“Once a noble and shining kingdom
whose cities lay spread across the land like glittering jewels, it now struggles
under the yoke of a demi-god oppressor. Anquar reminds us that vigilance is the
price we pay for freedom. Always, vigilance.”
- Lord Marshall Jonathan Tretiach IV, Garrison
|Proper Name||The Kingdom of Anquar|
|Ruler||His Imminence and Greatness, Vanquisher of False Idols, Supreme Warlord of the Realm, Ruler of the Known World, Divine Light of the Heavens, Sword of Justice, Keeper of the Four, Lord of Anquar, Heir to Karnus, His Imperial Majesty, King Dalmoran the Usurper, “the Mad”|
|Population Density||20 people per square kilometer
(52 people per square mile)
|Demographics||Human (Anquar) 72%, Human (Ithrian Southerners) 6%, Grum 4%, Sea Gypsies 4%, Orc 4%, Ogre 4%, Saurian 3%, Hurkyte 1%, Urtas 1%, Other 1%|
|Languages||Quaryn 76%, Padashi 21%, Other 3%|
|Capital City||Ipotal (Population: 114,700)|
|National Colors||Blue, green, brown|
|Year Founded||119 CY|
|Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods||Iron ore, iron products, marble, granite, shale, gold, silver, copper, orichalcum, emeralds, cotton, wool, horses, lumber, apples, potatoes|
|Government Type||Theocratic Autocracy|
|Government Stability||Very stable|
|Enemies||The Border Clans, The Great Padashan Empire|
|Technology Level||Middle Ages|
|Total Land Area||770,000 square kilometers
(297,300 square miles)
Anquar is an ancient country with a troubled past. Once a shining kingdom ruled by eight benevolent demi-gods, this once great nation is now crushed under the dictatorship of a single dark overlord, a murderous half-god bent on conquering all lands and peoples. The government and military are one here and rule with an iron fist. Fragments and ruins of the older culture litter this civilization like reminders of better days. Still, something of the old culture has survived. Great castles still crown many hills here. Stalwart knights, many now renegade, roam the land. Horse breeding and ship building are still carried on with skill and pride by craftsmen and guilds.
Fighting against the demi-god king is an outlawed group called simply the Resistance. Scattered across the kingdom, members and groups of the Resistance meet in secret and strike out against Dalmoran's armies wherever and whenever they can. They fight for a single purpose - to slay Dalmoran and return the nation of Anquar to the idyllic and peaceful realm it once was under the "Rule of Eight".
Blessed by fertile soil, fair winds and plentiful rain, this kingdom has an abundance of arable land and is what allowed Anquar to thrive in its early life and become a powerful kingdom. Much of the interior is broad grasslands and rolling hills dotted with small forests and groves. The Gynfeld Forest, a thick wood covering thousands of square kilometers dominates the west end of the kingdom. The Moors, a cold marshland, forms the eastern border. The lands grow hilly in the northeast and rise up toward the Tanlur Mountains.
The people of Anquar are notable for horse breeding and there are several strong and sure-footed breeds found here.
One of the most interesting animal species in Anquar is a native bird called the Crown Sparrow. Crown sparrows are beautiful white birds with light blue feathers on the edges of the wings and tail and a "crown" of feathers atop the head. The crown sparrow is an exceptionally intelligent bird able to mimic human speech and known for very complex birdsong. Crown sparrows are highly trainable birds and have been used by the nobles in this nation for centuries to carry messages. The message is not given as a written message, but rather, is taught to the crown sparrow as a birdsong. A specific musical "language" called "crown song" has been developed over the last 600 years and has become standardized throughout the nation. Crown sparrows are able to learn surprisingly complex songs to carry messages of up to 50 words in length. A message can only be taught to a crown sparrow by someone who understands crown song. Once the message is learned, the bird is instructed as to where to go (again through crown song and usually one of several pre-trained destinations) and the bird flies to its destination to deliver its message. Of course, the receiver of the message must understand crown song as well.
When the nation fell to the treachery of Dalmoran, the use of crown sparrows was outlawed. The Resistance now uses crown sparrows in secrecy and often uses dye to disguise the birds because Anquaran archers have orders to shoot the birds down on sight. With Dalmorran's ban, the use of crown sparrows and crown song is something of a dying art. With each passing year, it seems there are fewer breeders and fewer people who know crownsong.
