Divine Fractures of Enlightenment
Reverie of Flowers
Further insight into these topics can be discovered through respective Knowledge checks or gathering information – even before first session – but after character creation.
Index of entries:
- Countries, Nations, States, and the Free City-States
- Cities and Towns
- Argul History
- Argul Topography
A guild that is as old as the Argul Confederation. Its members were the original founding people that stumbled upon the land, which led to Argul’s proliferation. While the continent for the most part has been discovered and mapped, the same cannot be said of the world in its entirety. With its long, tenacious history, genuine leadership, strong members, and refusal to be involved with political controversy, the Cartography Guild has grown into a respected organization. That being said, the guild is not against being hired by governments or religions as long as the nature of the job is agreeable; no militant actions against others regardless of justification, though they are hardly against defending themselves or their charges. Generally, such commissions are for escorting, delivering, or research.
The Cartography Guild serves two functions in society. First, as the continent’s main ’adventurer’s guild’. Though there are other guilds out there that focus on only contracting work, but none of them have the reach or influence like the Cartography Guild. Second – and this is rooted in the guild’s original purpose – is exploration, discovery, research, and the development of knowledge. For that reason, the guild also acts as a kind of educational institution. Each branch maintains a library of sorts: a collection of all knowledge acquired by the branch’s members. This goes hand-in-hand with one of the guild’s tenets that knowledge should be free and shared to everyone who seeks it. There is usually two branches per state of the Argul Confederation, with Oslar possessing three and Acleivanis having one, and then one branch in each of the city-states.
The hierarchy of members goes:
- Aspirant – New recruits. This is essentially a probationary period, allowing the individual to become accustomed to the guild and learning basics. How long the period depends on the individual, but the average is around two weeks. This is generally used to prepare the member for becoming an Apprentice, but members who are skillful before joining may move quickly through being an Aspirant and skip straight to Guide or Savant. However, being an Aspirant always lasts a mandatory 6 days, regardless of prior rank, accomplishment, or fame – no exceptions. After an Aspirant’s contract has been fully processed (exactly noon the day after signing), they may not default on their contracts without paying a cancellation fee (10 gp), but are free to quit after promotion, or being an Aspirant for a month and a day. The guild does not accept ongoing criminals into their ranks, but does not care for previous incarcerations if time is served.
- Apprentice – To become an Apprentice, the Aspirant must choose a field of study, or area of work in which to train, and be assigned to a Guide. The Apprentice learns from the Guide, and helps the Guide in their work as an assistant. Being an Apprentice is usually for the purpose of learning a trade.
- Guide – Guides act as mentors for Apprentices. For an Apprentice, there is no specific requirement for becoming a Guide other than being recommended by his or her Guide and having it approved by the Guildmaster. For Aspirants, they can be recommended by the Guildmaster and having it approved by at least ten Guides or Savants, or vice versa – recommended by at least ten Guides or Savants and approved by the Guildmaster. Guides can usually set the terms of how they teach, and how many Apprentices they may bring on; sometimes when demand is greater than supply, Guildmasters may require Guides to receive more than they originally sought, or may request Savants to become Guides.
- Savant – A Savant is equal to a Guide in terms of authority, but have many varying amounts of experience. The other main difference is a Savant does not take on Apprentices. They are commonly more individualistic people, or are doing field work and do not have the time to teach as well. That is to say, not all who travel when working for the guild are Savants; some Guides and Apprentices do travel together, it just requires more coordination between all those involved. And sometimes, that extra effort is more trouble than it is worth, leading to traveling guild members more often being Savants. As an extension of that, Savants make up the majority of the guild that take on contracts. Becoming a Savant is similar to the process of becoming a Guide; except the number of Savants and/or Guides required for approval and recommendation is five – Savants have less responsibility attached to the position than Guides.
