Trauntor is a county of the Turamzzyrian Empire.
- two black towers on a field of dark green
The crest of Trauntor was inevitably decided the moment the last stone was set in place, finishing the imposing fortress at Barrett's Gorge. Such was the pride of the Empire of a victory over an elven foe, once erstwhile slave masters, that the towers became a symbol of human achievement and advancement throughout the Empire. Likewise, most Nalfein elves dismiss the crest as a silly human invention of unoriginality. Often, the crest is present in the courts and parties of those espousing human superiority over elves.— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire
"Trauntor is dominated by hilly lands with occasional mountain peaks. To the east, rich forests provide an excellent source of lumber. The territory was once a badlands, with continued hostility from the Scourge, among other enemies. Since the building of the Demonwall, Trauntor has flourished.
Brantur is one of the cities near the Demonwall, which separates the Empire from the demonic Scourge that harries the lands to the south and east. Brantur has a strong complement of the best of the Order of the Golvern Star, and is a very militaristic town. Crime is almost non-existent, as all offenses are very harshly punished. The people are extremely distrustful, even of each other.
Brantur is also the site where Tyrgh, the Chaos Lord, raised an army out of Ba'Lathon and devastated the city. Fortunately, reinforcements arrived in time to recover the city.
The Citadel of Barrett's Gorge is more of a military installation than a town. The region is harsh, and historically war torn. The Citadel at the center sports a series of high walls built for extensive defense against a potential siege. The sprawl outside of the innermost walls consists of the housing, shops, inns, and bars that have developed between the defenses. Each section of the sprawl is separated from the other by walls with four gates. Though the innermost walls are tallest and strongest, the wall at each interval is capable of withstanding a siege.
Barrett's Gorge is also the primary training area for the Demonwall Watch of the Order of the Golvern Star. This particular branch of the OGS prides itself on its extreme militance and zealous commitment to their Order, their Empire, and their duty."— Deinirius Antroydes, A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire
"Within the city of Brantur is Longwitton's Whetstone, which is said to have magical properties. Commoners claim that if a brave man sharpens his sword on it, all the wounds he causes will prove fatal; but if a coward uses it to sharpen his sword, he will only ever cause injury rather than death.
The Narran Valley just to the north of Barrett's Gorge is known to be haunted by a night-hag. She has been seen flying low above the streams, her long black robe trailing in the water and her leathery wings flapping in the air. Those who have had the misfortune to encounter her up close describe her as having long black hair, black eyes, and dark skin. From time to time she is also accompanied by black hounds with red eyes and enormous fangs. A foolish man once ignored all advice and spent the night asleep in Narran Valley. The next morning he was found, unconscious and battered from head to toe. When he came around, he recalled having been attacked by the hag, who clawed and pecked at him "like a great bird of prey."
With the Demonwall so prominent in the minds of Brantur's people, and Ba'Lathon so near to mind as well, gestures and oaths of warding against evil magic and possession are quite common in Brantur. Sorcerers are especially distrusted, and even shunned, in Brantur. Most merchants turn sorcerers away from their establishments, and the punishment for use of sorcery in a harmful manner is typically death."— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire
Grey Wolves of the Thane
"In the County of Trauntor, which includes the Demonwall cities of Brantur and Barrett's Gorge, the Order of the Golvern Star is well known. However, the Order, which is an autonomous Imperial Army unit, is not the only cause of soldiers in this county. Trauntor has long been very militaristic due to the presence of the Demonwall, and its soldiers supplement the Order of The Golvern Star. House Greythane has their own soldiers known as The Grey Wolves of the Thane. These soldiers are exceptionally well-trained and often see regular combat along the Demonwall. Trauntor, being so military oriented, has very little crime, and punishment for criminal activity is swift and harsh, freeing the soldiers of the Grey Wolves from the need to patrol the cities which allows them to concentrate on their duties at the Demonwall.
So it is that while the primary purpose of the Grey Wolves' creation was protection and support for the Count of Trauntor and his family, their duties have been split to help supplement the forces, be it of arms or scouting eyes, for the Order of the Golvern Star. In fact, many new recruits to the Order of the Golvern Star often serve in some capacity within the Grey Wolves before joining the fabled order of knights. Many times, the Grey Wolves will be seen guarding segments of the Demonwall along Trauntor as units of the Golvern Star knights patrol beyond the wall and into the demonic wasteland far from imperial protection. As Barrett's Gorge is the preferred starting point for any imperial invasion into Elven Lands, and likewise a prime target for elven enemies, the area is always heavily supplied and defended. Despite the low crime in Trauntor, a selective group of Grey Wolves remains at the Greythane keep, always ready to defend against any enemies foolish, or brave enough, to strike.
Their symbol is a grey wolf's head on a field of black and green."— Lord Brieson Cassle of Highmount, Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
Order of the Golvern Star
"Founded in 4848, the Order of the Golvern Star is a martial organization formed in response to the embarrassing loss of imperial forces at the hands of the Faendryl. Created by Sir Pyrrhon Von Kammersteyl, a knight from Immuron, a large gathering of warriors were trained to his ultra-disciplined ideals, as they sought to never again let the dark elves and their summoned demons gain the upper hand. The Order is fiercely loyal to the Sun Throne, and while largely autonomous, they serve the role of a unique and elite arm of the imperial military, specifically designed to combat demons and other dark denizens of the world.
The knights of The Order of the Golvern Star (OGS) are most notably stationed at sections along the Demonwall, but it is not unheard of to see smaller numbers of their organization in other areas of the Turamzzyrian Empire, depending upon the Order's goals and activities.
