Breland

Capital: Wroat
Population: 3,700,000 (44% humans, 14% gnomes, 10% half-elves, 8% elves, 7% dwarves, 4% halflings, 4% changelings, 4% goblinoids, 3% orcs, 2% other)
Exports: Weapons, armor, tools, processed ore, metalwork, manufactured goods, heavy industry
Languages: Common, Gnome, Elven, Dwarven, Halfling, Orc, Goblin, Sahuagin

Breland, one of the original Five Nations founded by the human settlers of Khorvaire, mixes a proud agricultural tradition with a more urban and industrial outlook, especially in its massive cities. As with the other Five Nations, Breland’s borders have fluctuated over time. It was named for King Galifar I’s daughter, Brey, in the year 32 YK.

During the reign of Galifar’s last king, Wroann ir’Wynarn governed the nation. King Jarot’s youngest daughter, Wroann was the exact opposite of her twin brother, Wrogar of Aundair. She was thin and agile, serious, and a lover of the finer things in life. She also cherished freedom above all things, and promised to make Breland a place where people would be judged by word and deed instead of social class.

When Jarot died, Wroann broke with her twin regarding the line of succession. Instead of supporting Mishann of Cyre’s claim to the throne, Wroann gathered her vassals and declared her own intention to rule the kingdom. Ironically, the freedom-loving nation of Breland was one of the key instigators of the Last War, for her leader wanted to spread her ideas of liberty and increased democracy to all by force and sword.

Prior to the Last War, the nation of Breland covered all the land it holds today, as well as what is now Zilargo, Droaam, and the Shadow Marches. Currently, the kingdom consists of the land between the Graywall Mountains and the Howling Peaks, reaching as far north as the Blackcaps and Lake Galifar, and as far south as the southern coast of the continent.

The current ruler of Breland, King Boranel ir’Wynarn (CG male human, aristocrat 3/fighter 8), traces his lineage to Wroann. Boranel has ruled Breland since 961 YK and proudly signed the Treaty of Thronehold to help end the Last War. In his time, Boranel has led his army into battle for six major engagements with enemy forces, participated in two quests to Xen’drik, and personally fought the Droaam champion to end a particularly long and bloody period of conflict between the two nations.

Today, Breland stands as one of the most powerful nations of Khorvaire. With a large population and a robust industrial center, Breland could have continued fighting the Last War for many years. Indeed, some believe it could eventually have won the war. King Boranel, however, grew tired of constant battle. He longed for the peace of a united Galifar, a peace unknown in his lifetime. When an opportunity presented itself to forge a new peace, Boranel put his enthusiasm and powerful force of presence behind the effort. He has negotiated a separate treaty with Zilargo, making the gnomish nation his staunchest ally in the postwar environment. He has a grudging respect for Kaius, King of Karrnath, but that respect is tempered by a feeling of uneasiness he gets whenever he’s in the man’s presence.

As much as he loves and respects the Aundairian people, Boranel doesn’t trust the flowery words that spill from the ambitious Queen Aurala’s pretty mouth. Tension also exists between Breland and Thrane; the theocracy to the north may bend its knee to a lawful good god, but it has a reputation for aggressively spreading its beliefs by sword and spell. Breland continues to engage in skirmishes with the warbands of Droaam. The monster clans regularly test the borders and make raids into western Breland, and Breland intelligence believes that a sizable force infests the Graywall Mountains. In the south, the Brelish navy works to keep the sea lanes safe from pirates. Though the navy suspects that the pirates have ties to the Lhazaar princes, no definitive proof has been uncovered—at least not since the Thronehold Accords went into effect.

Industries

Breland’s agricultural output ranks it among the top crop producing nations. It doesn’t export many of its crops, however; much of what it produces goes to feed its growing population. The northern half of the country consists of rich farmland, while the southern climate is perfect for cultivating a diverse selection of tropical crops.

The rest of Khorvaire knows Breland for its manufactured goods and heavy industry. The smelts and forges of Sharn, for example, produce relatively inexpensive weapons and armor. While these aren’t as well made and ornate as those turned out by the Mror Holds or Karrnath, they work just fine and cost significantly less. Sharn also turns ore and other raw materials into processed goods; House Cannith and the shipwrights of Zilargo purchase much of Sharn’s output for use in the construction of ships and vehicles. Other industrial centers can be found in Wroat, Galethspyre, and Starilaskur.

All of the dragonmarked houses maintain emporiums and outposts throughout Breland, and all of them have extensive operations in Sharn, the City of Towers. House Medani, House Phiarlan, and one branch of House Cannith all maintain headquarters in Breland; House Vadalis has an important enclave here as well.

Life and Society

Breland’s citizenry is divided almost equally between rural and urban communities. Along Breland’s northern expanse, farms and ranches stretch from the Graywall Mountains in the west to the Seawall Mountains in the east. Rich soil and moderate rainfall make the lives of the farmers relatively easy, and all but the farms nearest the Mournland have stayed prosperous through times of war and peace. The southern section of the nation, dominated by a number of tropical forests including the great King’s Forest, houses plantations and hunting reserves.

