Population: 73% human, 12% enslaved dromite, 8% dwarf, 5%adonai, 2% other
Imports: Deep crystal (see below), stone, ore, salt
Exports: Deep crystal (see below), beans, spices, lumber
Once a great empire, Alyria of the current age is a nation of five large cities – Branur, Karnal, Jhandan, Hastpor, and the country’s capital Araneia. Within the borders of Alyria, there are also a variety of villages and townships, although few are large enough to warrant mentioning.
While it is no longer militarily or geographically dominant, Alyria still maintains enough economic control over Femon to be considered a nation worth respecting. The safest, fastest, and most established trade routes are all under Alyrian control, with the exception of shipments to and from the Northern Crescent, which the maenad have controlled since the it’s discovery. Indeed, a common phrase in Femon is “all roads run through Alyria,” for the major travel routes were established and maintained by Alyria. In addition, Alyria’s control over the only known plentiful source of deep crystal has granted them a natural monopoly in supplying it to the rest of the continent. This monopoly has been contested several times by Alyria’s neighbors, as Alyria actually controls the flow of deep crystal through trade with the Orlam society, not through controlling the actual source of the substance.
After the Alyrian Empire fractured into the different governments existing today in Femon, Alyria used the infuence it had with the leaders of those ruling bodies to keep each entity in check against the others. Because Alyria controls the most extensive and respected schools known in the world, most nobles or aristocrats of the other nations and city-states of Femon send their young elite to study in Alyria. This practice, which began prior to the fracture of the empire, has continued to the present date, as sizable, established educational facilities have not been developed in other parts of the continent.
The current Alyrian government, recognizing a way to maintain a modest amount of control over its former vassals, uses more subtle techniques to shape the politics of the rest of the continent, rather than the harsher techniques of the emperors of the Alyrian Empire. Key agents of Alyria reside in the courts of Luxor, Soleil, Rel, and Janrol, acting as advisors to the rulers, helping Alyria keep any of these smaller neighbors from gaining suffcient power to challenge the country by turning the city-states, duchies, and nations on each other. While these efforts have not always been successful, it has kept the balance of power in Femon stagnating for the past few decades, while Alyria seeks new ways to regain those portions of the former empire it deems most worth recovering. Only Feria has managed to escape this control, as their hatred of Alyria has kept their nobles from journeying to Alyrian schools for education.
Despite the reduction in full-scale combat since the dissolution of the Alyrian Empire, Alyria still occasionally skirmishes with its closer neighbors, including the Ventrad tribes to the southeast, Ferian military units, and those seeking to wrest control over the Orlamu supply of
deep crystal. Alyria, however, does not have a standing army, and these conficts are typically handled by hired mercenary units.
Major Geographic Features
The nation of Alyria is bordered to the northeast by the Plains of Ventrad., which has historically been a major obstacle for the growth of Alyria. To the northwest, the Crystalcarver Mountains ring the remainder of the northern border of the nation, running from the west-most edge of the Plains of Ventrad to the west coast of Femon. The western reaches of the lands claimed by Alyria are in sight of the Draunlin Desert, which has hampered Alyria’s attempts to expand to the west. The southern and eastern borders of Alyria are open plains, hills, and forests, marking the edge of where Alyria’s mercenary patrols run.
Pawal Forest – situated between Araneia and Jhandan, the Pawal Forest supplies most of the lumber for Alyrian use. Centuries ago, the two cities started severely lumbering the woodlands, resulting in a massive reduction in the size of the Pawal Forest, shrinking by almost half within a matter of a few decades. When Elkath I founded the nation of Alyria, he declared the forest a necessity for the continued growth of the country, and imposed strict measures on how much of the forest could be cut down each season. Although the view of subsequent kings and emperors varied to Elkath I’s, no attempts were made to countermand the restrictions on logging and Elkath’s actions resulted in the Pawal Forest returning to nearly its original size.
Araneia – The birthplace of King Elkath the First, the city of Araneia has rich farmland and a nearby iron mine that granted Elkath the ability to outft a suffcient army to impress its neighboring city-states. Once the nation of Alyria was founded, Araneia was chosen as its capital city, a privilege it retains to date. During the height of the Alyrian Empire, the city of Araneia was completely renovated using extravagant materials shipped from the vassal nations of the empire. Even to the present, Araneia acts as the home of the rulers of Alyria; all descendants of the kings are born in Araneia by transporting the mother to the city prior to giving birth.
Branur – Originally brought into Alyria for its location on the west coast of Femon, Branur has not brought as much commerce into the nation as hoped, due to the trade embargo imposed by the Maquoran Fleet. It does supply a large amount of seafood, which keeps the need to import food from outside Alyria to a minimum.
Hastpor – Prior to King Elkath I unifying the nation of Alyria, Hastpor was a city with a ruling psionocracy. In this city, the study of psionics was central to the life of each citizen. To this end, a library was established to house everything discovered about the Invisible Art. Over time, and encouraged and funded by the leaders of Alyria, the Great Library of Hastpor became the single greatest center of knowledge on psionics ever known. The Alyrian Magistrates, the organization that handles legal matters for the nation, is headquartered in Hastpor.
Jhandan – Nestled between the Nelhore and Pashkar rivers, Jhandan handles a large amount of commerce as a result of its location. Primarily a trading hub, Jhandan is the commercial capital of Alyria, and openly trades with other cultures that will not trade with any of the other Alyrian cities, as many goods can be found in Jhandan not easily available in other locations.
Karnal – The most populous city of Alyria, Karnal was the center of military training during the reign of the Alyrian Empire. Some of this tradition maintains to the current times, and many of the mercenary units of Femon are headquartered out of Karnal.
Castle Dabra – Built decades ago during the height of the Alyrian Empire, Castle Dabra is one of the few psionic centers of knowledge that remained in Alyrian control after the fracturing of the empire. Continuing in the tradition for which it was established acts as a learning center of the psionic arts, training those who enroll in how to control and master the power within oneself.