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Breland

“Breland, our Breland,
Land of freedom and bravery,
Forever will the Bear and Crown
Stand upon this land we love.
Breland, our Breland, Realm of gold and wonders,
Always will we sing of thee Across this land we love. “
  -The Song of Breland, Breland’s national anthem


Breland (brey-land) was allowed to develop in ways that were distinctly different from the other human nations due to its distance. While each of the human settlements that eventually became the Five Nations took root in the rich land surrounding the Scions Sound, the ancestors of the Brelish nation felt confined along the shore of the Brey River. The original settlement, built near where Aruldusk stands today, was quickly abandoned and its people moved south, following the river until they found a site that pleased them.

Today, Breland stands as a monarchy that combines a system of heredity and nobility with an elected parliament. (The parliament existed prior to the creation of the independent kingdom of Breland, during which time it helped the governor-prince administer this portion of the realm. Wroann established it as a true legal force in 895 YK, shortly after the start of the Last War.) Of course, some feel that the monarchy should be supplanted and replaced by an elected leader, but King Boranel remains firmly in command. Still, no other nation enjoys such power, such diversity, and such freedom for the majority of its citizens. The opportunities are endless, and the wealth of ideas that flow from the cities to the countryside is truly amazing.
  Breland is a progressive nation that welcomes all who come in peace with open arms and the promise of honest wages for honest work. Its progressive nature, however, provides a home for those who wish to engage in less than honest work, especially in the larger cities. The nation works hard to maintain the Treaty of Thronehold, for King Boranel believes that peace is a better road to travel than war.
  King Boranel is well and truly loved by the majority of the Brelish people. Unfortunately, Boranel's age is beginning to show, and none of his heirs have demonstrated even a modicum of his intelligence and charisma. Many believe that Breland’s strength relies on Boranel's leadership, and many of his enemies beyond the borders of the nation can’t wait for him to fall. Will the hope of many who covet the Brelish countryside come to pass? When Boranel falls, so falls Breland?


Life and Society

Breland came out of the Last War in relatively good shape. Financially, the coffers are full and the nation’s industries are strong. Militarily, the Brelish forces remain alert and ready should war again break out across the land. But Boranel isn’t interested in fighting another war. He realizes that the nation must defend itself, and he knows that there are still hostile forces surrounding the country, but he hopes that through diplomacy and trade agreements, the remaining sparks of conflict can be doused.

Boranel works hard to keep the lines of communication open with Aundair and Karrnath, though he doesn’t completely trust the leaders of these rival kingdoms. He has a grudging respect for the power of Thrane, but he has no love for the theocracy that at times was his most powerful and deadly opponent during the Last War. Boranel continues to extend the hand of friendship to the nations formed in the wake of the Last War, but he secretly fears that the next threat to peace will come not from the original Five Nations but from one of these upstarts.   Finally, the king seeks to make good on the remnants of Cyre that have swarmed into his country after the destruction of their own. When others turned them away and tried to ignore the horror that had befallen them, Boranel opened his borders and gave them a home. He prays that by doing the right thing, he won’t live to regret it.

The People

The people of Breland have a strong tradition of independence and free thought. They are fiercely loyal to the kingdom and to the Brelish crown, but at the same time they don’t want the laws interfering with their daily lives. The Brelish always speak their minds, and while they treat aristocrats and officers with the respect due to rank, they still consider themselves to be the equal of any other person. While the Brelish expect their voices to be heard, they also take the time to listen to others, and they are known for their tolerance. There is also a strong strain of skeptical pragmatism in the Brelish character; the Brelish always try to find the catch in every deal, question what others take on faith, and look for a personal advantage in any situation. This attitude has its dark side, and the major cities of Breland have the highest crime rates in Khorvaire.   The Brelish are proud of the size and power of their nation. Where Aundairian are often smug and slightly condescending, the Brelish tend to be brash and loud. They know their nation is the greatest power in Khorvaire. This strength gives them a bit of an overbearing presence when traveling. They often like to visit other lands and see new sights, but they carry their nationality on their sleeve (sometimes literally), and won’t hesitate to compare the accomplishments of others to things “back home.”   In 986 YK, ten years before the Treaty of Thronehold, King Boranel forced the Brelish parliament to pass the Warforged Decree. This decree recognized Warforged as sentient beings and granted them the rights afforded other Brelish citizens—once the Last War was over. This edict allowed Boranel to emancipate the warforged while still guaranteeing their service for the duration of the war. It had the secondary effect of making the Brelish warforged more committed to the Brelish cause, and it attracted warforged from other nations to rally to the Brelish banner—especially warforged from the northern nations of Aundair and Thrane.

