The Adri Marchland

Proper Name: Marchland of the Adri, Province of the United Kingdom of Ahlissa
Ruler: His merciful princely Highness, Prince Molil of House Naelax
Government: limited by imperial rights, exists by name only
Capital: Innspa (to be moved to Edgefield, as soon as it is freed from North Kingdom)
Major Towns: Elversford (pop. 1,000)
Provinces: None
Resources: wood, livestock, hides, furs, herbs, beer
Coinage: Nightingale (pp), crown (gp), noble (ep), penny (sp), common (cp)
Population: Estimated 25,000 - Human 87% (Fosr), Orcs and other Humanoids 5 %, Half-Elf 5 %, Elf 1% (Sylvan 60%, High 40%), Gnome 1% (Wood), Others 1%
Languages: Common, Old Oeridian, Orc, Elven, Rhopan
Alignments: N*, CG, CN, LN, LG, LE, CE
Religions: Zilchus* (only officially, in fact almost no one in the Adri is a true follower of Z.), Obad-Hai, Ehlonna, Beory and many other Gods of nature.
Allies: None
Enemies: Scarlet Brotherhood, Humanoids of Bone March, North Kingdom, Nyrond, Foresters.


Overview

The Marchland of the Adri exists by name only. Its appointed sovereign - Prince Molil - has been trying to gain control over the land since CY 590, with little or no success. Those living within the Adri are in a state of rebellion ever since the Great Kingdom started to diminish the Forest (that is, since its foundation!). The Marchland is supposed to consist of all the woodland west and south of the Harp river, with the capital being Edgefield, but since this is still part of the North Kingdom, the official capital is Innspa. Though Prince Molil has a palace of his own in Innspa, he isn't seen there but twice a year. The rest of the time he is with his army: out in the fields, preparing to conquer Edgefield.

Prince Molil has only minor control over some small pieces of woodland which are lying close to the planes of Ahlissa and the Marchland of Rauxes, but there are other factions that control (or at least try to control) different parts of the country:


Elversford

Elversford is a fortified village that has nearly 1,000 inhabitants behind its wooden walls and flooded ditches. Built on the bank of the Harp River, a shallow moat has been created around the village. The water is no more than four feet deep, to deliberately tempt any force attacking the village to try its luck wading through. The submerged metal-tipped spears beneath the moat waters would then inflict most unpleasant injuries on those entering. The iron tips have rusted, of course; but that's all the better for inflicting blood poisoning on anyone suffering a wound from a spear. The village has a wooden gatehouse with a drawbridge which is lowered to allow access to Elversford from the land.

Elversford is the major trading post for the Adri. Since the joining of Innspa with Ahlissa trade has started to increase. Every Starday, there a market is held on the central place of the town. However, the route to Innspa and the minor routes within the Adri are still infested with Bandits and Monsters.

Elversford is well defended by Parren's ranger patrols, and the forest bowmen atop the wooden walls of the village are deadly shots. There are two young mages. There are also a handful of priests of Ehlonna and other powers in the village, so that low-level spell defense is strong.

The people of Elversford are forced to forage into the forest for days at a time in search of food, simply because a settlement this size cannot support itself by fishing and livestock keeping. In a 20-mile radius east of the river, there are foresters' huts along some of the most-travelled trails which are used by such foragers to rest and sleep. They always leave some food and water behind for those who come after them. Some of these have tiny, hidden chambers below the ground which have been laboriously dug out. A trapdoor, concealed below straw or matting above, gives access. Some foresters sleep in these tiny, lightless chambers, hoping that any raiders who might happen by will open the hut, see no one is there, and just take the food and depart. One or two lives have been saved this way, though the forest orcs have tumbled to the trick by now and know to look for such hidden trapdoors. Anyone caught in the chamber beneath is not necessarily a sitting target, for there are usually crossbows beneath them which can be set to fire at anyone opening the covering when a woodsman is asleep inside.

Elversford is the first place to come for characters in search of important persons of the Adri. Parren is usually here, and he knows where others such as Prisstyne Carnhuis, Lisara Elmhern and Lukan the Boar can be found if they are not actually in Elversford when characters visit.


