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Gazetteer of Astoria

Herein lies some relatively detailed information on each of the nations and cultures of Astoria. History,
current population averages, and much more is included. Also, each nation has at least one average
ambient Affinity listed. These can be added to the Affinities of characters when determining
detrimental effects on their actions, such as technological interference and magically-induced
Silver Forest
Description: Silver Forest is the homeland of the Elven people. Even the most technologically
oriented individuals feel a deep seated contentment when they gaze upon the gentle, swaying branches
of the oldest trees in all of Astoria.
Silver Forest is home to nine million residents, nearly all of
them Elves. There are a few Human and Gnomish residents,
usually either merchants or aspiring sorcerers. There are even
a handful of Dwarves living in Moonglade, hiding from the
Ku'na Assassins in the great capital city of the Elves.
Ironically, there are a few Dark Elves that live in the Silver
Forest, though the majority of them are either defectors from
Ku'ani or spies.
Each Elven city is built on two levels: the forest floor and in
the canopy. On the floor, crops are grown, shops are maintained, and laboratories for magical and
alchemical research are established. In the canopy lies the homes of the Elves. On the rare occasion of
an attack on Elven soil, the citizens retreat to their canopy homes, were powerful mystical wards
protect the residents from harm, and the trees from fire. However, with the rise of technology, the
wards seem to be weakening, and there have been reports of Elven outposts being burned to the ground
by raiding parties.
In the capitol city of Moonglade, a series of powerful enchantments ensures that blood is not spilled.
Any individual who raises their hand against another in anger will find themselves unconscious, as the
Elven protective magics erupt around them. The city is also surrounded by a powerful Shield,
preventing visitors from accessing the city without the permission of the residents. As of now, only the
most technologically oriented individuals have been able to ignore the barrier entirely. Even this
presents little trouble for the safety of the residents, as the powerful aura of magic in the city cause
most devices to malfunction.
Elven government consists of a Senate and a Tribunal. The fifty-five Senators inherit their office,
whereas the three Tribunal members are elected. The Senate is responsible for passing legislation, and
the Tribunal is responsible for enforcing the laws, and policing the Senate.
Extensive trading is done with the Iron Delver Dwarves and the Free States members, but the Dornihan
Industrial Republic tends to avoid economic dealings with the Elves of Silver Forest. This is probably
for the best, as the DIR has only technological products to offer, and the Elves offer mostly magical
People of Silver Forest
Population by Age:
0-14 Years: 100,000
15-100 Years: 5 Million
101+ Years: 4 Million
Racial Breakdown: 90% High Elf, 4% Human, 4% Gnome, 1% Half-Ogre, Less than 1% Dwarf, Less
than 1% Dark Elf
Most Elves still pay homage to Tullaand Ur, even though they stopped answering prayers quite a while
ago. There are some who worship Fate, convinced that It still walks the earth.
Languages: Jor'nain 99%, Gnomish Merchant Standard 80%, Dwarven Dialects 5%, Human Dialects
5%, Ku'nain less than 1%
Government Type: Aristocratic Republic
Current Ruler: Senate Speaker Wysp Moonspire
Capitol: Moonglade
Average Ambient Magical Affinity in Capitol: 3
Average Ambient Magical Affinity Outside of Capitol: 2
Holidays: There are only two major holidays celebrated in Silver Forest: the Summer and Winter
Solstices. Each Solstice is a time of great celebration, with wine and music, and various forms of
entertainment. Each full and new moon are considered minor observances, and Elves often close shop
early for them.
Crime and Punishment: Silver Forest has only a handful of major infractions: harming or killing
another in anger or cold blood, theft of property or freedom, treason, and the use of Necromancy.
Excluding the latter, the sentence is incarceration for a period of time deemed appropriate by the
Tribunal or a lesser court. Only treason and the practice of Necromancy are punishable by death.
Heraldry: A dark green field with a silver full moon in the center, and a pair of silver stars on either
Military: Military service is optional, though many Elves choose the serve in the military due to the
benefits of service. The Elven soldier gets to travel extensively with Elven diplomats and politicians,
and has housing provided for him for the rest of his life. Silver Forest has not known true war since the
exile of the Ku'na, and the only combat the average Elven soldier sees is the occasional Orcish raiding
Free States
Description: The Free States is a confederation of the
kingdoms of Celest and Halster and the city-state of
Stillwater. The confederation was established by Celest
shortly after the DIR started its unification campaign.
