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SIEGERIA (Kingdom of)
Location: Continent of Brun, west of Leeha. NW
Area: 10,475 sq. mi. (27,130 sq. km.).
Population: 39,000 (90% humans, 10% hin) and 500 gnomes.
Languages: Alphatian, Thyatian, Heldannic, Lalor.
Coinage: Siegerin (gp), eronin (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 25% of yearly income.
Government Type: Constitutional monarchy (kingdom divided in provinces, each ruled by an elected governor).
Industries: Cattle, agriculture, fishing, mining.
Important Figures: Sieger von Duwn (King), Uthar Metzger (Baron), Lavim Hollister (General), Red Ork (High Priest).
Flora and Fauna: The plains are occupied by farmlands and grasslands, while the hills are lightly covered by evergreen trees, mostly pine, which become even rarer in the mountains in the heart of the kingdom. The somewhat milder temperatures allow herders to raise cattle and farmers to cultivate the soil, which is most fertile especially in the south, near the White Bear River. Domestic animals include goats, sheep, cows, and pigs, while few are the horses that can be found in Siegeria (mostly imported). Wildlife abounds in the hills and mountains, with wolves, bears and boars being especially common in the north and east. In the middle mountains (the Jagged Teeth) a dragon is said to have its lair, along with a small tribe of giants and scattered humanoids. The hills and mountains of the southeast (in the former county of Dragonard) have rich deposits of precious ores that attracts miners as well as aurumvorax and dragons. Wild cold-loving beasts roam the southern mountains, where few dare venture.
Further Reading: CM1 Test of the Warlords, previous almanacs.
Description by Adik de Chevas and Arcadius.
Siegeria is a rather large and hospitable kingdom that borders Leehashire to the east and the Duchy of Chitine to the north. King Sieger von Duwn, a known and respected wizard, is the founder and supreme leader of this country, which is considerably interesting for its political system and its troubled history.
Siegeria consists mostly of three terrain types: wild and unsettled mountains in the centre, fertile plains in the south and lightly forested hills in the north. The former county of Dragonard [annexed at the end of the Norwold Wars, in Eirmont AC 1016, and now divided into five different provinces. Adik.] added forested hills along the eastern border, where woods and light forest cover the rolling hills before turning into mixed forest. Siegeria is blessed with unusually good climate considering its position [a fact often attributed to the magical skills of its king. Arcadius.]: the summer is mild and quite sunny, while the winter is not so harsh as in other parts of Norwold [temperatures usually range between 10°C by day and -10°C at night. Arcadius.]. The main reason is that the strong and chilly northern winds are somehow blocked by the mountains rising in central Siegeria [the Jagged Teeth, as they are called, reach the 9,000 feet mark. Arcadius.], and so only two of the seventeen provinces suffer from the snow blizzards so common throughout Norwold. Abundant rainfalls in autumn make the grasslands always lush, and this is a boon to the herders, who always praise Father Sky for the blessed water [it is not surprising then, that Odin All-father, embodiment of the sky, is so popular here. Adik.]. Farmlands are also well-tended and the country has no problem with food production [although it suffered a severe famine during the last war that killed hundreds and made others leave the country. Adik.]. Evergreen woods also exist in Siegeria, and the human city of Arboria [in former Dragonard. Adik.] was founded by Alphatians to commerce with the Shiye that dwell outside the dominion's borders.
In the central-eastern part of Siegeria, roads paved with cobblestones connect the southern city of Kishia with the northernmost Axnor and with the hin settlement of Surekeep (on the border with Leehashire) and with the other significant settlements of the dominion. Other simpler trails and dusty roads link the various hamlets with one another, even leading to the town of Arboria, nestled inside the Mur Woods in the east.
The mountains to the south, called by the locals the White Glacier, are technically part of the Icereach Range, although these are the easternmost tip. They reach 8,000 feet in height and vast glaciers cover their peaks all year. In the lowest parts however, many miners have found rich deposits of precious stones and gold, and Siegeria now sells these raw materials to the other dominions or crafts them to produce refined goods to sell to Panteria, which then exports them to the Old World. Even though dragons razed the country during the Norwold Wars and are still often spotted in this region, they never venture beyond the peaks of the White Glacier now [due to the political agreements between King Sieger and the Draconic Earls of Wyrmsteeth. Arcadius.], leaving Siegeria's populace in peace.