This region is known for the taruba, a species of bird which is very large, tall and brightly feathered. The taruba is a flightless bird about 1.5 meters tall. It has brilliant blue, yellow and orange plumage and an immense tail which fans out in a breathtaking iridescent display. The taruba is the national bird of Anquar. Several hundred tarubas can be found in the capital city. It is illegal to harm one on pain of death. Many are wild, but others are domesticated and treated as walking icons of the cities. Many wealthy nobles keep tarubas as pets.
In the centuries before the Sundering, this region was home to peaceful primitive clans and villages known as the Valadur that fished the sea and farmed the land. The Valadur were known for stoic bravery, spartan simplicity and rugged individuality. Their civilization fragmented during the World Storm. Lawless brigands in pirate ships arrived from distant lands and began to plunder the Valadur villages. The Valadur villages banded together to survive. Petty warlords took over small towns and established tiny fiefdoms. Battle between warlords became common and strangers were feared. Although many Valadurian towns fought bravely and remained free, these were dark days for the Valadur.
The Coming of Karnus
In 111CY, there came a powerful wizard named Karnus. He claimed to have escaped a great war that was being fought across the lands of Ithria. He arrived on a great sailing ship laden with treasure, arcane lore, enchanted wonders and loyal servants. It is believed by many historians that Karnus was actually one of the Mage Lords from the Alliance. Several had disappeared during the Great War.
Karnus drove out the bandit warlords and quelled the violence. Peace was quickly restored to the land. Karnus worked to help the Valadur rebuild while he and his minions labored to build a great city on the southwest coast. Construction was completed 119 CY. A great feast and celebration was held on the ninth day of Spellebb of that year. Perhaps having seen too much bloodshed, Karnus was determined to forge a peaceful land and so Karnus founded the Kingdom of Anquar. Lords of many Valadur towns swore allegiance to Karnus on this day.
The Age of Reason
King Karnus ruled for two centuries and during that time, the kingdom enjoyed almost two hundred years of peace, prosperity and growth. Anquaran literature of modern times speaks of those two centuries as a golden age.
In 307 CY, Karnus began showing the first signs of Miradic Syndrome. He realized he could not rule forever, and so began working on his greatest achievement before the disease robbed him of his magic. For more than a year, he labored in secret on a powerful enchanted object. In 308 CY, he unveiled the fruits of his labor... the Talisman of Anquar. This device separated into eight equal pieces. Each separate piece held vast power. When combined, their strength was awesome.
Karnus was served faithfully by many. However, there were eight who were closest to him. Each was wise and powerful and magically skilled in their own right. They had served him for many years as loyal servant, trusted friend, eager apprentice and wise counselor. These eight were utterly loyal to Karnus and to each of them he entrusted a single piece of the Talisman of Anquar. These eight, five men and three women, were then entrusted with the fate of the Kingdom of Anquar. As Karnus grew weak and drew near death, these eight were at his bedside. Karnus died on Icebreak 19 in the year 320 CY. When the end finally came, the kingdom mourned their benefactor. For one full year, banners and coats of arms were displayed upside down. Bright colors were shunned. Festivals were cancelled.
Upon the death of Karnus, the Eight assumed control of the realm. Each held a piece of the Talisman of Anquar. The Talisman gave them fantastic power, effectively making them demi-gods. Although not immortal, each enjoyed long life and perfect health through the power of their piece. Of the ruling Eight, men were known individually as "Kings" and women were known as "Queens". Collectively, they were known as the Eight Monarchs, or sometimes more simply "the Eight". The Kingdom of Anquar enjoyed a long reign of peace under the Eight Monarchs of Anquar. Each Monarch took a spouse and began a noble family. Each noble family ruled over one of the eight districts of Anquar. Each piece of the Talisman was passed down through the generations within its family, usually given to the eldest child, regardless of gender. These ruling families were considered to have "divine blood". For almost two thousand years, Anquar knew peace and prosperity. The land thrived under the guidance of the Eight Monarchs and their noble families. The Eight held council often and decided matters with wisdom and compassion.
The Rise of Dalmoran
The peace of the Kingdom was shattered in 2498 CY. Dalmoran, one of the Kings, slew another named Imbradis and laid claim to his piece of the Anquar Talisman. With two Talisman fragments, Dalmoran was twice as powerful. Very quickly, the nation degenerated into civil war as the demi-gods and their minions fought. For fourteen bloody years, demi-gods and armies clashed across the nation. Dalmoran was successful again and acquired a third piece of the Talisman. With each Talisman fragment, his power grew. This conflict became known as the War of the Gods. During this war, Anark, one of the Kings, disappeared. The noble families of some of the Kings hid away their pieces of the Talisman to keep Dalmoran from acquiring them. The war ended in 2513 CY. Lord Dalmoran was victorious. In the end, he alone remained. Six of the Eight Monarchs had been slain. Dalmoran had managed to acquire four pieces of the Talisman. The others were hidden away by their divine families. Anark had taken his piece of the talisman with him. With four pieces of the Talisman, Dalmoran was unstoppable.
