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Several elven nations still exist on Cerilia. They rule themselves and remember the old times, when they alone walked the forests of Cerilia as free people. Many continue to look into the past - either in remembrance and mourning, or with thoughts of vengeance and recovery.

Most of Cerilia's elves share similar attitudes toward and systems of government, though variations do exist. Most elven realms appear to employ monarchy as their primary form of government, although to the human outsider much of the feudal system appears completely absent and the 'kings' and 'queens' of the elves are obeyed more because they are respected than because of their title. Elves revere no deities and do not believe in divine right, as such Elf regents sometimes have to prove their worth to their populace - before and after donning the crown. Being immortal, the elves have little concept of inheritance, however heredity does play a part in the lineage of most elf regents.

This fact does not disturb most elves, as they rarely consider rulership as privilege. Ruling a kingdom is a hard job to which few elves aspire. While a human peasant might fantasize about someday becoming a knight or even a lord, and a knight or lord might aspire to regency, elves generally long for more freedom and time to enjoy the wonders of the world. The rulers of the elves have less freedom than their subjects and must live with responsibility. The chaotic nature of most elves must be suppressed in a would-be king, or he will run his domain into ruin. Many elven rulers simply handover their throne to a successor one day the burden grown to great, though some have ruled their lands for centuries.


The great forest of Aelvinnwode once sheltered thousands of carefree elves; now only one elven nation remains. Tuarhievel, like most elven kingdoms, is ruled by a monarch. The queen or prince traditionally has the last say in all affairs concerning the kingdom. However, a council of nobles - the Council of the Moon - advises the regent on state matters.

Generally, elf regents pass on their monarchies to worthy successors only after centuries of rule. In Tuarhievel, the Thorn Throne itself decides who should or should not sit upon it. Candidates for rulership therefore strive to make themselves worthy of regency. Prince Fhileraene, for example, became a powerful warrior and formidable wizard while preparing for the throne.


Rhianna Waymuun takes the title of Protector of Coullabhie, though she has earned the rank of queen many times over. The realm of Coullabhie is all that remains of an ancient kingdom that once filled a larger Coulladaraight with elven laughter and song. Now the elven realm contains only the memory of former glory.

Unlike the sad Emerald Queen of the Sielwode, the Protector of Coullabhie does not take the burden of the world upon her own shoulders. She does look to protect her borders from human encroachment, but keeps her folk aware of the outside world - and ready to deal with it. The Sayer of Coullabhie, her powerful court wizard, keeps the realm safe from human magics.

Like the Prince of Tuarhievel, the protector has opened up her realm 'slightly' to nearby humans. Though she does not suffer them to walk beneath the eaves of the Coulladaraight (at least within the borders of her realm), she does allow elves to wander the world and come back with reports and news. Her guildmaster and second adviser (after the wizard) keeps her updated on the happenings of Cerilia. Though the protector sees herself as a servant of the elven realm, she does hold final say in all matters. She seeks knowledge and advice, knowing the wisdom of good advisers, but makes for herself any decisions that affect her realm.


Little is known of the Faerie Court of the Sielwode. Its ruler, Emerald Queen Isaelie, seems to hold great power in her kingdom, but she uses it sparingly. She sealed off the borders of the Sielwode to humans (even though she truly feels no direct animosity toward them), and her stealthy hunters enforce her will as law. Still, they do not kill humans on sight - though the elves refuse to suffer them walking freely through the realm.

The Emerald Queen spares her elves the worries of the world by taking them all upon herself. She uses her realm spells and conventional magics to keep humans from encroaching on the realm's borders, but knows full well that the Sielwode cannot remain inviolate forever.


One of the great elves out of the distant past, Rhuobhe Manslayer continues his own private gheallie Sidhe against humanity. While most other elven realms have made peace (however uneasy) with the humans, Rhuobhe's domain is populated by elves who still desire the utter destruction of humans.

Rhuobhe is revered by the few elves who stay with him, his philosophy may be one of hate and grief with the normal joy of elves in life and growth near absent but several thousand of the sidhe have remained beside him since the battle of Mount Deismaar.

In Rhuobhe's realm, what he says goes, those sidhe beside him stayed in the mountainous lands rather than return to the deep forests because they believed in their lord, and that faith has never waned. Rhuobhe's temper has grown with age though he has yet to succumb to the wrath of the awnsheghlien, some of his closer followers may question him, but even they do so very carefully.


