intro (AV-a-lay)

Tech Code: 6
Governments: The Incorporated Feudal Fiefs of Avalaigh, Valentis, and Tarabat.
Religions: The Temple of the Sun; The Foerd Cult; The Valent Cult; The Lewen Cult
Industries and Trades: Herding (birds, sheep, and cattle); Leatherwork; Light Agriculture (wheat, corn, and barley); Mining (tin, copper, and iron); Wool and Textiles; Fishing; Trade with Lammornia, Coulbaigh and Tohl.
Major Terrain: Flatland; River; Sea; Swamp; Wood.
Primary Languages: Ralstaan.
Major Settlements: Brill, Caer Stonehaben, Caer Valentgard, Dollowshold, Erethae, Gordolspont, Haelhard, Kovarth, Mount Rannoc, Tarabat, Tohl Anlan, Tohl Avalaigh, Twilder.


Physical Geography

The province of Avalaigh sits at the top of the western side of the second knife, on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Shay. Avalaigh is a diverse province, containing some of the most southerly reaches of the Starwood, the mountains of the Spearmarch Mountains draining into the crescent-shaped Lake Camat, the extensive Avalaigh Moorlands, several moors and the towering cliffs of the coast. There is little farmland except around the cities, but the potential is there for Avalaigh to be an agrarian centre, with fertile, well drained lands common.

The coast, like most of the knives, is made up of towering cliffs of hard, jagged volcanic rock, like basalt and granite. Headlands are often punctured by partially submerged arches, and towering stacks where these have collapsed. Occasionally the drop into the sea is broken by a ragged beach, of black sand and shale, and heaps of ancient driftwood. There is seldom a route down the cliff face, but small boats can come ashore to gather wood for temporary repairs or take shelter in a cave during particularly bad storms. Sometimes smugglers also operate out of these caves, leaving goods or payment at prearranged places practically inaccessible to authorities on land. The tops of the cliffs are barren and windswept, topped by heavy clay and hardy coastal grass. Sometimes streams flow to the edge and plunge over in foaming, roaring cascades, but more commonly rivers cut deep, sheer sided valleys to the sea. Here thirsty trees cluster close together between cliff and river for miles from the coast, until the land kneels to meet the river again. The River Anlan flowing out of the mountains to Smugglers Bay is the largest of these, but many others feed out into the Cwnnvar Bay in the extreme south, Doubtful Bay and Shelter Bay in the extreme north.


The moorlands and moors form a large stretch of land between the sea in the west and the foothills of the Spearmarches in the east, and dominate most of the land in Avalaigh. Rather bleak, storm clouds blow over them with awe inspiring speed and vastness. When the clouds are high a traveler can see for miles and watch the storm clouds blow in off the sea and over the highlands to cluster and begin to tear apart over the blue silhouette of the mountains. It is seldom clear here, but the storms also tend to break much further inland. The moorlands are dotted small woods, clustered together, but most are young or else stunted. Heather and grass blanket the rocky moorlands and exposed tors top the sparsely vegetated rises. Streams feed small lakes, some of which are so small that they all but dry up in summer, and the marks of habitation are few and far between. Exposed stony banks stretch around these bodies of water, forming their own natural highways for travelers straying off the tracks.

The Spearmarches form the eastern border between Avalaigh and Branddale. Unlike the mountains that form the northern border of Ralstaa, the Spearmarches rise gradually from rugged foothills into broad, majestic peaks. The slopes are generally heavily wooded, dipping into river-cut gullies and high cool lakes. Despite the relative gentility of the terrain the breadth of the region and the slow rise and fall means that it is easy for a traveler to get lost, and rivers and streams often become deep and impassable. At the heart of the range the forests thin to nothing and the mountains become rocky, jagged and impassable, choked with fallen debris. To pass east to west or west to east a traveller must find one of a few deep mountain passes.

