Population: 770,450 (88% humans, 6% halflings, 3% dwarves, 2%
Imports: Exotic magic items, grain, steel, timber
Exports: Precious metals, minor magic items, olive oil,
This small island nation is the greatest collection of wizards,
sorcerers, loremasters and savants anywhere in Vatheria. Survivors
of the drowning of ancient Iridian, the Llyrans have always
maintained their close association with magic and wizardry,
considering it to be the highest of educated pursuits.
The Llyrans are a proud and wealthy people, self-assured that
they have achieved a noble fusion of enlightened principles with
high culture. While many Llyran scholars study foreign lands and
customs, few actually leave their comfortable homes and travel,
content instead to pursue their studies from their high towers and
Every Llyran child is tested at the age of five for signs of
magical capability. Those that are determined to be capable of
channeling the powers of magic, are sent to the Academy and given
the finest magical training available. Since so many of her
citizens are wizards, the Llyran people have developed a culture
of intricate social courtesy, designed to prevent the
misunderstandings that could lead to duels between wizards. To
most foreigners, the Llyran rituals of courtesy seem merely
curious and time-consuming.
Sorcerers are seen as artists in Llyran, but not viewed as
serious practitioners. Most Llyran mages have little respect for
those that use the "grand science" for nothing more than
personal power, preferring instead those who dedicate themselves
to a deeper understanding of the underlying theory of magic, what
it is and how it works. In many respects, accomplished sages are
viewed with more respect than sorcerers or wizards who merely
perfect an already-known spell.
While every wizard studies the workhorse spells such as detect
magic and fireball, the use of personal or unusual
magic is considered a mark of sophistication and status. It is for
this reason that many spells carry the name of their creator -
Llyrans use the full name and expect others to do the same when
they create a spell. Spellcraft is only one area of arcane
pursuit, of course. Each wizard worthy of the name seeks to expand
his knowledge of one or more areas of interest, such as geography,
divination, the planes of existence, etc.
The Llyransí republican form of government is unique among
the nations of Vatheria. Each of the noble houses of the Republic
sends a number of senators to Tarrentica in proportion to the
amount of land under their control, usually two or three. The
noble Marova family, founders of Tarrentica, always send three.
The Senate debates policy and hands its decisions down to various
officials responsible for the actual running of the Republic.
These officials include the Constans, or Chancellor, the
official responsible for the day-to-day running of the Republicís
government; the Magister, the official responsible for the
Academy and the Strategos, the Republicís chief military
officer. In addition, there are traditional positions within the
Senate which are given more weight on certain matters of
expertise. These include the Incantorus, generally the most
respected voice on issues of magical importance and the Joraidan,
or Standard-Bearer, generally the most respected voice within the
Senate on matters of security and the distribution of garrisons
throughout the Republic. This latter seat has been held by House
Bolusova for more than two centuries.
The Llyran Republic occupies an archipelago of seven main
islands. The largest island is Riandis, site of the capital and
most of the cultivated land.
When folk of other lands think of the Llyran Republic, the
images most likely to come to their minds are the fabulous works
of magic that are that nationís pinnacles of achievement. Best
known among these are the Cloudships, magical vessels that
sail amidst the high airs above Theeurth. Few of these beautiful,
fragile craft exist, and are usually held only by the most
powerful noble houses. Thus, few are ever seen outside of the
Republic. Some smaller versions, known as Cloudskiffs also
exist, and are usually used only to ferry heralds and messengers
of the greatest importance.
The Order of Narses
There are many societies of magicians in the Republic, but the
greatest and most secretive of these is the Order of Narses. Only
the most respected, most accomplished of wizards are invited into
the Narsetic Order. It is rumored that the Order not only involves
itself with matters concerning the entire known world, but grants
its members additional power to meet their ends. It is the dream
of every Llyran wizard to one day be inducted into the Order.
The Order of Illumination*
The study and cultivation of magical
knowledge in the Llyran Republic is an inextricable part of the
culture and is a common goal of noble and common man alike.
