Kingdom Name: Afrer
Population with racial breakdown by percentages: 239,150 (Gomens 47 %, Hourugaens 24%, Alrabi 19%, Hareans 10%)
Primary Religions in kingdom: Berun Waterwalker, Junpolipi, Nimonra, Kaelis.
Imports: Metals, wood.
Exports: Glass, exotic fruits.
Society Alignment: CG, N, CN
Dubbed by those who live there as “The Gomens Paradise”, Afrer is a kingdom that was made very much in the image of the Gomens’ culture. Consisting of a handful of towns and only one city, Kengir, Afrer has become a retreat for a lot of Gomens who no longer wish to deal with the troubles that currently plague the mainland of Falthoan.
Life and Society:
On the land of Afrer, the people live relatively peaceful lives. Trade between Afrer, Mesti, and Sassurah dominates business here, and many shipping costers have facilities here. Most find work as either merchants, as dockhands, or on the merchant ships themselves. Most of the people here are kind, hard-working, and straightforward, and treat strangers with respect so long as the strangers do the same.
Of course, there is another way to make money in Afrer: piracy. This is the major problem that plagues Afrer (along with Mesti) today. Pirates account for over 90% of all ships that are lost at sea. Reports come in almost daily now of attacks at sea, and many of the shipping costers are now hiring mercenaries to help protect their vessels.
Major Geographical Features: The island of Ginlaid (the island is only called this by locals, throughout Falthoan, people just refer to the entire kingdom as Afrer). The island is mostly flat in the middle, with most of the coastline made of cliffs that drops sharply into the sea. Many pirates make their bases in the caves that line these cliffs.
Sites of Importance:
Kengir (metropolis, pop. 166,900) – The capital of Afrer, this is the only settlement of any size in Afrer that does not sit along the coast. The ability to expand out in all directions, as well as it’s location between Arrea, Alyme, Saltham, and Quabal has made Kengir the center of most activity in Kengir. Most of the shipping and merchant costers that operate in Afrer are based out of Kengir. The city (and the kingdom) is ruled by the Waves of the Armada, a council made up of the 5 largest shipping costers in Afrer, based on current value. New audits are performed every 4 years, and if any of the current seat holders falls below the top five in value, they are replaced by those costers who have moved into the top five in value. (Value is considered to be the sum of all liquid assets, value of property, and value of ships.)
Straits of Raign – This strait is about 60 miles wide, between the mainland of Afrer and the island of Ginlaid, is a shallow area made up of reefs and wrecks of ships. Travel is somewhat hazardous for inexperienced captains in this area, though most of the reefs have been mapped, and the Waves make sure that any new wrecks are documented and included in the yearly shipping lane maps.
Afrer was first discovered in the year 449 A.S., by the Gomen captain Lintil Starfinder and his crew aboard the ship “Berun’s Wave”. Lintil and his crew landed on the northern shore of Sassurah. The following is an excerpt from Lintil’s private journal:
“5/2/4/509 A.S. - Today we landed on an island. According to our charts, we are about 400 nenerons (miles) southwest of Jenneria. The island is a wonder! Upon landing, we found a plain extending south as far as we could see. There is no sign of any other people here, but many animals roam here free. Some, like the Plaitum (peacock) and the Sudiom (crabs), we’ve seen before, but others are of the like of which we have never seen before! We saw what looked like a pack of dogs with yellow-brown fur. However, they seemed to be able to disappear and reappear in new locations around us at will. One of them approached us, apparently studying us. They seem to be quite intelligent, and have some way of communicating with each other, perhaps through the noises they make.”
Following Lintil’s discovery, more expeditions to the area arrived. By the year 457 A.S., the first settlement, Quabal, had been formed, and expeditions were sent out from the settlement to learn more about the new part of the world. In 458, the island of Ginlaid was discovered, and the settlement of Kaeliron was founded 2 years later.
In the year 461 A.S., Gomen and Hourugaen explorers traveling in the Alrabi desert had their first encounter with the race of lizard-like men that the named the “Alrabi”, after the name they had given the desert. The Alrabi did not speak any language the Gomens could understand, but with the use of magic, the Gomens and Hourugaens were able to open a dialogue with the Alrabi. The Gomens and Hourugaens learned the Alrabi worshipped a deity they called “Nimonra, the Sand Goddess.” The Gomens and Hourugaens found this concept intriguing, as they only believed the 9 gods on Falthoan existed. Upon further questioning, the Alrabi revealed that it was their belief that Nimonra was responsible for all creating the desert in which they lived, and for providing for them in the harsh conditions of the deserts.
