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The land of Inner Besarif is ruled by the chaotic and unpredictable awnshegh - the Doppleganger. It is also a land split between the goblin tribes of Noura, and the gnoll tribes of Ber Sera. The province of Araba is hotly contested between the two.
The humanoids of the realm often raid the surrounding nations independently of their nominal leader and any regent who would invade Inner Besarif would quickly have to face the might of the tribes. The goblins of the north may muster levies that are of equal strength to goblin infantry. After one domain turn these levies revert to goblin skirmishers with the maintenance costs that come with that change. The gnolls of the south may muster 3 units of Gnoll Marauders for free per domain turn. However, maintenance for these warriors must be paid as normal or they will swiftly flee in search of richer pickings elsewhere. Usually only the Doppleganger can afford to feed a sizable force although on occasion a successful raid lets a lesser leader raise a substantial force for a great raid. The Doppleganger also possesses a personal army of 3 Gnoll Marauders, and 3 Goblin Archers. No one in Inner Besarif possesses a navy although some of the tribes have a few fishing canoes.
Too deride the goblins and gnolls as mere barbarian savages, as many of the native of the Golden Archipelago are wont to do, would be an easy mistake to make, but a mistake nonetheless. While the goblins may not build great cities - or even towns - they mine and craft a variety of tools and weapons and possess a complex oral history and mythology and culture. The gnolls have a less well developed sense of racial identity, but are still much more than raiders and scavengers. The gnoll culture reaches its greatest expression when the disparate gnoll tribes meet periodically in great moots in which young warriors win mates, warriors boast of their prowess, slaves are traded and the Doppelganger inevitably is forced to strive to ensure no challenger emerges to his rule.
Inner Besarif is a harsh land. Most of the realm is covered in jungles and steep hills. Near the center of the island is a small chain of mountains. Mostly, volcanoes, this chain is extremely steep and dangerous. The humanoid tribes have many superstitions surrounding these oft burning peaks, for it is said that strange things occur on their slopes and in their shadow. One story holds that the Shadow World is particularly close in these mountains during bleak nights. The truth of this story has not been verified.
Points of interest in Inner Besarif include several Masetian ruins on the coastline and a few ruined shrines in the interior. Popular legend says that there is an ancient Masetian city constructed of gold in the interior. But if it is there, no one has found it and returned.
The humanoids of the realms have no love for each other, and fight each other just about as much as they fight the surrounding humans. It is only the Doppleganger's forces that keep them from killing each other off. However, the tribes will only follow the awnshegh so long as there is some greater advantage in unity than striking off on their own. Should something happen to undermine the Doppleganger's authority, the tenuous peace of the land would be shattered.
The populationof Araba is mixed between tribes of goblins and gnolls, with a few orogs and even ogres and giants. Each of these tribes tends to keep to its own lands, until need forces the clan to raid or conquer another tribe. The nomadic giants tend to leave chaos in their wake as they decimate the herds and game in an area, the passage of the giants inevitably forces the lesser races to raid for food to replenish their stocks until the local game recovers.
The mountains of Belaia are inhabited only by hunters, outcasts and the wild tribes who acknowledge no master behind the patriarch of the clan. Lava flows are infrequent but often start raging fires in the hot summer months before the rains come.
While many of the natives of Noura accept the Doppelganger's leadership, many do not and in the past the Doppelganger waged bitter wars against the resistant clans. Now he simply challenges the chief and slays them. Unfortunately the chieftains he appoints to rule the clan after his victory are often slain by challengers and he must constantly prove his strength to these upstarts.
Sirala is almost as empty as Belaia and for much the same reasons - imposing mountains and impenetrable jungle. Rumours persist of ancient temples buried under the jungles canopy but the days when explorers emerged with Masetian gold and silver are long enough gone for even most of the legends to have died.
In ancient times, the Masetian people built several small towns on the coast, away from the dangers of the interior. When the War of Shadow came, the gnolls and goblins united under a single chieftain and destroyed the coastal settlements before the chieftain turned his eye to the rest of the island. The horde fought many battles against the people of the Golden Archipelago but the chieftain was finally killed shortly before the Battle of Mount Deismaar.
After the war, Besarif setted itself about the task of colonizing the devastated western shore, and clearing the interior. Though it was vastly improved from when the goblins ruled the entire island, Inner Besarif was still a wild frontier when Faraan Al-Sandor arrived. The wizard united the tribes as best he could and has repeatedly tried to attack Besarif and the realms on the island.