Geography

Prior to the Last War, the nation of Breland covered all the land it holds today, as well as what is now Zilargo, Droaam, and the Shadow Marches.

Currently, the kingdom consists of the land between the Graywall Mountains and the Howling Peaks, reaching as far north as the Blackcaps and Lake Galifar, and as far south as the southern coast of the continent.

Structure

King Boranel rules Breland. A direct descendant of the independent nation of Breland’s first leader, Wroann, daughter of Jarot, Boranel carries on the traditions of both Galifar and the Brelish crown. A monarchy, Breland also has a partially elected parliament that works alongside the king and the royal court to govern the country. The parliament makes the laws in Breland, the crown enforces them. The crown also conducts all business related to foreign affairs and national security, sometimes informing the parliament, more often not.   The people of Breland love their king, his vassal lords respect and even revere him, and the parliament sees him as fair and just. It is said that the people of Breland will follow Boranel anywhere, and this has been demonstrated many times in the course of his thirty-seven-year reign.   As Boranel gets older, concerns revolving around succession begin to manifest. One plan, mostly discussed quietly and in secret, suggests that the nation abandon the monarchy after Boranel's death and turn over more power and authority to the parliament. Another plan, hopes that one of Boranel's children will fill the vacuum and become a leader in the same vein as his or her father. So far, none of the heirs have demonstrated more than a passing ability at ruling the nation.   To further spread the tenets of democracy, Breland regularly holds town meetings throughout the realm. At these meetings, the common folk are recognized and allowed to state their opinions for the crown and parliament to hear.
History
Breland, one of the original Five Nations founded by the human settlers of Khorvaire, mixes a proud agricultural tradition with a more urban and industrial outlook, especially in its massive cities. As with the other Five Nations, Breland's borders have fluctuated over time. It was named for King Galifar I’s daughter, Brey, in the year 32 YK.   From the moment Brey ir’Wynarn took the ruling chair in the Great Hall of Wroat, the descendants of Galifar have governed the nation of Breland and its people. Governor-princes in line to one day inherit the throne of Galifar administered the nation until 894 YK, when the kingdom collapsed and each scion declared his nation to be a sovereign and independent country. In that year, Wroann, fifth scion and youngest daughter of Galifar’s last king, Jarot, named herself Queen of Breland until she could rightfully claim the crown of Galifar and reunite the shattered kingdom.   Wroann was the exact opposite of her twin brother, Wrogar of Aundair. She was thin and agile, serious, and a lover of the finer things in life. She also cherished freedom above all things, and promised to make Breland a place where people would be judged by word and deed instead of social class.   When Jarot died, Wroann broke with her twin regarding the line of succession. Instead of supporting Mishann of Cyre’s claim to the throne, Wroann gathered her vassals and declared her own intention to rule the kingdom. Ironically, the freedom-loving nation of Breland was one of the key instigators of the Last War, for her leader wanted to spread her ideas of liberty and increased democracy to all by force and sword.

