Diemed is one of the oldest domains in all of Anuire. A proud country, steeped in tradition and faith, Diemed is the seat of the religion of Haelyn, acolytes from all over Anuire travel to the realm on the Southern Coast to bask in the glory of Haelyn’s ancient cathedrals or to lay eyes on the original copy of the famous Book of Laws, the holy lore of the church of Haelyn.
Life and Society
Like its neighbors, Diemed is a land of rolling grasslands. Described by many as uniquely beautiful, the farmlands are maintained in perfect order and the orchards and towns seem bountiful in their organization.
The Duchy of Diemed is located on the southern coast of Anuire, a fact that in many ways is the most defining for how one experiences the land. With its mild climate and gentle terrain, it is no surprise that this is the location where the first of the humans fleeing from Aduria settled. The duchy spans from the Imperial City of Anuire in the west to the borders of Medoere in the east. The Straits of Aerele mark the south and the northern border is divided between the dark forest of the Spiderfell and the realm of Endier. Between these the Duke rules over approximately 15,000 square kilometres. While this is a moderately large realm by Anuirean standards, it was once almost three times the size.
Diemed can roughly be divided into four major zones, based on their landscape and topography. The most striking is the ancient mountains that make up the province of Bliene, lying at the south-west of Diemed. These mountains are not the largest or tallest in Cerilia, but are important enough in themselves as it was reputedly here the battle of Mount Deismaar really took place. This does of course vary depending on whom you ask, with answers ranging from the Adurian hinterland, through the Seamist Mountains to the old fable of a mountain in the middle of the strait which exploded at the end of the battle.
These mountains gently give way to low rolling hills covering most of eastern Diemed and continuing into Medoere. These hills aren’t large or steep enough to make farming difficult, but are rather a series of gentle undulations in the landscape, perfect for the growing of wine ranks and orchards. The provinces of Aerele, Duene and Tier are for the most part covered by these hills, with them gently giving way to flatter areas as one closes to the cliffs by the strait. The hills aren’t all covered by farmland, but are rather a mix of small forests, pasture and the well kept fields surrounding the Dieman villages.
To the north of the province Tier the dark and terrible forest of the Spiderfell stretches as an impregnable wall, keeping all but the most brave or foolish away. Close to the forest its gloomy atmosphere can be felt, with further between the settlements and wilder nature. The woods grow closer here, and in some places seem to have taken over the characteristics of their bigger neighbor in the north. While the dark forest itself holds great value in its timber and rare plant, few dare harvest these resources and it is mostly left to its own fate.
The last important topographical feature is the Maesil River valley. The provinces of Moere and Ciliene are relatively flat areas gently sloping down to the river in the west. Areas closest to the river are regularly flooded, but the inhabitants have long since got used to this as a part of the rhythm of life. Partly due to these regular floods, the land here is some of the most fertile in the whole of Anuire. Both here and on the other side in Avanil a large surplus of grain is grown that is sent far across the lands through the merchant’s caravans. This is also the most heavily populated region, with small towns and villages covering most of the landscape.
The climate in Diemed is primarily dominated by two factors, the southern altitude and the proximity to the Straits of Aerele. At the southern end of Cerilia the inhabitants can enjoy warm weather and lots of sunny days, and at the same time the ocean nearby prevents the summers from becoming too oppressive. Even the heavy rain that the people further east along the South Coast is plagued with, Diemed is to a large extent spared from. This is partially due to Mieres lying across the strait, and the mountains of Bliene which block much of the moisture coming from the south.
The temperatures rarely drop below freezing and only the northernmost parts of Tier and Moere experience any real amount of snow. There is also snow to be encountered in Bliene, but that is almost exclusively in the higher altitudes, particularly on the northern side of the mountains. The people of Diemed, not being accustomed to harsh winters, claim that the snow always comes when you least want it.
Summers in Diemed are sunny and warm. The temperatures often creep up towards 30°C and periods of extreme heat and drought are not an unknown phenomena. Along the coast and the banks of the Maesil River the heat is somewhat more moderate. While the temperature might be more tolerable, these areas have more than their share of fog. This causes considerable problems, and it is not uncommon to find a stranded ship on the banks of the Maesil.
Flora and Fauna
The plants and animals to be found in Diemed are not the most spectacular in Anuire. This is perhaps not so surprising considering this is one of the longest cultivated regions in all of Cerilia. It bears very much the same characteristics as what can be found in the other realms on the south coast. The mild weather and the sufficient moisture give very good growing conditions for many types of plants. This combined with the long growing season and a fertile soil gives the farmers good conditions for a lot of the most common fruit, grains and vegetables. The primary region for growing the crops is the Maesil valley. In the other areas fruit and vegetables are grown in more modest quantities for the farmers’ own consumption. The hilly regions of the south and east are especially famous for its great supply of citrus fruits, olives and good wines. These beneficial conditions mean that most of the land is dedicated to farming, with only the odd chicken and pig in the backyard.