Rural life resembles that in the other nations, with perhaps a bit more emphasis on personal freedom and a drive to succeed and improve one’s station in life. Much of Breland’s rural citizenry never experienced fi rsthand the horrors of the Last War. Only the regions to the extreme northeast and those communities closest to Droaam ever participated in actual battles, and no foreign power ever penetrated very far into the nation. Every village and town and city, however, sent soldiers to the front, and every family knows someone who never returned from the war. Memorial markers are found around every thorp and hamlet, and the great cities have extensive memorials dedicated to those who perished defending Breland from its enemies.

What makes Breland different from most of the other nations is the number of urban centers that have grown up within its borders. Not only does it boast the largest metropolis in all of Khorvaire, Sharn, but even its smaller cities and towns have a cosmopolitan and worldly air to them. The Brelish attitude of acceptance and tolerance naturally attracts people of all races to its confines. Hence, the nation boasts large populations of most of the common races, as well as goblinoids, orcs, and a variety of intelligent monster races. This mix of people from different regions and of different cultures is much more dramatic in Breland’s urban centers, particularly in Sharn.

Northern Breland enjoys a mild climate. Wet springs give way to warm summers that blend into mild autumns and relatively temperate winters. The temperature rarely drops below freezing, even in the dead of winter, except in the highlands around the Blackcaps. In the south, from Wroat to the Straits of Shargon, the weather ranges from hot and muggy to hot and rainy, with only occasional periods of warm and dry.

The roads throughout Breland are well maintained and constantly patrolled. In addition to the House Orien trade roads, the crown maintains the original king’s roads that date back to ancient Galifar. Lightning rail lines connect Sharn and Wroat with Aundair, Thrane, and Zilargo, for those needing to travel at a faster pace. Breland has welcomed a large contingent of Cyran refugees, providing them a place to call home since the destruction of Cyre and the creation of the Mournland.

The Cyrans have set up their own town of New Cyre to the southeast of Starilaskur, where they hope eventually to gather as many of the survivors of their doomed nation as possible. Other Cyran communities can be found in Wroat, Sharn, Shavalant, and Ardev. Most of the Brelish feel obliged to make a place for the refugees, but there are factions within Breland whose members recall the bitter battles the two nations engaged in over the course of the war. For these factions, the doom that Cyre experienced was just punishment for the evil it had committed during the long years of war. They have no love to show the refugees, nor pity in their hearts; just a burning hatred and a desire to drive them from the nation—or, in some cases, to finish the job that Cyre itself started and wipe them from the face of Eberron.

Government and Politics

King Boranel (CG male human, aristocrat 2/fighter 8) rules Breland. A direct descendant of the independent nation of Breland’s first leader, Wroann, daughter of Jarot, Boranel carries on the traditions of both Galifar and the Brelish crown. A monarchy, Breland also has a partially elected parliament that works alongside the king and the royal court to govern the country. The parliament makes the laws in Breland, the crown enforces them. The crown also conducts all business related to foreign affairs and national security, sometimes informing the parliament, more often not.

The people of Breland love their king, his vassal lords respect and even revere him, and the parliament sees him as fair and just. It is said that the people of Breland will follow Boranel anywhere, and this has been demonstrated many times in the course of his thirty-seven-year reign. As Boranel gets older, concerns revolving around succession begin to manifest. One plan, mostly discussed quietly and in secret, suggests that the nation abandon the monarchy after Boranel’s death and turn over more power and authority to the parliament. Another plan hopes that one of Boranel’s children will fi ll the vacuum and become a leader in the same vein as his or her father. So far, none of the heirs has demonstrated more than a passing ability at ruling the nation. To further spread the tenets of democracy, Breland regularly holds town meetings throughout the realm. At these meetings, the common folk are recognized and allowed to state their opinions for the crown and parliament to hear.

Power Groups

As is true of each of the other nations descended from the once-grand kingdom of Galifar, Breland enjoys good relations with all of the dragonmarked houses. Each house maintains emporiums and outposts throughout the country, and a few use Breland as the seat of their economic empire. Obviously, the crown wields much power in Breland, both as a political and a military entity. Parliament and the nobles vie for their share of political power, and more than a few hereditary and elected officials have considerable influence in the nation. King Boranel holds the various parties together by sheer force of will and integrity. What could break down in a chaotic struggle for dominance winds up working like a well-oiled machine under Boranel’s leadership. When the day comes for the aging Boranel to relinquish the crown, will someone appear who can hold Breland together?

House Cannith: The humans of the Mark of Making currently have a minor crisis of leadership. Three different leaders oversee the operations of House Cannith, and each refuses to yield to the authority of the others. While this division of power has not yet led to an actual splintering of the house, it has made it difficult for the family to put its full power and influence behind any single initiative. One of the three leaders makes his headquarters in Sharn, where he oversees the house’s efforts in Breland and Zilargo, as well as the newest house initiatives in Darguun. Baron Merrix d’Cannith (LE male human, artifi cer 9/dragonmark heir 3), patriarch of the southern branch of the family, has a pet project that goes beyond the day-to-day activities of his house. He operates a secret creation forge deep within Sharn. In this hidden location, Merrix carries on the experiments of his father and grandfather, continuing to turn out new warforged on a slow but regular basis. He also has a fascination with the Mournland, often hiring adventurers to explore the blasted land and bring back relics related to his family.

