This isolated island is located in the south of the continent Aurovayk in Etape. The kingdom of Iberia is governed with an iron fist by the king Ferdinand IV and his wife, the Popess Isobell. She is an arbiter to the people and serves the holy will of the patron human goddess Ambilika. The cult of the Ever Queen believes that humans are the chosen race and lesser races are abominations to be ostracized. The holy order of this Ambilika would do anything in their power for secure enduring human dominance over other races and beings. The kingdom and its main priesthood have abolished any relations with non-human cultures and have heavy policies regarding demi-humans trespassing Iberian borders. However this control fades in the far away regions as dwarfs, elves and other humanoids have found different ways of living and thriving in Iberia. The northern regions are crossed by huge mountains. Several dwarf clans mines the depths of this colossus and are overlooked by the severe laws only for their superior knowledge with minery, iron and steel.
The capital of the human kingdom its located in a plateau in the center region of the peninsula. A big and prosper city called Madrass. Surrounded by 4 concentric walls and probided water by a medium size river and many different wells and springs its very difficult to conquer by force. The biggest buildings are the royal palace and the cathedral of the truly faith. The capital its garrisoned by 600 regular soldiers divided in companies and distributed evenly through the city.
The region of Iberia has always had a strong connection to Humans. Early humans of Iberia lived primitive, barbaric life. Most were nomads, but a few permanent settlements of religious or trade purpose were established. Early settlement of Madrass occurred at this time, as well as where Lagniappe would someday be built. A Duergar/Dwarf civil war occurred at this time, leading to the exile of the Duergar and the establishment of the Dwarf empire in Iberia.
City State Period Edit
The tribes eventually began to settle down, starting to farm and ranch the fertile lands of the east plains and lush forests of the north. Five major city-states were established at this time. Madrass and Lagniappe were expanded greatly during this period, and the cities of Inglenook, Serigilo, and Halcyon were founded. Each lived in relative peace with each other and their non-human neighbors. It is also at this time the Yutie tribe broke away from the rest of the humans, living in small primitive settlements in the deep south as their ancestors did.
Age of the Paladin King Edit
While the city-states individually flourished, most had little contact with each other outside of small trade caravans. Each had their own cultural identity and monarchy, the decedents of which still carry noble titles today. As the city-states rose, Madrass started to fall behind in power relative to it's neighbors. The plateau it was built on lacked enough resources to sustain the larger populations the other cities could. Seeking to make life better for his people, the King Ebrahim turned to the gods for aid. He was answered by the Angels of Paradiso.
Ebrahim made a coven with the Angels. The pact didn't call for loyalty to the Angels themselves, only the ideals they desired to be upheld. Ebrahim and his knights became powerful paladins in return. They traveled Iberia, righting wrongs, slaying monsters, banishing demons, and general upholding truth and justice in the land. The other cities and their kings grew to love the Knights. Over the years, Madrass became a sight of pilgrimage and grew to have cultural influence over the whole island. Though it would be generations before the City-States united under the rule of one king, never the less, the island became known as Iberia after Ebrahim.
Age of the Goddess Edit
At the height of the City State period, a child was born. A very curious child, her desire for discovery drove her. At only 20 years old, she had explored every corner of Iberia. This didn't exactly garner her fame, though she didn't care. The young woman sailed away from her home an unknown. However, when she returned...she had become a goddess.
Unification of Iberia Edit
Though she had ascended to goddesshood, Ambilika still walked Etape. Before she would leave the mortal plane, Ambilika needed to establish her church. She returned to her small home village, now known as Ambia, and sanctified it. From there, she traveled to around Iberia, gathering a following of faithful along the way, until she reached the city of Madrass. It was in that city that she founded her religion proper. In what is now the Cathedral of the Truly Faithful, she taught and preached her message to the humans of Ibera and Etape at large. From there, her clergy spread her faith all over the world.
