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Aundair

“All folk of the brightest realm, wave the flag for victory!
Build the walls high that none can harm a land so free!
Aundair is on the move! hold your standard high!
March on! March on!
Aundair strives on until victory is ours!”


-March of Tensin, Aundair’s national anthem


Aundair is a land of earth and sky. On the ground, common folk plow fields and raise crops, toiling to make the land’s villages and communities thrive. The nation’s fields and vineyards are among the most bountiful in all Khorvaire, tended by the same families for generations. Although the nation’s largest cities attract traders and adventurers from across the continent, most of its citizens live a simple, rural existence. Yet for all their earthy wisdom, idealists inspire the citizens of Aundair, including the nation’s arcane mages.

Cynics scoff that powerful wizards act as the power behind the throne of Queen Aurala, but there is little evidence that the arcane has an undue influence on the crown. While the nation utilizes master mages for its defense, the common folk are quite capable of defending themselves. They are steadfast, trusting to what they know, what they can make, and what they can defend by themselves. The trials of the last century have only strengthened their resolve. Without magic, the average Aundairian works long and hard to succeed. With it, she is even stronger.

While the nation has orders of knighthood, militias drafted from the common folk bolster its standing armies. This is as much out of tradition as necessity—large and extended families are common, and any threat of danger can bring distant relations running to help. When war looms, young men and women gather in the fields to train with simple and martial weapons. Like a thunderstorm rolling across the plains, a noble’s call to battle can marshal armies overnight, mustering commoners willing to fight and die for their land and queen.

When the martial wizards of Arcanix, the Starpeaks Observatory, and other secluded schools emerge from their studies, their combined force is undeniable. Enemy tacticians can prepare for an assault against an Aundairian army, but predicting the ways of wizards is far more difficult. To this day, wizards, sorcerers, magewrights, and artificers are held in high esteem.

The influence of wizardry and sorcery has fostered respect for intellect and wit here. From commoners to kings, most Aundairians have strong opinions and enjoy a spirited debate. A typical peasant may possess an encyclopedic knowledge of local and natural lore, while a lord or lady can often regale listeners with local history. Although labor offers its own rewards, the average Aundairian believes that intellect and dedication can overcome nearly any problem. Magic merely empowers and exemplifies these traits. In fact, respect for quick wits and intellectual discipline may very well be one of the reasons so many talented wizards come from this country.

Aundair, the land of wizards in floating castles, ivy-covered universities, fragrant vineyards, and golden wheat fields, struggles to reclaim past glories in the wake of The Last War. The nation isn’t what it once was, having lost land and people to the Eldeen Reaches while trading territory with Thrane. Still, it is a proud land, full of proud people, led by a proud and ambitious queen. The common folk of this largely agrarian country stand fast to defend their land, valuing wit and bravado and demonstrating a powerful connection to knowledge and magic.

Life and Society

Aundair’s citizens consist mainly of farmers, scholars, and magewrights. Rural farmland covers much of the countryside. Occasionally enough people gather in one place to form a town or village, but only a few cities disturb the tranquility of life throughout the nation. The life of Aundair’s farmers hasn’t changed much over the centuries. They continue to use their sweat and magic to till the land, coaxing crops from ground rich in nutrients.

Central Aundair, from Ghalt in the south to Wyr in the north, is wine country. Vineyards stretch in all directions, producing a variety of grapes used to make Aundair’s signature wines, many of which demand premium prices in markets as far away as Sharn and Vedykar. Much of Aundair enjoys a temperate climate, punctuated by long, hot, fairly dry summers with generally mild winters. The upper reaches of Aundair, north of the Starpeaks, have longer, stormier winters and shorter, cooler summers. Storms regularly roll in from Eldeen Bay to pound northern Audair before sliding across Scions Sound and into eastern Khorvaire.

