Grand Duchy of Jeuno
Capital: Val Royeaux
Population: 2,324,890 (humans 62%, dwarves 20%, elves 8%, other 10%)
Religions: He-Who-Was (Church of the Sovereign One)
Ambitious and wealthy Jeuno is the currently the single most powerful nation in Tribuhaven. Under its current ruler, Messere Celene I (NG female human aristocrat), the Grand Duchy of Jeuno has a large aristocracy famed for its culture and extravagance. Val Royeaux is the capital of Jeuno and home to the Church of the Sovereign One (simply known in the land as the Church). Amongst its previous rulers were Messere Reville and Messere Florian. It was founded by Messere Kordillus Drakon, the man who established the Church and helped spread the faith throughout the continent. Celene shares the expansionist dreams of Jeuno’s founder, Kordillus Drakon, which the nation’s borders should stretch to the edges of the continent.
Life and Society:
The citizens of Jeuno hold the world in their hands. Jeuno is on the artistic and cultural cutting edge of Tribuhaven, with new trends constantly starting and spreading out of the nation. The people of Jeuno know how to enjoy life and the fruits of their labors. Art, music, fashion – there is no constant in Jeuno, other than constant experimentation and change. For instance, a notable characteristic of their noble class is their penchant for high fashion, often copied in other lands such as Navarra and the Veiled Marches but always at its most extreme within Jeuno. Both men and women wear cosmetics of various kinds, with subtle differences that indicate social standing. In public, they are also prone to wearing very elaborate masks. These are hereditary and identify one’s family almost as uniquely as the heraldry on a crest.
The Jeunos valued an outlook on life that became known as the Jeuno appreciation. This described a philosophy and lifestyle that appreciates beauty and faith, and promoted avant-garde and unconventional behavior in art and life in general. Some people see this appreciation as remarkable and wondrous, but some people see this ‘virtue’ as a form of excess. This is to a certain extent true. Some Jeuno nobles allow their indulgent lifestyles to take darker turns, and words such as decadent, vile, and immoral starts to being used to describe Jeuno’s citizens.
Aristocratic society is notoriously vicious and is marked by fawning envy to the powerful. Jeuno nobles often entertain bards in their courts despite their roles in Jeuno society as spies, assassins, and saboteurs for their employers (usually other nobles). Nobles welcome such entertainers with full knowledge that any could be a bard; the thrill of outwitting a spy is a notion the Jeuno aristocracy can hardly resist.
Whether fighting, dancing, or standing perfectly still, Jeunos possess a poise and elegance that is the envy of all the other nations. Jeunos tend to be slender and long-limbed, with a casual, willowy grace that shines from within. Their hair is often wavy and of medium length, allowed to hang free so as to shift naturally with their movements. Jeuno clothing is highly diverse in cut and style, but most garments have long, flowing elements—the people like clothing that will catch even a small breeze and ripple with the air currents. Short cloaks are common, as are wide sleeves. The most noticeable element of traditional Jeuno dress is gloves. Jeunos favor short, sturdy gloves for work and fighting, and longer, beautifully tooled and decorated gloves for formal wear. Their hands are rarely exposed, and an ungloved handshake is a sign of special trust. Formal occasions are not identified by a change in clothing, but by a sharp increase in jewelry, and often the addition of masks. Festivals and balls always incorporate an element of costuming.
Jeunos simply adore jewelry, and they collect all manner of pieces as their fortunes allow. Loose hanging necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, particularly those that include small bells or brightly colored feathers, are preferred. The most spectacular of these adornments are their headdresses—elaborate pieces that run from the brow, over the head and shoulders and well down the wearer’s back.
In Jeuno, land is owned exclusively by the aristocracy. Power rests in competition between the Messere and the Serrah, the divine leader of the Church of the Sovereign One at large. This has caused severe contention in the country as the aristocrats and nobles of Jeuno fight for power between a number of archbishops and cardinals who crave more than just more authority for the Church.
The martial power of the Church, the Order of the Sovereign Templar, rests in Jeuno and is the largest militant religious organization throughout Tribuhaven. It has a colorful history of conducting several Exalted Marches; religious crusades led by the Church. Many Jeuno nobles belong to its renowned knightly order, the Chevaliers. The martial training of the Chevaliers is legendarily harsh, instilling in the knights a fierce discipline and code of honor that takes precedence over the value of their own lives. The penalty for dishonor is death, something that a Chevalier would welcome if he or she has failed their lord. They are honored by many and are considered amongst the best of all soldiers but they also have unlimited rights when it comes to handling the peasantry; a cause of many conflicts.