House Medani: The patriarch of House Medani maintains an enclave in the capital city of Wroat, near to the royal court and the parliament hall. The leader of the house has been a friend to King Boranel for many years, and even joined the king on an adventure or two before Boranel inherited the throne. The house provides a small group of retainers to aid the king, using their detection skills and abilities to keep the king safe and secure. Baron Trelib d’Medani (NG male half-elf, rogue 7/master inquisitive 2), a half-elf of great power and influence who has lived in Breland his entire life, has a fondness for the nation and its king that sometimes gets in the way of his dealings with the other nations.

House Phiarlan: The original elf family to carry the Mark of Shadow, House Phiarlan maintains its matriarchal enclave in Sharn and has outposts scattered throughout Breland. The Baron Elvinor Elorrenthi d’Phiarlan (LN female elf, bard 7/shadowdancer 4) has ruled over the house since the early days of King Jarot’s rule. She is the perfect leader for the gregarious and artistic members of the Entertainers and Artisans Guild, moving among the ruling class with affable ease. Most see her elves as artists and entertainers, not as the eyes and ears of her network of spies. She regularly dines with the movers and shakers of Breland, Aundair, and Thrane, and conducts most of her house’s espionage business on their behalf.

House Vadalis: Though the family that holds the Mark of Handling operates out of the Eldeen Reaches, one of the patriarch’s sons oversees an important house enclave in Breland. This enclave gives the house a bit more access to the central nations than it can manage from the Eldeen wilderness. Located outside the village of Shavalant, the enclave raises magebred creatures as well as mundane stock. It also boasts a remarkable animal healing center that serves many of the farms and ranches scattered throughout northern Breland. House Vadalis has a number of annexes connected to the enclave in other parts of the nation, including a major center in Sharn and a smaller ranch on the outskirts of Wroat.

The Brelish Crown: King Boranel leads the royal family of Breland. His immediate family consists of six sons, five daughters, and his surviving siblings—three younger brothers, four younger sisters—and their wives, husbands, and children. Boranel’s brother Kor (NG male human, aristocrat 3/fighter 3) serves as his royal advisor and the commander of the Citadel, while his son Bortan (LG male human, expert 5) serves as the royal steward and controls most of the crown’s finances. Boranel’s youngest son Halix and his daughter Borina have been sent to the court of Kaius in Karrnath to study and as part of an exchange to solidify the current peace; King Kaius’s sister Haydith has been sent to the Brelish court in their place; after a shy start, she is proving to be very popular with the nobility.

The king rules from the family’s ancestral home in Wroat, the halls of the mighty Brokenblade Castle. Named after the events surrounding the legendary King Galifar I’s conquest of the nation, when (as the story goes) his sword blade shattered in the battle but he managed to win the day anyway, Brokenblade Castle rises alongside the Howling River, near where it empties into and merges with the Dagger River. Parliament Hall, the meeting place and offices of the elected legislators of Breland, is located but a short walk from the battlements of Brokenblade Castle. Boranel also maintains working residences in Sharn and Starilaskur, and keeps Castle Arakhain, in the western part of the country, as a retreat.

The Breland Parliament: Breland’s parliament consists of both elected legislators and hereditary noble legislators. The citizens of Breland elect legislators every two years. These elected lawmakers, selected by popular vote (one from each village or town, two from each city, and three each from the metropolises of Sharn and Wroat), are sent to the capital to participate in all parliamentary proceedings. The noble legislators gain their seats in the parliament based on the status of their families; each noble family holds one seat in the parliament.

Each year, the recognized head of the family appoints a family member to parliamentary duty. In many cases, the yearly appointment is symbolic, and each family has one representative who serves year in and year out. Twenty-seven noble families serve the crown of Breland. The Breland parliament usually works in concert with the crown, but the two branches of authority have disagreed and even clashed on occasion. One noble in particular, Lord Ruken ir’Clarn (LE male human, aristocrat 2), doesn’t want to see the monarchy continue after Boranel’s death. He and a few trusted conspirators seek to remove the crown’s authority with the passing of Boranel, thereby giving all ruling power to the parliament. The parliament, in turn, would elect a prime minister to preside over the council and the nation. Ruken envisions himself initially filling that role.

Nobles and Vassal Lords: The nobles granted land and title by the crown of Breland perform a number of functions in the running of the country. In addition to protecting their farmers and managing their estates, the nobles provide troops and taxes just as do their counterparts in the other nations. In general, the noble lords respect and admire their king, and they have a fierce pride in the accomplishments of their nation. If Boranel had asked them to keep fighting instead of ratifying the Treaty of Thronehold, most of the nobles would have gladly continued the war. A handful of noble lords, while respecting Boranel’s leadership, secretly believe that his children have a mere shadow of his skill and charisma. For this reason, they meet occasionally to draw up plans for replacing the monarchy—or at least the royal heirs— when Boranel finally expires.

