Post by LiquidChicagoTed on Nov 24, 2019 1:54:44 GMT
The Seven Wind Coast
Beyond the western coast of Aventuria, separating the continent from its western neighbour Myranor, lies the Seven Wind Sea. It is a dangerous sea, barely explored beyond its coastline, filled with sea beasts and plagued by storms the farther one travels beyond the coast. Only a few routes to Myranor are known and they are unreliable at best. Nonetheless, the Seven Wind Sea remains an important body of water for Aventurian seafarers, as trade flows up and down the coastline, from the southern city states of Brabak and Mengbilla to the nation of Thorwal in the north.
The central part of this coastline is commonly known as the Seven Wind Coast. A significant part of that coastline is controlled by the Middenrealm, through their provinces of Windhag and Albernia, whereas the northern part is controlled by the Kingdom of Nostria, one half of the infamous Quarrelling Kingdoms, a nation locked into near-constant war with its neighbour Andergast. This guide is supposed to give an overview of each of these four parts of the region, starting with Windhag to the south.
The Margravedom of Windhag is the youngest and least populated province of the Middenrealm. Only a decade ago, it was known as the County of Windhag, the westernmost county of the North Marches. It cannot be said that it was ever a unified region, however, not in a very long time. In fact, the current Margravedom consists of slices of land that have, in the past, belonged to the North Marches, the Horasian Empire, the Kingdom of Albernia and even to Thorwal for a short period of time.
In ancient times, Windhag was the northern half of Greater Phecadia, one of the northern provinces of the old Bosparanian Empire. It was, to this date, the first and only time all of Phecadia was united under one banner, ruled by the Prefects of Phecadia. After the Second Battle of the Demon and the death of Empress Hela-Horas, the Bosparanian Empire was shattered, leaving it to the conqueror, Raul of Gareth, to take as many Bosparanian provinces as possible and unite them within his newly founded Middenrealm.
Phecadia suffered particularly during these times of turmoil. Briefly occupied by the Theatre Knights in a valiant, if misguided attempt at rebuilding the region and declaring its independence, it was torn apart. The southern half of Phecadia lives on as the Horasian duchy of Grangoria, whereas the northern half, the region nowadays known as Windhag, was placed under Emperor Raul's control.
Over the following centuries, and not always due to the fault of the current rulers, the region failed to develop a united culture in the way the Albernians to the north or the Grangorians to the south managed to do. With ever-changing rulers and ever-shifting allegiances, Windhag can hardly be called a unified province. In the past, parts of it belonged to the Middenrealm, others to the various successor states of Bosparan. It was not until the reign of the Eslamid Emperors that Windhag was united into one province, which makes it the youngest of the Middenrealm provinces.
Back then, it was given to the North Marches, with the Dukes of House Greatriver appointing the noble family of Garlishgreet as the Counts of Windhag. Back then, the Garlishgreet family consisted of two houses, one of which acted as the Counts of Grangoria in the Horasian empire, the others now being appointed as the Counts of Windhag in the Middenrealm. Over the centuries, the Middenrealm line of House Garlishgreet eventually dwindled and died out, leaving their Horasian cousins to take over the title just a decade ago.
The charismatic Cusimo Garlishgreet therefore became the first nobleman to hold land in two different nations. His situation was especially difficult, as the Middenrealm and the Horasian Empire were at each other's throat back then. Through clever negotiation, he managed to convince both, Emperor Hal of Gareth and Empress Amene-Horas that he could serve as a mediator between the two empires. To avoid him being sworn to the Middenrealm emperor and the Duke of the North Marches, Windhag was elevated from a county to a Margravedom, a highly autonomous county sworn directly to the emperor. He also swore an oath of fealty to House Firdayon of Horasia and ever since, he served two nations.
In the following years, Cusimo has worked tirelessly to give his margravedom a purpose. With its wild, largely uncharted forests and remote settlements, Windhag has little to offer for settlers, no significant resources and its sole strategic value as the border to the Horasian Empire is shared with the far larger and far more important Kingdom of Almada. The only thing Windhag has in an abundance is danger.
The entire coastline of the province is infested with dragons, specifically the Westwind dragons, a moderately sized type of dragon, who are, unlike many of their brethren, are no more than animals. Due to its remote location, Windhag is also a haven for criminals, especially highwaymen and smugglers. According to rumours, there are also darker activities going on in that province, as its remote location makes it intriguing for forbidden cults and movements, most importantly the Cult of the Nameless God and the Cult of Borbarad. A significant part of the region is impossible to govern and the roads between the cities are often fiendishly dangerous to traverse, which means that merchants usually prefer the safer and more lucrative trade road through the neighbouring Duchy of Kosh. Windhag is bordered by the harshest part of the Seven Wind Sea to the west and the jagged foothills of the Anvil mountains to the east, which further makes it hard for the region to prosper.
The capital and only city of actual note is Harben, a heavily fortified harbour city with a fortress that is said to be impregnable. Harben was built as a northern outpost by the Bosparanian Empire, but abandoned after its downfall. After centuries, the Counts of Windhag decided to rebuild the fortress, stronger than ever and for a while, Harben had the important task of hosting the western fleet of the Middenrealm, it's main line of defence against raiders from Thorwal and against a hypothetical attack from the Horasian empire. In recent years, the western fleet was moved to Havena in Albernia instead, a move Margrave Cusimo tirelessly seeks to undo. The fact that the hedonistic margrave rather spends his time in the metropolis of Grangor in his horasian county does not help, unfortunately, and few doubt that the region will ever develop the importance its ambitious margrave hopes to achieve for it.
The dominant power of the Seven Wind Coast is undoubtedly the Kingdom of Albernia. Despite its name, Albernia is a Middenrealm province and in its entirety, it is almost the exact opposite of Windhag. Where Windhag is densely populated, Albernia is among the most important and populated provinces of the entire realm. Where Windhag is not unified in culture and customs, Albernia has almost too much culture. Where Windhag's loyalties to the Middenrealm are always in question, Albernia is currently the pillar upon which the House of Gareth stabilizes its rule. It is a beautiful land of thick forests, gentle meadows and deep rivers, its remote regions shrouded in myth and ancient legends.
Albernia is an ancient province with a long, extensive history that has shaped the land and its people. In ancient times, it marked the Bosparanian border and it was treated as such, a sturdy border province, a bulwark against the savage orks and the Thorwalian raiders. The name itself comes from the old Bosparanian word for elves, who were called 'albae' back then. And indeed, no other Middenrealm province has such a large population of elves, mostly Lea Elves, who often settle within the ancient forests of the kingdom.
The elves had a clear impact on Albernian culture, as they helped the early Bosparanian settlers survive in the often dangerous forests of their new home. As such, relations between elves and humans is surprisingly good in Albernia and while prejudice and superstition exists, few Albernians are spooked by elves and their customs. In some remote villages, elven tribes even live side by side with human settlers.
