The Drowned City campaign
The Land of Breizh
The Wheel-spoke of the World
8. The Bleached Coast
10. The Holy Alathien Empire
11. The Great Windland Plain (The Rus’Hayla)
13. The Small Seas (The Southern Smalls, and the North Smalls)
14. The Bitter Sea
15. Lyonned Sound
16. The Elurian Sea
17. The Strait of Galtarra
18. The Turenean Narrows
Breizh is often called the Wheel-spoke of the world. It is a peninsular nation, ideally located between the Western Isles, the vast Southern Territories, and the Northern Lands. It’s climate, temperate along the north, in the province of Morvaine, grows warm through the midlands, and then hot along the southern coast – in the province of Lyonned. Such a variety of pleasant climes makes the Breizhon land ideal for agriculture, while the vast coastal stretches have made it long a desirable locale for traders, merchants, custom houses, fisherfolk, and travellers of all sorts. The long, sickle-shaped mountain range, known as the Southern Spine, barricades the south Breizhon border, and stretch across northern Eluria and Turene, splitting across to curve in a crescent, marking the eastern border of the Holy Alathien Empire. The peninsula allows the Breizhon folk to eschew overland shipping, and instead, make use of the seas to ship goods quicker and more effectively to a larger market.
While such a trade mecca makes Breizh an affluent nation, there is great disparity between the haves, and the have-nots. Taxes are high and much of them go to the tithe of the Holy Faith, that of Alath, the Elven God of Light, Order, and Purity, under who’s light the years are now counted (578 ULA – Under the Light of Alath).
The capital of Alath’s worship is in the Holy Alathien Empire, the neighbouring nation across the Small Sea. The Empire is passionate about their Lord, spreading his light and order across borders, purifying by word and by blade. Some would say that the Empire is an ally of Breizh. Others might say, quietly (very quietly), that it is an oppressor. The other taxes are split between the province, and the state – and by the state, we mean the whims of the impossibly spoiled Boy King, and his Regent, Winneril, the High Patriarch of the Alathien Faith within Breizh.
The faith is strong in Breizh, having come over the centuries by word and book and blade. There is not a town or village in the South East that does not have a temple (nor a crusade marked graveyard) though, the dangerous coasts of Morvaine are sparsely populated, and draw fewer priests. Lyonned, too, ever independent, is ambivalent (some might say just short of outright rebelliousness) to the faith. There is talk, though – rumours – of an inquisition being welcomed into the nation, to convert the unrighteous, and show them their true place in the Order. As the Missionaries say, “A place for everyone, and everyone in their place.”
There is no outright force that opposes the Faith, though many academics, and even a number of the nobility vie for a more separate Church and State, and smaller, older religious groups have moved more underground, or further into the far reaches – places like Morvaine and Lyonned. To oppose the Faith outright would bring war with the Alathien Empire, who would take it as an affront to not only their kingdom, but their God, and declare a crusade of righteousness. The peace grows uneasy as the tithe grows larger, and the Alathien forces, Paladin Priests, seem to grow ever in number, arriving on Breizhon shores in waves.
Withstanding the Alathien forces over land would be impossible. Their army is numerous and Breizh has never been a martial country – they are farmers, fishermen, explorers, and scholars. Their only militaristic strength is their navy, which accords with the empire have capped. This is not to say that there is not a resistance, swelling, like a wave, throughout the lands and seas of Breizh. Civil unrest roils just under the surface, and freedom fighting cells grow daily. Here and there, a transport of goods and food stuffs to the empire is stolen, sabotaged, spoiled, or poisoned. Priests are assaulted on roadways, and in the Small Seas, terror awaits.
The Lioness of Breizh, as she is known, is a legend. She leads the Black Fleet, a band of black warships that each fly a blood red sail, even before they drop the Jolly Roger. Whenever they board a ship, they behead the priests and the patriarchs first. The Lioness, Jeannezh Poldaggar, former Duchess, sold all her lands and titles to the provincial parliament, taking her money to buy six war ships, one for herself, and one for each of her children, all waging a war of piracy against the Faith and the King that had her husband, Rennart Poldaggar, beheaded for treason. Her rise has galvanized the freedom fighters, and now, their disconnected groups have begun to find leadership – they’ve even taken on a name as tribute – The Black Daggers.
If only the Black Daggers, and indeed, the Briezhon people they fight for, could find some way to cross the Bitter Sea, to make haste to their true ally, the island nation of Kernoweth, to plead for aid. Kernoweth and Breizh aren’t simply political allies – they’re cousins. Or they were, in the time before the Mother Sea became a perpetual squall of tempests and ghosts and ships wrecked and foundered. In the time before the city of Ys was drowned under the waves. Some say the sea turned bitter to spite the Princess that ruled there, Dahud, who refused to learn her place. Some say the sea weeps for her lost son, the Sailor God Llir, lost on stranger tides. But these are just tales…who’s to say what truth was lost when the sea turned to storms?
No one quite knows which nation populated which. Some say the Breizhons sailed across the Mother Sea to a land of plenty, and declared it good, and thus, began to live amongst the pastoral halflings and the Wildwood Elves, carving out villages, towns, and cities, and making Kernoweth home. Others claim that the Goddess of the seas, Mor, gave a vision of a shore to a Kernowickman blown off course, who reminded her of her son, Llir. There, the ship landed, and saw that the land was plenty and the weather was good, and thus, brought over his brothers and sisters to settle the land. Older tales still, say that Mor took pity on a Reef of dying Merrowfolk, and traded their fish tails for two feet and two legs, and bid them walk out of the sea to land, where they could live forever, with their Goddess, Mor, the Mother of the Seas, always between them. Back and forth, when the seas were kind, did the people travel, lashing the ties between the two lands strong as any rope.
Centuries have passed, but the memories of that friendship are kept warm in the hearts of Breizhon folk – and that hope. Even though the Bitter Sea has not once grown calm, nor the false allies of the Holy Alathien Empire ceased their stranglehold, as the seafarers say, no cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it.