Lost Hope

Lost Hope
A map of the twelve kingdoms of Lost Hope.
Barren, rocky, with little vegetation and few resources of note, Lost Hope is a large chain of islands some 15,000 square miles in size. The islands rise from the sea as featureless rocks, seemingly devoid of life.   However, for those who persevere, life can be found in abundance. The true name of Lost Hope was once the Kingdoms of Treamor and petty, warmongering kings rule over the many small kingdoms on the largest island of the chain, which is known as Treamor. They have been fighting and politicking for so many years that none can determine the reasons for their wars.   Huge herds of bovine creatures wander the inner hills of the islands, preyed upon by the rocs that nest in the highest of the hills, and tales tell of small giant tribes that tame and ride the great birds.   Due to the perceived lack of resources and state of constant, petty inter-tribal warfare, the great Cerulean Empire, which sits not far to the west, has decided to leave the place alone. It was Teraknian Jehen that was said to have first uttered the phrase "a man who is tired of life, who has lost all hope, might as well live in the kingdoms of Treamor". From this maxim the term "Lost Hope" has stuck, and is now the generally accepted name of the place.   To the north of Lost Hope lie the smaller isles of Purple Rocks, named for the dark purple hue that they take on under stormy skies.   The largest Merfolk settlement in The Azure Sea is the undersea city of Aquithis. It lies in a vast undersea cavern, surrounded by the ruins of an ancient, sunken city of the Antediluvians, somewhere in the waters around Lost Hope.  

The 12 Kingdoms

There are twelve separate kingdoms on Lost Hope, all vying for power and in a constant state of ever-changing war and alliance with each other.  
The Kingdom of Arravar
Ruler: King Stefanus Hamon
At War With: Negona, Newshore, Southern Peaks
Allies With: Gratier
Description: Situated on the eastern side of Treamor, Arravar is dominated by large plains of coarse, brown, tussock grass. Small herds of hardy ponies are marshalled by the Arravarians. The hills to the west are places of skirmish against the giants of the Southern Peaks. King Hamon is in late middle-age and has no heir. He is a practical but greedy man.
The Kingdom of Cliffgard
Ruler: Queen Magdelena Taerth
At War With: Gronez, Ravenmere, Zalicia
Allies With: Hersen
Description: In the north-east of Treamor, Cliffgard is a hilly country with high sea cliffs. Queen Taerth is a great beauty, but an impulsive ruler who has been known to take great risks with her war tactics. She concentrates most of her forces on the south-western borders where skirmishes with the Orcs of Gronez are commonplace.
The Kingdom of Dhan Bholdar
Ruler: King Derrig Drakebrow
At War With: Gronez, Southern Peaks
Allies With: None
Description: Derrig Drakebrow is a crippled old Dwarf who lost his legs in battle with the Giants of the Southern Peaks. He does not let his infirmity slow him down however, and uses a wheelchair crafted by dwarven engineers to get around. The Dhan Bholdar clan care nothing for the doings of the outside world and other dwarf clans, who they feel have abandoned them. The fact is that they are simply unknown to the Koldor Dwarf Clans.
The Kingdom of Gratier
Ruler: Queen Ancexei Lyseotheos
At War With: Newshore
Allies With: Arravar
Description: On the south-west coast of Treamor lies the relatively verdant country of Gratier, ruled over by the flighty and capricious Half-Elf Queen Lyseothus. Beyond the mountains of the Southern Peaks and the huge cliff-face of the Gratier Wall, the green hills of Graitier give way to the barren brown territory of the rest of the island. It is almost like a land apart from the rest of Treamor.
The Kingdom of Gronez
Ruler: Overlord Vargan Grikug
At War With: Cliffgard, Dhan Bholdar, Ravenmere, Southern Peaks, Zalicia
Allies With: None
Description: The Orcs of Gronez live for one thing only - war and conquest. Only the Dwarves of Dhan Bholdar have kept them at bay. They look to use the enmity between Ciffgard and Zalicia to the east to their advantage, under the leadership of their one-armed overlord Vargan.
The Kingdom of Hersen
Ruler: Baron Drest Mordelegg
At War With: Winhof
Allies With: Cliffgard
Description: On the isle of Tilstone Baron Drest Mordelegg, a sinister, shadowy figure with reportedly necromantic powers holds his population under sway with an iron fist. This is a hilly land of fog and chill winds, where the rooks feed better than much of the population. Baron Mordelegg hates Cliffgard with a passion, having had an offer of marriage turned down by Queen Magdelena Taerth.
The Kingdom of Negona
Ruler: Regent Flix Tempesta
At War With: Arravar
Allies With: None
Description: Comprising the three isles of Aristile, Velado and Catavia, the Kingdom of Negona is more temperate than much of the rest of Lost Hope, thanks to warm currents washing up from The Southern Chain. There are many fruit orchards on Aristile, making it a prime target for less bountiful kingdoms. Regent Flix Tempesta sits on the throne since the last King, Farlow Barrington, was killed in battle with the Arravarians and left no heir. This has lead to intense politicking in the kingdom as rivals vie for power.
The Kingdom of Newshore
Ruler: King Euliss Burnreave
At War With: Gratier
Allies With: None
Description: Most of the Kingdom of Newshore are barren plains of coarse grass, with mountains and hills to the south east. Newshore claims to be the oldest of all the Twelve Kingdoms, and claim that as such it should have lordship over the others. Most of the efforts of King Burnreave are concentrated on winning the fertile lands to the south of the Gratier Wall however. The King is said to be a jealous and narcissitic man.
The Kingdom of Ravenmere
Ruler: King Huladon Trafaren
At War With: Cliffgard, Gronez
Allies With: Winhof
Description: Ravenmere may be one of the smaller kingdoms, but its small elite fighting force is second to none. The Raven Knighst are feared and respected even by their enemies in Cliffgard and Gronez. King Trafaren leads a court that aspires to the very best aspects of medieval life, caring for his people and leading by example. His wars are ones of defence rather than aggression. His is a wise leader, though his years are now advanced.
The Kingdom of the Southern Peaks
Ruler: Lord Raflor Sranvag
At War With: Arravar, Dhan Bholdor, Gronez, Zalicia
Allies With: None
Description: The giants of the Southern Peaks are a warlike people who desire conquest of all the mountains on Treamor. Their leader, Lord Sranvog, is a terrifying creature who is said to literally bathe in the blood ofd his fallen enemies. He has a particular dislike for the Dwarves of Dhan Bholdor.
The Kingdom of Winhof
Ruler: Queen Helleori Nerin
At War With: Hersen
Allies With: Ravenmere
Description: On the islands of Yorkray and Belmis the people of Queen Nerin lead a sheltered life, uncaring for the politics of the rest of the twelve kingdoms. They only have a small military force, mainly naval, that they use for defence against the forces of nearby Hersen. They have some limited trade with the islanders of Purple Rocks to the north. Queen Nerin is a direct and decisive ruler.
The Kingdom of Zalicia
Ruler: King Brud Trostri
At War With: Cliffgard, Gronez, Southern Peaks
Allies With: None
Description: Zalicia is a small but wealthy kingdom on the east of Treamor. The foothills in the south-west of the kingdom are rich with silver veins, which they mine and trade with the Hold of the Sea Princes. The ruler, King Trostri, is a vain man, and much of the wealth his kingdom generates goes into building fine marble palaces and huge statues in his own honour.