In 2514 CY, Dalmoran took control of the realm. In the most horrific event of the civil war, the Sharmaud priests (along with protesters, rebels and dissidents) were gathered in the Hindol Square in the capital city and systematically slaughtered. Over 1400 people were butchered that day. This became known as the Hindol Massacre. It is known that several Sharmaud priests escaped this fate. Sharmaudism has since been outlawed. King Dalmoran has founded a new religion with himself at its center. He ordered that the divine families of the other seven Kings be executed and that their knights swear loyalty to him or be put to the sword. Some bent their knee to Dalmoran, but most fought to the death. Many others fled into the wilderness and turned renegade.
All towns and districts fell under Dalmoran's control with the exception of Kannor which withstood a four year siege. The siege culminated in a battle which lasted three days until Kannor eventually fell. The Lord Mayor Vulkain, the leader of Kannor, was publicly tortured and executed as were his officers. Rather than crush the spirit of the Kannorians through fear and assert his absolute dominion over this region, these atrocious acts only planted the seeds of resentment. Because of its distance, graphic separation and because of history, Dalmoran's control over Kannor has been tenuous at best.
Dalmoran has since taken over the Kingdom. He still claims the title of King although he is more of a dictator and rules the realm with absolute authority. He has established his own order of dark knights. The capital city has endured a time of turmoil. Those who have accepted Dalmoran as king have survived and thrived. Those who cling to the old ways have perished or fled. Out in the realm, the rule of the dark king is less felt, but the towns are often ruled by nobles loyal to him.
Despite the fact that Dalmoran claims the title of King, scholars list the Kingdom of Anquar as a theocratic autocracy rather than a monarchy. This is because Dalmoran is an autocrat (unlimited power) and since Dalmoran may well be ageless, the centuries-old tradition of bloodline succession is now in doubt. Furthermore, he has established a new religion of which he is the center. Hence, Anquar is a theoratic autocracy since Dalmoran is literally a "demi-god on the throne".
The Kingdom of Anquar still has eight provinces. All are ruled by representatives of Dalmoran who rule with equal ruthlessness. Anquar has a huge economic chasm between the wealthy nobility and the commoners. The vast agricultural regions are ruled by the landed nobility. Wealthy barons operate huge estates worked by the peasants. The barons operate within a hierarchy, all faithful to Dalmoran.
King Dalmoran rules unfettered by concepts of mercy or justice. His word is law. His armies carry out his word. His priests conduct dark ceremonies to glorify him.
Critics of the Demi-God Dalmoran or his government may be charged with anything up to and including treason. Especially vocal trouble makers are hauled away never to be seen again.
Each village has an elder who rules and judges. Each province is divided up into counties. Each county has a magistrate who rules. Each province has a provincial Court. The city of Ipotal has a High Court that has 8 judges, one from each province. The High Court is a remnant to the days before Dalmoran. Once a respected court of law where justice was the norm, the High Court is now a farce, the judges are puppets of the King.
Once, before the treachery of Dalmoran, the kingdom had a proud tradition of stoic honor and chivalry. Every male, upon reaching 17 years old, was required to enlist in the service for not less than 3 years or pay a recompense fee. While sons of wealthy nobles might pay a fee to avoid military service, most Anquaran men considered it a point of honor to serve their king. Men of the same province would serve together and friendly rivalries often sprung up between military units of different provinces. Many would stay on and make a career of the military.
Today things are different. Huge military academies in the capital city produce new soldiers every year. This institutions are both educational and martial with a heavy dose of indoctrination and propaganda. Boys who show promise, either physically or intellectually, are taken from their families and put into this system. By the time they "graduate" many years later, they have been transformed into skilled warriors who espouse mindless devotion and absolute loyalty to King Dalmoran. They fight with strength and purpose as an organized whole. They are well trained and well equipped. Although legions of these troops are stationed at various cities and forts throughout the nation, the mass of the military might of Anquar remains at Ipotal. And so, the capital city is home to a vast and terrible army of knights and ships, archers and foot soldiers.
