Table of Contents
Orland is one of the oldest kingdoms in Farland, younger than Farland and founded only slightly after Zeland. Her history has been turbulent, and ruins dot the landscape. Once great cities have again become plains or forests and others have arisen where naught rested before. Orland is well versed in the tragedies of famine and plague as well, and whole cities and, in severe times, whole regions have fallen to these deadliest of enemies.
Orland, the youngest member of the old Eastern Alliance, is a fair land. In the north of the kingdom, people have a strong Scottish flavor, somewhat similar to the farmers of southern Zeland. The northerners wear Kilt-like clothing and an ancient guild of musicians from the town of Rill are famous for playing a curious instrument that looks much like an octopus or squid. The southern Orlandish are quite diverse but they have something of a Spanish flavor; the Egyptian and African-like continent to the south also heavily influences their culture. The kingdom is still occupied as of this writing. The Orlandish are a hearty people who have withstood the dark occupation as well as can be expected. The kingdom has faired relatively well economically, with a large farming, lumber, and oil industry. The largest city is Orland City, with a population of 30,000. Garlgax the drow Lord of Envy rules this kingdom.
The diversity and the strong distinction between the northern and southern halves is perhaps one of the reasons that Orland never became the power that some of its neighbors did. The kingdom of Orland has always been mighty, but never has it become as rich and successful as the shipping nations of Daven and Farland or the agricultural and mining power of Zeland to the north. Many have suggested that northern and southern Orland would do well to split and would fare much better apart than as a united kingdom. The city of Orland is a very diverse and exotic place. Cultures clash and meld around the open air bazaars of the city. It is commonly said among merchants and travelers that if you can't find it in the markets of Orland, then it probably doesn't exist.
Another unique aspect about Orland is the strength of the church of Neltak. Or, father of Orland, was quite devout and brought the official religion of his homeland to the kingdom bearing his name. While the population is made up of diverse groups that are often at odds with one another, it is the combination of powerful rulers and the great power of the church that has historically united the kingdom. Others claim that the power of the church has stymied the potential of this southern nation.
History and Culture of Orland
The twin brothers Zel and Or founded the kingdoms of Zeland and Orland. They were of noble birth from Farland and had been encouraged by their father to travel forth to seek their fortune. After crossing through the Grand Peaks and reaching the Greatwash, Zel fell in love with the plains and rich grasslands of eastern Zeland. Ever a horseman, he reveled in the unending landscape stretching far to the horizon. He also dreamed of amber fields of wheat as he saw the richness of the soil. His brother Or had always had a penchant for all that associated with the sea, and left his brother to travel south searching for the sea, where he would found the kingdom of Orland.
Or is remembered as an extremely religious man. The church of Neltak historically has been an extremely powerful force in Orland even more than it was in Or's homeland, the kingdom of Farland. Priests of Neltak often use the name of King Or, father of Orland, to explain the religious fervor that grips this land unlike any other on the continent. Rumors persist to this day, however, that Or was a follower of Kantor. This can evoke quite a lively debate that has more than once led to bloodshed among the citizens of Orland. Most agree that Or is responsible for establishing a kingdom where the church holds a great deal of power. Over the years this power grew and before the occupation, the power sharing arrangement between the church of Neltak and the king in Orland City arguably tipped in favor of the church.
Or lived an exceptionally long life and ruled the kingdom for 105 years. Many claim that this was impossible and that historians are surely mistaken. They suggest that there were perhaps subsequent kings with the same name and that legend has forgotten this fact. Others point to king Or's religious devotion as the key to his long life. Priests of Neltak prefer this understanding of history. Neltak himself prolonged king Or's life they claim. During the reign of king Or, the great city of Orland was established. In his push south to the sea, Or was able to convert many barbarians to his religion, probably either worship of Neltak or Kantor, though history is unclear on this point. The tribes to the far north of present day Orland were quite resistant and many fled before Or and his men. Others stayed to fight, though few survived Or's superior weaponry and battle tactics. As they continued south, Or and his party met with friendlier natives and finally decided to remain in the area of Orland city today. This seemed a neutral uninhabited area and commanded a lovely view of the surrounding area, as there are rolling hills overlooking the banks of the Greatwash. Only years later did Or learn that the land he chose was considered haunted and cursed by the local barbarian tribes. Not even the strongest of the barbarian warriors had the courage to spend even one night west of the Greatwash where Or chose to settle. Thus fortune guided his choice of campsites and the local peoples quickly came to regard him with awe and devotion. This enabled Or to unite the surrounding peoples and once he converted them to his religious beliefs they intermingled freely. He was in this way able to assemble a great force of people rather quickly. With this force, he continued south on forays to convert yet more of the heathens. Within his lifetime he was able to conquer a good part of the natives of Orland in this way. To the north, the barbarians continued to harry his new settlement, which he called the city of Orland.
Or reputedly had twelve sons and many more daughters. These were born by his six successive wives. The first was a woman of noble birth that had chosen to accompany the group from Farland. After her death, king Or's remaining wives came from amongst the converted barbarian women. Thus intermarriage became quickly prevalent. He outlived many of his sons, but upon his death, his seventh and eldest living son Magito became the second king of Orland. Already old upon his appointment, Magito died a mere three years later and his son Mortus becomes king of Orland.