Membership and protection was offered to every Human nation, but only Halster and Stillwater
accepted. Soon, the former leaders of other nations regretted their decision to remain unaligned, as the
DIR barreled over them with great ease and the members of the Free States remained independent.
No technological devices are permitted within the borders of the Free States. To ensure that the
scourge of technology stays outside their borders, the mages of Celest have cast a powerful spell that
causes all technological items to malfunction in an extraordinarily destructive fashion within the
borders of the member nations. Stillwater and Halster do not view technology as evil, as does Celest,
but they do not protest the border, as it protects them from the advancing armies of the DIR.
Description: Stillwater is a thriving town, in spite of its cold clime. Trading is the order of the day, as
Stillwater dredges up rare fish, hunts exotic winter animals even in the summer, and even manages to
strike a rich gem vein every now and again in the frozen soil. Being so cold, certain necessities of life
must be imported, such as grain and vegetables, but Stillwater's neighbors are more than willing to
oblige for the exotic meats and pelts that only Stillwater can provide.
As such, Stillwater is a rich area. After the DIR finished it's unification of the communities and nations
surrounding it, they set their eyes on Stillwater next. When an offer for membership in the Free States
was sent to the leaders of Stillwater, they eagerly accepted. Though they were rich, they were also
small. Population growth was controlled by the harsh environment, and no real military was present, as
Stillwater had always relied upon its wealth and trade leverage to avoid conflict. Only a small militia
was maintained, in order to fight off raiding parties from the Orc and Ogre tribes.
Historians believe that Stillwater was originally settled by Halsterians. The reasoning for this belief is
the striking similarity between their languages. Apart from a few differences in vocabulary, Stillwater
and Halster have nearly identical languages.
Description: Halster is a small kingdom wedged in the valley that separates Stillwater from Silver
Forest. Like their northern neighbors, Halster makes much of it's money from trading. They act as the
middle man in dealings between Stillwater and the Elves, buying and selling gems and magical
artifacts, while producing and exporting wheat and other crops that will not grow in the cold region
surrounding Stillwater or the deep forests of the Elves.
Halster was in no immediate danger when the DIR began its unification, but knew that they moment
Stillwater fell, they would be the next target. Thus, they readily joined the Free States when the offer
Description: Celest is one of the oldest Human kingdoms in all of Astoria. It began as a college for the
study of the mystical arts, and the town, and eventually a kingdom, sprang up around it. Thus, Celest
has always been a haven for the magically inclined.
Celest is ruled by a Mage-King, and a Council of thirteen Advisors, all of whom possess powerful
magical abilities. It was this Council that established the anti-technological barrier around the member
nations of the Free States, and it is rumored that they expended so much energy in the process that they
fell unconscious and shall remain so until the barrier is dismissed. The Celest government refuses to
comment on these rumors, and none of the Council members have been seen since the barrier was
Celest is a discriminatory society. Those who are powerful in the ways of magic are given special
rights and privileges over those without the Gift. Those who even mention in passing an interest in
science are exiled from the kingdom for sedition. The people of Celest are unhappy with the
government, but for now have decided that at least they know the corruption of Celest, and choose the
evil they know over the one they of which they are ignorant.
People of the Free States
Population by Age:
0-14 Years: 300,000
15-65 Years: 500,000
65+ Years: 100,000
0-14 Years: 1 Million
15-65 Years: 7 Million
65+ Years: 3 Million
0-14 Years: 2 Million
15-65 Years: 8 Million
65+ Years: 5 Million
Racial Breakdown: 85% Human, 4% High Elf, 5% Gnome, 4% Half-Ogre, 1% Dwarf, Less than 1%
Dark Elf
The people of Celest once worshiped Ulrei above the other gods. Since the Age of Steam began, and
the gods left, the magically inclined population of Celest have established a new religion. This new
religion is called Pallas, and centers not on the worship of any specific god, but rather on the belief that
technology is evil. They take as proof of this theory the absence of the gods. If, they say, technology
is good, then why did the gods leave when we developed it? Followers of Pallas go to great lengths to
stop the spread of technology, from petitions and protests to outright terrorism. Though the First Pallas
Temple lies in Celest, the religion has gained followers all around the world, even in the Dornihan
Industrial Republic. Some people believe that the Ku'na are behind the Pallas temple.