This close proximity to the elves has helped Albernia with developing its own culture and customs, separate from the rest of the Middenrealm. They even have their own language, which is fast-paced, yet beautiful, consisting of the elven language of Isdira mixed with the Common Tongue of the Middenrealm, the Thorwali of the Thorwalians and the Old Bosparano of the first settlers. Whereas elves were often marginalized in the Bosparanian empire, or outright exploited for their arcane abilities, the dukes of Albernia, hailing from the Ulaman dynasty, embraced their elven neighbours openly, knowing they would not be able to thrive without them.
During the Garetian rebellion against the Bosparanian Empire, Albernia remained neutral at first, but after seeing how the war devastated the province of Phecadia to the south, Duke Egtor Ulaman reluctantly sided with Raul of Gareth, who promised him a great deal of autonomy in exchange for his support. The decisive battle against the Bosparanian army under Empress Hela-Horas decimated the Albernian troops and in the aftermath of the Garetian victory, the weakened Duke Egtor was unable to press Raul into keeping his promises.
The Thorwalians were another big influence on Albernia, not always positive. Always a menace to the Seven Wind Coast, raiders from Thorwal have pillaged the early Albernian settlements without mercy, severely impacting the first attempts to actually settle in this region. And yet, the current ruling dynasty of Albernia, the House ui Bennain, traces their ancestry back to the same raiders from Thorwal and their nickname “House of the Dragon” comes from the dragon-headed Thorwalian longships.
The Thorwalian raider Djannan was the first of his people to grow tired of the constant raids. It is said that he fell in love with the landscape of Albernia and, unwilling to pillage it anymore, he decided to settle there instead, founding the city of Kyndoch near its southern shore, as a safe haven for his people. Modern historians rather speculate that Duke Glarik Ulaman bought Djannan's loyalty by offering him fertile land, a fortune in gold and the hand of his youngest and most beautiful daughter.
Regardless of the truth, Djannan and his crew became defenders of Albernia ever since and their influence largely ended the Thorwalian raids on the Albernian coastline, albeit tensions remained between Albernia and Thorwal. Djannan himself was also known as a hunter, who once single-handedly killed a great sea snake. For this, his own people called him 'Drakkar Bennain', which translates to 'Head of the Dragon'. He referred to himself by the shortened 'Bennain', using it as the name for his dynasty and the dragon's head as his personal coat of arms.
To this day, the Albernian House Bennain and other noble families trace their origins back to Djannan and his crew. Out of them, the Bennain in particular made a name for themselves as defenders of Albernia against all who threatened it. A notable occasion of this was when Djannan's granddaughter Ruana ui Bennain challenged her grandfather's companion Cairntacht Conchobairson to a duel after he tried to claim half of Albernia with his army not long after Djannan's death. She defeated him but spared his life, leading to a strong bond between her Bennain successors and Cairntachts line of House Conchobair.
Under orders of the brutal Priest Emperors, House Ulaman was entirely eradicated for supposed heresy in the year 338 BF. Afterwards, the province was governed by a council of noblemen for centuries, but their bickering and lack of a clear leader weakened Albernia as a whole, which has likely been the reason for the Priest Emperors' brutal actions against House Ulaman.
This led to Albernia being largely defenceless during the period of war known as the Mage Wars, where mages throughout all Aventuria openly fought against each other in massive battles, following the disappearance of Emperor Rohal the Wise. Albernia was hit especially hard, as the mage Altumarn took over the entire duchy for over a decade, installing a reign of terror, the Magocracy, built on the arcane might of his followers.
Once more, it was House Bennain that rose to Albernia's defence. The current head of the house, Niamad ui Bennain, managed to kill Altumarn and with him, his Magocracy crumbled. For this, Niamad was appointed as the first Duke of Albernia in centuries and his house holds the title to this day. To this day, magic is looked down upon in Albernia, especially guild magic, albeit people have come to accept (or fear) the local druids and witches. There is no academy of magic within Albernia and its capital city of Havena, from which Altumarn once ruled, has even banned magic within its walls, safe for a few strictly regulated exceptions. Magic is not banned in the rest of Albernia, but viewed with heavy suspicion and prejudice.
Historically, the role of the Bennain as defenders of Albernia has often brought them into conflict with the rest of the Middenrealm. Albernia's unique culture, history and customs lead to many of them considering themselves Albernians first and citizens of the Middenrealm a distant second. While provincial nationalism is not unheard of in the Middenrealm, it is nowhere as strong as it is in Albernia, whose culture is almost completely independent from the rest of the realm.
The Middenrealm rulers of the Eslamid dynasty tried to suppress this nationalism and the repeated unrest within the province by directly ruling over Albernia as kings in addition to still being the emperors of the Middenrealm. For almost a hundred years, Albernia suffered under the harsh rule of the Eslamid emperors and their stewards, who came from House Mersley, an ancient dynasty from the North Marches. These years laid the foundation for the fierce rivalry between Albernia and the North Marches.
The reign of the Mersley stewards came to a peaceful end when Sinjer ni Bennain married the last of the Mersley stewards, resulting in her line being reinstated as rulers of Albernia. Ever since, the province remained a reluctant part of the Middenrealm. Many Albernians haven't forgotten the years under the rule of the North Marches and to this day, there is a strong animosity between the two provinces and its rulers, the Houses of Bennain and Greatriver.
In recent years, Albernia's role within the kingdom has drastically changed. The current ruler of Albernia, Cuanu ui Bennain, took the throne at just the right time. During the days of his father Halman, the Middenrealm was ruled by the weak twin emperors Bardo and Cella of Gareth, whose incompetent reign caused a great loss of prestige and dignity to the throne of the Middenrealm. By chance, Halman died at a rather young age after a brief, but heavy sickness not long after Bardo and Cella were deposed and arrested by their cousin, the infamous Iron Emperor Reto of Gareth.
Realizing quickly that Reto had no tolerance for autonomous provinces, Cuanu decided not to continue the political course of his father, who more or less openly tried to lead Albernia into independence. Instead, he decided to work with Reto from the very beginning and the emperor came to rely on him for his vision of a strong Middenrealm. He even tried to please the North Marches by marrying Idra of Greatriver, a cousin of Duke Jast, but over the years, this did not help with easing the conflict between the two provinces. Instead, Idra ended up as a fully accepted part of House Bennain and Albernia, with few even considering her a Northmarcher nowadays, including her own family by birth.
