Beautiful, colorful sea elves have inhabited the cool waters off the island coasts for over 5,000 years, and have constructed simple living areas for peaceful worship, and to farm sweet sea kelp. The Goddes of the Seas, Olorin, has had many underwater temples built to her by the sea elves during this time, so most sea elves are reluctant to leave their home here -- and in turn have become viciously stubborn in their ways. In fact, the lineage of the sea elves in this area of the world can be traced back to when the great Olorin herself first appeared on Gaeleth. Because of this strong tie to Olorin's beginnings here, clerics of Olorin among the sea elves are known to be some of the most powerful beings underwater on Gaeleth.
Because of ancient dwarven texts, it is widely known that both the original dwarven and human settlers came to these verdant islands -2842 Avard. During the Age of Peace, both races agreed to split the islands and mine the untouched mountains together. For many years the human and dwarven townships lived off the land for food and cared little for what lived beneath the rolling waves, but after hundreds of years the land began to yield no food because of poor crop rotation and another source needed to be found quick. All eyes quickly turned to the warm coasts and many experienced fishermen were called to aid the small island towns, from other coastal nations, in exchange for land rights.
-1981 Avard: This date is well documented among both the sea elves and land dwellers. This year marked the beginning of The War of Skins. Fishermen and sea elves battled for coastal rights for food. This conflict was no contest for the sea elves here. Sea faring technology in this area was not anywhere near the ability to defend against aquatic assaults. Ship after ship was destroyed and sunk to pay homage to Olorin. Even if the land dwellers here wanted to escape back to the mainland, they couldn't, and this sparked a ripple among all clerics in the area. Because this area is largely under the eye of Olorin herself, all actions on or under the cool waters are directly influenced by the temper of the Goddess. All aquatic clerics suddenly lost all ability to cast divine spells and in turn the seas began to rage uncontrollably. For many years to come, this Godly act weakened both sides...
Editor's Note: One side or the other -- or perhaps both -- probably broke the Five Laws of Olorin during their continual battling with one another. With any one of the laws broken, Olorin's wrath descended on the area in the form of special krakens and a wereshark army. Such an act would, indeed, weaken both sides.
Like all aspects of life, only an opportunist can come out on top. -1976 Avard the forces of a third party decided to move into the kelp rich waters and to destroy the weakened sea elves. Powerful wereshark generals have decided to move in on the sea elves' homes with the help of gigantic sea squids known as krakens. All life under the rolling waters became food for the evil, ravenous krakens while the deceitful weresharks used land crossings to their advantage to envelope sea elf communities by surprise.
-1975 Avard: A rich human guildmaster, by the name of Alekdan'prap, tired of the constant destruction of his wharfs at the hands of the weresharks, devised a plan to keep his buildings and ships safe. Alekdan sided with the wereshark generals, to keep his businesses safe from aquatic armies in exchange for swift overland passage through the tough mountainous regions. Later that same year, the silver rich mountains came into importance as Alekdan himself murdered the wereshark generals, one by one in their sleep, discarding the wereshark's forces of rogue sea elves and krakens into a degenerate state in which the sea elves of the area easily defeated soon afterwards. The War of Skin was ended thusly by the agreed protection between sea and land life. Olorin herself descended upon the land and decreed that the island chain shall be named after the land dweller which saved her sea elves from destruction at the hands of the blasphemous wereshark generals and their traitor legions. Most of the dwarven settlers saw this time of peace as a means to leave and return home. Those crazy humans can keep the water life! Only your occasional loner dwarf would actually set up a home and take to mining. Around this time all and any formal book keeping of history ends. All that is left are the dwarven literature on how silly humans are and the beginnings of the Principalities.
Editor's Note: In all probability, one of Olorin's Disciples examined the status of the land and waters in the aftermath of Olorin's wrath (for breaking the Five Laws of Olorin). The Disciple would have decided that the peoples' lessons had been learned, and inform the krakens and other denizens of the deeps to leave. It is also entirely possible that, through his actions, Alekdan'prap became this Disciple.
-1936 Avard: Alekdan'prap died a rich, old man; master of all trade here for all of eternity. It is said in children's tales that Alekdan'prap is the only land dweller to be allowed a seat beside Olorin herself in an aquatic paradise. As long as Alekdan'prap sits beside the great goddess, all must give tribute before sailing the seas in the Principalities for safety and good fortune. The proof to this fairy tale? Any ship which sets sail without offering a prayer to either Alekdan'prap or the Goddess immediately sinks and becomes property of the sea elves under the waves.
Currently, there are four Ove'Raj who rule over the main areas of trade and have the most followers, whether by force or simply because of where they live. Many lesser 'Pirate Princes', known as Raj also rule, but only in their respected neighborhoods. Each Ove'Raj will be described under the Figures section of this page.
Use: The plains provide a steady diet of a green rice called Di'v while the snow capped mountains on Lores Island bring forth, with slave miners, untainted silver and a deep black basalt. A rare tree which grows along deforested areas in the Princes bare a fruit called Chebbl. Chebbl cannot be eaten unless cooked to a near black crisp. This is for the reason that this particular fruit is poisonous and must be cooked to burn out all impurities. When seasoned correctly, Chebbl carries with it a tart taste, but provides more protein than an equal amount of rich beef.
