North Hendor is an earldom of the Turamzzyrian Empire.
- A blue phoenix rising on a field of silver
"The Phoenix Banner, as it is often called by Hendorans, replaced an older, earlier crest of a white star against a green field, when the city of Lolle was recaptured by the Imperial army after its fall during the Witch Winter. Selected to represent the rise of Hendor from the ashes of ruin, the colors mirror that of the earldom's mirror, South Hendor. The minority that dreams of an independent Hendor will often fly the old banner at their own risk. Others, much more satisfied with Imperial rule, but still wishing to note Hendor's past, will ring the phoenix with a golden crown."— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire
"Hendor was once a Kingdom apart from the Empire. Hendor fell in 4630, two years after the first appearance of Issyldra, the Ice Queen, in the DragonSpine. The campaign for Hendor, fought between 4635 and 4638, liberated the territories from the occupying humanoids and made North and South Hendor officially part of the Turamzzyrian Empire.
In the year 5103, with the crowning of a new Emperor of the Turamzzyrian Empire, the Earldom of North Hendor became the seat of the Northern Sentinel, Earl Eddric Jovery.
North Hendor is abundant in natural resources. Large forests and plentiful rivers and lakes make North Hendor a lush, forested paradise. While North Hendor is land-locked, rivers are plentiful, many large enough to support river towns and river commerce. The tips of the mountains that border between Hendor and Dragach are very high peaks, and it is from these peaks that the Ice Queen descended upon Hendor.
The city of Lolle sits just west of the DragonSpine, where it was founded nearly a millenium ago. Lolle was the first and hardest hit in the Ice Queen invasions, but has fully recovered to become a busy, productive city. The superstitious citizens of Lolle remain vigilant and militant, awaiting the return of a threat from the mountains. Lolle serves as the busiest thoroughfare for traders and miners working the imperial mines in the DragonSpine. Lolle also supports a significant militia.
In 4357, General Pfelstev of Hendor defeated a great army of orcs, hobgoblins and ogres in the Battle of Mensyl Pass, during which Lord Gyles of Lolle slew the great ogre shaman Hrg'golg. This battle opened the northlands to the Kingdom of Hendor under the protection of Mensyl Keep, which overlooks the pass. The region that has been host to humanoid occupation on and off in the years since Hendor's victory, falling to orcs and ogres when Hendor fell to Issyldra's horde. In 4644, Mensyl Pass was once again won, and the Keep was reopened and has remained so since, allowing for the further northern expansion of the Empire. Mensyl Keep supports a vast militia, many battalions of soldiers trained and battle-hardened at fighting off the indigenous humanoid population. Surrounding the Keep, many small settlements have sprung up supporting the keep with trade items.
Not surprisingly, with the wealth of gems and precious metals found in this earldom, gemcutters have flourished in North Hendor, and some of the finest jewelry in the Empire comes from Lollan craftsmen."— Deinirius Antroydes, A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire
"Working in mines and superstition have always gone hand in hand, and Lolle is no exception. A common belief in this region is that a dove hovering over the mouth of a mine is a sure sign of disaster to come. Cited as proof is the Black Mountain explosion, where a dove was seen hovering outside the mine for three days running before the calamity struck.
The midwives in and around Mensyl Keep frequently prescribe red clothing for patients suffering from fevers. For particularly difficult cases, the bed and windows are hung with red curtains as well. Sore throats of all kinds are treated by folding a cut of bacon inside a red flannel scarf worn around the neck. Likewise, a yellow ribbon tied around the neck is used to cure jaundice.
Memories of the Witch Winter persist in Hendor, and cautious folk draw white curtains across their windows every night to ward off the glance of the Ice Queen. It is also whispered that Issyldra still roams the mountains in the form of a snowshoe hare, and for this reason no one will eat these creatures, no matter how dire the circumstances. A few have reported seeing a woman in white appear in the snowy hills at midwinter, holding a bouquet of iceblossoms in one hand and beckoning slowly with the other."— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire
Order of Llaestal's Guard
"The fall of the Kingdom of Hendor came in the year 4630 after the Ice Queen Issyldra had spent years suffocating the region in a bitter unyielding winter, and her ice creatures had spread across the land bringing death and destruction. In the end, everyone in Hendor had perished or fled. It was not until 4632 when a heroic group of adventurers out of the Turamzzyrian Empire, led by Llaestal Anodheles and Rasimm Roelas, were able to attack the Ice Queen's citadel Rimefast and kill her. The defeat of the Ice Queen allowed the eternal winter to finally end, and over the course of several more years, imperial forces fought back barbarians and monsters to reclaim the lands that once belonged to the kingdom that was Hendor. By 4644, the major cities of Hendor such as Lolle, Waterford, and Nydds had been reclaimed, and finally the Mensyl Pass was recaptured in a great battle by General Jyllander.