History

Eons ago a famous elven city was to be found in the heart of the Adri. The Ur-Flannae tried to gain knowledge and power and brought war on the City of Summer Stars. Unknown magic destroyed the Ur-Flannae attackers and locked away the city forever. Around CY 150 the first Rhenne appeared in the Adri. Little is know about this race, but most Loremasters believe they are from another world.

In CY 391 the lord of Knurl, the Wizard-King Firan Zal'honan - better known as Azal'Lan -vanished in the depth of the Forest leaving no trace of his whereabouts. His empire which covered most of northern Aerdi and Bone March as well as vast parts of the Adri crumbled to dustů

On the order of Overking Nalif, a trading post was established on the banks of the rivers Harp in CY 434, near the centre of the forest. It was called after the ford over which it watched: Elversford. From here all trade with foresters should be conducted. But soon after - during the time that was later known as "Turmoil between Crowns" - this outpost was forgotten by the administration in Rauxes.

In CY 560 Barbarians who had invaded the Bone March some years ago were driven into the northern Adri by Humanoids invading the Bone March from the Rakers.

At Woodford, a coalition of the various forest factions in fought a battle in CY 578 with an assaulting army of the Aerdy. Powerful magic was involved by both sides. The end of the day didn't see a party victorious, but the army of the Aerdy had to withdraw, and thus the Adri people thwarted the plan of the Overking in retaking Knurl and Almor.

The hot summer of CY 581 saw a force of some three hundred men (soldiers, priests of Hextor, mages and sorcerers) entering the forest. They planned on burning down large areas of wood and driving the rebellious foresters out into open battle, but before they could start working on that plan, they were destroyed by powerful magic cast by an unknown being accompanied by an army of dire bears and wolves.

During the Greyhawk Wars in CY 583, an army of the Aerdy entered the forest near Edgefield to march on Innspa. As the news of Ossons raid through the southern provinces of the Great Kingdom reached this army, they changed course to hunt down Osson and his cavalry. They left large areas of the woods destroyed.

Refugees from the Bandit Kingdom founded Sharpwall in the north-eastern part of the Adri in CY 585. They allied with Prince Hastern of Edgefield.

In CY 587 the United Kingdom of Ahlissa was founded. It claimed all the Adri, despite the fact that most of the woodland was under the control of other nations (Innspa and the Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy). This marchland was administered from Kalstrand directly. As Innspa entered the Union in CY 590, this capital was moved to Innspa and Prince Molil became its appointed leader.

On the first Earthday of Wealsun CY 591, Prince Molil entered the Adri with an army, heading for Elverford. His vanguard troops, consisting mainly of humanoid forces, were crushed at Druid's Well by a quickly assembled force of foresters and adventurers.


Intrigues and Whispers

What is the dark secret behind the City of Summer Stars, one of the oldest elven cities known to man? What dreadful secret does the Coldwood hide concerning Darnakurian's legacy? And why does there seem to be increased interest in this part of the Adri in recent times?

Almost two centuries ago, Firan Zal'honan, better known as Azal'Lan the Lich, former ruler of Knurl who had carved his own empire straight out of the Great Kingdom centuries ago, disappeared in the ancient, deep forest woodlands. Why did this happen, and where did he go? And why did the Great Kingdom never really challenge his ambitions? One being wants to find out...

Prince Molil's threat to take by force what he believes to be his right in tithes from the people in the Adri still looms large. He has already tried once, although he was beaten at the Druid's Well by an alliance of the Adri people and a gathering of adventurers. But what will happen if he tries again?

Is it true that the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom are not really disbanded? Rumors talk of occasional appearances of armored figures within the Adri Forest. Could the legacy be still alive?

Archdruidess Immonara seems to be tiring of her duties. And yet she has to stand watch, keeping the quarrels between Obad-Hai's druids and Ehlonna's nature priests in check and defending the Adri from ancient and quite recent threats. Who, then, is the mysterious Tansy Treewee who seems to be in search of Immonara, and what are her goals?


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