The Kingdom of Silmaroth
The Kingdom of Silmaroth was formerly two different kingdoms which were united in 732 when the Queen of Ardamoth married the King of Silmar, sealing their union against the Southern Empire of Caresh.
The Province of Ardamoth
The Province of Ardamoth, or Ardamien as is the modern name, was the first of the Old Continent settlements on the Dhargenaas Continent. Of course the Imperials from Aumethorion had already founded the Careshian Empire (The Southern Empire) and the Belemarians had founded the Empire of Belemar, but the Ardamians were the first from the Old Continent and arrived just 10 years after the landfall.
Of Cal’Duahn rebel stock, the Ardamians fled the harsh justice of their peers, for they were free thinkers and enjoyed physical challenges and sports. While they do possess the same mean streak as Silmarians, they are not zealous to a fault. In Cal’Duahn free thought was not considered a good thing if strict rules and doctrines were broken, and this led some of the Ardamien leaders to rebel against their rulers. The rebellion was a lost cause, the might of the Silmarian strain of the Cal’Duahn too great, and the rebels fled the Old Continent nearly one hundred years before the cataclysm that decimated their brethren.
Paradoxically these enemies of old would prove to become staunch allies when faced with the perils of the Southern Empires of Belemar and Caresh, and when the two empires merged, the Queen of Ardamien, then Ardamoth, married the Silmarian King to seal a mutual protection union between their countries.
Ardamians prove to be quite different than the Silmarians. The HexenJaegers move silently here, lest they end up lynched by a mob of enraged citizens. The people is more closely knit together and burning one of their friends at the stake for supposed wizardry is not something people like to witness. Thus the HexenJaegers kidnap and burn their victims in this region and their wear anonymous clothing to hide their identities while in densely populated areas. They do like to ride in force and terrorize isolated villages, but this habit has made them even more unpopular. They have a hard time of convincing the population of the holiness of their cause as they have no cataclysm to strike terror at the heart of the free willed people.
Still the Ardamians have enough flaws to go around. They are proud and haughty and if given the chance they will brag about themselves and their kin, for hours at end. They are brutal and physical puns like punching each other while unaware is considered good humour. Strength is important and only the Monks of Ketange-Ishatal preserve the old ways of physical perfection and spiritual enlightenment. The latter is often forgotten by the regular Ardamien citizen and the intellectual shallowness of the regular Ardamian is the subject of several Imperial jokes, while the Silmarite jokes mostly centre on perceived Ardamian perversions and miscomprehensions.
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Additional Ideas (3)
This huge peninsula is the home of the Bhalas Ardamians and the region is mostly cold, hilly wilderness. The Ardamians live in scattered villages here, much like the Cyllerean Barbarians, and they are a mixed people where Ardamian-Barbarian marriages frequently occur. The names of Bhalas Ardamians reflect their union with the barbarians and they have even taken to tattooing elaborate patterns on parts of their body, in true barbarian fashion. The Bhalas Ardamians are renowned raiders and their coastal villages have all at least one long ship in which the male villagers depart to raid the southern coastlines as well as distant places like the Acaian Islands and even Valkarhoth.
The City of Lond Bhalas
The peninsula is named after the big city of Lond Bhalas, which is recognized as the greatest port in all of Silmaroth. The cobblestone, beam and thatched roof architecture lends a certain rustic charm to the city, which is the home of nearly seventy thousand Bhalas Ardamians. There is no proper city wall, but the port area is one huge fortification, with tremendous towers guarding the sea entrance as well as the entrance from the city itself.
There is nothing much special or magic about Lond Bhalas, and evil tongues claim that is why they have such an urge to leave the area. Indeed Bhalas Ardamians can be found in every part of the world, and often work as mercenaries or body guards. They value physical perfection above all else and are often excellent warriors.
The Hills of the Arakosh Tribes
These hills lay at the very northernmost border of Ardamien, in an area which has yet to be conquered by the Kingdom or the Empire, or any other power for that matter. There are some scattered Ardamien outposts here, but the Arakosh Hillsmen travels these hills mostly unchecked. It is the Ardamien frontier and life here is a constant struggle for survival and skirmishes frequently occur. There are some Arakosh Hillsmen who has joined the Ardamian society as fishermen, hunters or mercenaries, but these are just a minority of the tribes.
The Bay of Ardam is at the very heart of Ardamien. Here is the provincial capital of Argalath and the fortress town of Arbad. It is a relatively small area, but the most bountiful in terms of natural resources and arable land. This is where the Kingdom produces its prime grain, cattle and even iron. They extract gems like amethyst and emerald from the local Athiahn Hills as well as the rare Ekeiat resin, extracted from the evergreen Ekeiat trees. These trees can only be found in Ardamien, and especially around the Bay of Ardam. This resin is vital in the production of alchemist items such as fire oil and smoke bombs. It is also used in more mundane production.
