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Anuire covers most of the south-western corner of Cerilia. Its regions and provinces were originally the basis of the Anuirean Empire. Its human population are now known as the Anuireans although in the years prior to Deismaar they were called the Andu.
Note. The Anuirean are loosely based on a mixture of the medieval British/French with a hint of the Romans. As such social class is very important in Anuirean society, most people will live and die in the social class to which they are born. Advancement (and regression) are however possible - anyone who becomes rich and powerful is likely to be inducted into the noble class, while a noble who becomes impoverished is likely to fall in social class unless they can trade their name for another's wealth (i.e. by marrying a rich adventurer).
The Twelve Duchies
When the Empire was an Empire, the most important lands were the Twelve Duchies: Avanil, Boeruine, Mhoried, Diemed, Alamie, Osoerde, Aerenwe, Taeghas, Elinie, Cariele, Ghieste, and Bhalaene. All these lands still survive today, although Cariele has suffered in the expansion of Thurazor and the Five Peaks, while Ghieste and Bhalaene together became Ghoere after the Empire's fall.
Many new domains have been formed since the death of Michael Roele. Tuornen split off from Alamie; Ghieste and Dhalaene were united as Ghoere; Medoere, Endier, and Ilien all declared independence from Diemed; and Roesone was carved out of Diemed and Aerenwe. Note that Talinie's current dynasty came to power only recently, but Talinie goes back well before the fall of the Empire. Some histories suggest that the current family held secular power in ages past and that the family was nearly destroyed aside from a handful who had taken holy orders however many sages scoff at this as a typical myth woven by the Kings and Queens of Taline to suggest a more ancient lineage than they truly hold.
The Southern Coast
The most civilised area of Anuire, the south has been settled longer than the new gods have enjoyed their heavenly thrones. Few places here have escaped takeover by humankind. As the residents can attest, the area is full of excitement and sites of interest. Old castles hide a wealth of information about the Anuire of days past. The Straits of Aerele just to the south are home to the feared Seadrake, while the Spiderfell to the north houses another abomination. And places of mystery still remain: the Erebannien in Aerenwe as well as domains – such as Mieres – where dark secrets have rendered them all but lost to the rest of the land.
- Albiele Island
- The Spiderfell
- Other Domains
The Western Coast
The Western Coast reaches from the waters of the great bay called the Tael Firth down to the Straits of Aerele and extends east to the Seamist Mountains. It looks like a wilder place than most of Anuire. The tops of pines rise high against the blue of the sky and the backdrop of the mountains. Wooden stockade towns appear here and there on the tree-covered landscape, their strong walls keeping out the wolves, bears, ogres, trolls, and other creatures from the mountains that still call the land their own. Only the Northern Marches are more sparsely populated than this region. Perhaps settlers have avoided it because of the fierce storms that lash the coastal provinces. The Seamists protect the rest of Anuire from the worst of the storms, but the Western Coast has no such shield. The challenges of the coastal climate have made those who live here a hardier breed. Though still civilized, they possess a coarser edge than one might expect from Anuireans.
More savage than the South, the West feels the lash of fierce storms off the Miere Rhuann (Sea of Storms). The locals, most of whom make their livings fishing and farming, regard the storms as divine tests of character and face the winds and waves with grim fortitude. Though Haelyn remains their patron deity, they also revere Cuiraécen and Nesirie.
The Western land is wooded and rocky, with jagged mountains to the east. The air feels constantly chilly, and fog regularly rolls in from the sea. One might expect locals to be as gloomy as their land, but this is not so. Once the workday ends, they give themselves over to mirth, for only rarely do they face hardships beyond the storms. One awnshegh, the Elf Rhuobhe Manslayer, lives nearby, but he seems more intent on destroying kings than peasants.
The Aelvinnwode runs through the coastal areas, but there is little danger of the Gheallie Sidhe (the Elven Hunt) from even the most human-hating elves. Those elves who have not withdrawn to Tuarhievel or the Sielwode attack the gnoll and goblin populations that plague the West.
The most fertile area of Anuire also contains the old Imperial Capital: the City of Anuire. Kings have fought to control this city for centuries, so the Heartlands region has seen battles too numerous to count. Everyone still wants control of the area’s resources, but many do not wield enough power and most can survive without the bounty of the Heart.
The Heartlands comprises mostly rolling farmland dotted with crags and bluffs. Lakes and rivers appear here and there, though not in such profusion as in the East. Despite the occasional patch of swamp or moor, the land here looks well kept and cultivated.
Yet places exist where no grasses grow, where bare earth and rocks lie open to the sky like a festering wound. These are the battlefields of the Heart, where great hosts still meet to decide the fate of kingdoms. Some rulers realize the folly of destroying in war the very places they are fighting for, so they agree to marshal their armies where death already has been dealt. Of course, not everyone honours this policy.
Patchwork patterns of farmland spread across the Heartlands, the sun playing gently on the fields of green and gold. Shepherds keeping an eye on their flocks find themselves dozing in its warmth. The people in the bustling southern Imperial Capital smile at the light glinting on the blue waters off their island city.
Yet some areas of the Heartlands feel cold even in the summer’s worst heat. These brown, blasted tracts of earth mark the sites where countless armies clashed in historic battles. Here nothing will grow -- the dusty earth has absorbed the blood of generations.
The Heartlands have been the center of power in Anuire for longer than nearly anyone alive can remember. Since the kingdom of Avanil in this region holds the Imperial City of Anuire, the realms have revolved around this land for nearly 2,000 years. This region encompasses the territory east of the Seamist Mountains, south of the Stonecrowns, and north of the Spiderfell. There’s no natural eastern boundary, but everyone agrees that the Heartlands stop at the eastern border of Elinie.
Most land in the Heart has long been claimed and cultivated. A few ruins still await thorough exploration, and a handful of caverns have not been completely mapped. Clearly, the main excitement in the Heartlands does not revolve around the breaking of untamed land. Instead, this area features human drama, the subtle interplay of politics and armies, of espionage and trade. Less sophisticated folk look to the frontiers for their thrills -- others seek their stimulation in the intrigues of the Heart.
The Heartlands have replaced the Southern Coast as the most civilized area of Anuire. While the Southern lands have declined with the passing of the Empire, the Heartlands have flourished. Of course, it’s also true that the kingdoms of the Heart have been the subject of numerous coup attempts, takeovers, and invasions by larger neighbors. There’s rarely a dull moment in the Heartlands, and locals treasure those dull moments as respites from the constant action.
The Northern Marches
The Northern Marches are the most dangerous and least civilised part of Anuire. This area is home to only two kingdoms from the old Empire, for the land seems hostile to civilisation. Dhoesone and Cariele lie nearly surrounded by inimical forces.
Dhoesone borders three non-human lands, as well as Stjordvik of the Rjurik. Cariele shares its borders with four non-human realms. Life in these lands is uncertain and nearly as brutal as in neighbouring Vosgaard the nobles and rulers here have little time to waste on pleasantries and pleasures. They must instead save their energies for the unceasing battles against enemies on all sides.
- The Gorgon's Crown
- The Five Peaks
- Other Domains
The Eastern Marches
A traveller’s first impression of the Eastern Marches is one of dampness. There is water everywhere, from the swamps of Osoerde to the rivers of Coeranys. Most who live here become bargemen or fisherfolk, though some farming and woodcutting goes on, too. The people act fairly civilised and relaxed and could become excellent politicians, so adept are they at hiding their true feelings. However, most have no desire to venture into politics they just want to live as they please.
Other Anuirean areas