The kingdom of Lebendeländer

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The kingdom of Lebendeländer is a kingdom in the east of Euphoria well-known for creating Steinkreaturen, hence their word being used for the name of the creatures. Their population was greatly diminished due to the recent Lebendeländer Civil War, but they are rebuilding.

History[edit | edit source]

Early History[edit | edit source]

Before the end of the great elemental war Lebendeländer was home to a large number of earth elementals who were particular fond of its craggy valleys. They abandoned the place after the majority of the cliffs were washed out to sea.

The second group of people to occupy it were the Dwarves. They built a few myndurhals (mining outposts) and a dihr (tomb) but the latter suffered a terrible curse whereby none could return from it. No dwarves have ventured into the valley since.

The valley which is now the kingdom of Lebendeländer (now known as the Leben valley) was soon occupied by humans. It seems that two main groups existed in it, a group of violent raiders and of peaceful farmers. The farmers gathered to the edge of the valley while the raiders learnt how to domesticate horses so they could gallop from village to village. Eventually the villages were fortified with earthworks and wooden palisades. The bandits disappeared shortly afterwards.

The farmer settlements also disappeared one by one to various disasters (curses, resources drying up) until the last town (Lebenopolis) eventually disappeared shortly after the death of Aruseus probably because the residents were afraid of the return of bandits or losing there food supply. Lebenopolis is said to be situated in the Leben valley but this is thought to have been a side valley not the entire valley which Lebendeländer controls.

As part of Aruseus's land[edit | edit source]

Given Lebendeländer's extreme lushness it is no wonder that hardly had one group left than another group arrived. Immigrants from the east looking for a better life and people fleeing the siege of Pleitsdorf met here and realised that the valley could house all of them. At first life was boring as they couldn't get many of the goods that they used to be able to before and during the reign of Aruseus but as the trading routes from the east and the west reopened they found themselves in a prime position to do business to travelling merchants and eventually became the main destination for traders from the east and west with a flourishing market in the town of Ebreichten.

Formation into Lebendeländer[edit | edit source]

When The Charter of Achthal was drawn up both Awegon and Ausfenz fought hard to have the leben valley in their territory realising the vast strategic and economic importance of the marketplace. The merchants of Scroy were also concerned about the risk of either of these powerful actors ending up with such a strangle hold on trade and so proposed creating a small, non-electoral territory to look after it (which they believed they could easily control).

They got the northern territories on side and threatened a embargo against Awegon (by sending their trade via the sea and Byzanthus instead) to bring them onside with the compromise. However, they didn't have any leverage on Ausfenz nor did any of the other future nations despite the fact that Ausfenz seemed clearly like the unreasonable party. In the end the centeral government settled the stalemate by threatening Ausfenz with loss of electoral status if they did not come on board with the compromise which forced the prideful Ausfenzians to accept that their were somethings more important than national dignity.

Despite their efforts the Scroy merchants didn't get what they wanted and receiving rather a state which (although allegedly independent) swung between Awegonian and Ausfenzian control and which (although small) had a strangle hold on their trade and wasn't afraid to use it. And they lost the threat of sending trade via Byzanthus when a government called their bluff and discovered that it really would be too expensive to build a port and a fleet of trade ships and a road north from Byzanthus. Worse the government would not have cared less if it wasn't.

Politics[edit | edit source]

Lebendeländer used to be an absolute monarchy but after the civil war an agreement was made to lower taxes along with a lowering of army personnel and negotiating a peaceful end to the case of the disputed north. To police this and ensure that future kings did not charge massive taxes to fund vanity projects in a manner similar to Gus the Incompetent all taxes had to by a 3/4 majority of a group of people, just over a quarter of which were army members.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers were outlawed in Lebendeländer on pain of death until the end of the civil war with the only official way of getting news being official announcements. A few copies did slip through (mainly of the falling standard) but those did not tend to contain anything on the Lebendeländer government or absolute monarchies in general and so led to very little change. But after the civil war a free speech act was past and, despite its several caveats, it proved strong enough to allow libels and newspapers. The falling standard was the first to move in and cornered the local market with the mirror being more popular in only a few boarder towns and slums.