In the early years of Or and his descendants, the people of Orland were obsessed with the conversion of all barbarians to the church of Neltak. Whether or not the rumors are true that Or worshipped Kantor primarily, the church of Neltak was the most important church in the new kingdom. The barbarians were taught to be civilized and lawful and were taught the glories of the afterlife. The barbarians usually converted quickly. This was probably more because of the gifts that were offered than because of any true devotion. This fervor for conversion of those considered heathens continued for hundreds of years and Orlandish followers of Neltak may even risk imprisonment today if they think they may have a chance of converting a stranger. This fervor led King Jublan, known as the Crusader, to lead the first mission to both the Selfhaven Archipelago and the vast southern continent to convert the heathens rumored to live there. This mission sailed in the year 5561. King Jublan found little success in converting the heathens he found, but he successfully slaughtered many of them. He brought a good many back home with him as well and put them to work without pay. Some protested this arrangement so King Jublan amended Orlandish law to make enslavement of the southerners legal. After his death, his son Jublan II, having fallen in love with the child of some of these southerners that his father brought back, changed the law back and made it legal for him to marry this woman. This started a long tradition of intermarriage between the peoples of the two continents in Orland. The missions south continued during this period and tensions eased and trade was established and the flow of southerners to Orland became more pronounced.
Then in 5721, Farland invaded Orland and four years later successfully defeated and annexed Orland. This ended the missions south for many centuries. Orland's history became fused with that of Farland. Not until 5950, more than two and a half centuries later did Orland begin to struggle successfully against Farland. Not until 5979, however, did Orland successfully secede from the empire, taking advantage of evil forces attacking Farland. Meanwhile, in 5952, Lord Pastor of Orland founded the new kingdom of Cairn Cadez in western Orland, seceding from the kingdom. During the next several centuries, Orland turned its attention to diplomatic relations with Zeland and Cairn Cadez, as well as Daven. Missions to the south resumed but with less frequency than in the past.
In 6399, Baron Jorland III of Cairn Cadez invaded the town of Kestrel in Daven. In 6400 Daven retook the town and renamed it Victoria. Daven, with the help of Kelerak, invaded Cairn Cadez in 6485. Orland assisted Cairn Cadez, starting the Plains War. Five years later, however, Orland appears to have betrayed Cairn Cadez and Daven conquered Cairn Cadez . Four years later Daven sold Orland the land where Cairn Cadez once lay for a suspiciously cheap price.
Orland's wartime years continued, as in 6519 Orland assisted Zeland in defeating the Dwarven kingdom of Dorlhaud. The great Dwarven kingdom Wawmar to the north avenged Dorlhaud and defeated Zeland in battle. Orland choose to pay a ransom instead of fighting the powerful dwarves. Through diplomatic mission once again, Orland was able to regain peace in the following centuries.
Orland experienced a resurgence of barbarian culture during the early years of the 68th century. Lower Lord Tidon in the 6720s, having determined that he was descended from barbarians and being an extremely large, strong man, effectively convinced the other ranking nobles in the area of his holding, Old Cadez, to return to the reverence of strength above all else held by his ancestors. He established public bouts of wrestling and other feats of strength. These were hugely popular and their popularity moved him to establish the first of many gladiator games in 6729. These were held between two men who fought usually unarmed to the death in a public arena. These were also popular, though the church spoke out against displays such as these. Then Lower Lord Tidon publicly announced that he had begun worshiping the pagan Gods of the ancient barbarians. He urged all he knew to convert to paganism with him. This was a fatal mistake, as the church of Neltak immediately exerted its considerable pressure on the other Lower Lords, the High Lords and the King himself and in 6731 Lower Lord Tidon was publicly beheaded for the crime of treason. The games were outlawed and worship of pagan gods was declared against the church by the church of Neltak. This was the first of many demonstrations of the considerable and growing power of the church of Neltak.
During the bloody years between 6983-7010 Orland annexed the kingdom of Daven, renaming it Western Orland. The fighting raged between all of the kingdoms of Farland until the elves intervened with the powerful Elven artifact the Stone of Silence in 7039. For just over a century peace, the Pax Elhanus, fell again over the lands. Then the Eastern Alliance of Farland, Orland, and Zeland again invaded Kelerak in 7143. In 7168, the Eastern Alliance failed to conquer Kale. Peace eventually was regained thereafter and Orland fared well until in 7305 a particularly devastating case of the plague broke out. The north of the kingdom was particularly hard hit. The town of Khadez in northeast Orland along the banks of the Rio Blorn was completely decimated and, never being repopulated, fell eventually into ruins.
This severe outbreak of plague was followed ten years later by an even more devastating famine mostly again in the north, though the whole country suffered. The early years of the 71st century are remembered as the years of suffering. Those that survived spent many generations repopulating towns and cities and regaining the health and wealth that Orland had gained over millenia. Those that survived these years often became almost irrationally devoted to their religion. It was commonly said that Orland was being punished for her sins and only through the holy power of Neltak had the kingdom been saved at all.
The forces of evil began to attack Orland in 7701 and her borders were harried for two centuries. Finally in 7796, the capital city was captured and Orland succumbed to the gathering darkness and to an almost four hundred year rule by the Drow Lord of Envy, one of the infamous Lords of Sin. The population suffered greatly though the economy continued to thrive and many humans were allowed to live in order to continue producing wealth for the Lord in Orland City.
