Ruins of the Old Empire
Once an unimportant county in the northeast, in the modern day Aivilund is an independent kingdom by default, though a small and poor one.
About half of Aivilund’s people live on the kingdom’s offshore islands; these were critical to the survival of the county in the days of the Curse on the World. The main-land was evacuated in the winter of 422-3, with those rescued resettling in Ernhar and Bretar, and the near-island of Armaurtha. For three centuries, Aivilund was confined to its water-bound possessions.
In the time of King Ilmantinas, about a hundred years ago, the kingdom made some halting progress into the land around Sharidis Bay, building garrisons on the new edge of settlement to hold off the still-extant walking dead. There’s been no further expansion since then, but the new settlers brave the danger so they can farm the best land in the kingdom. Now, one can be sure that the kingdom has been left behind when passing any of the several keeps which guard the borders.
Aivilund is a cold place, more so than any place else on Ammunar. Armaudin benefits from a southern current; Dervegil is inland and away from the ice-choked waters of the Upper Sea. Aivilund’s largely treeless landscape offers little cover, and at night the ocean wind blows away any clouds. Whatever heat the day brought leaks upward and disappears into the sky, leaving the moon and stars shining on frost for much of the year; travelers caught in the open risk dying of exposure when the sun is gone, even during the short summer. In the worst winters, wolves come down out of the mountains to harass the kingdom’s outlying settlements. The kingdom has two cities of note, both rather small. Argulin, on the island of Bretar, is the royal seat but otherwise unimportant. Its isolation made it an ideal capital in the days when the Tomb Horde was at its most dangerous, but is a disadvantage in the modern day. Much more notable is Eilendalm, near where Armautha joins the mainland and a station for the Imperial navy many centuries ago. Its deep harbor and easy access to Aivilund’s border garrisons make it a busy, populated place by northern standards. Most of Aivilund’s other towns are mere villages, which sprung up around the border forts as a convenient place for farmers to meet and trade their produce with each other, as well as the army quartermasters.
Aivilund’s neighbours are the halfling nation of Gerobas to the immediate south and, on the far side of the Saigus River, Lautitha. The eastern portion of the elven lands are to the northwest but, as the elves have no ports, going there requires a dangerous journey along an old coastal road that skirts where the mountains come right down to the sea. Other nations are even more distant from Aivilund, and require travel through wilderness or by sea.