Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

TURMOIL (Territory of)

Location: Southern Bellissaria, between Eirundrynn to the west and Surshield to the east (Turmoil used to be part of Surshield). AS

Area: Approximately 47,138 sq. mi. (122,087 sq. km.).

Population: 35,000.

Languages: Alphatian (Bellissarian dialect).

Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).

Taxes: None since Turmoil is an anarchy.

Government Type: Anarchy, though technically considered a kingdom of Nayce.

Industries: Presumably agriculture and crafts, but otherwise unknown. A lot of people probably steal or take what they need from those less skilled or less powerful than themselves.

Important Figures: Jeremol the Deceptive (Leader of the Traders' Guild-a thieves' guild), Rorterm the Stern (Leader of the Security Guards-a group of brigands who take payment for not attacking people), Darkcloak (Newly-settled Foreign Alphatian Wizard).

Flora and Fauna: Turmoil consists mostly of farmlands and hills. There are a few sparse forests, but little else, except for the mountains of the Surshield Wall mountain range itself. A few tasloi may be found in the forests, but these are more numerous in Eirundrynn. On the other hand, there are a fair amount of wolves, hill giants in the northern hills, and even a few dragons are rumoured to abound here.

Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Graltarnim.

I've been asked by the editors of this "almanac" thing to describe what I know of the new Naycese "kingdom" known as Turmoil.

Well, first of all, let me say that I never sought to go there in the first place. I had actually considered going the long way around Bellissaria through the Sea of Zamara to Spearpoint, but decided against it due to the Jennite uprisings on the Esterhold Peninsula and the possibility of Minaean pirates. Instead, the Wave Turtle went south after I had collected my shipment of grain in Alinquin in my fair homeland of Dawnrim. I intended to sail along the Bellissarian coast, straight to Spearpoint without stops, but during the journey, we were hit by a massive storm. We lost Tonarkas and Melliran, two of my most experienced hands, and were forced to seek shelter in a port where we could also repair the ship. South Harbour in Turmoil had a bad reputation, but there was no alternative-it was the closest port and we would have trouble just getting there in one piece.

We did make it there, but the reception was hardly welcoming. As soon as we had docked, without help I might add, an odd-looking character walked unto the ship and informed us that we had to pay him a toll for staying here. This surprised me because Turmoil is an anarchy, so I didn't expect it. As we debated, a group of seven soldiers suddenly walked aboard as well and informed us that the fellow was trying to swindle us out of money. Apparently they were correct because he chose to jump over the side rather than face the accusations. As I was about to thank the leader of the soldiers, he informed us that they were harbour guards who would loyally protect our interests while we were here... for a price. I might have suspected-mercenaries.

Paying these soldiers-for-hire would severely cut our earnings, but it was clear that there was little choice-if we didn't, they might have tipped off someone that an unprotected ship was in the harbour. I guess we were lucky that our cargo was more valuable than the money we paid them! It is clear to me that all the rumours of the people here are true. They claim they value their complete freedom and independence above all else. All I can say to that is that if this is what "complete freedom and independence" is, they can keep it for all I care! When I asked if no one was in control of South Harbour, I was told that there were several leaders of local "organisations" who pulled a lot of weight in the city, but it was best not to get their attention. The way these were described, they sounded more like guilds of thieves and other criminal organisations than genuine city representatives, though. There are apparently several smaller organisations, such as the City Watch, to whom our mercenaries belonged, but the primary players seemed to be the Traders' Guild, a guild of thieves led by Jeremol the Deceptive, masquerading as merchants, and the Security Guards, commanded by Rorterm the Stern, which sounded more like a group of brigands who demand money in exchange for protecting people from "hostile folk." No doubt those "hostile folk" would likely be the very Security Guards themselves in case someone doesn't pay them!