The military of Anquar is often referred to as the "Black Guard" because of the black iron metal of their armor, black cloaks, black boots and so forth. Even their blades are forged of black iron. There are several different categories of soldiers that fight in the Black Guard. The common footsoldiers are often referred to as "Enforcers". Those who show great skill and brutality are made bigger and stronger through some dark magic and given specialized weapons and very heavy armor. These brutes are called "Juggernauts". Some who show speed, accuracy and finesse undergo special wilderness training. They are given very specialized equipment, including arcane arrows and magic cloaks. They become "Stalkers". And finally, a rare few are trained at the Tower of High Wizardry and learn magic. Their training program incorporates extreme mental disciplane, brutal martial training, secretive spell lore and powerful enchanted items. These men become what are known as "Infernals". Various commanders and war lords rule the army. A variety of squires, servants, administrators and support personnel support the fighting soldiers.Some of the old martial tradition still remains, especially in the outer provinces. Far from the capital city, the commoners still take pride in serving their local baron. When the nation of Anquar first fell to Dalmorran, many of the soldiers and knights of the old kingdom turned renegade and banded together to form a resistance group. This group has grown over the last two centuries and is gaining strength. It has become a serious problem for King Dalmoran and the Anquaran military. The war between Anquar and the Resistance is heating up into a full war. The Resistance has the support of a good portion of the population. About a quarter of the population (those families of wealth and social standing) has been swayed to Dalmoran . About a quarter of the population (typically the poor) is fiercely against Dalmoran and actively support the Resistance. The rest of the population simply tries to get by and not get involved in the struggle. They are simply looking out for themselves and wish only to survive another day. Most citizens despise the heavy taxes and totalitian regime, but they still publicly swear loyalty to Dalmoran.
While the Anquaran military wrestles with the Resistance, they must also fend off the military might of the Great Padashan Empire.
Each province levies its own taxes. The commoners endure crushing taxes. Each province is required to pay a yearly tax to the capital city of Ipotal. Two centuries of oppression and forced labor have swelled the King's coffers. However, these brutal tactics have also forged a magnificent capital city, a powerful army and an abundance of wealth that Dalmoran wields as a sword crushing any problem that arises. He indulges in any whim with great extravagance, but is wise enough to use the money where it counts.
Anquar conducts trade with many of the nations on southern Ithria. Although Anquar and Padashan oppose each other, goods from each of these two great nations find their way into the courts and palaces of the other. This usually occurs through black market channels or through mutual trading with peoples of other nations.
Even amidst the oppression of the last 200 years, many towns and villages have struggled to maintain their culture. Anquar enjoyed some 2000 years of high culture, peace, prosperity... it was a golden age. Dalmoran usurped the throne only two centuries ago. Much of the culture of Anquar has been outlawed by Dalmoran, but much of it is still practiced. Craftsmen still fashion their goods, markets still fill with peddlers hawking their wares, people go about their business. But always there is the shadow of the King's soldiers and priests, his tax lords and inquisitors. The commoners toil in shop and field, but do so with a palpable threat over the kingdom. Sharmaudism, the old religion of the kingdom, is likewise practiced in secrecy by the faithful.
Garmashk is a spicy rice and beef dish which is traditionally made by a man and woman on the eve of their wedding. It is also made by the couple to greet important visitors and celebrate festive events.
Anquarans greet each other by grasping forearms in a firm grasp.
Festivals, with a very strong national pride theme, are common in Anquar, as Dalmoran tries to win the people over, placate fears and tighten his grip.
Anquaran women wear long scarves with any outfit. The color and style of the scarf indicates their status - married, single, single and seeking a husband, mourning, widow, not yet a woman, etc.
King Dalmoran is a fearful and paranoid ruler. He jealously guards the four pieces of the artifact and fears that anyone might gather too much power against him. As such, there is only one official school of magic in the entire nation of Anquar - the Tower of High Wizardry. This institution is often referred to as "the Tower" and sometimes called Balintor's, after it's founder. The Tower is located in the capital city of Ipotal under the watchful eye of Dalmoran and his most trusted advisors. Only those who graduate from this school are allowed to practice magic in Anquar. Learning magic outside of this school is strictly forbidden.
It is rumored that the Resistance runs a school of wizardry hidden somewhere in Anquar. And, undoubtedly, there are probably a few wizards scattered throughout the realm who tutor an apprentice or two in secrecy.
Because of Anquar's strict regulation of magic, there are fewer wizards and sorcerers here than one might expect for a kingdom of this size.