While several dwarf communities exist on the continent of Cerilia, three provide adequate examples of truly dwarven realms. These realms are, and always have been, ruled by dwarves who hold their race's ancient traditions sacrosanct - but in slightly different ways.

The dwarves of Cerilia tend to be hot-blooded but stubborn, conservative but inventive, and greedy but fair. Dwarves often have complicated traditions and laws meant to defeat their own inner natures. Rather than fight endless feuds or hold grudges into the next millenia, most dwarves would rather submit to a complex but complete set of laws. Such a code keeps the individual clans from fighting among themselves and keeps the business of the dwarves on track.

As a result, dwarves tend to think of their clans first, their kingdoms second, and their individual interests last. While it is true that a lone dwarf, adventuring or trading on his own, can seem self-centered or easily bruised by insult, that attitude arises out of his belief in tradition. The individual dwarf, out in the world, thinks of himself as a representative of his people - and those he encounters as representatives of their peoples. So, when one dwarf has a bad experience with, for example, a Rjurik trader, he spreads the word that Rjurik traders are bad. The same thing holds true for governments. If the dwarves of Baruk-Azhik have a negative encounter with guilders from Rohrmarch, they will hold a grudge against all the people of Rohrmarch - and perhaps all the Brechts as well.

Since these opinions can be formed out of single encounters, dwarves have complex traditions and procedures regarding contact and dealings with peoples of other races. Only through slow and careful interaction can human or other governments make alliances with dwarven kingdoms. And dwarves never forget a promise kept - or a promise broken.


Grimm Graybeard has served for many years as overthane, or king, of Baruk-Azhik. His thanes, or lieutenants, rule four of the five provinces in his realm for him. While the overthane has the last word in all decisions, the council of thanes seldom lets any decision pass without discussion. Less important than the thanes, but still significant are the clans.

Dwarves are a lawful folk who have very conservative ideas about government. Each dwarf in Baruk-Azhik knows his place in society, and each expects all the others to fulfill their places. The overthane makes decisions based upon this belief, and Baruk-Azhik is an orderly, well-run realm because of it. Overthanes do have a long period during which they must earn the trust of the thanes, clans, and other domain rulers.

Those who control temple and guild holdings in Baruk-Azhik seldom trouble the overthane. While guildmaster Diirk Watershold sometimes flaunts the traditional 'closed border' policy of the overthane, both he and the high priest stand firmly behind the overthane when it counts. Otherwise, they do not interfere in the realm regent's governance of the kingdom.


To the dwarves of Baruk-Azhik, the government of Daikhur Zhigun may seem a little primitive. The clan leaders of the dwarves in the Twin Fortresses have more say in the government and participate more actively than do the thanes of Baruk-Azhik. The king of Daikhur Zhigun rules because he heads the largest clan in the realm. Traditionally, the leader of the church of Moradin comes from the second-largest clan, and that dwarf serves as the king's second-in-command.

Tradition governs Daikhur Zhigun as tightly as its realm regent governs the kingdom. While the dwarves of the Twin Fortresses interact more with the outside world than do those of Baruk-Azhik, they tend to be even more conservative in their internal dealings. The government resembles that of the Rjurik humans: Individual clan leaders speak nearly as loudly at council as does the king.


Unlike the other two dwarven kingdoms described here, Khurin-Azur maintains a true hereditary monarchy unburdened by limits from clans, nobles, or other domains. Stonelords have ruled the three provinces of Khurin-Azur for uncounted generations.

Beset by enemies on many fronts, Khurin-Azur has become a very militaristic kingdom. It maintains a strong army and Tjorgrim Stonelord, the ancient battle-scarred warrior-king of the realm, has two dukes (vassals) who help keep the provinces secure. If Tjorgrim were not such an accomplished warrior himself, the people would demand he appoint a warlord to lead the armies.

Even though the Stonelord rules his kingdom absolutely, he does foster the support of the priesthood of Moradin and the guilds. Both the temple and guild holdings of the realm are more military-oriented than those of other dwarven realms, and prone to deference to the commander of the realm's armies. In fact, the Stonelord encourages the priests in his realm to maintain a small standing army.
Hereditary governments depend on tradition, but Khurin-Azur demands competency as well. Many appointed positions exist within the realm - dukedoms and lieutenancies must be earned. Weak Stonelords have existed in the past; their rules have been short and unpleasant.