The Gooze was shortly established as a local paper with a remarkably similar feel as the falling standard. It was easy to read, had a broad lack of any form of editorial standards or general standards or morals, favored extraordinary and ridiculous stories over boring reliable news, and contained very little political reporting. What scant reporting it did have was in faivour of the royal family and generally against the Parliament focused around the belief that a royal family leads to a more stable government, citing the revolution as the result of bloodshed of people having ideas above their station.

Recently another player has entered the scene in the form of the Leben. It is not quite newspaper, not quite book. It contains a kind of history of the arts for a month along with a few articles on farming and general news. Its political outlook in one which generally supports the lords, the nobility and the merchants weather they are going against royalty or the people.

Areas[edit | edit source]

The disputed north[edit | edit source]

The Charter of Achthal sated that the kingdom of lebenlander's territories would be "The leben valley (from the singing peaks in the west to the brass mountains in the east)". The leben valley extends further north than the singing peaks the result being that their was constant argueing between Awegon and Lebenlander weather the very north part of the valley was their territory.

The land (although disputed, dry and a home for bandits) is as productive as the rest of the valley making it all the more prone to conflict. In recent times an order independent of which fraction controls the land, and therefore reliable, has started in the form of the town of Nordlburg.

The Dicht und Dünn forest[edit | edit source]

Also known as the thick and thin forest, The Dicht und Dünn forest is so called because its trees are closely packed but it is only a miles journey to get from the west to the east of it or vice versa. The forest has been regarded as spooky and now lumberjacks come back not just with logs but also tales of transparent creatures that glow in the dark and can pass through trees. Worse some have stopped returning at all. The government would like to investigate but has its hands tied by the treaty signed at the end of the Lebendelander civil war.

Towns[edit | edit source]

Ebreichten[edit | edit source]

The Market Town of Ebreichten was a central gathering point where goods from all over Lebendeländer would come to be traded along with goods coming along the Awegon-Ausfenz road which went straight past, then (as the town grew) through, it. It was the source of central authority in Lebendeländer since it was granted kingdom hood as part of The Charter of Achthal.

Landmarks[edit | edit source]

  • Frunsefeld, a nice neighbourhood next to the river in the outskirts.

Kurtsport[edit | edit source]

The treck from Pleitsdorf to Ebreichten is long and arduous. It takes a experienced traveler as many as 3 days if they are lucky and do not run into any difficulties. For a caravan of traders it can take as many as a dozen. One way to shave some time off the journey is to send goods via the river. Goods sent that way can reach Lebenlander in as shortly as a day in the spring although boats can not get back up the river until the river has shrunken back to its summer size.

Another complication is that Ebreichten is on the inside of a benin the river meaning that even when the river is at its most swollen it is impossible to dock a boat of any significant draft. Instead you must dock at Kurtsport on the opposite side of the river and have your cargo transported across by the fleet of small rowing boats who can make it to Ebreichten.

Landmarks[edit | edit source]

  • Hoppenfeld Common, a small park near the center of the town dedicated to Elric Hoppenfeld, the first leader of Lebendelander.

Kurtsfurt[edit | edit source]

Kurtsfurt is a settlement that grew up in a meander in the Kurts shortly after the death of Aruseus when people were afraid of raids and wanted to live somewhere easily protected. And kurtsfurt has always been protected. At first this was a simple wooden palisade running from one end of the meander to the other. Then the wall was changed to a stone one that wrapped all the way around the inside of the meander.

After lebendeländer gained independence in 500 PA it copied the idea of Awegon and created an army of professional soldiers who were stationed in a new barracks inside of the Kurtsfurt walls. However, this caused the Kurtsfurt to become incredibly dense and building to start on the outskirts of the wall. By 832 PA when Guss the incompetents successor launched an inquiry into the nations meagre defences their was massive sprawl outside of the town walls. He decided to build two massive new walls with liberal use of round towers (which had been found to perform better against artillery).

Nordlburg[edit | edit source]

Nordlburg exists in part of the valley which is disputed and dry but none the less contains furtile ground. In the power vacuum created by the reign of Guss the incompetent (or as he is less respectfully known Guss the #@@!?/ Mad) the place established itself as the central authority from where all taxes must be collected least they 'accidentally' fall into Awegonian or Ausfenzian or even (somehow) Scroy hands.

This has had the result of making the town both fabulously rich (in which respect it has been amazingly successful) and a target for regular raids (in which respect it has been disastrous). However during one of these periods, a great eagle swooped down to the territory. "I will protect you if you worship me." it said.

