The flag of Rakore is that of a cypress tree before a mountain, silhouetted such that the crown of the tree is just shy of the crown of the mountain. Floating over both is an image of the crown of Rakore -- made of gold and looking as though it were aflame.
The dwarven nation of Gil Hala dominated the mountains around the Tikranor Plateau, some six millennia previously. The Gil Halan mountain dwarves mined copper, tin, and iron -- selling bronze to the humans, and using the iron, themselves, in great mountain-side furnaces that channeled and focused the power of the wind to make tremendously hot fires for steel. The Gil Halan dwarves wore themselves down against the Dharveil in the Choranil Desert, before fading into obscurity. Some of their ruins can still be found.
The Itieleta'ivan elves had a small kingdom that dominated the forests of Rakore. Their stewardship of the lands made the forests quite strong, and it was their druidic power that shaped the modern timber industry of Rakore. The Itieleta'ivan faded into obscurity some two millennia ago, probably due to the constant ogran incursions from the Choranil Desert.
In more recent times, Duke Stomalin ruled the western forests of Rakore from Stomalin Keep -- located on the southwest portion of the peninsula. Duke Stomalin controlled the forests and towns of the region for several decades, slowly building up his power, until its peak in 1004 Avard. An attack by the Warkore clan of dwarves ended the duke's claims to the forests east of the Galanus River, and a grippli infestation finished off the duchy.
The modern nation of Rakore was founded in 1316 Avard, by then Chief and later King, Ulrich Graniteshoulders. Chief Graniteshoulders was forced to unite the peninsula, despite the usual dwarven intransigence. Graniteshoulders was chief of the Warkore Clan of dwarves, who had taken over and named the Warkore Mountains just after the Storm Wars. The Warkore Clan had emerged when a number of dwarven veterans of the Storm Wars became disgusted with the Inquisition, and its antimagic policies spearheaded by predominantly human churches, such as Yatindar's. Tegrin Graniteshoulders united the veterans and let them on an arduous trip to the far west, to settle what would become the Warkore Mountains, in an attempt to get away from human-dominated politics. Tegrin and his brethren were able leaders and well-decorated veterans, and so rallied a great many other dwarves to their cause. Close to 10,000 hill dwarves, 40,000 mountain dwarves, and 3,000 deep dwarves made the long journey west, through the lands of the Toomaran Tribes, the Laekenala Jungles, the Avris Mountains, the Choranil Desert, and finally into the lands they would call 'home'. Because of the militaristic nature of the journey, and Tegrin's leadership and foreplanning, only 5,000 dwarves died on the journey. When Tegrin arrived in the then unnamed mountains, he and his began the long task of hollowing out their new home, which they named Mount Basilisk. Tegrin himself slew the foul creature that had hung around since the Storm Wars, apparently summoned by a Nathelian wizard to terrorize the locals for one reason or another.
Another group of dwarves in the Granite Mountains, primarily priests, left their ancestral home for the western peninsula, following the path of Tegrin. The priests, led by Arch Bishop Thanos Rubynose, hoped to fulfill an ancient prophecy about a dwarf with a flaming fist. Rubynose's sect of Galgiran, the Light Forgers, numbered some 15,000 hill and mountain dwarf priests. Hoping to join with Tegrin, they met with a harsh welcome from the dispirited Warkore Clan, particularly since the Light Forgers had been instrumental in aiding in the Inquisition in the western lands. Forced to move on, the Light Forger sect traveled a bit further west, and discovered the ancient tunnels and mines that had once been carved by the Gil Halan dwarves. Arch Bishop Rubynose and his priests refurbished the tunnels, and moved in, hoping to one day rejoin with the Warkore Clan. Renaming themselves into the Rakanus Clan, the Light Forgers prepared to fulfill their prophecy, maintaining a link with Galgiran through a holy relic -- a tuft of hair from Galgiran's beard, locked inside an iron anvil within their holy forge.