Major Geographical Features:
The Spine of the World: To Tribuhavens, the Spine of the World is simply an endless; nigh impassable wall of tall, frozen mountains that marks the end of the world. Beyond it lays the Sea of Ashes, a dying land not yet dead. The vegetation clinging to life with low scrubby trees, coarse grey grass-tussocks, withered mosses, great writhing, tangled brambles, and thicket of briars. Citizens of Jeuno refer to this mountain range simply as the Wall. The propensity of the monstrous inhabitants of these peaks to raid the lands below keeps the conifer-cloaked, stag-roamed rolling foothills of the Wall relatively uninhabited, though fierce and hostile barbarian human tribes wander here.
Malcellin Geysers and other sites of interest to miners, collectively known as the Fire Reaches, lie beyond the Eastern Wall. Few of the ways across involve climbing or flying: Hill giants roam the mountain slopes, and the peaks and frozen high valleys are home to frost giants, white dragons, and yeti. Instead, those determined to reach the Fire Reaches endure perilous underground scrambles through abandoned dwarfholds, some of which lead into mines that pierce through the massive range. Countless tribes of aberrations, abominations, bugbears, drow, and giants call the dwarfholds and mountain caverns home, and darker things lurk in the lightless levels of the mines.
[The Blasted Hills] Towering Wood: The Towering Wood is preternaturally fertile. In the center of the great forest, deep within the Towering Wood, a region exists where growth is truly phenomenal. This is the realm of the Guardian Trees. The Guardian Trees dwarf the greatest redwoods, and a wide variety of dire animals inhabit the realm beneath the dizzying heights of the canopy. The Guardian Trees extend for thirty miles in all directions and shelter a number of druid communities, including Andoral’s Reach.
Some say that the Guardian Trees are not only awakened but were once the elder druids of the Mythic Age. Others believe that the place and its trees are simply ancient growths from the time before time began, when the world was different and new. Whatever the truth (and no one has ever admitted to having a conversation with any of these trees), the place teems with old magic and ancient life. In addition to the Great Druid’s grove in Andoral, a number of other holy sites exist among the Guardian Trees, and many druids and rangers seek solace and meditate within the shelter of these giant trees.
Nahashin Marshes: This four-thousand-square-mile marsh forms the divide between Jeuno and the Tirashan and the Spine of the World. It is an incredibly dangerous area home to gnolls, lizardfolk, and trolls that sometimes wander into the civilized territories. The marshes are also known to shelter a number of black dragons, a mad beholder, will-o’-wisps, and stranger things. This is probably the deadliest region within the country, but since the creatures usually remain in the marshes and the people of Jeuno have no reason to enter it, they are content to ignore it.
The Tirashan: The elves of Tribuhaven are mortal, but elven legend states that this was not always the case. The Tirashan was originally a much grander and larger forest of Elvhenan, the civilization of the elves when they were still immortal and the dominant race in Tribuhaven. Its political, economic, and cultural center was the great city of Arlathan, was located in this very forest, not far from the expanding Arcanum Empire. The Arcanum was to be the cause of Elvhenan’s downfall and of centuries of slavery for the elves, during which time much of the lore and history of ancient Elvhenan was lost. The Arcanum would decimate much of the original Tirashan forest, leaving it to its current size. Still the largest forest in Tribuhaven, it houses a number of lairs of green dragons and the remaining ruins of the lost Elvhenan.
Urthemiel Plateau: This area, east of the Spine of the World, earns its name from the gray soot blown from the volcanic cones of that range, specifically the Arl Dumat. It is inhabited by brown dragons and black-skinned stone giants, which are locally known as ash giants. This area is not particularly fertile (it almost has no soil other than the ash itself) but an ancient elven ruin that is buried under the ash occasionally attracts a few adventurers.
The Heartlands: Named for their tall, green and gold grasses, these fertile lands blanket the heart of Jeuno. Many cities such as Val Royeaux and Val Firmin are built around the Heartlands.