The residents thought this was a crazy idea and sent the egal packing. However, shortly afterwards a hord of cavalry so vast that the sound of hoves could be heard 5 miles away in Ebreichten came thundering down the marketplace. The guardians of the town were hopelessly outmatched then someone started to prey to the egal.

Other people copied them and soon the entirity of the town were worshiping the great bird. And who would come swooping in to save them but the egal itself. It flapped its wings so violently that the entire force was blown over and forced to retreat. Ever since then a temple to the eagle has sat on the spot where a person first prayed to the great bird and ever since then any force which has not been detered by the mere mention of the egals name has had to suffer the same fate.

Hightenheim[edit | edit source]

The last stop on the Awegon bound road before leaving the disputed territories and (for various terrain reasons) is the only passage on which a caravan of wheeled vehicles can pass out of the Leben valley to the north. This has attracted the attention of both the Lebenlander authorities and the Awegonian ones with the intent of controlling trade. This has had the effect that they are both so occupied with killing each other that bandits have an opportunity to take their cut of the merchandise. Recently work on a great tomb has begun.

Spoiler: Click expand to open
Lately a forth fraction has joined in the battle for control of the settlement. The earth elementals who inhabit the valley are now completely mad about the idea of tombs. They caused a group of humans to become devoted to them (essentially becoming physically present gods).

Mortwald[edit | edit source]

The leben valley is composed mainly of farmland. However south of the Nacht Halt there is a forest known as the Dicht und Dünn (or thick and thin). It is from their that most of the wood in Lebenlander comes and has both a carpenter and a cooper. The forest was spooky at the best of times and now their are roamers of strange creatures wondering the forest at night.

Kenustadt[edit | edit source]

Small farming town with the only doctor in the Leben valley who is both well informed and actually wants to cure people. Dr Marx Wolland works for a wage that is the same as what is needed to buy materials and for him to live on. He keeps in regular contact with medical professionals and takes new ideas very seriously especially if they are backed by statistics. As a result he is the only doctor to wash his hands and to prefer the use of herbal remedies to just cutting parts of peoples bodies off.

Isenruck[edit | edit source]

Coal is not a material perceived as valuable. Nevertheless it is what fires the forges of progress and prevents people from freezing to death in the winter. Isenruck is a coal mine. Its a small coal mine but the coal is enough to be used across the entire Leben valley.

Ondersfeld[edit | edit source]

Some clay mining. Mostly a trading stop for farmers to sell their wares.

Hollefeld[edit | edit source]

Jakob Von Fletzlingen was once a young, rash, impatient warlock. His impatience lead to many conflicts between him and the Wizards guild of Plietsforf who were training him. He fled south and east over the Kurts and down into the peaceful town of Hollefeld. His existence is an open secret, his location not so much unknown to the guilds of Awegon and Ausfenz but rather ignored. He is now older, rasher and more impatient but with bigger and better things to do. No one quite knows what they are and hopefully they will be productive.

Battendorf[edit | edit source]

Battendorf is much like Hightenheim in the north in that it sits on the only practicable trade  route between Ausfenz and Awegon. On the other hand it has never been disputed and is well guarded by Lebenladner forces. This is probably because it is nearly as impregnable as the Kurtsfurt with walls as high as a house and as thick as a troll (both its physicality and its mentality).

Ruins[edit | edit source]

Nacht Halt[edit | edit source]

The walls of the Nacht Halt were never breached only broken.

~Captain Otto Lnadoltz
The Nacht Halt before the changes of 864.

The Nacht Halt was constructed in 821 PA on the pretext of guarding against Ausfenzian interference but although it was situated at the top of a crag around which a steep road wound making it possible for a dozen men to defend against a army of thousands, it could not house people fleeing raids or even a army of soldiers who could counter attack. What it was ideal for was the storage of a small amount of valuable things or a few important personnel as was its eventual function.

In 864 PA the castle had some renavations including the adition of a keep to replace the royal palace.

In 932 PA the castle became the refuge of the king after Ebreichten was seized by the army. The king took the company of guards stationed their and seized Kurtsport before it was besieged by cavalry loyal to the army. The cavalry were shortly followed by an army of heavy artillery under the command of Otto Landholtz who bombarded the Nacht Halt into oblivion.

