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“The whole country is filled with artistry, from the statues of heroes that litter the streets in even the meanest villages to the glittering golden Wizard College of Arcanix. Perhaps nowhere is more astonishing than the vast necropolis outside San d’Oria. Unlike most other followers of He-Who-Was, the Nevarrans do not burn their dead. Instead, they carefully preserve the bodies and seal them in elaborate tombs. Some of the wealthiest Nevarrans begin construction of their own tombs while quite young, and these become incredible palaces, complete with gardens, bathhouses, and ballrooms, utterly silent, kept only for the dead.”
Capital: San d’Oria
Population: 1,360,800 (humans 85%, half-elves 10%, elves 4%, dragonborn 1%)
Religions: He-Who-Was (Church of the Sovereign One), Bahamut, Tiamat, various smaller ones
Navarra is a nation in central Tribuhaven, west of the Veiled Marches, south of the Arcanum Empire, and north-east of Jeuno. It was originally one of the larger Veiled Marches city-states, but has aggressively expanded over the last two centuries to become a power to rival Jeuno and the Arcanum. The kingdom of Navarra benefits from a stable and enlightened monarchy that has lasted for generations, hard-working citizens, and an advantageous location. Navarra is a civilized land surrounded by mountains, forests, settlements of evil humanoids, and constant threats of war between Jeuno and the Arcanum. Known for its well-trained military and its active group of government-sanctioned spellcasters, Navarra boasts fine food, honest people, strange mysteries, and abundant contacts with other parts of the world.
Recently challenged by treacherous noble families, armies of giants and ogres, famine, marauding chromatic dragons, and the cold war with Jeuno, Navarra is now struggling to maintain its holdings. With one of its cities in ruins and great numbers of evil humanoids still roaming the countryside, this nation is in need of resourceful individuals willing to defend the crown and confront its enemies.
It is known throughout Tribuhaven that country rests on the ancient empire of the metallic dragons and their humanoid progeny, the dragonborn, during the Mythic Age. Once known as Arkhosia, it was carved into the former Draconic Mountains before the Dawn War reshaped much of the known world. Now the ancient remnants of that lost empire lies in the Valley of Minanter where the Navarrans now occupy. Due to the patronage that the citizens of Navarra pay to the dragons, the lesser races and the dragons have been able to exist and cooperate peacefully creating a culture uniquely exotic. As the Navarrans continue to pay patronage and give respect to their dragon elders, the Navarran dragons (descendents of the Arkhosian dragons) will continue to protect and defend them.
Life and Society:
Though there are strong reasons why it shouldn’t be, Navarra is a steadfast and prosperous land. Despite an often-violent past, constant armed vigilance against beasts and border perils, and frequent treasonous intrigues, Navarrans remain loyal, content, prosperous, and peace-loving folk. While the serious reverses of the last two years have shaken the kingdom, Navarrans expect better days ahead and are willing to work hard to achieve that goal.
The Dragon Queen Aesthyrondalaurai (LG female great wyrm silver dragon favored soul/divine oracle) [Draconomicon 267] is the youngest of the Three and has ruled Navarra since the beginning. She is known throughout Tribuhaven as a master of prophecy and healing. Aesthyrondalaurai often shares her insights with those who to hear it from her. She is elegant and reflective and even in her old age she is still amazed at the world around her. She frequently travels around the borders of Navarra to converse with the people she rules and finds that the humanoid races simply astound her with the amount of knowledge and wisdom they can collect in such short life spans. While she spends much of her time in humanoid form, she has been known to assume other shapes in the pursuit of knowledge and justice. She is notorious for being an occasional joker and all-the-time flirt. Though as the ruler of Navarra, her longevity and wisdom has often led her to believe that the Navarrans themselves should benefit from pursuing good for its own sake and deciding their fates and destinies. She takes a hands-off approach to politics, mostly advising her wise Royal Mages in the decision making. She is not afraid to intervene though when it is necessary.
Beneath the royal family is a wealthy, sophisticated, often fractious group of noble families of long lineage, influence, and demonstrated loyalty to the Crown of Dragons. The War Wizards – a force of battle-mages under the command of thoughtful wizards such as Caladnei (NG female human warmage/fighter) – temper both royal and noble excesses. As the sages of Navarra put it, Aesthyrondalaurai, the nobility, and the War Wizards “form three legs of a stool on which the common folk sit.”
