About ten years ago, the unthinkable happened. The Royal Family and most of the Golka Clan disappeared overnight. At the same time, the city of Skywatch closed itself off (magically) from the rest of the world. The political climate of Brevoy changed overnight – and it still hasn’t settled down yet. King Noleski Surtova has claimed the throne, but only has limited support from the other Great Houses, trouble is brewing in the east of the country, new developments in the south threaten the balance of power, and traditional patriarchal practices are being challenged. Will Brevoy survive? And, if it does, what will it look like in the future?
King Noleski Surtova has claimed the Dragonscale Throne, and rules from the Ruby Fortress in New Stetven. He has left his own lands surrounding Port Ice in the capable hands of his uncle, Domani Surtova. The Surtova rule in Port Ice is firm and he has established control of the capital, New Steven, and it surrounding area. However, his grip on the rest of the nation is fairly fragile.
Five other great lords all control large swathes of land in Brevoy, and while they have not challenged King Noleski’s claim to the throne, they have opposed him either. Each Lord is the absolute ruler in their own domain, and claim the royal title of Duke. While none of them are strong enough to challenge the Surtova rule, King Noleski isn’t strong enough to guarantee victory over any of their duchies – without risking his control of New Stetven and its surrounding area. The Dukes of Brevoy are:-
Many members of these great houses originate in Ioberia, and the priests of Gorum have some influence. Because of this, the Great Houses hold themselves separate from each other and tolerate skirmishing and raiding between neighbouring duchies. Lives and blood lost are seen as a just sacrifice to the Lord in Iron. However, it weakens their hand, should they ever try to overthrow King Noleski.
A number of lesser Nobles, mainly in the south east, claim a share of power within Brevoy, while they have a voice in affairs of state, they are less influential than the great houses.
Lady Jamandi Aldori has a strong presence in the City of Restov and is the spiritual leader of the Aldori of East Rostland. She has recently started to claim the traditional Aldori title of Sword Baron, much to the annoyance of the King. However, while she stays in the east, there is little he can do about it – and there is always a risk that Restov and House House Khavortorov will support her. Which would make her equal in power to some of the great houses.
Restov is an independent city on the south-eastern borders of Brevoy, its Lord Mayor has long been treated as an independent noble and his control over that region has never really been tested. The Lord mayor makes all of the right noises, but his city has become a haven for dissenters from many noble families. There is a strong Aldori presence in the city, as well as many dwarves who may still bear some allegiance to House Golka..
Baron Khavortorov does not control much land, but he has a significant presence in New Stetven. The house is an off-shoot of the Aldori, who pledged their swords to Choral the Conqueror after the battle at the Valley of Fire. Initially there was bad blood between the two groups, but over the years that has died down to occasional bad words and minor arguments. House Khavortorov control some of the most effective mercenary units in Brevoy and are renowned for their high levels of skill with the Aldori duelling sword.
Lady Rogarvia-Green claims the lands around the sealed city of Skywatch as her domain – and the title of Viscount to go with it. However she doesn’t control much land, nor any large settlements . Her lands are in northeast Brevoy, and so long as she pays her taxes and stays out of trouble, she is unlikely to be troubled.
House Golka, the dwarven house, lost many of their members on the night that House Rogarvia disappeared – along with their mines and their underground holdings. They still cling onto some power across Brevoy – with a network of smiths and metal works spread across many towns and cities. The Mayor of Brunderton controls an independent town in the east of Brevoy. While they don’t have significant influence, the town has a largely dwarven population – who are all sympathetic towards House Golka.
West Rostland is a divided county of leaderless minor lords. Many of those closest to New Steven trade with the city and support King Noleski, while many are neutral and a few look towards Restov for trade and leadership. Overall, they favour the king - but it isn’t the strong support he needs if he is to go after Lady Aldori.
South Rostland is the one of the least populated counties in Brevoy. A few independent and blood-minded lords ted to look after themselves, with little concern for politics. Recently they have been plagued by bandits coming up from the south, although the latest colonisation program has reduced that, and given them a bit more time to carve a decent estate from the land. So while the bandits are gone, they often squabble amongst themselves of land ownership rights.
