The Grigoran Imperium
Ruled by the godking, Grigor, the nation believes it was the old ways that brought down the Catastrophe and scourged the lands. They reject anything from the Old Order wishing fresh start.
Extraplanar beings are also blamed for causing the Catastrophe; as “lesser beings” they are property to be owned. There is a strong standing army of crusaders and religious fanatic known as the Faithful: they are technically a force for good, but merciless and devout.
Grigoran is mostly set on a wide, flat plain dotted with rivers and dry river valleys. The Imperium is set between mountain ranges with the Borderidge Mountains to the south, Edge Mountains to the east, and the Dune Range to the North. The western border was formerly an open sea and the grass is fertile easily taking crops. The nation of Cellinia borders Grigoran to the northeast and smaller city-states dot the lands to the west.
The Beach – Once the start of a wide sea that fed into the ocean, the Beach marks the edge of Grigoran territory. The Beach is rough sand, pounded by the surf, and poor soil. Beyond the beach cropland is sparse and settlements rare.
Beast Plain – At the western edge of the Imperium, the Beast Plains mark the limit of Grigoran control. With only sparse farmland and scattered villages, the local army and Faithful seldom patrol leading to a high number of creatures roaming the plains.
Briarwoods – Edging against the Borderidge mountains, the Briarwoods are dense and known for the prickly shrubs that give it its name. Even the vines are thorny and hazardous.
Celinath Plains – A large stretch of grassland that dominates the centre of the nation the Celinath plains is dotted with small farms and villages. It is known for its large plains cats and herds of wild oxen.
Dead River – Once a massive river that fed into the sea, now this canyon is a dry and hazardous. The stretching ravine cuts through the plains and is crumbling from decades of wind and rain. There are few bridges that cross the wide gap and roads usually require a long, winding trip down. Smaller paths in the ravine are a favourite place for bandits to ambush traders.
The Gap – This wide valley separates the Borderidge Mountains from the Edge Mountains. It is dotted with streams and rocky fields. Grigor constructed a massive fortress in a narrow section of the valley to monitor trade and collect tolls from travelers.
The Green – This small field separates the Edge Mountains from the Wenn Moors. It is heavily patrolled by the Faithful and militia from Gorrenam, watching for escaping slaves and creatures emerging from the moors to the north.
Goblin Fields – A small stretch of field, the grassland here is frequented by its namesake creatures and avoided by humans. Every few seasons the Faithful make a push into the plains and slaughter a few tribes to keep the numbers in check.
Ridgeway – This stony valley is one of the few passageways through the jagged Edge Mountains. It is currently the only border between Hronth and Grigoran and heavily guarded by both sides. Few travelers move between the nations here. Several battles were fought over the pass and the side dales often served as makeshift graveyards. Because of this, undead are often spotted in the valleys.
Riverwood – A wild, untamed forest that predates the Catastrophe, the Riverwood is strongly tied to the Feywild. Many feral and fey creatures dwell in the woods and are protective of their homes. A large number of lycanthrope packs also dwell within this forest. It is also a haven for bandits and escaped slaves.
River Valley – The northern edge of the Gap, this valley was formed by a wide river and smaller streams still trickle through its base. Mostly though, it is just a series of rocky cliffs that hinder travel.
Rockfield – The southern plains adjacent to the Borderidge Mountains. While fertile, the soil is thick with large stones that hinder large farms, so the region is sparsely populated. Ogres and gnolls are frequently cited here, between the forests.
Treefast – Once the centre of an elven province in the Old Order and home of Treewrought, this wood has become twisted over the centuries by death. Spectral undead fill the woods and haunt the surrounding countryside. While Grigor claims the area, few humans live nearby and even the Faithful seldom patrol the area.
Citizens of the Grigoran Imperium are predominantly human. However, the population includes a large number of half elf and plane-touched, but these are not considered citizens. Tiefling and genasi are slaves within the borders of Grigoran, owned by their human masters.
Half-elves, halfling and other near-human races are tolerated, but few live here willingly or happily. The few dwarves that make their home in the Imperium have been hired from the Dwarf Cliffs to the Northwest, and begrudgingly aid the humans. Dragonborn and warforged are occasionally seen in the borders of the Imperium, but few of the homeless people stay long. Despite their desire for soldiers, the Imperium does not trust warforged and thinks them soulless machines.
The Imperium is a single, united nation in name only. Really is it several city-states bound together through shared religion and kept subservient through fear of the shared army and militant arm of the religion. The cities and towns pay the heavy taxes that support the army and the Faithful who, in turn, make sure the cities pay their heavy taxes.
The cities and roads of the Imperium are generally safe, as long as one is human and accompanied by soldiers or the Faithful. Bandits, mostly those who do not worship Grigor and escaped slaves, prey on lone travelers and unguarded caravans. Most Grigorans live on farms. Even the middle-class humans have large plots of land, managed by their tiefling slaves. The farms are always close to the cities that protect the farmers and make sure they pay their taxes.
The cities themselves are mostly independent, with their own governments and guard. As long as their leaders swear allegiance to Grigor they are left alone, although the independent Faithful still patrol the streets looking for heretics and sinners. The city folk quickly learn to embrace Grigor or feign devotion.