Birth of the Monarchy Edit
Ambilika knew she could not remain in the mortal world forever. Not only, as a deity, was this not allowed, but she her own wanderlust couldn't allow her to stay in one place forever. As a divine Goddess, she miraculously conceived a set of twins, a son and a daughter. By her command, they were crowned High King and Queen of Iberia. Her son, Animus, would rule many years wisely. However, it would be through her daughter, Anima, that the linage would continue. After the coronation of her children and the establishment of law for the unified Iberia, Ambilika left to make her final assention to the moon and realms beyond.
To help secure the co-operation of the Knights of St. Ebrahim, Queen Anima married the Diago, who was King of Madrass (and would be it's last ruling king) as well as the rightful heir to the Knights blood oath. Her son, King Jerrad, would be the first High King of Ibera and master of the Knights of Ebrahim. However, due to the quirk of monarchy succession and the rule of blood pact, this would not be the case with every Iberian king. Still, the close ties between the two families, and occasional inter-marriage, would lead to the Knights essentially servants to the royal family.
Black Gate War Edit
Generations after the reign of Ambilika, a great disaster struck Iberia. Drow had lived in the southern forests and caves of Iberia in relative peace since the days of Ebrahim. However, many had began to experiment with ruinous powers. What purpose the hoped to achieve is unknown, but the results had terrible consequences. The meddling of the Drow opened what became known as the Black Gate, a doorway to another world of great evil. Through the gate came armies of green skins, giants, and other monstrosities. They quickly began to over run Iberia. A great army, lead by the Knights of St Ebrahim, fought gallantly. Eventually, the gate was destroyed and the monster subdued, but at a terrible price. Many had lost their lives, and one of the great city-states, Halcyon, was destroyed. Though broken, the monster were not eradicated, only contained. A great wall was built to protect Iberians from the last pocket of monsters.
The fall out of the Black Gate War was even more terrible. An army of Duergar had reviled themselves and allied with the monstrous humanoids during the war. Afterwards, they simply vanished into the mountains again. Paranoia began to grip the humans of Iberia. Even the Elves and Dwarves who fought along side the humans began to be shunned for the involvement their cousins had in the conflict. The human supremacy movement had begun.
Iberian Civil War Edit
Following the Black Gate war, a faction within the Church of Ambilika began to grow. Though her dogma stressed human growth, Ambilika had never really said anything about the other races. For most Ambilikas, it's assumed that simply living in peace with the non-humans. However, a cult of Ambilikans began to believe humans to be above all the other races. The declared Ambilika to be Ever Queen, not simply a human who became a deity but the active and rightful ruler of all humankind. Her human-centric teaching helped validate this point of view and the populous movement against non-humans in Iberia helped the cult gain power in the church.
Still, since the Iberian church of Ambilika was also the center of worship for all of Etape's worship of Ambilika, centrists still had control over the church itself. Many non-humans across Etape worshiped Ambilika and many clergy were also non-human as well. The King and Queen were also against the human supremacy movement, seeing it as politically unwise. Problems began, however, with the reign of Queen Mary and King Lewis. On her coronation, Mary had chosen an Elf as one of her consorts. This was met with great disapproval by the church. In return, Mary became hostile with the clergy, on the grounds that as a decedent of Ambilika, she was a demigod of their faith.
In defiance of the cult's growing influence, she declared her half-elf son, Lewis, would be King after her brother. Naturally, his coronation lead to great controversy. Mary's power struggle with the church lasted until her death, at which she made one final attack on the church, declaring her half-elf daughter, Samantha, as the rightful Queen. This was the final straw. The cult and their followers refused to allow the royal bloodline to be tainted. They sized control over the church and crowned Mary's daughter Princess Gwendolyn, herself a human supremacist as well, Queen. King Lewis had no choice but to declare war on his half sister and the church.