The Warkore and Rakanus clans skirmished on occasion, but kept mainly to themselves for five centuries. The reasons for their animosity towards one another were lost in the obscurities of time, and they rarely interacted with one another. In 1311 Avard, undead began rising up out of the forests between the two clans. At the same time, the orcs of the Ogre Nations began trying to invade from the eastern Choranil Desert, attacking both clans in prearranged attacks. The Rakanus Clan, composed mainly of priests, easily repelled the attacks of the undead -- however, they were undermanned and under trained to fight the hordes of orcs from the deep Choranil. At the same time, the Warkore Clan easily repelled the attacks of the orcs, but had significant difficulties fighting off the undead. Envoys from both clans met quickly, and agreed to set aside their centuries' old differences. Chief Ulrich Graniteshoulders, grandson of Tegrin, began the slow process of uniting the two feuding clans against the greater difficulties. Coordinated counter-attacks helped drive off some of the orcs, and Chief Ulrich became aware that the western peninsula was not solely composed of dwarves. Human villages and tomanth hatcheries were equal targets of the undead, and the orcs.
Horrified by anti-human tales from his grandfather before his passing, and perhaps motivated by the recent joining with the Rakanus Clan, Ulrich sat about to integrating the other races together. As the battles with the undead began to heat up into a full-fledged war, and as the Ogre Nations organized under their Supreme Ruler Itzak, integration seemed Ulrich's only hope of preserving all life on the western end of the continent. The situation became even grimmer in Chief Ulrich's eyes when the last of the grippli on the peninsula were wiped out by a swarm of wraiths. Faced with certain extinction unless he acted quickly, Chief Ulrich organized the prevailing leaders of all the races and peoples, and declared himself King of Rakore in 1316 Avard.
Barely a year after taking the entire peninsula under his care, King Ulrich Graniteshoulders was assassinated by an elite undead task force sent by Demik Coruth. The Rakanus Clan, acting quickly, moved to fulfill the ancient prophecy of Galgiran, and made his son Feldspar king. One of the Rakanus clan's bishops, cross-trained as a warrior, helped save King Feldspar Graniteshoulders several times, and went on to lead Rakoran special operatives in defeating the necromancer Demik Coruth, and ending the War of the Undead with the aid of the Chosen of Arpelos. The tumultuous times of the War of the Undead catapulted Rakore into the fore of wizardly and priestly advancement. Backed by a strong economy, vast natural resources, wise leadership, shrewd politics, and competent men from all races and backgrounds, Rakore expanded in power and strength. Influxes of refugees from the War of the Undead added to her diversity, and influenced the course of events in Rakore as had never been done in any other nation before.
Tensions with Inquisitor nations, and with the Ogre Nations, continued on after the War of the Undead. The cross-trained warrior-bishop of the Rakanus Clans, Bishop Nodrom "Dwarfendale" Fistforger, oversaw vast construction projects employing thousands of dwarves and Mikindim-led humans, rebuilding whole cities and creating impregnable fortresses. Rakore continued to grow, preparing for conflict with her many enemies.
For more details about the founding of Rakore, and its early years, consult Campaign I: The War of the Undead.
In the summer of 1329, Rakore was simultaneously invaded by the Ogre Nations, Kur Maeth, armies from the theocracy of Nabrol, and even undead minions. Despite the near defeat of Rakore, the nation survived using secretive weapons that wiped out hundreds of thousands of invaders at once. The invasion is called the War of the Four Winds, as well as the Ogran Wars.
Since that time, Rakore has opened its gates to orcs, ogres, kobolds, and many other peoples. The nation is currently in a state of rebuilding, using the considerable wealth taken from the Ogran Nations, the ruins of Daggoneth, and more. Manpower is plentiful in the aftermath of the failed invasion.
Use: The soil is fertile when cleared, with thick top soil that goes down almost to the water table. The rich granite mountains and old limestone hills are a mix of ancient epochs, with valuable minerals and metals found throughout. The farming is further aided by these reserves because of the natural fertilizers found, including bat dung excavated from old caves throughout the interior.
Water: The Galanus River (named for the god) is the major navigable river, running through the midst of the forests down to the Gulf of Teras. Various navigable tributaries feed it along its way, and a few lakes (mostly oxbow lakes) also provide fresh water. Glacial runoff in the spring and summer, as well as after the Freeze or during the Burn, can swell the deep-running river and its tributaries.
Weather: Situated as it is on a peninsula, and covered in mountains, Rakore receives a fair amount of storms and rain. Muggy in the summer, and covered in snow in the winter, Rakore's weather can change from day to day, and even mark to mark. 'Unpredictable' is the normal prediction for the next day's weather.