The Wildlands of Treamor

Lost Hope is a large chain of islands, and there are huge areas which do not fall under the control of the twelve kingdoms. Some of these are detailed below.  
Astire is a large island at the north of Lost Hope. It remains unclaimed by any of the twelve kingdoms. Covered by a huge forest of ancient trees that many islanders claim are haunted by an evil will, the island has few other resources. Occasionally boats from Winhof or Hersen will send expeditions here to cut lumber, but those who venture more than a mile or so inland are never seen again.  
Rising from the warm waters of the southern oceans, Clercon is a mountainous island with little to offer the twelve kingdoms. Its slopes and cliffs are too steep to land a ship of any size on. There is rumoured to be a community of Aarakocra living in the tallest peaks at the centre of the isle.  
Gromeny Slough
The Slough is a huge swamp on the western side of Treamor. There are no signs of civilisation in its floating morasses. The air is full of biting insects that emit a low hum at all hours of the day, and the waters are filled with huge predators.  
On the western side of Treamor sits the large island of Montnoit. In the centre of Montnoir is a huge volcanic peak that fumes and rumbles from time-to-time. It is said that there is an entrance to the Underdark in the middle of the mountain, but the Obsidian Dragon that lives there will permit none to explore the hills and forests of the island.  
The Saldosa Peaks
The Saldosa Peaks are a large mountain range that runs down the middle of the island of Treamor like a twisted spine, splitting the land into two sides. Apart from the Dwarves of Dhan Bholdar, the Orcs of Gronez, and the Giants of the Southern Peaks, the range is home to only monsters and the howling winds. The rock of the Saldosa is brown in colour due to the rich veins of iron ore below the surface. When it rains the water runs red down the slopes as if the island itself is bleeding.  
The hill island of Sarcelle lies to the south-east of the Lost Hope islands. It is an arid land with little growing on it other than coarse brown grass, inhabited by a few warring clans of primitive Goblins.  
Shawholm Expanse
This large lake on the western side of Treamor is bounded by the marshlands of Gromeny Slough on one side and cracked wildlands on the other. It is remarkably deep, and none know what lurks in it's cold depths, though rumours speak of vast creatures and a strange underwater city.  
South-East Treamor
The south-east of Treamor is bounded by the sea and by the mountains and foothills of the Southern Peaks. Vast grasslands of tall rushes cover almost the entire area, reaching higher than a man, which makes navigation difficult. Anything could be lurking in this forest of grass.  
North of Treamor the isle of Terlant is dominated by tall stone mesas and table mountains, and the deep canyons that wind between them. Seemingly devoid of anything but the smallest, most tenacious plant-life, this isle is colloquially referred to as the barren peaks.  
Western Treamor
A huge portion of western Treamor is uncivilised. Forests, mountains and hills offer rich resources to the brave, but the wildlife here is aggressive and plentiful. Tribes of gnolls hunt in the foothills, and the forests are haunted by firbolg.

Cover image: Island by Michael Dunning


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