Arl Dumat: Home to salamanders and other fiery creatures, Arl Dumat stands over a pair of iron doors that is rumored to lead to the realm of the dead. Inside of these iron doors is Dendar the Night Serpent, a terrible abomination that feeds on the unremembered nightmares of all creatures. It was sealed in by a High Archon during the First Tear, but wizards fear that the magical barrier that holds the iron doors is weakening and that Dendar might break it down and escape into Tribuhaven.
[The Western Approach] The Blade Desert: This flat tableau of rugged grassland from the western Dales gives way to the punishing heat and sand of the Blade Desert before rising into the forlorn peaks and crumbling cliffsides of the Abyssal Reach. Across this vast expanse, herds of buffalo-sized dinosaurs run wild, and halflings wander in nomadic tribes. Every year, the Blade Desert seems to creep farther into the grasslands, but as long as life can be squeezed from the Plains, the blade halfling tribes will survive.
The Abyssal Reach: Rich in gems and full of mysteries, these mountains are mostly unexplored due to the aberrations and demons that dwell in these peaks. The mountains are also home to the dracolich Balgos the Cold Flame, a sacrificial temple of the Cult of Dragons that is struck by lightning daily, and a fortified keep where a mysterious wizard lives.
An enormous vertical slab of rock four thousand feet high in the western portion of the mountains is carved to resemble a dwarf. Known as the Wailing Dwarf because of the noise of the wind blowing through its hollow eyes, ears, and mouth, it marks the site of a fallen dwarven city that dug too deep and released the terrible aberrations and demons.
Lake Celestine: This glacial body of water is also known as the Lake of Tears because of the battles fought on its shores. It is protected by odd aquatic creatures—nixies, nereids, and types unknown, all ruled by a great water spirit.
The Dales: This vast, dry grassland is known for the shimmering heat waves that rise from it most of the year. It is a barren land now, but was believed to be a flush and fertile land some time ago. It is the home of the original nomadic halflings who ride throughout these grasslands on their dinosaur steeds.
The Dales has a long and sad history marked with death and betrayal. During the centuries of slavery after the ancient civilization of Elvhenan fell to the Arcanum, the elves lost most of their language, history, and lore. However, when the Prophetess Alethia and her husband Malecarum the Freeborn led their barbarian army against the Arcanum, the elves slaves led by Andoral rose up and helped fight against their masters.
Andoral was killed when Alethia surrendered herself at the Battle of the Silent Plains in order to save her soldiers from the terrible magical onslaught of the Archons that shook the foundations of this world. She would later be executed by Grand Archon Hessarian and leave behind her husband and twins (no one knows if the line still continues today). Andoral died in attempts of rescuing Alethia from the clutches of the Arcanum, but failed and was slain in the midst of battle. After the rest of Tribuhaven rallied against the Arcanum and the war finally ended, Messere Kordillus Drakon gave the elves the Dales as a reward for their part in the war and the heroic deeds of Andoral. At that time, the Dales were on the fringe of Arcanum territory and were barely populated, with only barbarians from Bastok on the other side of the Frostback Mountains. The freed elves set off for their new home from Arcanum on foot in what would be called “the Long Walk.” Many perished along the way, but those who survived founded the city of Halamshiral – “the end of the journey.” They were joined by elves from across Tribuhaven and began the task of restoring their lost language, religion, and lore.
In their attempt to regain the lost glory of Elvhenan, the elves cut themselves off from their human neighbors. Throughout the Second Tear, the elves of the Dales remained neutral and unhelpful. When the city of Montsimmard was nearly destroyed by aberrations, abominations, and demons, it is alleged that the elven army simply watched from nearby. Partly because of this, the end of the Tear saw increasing hostility between the Dales and Jeuno. Border skirmishes escalated into full-scale war after the elven forces attacked Montsimmard. However, there is also reason to suspect the Church, which objected to the worship of the elven pantheon, of inciting fear and hatred of the elves by allegedly spreading false rumors of human sacrifice. At some point, the elven forces had captured Val Firmin and Val Foret and were on the doorstep of Val Royeaux.
At this point, the Church called for a holy war against the elves that became known as the Exalted March of the Dales. While the elves eventually sacked Val Royeaux and pushed well into human lands, Halamshiral was conquered and the elves were completely crushed. The Dales were appropriated by Jeuno, who uprooted elven settlements and forbade worship of the elven gods. Elves who accepted the Church’s offered truce were required to live in the ghettos of human settlements, becoming the lost children of the Elvhenan. However, some elves refused to give up their dream of their own homeland and vowed to keep elven language, lore and religion alive. They would wander for many centuries, brewing and hating the humans and the Church, and would eventually become the Eldreth Veluuthra.