[top]Dwarves among the Humans

Dwarves tend to be family-oriented, traditional, and conservative - and they like to be left alone. While dwarves may trade with other races, they prefer to keep their own dealings (particularly in government) to themselves. The dwarves of Mur-Kilad have been dominated by the Gorgon for so long they have lost much of their identity, but this is an exception to the dwarven rule.

More pockets of dwarves and dwarven communities exist in Cerilia than anyone suspects. Every region of the continent has at least one group of dwarves somewhere. Single clans or even families compose most of these tiny settlements, and much of their energy seems devoted to going unnoticed by the humans and other races of the area.

Some dwarves do live among men, elves, or even the humanoid races. In the Brecht realm of Dauren, for example, dwarves fleeing the domination of the Gorgon set up a small colony many centuries ago. When they encountered the human miners of Brechtür in the mountains, they quickly learned to work together and better each other's techniques. Now, though they live under the aegis of human rule, the dwarves of Dauren maintain their own traditions and their own leaders.


Halflings make their homes - as individuals, as small families, and even as tiny communities - in all parts of the continent. They usually ignore human or elven law as long as it ignores them, but they respect its presence and take care not to cause disruptions in its practice. When halflings do get noticed by their neighbors, they present themselves as cooperative, energetic, and cheerful.

It isn't surprising, then, that more than a few halflings have found places of importance in several realms. In Müden, for example, a halfling guildmaster serves as a lieutenant to the Count of Müden, and his niece runs a small temple (not to mention a secret guild of thieves). Other halflings work their way into human dealings as well, usually as merchants or scouts. While some humans may have trouble accepting the diminutive folk as figures of authority, the exceptional halfling that becomes one seldom needs to prove himself a second time.

Though halflings live all over Cerilia - in all the human regions and even among some of the elven domains - they maintain only one known realm on the continent. This realm must suffice as an example of typical halfling government, though the government may be a product of the realm's surroundings.

[top]The Burrows

This five-province realm existed long before the humans, or even the elves, of southern Brechtür and northern Khinasi noticed it. Quiet and pleasant, the Burrows does not close its borders to outsiders, but it somehow discourages the types of problems frequently encountered by other small kingdoms.

An outsider visiting the Burrows - especially a human outsider - would have a hard time noticing the halflings' government. A council rules the realm, headed by an elected leader; others who control holdings try to support the council and the realm regent on those few occasions when their backing becomes necessary.

The halflings, however, have a strong ability to make other races underestimate them. Looking back through the past few centuries, wars and political conflicts have swept over the region around the Burrows, yet the halfling realm remains markedly untouched. Coincidence can account for only so much good fortune.

For the most part, the individual halflings of the realm govern themselves. They farm, they fish, and they build, giving little thought to government or defense. Still, they respond quickly when they have to - the last halfling mustering was much more rapid than outsiders anticipated and discouraged raiders driven out of the Sphinx's realm from preying on the 'defenseless' halflings.


Gnolls, goblins, orogs, and a few other humanoid races live in organized societies throughout Cerilia. Their main goal seems to be the destruction of other peoples - and if they can't destroy their neighbors, they quickly go to work on each other.


Perhaps the most numerous of the social humanoids, the goblins also tend to be the best organized. Individually small and unimpressive, they breed - and fight - like rats, with little or no remorse for their lost comrades.

Though Anuireans know little of Thurazor, the goblin kingdom in Anuire, it does appear to be the most civilized of all the known goblin kingdoms. Driven by necessity and the unusual wisdom of their leaders, the goblins of Thurazor maintain their kingdom carefully. The goblins focus on making their realm strong and safe for goblinkind - in the hope that someday they can ruin their neighbors through cunning and gathered power.

The King of Thurazor rules by virtue of being old, canny, and dangerous. He keeps his lieutenants close; they keep their enforcers even closer. They punish those goblins who resort to chaotic and destructive ways, and the king focuses all goblin aggression into other passions or outwards.

Fortunately for Thurazor's neighbors, even civilized goblins cannot cooperate completely. The king's main occupation involves keeping his regency. His most trusted advisers and lieutenants are also his most bitter rivals - as expected. The goblin king wants only the smartest and toughest goblins by his side and he anticipates that they will want his throne. Regicide is the prefered method of passing on the kingship in Thurazor, and no goblin wants to change that. In a way, Thurazor's method of selecting a leader seems more enlightened than that of many lands. If a goblin proves smart enough, fast enough, and strong enough, it doesn't matter who his parents were or whether he can win favor with a collection of nobles. True ability (and more than a little luck) wins the monarchy of Thurazor.

