Arulan is a feudal human confederation of Ather, founded in the year 276 C.E. out of a mutual alliance with the dwarven nation of Torryghiem to participate in the dwarven Kazun Dahl (holy war) against the Sylwood Forest Elves. It consists of 5 holds, each ruled by a free lord, and is nominally controlled by a king.
Geography and People
Bordered by the Cessar mountains to the west and the Jor river to the east, Arulan consists mostly of forested hills, dotted with rocky outcroppings. Home to some 50,00 inhabitants, it is the largest human nation on the northern continent. The only true urban center, Cliffwatch City, is considered the capital and religious center for the kingdom.
The gods and elves saw the Weave as an art to be pursued alongside any other. In older times, before the unification of the holds, the Auro humans learned and practiced magic without supervision. Following the Kazun Dahl, the alliance with the dwarves has caused Arulan to frown on the practice of magic for its close affiliation with elves. Unwilling to stamp the practice out entirely, King Aroh, the first monarch of Arulan, created the Callugh Brahn: a small order of knights dedicated to the control of magic. Under Callugh Brahn supervision, all those who wish to dabble in spellcasting must affix their name to the registry of sorcerers.
Businesses that deal in magic, such as apothecaries, must also register, as well as any that employ magical defenses or mages. Unregistered magic is considered a capital offense, and the Callugh Brahn are authorized to dispense justice as they see fit. Given this severe approach, most folks prefer to simply stay away from magic in general rather than risk association should the enforcers come knocking.
Military and threats
Arulan has no state military, and each hold maintains its own garrisons of men at arms and knights. Cliffwatch has by far the largest muster, able to call up more full time soldiers than the other four holds combined. Most soldiers are infantry men at arms armed with spears and clad in leather, though knights in mail and mounted on huge stallions are proving to be their most effective troops by far.
Training by the dwarves has allowed the country to better prepare itself for war, and most of the conflict for the past two decades has been with the Akira human nomads to the south, who pose a threat to Arulan territories along the Jor River. Raids by a group of seafaring bandits known as the Woad on the hold of Lonewater have also proved problematic.
The people of Arulan are currently divided between druidic, nature reverent practices and the new dwarven faith in the White God. Much of the population of Cliffwatch revers the dwarven god, and many nobles from the neighboring holds are adopting the faith as well. The common people still hold fast to the druidic traditions, but are coming under pressure to conform to the will of the dwarven church.
The people of Arulan speak Common Arulanese (often abbreviated as Northern Common). It is a bastard language of the High Arulanese tongue, which is very similar in structure and etymology to West Dwarven, and the Low Arulanese spoken by the Auro humans in days before unification. Hard consonants are the hallmark of Arulanese, and most agree that it is not a pretty tongue.