The Northern Waste, Evil Within the Temple
The Land of Charbina.
Charbina is a small kingdom located north of the Ulmer River in the northeast part of the island continent of Blackhorne. The kingdom’s capital of Darkwood guards the only bridge crossing the Ulmer River and sits astride Hawthorne’s Trail, the road connecting the kingdom of Bellmeade to the east with the kingdom of Loraine to the west. This position astride Hawthorne’s Trail, being an important trade route which is the source of much of the kingdom’s revenue. The kingdom’s position between two strong neighbors, both of which have in the past claimed the kingdom’s throne, dominates affairs of state. Through careful diplomacy and warrior skill, Charbina has managed to maintain both peace and its independence for the last 33 years.
Because of Charbina’s strong tradition of warrior citizens, only about 15% of the kingdom’s population of 10,300 persons are peasant serfs. The free persons of common birth, and a growing class of craftsmen and merchants, make up about 80% of the population; the ranks of the nobility account for the remaining 5%.
Most of Charbina’s populated settlements lie far north of the Ulmer River, taking advantage of the natural barrier it provides against attacks by the Kurgens, a cruel and warlike savage people whose tribal-nation ranges to the south.
Loraine, the nation of people whose courtly-empire is located west of Charbina, are generally less warlike than the Kurgens. The Andari tribesmen of the southern provence of Loraine often trade in Charbina’s market towns. In the spring of each year, they bring their yearlings to Charbina for the great Horse Fair. Most of the horses traded at the fair find their way to the great market in Darkwood with the annual Hawthorne’s Trail caravan.
Charbina claims the west face of the Borduock Hills, and the mines there produce the kingdom’s only other export products. Due to the Great Blacksmiths of Charbina. The Gloocen, a relatively peaceful barbarian people inhabiting the Borduock Hills, dispute the kingdom’s claim to the land. Their efforts to discourage continued operations there, combined with the occassional Orc swarm, make the mines a dangerous, if profitable, enterprise.
Most of Charbina’s refined metals, primarily Iron, lead, copper, and zinc, are shipped to markets in Maldon and the Elvin kingdom of Karell, these kingdoms are Charbina’s major trading partners. Charbina’s main imports are luxury goods from a distant Maldon, a human kingdom to the south east, usually acquired in trade from the Maldonian merchants. There main exports are weapons, armor, and metal works, usually originating in trade from Dwarven Thurean merchants.
The majority of the warrior class worship the the Norse gods with there followers making up most of Charbina’s population. Worship of the Dead Gods, Morgaan, or Noreal is punishable by death but other religions are tolerated..