- 1 Introduction
- 2 Life and Society
- 3 The Land
- 4 History
- 5 Mieres Armed Forces
- 6 Important Figures
- 7 Plots and Rumours
- 8 Domain Holding Table
The colony of Mieres is actually not a part of Anuire. It lies at the northeastern tip of the northern peninsula of the Adurian continent, across the Straits of Aerele from the Anuirean mainland. Nonetheless, it is considered an Anuirean realm, as it was a colony established by the Anuirean Empire at the height of its strength.
Although the Governor of Mieres, Arron Vaumel, is a vassal of the Prince of Avanil, in reality Mieres and its residents care little for Anuirean law. Mieres is a hive of villainy and piracy, where scoundrels can flee to escape the reach of those they have wronged.
The Prince of Avanil has the Governor’s sworn fealty. Darien Avan occasionally sends down troops to make sure that Vaumel is not involved in any illegal or dishonest schemes – but of course, Mieres’s regent always stays one step ahead, cleaning up his act (and his territory) before the investigators arrive.
Life and Society
Corruption is a way of life in Mieres. Laws mean little in this realm of commerce and thievery; those that have coin can arrange for whichever laws they may need. The people of Mieres, as a whole, are self-interested and acquisitive. Like their regent they are not particularly concerned with the ideals of law and justice, but are more concerned with personal gain.
The people of Mieres largely look to the sea for their livelihood. While some of the interior provinces thrive on the lumber industry, the majority of the population is involved in fishing, trade, shipbuilding, and other sea-related professions. Many young men that might join the army in other realms instead become sailors. A good number of these go on to become pirates.
Aside from fishing, Mieres has little agriculture. Most of the realm’s grain is imported from Avanil and Diemed. Instead of agricultural pursuits, the majority of Mieres’ working population is employed by the guilds. Those that are not members of shipbuilding or other mercantile guilds belong to the logging guilds.
As a result, there are fewer serfs as a percentage of the population in Mieres than in other Anuirean realms. Most people in the colony would be considered “middle class” in other countries. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they are any wealthier; the people are plagued by bureaucratic corruption so pervasive that it saps a significant portion of their income.
Money is everything in Mieres. Status and prestige is directly tied to wealth. Nobility means little in this kingdom of commerce, as title and position can be bought like chattel here, much like in Brecht realms. Such “created nobles” might not carry much weight on the mainland, but then they don’t carry much weight here either (unless they have the coin to back their title up, of course).
A second and somewhat less respectable path to power and prestige in Mieres is a life as a pirate captain. Arron Vaumel’s Straits of Aerele Shipping actively (and unofficially) sanctions pirate activity in Seaward and on Albiele Island. Such vessels are often employed by Mieres as privateers and corsairs, entitled to keep whatever they find so long as a cut gets back to the Governor. People with mercenary inclinations and few ethical restraints can often find employment on a pirate crew.
Mierans as a whole are not a very religious people. However, a large number of temples contend for the hearts of the people. Since the fall of the Empire, the worship of Haelyn fell out of favor as the realm became increasingly lawless. The temples in Mieres are practical and tend to the issues that concern the people the most.
Each of the several temples scattered throughout Mieres dedicates itself to robbing the others of worshipers. The priests, therefore, seem a lot less subtle than those of other faiths elsewhere in Anuire.
Fishing has long been the primary food source of Mieres and the people recognize their dependence on the sea’s bounty. As a result, the Eastern Temple of Nesirie maintains a strong religious presence in the realm, and has indeed done so since the colony’s founding.
Likewise, commerce and trade have also been a source of prosperity for the colony. The Celestial Jewel of Sarimie found a natural following here among the merchants and guildsmen of Mieres. In recent years, however, as Mieres has become increasingly lawless and inclined towards piracy and corruption, Eloele’s temple of Mieres has supplanted the Celestial Jewel as the favored church of the mercantile class. Indeed, Eloele of Mieres has managed to siphon followers from the Eastern Temple of Nesirie as well, becoming the primary religious force of the country in the process.
