Coldforged: The Warlords of Killbarum Part 1: Northern Killbarum

Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. This week, having finished the general histories and overviews, I am going to start winding down the regional information, This time dealing with the Warlords of what remains of Killbarum

What Once Was Killbarum

Decades ago, the Republic of Killbarum stood next to Tyndaria as the two greatest nations on the Continent. Since those heady times, both have fallen far from their former heights.

Killbarum was a Mageocratic republic, ruled by an elite class of arcane spellcasters who voted on the important affairs of state and lead powerful, wealthy lives. All of this was torn asunder, first by the Mind Plague, then by the General, and then finally by siege as the walls of the Great Captial were torn down and the land salted in retribution for its defiance.

Now, warlords fight over the scraps of the nation, claiming cities as their own strongholds, raiding and pillaging the lands they cannot conquer, and marching to war against other warlords that defy them. In this vacuum, arcane power has once again reared its head, and many of the warlords are once powerful arcanists who managed to survive the turmoil, or heirs to the colleges that kept cloistered during the last few decades and are only now reaching to take back what power they once had.

The Current State

According to the current historian Althimius Parminian, there are 31 cities that claim to rule portions of Killbarum with a realistic claim, and another two or three dozen with weak claims or that are subservient to the others. The minor warlords are always striving to gain ground and become a major force in the region, and nearly all of the major warlords seek to eventually claim all of Killbarum and under their auspices, few can actually come close to achieving those aspirations. There are under half a dozen, according to his opinions, that are actual threats to the rest of the continent. The numerous others are simply local threats that, in his estimation, will be overcome by one of the future leaders of a united Killbar, or Nova Killbarum.

The Warlords

There are 31 current cities that host major warlords, ranging from the remains of old Jeslith down to the coast abutting Jets Swamp. These are rules by various and sundry warlords, each of which is spoken of below.

This is a lot to digest, so I’m going to work on talking about them in three parts. Let’s start with the north, the section of Killbarum that was once Jeslith, and work our way south. We’ll get about 9 done each part, and at the end, we’ll have all 31 with just a little bit of detail.

Falimius (Aldrady)

Falimius – also known as the Jeslith city of Aldrady – is a holdover from when Jeslith burned and Killbaran forces marched across the destroyed County. Ruled by the Consul Nuaria, her forces hold a grip on the northernmost city within what was once Killbarum. relatively safe from the predations of other warlords, she has solidified her grip and declared herself the heir to the Killbaran legacy, similar to all of the other warlords. Unfortunately, she has been subjected to brutal Levishan raids in the past few years, the likes of which have never been seen before. She is now constructing guard forts in the north to warn her of approaching hordes, something she never expected to have to do.

Cotonia (Bastrall)

Cotonia was once known as Bastrall, and the halfling warlock who rules this city was a turncoat and traitor to his own kind back when the invasion came. Siding with the Killbaran forces gave him great political power to match his ambition and his arcane might. Given rulership over all of Jeslith as its Magistrate, Yorin el Karais fumes at the indignation of having his territory split by Nuaria and Akand. Unable to muster powerful forces, he seethes at the allies he must make and continuously schemes on how to eliminate them and absorb their domains into his, enabling him to finally eject all others from what he considers his domain.

Deburia (Boryin)

Akand is a great warrior, maybe one of the greatest of Killbarum and possibly the continent of Tysis. He could also be a ruse meant to deceive those who are gullible into leaving the town of Deburia alone. Akand, who has no surname and is always wrapped head to toe in flowing red regalia, has never needed to lift his finger to enforce his power. Go’lub His chief executioner, a Thraxian who enjoys his work a little too much, and his chancellor, Wayulian Bearclaw, a wily Tyndarian expat, seem to do all the work necessary to run the territory while also mustering huge forces to deter any would-be challengers.

Zinium

Zinium is ruled by an enigmatic and powerful monk and warrior known as Firehands. She is a devoted elven follower of Takannas, who raids the towns north of the Brackwood. She is often seen leading these raids from the front in displays of primal pyromantic magic, often engulfing her hands in living flame to smite her foes.

Cacinium

Cacinium is in thrall to a human who calls herself The Bard, and who may only be addressed as such. Hedonistic and self-centered, but also the master of extremely potent magic, The Bard keeps the city in thrall through awe and terror, having reopened the ancient gladiatorial arena within the city, using it for public performances, including executions and live battles. she seems content to lord it over this one city, pleased with the adoration she receives.

Boderia

Boderia is controlled by a tetrarchy of generals who have agreed to share power through mutual distrust and shared experience. Striking out from the city of Boderia, they have begun to expand into the wilds between Lev and Killbarum, becoming a settling force and a strong source of order. Disinterested in regaining control of Killbar or its flaws, the generals intend to carve their own realm out of the untamed, though history will tell if they are successful or not.

Queltia

Queltia is ruled by the Killbaran Magus Tyricus Aldrinus, centered on an old trade route between northern Tyndaria and Killbarum. Able to formalize a trade deal with some of the rebel Tyndarian cities, he has once again begun building up the mercantile prospect of the city. It is all, however, a fairly transparent facade, as he is using the wealth he is gaining to hire mercenaries and train levies in the traditional Killbarn style for what everyone presumes is a march to war against the Etrians. He clearly tires of their endless raids and their fickle nature and seeks to bring to bear a great army, one which Killbar has not seen the likes of in decades, and conquer his foes.

Parminium

Parminium has recently been the head of a storm of events, with the return of the Modresto Empire at its front door. Thankfully, the warlord Gallus was able to form an alliance with a few nearby minor warlords and pushed back the invaders. Gallus retained his hold over the city, and his new alliances have given him greater power within the region. He now seeks to expand beyond the city that he holds, to expand outwards towards his competitors to the east, the Etrians.

Etrmitium and Erundia ( The Etrians)

Twin Arcanists, one a powerful Evoker and the other a Dragon blooded sorcerer, rules these two cities. Livia, the elder by minutes, rules Etrimitium and her brother, Kevus, rules Erunida. Their alliance and power give them more clout than either would have alone, and they are currently in the process of annexing the domain of their deceased rival, Damog, to the south. With his head on a pike outside of Parminium, they have been able to swell their position to include the southern town and were uniquely situated to do so.