To bind their historically quarrelling houses closer together, Reto and Cuanu made a marriage pact, in which Reto's only grandson Brin, an infant back then, was betrothed to Cuanu's newborn daughter Emer. Though the Iron Emperor did not live to see this historic union, his son Hal honoured the pact and in the year 1004, Brin and Emer were married. Ever since, House Bennain was truly the pillar upon which House Gareth's rule over the Middenrealm was founded, a stark change from their former position as a thorn in the Middenrealm's side.
Not everyone was so keen on having an Albernian princess as the wife of the future emperor. Duke Jast of Greatriver was vocal in his displeasure, but he remained loyal to the throne as a whole, even if he and Princess Emer reportedly have a very cold relationship. Duke Answin of Ravenmouth, the ruler of Darpatia, however, used this as one of many reasons for his attempted coup a few years later, arguing that only he could prevent Albernia from growing too powerful within the realm. With a few loyalists, he took the city of Gareth by storm just as Prince Brin and his army were out to face the orkish horde. Before the prince could even react, Answin had crowned himself Emperor.
Ironically, it should be Duke Cuanu once more who ended Answin's War. Together with his personal friend, Raidri Conchobair, as well as the High Spymaster Dexter Nemrod, he led a group of agents into the occupied capital of Gareth, where they managed to overpower Answin's guards. The usurper himself was convinced by Cuanu to surrender without causing any bloodshed. Rumour has it that Cuanu himself set the usurper free later on, allowing Answin to escape to regions unknown, but he insists that it is nothing but slanderous rumour.
Answin's War shook the Middenrealm to its very core, however, weakening the rule of House Gareth to this day. The age-old rival of Albernia, the North Marches, used this weakness to make their move against the region, just as Cuanu and his soldiers were gone to face Answin's armies. His decision to marry into House Greatriver came back to haunt him. Back then, he briefly considered marrying Duke Jast's oldest cousin Isora of Elenvina, who was clearly in love with him, but as an inexperienced and somewhat rash young man, he spurned her in favour of her younger, more beautiful sister Idra.
As it turned out, Isora hadn't forgotten nor forgiven. With a sellsword army at her disposal, she took half of Albernia by storm, occupying castles, taking hostages from the families who opposed her and even taking Albernia's capital, the harbour city of Havena, where she imprisoned Cuanu's teenage daughter Invher. Isora's sister Idra was able to flee the capital in time, which likely saved her life, and in the following years, she origanized the Albernian resistance against Isora's rule.
In the end, the returning Cuanu managed to retake his duchy, with the help of troops from Garetia and Almada. Backed into a corner, Isora decided to surrender Havena and she even spared the life of Princess Invher. This move, paired with regret over how he treated her in the past, earned her Cuanu's mercy, who merely banished her from Albernia instead of taking her head.
For his heroic deeds during Answin's War, House Bennain was given the regality over Albernia, meaning that for the first time in its long history, the proud province was actually a kingdom. Though still sworn to the Garetian crown, this deal came with a lot of autonomy for the Albernian nobility. Paired with Princess Emer ni Bennain as the future Empress Consort of the Middenrealm Emperor, the province is now stronger and more respected than ever before.
Unsurprisingly, this means Cuanu ui Bennain is the most respected ruler in Albernian memory. For the first time, Albernia seems content with its position within the Middenrealm. Furthermore, even the Old Blood, those noble families who trace their lineage back to the old Bosparanian nobility among the first settlers, respect Cuanu despite the Thorwalian origins of his house. Yet their new power comes at a price, as the other provinces of the Middenrealm, especially the North Marches, have grown envious of the new importance and power of the previously unruly Kingdom of Albernia.
The North Marches are Albernia's staunch rival since the days of the Mersley stewards. In fact, many consider the kingdom to be a lawful part of the North Marches. It is not entirely clear how involved Duke Jast of Greatriver actually was in his cousin Isora's attempted coup, but relations between him and King Cuanu are at an all-time low, with their children, Princess Invher and Prince Hartuwal, openly willing to take things a step further in the long-running conflict between the provinces.
Geographically, Albernia is diverse, but always with a haunting beauty to it. The aptly named Great River, the longest river in Aventuria, ends in Albernia and its capital city of Havena is located where the Great River meets the Seven Wind Sea. Though a majority of it runs through the Duchy of the North Marches, the Great River remains a defining feature in Albernia's landscape and the delta around its mouth is a fertile marshland.
In general, there are many moors in Albernia, always where some of the smaller branches of the Great River pour into Albernia. These foggy, lightly forested moors have inspired writers and poets, as well as the darker aspects of Albernian folklore. Some of these moors are genuinely dangerous as well, with bandits or worse using them for remote hideouts.
Between the moors there are wide plains, covered in common heather, which paints entire landscapes in lavender. To the north and east of Albernia lie great, partially uncharted forests and their darker parts are home to Albernia's most extraordinary inhabitants, the creatures of fae, who will be described in greater detail below.
The capital city of Albernia, as well as its most important centre of trade, is Havena, the great harbour city located where the Great River meets the Seven Wind Sea. It is an ancient city, one of the oldest in northern Aventuria, though not much remains of its Bosparanian roots. Few other cities have seen as much turmoil and destruction as Havena, but so far, the city always recovered.
Over the years of its history, Havena has been burned down by orks and Thorwalian raiders, repeatedly so and it has briefly been taken over by the power-hungry mage Altumarn, who nearly destroyed the city with his arcane might. The most destructive event in Albernian history is the Great Flood of 722 BF, where a flood, caused by a seaquake, drowned and destroyed over half of the city, killing a majority of its inhabitants and changing the Seven Wind coastline forever. The ruins of Old Havena are still visible in the water, though the city recovered fully over the centuries. Havena is a foggy, crowded place which many visitors consider a bit gloomy and cold. Tales of secret cults in the extensive sewers beneath the city, as well as darker mysteries surrounding the ancient streets are probably just rumours, but few cities have so many scary stories to their name as Havena.
The Realms of Fae and their connection to Albernia
Adding to the general perception of Albernia as a somewhat mysterious, odd and possibly even dangerous place is its close proximity to the realms of fae. These are a myriad of lesser spheres, connected to the sphere of Aventuria, but usually unable to be accessed. In the deepest forests of Albernia, however, this border between Aventuria and the fae realms is thin and particularly determined mages (or particularly determined fae) can open portals between the worlds. Sometimes they even form naturally and without warning. As such, the forests of Albernia are home to many strange creatures that aren't naturally found within the rest of Aventuria.
Chief among them are the fairies, who rule the realms of fae. Though Albernian folklore often paints them as beautiful women with butterfly wings, they can actually appear in many shapes. For example, the legendary fairy Farindel appears similar to how humans expect one of her kind to look, preferring the appearance of a beautiful auburn-skinned woman with butterfly wings, whereas her eternal opponent, Kardragh the Red Wyrm, appears in the shape of a dragon consisting entirely of red flame. Both are fairies, hinting at them possibly being able to freely change their shape.