In the extreme north of Avalaigh the thinning edges of the Ruirewood spill out of Bradenthyr and meet the moorlands. Not as deep, tangled or threatening as the thicker parts of the Starwood in Cwmbran or Kentallen Wood, the trees here are not so ancient, but still older than landsmen habitation. The undergrowth not so thick, but the wild briers are still impassable in places, and the beds of wildflowers still haunting, if rarer. Faerie fires are a less common more mystical sight, and the rise and fall of the land seldom conceals anything more sinister than more forest. Still, this land is not without it's danger, and the dark of the woods still hides many creatures with bright teeth and sharp claws, and many pitfalls and false trails and glades that have never seen direct sun to fool and entrap the unwary.

Political Geography

Avalaigh is broken into three major kingdoms, clustered around the borders of the province. The central moors are an unaligned no-man's-land, though it seems likely that it will be claimed by one king or another before too long.


The Kingdom of Avalaigh, ruled over by the Kings of House Avalaigh-Foerd. Occupying the entire coast of he province, and all of the moorland for a few days inland, Avalaigh controls a southern route that leads down from Tohl Dannis and Tohl to Tohl Avalaigh and Tohl Anlan which then turns through the no man's land to Kovarth and the Kove Pass to meet the Lammornian Highway. Avalaigh is ruled by King Sturn Avalaigh-Foerd, and is generally considered to be the local royalist house. They were the first to bow to Viran Uth-Rallis outside Branddale, and thanks to his rape of the royal princess Haylen they can claim direct descent from the royal line, but since their union with House Foerd this has been somewhat diluted. Avalaigh has used it's control of the coastal route between Tohl Dannis and points north to become a major trade presence, emulating their Shaeish cousins in Coulbaigh. The two great port cities see vessels come in and out daily, and goods flow north-west to Tohl and gold flows back. A powerful, ages old, and often violent rivalry exists between House Avalaigh-Foerd and House Valent of Valentis, and while the two have been relatively peaceful since the singing of the Caer Soldar Accord the enmity between the two bubbles just below all the politics of the region.


Valentis is based in the north of the region, occupying the foothills in the north of the Spearmarch mountains, ruled from the city of Caer Valentgard. Valentis is all rugged hills and tangled forest and cold, austere castles holding sway over those ways in and out of the land. Valentis is an old fashioned military power, charged with holding the southern approaches to Tohl. The heart of a number of military alliances in Branddale, King Darian Ur-Valent is a warrior-tyrant of the old guard, but his occasionally unhinged behavior makes his neighbours extremely nervous. With the largest standing army of the region and a huge body of loyal knights founding castles and steadily pushing his borders into the heart of Avalaigh they are probably right to be unsure.


The Kingdom of Tarabat controls the cities of Kovarth and it's namesake Tarabat, both key points on the way south down the knife. While the Kings of Tarabat have always been military giants in their own right, they have always been hemmed in by larger powers, and thus have diversified into trade to keep the kingdom powerful. Tarabat controls the Lammournian Highway where it passes through Avalaigh, and the route south-west into Avalaigh, and has even united with House Ghiere in Tohl to control the market for it's goods. Recently the current King Holt also added the Kingdom of Kovarth of his dominion by conquest, wiping out it's previous rulers House Slaine in the process.

Setting Trait (value): name trait

Social Geography

As a Lleweith province Avalaigh adheres strongly to Ralstaan class structure. The crofts and hamlets of the no-mans-land and the moors are inhabited by communities of churls, and in the claimed kingdoms churl crofters with communities of peasant serfs under them. Villages along the major thoroughfares are occupied by villeins, usually serfs in the employ of a knight in the three kingdoms. Villeins form the vast majority of the population of Avalaigh, with the wilds proving sparsely settled and farming communities having tiny populations. Citizens occupy the three ports at Tohl Avalaigh, Tohl Anlan and Gordolspont, and the inland cities of Tarabat, Kovarth, Caer Valentgard, Caer Stonehaben and Dollowshold. People here tend to be wealthier than further south down the knife, because the farms and logging camps here are some of the closest out of province to the two great centers of Tohl and Tohl Dannis, and goods for further south all pass through Avalaigh on their way to these enormous cities.