Small monasteries dot the countryside, in which monks devoted to any number of gods or belief systems spend time in quiet meditation and study. The warrior-monks of the Monastery of Orla-un, located on the edge of the village of Wyr, for example, are as famed for the sweet, dark Orla-un wine as they are for their doctrine of strong minds and stronger bodies.

House Orien maintains a number of major trade roads throughout Aundair, as well as Lightning Rail extensions that connect Fairhaven and Passage to Thrane and Breland. In addition, smaller roads and paths riddle the countryside, making travel throughout Aundair relatively smooth and easy.

Structure

Queen Aurala, a direct descendant of Wrogar son of Jarot, rules the Aundairian monarchy; her family has held the crown since the start of the Last War and the shattering of Galifar. Aundair suffered more than some and less than others did during the Last War, but in general the nation enjoys a relatively safe and idyllic existence. Aurala continues to receive the support and confidence of her vassal lords, and most of the common people adore her.

Beneath the royal family, a wealthy group of nobles oversees tracts of land partitioned to them by the crown. Some of these noble families go back to the days of a united Galifar and continue to oversee the land afforded them by the Galifar king. Others are newer, granted title and privilege due to actions undertaken during the Last War . Aurala works hard to maintain the trust and support of her nobles, for they continue to provide the troops and taxes needed to keep Aundair safe and prosperous in this new age of peace. Aurala also enjoys the counsel of the Arcane Congress, a remnant of the original council of wizards created by King Galifar as the royal answer to the Twelve of the dragonmarked houses.

Geography

After the Treaty of Thronehold, Aundair is a third of its original size, shaped like a right facing hook. The nation’s west border touches the Eldeen Reaches at the Wynarn River, though it used to touch the Icehorn Mountains. To the north, the Eldeen Bay is fed by the Bitter Sea, across which sits Frostfell. To the south, Silver Lake continues the western border, and the mining mountains of Breland separate those two countries, while Thrane makes up its contentious southeastern border (the Starpeaks being a natural buffer). To the east, Scions Sound is the natural border between the nation and Karrnath (it used to be crossed by the White Arch Bridge, destroyed during the Last War).

History

Before there was a Galifar, the human settlement that would eventually become Aundair grew up along the northwestern shore of Scions Sound, in the approximate location of modern-day Thaliost . In fact, that city carries the original name of the nation as a reminder of its beginnings. It wasn’t until later, as the nation spread to the west, that Fairhaven became its capital.

When Galifar ir’Wynarn united the Five Nations and formed his kingdom, an unprecedented age of peace and prosperity began. He started the tradition of giving each of his eldest scions one of the Five Nations to govern. His eldest daughter, Aundair, was given control of the nation that within a generation had adopted her name as its own (initially “Aundair’s realm” but soon shortened to just “Aundair”).

During the reign of Galifar’s last king, Wrogar governed the nation. King Jarot’s fourth child, Wrogar was a huge bear of a man who enjoyed the rugged lifestyle of Aundair’s countryside as much as he loved poring through the libraries and other depositories for books of history and religion. When Jarot died, Wrogar initially supported his sister Mishann’s claim to the throne (Mishann ruled Cyre at the time), but that wasn’t enough to keep the kingdom together. Soon, the Last War touched even distant Aundair.

Postwar Aundair

Aundair spent most of the Last War in battles against Karrnath and Thrane, and those nations remain rivals to this day. The Treaty of Thronehold established Scions Sound as the border between Aundair and Karrnath, and the two nations eye each other warily over coastlines that bristle with defenses. At any given time, most of the Aundairian Navy’s flotillas are patrolling Scions Sound and Eldeen Bay, keeping a close eye on their Karrnathi counterparts.