Further fae creatures are the elusive unicorns, who have found their way into Aventurian folklore. They are the rarest of their kind, but among the most powerful. Some argue that the Light Elves are also technically fae creatures, with their mythical Realm of Light, from which all elves originate, being nothing but another realm of fae.
Another notable creature of fae are the cunning imps. Small, misshapen creatures with oversized heads and ears, they are ever-curious and mischievous by nature. Every imp loves to play pranks on others and sometimes, they sneak into human settlements at night, where they search through their houses, sometimes even taking small trinkets if they like them. An imp is not evil by nature and many have simply no true concept of right or wrong, but they have an instinctive aversion to causing another creature any sort of physical harm.
In rare cases, imps take young babies with them, essentially stealing them from their beds. Their reasons for doing so are not known, but given the generally benevolent nature of imps, they are unlikely to have any ill intention behind it. These children are raised within the fairy realms, in the imp homes, where they learn the impish culture and customs and are generally treated very well by their adoptive parents. However, when they grow too tall to live within the usually tiny imp homes, they are sent back to their own world.
These exceptionally rare children are known as Rascals by their fellow Aventurians. Though often fully-grown when they have to leave their impish homes behind, their adoptive parents are generally unable to prepare them for a life in Aventuria. As such, they are usually naïve and child-like, though not less intelligent than other humans. A Rascal has to learn how to behave in Aventurian society, something they usually struggle with.
What helps the Rascals in their struggle is their natural affinity for magic. Spending so much time within the realms of fae, they have picked up on imp magic, manifesting itself in spontaneous and instinctive outbursts of magic. Like everything connected to the imps, the magic they bestow upon their adoptive children is harmless. Rascals have serious issues with actually harming someone else, but their magic is perfect to play pranks on others. Few actually manage to fully fit in with their fellow Aventurians and while Rascals can actually settle down, with some even gaining true friends or even finding love, most remain outsiders for the rest of their lives, wanderers who traverse across the entire continent. Their talent for pranks and affinity for jokes makes them highly sought after in certain lines of work and several Rascals make a living as bards or carnies.
While Rascals themselves are already rare, there is an even rarer type of them. They are tragic and unfortunate beings who have been unable to deal with the harsh and serious nature of Aventuria. Often, they even had to experience personal tragedy, something that is unheard of in the realms of fae. Unable to cope with these experiences, their spirits break. Most of them become downright insane. Where a true Rascal would never use his magic to harm someone else on purpose, these so-called Dark Rascals twist their impish magic to bring pain and death towards others, as their jokes and pranks become cruel and highly dangerous. They find joy in misery and death and are usually drawn to places where people died or suffered. Where a classic Rascal prank would be to give someone the hiccups, a Dark Rascal would gleefully make the same person suffocate. Luckily for the people of Aventuria, Dark Rascals are rare beyond measure.
Fae creatures, especially fairies, are capable of forming a pact with Aventurian humans, similar to how demons can form a pact. However, most of the time a fairy is not interested in the human's soul, though their prices are usually just as high. These fairy pacts are rare, but it is rumoured that the Old Blood of Albernia's nobility frequently indulges in them, with whole families supposedly bound to powerful fairies for generations, in exchange for wealth, status and good looks. Though the Church of the Twelve Gods has outlawed such fairy pacts, it is an open secret that many members of Albernia's Old Blood still regularly converse with their fairy benefactors. The goals of these fairies can range from harmless or even beneficial to dangerous for human realms.
The Quarrelling Kingdoms
Just between Albernia and Thorwal lies a patch of land that is often forgotten by modern rulers. Located between the powerful Middenrealm, the infamous nation of Thorwal and the ever-present shadows of the Orkland, this region holds little in terms of importance or wealth. Instead, it is home to the two oldest continuously existing nations in Aventuria, the kingdoms of Nostria and Andergast. Even though a lot about their early history is lost to the ages, it is generally accepted that they have been in countless wars with each other over their entire existence. As a result, the two kingdoms are often collectively called 'The Quarrelling Kingdoms'.
These wars are sometimes just small border disputes, sometimes long campaigns over the course of years, in which no side has ever been able to gain a lasting military advantage. In the history of Andergast and Nostria, countless efforts for peace have been made, but none held for more than a few decades before a new war broke out. For outsiders, these wars often seem petty, but for the citizens of the Quarrelling Kingdoms, they are a constant reality.
Culturally, there are actually few differences between Andergast and Nostria. Its people follow the same customs, speak the same dialect and pray to the same gods. The peasants are humble and friendly, the nobility powerful and often distant from their subjects. Even the landscape is similar, with both regions being heavily forested and not particularly fertile, as well as essentially piss poor. That being said there are a few key differences which should be described here.
The Kingdom of Nostria
Out of the two kingdoms, Nostria considers itself to be the more powerful and important one. Though just barely more advanced than Andergast, Nostria makes it a habit to present itself as advanced and modern as possible. The eponymous capital of Nostria is among the cleanest cities in Aventuria and Nostrian nobility never fails to praise its cultural and technological achievements, most of which are disputed by respectable scientists. New trends from foreign lands are quick to catch up in Nostria and the capital itself undergoes a lot of effort to look just as advanced and beautiful as the cities of the central Middenrealm.
The nobility is a defining factor in Nostria. If the kingdom has produced anything of note, it is a particularly strong gap between the nobility and the common people of Nostria. No other nation in Aventuria has such a convoluted and complex system of noble ranks, nor are the noblemen outfitted with such widespread privileges. In Nostria, there are dozens of names for each of the common noble ranks. Often, each nobleman even has their own unique title, even if their rights and duties rarely differ from each other.
For example, the most important title beneath the king is the so-called bombast, roughly comparable to a Middenrealm count in influence and rights. However, each of the current bombasts have their own, custom titles on top of that and they all expect to be called by their unique titles first and foremost. For example, the Bombast of the Bombasty of Seven Wind, the coastal province of Nostria, also holds the unique title of Sea Count, whereas other Bombasts hold titles such as 'Noble Count', 'Old Count', 'Wood Countess', 'Border Countess' and so on, alongside multiple additional titles. Proper Nostrian nobility measures their importance within the kingdom by their amount of titles, no matter how meaningless, and it is a great honour to receive a new, custom title by the king himself.
Speaking of, Nostria has been ruled over by the royal House Kasmyrin for its entire existence. Once, it has been a Bosparanian province, but due to its remote location, it soon declared independence. The Nostrians claim that they were the first to win independence from the Bosparanian Empire, when in truth, the Emperors simply did not care for the small, unimportant region, knowing that winning it back would stand in no relation to the effort.