The next problem was getting the ship fixed. Our hired mercenaries shocked me again by informing me that there is no organized means by which to do so. The services to accomplish the goal do exist, but they cannot be trusted, so if I wanted my ship fixed, I had better oversee the entire effort myself. When I expressed my doubts about how a society could function like this, I was told that the people of Turmoil valued their freedom above all else, so they were willing to deal with restrictions such as these in exchange for the sense of liberty they enjoyed, as such was their price of freedom! Personally, I don't see their argument as being anything but flawed-there is enough freedom in the rest of Alphatia, but anarchy is not freedom, at least not in my book. I have to admit, though, that the people of Turmoil are rather consistent on this point. A few of our sailors, who naturally agreed with my view on the matter, got into a lot of trouble when they made the same argument in one of the taverns of South Harbour and so started a brawl. One of our sailors was killed, but two inhabitants also met with fatal ends in that brawl, but because there really are no authorities in Turmoil, there has been no legal consequence over the matter. After that it was clear that we had best keep our people on the Wave Turtle at all times, however. Although I don't agree with the philosophy of Turmoil, the incident does say a lot about the feelings of the people who live here. They do seem to realise what consequences their lack of authority imposes upon them, yet they are willing to accept the presence of nefarious people who will exploit the situation to their own advantage over the security of local authorities. We experienced this attitude among the majority of the inhabitants in Turmoil throughout our stay here.

There was little choice so I chose two of the mercenaries as well as Jomat and Trillese, two of my crewmembers, to go with me. First we went to a company that specialises in this sort of thing. After discussing the price for an hour, they even dared to demand that half of the money be paid in advance (which took us another half hour to head off). Then we had to ride off with the workers to secure wood in the nearby forest, which some of them called the Spectre Woods (don't ask me why). Along the way, we had to fight off several packs of wolves and some groups of brigands. When I commented on this constant danger, I just received a surprised look and was then told that we could expect more attacks on our way back because then we would have our cargo. Oh wonderful!

The actual acquisition of the wood we needed was about as uneventful as I could have expected (and secretly hoped), except for an attack from some tasloi, obviously. I swear, if rogues and brigands aren't trying to steal your possessions here, and wolves are not trying to eat you, then there are always humanoids to cause trouble. Some of the people we met suggested that things had even been worse, only a foreign wizard (foreign meaning from some other Alphatian kingdom), whom they knew only as Darkcloak, had recently settled in the area, and fear of his powers had cut down the monster activity some. At first I was relieved at hearing about this, but persistent rumours about this Darkcloak character gives me little cause to feel relieved-apparently he just settled down and used magic to create a house, which he subsequently turned into a tower somehow. The local population weren't happy at this, but when they tried to confront him on the matter (or so I was told), he had cast horrible spells of mass-destruction at them, and only after half of them had been killed or incapacitated had he suggested that he would leave them alone if they did the same! Some rumours claimed some other foreign Alphatian wizard had done something similar further to the east, but perhaps we were just hearing different versions of the same story.

On our way back, we did encounter more opposition, just as the soldiers had predicted. Life here is harsh, and if you have something you must fight hard to keep it. We learned that the hard way when we lost Jomat on the way back. All I can say is that we made it back, finished the ship in a few days, and then left as fast as we could.

I cannot imagine why anyone would choose to live like this. The freedom to do whatever you want may sound enticing, but with no authorities, there is no way you can be certain anyone does what they're told, and nothing protects you from attack by complete strangers. The people of Turmoil seem to think that this is a price worth paying for the total freedom they enjoy. As an Alphatian, I value freedom as much as the next person, but there is a difference between liberty and anarchy! As a commoner, I obviously have less freedom than an aristocrat, but I still have some form of security in the imperial laws-if someone killed my crew, they would be held accountable and be punished for it. I shudder to think that if someone had chosen to attack the Wave Turtle and kill us all in South Harbour, then there would have been no authorities to care about the matter at all!

Don't Miss / Do Miss

The town of South Harbour is considered by many to be the capital of Turmoil for the simple reason that maps of the area show no other towns or major settlements. It does seem to be the most city-like place in Turmoil, but it's scarcely a nice place-it is doubtful you'll ever find a more disgusting hive of filth and brigands. And it's an ugly town too! The forest called Spectre Woods lies nearby, and the newly-constructed tower of the foreign Alphatian wizard, Darkcloak, is rumoured to lie somewhere to the north, though this is unconfirmed.

I'd say you should do all you could to avoid Turmoil altogether. There is little to see, and what you can see is usually ugly, hostile, or both.