Thus, it is not surprising that the pursuit of knowledge
through magical means is a proud and respected field of expertise.
From the highest officer of the Senate to the meager
potion-brewer in the streets of Tarrentica, all citizens of the
Republic seek the insights of sages and experienced oracles.
The enhanced perceptions of these seers are a vital aspect
of the Llyran culture, and the Senate in particular makes
extensive use of the information they collect in keeping a
watchful eye on the surrounding seas, and activity in foreign
Among the wise and learned mages of the
Llyran Republic, only the most perceptive and patient wizards are
offered admission into the Order of Illumination.
This semi-monastic Order of specialists in the field of
divination is concerned chiefly with the security of the Republic,
casting their enchanted eyes across the seas and into distant
lands. Over the
centuries the Order of Illumination has discovered many powerful
means of gathering information from abroad, even seeing into other
planes of existence when the need arose.
Rarely taking new members, the Order is comprised almost
exclusively of the very old, and constant exposure to the
mind-bending magics they employ regularly sends their
practitioners into a dream-like trance.
An encounter with one of these mysterious
oracles is said to be an unnerving experience to say the least.
Their eyes glazed white from lack of use, their heads or
bodies swaying from side to side as they intone secret rituals in
ancient and unknown tongues, the Illuminari relay their
information in complex and mysterious phrases.
Lesser members of the Order are often required to translate
some portion of the message as their meanings can approach the
the years, many Llyran scholars have questioned the legitimacy of
the Order, especially the members of the Order of Narses, which
view the Illuminari as necessary but inferior intellectuals.
Indeed, much of the Senateís most heated debates were
enflamed, not resolved, by the readings provided by the Order of
History, however, has always validated the
Orderís strange and mysterious existence.
One event in particular is often cited in any debate about
the Illuminari. In
2106 the venerable Illuminari Hvarshavas spontaneously shouted ĎThree
ten summers; the Triskelis child must defy its father!
Yet the elder dies with the bleeding Gnorud!í
The Order scrambled to translate the message
from a man that had been so absorbed in his extra-planar
wanderings that he had not spoken in over a year.
The Illuminari found an obscure reference to the Triskelis,
a tall desert flower that once grew in the oases of Farmuz.
Praised for its medicinal properties, the lush flora was
known locally as the Emperorís Root.
In reference to the Ďbleeding Gnorud,í their researches
found that the barbaric Skane tribes called the northern-most
constellation in their sky the Gnorud. Thus, the Illuminari concluded that this phrase indicated
some conflict in the north. Exactly
thirty years later, as Hvarshavas foretold, the Llyran son defied
its father, the Emperor, who died as war raged in the north.
The Llyrans believe that before the gods destroyed Iridian and
Numanthaur, they warned a band of faithful followers of the Great
Cataclysm that was to come. These faithful, who came from the
Iridian land of Llyr, removed themselves to the coast and set sail
in twenty ships bound into the west. Far to the west and south,
they found a green and pleasant island called Valis where they
lived simple lives, forsaking the thirst for power that had driven
their countrymen to great and foolish evil. But though they shut
their books and hid away their staves of power, they did not
destroy them, nor forget utterly the might of their forebears.
Long ages after, as the folk of Llyr lived in peace, an ancient
enemy awoke and pursued them. The Ymandragore, servants of
long-dead Numanthaur awoke after their long slumber and pursued
the last descendants of their enemies. Valis was overwhelmed and
her people slain. Only a few of the Llyrans survived, and then
only be resorting to the magical power of their ancestors. Guided
by a prophet sent by the god Borlamnos, they fled in ships,
numbering twenty once again, and when they were free of the
carnage, they held counsel among themselves.
Now this First Council was divided and argued bitterly what to
do. But in the end, it was decided that if the sins of the past
would haunt them, they must be prepared with the knowledge of the
past. The Llyrans would return to their ancient home and pursue
the greatness their ancestors had known, but with more wisdom. Or
so they hoped.
