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HISTORY:

Not much is known about the ancient history of the land now known as Chumera. There are legends that the land was once ruled by a wise Giant-King, and myths that it used to be part of an advanced civilization that fell to ruin.

About 350 years ago, nomads travelled into this region and found ruins of ancient civilizations. They used these ruins as the foundation of a new kingdom of humans. However, the kingdom was not to last, due to the Great Goblin Wars. At this time the Hill Dwarves were forced to withdraw to their mountain cousin's land in the Rusty Mountains, with a group of Bjorn-Serkres dwarves (including Flint Fireforge I) holding the enemy line during the retreat. Rockholme was formed at this time.

Also at this time a powerful evil wizard named Mangar appears again and the Druidic Council is formed to contain him in what is now known as Mangar's Wood.

Tyr, a LG wargod, begins to become the prevelant god, replacing the older gods like Clanggedin in the dwarven community, as well as some of the stranger and more pagean gods (Moander, Sheeba), and the death-god Zebu.

About 100 years ago, a benevolent wizard named Chumley began the process of restoring the human civilization. He Established Roesh as his capital. He Discovered that the southern Lukan cities are fairly well developed despite the Goblin Wars (It was later learned that the enigma Sheelba of the Eyeless Face was occupying Sorcerer's Isle and had been defending the area through its agents Regan the Explorer and Macros the Black, but the Lukans were and are unaware of this and still fear the isle).

About 35 years ago The demon Hutijin appears in the form of a Giant Pumpkin, forces Chumley into exile, conqueres remaining cities. Yokel is last to fall.

Balin the Brave (from Yokel) (Flint Fireforge II (from Betaya), Shelia (Nara), Kurgan (Chutney) attempt to overthrow Great Pumpkin for Chumley. All but Kurgan are slaughtered by Hutijin's minions after gaining a piece of an ancient Kopru artifact that allows passage through a part of Mangar's Training Ground. Kurgan commits suicide shortly afterwards.

Sebastion the Bard, an adventurer during Chumley's reign, completes his 16 volume epic The Alkarinque ("Glorius", in old High Elvish). The 1st 6 books deal with the ancient history and lore that Sebastion discovered during his quests, the next 8 deal with Sebastion's own adventures, and the last 2 books chronicle events contempory to his time, specifically the coming of Hutijin and an adventure Sebastion had late in life with Balin the Brave's party.

About 25 years ago, Lord Phantar's party (along with Beeblebrox, Eldric, Thorin, Zartan, Sir Robert,and Tymothi) begin where Balin's group left off. Lord Phantar defeated Hutijin's army, and established as King. After a disastrous campaign into a city of Drow elves deep beneath the earth, the party disbanded. The details of the events in the Underworld have never been fully disclosed, though many rumors abound.

Lord Phantar returned (with Thorin, the maimed dwarven cleric of Tyr) to the city of Roesh to be crowned king of the land now named Chumera (in recognition of Chumley).

Beeblebrox, finding Sheelba (no longer needed after the defeat of Hutijin) gone, occupied Sorcerer's Isle.

Eldric returned to the Elven kingdom and begins a rebellion against the Elf-Queen Morwyn.

Zartan returned to his home in the Great Desert.

Phantar's reign has seen a time of increasing peace as his organized patrols of knights keep the land free of roaming monsters and discourage invaders.

Trade routes were established with the dwarven nation of Rockholme in the southeastern Rusty mountains as well as with the human kingdom of Candonia, located across the Endless Sea (which has been discovered to have at least one end, to the Southwest) have resulted in an increased prosperity, as well.

About 5 years ago, a new group of heroes appeared to repell an invasion by a wizard named Skarda. This battle and other exploits were chronicled in the Songs of Lashtal, now a tavern favorite.

CURRENT EVENTS AND RUMORS:

  1. The Knights of Phantar have always maintained the peace in Chumera, keeping the cities and villages free from the plagues of monsters and bandits. Recently, the seem to have disappeared. Travelling at night has become increasingly dangerous. First, anyone travelling in large numbers was being attacked by enemies unknown. Soon it became unsafe to travel even alone. Many have been killed; many more have been injured, but none have been able to identify their attackers. During the daytime everything appears perfectly normal, and so far no towns have been attacked, but people are terrified. Because of this, trade and communication has been breaking down. The communities on the outskirts of Chumera, those more than a day's travel from other towns, have been cut-off completely. Those closer to each other are still trading, but people are becoming more and more isolated. The Kingdom of Chumera is being broken apart, and no one know why or how to stop it. This situation has been referred to as the Troubles.

  2. Farmers have been finding large areas of their cropland burned. The fires do not seem to be natural, nor do they seem to have been caused by human arsonists. Vague rumors regarding a huge beast of fire (possibly a dragon?) have been heard.

  3. Bad batches of iron distributed from the Dwarven city of Rockholme have been pointed to as evidence that the Dwarves are planning on attacking Chumera by sabotaging their weapon supply. People who point out that the Dwarves have always been strong allies of Lord Phantar are accused of being traitors. In this time of fear, everything is uncertain.