The hubs of population are along the roads and coast, and with serfs in most Lleweith kingdoms being given freedom over their own mobility there are few vagrant communities away from these populated and trafficked areas, meaning that the wilds of Avalaigh are almost empty. Hamlets along the coast are allied to Avalaigh, and while most of them are not effective ports many protect river mouths where vessels can travel upriver for a few miles to a smaller trading community. Castles, as usual, are the hub of an aligned community, and while many of the smaller, simpler fortifications are just a single bailey and a keep on a defensible position, and have never seen pitched battle, they are never the less of Ralstaan make, and characteristically formidable.


Haiyle had known all of her life that as the daughter of the King, her body was the Kingdom, and whatever man had her had the land. They forced a ring upon her thumb and she stood alongside the mercenary from the north, staring down upon the still cooling body of her father. "Now everyone will know your strength," she spat, but he remained silent. They bound heavy irons to her wrists and ankles so that she could barely move, then put a gag in her mouth, with barbs that cut her lips and tongue painfully. Then the mercenary said the words of the marriage vow and their hands were bound together by one amongst his retinue, and her clothes were cut from her. Haiyle felt a thousand eyes upon her bare flesh like stabbing needles. She had never known such shame in all her life. Then a knife was held to her throat and the usurper defrauded her of her maidenhead there on the dais, before the gawking peasants, who only numbly looked on like animals. And when he was spent he stood back, her blood glistening upon his triumphant horn, seized her father’s crown from where it was fallen and placed it without care or regard upon his brow to raucous acclaim.

  • from The Chronicles of Tohl Avalaigh, penned in the winter of YED 3954.


c. -960 D The first of the tribe of the Cord come to Avalaigh from Coulbaigh and settle at a site a few leagues south of Tohl Avalaigh.
c. -950 D A Warrior named Avalya, one of Rallah's own handmaidens, claims the land around Shelter Bay and names it Avalaya.
c. -940 D The Lleweith knight Valent founds a fortress at the northern tip of the mountains.
923 D Viran of Alendel takes the name Rallis and marches out of the City of Widows under the Royal Banner.
926 D Rallis marches across the boarders of in Avalaigh
927 D After a number of crippling raids Rallis attacks Tohl Avalaigh and kills the King.
928 D Rallis builds a fortress at Tohl Avalaigh and massacres the city’s rulers. Rallis attacks Tohl Anlan, which surrenders.
929 D The bulk of Rallis’ army marches into Haeliard
947 D House Foerd are ousted from Donnaigh and implanted in Tohl Anlan.
956 D The majority of the able men of northern Avalaigh are press-ganged into service in the Clanlands.
968 D Rallis abandons the Clanlands, less than half the pressganged men return home.
969 D Viran Uth-Rallis’ campaign ends and he returns to Tohl.
972 D Viran Uth-Rallis dies in Tohl aged seventy-one.
990 D Kovarth is founded by the Shaeish knight Slaine.
1016 D House Avalaigh of Tohl Avalaigh is joined in Marriage with House Foerd of Tohl Anlan.
1103 D Tarabat attacks Kovarth, and the King of Kovarth Aed Uth-Slaine is ambushed and killed on the boarders of Braedenthyr.
1114 D Present Day


Folk of Avalaigh

Avalaigh is not a diverse land by any means. One of the first of the Lleweith kingdoms, the populations is actually a roughly even mix of Shaeish and Lleweith along the coast in Avalaigh with Valentis and Tarabat being more heavily Lleweith. While the subraces are a healthy mix there is little division between the two save for friendly rivalry, and the greater importance of the family to the Shaeish Avalains. The mountains are home to a few scattered settlements of birdmen, and these vary from exclusive banditry to friendly aeries that openly trade with landsmen. The former are generally hunted by road wardens and by the armies of Valentis and Tarabat, but even to Ikar mounted pursuers the birdmen prove elusive.

Flora and Fauna

The flora and fauna of the forested moorlands of Avalaigh are typical of all of coastal Ralstaa, it has forests of oak, maple, willow and beech dotted around the north and in the foothills, with pine, birch, poplar and other evergreens climbing the mountains. The coast has chestnut and beech; the moors, juniper and weeping willow. The moors are clad in thick blankets of heather and natural herbs like thyme and rosemary. Mostly however the plant life is tall-growing, windswept grass, broken by patches of thistles and beds of wildflowers. Wild berries are common in sheltered inclines, but amongst the blackberries, boysenberries and hidden strawberries are poisonous red starberries.