The twenty ships of the First Council arrived on the shores of
the Llyran islands, all that remained of ancient Llyr, in the year
CY 1219. They found that the islands were inhabited and lay at the
heart of the greatest empire in Vatheria. But the Llyrans had come
at an opportune time, for the Conorrian Empire had just entered
into a brutal struggle for its survival.
The Shadowmaster of Marador had unleashed his terrible shadow
servants on the empire, resulting in a war which had nearly driven
the Empire to its knees. Four successive Conorrian Emperors had
been obliged to move their courts to a fleet of ships on the
Valesian Sea, and the wars against Marador therefore had become
known as the Wars of the Fisherman Emperors. The Llyrans came as
an unlooked-for blessing, for among the forgotten secrets they
bore were scrolls which described the means by which the shadows
might be stopped. Brave agents of the empire were dispatched to
stop the Shadowmaster, and the Llyrans were granted the Llyran
islands to hold in fee from the Emperor, in effect becoming their
The Llyrans settled in to rule their islands in the name of the
Conorrian Emperor, and served loyally in his armies and courts for
the next five hundred years. During this time, the Academy was
established and the long tradition of magical training was begun.
Always, the masters of the Academy were mindful of the twin
abysses that had destroyed the two worlds of their ancestors:
power without restraint and restraint without power. Always they
strove to ensure that the Llyran people would never again be
In 1791, the Emperor Hadrasius XXI was assassinated while on a
tour of Luxur. Although his infant son, Valerius, was acclaimed
emperor by the Senate within weeks, there were many pretenders to
the throne. Before the year was out, no less than thirteen
claimants had been recognized by one legion or another. Many were
murdered within months, but six, all of them wizards or sorcerers,
named themselves emperor and made war upon the others. So began
the Conorrian Civil War, known as the Mage Wars. These vast and
bloody wars lasted for twenty-six years, and left the empire
Llyran was at the heart of this struggle, both figuratively and
geographically. Two separate claimants to the throne arose in the
province, Jorena Alemova, known as Firehair, and Kezdu Maran,
Magister of the Academy. Maran was killed by his own students, but
Firehair declared her Iridian heritage, proclaimed herself empress
and was hailed in the streets of Tarrentica. And so the land of
mages was drawn bloodily into the Mage Wars. Firehair commanded no
great armies, but she commanded a contingent of mages second only
to that of Valerius himself. In the end, it may have been the
reputation of the Llyran mages that doomed them, because all hands
were turned against them. After the genies of Haríakir had
summoned a great wave to sweep away the islands, Valeriusí
troops landed in force and reasserted the Empireís control.
Firehair was carted away to be paraded through the streets of
In the east and south, Valerius retained his empire and was
recognized as the legitimate holder of the Phoenix Throne. But
west of the Conorr peninsula, the empire was under the thumb of
the Mage-Emperor Markimillien I, who founded the Miletian Empire.
The Conorrian Empire had lost more than half its territory, and
over the next several centuries, was to lose half again, as one by
one, it lost control of Llyran, Luxur, Valesia, Thariyya, Farmuz,
The moment of independence came for Llyran in the year CY 2136.
The Empireís grip had been lost already in most of the south,
and the people of the province chafed at the demands of the
Emperor Cleon IV for more taxes and conscripts for his wars
against Carhallas. The Convocation, a gathering of the heads of
the Llyran houses, sent a letter to the Emperor requesting a
reduction in the burden placed upon their province. Outraged, the
Emperor ordered the governor to arrest the Convocation and bring
them to Echoriath in chains. Instead, the governor joined the
Convocation, which renamed itself the Llyran Senate and proclaimed
the province to be an independent republic. The Emperorís
expected counterstroke never arrived because Cleon died,
apparently of natural causes, and his successor, Umbrius, was
occupied with wars against Carhallas and Shanatar.