Stillwater's citizens are set in their ways and hard headed. They have worshiped Mingor and Ur for
generations, and continue to do so even after their prayers ceased to be heard.
Halster was once viewed as a sort of duplicitous kingdom because of their religious leanings. They pay
equal homage to both Ur and Kirin, the Lady of Life and the Lord of Death. Halsterians believe in
balance, and the natural course of all things. All things that live must also die. Currently, no one
seems too concerned with Halster's seemingly contradictory religious practices, as the gods are gone
and there's no blessings coming from any of it anyway.
Languages: Celestis 80%, Halsterian 40%, Stillwater Halsterian 5%, Jor'nain 10%, Dwarven Dialects
5%, Ku'nain less than 1%, Other Human Dialects 10%, Gnomish Merchant Standard 85%
Government Type:
Celest: Monarchy
Halster: Monarchy
Stillwater: City Council
Current Ruler
Celest: Mage-King Gabriel
Halster: King Gilbert Lawrence Thorvald XVIII
Stillwater: Council Chairman Trevor Russell
Celest: Celest
Halster: Halsteria
Stillwater: Stillwater
Average Ambient Magical Affinity:
Celest: 3
Halster: 1
Stillwater: 1
Holidays: Each member state celebrates the day that they joined the Free States as an Independence
Day. For Celest, this is celebrated in mid-spring when they founded the confederacy. Stillwater
celebrates it in the beginning of Summer, and Halster observes Independence Day in the middle of
winter. These celebrations are filled with wine and song, and wondrous displays of magical
entertainment. Religious holidays are still celebrated, though with considerably less fervor than before.
Crime and Punishment: While use of technology is not forbidden by the law of Stillwater and
Halster, the mystical barrier surrounding the member nations certainly makes it difficult. In Celest,
even talking about technology in a remotely positive manner is considered sedition and punishable by
exile. All across the Free States, the practice of Necromancy is an offense punishable by death. This is
at the urging of the Mage-King of Celest, and was a contingency for joining the Free States. However,
the edict is enforced only loosely in Halster and Stillwater.
Celest: A black field with a gold tower in the center
Halster: A white field with a red phoenix and a greed dragon poised to fight
Stillwater: A blue field with two red swords crossed over a green shield.
Military: The Free States have a unified military stationed in a garrison just outside of Stillwater.
Three years of service is mandatory for all men when they reach the age of sixteen. If the young man
shows talent for magic, then they are given a delay of service if they agree to attend the Celest College
of Magic. The magically inclined are then required to serve in the military for two years following
graduation as healers and artillery. Each nation also has its own, smaller military for keeping the peace
and fighting off minor raids.
Scarred Forest
Description: The Scarred Forest is a barren land filled with the
corpses of once ancient trees. Until the Dark Elves exiled
themselves from the Silver Forest, it was uninhabited. There the
Elves found the ruins of ancient temples and buildings, all built
to the distinctive size of Gnomes. The Dark Elves discovered a
relatively intact ruined city, and began to restore it to a livable
condition, and there established their first city in exile.
From there, they branched out, restoring old ruins where
possible and building new towns and villages from the dead
trees when not. Each settlement was supervised by powerful
sorcerers, who used their arts to protect the cities from
divination and scrying. Thousands of years passed, and the
Ku'na became a race all their own, living in dangerous
conditions and using magic to meet the barest of needs. The only Dark Elves to venture out of their
homes were either Assassin Guild members looking for work and practice, or the occasional defector
that actually managed to get away.
And then came the rise of technology, and the Dark Elves discovered that the Dwarves were
responsible. They began their systematic purge of all Dwarves, beginning with the Steel Blaze Clan.
The Clan was totally obliterated in a matter of months. Chadwick Moore was advised by a Dark Elf
messenger to never speak of his involvement with the Dwarves, or his visit from the Ku'na. With the
destruction of the Steel Blaze Clan and the threat to Moore's life, the truth behind the invention of the
steam engine was locked away, and the Dark Elves were free to eliminate the other Clans at their
leisure, confident that Moore would not warn them of their impending doom.