Water: Three calm lakes run crystal clear, drinkable water into the fertile areas, then finally dumping themselves into the rather still salt waters around Lores Island. Each 'sub' island has some rivers too, but of the same size as the ones found on Lores Island. Fresh water trev fish, which taste and looks like salmon, and pink shrimp are harvested from the lakes and sold to the neighboring islands at a low price. The surrounding waters of the Morimor Gulf and Goordune Ocean house a low shelf of coral, bursting forth with delicious life to both the Alekdanians and sea elves.
Weather: It has been ages since a typhoon struck this area. Unless provoked by druids and/or clerics of the sea elves, the Princes has lived a life in a storm free environment. Like clockwork, though, a good rain falls on the southern half of the Princes, from Sadist Island to Vaskor Island, on the second day of each week. Perfect vacation spot. Always warm, even when snow falls on the mountain foothills. Thank you sea elven druids.
Animals: Well, except for what is found in either the arenas or underwater, none. Some birds migrate here, but when they do, a steady flow of hunters make sure that their native lands never see their shimmering feathers again. As for what is underwater, by the rainbow coral schools of harmless fish roam the waves. Sea elves here make sure that even a lone barracuda doesn't find it's way into the rich coral unless in times of war. The waters are teaming with razor sharks (harmless) and lumbering, muscled snails called Cranots (shells as large as 10 feet).
Keynotes: Vaskor island is indeed in the geography of the Princes, but that is where all similarities end. It has no other relations to the Princes, well, you know why; it is inhabited by our local never-friendly demons and half breeds. See the Shadareth entry for information on Vaskor Island. Like all Alekdanians, avoid it like the plague.
Cavalry: Being that the Princes are a mountainous area, mounted combat is reserved for the pits. Foreign animals would find the odd landscapes of the Princes quite difficult to transverse. Being that this is the case, and that no large animals exist on the islands, cavalry is a word that most Alekdanians do not know.
Irregulars: Well, lets see here... Hmmm... What would be considered irregulars in other nations is the normal foot fighters in the Princes. You can get more irregular than farmers, miners and slaves. The backbone of the island defenses are the irregulars. I would guess that a farmer not wielding a hoe but a sword would be an irregular!
Artillery: None to speak of. The Princes aren't a land which holds any castles, so conventional catapults and ballistae aren't built here. In a couple of shore towns, large bolt-throwers are welded to the docks to stop unwanted ships from docking. The only type of artillery found among the Princes are rare, magical cannons, named after it's creator, called Draj'cannons which fire arcane spells at targets. Draj'cannons are cannons which have been magically prepared to house stored spells with a maximum of two metamagical feats encased with the spell. These cannons were made over 800 years earlier and the ways to make them has been lost with it's creator. These cannons have unlimited arcane use, but can only be used by an arcane user and only a limited number of times a week. All Draj'cannons are magical in nature so during the past five hundred years the Inquisition has been confiscating known cannons to be destroyed, or studied at least.
Navy: When called upon to defend their fishing rights and areas, each Ove'Raj and Raj combine their forces to drive back minor incursions. The only battle ready ships which sail these areas are the raiders, rammers and Draj'destroyers. Each Ove'Raj has a flagship built when they come to power. This flagship is a massive vessel capable of destroying entire fleets with it's fire power. Being that the coral reefs which surround the islands are very shallow, these flagships cannot travel beyond designated routes, almost rendering them worthless to a planned attack. Like the rest of the Alekdanian forces, the true strength behind a defense is what can be found in the next section.
Elite: The Princes have some of the most powerful defenses in their elite forces compared to the rest of the world. The Princes aren't an aggressive minded nation, so it's entire mindset when it comes to war is solely defensive. The Princes' elite comes in three direct forms. The first are the powers found on land. Any nation idiotic enough to invade by land must transverse over mountainous terrain, and for many years each island's inhabitants have planned ambush points along mountain trails -- not for physical surprise attacks but by magical attacks. Forces walking through these paths must face mountain slides and flash floods. Any force which makes it past these defenses must face each Alekdanian defending her homeland afterwards. Each Pirate King employs a hidden force of these terrain altering druids and mages, ready to drop a mountain on an invading force's head, literately. The second are the powers found under the waves. Ancient and enigmatic elven druids command the very life under the waters, boarding ships and tearing hulls from under the waves. Just as the land druids warp their will onto the mountains, the sea elven druids command the foul tasting waters. Within the coral paths, entire sections of sea can be parted, swallowing great fleets of ships and drowning their crews under crashing waves. It is unlikely that any invading nation would dare attack by sea. The final elite is not a paid soldier, but the Goddess Olorin herself. If any being crosses her waters with out paying tribute to her beautiful creations are automatically destroyed by unrelenting waves. Whereever the sea druids can't cover, Olorin can. Of course this is common knowledge to anybody worth their salt on the sea, so this power is not a real threat, but to the uninitiated attacker, what could be worse than the finger of a Goddess?
