The Realm of Warminster
Stretching its vast military might across the far northwestern expanses of the realm, Warminster dominates the landscape for leagues in every direction. Its western border meets the rocky coastline of the Firth of Fury, buffered to the south by the knolls of the Fox Shales and the northernmost reaches of Ravenwood. To the east, the plush Colmar valley extends into Foghaven Vale, eventually giving way to the rolling crowns of the Thorncrest Hills. To the North, Warminster borders the dangerous Dragon’s Breath Mountains, whose misty peaks remain shrouded in a mysterious and perpetual grey fog.
The Kingdom of Warminster takes its name from the great sorcerer Warminster who, in his own time, became one of the realms most revered (and often feared) sons. During his lifetime, Warminster was still just a cluster of fledgling human settlements constantly involving themselves in territorial disputes among rival factions. Warminster helped forge a lasting alliance between the rival baronies, and eventually oversaw their unification, culminating with the coronation of King Magnas Thorhauer.
The mighty city and barony of Thronehelm rises proudly from the shores of the Firth of Fury, its vaulting spires towering high above the walls surrounding the city proper. From Magnas - Warminster’s first king - to its current ruler Godwin, the kingdom has enjoyed the benevolent rule of the Thorhauer Family. The Thorhauers have guided the kingdom through bitter winters and major wars, offering relative peace and prosperity to its citizenry.
Queen’s Chapel is home to the emerald Colmar Valley, and the many farms and villages of Warminster. Baroness Cecily Maeglen and her two sons, Viscounts Talath and Joferian, are possibly King Godwin’s most loyal and valuable allies. Maeglens oversee the affairs of Queen’s Chapel from the pastoral village of New Maeglen, in their estate known as Deer Run.
Queen’s Chapel is also famous for its many vineyards. Wines of all types are made and exported to the south and beyond. The region’s most famous and best tasting wine is called the Queen’s Nectar. The nectar is aged and fermented in the abbey basements of the monks of Queen’s Chapel. Rumors say the monk’s special blessing sometimes bestows the nectar with a powerful aphrodisiac, making it a valuable trading commodity.
Hunter’s Manor lies directly south of the city of Thronehelm. Encompassing a large portion of the Kingdom, Hunter’s Manor extends as far south as the Fox Shales and even reaches the dense forest of Ravenwood. A barony of grassy plains, thick forests and cresting hills, Hunter's Manor derives its name from the dense population of wildlife inhabiting the untamed region.
Only a few, well frequented trade routes cut through the forested barony, as Hunter’s Manor serves as the gateway to the south for the Kingdom of Warminster. Land based trade thrives in the Manor, as the people of Warminster peddle their wares with the twergs and huldrefolk of the Fox.
The province of Hunter’s Manor is ruled by the Cray Family. Master Zendel Cray, orphaned at a young age, oversees the precious trade routes to the south from his estate in the southernmost reaches of the Manor.
Thunder Cove is a small barony southwest of the city of Thronehelm. The cove, named for the deafening waves that smash against its jagged shoreline, is protected by a sheer cliff wall that rises hundreds of feet above the sea and is home to the War Wizards and War Priests of Warminster. During Magnas Thorbauer’s reign, two mighty towers were constructed on the cliffs of the peninsula. The first tower, paying homage to the war god Koss, was built of obsidian blocks pulled from the heart of the Dragon’s Breath Mountains. Known as Javer Kos (or “the Blade of Koss”), it stands as a testament to the power of Warminster’s priests.
The second tower, known as the Spire, is adjacent to the first, and constructed of a rare blue crystal; its origins and properties only known to its inhabitants. The crystal tower mirrors the first in size and design but glows a pale blue. Even in the night sky, the magical spire serves as a beacon to passing ships sailing close to the shoreline.
Halifax Military Academy
The northernmost of Warminster’s provinces, Halifax sits apart from the rest of the region, making its home on the south shore of the northern peninsula. The Halifax Military Academy accounts for most of the province’s human inhabitants, as the rest of the peninsula contains many warring factions of trollborn tribes and dangerous cryptids that roam the Dragon’s Breath Mountains to the north and stretches of Ravenwood to the east.
The academy is overseen by Warminster’s greatest general, the Faxerian, Lucien Blacwin, and has developed a far-reaching reputation across the realm as the best school of its kind (although some in Abacus would argue that fact). Although the province has no major city, the landscape is sparsely populated by small mining colonies and strategic military posts used to monitor tribal migration. The province of Halifax is not one of trade, but of necessity. It represents the northernmost expansion of Warminster and provides an adequate buffer and defense system for the provinces to the south.
The Von Lormarck Family rules the barony of Foghaven Vale with cold steel and an iron fist. Of the six bordering baronies, Foghaven Vale encroaches the farthest into the Dragon’s Breath Mountains. The Vale is an extension of the Colmar Valley, pushing east into the Thorncrest Hills and north into the ominous mountainside. The Vale derived its name from the rolling shroud of fog that crawls from the Dragon’s Breath Mountains every night, enveloping the land in a dense gray veil.
