Population: 624,930 (78% human, 13% halfling, 6% half-orc, 2%
Government: Feudal anarchy (theoretical monarchy)
Religions: Conorrian, Thoron
Imports: Mercenaries, arms, armor
Exports: Livestock, wine, tin
Corland was once a proud, powerful nation that ruled all the
land between the river Veinre and the Neldorean straits. Arguably
the most powerful and dominant of the Successor kingdoms, Corland’s
people were wealthy and aggressive. But all that has changed with
the coming of the formians.
The southern half of Corland is now known as H’rethek and is
dominated by aggressive ant-men. The northern half is a confused
disarray. Corland’s strong martial orders and aristocracy still
fight on, having retreated across the bulwark of the swift-flowing
Saronne river and have begun to expand the old Conorrian river
forts into formidable castles, determined to stop the invasion at
Corland is now a nation in name and tradition only. Its last
monarch, young Queen Armallia, was slain in battle at Darcassore.
Now powerful feudal lords rule, some too jealous of their power to
unite under a common banner, others too occupied with defense of
their lands to assert their claims. Without a central leader,
nearly all response to the formian threat is disjointed and local.
Despite the danger, Corland is a rich and fertile land renowned
for its beef cattle and its wonderful wineries. The whole of the
Saronne and Veinre valleys are dotted with vineyards and small
farms. Corland is also a land rich with castles. Its many wars
against its neighbors and between Corland nobles resulted in
centuries of castle-building. There is hardly a village that does
not boast some fortifed manor-house or armored turret.
There are five Corland orders of knighthood, each with its own
intricate codes of chivalry and each guarding an ancient and holy
relic. Once there were seven such orders, but the Order of the
Mantled King and the Brotherhood of the Blinding Light were both
headquartered in Arvaiglos, a city now in H’rethek. These orders
were wiped out defending the city and their relics.
Humans have inhabited the fertile valleys of Corland for all of
recorded history. There are scattered Iridian ruins near the banks
of the Saronne. But little is known of the Vari, the people who
inhabited this place before the coming of the Conorrians in 480
CY. Few relics are now left from that time. The Vari were warlike
and forcibly annexed to the empire. Unlike their halfling
neighbors, the Vari proved difficult to rule for centuries,
forcing the Conorrians to build a network of fortifications to
protect their cities and citizens.
Over time, however, the Vari blended with their Conorrian
conquerors, creating the Corish people. Tall, dark-haired and
passionate, the Corish produced prized soldiers for centuries. The
Corish longspearmen and slingers were regarded as among the best
troops in the Empire. Corish weaving was in high demand for its
intricate patterns and bright dyes.
In 843, Burastis led his Beltene troops through Corland on his
way toward the heart of the Empire. His dragons laid waste to the
country, and fouled the rivers. The Beltene built two fantastic
citadels from which they ruled the land with an iron fist. Unlike
the Conorrian experience with the Vari, the Beltene had no trouble
with the Corish. What resistance there was was destroyed or too
small to be effective. As they did throughout the Empire, the
Beltene, their towers, dragons and all their works disappeared on
Midwinter’s night in the year 872. Corland slowly returned to
By the thirteenth century, Corland had become a recognized
breeder of horses, especially the large and powerful warhorses for
which it is still famous. The mounted knight began to replace the
heavily-armored footman as the elite troop of Corland, and mounted
tournaments became more popular than chariot races as public
Corland was spared some of the worst of the Mage Wars and was
the heartland of the Miletian Empire for more than five hundred
years. During that time, Khairis was greatly expanded, and two
universities were established there.
Conorrian and Miletian legions made up of Corish troops formed
the heart of the army that fought against the archlich Elianna the
Accursed in CY 1540-2187. This earned Corland her particular
hatred and spite, for she often caused wizard weather or
infestations of weevils to ruin the crops, burdening Corland with
centuries of poverty. But Corish troops again formed the heart of
the army that shattered her power and destroyed her immortal form
in 2187. Thereafter, Corland experienced more than a century of
Unlike the Mage Wars, Corland suffered terribly from the
invasions of the Darothic hordes who invaded the western empire in
2282. Khairis was burned, as were Rhavais and Arvaiglos. Thousands
were led away in chains, while the thrones of the Miletian princes
became stools for rude barbarian chieftans. Over time, the Daroths
blended in with the native Corish, enriching its blood and forming
the basis of the modern nation.