A mere fifty years later, and all but one Clan and scattered survivors from others have been purged by
the Dark Elf assassins.
Dark Elves are notoriously xenophobic. They will only even speak to other races if they absolutely
must. They are strong in their belief that the Elves are destined to rule over all the other races, and go
to great lengths to attain this goal. The rise of technology has forced them to begin their plans of
conquest early, and the Dwarves were just the first step. Soon they plan to invade their former home in
Silver Forest, and subjugate or destroy their Jor'na cousins.
Luckily, their forces are not yet strong enough to move on to that phase, and their purge against the
Dwarves is not yet complete.
The Scarred Forest is populated almost entirely by Dark Elves. The only other races that have a
presence are usually slaves or the occasional adventurer, though there are others who have allied
themselves with the Dark Elves and now live among them. The Ku'na hate the DIR with a fierce
passion, even more than they hate other races in general. There are rumors among the other races that
representatives from Celest have been seen collaborating with Dark Elves, though they are unfounded
at this moment.
The government of the Scarred Forest consists of one man or woman. He controls all aspects of daily
life, and is the sole speaker of the law. The current ruler is a powerful Necromancer named Ki'lun.
People of Scarred Forest
Population by Age:
0-14 Years: 50,000
15-100 Years: 1 Million
101+ Years: 3 Million
Racial Breakdown: 99% Dark Elf, Less than 1% of all other races
All citizens and slaves in Scarred forest are required to observe either the Pallas Temple, or the worship
of Kirin or Ankura.
Languages: Ku'nain 99%, Jor'nain 40%, Gnomish Merchant Standard 50%, various Human dialects
20%, Dwarven dialects 20%
Government Type: Dictatorship
Current Leader: Ki'lun
Capitol: Ku'ani
Average Ambient Magical Affinity in Capitol: 2
Average Ambient Magical Affinity Outside of Capitol: 1
Holidays: Only one holiday is celebrated, and it's celebration has been mandatory since the Dark Elves
entered exile. Each Spring Equinox marks the day that the Ku'na left the Silver Forest, and on this day
all citizens engage in druken debauchery and merriment, culminated by the sacrifice of a High Elf to
honor Kirin. This latter practice has become more traditional than religious, as the gods have
abandoned the world. Observations are also made on days holy to Ankura, though nothing like the
wholesale loss of control witnessed on the Spring Equinox.
Crime and Punishment: All crimes are punishable by death, even petty theft. Except in the case of
suspected treason (which includes but is not limited to giving aid to members of other races and using
technology), the Ku'na Assassins Guild is the judge, the jury, and the executioner for any suspected
criminal. In the case of treason, the accused is brought before the ruler of the Dark Elves to plead his
case. Rarely does this practice result in the accused surviving.
Heraldry: A black field with a silver hawk
Military: The military of the Scarred Forest is incredibly small, and designed to protect the cities
against incursions from the dangerous creatures that roam the wastes. At times when other nations
would normally use military force, the Dark Elves send a detachment of assassins to get the job done.
Ku'na Assassins are an incredibly deadly force, and when they have the element of surprise, one
Assassin is more than a match for five well trained soldiers of any other nation.
Description: Caliban isn't so much a nation as it is the lack thereof.
Caliban is a smuggler's port, bustling with illegal activity and shady
characters. When in Caliban, no one ever asks about anyone's past,
and no one ever volunteers the information. All manner of criminals
fleeing from the law can find sanctuary in Caliban.
Unless the criminal happens to be fleeing from Ku'na Assassins, of
course. When hunted by the Ku'na Assassins Guild, there is no
escape, even in Caliban.
For a port bustling with so much criminal activity, violence and murder are relatively rare. It's bad for
business to kill or steal from customers and even competitors, because you never know when one will
turn into the other, and if you kill too many of one, then you won't have any of the other.
What little law that there is in Caliban is enforced by well-trained guards, paid for by the current
Constable of Caliban. The only thing the guards do is break up fights and get rid of those who make
too much trouble.