Battle lines were drawn. Human supremacists supporting the Queen, moderates and non-humans in favor of the King. Chaos gripped the land as fighting seemed to erupt everywhere. Queen Gwen and the cult of the Ever Queen were driven from Madrass, but Samantha could not be crowned yet. Though against their mother's choice, Gwen was rightfully crowned Queen and could not be replaced until she either abdicated or died. Lewis lead his armies in pursuit across the country.
He finally cornered Gwendolyn and prepared for one final battle against her forces. Lewis had the traitors on the ropes when reinforcements appeared out of no where. To Lewis's horror, they were the Knights of St. Ebrahim. During the pursuit, Gwen had sent an order to Fernado, the then current leader of the knights, that she is naming him her prime consort. The dutiful Paladin lead his troops to save his queen and bride. The power of Paradiso on their side, Lewis's forces were routed. He was chased all the way back to Madrass, but upon returning, found his sister had been assassinated.
For years the country was divided. Gwen and Lewis remained Queen and King respectively. Lewis was a prisoner in the city of Madrass, Gwen an exile of it. Gwen had a castle, estate erected just outside the city, where she would raise her children. Lewis, being part elf, outlived Gwen but not her heirs. He protected non-humans as best as he could during his life, but eventually his grand nephew took the throne.
The Purge Edit
On coronation, King Donovan V finally reunited Iberia, in bloodshed. The Cult of the Ever Queen seized full control over the Ambilikan church in Iberia. An inquisition ravaged the kingdom. Non-humans were striped of rights. At best, they could hope to be second class citizens. Many were exiled, enslaved, imprisoned, or simply put to death. Non-Ambilikan religions were also cracked down on. Vitans and the Knights of St Ebrahim got the fairest treatment. Others are tolerated, but only just. However, worshipers, even humans, of gods considered to be patrons of non-humans were shown no mercy. The genocide lasted years, ended only because the heretics had been all exterminated.
Royal House of Amba Edit
The rulers of Iberia, direct descendants of the Goddess Ambilika herself.
Ambilika set the law for royal succession. The King and Queen are to be brother and sister, but not husband and wife. They each choose their own consort as they see fit. The King is the ruler over the nation and military. The Queen has little role in governing, but has very important duties and power. Her son, not the King's, is the heir to the throne. She needs to have a son and daughter, both to be the new king and queen after her and her brother's time. This was established by Ambilika to make sure that, without question, each ruler would be a descendant of hers.
Church of Ambilika Edit
The state church of Iberia, dedicated to the goddess Ambilika. Their dogma promotes the health and well being of humans as well as their advancement.
Cult of the Ever Queen Edit
Currently the dominate faction within the Church of Ambilika, the Cult of the Ever Queen takes the church's dogma to the extreme, elevating human life above and beyond that of any other race.
Knights of St. Ebrahim Edit
A Paladin order predating the Church of Ambilika. Founded by the Paladin King Ebrahim of Madrass, they serve only the head of the House of Ebrahim. Because they draw their power from a covenant with the Angels of Paradiso, the knights are one of the few non-Ambilika religions permitted in Iberia.
The city of Sholid is located in the north-west of the island and borders a largish forest which contains a multitude of dryads, much to the frustration of the locals. It is also surrounded by mountain ranges that form a border between them and the wildland that lays beyond the mountains. They also form a key bottleneck should the neighboring elves ever seek to attack.
The settlement is surrounded by quaint little farming towns that pay taxes to the city. This provided about 30% of the city's income. The trade in the city is mostly with the other settlements in the island and the trade caravans are reknown for their long and perilous journey, making them attractive for prospective adventurers. It is this trade that provides the large bulk of the city's vast wealth and influence in the surrounding region.
The city is also known for the abandoned wizards tower which is known to contain an inter-dimensional portal that may take an adventurer to any plane by providing the portal with a litre of blood from a creature born in the desired plane. If the adventurers attempt to go to pandemonium, they shall find themselves outside a huge building dedicated to a mysterious God of shadow death which is protected by an archfiends heart, fed by a pint of blood every second, which keeps the magical shield and magical darkness active day and night.