Religion in Orland
Before the occupation, religion was a curious institution in Orland. Though the church of Neltak is unprecedentedly strong in Orland, worship of Lord Neltak has never become official in Orlandish law. Many of these laws refer to the church, but despite repeated attempts by the church of Neltak to clarify the law, it has remained ambiguous. Officially the church of Neltak claims 99% of the population, but de facto devotion is almost as diverse as the population. Publicly and among strangers, it would take a bold person indeed to suggest that he or she wasn't a devout follower of Neltak. This behavior is required by the politically and socially conscious. At home and among friends, however, polytheism abounds. There is a strong following of Kantor, rumored to be the chosen God of Or himself. Indeed temples to Kantor are quite numerous throughout the land. There has always been a distinct underworld in Orland as well, and worship of Bel, and Vornoth, the walker in darkness, is also not uncommon. Bel is never referred to as the God of thieves in Orland, but will often be described as the God of adventurers, or the God of entrepreneurs. This is clearly an attempt to protect the lives of individuals who are likely thieves but are trying to avoid the headsman's axe. Thievery is a capital crime of the highest degree in Orland, and the followers of Neltak are known to hate thieves above all others. All other major Gods have a following in Orland as well, though religious structures to Gods other than Neltak or Kantor are rare and often hidden. There are also significant numbers that worship the Gods of the lands to the south, especially in southern Orland, though many claim that they are the same Gods with different names and perhaps understood slightly differently.
Since the occupation, the Lord of Envy has rewarded worshipers of Vornoth above all else. Ever a politically savy people, the people of Orland today will likely tell strangers of their devotion to one of this evil deity. The worshippers of this evil God have likely also increased, but it is unlikely that all those who claim allegiance to the forces of evil truly follow these teachings.
The church of Neltak had been able to construct large and beautiful churches that have made Orland famous throughout the kingdoms. Usually they are crafted of stone and the sheer stone surfaces that form their turrets, spires, and steeples are so flawless that most believe that Neltak himself must have had a hand in the construction. Most of these churches have actual glass in the windows, a rarity in Orland due to its great cost, and some of the greater churches in Orland City even boast stained glass windows. These usually depict Neltak as a large well-muscled man, bare-chested and brandishing a great headman's axe. Since the occupation these famous sanctuaries of good have become largely abandoned, though curiously they have not been used by the evil forces, nor do they seem to have been vandalized excessively.
Scholars find it curious that Garlgax, as a dark elf, has not instituted the worship of his people's deity, Salystra, the Demon Serpent Goddess. Answers as to why this is the case are not forthcoming from the Lord of Sin.
Feudalism in Orland
Feudalism before the Dark Occupation in Orland is much like that of Zeland, though in Orland the church plays an important part. The church often owns large tracts of land and asks for its parishioners to farm this land in return for half of the crops harvested. This is a very common arrangement throughout Orland. In almost every case the church of Neltak is the institution involved in such transactions, but in some areas, especially to the far south, churches owe their allegiance to Kantor. While the churches' power in this way stretches over much of the farmland of Orland, there is also a secular net of feudalism that keeps peasants working to fill their lords' coffers in return for the protection that their lords offer.
The church of Neltak is organized in four parts: the Pontifices, the Sacris Facundis, the Bellonium, and the Augurs. Augurs rarely are involved in business arrangements such as land management. The other three branches are all interspersed in land ownership and feudal management. The Bellonium are often used for enforcing the "tithing." Those in the Sacris Facundis are responsible for the monitoring of tithes before each festival and holy celebration. Every farmer is responsible for bringing half of his harvest to the church in the two weeks preceding holy days and holy months. Farmers are strongly encouraged by the Bellonium to have some sort of harvest year round. Winter wheat is planted during the coldest months and foraging for wild chestnuts and fruit orchards are just some examples of how the church is able to continue receiving crops most of the year.
The secular feudal arrangement that exists throughout Orland operates alongside that of the church. The king is the ruler of the land. He is surrounded by his advisors, most of whom are high ranking members of the church of Neltak. He rules from Orland City. Many of these advisors are also High Lords. High Lords oversee large regions of land encompassing many towns and cities. There were seven High Lords for the last hundred years or so before the occupation, though the number has varied over the years. The High Lords in turn oversee many Lower Lords who may be in charge of a single town or city or an agricultural area. Each of these lords, whether High or Lower, keeps his knights who enjoy great prestige throughout the land. The knights of the king himself are most famous and are called the Alchadra, meaning "the powerful" in the southern dialect of Kingdom Common. These knights are ferocious warriors and are feared throughout the land. Below the lords are the guildsmen. Some guildsmen like those of the guild of executioners can command the same respect that even a High Lord does, while others like the guild of entrepreneurs are considered little better than a commoner. The police force of the land, the various lords' guardsmen, are also a step up from the menial station of a common peasant. These peasants are lowest in rank in the feudal structure of Orland. Many peasants try to escape their plight by joining the church, but the church is wary of this ploy and had become quite selective before the occupation.