The King’s Citadel: The elite agents of the Citadel operate in the interests and at the behest of the crown of Breland. Originally formed as an elite unit of spies and scouts during the Last War, the Citadel became the eyes, ears, and sword of Breland’s ruler. The Citadel operates throughout Breland as the ultimate agency for dispensing the King’s justice. Local watches and constabularies can call on its agents when a crime or situation poses a threat that spreads beyond their jurisdiction. Agents, on the other hand, can insert themselves into any situation they deem appropriate, since they wield the authority of the crown. The Citadel also conducts operations beyond Breland’s borders, gathering intelligence, performing covert missions, and vigilantly working to keep Breland safe from its enemies. Part spy, part inquisitive, and part soldier, the agents of the Citadel serve crown and country with heart and soul. The agents have their oath and their duty to guide them, and they are expected to operate always with the good of Breland in mind.

Today the Citadel’s main headquarters can be found in Wroat, not far from Brokenblade Castle. The agency has another base of operations in Sharn, as well as numerous roving agents working throughout Breland and, discreetly, beyond the nation’s borders. Lord Kor ir’Wynarn commands the Citadel, assisted by the Citadel captains who each head up a division of the agency. For example, Captain Ellanar (LG female half-elf, paladin 6) leads the King’s Swords, a unit of elite warriors trained to undertake special missions. Other divisions include the King’s Shields (charged with protecting the king and his closest family members and associates), the King’s Wands (an elite unit of wizards and sorcerers), and the King’s Dark Lanterns (the intelligence branch of the Citadel).

Religion

Breland’s citizens mainly belong to the Church of the Silver Flame or the Sovereign Host, though as a whole the nation isn’t strongly religious—the Brelish have more faith in themselves and their king than in gods who never walk the land. Nevertheless, Sharn’s eclectic cosmopolitanism extends to faiths as well; in the great metropolis can be found representatives and followers of almost every religion and faith. Some devotees simply pass through on their way to some other part of the continent. Others remain (although a lot of them still plan to leave when the opportunity presents itself) in the City of Towers and try to provide spiritual sustenance to the masses that flow through the city.

A few of the more violent and dangerous cults have forged hiding places within the nation. A Blood of Vol temple has been established, quietly and in secret, somewhere deep within the towers of Sharn. A number of separate groups devoted to the Dragon Below have long held positions of power and influence within the nation, though they rarely reveal their true nature or intentions.

Major Settlements

Farms, ranches, and great estates dot the Brelish countryside, covering the open land in the north and rising up alongside rivers in the south. While about half of Breland’s population lives as farmers, ranchers, and peasants devoted to the estates of the Brelish aristocracy, the other half lives and works in and around the nation’s growing centers of trade and industry—the towns and cities that have grown up in diverse parts of the domain. The nation contains two metropolises, Wroat and Sharn, as well as numerous towns, villages, and cities. Sharn is the largest city on the continent, not in physical size but in the number of people who call the City of Towers home.

Sharn (Metropolis, 200,000): There has been a major settlement on the Hilt of the Dagger River since before recorded history. The current metropolis, Sharn, has existed since the formation of the original Five Nations, about seven hundred years after humans rose to prominence on the continent. For more than two millennia, the towers of Sharn have grown, rising thousands of feet into the sky. This vertical expansion has given the metropolis its title: The City of Towers.

A riot of architectural styles and designs play through the city’s impressive skyline. From its deepest foundations to its highest spires, Sharn displays the history of the continent for all to see. Heavy, oppressive goblinoid architecture provides the base for much of the city, its stonework reaching back to a time when humans did not exist on this continent. Atop this ancient foundation, the periods of human civilization stack one on top of the other as the city reaches for the clouds.

The City of Towers can be as impressive as it can be oppressive. The same skyscrapers of stone can make one person laugh with excitement and another weep from the size and weight and impossible heights. Whatever emotion the city inspires, the place remains a bustle of activity at all hours of the day and night. With a tremendous array of cultural, culinary, and commercial delights to sample, and its position as the gateway to Xen’drik, Sharn attracts visitors and adventurers from around the world. It is a hotbed of activity, known in equal measures for its wonders, its crime rate, its amazing amount of corruption, and its genuinely exciting atmosphere.

Sharn rises from the cliffs overlooking the Hilt, a wide bay at the mouth of the Dagger River. This inhospitable outcropping of rock allowed the city to grow in only one direction—up. The ports at the base of the cliffs load and unload cargo and passengers from seafaring vessels, raising and lowering goods and travelers alike on massive lifts operated by ropes and pulleys that travel through the neighborhood of Cliffside. This working class region is built into and upon the steep cliffs overlooking the river and bay. At the top of the cliffs, the rock walls seamlessly blend into the earliest stonework laid in ancient times. Here, the city and its amazing towers really begin.

The City of Towers is rumored to sit atop a massive lake of molten lava. Those who work in the bowels of the city, a subterranean region known as the Cogs, claim to feel the heat rising off the lava streams, but few have ever gone below the great furnaces and foundries of the Cogs to seek for the fiery lake itself. In the Cogs, heat and magic cooperate to allow workers to process ores and other raw materials needed to sustain Sharn’s industrial machine.

Also within the depths, ancient ruins, labyrinthine sewers, vertical shafts, and forgotten chambers pile level upon level, climbing higher and higher until the inhabited regions are reached. These higher levels, made up of towers growing like trees in a forest of stone and brick, contain most of the city’s residents and visitors. Poorer members of society live in the deeper portions of the towers, while those above gain wealth and status the higher up they live. The uppermost levels feature open-arched towers, balconies, bridges, and platforms that form a strange lacework of “solid” ground high in the air. Above all of this floats the neighborhood known as Skyway, where the most affluent citizens live and play.

