Under No Banners
In A Nutshell: Fantasy Vietnam; used to be ruled by eladrin, but the goblins kicked them out. Law and Chaos flooded into the vacuum and set up a couple of puppet states, which are now at war. South Solenir is the Lawful side, they’re ruled by the corrupt and ineffective King Pham. The north is run by Kay Vane, a cleric of Gruumsh who defeated the Eladrin. The main religion of Solenir is a form of ancestor worship.
Overview and History:
Solenir is a land of mystery and beauty, verdant jungles, majestic knife-edged hills, lush paddies, lazy rivers, and elegant Eladrin cities. Or for the soldiers who have to fight there, it’s a hell of killing heat, endless monsoons, treacherous mud slopes, hostile natives, and a jungle that’s a worse enemy than the goblins.
Goblins are the most common people of Solenir, but several hundred years ago, the eladrin emerged from the Feywild and conquered the goblins, enslaving them to work the mines and fields. Fifty years ago, the first stirrings of the goblin rebellion began to gain ground. Lead by a generation of smart, tough drow educated commanders and taking advantage of eladrin degeneracy, soon the rebellion had the entire country in flames. In 3454, the eladrin dispatched the hard core of their army to the distant valley of Mar Du Ong. Here, they planned a trap for the goblins, sucking their guerillas to a wild place where they could be destroyed in one blow by superior eladrin magic. The trap was turned, and the eladrin found themselves besieged by an army nearly as capable in the Feywild as they were. In a crushing defeat, their entire army was annihilated. Most of the eladrin fled Solenir in a great diaspora, but a hard core of the nobility retreated to sanctuaries deep within the Feywild to lick their wounds and plot revenge.
In this political vacuum, the Bellic Empire saw an opportunity to gain a victory over the forces of Chaos. Gold, arms, and aid poured in, and soon Pham Ti Wen, a hobgoblin chieftain, became King Pham I. The drow, long a hidden presence beneath Solenir, increased the number of their agents, organzing Chaos cults among the goblins of the north. Lead by the dread Kay Vane, priest of Gruumsh and Scourge of the Elves, the goblins of the north have been mounting a campaign of infiltration and skirmish against the nascent Kingdom of Solenir. As the attacks have escalated, more and more Bellic forces have been committed to the region.
The Kingdom of Solenir is organized into seven provinces each ruled by a province chieftain. Some of the dukes have tribal ties, some are new allies of the king. Below the province chieftains are the village and hamlet chiefs. RAKS (Royal Army of the Kingdom of Solenir) officers have nearly as much power as the chiefs, and of course various Bellic officials can’t be ignored, resulting in a very confused political situation. The economy of South Solenir is based around agriculture, particularly rice production and some spices, and providing services to the Bellic army. Exotic spices and the hides of rare beasts bring in some foreign gold. There is a massive black market in Bellic good purchased or stolen from the army.
North Solenir is little more than loose confederation of tribes welded together by the ideology of Chaos and the personal charisma of Kay Vane. Unfortunately, due to that charisma most of the warlords responsible for the victory over the eladrin fight under his banner. The closest thing that North Solenir has to a city is centered around Deng Nyzul, the largest portal to the Underdark. The rest of the population are scattered in tiny villages and bands, hidden deep within the forest.
Peoples of Solenir:
Goblins: Goblin society is organized around the family group, with multiple generations living together and ancestor worship a part of their daily life. Goblins and hobgoblins can be born to the same parents, no one is quite certain when or why the division happens. Larger and more ambitious, hobgoblins gravitate towards positions of power, and are more amenable to the philosophical arguments of Law and Chaos. Bugbears are goblinoid freaks, hairy and inhumanly strong, and though rare are not uncommon. It is said that Kay Vane is using sorcery to breed an army of bugbear warriors.
Names: The Goblin language is pseudo-Vietnamese. Goblin names consist of two or three short phrases. Phoung, Nguyen, Thieu, Thieu, Thi, and Cam are all common components.
Eladrin: The ancient rulers of Solenir, Eladrin are skilled in magic, native to the Feywild, and slightly aligned with Chaos. Individual eladrin are still seen on errands in the mortal world, but as a nation they have little presence here. Eladrin sanctuaries are dangerous places. Some Bellic patrols that unknowingly entered eladrin territory have merely been expelled with a stern warning, while others have been slaughtered to a man.
Goliaths and Shifters: Primitive people at home in the remote highlands of Solenir, the mountain tribes are ancient enemies of the goblins. Many have been trained and supplied by the Bellic army to defend their homes, others serve in the lowlands. Goliaths and shifter units are the elite native forces in Solenir.