The largest goblin realms of all is mighty Kal Kalathor. This vast realm in Vosgaard is ruled by the Great Khan, the politics of the goblins is labyrinthine and no Khan has ever lasted more than a decade, but the Khanate always maintains a unified front to outsiders.


The orogs of Cerilia maintain few known kingdoms. Organized in bands and small clans
throughout the continent, the fierce and independent nature of the orogs keeps them from building secure domains. Their realms seem to thrive only in places where they can maintain constant war with their neighbors.

Such circumstances exist within the Iron Hand Tribes of Khinasi and in the Blood Skull Barony of the Rjurik Highlands. Orogs also maintain a strong presence among the Urga-Zai goblins, within the Gorgon's Crown, and in the Orlenaskyy Mountains among the Sword Rust Tribes.

Orogs have a very primitive view of government: The strong rule, the weak obey. A corollary to this rule seems to be: The weak plot to become the strong so that they can rule. Stable government has never been a trademark of orog society.

Thrakkazz the Scarlet Baron (of the Blood Skull Barony) has kept his rule for 10 years - longer than most orog chieftains can conceive possible. He somehow managed to find trustworthy lieutenants and vassals among his followers and uses them to subjugate the lesser orogs and other humanoids in the area. It helps that the Blood Skull Barony is literally surrounded by enemies. Its only 'safe' border seems to be the small southern one abutting the Giantdowns - and rumblings from the awnshegh Ghuralli have
made this safety questionable.


Gnolls, like orogs, tend toward brutal governance and unstable realms. The Black Spear Tribes of Khinasi actually serve the Lost sorcerer el-Sheighül. Garak zul Turbun, Great Yhan and chieftain of the Black Spear Tribes, believes himself to be the ruler of the chaotic gnoll bandits of this region, but he deludes himself. Without the sorcerer behind him, Garak's realm would have dissolved into chaos years ago.

Organized groups of gnolls do form realms from time to time. The Gnoll Fells humanoids in Vosgaard actually have a permanent temple to Yeenoghu, run by a gnoll priest. They maintain constant conflict with most of their neighbors, which allows their leaders to 'weed out' potential troublemakers by sending them to the front lines.

Gnoll realms, when they do exist, assume predatory roles. As long as the gnoll leadership can direct its warriors' chaotic and destructive energies outward, the domain survives. When the gnolls fail in their conquests (or succeed too well), hostilities turn inward, usually with disastrous consequences.


Trolls maintain very little social structure. Even the very small domains are the exception rather than the rule. Often, solitary or small gangs of trolls can be found dominating or serving goblins or evil humans. Sometimes, whole gangs of trolls might enlist as mercenaries, fighting under the flag of the Gorgon or another powerful awnshegh. While trolls in the humanoids of Cerilia form governments, they often follow the 'strongest will rule' method of kingship. Their tenures as kings tend to be brief, and their kingdoms last about as long as their lives.


Before the age of elves, giants are thought to have dominated Cerilia. The elves grew in significance and eclipsed the giants, and since then, their numbers have been small. Giants, and other giantkin, like ogres maintain extended kinships. Sometimes giants form tribes, with collections of kin groups claiming a common ancestor. More commonly, a family of giants is able to dominate other humanoids. Nevertheless, even the very small domains are the exception rather than the rule. More commonly, solitary or small groups of giants can be found dominating or serving goblins or evil humans. Giants often follow the 'strongest will rule' method of kingship.


Occupants of the northern woods of the Rjurik Highlands, the Fhoimoriens are tyrannical and cruel, and their occasional domination of men has been as horrible as any despotism men have inflicted on each other. Fhoimorien kings are cruel to their subjects, and their authority is absolute. They hold on to power by brute force and reputation, torturing any who step out of line.

[top]Ice Giants

Ice giants are cruel and spiteful creatures that survive in the frozen north of Cerilia. Ice giants often dominate smaller creatures, particularly frost giants but also hill giants, trolls, ogres, and ettins. Ice giants, more than any of their other giant kin pine for the age of giants, and seek to destroy the elves and humans who succeeded them as masters of Cerilia, and encase the world in ice.

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