Animals: Deep in the forests and mountains of Rakore lurk dangerous creatures that limited the expansion of civilization for centuries. Enormous rhinoceros beetles weighing close to five tons each clear trails through the forests, consuming whole trees above ground, and digging deep tunnel systems below ground. Large ankhegs prey upon them, and the wild hippotauns that wander through both the forests and the mountains. Huge alotheres -- enormous boar that root about in the underbrush -- travel in small herds that threaten farmers and hunters alike. And wherever the snapper-saw trees are found, stirges are found making their nests high atop them. Rumors from much deeper within the forests tell of a massive beast with bony plates and a spiked tail, the stegasoraus, whose herds dominate Hallis Island and parts of the western Rakoran Forest. Higher in the mountains dwell minotaur lizards and cave bears. In the eastern Warkore Mountains dwell several families of rocs. Higher on the Tikranor Plateau are primative yeti clans that feed upon orcs and humanoids with cunning maliciousness. Worse are the snow scrats and the les boern, creatures that can kill a normal man in a heartbeat (see creature entries). Species introduced by the many races of Rakore are constantly in flux with the native species. Many strange plants, such as choke-creepers, continue to wind their way into the land from along the Galanus, where they were introduced. Elgannet beetles have taken up residence in the waterways, presumably brought to Rakore as eggs aboard merchant ships. Scrags may or may not be native, but have also been seen throughout the Rakoran river systems.
Keynotes: Of the two islands to the north, the easternmost is Hallis, dominated by the Savis Forest. Maddog (or Mad Dog, depending on ethnicity) Island lies three hundred miles to the east of Hallis Island, and is dominated by the Kavik Forest. Both island forests are similar to the Rakoran Forest, with old-growth trees and relatively little underbrush. There are also some smaller islands just south of Teras, and only a day's sail to the south.
Cavalry: Backing the dwarven fighters is dwarven cavalry -- hippotauns girded in chain mail, with spear-throwing dwarven axe-men mounted astride them. The hippotauns can carry five warriors in addition to the driver, and act as an effective carrier over long distances. Both the cavalry and the infantry carry light crossbows and several dozen quarrels, making them formidable at ranged distances, as well. Their tabard colors may vary, depending on the baron they serve, but all bear the recognizable symbol of Rakore -- the cypress tree backed by a mountain with a crown.
Irregulars: Backing the dwarven warriors is an array of irregular army units, ranging from Amaran rangers to elven bowmen. The intense training these men and women undergo is a reflection of the old dwarven wars with the orcs. Because of their various backgrounds, their skill in guerilla tactics is unmatched, even though their mass tactics might be lacking. Their abilities to surprise enemies, harass supply lines, and confuse the front lines make them invaluable in combat, both as support to the regular dwarven army, and as support and reserves against enemy flanks and rear.
Artillery: The siege engines of Rakore are primarily massive ballistae that can easily be broken down and reassembled anywhere. Smaller ballistae have even been found in mounted versions, such as upon anklosaurs imported from the landmass of Baroneth. Cleverly designed, one-man ballistae are a hallmark of Rakoran artillery, and are found both on land, and at sea.
Navy: Rakore's navy can arguably be considered the best in the world. A small but significant fraction of the navy consists of modified Nabrolian triremes, but the vast majority of the fleet are heavy galleons. The Rakoran shipyards produce a variety of vessels -- some built for oceanic speed, others built for heavy merchanting, and almost all built by knowledgeable individuals. The tomanths (see creature entry) make the Rakoran navy that much more fearsome, native as those water lizards are to Rakore.
Elite: The military elite of Rakore is a special group known as Firestorm, who act as both an overseas undercover operatives group and as a counter-Inquisition team. Consisting primarily of mages trained in the arts of combat, they are often called battlemages, though a significant part of Firestorm consists of assassins, spies, and brute-force fighters of unequaled power. Sporting the signet rings that give them unlimited access to Rakoran stores, Firestorm is a word used to frighten children in foreign nations, and to inspire awe in Rakorans.
Air Force: A surprising number of orc rangers defected to Rakore after the defeat of Itzak during the War of the Four Winds. The orc rangers were more faithful to their great roc hawkes than to Itzak, and welcomed the attentions of Rakoran priests and their healing abilities. Though still racially predjudiced against humans, dwarves, and especially elves, they are surprisingly tolerant of the tomanths, and have begun teaching tomanths to aid them in attending the fierce and powerful roc hawkes. Rakore has two dozen of the enormous birds in service, and expects those numbers to increase with each passing decade.