History

Breland, one of the original Five Nations founded by the human settlers of Khorvaire, mixes a proud agricultural tradition with a more urban and industrial outlook, especially in its massive cities. As with the other Five Nations, Breland's borders have fluctuated over time. It was named for King Galifar I’s daughter, Brey, in the year 32 YK.   From the moment Brey ir’Wynarn took the ruling chair in the Great Hall of Wroat, the descendants of Galifar have governed the nation of Breland and its people. Governor-princes in line to one day inherit the throne of Galifar administered the nation until 894 YK, when the kingdom collapsed and each scion declared his nation to be a sovereign and independent country. In that year, Wroann, fifth scion and youngest daughter of Galifar’s last king, Jarot, named herself Queen of Breland until she could rightfully claim the crown of Galifar and reunite the shattered kingdom.   Wroann was the exact opposite of her twin brother, Wrogar of Aundair. She was thin and agile, serious, and a lover of the finer things in life. She also cherished freedom above all things, and promised to make Breland a place where people would be judged by word and deed instead of social class.   When Jarot died, Wroann broke with her twin regarding the line of succession. Instead of supporting Mishann of Cyre’s claim to the throne, Wroann gathered her vassals and declared her own intention to rule the kingdom. Ironically, the freedom-loving nation of Breland was one of the key instigators of the Last War, for her leader wanted to spread her ideas of liberty and increased democracy to all by force and sword.

Early History

The original nation of Wroat grew up around what is today Vathirond. The frontier nation didn’t stop there, however, and soon those within the settlement who wanted more open space and more freedom continued to move south and west. It was about 2,400 years ago that Breggor Firstking led most of the pre-Brelish settlers to fertile fields where the Howling and Dagger Rivers converged and established the nation of Wroat.   Meanwhile, as the humans of the Lhazaar expeditions landed on Khorvaire's eastern shores and migrated inland, one of Lhazaar's most powerful lieutenant’s struck out to map the southern shores of the new land. With four mighty warships and more than a thousand warriors, Malleon explored the coast of southern Khorvaire. Along the way, Malleon earned the name “the Reaver” as he plundered the settlements of goblins, gnomes, and lizardfolk he discovered.   Then, about twenty-five years after Lhazaar first led them to this new continent, Malleon sailed into the Hilt of the Dagger River. When Malleon first set eyes upon the ancient city on the bluff, a city that would eventually grow to become the greatest in the land, he knew that his days as an explorer and pirate had come to an end. Malleon and his loyal warriors conquered and enslaved the goblins and erected a fortress atop their ancient ruins. What was once Duur’shaarat and would one day be Sharn now belonged to Malleon. He named the place Shaarat.   For six hundred years, Malleon, his warriors, and their descendants built Shaarat into a powerful and wealthy city on the bluff overlooking the Hilt. By this point, Breggor Firstking had established the nation of Wroat some 500 miles north along the Dagger Rivers. It was inevitable that the two settlements would come into conflict. Breggor wanted Shaarat for his own, but Malleon’s descendants refused to yield. The siege of Shaarat lasted for almost a year before Breggor ordered his wizards to destroy the place. Shaarat fell, but Breggor claimed the ruins and renamed the city Sharn. Over the next eight hundred years, the towers rose and the city grew, becoming the second jewel in the nation of Wroat's crown.   The glory of Sharn was lost during the last days of the War of the Mark, when the remnants of the aberrant mark forces took refuge in the City of Towers. Rather than fall before the onslaught of the armies of the pure dragonmarked houses, the leaders of the aberrant mark forces destroyed themselves and their followers in a display of arcane power that left Sharn in ruins. The city remained abandoned for more than five hundred years.   It was Galifar I, king of the newly united kingdom, who came to the City of Tower's rescue. In 35 YK, Galifar ordered Sharn to be rebuilt so that it could serve as the southern bastion of his kingdom. It took more than five years to make a portion of the city habitable, then another fifty years for the towers to rise over the ruins, but by 150 YK, Sharn was well on its way to becoming the largest and most powerful city not only in Breland but in the entire kingdom.   Meanwhile, the rest of the nation grew and prospered. It maintained ties with the other nations, and when it became part of Galifar’s united kingdom, it served as a valued and powerful realm within the larger country. But the distances between Breland’s capital and the seats of power of the other Five Nations allowed for new ideas and attitudes to develop. No matter how prosperous and large Breland became, it was always seen as “the frontier” by the other nations. And on this frontier, new ideas such as personal freedom, inalienable rights, and individual thinking thrived.