Most Navarrans are farmers, ranchers, dragon keepers, foresters, or craftsfolk. The country also maintains a small, but deadly army known throughout the world as the Platinum Knights of Navarra. These incredible knights are feared throughout Tribuhaven for their keen battle prowess and loved for their compassionate and noble character. Since the formation of the Platinum Knights, they have protected Navarra and innocent people from the chromatic dragons that have terrorized Tribuhaven for over a millenium and continue on till the day. Bahamut, the Lord of Good Dragons, are their patron, while the minions of Tiamat are their mortal foes. These dragon slayers are marked by their slightly metallic sheened skin and their legendary dragon partners.
Major Geographical Features:
The Dragon Kingdom is a rolling, green, and pleasant land. Old, deep, and lush forests scatter around the landscape marked with grassy plains and fertile soil. The Valley of Minanter, the carved dale by the dragons, is the most prominent feature of this region. It is a broad forest vale that follows along the Minanter River and is blessed with fertile soil and a temperate climate (aside from the extremely harsh winters). The valley’s waterfalls, quick rivers, and forested slopes place it among the most picturesque landscape in Tribuhaven.
Most notably is that Tribuhaven’s flowing, narrow air currents all seem to flow straight into the skies of Valley of Minanter. Because of this, Navarra is filled with many clouds that dot and cover the skies of the countryside. The cloudscape of Navarra is tremendously beautiful and attracts many artists who wish to capture “the symbolist aesthetic that underlies these natural wonders, which become increasingly abstract equivalents to our own experiences, thoughts, and emotions.” Silver dragons often nap on top of the clouds and sunbathe.
Valley of Minanter: This beautiful river valley is a world unto itself, an ecosystem distinct from the land above it with its own weather (wetter), distinct types of animals, and thriving plants. In some places the valley is so wide that a person can stand on the valley floor and not even see the mighty cliffs marking the edges. It is filled with dragon food (sheep, goats, and rothe) and incredibly high ledges almost a mile high and tunnel networks beneath one cavern in the cliff side to another, perfect for dragon lairs and nests. It is no wonder that this valley is also known throughout Tribuhaven as the Valley of Dragons.
Fields of Ghislain: This region of open rolling farmland is a pleasant country, consisting mainly of small walled orchards, fenced-in farms, and large expanses of sheep-grazing land. The country folk live in walled cottages or palisades, since banditry, dangerous beasts, and frequent skirmishes between Navarra and Jeuno are constant problems in this large area. Streams and ponds full of fish are sprinkled through the fields, often alongside small shrines to lesser deities such as Chauntea or Silvanus. Chauntea’s shrines are stone tables that travelers and Belt-dwellers heap with offerings of food meant to be consumed by hungry travelers. Silvanus’s shrines consist of small bells hung above pools or woodland springs.
Hullack Forest: Throughout the Valley of Minanter settles a primeval forest in Navarra, with dark valleys and hidden vales that gone unseen for decades. Ghostly creatures and odd monsters pepper the local folklore, and dragons often hoard their treasures in these magical but secretive woods. Navarran wardens often direct adventurers to the Hullack in the hope of taming these endless seas of trees.
Minanter River: This great river from the Spine of the World carves the rough hills and forests of Navarra and the Veiled Marches into a broad, deep, yet gentle valley. It is the principal trade route for trade and commerce in the region, linking Jeuno and other nations upstream with Wycome and Thentia hundreds of miles downstream.
San d’Oria (metropolis, 190,360): This humungous city-state deep within the Valley of Minanter commands the main highway that connects all the nations of Tribuhaven together by land. Known throughout as the Center of the World, San d’Oria serves as the throne of the Dragon Queen Aesthyrondalaurai, the fortress of the Platinum Knights of Navarra, and is the base of the Aether Circle. San d’Oria is a stunning, ancient metropolis whose architecture is dominated by draconic designs and glistening silver and gold marble brought out of the Vimmark Mountains. This beautiful stone is the city’s most famous product, sold both carved into statues and in uncut blocks.