With the reawakening of Archdruid Arani though, Jeuno and the Church gave a small ruined Elvhenan temple to the elves as an apology for their past atrocities (a much smaller piece land given than the whole Dales). Though most elves lost their connection to their culture and history, some would journey all the way to Andoral’s Reach and try to start their culture and society anew again.
The Arbor Wilds: This forest is one of the most dangerous in Tribuhaven. It is inhabited by evil barbarians and sources, dangerous plants, and a beholder tyrant with multiple beholders under its command. The Templars and Chevaliers with the help of druids and rangers struggle to hold back the evil. Legends tell of the Arbor Sword, a green blade that sprouts from a particular grove in the wilds every ten years; the sword can be claimed to fight evil by one who is worthy. The grove is encircled by brambles and is otherwise only remarkable for the sword-shaped leaves of plants where the sword appears.
[Montfort] Iriaebor (large city, 16,193): Also known as the City of a Thousand Spires, Iriaebor occupies a sprawling ridge along the route to Andoral’s Reach. Space to build on is at a premium atop the ridge, so Iriaebor’s nobles and other citizens have adjusted by building up instead of out—many-storied towers rise from all quarters of the city. Iriaebor’s great noble houses compete to build the highest, richest, and most fantastically bizarre towers, thinking to attract business the way peacocks attract their mates. Like peacocks, who fight when looks alone cannot decide engagements, the great houses of Iriaebor sometimes conspire to topple each other’s towers, using magic or hired adventurers to confuse the trail.
One of those hired adventurers came to prominence in both the middle of a nobles’ war and a continuous battle for territory with Navarra and took it upon himself to rule the city. Part of the city has been burned multiple times, but has been rebuilt quickly time and time again. Lord Bron (LG male human fighter/paladin) believes that his city could become a major force in the Western Heartlands if it could stop squandering its energy on internal feuds.
Churneau (small city, 10,800): When invading Navarrans attacked Iriaebor, the citizens of Churneau feared their city would be attacked next. These fears were never realized. Years later, when troll attacks came closer and closer to their city, Iriaebor again feared an attack that never came. In short, the people of Iriaebor have much to be thankful for. Iriaebor receives a lot of visitors thanks to its location on the path towards Andoral’s Reach. The rustic town has blossomed into a quaint city that caters to tourists with a plethora of taverns, inns, shops, merchants’ carts, and farmers’ wagons.
Outside of the tourist quarter, Iriaebor is a peaceful settlement. Commoners lead a simple life, attending services at the local Sovereign cathedral and catching up on the latest rumors and gossip. Adventurers looking for trouble might find a rowdy gathering of troll gypsies living on the outskirts of the city. The people of Iriaebor have little patience for the trolls and would love to point adventurers and bounty hunters in their general direction.
Andoral’s Reach (small town, 1,260): Tucked deep in the Towering Wood, Andoral’s Reach is home to the Wardens of the Wood, the last of the original Arlathan elves. The community takes its name from a sacred grove in the center of the village, a manifest zone linked to Lamannia, the Twilight Forest (ECS 97). Andoral is revered by both the elves and followers of He-Who-Was as the leader of the elven slaves who joined Alethia’s rebellion against the Arcanum Empire and helped spread the Chant of Light to all of Tribuhaven. Andoral’s Reach is the location of a small ruined Elvhenan temple where the ashes of Andoral rests and blesses. After the atrocity of the Exalted Marches against the Dales, Jeuno and the Church pityingly gave this ruin in the Towering Wood to the elves of Arlathan.
The great Archdruid Arani (N female immortal elf druid) is one of the last original Elvhenan who awakened after a long sleep near the end of the Exalted March on the Dales. Seeing the pain and suffering of her people, she has taken the initiative to guide them in order to curb their anger and sadness against their enemies and help them move on towards a new life. She spends her days in the grove and speaks to the visitors but rarely moves unless necessary. She allows the followers of the Church to complete their pilgrimage to the Grove of Andoral only if they respect the elven citizens of this place, understanding that the elves isolation led to the Exalted Marches against them in the first place. Aspirants who wish to learn the ways of the Wardens of the Wood come to Andoral’s Reach for training in the druidic mysteries. The community hovers at around a thousand residents for most of the year: students and preceptors, the guards and attendants of the archruid’s grove, the elder druids who coordinate the actions of the Wardens across the region, and hunters and gatherers who provide for the people of the village. However, the population increases exponentially during conclaves or important druid ceremonies, when members of all sects converge on Andoral’s Reach; at these times the population can increase by thousands, with druids and rangers (many of them in animal form) camped out around Andoral in all directions while their animal companions mingle freely.
