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Gazetteer for the Kingdom Foresthomeby Jamuga Khan
Everybody knows that the big northern kingdom Foresthome is covered with heavy woods as its rulers always liked it that way, but there is more to be said about it.
Of course there are many forests in Foresthome, what it makes a natural choice for many druids. Rumours says that the highest druid for this part of the world is living in Foresthome, responsible for the greater and lesser islands between Brun, Skothar and Davania. This "Druid of the Isles" might be a simple rumour or he might really exist, but the wide forests cover the truth. No rumour is, that the number of elves in Foresthome is the greatest after Shiye-Lawr. With their enormous woodland knowledge these elves are highly praised wood workers for those wood companies lucky enough to get a licence. These licenses are essential for everyone who wants to cut trees, and they are difficult to get. To get one demands a good reputation, a high fee and an examination about qualified wood workers - like the elves of Shiye-Lawr.
The woods have been charted, of course, but mostly from skyships, so many details are still not known. The royal family is supposed to know more, but as any Alphatian noble house they know how to keep their secrets. The members of the royal family are naturally mostly mages with some clerics and those unhappy members without the ability to cast magical spells or the necessary strong faith into an Immortal. Despite this fact their common interest in forests has generated great numbers of highly qualified rangers. Do not be confused: These "rangers" do not know how to wield a sword, but they can cast effective spells.
Other nobles of Foresthome are nearly as interested in forests as the ruling family, but their knowledge is not comparable. The druids are another matter, of course. They are nobles, but they are absolutely not interested in life at court, although it is necessary for them to come into the cities from time to time. The origins of the Foresthome druids vary. As druids know how to travel fast and far, they come from nearly everywhere. The relationship between the druids and the rest of the kingdom is good though not very close.
Among the commoners there are only a few who live in and from the wood, some wood companies, some wood farmers, rangers and trappers. The most are content as it is, because they all love the woods too. Even the companies are content with the status quo, as the kingdom's laws keep the concurrence low.
For a lover of civilisation there are two choices in the kingdom, the Esterhold Sea coast and the big Lake Llynn. There's nothing special about the ocean coast. The cities follow the coast like pearls on a row and are integrated into the empire-spanning trade. Some miles from the coasts the kingdoms farmlands begin which stretch to the east coast of Lake Llynn. On the other hand there is one great temptation in these cities: The ocean, an infinite possibility for adventure! So the by far greater part of the kingdom's inhabitants lives from and on the water, as fishing men or sailors. Many Foresthomers work on trader's or military ships. The Alphatian Imperial Navy has some bases and ships of the Foresthome Coast Guard are stationed in every city. Both units draw constantly young men and women into their ranks. One could really say that the real meaning of Foresthome lies in the water.
The huge Lake Llynn is the true heart of the civilisation. There is an intensive trading between the cities around the lake, on Lakim Island and over the Eastfollow and the Llynn with the cities at the Esterhold Sea. Much of the wood cut in the forest is shipped over the lake.
Despite being an inland lake, the Llynn has a big share of bad weather too. For the ships on the lake this is not a very big problem as experienced captains always know where to hide. Many small islands which dot the lake give enough protection against most storms. In the past these islands were the home of many pirates but the problem started to decrease after the founding of the Order of the Lakes on Lakim Island. The main chapterhouse of the order is still in the city of Lakim, and the ships of the order are one of the sharpest weapons Foresthome has.
Like everywhere in the Empire the Knights of the Lakes work as traders in the Pan-Alphatia Company or as a coast guard in the Alphatia Coast Guard Agency, both companies owned by the order. In its land of foundation the Order of the Lakes forms the kingdom's coast guard, and the vigilant ships with the sign of a white galley on a blue background are a common sight in all Foresthome waters, both Lake Llynn and the Esterhold Sea.
As commonly known, the Order of the Lakes follows one great goal, to connect all the rivers and lakes of Alphatia by channels. Even if their origin was in Foresthome and they are doing a good work in protecting the kingdom, the royal family opposes this plan strongly. The knight only want to travel their wished channels, but inevitably the civilisation would follow and new cities would be founded. The first family does not want this.