People of Caliban
Population by Age:
0-14 Years: 5,000
15-65: 100,000
65+ Years: 20,000
Racial Breakdown: 70% Human, 5% High Elf, 5% Gnome, 15% Half-Ogre, 3% Dwarf, 2% Dark Elf
The people of Caliban don't tend to be the religious sort, though there are a few followers of the Pallas
Languages: Gnomish Merchant Standard 90%, various Human dialects 10%, Jor'nain 10%, Dwarven
dialects 10%, Ku'nain 2%
Government Type: Constabulary Anarchy
Current Leader: Constable Grant Appleby
Capitol: Caliban
Average Ambient Technological Affinity: 1
Holidays: Every night is a holiday of sorts, with drinking and whoring being the order of the day.
Crime and Punishment: The guards of Caliban, under the leadership of Constable Appleby, only
enforce a bare minimum of law and order. Basically, as long as no one is doing anything that's bad for
business, then the guards stay out of everyone else's affairs. If a person starts a fight or causes too
much trouble, then they will find them selves floating in the bay at best, sinking to the bottom of the
bay at worst.
Heraldry: Caliban doesn't officially exist, and therefore has no heraldry.
Military: Caliban has no military.
Iron Delver Clan
Description: The Iron Delver Clan are the last coherent
Clan of Dwarves remaining in Astoria. They are
essentially a Clan of slightly paranoid shut-ins, and have
little to do with the outside world. Some trade is done
with the nations of the Free States and the Elves of Silver
Forest, but even that contact is brief and limited to only
what is essential. The Iron Delver Dwarves trade ore,
metals, weapons, and gems for food and fabric for
clothing, but otherwise keep to themselves. All such
trading is conducted in the Great Hall at the entrance to
their underground city. No outsider has gone beyond the
Great Hall in fifty years.
The Iron Delver Dwarves are ruled by King Stonecrusher and his cabinet of advisors. They are
responsible for making and enforcing the law, and protecting the Clan from outsiders. The Clan
maintains peace within its own ranks fairly easily, as no Dwarf wishes to endure the exile to the outside
world that many crimes bring down.
A few Dwarven warriors will occasionally leave the mines in order to make a name for themselves.
They rarely return, finding the freedom of the surface preferable to the safety of the mines. The few
who do return are usually shooed away, as the rest of the Clan become convinced that the returnee has
been swayed to their side.
People of Iron Delver Mines
Population by Age:
0-14 Years: 10,000
15-100 Years: 30,000
101+ Years: 50,000
Racial Breakdown: 100% Dwarf
Most Dwarves pay homage to Mingor and Ulrei. As they have very limited contact with the outside
world, and that is limited mostly to the necessities of trade, most of the Iron Delver Dwarves do not
realize that the gods have left Astoria. They think that they have been deprived of their blessings for
some religious infraction of which they are ignorant of committing.
Languages: Dwarven dialects 100%, Gnomish Merchant Standard 60%, various Human dialects 20%,
Jor'nain 5%
Government Type: Monarchy
Current Leader: King Gorman Stonecrusher
Capitol: Iron Delver Clan Mines
Average Ambient Technological Affinity: 3
Holidays: The Iron Delver Dwarves don't have much spirit for the celebration of holidays.
Crime and Punishment: Most major crimes (murder, rape, etc) are punished by exile. With the ever
growing paranoia and distrust of the outside world, most Dwarves perceive this as a fate worse than
death. The less serious offenses are punished by a lengthy stay in the deeper, now abandoned sections
of the mines.
Heraldry: A brown field with a gray pickax falling on a gray stone.
Military: The Dwarven military is severely impeded by the waning population of Dwarves. With less
than 100,000 citizens, the Iron Delver Clan barely has a large enough fighting force to keep the peace
in their own mines. Only the large technologically-enforced stone doors prevents potential invaders
from obliterating the Clan.
Dornihan Industrial Republic
Description: With Chadwick Moore at the
head of the Industrial Council, expansion of
Dornihan's influence and holdings could
finally begin in earnest.
Surrounding farming and trading
communities were the first to be annexed by
the DIR, and not surprisingly, most of them
did so willingly. The Industrial Council was
promising them a better life than their meager
existence, and it was too tempting of an offer. The problems began when the DIR set its sights on other
reasonably powerful kingdoms. Grainger and Trisdale denied the Industrial Council's demands to
surrender, and war erupted.