The political system is another feature that makes Siegeria a haven [and that's also the main reason why there have been so many immigrants from the surrounding regions. Arcadius.]. With the Liberation Charter of AC 1010, King Sieger proclaimed his country a "constitutional monarchy," meaning that the Liberation Charter was the official document that granted him rulership over the land. With this document, he changed the political system dividing the kingdom into twelve different provinces (three where the Thyatian minority lives and the remaining nine where the Alphatians and Heldanners dwell), each one ruled by a governor. The radical change is that the governor is no feudal lord, rather he or she is a bureaucrat elected by the populace living in that province [something similar to what happens in Darokin, a nation that King Sieger seems to take as model for many things. Adik.]. The governor has the power to administer the land on behalf of the people and the king, and is sworn to fulfil this responsibility. He can issue laws and decrees, raise taxes and has a seat on the Kingdom Council that advises King Sieger. The king still retains his power over the army (he's the only one who can call the populace to arms) and over domestic and foreign policy in general, and is still due the taxes levied from the people. However, his decisions can be vetoed by the council if all twelve members vote against him. This means King Sieger has still the reins of the kingdom (also, the crown is always in the hands of the von Duwn dynasty), but nominally the people have much more control over the land they live in.
In fact, King Sieger did this to solve two problems. The first was the obvious discontent of the Thyatian minority at the end of the Great War [see the historical references. Arcadius.]. The Thyatians didn't want to be treated the same way as the Alphatians were [and considering King Sieger was a Thyatian, who had brought them to Norwold in the first place, they felt a bit betrayed by his open war against Thyatis. Arcadius.] and demanded independence. However, they knew they couldn't escape King Sieger's grasp for long and their only possibility was the threat of a migration back to Thyatis. Sieger promptly avoided this by giving them partial independence with the formation of semi-autonomous provinces, but also retained their loyalty by putting a trusted man (former Thyatian General Uthar Metzger) as their acknowledged leader [this proves Sieger is as cunning and subtle as the majority of Thyatians. Arcadius.]. At the moment, the three Thyatian inhabited provinces see themselves as a united barony under Metzger's rule rather than petty provinces, so they only send one representative (Baron Uthar) to the Siegerian Council [his vote, however, counts as one vote only, not three. Arcadius.].
But the second and most important reason for the reform of the state was that King Sieger was tired of coping with everyday problems in his country, and he wanted more spare time to pursue his highest interest: magical research [a very sound reason that explains his moves. Adik.]. With this bureaucratic re-arranging of the kingdom, he has now much more freedom and time to study magic and its applications, and he has still got the gold to go on with his arcane researches, so both he and his people benefited from his decisions.
Four ethnic groups live in Siegeria: the Alphatian majority, and the Thyatian, Heldannic and hin minorities [Siegerian gnomes are negligible, even though they are often employed by King Sieger in some of his obscure researches. Adik.]. The Heldanners have been living in the area the longest, but ever since the first Alphatian colonisation of the Great Bay, they have been leaving this part of Norwold. They are mostly herders nowadays, even though many still remain loyal to the fierce ways of their forebears and belong to the Siegerian army as permanent volunteers. They are attached to their old beliefs and respect the law of the king because they consider him a powerful and wise man, who's been put on the throne by the Higher Powers [at least that's what the state church preaches to them. Adik.]. Along with the Heldanners, the hin of Leeha have also lived here for centuries, and they seem content to be both Sieger's neighbours (those living in Leehashire) and subjects. Also, the fact that the High General of Siegeria, Lavim Hollister [a dear friend of Sieger's and one of his staunchest supporters. Arcadius.], is one of them only makes them proud to live under such an enlightened ruler that has finally acknowledged the "true hin values."