- Guildmaster – The Guildmaster is the leader of his or her guild branch. They take care of the managerial work for the guild branch; approving of recommended promotions, setting and approving of budgets and finances, report to their Director, and many other duties. They normally decide on several Savants or Guides to help in making these duties more efficient. Becoming a Guildmaster requires the recommendation of a Guide or Savant guild member by the previous Guildmaster, the approval of at least half of all Guides and Savants of that branch, and the approval of the branch’s respective Director. Being promoted to Guildmaster does not overtake a Guide’s or Savant’s position; Guildmasters are free to keep teaching, work on prior projects or accept future jobs. However, it’s customary for those that do quit teaching to recommend a Guide in their place. A Guildmaster may keep his position as long as he wants, but the process of demotion is the same as promotion. If at any time at least half of Guides and Savants of a guild branch petition for the stepping down of a Guildmaster, he or she must do so if it is approved by the Director. Refusal results in immediate excommunication.
- Director – There are only two Directors of the guild at any one time; one who oversees the northern half of Argul (Ostror, Oslar, Kosnocur, Stedrekar, and one in Brayh Shan), and one who oversees the southern half (Gliaton, Acleivanis, Dusmurg, Hastrana, Dustorn, and one in Brayh Shan). The one that oversees Longdale varies upon the location of the city at the time. The Directors job is similar to that of a Guildmaster, but it spans across multiple guild branches. Becoming a Director requires the recommendation of the previous Director, and the approval of the opposite Director and all active Guildmasters of the guild. Note that one does not need to be a guild member to be recommended. For that reason, it is possible for a Director to recommend someone completely unaffiliated with the guild, though the chances of such a recommendation to be approved of is highly unlikely. But it is the only position of the guild where such a thing is possible.
For Guildmaster and Director, a person’s ability to lead and make decisions is more valuable than individual skill. The contracting of adventurer work is only one half of the guild, so it is very possible for a member’s career in the guild to be completely devoid of taking such jobs.
The tenets of the Cartography Guild:
- The pursuit of knowledge is solemn and is not to be marred by ego
- The partaking of knowledge is solemn and is not to be marred by greed
- The struggles of endeavor is solemn and is not to be marred by indifference
- The rewards of endeavor is solemn and is not to be marred by envy
- Temper incompetence with knowledge
- Temper prowess with endeavor
As long as one uphold the tenets, the spirit thereof, and does not involve themselves with criminal activities, the guild cares not for any other perceived flaws of its members.
The central, political entity that makes up of the union of eight self-governing states and three city-states. The confederation was created in tandem with the Alexi-Eyva Pact, and has been the governing body of the continent of Argul for the past 618 years. Though all who live by the laws of the aforementioned states and city-states are citizens of the confederation, membership of the ruling body itself is relatively small in size. It is made up of only one representative from each of the states for a total of eleven, and a handful of attendants who help them with menial tasks. This group handles making decisions for the good of all those involved when there are issues transcending borders.
The states that make up the Argul Confederation are as follows: Oslar, Ostror, Gliaton, Brayh Shan, Dusmurg, Hastrana, Acleivanis, Kosnocur, and the three city-states are Stedrekar, Longdale, and Dustorn.
Argul Marine Enterprise
One of the companies created by the Argul Confederation. It oversees the transportation and protection of goods and freight along the Confederation Sea Trading Routes.
Religions and Churches
Not all deities of Paizo are available for worship on Argul; only the core ones: Abadar, Asmodeus, Calistria , Cayden Cailean, Desna, Erastil, Gorum, Gozreh, Iomedae, Irori, Lamashtu, Nethys, Norgorber, Pharasma, Sarenrae, Shelyn, Torag, Urgathoa, and Zon-Kuthon. Lesser known powers of the outer planes do not hold sway here – and presumably not for lack of trying. Books give mention to these beings; archdevils, empyreal lords, archdaemons, etc., and how they seek worship by mortals. And people have indeed tried to follow these beings, but all efforts to contact them or draw divine power from them have resulted in failure. Thus, priests and paladins (and antipaladins) are restricted to the aforementioned deities. The largest congregation in Argul belongs to Sarenrae.