In the rebirth of what became North and South Hendor, often referred to as the Broken Kingdom, a special order of noble knights and soldiers arose called the Order of Llaestal's Guard, named in the honor of the bravery of Llaestal Anodheles. Founded in Lolle, the capital of North Hendor, the Order of Llaestal's Guard is considered to be the highest ranking and respected order of knights in all of the region. Their loyalty and skill are nearly unmatched in Hendor, and so it is often that the Northern Sentinel throughout history has dispatched members, soldiers, or entire platoons of these knights to help take care of highly critical missions of imperial interest.
Over the years the Order of Llaestal's Guard has evolved in their role, evenly split between both combat and military operations, to also being involved in peacekeeping missions in helping to protect and stabilize areas that might be in unrest. They are indeed the powerful right hand of the Northern Sentinel, and equally act and obey in every manner commanded.
Their symbol is of a fiery sword on a field of blue and silver."— Lord Brieson Cassle of Highmount, Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
"General Jyllander recaptured Mensyl's Pass in 4644, years after it fell to the Witch Winter and hordes of monsters and other barbaric humanoids. After the Pass was reclaimed and the Turamzzyrian Empire's northern expansion re-opened, Mensyl Keep was re-outfitted and repaired, expanding its size to help house a very large battalion of the Hendoran army, specifically called Mensyl's Marauders. The warriors stationed at Mensyl Keep are a very tough and skilled lot, expertly trained in various forms of combat and survival. While their unit is primarily contained to Mensyl Keep, they are in no way complacent.
The Marauders are frequently put to the test, time and again, as they launch coordinated scouting parties and military strikes against monstrous hordes in the area, often beating them back to the cold of the DragonSpine mountains but rarely stopping there. It is not uncommon for the Marauders to depart on an operation and not return until every last goblin, orc, or troll enemy is dead. At that point, the Marauders tend to return to the Keep, spend a few days of rest, then head back out to the wilds, always vigilant against the imperial enemies of the north.
Because of their constant conflict with hordes of orcs, ogres, and trolls, many members of the Marauders themselves also belong to the Guardians of the Sunfist but put their loyalty in that organization second, as there is no higher oath to them than the one made to Hendor and the Turamzzyrian Empire. Every soldier among the Marauders carries with him a sharpened drake dagger, more for ceremony than actual use. It is said that when each soldier is on a mission in the wilds and not at home within the Keep, they sharpen the drake dagger each night as a show of respect and acute awareness to the history of Hendor's greatest loss during the Ice Queen Issyldra's reign. It is also said that among the Marauders, many boast that should the Ice Queen or another like her return, there shall be a great reward for the first Hendoran who can thrust the fiery blade of their drake weapon into the heart of their enemy first. The tradition has gone on to become quite embellished, as some claim whosoever accomplishes such a feat, should that day ever come, would be granted tremendous amounts of riches and land, as well as the hand of a nobleman's daughter.
Their symbol is of a drake dagger on a field of white and silver."— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
"In all great civilizations and kingdoms, there often exists a black mark among their history and people. While the Kingdom of Hendor, now known as North and South Hendor, has seen its share of them, there exists one that is rarely discussed in present day. Those that are unspoken among many Hendorans are named the Celestial Cenobites. It began when it all ended, in the year 4630, when the Kingdom of Hendor officially fell to Issyldra the Ice Queen. During what is known in history as the Witch Winter, many in Hendor starved, fought and died, or fled the area. It would not be until 4635 when imperial forces from the Turamzzyrian Empire would help to liberate old Hendoran territories and wedge them from the grasp of monsters and other humanoids, eventually seeing a resettlement of humans in the area as Hendor was brought into the Empire as both north and south baronies.