The Gomens and Hourugaens just accepted this belief as a strange custom of the Alrabi, and began establishing communications with the various Alrabi tribes. By the year 465 A.S., the Alrabi, Gomens and Hourugaens had come to a trade agreement, whereby the Gomens and Hourugaens would trade food and weapons to the Alrabi, and the Alrabi would trade precious stones and skins/shells of the unique creatures that lived in the desert. This led the Gomens and Hourugaens to establish the towns of Arrea, Kengir, Alyme, and Saltham (the last two established with the permission of the Alrabi tribes.), and to set up a council to oversee things in Afrer. This council was called “The Waves of the Armada”. Made up of 5 seats, it was set up based upon the rankings of the overall wealth of the shipping costers that operated in Afrer. At this time, Afrer was still a colony of Jenneria, and so much of the profits made in Afrer went back to Jenneria.
By the year 474, the rest of the island of Ginlaid had been settled, and trade between the Ginlaid, Mesti and Sassurah was booming. This is when major problem surrounding Afrer began: Piracy…
The first recognized pirate was called “Darkeye Stillheart”. He was said to be a Harean of such evil disposition, that he once cut out the heart of his first mate because his dinner was served to him cold. Darkeye sank 47 ships in his career, before the Waves had enough and called in the Jennerian navy. For 3 months, an armada of 24 ships chased after Darkeye. Finally, they caught up to him southeast of Lantyran, where they finally sank his ship, The Widow’s Embrace. As his ship went down, Darkeye still remained defiant, standing at the top of his tallest mast, shouting epitaphs at the Gomen fleet as he went under.
Though Darkeye was gone, his actions showed others that there was a great deal of wealth to be made in piracy. Pirate attacks soon became routine, and rumors of a secret place where pirates met to spend their booty and re-supply their ships soon spread. Word even spread that a code of sorts, called the “Pirates’ Accord”, was widely accepted for use among pirates.
Thus things remained mostly the same for the next 67 years. However, one thing began to build up, and that was a desire by the people in Afrer to be independent of Jenneria. In the year 541, the Waves saw their opportunity, as Nalloch was having troubles with their own colonies. The Waves felt that the example set by Kolos and Gault would make Jenneria think twice about opposing any move to independence, especially given the vast distance between Afrer and Jenneria. Thus the Waves consulted with the League of Mesti and together, they agreed that it was time to declare their independence, and did so in the year 543 A.S.
Afrer was relieved when Jenneria, did not attempt a military takeover when they declared their independence. Even though Jenneria was disappointed, they saw the value in keeping a good relationship with Afrer, and so along with Mesti and Bendaris, the four kingdoms created an agreement they called “The Merchant’s Coster”.
Since gaining their independence, Afrer has thrived financially, as new merchant and shipping costers have formed, and more people have moved to the kingdom. Piracy still plagues the kingdom, and the Arm of the Waves, the fleet of the Waves, has its hands full dealing with the issue. A thieves’ guild, The Crests of the Night, formed within the capital of Kengir in 576 A.S., and has gained a steady foothold within the city since. A school of magic, The Academy of Stars, was opened in 588 A.S., and many who pursue the way of the magi have flocked to the school since to study under the masters that reside there.
1.) After a rash of break-ins and muggings on the streets of Kengir, leaders of several costers have approached the waves about cracking down on the Crests, in an effort to stem the tide of crime. It is being said that the Waves are looking for a subtle way to deal with the Crests, as open warfare between the Crests and the city guard may prove to be too costly.
2.) The Waves are looking for a way to find the pirate’s hidden enclave, which has been called “Wrenspur”. It is believed that the Waves wish to hire some adventurers to infiltrate the ranks of the pirates to discover the location, and to report back to the Waves, so that the Arm of the Waves can be dispatched to eliminate the enclave once and for all.
Belni Armenip – A Gomen male in his mid fifties, Belni is the head of the Waves, leading the Armenip Coster. He sees everyone as a potential customer, and thinks highly of adventuers, as he has used them on several occasions to solve problems for the Waves. A fair Gomen, he always abides by any agreement he makes, and thus, it is sometimes hard to get him to agree to things.
Altermin – This sagely old man is the leader of the Academy of Stars. In his nineties, he still has vigor and spirit, and enjoys his role as leader of the Academy. He was one of the original pupils at the Academy when it opened, and he often reminisces about his old masters, telling apprentices stories of how things were back then. He has been known to help adventurers occasionally, particularly young magi, but often demands a service in turn, unless the help asked for is for a worthy cause.