Vangir

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(Vangir, Vangiran, Vangirs)

History

In 3801 PN, as it became clear the Pileusian Empire was collapsing, Elder Hob thought it was necessary that action be taken to protect his people. He gathered together a dozen other Ansvar Elders and formed an alliance of clans. Hob was named Ancient of the assembled clans.

Within ten years, more and more peoples were asking Ancient Hob for the protection of his alliance. Within twenty, the Vangir Alliance was five hundred miles across, and steadily expanding. Though he had no desire for expansion, Hob would take any good people who would follow the simple laws of the Alliance and treat each other fairly.

By the time of Hob's death in 3615 PN, the Vangir had become a formal Kingdom, with Hob's son, Ahr, ruling after him. Northern clans of Men, Elves, Dwarves, Flen - all manner of races - continued to join Vangir, and come under the protection of the Ansvar. Soon Vangir stretched from Evad in the south to the sea in the north, and counted more than twenty races beneath the steady, kind hand of Ahr.

For centuries, the Ansvar Ancients ruled Vangir. Always ruling kindly, administering justice with mercy, and demanding little of their people. This suited the Ansvar well, for they had little interest in the world beyond their farms and families.

Always there were problems around Vangir's borders. Hostile clans of giants would strike and Vangiran settlements, and had to be chased away. Always the Ansvar were called upon to lead. The armies they fielded were things of wonder - armored Giants, Elven archers, Firbolg soldiers, human knights, Flen scouts, and Gnome engineers. Constant low-level conflicts and dangerous rebellions smoldered with the Hobgoblins of Kataf. Every decade, new armies had to be raised from reluctant peoples who expected the Ancient to defend them, but protested bearing the burdens of that defense.

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For many long centuries, Vangir struggled to survive. The succeeding Ancients labored to defend Vangir from a hundred different foes, each, it seemed, more powerful than the last. Wild Giants; Hobgoblin revolts, hostile Orcs, Shivan, and evil outsiders. Internal strife was rampant. The Dwarves do not trust the Ansvar; the Elves dislike the Dwarves; the Gnomes refuse to speak any language but their own; the Firbolg want nothing to do with the other races, and the Men are divided into seventeen argumentative clans whose internal differences are incomprehensible to anyone but themselves. No race thought the burden on them fair. The Firbolg in the west did not see why they should defend the Elves in the east; the Dwarves did not want to defend anyone.

For three thousand years, Vangir somehow held together. Wars were waged. Rebellions rose and were put down. New races and peoples migrated in, and assumed the attitudes of their neighbors. Other races had one of their own named Ancient - and found the outcry even worse than when the Ansvar ruled. It seemed Vangir would totter on to dissolution ...

Then the Wight Lords came. In those days Vangir was ruled by Roe, an Ansvar of many years. Being far too old to lead the armies of Vangir herself, she appointed her granddaughter Aja to defend Vangir from the Wight horde of Umjaden.

Aja donned her stormwinged helmet, took up her Pileusian longspear, and led the united armies into their last, desperate stand against the Wights. Vangir could not hope to win, but they fought, for behind Aja's soldiers there was naught left to defend home and families. For the first time in Vangir's history, her armies were united in purpose.

Aja herself faced the Wight King Charomedes on the field of Aergonne, in central Vangir. The war was lost. Her armies could not hope to stop the Wights, but they fought heroically - as the moon passed before the sun, and Chatalize's curse swept out of the underworld and laid low the Wight armies.

Saved from destruction; Vangir pursued the Wight Lords back to their dark fortresses, and, with the sainted Aja at their head, pushed outward against all foes. Dark threats which had for centuries plagued Vangir were crushed by Aja's spear. For a generation, Vangir was ascendant. The Hobgoblins of Kataf were conquered. Wild giants were chased far from the borders. The Shivan signed treaties and agreed upon borders. Even the Dwarves of Evad agreed to some limited trade. In in the year 288 PN, it seemed Vangir was finally ascendant - until Aja herself rose to become Ancient of Vangir, and, in due time, died herself, over a hundred years later.

Without Aja to unify them, Vangir has resumed its slow drift. Those Ansvar Ancients who come after see themselves as less than those that came before. Vangir slowly declines.

Terrain

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Vangir is a massive nation, encompassing every possible type of terrain in her borders. To the far north, the tiaga and windswept cold hills. To the east, forests and rivers. The west, plains. The south, mountains, deserts, and even jungles.

Summers are warm and dry, but never hot, except in the far southern jungle valleys. Winters are often cold and bitter, except in those places shielded by the mountains.

Vangir has a coastline and a modest navy. However, only two of the Ectons of Men show any interest in the sea, and the rest of the nation squabbles about paying for ships that benefit so few. Vangir's navy is weak.

Vangir is very large, more than sixteen hundred miles from north to south, and a thousand from east to west.