The Alphatians are the first and most common stock in Siegeria, and this is probably due to the fact that this country lies in a region that once was part of an extensive Alphatian principality [there is historical evidence that has led us to believe that the famed Alphatian Prince Alinor once ruled all the lands surrounding the great lake south of Siegeria, now called Lake Alinor by the locals. Arcadius.]. The Alphatians of Norwold are not like the folk living in their motherland. These people are not so haughty and elitist, especially because there are few magic users among them [and those who exist serve King Sieger. Adik.] and they live off the land as simple farmers or artisans. They have been strongly influenced by the hin and now share the same easygoing manners and friendliness towards other people. They don't hate a person for being a Thyatian: after all their lord is Thyatian himself, but they respect him for his justice and bravery.
The Thyatians are the newcomers, and they were brought here by Sieger von Duwn when he first settled the land in AC 1002. They started building their own life anew and persevered through hardships and dangers, always sure that Sieger was a capable ruler and that he would have protected them. It was their loyalty to him that kept them in check and because of his reputation as a harsh but just ruler they avoided conflicts with the Alphatians living nearby. But when Sieger managed to acquire [through some obscure subterfuge, some say; through cheating and murders, others claim. Adik.] the nearby dominion of Tescan [whose ruler disappeared mysteriously after Sieger wed his daughter. Adik.], a dominion inhabited entirely by Alphatians, the first frictions began. At first it was only a general discomfort on the Thyatians' part, but when some hotheads began to burn Alphatian farms and a few inns, King Sieger intervened promptly and punished the culprits with a swift death [he found them in a wink thanks to his spells. Adik.]. Since then the Thyatians have felt a bit betrayed and this also explains why they now want to be ruled by another person, even though they know they cannot find a better place to live in Norwold.
A final note is mandatory and regards the religion preached in Siegeria. King Sieger is generally an open-minded person [maybe this is due to the fact that he lived many years in Darokin, where "freedom" seems to be the holy word of the republic, sometimes to a scary degree. Adik.], and this was reflected by his decision to leave his subjects free to worship their own Immortals. However, he is also a cunning man, and while he did not enforce a state religion, he arranged to have two main faiths spread in his dominion, two cults that only added to his power. Odin All-father and Vanya are the two prominent Immortals worshipped in Siegeria. The Church of the North [similar to the pantheon of the Northern Reaches, but with great emphasis on the role of Odin All-father. Arcadius.] teaches its followers that Sieger has been chosen by the Immortals to guide and protect them because of his wisdom and power. All things that happened so far to Siegeria have been tests, and all dangers that Siegerians will face in the future will likewise be tests of faith, strength and spirit. Only with the von Duwns as their leaders will Siegerians be able to pass them all and see the true wisdom of Odin, and so far Sieger has not deluded them. So, the more Siegeria is in danger, the more the faith in Sieger's powers grows strong. If you also take into account that the current high priest, Red Ork, was a former crewman of Sieger's flying ship (as the first patriarch was), you can understand how strong is Sieger's grip on religion. Vanya's worship is merely a fact of convenience for Sieger, since it keeps the nation ready in case of war and the Thyatians happy, although Sieger insists that he truly worships Lady Vanya [but more probably this is just another cunning move to maintain good relationships with the Heldannic Knights, since Vanya's worship has been strongly supported since AC 1005, when Siegeria became an independent kingdom. Adik.].
Siegeria was founded by Sieger von Duwn, captain of the flying vessel Silver Arrow [whose design and power engine remain a mystery to us. Adik.], who came to Norwold with his friends and his crew in AC 1002, looking for glory and money. After swearing fealty to Ericall, the settlement began, and it all went pretty smoothly, especially thanks to the cooperation between him, his friend Shuren [now count of nearby Kameloth. Arcadius.] and his ship's priest Ulf Karlsson [who later left Siegeria after establishing the Church of Odin and founded his own dominion, Odinia, to the east. Arcadius.].
In AC1003 Sieger (still a baron) married Cassandra, the only daughter of the southern Baron of Tescan. A few months after their marriage, the Baron of Tescan disappeared while hunting in the hills [the foothills of the Jagged Teeth mounts. Adik.] and Sieger promptly claimed the whole barony as his, having married the sole heir of that land. So Siegeria became a county and Sieger got the southern lands, more fertile and connected to the Great Bay via the White Bear River. The former Baron of Tescan's body was never found, and Sieger declared he had been victim of the dragon living in the Jagged Teeth. One year later the couple gave birth to their first child and heir [a baby whose name is kept secret by Sieger, out of fear his name could give power over him to his future enemies. Adik.], and he soon proved intelligent and well versed in magic like his father. Two others followed, a girl (Angelica) in AC 1005 and another male (Kurt) in AC 1011 [although many rumours state that the third child was born with horrible malformations due to Sieger's magic, that were later corrected magically by his father. Adik.].