In the six centuries since Llyran independence, the Republic
has become an important power in the western Valesian Sea. Llyrans
like to think of themselves as aloof from the struggles of rival
powers, but in fact circumstances have almost always forced them
to take sides. They have generally been favorably disposed toward
the Empire and Haríakir, while remaining fierce rivals of
Accolon, Ianthe and Valesia.
When the Darothic hordes destroyed the Miletian Empire in
2282-90, many of the refugees fled to the Llyran Islands. Although
the Miletian Emperor appealed to the Republic for assistance, the
Llyran Senate debated endlessly and never sent more than the most
minimal aid. The Miletian Blood Sorcerers had been seen as rising
rivals, and few mourned their passing until it was too late to
recover any of their lost knowledge. This failure caused a shift
in the politics of the Republic, which now tries to support those
it sees as friendly without intervening directly. The independent
nature of most mages means that some will always take more direct
Llyran mages were instrumental in the great Crusade of 2745-6,
seeing in the orcish invasion the potential for the destruction of
the Conorrian Empire, and the resulting loss of stability
throughout Vatheria. Likewise, there were Llyran mages in the army
of the Supreme Strategos, Minaros when the Valesian City States
went to war with Accolon. It was hoped, in vain as it turned out,
that Minarosí forces would curb the ambitions of the Warlocks in
MAJOR POPULATION CENTERS
Tarrentica (Large City; population 68,480) The Llyran
capital is nestled in a high, sheltered valley at the foot of the
12,000-foot volcano Mount Elusis. Although the city lies at an
altitude of 4,000 feet, the temperature is mild in winter and hot
in the summer. The city lies between three large lakes which
provide not only drinking water and a beautiful view, but a fine
defense as well. Many noble villas are built on the lakesí rocky
islands, or along their farther shores. Wild hippogriffs are
common to the area and sometimes nest on the smaller islands.
Tarrentica is home to the famous Llyran Academy, one of the
finest institutions of learning in all of Vatheria. The Academy
consists of a single great tower at the heart of the city, its
only doors a hundred feet above the level of the street. Across
town is the beautiful Senate building, built of rosy maidenstone
and pale marble. It is often said that these two buildings are the
heart and mind of the Republic.
Vastium (Small City; population 33,540) The largest port
in the Llyran islands, Vastium lies sixty miles southeast of
Tarrentica on the shores of Camistella Bay. Ships from every
nation of Vatheria may be found here, particularly traders from
Haríakir, the Crusader States, Valesia, and the Empire, but even
including the Harkorian League, Lorraine and Accolon. The harbor
is home to a water elemental of superior size, the result of a
bargain between the Republic and the Water King.
Erichalcum (Small Town; population 7,520) Located on the
southern shores of Ildorini, the easternmost of the Llyran
islands, Erichalcum is famous for its black sand beaches and
quaint, white-washed villas with their red roofs. But the real
treasure of Erichalcum is its famous Triton Bell, a great
bronze bell built on a small island just off the harbor. When this
bell is rung during the full moon, representatives of the tritons
rise from the depths of the sea to trade with the local
IMPORTANT LOCAL SITES
The Forge of Flame - Legend says that Mordhal, god of
the forge, lives beneath Mount Elusis, where he is served by fire
giants who work his personal forge. High on the mountainís
slopes, far above the city of Tarrentica, a temple to the god
contains a powerful forge, used only with the permission of the
The Straits of Maidhan - Between the islands of Maidhan
and Ryoril lies a dangerous strait filled with reefs and savage
sea lions. A great number of careless or unlucky ships have been
run aground or sunk in these turbulent waters.
Elgarinís Road - Off the west coast of Riandis lies a
strange line of hexagonal stone plates. They begin about a mile
off the coast in forty feet of water and extend in a southwesterly
direction down into the depths of the sea. Discovered in 2591 by
the wizard Elgarin, these stones have been the subject of much
speculation. Elgarin insisted that they were the remains of an
Iridian city, and spent many years trying to prove his theory. He
was lost at sea in 2618.
* The Order of Illumination was created by Scott