Sharn is situated within a manifest zone linked to the plane of Syrania, the Azure Sky. The manifest zone primarily enhances spells and magic items that permit levitation and actual flight. Outside the zone, most of these items either g row weaker or lose the ability to function altogether. Without the zone, the city’s great towers and spires would crumble, its transportation systems would collapse, and the neighborhood of Skyway would plummet to the ground.

Sky coaches slowly move from tower to tower, transporting people. Other ways to get around the city include walking (almost every tower can be reached by multiple bridges that connect the platforms and walkways at different levels), lifts that ride up and down and side to side along magical strands of light, and magebred animals trained to carry passengers within the city’s limits.

There’s a popular saying on the elevated streets of Sharn: “If it can be bought, it can be bought here.” Shops and trading stalls abound, usually gathered in trade districts, open-air markets (called “exchanges”), or merchant halls (called “tower markets,” often multileveled) found within many tower and building complexes. Some shops jut from the sides of walls and bridges, ramshackle structures of wood hastily thrown together or built around a crack in the stone. Others occupy prime space set aside for such purposes and leased from tower landlords. The tower markets present the most elaborate market exchanges, where shops selling different wares sit side by side and one atop the other inside the open cavity of a tower or multistory blockhouse. Beyond these more or less legitimate business ventures, Sharn boasts a thriving black market where everything from exotic fruits and animals to illegal spell components and stolen goods can be traded. Sharn’s authorities do their best to curtail this activity, if for no other reason than so proper taxes can be collected, but supply and demand make it next to impossible to really control. This leads to another popular saying: “If someone wants it, someone sells it in Sharn.”

Morgrave University, with its glass walls and rough-and-tumble approach to scholarly pursuits, was founded in Sharn and to this day maintains its main campus in the City of Towers. The institute of “learning, relic hunting, and grave robbing,” as it is called by the administrators of the more respected University of Wynarn, provides many opportunities for adventurers new to the craft and calling, and it isn’t hard to get a letter of marque from Morgrave to explore ancient sites. A particularly capable group might also receive sponsorship or patronage from the university.

The City Watch enforces the Galifar Code of Justice throughout Sharn, but in practice, residents are more likely to encounter a law offi cer among the higher spires than in the lower bowels of the city. Constables conduct regular patrols along the higher bridges, platforms, and walkways, venturing lower only when necessity or prudence warrants. Watch towers can be found in every ward, though there aren’t really enough constables to adequately serve and protect all of Sharn’s populace. The Watch, reluctantly, calls on agents of the King’s Citadel (who maintain a presence in the city) when an incident appears to be more then they can handle. More often, however, the Watch turns to adventurers when it needs additional deputies for a short amount of time.

Many merchants and sailors who live or work in Sharn pick up some amount of the Sahuagin language due to the proximity of sahuagin settlements beyond the Straits of Shargon. While many of these tribes remain hostile to travelers, a few sahuagin settlements have made it a practice to trade with and sell their services as guides to those making the trip through Shargon’s Teeth to reach Xen’drik. It helps in dealing with these tribes if one can speak their language, whether or not the guides can also speak Common.

The criminal element thrives in Sharn. It’s all about location, location, location, and the city serves as a crossroads for both legitimate and illicit trade. Indeed, some crime lords run extensive and respected legitimate businesses as cover for their illegal activities. A few of these enjoy the privileges of a high standing in the community and even donate a portion of their wealth to various charities and charitable organizations. If the City Watch knows about their double lives (and many believe that it must), it is content to pretend that the good they do outweighs the evil.

Other than one woefully inadequate attack from the sea that barely scratched the cliff walls rising from the bay, the Last War never reached Sharn—at least not in the sense of marching armies and occupation forces. The City of Towers did have to contend with spies, saboteurs, terrorists, and waves of refugees as the years of bloody conflict dragged on. Perhaps the worst event during those years occurred in 918 YK, when unknown saboteurs (no one ever claimed responsibility for the act) caused the Glass Tower to fall from the sky, killing thousands.

First Tower (Thorp, 64): At first glance, First Tower doesn’t appear to deserve a mention alongside such massive population centers as Sharn and Wroat. If a settlement were judged solely on the number of people it contained, then the place might not even appear on a Brelish map. As the gateway to Sharn from the northern land passages, however, First Tower earns prominence and notoriety befitting the number of travelers who regularly pass through its humble environs.

The thorp grew up around a single stone tower, maybe thirty feet high, that legends claim was the first tower built in the greater Sharn region. Long before any of Sharn’s massive structures climbed into the sky, the people of First Tower believe, the stones of their ancient spire were stacked one atop the other. Historians dispute this legend, because the tower and the ramshackle inn that has been built around it are clearly not as old as the ancient goblinoid foundations upon which Sharn grew. The people of First Tower nod, smile politely, and leave the scholars to their delusions, for they know in their hearts that they live in an historic and significant location.

Regardless of the accuracy of the place’s history, First Tower serves an important role in the cycle of life around Sharn. Those traveling to or from Sharn by land, whether walking, riding, or as passengers in a caravan or lightning rail, have only one route they can take. This route cuts through the crags and cliffs upon which Sharn sits, slices north, and passes through the settlement of First Tower. Whether coming from or going to Sharn, if you travel by land you must pass through First Tower.