  4. Prior to the recent Troubles, Lord Phantar had increased the number of Knight Patrols in Chumera. Some people attribute that to the strange burnings in the rural areas, and other use it as evidence that Rockholme is indeed threatening war. Certain elements in South Luka consider this the next logical step for a fascist self-appointed ruler. Others simply point to the fact that, with several exploration expeditions returning from their campaigns, there were more soldiers available at home and Phantar is using this opportunity to further stabilize the kingdom. Now, however, the Knight of Phantar seem to have disappeared altogether.

  5. Expeditions into the Great Desert south of the Rusty Mountains are failing to return. Legend has it that a member of the party that defeated Hutijin was a desert dweller named Zartan, who originally came north seeking the aid of the wizard Chumley regarding some problem at home. He met up with Phantar's group and agreed to help them free their land in return for their help afterwards. After the disaster in the Underworld, rumor states that Zartan returned to his homeland alone. Soon after establishing himself as king, Phantar sent the first group of Knights, accompanied by some ambitious merchants, to the south. As time went on, the expeditions became larger and more militaristic in nature (which was problematic, since the armies had to travel through South Luka on their way to the pass through the Rusty Mountains), but none have ever reported back.

ORGANIZATIONS:

Mage's Guild. The Mage's Guild is a newly formed organization of magic-users dedicated to a better understanding of the mystic arts. Much mystery still surrounds the intentions and motives of the guild, though they seem to have no worldly goals, concentrating instead on the development of sorcery. While the average person is intimidated by the presence of the guild, it is currently the standard for magic-users to be members; indeed it is very difficult to become apprenticed to a non-guild magician. Guild members have the benefits of rich libraries, peer support, spell components, and free accommodations in any guild-house in the kingdom. Non-guild members are ostracized. The main office of the guild is in Betaya, though there is a guild house in all major cities and most of the towns and villages in Chumera.

Banker's Federation. Under the stable economy provided for by Lord Phantar's reign, a group of ambitious moneylenders have formed a system where it is possible for a traveler to deposit an amount of money in a bank at one city, for which they would receive a receipt that they can cash at any other bank in the kingdom (for a nominal fee, of course). All medium to large cities have banks except for South Luka.

Lord Phantar's Knights of the Realm. Phantar's elite army, populated by fighters and led by paladins of Tyr, is the primary cause of stability in the realm. Many young warriors apply to become members of the Knights, lured either by the high pay, the prestige, the adventure, or out of a genuine desire to do good for the community. Only the most promising applicants who also show a strong devotion to Tyr are accepted. The rest have the opportunity to join Phantar's minutemen (a regiment of "on-call" soldiers who live in their hometowns and receive a small supplemental salary, but are able to be drafted, should the need occur. Minutemen have only been activated twice in Phantar's 20 year reign, during goblin raids.).

Thieves Guild The Thieves Guild is spoken of only in hushed whispers. They are a shadowy organization that has its tendrils in all the larger towns and cities in Chumera. No one knows their true purpose, and members of the Thieves Guild have a way of disappearing from dungeons before they can be interrogated.

Druidic Circle The Druids are mystics that are sworn to protect nature. They are often at odds with plans to develop Chumeran cities as they have the means to prevent forests from being cut down and mines from being dug. Lord Phantar has thusfar avoided a confrontation with the Druidic Circle because many of Chumerans citizens still follow their pagan ways.

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Roesh. The political and religious capital of Chumera, Roesh houses both Lord Phantar's castle and High Priest Thorin's Temple of Tyr.

Betaya. Chumera's economic capital and the largest city in Chumera. Betaya benefits from being at the mouth of the Logsend River, and from trade with the Kingdom of Candonia across the Endless Sea. Betaya also is the home of the main branch of the newly established Mage's Guild.

Sabael. A logging town that has developed from a small village into a fair-sized town based on wood trade with Candonia. Sabael also has the historical significance of being the hometown of Lord Phantar and several original members of his band.

Endripor Woods. A large range of natural woodlands that is the source of Sabael's logging. Under Phantar's supervision, and the careful eyes of the Druidic Circle, the loggers are mindful of how much forest is mined during a year, and spend as much time planting as they do cutting.

Mangar's Wood. The almost perfect circle of woodland that signifies Mangar's Wood is but the first sign of the mystical nature of this area. Legend states that Mangar was a powerful magician (or possibly druid) in an era prior to the coming of Hutijin who may have been immortal. Eventually the Druidic Circle bound the wizard's life-force into the forest itself, creating the enchanted woods that exist today. Most humans avoid this area, as, while it is not malicious in nature, it is dangerous.

It should be noted that the Epic of Lord Phantar began when a lieutenant of Hutijan's made Endripor Woods un-minable, forcing the residents of Sabael to look towards Mangar's Wood to sustain themselves.

