Shield Lands

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HISTORY

When Ferrond broke from the Great Kingdom in 254 CY, the nobles of the Nyr Dyv’s north shore refused to acknowledge the new king In the ruins of the Shield Lands in Dyvers. Loyal to the ideal of ancient Aerdy but wholly opposed to the decadent regime in Rauxes, these nobles failed to declare complete independence, instead existing somewhere in-between autonomy and their former status as vassals to the viceroy.

When similar circumstances resulted, ultimately, in the formation of the lawless Combination of Free Lords to the north, the southern nobles banded together, forming the “Shield Lands” as a bulwark against the depredations and chaos of the north. Since the earl of Walworth commanded Admundfort, at the time the only notable city in the region, he was chosen as the knight commander of the combined forces of the nobles. Within a handful of years, the new capital saw the formation of the Knights of Holy Shielding, a Heironean order that both formed the core of the new national army and served as an example of good, clean living through dedication to strict, militaristic goals.

The first true challenge to the authority of the shield came during 420-445 CY, when a local warlord gained the Hand and Eye of Vecna, two surpassingly evil artifacts. The lord, Halmadar the Cruel, conquered the region near Delcomben and laid siege to Critwall before being drugged by his subjects and interred alive in the Kron Hills. After the Halmadar affair, the earl of Walworth increased the size of the Knights of Holy Shielding, stationing his holy warriors as advisers throughout the land. When the Horned Society appeared after the disappearance of Iuz, affairs in the Shield Lands reached a desperate crescendo. Here were enemies dedicated to vile darkness and evil sacrifice, who had sworn upon the ashen altars of Molag’s Hall of Dread that they would march to Admundfort and line the walls with the earl’s intestines. Though years passed without significant military activity, the period between 550-570 saw heavy skirmishing along the western banks of the Ritensa River. Great forts such as Torkeep were raised, but such defenses soon proved inadequate.

In 579 CY, the Horned Society banded together with the lords of the bandit realms Warfields and Wormhall. With hobgoblin and mercenary armies supported by daemons and demodands, the vast host swarmed the western territories, bypassing strongholds and laying waste to villages and farmsteads.

GEOGRAPHY

The Shield Lands are located in the central portion of the Flanaess, just north of the Nyr Dyv.

The most populous towns are Critwall (pop. 14,300), Amundfort (pop. 5,000), and Bright Sentry (pop. 2,700, located on Scragholme Island).

RELIGION

The most popular deities among the Shield Lands’s citizenry are Heironeous, Saint Cuthbert, Mayaheine, Pholtus, and Trithereon.

GOVERNMENT

The Shield Lands is a Commonwealth of Lords and ruled by highest ranking noble of Walworth Isle. The current holder of this position is His Most Honorable Lordship, Holmer, Earl of Walworth, Knight Commander of the Shield Lands.

The national capital is Critwall.

The hereditary peerage of the Shield Lands is:
Earl
Viscount
Baron
By custom there is no rank above Earl, as it is held that higher title would stoke ambition and turn the recipient’s attention toward advancement rather than defense of the realm. The form of address for all three is “The Right Honorable.”

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Shield Lands

Third Sunday at Eric and Chris' EKervina