The Pirates of Hastrana
Between the countries of Hastrana and Dusmurg lies the Skiep Glela Sea, home to pirates, outlaws, and any man or woman who seek to bring themselves out of the yoke of government rule. The pirates are made up of two main crews: the first being The Vanden Fleet, led by self-proclaimed ‘Pirate Queen’, Evridika Kraujas-Vanden. The second is called Black Sharkfin Crew, captained by Sully The Sea Reaver. These are by no means the only ones, only the largest and most influential. Because there is barely any evidence to support the contrary, it is believed Captain Vanden and Captain Sully purposefully keep out of each other’s ways. It is known that Captain Vanden sticks to the north side of the Skiep Glela Sea, raiding up the eastern coast of Argul – while Captain Sully keeps himself in the south side, pillaging around the southern coast.
The Vanden Fleet
Captained by Evridika Kraujas-Vanden. The Hastrana government does not officially recognize it, but the public – especially those who live in or around the relevant areas – are aware that The Vanden Fleet, for all intents and purposes, controls Dryvuth and its islands, as well as half of the Pluhalst Peninsula. While they surely do not pillage and murder in broad daylight on the city streets, it can be inferred that the pirates are able to freely come and go without hindrance in these areas.
Black Sharkfin Crew
Captained by Sully the Sea Reaver. Very little is known of the crew or its captain, as they tend to avoid the northern half of Hastrana. Any mentioning of them thus far are only second-hand accounts with no substance for discussion.
Makos Teli is the leader of the Travercraig-branch in Hastrana for the Cartography Guild. Human, stands at roughly 5’8", looks to be in his mid 40’s (actual age is speculation), greying hair, brown eyes, and a slight build. He is more of a craftsman and diplomat than a warrior. Famous for his intricate and exquisite carpentry; furniture he makes fetches high prices on open markets, and is often requested by wealthy clients. He is also highly regarded for his humble wisdom and neutrality in arbitrating matters. Even without his title, his opinion would hold a lot of weight for most people in Hastrana – though being Guildmaster certainly helps. Makos has been a member of the guild for eighteen years, and has been Guildmaster for five.
Makos is also one of two acting Guides for members who wish to learn woodcrafting, but he only receives a handful of Apprentices per year; the rest are left to Asmard Tsudmoml.
Miss Othia Grendil
Othia Grendil is a part of the Hastrani government. To be precise, she is a member of the Hastrana Court of Foreign Affairs. While she has no military experience, her official authority is equal to that of a Junior Officer – Lieutenant. She is assigned to the party by the Hastrani government as supervisor of the mission. But what exactly that means, is up to speculation.
She looks human, is about 5’5" in height, and seems to be in her early to mid 20’s. She possesses vivid blue eyes and long brown hair that is usually tied up in a bun. Her attire is always the same: fine clothing with a blue muffler, and the formal parade armor that marks her position within the Hastrani government. She is also never seen without her necklace that looks like a sun, which can lead one to assume she is a follower of Sarenrae.
‘Pirate Queen’ Captain Evridika Kraujas-Vanden
The captain of The Vanden Fleet seems to think highly of herself since she and her crew refer to her as a ‘Pirate Queen’ when necessary to boast or throw their weight around. Her personal ship is called the B.A. Black Alice, but she rarely sails without one or two other ships in escort, which really sells the idea of her being the head of a fleet. All who know of her are also aware that her home is Vanden Isle, which she renamed after herself when she became captain of the fleet. All other information is hearsay and open to interpretation, such as:
- She has the Hastrani Government in her pocket
- She ignores Hastrani trading ships for raiding
- As an extension of the above, she has the Hastrani merchants’ guild in her pocket
- She drinks blood
- Her rants have the power to kill
- She and Guildmaster Makos of the Travercraig-branch are somehow acquainted
- As an extension of the above, she has the Cartography Guild in her pocket
- She had a tryst with Sully that somehow went bad, hence the purposeful avoidance of each other
- She holds countless men and women in a personal harem in her home
- She’s a living avatar of Besmara
- Her singing cures scurvy
Sully the Sea Reaver
Very little is known of the captain of the Black Sharkfin Crew, as he tends to avoid the northern half of Hastrana.