But it was during the aftermath of the fall of the Kingdom of Hendor that the Cenobites came into existence. Before the Witch Winter, the Cenobites were a group of scholars and monks who were dedicated to the worship of Fash'lo'nae, often crossing the lines of morality to see the pursuit of knowledge carried out. Because of this, they often operated in secret. When the forces of Issyldra the Ice Queen descended on Hendor and the kingdom eventually collapsed, many of the Cenobites fled their home. As they wandered in the northern wilderness, many facing starvation, there was one among them who proclaimed he had received a vision, and that during his slumber an old man bearing the yellow eyes of Fash'lo'nae's symbol spoke to him, directing him where to travel. The dreamer then shepherded the Cenobites further north where they eventually came upon the ruins of an old fortress bearing the remnants of the Kannalan Empire. The Witch Winter continued, and while the Cenobites had escaped the arctic minions of the Ice Queen, they could not so easily overcome the seemingly endless winter.
After thorough exploration of the old fortress, a few storage reserves were found, indicating the area was used far more recently, but those inhabitants had died without a trace, or abandoned the stronghold. The Dreamer, as he came be known among the Cenobites, helped to try to organize those that remained, as they numbered around one hundred, with hardly enough food and supplies to last that number for months. The Cenobites survived, eating sparingly, over the course of two months, only losing a few of their ranks to the dangers of the cold. But it was not much longer before unrest began to settle in, as hunting became nearly impossible in the wilderness, and far too often those who left never returned. Supplies dwindled rapidly and many cases of theft occurred as corruption began among those who were tasked at protecting the food. Many even turned on the Dreamer, questioning his vision and whether Fash'lo'nae had truly led them to this spot, and if so, why do they suffer? It was then that he who is known as the Upstart gained for himself both a reputation, and set the Cenobites on a course that would forever change their existence and mission.
One night, in the last and nearly depleted food storage, the body of the Dreamer was found murdered, his skull hollowed-out and his brain feverishly being consumed by the Upstart, who claimed he too had received a vision--that their new home had been but a step in their evolutionary process, a means to grow more powerful, not to wither away and die. Thus began the first cannibalism of the Cenobites and their new, twisted ideology that had them believing that by the consumption of the brains of their victims, they can evolve both their intelligence and their mental powers. The Upstart was unfortunately the next victim, the second casualty in the birth of his new form of worship. From there, chaos reigned. The nearly one hundred Cenobites that had arrived soon dwindled to half that number in the coming days and weeks, as small pockets of the group formed together, some forging alliances while targeting others. Cannibalism was in full swing, all under the banner of Fash'lo'nae and repurposed as steps towards ascension. In truth though, many written documents recovered from that time seem to validate their theory, as even though they fed on their victims to survive, many experienced heightened senses of intelligence and the development of mental magic they had never previously been able to perform. Of course, these magical feats of the mind only further worked to fuel the murder and cannibalism. Those wisest among the Cenobites knew that such a pattern would result in their extinction, leaving only one, or a few behind as survivors, which was perhaps Fash'lo'nae's goal all along, they reasoned.
But their speculation was put to rest in 4632 when a band of adventurers from the Turamzzyrian Empire vanquished the Ice Queen, ending the eternal winter that had nearly suffocated all of Hendor. In the coming years, monster and barbarian forces would move into the region, and imperial forces would clash with them in their conquest to take back the region and eventually claim it as part of their Empire. But the thawing of the ice and unsettling chaos in the area allowed the Cenobites to stop their cycle of self destruction and move their efforts and research outward. Over time, a shrine to Fash'lo'nae was built within the old Kannalan fortress, and a large number of the Cenobites remained, turning to capturing and eating victims outside of their order, such as imperials, monsters, and barbarians in the area. Other Cenobites chose to depart, settling in other small pockets through the Turamzzyrian Empire and beyond, wherever they felt the Grandfather led them in their pursuit of more knowledge and power.
In 4645, a year after General Jyllander captured Mensyl Pass, imperial forces began to successfully spread out, resettling the old Kingdom of Hendor. It was then that imperial soldiers discovered the old Kannalan stronghold and the cannibalistic Cenobites that awaited within. The battle lasted for days, as many among the Celestial Cenobites were highly trained monks, devout in their faith but skilled in combat. In time the imperial army defeated the Cenobites within the fortress and sent those few who remained scattered, many of them eventually meeting up with the smaller sects of their order that had already established new footing elsewhere.
Today, the Celestial Cenobites are more of a concept than a fully organized group. There exists some level of communication among many of their underground cells, but it only happens rarely, and usually only in times of great importance. Despite their more independent nature of each other, they still all subscribe to the ideology that the consumption of brains and cannibalism leads them down the path to further enlightenment as they embrace, at least what they determine, to be Fash'lo'nae's true calling for his followers. Meanwhile, the old fortress still remains abandoned, with rumors claiming the spirits of the fallen still haunt its stone halls."— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
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