All the residents of First Tower earn a living by catering to the travelers moving through the settlement. The inn employs most of them, for travelers need to eat, drink, relax, and have a place to stay while waiting for the next outbound caravan or for their papers to clear so they can enter the City of Towers.

The lightning rail station, the caravan stables, a general store, and the crown’s checkpoint make up the rest of the thorp, as well as a scattering of houses where the locals live. Royal clerks stationed at the checkpoint examine the identification and traveling papers of everyone seeking to travel to Sharn proper. The checkpoint maintains a small garrison that enforces order in First Tower and keeps the place safe from bandits and marauders who sometimes slip out of the King’s Forest.

Wroat (Metropolis, 80,870): The second largest city in Breland, Wroat serves as the Brelish capital and a center of trade and commerce. Not as densely populated or as overwhelming as Sharn, Wroat nevertheless holds its own as one of the great cities of Khorvaire. Wroat, whose skyline stretches along both sides of the Howling River, is located at the junction where that waterway meets the Dagger River. Two large temples—one dedicated to the Sovereign Host, the other to the Silver Flame— dominate the Street of Worship. Other impressive structures include Brokenblade Castle, Parliament Hall, the Citadel, the Wroat campus of Morgrave University, and the Galifar Museum.

As the nation’s capital, Wroat is a hotbed of political activity. The aristocracy and the elected members of parliament spend a lot of time here, debating the issues of the day and keeping the wheels of government turning. Diplomats from all over the world maintain lodgings and embassies in the city’s Foreign District. The crown operates out of Brokenblade Castle, where King Boranel and his family live and work for a sizable portion of the year. The heads of all the royal agencies also operate out of Wroat, where they can be close to both the king and the parliamentary leaders. Boranel’s court travels with the king, but it displays all of its grandeur and majesty here in the capital city. Keeping most of the traditions of ancient Galifar alive, the court conducts business, plans festivities, engages entertainment, and otherwise handles the duties of serving the crown and king. The Brelish court is known far and wide for the lavish celebrations it holds, as well as for the fair and just treatment it dispenses to its subjects.

Vathirond (Large Town, 3,100): The town of Vathirond, situated on the southern banks of the Brey River, serves as a watchpost and trading center. It sits across the border from the nation of Thrane, and near the line that once separated Breland from Cyre. If a place in Breland suffered more than its share during the Last War, Vathirond would be that place. It constantly struggled against both Thrane and Cyre at different times during the war, and even contended with river raiders from Karrnath once or twice over the century of fighting.

Now the town tries to put aside its hatred for Thrane as it works to honor the Treaty of Thronehold. With one eyekept toward the north, it turns another eye to the Mournland. Nameless horrors have begun to slip into Breland from the east at an alarming rate, and Vathirond border patrols seek to either prevent this or raise an alarm when something they can’t deal with appears out of the deadgray mist that seems to mark where Breland ends and the Mournland begins.

The Brey River provides the main transportation into and out of Vathirond, though an Orien trade road connects the t own with Starilaskur to the west. The eastern end of the road stretches into the Mournland, disappearing beyond the mist as though beckoning travelers to visit the ruins and wreckage of Cyre. While the mist has not moved any closer since the Mournland came into existence, the presence of the dead nation eats away at the inhabitants of Vathirond. The town has lost more than a quarter of its population to disease, rampaging horrors, or because the people have fled to find safer, less desolate ground elsewhere in the kingdom. Since the death of Cyre and the birth of the Mournland, Vathirond’s population has dwindled from more than four thousand to its present level of just over three thousand. King Boranel sees this development as a trend he must fi nd a way to change before this strategic location turns into a ghost town.

New Cyre (Large Town, 4,200): What started as a refugee village in the wake of the destruction of Cyre has rapidly grown into a large town with over four thousand inhabitants. While the disaster that destroyed the nation to Breland’s east wiped out much of the Cyran population, those living near the western border had enough time to cross over into the Brelish countryside ahead of the strange wall of dead-gray mist that eventually stopped just a few miles to the east of Vathirond and Kennrun. King Boranel took pity on the refugees and established the camps that evolved into a village and then a town.

Today, New Cyre sits on a trade road southeast of Starilaskur, in the middle of Breland’s eastern farm country. The prince of the city, Oargev ir’Wynarn (LN male human, aristocrat 3/fi ghter 1), is the last son of Cyre’s ruling family. He was serving as an ambassador to Breland when the mysterious disaster befell his nation and has since become the unoffi cial leader of the Cyran refugees scattered throughout the other domains. He hopes to one day gather all of Cyre’s homeless children to this refuge in Breland. His other desire revolves around discovering the truth behind the destruction of his kin and country, and exacting revenge on the guilty parties. Until then, he graciously accepts the hospitality of Breland (even if the Brelish have given him unwanted land in the middle of nowhere) and works to rebuild the confi dence and honor of his subjects. He serves as mayor of New Cyre while also playing the role of a king in exile.