The last church with a major religious presence is the Vos temple in Mieres. Pirates have a reputation for being bloodthirsty and the reavers of Mieres are no exception. Belinik’s teachings appeal to the more violent and chaotic of the pirates, and the Vos of Mieres maintains a small temple in Seaward to cater to these individuals. The worship of Kriesha is significantly rarer and less well-known, and primarily revolves around her aspect as a financial planner.
Mieres was the first Anuirean colony and only one of two that remained after the fall of the Empire. Most of the kingdom is covered in forest, with the remnants of the Deismaar mountain range to the south. It used to be that people lived in fear of the empires in Aduria; now locals fear the Governor’s militia and might even welcome southern conquerors.
Albiele Island (1/4)
Albiele Island is an island off the eastern coast of Mieres. Though the Governor would like to claim it as his own, the isle of Albiele is not really even part of the kingdom. Instead, it’s a smuggler’s haven, where ne’er-do-wells and outlaws can hide and where pirates can come to port after preying on the merchant ships that ply the Straits of Aerele.
Protected Harbors: The coasts of Albiele Island are home to several natural harbors that offer protection from the fierce storms that batter the Straits of Aerele every summer. Unfortunately, entrances to the harbors are often shallow and treacherous, dotted with sandbars and rocky reefs just beneath the waves. Still, skilled pirates are able to use these harbors to hide their ships from the vengeance of man and nature alike.
- See Also: Albiele Island
The border province of Brenlie has declined in importance since the fall of the Empire. Today, it is run by stooges of the Governor and is a favorite place to hide for people on the run from Anuirean law. The hilly terrain of the province allows for only subsistence agriculture; the bulk of the province’s economy revolves around mining.
The Governor always keeps a unit or two in Brenlie to ward against monsters from the Adurian Wastes. Anuirean patrols once ranged farther south, but now the land has become wild and untamed.
Abandoned Mines: At the height of the Empire, the mountains and hills of Brenlie were home to several communities built near large mines. Nowadays most of the mines are abandoned, but the extensive excavations underground are believed to be home to bandits and worse.
The province of Crenier on the southern coast of Mieres is home to vibrant logging and fishing industries. The Church of the Southern Star is located here, originally established by the Celestial Jewel of Sarimie in order to bless sailors and merchants headed to points south on trade expeditions. Unfortunately, the Cerilian empires have never entertained any desire to communicate or trade with their Adurian cousins and no trade expeditions were ever sent. Still, the province is home to a tiny port built by Sarimie’s priests that is used by fishermen, pirates and smugglers.
Mieres’ southernmost province, Dhalier, is mostly wild and unexplored. While the colony claims the entire province, in actuality its troops do not patrol all of it. The few permanent residents of Dhalier are mostly fishermen, although the logging guilds do have a camp or two. The other part of Dhalier’s population consists of pirates and smugglers that use the province’s isolated fishing villages to lie low and escape attention. The province is in a constant state of tension as pirates seek to protect their secret bases and hideouts from the Prince of Avanil’s law officers and soldiers. Despite their vigilance, Belinik’s priests have managed to gather enough of a following in this province to set up a small church.
Ouvien Sonnatier (MA; Rog3; unblooded; NE), one of Arron Vaumel’s cronies, manages guild activity in Dhalier and secretly helps the pirates stay one step ahead of Darien Avan’s sheriffs. The eager Captain Bhrie, youngest son of the Count of Bhrein province in Avanil, knows that something is up but hasn’t been able to catch Sonnatier in the act. Dhalier is also frequented by the wizardess Mhistecai, who has recently discovered the vast source potential of the province but has yet to interfere with any of the residents.
Keep of the Master’s Coming: This ancient castle was constructed by the Adurian Legions over 1500 years ago to honor the coming of their dark lord, Azrai. At the onset of the War of Shadow, Azrai’s forces made extensive use of this castle complex for logistical purposes. Its defenses were never tested in battle, and it was quickly abandoned when the Adurians withdrew after Azrai’s defeat at Deismaar. In the years since, it has fallen into ruin and disrepair as the forest has encroached on its towers and battlements. Ivy now crawls up its walls and the flagstones are covered in moss. The soldiers patrolling Dhalier never venture near the castle, which is located at the southwestern border of the province in the heart of the forest – locals say that the place is haunted by Azrai’s vengeful spirit.