With the sinking of Alphatia the kingdom was heavily shaken. Although the woods and Lake Llynn remained unchanged, the cities at the Sea of Esterhold are now facing the nothingness. The skyship-conducted trade is growing but these ships are too expensive and their number too small. The Alphatian Imperial Navy still uses their old bases for new skyship units, but probably this is not enough. The Order of the Lakes has been shaken, too, but now the newly appointed Low Master Halzunthram is restarting their old campaign of building channels, and the royal family has to reconsider this project. The matter is urgent as many inhabitants of the cities from the ocean coast are leaving for Lake Llynn and the farmland between now. The Lake Llynn region cannot bear this influx as some of trade has broken away too. Even the first family was not unchanged: The king and queen and many other are dead, some are left in the outer world.
It is to be expected that in a land of wood-lovers most magical researches are conducted about wood and forest. This assumption is true. The civilised mages and clerics of Foresthome are masters in creating wood golems, talking to plants and so on. Some of the best known developments, besides the normal Wood Golem, which is demanded as of Foresthome origin, are the Bonsai Golem and the Redwood Golem. The first is a small and fragile one, comparable with jade statues though immune to normal weapons, the second is a huge and not inflammable construct of the strength of a iron golem.
Is it to be expected too, that the royal family has good ties with all woodland beings like the treants. This is not true. Between Foresthome and the treants, for example, exists a bitter enmity since a clever but not too wise mage discovers a relative simple way to create a longevity potion from the mark of a treant.
What magical deeds happen in the deep wood? This is nearly unknown, but some reports about meetings with druids are astonishable.
Some mages build their towers in the woods to conduct their researches. As long as they do not disturb anybody, they are left alone. When creating dangerous magical effects or monsters they are finally thrown out, with the good advice to head for Blackheart the next time. A small but strong elite unit formed by members of the royal family would handle those problems when the queen finally would get a report.
The Royal Family
As usual the members of the ruler's family have the greatest influence in the kingdom. Not so usual is the tremendous great number of members this royal family can muster. As an long-living Alphatian mage, Queen Karla has given birth to 21 children now. Most of them already made her a grand-mother and grand-grand-mother. Additionally the queen has 15 younger brothers and sisters with more children. Of course, only the children and grand-children of the queen with the ability to cast spells are princes and princesses according to Imperial law, while others are only lords or gentries, but they are all members of the royal family and are normally addressed as prince or princess. No need to annoy the king or queen! The number and the names of the members of the first family is not exactly known, but it is estimated around 1000. It is even not known if the royal family knows it itself! In the past some adventurers got the idea to make themselves part of the first family of Foresthome, but the fate of those unlucky guys caught as posing as a member of the royal household should better be kept untold.
The king and queen do not like laziness, and so the whole family has to work. Some are working in the in the Imperial Navy or as traders, other are members of the Order of the Lakes, some other work in the wood companies, but most are in the kingdom's own army occupied with patrolling the forests which they perceive as their's.
Relationship to other kingdoms
Foresthome has only two neighbours, Bettellyn and Floating Ar. With both there are no problems. The southern neighbour has to fight against Randel from time to time, and does not need another foe, and the Arans are living in the sky and have no interest in anything which belongs to Foresthome. Another matter is the wilderness of the Imperial Territories which is a constantly threat for the kingdom, but fortunately the most inhabitants live at a great distance from the frontier. Besides the druids living there would report the real big dangers they spot to their superiors or to the queen.
Greenwood: The capital of the kingdom is the greatest city and has around 10,000 inhabitants. All administration buildings are located here. Despite being located at the Eastfollow River, the harbour of Greenwood is small and unimportant. After the war the new leader of the city started a campaign for improvements. One of the most important hardball teams of the kingdom has its home here, the Greenwood Ghosts. Five members of the Grand Council are living here.
Hepira: This city of 8000 is an important harbour. First a common shipping lane to Esterhold starts here, second the Alphatian Imperial Navy maintains a base as Hepira is the last harbour on the way to Starpoint, and finally the ACGA as the Foresthome Guast Guard defends the capital of the kingdom which lies no more than 70 miles upstream. Two MGCs.
