140 – Time to face the music

And now, in a continuing service, an entry from the Encyclopedia Ardrisia.

Westhame

Westhame is one of the largest and most ethnically diverse countries on the continent of Ardris. Westhame was discovered over 450 years ago by a ragtag band of explorers and adventurers from the area that would later become the Imperial Protectorate of Gahl-Nabar. Westhame’s name comes from the bastardization of the oh-so-imaginative title of “Western Home”, which is what the leader of the explorers, the paladin Kilanio, named the new region. Many scholars are thankful that she didn’t go with her first choice, which was to be “Pretty Land.” Paladins are not known for thinking outside the box.

Within 50 years, there was a massive migratory wave towards Westhame, driven by the discovery of its great and varied mineral wealth, which includes gold, platinum, iron, coal, copper and perduranium, also known as eversteel. Many peoples came to find their fortunes by working the mines or, more commonly, to cater to those that did. From elves and dwarves to halflings and humans, all have found their niches in Westhame.

The other great industry in Westhame became that of the adventurer. Exploration of the interior revealed that there were at one time at least 5 different civilizations that made the region of Westhame their home. The remains of these fallen empires still stand today as ruins, elaborate cavern complexes, tombs and abandoned cities which dot the landscape of Westhame.  Many a warrior or mage has set out with little in hand towards an abandoned castle only to reemerge days later with wealth and magical items undreamt of. Many a warrior or mage have also set foot in such locales and had that foot bitten off by the monsters that lurk there, but they knew the job was dangerous when they took it.

The country is divided into 9 duchies, the dukes of which handle most of the day-to-day business of the kingdom. The duchies of Westhame are named after the eight heroes that discovered Westhame and one other hero (The Magnificent Nine) and are as follows:

  • Kilanio: Often referred to as a city-state, since it is both a duchy and the country’s capital. Named after the paladin Kilanio, it is the home of the King of Westhame, who also has as one of his titles “Duke of Kilanio.”
  • Nitsu’a: Named after the human mage who settled here. He was most known for being the mage that invented cosmetic and reconstructive magic.
  • Suropic: This duchy was named after the dwarven priest who served (and some say, still serves) the goddess Darvana, goddess of chance. The Church of Darvana has a very large presence here. There are also, not coincidentally, a large number of casinos here.
  • Sadal: Sharing a border with the orc realm of Tarokka, this duchy is named after the mighty human barbarian who claimed it when “no one else was man enough ta kick them orcs outta there.”
  • Kobul: The southernmost of the duchies, Kobul was a tinkerer with gnomish blood (although NOT a gnome, as he would repeatedly remind people) who was most known for his code-breaking skills and for the invention of magical air-conditioning.
  • A’Caw: This mountainous region is named after the mysterious bird-like ranger of the Nine. It is known for being the home of the W’Shaa Monastery.
  • Alirram: Named for the halfling “accquisitions expert” (read: thief), Alirram is known for its many mines and ruins. Alirram is also the home of the country’s biannual square-dancing competition.
  • Osapal: Kilanio’s northern neighbor, Osapal is named after Osapal Ber-Zal, the half-elf bard that chronicled the group’s exploits. A conservatory of music and bardic magic, the Ber-Zal Conservatory, is located here.
  • Brown: The only one of the Nine that was not of the original party of adventurers that discovered Westhame, The Duchy of Brown is named for Rindul Brown, a farmer who saved the life of King Josef from an assassin’s arrow early in his reign. The Order of Brown (the elite guards of the royal family) are trained here.

Westhame is ruled by the Royal Family of Mular, which was begun by King Josef the First, also known as Josef the Martyr, who sacrificed himself for the lives of his family and friends during the first attack by the Warlords of Tope. His line continues today, with Westhame being ruled over by King Franz the 22nd. His son, Prince Jonus the First, is set to inherit the throne upon his father’s passing. Given the fact that every year the people of Kilanio eagerly give copious amounts of donations to be put towards the magical extension of King Franz’ life, the chances of Prince Jonus ascending to the throne are, at best, remote. Hopefully.

The Encyclopedia Ardrisia , volume 49 (Waverly Plague to Wordiness, Wand of), Kilanio University Press, 48th edition.

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