Minrothad Guilds

Location: South of Karameikos, east of Ierendi and west of Thyatis.
Area: 8,120 sq. mi. (18,270 sq. km.) Population: 208,000 (approximately 50% elves, 43% humans, 5% dwarves, 2% halflings).
Languages: Minrothaddan, Thyatian Common (known mainly for trade and business). Coinage: Crona (gp), byd (ep), quert (sp), and plen (cp).
Taxes: Officially, guilds owe a 20% annual income tax, while individuals owe 10%. Yet, there are many extenuating circumstances which can reduce or increase the amount owed of which only Minrothaddan tax collectors can keep track of all of them. There is an 8% sales tax for local items, while all imported items (or services) have an 18% sales tax. Foreigners must also immediately pay a 20% income tax for all income earned while in the nation.
Government Type: Plutocracy; every guild master has a seat on the Council, with the most powerful guild master ruling over the council. Now, Oran Meditor is growing in power and trying to assume a presidential role.
Industries: Crafts, trade, and services.
Important Figures: Oran Meditor (Ruling Guild Master, elf,male, F10/M11).
Flora and Fauna: Birds, donkeys, goats and lizards are commonly spotted on the various islands. Monkeys and small, wild pigs are also known to be present deeper inland.
? Vegetation is dominated by mahogany and teak, although numerous fruit-bearing trees are also common.
Further Reading: GAZ 9 - The Minrothad Guilds, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3, andJoshuan's Almanac.

Description: by Favonius Viator.

Being a merchant myself, I find that makes me perfectly qualified to talk about the money-grubbing Merchant-Princes of the Minrothad Guilds and their nation. They currently enjoy supremacy of the sea-trade, but mark my words, Thyatis is about to claim that title from them.

The Land

Like many of the islands of the Dread Coast, the Minrothad islands are volcanic in origin. The mountain ridges are covered with forests, while the closer to shore are scattered patches of palm trees. The beaches on the eastern shores, are long and shallow, while the western shores tend to be dominated by cliffs and black sand beaches.

The islands of Minrothad have only a few forests remaining, and these are mostly replanted. In their constant pursuit of the domination of the sea, the Minrothaddans nearly cut down every tree in sight to make their precious little boats. Although I admire their enthusiasm, this simply goes to show how short- sighted they are to long-term profits.

Minrothad is situated right where the moist Dragon Winds from the south meet the cold Continental Sweep Winds from the north. This has two main effects on the weather of the area. First, it creates a lot of fog (something the local pirates enjoy), which makes any sea journey treacherous to those who do not know the location of every reef and rock that sticks out of the waters. Second, it creates tornadoes, which can devastate towns or create huge waterspouts to capsize boats, neither of which are useful to anyone.

There are six main islands that compose this mercantile nation. Trader's Isle contains Minrothad City, the capital of this bureaucratic nation. There are two volcanoes on this island which are, unfortunately [we hope he meant to say fortunately. Ed.], inactive.

Alfeisle is home to the wood and sea elves of the nation. It is the one place where forests are still rather abundant, but that's only because of the elven love of trees. Admittedly, these elves are extraordinary sailors.

Fortress Island, on the opposite side, is the stronghold of the Minrothad dwarves - dwarves who live on an island and sail the seas. Something about that just screams treachery against the essential nature of dwarves.

The other isles have little importance. North Isle is simply a stopover for ships heading north. Both Blackrock Island and Fire Island are active volcanoes, hence are uninhabited by the Minrothaddans.

The People

What can be said about the Minrothaddans besides the fact that they will do anything to get your money. They call this "the Ethics of Competition," which blatantly means that anything short of murder and treason is acceptable, provided that Minrothad comes out ahead. All the races of the islands believe in this; even the elves and halflings, who are just as bad as the human Minrothaddans. [As you might have guessed, these are obviously the opinions of the writer, and not of the editors of the Almanac. Ed.]

Their laws are all aimed at profiting the locals and hurting foreigners, especially their merchants. Just look at the ridiculous sur-tax they have on foreign goods! Worse, unlike any other civilized nation, their punishments are more severe on foreigners who don't know their laws than on the locals. Death is a very common sentence to many crimes, including anything that has to do with money.

