Brevoy

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Brevoy
Brevoy.
(Nation)
Alignment Chaotic neutral
Capital New Stetven
Ruler King-Regent Noleski Surtova
Government Hereditary monarchy
Demonym Brevans, Issians, Rostlanders
Adjective Brevic
Languages Common, Draconic, Hallit, Skald, Varisian
Religions Abadar, Gorum, Pharasma
Images of Brevoy

Source: Stolen Land, pg(s). 60–67 (1E)
Lost Omens World Guide, pg(s). 26–28 (2E)

Brevoy (pronounced BRE-voy)[1] is a nation in far northeastern Avistan on the verge of tearing itself apart. The political entity known as Brevoy was once two vastly different nations locked in a constant state of war before being conquered by a foreign despot: Choral the Conqueror. After centuries under the rule of Choral and his descendants, they suddenly all disappeared, and Brevoy must now decide its own destiny.[2]

History

Brevoy is a relatively young nation, having only existed since 4499 AR. The history of Brevoy before this time is the history of two often-warring nations: Issia and Rostland. The coming of Choral the Conqueror changed all this.[3] After securing the defeat and surrender of the two nations, Choral christened his family House Rogarvia. Choral only ruled his new land for a decade before disappearing, leaving his descendants to rule, and using the threat of the conqueror's return and his fearsome dragon allies to maintain their power. The dragons seemingly disappeared after Brevoy's creation, but they returned once to lay siege to Skywatch, an observatory-cum-fortress held by those still loyal to Rostland.[4][5] The Rogarvians' rule ended with the mysterious disappearance of every member of House Rogarvia in 4699 AR (an event known as the Vanishing), leaving Brevoy's noble families to pick up the pieces and fall back into their centuries-old disagreements. Eventually House Surtova gained the upper hand and Noleski Surtova rules fragile Brevoy today.[3]

Legend of Choral's conquest

A legend concerning the arrival and conquest of Choral is told in Brevoy that enhances the real history. It tells that Choral arrived at Needle Lake, the current Lake Reykal, with a ragged band of soldiers and knights numbering just over three hundred. After his arrival he declared the creation of a new nation called Brevoy that would encompass much of the land that was then Issia and Rostland. This declaration was almost completely ignored by both nations as neither perceived Choral as a threat.[4] Rostland eventually had to deal with Choral when he began sending tax collectors from his settlement of New Stetven to force the citizens to support his usurping government. They sent a small army to deal with the proud warlord. Rostland's army seriously underestimated Choral's cunning, and their army walked into an ambush. They were lured into a river canyon south of New Stetven where Choral unleashed his secret red dragon allies. Their flames devastated the Rostlandic army trapped in the canyon with no way to escape and there were few survivors. After this, the dragons rampaged across much of Rostland proper, forcing its leaders to surrender within days. Seeing the devastation Choral caused in Rostland, the Issian lords surrendered immediately, declaring themselves to be a part of his new aristocracy.[4]

Actual history of conquest

The truth is that Choral arrived in Brevoy via crossing the Lake of Mists and Veils from Iobaria. There he met with Lord Nikos Surtova of Issia, who immediately surrendered in the face of his large army. In exchange, he and the rest of House Surtova were allowed to retain their prestige and possessions and became vassals to House Rogarvia. Only then did Choral turn his attention to Rostland and the Aldori swordlords, who did fall in much the same way as the legends recount.[6]

Geography

A geographical map of Brevoy and its neighbors. (Political map)

Brevoy is bordered to the west by wild Numeria, to the south by the unstable River Kingdoms, and to the east by Iobaria and the continent of Casmaron.[7] Its landscape differs markedly from north to south, and this change marks the old boundary between the kingdoms of old Issia and Rostland. The north is mostly rugged hills that are unsuitable for agriculture. South of the massive Gronzi Forest, the Rostland Plains are rolling fertile grassland and are the breadbasket of the entire nation.[8]

It can take days to travel between small settlements and longer between larger population clusters. Most of the towns and cities are located at the bases of mountains, along the lakes, or beside the riverways.[9]

Other important geographic features are the Lake of Mists and Veils, which forms Brevoy's northern border, and the Icerime Peaks on its eastern border with Old Iobaria.[8] Other points of interest include:

