Bulwark of the Halfling Nations
“Killing mâlites? Easy once you get the knack. Why do you look so surprised?” – Nutley Butterbelly, halfling cavalier

Capital: Quisay
Settlements: Eremal (9,000), Faldon Town (3,000), Maftya (5,000), Quisay (6,000)
Ruler: Queen Aleanora
Government: Monarchy
Races: Eventual, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Kobold, Muse
Faiths: Aleria, Eshsalqua, Mâl, Rolterra, Saren
Resources: Agriculture, salvage, spices
Languages: Celestial, Common, Draconic, Goblin, Gnome, Halfling, Infernal, Mâlite, Sylvan
Border Conditions: Restricted (multiple Porphyrite borders to the west, mountains to the east)

History
In antevocial times, Enoria was the strange garden of the Elemental Earth Lord called Enor Ashlord, who tamed volcanos to cultivate great spiraling towers of volcanic glass and complex patterned ash mounds over vast magma-carved caverns and swooping ridges. Enor’s servants comprised a tribe of unusually cruel zendiqi elementalists who used their greater size to push around smaller gnome, goblin and halfling slaves. The little folk pruned the lush vines and brush that covered the unearthly landscape and built temples and cities in Enor’s honor.

When The Calling brought new gods to Porphyra, Enor was attacked on two fronts by the upstart gods. First, Mâl, Destroyer of Worlds, used his influence to create a spreading area of tainted jungle, called the Forest of Gora, which crawled with mâlites. This dire place takes up much of the western and central area of Enoria. This affront prompted Enor Ashlord to abandon his land as he futilely hunted the god responsible. Secondly, a large piece of Landed territory manifested itself in the north of Enoria, a vast ruin of urban area from a destroyed world. This was the world of Rolterra, a revolutionary deity followed by clans of surviving muses. A few Landed kobolds and the muses immediately took Her banner to the small slaves of Enor, and inspired them to overthrow the slave-masters who dared use the gnomes and halflings as fodder on the battlefield against roving bands of mâlites.

Eventually, through stealth and guile, a group of slaves managed to escape and trap the slave-masters’ leaders before a horde of onrushing mâlites. Before their cruel end, however, a young muse received a vision from the goddess Aleria which bade her appeal to the rebels’ leaders to remember why they rebelled—not to repeat the crimes done to them, but to protect their families. The stripped the zendiqi slavers of their treasure and branded them villains, exiling them to the southern wastes rather than leaving them to the mâlites. Soon, halflings and gnomes had taken control of Enoria and mounted their own campaign to slow the expansion of the Forest of Gora.

Current Events
Enoria’s current ruler, Aleanora, is a cunning descendant of leaders of the old rebellion. Over the years of halfling rule, their strategies have varied greatly, but generally focus on intelligence-gathering and concealing their movements from mâlite eyes, by any means necessary. Their gnome peers usually provide illusions and clockwork contraptions that serve as artillery and heavy weapons on the battlefield. Aleanora has amassed many magical allies and stout rangers as the leaders of the Enorian military units, helping the nation see a rare level of stability.

Her soft-defense strategy requires constant adaptability, which is taxing for those near the war zone. These Enorians have been called upon many times to melt away into the shadows as their homes were stolen, then wear down mâlite invaders over time with traps and guerilla tactics led by intrepid adventurers.

Although mâlites constantly harass Enorian territory, the small folk refuse to seek any special aid from the “Big People” neighbors in other lands, fearing attempts to control them. They ask only for fair trade, usually with their mercantile cousins in Blix, so they can fund the war effort. The only big folk they allow to take part are the muses, who have proven willing to sit back and offer gentle advice rather than insisting on leading the charge of giving orders.

Goblins and kobold clans who have adopted the blasted Faldon (fall-down) district in the north are widely mistrusted, but their aid is essential in resisting the mâlites which threaten them all. Leaders of the goblin clans follow Eshsalqua, whose foul teachings include valuable lessons for predicting and thwarting mâlite attacks, and the kobolds have had generations of experience extracting materials from the Rolterran ruins and supplying them to their eternal enemies, the gnomes. An uneasy truce has remained in effect for almost as long as the invasion has threatened, but is jeopardized by unscrupulous thefts and raids by splinter tribes of goblins and kobolds.

Settlements
The major settlements of the Bulwark of the Halfling Nations are:

Faldon Town is the general description of the largest concentration of humanoids in Rolterra’s District, the Landed territory of war-torn ruins in the north of Enoria. Occupied by goblins, kobolds, and the odd muse devoted to Rolterra, it is a strangely ordered place, due to the influence of The Fist of the People. The territory has little food, and visitors can expect to pay heavy tolls.

Eremal is a major trade center of Enoria, downriver from the Blixian guild city of Pult. It sits on an easily-defended island in the Almeera River near the nation’s eastern border, near the trade routes and ore-rich Calinsur Mountains. Eremal is the only large Enorian settlement which hosts numbers of “big folk”- foreigners such as humans, elves, and dwarves. Visitors are treated well, as long as they do not leave the foreign quarter. Eremal is noted for its gnomish production of inventions of steam and clockwork.

Maftya is a large, heavily-fortified town often used to resupply, reinforce, or evacuate positions that are threatened with being overrun by mâlites. The town has a massive barracks that houses and trains a number of soldiers who roam the Forest’s frontier.

Quisay, known as the Windswept City, moves from place to place on the Plains of Aish with the howling winds that blow across Enoria, with the help of halfling transmuters. It is also famous for its many brightly colored pavilions and beautiful minarets, which can be quickly camouflaged with a moment’s notice. The court of Quisay is attended by many spellcasters, including muse oracles and weird zif conjurers; all who help defend the monarchy. The Windswept City hosts a large population of muses, who often act as medics for the war effort.

Intrigues

  • The ruins of elemental mage towers have been uncovered in the untamed woods in the no-being’s-land near the Forest of Gora, offering the lure of ancient elemental artifacts. The few survivors of expeditions to explore them mention elemental guardians, magical obsidian blades, magma mantles that absorb damage and boots that create earthquakes. The court at Quisay desires them, of course, but the mâlites are probably thinking the same thing…
  • Mâlite invaders have recently been seeing through Enorian stratagems with alarming speed, causing grim thoughts of a spy in the military. The generals in Maftya are recruiting spy-catchers, before the dreaded ones make a counter-attack.
  • A cult of Eshsalqua has taken hold of some young muses in Eremal, among those who guide visitors. There have been complaints of robbery and worse, and the competition for notoriety and fashion is threatening the well-being of that good town, and may need rooting out.