Royal Guard: The king's personal guard are a formidable force, as well. Wearing Rakanus-style full plate (see item entry) covered in spikes, and armed with two-handed battle-axes, they are so intensely loyal to their king that they are impervious to enchantments and charms anywhere near him. They wear the cream-colored capes and mantles of their office with great pride, and are all veterans of some of the nastiest fighting in Rakore in the last fifty years.
Mercs: Mercenaries have been tolerated primarily because of the shortage of man-power. Acting as caravan guards and escorts, they protect the richer merchants and land-owners. The many riches in Rakore, from natural gold and silver deposits, to the lucrative trading of Gideon Enterprises, ensures the loyalty of most mercenaries in Rakore.
Citizenry: The battles between the Ogre Nations and Rakore, as well as the War of the Undead and several aborted invasions by Nabrol, have left the Rakoran people battle-hardened. The vast metal resources have been made available to the general public, and good chain mail and weapons can be found in most homes. The average peasant can be expected to be armed, armored, trained, and experienced with his choice weapon. Experienced in the arts of guerilla war against the orcs, and well-trained en masse against the hordes of undead, the general population of Rakore is its most valuable military asset.
Assignments: The majority of the Rakoran military consists of dwarven foot soldiers and non-dwarven irregulars. As such, they can be found in almost every city or town. Hippotaun cavalry units are usually only found in large cities. The border with the Ogre Nations is closely watched by forts and patrols, and though not openly attacked, the hostilities often boil over into small battles.
Fortresses: The single largest fortress in Rakore is Loregard, situated between all four mountain ranges, such that it is the only non-mountainous route into Rakore from the Choranil Desert. Built to hold off the Ogre Nations, Loregard is a massive military city funded by the Rakoran government. It has built up several aiding industries, such as glassworks and other sand-related works, but the city is devoted to war. Surrounded by a massive, fifty-foot thick wall that is nearly fifty-feet high, with towers at regular intervals, Loregard is considered second only to Mount Basilisk in its military defense (though Loregard was breached during the War of the Four Winds and has since been rebuilt). Ballistae, trebuchets, and catapults bestride its towers, and regular patrols race around its walls watching for danger. Massive numbers of camel and horse cavalry are kept at the ready, and government warships can ferry in troops to the headwaters of the Galanus River whenever trouble arises.
Dwarven Names: One can tell where a dwarf is from, by his name. Dwarves born outside of wedlock choose their own names, and never know who their parents are, as per dwarven custom. Common names from the Rakanus Clan include Fistforger, Stonehand, Stoneknee, Wirebeard, and Rubynose. Common names from the Warkore Clan include Orcbane, Graniteshoulders, Ironwill, Stoneknuckles, Stormblade, and Whitegold. Several clans migrated to Rakore after the War of the Undead and the failures of the Fourth Crusades, with names like: Fellhammer, Warstoker, and Spurbreaker. The four most respected dwarven names in all Rakore are the Graniteshoulders (those of the king's and his immediate family), the Orcbanes (the longest-term warriors of the Warkore), the Stonegrudges (the most powerful and well-respected priests in both the Rakanus and Warkore clans), and the Stonehelms (the most powerful warriors in all Rakore -- who held off the ograns long enough for many to escape, but took heavy losses). The Stonehelm clan adopted the entire Bandylegs clan from the northeast, in the aftermath of the war.
Classes: Rakore is based only loosely on the feudal system. 'Respect' is the Rakoran watchword among its peoples, and its various races and peoples get along because they've had to, to survive.
Languages: With so many backgrounds and ethnicities in one nations, the language barrier was targeted for destruction by King Graniteshoulders. The Common tongue is the official language of trade and law, and extensive education efforts have been undertaken to teach both young and old a bit of all the other languages, from Amaran, Sholin, Toomaran, Al Fahimic, Elven, Dwarven, Ogran, and even a bit of Vridaran. The unique melange of languages means that most Rakorans can be assumed to speak at least two languages -- even the farmers in distant and outlying baronies.
Taboos: Because of the large mix of peoples and races, there are a great many individual taboos, but most are fading in the larger mix of things. While insults usually turn into games, it is generally agreed that cutting off a dwarf's beard is suicide. Eating eggs in front of tomanths is considered offensive, and they may bite the egg-eater.
