Chordin occupies the northeastern reach of Ere, a land of rocky
badlands and frozen tundra. It borders The Ashed Lands and Callen
on its southern edge and is separated from Genmide by the Strait
of Nivia. The north is an ice choked waste, largely covered by the
and farming enclaves are built against the southern faces of buttes
and plateaus to avoid the biting north wind. A few outposts have
cropped up in natural caves in the badlands, and ruins of cities
dating back as far as Saint’s Landing exist in the badlands,
or locked in the glacier’s grip. In sheltered mountain valleys,
farming, and life in general is easier, so much of the population
that lives outside of Harpsfell lives along the southern border
despite the danger posed by the Ashed Lands.
Founded during Draconic Control as a central base of operations
for the draconic forces, the region of Chordin and the city of Harpsfell
also turned out to be the scene of the dragons’ downfall.
It quickly joined the Vishnari Empire to gain badly needed resources
now that they were not tended by the dragon nations.
Hailene War, Chordin seceded from the Empire rather than commit
to war and risk annihilation by the hailene. Instead, Harpsfell
disguised its troops as mercenaries and sent them to protect their
fellows in that capacity. Chordin thrived economically while other
nations struggled with revolution and upheaval as the Empire crumbled
during the Age of Tragedies, thanks in part to their low number
of casualties from the war and the fact that they were independent
from the Empire.
Chordinis tend to be fixated on wealth and comfort; even those working
the land are always on the look out for a way to earn extra coin
quickly. Social standing among Chordinis is a measure of how many
items for comfort and pleasure one has and how many of those were
imported. This trait has made the only real city in Chordin, Harpsfell,
a monument to excess.
grasping nature, Chordinis harbor a deep appreciation for the druids
who make their lives possible and by extension, the whole of nature
as it is embodied by Sylph. Even non-religious Chordinis or those
dedicated to other faiths pay at least lip service to the nature
All food produced in Chordin is consumed in Chordin. Major exports
include fur from the arctic creatures native to the northern reaches,
expertly reared and trained animals and magic items.
The bulk of
Chordin’s national product comes from the myriad upscale inns,
restaurants entertainment venues and gambling houses in Harpsfell,
Chordin’s capitol. Revenue generated from visitors to the
city pay for most of the necessities for both the city and the outlying
Chordin is governed from Harpsfell by a counsel of six Great Houses.
The Houses maintain power by keeping monetary control over the lands
that make up Chordin and the means to work these lands. The fact
that Chordin is one of the few nations with a low number of spirit
beasts, there is always someone willing to pay for even the most
inhospitable tract of land.
The Pact of First
The land of Chordin, with its glaciers, badlands and bitter cold
is unable to maintain the basic sustenance needed to run a nation.
Luckily, long ago, the progenitors of Houses Subter, Asmatra and
Gurrai struck a deal with the druids of the frozen wilds.
for druidic magic to keep the cold at bay for three seasons out
of the year, and make the fallow earth bountiful, Chordin and its
houses were bound to codify into law many of Sylph’s tenets
in a pact that became known as the Pact of First Frost:
1. No animal
can be legally killed or abused for sport.
2. All slaughter for food or trade goods must be done magically
3. No lumber can be cut for construction.
4. Druids acting on the behest of Sylph cannot be barred by city
officials in the completion of their duties.
The net result
of the Pact is that despite being a haven for luxury and excess,
Chordin is actually at the forefront of what passes for environmentalism
and magical progressivism on Ere. Gladiatorial arenas exist, but
only sapient creatures fight; all the structures are stone, and
light and heat in the winter cold are provided by magic.
and Individuals of Note
Temple of Sylph
Thanks to the provisions of the Pact of First Frost, the druids
hold an enormous amount of sway in Chordin. A loyal cleric or druid
of Sylph can expect all due respect from the citizenry and little
to no interference by local law enforcement into their dealings
unless they present a clear danger to the public good.
Sylph can be found in most localities and are carefully kept both
separate and better maintained than other temples.
Though not viewed with the awe and respect of Sylph’s Druids,
clerics of Pandemos are well liked in Harpsfell, where parties and
gambling are abundant. Pandemian clerics are viewed as good luck
charms and the savviest can make a good living playing ‘pet
priest’ to a wealthy reveler.
Bardic College of Harpsfell
Founded at the end of the Hailene War of Ascension, the Bardic College
has become a fixture of the community and a respected institution
the world over. Many of the greatest sages of the age studied at
the college and most of today’s Loremen hail from there as
College is run by Maximun Lighttouch, a halfling from Mindeforme,
who has brought even more prestige and success to the College though
shrewd business ventures that have tied the institution to the Academy
of the Arcane Arts in Te’ran and to the Library at Siram Leggate
The real secret
to Maximun’s success with the college however, lies with his
underworld connections. In his 25 years as Archchancellor, Maximun
has surreptitiously added a thieves’ guild to the normal workings
of the Bardic College. Anyone with knowledge of the criminal underworld
of Harpsfell knows that the College is a prime source of hirelings
A native of Novrom, and the founder and proprietor of Norry’s
Spellcrafting and Magic Works, Master Norry is the man credited
with the economic revolution in the spellcrafting trade. In fact,
Norry has a hand in most of the spellcrafting endeavors started
in the last century an a half.
His other holdings
include Norry Airships, South Coast Apothecaries, Emaru River Steamships,
and Black Dwarf Armory. Because of his inventiveness and amazing
business sense, Norry is one of, if not the wealthiest person on
Ere, including dragon kind.
Even at the
age of 180, Norry still makes regular visits to all of his public
holdings and spends much time researching new spells and magic items,
occasionally hiring adventurers to retrieve rare reagents from the
Tresolmi jungle or the Ashed Lands.
to all but his closest friends and his adopted daughter Deirdre
(Human Inborn Caster 5), Norry’s success is do in part to
his allegiance to the Deyic temple, whose members provided much
material support to him in his early years. The goddess’s
reasons for this are unknown.
The famed Bard City, Harpsfell is a rich and bustling city built
across a span of adjacent plateaus. Mystically strengthened architecture
permeates the high towers of the upscale buildings and the wide
bridges that connect the plateaus.
literally steeped in magic; even the most mundane tasks are left
to summoned beasts and mystical constructs, leaving mercantile,
inn keeping and entertainment as the jobs of choice. The red light
and gambling districts are lively here, with many card houses and
brothels belonging directly (or secretly) to houses and even temples.
Money, in the form of Chrodini trifles is the universal language
and someone willing to accept it is never far away.
Order is kept
by the Infinity Guard, a security force under the employ of House
Oralu. The Guard enforces all of Harpsfell’s laws with surprising
evenness, though there is an understanding between the Guard and
the Bardic College.
From the central
bridges and spires of the city, viewers can catch a glimpse of the
Old City, a crumbling ruin built within the natural shelter of the
plateaus during Draconic Control. The Old City had been the haven
for the free peoples during that era and was destroyed in the last
battle against the dragons. Now it is a silent hulk, picked clean
by adventurers and laired in by a handful of monsters.
A secluded township on the eastern coast, Serridan Valley is an
orphanage of sorts for inborns who have proven too undisciplined
to remain in their home villages. The town exists as a number of
small, but sturdily built stone long houses built against the southern
face of a cliff.
inborns raise the next generation, honing their skills for practical
and safe everyday use. Magical items created by budding inborns
serve to fund the town and its defense (both against outsiders and
less experienced casters)