K I N G M A K E R
The fertile region of Rostland is one of the two nations conglomerated into the modern day state of Brevoy in northeastern Avistan. Known for its master swordsmen and proud, defiant citizenry, Rostland stands on the verge of civil war with its northern neighbor Issia, which has gained political control of the region since the disappearance of Brevoy’s ruling House Rogarvia in 4699 AR.
Rostland occupies the southern half of the nation of Brevoy, from Gronzi Forest and Lake Reykal on its northern borders to the frontier capital of Restov and the edge of the untamed wilderness of the Stolen Lands in the River Kingdoms to the south. The heavily traveled Sellen River flows through Rostland, carrying the produce from its fertile farmlands and grassy rolling hills throughout the region. For centuries, the rich stores of food from Rostland have sustained the more desolate region of Issia to the north.
Rostland was first inhabited by Taldan explorers in the latter half of the Age of Enthronement under the leadership of Baron Sirian First, a hotheaded, impulsive noble forced to emigrate from Taldor after losing one too many duels. When the fledgling colony suffered a number of brutal attacks from bandit lords to the south, First accepted the challenge of the ruling bandit lord—a duel for the future of the burgeoning settlement. Unable to best the bandit king, First paid his wager and disappeared, most assuming he was gone for good, too embarrassed to show his face after the defeat. Several years later, First returned a changed man.
Answering to the name Sirian Aldori, the “Sword Baron” challenged to bandit lord to a rematch and defeated him handily in seconds. He followed this with a standing offer of 100,000gp as a reward for any who could best him in a battle of blades. None could defeat him, whether through legitimate means or trickery and magic. At first, Aldori refused to teach any his techniques, but he eventually capitulated and began to train a select group of swordsmen under the condition that they each swore to change their name to Aldori and never teach their techniques to any outside the swordpact. These swordsmen became known as the Aldori swordlords. They ruled Rostland for generations, each as prickly and impulsive as the order’s founder.
In 4499 AR, the armies of Choral the Conqueror swept into Rostland, and despite a strong resistance mustered by the swordlords, the nation fell at the barbarian’s hand and at the talons of his red dragon servitors. The most memorable conflict between the Rostlandi and Choral’s armies is now known as the Valley of Fire, and somber songs of swordlord Estruan Aldori’s defeat remain a popular aspect of folk culture in Brevoy, the River Kingdoms, and Mendev. After annihilating the Rostlandi army, Choral’s red dragons turned their attention to Rostland itself, and initiated a brutal onslaught of fire and blood that brought the once-proud nation to its knees. In only a handful of days, the people of Rostland surrendered to their new ruler and his heirs in House Rogarvia.
Many Aldori swordlords fled Rostland under Choral’s rule, establishing a strong presence in the city of Mivon to the south, amid the River Kingdoms. Others fled to the Free City of Restov in the far south of Brevoy. The Aldori stronghold of Skywatch maintained the resistance even after the rest of Rostland had fallen, but even this seat of independent Aldori power was reduced to ashes by Choral and his dragons, eventually to be rebuilt by House Rogarvia.
Most Rostlandi are simple farmers, craftsmen, and tradesmen, possessing outgoing and happy personalities. The people of Rostland are welcoming of strangers, but do require that visitors to their land conform to the plentiful and intricate local customs. Obsessed with honor and personal standing, Rostlandi are easy to provoke or offend, and one wrong word can quickly find the offender in front of the local magistrate or in a personal duel. Despite their proud, parochial tendencies, Rostlandi make loyal allies and fast friends if outsiders prove their worth by learning and adhering to the native customs.