Alignment Chaotic neutral
Capital New Stetven
Ruler King-Regent Noleski Surtova
Government Hereditary monarchy
Demonym Brevans, Issians, Rostlanders
Languages Taldane, Draconic, Hallit, Skald, Varisian
Religions Abadar, Gorum, Pharasma
Brevoy (pronounced BRE-voy) is a nation in far northeastern Avistan on the verge of tearing itself apart. The political entity known as Brevoy was once two vastly different nations locked in a constant state of war before being conquered by a despot. After centuries under the rule of a line of conquerors that only recently disappeared, Brevoy must now decide its own destiny.
Being so far north, winters are long and harsh. The short spring and summer seasons require the populace to farm and fish just enough to keep food on the table.
Brevoy is a relatively young nation, having only existed since 4499 AR. The history of Brevoy before this time is the history of two often-warring nations, Issia and Rostland. The coming of Choral the Conqueror changed all this. After securing the defeat and surrender of the two nations, Choral christened his family House Rogarvia. Choral only ruled his new land for a decade before disappearing, leaving his descendants to rule, using the threat of the conqueror’s return and his fearsome dragon allies to maintain their power. The dragons seemingly disappeared after Brevoy’s creation, but they returned once to lay siege to Skywatch, an observatory-cum-fortress held by those still loyal to Rostland. The Rogarvians’ rule ended with the mysterious disappearance of every member of House Rogarvia in 4699 AR, leaving Brevoy in a precarious political position.
Legend of Choral’s Conquest
Folk tales and legends speak of Choral as arriving at Needle Lake, the current Lake Reykal, with a ragged band of soldiers and knights numbering just over three hundred. After his arrival he declared the creation of a new nation called Brevoy that would encompass much of the land that was then Issia and Rostland. This declaration was almost completely ignored by both nations as neither perceived Choral as a threat. Rostland eventually had to deal with Choral when he began sending tax collectors from his settlement of New Stetven to force the citizens to support his usurping government. They sent a small army to deal with the proud warlord. Rostland’s army seriously underestimated Choral’s cunning, and their army walked into an ambush. They were lured into a river canyon south of New Stetven where Choral unleashed his secret allies, red dragons. Their flames devastated the Rostlandic army as it was trapped in the canyon with no way to escape. There were few survivors. After this the dragons rampaged across much of Rostland proper, forcing its leaders to surrender within days. Seeing the devastation Choral caused in Rostland, the Issian lords surrendered immediately, declaring themselves to be a part of his new aristocracy.
Choral actually arrived via crossing the Lake of Mists and Veils from Iobaria. He met with Lord Nikos Surtova of Issia, who immediately surrendered in the face of a large army in exchange for retaining their prestige and possessions. House Surtova became vassals to House Rogarvia. Only then did Choral turn his attention to Rostland and the Aldori Swordlords, who did fall in much the same way as the legends recount.
House Rogarvia ruled Brevoy for exactly 200 years, until the entire family vanished in mid-winter. No evidence was found to indicate why or how they disappeared. The country is currently ruled by King Noleski Surtova of House Surtova, who claimed the throne on the 21st of Kuthona, 4699, due to his being of the line of Nikos Surtova and Myrna Rogarvia. At his side sits his sister, Natala Surtova, who reigns as an unofficial Queen, ostensibly only until the bachelor-King Noleski marries—something which the populace has been hoping he will do. The monarch lives in the Ruby Fortress, sitting on the Dragonscale Throne.
They have only maintained this rule by allying with former enemies and using fear of the return of Rogarvia as a tool to unite Brevoy and its seven noble families. Most of Issia supported the ascension, but Rostland has done so reluctantly. Still, some Houses, such as House Orlovsky, only acknowledge Noleski as reigning Lord Regent and diplomatic relations are growing tense. Increasingly, it appears that Brevoy is on the verge of collapsing back into two separate nations.