Speaking of laws, they have the most complicated system anywhere. Every dispute is handled by the courts instead of with an honorable duel. And the winner is usually the one who can afford the best lawyers. Needless to say, with the extra tax on services for foreigners, it's usually not the foreigner who can afford such legal services.

Recent History

Minrothad hasn't done much recently, besides continue to make money and not care one way or the other about the rest of the world. During the Wrath of the Immortals, although they did supply Thyatis with ships and transportation, they were just as eager to get their hands on Alphatian gold and provided them with the same services.

More recently, Minrothad has made an attempt to gain control of the Aegos Pit to the Hollow World. Of course, we beat them to it, but our governments came to an agreement to clear the Pit together. Now, they blame us for recent sabotage on their project to steal wealth from the Hollow World. I think they should take a long look at the large list of other nations they have offend in their bid for money before accusing the Great Empire of Thyatis. What do we care for their little projects?

Back on the islands themselves, Oran Meditor is making a slow but steady bid for power. Many believe he will try to name himself king of Minrothad. Of course, the other guilds are plotting to overthrow the elf. I hope the whole lot of them fall in a civil war and destroy themselves. It will save us the trouble later on.

Don't Miss

If you're a foreigner, take the first ship leaving Minrothad. If you stay any amount of time, you'll probably get into an argument, face their dreaded court system, get arrested, and sooner or later obtain a death warrant on your head. Like I've said, they only care about their money, not about the foreigners' welfare. One last warning, only members of the Tutorial Guild are allowed to cast spells; anyone else, including foreigners, will be swiftly punished if they try.
Orclands (Goblinoid Territories of the)

Location: Northeast of Darokin and Aengmor, southeast of Rockhome.
Area: Approximately 12,936 sq. mi.
Population: Estimated at around 15,000 goblinoids (primarily orcs).
Languages: Tharian Common (most dialects, but Orcish dialect is the most common).
Coinage: Any (mostly stolen).
Taxes: Whatever can be taken from one's underlings.
Government Type: Coalition of semi-autonomous nations, eachruled by a chief.
Industries: Warfare, subsistence herding. Limited mining (primarily in the region of C'Kag).
Important Figures: Alebane (King of Xorg, ogre, male, F10), Hutai-Khan (Khan of New Hobgobland, hobgoblin, male, F9), Moghul-Khan (Khan of Dast, yellow orc, male, F9/rumored to be a Devil Swine), Tlatepetl (Governor-General of C'Kag, red orc, male, F10), Khordarg (Red dragon, male).
Flora and Fauna: Aside from the predominance of goblinoids in the region, many monsters can be found here. These include animal herds (primarily deer), apes (snow and white), black bears, mountain lions, and wolves. There are rumors that a large red dragon made its home in the area near C'Kag a long time ago.
Further Reading: GAZ 10 - The Orcs of Thar, and GAZ 11 - The Republic of Darokin.
Description: by Ryuk-uk Tshaa [Ed. note: As this account was written early in 1014 AC, before Ryu left to join up with the Great Migration, we are happy to be able to expand upon it with additions from an intelligence report by Ursula Bremen]

While searching for missing genealogical data linking the Trollhattan trolls to their ancestors in Trollheim [In the Broken Lands and Vestland, respectively. Ed.] my companion Starkad and I found ourselves in the Orclands, where decidedly interesting developments were taking place.

The Land

The mountains of Orcland are an even more harsh, barren territory than those of the so-called Broken Lands. Sheer mountain bluffs, almost perpetually covered in snow, are the most predominant feature here in the Dwarfgate Mountain range. Vegetation is minimal, and the few animals that we have seen appear to be woefully undernourished.

The People

The majority of the goblinoid denizens are orcs, of the so-called 'common orc' variety. There are a surprising number of Orcus Hyborianus species intermixing with those of the species Orcus Porcus here [For more on the various species of goblinoids, see the 'Orcs of Thar' gazetteer by Sir Bruce Herdland, a noted Glantrian scholar. Ed].