Krahe, the second largest city in Warminster, is situated just east of the Colmar valley. Baron Dragich Von Lormarck watches the thriving city from his perch atop a heavily defended cairn.
The Von Lormarcks have historically struggled with the rule of the Thorhauers, often finding themselves on the other side of matters of state.
The barony to the southwest of Thronehelm, Seabrooke huddles against the shores of the Firth of Fury. Its massive and well used port serves as a launching pad for most of Thronehelm's sea trade in addition to providing a home for the Royal Navy.
House LaBrecque, a small but powerful family of sea barons, presides over the barony. Valerick LaBrecque is High Admiral for the Thorhauers, reaching this coveted position by his 27th year. Earning the nickname "Seawolf," LaBrecque's swashbuckling style and uncanny knack for naval strategy catapulted him through the ranks to High Admiral.
The Dauldon family fell all but a generation ago, when sentenced to beheading by the Regent Court of Castleshire. A lone Dauldon — the family's young daughter, Faux — managed to escape the executioner's axe and to this day remains on the run.
Before the fall of House Dauldon, the noble family was one of the wealthiest merchant clans in all of Warminster.
An ageless castle, its origins lost in the fog of time, had guarded the borderlands for many centuries. It had earned its name because its front gates took the form of a bridge that linked the frontier of Ravenwood to the doors of the keep. Travelers, merchants and pilgrims alike all used the Bridge to cross the Gossamer River, which formed a natural border between Valkeneer and the wilds of the forest. The Bridge and its soldiers were the first line of defense against the occasional assaults on the rustic town and the last line of defense when times were direst. The castle was small but stalwart, pocked with scars from hundreds of repelled attacks in the distant and not-so-distant past. More of a fort than a castle, the legend went that the Bridge—or Castle Valkeneer to give it its true name—had never fallen.
Known around the realm as the "breadbasket" for the people of Thronehelm, Gloucester's fertile plains and quenching rivers are ruled by the Thessaly family. Gloucester supplies much of the foodstuffs and textiles for Warminster's northernmost baronies, while providing ample trade for places like the merchant city of Saracen to the north, and as far as Queen's Prey and the Upper and Lower Willomars to the distant east. The Barony is one of the largest territories in Warminster.
Known as the "Jewel of the South," the capital city of the realm is home to prominent castles, elegant palaces, ivy-covered mansions and spiraling towers. Filled with gorgeous and ancient architecture, Castleshire's citizens consist of powerful nobility, landed gentry, wealthy merchants and retired adventurers from across the realm. Steepled churches and awe-inspiring palaces can be seen around every turn and every street corner, each more beautiful than the last.
Without question one of the Warminster's most beautiful and scenic regions, Castleshire rests in the center of the southern reaches of the realm. Extending as far east as the Emerald Dales and as far west as Sylvan Valley, Castleshire's rolling glens and pristine forests charm visitors and locals alike with dazzling displays of spring blossoms, summer flowers and autumn brilliance. Pastoral villages and scattered farms sprawl across the fertile valleys.
One the founding families of Castleshire, the Faircloth family is known as the realm's best horse breeders. Their sprawling walled campus in the heart of the capital city appears more like a ranch than a palace or castle.
House Faircloth, originally from the Sylvan Valley, belongs as much to Castleshire and the shirian tradition than any noble family can claim. Jaxtyn Faircloth, the youngest member of the Faircloth lineage, has taken his rightful seat on Castleshire's Regent Court, known as the Caveat.
House Elspeth, Leaders of Elwald
Hidden by ancient magics deep in the Dragon's Breath Mountains, the unique city of Eldwal's crimson spires rise into the northern sky. Home to the Vermilion elves, the highest of elven castes, Eldwal claims to be one of the final homes of the elven Ancient, Melexis.
Rumored to be surrounded by alabaster walls and powerful enchantments, Eldwal hides its inhabitants from the prying eyes of the physical—and scrying eyes of the metaphysical. Ruled by the Elspeth family, the Vermilion only ride from behind their walls in times of despair to warn—and help—those of the realm of Warminster.
Cathedral of the Watchful Eye
The confusing and often volatile history of the Patriarchy of Quehm begins centuries ago, before the Ancients had entered their Mighty Hall. The legends of the realm tell of an ancient valley, known today as the Valley of the Oracles, which was once the terrestrial home of Erud, the Ancient of Knowledge and Prophecy. Erud spent a millennium penning a magical tome, filled with the knowledge of the past, present and future. The tome, known by Erud's worshipers as the Tome of Enlightenment, is said to contain all of the knowledge of the Ancients, the heavens, the hells and the mortality of mankind.
It is said that before Erud left for the Hall of the Ancients, they passed along possession of the tome and many other scrolls of prophecy to the first of their disciples, Quehm. Quehm and his followers, known as the Keepers of the Forbidden, built the Cathedral of the Watchful Eye and spread the word of Erud throughout the realm of Warminster.