The people of New Cyre work as farmers while their prince plots and plans the future glory of the Cyran crown. Prince Oargev regularly seeks out news and information from those foolish or brave enough to venture into the Mournland. He has been known to fund expeditions into the blasted, wasted remains of his once-proud nation, hoping to discover some hint or clue that points to the cause of Cyre’s demise. In the meantime, Oargev works to improve the plight of his people and dreams of rebuilding Cyre—either in a restored Mournland or someplace else entirely.

Argonth (Small Town, 1,600): Once, the mighty forges of Sharn churned out new and amazing weapons of w ar. With the help of Cannith makers and other arcane crafters, the great forges crafted various types of warforged, powerful vehicles, and the wondrous moving cities. Of these latter creations, only two remain active to the current day. The most famous of these is Argonth, the mobile fortress.

Argonth, a massive structure that appears to be part fortress, part cliffside, and part cityscape, floats above the ground and slowly moves from place to place. The town might be along the shore of Silver Lake one day and sliding beside the Droaam border the next time someone tries to find it. The floating town was designed as a mobile fortress to help defend Breland during the Last War. Now it serves as a border patrol, circumnavigating the Brelish borders as it moves north, then east, then south, and back again, tracing a slow but steady path along the lines that divide Breland from Droaam, the Eldeen Reaches, Aundair, Thrane, the Mournland, and Darguun.

The Captain of Argonth is Alain ir’Ranek (LG male human, paladin 4). He leads the troops and support personnel that make up Argonth’s citizenry. The mobile fortress moves at a steady two miles per hour as it traces its patrol route, but its speed can be increased to as much as ten miles per hour when the need arises. The increased speed requires a lot of power and puts a strain on the fortress’s resources, and thus such speed is called upon only in emergency situations.

The citizens of Argonth are all in the Breland military, and the town operates under military protocols. In the past, it has served as a base of operations for enemy engagements, as a support center for stationary castles, and as a n attack platform when B relish troops crossed into enemy territory. Now its role is to patrol and protect Breland from raiders, marauders, and the potential threat of hostile armies from neighboring nations. It also spends a lot of time near the border with the Mournland, using its offensive and defensive capabilities to deal with creatures emerging from the obscuring mists.

Every few weeks, Argonth stops to take on supplies. When this occurs, a market grows up around the town where those nearby can come to trade and share news with the soldiers harbored within the mobile fortress. Visitors rarely receive permission to enter Argonth, so the next best thing for them is to interact with the soldiers and support personnel at a market festival.

Argonth has become home to a number of warforged veterans who have pledged their swords to the Brelish crown. Two of the more influential warforged are Big Bara (LN female personality warforged, ranger 3), who commands a company of scouts known as Bara’s Breakers, and Finias Wandhand (CG male personality warforged, wizard 2), who never fought in the Last War but instead became fascinated with the arcane arts. Currently, Finias is under the tutelage of Eera ir’Jalon (LN female human, wizard 9), Argonth’s master of magic.

Important Sites

Breland, one of the original Five Nations founded by the human settlers of Khorvaire, became part of Galifar’s kingdom when the legendary leader decided to create a united empire. In addition to the fabled towers of Sharn and the amazing accomplishments of Galifar and his heirs, Breland contains a number of sites that date back to the goblinoid empires of old and even beyond. A few natural wonders found within Breland’s borders are also worth mentioning.

The Dragon’s Crown: A ring of jutting stones rises from the earth within the heart of Breland’s farm country. The ring consists of ten stone monoliths, each more than fi fteen feet high, that sit slightly askew in a circle around a patch of uneven ground some thirty feet across. The ring of stones resembles a massive crown of jagged rock. Known far and wide as the Dragon’s Crown, the place has long been the subject of speculation, outlandish legends, and the occasional dark ritual. Some believe that giant hands built the Dragon’s Crown in ages past. Nothing much grows within or near the Crown. On some nights, especially when one or more moon is full and bright, the monoliths glow with an eerie inner light.

It is said that on these nights, the monoliths sing, but not many are willing to visit the site after dark to prove this tale one way or another. It is also said that cultists use the site to conduct dark rituals, especially members of the various sects devoted to the Dragon Below; except for the occasional carcass discovered lying in the center of the Crown, no evidence of such activities has ever been gathered.

The King’s Forest: A great tropical rain forest fills the southeastern portion of Breland, from the Dagger River in the west to the Trolan River (now part of Zilargo) in the east, from the Howling River in the north to the continent’s southern coast. The King’s Forest is a hunting preserve that once belonged to the Galifar king and now falls under the protection of Breland’s crown. The Knight Rangers patrol the rain forest, watching for poachers and trying to keep in check the bandits and brigands who hide within its depths. Since the Treaty of Thronehold, the eastern portion of the forest has been part of Zilargo; mindful of this, the Brelish rangers rarely cross the border in pursuit of their duties. Therefore, it isn’t unusual for bands of brigands to flee across the border as they try to evade the rangers.