Of the other goblinoid denizens, there is a large population of red and yellow orcs, with a smattering of hobgoblins and ogres. I suspect this is a very recent development, with displaced goblinoids fleeing their ancestral homes in the Broken Lands due to Shadow Elf incursions there. The sheer increase in numbers here in the Orclands seems odd, though, as the Great Crater is a noted haven for goblinoids since the Great War. I suspect other factors are at work.

The region of C'Kag was until recently, inhabited primarily by trolls with a reputation for being uncharacteristically expansionistic, particularly in a species of such low social sophistication.

Recent History

The Orclands have always been a bone of contention for the Republic of Darokin. The lands themselves have long been considered the Republic's own, due to the fact that no one else wanted them (which is perhaps suitable for the 'Land of Leftovers', as Darokin is sometimes called). This has often led to diplomatic difficulties with surrounding lands, who assumed that the Republic had some control over the raiding goblinoids who made their homes there.

In the years prior to the Great War, goblinoid activity was suspiciously, at a low level. It was suspected that the orcs of the area were busy defending themselves against the trolls of C'Kag. Such concerns took a back seat, when the hordes of Hule began their war with the Republic.

Recently, the goblinoids have once again, become very quiet. Some of those stationed at Fort Hobart informed us that the Republic suspects another internal goblinoid war is taking place, but they are unsure of with whom. Darokinian forces are staying on high alert.

From a report by Ursula Bremen-

"... reports of their demise was premature. The ogre king Alebane, the hobgoblin Hutai-Khan, and a General Tlatepetl (see attachment E), apparently survived the Shadow Elf assault on the city of Oenkmar (now known as Aengmor- see attachment F) in 1012 AC. We suspect that they escaped by way of [CENSORED], and made their way to the surface.

(Later Account) "It appears as if they returned near the Orclands, where they formed an alliance with the orc Moghul-Khan (Moghul-Khan has been holed up in Dast since the end of the Great War. See attachment H). From there, it appears they spent the majority of the next year conquering the Orclands from the trolls of C'Kag, who had dominated the region since before the Great War. It is possible that [CENSORED] supplied the goblinoids with arms; we have sent an agent to investigate.

(Later Account) "The goblinoid coalition is now in control of the Orclands, though theirs is a tentative alliance at best. Religious differences plague the denizens of Dast and New Hobgobland (formerly Grukk). The greatest threat seems to be the keep of C'Kag, which has been under heavy construction. General Tlatepetl is still an unknown, and it has been difficult to get an agent in past his patrols. We hope to [CENSORED]."

Don't Miss

There is a great deal of activity around the region of C'Kag. New construction is being built by the trolls, now apparently became the slaves of red orcs. Starkad is quick to point out the effectiveness of the buildings as military fortifications [Ed. note: Ryu noted at a later date that these structures bear a strong resemblance to buildings in the lands of the Tiger Clan]. We were unable to stay for long, for fear of being spotted by the heavy patrols in the area. Starkad also reports that he spotted a red dragon in the vicinity.

From a report to the DDC by Ursula Bremen-
"... red dragon that has raided the surrounding lands for the past few weeks has returned to the mountains near C'Kag. This may bode ill, as Darokinian agents have suspected for years that there was some force masterminding the trollish attacks in the Orclands (see attachment L). [CENSORED] will remain in the region to investigate this development."

Ostland (Kingdom of)

Location: Off the coast of the Sea of Dawn, east of Vestland and south-east of Heldann.
Area: 8,920 sq. mi. (20,070 km2)
Population: 131,000 humans Languages: Heldannic.
Coinage: Krona (gp), Eyrir (sp) and Oren (cp).
Taxes: None. All revenue is gained through raids into other nations.
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Piracy, agriculture (grain, potatoes, and beets), fishing, logging, and trade.
Important Figures: Finn Hordson (King, human, male, F5), Yrsa Svlasdottir (Queen-mother of King, human, female, P10 of Odin), Asgrim the Bowed (Royal adviser, human, male, P15 of Odin)
Flora and Fauna: Sheep, horse, cattle, goats, dogs, deer, elk, and brown bears can be found on the islands of Ostland. The forests are composed of ash, yew, and conifers.
Further Reading: GAZ7 - The Northern Reaches, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3, and Joshuan's Almanac.