Rivers

Major rivers in Brevoy include the Awzera River that flows east into Lake Reykal across the lands of House Garess and House Lebeda, the East Sellen River that flows south out of the Icerime Peaks through the Gronzi Forest, into Lake Reykal and then down south past New Stetven into the River Kingdoms, and the Shrike River that flows west out of the Hills of Nomen, meets Restov, then flows south through the Stolen Lands, finally joining with the East Sellen River in the River Kingdoms.[8]

Government

House Rogarvia ruled Brevoy for exactly 200 years, until the entire family vanished in the middle of the winter of 4699 AR. No evidence was found to indicate why or how they disappeared. The country is currently ruled by King Noleski Surtova of House Surtova, who issued a public declaration of his ascent to the throne on 21 Kuthona, 4699 AR, due to his being of the line of Nikos Surtova and Myrna Rogarvia.[11][12] At his side sits his sister, Natala Surtova, who reigns as an unofficial Queen, ostensibly only until the bachelor—King Noleski—marries, something which the populace has been hoping he will do. The monarch lives in the Ruby Fortress and sits on the Dragonscale Throne.[citation needed]

House Surtova has only maintained its rule by allying with former enemies and using fear of the return of House Rogarvia as a tool to unite Brevoy and its seven noble families. Most of Issia supported the ascension, but Rostland has done so reluctantly.[6] Still, some Houses, such as House Orlovsky, only acknowledge Noleski as reigning Lord Regent and diplomatic relations are growing tense.[13] Increasingly, it appears that Brevoy is on the verge of collapsing back into two separate nations.[4][14] To try and prevent this, Noleski created the Dragonscale Loyalists, a group of hand picked agents whose duty is to flush out traitors and conspirators amongst the noble courts of Brevoy.[15]

Noble families

Many of Brevoy's noble families can trace their lineage back before the invasion of Choral the Conqueror. Others were barbarians, raiders, or pirates who were elevated to nobility for pledging fealty to the Conqueror.[16] Males lead each house, with the eldest son inheriting his father's titles and estates. Other sons may receive something, but there is no law that requires this to be significant. Women can be regents for male heirs until they turn 15 and regents often work behind the scenes to influence the lord. Noble families are relatively large, with most preferring to ensure at least two sons. Since Brevoy's founding, there have been a lot of marriages of alliance among the major houses.[17] Today, the seven major houses are:[16]

A recent alliance between House Surtova and House Lebeda, which would have symbolically united Rostland (Lebeda) and Issia (Surtova), fell apart when Natala Surtova accused Lord Lander Lebeda of treason.[10]

Military

Brevoy's military is organised into several regiments, called Talon Armies, most of whom are located in Issia.[18] The Crown Knights are the nation's finest cavalry and the Stetven Shield serves the capital as its home guard. The mercenary hill folk known as the Company of the Red Claw are also loyal to the throne. King Surtova may call on other noble houses to provide trained soldiers and peasant conscripts as well as the naval power of privateers from Port Ice.[19]

Foreign relations

Relations between governments (such as they are) in this part of northern Avistan are limited. Brevoy and Mendev maintain diplomatic ties with one another, but Brevoy only has basic, nominal dies with Numeria, Razmiran, or the fractured River Kingdoms. The Brevic government has ranged from being unwelcoming to openly hostile to Razmiran's attempts to spread its faith beyond its borders, as Razmir's priests are known to foment civil unrest wherever they go.[20]

Economy

Being so far north, winters are long and harsh. The short spring and summer seasons require the populace to farm and fish just enough to keep food on the table.[21] Brevoy's only extensive arable land lies in Rostov and is one of the major exporter of foodstuffs in the region.[22] Issia's sailors control most trade and keep most of the profits for themselves. This has generated considerable resentment among the Rostlanders, who seek to have the wealth distributed more equally. The Issians counter that their ships and trade agreements generate most of the nation's wealth, and argue that those profits need to be "reinvested" in their fleets, lest they are overtaken by foreign competitors.[10] Cloth, books, finished goods, and spices are Brevoy's main imports, while common exports include copper, fur, fish and shellfish, grain, iron, salt, and timber.[23][22] Stone for building is uncommon, so most buildings are constructed from wood; the few notable exceptions include the Ruby Fortress and the Bulwark of Gorum.[17]