Andoral’s Reach is a religious community. The druids give shelter and sustenance to travelers who respect the land, but there is only one inn and tavern that offers housing to the followers of the Church who make this pilgrimage. Most of the elves of Andoral’s Reach either live in simple buildings formed from shaped earth that has been transmuted to stone; others living up among the trees of the Towering Wood, on platforms created through the use of wood shape.
All druid and ranger spells cast within the Grove of Andoral are extended.
Val Royeaux (metropolis, 210,500): Val Royeaux is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Jeuno and home to the Church of the Sovereign One. It lies on the northern coast of the far inland tip of the Waking Sea and is one of the largest cities in Tribuhaven. Val Royeaux is a secular capital, but also the capital of the Church, the seat of the Serrah being situated at the Grand Cathedral of Val Royeaux. There, the Church performs a ritual where the entire Chant of Light is sung, a process thought to take about a fortnight to complete. From the White Spire of the Grand Cathedral, the Knight-Vigilant of the Templar Sir Emeric Rohenheim (LE male human paladin/blackguard/legacy champion (Merikel 117)) directs the Order of the Sovereign Templar. Val Royeaux is, in all respects, the social and culture heart of Jeuno. On a clear day, one can stand on the highest parapets of the Cathedral and barely make out the distant parts of this humungous and magnificent city.
Chalice Center: This red brick plaza is the first part of Val Royeaux that well-to-do travelers see. At one end of the square is the docking tower for the city’s arriving and departing airships. Airships depart daily. There the airships routes go to all the major cities in Tribuhaven and a couple of privateers that will fly anywhere for the right price.
The Grand Bazaar: Val Royeaux’s commercial section never truly closes, and work stops only during festivals. By night, candles, lanterns, oil lamps, and continual flames keep the Grand Bazaar’s streets and shops glowing, with staff that sleep by day to sell to those who shop by night. The city’s major guilds have their headquarters in the Grand Bazaar, near the businesses they work for or own.
South Ward: The South Ward is primarily the home of the wealthy middle class, lesser nobles, and well-to-do merchants.
Sea Ward: The wealthiest ward of the city, Sea Ward is home to noble families. It features broad streets, wondrous statues, bright and expensive shops, and its own theatre, the Old Globe.
The Grand Cathedral of Val Royeaux: The Cathedral rests atop the highest tier of the city, an indomitable bastion and source of great inspiration for the worshippers of He-Who-Was who call the city home. The Cathedral has white alabaster walls supported by massive flying buttresses and fitted with dozens of tall, stained glass windows set in ornate, wrought-iron frames.
The interior of the Cathedral, with is silver-inlaid black marble floors and pillars, seems a perfect marriage of majesty and decadence. Deep within the Cathedral, beyond heavy doorways and well-armed Templars, sits the White Tree of Elendil where the Prophetess Alethia, after her enlightenment, spent a whole week in front of, standing with unblinking eyes, gazing at it with gratitude. A sacred grove has magically grown around the tree and is where the Cathedral is built around.
In addition to housing a veritable swarm of clerics and paladins, the Cathedral is home to the offices of the cardinals such as High Cardinal Krozen (LE male human cleric/ur-priest) and the private chambers of the young Serrah Leliana Amell (LG female human cleric/radiant servant of pelor). Anyone lucky enough to be granted access might stumble upon Leliana in the halls, for she paces them often, murmuring quietly to herself. Of course, wherever Leliana goes, so too goes her ferocious pet and guardian, Skaravojen (Five Nations 140).
Fairhold: Messere Celene’s palace takes up acres in the center of Val Royeaux. Parts of it are open to the public, including a museum, extensive public gardens, and a large winery. Other parts of Fairhold, such as the royal family residences and the detention center within the Courts of Justice, define high security and bristle with both mundane and magical guardians.
The centerpiece of Fairhold is the Crown’s Hall, where Messere Celene holds audience on a daily basis. The arena-sized hall has gold-leaf decorations on nearly every surface – so much shiny gold that the very walls seem to radiate a warm light of their own.
