The Former Lands of Almor
Once a shining and peaceful center of good, known for centuries within the darkening Great Kingdom; Almor was drawn over the edge of shadow and despair by the armies of Duke Szeffrin. Only recently is it starting to see the dawn of a new age, as the heavy mantle of evil is slowly lifted. What remains of this proud land is now divided between Ahlissa and Nyrond. Its once great cities still lay in ruin. In the north the lion pennants of Nyrond’s third legion snap in the wind over Narsel Mendred, but much of the city remains in rubble, and the outer estates still crouch in fire-blackened gloom. To the south Chathold, once a citadel of light, now lies under a dark cloud of evil. Undead lurk in its shadowy remains, and an unknown blight grows out from the city.
Historically, the earliest people to claim the Harp River valley south of the Flinty Hills were the civilized Lathu Ur-Flan tribe. The Lathu held the region for many years, fighting off the incursions of the Suel and Oeridian, but ultimately they lost their lands to the Oeridian Nehron kingdom. The Nehron lords wrestled with the locals for many years, stopping only when they were conquered by the Oeridian Aerdy kingdom.
Afterwards the two Oeridian kingdoms became known as the Great Kingdom. The lands of Almor were granted to the Aerdy house of Cranden, and named after Prince Almor. Over many years the power of the Cranden’s in the Almorian lands slowly bled away, to be held by a Council of Churches. As the Great Kingdom crumbled, the Almorian Cranden’s found they were beholden to an independent Council, and held power over their own lands only in name.
This council fostered new heights of political intrigue between religions, primarily Peloran and Pholtan but with influences from Heironeous, Zilchus and others. At their end, the council fought in defense by sending a raiding force deep into the Great Kingdom, hoping to wreak havoc and cause chaos by helping other malcontent regions gain sovereignty. After the raid was finally dealt with, Ivid dispatched the undead Animus Duke Szeffrin with the Great Kingdom’s armies to take care of the Almorian problem. The armies were very successful, leaving a swath of unbearable destruction in their wake.
From his summoned demonic perch of Bloodcrystal, Duke Szeffrin ruled the conquered lands and seethed in hatred at Ivid who had ordered him turned into an Animus. His opportunity for revenge came, and in 587 CY he disappeared, presumably to the capital of the Great Kingdom Rauxes, which fell into a magical Limbo.
In the Duke’s absence, King Lynwerd of the neighboring Nyrond (the other half of the ancient Nehron kingdom) proclaimed most of the war torn lands a protectorate of his Kingdom. The remaining sliver of Almor to the south of the Harp River was claimed by Overking Xavener of Ahlissa, one of the remnants of the collapsed Great Kingdom. This southern portion of old Almor is now known as the Marchlands of Chathold, containing the infested ruins of Chathold and its surrounding region.
A Brief History of Almor
Very little is known about the Lathu Ur-Flan tribe. Their greatest legacies are the many intricately carved ruins found scattered throughout Almor. Many of the Flan remaining in Almor can trace their ancestors to the original Lathu, and a few have managed to maintain some of their cultural traditions including their unique style of stone carving and the long-distance whistled language of Silberi still used by Flan rangers of the area. The Lathu resisted both the Suel and the Oeridian’s for years, but were ultimately vanquished by the Nehron Oeridian Kingdom sometime around -300CY.
-300 CY: – The Lathu Ur-Flan is conquered by the Nehron Oeridian Kingdom.
-110 CY (535 OR): Rhiandrel of Solan (Pelor) appointed as provincial governor over the Neurons Almorian Protectorate.
-62 CY (583 OR): Lysmean of Solan (Pelor) assumes role of governor from deceased Rhiandrel.
-45 CY (600 OR): Dacar Mendhred of Pholtus arrives.
-11 CY (634 OR): Belah Malsi of Solan (Pelor) assumes role from deceased Lysmean.
6 CY (650 OR): Ecumenical Council of Almor created and the first Prelate selected is High Priest Dhalal of Pelor.
252 CY: Cranden’s lose courts, military and veto powers in Almor.
450 CY: Almor gains sovereignty.
577 CY: Prelate Kevont is ousted from the Council. Anarkin of Heironeous replaces him.
582 CY: Anarkin retires. Kevont of Pholtus retakes the Prelate seat.
584 CY: 17th of Goodmonth, Chathold is destroyed, Kevont’s head is spiked at the gates of Chathold; the council is destroyed and has not met again.