Culture

Vangir is home to more than thirty separate cultures and fourteen races. Their leaders are usually Ansvar, though the local cultures and peoples have their own autonomous local governments. It is a polyglot civilization, with a great deal of inter-racial commerce, trade, and even marriages.

Vangirs follow a confusing tangle of local customs, depending on the people and clan. However, all Vangirs are elaborately polite to folk from other culture groups, which makes them natural traders and diplomats - sadly, the elaborate greetings often give way to immediate disagreements.

Vangirs dress flamboyantly. Though each sub-culture has its regional variations, dress is usually quite colorful, with blue being a popular color. Slit-and-puffed sleeves have been popular for the whole history of Vangir, as are large-brimmed hats and tall boots. Women tend to have skirts slit high on one side, and men often wear ornate belt-buckles which indicate their rank and position.


Language

The common tongue is Giant (Avantarran), though Dwarves refuse to speak it *and* Elven, the second most common tongue. They will however at least speak Gnome (Avantarran) and their own Dwarven (Avantarran). Half a dozen other tongues are spoken and a good number at least understood here.

For all its internal faults, Vangir is a very mercantile state, and trade heavily internally and abroad.


Faith

Vangir is a devoutly religious place, with shrines to nearly every major god somewhere in the country. However, most of the minors find little favor in Vangir - big country, big gods. Marya is seen as the Patron of Vangir - the all-mother who gives life and protects it. She is far and away the most commonly followed deity. Often temples to her are five sided, with Marya at the head, and the elemental gods at the other corners. The elemental gods are far less popular than Marya, but often appealed to in conjunction with her. Many shrines to helpful Azata dot the countryside and streetcorners of Vangir as well. Of the minor gods, only three have a major following. Vigos has temples in every city, and is the patron of honest traders. He is quite popular among the merchant classes - though not of the common folk. Gromm is the favored War god of Vangir, as he is the son of Marya, and the hard-charging heroism of his followers appeals to most Vangirs. Finally, Shalokar's aspect as the god of luck has a large following; especially among the poorest folk.

The most important religous figure in Vangir is Savatine, a half-Azata Paladin of Mishya. Half Brijidine, half human, Savatine fought in the opening years of the war with Umjaden. Her brilliant campaign in the east saved most of the elven population of Vangir, and her death defending the gates of Heliovar in the middle of the war made her a martyr. Aja herself laid Savatine's wight to rest, and banners of the flame-skinned half-Celestial girl are still carried by many Vangiran regiments.


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Government

Vangir is a Republic ruled by an elected Monarch. Each subcultural region (there are thirty) is semi-autonomous and self governing on the local level. Each sends an Elector to the capital to serve the Ancient, who is elected from among the Electors, though the oldest candidate almost always commands a majority vote.

The Ancient is a limited Monarch; he has the power to defend Vangir, including raising armies, appointing leaders, building fortifications, and so forth. However, the Ancient has no power to pass laws or raise money. This function is handled by the Electors, who pass laws or raise money with a two-thirds majority vote. As a result, not much gets done by the government, though it can respond to a crisis.

Every subculture in Vangir has its own region, called an Ecton. Each Ecton has its own variant of a Republic; which elects leaders and sends an Elector to aid the Ancient.

The local government enforces the laws of Vangir. The Ancient has a small cadre of Proctors who serve him directly, usually Paladins of Mishya. They have authority in any region of Vangir.


Foreign Relations

Vangir is very inward looking for the most part, though they trade actively with anyone who is interested. They see little need for allies, though non-government actors often look to secure trade rights in foreign lands.

Most Ancients are quite friendly with Gaer, and relations with the Shivan can usually be kept peaceful, though violence may break out at any time. Vangir has made many friendly approaches to Evad, but the Dwarves hold a deep hate of giants, and only when the Ancient has not been an Ansvar has their been friendliness and open trade between the powers.

Umjaden is the ancient foe of Vangir. There is also a long running conflict with Kataf, and occasional battles with Shivan tribes who become aggressive.

Military

Vangir can field a significant number of troops of all types, if the need is great enough. However, due to internal disagreements, Vangir's full force has only been fielding during the war with Umjaden. Naturally an Ecton that is attacked will field it's full complement of troops, with more trickling in as the Ancient can raise them.

The Vangiran army is an unusual assembly. With so many races and cultures, Vangir can field Dwarven infantry, Human Cavalry, Elven archers, Ansvar halberdiers - a bewildering variety of troops. Every hundred or so soldiers is called a Company, and two dozen or so companies makes a Regiment.

Regiments are regular military formations, maintained by the local Ectons. They are professional troops, though their quality varies from region to region and regiment to regiment. Vangir has very few elite Regiments, as no one Ecton is regularly at war.

A populous nation, Vangir can field over two hundred Regiments, though such an exercise of power would be rare.

The Navy is a modest one, with only a few dozen very large galleys.

The Ancient has overall command of the military, though most Regiments are reluctant to serve outside of their Ectons, and raising too many Regiments for service elsewhere in the country will cause internal squabbling.