One of the curiosities of northern Orland is that in rural areas the Orlandish live in homesteads grouped together in concentric circles. Larger towns are often built in this manner as well, though none of the larger cities exhibit this circular building pattern. Country folk claim this is for defensive reasons. In smaller settlements the central area is used for ceremonies and celebrations as well as for any number of other banal activities. In larger settlements, the central area is usually home to a temple or church of Neltak. Thus, some have suggested that the circular building pattern is based on the importance of religion to the people. Others have pointed out the similarities between modern building practices and the ancient stone slabs found here and there about the countryside and always arranged in similar concentric circles. Houses and other buildings are usually constructed from sod in northern Orland but thuck houses are also common. Wood is not as plentiful in the north and therefore it is used sparingly. Those with more wealth choose to construct stone houses. Stone walls are commonly used to delineate feudal estates. These walls are merely markers, though, as they are typically only two or three feet high. Some of these walls are thousands of years old.
In central and southern Orland adobe housing is common. This construction usually works best for small buildings made of mud-brick walls topped with closely spaced rafters to support the adobe roof. As wood is more common in the central area of Orland, wooden houses are found more often and frame houses are often enjoyed by the wealthier classes. Log cabins are the norm in and around forests. Outside of the many forests a mixture of adobe and log construction is often common. Housing in Orland is diverse like its population. The adobe style of construction probably emigrated to Orland from the southern continent. It has remained a popular construction type due to its low cost. The hard work entailed in this type of construction does not faze the industrious people of Orland.
Dangers today are first and foremost drawing attention to oneself and being too often seen during the day. The Lord of Envy has decreed that being about during the day is for those who, in the tradition of the hated surface elves, wish to commit good acts and these are against the law. As for drawing attention to oneself, efficiency and hard work is encouraged, but many a man has disappeared in the night for doing too well. The Lord of Envy takes a strong dislike to any who do their jobs better than he. It is best to practice crafts and professions that the Lord knows something about himself. Woe to the man who becomes well known for his carpentry skills if the Lord isn't well versed in carpentry himself. The Lord of Envy is also jealous of material things, but that poses little problem as he merely takes what he covets.
Roving evil creatures are also a problem, though the Lord of Envy runs a regulated and disciplined kingdom. Orcs are common and orcs are always dangerous to humans by their very nature. They routinely bully and beat the human population for sport. The Drow population is more surreptitious in their methods. Many disappear during the night and people often refer to disappearances as Neltak's Will to avoid thinking of other reasons for the disappearance. Few have ever returned and those that do have returned full of tales of gratuitous torture. These tales fill the people with horror and a great and demoralizing fear. It is when faced with the realities of today that many people claim that Neltak is surely dead, for otherwise how could he allow this.
Before the occupation, the ogres from the Salt Cliffs were a large problem for Orland. About once a generation there would be reports of the roads to the south being harried or perhaps livestock would start disappearing at an alarming rate. Sometimes there were actually attacks on the villages to the south. Both Porta and Naporta have known the ferocity of ogres more than a few times. Every time such news reached the northern cities, a force would be raised and the ogres attacked. A few ogres would be slain and sometimes many ogres would perish, but always there would be a few who had stayed back or escaped into their seemingly impenetrable warrens carved into the cliffs themselves. For decades Orland would hear nothing from these monsters as they sustained themselves on the fruit of the sea. Then their courage would once again build and Orland would again lose its animals or worse its children to the insatiable hunger of the ogres.
Nasty things have always lived in the mountains surrounding Orland. They usually stay there, but sometimes in harsh winters or in times of drought when wild game is scarce, these evil aberrations slither and sneak out of the highlands, drawn to the smell of fresh meat. Some years they grow emboldened enough to attack a homestead, or even a group of them might try an assault on a small village. Always a group of brave warriors, perhaps even some knights, are summoned and beat back the creatures of the night. Then the highland folk of Orland celebrate their freedom from the evil mountain dwellers and shower the brave warriors that saved them with their affections and what gifts and payments they can muster. For a few years after it always seems they are free from this menace, but the creatures of the night always come back the next time there is a bad year. Soon those living in the shadows of the mountains begin to fear the night once again.
The creatures of the forests of Orland are less of a problem, though wolves and bears occasionally assault a lone traveler or livestock. Forests have their own natural dangers. Rumors abound about the forests. Even stranger is the Forest of Blorn where it is rumored that the little people have their own kingdom all tucked away amongst the trees. Legend tells that once long ago there was a great city on the outskirts of the forest and man and halfling traded together and lived harmoniously. If that city ever existed it has long since disappeared and few men can truthfully boast about having seen a halfling, let alone having met or talked to one.
The most feared and dangerous enemies of Orland have always been plague and famine. Priests of Neltak point to the widespread sin that brings horrible plagues and crippling droughts to the land. Others say it is the southerners that bring the plague and the drought. Regardless of the reasons, these terrible foes have killed more people of Orland since its birth than all other dangers and enemies of the kingdom combined.