Many of these families can trace their lineage to before Choral. Some were barbarians and raiders, elevated to nobility for pledging fealty to the Conqueror. The seven major houses are:
- House Garess, motto: “Strong as the Mountains”
- House Lebeda, motto: “Success Through Grace”
- House Lodovka, motto: “The Waters, Our Fields”
- House Medvyed, motto: “Endurance Overcomes All”
- House Orlovsky, motto: “High Above”
- House Rogarvia, motto: “With Sword and Flame”
- House Surtova, motto: “Ours Is the Right”
Males lead the house, with the eldest son inheriting his father’s titles and estates. Other sons may receive something, but there is no law that requires this to be significant. Women can be regents for male heirs under 15 years old and often work behind the scenes to influence the lord. Noble families are relatively large, with most preferring to ensure at least two sons. Since Brevoy’s founding, there have been a lot of marriages of alliance among the major houses.
Abadar is the most unifying religious force in Brevoy as many respect him and all have interactions with his followers each time they travel to the markets. Merchants and tradespeople are Abadar’s most diligent worshipers in Brevoy, and his temples are places for judgement and trade. Those who bear Abadar’s golden key are often given recognition as neutral arbiters or judges.
Gorum’s household priests often serve Brevoy’s nobility and often walk around dressed in gaudy dark red tabards.
Pharasma is most beloved by Brevoy’s common people. Pharasma’s clerics are also the most simple, serving as midwives, healers, and mortician-monks.
Cloth, exotic curiosities, and spices are Brevoy’s main imports, while common exports include copper, fur, fish and shellfish, grain, iron, salt, and timber. Stone for building is uncommon, so most buildings are constructed from wood/ The few notable exceptions include the Ruby Fortress and the Bulwark of Gorum.
Brevoy’s main geographical features are the Lake of Mists and Veils that forms its northern border and the Icerime Peaks on its eastern border with Old Iobaria. Other notable geographic features include the Golushkin Mountains on Brevoy’s western border with Numeria, Acuben Isle, which hosts the city of Winterbreak and that borders Winterbreak Bay, the city of Eagle’s Watch on the majestic Mount Veshka, the melted Valley of Fire where Aldori rebels had their last stand against Choral the Conqueror, and Brevoy’s Lake Reykal, where just over 200 years ago the capital of New Stetven was built on the ruins of the old Taldan settlement of Stetven. The farthest point north in Brevoy is the highly inaccessible Claw Point, on the edge of Iobaria. The farthest point south is where the city of Restov meets the Shrike River.
Major rivers in Brevoy include the Awzera River that flows east into Lake Reykal across the lands of House Garess and House Lebeda, the East Sellen River that flows south out of the Icerime Peaks through the Gronzi Forest, into Lake Reykal and then down south past New Stetven into the River Kingdoms, and the Shrike River that flows west out of the Hills of Nomen, meets Restov then flows south through the Stolen Lands, finally joining with the East Sellen River in the River Kingdoms.
Brevoy’s geography differs markedly between the country’s northern and southern reaches. The change in geography marks the old boundary between the kingdoms of old Issia and Rostland. The northern part of Brevoy, the former kingdom of Issia, is mostly rugged hills that are unsuitable for agriculture. South of the massive Gronzi Forest lies what was once Rostland. This area, the Rostland Plains, consists of rolling fertile grassland and is thought of as the breadbasket of the north.
It can take days to travel between small settlements and longer between larger population clusters. Most of the towns and cities are located at the bases of mountains, along the lakes, or beside the riverways.
The peasants of Brevoy are the largest part of the population and owe taxes and fealty to one of the house lords. Their life consists of working from dawn to dusk, farming if they live in Rostland, or either fishing or mining if they live in Issia. The man of the house may visit the local tavern in the evening. During the winter when fishing or farming cannot be done, household chores fill the days. The peasants try to live simply, support their families, and avoid the notice of nobles and priests.