Andragoria occupies the southwest corner of the civilized lands of Adylheim. By consequence of its position, the younger of the Twin Kingdoms occupies what many consider the most fertile farmland in the entire of Adylheim as well as prime position for trade with the secretive Dae’vol. The money generated by these twin sources of revenue allow the King to fund two bodies long lost elsewhere during the fall of the Arameian Empire: a unified bureaucracy and a standing army.
Andragoria and Nerin both trace their roots to a loose confederation of tribes and city that deemed itself, quite precociously, the Great Kingdom Under Heaven. One king—his name erased from the histories by his contemporaries—died without appointing a proper heir. Two sons fought a great war over the country; their armies staining the fertile ground with the blood of a thousand tribes. It fell upon the priests of Therium and Arthium to eventually broker a peace treaty between the two brothers lest the Great Kingdom destroy itself in an orgy of violence. The border of the kingdoms was fixed by a line running through the center of Moon Lake, a demarcation that, more or less, has remained constant ever since. This internal strife allowed easy conquest by the Arameian Empire during the years of conquest. With the legions to guard their borders and old feuds stilled by the might of the Empire, the people of Andragoria turned their energies to trade, crafts, and agriculture. It was during this golden age that the first merchants blazed a trail into the land of the Dae’vol. With the Naga invasion looming in 3517, most of the legions stationed in Andragoria returned to defend the capitol of Aram. A significant secondary force attacked Nander and laid waste to the ancient city. The people of Andragoria never forgave their fellow citizens for allowing the snake-men to ravage their homeland and, when the northern and western fiefdoms declared their independence, the Golden Kingdom soon followed. Independence brought a revival of ancient traditions and ancient feuds. Tensions with Nerin escalated as the strength of the Empire waned; skirmishes becoming an almost weekly occurrence on the eastern border.
The core of the Andragorian government is the ancient system of government-sponsored civil servants. Every citizen of the Kingdom—regardless of birth—is allowed to take the entrance exam. While on paper this might seem an excellent opportunity for social advancement, the exams are offered only during the harvest and exceedingly difficult to pass. Successful applicants are trained in all the subjects necessary for administering the lands of a nobleman such as accounting, record keeping, and proper diplomacy. They are, furthermore, encouraged to become eunuchs. Upon graduation, the King assigns the servants to the various governors of the realm who, in turn, dole them out to their liege-lords.
The Kingdom of Andragoria maintains the largest standing military formations in Adylheim. Soldiers are primarily recruited from the younger sons of noblemen and the landed gentry though, in times of trouble, the Kingdom’s overflowing treasuries allow the hiring of mercenaries. Arms and armor is subsidized by the state. While they engage in constant drills and exercises, the vast majority of the army lacks combat experience. The King maintains five standing armies:
- First Army: Based on the border of Nerin and combats cross-border raids. Maintains a small boat navy on the Moon Lake.
- Second Army: Based on the northern border. Occasionally skirmishes with Arameian noblemen.
- Third Army: Based on the southern border. Sees only occasional action.
- Fourth Army: Based on the western coast. Also provides soldiers for the Andragorian navy.
- Fifth Army: A ‘mobile reserve’ of sorts, the fifth army alternates between the northern and eastern borders.
Places of Interest
The razing of the Golden City was a terrible event; the flames consuming the ancient buildings igniting hatred in the southerners against the Empire at large. The reigning King, however, considered the destruction a blessing in disguise. From the ashes, he crafted a new capitol fit for the ancient traditions of the Soilien people. The streets of the capitol are laid straight and square, the main roads paved with white cobblestone. Nander possesses a deep natural harbor that provides secure anchorage for the country’s merchant fleets and navy. Population: 70,000.
Zinder is the southernmost city in Adylheim. Perched on the narrow desert separating the fertile lands of Andragoria from the ash wastes of the Dae’vol, the fortified city provides the main point of meeting between the Soilien and Dae’vol traders. The Third Army maintains its headquarters within the sandstone walls of the citadel. Population: 7,000.
Night and Day
The twin fortresses of Night and Day occupy a pair of rocky plateaus on the border between Arameia and Andragoria. Built shortly after the dissolution of the Empire, the two fortresses have always been the point of much contention between the Kingdom and the Priesthood of Luxor. The Fortress of Day holds the bulk of the Second Army. The Fortress of Night lies ruined and destroyed; ramparts and towers ruined by a great host commanded by the Archbishop of Luxor almost three hundred years before the present time. Faced with their destruction and dishonor, the surviving hundred and twelve soldiers bound themselves with a great oath and committed their souls to the care of the only surviving sorceress. With a terrible spell powered by a hundred and thirteen deaths, Mia the Ever-dreaming bound the soldiers as wraiths and spirits to forever guard the fortress against the foes of Andragoria. Against the death-wish spells the sorcerers and paladins of Luxor proved powerless and their armies soon dispersed. The ghosts now serve the Kingdom forever as members of the Eternal Guard; spies and spymasters without concern for mortal flesh. Only the mortals of the Black Watch inhabit the ruins now.
Mirror of the Moon
The Mirror of the Moon guards a great steel chain stretched across the exit of Moon Lake. In addition to headquartering the First and Fifth armies, the sprawling fortress houses the fresh water boats designed to counter the forces of Nerin.
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