The World of Arith
The Kingdom of Brineven used to stretch from Marston east past the city proper and as far south as Never Lake. Brineven always had some holdings in the Kron Hills (mostly small independent mines) and nominally claimed the lands north of the hills. During the war, the Kingdom lost most of its cities and towns in the plains south and east of the city and lost its northernmost village – Northbrook. The Battle of Marston saw the defeat of the largest remaining bugbear army, and the kingdom started to rebuild. It reclaimed the village of Hillsboro in the center of the Kron Hills and sent tax collectors to the village of Torka. Though the plains are still dangerous – even more so now that Darcos has been taken by the orcs, the Kron Hills and the no-mans-lands north of the hills show promise.
Cities, Towns and Villages
Brins tend to be a very down-to-earth people. Brown hair dominates the local populations, with red hair being a close second. The nearness to Darcos brings with it the blondes, which often lightens the Brin’s natural brown to sandy and reds to an almost strawberry. Freckles are common in young children, but most Brin grow out of them by adulthood. Brown and hazel eyes are common, but greens, often quite vibrant can be found among the population.
Brins value personal liberty and responsibility. The lands of Brineven are divided into the highlands and plains. Highland Brins may be shepherds or miners, while plainsmen tend to be farmers. The natural resources of the lands of Brineven make most enterprises worthwhile, but also demand a lot of work and tenacity. Brins expect each member of the community to contribute and “pull their weight”. Laziness is one of the worst sins by Brin standards.
Much of Brin society exists and mirrors the natural world, whether a Brin is a miner, shepherd or farmer, a connection with the land always exists. Most Brins can look into the sky and have a fairly accurate idea of what the weather is going to bring. Arts and crafts tend to focus on nature themes.
The Brins, possibly through their connections with the Jendarri, have always had more respect for the way of the spirits than most in the Empire. Druids, shaman and wardens unknown in the southern cities thrive in Brineven and have earned the respect of the common folk. Even so, those Brin who commune with the spirits are very rare. Although next door to the Tuathwold and the Tuath-nir, hostilities with the xenophobic elves have been few and far between. Many of the Brin who dwell near the forest leave offerings to the local fey, a plate of milk or loaf of bread. Those that do always seem to be prepared in those rare cases when the Tuath-nir have attacked the kingdom.
The Brin have a love of the stage, though not the high dramas and historical epics known in Aradoran. Brin playwrights tend for more earthy and comedic tellings. The famed playwright, Wesley Ravensdale, was a prolific playwright in his time, producing many comedies and even a few tragedies that often revolved around mistaken identities and fey magic. Most Brin now refer to the late Sir Ravensdale simply as “The Bard” due to the fame and reach of his works.
Surprisingly the Brin have a talent for the arcane as well. Brin arcanists tend towards illusions, glamers and enchantments, some say that this is another sign of fey influence, as these types of spells are typical among the fey.
Brineven was incorporated into the Empire over 100 years after the Enlightenment. The first Kings of Brineven believed in the rights of man, and created the House of Council. Members of the House of Council are elected by the Brins in mass public voting, overseen by the Crown. Half of the House of Council represent the common man, elected in mass public voting overseen by the crown, half of the remaining seats go to the nobles of Brineven, often appointed through political maneuvering and the final seats are appointed seats by the crown. The House of Councilors may propose and pass legislation by majority rule to be sent to the Monarch for his approval. One of the first pieces of legislation ever passed by the body was the Proclamation of Inevitable Rights, detailing the rights due to all subjects of the Kingdom. King Huxley accepted and ratified this document soon after his coronation.
While the Brin pay homage to the entire Pantheon, Melora and Kord tend to be the dominant Gods in the Kingdom. Erathis is largely worshipped as a patron of family and personal bonds between people, not as a Goddess of Cities and Civilization as she is known in Aradoran and other cities.
The Brins had one of the most robust economies in the Old Empire. Blessed with natural resources, Brineven was located close to the rich mines and pastures of the Iron Hills and fertile plains. Though wary of the Tuathwold, the Brins did make use of the forest, harvesting trees that had “lived their lives” according to foresters. How these foresters know when a tree has lived its life is still somewhat of a mystery to other in the Kingdom, but most accept that the forest will never be completely free for their use.
Relations with Others
When Emperor Tirthian passed without issue, the Kings of Darcos and Calastan, Brineven’s closest neighbors, prepared for war. Both city-states demanded Brineven’s immediate surrender, to which Queen Inspeth replied by playing one off of the other and denying both cities Brineven’s resources. When the inevitable attacks came, Inspeth and her generals managed to hold both city-states at bay. An ill-timed adavnce by Darcos found the Calastani army camped outside Brineven. Once the two rivals had decimated each other, Brineven’s forces wiped out those that remained.
