Noone quite knows how old this tiny kingdom is, mostly because most people didn't even know about it's excistence until after the cataclysm. Situated in a fairly large and sheltered valley high up in the spine of the world, the people who call it home have kept themselves largely isolated from the rest of the world and it's conflicts. The oldest known record of the valley were found in the study of a dwarven loremaster in Mirabar, detailing how a caravan of unknown dwarves had appeared at the gates one day. Claiming to belong to the Grimaxe clan, these traders were quite tight-lipped when it came to their home, but they let it slip that they lived somewhere high up in the mountains near a city called “Doegha”. The loremaster had very little else to comment, as the caravan left as soon as their business was done, and further investigation and exploration gave few clues as to where this unknown city was located. Following the cataclysm however, refugees fleeing from the growing tensions and conflicts around the realm started spreading stories about a safe haven located somewhere in the mountains. Explorers and traders started tracking down the source of these rumors, determined to discover what this so-called haven might be, and more importantly how they could gain from this knowledge.
It was the half-elven hunter Agaron Thierin who first discovered the boundary of the hidden kingdom. From what he reported there had been some sort of tremor in the mountains as the cataclysm struck, tearing down parts of the massive mountainwalls that had kept the inhabitants secluded for so long. The sight that met him beyond the shattered mountain must have seemed unreal at first. Large, fertile plains and a temperate climate, even though he was high in the northern mountains. As he approached the first settlement he could find, a small village called Southpoint, the people who greeted him seemed friendly and welcoming. It became clear as he spent more time amongst the population that their seclusion came not from a desire to escape the world or to keep away, but rather from the fact that their ancestors had discovered the valley almost by accident several generations ago. They had, like Agaron himself, been amazed by the fertile soil and warmth, and decided to settle the secluded location. From what he later reported the current population was uncertain where exactly their ancestors had come from, but talks with the dwarves of clan Grimaxe seemed to indicate that they had come through a long forgotten pass from the north. When asking about what made the valley so fertile, noone could quite explain how the climate in Doeagan could be so different from the surrounding lands. Theories ranging from hotsprings located around the region to some strange divine blessing circulated, but most of the common folks simply chose to ignore why it was so and simply live their lives as best they could. Agaron spent several months travelling through the valley, documenting what he could learn so he could bring a detailed report back to Mirabar. His work was the beginning of a prosperous time for many of the settlements in the region, doing much to stimulate trade and rebuilding after the cataclysm, as well as opening up interesting possibilites of maybe reaching Icewind Dale without having to come near the lands controlled by Luskan.
Five known settlements are located throughout the hidden valley that makes up the kingdom. Quite simple and rural by civilized standards, the realm is still prosperous and enjoys a steadily increasing population.
- Doegan: The only settlement one could rightly call a town, the capital lies at the far north of the valley and is a fortified stronghold housing both the royal palace and the hall of masters. The hall of masters are where most of the guilds and artisans of the realm conduct their day to day operations, as well as where the majority of trade to and from the kingdom is handled. It's by no means a large city, housing some four thousand souls within it's walls. It's also the location of the blessed plaza, a collection of shrines and temples to the various gods of the realm.
- Haven: A simple farming village south-west of Doegan, Haven holds little interest to the casual traveller. A couple hundred people live in the village proper, with roughly an equal number living in farmsteads around it. The main industry in the village is the production of food for the capital, though in later years a small group of dwarves from Grimhold have started a small mine in the outlying hills. Several enterprising businessmen from the south have taken notice of this, and rumors are circulating that Haven might be seeing substantial investments in the future. The ruler of the village is a young baron named Adryc, holding court in a small fortified tower right on the outskirts of the village proper.
- Miller's rest: Located to the south-east of Doegan, the Rest as it's commonly called is not so much a village but rather a collection of farming estates. Located in the flat plains in the middle of the valley, the Rest focuses almost exclusively on growing grain. The mills that gave the area it's name are built along the Icemelt river, producing the majority of the flour used by the bakeries in the capital. The local lord is the aging baron Edemyr, though his duties are mostly carried out by his staff as the lord himself spends his time dreaming of valor and heroics.
- Grimhold: Along the eastern wall of the valley lies the ancient dwarven fortress of Grimhold. It's the ancestral home of the Grimaxe dwarves, and although they are few in number their presence is permanently felt in the realm. The clan is famed for their exceptional warriors, and their smiths are responsible for the majority of metalwork produced in the kingdom. According to legends the dwarfs were living in the valley for centuries before the arrival of their human neighbours, but a deal was struck between the first king of Doeagan and the dwarven thane that has lasted since. Few visitors come to Grimhold since the dwarves usually deal through the hall of masters in the capital, but those who make the trip tell of an impressive complex that goes deep into the mountains. The current thane is an ancient warrior called Fiodr Grimaxe.
- Southpoint: At the southern entrance to the valley lies Southport, the first village discovered by Agaron well over a century ago. The small village has rapidly grown into a prosperous market-town during the years since the discovery. Now housing almost a thousand permanent inhabitants, the town is thriving on offering shelter, rest and supplies to the caravans heading to and from the capital. Though simple compared to the citadel of Doegan, Southpoint is constantly growing and expanding. Being the first truly safe outpost after the trek through the mountains it's a welcome sight for the travellers making their way north. The town is ruled by Lady Edem, the widow of the late baron Faraan.
