The Nation of Illyria
GeographyIllyria lies on the southern and eastern coasts of the continent. The inhabited region lies within about 50 miles of the coast. A mountain range whose foothills begin about 60 miles inland forms the western border in the northern half of the country, while a huge swamp and deep forest form the border of the southwestern half of the country. Much forested area exists between towns and villages: hardwood in the flat areas tending toward pine in the mountains.
Origin and Early HistoryIllyria is a fairly recent feudal kingdom south of the vast Empire of Mordantia. It was settled by the followers of Brandel Kliard, the second son of Emperor Bann of Mordantia, after begin exiled by his older brother, Amarto, for an attempt to usurp the throne following their father's death. Emperor Amarto was quite generous in offering permanent exile as an alternative to death by magic, the usual punishment for treason.
Brandel and his followers left by ship and followed the coast south and landed near what is now Galeus, the capitol, to establish an outpost. He had plans of returning for another attempt at the throne, but never left. Brandel was killed during the second winter by dire wolves. His son, Starion, spent the next twenty years building a colony and protecting his people. They had severe weather, wild animals, and a hostile native population to worry about.
The Caldean, a farming/hunting people similar to the Celts, controlled the area. They were goddess-worshippers that revered nature, bravery, loyalty, honor, equality, art, etc. Inheritance is in birth order, regardless of sex.
A series of bloody campaigns were waged with neither side gaining the advantage. Whereas the Mordantians had somewhat superior military organization and weaponry, the Caldeans were excellent woodsmen and fought a guerilla war. The fighting finally stopped when the Caldean royal
family was captured, and all the male members executed.
The Caldean nobility was either killed, disenfranchised, or went underground, and the peasants were subjugated. The craftsmen were largely excluded from the Guilds that developed and gained control. The Goddess religion also went underground and is practiced late at night, outdoors, in private homes, and in other less structured, noticeable ways.
Unfortunately for the invaders, who practiced primogeniture (first-born male inherits most property and titles), the sexually equal nature of the Caldean society had been overlooked, and the female members of the royal family were as important as the males. The royal heir at the time was an eight-year-old girl who was quickly hidden when the rest of the family was captured.
The Caldean Lords-in-Exile passed their titles and history down through the years to their sons and daughters. They are now gathering support to stage a rebellion. The Warmark, the highest military position separate from the High King, is now a woman, Taniquel Desera. She carries the mark of the office: a magic sword made of meteoric steel.
Coinage of Illyria
|Coin Type||Relative Size||Weight (grams)||# per pound||Relative Value|
|SP||Silver Penny ($)||Nickel||5||100||20||4||1||1/5||1/20||1/100|