In the five centuries since, Corland has become a rich and
vibrant nation of farms, castles, cathedrals and knights errant,
where chivalry runs deep in the national soul. It has fought many
wars against its neighbors Lorraine and Aelissia, as well as an
ongoing war against the giants of the Stoneheart mountains and
occasional conflict with the elves of the Neldorean Wood.
From 2519 to 2580, Lorraine and Corland fought the Sixty Years’
War, notable for long periods of watchful peace and short bursts
of bloody violence, over rival claims to the Corland throne. The
climax of that war was a major sea battle off Maivard which was a
decisive tactical victory for Lorraine, but which resulted in the
death of King Finndal. Finndal died without an heir and thus died
Lorraine’s claim to the throne of Corland.
In 2633, fearing the increasing influence of Lorraine in
neighboring Aelissia, Corland invaded its northern neighbor,
expecting only token resistance from the halflings. What followed
was a lesson in the power of the little people. The Corland
armies, with their mounted knights and siege engines, were
unstoppable on the wide plains. But the halflings had built their
cities amongst hedgerows, forests and in the hills. This terrain
proved to be excellent cover for their hit-and-run tactics. The
Corish invasion ground slowly forward, never quite stalling, but
taking far longer than expected. In the end, the Aelissians simply
made themselves too difficult to swallow.
In 2635, Corland was invaded by a force of Ahuran warriors
(encouraged by Lorraine diplomats) and was forced to withdraw from
Aelissia to face this new threat. The result was that the Ahuran
established a beachhead at Maivard, holding the ancient fortress
for more than a century before losing it to H’rethek.
In the years 2723-2725, Corland was gripped with the passion of
the Crusades and the yearing to free the holy city of Echoriath
from the hands of the unclean orcs. The greatest part of the
armies of the Crusaders came from Corland and its knightly orders.
Tens of thousands of young men rode east to seek their fortune and
glory. Most of those that survived remained in the east, seriously
weakening the armies of their homeland .
No one knows how the formians arrived, or from where, but in
2753, southern Corland suddenly found itself the target of attacks
from human-sized ant-like creatures who showed no fear in battle
and existed only to conquer. Proud Corland was slow to react to
this strange threat, and slower still to grasp that these
attackers were no mere band of monsters. They moved and attacked
with precise planning and seemingly superhuman coordination.
Within a year, they had enslaved the towns of Chantalle, D’orevec
and Medregar. King Jorrev summoned all his armies following the
fall of Medregar, and marched on the walled town with 25,000
troops to drive out the invader. But the attack was a disaster.
The formians were no mere animals, and were prepared with clever
battle strategems, notably the use of hidden pits on the
battlefield they had carefully chosen. The Corland army was
shattered, with casualties as high as 9,000 soldiers and 200
knights. Jorrev himself was taken prisoner and never returned.
Jorrev had no sons and Corland had never been ruled by a queen.
But the unusual times called for quick action, and princess
Armallia was quickly crowned queen of Corland. She proved an able
war leader, with a keen sense of strategy. Seeing that the south
was lost, Armallia ordered a retreat across the Saronne and the
complete renovation of the fortresses along the river. She sent
her armies to act as a shielding force, allowing as many civilians
as possible to evacuate across the river. Still, most citizens of
southern Corland never had a chance, and quickly became enslaved
by the advancing formians. The city of Arvaiglos was the last to
fall, defended to the last by her knights.
An uneasy truce existed thereafter between H’rethek (as
southern Corland is now known) and Corland, as the formians
pursued goals of their own and fought to pacify the Stoneheart
giants. But in 2768, secure behind her line of river fortresses,
Queen Amallia launched the long-planned campaign to retake the
At the head of an army 30,000 strong, and supported by 3,000
Aelissian archers and 6,000 Lorraine troops, Amallia’s army met
with some initial success. Her river crossing on a magical bridge
caught the H’rethek completely by surprise. The swift speed of
her advance bypassed several H’rethek cities, striking at the
heart of the formian empire, a fantastic hive construct built over
the ruins of Darcassore.