Rodents and small mammals such as rats, fieldmice and otters are uncommon thanks to the large birds of prey common to all of Ralstaa. Black lions, mountain lions, griffons, and wolves dominate the area as predators, with wild dogs and bobcats picking off what they miss, with rabbits and hares forming the staple of their diet, as well as that of many churls. Hedgehogs and shrews are common, as are weasels, bats, squirrels, badgers, and beavers. Wild mustangs and wild goats are common to the Spearmarch foothills. However, as in all of Ralstaa, it is the birdlife that dominates the land; warblers, thrushes, magpies, owls, buzzards, and gulls are common, as are eagles, hawks and falcons. In the forests pheasants, wild turkeys and chickens and partridges are also common, and storks, terns, buntings, herons, and egrets are found around rivers and marshland. Ikars, however, are still battle with the griffons in the mountains for dominion over the skies. The rivers hold eels, pike, perch, carp, roach, salmon, and trout, but travelers in the forest should beware shrieks in the rivers; lobsters and giant hermit crabs are found on the coast and further out to sea large sand sharks are very common.

Farms and ranches keep large herds of hrid and goats, but cattle, horses and sheep are all relatively regular in small herds, as well as pigs, chickens and ducks. Hrid are easily the most popular herd, being better suited to the Ralstaan terrain. Ikar ranches are uncommon here, but there are certainly enough that each city has one or two eyries of the creatures.

Notable Individuals

His Majesty; King of Tohl Avalaigh, Sturn ‘Cleaver’ Avalaigh-Foerd
Long ago House Avalaigh Foerd may have been the greatest in the Avalaigh region, but now it is an antiquity in decline. Still, it’s power as a symbol of unity and of the High Kingdom means that Sturn is held in high regard by other monarchs. The King is broad, barrel chested man with a voice like thunder who, in his youth, could cut a log right through with a single blow. Today the King has grown old, and is not so robust or powerful as he was, but he retains the stature of his youth. An active monarch, Sturn's rule has been one of decline for Avalaigh, but his advisers assure him that this has been natural, and not through any fault of his rule. Still, he has sought solace in the house cult more and more as he begins to doubt himself. A determined and powerful man, Sturn the warrior found himself thrust into the role of a merchant-king, and in trying to take up that mantle rather than shirk it upon advisers he is beginning to wonder if he has done irreparable harm to his legacy.

His Majesty; King of Valentis, Darian ‘The Lion’ Ur-Valent
The Lion of Valentis is not everything his name might lead people to believe, rather the lion has a distinct taste for blood. Thankfully he has little interest in war, but skirmishes with all of his neighbours over slights or minor assets are very common, and he is quick to anger and slow to forgive. In fact so sudden and unpredictable can his fits of anger be that people have begun to wonder if the Lion does not suffer some malady of the mind. A young monarch, only in his early fourth decade, the Lion was a questing knight for many years before his coronation and spent that time hunting down the mos vile and dangerous monsters he could possibly find. The trophy room in Caer Valentgard is filled with the heads and claws of strange and terrifying creatures. The Lion drills his armies personally, and his personal cavalry are fearful in their relentlessness and sheer bravado, whooping and laughing as they plow into battle as if at sport. Many have accused Darian of polluting a noble and proud lineage with madness and pride, but a warning to those who do so in his presence: one cannot predict his response.

His Majesty; King of Tarabat and Kovarth, Holt ‘Strongarm’ Uth-Lewan
The Mighty King of Tarabat and Kovarth is a towering monster of a man, and few are as powerful or as skilled at arms. One of the most active and feared Knights at tourney of his entire generation, Holt was always the Tarabat heir, and his father was a proud and capable man who had forged a very firm alliance with the King of Valentis in the north. Holt spent much of his Errantry in the wilds of Avalaigh and Branddale but his passion was tourney, where he has slain well in excess of a hundred foes. Horrible injuries speak directly to the ability of some of these foes. As a King however Holt has also discovered a knack for business and a natural talent as a negotiator. Since he has never been a leader of men, and preferred his solitary life of battle to rulership this has opened a whole new avenue for him, and he rules Tarabat not by respect, but by a combination of wealth, largesse and military accomplishment. His greatest challenge as a King outside of placating the Lion of Valentis has been the growth of the competing trade Kingdom of Kovarth, which he ruthlessly crushed over a year ago leaving Tarabat in it’s traditional place of dominance on the northern caravan route.

