travelled to the Dragons Perch with his retinue and fought the dragon but he lost and was killed. His followers took his body back to the Barren Wastes and placed it in his tomb. Unknown to them though he had tricked them all and the act of bringing his body here sealed the tomb with his followers inside! This place is now an evil warren of haunted souls, magical constructs and deadly traps.
one thousand years agoThe Demon Prince walked the land and there was blight everywhere. His Reign of Terror as it was known lasted but four months. In that time despair fell on the lands. But despair was not enough for the Demon Prince. He summoned hordes of his spawn from the depths of the Abyss and with his lieutenant, Larin Karr, by his side, he laid siege to and destroyed the great cities of men. So it was that the men and elves that shared the land finally came together to challenge him, as his armies approached the fabled Elven City of Sylvandale, deep in the forests.
On the longest day (Holy to Pelor, known as "Longsun"), of this year, the three armies of men, elves and demons met in the outskirts of Sylvandale. But the men, far from their homes, having faced defeat at every turn and with the unassailable might of the demon hordes marching towards them routed and fled. The resulting death toll among the elves was catastrophic, including complete destruction of the fair city of Sylvandale and the loss of all the Sylvarran, the legendary defenders of the city. At that time the great wizard Titus arrived and turned the battle, too late for Sylvandale and too late for the legendary Sylvarran, but in time to save the vast majority of the elven race. Finally Titus faced the Demon Prince alone, the Book of Vitiris in his hands. Using a great spell of immense power he banished the Demon Prince from this realm for one thousand years.
In the years that followed terrible plagues hit the lands, forcing men to turn inward as they tried to rebuild. Orcs ran rampage over the lands and even the Dragon was seen with frequent occurrence. The elves, devastated by the betrayal of the armies of men, left the lands, moving into the small forest home of Eldaran, now big enough to hold their entire number, and shutting themselves off from the troubles of men. The Bloodwood gained its name as the spirits of the Sylvarran took their revenge on any men who entered their forest. It soon gained a reputation as an evil and dangerous forest. The great wizard Titus, aware that the Demon Prince was merely banished for a thousand years and not destroyed, and also knowing that the Book of Vitiris held great power for good or bad, decided to hide the Book. He realised that anyone controlling the Book would have the power to banish the Demon Prince for a further thousand years, or release him into the world once again. He locked the Book with the Key of Seven Stars and then left a note to the location he was to hide the Book and placed it inside the Key. He hid the Book in Hall of Dragons and hid the key in the Tomb of Callindrill deep in the Barren Wastes. Finally he made The Map of Titus – a map to the resting place of the Key. This he hid in the tomb of a cursed Dragonpriest in a fortress in the centre of Albion. He then took an apprentice – a young elf called Galadhrethin – and told him everything, including the location of the Map of Titus. He was to pass this information on to his apprentice in turn and so on, until a thousand years had passed and the Map could be recovered.
seven hundred years agoTwo brothers and a sister formed the Order of the Knights of the Sun after receiving visions from the Light. The knighthood was set up to protect the clergy of Albion from the ravages of the humanoids of the Jagged Peaks and the servants of the Darkness. One of the brothers, Artenach, fell to darkness and betrayed and murdered his siblings. He was exciled by the king but the order he had helped to found survived and grew in strength, based on the teachings of his siblings.
five hundred years agoThe lands to the east of Albion came under the control of a powerful ruling family. This familty was ruthless and militaristic. They bred a culture of obedience, order and war and went about conquering all those tribes around them. They soon grew into the Empire of Honshu. Honshu's borders expanded, bringing them right up to the edge of Albion and there were resulting skirmishes and trade between the two nations. Honshu's might is such that it could crush Albion if it so desired, but as Albion is so far from the Empire's capital it has escaped its full attention. None the less, Albion is often seen as a place for an ambitious general in the armies of the Emperor to make some territory and win favour, so the border is often contested, with frequent raids by the red-uniformed Easterners. So far, no general of the East has managed to conquer the town of Eastward and Albion's borders have remained safe.
three hundred thirty-six years agoA trader from the east began teaching some local farmers around the Thistledelve region, a system of martial arts he called The Way. These arts involved fighting without weapons and the trader claimed a man skilled in these arts could defeat a seasoned warrior. A Knight of the Sun, passing by and seeing this man's lessons in progress challenged him to ask what he was doing. The easterner explained and the Knight laughed at him. The easterner proposed that he would show the Knight that his platemail and sword were no match for the trader's bare hands and woolen tunic. The Knight reluctantly agreed and the easterner proceeded to easily defeat the Knight in one to one combat. The future of The Way was assured as news of this achievement spread. The trader settled down in the area and started the Monastery of the North Wind.
two hundred thirty years agoA creative dwarf had the idea to experiment with the woodcuttings from the Root that would not die and found they had healing properties. So the dwarves started to make potions from the pulped up cuttings, still burning the excess. They sold these to the masses around the lands. However this practice fell out of use, as it was not profitable.
one hundred twenty-seven years agoA dwarf called Nolo Ironbrand, leader of a Dwarven Trade Mission, and Prince of the realm, out and about in Albion sold one of these healing potions to a sick elven woman who was heavy with child. She gave birth to a boy who had a strange tattoo on his arm, but she died in childbirth. This child, Thoron'ereb, or Flek as he was also known, was the first of the new Sylvarran.
twenty-seven years agoThe minions of the Demon Prince tried to help him return to Albion but the work of a small group of heroes stopped his evil schemes and he was banished from Albion for a further thousand years. These times were known as the Chaos Wars.
Huge armies of humanoids under the banner of the Demon Prince ravaged the northern territories of Albion. At the same time the armies of the Easterners launched a huge offensive into Albion's eastern flank. The kingdom was sorely pressed. A group of heroes confronted and killed the Demon Prince's first lieutenant, Artenach, former founder of the Knights of the Sun. He had murdered the king and had been mascarading as the sovereign for the last year. The heroes then completed the complex and dangerous rituals needed to bind and banish the Demon Prince for a futher thousand years. The heroes were all knighted by the new king, Jarrad I, and were granted huge tracks of lands in the north east of the country.
Thus ended the Chaos Wars.