Once, the King’s Forest covered the entire southern half of Breland, cut in half by the mighty Dagger River. Logging and cultivation have reduced the forest’s size over the centuries, and it became necessary for a royal decree to preserve the portion of the forest that remains. All kinds of tropical plants, insects, and wildlife fill the King’s Forest. Hunting, except by permit or royal invitation, is strictly prohibited. In the fall season, the king and his court, as well as honored guests, enter the King’s Forest to participate in a Great Hunt. Exotic animals of all types are the subjects of the Great Hunt, and King Boranel loves to let his hunting tigers run at the head of his party. Sometimes a dire or horrid animal falls to the hunters (a stuffed horrid ape, killed by King Boranel during the Great Hunt of 966, decorates a hall in Brokenblade Castle), but more often they wind up with a variety of exotic but mundane birds, lizards, and mammals.

The Jungle Boys, a band of bloodthirsty brigands, hide within the King’s Forest. The band is variously estimated to have anywhere from a dozen men to as many as a hundred brigands and a mock court of beggars, harlots, and other hangers-on. An outlaw known as Tree Viper (CE male half-orc, ranger 1/rogue 2) leads the Jungle Boys. The band periodically raids the thorps, villages, and plantations that line the edge of the forest, and sometimes it ambushes caravans and travelers as they move through the forest. The Knight Rangers have tangled with the Jungle Boys on more than one occasion, but they haven’t been able to capture their leader or put an end to their marauding.

Black Pit: A terrible crack in the earth, Black Pit seems to lead to the darkest depths of Khyber itself. The great chasm can be found in a secluded valley in the Blackcap Mountains, where toxic vapors rise from deep within the gaping hole. Fearful sounds accompany the foul vapors, as though the depths themselves were writhing in pain and torment. Some have tried to descend into Khyber using Black Pit, but the sheer walls of the chasm are treacherous and deadly creatures are said to inhabit the caves that honeycomb the pit walls.
A small village sits at the edge of Black Pit. It is a dreary, desolate place, where despair hangs in the air as thick and toxic as the vapors rising out of the chasm. Here, all manner of thieves, murderers, and deserters from the war gather to hide and live. A thriving black market exists in the v illage of Black Pit (which names itself after the nearby chasm), where those who have stolen great items of power often come to hole up until those hunting them lose interest.

Sterngate: The fortress of Sterngate protects Breland from Darguun invaders. It sits at the end of Marguul Pass, and for more than six hundred years it has defended the nation from marauding goblinoids and other threats from the Seawall Mountains. Today, the militia assigned to Sterngate watches for Darguun warbands and sometimes has to drive such bands back into the mountains from which they emerge. The frequency of such incursions, despite the Treaty of Thronehold, demonstrates the fragile nature of the current Darguun government. Captain Toris (LN female changeling, fighter 3), a veteran of the Last War, distinguished herself as a goblin fighter to be reckoned with. Her hatred for goblinoids sometimes clouds her judgment, but King Boranel rests easier with Sterngate under Toris’s command. The militia also keeps an eye on the Zilargo border, but relations with the gnome nation are so good as to make strict vigilance there unnecessary.

Adventuring in Breland

Breland enjoys a safe and relatively peaceful existence. Trade roads, caravan routes, and the king’s roads crisscross the countryside, promoting travel. Ships navigate the rivers and connect the Brelish ports to ports throughout Khorvaire. An extensive system of lightning rail conductor stones connects the nation to Aundair, Thrane, and Zilargo, and from these locations to even more distant realms. Airship docks can be found in most of Breland’s major metropolitan centers, including Wroat and Sharn, so that this travel venue is also available.

While the farms and cities are safe and secure, for the most part, there are places where life and limb are at risk. The environs around the Blackcaps, for instance, often attract monsters and evil bands that hide within the mountains and strike when the opportunity presents itself. Monstrous warbands can appear out of Droaam without warning—if the Last War still continues anywhere, it does so along the Droaam–Breland border. The Mournland occasionally spits some horror or another out of its dead-gray mists, and pirates regularly strike from the southern seas.

Many adventurers get their start in Sharn, the City of Towers. The place is rife with danger, opportunities, and adventure potential, making it a natural magnet for those seeking to make a living by the sword, the spell, and their inherent skills. While the upper portions of the city have the same troubles plaguing them as in any other metropolis, the lower portions of the city quickly transform from crime-ridden tenements to monster-fi lled dungeons.

For this reason, some adventurers never need leave the City of Towers to enjoy busy careers and fill their coffers. Sharn also presents a number of gateways to the rest of the world. From its ports and airship docks and lightning rail stations, all of Khorvaire and beyond can be reached. Indeed, if there’s a clear path to the mysterious continent of Xen’drik, it starts in Sharn.

Breland makes use of the Galifar Code of Justice, and law enforcers can be found in every thorp, village, and city. In addition, the Citadel and traveling magistrates dispense justice as appropriate, as do the military tribunals that operate out of Breland’s mobile fortresses. In Sharn, adventurers are given some latitude as far as the law is concerned, but those who abuse the system can expect to spend time in one of the local or royal prisons. The people of Breland love liberty and freedom.

They are a tolerant, accepting people, with a tendency to be friendly and helpful. They are disposed to liking those of Aundairian and Zil descent, and they feel an obligation toward the refugees of Cyre. Mostly ambivalent toward the people of Thrane, many Brelish still harbor feelings of anger and fear where the Karrns are concerned. If it comes from Droaam, the Brelish have a tendency to strike fi rst and ask questions later. Even then, a lone monstrous humanoid can find acceptance in Sharn, as long as it doesn’t cause any trouble.

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