Commonlaws: At its core is a bedrock of dwarven law, codes, and honesty, backed by priests with as much intolerance for the Inquisition and Seekers as the mages. The laws do not discriminate between humans, dwarves, elves, tomanths, or ograns, and applies to all ethnic backgrounds as well. The local knights, and the barons in particular, are charged with enforcing the majority of the codes and laws, though only the dukes can administer punishments in excess of a year (to include death). Most of the laws are common sense laws against theft and murder, though each local baron reserves the right to enforce his own laws. Much of the time, the accused reserves the right to choose in favor of either barristers (lawyers and judges) or trial-by-combat. In the case of barristers, the accusing authority must prove guilt; in the case of trial-by-combat, the accused must prove innosence. Trial-by-combat is only to the death if the accused has committed murder.
Mannerisms: With so many peoples and customs, its possible to find elves with dwarven attitudes, humans with tomanth gestures, and everything else under the sun. For the most part, the Rakorans are guardedly polite and cautious.
Robert Heinlein is oft-quoted as having written, "An armed society is a polite society."
Holidays: (For full holiday listings, please consult the calendar table in the main Gaeleth entry section.) Dakal the 16th is a dwarven celebrated holiday, with gifts of steel; however, Rakorans have attached greater significance to that day, and that entire week. All Rakorans give one another gifts of weapons, from custom, imaginative daggers, to new shields. For that entire week, all smiths work for free as artisans supported by the local communities, their work being done in the name of Galgiran. (Customers must supply the raw materials, however, including coke for the forges.)
Appearance: Utilitarianism is the rule, in Rakore. While wealth might be able to purchase more comfortable clothing, extravagance is rare, and many foreigners can spot a Rakoran because of his simple-yet-elegant clothing. Oppulence is unfashionable.
Foods: The food is so varied that a single meal might contain Amaran-style tubers, Sholin-style fish, dwarven-style bread, and elven-style wine. The numbers and types of beers is legendary, with dwarven leadgutt being the most frightening. (Dwarven leadgutt is consumable only by dwarves, who roll a Constitution check for each round of drinking -- with a cumulative -1 modifier. When the dwarf fails his check, he passes out. Non-dwarves attempting to consume leadgutt are allowed a Fortitude save DC 15 for each sip, or else pass out instantly.)
Rakore, with its strong sailing fleet and close ties to the Sholin peoples, has opened up trade and peace with a number of its other neighbors. Sholin contacts remain strong, and the Sholin city of Tulish actually was a Rakoran shipyard and citadel for trading purposes with the continent of Baroneth. In 1328, a rogue band of Quitzara -- the specialty priests of Lul -- obtained a super-weapon that allowed them to destroy Tulish in a single day. Rakore managed to wrestle the super-weapon away from the Quitzara, and secreted them away until the War of the Four Winds.
Relations with Al Fahim have led to a general trading and peace treaty, and an influx of Al Fahimic goods and people. Rakore evacuated a number of Amaran tribes during the War of the Undead, and their influence on the peninsula has been profound. Relations with the Amarans has been fair, with a trading outpost established at the headwaters of the Mirimba River, through the Laekenal Jungle. Piracy in the Laekenala Jungle and bandits in the Avris Mountains have limited trade significantly, but relations with the Amaran Tribes continue peaceably.
The Vridarans and the Toomarans have given Rakore considerable resistance, primarily because of the Inquisition and a general fear of magic and magic-users. Despite assurances otherwise, Rakoran goods are assumed to be magically enchanted with evil runes and the like, and rarely travel inland.
Since the War of the Four Winds, the might of the Ogre Nations was nearly wiped out. Rakore still deals equally with the ograns of the desert, but does so from a pedestal of strength and with a fire of righteousness that galls the ograns and their leader Itzak.
Barter: Larger transactions require gold bullion, certified by the Church of Lul and the ducal crest each ingot bears.
Exports: Rakore exports finely worked metals (including armor), well-crafted carpentry work, sailing vessels, salts, raw lumber, excellent marbles, furs and leathers, fish, and a great deal of unique luxury items.
Imports: The nation imports raw cotton, dyes, wax, and small luxury goods, as well as lead and pitch. Rakoran tariffs are fairly light, though well enforced, and many foreign merchants are happy to do business with the Rakorans. With moderate taxes that are also well enforced, the Rakoran treasury grows slowly but surely, even though much of its monies go right back out into the economy. Very little of the king's money is spent on the military, because of the fierce loyalty of the dwarves, and the amazing harvests of the farms and hunters.