Politics in Inner Besarif relates to the coterie of figures around the Doppelganger, the dealings of a handful of priests and the struggles between the chieftains of the larger clans. Brute force is the clear path to power for most leaders in this brutal land, but the goblins and gnolls are also deeply superstitious and spell casters and charlatans both have risen to greatness on the back of the peoples fear - the Doppelganger amongst them.
Three hundred years ago the insane wizard Faraan Al-Sandor came to power in Inner Besarif after a failed coup attempt in Besarif. Not long after his arrival he comitted bloodtheft on a gnoll chieftain tainted with the blood of Azrai. It is from this point on that Faraan Al-Sandor became the Doppleganger (MAw, Wiz13, Az, great 46, CE).
Now cursed with the blood of Azrai, but gifted with the ability to change shape, the Doppleganger possesses an greed for all that he believes is his, namely; the throne of Besarif and the Golden Archipelago. It is fortunate for the inhabitants of the Sahirde el-Mehare that his tragic life and the corruption of Azrai has warped his mind to the point that he lacks the will to continue with one plan for any length of time.
Because of his chaotic nature, the Doppleganger's underlings do most of the work of running the realm, mostly adjudicating over hunting and water rights between clans. He does however, have one close adviser, a gnoll warrior named Mizharek (MG, Ftr4, LE) who acts as a liaison between the regent and the gnoll tribes of the north.
The only other folk known to the outside world are the warring priests.
Kurzaq leads the scream of Yeenoghu, he dreams of someday forming a vast tribe where each warrior has three even four slaves of the 'soft skins'. His warriors frequently raid without the permission of the Doppelganger, and if not for the fanatical loyalty of Kurzaq's followers the Doppelganger might have slain the gnoll long ago, as it is Kurzaq has had to arrange a complex system of codes to reduce the Doppelgangers ability to imitate him and command his followers, several times the Dopelganger has stolen Kurzaq's warriors, in truth the Doppelganger has no respect for the gnoll despite his clerical powers and some think the Doppelganger keeps the gnoll around simply for the amusement of defeating his plans.
Thrul the giant is different, one of the few beings in Inner Besarif who does not fear the doppelganger, Thrul is strong enough to have won the Doppelgangers wary respect while smart enough to know that the sorcery of the Doppelganger could likely destroy him. Thrul has a further benefit over almost all others - he is too massive for the Doppelganger to imitate, and therefore while all other rivals for power can be readily undermined by the Doppelganger Thrul alone can command his goblins without fear of imitation. Careful not to provoke conflict Thrul generally restrains his people from marauding beyond minor raids, or after droughts or the like. Indeed the giant often supports the Doppelganger's raids with his own troops.
The Doppelganger constantly schemes though most of his plans are discarded before they come to fruition. Recently he has become obsessed with creating a potion to bring clarity to his thoughts and has sent agents to recover magical texts and rare herbs from throughout the archipelago.
Karzaq has tired of the Doppelganger's impiety, a vision showed him an ancient artifact of Yeenoghu buried in a temple vault somewhere in the jungle, his warriors search now for the ziggurat bearing statues of hooded serpents that conceals the artifact.
|Araba (4/3)||Dop (1)||SoY (3)||Dop (3)|
|Belaia (0/6)||Dop (4)|
|Ber Sera (1/6)||Dop (1)||SoY (1)||Dop (6)|
|Noura (3/4)||Dop (2)||DHK (3)||Dop (3)|
|Sirala (0/6)||Dop (3)|
|Abbreviations: Dop = the Doppleganger, SoY= Scream of Yeenoghu (Kurzaq), DHK= Dark Haven of Kartathok (Thrul the Giant);|
- Law: The Doppleganger's wanderlust has prevented him from taking many law holdings. So, his followers fight an uphill battle to maintain order in the realm and prevent the humanoid tribes from slaughtering each other.
- Temples: The gnolls of Inner Besarif worship at the Scream of Yeenoghu, while the goblins worship at the Dark Haven of Kartathok.
- Guilds: There is no trade in the thick jungles and mountains of Inner Besarif. A few goblin traders wander from village to village but they owe allegiance to no guild.
- Sources: The Doppleganger has claimed many of the realm's sources and tolerates no interlopers.
Because the Doppleganger and his tribes raid all surrounding realms, they all count him as an enemy.
, 06-24-2008 at 05:52 AM|
Last edited by , 10-23-2011 at 02:27 PM
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