Lakim: 6000 inhabitants in the city and 3000 in several villages on the island form the so-called "Principality of Lakim". The idea of a principality originated from the western lands as many ideas in Alphatia do. Since the founding it serves as a kind of training ground for the crown prince or princess of Foresthome. The crown does no pay anything for the inheritor. Instead he has to earn his living with this island. Besides Lakim is fulfilling another task, as it serves as a last defence for the government of Foresthome. Due to its location in the middle of Lake Llynn it cannot simply be attacked by an army, and the city and the beaches are well- prepared for a possible attack. That Lakim houses the greatest chapterhouse of the order of the Lakes serves this purpose too. No MGC although Admiral-Knight Solturnun is sometime here.
Shog: This 5000 city houses the main base of the Foresthome Elite Special Troops as it is located near to the forests in the northern part of the kingdom. Besides it is the greatest harbour for shipping wood at the shores of the Lake Llynn. 6 MGCs are living here mainly because they are interested in the forest and the woodland magic.
Tirenlos: This small city of only 1000 inhabitants is the home of the sole training camp of the FEST, and this is the greatest industry, but of course there are some traders committing their business on the Lake Llynn. No MGC.
Weilat: A little city of only 1000 with no strategic significance. Most inhabitants earns their living as farmers or fishers, most even as both. No MGC.
Tares: This southwestern city is home to 2500 inhabitants, most of them soldiers in the regular army of Foresthome. In the docks of Tares some goods are transhipped from and to river boats sailing the upper Llynn River. Once in a week a ferry sails to Lakim and Tutlos. One MGC.
Tutlos: A city of 4500 it has a greater significance as some goods are transhipped between greater lake ships and the smaller river boats. Some captains prefer to use ships appropriated for both, but the common opinion says that those ships are too fragile for the lake and too clumsy for the Llynn River. On the other hand the trade with Masala and Citadel in Bettellyn has to be committed with those river boats, but those boats almost never use another harbour than Tares. Two MGCs.
Dema: This town of 1000 is an agricultural one. The products grown on the fields are transported by ship to the west coast or to the Eastfollow River or by caravan to Tutlos. No MGC.
Rathoon: A town of 1200, similar to Dema. One interesting feature is a ferry which sails to Lakim daily. Two MGCs.
Taragor: A city 4000, it is known for its ship-building facilities for inland water ships and boats. Like Tutlos much transhipping is committed here. Besides, many yachts of richer inhabitants of Foresthome and Bettellyn are lying in the marina of Taragor. One Member of the Grand Council is living here, Patriarch Odomet. As a cleric of Protius he is shoving people to the water as he is the owner of the marina and the most rentable yachts. The Patriarch is one of the many members who can almost never be found in the hall of the Council.
Soctel: A small city of 2000, it serves as a marina for seagoing yachts and as main harbour for passenger traffic. Like in Taragor Patriarch Odomet is running his business here. No MGC.
Orfil: Located in the middle of the coast of Foresthome, Orfil with its population of 2300 is an important harbour for shipping agricultural goods. The hardball team, the Orfil Oysters, rivals the Greenwood Ghosts. It is also a important base of the ACGA. One MGC, the Wizard Zakras, lives here and he is the owner of the Oysters.
Igoin: With a population of 1900 Igoin is one of the less important town in the kingdom. The town is part of the circle of harbours around the continent, and it ships agricultural goods, but this is of less significance. No MGC.
Teneboa: A city of 5000, it is known for its shipyards for seagoing vessels, built with wood shipped down the Eastfollow River. Located at the mouth of the river, it is both a river and a deep water harbour. As the southern-most harbour of the kingdom, the ACGA maintains a base here. Three MGCs.
Ferry lines in Foresthome
There are some regular ferry lines throughout the kingdom.