The westernmost province of Mieres, Ghaele is the main agricultural province of the realm. Although the province is sparsely populated, its farmers produce enough bounty to export to other provinces in the realm. The fishing industry thrives here as well – fishermen here ply both the seacoast and the Ceolie River, which runs north from the mountains in southern Brenlie.
The Governor’s men run the show in Ghaele, although the Eastern Temple of Nesirie offers some protection to the poor fishermen oppressed by the guilds.
Adurian Forts: Stone forts constructed by Azrai’s armies in the years before the Battle of Mount Deismaar dot the province. A handful of these have been claimed by Mieres’ soldiers, but many more of these ruins lie unexplored and unclaimed. It is rumored that pirate bands have claimed a keep or two as their strongholds, and goblins or orogs might control many more.
Lathier lies on the northern coast of Mieres, immediately to the west of Seaward. Much of the population is employed in forestry-related trades. The scheming Count of Lathier, Marcus Rouine (MA; Ftr2; Basela, tainted, 7; LE), is constantly trying to lure more people to settle in the province. He hopes to build it up into a major seaport to rival Seaward and therefore line his own pockets with proceeds from accompanying tariffs and fees. Unfortunately for him, Lathier has a reputation as a backwards province that is good for little more than supplying the shipbuilders in Seaward with lumber.
Mielen is in many ways a smaller version of Lathier. The Straits of Aerele Shipping is the primary economic force in the province and like in most other provinces of Mieres, the law doesn’t interfere with the guild’s affairs. Unlike other provinces, however, there is one force strong enough to stand up to Vaumel’s thugs – Mhistecai.
The Wizard of Mieres holds her strongest source in Mielen. Even though the province is not her base of operations, her source here is powerful enough to allow her to oppose Arron Vaumel’s interests. The common people of Mielen know of her power and respect her, and occasionally act on her behalf.
The port of Seaward, a hive of scum and villainy, seems to harbor not a single reputable person - though the residents can certainly put on a good show when they need to. The capital city proves a favorite spot for pirates to sell their ill-gotten gains. It's also the place to pick up any items forbidden on the Anuirean mainland. The only problem is getting them back into the northern realms unnoticed.
The province of Seaward (which harbors the city of the same name) is the mercantile center of Mieres as well as the realm’s most populous province. The majority of legitimate guild organizations doing business in the province are in the logging industry. Trade vessels based in the Western Marches, Southern Coast, and parts further east occasionally stop here, carrying foodstuffs and manufactured goods. Most of the bureaucrats and sheriffs here are corrupt, although those that answer to the Prince of Avanil attempt to maintain some semblance of honesty. Unfortunately, they must keep their efforts minimal if they want to keep their heads – everyone knows that the guild thugs run the province.
Governor’s Palace: From his palace (3) in Seaward, the Governor of Mieres, Arron Vaumel, hatches new moneymaking schemes and manages the affairs of his domain. This majestic building, filled with riches and ill-gotten wares, doubles as the headquarters of the Straits of Aerele Shipping Guild.
Seaward Shipyards: Adjacent to the docks, the shipyards of Seaward are among the largest and most advanced in all Anuire. The shipbuilding industry thrives in Seaward, having the advantage of a major port situated near a ready source of quality lumber. Merchants commission the construction of new vessels for their own use as well as to sell to foreign countries and guilds.
Serien province, located in the center of the colony, is something of an anomaly for two reasons. First, it is landlocked. Second, its people are largely honest and hardworking. The legal apparatus of this province answers primarily to Darien Avan and as a result is efficient and mostly honest. This is still Mieres, though, and a few of the local sheriffs take every opportunity to line their pockets with graft from the logging guilds.
Serien is almost as populous as Seaward, but unlike its coastal neighbor, Serien engages in little trade with the outside world. Instead, the economy of this province is driven by the lumber industry. Most of the residents belong to one of the logging guilds, which ultimately supply the Straits of Aerele Shipping.