Nostria also claims that Andergast used to be part of Nostria once before separating after a civil war. Andergast claims it to be the other way 'round. It is certain that there have been hundreds of smaller and larger wars between the two kingdoms throughout their existence, sometimes over trivial matters, sometimes with the intent to actually conquer the other nation. Nostria also has a historic rivalry with Thorwal, due to their shared border.
In recent years, the King of Nostria, Kasimir Kasmyrin, made a name for himself by actually defeating the more powerful Thorwalians in battle and winning back the border city of Salta. Under his prestigious reign, Nostria desperately tries to become a more active power in Aventuria. He pushes his kingdom to advance culturally and technologically, often inviting foreign scientists into the kingdom. Unfortunately for Nostria, many of those who came had to leave their homes for a reason and the kingdom now has the undesirable reputation of being a haven for black mages and unscrupulous scientists who had to flee from Middenrealm authorities.
The Kingdom of Andergast
Located to the east of Nostria, just beneath the Orkland, lies the second half of the Quarrelling Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Andergast. Where Nostria is trying its best to be considered a worthy great power in Aventuria, to the point where the true great powers consider it the continent's laughingstock, Andergast has no such delusions. It is a backwater region and as proud of it as possible. The capital city of Andergast is barely larger than a small Middenrealm city, its mud-covered streets and simple houses reminding visitors of a particularly large village, albeit the many castles within the nation are large, impressive and quite sturdy.
Andergast is at a technological disadvantage over the rest of Aventuria, even over its neighbour of Nostria, with many Andergastians being suspicious of new things. Their society is conservative, placing great emphasis on keeping and maintaining the status they have and where Nostria has a stark difference between the nobility and the common people, this gap is much less severe in Andergast. The people of Andergast are proud of their kingdom and the camaraderie between them is unparalleled in Aventuria. In Andergast, people still work together for a common goal and they fear that the influence of the outside world would ruin this unity.
As a result, travellers cannot expect hospitality in Andergast. While the people there are not rude by nature and can actually be very friendly, even to strangers, they disapprove of anyone who wishes to settle in the kingdom for a longer period of time. Visitors are welcome, but not needed. As a result, Andergast considers itself to be more dignified than Nostria, which often comes across as ridiculous in its attempts to emulate the greater powers of Aventuria. It might lack the comfort of Nostria or the Middenrealm, but it stays true to itself and carries itself with just as much pride as the Nostrians.
Andergast is always under pressure from many sides. Hopelessly outmatched in terms of technology by their neighbouring rival, the people of Andergast make up for it in skill of arms. The crossbow or the halberd are unheard of in Andergast, instead the soldiers of Andergast use deadly longbows and the Andergast Bihanders, the largest swords in Aventuria, each of which is almost as huge as a grown man. Unlike Nostria, they have no struggle with the Thorwalians and are on friendly terms with them. Instead, they are plagued by their close proximity to the Orkland and during the Orkenstorm, parts of Andergast were occupied by the Blackfurs.
Andergast is ruled over by a king, who is supported by a Council of Champions. Each of the champions represents one of the Twelve Gods with the exception of Phex and Tsa, neither of whom is worshipped in Andergast. Additionally, a Champion of Sumu is elected from the ranks of the powerful Andergastian druids, to function as a middleman between the people of Andergast and the needs of the land. Each of the champions has their own field of work, often related to the god they champion for. As such, the Champion of Firun is the Royal Master of the Hunt, whereas the Champion of Rondra leads Andergasts armies into battle.
The king, always the Champion of Praios, historically comes from the dynasty of House Irebold. The Irebold claim that they once ruled over the entirety of the Quarrelling Kingdoms, but the Nostrians won their independence in a brutal civil war. Ever since, each King of Andergast sees it as their duty to regain control over the Nostrian lands. Current King of Andergast is Wendolyn Irebold, whose reign is seen as largely unremarkable and with few changes to the status quo within the kingdom. The peace-loving Wendolyn has managed to form a somewhat stable treaty with Nostria, though few think it will last.
Important people of the Seven Wind Coast
King Cuanu ui Bennain
The King of Albernia is without a doubt one of the most powerful noblemen within the entire Middenrealm. He is seen as a shield of the Realm, one of the pillars of Prince Brin's rule. Beyond that, he is an accomplished warrior and veteran of many battles. He fought alongside Emperor Hal and Marshall Haffax during the March of the Thousand Ogres and led the Albernian troops during the Orkenstorm. His greatest deed, however, happened during Answin's War, where the Duke of Darpatia, Answin of Ravenmouth, tried to usurp the House of Gareth. Before the so-called war could erupt into actual bloodshed, Cuanu led a group of Middenrealm agents, among them his brother-in-arms Raidri Conchobair and the High Spymaster Dexter Nemrod, into the occupied capital city of Gareth and he managed to arrest Answin without bloodshed. He even managed to talk the notoriously prideful Answin into surrendering peacefully.
Thanks to his heroism and cunning during Answin's War that the duchy of Albernia was granted the status of a kingdom, a unique move in Middenrealm history, as the kingdoms within the Realm are usually directly ruled over by the Emperor and his family. His close friendship to Prince Brin, who looks up to him as a father figure, certainly has helped with increasing his influence. His eldest daughter Emer daughter is the prince's wife and future empress of the Middenrealm, while his younger daughter, Invher, is meant to succeed him as Queen of Albernia one day.
In private, Cuanu is said to be a humble man who doesn't care much for his power. A bit rash in his youth, this streak is long gone and he is a cautious and considerate man nowadays. He has a staunch rival, however, in the Duke of the North Marches, Jast of Greatriver, who used to be the most powerful man within the realm until Cuanu became close to Prince Brin. The two noblemen are heated opponents and it is only thanks to the respect both men hold to the House of Gareth that their quarrel hasn't ended in an armed conflict yet. However, both are well beyond their prime and their hatred towards each other has been passed on to their children.
He is married to Idra Bennain of Elenvina, a cousin of Jast of Greatriver. Though a strictly political marriage, the couple became quite fond of each other over the years, as Idra fully accepted Albernia as her home. In return, the Albernian people accepted her as their duchess and eventually as their queen. Unfortunately, his marriage to Idra is a result of one of Cuanu's greatest mistakes. Back in his youth, while understanding the necessity of marrying a noblewoman from the North Marches, he was still more rash and reckless than he is today. After a brief fling with Isora of Elenvina, who genuinely fell in love with the Albernian prince, he settled for her sister Idra instead, simply because she was younger and more beautiful. Though he didn't think much of it, this action is directly responsible for Isora's hatred towards him and his kingdom and he therefore blames himself for her actions in recent years.
Princess Emer ni Bennain of Gareth
Though the eldest daughter of King Cuanu, Emer was never in the line of succession for the Throne of Albernia. Instead, her father always wanted something more for his firstborn. Only a few weeks after her birth, the king travelled to Gareth, to negotiate with the Iron Emperor, Reto of Gareth, hoping to secure a better position for Albernia. By the end of their talks, Emer was betrothed to Reto's infant grandson and future heir to the Middenrealm, Prince Brin.