The area surrounding the bay is dotted with towns and is where more than 70 percent of the population lives. This is where the Crown Prince has his palace within the Royal Forest of Abelarden, sometimes described as "his highness' playground" by mocking Ardamians. The bay area is the only part of Ardamien in which the threat of Barbarians, Goblins or Mountain Trolls is not ever present, and even wolves and bears are rare.
The Provincial Capital of Argalath
Formerly the Capital of Ardamoth, the proud City of Argalath is the cultural centre of the Ardamians. Built on the spot where the rivers Argalath and Gelthienord both meet the Bay of Ardam, the city is densely forested with trees in every garden and along every street. For this very reason the city is often called the city of trees, and combined with the grey, cobbled architecture this city is a coarse but beautiful place. There are no snobs or dandy nobility within the city and the Warden, the Earl of Ardam, is most often a no-nonsense down to earth kind of guy, the usual racial traits of the Ardamians aside. The atmosphere in the city is so casual that the Crown Princes of Silmaroth long since refused to live there and instead took residence within the Forest of Abelarden, where a miniature version of the Koenigsburg Court resides, playing the games of the Western nobility.
The City of Arbad
For long but a town, a recent wave of immigrants from the war in the south has boosted the population threefold and now it is the biggest city in the north, east of the Cyllereans. Arbad has been constructed on the slope of the small Mountain Odhan, and the steep sides of the mountain require the roads to zigzag up towards the summit, where the Earl's Castle has been built. Decidedly the most impressive Ardamian City, Arbad has recently grown a huge slum on the outskirts of the city perimeters. A huge shantytown of huts and tents it is, outside of the city walls. The foulburgh* has problems concerning sewage and crime, but the Earl has recently tripled the patrols and thus hopes to cope with the situation. On the Northern side of the City, the face of mount Odhan is a sheer cliff, and the drop from the summit down to the beach of Ardam Bay is more than two thousand feet.
*Foulburgh: The part of the city outside the city walls. In this case the shantytown.
Lake Tarnil and the Woodlands
Lake Tarnil is also referred to as the Silver Lake, and is a huge inland sea completely surrounded by a deciduous forest. In the sagas the Tarnil Forest was cleansed of evil some three hundred years ago, when the newly ascended God Sil'Durhon and his clergy raised an army to purge the forest of elves. The maidens captured during this brief war were later chained within the temples of Sil'Durhon and there they must repent their sins for the rest of their eternal lives. At times the High Priests of Sil'Durhon pity these maidens and bless them with the seed of life, resulting in the scions of Sil'Durhon, the half-elves, champions of Good, who are tutored and trained to become true members of the faith. Due to the recent schism between the Empire and the Kingdom, the church of Sil'Durhon has fully withdrawn from the north and pledged their full support of the Imperial Throne. This has led these priests and half elves to be branded as traitors in Silmaroth.
The Lake is surrounded by a number of fishing villages, as well as the town of Bhurad, which is the staging point of caravans entering the Cyllereans by the Lost Road. The southern bank of the Lake is where the border swamp begins and within this swamp the Ardamians have constructed three fortifications to defend their borders from the Empire. Within this very swamp the fighting has reached a stalemate, the Imperials hitherto unable to dislodge the Ardamians from their mosquito ridden strongholds. The rumours even whisper that within one of the Strongholds, only a handful of survivors continue their resistance, half dead of starvation; fed only by the rotting meat of their fallen comrades, they laugh madly when the Imperials charge, fighting beyond the point of death, denying the Imperials their victory.
The Eastern Cyllereans are pretty much like the west; harsh, barren lands where half giants, goblins, wolves, trolls, and countless barbarian tribes live. The mountain passes are nearly impassable during winter and hazardous during summer. While the mountains are surely the home of many hostile creatures, the Ardamians have a certain kinship with the Mountain Barbarians and they are tolerated better than most. Still this does not exclude frequent battles, as the barbarians fight among themselves as gladly as against zealous Silmarites or haughty Imperials. They only respect their own clan, and those clans they have sworn allegiance to.
The P'tuah Plateau
The P'tuah Plateau is the common denominator of the highland plains in the middle of the Cyllereans. Ardamian colonizers have made their way here, and they have adopted the clan structure of the nearby barbarian tribes. They still pay taxes to their lord, the Earl of P'tuah, and he sends his taxes to the crown. Still there is no grand revenue from this region, as there are mostly goat herders and warrior clansmen in the area. The Earl of P'tuah is unknown in the Royal Court of Koenigsberg and it is just as well. He is usually just an unwashed, rude barbarian anyhow; at least he would be in the eyes of the courtiers.
There is one location of note on the P'tuah Plateau. The Ketange Monastery is a haven for Ardamian intellectuals, sorcerers and the otherwise spiritually gifted. Located close to the aboriginal caves of the Plateau, the monks harbour knowledge, even embroidering sacred texts and precious information into the fabric of their own clothing, the fabled Ketange-Robes. In particular they are preoccupied with the notion of evil, and their discoveries have left some of the monks addle brained or half mad with panic, denial and despair. Still the monks who retain their calm take care of their unfortunate brethren and thus the monastery can be a frightening place, filled with the screams of the tormented souls.