Her Ladyship; The Countess of Tohl Anlan, Gwendolyn Uth-Foerd
The Foerd line, joined with the Avalaigh Kings, still survives as rulers of the City of Brothers. The cousin of King Sturn, and one of his most faithful advisers, the Countess Gwendolyn is both a loyal and avowed servant of House Avalaigh-Foerd and a fine and matronly ruler. Also in the twilight of her life, the countess and her cousin were close in their youth, when they wintered together at the Oercrast, and they remain close as rulers, which has only benefited Sturn's reign. Gwendolyn sees the decline of Avalaigh as something cyclical, "As the orchard must have it's winter so must a kingdom." has become one of her favorite sayings, and in truth she has only seen growth in Tohl Anlan, though she attributes much of the decline in the kingdom as a whole to war in Tohl Graihaen and the growth of Tohl Dannis than to any practical cycle. A profoundly intelligent woman, she has watched the best merchant traders in the nation at work, and emulated everything she saw.

Today in Avalaigh…

Tales have surfaced that a knight named Tyniar Uth-Cavish, presumably a scion of House Cavish, who is building a castle along the Kovarth - Tohl Anlan road. The site has not yet been named, but the knight is said to have a dozen associates of assorted backgrounds with whom he has been traveling overseeing the project with him, and churl labourers have been flocking to the new construction. A small croft did already exist on the site, but even the merchants who regularly travel the route can shed little light on the community there.

A rumour that crops up now and then is that an heir to House Slaine is still lurking somewhere in Avalaigh, hidden in the wilds or perhaps even in one of the cities, plotting his revenge against the King of Tarabat for the murder of his family. While the High King, and Tarabat's neighbours consider the matter to be one of lawful warfare, and Tarabat's to be a fair conquest it is certain that any surviving member of House Slaine would not view Holt's claim to Kovarth so favourably. The current rumour claims that the heir is hiding in the foothills of the Spearmarches in southern Valentis raising an army to retake Kove Pass and besiege Kovarth in the name of Slaine.

Another story that has surfaced around the streets of Tohl Avalaigh is that King Sturn is deathly ill, and not long for the world. His named heir, Saven, is serving in the Cannonate as a ranking priest, and is somewhere in the north establishing a temple, and there is great concern that should Sturn die the land will be without a King for an extended period of time. Of course no one has confirmed that the King is even ill, and his advisers are all telling the local noblemen that he is merely on an extended pilgrimage to the site of Avalya's birth to consult with his ancestors, and not even in the city. But their failure to produce the king seems only to fan the flames of gossip.

What is certain is that during a particularly violent storm last night there was a major wreck off Cannon's Finger in the north of Cwnnvar Bay when one merchant vessel was actually thrown into another. The two ships were sighted from the coast in several particularly bright lightening strikes from the village of Erethae, and at least one seems to still be above water, though it is sinking by the hour. No lifeboats have left the small coaster vessels, and it seems unlikely that they had any, but now that the seas have calmed talk of rescue has spread like wildfire up and down the coast, as well as talk of salvage from one or both vessels before they are taken by the sea.

The Knives of Rallah, High Kingdom of Ralstaa
The Shaeish Kingdoms Caldare, Donnaigh, Rhuovaith, Kileirey, Balleymoore, Cannavin, Wynd, Breconn, Coulbaigh
The Lleweith Kingdoms Avalaigh, Haeliard, Lammornia, Branddale, Talladale, Bradenthyr, Tohl
The Starwood Cwmbran, Kentallen Wood, Uerenuell
Tuarvael Castrette, Serlot, Friesse
The Dunsain Kingdoms Byrnham, Blackstone, Craigbyrn, Duncarrick, Strath Gorge, Garynshae, The Clanlands, Aulorn's Gate
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