Postwar Breland

Breland weathered the storm of the Last War amazingly well. The size of the nation, the strength and determination of its people, and its abundance of resources gave it the ability to carry on when others fell back, to choose its own course and not be dependent on allies of convenience. Breland did earn friends over those years, and ties between Breland and Zilargo remain strong now that the war has ended.   The central and southern regions of the nation saw little if any direct conflict over the century of battle, but no one in Breland made it through without losing a friend or loved one to the war effort. While the farms north of Wroat and Galethspyre never suffered the indignity of invasion, it was the sons and daughters of the farmers who went off to fight for Brelish honor and glory. They fought at the borderlands, repelling invaders, and they fought across the borders, taking the battle to whatever nation was considered an enemy that season.   Today, the borderlands of Breland remain strong and on the alert, even as reconstruction takes place to repair the ravages of battle. In the west, Orcbone and Shadowlock Keep watch for any incursions from Droaam. Drum Keep, in the north, watches the Eldeen border, where so many on both sides fell in some of the worst battles of the Last War. Sword Keep and Brey Crossing protect the borders with Aundair and Thrane, while Sterngate keeps an eye on the passes into Darguun. Perhaps the most active post in the current day is Kennrun, where knights and warriors must constantly deal with threats emerging from the dead-gray mist surrounding the Mournland.

Agriculture & Industry

Breland’s agricultural output ranks it among the top crop producing nations. It doesn’t export many of its crops, however; much of what it produces goes to feed its growing population. The northern half of the country consists of rich farmland, while the southern climate is perfect for cultivating a diverse selection of tropical crops.   The rest of Khorvaire knows Breland for its manufactured goods and heavy industry. The smelts and forges of Sharn, for example, produce relatively inexpensive weapons and armor. While these aren’t as well made and ornate as those turned out by the Mror Holds or Karrnath, they work just fine and cost significantly less. Sharn also turns ore and other raw materials into processed goods; House Cannith and the shipwrights of Zilargo purchase much of Sharn's output for use in the construction of ships and vehicles. Other industrial centers can be found in Wroat, Galethspyre, and Starilaskur.   All of the dragonmarked houses maintain emporiums and outposts throughout Breland, and all of them have extensive operations in Sharn, the City of Towers. House Medani, House Phiarlan, and one branch of House Cannith all maintain headquarters in Breland; House Vadalis has an important enclave here as well.

Religion

Breland’s citizens mainly belong to the Church of the Silver Flame or The Sovereign Host, though as a whole the nation isn’t strongly religious—the Brelish have more faith in themselves and their king than in gods who never walk the land. Nevertheless, Sharn's eclectic cosmopolitanism extends to faiths as well; in the great metropolis can be found representatives and followers of almost every religion and faith. Some devotees simply pass through on their way to some other part of the continent. Others remain (although a lot of them still plan to leave when the opportunity presents itself) in the City of Towers and try to provide spiritual sustenance to the masses that flow through the city. A few of the more violent and dangerous cults have forged hiding places within the nation. A Blood of Vol temple has been established, quietly and in secret, somewhere deep within the towers of Sharn. A number of separate groups devoted to the Dragon Below have long held positions of power and influence within the nation, though they rarely reveal their true nature or intentions.

Foreign Relations

Aundair

“Magic is all well and good, and Breland has as much arcane might as anyone, but the Aundairians drink up magic the way they drink their fancy wine—quickly and to excess. They fought well during the war, but we could have beaten them.”  

Breland

“This is the greatest country in the world. We have the greatest king, the strongest army, the largest cities, the most land. We’re all about freedom and hope and honor, and while we’re extremely humble, we also know that we’re the best in all the land.”  

New Cyre Refugees

“King Boranel has extended the hand of friendship to these poor souls, so who am I to disagree with the king. Still, you have to wonder what they’re doing out there. They even named their settlement New Cyre. Is that sad or what? And a little disturbing, if you ask me. This is Breland, after all, not Cyre reborn.”  

Darguun

“We’re trying to live in peace with the goblin nation, but I’d like to see some evidence that those savages are doing the same. I hear that their leader isn’t as in control of the place as he made out to be during the Treaty of Thronehold meetings.”  

