Cygnar is the largest and most powerful of the Iron Kingdoms. Its capital is Caspia, located at the southern end of the Black River. It is also the home to Corvis, City of Ghosts, birthplace of the Corvis Treaties, and a critical trade nexus for the realm. Cygnar is a lawful land, led by the good King Leto Raelthorne. It is a wealthy kingdom with a strong military, and it is home to skilled wizards and engineers. Cygnar has a sophisticated government and culture, and is known to all as the jewel of the Iron Kingdoms. Of course, the King's men can't be everywhere, and there is still plenty of lawlessness and adventure in the wild lands that lie outside Cygnar's modern cities and roads.
King Leto the Younger, as he is known, dethroned his elder brother Vinter Raelthorne IV, who was a savage and merciless man, as was his father before him. The coup was bloody but quick, and when it was over the land rejoiced and welcomed the new King with open arms. Raelthorne the Elder was unfortunately able to evade his execution and escape from his prison cell in Caspia, but he has not been seen for several years. Most believe him to be dead.
Something of a backwater territory, Ord is the farthest to the west of any of the Iron Kingdoms. Ord has a long, rugged coastline, and many of its citizens live near the water's edge and make their living off the sea. It's a dangerous life, for the waters of the western seas are harsh, and pirates from the Scharde Islands are often close at hand. These conditions serve to breed the toughest, most skilled sailors anywhere, making Ord's Royal Navy a force to be reckoned with despite their somewhat antiquated ships.
The capital of Ord is the city of Merin, but the most famous place in the realm is the disreputable town of Five Fingers. Situated near the end of the Dragon's Tongue river, Five Fingers is a trade nexus and naval station. There can be found the roughest sailors of both the rivers and the seas. Sometimes even privateers in service of the Lord of Wyrms will hide their colors and come to port for supplies - or unwilling recruits.
An unremarkable kingdom with little natural resources, magical or technical skill, Llael manages to eke out an existence by exploiting its proximity to the Black River trade route. The realm has but one true blessing - ample deposits of coal, without which its economy would be truly crippled. The largest coal town in the realm is Leryn, scarcely a league from where the Black River crosses over into Rhul.
The King of Llael is the head of state in title only, and it is the Council of Nobles in the capital of Marywyn that sees to the day-to-day operation of the government. Llael has a torturously complex system of government, making the Dwarven Moot look like a paragon of efficiency. Currently, Llael is actually without a regent; when the last king passed on, the line of ascension was a bit muddled, and the matter has been tied up in the courts for eight years. In the interim, the Council of Nobles has appointed a Prime Minister (Lord Deyar Glabryn IX), but it looks like a permanent position a little more every day.
The Protectorate is the newest of all the Iron Kingdoms. It was born of a religious schism within Cygnar, wherein worshippers of the ancient god Menoth began to contest the state religion, the Church of Morrow. Menoth's followers were small in number, but their faith and piety were unrivaled. The devout and vocal group felt that the Church and the Kingdom as a whole were sliding into corruption and decadence. They warned of the price of wickedness, and of the coming Armageddon, producing portents and prophecies to support their claims. The common folk put little stock in their alarmist tales, and the matter was given no official attention by Morrow's Primarch. Ultimately, this was a critical mistake - the worshippers of Menoth, weary of being ignored, decided to take action.
Their discontent simmered for several years while they assembled a secret army of zealots. What once was a good intentioned (though misguided) movement began to take on sinister cult-like traits. The extremist group began a campaign of sabotage, designed to destabilize the state Church and provide "evidence" for their prophecies of disaster. Their campaign was not wholly successful, but it did touch off open hostilities involving the Church of Morrow, Menoth's followers and Cygnar's standing army.
When the dust settled Menoth's followers were in control of a fragment of the eastern region of Cygnar. After weeks of negotiations it was decided that Cygnar would officially retain control of the eastern territory, but that the state religion would be different there. The arrangement persists on paper to this day, but in practice the Protectorate of Menoth is a separate kingdom, ruled by a strict theocracy. Any citizen or visitor who breaks the strict rules of conduct is punished severely, and the worship of Menoth permeates every aspect of life. The mortal leader of the Protectorate is the High Scrutator and Fist of Menoth, His Eminence the Hierarch Garrick Voyle.
This rustic realm is a sharp contrast to the more modern kingdoms of Cygnar, Llael and Ord. It is a harsh land with few resources, sparsely populated by a tough and grim people. Its citizens are simple folk, but they are intelligent, honorable and fiercely independent. Their ruler, Queen Ellyn Vanar XXI comes from a long line of rebel warriors, and can trace her lineage back to the first landed nobles that fought against the Orgoth invasion centuries ago. Not surprisingly, the Khador have a strong military tradition. Everyone trains in arms and tactics from almost the time they can walk, and every able-bodied citizen is considered to be in the military reserves. Even the Queen herself will take to the battlefield, fighting shoulder to shoulder with her soldiers. Wizardry and sorcery are uncommon among the Khador, but their regiments are well supplied with fearsome battle-clerics.
In years gone by, Khador has had an aggressive, expansionist agenda. Centuries past have seen skirmishes with its neighbors, and Queen Vanar's ancestors have even annexed resource-rich land from Llael and Ord, under the pretense that the territory was rightfully theirs by the agreements of the Corvis Treaties. Khador may appear too weak today to seize more territory, but Llael and Ord are still not eager to try and take back the lands they lost - despite their poor resources in magic and technology, the Khador are warriors second to none, and any military action against them is bound to be expensive.
At the third Battle of Midfast, one and a half centuries ago, they say that a scant one hundred Khador Guardsmen ground up an Ordish army ten times their size… I don't know if it's true, but I do know that I never want to cross steel with a man trained in the Khador style.
- Torven Wadock
|Introduction to the Iron Kingdoms
|Beyond the Iron Kingdoms
|Nations of the Iron Kingdoms
|Deities of the Iron Kingdoms
|Map of the Iron Kingdoms
4323 Evanston Ave. N #202
Seattle WA 98103
V: (206) 545-2943 F: (206) 770-7373
|Site contents copyright© 2001 Privateer Press LLC. All rights reserved. "D20 System" and the D20 System logo are Trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast and are used with permission. Portions of this site are Open Game Content under the terms of the Open Game License.