Anuire » Heartlands
The Heartlands is the central region of Anuire. The Heartlands is the most civilized area of Anuire, and includes some of the strongest realms. The Heartlands borders each of the other regions of Anuire.
The Heartlands is the most fertile area of Anuire. Kings have fought to control this region for centuries, so the Heartlands region has seen battles too numerous to count. Everyone still wants control of the area’s resources, but many do not wield enough power and most can survive without the bounty of the Heart.
The Heartlands comprises mostly rolling farmland dotted with crags and bluffs. Lakes and rivers appear here and there, though not in such profusion as in the east. Despite the occasional patch of swamp or moor, the land here looks well kept and cultivated.
Yet places exist where no grasses grow, where bare earth and rocks lie open to the sky like a festering wound. These are the battlefields of the Heart, where great hosts still meet to decide the fate of kingdoms. Some rulers realize the folly of destroying in war the very places they are fighting for, so they agree to marshal their armies where death already has been dealt. Of course, not everyone honors this policy.
Patchwork patterns of farmland spread across the Heartlands, the sun playing gently on the fields of green and gold. Shepherds keeping an eye on their flocks find themselves dozing in its warmth. The people in the bustling southern Imperial Capital smile at the light glinting on the blue waters off their island city.
Yet some areas of the Heartlands feel cold even in the summer’s worst heat. These brown, blasted tracts of earth mark the sites where countless armies clashed in historic battles. Here nothing will grow -- the dusty earth has absorbed the blood of generations.
The Heartlands have been the center of power in Anuire for longer than nearly anyone alive can remember. Since the kingdom of Avanil in this region holds the Imperial City of Anuire, the realms have revolved around this land for nearly 2,000 years. This region encompasses the territory east of the Seamist Mountains, south of the Stonecrown Mountains, and north of the Spiderfell. There’s no natural eastern boundary, and though Elinie shares many characteristics with the Eastern Marches, the inclusion of Elinie in the Heartlands during the Empire generally settles the matter.
Heartlands also has extensive river systems such as the Tuor River, the Stonebyrn River, and the River Maesil. The first one divides Tuornen from Alamie. The second one divides Alamie from Mhoried. The last one, River Maesil, divides Ghoere and Endier from other Heartlands realms and flows into the Straits of Aerele at the City of Anuire.
Most land in the Heart has long been claimed and cultivated. A few ruins still await thorough exploration, and a handful of caverns have not been completely mapped. Clearly, the main excitement in the Heartlands does not revolve around the breaking of untamed land. Instead, this area features human drama, the subtle interplay of politics and armies, of espionage and trade. Less sophisticated folk look to the frontiers for their thrills -- others seek their stimulation in the intrigues of the Heart.
The Heartlands have replaced the Southern Coast as the most civilized area of Anuire. While the southern lands have declined with the passing of the Empire, the Heartlands have flourished. Of course, it’s also true that the kingdoms of the Heart have been the subject of numerous coup attempts, takeovers, and invasions by larger neighbors. There’s rarely a dull moment in the Heartlands, and locals treasure those dull moments as respites from the constant action.
As the center of old imperial politics, the City of Anuire offers plenty of intrigue to go around. There’s always a plot afoot to win the Iron Throne for some eager ruler, or a conspiracy to bend the ear of the current favorite. So many schemes bubble in the capital that only the most dedicated observers keep track of them all. Many of the plots aim at the petty advancement of individual families, and with every failed scheme, a new one rises to pursue similar goals through different means. Any machination visitors might want to engage in likely will produce little lasting result, but there’s always the chance that a new plot will win the bold riches and power beyond even their wildest dreams. As always, those who pursue the Iron Throne keep their hands in the politics of Anuire. The depth and sophistication of their plots are heads and shoulders above the schemes of the lesser houses.
Today in the Heartlands
- Rumors claim Darien Avan is looking to solidify his hold on his province of Anuire -- and therefore, indirectly on the historically independent Imperial City of Anuire. Reportedly, he is willing to pay a high price, if he must. The prince has been overheard more than once to say that the one who controls Anuire the city controls Anuire the Empire.
- Naturally, Darien, Prince of Avanil, is not the only of the rulers of the Heart who would demand fealty from the rest. Gavin Tael, Baron of Ghoere has, once again, and to the alarm of his neighbors, begun mustering his armies on the borders of his domain. The baron downplays suggestions that his imperialistic urges have gotten the best of him. Of course, such statements from him don’t reassure his neighbors at all, with his troops still sitting at their doorstep. Some domains have begun mustering their own armies at Ghoere’s border to ensure that Tael means no harm.
- There’s rarely much danger of awnshegh attacks in the Heartlands, though the Spider has made some threatening noises again lately. However, those who need to worry about it (namely, the kingdoms of Ghoere and Endier) have prepared well against possible Spider attacks. What everyone expects but no one is truly ready for is the next rampage of the Gorgon. Once per generation, this mightiest of the awnsheghlien marches through all Anuire, harvesting the new bloodlines and making itself ever more powerful. Nearly 20 years has passed since last the Gorgon raged, and the land must ready itself for a riving.
- The Guardians of Mhoried, that kingdom’s army, have kept very busy lately. Scouts have observed goblin and dwarf forces—the combined armies of Markazor and Mur-Kilad—training together in Markazor. As the Gorgon commands these two domains, the Mhor is bracing his kingdom against the abomination’s inevitable onslaught: Historically, the awnshegh marches through Mhoried first. And, as always, goblin raids remain frequent along the Markazor-Mhoried border.