Elaurie Serien (FA; Ar2; Reynir, major, 25; LN) is the Countess of Serien. Her family has ruled this province since the founding of the colony, and their constant presence has proved a stabilizing force and prevented widespread corruption within the provincial government. While the Serien family is often at odds with the Governor for their refusal to bend laws or overlook illegal activity in the province, they enjoy the support of the Prince of Avanil.
Chapel of Rain: The main administrative complex of the Eastern Temple of Nesirie is unusual in that it is built in a landlocked province. A throwback to an earlier era in which temples of Nesirie were prevalent throughout Mieres, the priests of the Eastern Temple constructed this temple on the slopes of the mountain range in the southwestern portion of Serien province. The temple offers a majestic view of the seas all around the Mieres peninsula.
Today, the temple is still the headquarters for the Eastern Temple’s administrative arm. While shrines and small temples to Nesirie still dot the eight provinces of Mieres, all tithes and other collections are brought to the Chapel of Rain in Serien.
Mhistecai Tower: Although she has just started developing sources in the province, Mhistecai chose Serien as her base of operations when she first began establishing sources in Mieres. Serien’s central location makes it an ideal spot from which to build a network of ley lines. Furthermore, Darien Avan’s control over the legal apparatus of the province offers her added protection from possible reprisals from Vaumel’s thugs.
Mieres was the first colony established by the Anuirean Empire after its formation and one of only two to survive the Empire’s breakup. It was established in the first few generations after the Empire was formed, and was intended to serve as an advanced bulwark against a second Adurian invasion from the south. Its military and strategic value has since diminished, and today it is only a marginal player in Anuirean politics.
The peninsula on which Mieres is situated was reconnoitered not long after the Battle of Mount Deismaar. Roele sanctioned a scouting expedition to the northern tip of Aduria in 5 HC, just to ensure that no Adurian units remained in the area. This scouting expedition became an annual affair, as Roele was determined not to be caught by a surprise attack from the south while his forces were engaged in the north and east.
The third Roele emperor sought to cement a defensive presence in Aduria in 101 HC with the creation of a small, wooden fort in what is now Seaward province. This state of affairs persisted for another century and a half, until the year 256 HC, when a brilliant commander named Alenic Miere came to the attention of the Emperor.
In 256 HC, much of the continent of Cerilia was in peace and under the control of the Anuirean Empire. One of the major remaining flashpoints was the Brecht kingdom of Kiergard, which came under repeated attack from the Gorgon’s Crown. Alenic Miere was a captain in the Third Anuirean Army, stationed in Kiergard, and distinguished himself in numerous battles against the Gorgon’s forces. His family came from lower order nobility and held a small plot of land in Avanil. The Emperor wished to reward the young Captain Miere for his outstanding service, but was faced with the dilemma of having little land to give near the Miere family’s ancestral holdings in Avanil.
However, the land at the northern tip of Aduria was unsettled and not far from the Imperial City in absolute distance. Seeking to hit two birds with one stone, the Emperor granted three coastal provinces of land to Miere with the order that he should start an Anuirean colony there. Miere was pleased with the task, as he did not expect to receive such a large reward.
In 258 HC Alenic Miere’s household and retainers moved to the newly christened province of Seaward, bringing with them a priest from the Imperial Temple of Haelyn as well as a cleric from the Eastern Temple of Nesirie in Aerenwe, of which Alenic’s wife was a follower.
Through the years of Miere’s life, the three provinces of Mieres were secure and well-policed. Alenic as a believer in vigilance and discipline, and performed exactly the job the Emperor wanted him to do.
Thanks to the presence of the well-trained Imperial troops, there were few threats to the security of Mieres. No Adurian troops were ever sighted, although far-ranging scouts reported groups of humanoids living in the wastelands to the south and west.
Alenic Miere died in 293 HC of natural causes. The peaceful rule of the Miere family continued until 722 HC, when goblins from the southwest finally overcame their fear of the Deismir Forest and began encroaching on lands held by the humans. The Baron of Mieres (for Mieres had been promoted to the status of a barony in 389 HC), Kalien Miere, rallied his troops and met the goblin formations in what is now Lathier province. Unfortunately, the Baron had little combat experience and was killed in the battle. His eldest son and heir, Kovan Miere, inherited the regency during a battlefield investiture and continued the battle against the goblins. Though Mieres forces won the battle despite sustaining heavy losses, it would take two years of warfare before the three provinces held by the ruling family were cleared of all goblins.