Orland is a land of diversity and wide variety. This applies to her culture, her people, and also her food. Part of the reason that the food of Orland is so varied is that compared to neighboring kingdoms, spices are abundant in Orland. Some of these spices that flavor the cooking of Orland are cinnamon, cloves, anise, saffron, pepper, salt, cumin, caraway, parsley, nutmeg, rosewater, sesame, and horseradish. Throughout the land soups are common. A traditional Orlandish dish well known throughout the kingdom is a thick garlic soup. Bread is often served with soup, though bread is not always available in all areas, especially in rural areas. All over fried dough is very common. It is made from wheat, barley, rye, or rice flour depending on what is available. Rice flour is more common to the south and wheat to the north. Another staple of any Orlandish diet is beans. One can find many types of beans in Orland including chick peas, kidney beans, lentils, and broad beans. Beans are used to make soups, stews, and are eaten boiled, fried, and even raw. They complement meat dishes and vegetable dishes alike and are often also served alone.
Meat is fairly available throughout Orland. The average peasant cannot afford meat on a daily basis but most families have meat at least once a week and fish is relatively common in many areas. To the north, goats are common and are used for milk, cheese, and meat. Sheep are found in central Orland, though they are not as popular as in some of the other kingdoms. Cows are also less common in Orland than in other kingdoms and therefore domestic red meat is a highly prized commodity. Wild game is also eaten especially in the more rural areas of Orland. Fowl of many types is also highly common. Chickens are raised throughout the land. Pheasants and quail are the most prized wild fowl. Pigeons are found both in the wild and are raised throughout Orland as well. Fish is widely available in most areas of Orland. Dried fish can usually be found in the markets of towns far from the water. Meat of all types is used as an ingredient in soups and is often added to vegetables like turnips, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes to make thick hearty stews. Puddings are prized for dessert and also for breakfast. Bread puddings, savory puddings, and rice puddings are all popular. Spiced wine is often served along with these puddings for those that can afford it.
Law has always been highly respected in Orland since the early days of the kingdom. Perhaps because law has been so important, Orlandish laws have undergone many changes over the years. The laws shown below are the laws that governed the kingdom in the period before the time of occupation. This list is not complete and many other laws also existed. This historian has here recorded only the laws that were accorded the highest importance at the time of his righteousness, King Hazzan III. Listed here are only the Greater Laws from King Hazzan's Holy Titles of Orland. There are also many lesser laws and there are probably laws in Orland to govern each and every aspect of a person's life. The vast knowledge needed to become well versed in all such laws is rare however. Thus in practice the following laws are most influential.
Title I: The law of Orland is sacred and shall be followed by all.
Law I: The law is necessary and without it the great kingdom of orland will cease to exist.
Law II: There is no citizen of Orland, even Royalty, that shall be above the laws of Orland.
Law III: The King of Orland, he who sits upon the holy throne, shall have first consideration if he so desires.
Law IV: Any judge that sees it necessary may annul any foreign laws that contradict the sacred laws of Orland.
Title II: Any citizen of Orland must answer any summons by any court of Orland.
Law I: All villages, towns, and cities must have a court, which shall be administered by the church, the holiest of judges.
Law II: Any citizen that fails to answer any summons agrees in absentia to follow the edict of the court and further will pay a fine of 5sp for failing his or her duty to the court.
Law III: Any noble or religious person of high standing shall be exempt from the above requirements upon advising the court of his or her position.
Title III: All property in Orland ultimately belongs to the crown.
Law I: The king may seize any man's property if he does so through court order.
Law II: Upon a man's death, his property shall become the property of his eldest son. This son shall pay the crown 10% of any disposable wealth. If no eldest son survives him, the next closest male relative shall receive his property.
Title IV: Marriage is a sacred and holy institution.
Law I: A woman shall not marry without a dowry.
Law II: A citizen of Orland may marry a barbarian or a southerner only upon successful petition of the courts.
Law III: Woman past the age of childbearing may not enter into marriage with a younger man.
Law IV: Any woman suffering the absence or death of her husband must wait one year before re-marrying unless she weds her husband's brother.
Law V: Adultery is punishable by up to 60 days in the stocks or a fine of up to 100sp at the court's discretion.
Law VI: Divorce is unlawful.
Title V: All business transactions involving a sum in silver greater than 25 sp will require the approval of the court.
Law I: The court shall receive sufficient monies for their services from the businessmen.
Law II: Donations to the church are exempt. Law III: Tithing to the church is a holy duty of all men of Orland.
Title VI: Men have the right of retaliation and revenge.
Law I: The courts must first approve any plans of retaliation or revenge.
Law II: If a citizen kills another citizen he shall pay the latter's family a sum equaling at least the equivalent of a year of that man's wages. Failure to pay will result in the immediate approval of any plans for revenge.
Title VII: Thievery is a capital crime of the highest degree.
Law I: It shall be lawful for a citizen, upon finding a thief in the night, to take the life of that thief as long as the latter shall be dead by dawn.
Law II: If a thief successfully survives the night of his thieving, he will be brought before the court and the court will decide his fate.
Title VIII: It is unlawful to harbor a fugitive.
Law I: Any citizen encountering a fugitive shall report immediately to the nearest law enforcement agent.
Law II: Failure to report a fugitive will result in the charge of accomplice. The court may sentence any accomplice in the same manner as the fugitive.
Law III: A man or woman may seek sanctuary in the church. Members of the church cannot be charged as accomplices.