The city itself has two levels to it: 1) the region in the valley where most of the citizens live and reside and 2) Generon the Royal Palace, the Platinum Fortress, and the Dragon Spires built upon the Arkhosian ruins of Heavens Bridge, a structure that allows passage between the southern and northern parts of Tribuhaven and is high above the valley. Above Heavens Bridge is the Floating Towers of Arcanix where the Aether Circle resides, one of Tribuhaven’s greatest collections of arcane minds, operates out of floating towers above the ancient city. The part of the city in the valley is nestled between two high cliffs that mark the Valley of Minanter that function as natural walls. Access to this refuge exists only by air or through the fortress of Generon guarded by the elite Platinum Knights of Navarra. The approach to the city from the ruling palace fortress leads through a crescent shapes valley of terraced vineyards and fruit gardens.
The lower level itself is a masterpiece of shaped stone and crafted trees, built for architectural impact and powerful defense. It is bustling with an active local market and is a quaint hole where many Navarrans travel to during times of rest and relaxation. It is quite busy during times of the Autumn Entrance Examinations at Arcanix with numerous parents boarding its inns.
Generon, the ruling palace fortress of Queen Aesthyrondalaurai and her lover and consort Tostyn Alaerthmaugh, the Silver Flame (Dragons of Faerun 41), is the most resplendent edifice in the city standing tall within the clouds. It is a stately dome glittering in gold and silver, ringed by the headquarters of the Platinum Knights of Navarra. Along the outer walls of the city lie various noble houses and the sprawling vibrant and exotic marketplace known as the Distant Exchange. Due to San d’Oria’s location as the center of Tribuhaven, caravans from merchant guilds and independents traders pull up almost daily to sell wares from far-off lands. By law and custom, nothing sold at the Distant Exchange can be found within Navarra’s borders. Shoppers thus find everything from Vana’diel wine and brandy to Jeuno silks and spices. Many of the vendors offer exotic food, drink, and clothing, but more than a dozen antiquities dealers have shops on the streets that surround the Distant Exchange. It is common to see dragons of all sorts trading and peddling items with other merchants and traders. Ancient draconic treasures often turn up here, though they rarely stay on sale for long. It is the busiest and most crowded part of San d’Oria.
All of San d’Oria is heavily guarded by the Platinum Knights who fly high above the city with their dragon partners. The head of the Platinum Knights is Knight-Commander Arjhan Dragonforce (LG male dragonborn paladin/platinum knight). He is the heir of the Dragonforce clan (known for their thunder and electricity specializations) and one of the last of the Dragonborn people. His partner is Rhindani (NG adult female battle dragon) [Draconomicon 159], a powerful battle dragon who is known for her combat prowess and beautiful voice.
City of the Dead (village, 84): Unlike other followers of the Sovereign One in Tribuhaven who burn their dead, the people of Navarra continue the age old custom of preserving their bodies in elaborate tombs. A huge necropolis, the City of the Dead, is open to the public during the day and sealed off and patrolled at night. Citizens and strangers who want their deeds to go unobserved operate in the shadows of the tombs. The graves themselves benefit from various levels of magical protection—some tombs are actually doorways into magical planes, pocket dimensions that cannot support life but serve as burial zones for unlimited numbers of honored nobles and fondly remembered commoners.
Floating Towers of Arcanix (wizard academy, 800): The Aether Circle, one of Tribuhaven’s greatest collections of arcane minds, operates out of the floating towers above the city of San d’Oria. Over the centuries, the Aether Circle has turned its headquarters in Navarra into a showcase for the power of magic. Visiting the floating towers means seeing wonders undreamt of by most people – from baffling illusions to animated contrivances to captured creatures from other dimensions.
The floating towers are at once a college of wizardry and the personal laboratories of some of the most powerful wizards in Tribuhaven. Many a would-be magewright or wizard comes to the city of San d’Oria, below the towers, hoping to study hard and someday ascend to the lofty ranks of Tribuhaven’s finest arcanists. They are directly supported by the Church of the Sovereign One, giving them full authority on magical activity in Tribuhaven. This has allowed the wizards to reign and control the sources over the years.