In AC 1005, once the Great War broke out between Alphatia and Glantri, Sieger took his time to state his independence from Ericall's crown and founded his own dynasty, renaming the country Kingdom of Siegeria. He then made a pact with the Thyatian forces, who saw this as a great opportunity to send a bridgehead in Norwold and chase out the Alphatian forces living there. Sieger sold his country to the Thyatians in exchange for spells, protection and the promise to give him free rulership over the whole western Norwold. But this time Sieger had not predicted his countrymen's usual treachery, and he got the worst of the deal. The spells they gave him were fakes, but when he discovered it, the Thyatian troops had already been positioned in his dominion and started conquering nearby lands in the name of Thyatis. They expected Dool's help as well [Alak Dool, another renegade Thyatian lackey, ruled a barony north of Siegeria at that time, near Chitine. Arcadius.], but he was stopped by General Ney of the Alphan Forces. After that, something strange happened: Ney should have invaded Siegeria as well to eliminate any other possible threat, but this didn't happen.
What in fact happened is that Sieger went to Ney in AC 1006 and admitted his deeds: he had betrayed Ericall in his thirst for power. However, Thyatis had proved treacherous as well and now he wanted revenge. For this reason, he was now offering his skills and his intelligence to Alphatia. He wanted to help Ericall regain the lost territories and above all he wanted to reconquer his dominion. Sieger asked Ney to give him a last chance [one must acknowledge that, without Sieger's timely help, Ney's dominion would have risked being invaded in a matter of weeks judging from the Thyatian war machine's results. Arcadius.]. After a test of willpower, Ney finally agreed to Sieger's proposal. He would have refrained from invading Siegeria until Sieger's order, holding instead the Thyatian forces on the border with Leeha's help.
In the meantime, Sieger returned to Siegeria and organized a hidden resistance front of Alphatians, Heldanners and hin, together with some of his older and stauncher supporters. In the following years, he was able to regain the population's support and to push the Thyatian legionnaires out of the southeastern provinces, also with the help of troops of soldiers and mercenaries sent by Ney himself. At the end of the war [AC 1009. Ed.], Siegeria was a divided nation: one part loyal to Sieger, the other one (inhabited by Thyatian settlers mostly) sided with the Thyatian General Uthar Metzger. Sieger had helped Ney and Ericall as promised [also thanks to pacts signed with other nobles of Norwold. Arcadius.], but at this point Ney wanted him to swear fealty to Ericall once more. If he did it, he would have lent him all the troops he needed to reconquer Siegeria once and for all. Otherwise, he would have called back all his troops at once. Sieger, being a proud man and dreaming of ruling an independent kingdom himself, refused. He had seen the havoc wrought by the war on Ericall's troops and estimated that he wouldn't have been able to lay siege to Siegeria so soon. He still had an ace up his sleeve: the famous Thyatian cunning. He parlayed a lot with General Metzger and finally outsmarted him: he convinced the general that he was about to wage the final battle on his much battered forces and the troops reported moving in his lands sort of proved it [after all, the Thyatian spies knew they were moving, not that their destination was Ney's territory. Arcadius.]. Playing also on the fact that Thyatis never cared about its campaign in Norwold, for it never sent reinforcements [this was because Draken and other dominions made a blockade of the Great Bay. Arcadius.] and on the mutual respect they shared for one another, he convinced the general to surrender. But instead of capturing him, he made him a close friend and adept [he's now a baron and Sieger's apprentice in the arcane arts! Adik.], freeing also his troops and promising lands to all those who stayed and sworn fealty to him. Many went back to Thyatis, but many others stayed.
With this coup, he was able to regain his dominion and proclaimed his independence from Ericall, re-establishing the Kingdom of Siegeria in AC 1010. In that same year, he signed a mutual treaty of non-belligerency with Ney as representative of Ericall, and the northern buffer zone known as the "Pacification Strip" was created.