Aundairians keenly feel the loss of the Thaliost region in the east, which wound up in Thrane's hands after the Treaty of Thronehold. Many Aundairians mutter that Thaliost is “Aundair’s by heritage” and believe that Queen Aurala's diplomats capitulated too easily. Other Aundairians point out that Thrane's Army of the Northern Crusade was camped in Thaliost when the treaty was signed (and have been in control of the region, for the most part, since 977 YK), so it’s not surprising that Thrane wound up with this chunk of land. Aundair would very much like to reclaim Thaliost—through either diplomatic or military means.
  The loss of territory on the western border also continues to haunt Aundair and its leaders. Forty years ago, the nation lost two-thirds of its land mass and a fifth of its people when the Eldeen Reaches declared independence. Periodic efforts during the Last War to reclaim “Western Aundair” met with bloody failure, and a low-intensity guerrilla war still wages between the Aundair army’s border garrisons and the people of the Eldeen Reaches.
  Despite the loss of territory, Aundair has strengths that match its strategic ambitions. Aundair’s army and navy are slowly rebuilding from their low point at the end of the war, and periodic saber-rattling about “liberating Thaliost” ensures a steady stream of young recruits. The Arcane Congress provides the country with access to arcane magic that often exceeds that available anywhere outside the dragonmarked houses. Moreso than any other nation, Aundair integrates arcane magic into its military efforts—from the magic missile-casting sorcerer attached to an infantry squad and the artificer-built arcane weaponry, to the summoned creatures and earthshaking spells of mighty wizards. This arcane potency is enough to make any enemy think twice before clashing with Aundair.

Agriculture & Industry

Aundair produces a great number of agricultural products, both for use within the nation and as imports for trade. Cereals, grains, vegetables, and wines from the Aundair countryside are considered among the best in all of Khorvaire. The cities of Aundair contain great centers of learning that at least equal the colleges and universities of Zilargo, and the arcane institutes might exceed those found anywhere else on the continent. For this reason, magewrights, artificers, and wizards trained in Aundair demand the highest pay scale compared to those trained in most other traditions.

All of the dragonmarked houses maintain emporiums and outposts throughout Aundair. Two houses, Lyrandar and Orien, make their headquarters in the nation. House Lyrandar's matriarch sits in the northern island city of Stormhome, while the patriarch of House Orien runs the family conglomerate from the city of Passage, which rises from the eastern shore of Lake Galifar.

Religion

Most of the people of Aundair follow the teachings of the Silver Flame or worship the Sovereign Host, particularly the gods Arawai, Aureon, and Olladra.

Sometimes a minor cult attains popularity for a brief time in Fairhaven, and churches devoted to other gods can be found there.

Foreign Relations

Today, Aundair maintains an uncomfortable peace with its neighbors. Still reeling from the loss of the western two-thirds of its lands (and almost a fifth of its citizens) to the now-independent Eldeen Reaches, Aurala reluctantly seeks to find common ground with the various factions living to the west of the Wynarn River and Lake Galifar.
  Tensions between Aundair and Thrane remain high due to events of the Last War while the two kingdoms struggle to establish additional treaties and agreements that will wear down the underlying animosities. Breland and Aundair have mostly gotten along throughout the course of the Last War. Except for a handful of skirmishes and one major confrontation with Breland as the century-long conflict rolled on, the two nations have been neutral to friendly toward one another. Karrnath, sitting across Scions Sound from Aundair’s northeastern border, has made the most aggressive overtures for lasting peace since the end of the war. Aurala doesn’t trust Karrnath or its leaders, and she has her own secret ambitions concerning the fate of the Five Nations.
  Aundair maintains an active diplomatic presence throughout the nations of Khorvaire. On one hand, the Queen and her ministers claim to seek ways to better cement the fragile peace created by the Treaty of Thronehold. On the other, Aurala uses the guise of diplomatic missions to further her own plans and intrigues among the recognized nations of Khorvaire. Here are where things stand between Aundair and its neighbors.