The OGS is not directly associated with the imperial military structure. While the Golvern Star often assists the imperial military in times of battle, from the perspective of training, chain of command, and day-to-day functions, the two are completely separate. Even along the Demonwall, battle plans are coordinated between the military and the OGS leadership, but the organizations do not mingle for patrols or combat.
The citizens of the empire have lifted the Order of the Golvern Star to almost mythical status due to their constant battling against the Scourge, and it is considered a great (and rare) honor to be asked to join their ranks. Individually, OGS knights are formidable opponents, and it is generally believed that only the best of knights from other orders are on a comparable martial level. However, as a group, the OGS knights are considered to be virtually unstoppable. Their discipline, unflinching adherence to orders, fearlessness, and lack of compunction in carrying out their duties make them a unit with a single-mindedness that is, at times, terrifying to observe. Their might at arms is seldom on display for the general populace, however, as the OGS is rarely involved in conflict in the inner empire. The majority are stationed along the Demonwall, either near Barrett's Gorge to combat the Scourge, or along the southern border to aid Duke Chandrennin. Only slightly less so than the legends of their martial skill, the members of the OGS are renowned for their incredible, some say inhuman, mental, and emotional discipline. Beyond the fierce resolve displayed in their approach to combat and their duties, this discipline has given them a large degree of resistance against mind and emotion-based attacks, such as the aura of terror and despair exuded by demons and some of their spawn.
The membership of the OGS is strictly human warriors, predominantly male, and only gained through invitation. Nobility is not a prerequisite for knighthood in this organization. Early in the training, candidates are given the opportunity to decline to proceed (a common occurrence), at which point they are dismissed from the Order without loss of honor. Reports from those who have declined membership at this point have indicated that the training focuses on rigorous mental and emotional discipline, absolute submission to the commands of their direct superior, and intensified training at arms. Once joining, a member of the OGS is considered always on duty. Nobles or members with obligations outside of the Order are relieved of those obligations. Land and wealth are either given to a relative or donated to the OGS to be overseen by one of the Order's seneschals (typically elder members of the Order.) Marriage is not prohibited outright by the Order, but it is rare for married candidates to proceed beyond the initial stage of training, and rarer still for a knight to have children. It is unheard of for an OGS knight to marry after joining the Order.
The Order has a fair amount of wealth as a result of the donations of prospective members, but they are not an economic force within the empire. The wealth generated from their property is primarily used to maintain the needs of the Order. While some of the OGS knights were knights in other orders prior to joining the OGS, the OGS is not a chivalric order, per se. In many ways, they are more myrmidons with an extreme sense of duty and discipline than righteous cavaliers pursuing the chivalric ideal, though their beliefs overlap in several areas. The members of the OGS do not engage in tournament competition with the chivalric orders of the empire, and they often ignore individual challenges to duel from those whom they consider inferior foes. Most OGS members were not knights of other orders prior to joining the Golvern Star; few knights are willing to humble themselves to take the status of squire in the OGS after having attained knighthood elsewhere. The OGS does not have law enforcement authority unless it is bestowed by the Emperor, a Sentinel, or the lord of whatever territory they inhabit. However, since the OGS has a primary purpose of defending the Empire against the Scourge and places its forces there unless needed elsewhere, it is likely that an OGS knight found elsewhere in the Empire is acting with the authority of the Empire or one of her nobles. For occasions when the OGS has need of law enforcement authority for their own affairs, the Order must request bestowal of this authority from the Emperor, a Sentinel, or the territorial lord. When such authority is requested by the OGS, it is seldom denied.
The Order will occasionally accept special missions for the imperial throne, or infrequently for their own purposes. The nature of these missions is rarely revealed, though the missions are evidenced by occasional sightings of OGS knights, alone or in small groups, in various regions of the Empire and on the frontiers. The OGS is autonomous by and large, but it honors all requests from the imperial throne, and it is recognized by would-be usurpers as an unshakable loyal foe. Other nobles of baronial rank and above may request the aid of the OGS at times, primarily as escorts or security for internal diplomatic events where a neutral party is desired, and the Order rarely declines.
Finally, there are more than three dozen other orders in the Turamzzyrian Empire, and most have a more chivalric bent than the Golvern Star. While the OGS is certainly the order with the greatest historical effect on the Empire, some of these other orders play key roles in patrolling the fringes of Ba'Lathon, combatting the Horned Cabal along the southern borders, defending against Tehir raids, protecting overland trade routes throughout the Empire's interior, and maintaining imperial control over the western edge of the DragonSpine.
Their symbol is of a golvern star on a field of black."— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
Order of the Crimson Fist
"Founded in 4822, the Order of the Crimson Fist achieved early notoriety as courageous knights with expert prowess, skill in combat, and unquestionable loyalty to the Sun Throne. Their accolades only grew in number during the events leading up to, and including battles within, the Third Elven War, also known as the Faendryl War. Often referred to as the cousins of the Order of the Golvern Star, these knights of the Crimson Fist were well-disciplined and trained specifically to face off against "black elven sorcery" which resulted in a number of victories against the Faendryl armies and their summoners.
One of the last well known heroes of the Order was Sir Gallestan the Mighty, who was said to have slain a half dozen demons before being struck down himself in 4842 on the road to Ta'Faendryl.
The Order of the Crimson Fist remains a fully functioning fighting force today, and while the Order of the Golvern Star is primarily stationed along the Demonwall, the knights of the Crimson Fist find themselves more often than not beyond the Demonwall, taking the fight directly to the Faendryl, their abominations, and the Scourge.
Their symbol is of a crimson fist on a field of black."— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
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