This is the Republic of Kalinth. By way of introduction, let me start with the Kalinthian language. You have dozens of word for both “fish” and “water”. There are fresh and saltwater fish, fish you eat, fish you use for bait, fish who are too young, fish who have been found in the wrong type of water, spawning fish, fish that are only good to eat when smoked for more than a day but less than a week, and so on. There is water that is good to sail in, water with a strong cross current, salt water that has a large cold freshwater spring feeding into it, and so on.

You have about a dozen words for land, more specifically, islands. There is no word for continent. The word “Yelt” is the closest thing you have to “mainland”. A yelt is an island big enough to hold more than four large cities. Noramyelt is the largest island of Kalinth. None of you have ever been there. Your home is the island Kael. It is a large island though, almost yelt sized, and has many cities, including the winter capital, Mosfal. Noramyelt, Kael, Ravenrock, and Tillbrook are the large islands that make up the Republic of Kalinth. However, much of the power in the Republic resides in the thousands of islands in the Republic’s archipelago. Your home is the coastal port town of Giant’s Teeth, on the southeast coast. It is a large town with a few smiths, three piers, and a lot of trade. It is easy to access from the south, but hard to sail out of to the north because of the dense atolls, reefs, and other hazards. Your pilots know the way to the clearer channels, so many goods come into Giant’s Teeth to be put onto your ships, or to be sent around Kael. Your clan and family are part of the largest merchant’s guild in the area. This has been a strange year, in a strange time. Fishing and trading have been excellent. reports are that the harvest is quite good as well. Banditry and piracy, however, have been stirring up all over. Much of what would have been the years profit has been lost to these attacks, especially in places where the defenses are weak. Your clan, being large, rich, and well-armed, has still come out with a great year, but your clan and guild leaders are still concerned over the sharp rise in attacks. Which brings us around to the Azoon… The Azoon Empire lies far to the south. They have been trading with Kalinth and its neighbors for as long as anyone can remember. As you understand it, some hundred years ago, the Empire began consolidating its territories, and aggressively expanding its borders. Forty years ago, the Empire invaded Kalinth. While they were a mighty military power on land, their navy was inexperienced and poorly equipped. The first few naval battles were decisively in the favor of Kalinth and her allies. In a last ditch effort to gain a foothold, the Empire raised a huge armada with a vast number of troops, and sailed into the north of Kalinth, away from where they had been concentrating initially. The Kalinthian navy, picketing the southern waters, was warned by the sorcerers against moving into the north. Not heeding the warnings, they sailed north and encountered a ferocious storm, which sank or scattered the bulk of the Kalinthian navy. The storm was so fierce and terrible, many thought that the end was coming, that The Great Below had risen up to swallow the islands. The Empire deployed its armies, and the fighting began. To add to her woes, the sorcerers of Kalinth were gone. Not just the Archmages and Artificers, but the Golavas, the Stormsigned, and almost all of the scholar priests disappeared, gone with no trace. The curse extended also to the great Mana engines of Kalinth, which mis functioned or sometimes ceased working for days. Manapacitors drained and recharged randomly, sometimes overpowering and blowing out, often just going dead for days. The Empire did made great gains, however they had no reinforcements coming. Over a few years, Kalinth put her great navy back together, and managed to hold the Empire to a few areas. A ceasefire was signed, with Kalinth paying tribute to the Empire. To the east, the Sacred and Revered Territories of the Gyrfold reported that their own Mage Lords had also vanished. To the west, The Kingdom of Godim also sent words that the Eagle Priests had gone over the sea, leaving no word of their return. And your strange neighbors to the south, the Zakoji, sent no word at all. While they have started trading with Kalinth again, seeing their elegant ships in your waters is a rare thing. They speak no word of the Great Storm, they will not speak about the magic, even though legend has it that they taught the first men magic’s workings. They hardly speak at all of having dealings with The Empire, although they built the first Empire in the Archipelago. And in the north, no Kalinthian knows. The northern islands are haunted by a fierce race of half-ghosts, the Gyr. The Gyr come in the night to steal children away. Their boats turn to mist when attacked. The Gyr become invisible and sneak into men’s houses to drink their blood and poison the livestock. Even the plants themselves fear the Gyr, who have strange powers over earth and seas. They are not Demons, but certainly of the Great Below, a blight in the eyes of the gods

The Archipelago trial run

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