The Borderlands of Banlon
See History and Timeline.
Nations History: Banlon was not officially a nation until 40 years ago. Before that it was just a group of colonists from the surrounding areas, determined to create a name for themselves by settling this dangerous area to the north. Almost as soon as they passed the borders of Hallinder, they were viciously attacked. Had it not been for a group of adventurers and the some members of the border guard from Hallinder, the colonists would have met a quick death.
It soon became apparent to the colonists that in order for them to survive they would need to all be prepared to fight. At first the men scoffed at the idea of women joining arms with them, but soon they found it necessary for the survival of the colony. After 19 years of skirmishes and preparing for war, the now medium sized colony was attacked by the barbarians of the area. The fighting lasted 6 days, and in the end the barbarians were repelled thanks to the multiple walls of the colony. This was the start of the colonization of the southern area.
With the area around the main colony being settled, it soon became obvious that an official army would have to be raised. Volunteers poured in from all around, and even some people came from the surrounding countries. With all the volunteers, training took a while, but as soon as it was done they knew they needed to get some major fighting done if they wanted the men and women in the army to stay happy. A small military campaign to the north soon ensued. The army was successful, and soon cleared enough land of the barbarians to allow people to settle the area. The armies returned to the southern lands to defend against the remaining tribes. But after several years, the middle lands were attacked. Barbarians poured down from the north upon the small villages and hamlets. Although well prepared for war, the groups were far too small to be of any real defense. Seeing the possibility of a loss of the northern settlements, the leaderless army was torn apart. For weeks they bickered, until finally they split. Half went north to aid while the other defended the southern lands. The army reached just in time to stop the enemy advance and save a handful of villages and the possibility of a future in the area.
It was three years later when the next major offensive by the barbarians began. More barbarians than the army had ever seen invaded from the north. This time it was agreed that they need to be stopped before they reached the middle land villages. The army marched to meet it, hopelessly outnumbered. They fought bravely for several weeks, but the battle was turning against them. On the edge of routing, a small group of them saw a glimmer off in the distance. It got closer and closer until it could be made out as a huge group of people. It was the colonists. They pushed forward and routed the barbarians.
After this was a storm of diplomacy. Four tribes of barbarians joined the colonists, while the rest banned together to defeat them. Minor struggles for power occurred, but it was all in vein.
The military elected a leader, as well. They picked a man who was strong, yet intelligent. They picked James Hallock. He named the land The Borderlands of Banlon. He created the Guard of the Emperor and he send troops all around to train groups of citizens for war. He used barbarian-allied guides to find the perfect spot in the mountains for a fortress and begun to build it. He adopted the Northern Currency as the currency for the country, and he had his first heir, Valroon Hallock.
The barbarians knew they had to stop this advance into the mountains, and so they mounted an attack against the troops there. The troops and citizens defended honorably, but it was soon obvious that all hope was lost. Staying true to their alliance, the allied barbarians came down on the invading force like a hawk on a mouse. They ripped them apart and gave the troops a chance to regroup and rearm. Then the army from the south pressed north. The 4 forces met together on top of a mountain. The battle was long, but the Banlon allied forces won the day, even though they suffered many more casualties than the barbarian horde.
It was about now that Allen Hallock and Vanessa Hallock were born, the second and third heir to the throne. Soon later the Elnor Fortress is completed after 10 years of construction. It is soon attacked and laid siege to for two years, but it held. Seeing his position now secure, the Emperor decided to work on his job politically. He outlawed slavery and officially opened trade so that he would get more war materials and money. He set down the law in the southern cities to help destroy the remaining barbarians there.
Valroon Hallock had a son. Tellek Hallock was born. But his father didn't get long to rejoice. He was soon killed in an ambush while protecting a group of people to the capital. His loss was not in vein, however. The army rallied and engaged the barbarians, driving them out of the south. Things were finally looking up for the Banlon people.
Historical Iconic Characters - Norman Chellin-Leader of the first colony, Vickie Redson-Organizer of the first official army, James Hallock-First Emperor of Banlon, Valroon Hallock-First heir to the throne, Allen Hallock-Second heir to the throne, Vanessa Hallock-Third Heir to the throne, Tellek Hallock-Son of Valroon Hallock
Type - Monarchy
Structure - The Emperor himself resides on top of the political ladder. Below him are the generals of the army, and then the officers. The individual generals of towns are tied for power with the mayors. Basically the most powerful people become the leaders outside the Emperor.
Politics - Politics are almost non-existent here. People simply do what they are told, which usually is always militaristic in nature or will have something to do with a military advance. People are loyal to their current leaders, and only have a new one picked should great failure come out of his decisions or he decides it is time for a new leader. Usually a tournament is held to decide the new leader. Everyone is welcome to these tournaments, including outsiders.