Countries, Nations, States, and the Free City-States
The largest state of the confederation, and though it only has one associated representative, is actually a nation of two countries divided due to race. However, this division is merely a remnant of Oslar from before the Argul Confederation. The two countries – simply referred to as Oslar and Old Oslar – are in peaceful relations with each other. Oslar is itself a democratic federation. Though the largest in size, is dwarfed by Ostror in population. It is known that relations between Oslar and Ostror are strained at best, while Oslar also seems to hold a grudge against Kosnocur, though for what reason is anybody’s guess. The capital city of Oslar is Shroudwall, located on Criwaln Lake. Old Oslar’s capital city is Ell, located on the eastern shore of the Yhm Sea.
The demonym of Oslar is Oslarian.
Neighbor of Ostror, Brayh Shan, Gliaton, Kosnocur, and the city of Stedrekar
The second largest in size, Brayh Shan is a matriarchal tribal society, and home to the largest population of Shodan. The climate and terrain of Brayh Shan varies between rocky mountains, deserts, grasslands, and temperate forests, but all concede that if it were not for the Dusmurg Desert, Brayh Shan is the harshest place to live in Argul. The capital city is Dharren, located at the base of Trecahz Summit.
There are two separate demonyms for Brayh Shan. First is used by the Shodan, which is Shan, and it is possible for them to refer to themselves as their proper name or as Shan, leading to some confusion of outsiders for whether Shan refers to the Shodan or the state of Brayh Shan. Second, which is used by everyone, is Brayshanite.
Neighbor of Oslar, Ostror, Gliaton, Hastrana, Dusmurg, and the city of Stedrekar
The third largest state of the confederation, Ostror holds the greatest populace of all the states. Ostror self-governs through an aristocracy made up of the state’s wealthiest. Be that as it may, Ostror has the worst poverty rate. According to those that escape the cesspit, they claim the Ostror government is highly corrupt and always acting with an agenda. The capital city of Ostror is Vinovia, located between The Homeless Waves and Lake Opulence.
The demonym of Ostror is Ostrite.
Neighbor of Oslar, Brayh Shan, Hastrana, and Kosnocur
The fourth largest in size, though half of its area is wholly uncivilized. The Pirates of Hastrana take residence within the Skiep Glela Sea, proving to be a constant thorn in the sides of Hastrana’s neighbors Ostror and Dusmurg, and the Argul Marine Enterprise. The confederation regularly pressures the Hastrani government to do something about the pirates, but any progress on such efforts seemingly ground to a halt a few rough years ago. The capital city of Hastrana is Drario, the first city on Strahl’s Run River exiting Strahl’s Rise to the east.
The demonym of Hastrana is Hastrani.
Neighbor of Brayh Shan, Ostror, and Dusmurg
The fifth largest in size, all agree that Gliaton is the most peaceful state of them all. Population is pretty low, but the natural beauty of the land of Gliaton is enough to even captivate and pacify outlaws. Governed by a group of mayors that oversee their own towns and cities. Home to the Gliaton Excavation Company. The capital city of Gliaton is Arestrom, located a bit east of the Glish Mountains.
The demonym of Gliaton is Glish.
Neighbor of Oslar, Brayh Shan, Acleivanis, and the city of Stedrekar
The sixth largest in size, Dusmurg is an autocracy, ruled by a single dictator who calls himself a king. Despite the risky system of government, this dictator is actually a benevolent man, and the citizens are happy with his ruling. The capital city of Dusmurg is Kalasun, located in the middle of the Dusmurg Desert on a great oasis.