Magic

Arcane magic is quite common, but rarely of exceptional power. Vangirs tend to see arcane magic as being so commonplace as to be unimportant. There is no center for the study of it, and those who learn are taught by an individual. Divine magic is similar; there are temples everywhere, but no great passion to serve a cause.


Cities

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Heliovar is the largest city in Vangir, dominating the southeast. This lightly fortified city is a cosmopolitan trade center divided into seven districts, each being in a different Ecton. The majority of the population are Men, Elves, and Gnomes.

Rangir is a heavily fortified Ansvar city of thick walls and square houses, centrally located west of Kataf. This is the capital of Vangir and the traditional seat of the Ancient (though the capital has been moved several times).

Forgard is the biggest city in the north, a port at the mouth of the fjord, also at the junction of three Ectons. More than half of Vangir's Dwarves dwell here, making galleys alongside the seafaring human Ectons.

Located in the northeast, near the coast, Hrusc is a mixed Firbolg and Man city, with a minority population of Shivan. They have taken the brunt of many wars with the Hobgoblins of Kataf.

Olasyon lies between Kataf and the Shivan Pridelands, on the shores of the long fjord. White towered city of Elves and Half-Elves, it is a thing of architectural beauty, built upon the ruins of a much large Pileusian city.

In the south, near Evad, lies the lakeside city of Yeath. Populated by Dwarves and Men, there are many mines near here.

The far western border is watched by the twin cities of Chagard and Wrengard, both build by Pileusian Giants long ago. Despite the distance between them, the cities have identical foundations and street plans. Both are home to Men and Firbolg, with large populations of Ansvar and other giants.

Every Ecton is dotted with small cities. The most famous is Wryn, the heavily fortified mountain gateway to Umjaden, and Rungirgard, the nothernmost settlement of Vangir, a seaside town with thick walls of solid ice.

Ectons

Aergonne – human, central plains, forests, temperate, river on three sides, bountiful crops

Agnir – human, seafaring, eastern, river delta, borders Kataf

Bour – Flen, northeastern, heavily forested, river

Candur – human, northeastern, Kataf border, river, mountains, forest

Dagnar – Dwarven, southern, border Gaer, Unjaden, Evad, Shivan, large, dry, mountain passes

Eola – human, north central, light forest, foothills

Erdor – Elven, east, borders Shivan and Legiean Gulf, river E and W, home to Olasyon, forests

Farjya – Giants, south central, river, mountains, lots of jungle, home to Yeath

Gardor – Orcs & Hobgoblins, heavy forest/jungle/swamps

Grimr – human, northern, river, tundra, grasslands

Gunr – human , northern, river, foothills

Hraethulf – Ansvar, mountains, forest, river, Wrengard, western border

Hrafn – human, western border, grasslands with few foothills

Igr – Dwarven, borders Shivan through mountains, river,

Jorrdor – Firbolg, west, grasslands and plains

Langdor - human

Modin – human, north inland, two rivers, mountains, hills, evergreen forest

Nel – Elven, north coastal, fjords, badlands, Forgard

Orsetti – human, borders Kataf, lost much to Kataf over centuries

Pirbog – Firbolg, west border, river, light forest

Roarr – human, Shivan, south, Shivan Border, mountains and river, forest

Roki – human, western border, dry southern plains, forest in north, poor

Skjaldvor – human, far northern, grasslands, tundra, coastline and fjords, river

Steinor – human, western border, mostly mountains and hills

Sovndall – human, seafaring, far north coast, fjords, tundra, rocky grasslands, Forgard

Ula – Ansvar, central, river, home to Rangir, heavy forest

Ulfrun – human, SE central, river, mountain, home to Heliovar

Vilmirren – human, northeastern, coastal, Hrusc, mountain, plains, hills

Wurgnir – Kitsune, northwestern, border, coastline, plains, foothills

Zjolnar – Gnome, west central, half mountains, plains

Races

Ansvar, Men, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Firbolg are very common and make up the majority of the Vangiran population. There are smaller communities of Flen, Shivan, Orcs, and Hobgoblins, though they tend to keep to their own kind in most areas. Small but significant enclaves of Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Tengu, and Kitsune are also scattered around Vangir. Many groups of Giants still live in Vangir. Most are hostile, even to the Ansvar, their kin, but a handful are friendly and a few still live in the ancient cities.

Classes

Vangirans have fewer divine classes than might be expected, as the gods they follow pay little attention to worshipers. Druids being somewhat of an exception in areas of the country. Arcane classes are fairly common, but as there is no center of magical education in Vangir, they are rarely of great power. Martial classes are quite common, especially Fighters, Rangers and Barbarians, with Monks not unknown (most are Dwarves). Bards are very common, especially in the south. There is a distinct lack of Cavaliers, Inquisitors, and Summoners here, as the 'old ways' are kept to by most folk.