Fort Drelev is a new colony intended to help secure the river route south towards Mivon, the River Kingdoms and beyond. Baron Hanis Drelev is part of the Surtova clan and King Noleski, personally, elevated him to the rank of Baron and assigned the colony to him. House Surtova have provided most of the funding, although House Lebeda and House Khavortorov have contributed towards the expense, by sending troops to help garrison the new colony.
Midmarch grew out of a minor project to control the bandits to the south of Brevoy and was not really intended to become a colony in its own right. The King approved it, but didn’t devote any time or resources to it, Restov provided basic support and House Lebeda has encouraged some of its junior members to join the developments there. However the new ‘county’, and the opportunity it presents, appeals to the masses – and many people have moved there.
Varnhold is a new colony that was funded and supported almost entirely by the city of Restov. While it is nominally independen,t most people see it as a satellite of Restov.
The Iron Wraiths are an experienced mercenary and adventuring company who were given a charter to explore and ‘sanitise’ The Glenbon Uplands. However, none of their company have been seen for a year or so - but if they were to suddenly reappear after completing their task …
The Great Houses: The six great houses are strong, independent, all recognise Gorum as one of their patrons – but are pragmatic. Two hundred years ago, before Choral the Conquerer came, Northern Brevoy was ruled by independent warlords dominated by the Surtova ancestors – they don’t want to go back to that situation. However, they all benefited from Rogarvian rule making the houses work together for the benefit of Brevoy – and they don’t want to lose those advantages either. They all have distinct territories and indulge in Gorum led skirmishing and raiding between the houses. They don’t trust each other much and don’t work together very well. They are more inclined to work with smaller powers and all of the major houses have good to neutral relationships with the Khavortorov, Ventus and Cartan families, and others as well. The Great Houses will work together for the defence or clear benefit of Brevoy.
The Traditionalists: Traditionally power in Brevoy has been patriarchal, male dominated and transmitted through the male line. Women have married to form alliances and extend the reach of a house, but they are expected to work in the background. That philosophy persists in the north - but this is starting to change in the south and New Stetven. Many traditionalists find this difficult.
The Aldori: Two hundred years ago, the Aldori ruled the whole of the Rostland Plains as an independent nation, before they were conquered by Choral the Conqueror and then held in check by the Rogarvian kings. King Noleski has fully extended his military and political power to take control of the New Steven region, but the Aldori have not been organised enough to take him on in battle. So for the last ten years the Surtova and the Aldori have vied for political and diplomatic control of Rostland. Surtova is strongest in the west, the Aldori more or less control the east – but it is starting to get fractious. Worse still, for the traditionalists, they are led by a woman. If it comes to a head, battle lines will probably be drawn up somewhere in West Rostland and extend down through South Rostand.
Lady Rogarvia-Green: A female leader in the male dominated and patriarchal north! She claimed power in her Ex-husbands name, but has then married again and declared her son as her heir. However, she has stay quietly in her own small patch of land and hasn’t troubled the Great Houses or their control of Restov. Indeed, she might even be seen as keeping that small part of the Eastern Reach trade route open and safe from bandits. And who knows what will happen if Skywatch suddenly decides to unseal itself and engage with the world again. This is, perhaps, a problem best left on the back burner.
House Khavortorov: Once a ‘client’ of House Rogarvia, the Khavortorovs are now a minor independent house. They have ties with all of the Great Houses and New Steven, but they share a philosophy with many of the Aldori. What are their long-term aims?
The Dwarves: Since House Golka disappeared ten years ago – the dwarves have been reorganising, and they now have a presence in Grey Haven, New Steven, Brunderton and Restov. Is this just a realignment, or are the deliberately strengthening for a purpose?
The Colonies: Will Fort Drelev allow the Surtova to control the trade routes to the south? Varnhold strengthens Restov – but by how much? What happened to the Iron Wraiths? How is Midmarch growing so quickly, and who benefits?