The two children didn't quite get along as they grew up, even though Cuanu and Reto did their best to have them spend as much time together as possible. In fact, as a child Emer was vehemently opposed to her upcoming marriage and she didn't warm up to him until after the wedding. She was twelve, he was thirteen when they were married, though the festivities were overshadowed by an attempt on the young prince's life, committed by the power-hungry Duke Answin of Ravenmouth, who would have been next in the line of succession in the event of Brin's death.
Brin was injured back then and survived solely thanks to Emer's quick thinking and gentle care. Ever since, the two were inseperable, becoming fast friends and eventually lovers, with their marriage being a surprisingly happy one. Together, the royal couple has three children, the twin girls Rohaja and Yppolita as well as their only son, Selindian Hal. Even though Selindian Hal is the youngest child, he is seen as the crown prince of the Middenrealm, due to House Gareth still following the Tulamid traditions set into place by the first emperor, Raul. According to this tradition, a son is always ahead of a daughter in the line of succession. The rest of the Middenrealm follows the Bosparanian laws of succession, where the firstborn child is set to inherit regardless of gender. In recent years, Emer has started to push for her eldest daughter Rohaja to inherit the throne instead, getting rid of the Tulamid laws of succession entirely, a move that is heavily discussed among the Middenrealm nobility. Where some see it as a long overdue reform that brings the House of Gareth in line with the rest of the Middenrealm, while others see it as unnecessary and guaranteed to complicate an already guaranteed line of succession.
Emer is known as a brash, sometimes even hasty woman without much talent or care for the greater diplomacy that is necessary to govern the realm. However, the common people love her greatly, as the princess is driven by a fierce sense of justice and a genuine desire to improve the lives of her subjects. Though she is not particularly well-liked among the nobility of Garetia and in open dispute with the influential Duke Jast of Greatriver, she can count on the support of her influential father.
Princess Invher ni Bennain
King Cuanu's youngest daughter was never meant to inherit the Crown of Albernia. Instead, she was always drawn to the goddess Rondra, becoming a devout worshipper at an early age and, eventually, a novice of the church in her early teens. Unfortunately for her, Emperor Hal's disappearance meant that Emer, who was previously seen as the crown princess of Albernia, had to rise to her current position much earlier than anyone anticipated. This forced Invher to abandon her duties as a Squire of Rondra, as she had to return to her father's court to become the crown princess she, quite vocally, never wanted to be. This, as well as an age difference of a full decade, has strained the relationship between the sisters to this day.
Now in her late teens, the crown princess of Albernia had to deal with a lot of loss and disappointment in her life, most notably her being forced to give up on her dreams of becoming a priestess of Rondra. What truly left its mark, however, is her aunt Isora's coup. Though the princess was freed and Isora's coup being thwarted, it is said that her mood has darkened ever since she was taken hostage by her own aunt. Those who knew her before say that her smile is smaller and less genuine nowadays and that her gaze has gained a darker streak to it. Rumour that she was psychologically tormented have never been openly challenged or disputed and Invher has developed a fierce hatred for the North Marches and House Greatriver for their alleged support of Isora's actions.
Invher is not less brash than Emer, likely even more so, and she is twice as stubborn. While these traits would have served her well as a Priestess of Rondra, they make for a rather poor Queen of Albernia. Her father insists on her position, however, and due to her youth, he hopes to teach her how to become a good queen for her people. For now, she is a troubled young woman, too bitter for her own good, who finds her strong convictions challenged at every corner.
Margrave Raidri Conchobair
Every child in the Middenrealm knows Raidri Conchobair, the Margrave of Winhall, Sword King and Champion of Rondra. Those are just some of his titles, all of whom he thoroughly earned in decades of heroism. There is no doubt that he is the greatest living hero in Aventuria, openly favoured by the goddess Rondra and tales of his deeds could fill entire books.
Losing his parents at a young age and before he even became a man, Raidri was forced to grow up quickly. He was always a prodigy with the sword, beating even seasoned knights when he himself was nothing but a green squire. His talent was clear for everyone to see and paired with his charisma and confidence, he grew into a truly formidable warrior, who was appointed as the Sword King, a title bestowed by the Church of Rondra to the greatest living swordsman in Aventuria.
A personal friendship with Cuanu ui Bennain opened many doors for him. When the last ruler of the County of Winhall, an Albernian province, died without issue, Cuanu appointed Raidri as the new Count of Winhall. It was mostly thanks to him that the usurper Answin of Ravenmouth was taken down and for this, Winhall was turned into a Margravedom, directly sworn to the Emperor of the Middenrealm.
Beyond his heroism, Raidri is known for having multiple love affairs. Though he is Rondra's champion, it is undeniable that he knows how to worship Rahja as well and the list of women he has been linked to is as long as it is prestigious, among them being even married noblewomen from the Middenrealm. While he declines to comment on most of his supposed affairs, he has fathered at least a dozen children, all of whom he has taken responsibility for. Among the women he has been linked to are Countess Franka Salva Galahan of Honeyncton (which puts the paternity of her firstborn son into question) as well as the infamous Isora Ulaman of Elenvina, with whom he has a daughter, Rhianna.
His list of heroic deeds is even longer, however, and even though he has recently turned fifty years old, he still proves himself worthy of his title by the day. That being said, while Raidri has many influential friends and remains a highly respected man throughout the entire continent, few can actually claim to know what the Margrave is thinking. It can only be assumed that his incredible popularity and unprecedented heroism make it harder for him to truly connect to others on a personal level and those who are truly close to him describe him as a humble and introspective man in private.
Countess Franka Salva Galahan
Franka is the Countess of Honeyncton, the most important county in Albernia, whose power rivals even that of House Bennain. At almost sixty years of age, she still looks exactly as she did decades ago, thanks to being, quite notably, a half-elf. This makes her one of the few Middenrealm noblewomen who is not a pureblooded human. Her father, Gwyn Cebir Galahan, was seen as a weak ruler, mostly known for several highly scandalous love affairs, not just with Franka's elven mother, but also with a high priestess of Rahja and even several married noblewomen. Out of them all, Franka remains his only legitimized daughter, however, and she isn't even sure if she knows about all of her father's bastards.