The forests of the region are mainly made of oak, birch and other hardwoods. These can be found as small woods spread throughout the hilly regions of eastern Diemed. In the small forests themselves the trees don’t grow too closely together, giving enough room for flowers and other plants room to thrive, all of which is a testimony to the young age of these woods. Higher up in the province of Bliene these trees give way to spruce and fir, trees more suitable for a slightly harsher climate where the snow can actually lie for a considerable part of the year. In some remote areas one can also find copses of the famous silver yew, much sought after by the bow makers throughout the empire. Due to the great demand for this wood, there is hardly any left in the more accessible areas.
Those areas of uncultivated land not taken over by forest are characterized by ample grass and flowers. On the hillsides and meadows free of trees one can often encounter a small flock of cows under the watchful eye of the farmer’s son or daughter.
Due to the lack of large tracts of wilderness there is little of fantastic beasts to be found throughout Diemed. The majority of the mammals on will encounter when outside of the farmlands are foxes, rabbits and mice. There are a few areas with a decent deer population, but the Duke or the most prominent noble families own all of those. Due to the popularity of hunting among the nobility, and the scarceness of game, these areas are guarded jealously against any form of trespassers. Poachers can expect severe punishments if caught.
There are few predators to be found in Diemed, but the occasional pack of wolves can be found in the more sparsely populated eastern areas. As the lands across the border in Medoere has become more civilized, more and more of these have been driven into eastern Diemed. The wolves can also be quite numerous in the foothills of Bliene, and on severe winters are known to descend into villages and attack livestock even humans. In some of the forested vales of Bliene on can also encounter a good number of brown bears. These generally live far enough from people to be of any danger but in harsh winters it is not unknown for them to attack livestock. There are also rumors of the coveted snow lion still being present in the higher reaches of the Bliene province. Whether this is true or not is difficult to say, because the animals are extremely reclusive, and much better at avoiding humans than hunters are at spotting them. The last time one was caught is several generations ago, and the Duke of the time awarded the hunter a sizable sum of gold for the pelt.
A much more real threat is the occasional intrusion of the denizens of the Spiderfell. These vile creatures take many forms, but spiders are the most common by far. It is said that in the spiders can tell when the goblins plan to go on a raid, and tend to move out in force to cause havoc and suffering ahead of the war host. Spiders of a size to be individually dangerous to humans are rare, but smaller ones with poisons potent enough to kill or incapacitate a grown man are common. The spiders tend to prey on smaller game and livestock, but are more than happy to bite a human if they feel threatened or the human looks weak.
Aerele is home to the capital of Diemed. The province of Aerele lies nestled underneath the mountains of Bliene. From the west the province is quite hilly, with the hills gradually becoming lower and gentler further east and north. The coastline to the Strait of Aerele marks the southern border of the province. The land gradually flattens and rises as one approach the coast, abruptly disappearing over a series of impressive cliffs stretching along most of the coast. The places where one can easily access the beaches below the cliffs are few, and one can be certain a fishing village will be located there.
The province of Bliene marks the southernmost part of Diemed. It as an area covered in hills and mountains, with untamed forested vales between. The tallest of the peaks reach more than 2000m high, and it is said one can see across to Aduria on a clear day. To the north the mountains gradually lowers through a region of foothills before the gentle rolling hills covering most of Diemed take over. In the direction of the sea the steeper hills continue all the way to the shore, making from some spectacular coastal scenery. The province center of Bliene is the town of Baghraeme. The mountains of Bliene have been troubled by bandits of late.
Ciliene comprises mostly of farmlands, with a few scattered woods in between. Lying as it is in the Maesil River Valley, it is a very fertile province which also sees a lot of trade. It is the wealthiest province in Diemed, and the nobles of Ciliene want for nothing. In addition to the agricultural produce there is a significant amount of fishing in the Arnienbae from the towns and villages surrounding the Bay of Ciliene.
Duene is a continuation of the coastline from Aerele and stretches all the way to Medoere. Along this stretch the coast is generally characterized by the same cliffs that one find in Aerele. Where these cliffs give way and relatively flat land can be found close to the sea there is always a village or town to be found. It is from these places the majority of the province’s income in made, through fishing in the strait and from harvesting other resources from the sea this quite untamed province contribute significantly to Dieman trade and commerce.
Moere is the north-western province of Diemed, taking up the space cornered of by the free county of Endier in the north and the Maesil River running lazily towards the sea in the east. The defining features of the province are the wide river plains sloping gently towards the Maesil in the west, and the looming dark of the Spiderfell in the east. Located in a key spot for the control of access to both the Southern Coast and the Hearthlands, this province has seen its fair share of wars and battles. More than any other area in the region the hills are characterized by the keeps and castles standing proudly in the skyline. While most of these are occupied by nobles from families small and large, there are also the burned out husks and ruins that remind everyone of the price paid for war.