These are the eight basic tables of law as decreed by his righteousness King Hazzan III in the year 7643. As stated, these laws are merely some of the most basic and most important. Laws govern every detail of life in Orland. Of course this has all changed with the onset of the occupation. Laws are still rigid and unforgiving, but priorities are quite different under the rule of The Lord of Envy.
Orland's landscape is dotted with many small to medium size towns. Orland City dwarfs any other city in the land. It is the religious and political center of the kingdom. The many churches of Neltak dominate the architectural vista. The majestic castle sits in the center of the city, on an island in the middle of the Great River. The markets of Orland are big and always busy. Since the Lord of Envy came to power, these markets have become night markets, but they still thrive. The market place is desolate during the daytime, as it has been declared unlawful to hold market during the day. Orland City draws a huge seasonal population. When the crops have been harvested, people flock to Orland City to look for work of any sort to help get by during the lean months. During these times the streets are full of beggars and loiterers. This has been discouraged during the dark occupation, but many still make the journey to the great city where so many have found their dreams come true. To the north, both Zeland and Orland claim Rochehome and Rill for their strategic location along the trade route between Kelerak and Orland. Before the occupation began, an uneasy agreement between the two kingdoms declared that Rochehome was the property of Zeland and Rill of Orland. Rochehome has its name because it was home to the famous swashbuckler Roche; before Roche's time, the town was called Dorra. Rill was so named for its location at the base of the rapids near Rochehome. In the vicinity of Rill, the Border River takes many paths through the loamy soil, many of which are small rills. Both towns have shrunk drastically and have suffered from the occupation and the lack of trade. Mavarra is located on the lake of the same name. Fishing is an important industry here and its location in the foothills makes it an ideal location for goat herding. The area around Mavarra is well known for potatoes. Old Cadez is located on the banks of the Bon River. It is an ancient town that was once the estate of the Cadez family. Legend has it that this town was once the capital of the Kingdom of Carn Cadez. The current prominence of the town is largely due to the discovery of oil west of the city. Coal is also available in the area. These finds have transformed the town from a sleepy relic, dotted with ancient ruins, into a thriving metropolis. Zoria sprang up to the east after these discoveries as a result of the now heavily traveled trade route between Old Cadez and Orland City. Belaga, Talmera, and Mugo are all oil and coal production centers in the area. Fort Aranda to the south along the banks of the Rio Plano is a hold over from the years when Cairn Cadez existed. It was the border town that protected Orland from invasion at that time. It has become an important town in its own right since and is dominated by the large old stone fort that faces west, ever looking for invaders from Daven. Victoria and Baronsdoom to the far west have been disputed between Daven and Orland over the years. Today with the kingdom of Daven being overrun by a plague of undead, there has been none to defend these cities and The Lord of Envy has claimed these two towns, though they are a faint shadow of their original size and importance. To the far south, Naporto is one of the most important port cities of Orland, as it is the only port directly on the open ocean. Once vigorous trade between Daven, Farland, and Orland carried on from this port. Today, the ships have been allowed to rot in their moorings and the harbor bottom is full of the remains of once great vessels. Sefra and Hangeria are the guardians of the mouth of the Great River and the route north to Orland City. Some ships have been preserved in these towns and fishing is mostly what they are used for today. Once they were great shipbuilding centers, though this trade has fallen by the wayside during the occupation. Porta is a town of military men and sailors. It's primary reason for existence is as a first point of contact to protect for invasion or to collect tariffs from traders. The Lord of Envy has increased the size of this town, perhaps due to a worry of invasion by sea from Farland.
To the east of the Great River, towns are more rare. Jorland's Run is the largest town to the east and is a financial center based on lumber and fishing. The most prized lumber for shipbuilding comes from the area of Bella, named for its beautiful vistas of serene forests covering gently rolling hills with the Great Peaks in the background. The town of Vargos sprang up as a trading center along the route between the Great River and Jorland's Run. The Rio Bella is a difficult river to navigate and it is slow going, so many merchants will spend the night in Vargos before continuing on. The town has many inns and other establishments for merchants. It is said the women of Vargos will do anything for the right price. Bono and Andelia are mainly farming centers. The little cattle farming that does occur in Orland is mainly in this area. Goats are also common and milk and cheese is famous from this area.
Guilds of Orland
Since the occupation, Orland has had a thieves' guild for the first time in her history. Historically the church of Neltak has considered thievery a capital crime and has spared no expense in hunting suspected thieves. There have always been guilds for Adventurers and guilds for Entrepreneurs. These were probably merely covers for all those who wished to pursue less than honest work. Gambling has always been one of the mainstays of these guilds though gambling has always been done in a secretive way so as not to arouse the ire of the church.
A very important guild in Orland is the guild of holy judges and attorneys. It is difficult to become a judge or an attorney without rigorous religious study with this guild. Due to the importance of law in Orland, there is also much non-religious study that is required for a man to be worthy of working with the court. It is a highly respected position and well paid, though, so the list of applicants is always long and the selection process is very rigorous. Only persons from the best families and of the best moral fiber are accepted.