As such, the countess had her work cut out for her when she succeeded her father at a young age. Perhaps to openly contrast to his frivolous reign, Countess Franka is usually seen as prim, almost prudish, albeit a great benefactor of the finer arts. Under her rule, Honeyncton once again reclaimed its seat as the most important province in Albernia and her court is a haven for respectable artists, such as classical painters, talented poets or musicians. She is married to the Garetian knight Aisco of Luring, though the couple is reportedly estranged and currently separated, with Franka ruling over her county of Honeyncton, while Aisco lives with his family in Garetia. There are persistent rumours that the countess had an affair with Raidri Conchobair and that her firstborn son, Annlir Anneirin, is actually a result of this affair instead of her marriage with Aisco.
Though Franka is outwardly patriotic and a staunch supporter of House Bennain, her political influence is undeniable. Due to her inhumanly long life, Franka can choose to wait and paired with her unquestionable intelligence, many begin to wonder if she is truly as subservient to House Bennain as she seems to be or if she is merely biding her time until her liege lord is no longer favoured by the Middenrealm. Few doubt that should House Bennain ever lose the favour of House Gareth, House Galahan, with Franka at its top, would be a splendid replacement to lead the kingdom.
Archon Megalon, formerly the court mage of the Albernian king, is a druid of extraordinary power, one of the most prestigious members of his order and one of the most wanted criminals in the entire Middenrealm. Few figures are as divisive as him amongst the Aventurian mages. Having gained the trust of King Cuanu by using a fake identity, the true depths of his crimes were only gradually uncovered in the recent years. He had to flee the kingdom after being caught in the act of torturing a peasant and later, several murders have been linked to him. His actions have further enforced the critical view Albernians have on all kinds of magic and after him, King Cuanu
By nature, Archon is unpredictable. Past acquaintances have described him as charismatic and intimidating, but without an ounce of charm or patience for human behaviour behind a thin veil of affability. He is driven by a ruthless desire to increase his knowledge, motivating him to push beyond most borders of civilized society. A key element of his often inhuman experiments is fear, more precisely human fear, which he is fascinated by. At its core, his actions seem to be driven by what he perceives as good intentions, but his methods lack any morality. In his books, all of whom are banned by the Church of Praios throughout most parts of civilized Aventuria, he describes inhuman experiments on sentient beings, to gain a deeper understanding on how to use and eventually conquer fear itself, believing this to be the key to unlock great physical and mental strength hidden within the human body.
That being said, what makes Archon Megalon so dangerous is that he is a deeply reasonable man, not the slightest bit insane and actually quite convincing if he wants to be, by far not the cliché villain the Church of Praios likes to paint him as. His ultimate goals remain a mystery, but he is always working towards them. This has led to conflicting reports on his actions, as he is sometimes encountered as a benevolent figure, who aids travellers in need, while abducting, tormenting and killing people on other occasions. His current whereabouts are unknown after he had to flee Albernia, but a figure matching his description has been seen within the region from time to time.
Isora Ulaman of Elenvina
Without a doubt the most controversial figure of recent Albernian history is Isora of Elenvina, sister-in-law to King Cuanu, as well as a cousin to Jast of Greatriver, Albernia's fierce rival from the North Marches. In her youth, Isora was introduced to Prince Cuanu ui Bennain, with the hopes that a union between the two would bring the hostile provinces of Albernia and the North Marches closer together. By all accounts, Isora fell in love with the dashing albernian prince back then, which made her disappointment all the more bitter when he rejected her advances in favour of her younger sister Idra, who was the greater beauty between the two.
Isora's bitterness never truly left her and over the years, she has grown into a downright hateful woman, at least when Albernia and the House Bennain is concerned. She has never given up on her desire for the Albernian crown and while a deep rift has grown between her and her sister, she is especially close to her cousin Jast. It is rumoured that it was his support, or at least his silent endorsement, that moved her to attempt her infamous coup during Answin's War, when Duke Answin of Ravenmouth took the capital and declared himself emperor in Hal's absence. With all eyes on the capital, as well as Duke Cuanua and his most powerful bannerman Raidri Conchobair having left Albernia to deal with Answin of Ravenmouth, Isora took Havena by storm with an army of hired sellswords, more or less openly backed by Horasian coin.
Isora managed to hold the city for almost a year, during which she kept Princess Invher ni Bennain, Cuanu's younger child and heiress, as her hostage. Due to cunning schemes, Isora managed to gain a few strategically important allies within Albernias nobility, while keeping the rest in line through manipulation and ruthless actions against all those who tried to resist her. She hoped to be crowned as the legitimate Queen of Albernia by Emperor Answin of Ravenmouth should his coup be successful.
Unfortunately for her, Answin was forced to surrender, ending his insurrection much faster than anyone expected. The returning forces of King Cuanu and Margrave Conchobair, now supported by Middenrealm soldiers, easily overpowered her allies. Eventually, Isora was forced to surrender largely peacefully. She spared Princess Invher's life, which is the sole reason why Cuanu merely exiled her instead of taking her head. Isora was forced to leave Albernia, but she has reportedly not given up on her ambitions. More or less openly supported by Jast, she now claims to be the last member of House Ulaman, the ancient ruling dynasty of Albernia before House Bennain took over. Her claim is disputed and seen as a cheap power grab, but if anything, it proves that Isora's ambitions are not yet over.
Duke Cusimo Garlishgreet of Grangor
Born a Horasian and becoming head of the influential and rich House Garlishgreet, the rulers of Grangoria, the northernmost province of the Horasian Empire, Cusimo never had to worry about a thing, nor work a day in his life. Unlike many who were born into such a position, however, the Duke of Grangor didn't rest on the accomplishments of his ancestors. He worked tirelessly to increase his influence, by pressing for his families ancient claims on the small province of Windhag.
It helped that Cusimo is a naturally charismatic man, who never had any problems with making friends. His personal friendship to Duke Jast of Greatriver has made it easier for him to succeed in what many believed to be a fool's errand. He actually managed to separate Windhag from the North Marches, becoming its new Margrave, while keeping his title as Duke of Grangor, making him the only man in Aventuria who has sworn oaths of fealty to two rulers.
Of course, he has to pay taxes to both, Prince Brin of Gareth and Empress Amene-Horas, but since his Duchy of Grangor is among the richest provinces in Horasia, he can do so without any problem. He uses his unique position to negotiate between the two nations and he has earned a reputation as a respectable and inherently neutral force of order at the Middenrealm-Horasian border. The Duke is also known as a bon vivant, as they say within Horasia, a man who enjoys life to the fullest, a hedonist. His feasts and orgies are famous and over the years, the once respectable jouster has grown fat. Still, he has a sharp mind and his close relations to the rulers of the Middenrealm and Horasia has given him a keen instinct for the inner turmoil within the two empires, something he never failed to use to his advantage in the past.
King Kasimir IV Kasmyrin of Nostria
Kasimir the Conqueror, as he is affectionately called by his subjects, is the ageing ruler of Nostria. He has gained his moniker for reconquering the city of Salta at the Thorwalian border, after it had been occupied by Thorwalian raiders for half a century. This action soured relations to Nostria's powerful northern neighbour and has caused a string of devastating raids on the fertile Nostrian coastline, but it has brought the people of the country closer together as a nation and has secured an important trading port for Nostrian merchants.