The head of the palace staff is Castellan Adele Fulirno (LN female human expert 4). She manages more than a thousand workers – everyone from the cooks to the bedchamber servants to the royal executioners. She also keeps the messere’s daily schedule; few ever speak to the messere without Fulirno’s assent.
Fairhold also houses the Royal Collection of Val Royeaux, a peerless collection of historical texts in all of Tribuhaven. Access to the Royal Collection provides a +4 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (history) checks that involve the history of Tribuhaven or any of the major nations. Doing research at the Royal Collection requires permission from Castellan Fulirno or Messere Celene.
The Tower of Eyes can also be found here, though few people actually understand the purpose or significance of that particular alabaster tower.
Knowledge Ward: Val Royeaux is home the University of Wynarn, a major center of learning that attracts young nobles from all over Tribuhaven with the best education that money can buy. It is a relatively modern institution whose liberal-minded professors have already clashed with religious conservatives over the content of their classes. The university dominates the Knowledge Ward. The rest of the ward is given over to student housing and inexpensive public houses.
Northern Ward: Also known as the Caravan City, the Southern Ward serves as the staging, loading, and unloading zone for caravans passing through the northern gates into the city. “North” as it is known to locals, is well patrolled by the Chevaliers and accustomed to providing newcomers to the city with lodging, information, food, and entertainment.
Dock Ward: Compared to the rest of the city, Dock Ward is dirty, smelly, clumsily built, and dangerous. In the words of Messere herself, Dock Ward is a “riotous, nigh-perpetual brawl that covers entire acres, interrupted only by small buildings, intermittent trade businesses, an errant dog or two, and a few brave Chevaliers (who manage to keep the chaos from spreading beyond the docks), the whole lot wallowing in the stench of rotting fish.” It also has an underground fighting pit where the locals (and some nobles) come to partake in watching blood spill.
Val Chevin (metropolis, 36,007): One of the larger cities in Jeuno, Val Chevin is a seaport constructed on a small mouth of a river and series of islands connected by bridges and cut with canals. Originally built on a swamp, Val Chevin grew to include nearby terrains, but still often smells like a marsh. Known as the City of Spices for the local trading companies that procure those goods for exporting to far nations, the city relies on trade. Small boats crowd the canals, and many dealings are done in secret to avoid the law.
Flat, hard ground is hard to find here, and only the aristocrats own the larged paved areas, usually on top of buildings. Val Chevin’s single large temple is to He-Who-Was, though it has several small shrines to Tymora, Umberlee, and Waukeen. Bledryn Scoril (LG male human fighter) has taken over as lord of the city since the untimely demise of the previous lord. A twelve-platoon detachment of the Chevaliers is stationed here include a small order of Knights Templar.
Val Foret (metropolis, 30,606): During the troll wars, Val Foret was evacuated to Val Royeaux with the help of divine magic, and the city was occupied for several months by an army of lizardfolk and trolls. The trading company outposts were looted, the mercenary groups that were not slain fell back to other cities, and the great cathedral to He-Who-Was was burned. Val Foret’s lord, Myrmeen Lhal (NG female human ranger), known as the Lady Lord, swore to reclaim her city. Despite the loss of her left arm and its subsequent restoration by powerful divine magic, she spent the last few months collecting mercenaries, rangers, scouts, and adventuring bands for that purpose, then forced the trolls and lizardfolk from the city. They fled back to the Nahashin Marshes. While routing the invading forces from the open farm lands may go easily, the threat of another attack looms above the city.
Val Firmin (small city, 8,000): Jeuno’s famed warhorses, unicorns, and pegasi is found here in the small, but prosperous town of Val Firmin. It is the greatest stronghold of the noble House Vadalis and contains ranches and training facilities for the dozens of different types of creatures that Vadalis deals in. It’s a popular joke that the stables here are finer than the noble houses here, and there’s some truth to this, even when applied to the quarters of Dalin d’Vadalis (CG male human ranger), the house patriarch — a shrewd, hands-on breeder with an uncanny empathy for, and knowledge of how to handle, both animals and people. If an adventurer seeks a top-grade magebred warhorse or a pegasus to serve as a mount, Val Firmin is the place to go.