One of the most respected and sought after memberships in the city is that of the guild of executioners. Like the guild of holy judges and attorneys, the members of this guild require strict religious study and adherence. Only the holiest of men may become members and when admitted they must humble themselves before Neltak and continue to study the ways of Neltak every day. These men often live apart in holy quarters where they can devote their time to religious studies. They are believed to be the right arm of Neltak himself and every execution that they perform is thought of as the actual work of Neltak. Executioners dress in Neltak's image and are always bare from the waist up, wearing a black hood to cover their personal identity that nobody can become confused as to who is actually performing the execution. All official executions in Orland are performed with a great axe.
Another hugely important guild before the occupation was the guild of the Servants of Neltak. Membership in this guild was a requirement for any political and social achievements. Members were either a member of the subgroup Sons of Neltak or Daughters of Neltak depending on their gender. They greeted each other as Holy Brother or Holy Sister in public and in private. Thus it was quite clear to all whether one belonged to the guild. Membership of this guild pervaded all aspects of life in Orland pre-occupation. If one was considering getting married, membership was a necessity if the family of one's love interest were members. In business, nobody would agree to trade with one that wasn't a member unless he or she also wasn't a member. Members held all of the high and coveted positions in society.
Orland has been a land of many guilds. These above are merely the most famous and perhaps the most important. Nearly every industry has a guild that regulates the industry. Thus the farmers' guild, the lumber guild, and the oil guild are very powerful. Membership in any guild is a matter of social standing as well as a necessity of business.
True to his name, The Lord of Envy is an insanely jealous being. He goes out most nights to patrol the city of Orland to assure himself that there is none who is more powerful than he nor none that excels in a skill or talent better than he. This has resulted in the citizens of Orland City learning quickly what skills their lord possesses. These are considerable, but there are many talents that he doesn't possess. It didn't take long, for example, for people to realize that he hadn't talent for juggling, acting, or other theatrics. These skills have faded from the landscape of the great city's marketplaces. This is merely one example, but the Lord of Envy's influence on the culture of Orland has been quite powerful.
Another quirk peculiar to Orland is the strict curfews that are maintained. Historically the people of Orland were fond of a siesta, especially in the hot summer months. During the hours of noon and 2pm, people rarely stirred from their homes and all businesses typically closed during these hours. In more rural areas where schedules were more flexible, the siesta often lasted until 4pm or later. Upon the Lord of Envy's arrival in the city, he exploited this practice to institute a curfew from 9am until 5pm or dawn 'til dusk more or less. He suggested that the dreadful sun was burning the vitality out of the people of Orland and that was why Orland had never become the great kingdom that it deserved to be with all of its riches. He taught his minions to believe this and sent them out to enforce a curfew for these reasons. Gradually over many years, many people came to believe this and at least in Orland City, the Lord of Envy has been relatively successful in altering the habits of the people so that life in Orland City is now largely nocturnal. The increase in the incidence of disease and decreased longevity he attributes to the weakness of humans. The curfew technically applies to the entire kingdom, but in reality it is rarely strictly enforced outside of the capital.
People of Orland have suffered less than some of their neighbors under the occupation. The early years were exceedingly bloody and the new lord of the land took no chances, executing promptly anyone that looked to be trouble. Fairly quickly, though, things settled down and people were allowed to go about their lives in a relatively normal way. The Lord of Envy is brilliant and his envious nature desires drives him to strive to make Orland become the greatest kingdom in the land. Ever his eye swings to the east to the more powerful kingdom of Farland. In his vast intelligence he considers the best way to increase the power of his kingdom is to let his subjects continue to make money so that he can continue to receive taxes.
The total area of the Kingdom of Orland is roughly 20,000 square miles. Roughly 43% of this area is arable land; the remaining area is divided among wilderness, rivers, lakes, swamps, and hills.
Orland's population is approximately 950,000 persons, 90% of which are humans. The remainder are drow, who live primarily in Orland City, and dark folk, who live throughout the Kingdom, as well as in underground dens .
- 36,900 residents are isolated or itinerant.
- 785,400 residents live in 2105 small villages and hamlets.
- 37, 142 residents live in 11 towns.
- 60,458 residents live in 8 cities.
- 30,100 live in Orland City.
- Orland supports 3,000,000 head of livestock.
- 2,100,000 are fowl.
- 900,000 are herd animals.
Historical Timeline (Farlandish Reckoning)
5252-The twin brothers Zel and Or found the kingdoms of Zeland and Orland.
5355-King Magito becomes the second king of Orland
5358-King Mortus assumes the throne upon his father Magito's death.
5561-King Jublan the crusader leads the first mission to the southern continent to convert the heathens.
5562-It is declared legal to own slaves from the southern continent.
5603-King Jublan II falls in love and marries a woman from the southern continent. Slavery is declared contrary to Neltak's will and unlawful in Orland.
5721-Farland invades Orland, but is repulsed at the battle of the Rill Downs.
5725-Farland invades and defeats Orland. Orland is annexed.
5727-King Maximus Maro of Farland declares himself emperor.
5730-Farland demands tribute from Lorindon, who refuse.
5732-Farland invades Lorindon. Lorindon puts up a surprisingly tough resistance.
5737-The resistance of Lorindon is crushed. Farland annexes Lorindon, executing her king.
5738-Emperor Maximus dies of plague. A civil war ensues.
5739-Zeland rebels. Farland withdraws its troops from Lorindon to squelch the threat. The plague breaks out again and causes widespread famine. Thousands die.