The Aether Circle devotes two of the towers, Glarehold and Amberwall, to training the next generation of magewrights and wizards. Nocturnas and Skyreach, the other two towers, are the residences, libraries, and laboratories of the Aether Circle members. From these two towers the Circle oversees the magical training of all wizards in Tribuhaven and works with several other organizations and individuals to further the goals of the Circle. The fifth tower, the Sanctuary of Shadows, is the main headquarters of the source killers, powerful wizards who are trained to kill other spellcasters, especially sources.
Environment: Everburning torches light every corner of the floating towers, unless a member of the Congress has a specific reason to prefer darkness. Some everburning torches burst into flame only when someone enters the room, dousing themselves instantly when the room is vacant. Others burn with strangely colored flame, adding a bluish or reddish tint to everything they illuminate. The floating towers are a quiet place; distracting noise is conducive to neither study nor political machinations. The temperature is always mild within the floating towers, no matter what is happening outside.
The Aether Circle built the floating towers over eight hundred years ago, so their walls have known many architects, both mundane and magical. Within the floating towers, there’s always a strong aura of transmutation (the spells that keep the towers aloft) and at least one other aura.
Terrain: Arcane architects aren’t constrained by the square footage within the floating towers’ walls; some rooms exist extradimensionally, and each tower has far more space on the inside than a conventionally made castle would. In general, the floating towers have smooth stone floors, superior masonry walls, and 15-foot-high wood-paneled ceilings (with 30-foot-high vaulted ceilings in particularly large chambers). There’s no consistency to the doors within the Towers. The floating towers are too vast to completely map, and such map would be out of date by the time it was completed. Especially in Nocturnas and Skyreach, the wizards are always making magic alterations to their demesnes.
Most of the important wizards of the Aether Circle live in the floating towers themselves, but a few reside in Generon. Raulo ir’Trannick (LN male human wizard) and other members of the Trannick family are the proctors of the Autumn Entrance Exams, determining which of Tribuhaven’s brightest will get a chance to become magewrights and wizards. Raulo also serves as the de facto ambassador between the Aether Circle and any wizards who arrive at Arcanix unannounced.
The Trannick family pays patronage to Luminia (Draconomicon 240), a female wyrmling gold dragon who is currently being fostered under their house in the ways of magic. She lives in human form, appearing as a girl about 7 years of age. Visitors are quite taken aback when they address her as a child and find themselves confronting the formidable intellect of a gold wyrmling. The Trannick family offers Luminia’s services of flight for visitors unable to get there under their own power. The Trannicks collect a 25 gp per person transit fee, which they use to fund scholarships for deserving young wizards.
The White Arch: Visitors to the floating towers often ascent (via magic or Luminia) to Glarehold Tower, where an outcropping of rock has a massive white marble arch that leads to a white marble courtyard. The White Arch is also the traditional gateway that new students use when they begin their studies; many Tribuhaven youths dream of walking under the white arch, clad in their brown robes of a first-year student. The courtyard beyond the White Arch is the largest outdoor space on any of the four floating towers. The entrance is guarded by twin young copper dragons Syndil and Acydiphul (Draconomicon 234) that enjoy tinkering with magic items and learning spells from the older students.
Library of Robideur: Near the top of Skyreach is one of Tribuhaven’s finest collections of arcane lore – although the librarians at Korranberg would argue the point. The library takes up the top four floors of Skyreach’s tallest spire, with bookshelves running from floor to ceiling. Only the doors and the stained-glass windows interrupt the walls crammed with spellbooks, tomes, and grimoires. A unique spell not unlike unseen servant controls the books within the library. An arcanist of the Aether Circle need only state the title and author of a book, and it slides from its shelf, opens wide, then slowly descends to the wizard’s waiting hands, lazily flapping its cover open and shut in imitation of a bird.
The half-elf wizard Robideur died more than 450 years ago, but his descendant Tanila (LG female half-elf wizard) is the head librarian. The library forbids checking out books even to the most powerful members of the Aether Circle; examination of a book at one of the library’s oak desks is the only option. Tanila has an initial attitude of unfriendly toward anyone who even asks about checking out a book, and she won’t bend the rules unless her attitude is improved to helpful (as described on page 72 of the Player’s Handbook).