The region was originally populated by scattered settlements of gnomes, elves and the labour races. The natives fled east, fleeing torrential rains and expanding desert, leaving only tiny communities and farmstead. Gradually people returned to the uninhabited plains, fleeing the elven occupation in the east.
For a brief time this land united with Hronth to cast out the elves, although that was little more than name-only. Shortly after that, the human lands collapsed into infighting and squabbling.
Following the secession from Hronth, the region became the loose nation of Freeland before descending into corruption and civil war the ended with the ascension of Grigor as the secular and spiritual leader. Grigor wasted no time securing his power and seizing control of neighboring towns while tightening his hold on controlled territory. He then moved against Hronth is a prolonged and bloody stalemate that resulted in no territory gained or lost to either power, although may valleys in the Edge Mountains were choked with the dead.
Grigoran City – (city, pop. 10,300) A massive religious city built around the Cathedral of Grigor: a massive combination of palace and temple located in the center of the town. Perfectly orderly, the city is ruthlessly patrolled and maintained, and kept in a pristine condition of whitewashed stone and statues. There is little civilian population and few stores that deal in anything but the essentials.
The Gate – (town, pop. 1,100) A massive fortress that stretches across the length of the narrow valley connecting the north and south regions of the Beltway. Travelers are carefully screened and checked for contraband and blasphemous items. The Gate is used to restrict the passage of eladrin or others from El’Tan in a failing attempt to blockade the land.
Lakeview – (town, pop. 1,300) A small fishing community that supplies fish to the neighboring communities. The town is a popular target of gnolls and other raiders. It has become a frequent trading stop for halflings and people of the south, slowly becoming a trading town sending foreign goods northward. The people of Lakeview are often harassed at the Gate causing tension. For a time the town was considering seceding from Grigoran but a recently positioned squad of Faithful has quelled talk of rebellion.
Gorrenam – (city, pop. 20,000) A large city, it is purposely-flooded using old canals and aqueducts that were originally used for drying marshland, keeping a city of the Old Order on solid ground. The ancient channels are now used as aquatic streets and highways, as well as a means of disposing of waste. Known as the birthplace of Grigor, it also has several large slave pens and markets.
Velkorus – (city, pop. 13,700) A graveyard town, built where there used to be high water level. There is a massive stretch of ruins, mausoleums, tombs and hilly graves. The wooden buildings of the ancient town burnt and decayed, but the stone cairns survived. A new city built around the massive necropolis, using mausoleums as foundations or entryways, and graves markers as paving stones. Set onto a crossroad and close to many large plantations, it is often frequented by landowners and their mixed-blooded slaves.
Strere – (city, pop. 12, 450) A trading city where farmers and ranchers come from miles to trade at its large markets and barter for goods. Built on crossroads, it has a reputation as a place when everything is for sale and anything can be found. The merchants of Strere have a vicious reputation and are known to go to great lengths to discourage neighbouring hamlets from competition. Few slaves are sold here, as it is too close to border: too many escapes for most owners. There are also severe problems with homelessness and crime; the city is frequently cited as source of “sin.” Grigor’s fanatics are often found in streets harassing people.
Woodwatch – (village, pop. 450) This ominous fortress looks over a dark forest that is home to bandits, criminals, escaped slaves and other “evil, sinful” planar folk. Other rumours tell that the nearby wood is haunted or a place where the Feywild is strong, filling it with strange creatures although this hasn’t s[opped nearby Orathium from cutting into the wood’s southern border. The watchtower also defends the frontier from bandits and raiders from the Lawless Lands in the north. There is talk that the tower’s troops are training and reading for an offensive movement to the west or as reinforcements for a southward push into El’Tan.
Orathium – (town, pop. 9,500) Known as “the safest town in Grigoran”: the defendable hills and ridges of the region attracted refugees in large numbers. While not yet a city, Orathium might soon become one. Ready access to stone, wood and water threaten to let the town increase into a sprawling metropolis, something the locals fear. It’s a center for craftsmen and artisans as well as much political machinery.
Riggorus – A town built around monastery, tucked away in the hills and hidden by the woods. The fortress-like monastery proved a secure keep, attracting people and freed labourers. A few generations ago the teachings restarted, spurred by the arrival of a man known only as the Teacher. Grigor is unpleased with the town given its proximity to his capital and believes the population heretics, but does not feel he can justify scourging the village: monks, clerics, pacifists, and aesthetics are respected by the populace. Instead he send missionaries to covert the populace.
Daggerpeak Fortress – (town, pop. 1,230) Set onto the Hronth border, it is a site of both old wars with elven forces, and recent wars against Hronth. This old fortress sits atop jagged mountains near spewing volcanoes. Formerly a key military post during the war with Hronth, but now where undisciplined or unsuitable troops sent while respected soldiers are kept for activities near Cellenia and the Lawless Lands.
Ura – (town, pop. 1,230) Mining community built partially in old mines. It is mostly underground with only inns and farms atop. The minders are continually digging deeper and farther, looking for ore (mostly copper). Close to the border but, since it is sealed, there is little trade. It only recently became part of the Imperium, conceding after years of pressure and strong-arm tactics.
back to nations