Legal System - The legal system is based mostly off of the decision of the people it affected. If someone murdered a man, the family of the murdered man would get to decide the murderers fate and punishment. Should it be to a larger scale, the people in general take the law into their own hands. In general crime is not something found very often in these lands.
In the safer areas of the land, the system is that of other areas, it is decided by a judge. Those who are in the citizens of the capital city may appeal to the Emperor, and he will decide their fate. The murder rule still applies in this area.
Theological History - Religion is not something found in these lands. A prayer or two is said to the god(s) of war or luck before they venture out, but for the most part religion is not a major part of the peoples lives.
Recreation - Most people practice archery and swordplay for recreation. Hunting is also another major pastime.
Arts - Singing is all the rage in Banlon.
Holidays & Celebrations - No specific holidays are celebrated universally, most differ from village to village. The only thing that could be considered a celebration is a celebration for a victory and a celebration for the crowning of the Emperor.
Calendar - Universal
Styles - Men usually wear armor over their clothing. The armor is usually black or a deep brown. Women try to wear clothing that is as protective as it is enticing to the opposite sex.
Diet - The people here enjoy meat. Being a newly formed frontier country makes it so that they have an abundance of animals to hunt.
Transportation - Roads are rare to come by here. With communication low, most people make paths for themselves to get wherever they need to go.
Race and Creed - Most people are human, although a great many half-orcs are springing up. Barbarians are treated with great hate, and the hate is lowered against allied tribes, however prejudices still lies even here.
Iconic Characters - See Timeline; Chellina Selrook-Leader of Elnor Fortress
Superstitions and Cultural Beliefs - It is believed that a great warrior lives in the forest. He supposedly was hired by Hallinder to explore the northern region when he was attacked and killed by barbaric human hunters. It is said that he haunts the forest with his greatsword, Doombringer, killing hunters.
Births - 2,000
Childhood - 1-10
Adolescence - 11-14
Adulthood - 15+
Death - The country is young. So young that it has not had time to go through a generation fully.
Education is only created for promising individuals in communities. A community will go through the young, and if someone looks promising he will be trained to be a general. Everyone else is only given military training.
Monetary System - Northern Currency
Imports - Iron, Leather
Exports - Lumber, Furs
Taxes - No formal taxes except in the southern cities.
Fishing - Fishing is only done by a few coastal towns. Nothing official.
Agriculture - The lands to the south are the only areas capable of Agriculture, and the land there isnt fertile.
Mining/Lumber - No mining takes place here, yet. Lumber is a fast growing industry. It is used to build weapons, but also is sent to the capital to be sold in hopes that they can receive iron for money.
Livestock - The only livestock that are used milk cows and chickens. Nothing else can really survive.
Crafts - Military equipment is just about all the crafts that are created, although work tools are beginning to rise as an industry.
Astrology - Non-existent in these lands except for the few individuals who do so independently.
Magic is a wondrous art here. Feared and admired at the same time by many, people do not know if they should fear it or worship it. It is rare to be seen in Banlon, and very few mages have emerged from this place.
Idioms, Sayings, and Phrases - North to North (means move the barbarians to the north even farther)
Alphabet - Few people know how to read, and those that do use the Common system.
Dictionary& Grammar - Common
Organizations (Knightly Orders, Guilds, Underground Societies, Etc.)
Name - Guard of the Emperor
Description - The guard of the Emperor are an elite force. They protect major cities, and put down major forces of barbarians.
Requirements - Officer or above in the army. A very few elite members of the civilian guard are let in.
Hierarchy - All are equal.
Emblem - A sword with blue fire surrounding it. A lone star is at the tip.
Motto - "Our blood will stop the savages in their tracks!"
Responsibilities/Jurisdictions - Protect the Emperor and unite the land.
Oaths & Loyalties - They take an Oath to the Emperor: "I, <Insert name here> do swear by the blood of my ancestors to protect this land and its Emperor. I swear to give my life to push the enemy out of this land and extend our glorious reach to the northern shores. I swear to bring civilization to the poor desperate people of the north, who so badly need it."
Ceremonies - A ceremony is held in that persons honor when they are welcomed into the group.
Benefits - They receive a higher amount of respect than other members of society.
Dismissal - Treason or failure to live up to the oath.
The military of Banlon is significantly different from that of any other country. Basically every person is expected to defend his or her respected town, village, hamlet, or city. War bands are formed by citizens who learn how to fight in a group and defend their home. Few actual soldiers actually resided here, but almost every town has received a small group of trained militia
The military of Banlon is open to all people.
Militia - The militia is actually made up of every citizen, man or woman, young or old, who can fight. With little communication, the people fight back the hordes so that they may unite. To do this they must fight by themselves.