Intermittent wars and skirmishes between the humans and the goblins continued for another forty years, when the aged Kovan Miere, with the aid of Imperial troops, finally pushed the goblins out of the forests for good. Some of the soldiers remained behind at the Emperor’s order, and Kovan Miere was given authority to settle the eight provinces Mieres has today in 765 HC.
Mieres prospered until Michael Roele’s death. The Miere family became embroiled in numerous civil wars in the waning days of the Empire and this led to the eventual demise of the family. Constant warfare drained the treasury and the final Miere baron was lost at sea along with shiploads of soldiers on the way to Diemed. Following this event in 87 MR, Mieres descended into anarchy.
In 255 MR Avanese forces subdued the colony and the Prince of Avanil appointed a colonial governor for the realm. The Governor of Mieres continued to pay tribute to the regents in Daulton until 380 MR, when a disastrous war with Boeruine caused Avanil to lose much of its power and land. Colonial government was overthrown during that time and Mieres descended again into anarchy until 418 MR, when a weak Diemed baron attempted to impose control over the realm in order to deflect attention from problems at home. Diemed control over the realm lasted for only two years before the baron lost control.
Mieres endured another period of anarchy and misrule until 499 MR, when Veladan Avan, the Prince of Avanil, reconquered the realm. He appointed a colonial governor in the name of the Empire. Arron Vaumel, the present governor, ascended to the regency in 538 MR, under mysterious circumstances involving the death of the previous governor. The new Prince of Avanil, Darien Avan, suspected foul play but agreed not to reintroduce Avanese troops to the realm under the condition that Vaumel would continue to pay tribute to the Prince.
Mieres Armed Forces
The bulk of Mieres’ standing armies are militia under the command of the Governor. These units include:
- 1 unit of infantry
- 1 unit of irregulars
- 2 units of archers
- 1 unit of pikemen
- 2 units of scouts
- 1 unit of mercenary cavalry
Arron Vaumel makes no distinction between vessels belonging to Mieres’ navy and ships owned by the Straits of Aerele Shipping Guild. These assets include:
Governor Vaumel’s naval forces can be supplemented in a crisis by ships belonging to his allies among the pirates. While the exact strength and disposition of these forces is unknown, they are assumed to include at least the following:
The Prince of Avanil also maintains forces in Mieres. Units loyal to Darien Avan include:
- 1 unit of elite infantry
- 1 unit of archers
Arron Vaumel (MA; Rog5; Br, minor, 17; NE) is the corrupt Governor of Mieres. A vassal of Darien Avan, Vaumel offers little political or military support to his liege's claim to the Iron Throne, only gold. Since his realm lies far away from the political heart of Anuire, he spends much of his time trying to increase profits from his guilds. He pays little attention to his law holdings, however; many of them are controlled by the Prince of Avanil. Sly, distrusting, and untrustworthy, the Governor of Mieres ...
Mhistecai (FA; Wiz6; Vo, major, 45; N) is Mieres’s lone mage. She holds a monopoly on the realm’s magic – and as a result, is a powerful counterweight to the Governor. Mhistecai sees Mieres as hers, although she hasn’t built up enough of a power base to directly challenge the governor yet. Vaumel and Mhistecai don’t always see eye to eye, though occasionally they work together in the interest of the realm.
Sarae Somellin (FA; Rog2/Clr3; Br, minor, 22; NE) serves as the high priestess of Eloele’s temple of Mieres. This opportunistic and two-faced woman exemplifies the duplicity of Eloele’s priesthood. A master of intrigue and misdirection, Somellin has managed to build Eloele of Mieres into the most potent religious force on the island and its undeclared state religion. This arrangement sits fine with Somellin, who would rather influence events from the shadows as her goddess would wish.