The demonym of Dusmurg is Dusmic.
Neighbor of Brayh Shan, Hastrana, Acleivanis, and the city of Dustorn
The seventh largest in size, not much is known about Kosnocur except that it closes itself off to the rest of Argul. Most see it as a xenophobic state, and finding a Kosnan native is extremely rare.
The demonym of Kosnocur is Kosnan.
Neighbor of Oslar and Ostror
The smallest state in size, Acleivanis is known for its great density of mages, especially those who specialize in the conjuration school of magic. The capital city of Acleivanis is Cla Drax, located on the southern tip of the state.
The demonym of Acleivanis is Cluiner.
Neighbor of Gliaton , Dusmurg, and the city of Dustorn
A trading city that divorced itself from Dusmurg during the creation of the Argul Confederation.
The demonym of Dustorn is Dusmic as well.
Neighbor of Gliaton, Dusmurg, and Acleivanis
Longdale is an oddity amongst the Argul Confederation. Even before the signing of the Alexi-Eyva Pact, Longdale is famous for being a city that doesn’t stay in one place. The reason for this is because the entire city is built upon colossal sized platforms pulled by even larger beasts called the Teturok. Longdale travels across all of Argul, trading, dealing, and otherwise socializing with whatever people and communities they come across. The leader of Longdale is a shodan woman called Princess Deszoh, with Longdale holding a sizable group of shodan taking ‘permanent’ residence.
The demonym of Longdale is Cluiner as well.
A trading city that, for as long as any historian can recount, has held its independence from all other states of the confederation. It sits between Brayh Shan, Gliaton, and Oslar, and keeps its doors open to them on a regular basis for trade. Considered to be the wealthiest of the three city-states.
The demonym of Stedrekar is Stedric.
Neighbor of Oslar, Gliaton, and Acleivanis
Cities and Towns
The trading city of Travercraig is the second largest city of Hastrana, and home to one of two Cartography Guild branches in the state. Travercraig is for the most part free of any pirate activity or influence, but if one were to purposefully look, it would not be difficult to find the aspiring swashbuckling fool. Them aside, the Cartography Guild is well received and respected within the city, and are consistently contracted for various mercantile jobs, and for the escort of goods along the Strahl’s Run River and on the road to Crosswaters, as inland trading is not covered by the
Capital city of Hastrana, and center of the Hastrani government. All trading from the northern half of Brayh Shan passes through Drario by way of Strahl’s Run River.
Another trading city of Hastrana that sits where the Jahst River forks.
City that covers the Kineallen Channel, on the side of Dryvuth, acting as the gateway into Skiep Glela Sea proper. It is a curious thing that, though Kineallen can be considered under the control of The Vanden Fleet, merchant and confederation ships are able to pass by unmolested.
Home of ‘Pirate Queen’ Captain Evridika Kraujas-Vanden and The Vanden Fleet. Infamous for being a rambunctious place, where pirates are free to do what they want. Obviously, it’s not officially recognized by the Hastrani government, but enough pirates call it home that it can be considered a city all on its own.
The Alexi-Eyva Pact, named after the two individuals who were paramount in its creation, is the treaty that united all of the states of Argul under a single government, named simply the Argul Confederation, 618 years ago. And in so doing, it brought the only war the continent has witnessed since its propagation to conclusion – the Demi-Race War. It is also event that formed the three city-states as we know them.
A very long, and very violent war between the various states of Argul. It is a dark spot in the history of Argul, and though there are records of its events in various libraries, the ability of the common citizen to be able to describe the war or its events is inexplicably vacant.