Breland

Early in the Last War, Aundair and Breland engaged in savage battles. Eventually, in an effort to protect the core of the nation, Aundair pulled back its forces and left the western territories to fend for themselves. After losing these territories to the Eldeen Reaches, Aundair sought to come to terms with Breland. The two even became allies at times, so today relations remain warm between the two nations. Neither country’s ruler trusts the other, however, so it would be an exaggeration to call the two nations friends.
  Breland has the size, power, and resources to stand more or less on its own, and this makes Queen Aurala envious and more than a little angry. She hates that such potential has been wasted on the boorish Brelish and their idealistic, naïve ruler, Boranel. Still, Aundair could not long withstand a concentrated attack from the south, so Aurala (like her parents and grand parents before her) continues to make nice and cultivate as peaceful a relationship as possible with the ancient bear of a man who rules Breland .
  It isn’t Boranel and his grand plan for peace that really concerns Aurala. She is more worried about what happens after the Old Bear dies. A kingless Breland (for she has heard the talk of democracy that bounces around the Brelish Parliament) could be as bad for Aundair as an ambitious king, though few of Boranel’s scions seem to have support or even a modicum of the Old Bear’s charisma. She has ordered her ambassadors to play both ends of the spectrum, and has even begun to engage in secret negotiations with Lord Ruken ir’Clarn, a vocal opponent of Boranel’s policies who seems to have ambitions and schemes that Aurala not only understands, but respects as well.

Cyre

Immediately after the Day of Mourning, the few Cyran refugees who reached Aundair were turned away at the border; Aundairian officials didn’t know whether the events of that day would (or could) be repeated, but wanted nothing to do with Cyre or the Day of Mourning. Aundair’s unstated diplomatic policy is to support the formation of a new Cyran state, as long as it takes root far from the Aundair border.

Today, no Cyran ambassador maintains an embassy in Fairhaven. Instead, the ambassador and her family reside in the House Cannith enclave in Passage while she tries to sort out which of the nobles and royal heirs still living in the various Cyran refugee camps scattered about have authority to provide her with a new diplomatic mission. For her part, Queen Aurala ignores the ambassador and usually refuses to see either her or any Cyrans representing the small clusters of survivors now nestled in the other nations.

Eldeen Reaches

Aundair has no ongoing diplomatic relations with the various factions of the Eldeen Reaches. It periodically sends emissaries to Oalian the druid or to the Wardens of the Wood seeking their cooperation in trade or border controls, but such missions are always rebuffed.

While diplomatic missions usually fail (and to be honest, Aurala doesn’t want to recognize “the renegades to the west,” as she calls them), the Royal Eyes of Aundair run many successful espionage missions, as well as missions geared toward fomenting unrest within the “renegade” nation.

Karrnath

Some of the most brutal battles of the Last War were fought between Aundair and Karrnath. Many of these conflicts took place along the waterways of Scions Sound, Eldeen Bay, and Karrn Bay, where the naval forces of the two countries clashed over and over again. As the last decade of the war played out, Aundair found its navy reduced to a handful of ships relegated to defensive patrols close to home, beaten back by both Karrnathi and Thrane warships.

Despite the anger and even hatred that many Aundairians feel toward Karrnath, diplomatic activities between the two countries are at their highest point since before the start of the Last War. Kaius III and his ambassadors continue to extend the hand of friendship and make aggressive overtures regarding treaties and reparations, and Aurala listens politely and exchanges diplomats while nurturing her own plans of revenge against Karrnath. She dislikes Kaius and doesn’t trust his insincere (to her ears) proclamations of peace, but she knows that her nation needs time to rebuild its forces before the inevitable war once again breaks out across the land. Thus far, Aurala has politely refused to participate in the heir exchange program that Kaius has entered into with Breland and Thrane, citing the poor health of her eldest scion, but in truth she has no stomach for allowing a Karrnathi heir to live under her roof.