Editor's Note: The true elite of the Alekdan Principalities would be its gladiators. Trained in the arts of the arena from young ages, their veterans retire to teach new generations of their arts. The arenas feature fights to the death, and a great many of the fights involve bets and feud-settling. Because of this, many Raj's invest a great deal of magical energies and advanced training in their gladiators. One of the more popular enhancements, within the last decade, has involved the infusing of elemental energies into gladiators -- a process that kills one in five, but if performed at early enough states, can weed out poor gladiators.
Royal Guard: Having no real royalty usually means no royal guard. Each ruler can usually root out a couple trusted warriors to defend their lives. No ruler can ever completely trust them, well, intelligent rulers any way...
Mercs: Where do you think most of the Ove'Raj and Raj come from? Mercenary parties come from, generally, two places; either from outside the Princes or from the gladiatorial arenas found on Lores Island. The more incredible the merc the higher the station she is given, and these are the ones that become minor rulers in their respected areas.
Citizenry: Every citizen is capable of defending her home and family. Provoke with extreme caution. There has never been a case where an Ove'Raj has not supported her citizen in an incident where murder to defend happened.
Assignments: Every town and mine. Where else do you find stoic farmers and dingy miners?
Classes: Very simple for a relatively simple people.
Each Ove'Raj employs different class structures, so this is a general example of what is usually done. This class list can be complex or even simpler depending on what the Ove'Raj decides to rule over. Some rulers ban slavery, some rulers have no military to class. In general, if you don't fit under a certain class rank when living under the ruler, you'll be considered a peasant or slave. Sorry. Miners and pit fighters fall under slaves even though they can be rich.
Languages: Common is dominant, for it's the world wide trade tongue. Even though contact with the sea dwellers is kept at a minimum, the general Oceanic tongue is also known to many fisherman. Languages in the Princes is simple. Anything complex would diminish trade capabilities between the peoples here. New rulers who don't recognize common are phased out quickly, and so are rulers who have no arms... (It's a funny HAHA joke. A joke people! Jeeez.)
Taboos: Depends on the current Ove'Raj in power. While one Ove'Raj practices Divine spellcraft in her rule a neighboring Ove'Raj executes them on site. Like most entries on this page, what one Ove'Raj practices another may not.
Commonlaws: None, except for the communal philosophies that each citizen carries with her. One common-law can be rare in other towns. What does your ruler believe today?
Holidays: (For full holiday listings, please consult the calendar table in the main Gaeleth entry section.)
Ove'Raj Sam Demonslayer: He was one of the gladiatorial arena's hopefuls, before his owner was brought down in a dispute with another Raj. Escaping as a mercenary, Sam traveled from the Empire of Vridara to the nation of Rakore, before deciding to return to the principalities, and his home. His first act was to cut a swath of destruction through one of the Ove'raj's domains, and usurp a vampiress Ove'raj from her throne. His second act was to unite his principality into a cohesive whole, with all the Raj's firmly under his control and his will, in combat against the demons of Vaskor Island. While all the Ove'Raj's seek to become the ultimate rulers of all the Principalities, Sam is perhaps the only one with a real plan -- training generals through the destruction of the demon-infested island of Vaskor. Sam's Ove'Raj extends to the northwestern portion of the principalities, and controls a considerable portion of the mainland's shores, almost into the Gaebrum Forests.
Ove'Raj Eiglek: An ogremai sorcerer of considerable ability, Eiglek rarely ventures out into public. She funnels a great portion of her evil principality into the Ogre Nations, and often receives vaunted ogran warriors in return, for use in the arenas, or as part of her guard. Her slavery practices, flagrant use of magic, and other nasty enterprises have made her a welcomed ruler by many of her Raj's. Her Ove'Raj controls the northeastern portion of the principalities, and has been assaulted by the Inquisition several times, both from the water, and from the land, where she controls a portion of the deserts on the mainland's shore and portions of the Gulf of Morimar. The Inquisition has had trouble mounting offensives against her principality, primarily because she is well able to hide her mages from overt reporting, and also because her people are adept at searching out Seekers.
Ove'Raj Edward Tooldark: He is a slate bard of considerable skill, suave, and evil. Edward's machinations with his own Raj's are matched only by his political scheming and maneuvering with the Raj's of the other Ove'Raj's. Edward's reign has been both bloody and rewarding, so while his people live in fear of him, those that have survived have been well rewarded. Edward controls most of the silver mines of Lores Island, and controls the southwestern portion of the principalities.
The remaining three-quarters of the principalities (the southeastern portion), including the largest portion of Lores Island, is controlled by a variety of Raj's. Several of the more powerful Raj's feel they have not enough political power to declare themselves Ove'Raj, but collectively have enough power to drive out any of the other three Ove'Raj's.
All the peoples of the principalities can select as regional feats the following: Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Gather Information, Negotiator, and Persuasive.
Ove'Raj Eiglek's people can choose Magical Aptitude, and Spell Mastery as regional feats, because she has been in power for nearly a century.