The Library of Robideur is a terrific research tool. A PC using the library to research a specific question gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (arcana) checks and a +2 bonus on Knowledge (the planes) checks. The library has a few books on other topics—histories, gazetteers, and the like—but they aren’t comprehensive enough to provide a bonus on the skill check.
Adal’s Demesne: At the center of Nocturnas are a series of chambers that Adal ir’Wynarn, the First Arcanist of the Aether Circle (NE male human wizard/mage of the arcane order), calls home. Adal splits his time between the floating towers and the palace of Generon where he serves as an advisor to the dragon queen as one of her Royal Mages. He regards the floating towers as a place where he can be free of court intrigues and free to direct his staff as they conduct magical research and build weapons of arcane destruction to defend Navarra or extend its reach.
Adal is more politically connected than most of the Aether Circle. He has the queen’s ear at the moment’s notice and he’s a consummate power broker and charismatic leader. Most of the researchers on his staff are higher-level wizards than he is, and the many agents in Adal’s employ are likewise among the most elite in Navarra.
At any one given time, Adal has three or four major research or weapon-development programs under way within his chamber. Each is kept separate from the others, and only Adal knows the extent and progress of all the programs. One team might be trying to figure the necessary creation pattern to make sentient constructs, another team could be working on a system of weather control, and another could be breeding wyverns that shoot icy rays from their tails.
Sanctuary of Shadows: In the highest tower of Arcanix is a small barracks that the source killers of the Aether Circle call home. Talented wizards are handpicked by this select group of mage-assassins in the art of counterspelling, stealth, and combat. They are the shadows of the Circle and kill whenever it is necessary for the preservation of the world from the threat of a Tear and the Circle itself.
The leader of the assassins is First Shadow Tritan Armada (N male elf rogue/wizard/mage killer/arcane trickster); the most feared of all the source killers. It is rumored that he commands over 100 source killers in all of Tribuhaven. Armada is known for personally assassinating several High Archons during the last war between the Arcanum and Navarra and is one of the most hated and wanted people in the Arcanum Empire. Unlike the Sovereign Templars of Jeuno, the source killers are not under direct authority of the church itself but only toward the Aether Circle.
Gate of Xabra: Near the top of Nocturnas is an astronomical observatory and one of the greatest artifacts of the Aether Circle: the Gate of Xabra. This circle of menhirs, transplanted from an Illumian ruin long ago, has graven glyphs that correspond to no known language or code. The glyphs hold overwhelmingly powerful conjuration magic sufficient to send everything within the circle to another plane of existence.
When a would-be traveler uses a finger to trace certain glyphs on the stones, they grow slightly. When all the correct glyphs are lit, everything within the Gate of Xabra disappears and a whoosh of airs fills that void that remains. Finding the correct sequence of glyphs is no easy task. Fortunately, failed attempts don’t have negative consequences – or at least they haven’t so far. The glyph sequence can’t be learned by rote, because the correct glyph sequence depends on both the destination plane and the alignment of the stars around Tribuhaven.
In general, it takes a DC 25 Knowledge (the planes) checks to open the Gate of Xabra to a specific plane. Uli Blackthatch (NE male gnome wizard/loremaster) studies the Gate of Xabra for the Aether Circle. He has a Knowledge (the planes) modifier of +18 and will direct planar travelers in what he believes are the correct sequence.
The Gate of Xabra only opens for an instant, although in most cases it leaves a circular impression on the other plane that allows a return trip. Travelers appear within the circle at the moment they arrive; once they step back inside it, they reappear in the gate chamber in Nocturnas. On the plane of Irian, the return circle might be marked with crystals, while it might be a circular glade on the forest plane of Lamannia.
Cumberland (metropolis, 28,150): Second only to Navarra in wealth, power, and influence, Cumberland’s position as the only coastal city in Navarra makes it the port of departure for over a third of Navarra’s agricultural exports. In addition, the city has long attracted adventurers of all stripes, thanks to an indulgent local government and plenty of mysteries and intrigues to unravel (most of which arise from the city’s freewheeling atmosphere or its seedier underside). Cumberland is the center for the exchange and sale of
Cumberland was nearly destroyed when an adventurer called Myrkyssa Jeland descended on the city at the head of an army composed of mercenaries and chromatic dragons. The short war left the city without a navy and very nearly without an army or means to support itself. The tenacious and resourceful citizens of Cumberland with the help of their friend from San d’Oria to the north rebuilt their fortunes with outstanding speed.