Description: by Misha Mananov

Surely Halav has blessed me to allow me to visit such wondrous places far beyond the lands of Traladara. I deem it but a small task to write about these places so that others can learn and experience the same sense of wonder that I have.

The Land

Ostland is composed of several relatively flat islands just off the shore of the mainland. Only Noslo Island has any form of high relief, with small mountains on its eastern shores. With only a few forests scattered about the land, the cold winter winds have nothing to block their entry into the homes of the Ostlanders. These freezing winters would seem like a bad omen to most people in Karameikos, yet to the hardy northmen it is simply a winter like any other.

Still, the other seasons are much warmer, allowing the hard working Ostlanders a long and blessed growing season for their agriculture.

Ostlanders live in small villages, usually composed of just a single clan. Everyone in such a village is therefore a blood brother, so they eagerly give each other aid when needed. Noblo Island is well populated with such clan settlements, having almost all cultivable lands used for their grain and potatoes fields.

The other islands of the nation are sparsely populated and much more wilder than Noblo.

The People

Above anything, the Northmen honor bravery and scorn the weak. The civilized way of words used by the Thyatians and Minrothaddans who visit their nation is dishonorable in their point of view. They fear nothing, not even the darkness of eternal death, and march off to battle foes even when hopelessly outnumbered. To a northman, death in battle is the only method of finding happiness in the afterlife.

Ostlanders give praise to their divine Gods [the "Gods" of the Northern Reaches are merely Immortals. The northerners simply call them Gods, much like the hin call their Immortals "Heroes" after the title they received when they were mortal. Ed.], just as any respectful people should. They maintain their ancient traditions and customs, despite many pressures from foreign powers to change. This is what I admire about them, having felt similar feelings of dishonoring Halav back home with the blending of Traladaran and Thyatian cultures. The reverence for Odin and Thor runs deep in their blood, and never will they accept any insults to their beliefs.

Yet they are quick to anger at any insult upon them, not just those toward their Gods. Battles to the death over a perceived wrong is commonplace here, and to be called a coward afraid to fight is the worse insult imaginable to them. And they do not forgive as easily as you or I; an enemy made is often for life.

Of the three Northern Reaches nations, Ostland is still practicing pirating and raiding of foreign nations. And they do not deny it when accused either. They view such raids as tests of manhood, and that only the weak whine about their fate. To most, such plundering is violent and brutal, but to the Ostlanders, it is a way of life.

Recent Events

During the Wrath of the Immortals, King Hord of Ostland died while attempting to raid an Alphatian warship. He was succeeded by his son, Finn. Finn only recently turned 18 [in AC 1013. Ed.], and was unable to claim the throne until that point. The nation was therefore ruled by Queen Yrsa and High Priest Asgrim the Bowed until Finn attained manhood.

Since attaining manhood, there have been several attempts on the young man's life. A civil war broke out for the earlier parts of this year, but the Young King showed wisdom beyond his years when he managed to end it peacefully. I foretell a future greatness for this Finn Hordson.

Now, Finn looks on to expand his nation, and his eyes are settling on the Isle of Dawn and Norwold.

Don't Miss

When visiting Ostland, one should enjoy the hospitality offered by the northmen. Since there are no inns in the entire nation, one might as well accept the comfort of their homes and a warm meal. Often, the men of the village will gather together in their main longhouse for drinking and tale-telling. The storytelling bards of Ostland are known as skalds, and the legends of bravery, heroism, and valor are some of the most moving I have ever heard. It is truly a pleasurable experience and not to be missed when presented with the opportunity.
Rockhome (Kingdom of)