Tier is a province marked by its proximity to the most untamed and wild place in Anuire, the Spiderfell. The dark and foreboding forest looms to the north of Tier, and the farmers and nobles alike know that the denizens of that fell place can come pouring out at any moment. While the danger is ever present, the erratic behavior of the goblins ensures that raids aren't as common as bards tell. With a unified Duchy under a strong duke it might also be that they see it as more interesting to go raiding where it might be easier; typically in Medoere and Roesone.
With the arrival of the humans on Cerilia in -515 HC, one of the first Andu tribes to set foot in Cerilia was the House Deretha, the Fifth House. A particularly warlike folk, the Deretha were quick to ally with the elves in exchange for open lands to the south of the Spiderfell. Within three generations, the Deretha broke the stalemate in the region by defeating the goblins and then began to settle in earnest, founding several kingdoms on the Southern Coast, building towns, villages, and clearing away forests for farmland - leading to war with the elves.
Though the elves possessed superior skills at the sword and the arcane arts, the humans bred far more quickly and were able to call upon their gods for aid. Victory against the elves, however, did not bring about peace. Azrai coaxed the goblins into war with the Deretha while he laid groundwork elsewhere. When the Shadow War began, the Deretha were already exhausted. The last of the Deretha kings died in battle against the goblin sorcerer Tal-Qazar, and the Deretha lands lapsed into civil war.
During this time, Diem, last prince of the Deretha kingdoms, came to prominence. Fighting alongside Haelyn and Roele, Diem was a trusted ally and lieutenant of the brothers. Employing his tactical genius, Diem is said to have led men in hundreds of engagements, most of them victories. When the Deismaar cataclysm occurred, the Deretha were hit hard. Most of their armies were wiped out, their southern farmlands suddenly became nothing more than ocean, and their lands descended into further anarchy.
Enthusiastically embracing the deification of Haelyn, the new god of law and order, Diem funded the construction of the god’s first temples. Less than a year later, Haelyn’s divine Book of Laws appeared on an altar within the first of those temples. Rallying around the credo of the Book, Haelyn’s priests and paladins organized themselves into a temple allied with Roele’s vision of empire.
Diemed thrived under the Anuirean Empire and its dukes and armies loyally supported the Emperors. The lands of House Diem were always at peace, save for the occasional war with the Spider or trouble with the rough and tumble adventurers on the eastern frontier.
- See Also: History of Diemed - more details
- See Also: Heretic's history of Diemed - an alternative history
- Heirl Diem (MAn; Nbl 7/Scion 1; Brenna, major, 42; LN), Baron of Diemed. He is a direct descendant of the founder of Diemed.
- Lieutenants : Diem has at least four trusted lieutenants who constitute an extensive spy network, in both his own and neighboring kingdoms. His secret sources allow him to quickly respond to internal threats or external pressures with a minimum of inconvenience. Some say his own daughter, Lasica (FAn; Wiz 5; Brenna, major, 42; LN), works as one of these spies.
- Darien Avan, prince of nearby Avanil has influence in several of Diemed's provinces but has not yet made any moves to turn them against the rightful ruler.
- Lavalan Briesen (MAn; Clr (Haelyn) 5; Anduiras, major, 30; LG), the priest represents the Orthodox Imperial Temple of Haelyn. He challenges the Temple from Avanil, claiming that Darien Avan directly controls it.
- Guilder Kalien of Endier : Some whisper that the baron wants to lure the Guilder into a marriage with his daughter, the Lady Lasica - but to what end, no one knows.
Plots and Rumors
Domain Holding Table
|Aerele (4/1)||HD (3)||OIT (4)||EH (2)||He (1)|
|DA (0)||OT (2)|
|Bliene (3/6)||HD (2)||OIT (3)||EH (3)||He (4)|
|Ciliene (6/0)||HD (4)||OIT (6)||EH (3)||-|
|DA (2)||GK (3)|
|Duene (3/2)||HD (3)||OIT (3)||OT (3)||He (2)|
|Moere (5/0)||HD (3)||OIT (5)||GK (3)||-|
|DA (1)||OT (1)|
|Tier (2/3)||HD (1)||OIT (2)||GK (3)||He (1)|
|Abbreviations: HD = Heirl Diem (Diemed); OIT = Orthodox Imperial Temple (Lavalan Briesen); DA = Darien Avan (Avanil); EH = Essafah el-Hadid (Port of Call Exchange); OT = Orthien Tane (Southern Anuire Shipping and Imports); GK = Guilder Kalien (Endier) (Heartlands Outfitters); He = Hermedhie (Niela Braeloren).|
- Law: Heirl Diem attempts to control the law in the realm, but some of the law is in the hands of Darien Avan.
- Temples: The Orthodox Imperial Temple is unchallenged here.
- Guilds: The baron plays the guilds off against one another giving each a share, but preventing any one from too much influence.
- Sources: Only the wizard Hermedhie has any sources here.