Droaam

“Monsters of all kinds live to the west. Nation? Not likely. Savages, that’s what they are. King Boranel once met their champion in single battle. Did you know that? Beat that ogre to within an inch of its life and then let it go. His heart’s too big sometimes. Too big.”  

Eldeen Reaches

“We fought the Reachers more than once during the war, and both sides remember the pain and suffering those battles caused. Still, trade with the Reachers is good, and I love it when Eldeen fruits reach the market near my home.”  

Karrnath

“We didn’t fight the Karrns very often, but when we did we gave as good as we got. That’s a powerful and scary bunch living up there in the cold. Makes them hard and formidable. And more than a little cranky. And what’s all this talk about using undead to fight for you? Creepy. Still, I’d rather trade with them and drink with them than fight against them.”  

Lhazaar Principalities

“Pirates every one of them. They even tried to take Sharn by sea once. Or was that Karrnath? When a Lhazaar ship appears in the harbor, though, you hold onto your purse with one hand and your sword with the other and hope they’ve come to trade not plunder.”  

Zilargo

“A land of true friends to crown and country. The gnomes have done right by us over the years, and I think we’ve done right by them.”

Cities and Settlements

Ardev - Argonth - Baren's Keep - Black Pit - Brey Crossing - Castle Arakhain - Cragwar - Drum Keep - First Tower - Flint Keep - Fort Tansend - Galethspyre - Galethspyre - Hatheril - Kennrun - Lurching Tower - Mistmarsh - Moonwatch - New Cyre - Nowhere - Orcbone - Ringbriar - Shadowlock Keep - Sharn - Shavalant - Shining Valley - Starilaskur - Sterngate - Sword Keep - Torch Keep - Vathirond - Woodhelm - Wroat - Xandrar - Zilspar 

"We gain what we give."

Founder
Wrogar
Founding Date
32 YK
Type
Geopolitical, Country
Capital
Demonym
Brelish
Government System
Monarchy, Constitutional
Major Exports
Weapons, armor, tools, processed ore, metalwork, manufactured goods, heavy industry
Official State Religion
Location
Official Languages
Neighboring Nations
Royals of Breland
In 894 YK, when the Kingdom of Galifar collapsed and each scion declared his or her nation to be a sovereign and independent country, Wroann declared himself King of Breland.
Years Monarch
892 - 919 YK Wroaan
919 - 922 YK Kason
922 - 927 YK Brask
928 - 960 YK Boranex
961 - Present Boranel
Five things every Brelish Knows   1.) The Galifar Code of Justice. Every citizen of Breland learns at least the basics of the Code of Justice, especially as it pertains to the rights afforded individuals in any situation. This knowledge boils down to the right to defend yourself, the right to confront your accuser, and the right to open debate. Of course, the code contains many additional rights and laws, but these tend to be the most important for the average Brelish citizen.   2.) That different is just different. Tolerant and accepting, the average Brelish believes that different isn’t better or worse, good or bad; it’s just different. Different races, different faiths, different cultures . . . the Brelish, on the whole, are the most accepting and unifying people in Khorvaire.   3.) Something about the weather. Everyone in Breland has an opinion about the weather, and they love to discuss their views and share them with others. This is especially true in the southern portions of the country, where the weather seems to vary between two states—hot and wet, and hotter and wetter.   4.) The virtues of democracy. Unique among the Five Nations, Breland has long been experimenting with a new form of government. While the monarchy remains in place, many other duties of government including legislation, falls to a partially elected body—the Brelish Parliament. Thanks to town meetings where all citizens have a voice and the right to vote for the elected members of the parliament, the Brelish understand the rights, responsibilities of democracy, as well as the great gift they have to live in such a progressive nation.   5.) The wisdom of Beggar Dane. Out of the pages of the Sharn Inquisitive, the simple lessons for living popularized by this anonymous street bard have become ingrained in the Brelish mindset. These include: “A copper piece in the cup is a copper piece earned,” “Never borrow, never lend,” “The silent man has no one to blame but himself,” and “A magewright in the town is worth an army in the wilderness.”

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