Notable groups and organizations Edit
- The royal house of Athma: Doeagan has for as long as people can remember been ruled by Athman kings. According to local legends it was Banoic Athma who led the first settlers to the valley, and his house has been firmly in control ever since. Ruling honorably and justly for the most part, the population seems mostly content with the state of affairs. The current king, Rhodry the first, are by all reports a wise and capable ruler, though he is seen as sort of an unknown since both he and his family has tried to stay away from the faction politics that dominate most of the surrounding realms.
- The house of lords: The house of lords is a collection of nobles and important citizens that advice the king on the day to day running of the kingdom. The nobility of the realm are often ridiculed by the more metropolitan traders and travellers from the south, seeing as how none of them have any proof of lineage, and is viewed as mostly rural lords playing games. The lords themselves however take their calling quite seriously, and strives to keep their kingdom safe and strong.
- Clan Grimaxe: The dwarven clan that makes its home in the underground fortress of Grimhold hold an important position in the kingdom. Their warriors are reputedly the finest soldiers in the north by far, and the skill of their smiths make sure that they are provided with the finest weapons and armor available. The clan leader, thane Fiodr Grimaxe, holds a seat in the house of lords and is an important member of the royal council. Several dwarves also holds seats in the hall of masters, influencing trade policies and helping the kingdom prosper.
- The hall of masters: The hall of masters are the ruling council of the craftsmen and artisans of Doegan. While foreigners make light of the self-proclaimed lords, noone dares to get on the wrong side of the masters. They hold exclusive rights to exports and trade-agreements, and their approval can mean the difference between wealth and bankrupcy for southern traders. The only person who can overrule the masters is the king himself, but this is an extremely rare occurance.
- The Falcons: The falcons are the warband of the king, men and women sworn to the protection of the realm against any foe. Numbering no more than five companies, they are viewed as little threat to the more powerful cities to the south, but their conviction and discipline have earned them great respect amongst their peers. The officers of the Falcons also hold the title of justicars, having the authority to pass judgement on common criminals and dealing with minor disputes amongst the population.
- The Waywardens: The wardens are mostly semi-trained volunteers from the towns and villages of the realm, serving the crown as watchmen and constabulary. Their main mission is to keep the roads through the valley safe. Their authority stops at the borders of lands held by the lords, the safety of these lands being the responsibility of the local warbands or the Falcons. Not professionals by any means, the wardens are still respected by the common people of Doegan, and it is viewed as somewhat of a honor to have served amongst them.
Places of interest Edit
- The trade enclave: Located just outside the city of Doegan, the enclave resembles a large fairground where foreign traders and travellers gather on their way to or from the capital. It holds very few permanent buildings and the population is constantly changing as people come and go. Tensions sometimes run high amongst the different groups gathering here, but noone has dared make any problems this close to the citywalls.
- Fairwind Woods: The woods cover a large area near the south-eastern wall of of the valley, consisting mostly of undisturbed forests. Some lumbercamps are located on the outskirts, but by royal decree the deeper parts of the forest are not to be touched.
- Old Stone Keep: The keep is located deep inside Fairwind, and noone are quite sure who built it or why. Even the elders of clan Grimaxe claim that the fortress has been standing for as long as they can remember, meaning that it's well over a thousand years old. Several royal expeditions have explored the ancient buildings, but noone have reported anything other than deserted ruins.
- Wayfarer's Meadow: The meadow used to be a simple crossroad, holding nothing but a small garrision of waywardens. In later years however a small community has grown up around the tiny outpost, catering to the increased traffic to and from the capital and offering simple services to those willing to pay for it.
- The Asylum: To the west of Doegan lies a small abbey operated by the order of the gentle guide. In earlier years it was a place of quiet contemplation and prayer, but following the discovery it was slowly turned into a house of healing for those unfortunates who had their minds and spirits broken by the conflicts raging across the realms. Being devoted to Eldath, the god of peace, the order strives to bring comfort to anyone in need, urging those who visit to put down their weapons.
- The tower of Neric: Neric was an archmage during the reign of the first Athma lords, and it is believed that he was the one who guided Banoic on his path to the valley. Though dead for several centuries, Neric's tower still stands to this day. Located in a secluded part of the valley, far to the north-east, the current inhabitants are a small conclave of mages and scholars. The conclave holds little real power in the realm, but it's members serve the crown to the best of their abilities. Not many of the common folk dares to approach the tower, mostly due to superstition.
- Glitterdeep: Located just south of Grimhold, Glitterdeep is a tiny community of deep gnomes that fled the Underdark in ages past. When the cataclysm shook the surrounding mountains and opened the south wall, it also caused a massive collapse to the tunnels leading to Glitterdeep, trapping the gnomes on the surface. The gnomes, having befriended their dwarven neighbours over the years, decided that this was a sign that they should embrace the people of the surface and no longer hide in the dark. These days Glitterdeep is famous for it's trinkets and artificiers, their craftsmen having earned the respect of both the dwarves and the realm over the years.
- The Warrens: The warrens are the remains of an old complex that predates the construction of Doegan. Located below the capital, it's rumored to house several of the kingdom's more shady inhabitants, though noone knows for sure how much truth there are to these stories. Most of the ancient tunnels are long collapsed, and most believe that it's just the remains of some old citadel similar to Old Stone Keep to the south.