587 CY: Nyrond reclaims the lands of Almor declaring it a protectorate of Nyrond.
- The Founding of Almor
- The Church of Pholtus and Almor
- Insurrection and the Fall of Almor
- The Lands of Almor Return to Nyrond
Geography: Almor is a land of gently rolling fields, broad meadows and fertile river valleys. Once it was considered to be a beautiful country with well-tended hedgerows and a pleasant patchwork of settlements. The folk of Almor were always considered friendly, their good will and trust were virtues of Good espoused wide and far. The loss which has been suffered since those good times is immense. The Great Kingdom’s rage brought this land low. Once flowering and fertile valleys now lay sickened and twisted, moldering from blight. Some work has been done to rebuild and reclaim the land from destruction, but this work is hard, and many still cower in the burned ruins that were their homes.
The great Harp River defines the eastern boundary of Almor. Before it was split by Nyrond and Ahlissa’s claims, Almor also included the peninsula south of the Harp River and north of the Bonewood. The western boundary with Nyrond was the Sword Road, but the new Nyrond Duchy of Almor has extended this boundary further to the West, but has also taken the Almorian lands north of the Flessern River and shifted them to the Nyrondese Duchy of Womtham.
The northern region around the Flessern River has been well known for its wines. Although most wineries were destroyed, some vines were salvaged and a few are managing to start up again. Farms can be found throughout the entire region, although the area in the northwest is very hilly, a veritable maze of hollows. One very noticeable feature of Almor is the distinct stonework of the ancient Lathu Ur-Flan of the area. Old ruins can be readily found, with stylized faces and other large carvings cropping out of hillsides here and there. Some of the more unique stonework is well regarded for its artistic style, even by Dwarves, and has periodically found its way out of the region to appreciative aficionados.
Life in Almor
Many of the survivors and refugees of Almor still reminisce on the old days, where you could travel alone in safety throughout the prelacy, visiting friendly folk everywhere and passing tracts of verdant fields. Settlements are working on revitalizing the land, but all are tightly assembled with at least a palisade wall (if not a greater fortification), and a nightly curfew.
Trade along the Harp is recovering, supported by recently built or refitted military outposts from both Ahlissa and Nyrond. However, bandits are still a problem, and marauding creatures are an even greater threat, concentrated most strongly along the shores near the ruins of Chathold and around the Badlands. Several trading companies have taken to banding together in large caravans that cross the lands at regular intervals (absent from this union is the Harp River Trading Company). Most travel is done in great numbers, to avoid problems. Only the most reckless, or confident, travel in small groups.
There are several forces at work within the lands of Almor. Otto of the Circle of Eight has a political presence in the City of Greyhawk, and despite Almor having been his homeland, he has remained unaffiliated in the new power groups of the area, although Lael Pirlon has approached him for support in the Almor Freedom Movement.
Relations with Nyrond
The Kingdom of Nyrond claims most of the original lands of Almor, and has backed it up with a strong military presence. Nyrond’s Legions have made great headway in dealing with the remnants of Duke Szeffrin’s occupation. Many feel Nyrond is simply reclaiming lands that were part of the original Oeridian Nehron Kingdom before it was conquered by the Oeridian Aerdy Kingdom. Others do not care about this association, and hold a grudge against anybody occupying the lands of Almor, which they feel should remain independent.
Duke Younard has positioned the First Legion along the Harp River and deeper inland, with the Third Legion covering the coastal regions. A rigorous project has been underway by the First Legion to build a string of outposts along the Harp River, to be ware and able to protect from any further invasion by the Great Kingdom remnants.
Relations with Ahlissa
Overking Xavener has reluctantly accepted Nyrond’s claim to the northern lands of Almor, and only then after a long period of denial. Unfortunately his inability to place troops in Almor forced him to cede the lands to Nyrond. However, he has insisted Prince Carwend support Marquis Karn Serrand in holding what remains of the Almorian Lands, now known as the Marchland of Chathold.
Almorian Council Remnants
The Almorian Council was destroyed by Duke Szeffrin, but some of the members (or their second in command) managed to flee the devastation. Since Duke Szeffrin disappeared these factions have resurfaced. The Pelorian and Raoan members have mostly appeared in Goldbolt. The Pholtans are massing in Narsel Mendred. Some of the old Almorian Council have been talking of a new Almor (although it is unclear if it would be independent, or if it would owe fealty to Ahlissa or Nyrond). Rumors have been started of a holy campaign to reclaim Chathold, but as of yet nothing has been formally announced.
Almor Freedom Movement
The Almor Freedom Movement is politically pushing for a new independent Almor ruled by house Cranden, as it should be. The movement has gained interest among the old nobility of Almor, and has also found some sympathetic ears in both Nyrond and Ahlissa. Whatever the motivation, the cause is even appreciated by some patriotic peasants. There is also a small following among the Flan rangers in the northern hills.
The leader of the movement is known only as the Sable Phlox, obviously a covert identity for his own safety. Very few know that he is actually Lael Pirlon, who is a trueblood Almorian Cranden.
Locations and Settlements in the Former Almorian Lands
- The Ruins of Chathold
- Narsel Mendred