Privately, Kasimir is noted for his severe mood swings. He has a temper and is prone to violent outbursts, but he is just as quick to make up with his family. His true enemies are for life, as the king is unforgiving and harsh, but he can also count on a small army of friends who would lay down their lives for him. As the head of one of the largest royal families in Aventuria, his succession is save and due to his decisive actions in the Salta crisis, his legacy as a great king is safe just as well, no matter what he is doing in the rest of his days. Now an old man, Kasimir seems content with living out the remaining years of his rule in relative peace, knowing that he won't lose the love of his subjects or the loyalty of his family.
King Wendolyn VII Irebold of Andergast
In contrast to the infamously moody Kasimir of Nostria, Wendolyn Irebold is reportedly a humble and jovial man. He spends his days not at court, but usually out in his kingdom, to hunt, explore or simply help his subjects with everyday matters. It is not unusual for Wendolyn to be seen out on the streets of Andergasts' eponymous capital city. In his absence, he leaves a lot of responsibility on his family, especially on his trusted advisor and half-brother Asmodeus. When at court, he is reportedly mostly bored by the duties of a ruler, but if necessary, he can be strong and decisive when a truly important matters is brought to his attention.
Unfortunately, Wendolyn is very suspicious of foreign influence over his small kingdom. He is a traditionalist, whose rule has further isolated his already struggling kingdom in almost all regards, especially politically and technologically. While his people are grateful for a generation of peace with Nostria, discontent is growing within the ranks of Andergasts nobility, who fear that their kingdom won't be able to remain independent from Nostria or the Middenrealm for much longer if they continue to isolate themselves from the rest of Aventuria.
Names of the Seven Wind Coast
The Kingdom of Albernia, with its unique culture and language, has its own, unique names just as well. These names have been influenced by the elven language, paired with the harsher tongue of the Thorwalians and a few remnants of ancient Bosparano. For reference, Albernian names take some strong inspiration from gaelic names of our world, so any gaelic name would not be out of place for a character from Albernia.
One important aspect that has been taken over by the Thorwalian settlers are the words 'ui' and 'ni' between the first and the last name. Usually seen by noble families who trace their roots back to Djannan Bennain and his Thorwalian settlers, this affix is by no means reserved for nobility, but is widely used by proud Albernians, especially those who wish to clarify that they have Thorwalian roots. The ui is exclusively male, meaning 'Son of the House of', whereas the ni is exlusively female, meaning 'Daughter of the House of'. This affix is lost when the last name changes, mostly due to marriage. The one who takes on their partner's last name is not referred to with the ui or ni, since they are not sons or daughters of their new family by birth. As such, Cuanu ui Bennain is Cuanu, Son of the House of Bennain, whereas his wife is only referred to as Idra Bennain. Their daughter Emer is a Bennain by birth and her name is therefore Emer ni Bennain.
It should be noted that the Old Blood of Albernia's nobility, the ones who settled in the region first, fiercely reject the Thorwalian influence on their nation. Nowadays, this mostly shows in them rejecting the ui and ni, instead opting to have their last name directly after their given name. They even reject the 'of' which is reserved for members of the nobility in the rest of the Middenrealm, instead letting their important last names speak for themselves. For someone who doesn't know a lot about the nobility of Albernia, this can be confusing, as there is little difference between the names of the Old Blood and the Albernian commoners. Any Albernian nobleman who doesn't have wear the 'ui' or 'ni' in front of their last names usually belongs to the Old Blood or to a family who has only recently (in the last three centuries) been appointed into the ranks of the nobility and can therefore not trace their roots back to the Thorwalians.
Some examples for male Albernian names: Adair, Alan, Caradoc, Cuanu, Domhnall, Elric, Eogan, Feargus, Fionn, Jarlath, Liam, Mael, Morgan, Oisin, Padraig, Raidri, Rhys, Seaghán, Tarlach, Thom,
Some examples for female Albernian names: Aisling, Amber, Branwen, Catriona, Deirdre, Emer, Grainne, Gwen, Invher, Keira, Kendra, Maeve, Morrigan, Niamh, Pádraigín, Rhiannon, Siofra, Sorcha, Tara, Ygraine
Some examples for Albernian last names: Aberlan, Braelghan, Bruadhir, Fingorn, Gwenlian, Inveric, Rothair, Uachdan
The Quarrelling Kingdoms, for as many differences as they have, actually have rather similar naming patterns, showing that their peasantry is not too different from each other. Both, Andergastian and Nostrian peasants prefer simple, common names and last names are unheard of in the more rural areas. Instead of a last name, a peasant from the Quarrelling Kingdoms would use the name of their village or their occupation. Oscar Goatherder or Jack from Thuran are therefore very common names in the Quarrelling Kingdoms. Longer names that might be common in the Middenrealm are usually shortened in the Quarrelling Kingdoms. For example, the popular Garetian name Cordovan is known as Cordo in the Quarrelling Kingdoms.
The true differences come with nobility and status. The nobles of Andergast and Nostria use long, bombastic names, occasionally with names of the Twelve Gods woven into their own, to underline their piety. For them, last names are very important and someone from the Quarrelling Kingdoms who has a last name is almost certainly from a prestigious family. In the cities, last names are common and especially in Nostria, it is not unusual for a family that gained a lot of wealth and prestige to change their name to something more suitable for their new position. For example, a family of horse breeders named Oldinger might change their last name to Highsteeder after selling a prestigious steed to the King of Nostria. Both, nobles from Andergast and Nostria have a preference for seemingly important-sounding names. For generations, many members of the ruling family of Andergast had names that started with the syllable Wen, whereas House Kasmyrin of Nostria had first names starting with the letter K, though exceptions exist.
Some examples for male names: Arno, Basil, Dirk, Firunz, Jack, Ludo, Mikal, Oscar, Stein, Tom
Some examples for female names: Andra, Gundel, Hilda, Kira, Jenna, Milla, Sara, Tysha, Wanda, Vera
Some examples for male highborn names from the Quarrelling Kingdoms: Asmodeus, Bogumil, Efferdan, Halvorion, Kasimir, Nicobald, Peraineryn, Travius, Wendolyn, Wenzeslaus
Some examples for female highborn names from the Quarrelling Kingdoms: Anderiane, Ifirnella, Jasmina, Katharina, Nostricia, Praiodane, Triumphina, Wendolyna, Yolande
Some examples for highborn last names from the Quarrelling Kingdoms: Arnfirion, Deepenbrook, Foamstrider, Moormeadows, Oakenstrike, Vestwind, Wyrmbluth