Customs: Customs officers at the various docks leading into Rakore, and at Loreguard, are unbelievably thorough, patient, implacable, and impervious to bribery. They are also quite fair, and work as quickly as possible, hoping not to slow trade down.
Contraband: Poisons, drugs, unmarked-for-tariff items, and spies are the primary targets of the customs officers. Of particular concern are rubies -- specifically ogran-cut rubies that often contain the souls of individuals. The rubies are relics from the Third Crusades, and infiltrated Rakore during the War of the Four Winds.
Noteable: The heart of all Rakoran wealth is undeniably Gideon Enterprises. 'GE' as it is more commonly known, has an armada of trading vessels to ply the seas with, bringing diverse imports in, and sending out exports such as Rakore has. GE founded several towns along the Galanus River to act as way-stops between the mouth of the river, and tributaries that reach towards Mount Lavanor and Mount Basilisk. Those towns grew into cities quickly, and GE imported farmers and artisans to aid in the growth of the cities, from displaced Amaran tribesmen to Sholin fishermen. GE is led by Nodrom Fistforger, baron and bishop of Galgiran and Rakore, Malkir Rakore, archer and baron, and Rial Mhenace, manager of Gideon Enterprises (see related PC reference entries).
Temples: The largest single temple is the Cathedral of Rock in Mount Lavanor. The Rakanus dwarves had close to five centuries to carve it out of the granite heart of the mountains and the ancient dwarven caves that had existed there. In the nearby city of Kashin lies the largest temple of Lul in Rakore, known as the Eagle's Feather church, with a massive library imported from the far east and Rhythis Keep before its fall. Tikira, at the base of Mount Basilisk, has a large temple to Rahne known as the Fist of Defiance. The largest temple to Olorin is at the mouth of the Galanus River, in the city of Teras, and it is known as the Shelongelae. The Temple of the Trees in Takanal is well known as a home to Barith and Whalin, as the fruits of the garden have been known to heal diseases and cure miseries.
Mount Rilan is a single large mountain found in the heart of the Rakoran Forest, nearly one-hundred miles from the next mountain or hill. Mount Rilan has slowly become the religious heart of Rakore, with large temples and congregations devoted to Mikindim, Barith, and Elinthar. Mount Rilan is a barony under the control of the bishop and the baron Nodrom Fistforger, a specialty priest of Galgiran and warrior extraordinaire. The Bishop and the Baron has constructed Lok Giran, or 'Fortress of the Soul', half-way up one side of the mountain, and constructed Lok Magius, or 'Fortress of the Mage', near the top on the other side. Followers of Galanus consider the entire mountain holy, for beneath it in dimply lit tunnels once lay the Book of the Dead -- the powerful artifact of Galanus that allowed Demik Coruth to come to power. The mountain itself is protect by the Baron and the Bishop's forces, as well as the loyal priests of Galanus.
Because of the laws, the priests of varying faiths meet at Mount Lavanor once each year to work out differences in faiths and interpretations of the various holy books. A monastery of Samis exists in the highlands near Firland on the western coast, and their insights into language and interpretation has been welcomed by the other churches -- though the more neutral monks of Samis are continually watched for signs of their more evil brethren.
In the Johnathon Hills, the kobolds have constructed a monastery to Curiss, and they call it (in the Common Tongue) 'the Boneyard'. Many of the bones and bodies of Rakorans killed during the war were burned with their ashes interred in the earth -- but the Boneyard collects as many bones as it can, protecting them from the undead and offering their souls eternal rest.
Though no priest will confirm or deny it, the legendary Book of the Dead was rumored to have been stored in a vault beneath Mount Rilan. If true, it would make Mount Rilan doubly holy, for Lok Giran was built there by the Baron and Bishop Dwarfendale.
In keeping with Rakore's anti-Inquisition sentiment, a green dragon and a druidess of a companion reportedly guard the lands between Mount Rilan and Mount Basilisk. The only establishment in that areas is Baron Sadic's fortress. The baron claims that his wild mage friend, Jandor Firelight, is responsible for the sightings through his wild magic.