Thus Brineven was able to remain somewhat neutral during the succession wars, while Queen Inspeth attempted to politically position herself as the best alternative for Emperor. Her political skill during that time has undergone scrutiny by the best and brightest minds of the old empire, and most agree that if the city-states had survived intact, she may have been crowned Emperor of Arvanor.
Unfortunately, Darcos began hiring legions of orc warriors while Calastan hired thousands of gnoll packs. When the half-orc commanders turned their forces on their employers, Darcos fell. The far reaches of Calastan began to suffer raids from “unassigned gnoll raiders” until only the city was safe. Between the two, Brineven faced savage raids from both orcs and gnolls.
Your family originated from Brineven, and although you can take the person out of Brineven, you can’t take the Brin out of the person. Your people are industrious and resourceful, did you leave to find your fortune in a new age, or are you escaping a life of toil and hardship for one of leisure? Were you influenced to leave by the spirits, even if only subconsciously? Did the spirits of the Soro Valley Call to you? Did a fey creature reveal itself to you and send you north for an inexplicable goal or quest?
Associated Skills: Nature, Perception. Language: Hespruar (Sylvan)
Common Male Names
Lowland: Absalom, Ailward, Alban, Albin, Alger, Almaric, Bardulf, Basil, Bernard, Brice, Clement, Drogo, Edmund, Ernald, Everard, Giles, Gillemin, Godwin, Guy, Hamon, Hasculf, Hereward, Huberd, Imbert, Maneser, Miles, Milo, Nigel, Norman, Odo, Osbert, Piers, Ranulf, Rauf, Rayner, Saer, Sewal, Siger, Swain, Syward, Theobold, Thurstan, Wakelin, Warin, Wymer
Highland: Adair, Aenghus, Aiden, Alastair, Alpin, Arran, Artain, Blaine, Brechin, Brock, Cailean, Callum, Colin, Colmac, Conran, Cradoc, Crinan, Declan, Diarmid, Doughal, Durell, Eachann, Eallair, Fionnghal, Frangan, Gavin, Glen, Guinn, Hamish, Hugh, Iain, Innis, Kathel, Kevoca, Kieran, Lachlan, Lamond, Lawrie, Liam, Lyle, Machan, Muir, Murdoch, Nairne, Neacal, Niall, Paidraig, Parlan, Raghnall, Ranald, Rhys, Rober, Ruarach, Seonid, Shim, Tamhas, Tammas, Tiobaird, Wallace
Common Female Names
Lowland: Aelicia, Agatha, Albreda, Alina, Alviva, Amabel, Amice, Basilia, Beatrix, Castanea, Celestria, Clarice, Constance, Dionise, Edelina, Egidia, Emmeline, Estrild, Galiana, Guinevere, Gundreda, Gunnora, Idonea, Iseult, Isold, Isotte, Jocasa, Julianna, Lauretta, Lecia, Lucia, Mabel, Magdalen, Marsilla, Maud, Melisant, Nicola, Ragenild, Roesia, Sabine, Saeva, Theophania
Highland: Ada, Aingale, Aislinn, Alma, Andra, Armorel, Baibin, Beatrice, Bereen, Bethea, Brighid, Cait, Caitrin, Catriona, Chloe, Clionna, Cristiona, Deonald, Emmaline, Edwina, Eilidh, Evaleen, Fiancha, Fiona, Fionnghal, Gillian, Honora, Iona, Ishbel, Ismay, Ivana, Jemima, Katrina, Kayleigh, Kiera, Leah, Letita, Luisaidh, Mave, Mairi, Malvina, Mavis, Moira, Morag, Morven, Muirne, Neassa, Niamh, Onara, Paige, Regina, Rowan, Shannon, Sheena, Siona, Siobhan, Thora
The barbarians to the north were another matter entirely. While those tribes to the northwest made their living as hunters, trappers and traders the larger tribes to the northeast were belligerent and dangerous. The empire’s military carved out sections of the lands directly north of the lakes, but had trouble holding onto those lands initially. Eventually, the empire established a military post, which grew to the City of Darcos. Darcos was led, not by a politician, but by a warlord, and the city itself reflected its military roots. The Order of Darcos became the preeminent training academy for those youths aspiring to leadership roles in the military and the Black and Gray uniforms of an Order graduate spoke volumes about the prowess of the individual wearing it.
As Darcos grew, the lands around it became tamer and soon other settlers came north to find a better life. The traders to Darcos’ west petitioned to join the empire, and their town of Tarnauld became a hub of commerce as it grew into a city. To the east, more independent-minded settlers found the town of Brineven close to the Tuathwold. Conflicts with the elves of the forest, the Tuath-nir, did not stop Brineven’s climb to the ranks of a city, for it was located near abundant natural resources, and could rely on Darcos for protection.
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