Jheriak Continuance
“If you are stronger, take…if you are weaker, weep.” - Jheriak nursery rhyme

Capital: Dunnal Moor
Settlements: Dunnal Moor (12,000), Irul (3,000), Port Khalen (5,000), Suland (2,500), Val Toresh (8,000)
Ruler: His Continuance Macza Vul Wolfe
Government: Monarchy
Races: Half-Giant, Half-Ogre, Half-Orc, Hobgoblin, Human, Ogrillon, Orc
Faiths: Ferrakus, Fenris Kul, Myketa
Resources: Armor, bloodsport, mercenaries, seafood, weapons
Languages: Battle-sign, Common, Giant, Orc
Border Conditions: Restricted (porphyrite border surrounds the Continuance)

History
Jheriak Vul Wulfe witnessed the strength a mercenary band can wield when, as a boy of thirteen he saw a platoon of Talorian sell-swords lay waste to the Skandarian dragoons that his father commanded at a battle near a nameless town on a forgotten world. For ten days the dragoons hammered into the mercenary line, and for ten days they were repelled. On the eleventh, the Talorians counter-charged and broke the dragoons. In a matter of minutes the Skandari were routed. Jheriak found himself fleeing for his life as the mercenaries rode down the scattered dragoons. The Talorians caught him and threw him in a pit with their fighting dogs, and told him if he wanted to live, then he would have to earn his life. Jheriak was twenty two when he killed the Talorian captain and took the company for his own. He was twenty seven when he killed his own father on the battlefield. For fifteen summers he led the mercenaries through challenging campaigns, each year growing richer and larger than before.

Finally, Jheriak grew weary of the continuous warfare. The company had used the same winter camp for almost a decade, and with each year it seemed to grow. Permanent structures were appearing, and by the fifth year of the camps, small root gardens were becoming rugged farms. Jheriak sent runners to the nearest cities and proclaimed the land surrounding the camp, to the sea itself, a sovereign kingdom. If they wanted it back, they could take it by force. This led to the three-year War of Iron. In the end, the mercenaries had carved out their own state, three times larger than their original claim. Jheriak then wrote the Laws of the Talon, upon which his new society was built. He lived until his eighty-third year, and fathered five sons; their line still rules the Continuance today.

The evolution of Jheriak and his Continuance intrigued the Betrayer God Fenris Kul, so when He attended The Calling, his cold eye fell on the Continuance. Though barely acknowledged in that land, it appealed to Him in many ways—especially that it shared a world with precious Yolana’s vassal state of Iskandar. This suited that bitter god, and the two nations hate one another—even though they are situated half a world away from one another—made it all the more satisfying. Religion is usually seen as a weakness to the Jheriaks, and dependence on non-warriors especially galling. Should Jheriak adopt a state religion at some point, their neighbors, and the world itself, should fear. Most nations that deal with the Continuance try to focus their martial attentions on the nearby Oncoming Wave of Mâl, a fitting target for their warlike culture.

Current Events
Since Jheriak’s death, the Continuance has evolved significantly along the lines of the Laws of the Talon. Dunnal Moor has become the capital of the kingdom, where Macza Vul Wolfe, direct descendant of Jheriak, wears the Iron Crown. Politics do not exist beyond that which can be settled at the end of a sword or axe. The Iron Crown rules by might according to the Laws of the Talon, and any who prove strong enough to take the crown may challenge, and all challenges must be met, with one outcome permitted. Alliances and promises abound within the court, however, so the bloodletting is kept to a minimum, and business moves ahead. In this brutal society, all children are taken to schools called Pits, where they prove their strength and right to live or die. Each major clan, descended from Jheriak’s mercenary band, has one or more cities that fly their banner, and each of these clans has a number of houses sworn to them either by blood or oath.

Marriage in the Continuance has little to do with emotion and more with breeding. A woman or man may take a mate, provided they can. Interestingly, once a bond has been formed, it is sacred, and none may violate it. It is also worth noting that in the past few decades many of the stronger clans have begun carefully choosing mating pairs to ensure the strength of their bloodlines.

Many come to the Continuance to train, trade for arms, or to purchase the services of the mercenary houses. Additionally, gladiatorial blood sport has become an increasingly popular draw, with many cities having grand arenas—the latest craze is captured mâlites in the arena menageries. Needless to say, there is no mâlite embassy in the Moor. Slaves are an important import in the Continuance, though a slave may simply demand to fight his owner or his proxies to gain his freedom, so is written in the Laws of the Talon.

Settlements
The major settlements of the Continuance are:

Dunnal Moor is the largest city and capital of the Continuance. There lives the Iron Crown, who presides daily in the gladiatorial arena. Here, each year, the Harvest of Blood and Bone is held on the summer solstice, during which the lowest ranking members of society gather and fight in a brutal seven day spectacle of violence and gore. Those alive at the end are chosen by the ruling Clans to join their houses as blood bound.

Port Khalen is on the Sea of Karkoon, it pleases the Jheriaks that most visitors to their kingdom have to cross through some of the most dangerous waters on Porphyra. A few Khilite 'purpleships’ allow passage for foreigners and Jheriak ships, though it is better not to press the issue in Khalen.

Suland and Irul are called ‘the dunashes’, these towns are not clan affiliated, and cater to foreigners and non-humans. Their martial yards are smaller than the larger cities’, but no less focused on military prowess.

Most challengers to the throne come from modern Val Toresh, where guile is often as useful as brawn. The Toreshi are known for innovation in warfare, which some of the more orthodox Jheriaks see as a kind of heresy.

Intrigues

  • A Continuance mercenary has invoked the Law of Mating, and claimed a party member as a mate.
  • The Skandari are hiring adventurers to conduct raids- in pursuit of their age-old blood feud- even from across the world. Could the native Jheriaks truly be worthy of being called the most feared warriors in the world?
  • Slaves in the Continuance are in short supply- the party has been captured, put in chains, and is on its way to the Pits.
  • The mixed races of Azag-Ithiel have reports that fire giant rebels in the volcanoes of the western Continuance are intimidating the underclass into preparing an invasion. As the small kingdom has few resources to investigate, perhaps a small strike team could get to the bottom of these terrors’ motivation.

See Also