Location: East of Darokin and Aengmor, south of Ethengar, west of the Northern Reaches and northwest of Ylaruam.
Area: 41,140 sq. mi. (92,565 sq. km.)
Population: 1,000,000 dwarves, plus a handful of humans who have been permitted to stay.
Languages: Dwarvish, Thyatian Common (which many dwarves learn during their trade dealings with the outside world).
Coinage: Sun (10 gp), trader (1 gp), moon (10 sp), star (1 sp), and stone (cp).
Taxes: Annual (Kaldmont 1) 100% Income tax collected by clan, which is then redistributed by the clan head according to need and productivity. Roughly 35% of the collected sum is paid as taxes to the King. Foreigners have a 5% sales tax on all goods purchased in Rockhome, as well as a 25% income tax on all wages earned in Rockhome.
Government Type: Monarchy, heavily influenced by clan leaders.
Industries: Mining (precious metals and iron), metalworking, stoneworking, crafts. Important Figures: Everast XVI (King, dwarf, male, F15)
Flora and Fauna: The most important creatures of Rockhome at this time are the countless goblinoids running rampant throughout the valleys. Otherwise, one would have to worry about wild horses, deer, mountain lions, wolves, and yeti.
Pine forests seem to be the only type of forest that can make a living in the area.
Further Reading: GAZ6 - The Dwarves of Rockhome, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3, andJoshuan's Almanac.

Description: by Ursula Bremen

Unfortunately, the dwarves of Rockhome have recently closed their borders to all foreigners, including to members of the Darokin Diplomatic Corps. The dwarves are still upset over the Western Defense League's refusal to help them in their war against the shadow elves in the caverns beneath the Broken Lands. Now, in their paranoia, they view all humans as allies to the shadow elves.

Rumors have left the dwarven nation claiming that they are facing constant goblinoid raids, yet are too stubborn to ask other nations for help.
I therefore have no report to give to you on Rockhome at the present time. I assure you, however, that the DDC will have a report for next year, whether or not the dwarves give them permission to enter their lands.

Sind (Kingdom of)

Location: West of the Atruaghin Territories, Darokin, south- west of Glantri.
Area: Total 200,000 sq. mi. (450,000 sq. km.), of which Azadgal: 10,000 sq. mi. (22,500 sq. km.); Baratkand: 32,500 sq. mi. (73,125 sq. km.); Gunjab: 17,000 sq. mi. (38,250 sq. km.); Jalawar: 13,500 sq. mi. (30,375 sq. km.); Jhengal: 32,000 sq. mi. (72,000 sq. km.); Kadesh: 20,500 sq. mi. (46,125 sq. km.); Nagpuri: 13,000 sq. mi. (29,250 sq. km.); Peshmir: 12,000 sq. mi. (27,000 sq. km.); Putnabad: 11,000 sq. mi. (24,750 sq. km.); Shajarkand: 25,000 sq. mi. (56,250 sq. km.); and Sindrastan: 13,000 sq. mi. (29,250 sq. km.).
Population: App. 550,000 plus hordes of occupying goblinoids and other minions of Hule. (Azadgal: 45,000; Baratkand: 40,000; Gunjab: 12,500; Jalawar: 65,000; Jhengal: 40,000; Kadesh: 30,000; Nagpuri: 60,000; Peshmir: 35,000; Putnabad: 75,000; Shahjarkand: 65,000; Sindrastan: 80,000)
Languages: Sindhi, some Thyatian Common (Darokinian dialect).
Coinage: Guru (25 gp), rupee (5 gp), bhani (2 ep), khundar(sp), piaster (cp).
Taxes: Each mumlyket imposes and collects its own taxes. The occupying forces of Hule demand an annual poll tax of one Khundar per person, regardless of age, gender, or caste.
Government Type: Feudal monarchy (king and nobles called rajahs and maharajahs). The Master of Hule rules Sind through his puppet-king, Chandra ul Nervi, the current Rajahdhirajah.
Industries: Agriculture, trade (salt, silk, cotton, rice, and especially tea).
Important Figures: Chandra ul Nervi (Rajadhirahja, human, male, C13), Inay Paramesh (Rajah of Jalawar, human male, T13), Drisana Madhar (former Rani of Jalawar now in exile, human,female, M9).
Flora and Fauna: Monsters that are found in the regions of Sind include animal herds, giant ants, bandits (in the desert), basilisks, camels, cockatrices, djinn, red dragons, efreet, elephants, ghouls, gnolls, giant lizards, lupins, manscorpions, mummies, giant scorpions, shadows, sphinxes, and trolls.