Due to its proximity next to the Waking Sea and the Vimmark Mountains, it is a constant threat from being attacked by the Cult of Dragon which has a relatively large following in the region. Charles O’Kane (LN male human fighter) presides over tumultuous city.
Nessum (metropolis, 33,313): At the mouth of the Valley of Minanter is a large city that diligently sits over the sloping land. Known as the last settlement before the Gates of Kal-Sharok, this busy city serves as a crossroads for traders from Navarra, Arcanum, and Jeuno. The city plays host to a considerable number of dwarves who pass through on errands involving their scattered kin. It is a large, multiple terraced community. Nessum is a cold, austere place, smoky from its continually worked forges and smelters. Its populace tends to be stubborn yet friendly and hardy.
Nessum is a smith’s heaven. The sky is dark from forgin, the air heavy with the flurry of construction, and the sky filled with smokes. The city is famous for its weaponsmiths, legendary dwarven and dragonborn blacksmiths who have passed the ancient crafting techniques of the Tirashan for millennia. There blades are only exclusively sold here and many adventurers travel through the Valley of Minanter just too personally order a blade for themselves.
Arlesans (small town, 1,134): Arlesans was once a large fortified city, but half the buildings have been reduced to scattered piles of stone by the continual warfare that has plagued this area. The city became a bone of contention between the forces of Navarra and Jeuno with several chromatic dragons getting involved in the conflict as well. In the conflict, much of the city was ruined.
The only remains of Arlesans clusters are behind hastily constructed stockades. The largest of these stockades is set up around the ruins of the main citadel, which flies the banner of Navarra. The Navarrans claim Arlesans as a “protectorate.”
Arlesan’s importance rests on its location. It is seated on the crossroad intersection between Jeuno and Navarra and is reputed to be tunneled with secret passages and hidden lairs, and the caverns beneath the surface have extradimensional portals to other planes of existence. For this reason, the ruins still attract adventurers.
Hasmal (small city, 8,137): Originally built by a master dwarven artisan for his elven friends, this pleasant and prosperous city of humans, half-elves, and dragons offers a well-defended rest stop for caravans and riverboats. Merchants and travelers who pass through twice eventually come back to stay. Navarran trade passing to and from the Veiled Marches is enriching the leading merchants of the town, and Dragon Cultists based in the Veiled Marches are scheming to subvert the city.
Ghislain (small town, 1,170): This community is home to the Wyvernspur and Thundersword noble dragonborn families, who inhabit several of the manors on the southwest end of town. Visitors are warned to respect anyone dressed in finery or displaying arrogance, since the families are powerful and not afraid of proving it.
Ghislain is a stop on the route to Andoral’s Reach. Its Five Fine Fish inn produces ale famous throughout Tribuhaven. There are no temples here, but a large open-air shrine to Bahamut is maintained by a cleric of that faith. The lord of Ghislain is Culspur (LN male dragonborn fighter), former herald of the previous lord.
Dragon Queen Aesthyrondalaurai (LG female great wyrm silver dragon favored soul/divine oracle) [Draconomicon 267]
First Warwizard Caladnei (NG female human warmage/fighter)
Tostyn Alaerthmaugh, the Silver Flame (CG male ancient mercury dragon) (Dragons of Faerun 41)
Arjhan Dragonforce, Knight-Commander of the Platinum Knights of Navarra (LG male dragonborn paladin/platinum knight)
Rhindani (NG adult female battle dragon) [Draconomicon 159] – partner of Arjhan
Raulo ir’Trannick (LN male human wizard) – ambassador of Aether Circle
Tanila, Librarian of Arcanix (LG female half-elf wizard)
Adal ir’Wynarn, the First Arcanist of the Aether Circle (NE male human wizard/mage of the arcane order)
First Shadow Tritan Armada (N male elf rogue/wizard/mage killer/arcane trickster)
Uli Blackthatch (NE male gnome wizard/loremaster) – research of stars
Culspur (LN male dragonborn fighter)