Some prominent inhabitants of Foresthome
King Waldemar XVI. (MGC)
The king was the last of a long chain of Foresthome kings with an uninterrupted chain of inherittages from father to son. His oldest son would have been Waldemar XVII., but this event never occurred. One interesting feat must be noticed about the king. For love of his wife he shared crown and throne of Foresthome.
The Queen was the youngest daughter of the king of Stonewall, but the marriage was not a political one, but for love. Her husband made her queen of Foresthome, and their reign was a long and calm.
Prince Waldemar of Lakim
The oldest son of the king and queen ruled the principality of Lakim after reaching full age. After some little accidents he got used to ruling and he became well adapted to it. Unfortunately he disappeared during the last weeks of the war, his whereabouts are unknown.
Princess Gliralar of Foresthome
The princess was the second child of the royal pair and ruled the capital until the war started. During the war she commanded a flotilla of the Alphatian Imperial Navy. Her flagship sank during the big naval battle against Thyatis in AY 2008. Her status since the battle is "Missing in Action - Assumed Dead".
Prince Taxan of Hepira
The oldest brother of the king ruled the city Hepira, which contained the greatest coast guard base of the kingdom, an important strategic position for the defence of the kingdom. Only two points are to be mentioned about the prince: He married very late, compared to his siblings, and he was the father of Kikania. He died of cardiac infarction during the last year of the war.
Princess Lynna (MGC)
A sister of the king, the princess commands the Foresthome Elite Special Troops (FEST), the special unit which cares for all the special problems sometimes occur. Her headquarters is in Greenwood but she has not left her office for thirty years.
The prince is a son of princess Lynna and commands the main FEST base in Shog on the northern shore Lake Llynn. His task is to patrol the forest and to solve all problems he might notice or which are reported to the capital. He is constantly squabbling with his cousin Illiris as both desires to become the next chief of the FEST. Of course his mother is supporting him but that does not make him her successor as the position will be appointed by the king.
A niece of the king the princess is the leader of the FEST training camp in Tirenlos. Her personal foe is Prince Otho who is constantly trying to reduce her influx. Her advantage is that the king and queen are favouring her for being the next chief of the FEST.
Despite being a fighter without spellcasting abilities (he is a paladin, but his wisdom is too low to cast spells), Halzunthram is one of the more influential persons of Foresthome. As leader of the chapterhouse of the Order of the Lakes in Lakim, he supervises most activities of the order throughout the kingdom. The High Master of the order, Admiral-Knight Ardannabras, performs the same duties, but throughout the empire, and is mostly absent this way. After the war Halzunthram had to assume the position of leader of the whole order.
The High Master of the Order of the Lakes is the mightiest and most feared man in the order. Despite of that he is neither a fighter nor a spellcaster but a thief. With this profession he was able to survive the many intricate political games even in this good order occur. Before the war he was often in Foresthome as the Lake Llynn region was one of the greatest interests of the order but he was occupied by other regions often.
After the war her uncle and her aunt, the king and queen of Foresthome, were dead, their children dead or missing. So the succession to the throne made her queen. Some of her older relatives are very unlucky about this fact, but the laws of Foresthome are clear. The queen herself would have preferred to explore the Hollow World, but Prince Taxan had educated her to responsibility.
Prince Garamond of Greenwood
Prince Garamond rules the capital and the surroundings for the queen in a silent but effective way. Another position he owns is more private as he is the husband of Queen Kikania. His title as prince is not for honour's sake but real as he is a son of the King of Greenspur. As a typical Greenwooder he is not very much interested in forests but in ships. He is improving the docks of Greenwood which haven't been cared for in the last decades, and he is planning a project to enlarge the harbour of the capital. Additionally he is very sympathetic to the Order of the Lakes and the channel project. The Prince has many foes though, as the most members of the Royal Family don't like the idea of an outsider to have so much authority.
Prince Quann of Lakim
The prince is three years younger than his sister, queen Kikania, and he has the status of crown prince in the moment. Due to the age of the queen it is not very likely that he will be king sometimes, and he will loose the principality of Lakim when the queen will have given birth to her first child. Perhaps he will act as a vice-regent then, but like his sister he would rather explore the Hollow World.