Yokel. A city most known for the impressive keep whose defenses made it the last bastion of resistance during Hutijin's reign. The architecture of Yokel is ancient, the remnants of a civilization that existed many centuries ago. The people of this city are proud of their heritage and they are formidable fighters.

North Luka. A fishing city. Also significant for being one of the few areas that iron is available in decent quantities outside of the Rusty Mountains.

South Luka. A city on the outskirts of Chumera whose economy is also based on the Luka sea, as well as mining in the Rusty Mountains. There are patriotic factions in South Luka that consider themselves independent of Chumera and Phantar's rule, though no overt actions have been made. Phantar is in the difficult situation of not wanting to place too much of a military presence in this region in respect for the patriot's feeling of independence, but not wanting to place too few a presence in order that he could be accused of neglect. This is an especially tricky issue due to South Luka's location: being on the outskirts of the kingdom and close to the Rusty Mountains, there is a notable presence of mountain tribes of demi-humans such as goblins and ogres, as well as other monsters, who have occasionally attempted raids on the city.

Pumpkin Ruins. The ruined castle where Lord Phantar's band defeated Hutijin in his "Great Pumpkin" guise, freeing the land from his rule. The spoiled land surrounding the castle, often referred to as "The Waste", is slowly being reclaimed by the natural environment, but the area is still a dangerous land, full of warped beasts. This area is avoided by the human and demi-human populations, and while Phantar has ordered his soldiers to keep monsters from exiting the wastelands, the knights do not patrol the swamps themselves.

Sorcerer's Isle. After whatever disaster occurred in the Underworld and Phantar's party dissipated, Mym Beeblebrox the Destroyer, accompanied by the golem known as Vain, traveled directly to this island in the Luka Sea, and occupied the tower that former housed Sheelba, a mysterious entity that by all accounts abandoned the realm after Hutijin's defeat. Beeblebrox, apparently driven mad by revelations regarding his origin, has terrified the residents of North and South Luka with the sounds and lights caused by whatever insane experiments he performs. Lord Phantar has issued statements that no action will be taken against Mym unless he threatens the kingdom in any way, and that citizens are to stay clear of the island.

Nara Forest. This deep forest is the residence of the Elven community. Morwyn Nara-le, the Queen of the elves, is an isolationist who does not wish more contact with Chumera than necessary. However, she is also a practical leader and has formed a strategic alliance with Phantar. Envoys are occasionally sent to Roesh in order to keep the alliance strong, but no humans know the exact location of the elven city. While there are no laws preventing humans from entering the forest, Phantar has made it known that his knights do not patrol there, and therefore his subjects enter at their own risk.

Adding to the potential danger is the fact that the elves have been experiencing a civil war for over 20 years. Eldric, a former member of Phantar’s adventuring party was, according to some rumors, betrayed by the group. Eldric left the band and returned to Nara to find that his homeland was not to his liking. He then organized a rebellion, but was defeated. Eldric and his followers were exiled from the elven kingdom, but continue their struggle against Morwyn. It is not known to the human community just what it is that Eldric is fighting for.

Fenraesh Swamp. The murky wetlands of Fenraesh are the eastern-most terrain that have been charted by the subjects of Chumera. Explorers have reported that the Logsend becomes increasingly murky and swamp-like as one moves up-river, making extended travels nearly impossible. As the land is not suitable for settlement by humans, there has not been a pressing desire to push further east. Additionally, the Fenraesh is the home of several tribes of lizard-men and human barbarians. The tribes often skirmish with each other, largely over territory; however, all are united when it comes to keeping humans out. It is rumored that a lizard-man once was a member of Lord Phantar's group, and it is certainly true that Phantar has made several entreaties to the tribes asking for trade and a strategic alliance. The Lizard-men chieftains, while promising no hostilities towards the humans as long as they are left alone, have refused his proposals.

Rockholme.The dwarvern kingdom of Rockholme is Chumera's strongest friend. Rockholme, through trade, is Chumera's primary source of minerals, including iron (Chumera in return trades wood, cloth, and certain types of gems not available in the Rusty Mountains, as well as crafted goods), and is also their main military ally: the two kingdoms' armies have curtailed several invasions of goblins and ogres. By extension, dwarves are well loved by the people of Chumera. The known entrance to Rockholme is in a protrusion of the Rusty Mountains to the south of Sabael; there are undoubtedly other entrances hidden in the mountain range.

Stuvel This small village in the hills of Nomadica, along the shore of the Endless Sea, is notable in that it was deliberately created as an integrated settlement. Halflings, Dwarves, Gnomes, Elves, Humans, and others all live there peacefully. Derided by some and seen as a mere curiousity by most, the village is the product of a far-sighted Gnome priest named Tulkrent. While it is within to borders of Chumera, Tulkrent has ruled the village without pledging allegiance to Lord Phantar. To date, Phantar has tolerated this, but as the village continues to grow, there are some that say that the King can not allow independent cities to appear within his borders without causing unrest.

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