Description: by Ryuk-uk Tshaa [Ryu has been sending us descriptions of each of the various areas that he travels to on his way through Sind. Due to the chaotic situation in Sind during AC 1015, we have only been receiving sporadic reports from our Hsiao correspondent. The only entry we have yet received is on the Rajahstan of Jalawar, which we present here for our readers. Ed.]

The Land

The mumlyket of Jalawar is colloquially referred to as the "Gateway to Sind", due to its geographic location at the head of the Asanda river, one of the primary routes into Sind itself. The predominant features of Jalawar are its grass and farmlands; it is also home to one of the few remaining swaths of forest in Sind.

The waters of the Asanda bring generous deposits of silt down from its northern head in the Great Salt Swamp, making the lands along its shores some of the most fertile farmland in the Old World; certainly the most fertile in Sind. Hundreds of tiny farming villages line the eastern banks of the Asanda in Jalawar, where they produce more than enough food to support the mumlyket; the surplus helps to provide for the rest of the agriculturally starved kingdom of Sind.

Central Jalawar is populated by small families of cattle owners, who keep their livestock full on the short grasses that fill the landscape, and the forest to the far east provides the only elephant reserve within the borders of Sind.

The People

The main human stock of Sind is a blend of Atruaghin and Urduk racial stocks, a combination which has resulted in the nut brown skin tone often equated to the Sindhi. The people of Jalawar, in particular, are a more reddish brown than most Sindhi, likely due to a greater Atruaghin influence based on their geographical location. Almost two-thirds of the population is rural, living in the hundreds of farming villages along the Asanda river, or in the central grasslands. The rest live predominantly in the large trading ports along the southern shore.

There is a large foreign presence in Jalawar, due to its preeminence as a trading center. As a result, there is a far greater portion of non-Sindhi to be found here than anywhere else in the nation. Peoples of all nationalities abound - Ierendians, Minrothaddans, Darokinians, Yavdlom; there is even a sizable population of Sindized Atruaghin peoples in the outlying towns and villages.

It is primarily this large foreign element that has led to a relaxation of the rules of the Sindhi caste system; for decades, I am told, there has been a gradual transition to a more "easternized" system of belief in equality, a move endorsed by the Madhar family that has traditionally ruled Jalawar. Rajah Paramesh, from a more conservative branch of the Madhar line, has been attempting to reimpose the caste system in Jalawar, an action that has not served to make him any more popular among the people of this mumlyket.

Recent History

Rajah Inay Paramesh came to power in 1005 AC, with the aid of the elite troops of then-Rajadhiraja Kiritan Ul-Nervi, deposing his distant cousin Drisana Madhar. Drisana, one of the few rajahs to maintain their loyalty to Chandra Ul-Nervi in the face of the Master's invasion, retreated to the Yavdlom Divinarchy, where she helped rally Chandra to return to Sind. She remains in Yavdlom still.

Rajah Paramesh has slowly consolidated his power in the years since, and has only recently been able to reopen trade with the outside world, bolstering the economy of Jalawar once more. There is still much resistance to the new Rajah, particularly as he is still closely allied with the Hulean invaders. Jalawar is heavily occupied with Hulean forces, as much for the income provided by its trading as for its agricultural surplus, which serves as the main source of food for Hule's Sindhi troops.

Don't Miss

Though I was not able to visit it, I have been told that the capital city of Sambay (pop. 12,000) is quite a sight to behold. Traditional Sindhi architecture blends with a wide array of architectural styles from throughout the world - from as far west as Slagovich and the Savage Coast, to the easterly styles of Alphatia - and with a population as diverse. There is a large contingent of Hulean forces encamped in a shanty town just outside the northern gates of Sambay, along the banks of the Asanda, but that hasn't seemed to faze the foreign elements one bit. Life goes on as usual in the busy merchant town.