Most of the major guilds and noble houses have a presence in Val Firmin. A thriving black market for goods that poachers have acquired from the Arbor Wilds also operates within the city; the Chevaliers take action against anyone found in possession of such material (including items such as unicorn horns or displacer beast pelts). One of the notable features of the city is the Keeper’s Grove, an enormous keep run by the Keepers of the Cerulean Sign.
Montsimmard (metropolis, 42,103): This grand city lies east of Lake Celestine and thrives on trade. Trade knows no alignment, so tolerance is a virtue in Montsimmard, but not to the extent that visitors are allowed to conduct themselves in ways injurious to other people or property. The Chevaliers of Jeuno police the city closely, paying more attention to the coastal docks where the aristocracy lives than the ghetto where many downtrodden humans and elves live.
As is often the way in Tribuhaven, the great number of guards in Montsimmard is a clue to the presence of a well-run thieves’ guild. Guildmaster Ravenscar (NE male human rogue) of the Coterie maintains amiable though distant relations with Monstimmard’s four high nobles, including Eltan (LN male human fighter), the commander of the largest Chevalier cell in the city and possibly the country besides in Val Royeaux.
The Lady’s Hall is a remarkable cathedral of He-Who-Was and is famed throughout the country for its size and relative wealth. The most noteworthy of its major halls of worship however is Gond’s High House of Wonders which houses an astonishing collection of one-of-a-kind inventions. Artificers, inventors, and craftsfolk make the pilgrimage to Montsimmard for both inspiration and devotion.
Halamshiral: This city was once the home of the downtrodden. After the Exalted Marches on the Dales, it now lays empty, waiting forlornly along the road for its people to return. Parts of Halamshiral have been shattered; its buildings crushed and tumbled by the forces of Jeuno. Other portions of the city escaped with only superficial damage; aside from the absence of people and the aura of death that hangs over the area, it looks much as it did before the nation fell. While the days in Halamshiral are quiet, the nights bring a cacophony of chaos and violence to the streets of the fallen metropolis — at night, the ghostbeasts of the Dales prowl and howl and wail.
The scavengers who plunder Halamshiral for abandoned riches have described the ghostbeasts as vaguely humanoid in shape but with hairless, translucent skin that appears to glow with a pale inner light. Some of the scavengers believe that the ghostbeasts are guardian spirits left behind by the elves to protect the city. Others say that they are the ghosts of the city’s dead. Most, however, don’t care what they are. They either avoid the place or attempt to kill the creatures if they get in their way.
Structures still believed to be more or less intact in Halamshiral include the royal palaces of Vemishard; the great garden temple devoted to the elven pantheon; and the wondrous Halamshiral Arena, where great games, performances, celebrations, and competitions once enthralled the people.
[Mont-de-glace] Myth Drannor: Myth Drannor is arguably the richest and most dangerous adventuring site in all of Tribuhaven. It is actually dozen of sites in roughly the same location, the ruined remains of the Illumian capital that was once the greatest magical place in the world before a cataclysmic event forced the Illumians to leave the material plane forever.
Myth Drannor was the seat of an incredibly powerful civilization, and gold, magic items, and other worthwhile debris still rests everywhere here along with magical guardians and invading creatures. Human, nonhuman, and monstrous adventurers who enter the ruins frequently leave their possessions, their corpses, and even their souls behind, new pickings for the next vile cult, ambitious magician, or adventuring party that comes by.
The laws of magic are in flux in Myth Drannor as it is filled with gaping shatterpoints. Space and time-distortion effects are persistent around the area.
Messere Celene I (NG female human aristocrat) – leader of Jeuno
Lord Bron (LG male human fighter/paladin) – lord of Iriaebor
Archdruid Arani (N female immortal elf druid)
Knight-Vigilant of the Templar Sir Emeric Rohenheim (LE male human paladin/blackguard/legacy champion (Merikel 117))
High Cardinal Emon (NG male human cleric/wizard/mystic theurge)
Cardinal Krozen (LE male human cleric/ur-priest)
Serrah Leliana Amell (LG female human cleric/radiant servant of pelor)
Skaravojen, Guardian of the Serrah (Dragonhound)
Castellan Adele Fulirno (LN female human expert 4)
Bledryn Scoril (LG male human fighter) – leader of Val Chevin
Myrmeen Lhal (NG female human ranger) – leader of Val Foret
Dalin d’Vadalis (CG male human ranger) – head of the noble House Vadalis
Guildmaster Ravenscar (NE male human rogue) – head Coterie of Montsimmard