Type of Unit (Light Infantry, Heavy Infantry, Cavalry, etc.) - Light Infantry
Hierarchy/Naming Conventions - No such thing. The only difference is General, Officer (professional soldiers), and soldier (not professional).
Emblems - Varies from town to town.
Mottos - Varies from town to town.
Uniform - Almost always is black or brown armor. This included metal.
Armament - Usually a shortspear or an axe, a few people have shortswords. They also have shortbows. Leather armor and a small wooden shield are the main forms of armored defense.
Responsibilities/Jurisdiction - Defeat the hordes and protect the settlement.
Ceremonies - None.
Benefits - None.
Dismissal - Death or being crippled in battle is the only form of dismissal. Although important people like blacksmiths have been let off so that they may do their job.
Headcount - Around 85,000
Army - The army is made of troops trained from the capital. The only trained force in the land, they are trained well, yet are very few in numbers.
Type of Unit (Light Infantry, Heavy Infantry, Cavalry, etc.) - Heavy Infantry
Hierarchy/Naming Conventions - Low Guard, Guard, Trainer, Arms Master, Officer, High Officer, General
Emblems - A sword surrounded by fire.
Mottos - "Unite this land under the Emperor...."
Uniform - Low Guard and Guard wear light tunics that are red. Their pants are also light and red. Trainers have black shirts and red pants. An Arms Master has a red headband and wears all black. Officers and High Officers wear red headbands with a gold trim. They have red capes. This is usually all you can see. Underneath the armor is all red clothing. Generals wear helmets that have a gold and red fur coming out of the top. They have red armor and black capes.
Armament - Low Guards and Guards receive a shortspear or shortsword, a small metal shield, and leather armor. Trainers receive a longsword and a shortspear, a small metal shield, and studded leather armor. Arms Masters receive a longsword or a bastard sword, a large wooden shield, and chain mail. Officers receive any weapon they wish. They wear full plate and have large metal shields. They may use horses now. Generals may have anything they wish.
Responsibilities/Jurisdiction - Train civilians and gain ground against the barbarians.
Ceremonies - A ceremony is held for a new officer or general.
Benefits - Better training and possible retirement.
Dismissal - Treason or some other crime. After around 5 years of fighting.
Headcount - 2000
Borders - To North: Barbarians
To South: Hallinder
To West: Lunar Sea
To East: Cheln
Landmarks - Zeenlor Forest-Zeenlor Forest is a deep, dark forest. Totally untamed, it is almost impossible to pass through without a guide, but the only ones who know how to get through are the barbarians, and it is very difficult to find one that is willing to cooperate. But the secrets in the forest may be worth of all of the "shiny stuff" that it'll take.
Significant Areas - Zeenlor Ruins- The Zeenlor Ruins were discovered by a war band from the town of Alptin. Barbarians soon ambushed the war band, and only 5 out of the 200 members made it out alive. They ranted on and on about stories of ruins deep in the forest. No one who has gone in has ever returned, however it is believed to hold great secrets or riches.
Elnor Fortress-Elnor Fortress is the last major stronghold to the north that Banlon has. Never before have barbarians breached the fortress, and it is believed that the primitive humans and orcs never will. The Fortress has 50ft high walls, 3 layers before you reach the keep, and a massive keep. The fortress is guarded by 15,000 people, and has enough supplies to last 2 years of siege.
Other - Banlon is a strange land. To the far north of its small borders, it begins to turn cold. To the south it has a nice temperate area, and in the middle is the swamps and the massive Zeenlor Forest. Temperatures are fairly constant in all places except the north, which goes from a fairly nice 70 to below freezing temperatures.
The north has dangerous and mysterious mountains, with cool clear streams that have yet to be touched by any person. Only recently has the forces of Banlon begin to touch this beautiful area and 'civilize' it. Yet the area does not fall easily. The mountains kill whole groups of settlers off with the chaotic nature found in the area. One day there might be more food than could feed the entire colony, the next brings only disease and famine. Many strange creatures can be found here, and many tribes that have yet to make contact with the new colonists.
The south is much like Hallinders north. The only thing different is the years of conflict have taken their toll on the countryside. With the ground scorched from fire attacks, and bodies still lay crumpled to the ground, the capital city of Vernon lies out like a jewel shining in the sun. The surrounding cities lay dark and powerful, like a warning to any troublemakers. The average temperature is around 70 degrees.
The middle is a land filled with adventure and danger. The vast forest houses many of the last tribes left in the middle lands. The land is flat until you begin to reach the middle, and once you reach the middle you come across a vast forest. Surrounding the forest are many marshes and swamps. The temperature around here is around 80-90 degrees on average, with a high amount of humidity.
Population - 105,000
Racial Makeup - 87% human, 11% half-orc, 2% other
Alignments - CN, CG, N
Cities of Importance -