During the Norwold Wars of AC 1016, Sieger first hesitated to enter the fray against the Qeodharans and the Heldannic Knights, even though Ericall asked openly for his help, but later threw himself in the war when, according to some rumours, the Black Duke offended him somehow. Siegeria sent troops to nearby Chitine to help it against the efreet invasion, helped Lord Shuren against the piratical raids of the Ostlanders, and King Sieger himself participated in the siege of Ossian and was instrumental in the Black Duke's defeat. At the end of the war, King Sieger got an agreement with the new dragon rulers of Wyrmsteeth, and managed to annex to his kingdom the nearby dominion of Dragonard with the wyrms' consent. In fact, the former ruler of Dragonard, Count Jax, was indeed a gold dragon, and his death at the hands of the humans called the Dragonslayers caused the dragons' wrath. For many months they ravaged Dragonard and other dominions near the Wyrmsteeth, punishing innocent humans for revenge. At the end, Dragonard was left a scarred land, and the wyrms claimed it, endangering the humans living there. King Sieger made his move then [and some say the dragon rulers conceded Dragonard to him because he helped them in restoring order in the draconic society. Arcadius.], and he saved their lives as well as gaining new precious mines. Now Sieger rules over five new provinces, former Dragonard lands, pays a small tithe to the dragons for the ore mined in the White Glacier and everybody's happy.
Be sure to pay a visit to King Sieger himself if you are worthy enough to be received by him. He is a man of great intellect and superior cunning, an able strategist and a brave hero who doesn't despise a close combat from time to time [in fact, he's expert in some sort of strange martial arts taught him by an unknown hin. Adik.]. He can be found either in the capital city of the kingdom, Erones, in the northern area, or in his magic tower, near the southern city of Kishia.
Another interesting location to visit is Sieger's dry dock, where he harbours his new flying ship, Silver Arrow II [the first one was destroyed around AC 1004, when he apparently ran afoul of some vengeful entity. Sieger never talks much about this incident. Adik.]. In this secret facility located somewhere in [CONFIDENTIAL], groups of gnomes work steadily on new propulsion engines and other strange trinkets that Sieger commissions them. They number about [CONFIDENTIAL] and their facility also houses [CONFIDENTIAL]. [The sections labelled confidential have been erased from the entry on behalf of King Sieger von Duwn, who politely asked the editor to respect state secrets. Ed.]
Another interesting site to behold is Mine #1, some 1,000' up the northern foothills of the White Glacier. That mine is a honeycombed maze, and its walls are shining with gold veins and gems so that it is impossible to resist and not pick something. But you'd better resist temptation, for they are heavily patrolled and overseen by the elite forces of the kingdom, and the punishment for gold theft in Siegeria is not pleasant at all.
Although nominally within Siegeria's border, the whole mountain area named the Jagged Teeth is a wilderness that even King Sieger has not yet tamed. A female red dragon named Kiriakiss rules over this region, and many tribes of hill and stone giants are at her service, along with a few orcs and goblins. Their raids have now ceased after Sieger's agreement with the draconic earls, and now King Sieger provides her with food and gold in exchange for refraining from raiding his dominion. Some rumours also report clans of rakasta [snow pardasta, judging from their description. Arcadius.] living in those mountains, and they may be the cause of the humanoids' drastically low numbers. Anyway, if you are not King Sieger, you'd better stay out of the Jagged Teeth if you want to reach old age.
Also, never go past the northern side of the White Glacier if you value your life. Just because dragons do not invade and prey on Siegeria, it doesn't mean they've become tender lambs that will leave you in peace if you cross their territory. And believe us when we say to you, dear reader, that there are far more dragons than one might think in the White Glacier.
One last note to the wary traveller: west of Siegeria, just six miles away from the capital city of Erones, lies a dangerous wasteland that is rumoured to be alive with a strange kind of beings. King Sieger doesn't talk much about the land, which the locals dubbed the Red Desert, but it seems it was originated after a great magical battle occurred in this area. Some expeditions we made on its fringes revealed that the sandy soil seems to be producing polymorphing creatures of sandstone that attack everyone treading over the wasteland, engulfing the victim and pulling him below earth. What kind of monsters lie in this bleached desert nobody knows for sure.