The closing of the Worldwound in 4718 AR at the end of the Fifth Mendevian Crusade has increased trade along the Lake of Mists and Veils, and the need to resettle the formerly demon-plagued land has driven up the demand for Brevoy's seed stock and hardy livestock. The Whispering Tyrant's ascent in the Gravelands and relocation to the Isle of Terror in Lake Encarthan has also had a positive economic effect on Brevoy, as it has driven much of the trade away from that formerly busy waterway and toward the Sellen River, which originates in Brevoy.[10]

Inhabitants

The peasants of Brevoy are the largest part of the population and owe taxes and fealty to one of the house lords. Their life consists of working from dawn to dusk, farming if they live in Rostland, and either fishing or mining if they live in Issia. The man of the house may visit the local tavern in the evening. During the winter when fishing or farming cannot be done, household chores fill the days. The peasants try to live simply, support their families, and avoid the notice of nobles and priests.[24]

Taldan humans, many descended from early explorers, make up most of Brevoy's population,[25][26] but the nation's broad cultural tolerance results in many ethnicities calling Brevoy home. This includes lost Kellid clans from bordering Numeria[27] and descended from Choral the Conqueror's armies,[25] migrating Varisians passing through,[28][25] and Chelaxian, Keleshite, Tian, and Ulfen visitors and outcasts. Brevoy also hosts notable populations of dwarves (particularly in Brunderton), half-elves, half-orcs, and halflings.[25]

The closing of the Worldwound and the end of the Mendevian Crusades has brought idle warriors to Brevoy. Many of them have signed up as mercenaries for the great houses or begun to study with the Aldori swordlords. These soldiers often are traumatized by their experiences fighting demons and can be quite prone to violence, adding to Brevoy's already volatile national mood.[10]

Languages

Having received waves of migration from all over Avistan, the people of Brevoy speak a large number of languages depending on their own ethnicity. These include Hallit, Skald, Varisian, and of course the common language of that part of the world, Taldane. Strangely, a significant minority of people also speak Draconic, which is quite unusual for non-dragons to be conversant in.[21]

Religion

Abadar is the most unifying religious force in Brevoy. Many respect him and all have interactions with his followers each time they travel to the markets. Merchants and tradespeople are Abadar's most diligent worshipers in Brevoy, and his temples are places of trade and justice. Those who bear Abadar's golden key are often given recognition as neutral arbiters or judges.[23]

Gorum's household priests often serve Brevoy's nobility and often walk around dressed in gaudy dark red tabards.[23]

Pharasma is most beloved by Brevoy's common people. Her clerics are are the least pretentious and serve as midwives, healers, and mortician-monks.[23]

Although Abadar, Gorum, and Pharasma are the most commonly revered gods, Erastil is sometimes worshiped in more rural areas and scattered Lamashtan cults tenaciously endure crusades to exterminate them.[29]

References

Paizo published a major article about Brevoy in Stolen Land.

For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 246. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 50–51. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 51. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 27–28. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3
  5. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 53. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  6. 6.0 6.1 Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  7. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 25. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 66–67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  9. Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 65. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 26-28. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  11. Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 60. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6 The declaration is presented as its in-universe text and might be an unreliable source.
  12. Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 64. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  13. Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 64–65. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  14. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 66–67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  15. Isabelle Lee, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, and Jacob W. Michaels. (2017). Heroes of the High Court, p. 24. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-920-2
  16. 16.0 16.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 52. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  17. 17.0 17.1 Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 62. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  18. F. Wesley Schneider. (2010). Beyond Kingmaker. Sound of a Thousand Screams, p. 57. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-253-1
  19. Richard Pett. (2010). Sound of a Thousand Screams. Sound of a Thousand Screams, p. 62–63. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-253-1
  20. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 33. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  21. 21.0 21.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  22. 22.0 22.1 Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 29. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 62–63. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  24. Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 63. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 James Jacobs, Mark Moreland, & F. Wesley Schneider. (2010). Kingmaker Player's Guide, p. 4–5. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  26. Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 47. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2
  27. Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 35. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2
  28. Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 59. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2
  29. Steve Kenson. (2010). Brevoy. Stolen Land, p. 62. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6