Pyotr Selenie (MV; Bbn1/Clr4; An, tainted, 9; CE) serves as the spiritual leader for a significant portion of Mieres’s pirates and corsairs. Belinik’s warpriest recognizes that his presence in Anuirean lands is tenuous at best but this fact doesn’t discourage him from delivering fiery sermons. He continually encourages his charges to more violent and overt acts of piracy, hoping to please his god through the creation of bloodshed. Selenie is actually half Vos and half Anuirean, although he clearly takes after his Vos mother in demeanor as well as appearance.
Plots and Rumours
Order into Chaos: Several realms along the Southern Coast including Roesone and Diemed have grown tired of continual pirate raids based out of Albiele Island. These realms have threatened to take matters into their own hands if the raids don’t stop. Reportedly the Prince of Avanil wishes to prevent an invasion of Mieres and has offered to send his own soldiers and constables to the isle to clean up the mess.
Adurian Advance: Mieres scouts in the provinces of Dhalier and Brenlie have reported signs of activity at ruined castles and forts in the area. It is unknown whether this activity is due to monsters, bandits, or humanoids from the Adurian Wastes. Nonetheless, peasants in the outlying provinces have begun to whisper that Azrai has returned and is preparing to lead his legions in a second invasion of Cerilia. What few have considered is that these rumors were deliberately stirred up by the Governor of Mieres, so that he can raise additional militia to ward against the “threat” of the Adurians…
Mhistecai on the Move: Scouts and woodsmen in the southern provinces of Mieres have reported seeing a lone individual heading south and west through the border provinces of the realm. These observers believe the mysterious figure is indeed the sorceress Mhistecai, who is in the process of expanding her source network beyond the former colony. Little is known of the lands to the south and the west – if rumors of Mhistecai’s expansion are true, who knows what she might stir up?
Tower Ships: Some people familiar with Mieres’s shipbuilding industry believe that the Governor’s men have obtained designs to the legendary Brecht tower ships! These rumors have spread throughout several Anuirean realms, and supposedly some regents have quietly expressed interest in purchasing some of the vessels for their own use. No doubt this information will reach the ears of Brecht spies before long – and once that happens, saboteurs from Müden and Danigau won’t be far behind.
The Rogues’ Alliance: Normally Arron Vaumel has little interest in the activities of priests in his realm, but the recent success of Eloele’s temple of Mieres has caught his attention. It is rumored that the Governor himself has formally converted to the worship of Eloele, and that an alliance between Vaumel and Sarae Somellin is in the works. If that is true, the followers of Nesirie and Sarimie may find themselves evicted before long.
The Dragon of Deismaar: A lone miner in Brenlie province has reported seeing a dragon soaring over the peaks to the south! While this evidence is uncorroborated, it has sent the local population into rampant rumormongering. Some miners have said that dragons don’t exist and that the sighting is a hoax, while others fear the invasion of their lands by such a fearsome beast. Yet others have begun to sell their services as guides to adventuring companies, who hope to plunder the legendary riches dragons are said to possess.
Domain Holding Table
|Brenlie (3/4)||AV (1)||EOM (3)||AV (3)||Mhi (0)|
|Crenier (2/5)||AV (1)||CJS (2)||AV (2)||Mhi (3)|
|Dhalier (1/6)||DA (1)||VOM (1)||AV (1)||Mhi (0)|
|Ghaele (2/3)||AV (1)||ETN (2)||AV (2)||Mhi (3)|
|Lathier (3/4)||AV (1)||EOM (3)||AV (3)||Mhi (4)|
|Mielen (2/5)||AV (1)||EOM (2)||AV (2)||Mhi (5)|
|Seaward (4/3)|| AV (2)
| EOM (3)
|AV (4)||Mhi (3)|
|Serien (4/3)|| DA (3)
|ETN (4)||AV (4)||Mhi (0)|
|Abbreviations: AV = Arron Vaumel (Mieres, Straits of Aerele Shipping); EOM = Eloéle of Mieres (Sarae Somellin); Mhi = Mhistecai; CJS = Celestial Jewel of Sarimie (Temias Coumain); DA = Darien Avan (Avanil); VOM = Vos of Mieres (Pytor Selenie); ETN = Eastern Temple of Nesirie (Maire Cwllmie).|