Azag-Ithiel, The Newlands
“From your perspective the Newlands are an asylum. From our perspective, the rest of the world is a prison.” – Kurabn Ustam, Senator, Master Artificer

Capital: Paradigm
Settlements: Khambir (9,300), Low’Enath (21,600), Paradigm (33,800)
Ruler: Prime Minister Otag Nagen
Government: Democratic Republic
Races: Dhosari, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Ogre, Half-Orc, Kobold, Orc, Taddol, Tengu
Faiths: Ashamar Shining, Enor Ashlord, Tulis, Yolana
Resources: Literature, precious metals (gold, iron, silver)
Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven, Giant, Orc, Taddol, Tengu
Border Conditions: Limited (porphyrite northwest)

History
When the Elemental Lords were yet young, a meteor hit Porphyra with such force that it cracked the surface and pushed up a circular mountain range called the Abancoi Nicn, which, translated from archaic Draconic means “Pond Ripple”. A milennium ago, a kobold wizard named Kurabn Ustam fled the New-God Wars into this forbidden place, touched a glowing stone at the bottom of vast crater, and, when he awoke, found himself to be immortal. He decided to build his wizard’s tower on that selfsame spot, and continue with his experiments in artifice. Fate had other plans. Refugees from the harsh (and nearby) Jheriak Continuance, mainly half-orcs, began to make their way across the high Abancoi Nicns from the oppression they found at the hands of the Iron Crown men. At the same time, elves and their orcish companions came to the Abancois, pursued by elementalists of Enor Ashlord bent on vengeance for The Calling. To everyone’s surprise, the ancient, powerful, and benevolently good kobold welcomed them warmly. He saw a new kind of artifice; the creation of a new state, one of equality and democracy, and perhaps a mending of the deist and elementalist schism.

Stressing the need for education, Kurabn taught the young half-orcs to read and write, taught them mathematics, philosophy, sciences and art. More importantly, though, he began to teach them their worth as thinking creatures and that every sentient had rights and should be seen as equals. Many generations grew wise under his protection and tutelage, and the original settlement around his tower, the town of Paradigm, spread, migrated and grew as more oppressed refugees landed on Azag-Ithiel’s shores, the name being chosen from the orcish and elven words for “Home.” The refugees spoke of the Jheriak war machine—and Kurabn and his students knew that it was time to put his experiment to the test.

A call was put out to all citizens of the Newlands, as they were commonly called, to send representatives to help form a central government. They met in the city of Paradigm, and with their own hands raised the All-Races Senate, wizards, fighters, farmers, Newlanders all. These brave gentlebeings met in chambers at the beginning of summer and argued until the next spring. The results of this first parliament were nothing short of a miracle: the Newlands would be a democratic republic with each citizen, from the richest merchant to the lowliest chimney-sweep would have an equal say in who would govern and make the laws. At the suggestion of a cloister of Yolandite clerics, they also wrote a declaration of rights; that all sentients, no matter their species or country of origin should be treated as equals, and have the right to personal freedom. The Senate elected the half-orc orator Inva Khambir (rumored to have been present at The Calling) the first prime minister, the only time the head of state was not elected by the people, and created a people’s army—and none too soon, as the Continuance was flexing its muscles to cruelly invade and destroy thefledgling state. Kurabn Ustam and his arcane students were as prepared as the army.

The first attacks came came strategically from the west and north. The Continuance had sent a massive army, outnumbering the Azag-Ithiel forces twenty to one. The defenders of the valley had several advantages, however. The Newlanders were much better equipped; they had several airships that they used to great effect; and their magic arsenal was far superior. Then, of course, there was the legion of ten-foot-tall steel golems, and the contingent of half-ogres and ogrillons wearing golem armor, led by the ogre mage general Tharis Nal, who would later take his turn as prime minister. Even with these advantages, the fight was a stalemate, exacting a heavy toll over many years. The war is remembered on both sides as the No-Win War, a grudging compliment on the Continuance side, and a warning to later generations of Newlanders: peace and equality comes at a price, never become complacent in the maintenance of justice and freedom.

Current Events
Azag-Ithiel, while not completely secure, is breathing a sigh of relief. The national system of roads nears completion, connecting all the cities, towns and villages. The Newlands has had their first “peacetime” election in decades, and while the proceedings were slightly combative, Prime Minister Otag Nagen—of half-orc/half-elf heritage, was elected for a second term.

The Newlander government is adept at treaty-making, good examples being those with the Clandoms of the Fourlands, the Clockwork Lands, the Skandari, and even a non-aggression pact with the Red King of the Northlands. They are currently courting the Advent Imperiax, though the dhosari contingent are at odds with their slave-keeping habits, and their friendship with the Opal Throne.

Settlements
The major settlements of Azag-Ithiel are:

Paradigm is known as the Cradle of Democracy, a marvel in red brick and polished stone. At the center of the town lies Patriot Square and the tower and workshop of Senator Kurabn Ustam. It is a vibrant place full of merchants, smiths, and printers, and boasts three universities within the city proper. It is as racially mixed as a city could possibly be on Porphyra.

Low’Enath has significant elven heritage, a racial offshoot known as the Furnace Elves. They are grim masters of industry and the forge, and mixing magic with both. Factory towers rise like monoliths over the valley floor around Low’Enath, and the iron deposits are of very high quality, for some of the finest magic weapons known to the world.

Khambir is a military town, containing Fort Karaden, which boasts Fourlander airships, half-ogre shock troops and the crack half-orc legions known as Fists of the Word. Their main focus is responding to border calls and policing the multitude of races found in the Newlands’ cities and villages.

Intrigues

  • Kurabn Ustam, after eight centuries in the Parliamentary Senate, has announced his retirement from politics, and will return full time to academia. Recent polls of Ustam’s Unity Party were quite low, coincidentally. With the father of the nation stepping down, the Senate has called for external observers to keep the peace until stability can be restored to Azag-Ithiel.
  • Reports are pouring in from the observer posts on the border that the Continuance is massing forces along the mountain roots. This provocation is worrying, but not as much as the disconnection with Azag-Ithiel’s allies in the Clockwork Lands. Something is blocking teleportation and messages, and teams are being sent out to find what the Continuance is up to.
  • Rumors are spreading about the Junior Representative from Low’Enath, T’kree Chk’ka. She is the first tengu to be elected from that area, a banker from a wealthy merchant family, and a member of the Conservative-Federalist Party, the largest opposition. Some say she bought the election, some whisper she sold her soul to Eshsalqua for power. She is seeking aid from those who would help clear her name.

See Also