The war was short. Grainger fell within a week, and Trisdale held out but a fortnight longer. The
armies of those two nations were no match for the guns and steam driven war machines of the DIR, and
their mages found themselves nearly useless in the presence of so many advanced machines.
The Dornihan Industrial Republic then stalled in its unification march when it arrived at the borders of
Stillwater. Nearly half of their army was destroyed as their technological weapons exploded upon
crossing the border. The remainder of the army retreated, returning home to lick its wounds. Moore
and the Industrial Council decided to delay the unification of the Human race, but did not officially
declare peace with Stillwater.
They began to focus on whipping their newest provinces into shape. Steam train stations were built in
every major city in the DIR, and rails were laid. The Industrial Council began modernizing as many of
the cities as possible, building steam engines and factories in as many as funds would allow. Taxes
were levied, new programs were begun, and industrialization took on a life of its own.
The formerly resistant nations soon began to see the benefits of using technology, and each major city
began programs of their own to advance the quality of life within their borders. The Industrial Council
passed resolutions limiting the use of magic to specific sections of the cities, under the auspice of
public safety. By this point, the negative reaction between magic and technology was well known, and
little resistance was seen.
In the interest of unification, the Industrial Council also passed resolutions to repress the native culture
of the conquered kingdoms. According to the resolutions, no citizen could use government services,
including train service, unless they spoke Dornihanian. Exceptions were made for merchants speaking
Gnomish Merchant Standard, though even this exception is only temporary: the wording of the
resolution gives all citizens five years to learn Dornihanian. All local customs and celebrations that
conflict with the practices of Dornihan are forbidden.
On the other side of the coin, though cultural rights are repressed, personal freedoms are well
respected. All religions are accepted. Even the Pallas Temple followers are tolerated, if not respected.
Sedition is not a crime, and it is not treasonous to speak ill of the Industrial Council. Apart from the
death of the old traditions of each formerly independent nations, the citizens have never been more
Recently, an interesting new faith has developed. The followers of this new faith, who call themselves
Moorians, believe that the gods did not actually leave Astoria. They instead believe that Chadwick
Moore is the avatar of all seven gods, and worship him as such. They believe that the first steam
engine is a sacred artifact, and every item of technological wonder developed subsequently are minor
religious items. They believe that magic is an abomination, and that the interference caused by
technology is the gods' way of letting the world know to abandoned the old arts.
People of the Dornihan Industrial Republic
Population by Age:
0-14 Years: 10 Million
15-65 Years: 25 Million
65+ Years: 5 Million
Racial Breakdown: 80% Human, 6% High Elf, 6% Gnome, 4% Half-Ogre, 4% Dwarf, less than 1%
Dark Elf
The worship of the various old gods is still prevalent, though, like in most other nations, the practices
are more from tradition than real faith anymore. There are a small minority of Pallas Temple
followers. Though they are officially accepted by the government, many business owners and
technologists persecute and harass them. The Moorian faith is quickly growing, to the dismay of
Chadwick Moore.
Languages: Dornihanian 80%, other Human dialects 70%, Gnomish Merchant Standard 85%, Jor'nain
15%, Dwarven dialects 10%, Ku'nain 2%
Government Type: Republic
Current Leader: Industrial Council Chairman Chadwick Moore
Capitol: Dornihan
Average Ambient Technological Affinity in Capitol: 4
Average Ambient Technological Affinity Outside of Capitol: 2
Holidays: Chadwick Moore's birthday is a very popular holiday, for which many workers are given the
day off of work. The various religious observances for the old gods are still celebrated by their
Crime and Punishment: Use of magic outside of sanctioned areas is expressly forbidden, and
punishable by incarceration for up to fifteen years. Exile is no longer a valid punishment for criminal
offenses. The death penalty is enforced for murder, rape, and treason. The only acts considered truly
treasonous is attempting to assassinate a member of the Industrial Council or aiding and embedding an
enemy soldier.
Heraldry: An orange field with a silver gear in the center.
Military: During times of war, all Human citizens aged 16 or older are pressed into service for the
duration of combat. During times of peace, military service is optional. Though the DIR is still
officially at war with the Free States, the draft is not currently in effect.