King Dalmoran is a power hungry demi-god, but only through the power of the pieces of a magical Talisman. Through the Talisman’s sorcery, Dalmoran is immortal and the wielder of unspeakable power. Cruel, petty, jealous and paranoid, he is a narcissist of the highest order. He is served by a legion of servants and slaves who are forced to do bidding. He is a megalomaniac who has founded a religion to worship himself. King Dalmoran appears as a slim and healthy middle aged man with sandy blonde hair. Although he is hundreds of years old, he appears no older than 40.
Sedarik Kurn, General of the Anquaran Army
General Kurn is the supreme military commander overseeing all the armies of Anquar. He is a tall and lean man with long black hair, pale skin and a clean shaven face. He wears gleaming blue-black armor and a billowing black cloak with a grey raven pattern. His helm is fashioned from the same blue-black metal and sports wings and a great black feather plume. He is the second highest ranking person in the nation, answering directly to King Dalmoran. General Kurn is a phenomenal physical specimen. He is a skilled warrior who has mastered every weapon and unarmed combat. He is also a brilliant strategist. He fights primarily with a great two handed sword and a great bow.
Willock Farune, High Priest of the Church of Anquar
His Holiness Farune is the High Priest of the Church of Anquar. He is responsible for converting all Anquaran citizens to Anquarism. He oversees the ceremonies of the Church of Anquar and has been charged with stamping out the last remnants of Sharmaudism. His Holiness Farune is an obese man with a balding head. His rotund girth is covered in gleaming white robes adorned with jewels and feathers. He walks with a 2.5 meter tall ivory carved stave. During ceremonies and other formal occasions, his head will be crowned by an elaborate head dress which incorporates the symbol of the Talisman in its design. Farune maintains a public persona of grace, humility and piety. However, in private, he is fickle at best, prone to impatience and emotional outbursts. He is known to beat his slaves mercilessly.
Hurel Jameiros, Chief Magistrate of Ipotal
Chief Magistrate Jameiros is the chief magistrate of the nation and rules over the entire court system, including the High Court in Ipotal. He is instrumental in seeing that the laws of King Dalmoran are obeyed and also grants awards to those who render meritorious service to the crown. King Dalmoran gives Chief Magistrate Jameiros a great degree of freedom in meting out punishments and rewards at his discretion. The Chief Magistrate works closely with General Kurn and, under his iron fist, the city and nation beyond are held in a constant state of military control and fear of the legal system. Chief Magistrate Jamerios is a lanky redheaded man with a full beard, pale skin and piercing blue eyes. He wears the black cap and red robes common to all magistrates in Anquar.
Master Verushka is the Guild Master and Head School Master at the Tower of High Wizardry. He is the supreme authority on all magical matters throughout the Kingdom of Anquar and answers directly to King Dalmoran. He is in charge of training the mages of Anquar, but also of maintaining control over the mages. No single individual wizard is allowed to amass too much power lest he be a threat to the supremacy of King Dalmoran. Therefore, Master Verushka maintains a network of contacts, spies and wizards loyal to the crown to monitor all magical activity in the realm. Verushka hand picks wizards for government positions, faculty positions and special missions. Master Verushka is a tall and thin man with a high forehead and a short grey beard. He wears blue robes with gold trim and often uses a monocle to help him read. He has a golden drake as a pet and familiar which is with him at all times. This drake is often coiled about the top of Verushka’s stave.
|Maersk||11,500||A beautiful town on the north coast. Major ship building center with excellent shipyards.|
|Tenlay||8,700||A wealthy province, considered the favored province. Close to the capital. Home to artists, poets, scholars, magicians, scribes.|
|Ilwan||7,200||Home to skilled sailors, boat makers, shipyards, fisherman and cartographers.|
|Gestav||5,500||The largest province - an agricultural region which supplies most of the food for the nation. This region is mostly farmland, orchards and forests. The people of this region are known as skilled horticulturalists and excel at gardening. A poorer region.|
|Hag's Well||4,600||The northern farming region of Anquar. Skilled horsemen and hunters. Ranchers. A very wealthy region.|
|Toed's Crossing||2,900||Toed's Crossing operates a number of mining operations in the foothills of the Tanlur Mountains. Toed's Crossing has a number of excellent smithies. Some of the best sword makers in the realm are found here.|
|Kannor||2,300||Geographically and socially somewhat separated from the rest of Anquar. This region is a bit more free to practice the old ways.|
Ashmead, Bitter Lake, Carasot, Damuth, Ethulraman, Fox Hill, Farwalk, Fulth, Grub's Passing, Heisler, Ishraun, Long Lake, Norton's Hog, Pryuliat, Ogan, Ronath, Sapeur, Trajon, Xanathos, Yurkanin
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.