The name of the continental system and that the Argulians call home. The government system is made up of a central authority called the Argul Confederation, which governs eight separate states and three city-states that had entered the confederation through the Alexi-Eyva Pact. The eight states are: Oslar, Ostror, Gliaton, Brayh Shan, Dusmurg, Hastrana, Acleivanis, Kosnocur. The three city-states are Stedrekar, Longdale, and Dustorn.
History records of Argul from before the confederation are quite disorganized and spotty, so concrete knowledge of Argulian history from then and prior is muddled.
Strahl’s Run River
The longest river in Argul; it stretches from Trecahz Summit of the Fangs of Argul, down Brayh Shan, across Strahl’s Rise, and finally emptying into the Skiep Glela Sea.
The mountain range that borders western Hastrana. Strahl’s Run River passes through a valley of Strahl’s Rise as it flows into Hastrana.
Second largest river of Hastrana that extends from east of the Prehr Forest to the Skiep Glela Sea.
Prehr and Prokehl Forests
The two largest forests of Hastrana; Prehr to the north-east, and Prokehl to the south-west of it. Almost all timber for crafting and architecture comes from these forests.
The large, elongated island and the various smaller islands that borders Hastrana along the north to north-east.
The only passage into Skiep Glela Sea proper from the north, or vice versa – that is, if one does not want to take the extra weeks of sailing around Dryvuth. The city of Kineallen sits upon the channel, checking all ships that pass through.
The largest island of Hastrana in the Skiep Glela Sea, but has no smaller island chains associated with it. Very little is known about Anams, as it is uninhabited and the Hastrani government has purposefully ignored it. It is assumed this has to do with the pirates.
One of two sets of islands south of Anams. Precopt Aits is believed to be within the Black Sharkfin Crew territory, despite the numerous official Hastrani towns and villages. Precopt Aits is the western islands adjacent to Stibith Aits.
The other set of islands south of Anams. Contrary to Precopt Aits, these islands are most definitely under the control of the Black Sharkfin Crew. Stibith Aits is the eastern islands adjacent to Precopt
The peninsula that juts out from Hastrana, paralleling Dryvuth, forming the Kineallen Channel.
Skiep Glela Sea
The metaphorically enclosed sea of Hastrana that contains all of its many islands. The only one of all the seas that border Argul to be included within a state’s jurisdiction (all other seas are considered neutral zones). This leads to the inner part of the sea to be referred to as Skiep Glela Sea proper. The conical area of of the sea in northern Hastrana, which has no specific name itself, is thus referred to as Skiep Glela Sea improper.
The Whispering Margin
The very southern area of Hastrana, including the scattering of islands and the peninsula. So named for the stories of supernatural activities that occur there. While nobody has claimed to have been physically attacked, their mental and emotional states are a different story. Naturally, The Whispering Margin is uninhabited.
Fangs of Argul
The largest set of mountains and mountain ranges in Argul that lies in northern Brayh Shan. The tallest of which is Trecahz Summit.
The tallest mountain of the Fangs of Argul, and in all of Argul. So vast is the base, the mountain is the source of four separate rivers.
The only forest in all of Brayh Shan, located in the south.
The largest desert in Argul. Larger even than the state of Dusmurg, though just barely. Home to the Dusmic Genies.
Confederation Sea Trading Routes
The Argul Confederation, in its various attempts to help bridge relationship gaps between all of the states, funded the creation of several cosmopolitan trading companies. One of the most prominent is the Argul Marine Enterprise, which uses the Confederation Sea Trading Routes as their prime routes for transportation, and as such are the most heavily protected.
The lynchpin of the party’s mission. All that is known thus far is that it’s a very powerful drug that has been circulating through Hastrana, as well as the areas of Ostror, Dusmurg, and Brayh Shan that line Hastrana. Official confederation investigations affirmed their suspicions that the drug originated from Hastrana, and the Hastrani government believes it’s coming from the Pirates of Hastrana, or at least involves them directly. They have contracted the Cartography Guild to delve further into the matter.