The Known World
The Known World
“You want to know about Ierendi? It’s a nice place, I guess, and the locals are certainly friendly. But Ierendi always seemed a bit… odd to me. I mean, picking their King and Queen through a tournament? Doesn’t make any sense. Plus, there are all those pirates down there. Buy me another, and I’ll tell you about some of the fights I’ve had with those…” — Derek Alson, Darokinian ship captain in service to Linton House
The Kingdom of Ierendi is made up of a collection of islands in the Sea of Dread lying to the south of the Five Shires. There are ten main islands, of which the largest is Ierendi Island, which boasts Ierendi City, capital of the kingdom. Safari Island is famous for its wilderness reserves and its “adventure parks”, or simulated dungeons. Alcove Island is an infamous pirate haven, while Utter Island is well known for the unusual sand architecture built by the albino natives. The mysterious White Island hosts a small community of druids, Whitenight Abbey, that permit few visitors. Roister Island, in the southern portion of the kingdom, lies in some of the richest fishing grounds in the Sea of Dread. Aloysius Island, plagued by the mau-mau, a type of disease-carrying mosquito, serves as a penal colony. Elegy Island boasts mysterious ancient burial grounds. Fletcher Island is a tourist magnet, producing many works of art from the feathers of the native birds. Last but not least, Honor Island is home to a mysterious group of mages, who deal harshly with intruders and build the famed ironclad fireships of Ierendi.
Ierendi was first settled as a prison colony of the Thyatian Empire in AC 570. The Five Shires also followed suit, sending some of their own political dissidents to the islands. These prisoners discovered the islands already inhabited by natives, called the Makai. History does not record the origins of these natives. In AC 600, a pirate called Mad Creeg raised a revolt among the prisoners, driving Thyatis from the islands and establishing the Kingdom of Ierendi. Over the next hundred years, the Ierendians fended off a series of attacks by the Empire, until it was finally recognised as a sovereign nation. Ierendi’s history has been fairly stable since then, as the kingdom slowly became more civilised and established itself as one of the pre-eminent naval powers on the Sea of Dread.
Though the vast majority of Ierendians trace their heritage to the mainland, Ierendi’s social customs are based on those of the Makai, which promotes a slow, easy pace of life. The islands are home to a large number of pirates, though in recent years the government has attempted to drive them away. Ierendi has in the past hundred years promoted itself as a centre for the Known World’s growing tourist trade, and the economy of many of the islands is centred around that industry. Ierendi also boasts a famous naval academy which draws skilled warriors from all over the Known World.
Though Ierendi has a King and Queen, the real business of running the country is done by the Tribunal, a cabinet of representatives from the most influential aristocratic families in Ierendi. The King and Queen are mere figureheads, chosen every year in the Royal Tournament of Adventurers, with the winners of the male and female divisions taking the throne. Obviously, the King and Queen are not necessarily married to each other.
The two largest religions in Ierendi are the People’s Temple and the Eternal Truth of al-Kalim. The larger, People’s Temple, is an informal religion that worships no specific Immortal, though its clerics do receive spells. Its precepts are based on the Hope Stones, three pieces of stone that were inscribed by its founder. The original stones are believed to have long since been destroyed. The Eternal Truth, on the other hand, is a militant and demanding religion imported from the Emirates of Ylaruam. Yavi, head of the Eternal Truth in Ierendi, constantly strives to bring down the People’s Temple and establish his own religion as pre-eminent.