Spoiler: Click expand to open
In recent years the Nacht Halt has become home to an exiled vampire. Ishilder is different from most other vampires, disliking tradition and openly viewing the works of necromancery as limited. When condemned to spend the rest of forever in human society she merely remarked that it would give her time to get her ideas down.

She is working of a great work of necromancery. This one isn't going to be written in blood or carved onto human bones but however its content is explained it will be enough to make the strongest person nauseous. With her she has a guard of: 15 skeletons, 10 vampire bats, 75 zombies and 70 dire wolves. Along with that she has the results of her experiments in the form of several spirits. She is currently working on a way to subjugate part of the population of Mortheim without turning them into cannibalistic idiots (zombies). Her solutions have required the capture of several residents of Mortheim to test her work upon.

Lebenopolis[edit | edit source]

Lebenopolis, the leben valley's namesake, is a town established before Aruseus's reign and deserted shortly after Aruseus's death probably because the residents were afraid of war or famine. It is surrounded by a wall of rotting wood which no one has ever set foot in or come out of. However, some people claim that the walls have been repaired over the ages or that they have seen signs of activity close to the village.

Spoiler: Click expand to open
Some residents did remain in Lebenopolis. Despite this the remaining residents were originally fairly mad to decide to stay and have since cross bread with other fairly mad people and started eating each other making them even madder. This has led them to become insular and down right crazy

Death Tower[edit | edit source]

This is an outpost built to keep an eye on Awegonian activities in 832 PA. It was abandoned as part of the treaty signed after the lebenlander civil war because the Lebenlander delegation didn't have enough money to support it, realised that it was on an impassable part of the mountain range which neither side was interested in and couldn't work out why it was created in the first place.

Spoiler: Click expand to open
The real reason for its construction was as a research instillation to try to figure out a way to deliver plague to enemies. The seals around the plague have been broken by years of neglect and disrepair and now it just requires an unlucky traveler to stump upon the tower to release the plague.

Dumlodirhm[edit | edit source]

This ruin is fairly well documented by duradin. It was once a tomb and had around a 1000 people buried inside when the king of the singing peaks died, the last person to be buried in that tomb. Nobody returned from that funeral and expeditions mounted to it discovered that their was a point a little way within the mouth that nothing returned from. It has been of particular concern to them as the tomb contains the kings hammer which he was buried with and which is said to be powerful enough to crack a mountain in two.

Spoiler: Click expand to open
The tomb was cursed by earth elementals who remained in the valley after the great elemental war. They were furious to see the Duradin, their own creations, using the valley as nothing but a tomb.

They waited for a massive crowd to gather in the tomb to commemorate a great dwarf's passing before they raised every body from the dead and turn the tombs into an inescapable labyrinth.

Gnaatolk[edit | edit source]

Gnaatolk (tooth rock) is a ancient hill fort which dates back to some time before Aruseus. It is in a very inaccessible spot in the badlands and their are no records of a visit to it or indeed any information that a expedition has visited them at all. However the ruins are considered to be unlucky and people considering visiting them are warned that "what befell the residents may befall you."

Spoiler: Click expand to open
This hill fort came to an end when the residents attempted to create a massive tomb under it. They suffered a similar curse to the Duradin who constructed Dumlodirhm but rather than waiting for them to fill the tomb they instead turned one of them into a ghoul who would infect everybody with a disease of undeadness and permanently closed the city gates. They watched as people were ripped apart by their friends and neighbors in a mad bloodlust trapped within the walls of the fortification they had built.

Das Kleines Schloss[edit | edit source]

The various rulers of Lebendelander have lived in various residences, none quite grand enough to be called a palace, that was until in 770 the incredibly long lived and incredibly insane Guss the Incompetent ascended to the thrown. He built a miniature castle as his residence and lived the rest of his life in it. It was completely abandoned by his successor (Ingus the competent) who disdained his predecessors work. The only thing it has housed since then is a gradually growing collection of bats.

Hazards[edit | edit source]

Wildrog's hoard[edit | edit source]

Wildrog emerged from the mountain side. No one knows what he and his tribe were doing before that, only that they had big appetites. They started off small, raiding remote hamlets and homesteads but now their numbers have grown to the point whereby they now threaten Kenustadt. The army requested permission the deploy against them but it is still going through the stages of bureaucracy. Their numbers are approximately 25 greenlings, 25 goblins, 5 trolls and 5 orcs.