Deep within the forests of Rakore lies the ruins of an ancient elven city, though where it is, no one can say. The wealth of that whole city is supposedly buried beneath stone or water or trees, depending on where it is supposedly located. Historically, the elven city of Shivastaenel did reside somewhere within the forests. The city was wiped out by a grippli infection, and with the disease running rampant, the city was soon lost to the wilds -- its populace unplundered because of the wildly growing rose vines that overtook it.
Duke Canneth Dwarfkiller: Duke of the Tikranor Plateau and obstensibly overlord of the remaining orcs in Rakore, Duke Dwarfkiller is (at best) tolerated by the rest of the king's council. Only King Graniteshoulders seems able to reign in the towering orc fighter, and yet Canneth is surprisingly forthwright about everything, including his hatred of the dwarves. The duke does a fair job of keeping the orcs in the plateau from causing trouble elsewhere in Rakore. He is considered a 15th-level fighter.
Father Bryan Stonegrudge: Head of the Church of Galgiran in Rakore, he is the ArchBishop of Galgiran, though his common title is 'Father'. A kind and amiable mountain dwarf, his fiery red beard often precedes him around corners. When the situation calls for it, he can be more militant than any general, organizing his priests and followers as no one else can. He is a veteran of the orc wars, and the War of the Undead, and is a 16th-level cleric.
Duchess Genea Anahliest: Duchess of the forests north of Tikira and south of Loreguard, Genea is the last remaining princess of the Drow city of Tyven. She pledged her house jewels to the crown of Rakore in exchange for a safe-haven for the dark elves. King Graniteshoulders keeps her house jewels safe within his vaults, and plans to return the jewels to the duchess when she marries, if ever. The duchess has rallied many dark elves to her from all over Gaeleth, and she uses their combined wealth to build inns run by dark elves, with the inns serving as local focuses for mercenaries, peace keepers, and weapons' training -- and the monies that funnel in going to finance the search for more dark elves. She is considered a 5th-level noble, 4th-level rogue.
Rial Mhenace: The head manager of Gideon Enterprises, he is probably the wealthiest man in all of the west. A master of information and information gathering, he single-handedly catapulted Gideon Enterprises a position of dominance in Rakore. (For more on Rial Mhenace, see the Fiction section on the Gaeleth main page.)
Duke Mrek Betheld'aa: Ruler of the Johnathon Hills, Duke Mrek has a deep hatred of the ogres. Some of his kobolds had relative friendships with the Stonehelm dwarves before the War of the Four Winds, and his duchy has contributed much to the remaining Stonehelm dwarves -- and in return, the Stonehelms have adopted their former foes. Duke Mrek is a veteran scout, thief, and insurgent against his former ogran masters -- having lost a horn and several hunks of flesh to an ogre that was 'teaching him a lesson'. He is a 4th-level rogue, 4th-level ranger, and 3rd-level fighter.
Duke Travandale Orcbane: Ruler of Hallis Island after the passing of Duke Henrik Kamus, the king obstensibly moved Duke Orcbane to Hallis Island to forcibly retire the aging dwarf, and hopefully remove him from active combat operations. Duke Orcbane served as the king's military advisor from the inception of Rakore, and led numerous assaults during the War of the Four Winds. Prior to that, he served as a war-band leader for many assaults against the undead, ograns, and even the elves in his youth. He lost a hand sometime after the War of the Undead, and had it replaced with a mithral fist. Duke Orcbane is perhaps the most decorated military and combat veteran in all Rakore. He is an experienced, tough, wise, charismatic, and gruff war vet that takes no duff from anyone, even the king. Duke Orcbane is an 18th-level fighter.
Duke Talon Bhramord: Once the archprelate of all Kur Maeth, Duke Talon led a rebellion against Kur Maeth in the midst of that nation's invasion of Rakore during the War of the Four Winds. For bringing over close to 150,000 Kur Maens to his side and aiding Rakore in its hour of darkest need, the former archprelate was given control over the bread-basket of Rakore -- the Janis Plains. Many of the defecting Kur Maens moved there, and Chasadan has become an enormous city in Rakore, second only to Kashin in size. Duke Talon is a 6th-level paladin armed with Mantle of Leadership and longswords of Kamus.
Because Rakorans have had to endure so many wars and campaigns, they are a nation of veterans. Regional feats include Alertness, Endurance, and Toughness. Rakore has also become a bastion of knowledge regarding the arcane arts, so regional feats also include Eschew Materials, Magical Aptitude and Spell Mastery for mages.