Kingdom of Iskandar
“By Yolana’s Torch, are we Skandari? Are we not men? Then let us fight like men, die like men, on the shores of our lake, and be Lions in the face of the night!” - Iskandar the Goldenthroat, the wound robbing him of his last words to his son.

Capital: Alexandaria (Seat of the Lion Throne)
Settlements: Aegyp’a (10,000), Alexandaria (15,000), Maidenheim (7,000), New Gamien (7,000), Ran’Esheen (6,000)
Ruler: Lord Tiberius August the 34th
Government: Monarchy
Races: Human, Orcam
Faiths: Gerana, Tulis, Yolana
Resources: Papyrus, rice, seafood, venison
Languages: Common, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome, Orc
Border Conditions: Restricted (a full porphyrite border lies within the kingdom)

History
The prehistory of Iskandar is mostly lost in the mists of time, but it is known that it shared a dying world with the lands now known as the Jheriak Continuance. This noble kingdom was rescued from slow death by the goddess of history, freedom, and protection, Yolana, who brought it to Porphyra during The Calling. Iskandar was the last noble light of that world, and its namesake the last drop of heroic blood.

Iskandar was twelve years old when he killed his first man. A border raid came in the night. They were not an invading army, nor was the attack a strategic attempt to take a critical point along some tactical line. It was the simple act of wanton destruction inflicted by a group of desperate mercenaries with empty pockets, murder on their minds, and a desire to make someone else as miserable as they were. The attack began with a harrying distraction of arrow fire on the walls while they charged the gate of the town’s meager palisades. Rather than break through, the gates were barred from the outside. That is when the fire began. In the panic that ensued, Iskandar’s father was a beacon to the people. He rallied the militia, created a breach in the walls, held the line while those inside fled into the night and would not leave until the last made it out. He also died with an arrow in his throat, the wound robbing him of his last words to his son.

Iskandar stood in shock over his father as he lay dead before him. Then he took up his father’s blade and charged into the dark. Those that lived through the night said that the boy never cried out, he never screamed, and that when they found him in the morning, he was kneeling in the ash and mud beside his father’s body, which was upon a pyre built from the bodies of a dozen men. Some say that they heard Iskandar utter a prayer to Yolana, the Truthlight, that he would be given the strength to do what his father could not do, that he would be what his father could not be, and that he would live as his father could not live.

What followed of his life varies from tale to tale, but what is written in The Divine Record is that by his death at the age of twenty-eight Iskandar had created a beacon of light in a dying world, expanding the tiny kingdom tenfold. His rule was as absolute as it was just, and those who bent the knee to the Lion of Battle did so out of respect rather than fear. The kingdom wept for a month when Iskandar died, and it was a divine mercy when Yolana took the mourning kingdom to Porphyra, so that its people had a new cause to fight towards, survival in a hostile, foreign world.

And fight they did, against an indigenous people that made up a buffer zone between Tuthon and The Northlands, though some of the fighting was mitigated by intermarriage with those Kayanoi natives who saw the noble Skandari as an improvement to being an eternal skirmish ground. The northern third of the Kingdom of Iskandar is conquered territory, though there have been no uprisings or rebellions since the second century after The Calling, and the people there are proud to call themselves Skandari. Some may grumble that Iskandar’s Kingdom was placed in a contentious crossroads in a hostile land, but Yolana likely knew that from adversity springs strength.

Current Events
When Iskandar died, he did so with no heir, and though his subjects held him in high regard, the erupting NewGod Wars demanded a ruler. The kingdom’s leaders that have followed Iskandar, from the first Lord Tiberius August to the current one, have sought to uphold the ideals of their beloved king. Though the efforts of the August line have expanded their Landed territories, and have created a bastion of justice, civilization and light, it is a constant battle against those who would seek to subvert the Shining Kingdom, and being caught between sinister Tuthon and the aggressive Northlands of the Red King does not make it a simple task. To add insult to injury, the ancient enemy of the Jheriak Continuance has followed the nation here from their fading, dying world, and the blood-feud continues at a distance. The beacon of Iskandar needs constant tending to keep the flame alight.

Many pilgrims that visit the Lion Tomb (resting place of Iskandar) upon the Isle of Gisset speak of a prophecy—that one will come from the darkness to lead the people once more in Iskandar’s name, and unite the entire world, the new world, the Patchwork Planet of Porphyra. The nation of Iskandar is looking for such a just crusade to give it purpose once more.
This amounts to something of a religious revival, and not just of the staid cult of Yolana; though the gods involved are primarily good, the secular government of Iskandar is a trifle worried at the implications of another holy war.

Settlements
The major settlements of Iskander are:

  • Aegyp’a is part of old-world Iskandar, the first fruit of Iskandar the Golden’s founding campaign. It holds monuments and halls ancient beyond imagining, as well as the southern ducal seat. Gerana has a large temple here that is part of the largest university in Iskandar, the Iron College. There is a cobbled highway—the Scorpion Road—between the old city and its modern Port of Ae.
  • Alexandaria, on the shores of the Lake of Torches, is over a thousand years old, and still redolent of the cult of personality that grew up around Iskandar. The church of Yolana is strong here, with the twin-towered Temple of Memory serving as the capitol and home of the latest Lord Tiberius August. The Yolanites have a strong hand in the policy-making and ruling of the nation proper, and always have.
  • Madienheim is the northern ducal seat, a city conquered from the indigenous Northlander people, and their bloodline is still strong here. The bluff and hearty Maidenheimers’ raise tame deer in this region, the national delicacy and staple.
  • New Gamien holds to the military tradition of Iskandar, watchful of the fearsome Red Host of the nearby Northlands, who wiped out the original Camp Gamien; the first loss of the Iskandari on Porphyra. As the sacrifice of Camp Gamien saved the larger nation, Gaminers worship Tulis as well as Yolana, and keep sacred cattle on the grounds of the western ducal seat manor. Port Gam is a military harbor, and patrols the northern Lost Sea.
  • Ran’Esheen sits in the eastern duchy, as ordinary a city as one could hope to live in, protected from the troubles of the world by the capital to the south. It is also quite cosmopolitan, boasting many racial quarters and districts for intrepid dwarves, elves, gnomes and even erkunae and saurians.

Intrigues

  • It seems that the threat to the west, the Red King, is finally negotiating for a lasting peace and set of locks through the Lake of the Watchers to the Sea of Ithreia. Does Tiberius trust the Northlanders? No.
  • Calls from the western marches of Iskandar are going out for teams of scouts to report on The Red Host to the east. Troop numbers, armory contents, movement patterns, all are worth good pay from the Iskandari military. What is the Red King up to?
  • A drunkard was found dead in a tavern in New Gamien, hardly worth noting except that it is said that he had a missive in his possession that detailed an assassination plot against Lord August.
  • After a particularly violent overnight storm, the morning found the Lion Tomb door open and the remains of Iskandar gone. The Keepers are desperate to maintain a facade of normalcy until they can be located by an outside, discreet party.

See Also