Thrane

If Aundair’s relations with Karrnath are cool, its dealings with Thrane are completely frozen. Aundair wants the Thalios region back, along with reparations for the years that the city has been in Thrane hands. The Aundair-Thrane border, one of the most hotly disputed aspects of the Treaty of Thronehold, forces both nations to keep their armies poised for defense—or invasion. Both nations engage in diplomatic missions and have embassies in each other’s country, but they quickly recall ambassadors when tensions run high. There have been three recalls since peace was declared.

Aundair’s rivalry with Thrane extends beyond the two nations. Queen Aurala tries to thwart Thrane efforts elsewhere in the world, even if that opposition winds up hurting Aundair as well. If Thrane promotes something, it’s often the case that Aundairis against it.

Other Nations

Aundair maintains diplomatic presences—generally a working embassy in the capital city—with Aerenal, the Lhazaar Principalities, the Mror Holds, and Zilargo. These relationships are strictly pragmatic ones, with no long-term alliances sought or expected. Relations are slightly better with Valenar because Aundair was one of the first nations to recognize the new elven state. (Not coincidentally, it was also the only one of the Five Nations without a direct stake in the Cyre-Valenar split.)

Aundair sends diplomatic missions to the Talenta Plains, Darguun, and (rarely) Q’barra when it has something specific to discuss. The country tries to have as little as possible to do with Q’barra, as Aurala sees it as an upstart, pretender nation. Beyond that, Aundair works hard to maintain a cordial relationship with the dragonmarked houses, and Aurala herself has a close friendship with the matriarch of House Lyrandar.

Cities and Settlements

Arcanix - Areksul - Askelios - Bluevine - Fairhaven - Ghalt - Kerkulin - Lathleer - Larunor - Marketplace - Otharaunt - Passage - Rhenshia - Stormhome - Tanar - Tower Valiant - Tower Vigilant - Vanguard Keep - Windshire - Wrogar Keep - Wyr 

"What we sow in effort, we harvest in good fortune."

Founder
Wrogar, fourth scion of King Jarot
Founding Date
32 YK
Type
Geopolitical, Country
Capital
Fairhaven
Demonym
Aundairians
Government System
Monarchy, Absolute
Major Exports
Wine, cheese, grains, books
Location
Khorvaire
Official Languages
Neighboring Nations
Royals of Aundair
In 894 YK, when the Kingdom of Galifar collapsed and each scion declared his or her nation to be a sovereign and independent country, Wrogar, fourth scion of Jarot, reluctantly declared himself king of Aundair.

Years Monarch
892 - 920 YK Wrogar
921 - 923 YK Wrella
923 - 940 YK Marlex
941 - 961 YK Aarott
962 - 979 YK Barvette
980 - Present Aurala
Five Things Every Aundairian Knows:

1.) The names of fine wines and other liquors. Not every Aundairian can afford Bluevine wine or something from the Mount and Moon cellars, but everyone can name his or her favorite labels and engage in animated conversations about the relative merits of each.

2.) Some signature dueling moves. Aundairians love the flash of swordplay, and even the clumsiest citizen can slowly emulate the “twisting lunge” or “dragonhawk riposte” that he sees in the swordfighting demonstrations common in villagesquare entertainment.

3.) A bit about horses. With its rolling verdant hills, Aundair is horse country second only to Valenar in Khorvaire.

4.) Several “add-a-verse” songs. Popular as everything from children’s lullabies to drinking chanties, rhyming songs where a verse is added each time such as “The House that Galifar Built” or “The 12 Days of End Year”) are an Aundairian tradition. Some run for nearly a hundred verses.

5.) The Epic Tale of the Valiant and Vigilant. Popularized some forty years ago by Aundair’s bards, this tale takes about forty-five minutes to recite—and most Aundairians have heard it so many times that they can recite it from memory. The Epic Tale of the Valiant and Vigilant describes the twin sieges of Tower Valiant and Tower Vigilant in 951 YK, told from the perspective of two lovers, each trapped within one of the castles but believing the other to be safe.


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