Here Armallia met her match. A vast horde of formian workers
and soldiers marched forth from the city, led by the giant vassals
of the hidden formian queen. The formians showed an understanding
of magic which they had never before displayed. Before the Corish
understood what had happened, they were surrounded, and formians
were pouring out of hidden tunnels and camouflaged redoubts around
the plain. The last stand of the Queen’s bodyguard and the death
of the queen herself has since become the subject of many a ballad
and poetic lament.
Corland has never recovered from Darcassore. Armallia was the
last of her line, and had failed to produce an heir. The surviving
nobility struggled briefly over the throne, but none truly had the
resources to spare, given the pressing need to watch the Saronne
border. So the throne in Khairis has remained empty, awaiting in
theory the missing king Jorrev. Meanwhile, the petty fiefdoms and
principalities of Corland no longer cooperate in their defense,
each jealous of the power of the others, each scheming in the
shadow of destruction to be the next king of this crippled land.
MAJOR POPULATION CENTERS
Khairis - (Metropolis; population 81,210). Once Khairis
was beautiful city renowned for its broad avenues, great
cathedrals and magnificent palaces. Now it is dirty and
overcrowded with refugees from H’rethek who have nowhere else to
go. Vast shantytowns surround the city and mobs of peasants live
on the largesse of noblemen who fear their wrath. The great
buildings are still there, but most are now abandoned, or are the
homes of squatters. The nobility have fled their fine homes to
take up life in their secure country castles. Rebellion and
discontent are common, stirred up by petty lords and
Rhavais - (Small city; population 29,560). This city
lies far to the northeast, near the Brythnian border and in the
shadow of the Stormcrown mountains. The city is the residence of
Silvault Marancourt, Grand Master of the Salian Brotherhood, a
martial order dedicated to the reconquest of H’rethek. Rhavais
is a mining town and produces some of the finest steel in Vatheria.
The Forest of Whispers was once heavily logged for the charcoal to
fire the forges of Rhavais. Recent goblin raids on the woodcutters
have made that charcoal difficult to get.
Caxonne - (Small city; population 32,840). Chiefest
remaining port city of Corland, Caxonne is an ancient city first
founded long before the arrival of the Conorrians. Its quaint
whitewashed buildings and their red tile roofs is the toast of
artists and poets alike. A crumbling ruin sits on the bluffs
outside of town. No one is sure just who built it, but locals
believe it was an outpost of Numanthaur.
IMPORTANT LOCAL SITES
The River Forts - The river Saronne is the most
heavily-fortified border in all of the Successor States.
Formidable defenses line the north bank along its entire length.
Most important of these defenses are the River Forts, a series of
stout citadels built under the orders of Queen Armallia. They
include tunnels dug into the river bluffs, thick watch towers, and
many magical wards to alert the Corland lords to the coming of the
The Cavadhe - A large region of swampy forests and
insect-ridden marshes surrounds the mouths of the Saronne. It is
home to home to lizard-men and a breed of large freshwater squid.
The swamps are believed to be haunted by the ghosts of long-ago
The Citadel of the Raven - In the remote northern
reaches of the Stoneheart mountains stands a forbidding and
isolated tower, jutting out from the side of a great snowcapped
granite cliff. The tower itself gives the place its name, since is
built to resemble the body of a raven, wings swept back to meet
the cliff. The greater bulk of the citadel lies hidden unseen
within the cliff face. In the early history of the Conorrian
conquest, the Archdruid Menethar moved his court here and created
The Inistari, as they called themselves, were defeated
in 643 by the dragon Keldaur, who made his lair here for the next
five hundred years. After the dragon’s death, the citadel was
home to a variety of individuals and organizations who required
remote isolation. For the last several centuries, it has been the
target of heroes and adventuring groups hoping to find the lost
treasures of Keldaur and Menethar. Few have returned, but those
few tell tales of dangerous traps, ancient spells, secret chambers
and many, many monsters.
The Black River - It has been over two thousand years
since the Beltene dragon Ungauroth befouled this upper tributary
of the Saronne river, but ever since that time, its waters have
run black. Sages cannot say for certain why the waters of the
river are so dark and murky, but few believe they have any harmful
effect on those that drink them. Still, fell things live in the
upland moors about the river and few people choose to travel in
this accursed region.