5740-Goblins and Orcs from the Northern Teeth (Kelerak Mts.) invade Lorindon.
5742-The Orc lord Cro defeats the small army of Lorindon and massacres the inhabitants. Survivors flee north, mixing with the nomadic tribes already dwelling there (they are of the same ancestral stock).
5751-Zeland and Orland are defeated and the empire of Farland is reestablished.
5775-The orcs of Cro are expunged from the lands west of Zeland by the might of Farland.
5915-Daven I, a general of Farland from Lorindish stock, founds the kingdom of Daven
5950-Lord Pastor of Orland starts a revolution against King Tomas II of Orland.
5952-Pastor, with help from Daven, secedes from Orland and founds the kingdom of Cairn Cadez in western Orland.
5960-A large force of evil attacks Farland from the Deadlands, beginning the Wars of Sorrow. Emperor Lucius fights them to a standstill at the border.
5961-The fortified city of Borderhold is established.
5969-The Borderhold is taken and destroyed. The evil army invades Northern Farland.
5973-The Farlandish city of Lompeia is destroyed.
5975-Zeland and Orland rebel. The evil armies besiege the Far City.
5979-Zeland and Orland secede from the empire.
6397-Baron Jorland III of Cairn Cadez invades Daven on the secret prodding of Orland's King, Lestek I. He conquers the border town of Kestrel with monetary aid from Orland.
6399- Jorland is driven out of Kestrel, and it is renamed Victoria. He flees south to the town of Beath, but is attacked and slain by Prince Tael II, son of King Tael of Daven. Beath is renamed Baronsdoom.
6485-Daven, allied with Kelerak, invade Cairn Cadez. Orland comes to the aid of Cairn Cadez. The Plains War begins.
6490-Orland refuses to aid Cairn Cadez at the Battle of Sunsets. The kingdom is defeated and annexed by Daven.
6494-Daven sells the land where Cairn Cadez was to Orland for a suspiciously cheap price.
6510-Overlord Zel XI demands tribute from the dwarves of Dorlhaud, in the Hook Hills. They refuse.
6515-Zel XI attacks Dorlhaud but is unsuccessful.
6516-Dorlhaud retaliates and eliminates the town of Zinkeal.
6519-Zeland and Orland unite against Dorlhaud and besiege it.
6522-Dorlhaud falls. Zeland captures the sceptre of Dorlhaud, and Orland claims the mace of Ralin, Dorlhaud's king.
6525-The great hold Wawmar sends word to other Dwarfholds about Dorlhaud's fate.
6530-The dwarven host takes on Zeland. The Battle of the Axe is fought on what is now the Battleplain. Zeland is defeated and Zel I falls when the sceptre of Dorlhaud fails him. Orland pays a ransom to Wawmar.
6729-Lower Lord Tidon holds the first Gladiator Games
6731-Lower Lord Tidon is beheaded for treason.
6900-The combined kingdoms of Kale and Daven attack Orland, beginning the Decadion War.
6903-The king of Daven is assassinated by the Orlandish assassin Roche.
6906-The Orland River is poisoned by Raiders from Daven, killing much wildlife as well as people.
6981-Orland, with the help of Zeland and a battalion from Farland, invades Daven.
6983-Daven falls to the combined might of the Eastern Alliance. It is annexed as Western Orland. The Eastern alliance forces Kelerak to cease trade with Kale; Kale suffers greatly.
7005-Galadhel turns the Stone of Silence over to the Elves to use in putting a stop to the ceaseless wars that are marring the beauty of the lands. Unable to bear the parting, she passes from the Hinterlands.
7010-Abelard Von Basil, of the royal family of Daven, leads a successful revolt against the Orlandish invaders. With help from Kale and Kelerak, Orland is expelled and the Kingdom of Daven is refounded.
7029-Daven and Kelerak invade Orland but are repulsed with heavy losses at the Battle of Greenhill.
7039-Elves from the Summervale interfere in the Decadion War, and intercede with a powerful magic item, The Stone of Silence. Both sides make peace.
7134-The next High King of Farland, Sum, comes to power.
7143-The Eastern alliance, led by Farland, sends troops into Kelerak. After a minor skirmish, Kelerak agrees to pay tribute to Farland.
7168-The Eastern alliance, led by Farland, sends troops into Kale.
7169-Kale expels the troops of the Eastern Alliance in the Battle of the Bend.
7231-Halflings are discovered in and just south of the Forest of Blorn.
7305-The Coughing Plague, also known as the Coffin Plague, ravages the highlands of Zeland and parts of Orland.
7310-A great famine strikes Orland hitting hardest in the north.
7643-King Hazzan III adopts the Holy Titles of Orland and these laws become the law of the land.
7701-Ogres from the Saltcliffs attack Orland but are easily repulsed.
7796-A force of Drow and slaves attack the capital of Orland from an underground passage undercover of great magic. They sack Jorland's Run and move on to take Orland. Ogres from the Saltcliffs reinforce them.
8161-The Far West is liberated, at least in name.
8163-The Lord of Envy sends an occupying army into Daven, but finds that most of its citizens have fled West or North because of the undead plague infesting the kingdom. Envy withdraws his army. The land of Daven is quickly becoming deserted.