The Aslo Archipelago
Population: 38,000 (50% human, 20% elf, 10% half-elf, 10% dragonborn, 9% dwarf)
Lustra lays claim to being the oldest settled island in the Aslo Archipelago. When the civilized folk came South, fleeing the Cataclysm, they found their first refuge on Lustra. Lustrans are proud of that heritage, and proud of what they’ve accomplished since then.
Lustra is one of the two largest islands in the archipelago; it measure approximately 390 miles long by 170 wide at its longest and widest points. It is well-supplied with lush farm land, plenty of water, a thick forest to the west which provides wood for ships, and a central mountain range in the eastern part of the island which yields a decent supply of mineral wealth.
The northeastern part of the island, between the mountains and the shore, is a nasty and dangerous swamp. That part of the island is fairly unusable, and mostly uninhabited, except by various beasts and monsters. All but the bravest (or craziest) of Lustrans leave that part of the island alone, preferring to cultivate the swath of coastal land between Porza and Merbella, the breadbasket of Lustra and much of the rest of the Archipelago.
The lush needs a name forest not only serves as a source for the wood needed to feed Porza’s hungry shipyards, but serves as a home to many of the island’s elven residents. The wood elves make certain that the woodsmen don’t overharvest the trees and leave much of the forest in its natural condition.
Lustra isn’t united into a single island nation; Porza and Merbella act as independent City Sates with Sebhalo under the rulership of the Lord of Porza.
Merbella is an independent City-State of about 10,000 people. Mirella Chantel is Lady of Merbella, and she is well-loved by her citizens.
While her shipyards pale in comparison to those in neighboring Porza, Merbella’s famous Ostman Naval Academy is the envy of the Archipelago. This institution produces the finest naval officers on the known seas.
While Merbella has had her problems with Porza, the two City-States have a loose alliance of defense.
With a population of 20,000 people living behind its walls and in its general vicinity, Porza is rivaled only by Taguan in size. It is a center of trade, the natural departure point for ships trading with Helgar’s Peninsula, due to the favorable currents. Porza’s port is the busiest in the archipelago and her shipyards are said to produce the finest vessels afloat.
Arthur Season is Lord of Porza, and rules his city with an open hand. He invests a good portion of his tax revenues back into his city, building up the infrastructure and public services. His generosity is returned by the merchants who find Porza to be an excellent port and thus bring in more tax revenues.
Porza has several shipyards capable of producing the largest of ships. The finest is Point Hallas Shipyards where Trefelin plies his trade. Tefelin is said to be the finest shipwright in the islands, and his services are much in demand. Porza’s shipyards produce the fearsome 3-deck ships of the line, the most lethal warships on the ocean.
Porza is home to the Keldar Academy, a college of alchemy. Here, students apply themselves to learn the strange art of alchemy, and journeyman and masters produce gunpowder, alchemist’s fire, and the dreaded dragonfire tar for Lord Arthur’s navy and others who can afford their fees.
Some skilled metalworkers maintain a forge and casting facility in the city, where they turn out cannon, weapons, and other necessities of war and peace.
Around Porza is lush farmland and many small farms and farming villages. These farmers produce an abundance of food, and the merchant fleet sails far and wide, carrying this abundance to other cities and settlements.
Porza is divided into four sections, or quarters, all built around the Ocean’s Keep, Lord Arthur’s residence and the seat of the City-States government.
Some 60 miles North of Porza, as the crow flies, lies the small hamlet of Lynwood. Nestled between needs a name Lake and the needs a name forest, Lynwood has a population of about 200, mostly humans, half-elves, and elves. Lynwood is a logging town, cutting and processing the trees that provide the wood for Porza’s shipyards. Most of the logs are cut and floated down the river to the ocean, and then barged the 50 miles or so to Porza.
When the civilized folk first came to the Aslo Islands, they landed at Sebhala. That’s this town’s claim to fame, and just about the only thing that’s keeping it going. Located on the exposed northern shore of Lustra, this town of 4,000 is very near the needs a name Swamp, and has only a very little arable land near by.
Despite its shortcomings, Sebhala has managed to endure as a fishing town and port of refuge for ships returning from the Northern trade. The town is administered by Mayor Beldor Stormarm.
Population: 10,000 (70% dragonborn, 20% dwarf, 9% human, 1% other)
Thava is one of the medium-sized islands in the archipelago. It measures some 130 miles long by 110 mile wide at its longest and widest points. It is said that Thalva is the traditional home of the dragonborn, and it’s certainly true that the bulk of its population is of those people. Dwarves and humans round out the rest of the inhabitants.
Most Thavans make their living by either fishing or otherwise supporting the fishing industry. There are some farmstead scattered through the fertile lands around Medrath, but they are mainly operated by humans.
Thava operates as an island nation, with its capital in Medrath.
Home to Maekrix, Lord of Thava, Medrath is a bustling walled town of some 7,000 people. Its harbor is home to a large fleet of fishing and trading vessels. Medrath maintains a larger navy than is customary for a city-state its size; it is a constant struggle to find enough able-bodies sailors and marines to keep its navy functioning at full strength.
Medrath’s shipyards are only surpassed by those of Porza and Taguan and the city enjoys a brisk trade in boats and ships to its neighbors, especially Mendex, who prefers to deal with the dragonborn town over the rival powers of Lustra and Biknogrus.
There is a large number of metal and weaponsmiths who make living in Medrath, working the metals mined from the mountain near Loreath into a variety of ship fittings and weapons. Much of the smiths’ output is sold or traded to the other islands.
While an advanced, sophisticated city, Medrath does not offer the same easy access to magic and alchemical goods as does Porza and Taguan. There are any number of powerful arcane casters who live in the city, and a number of skilled alchemists, but these people practice their arts for non-commercial reasons or in the service of the Lord of Thava. While it is possible to find magic items, especially weapons and armor, for sale in the city, the discriminating shopper is advised to look elsewhere.
A large mining village of approximately 1,000 people, Loreath is nestled on the Eastern slope of the great mountain that dominates the center of Thava. Loreath’s population is fairly evenly split between dwarves and dragonborn with very few humans, and it produces mostly mined metal
- iron and gold - which it sends down to Medrath in the form of smelted bars of ore. The dwarves of Loreath produce some well-regarded ale, which is often shipped around the Archipelago as a luxury trade good.
The Tower of Irthos
This wizard’s tower is the home of Irthos, one of the most powerful arcane casters in the Archipelago. Rumor has it that Irthos is actually an ancient dragon who assumed the form of a dragonborn during the Cataclysm and made his way with the Aslosians to the Mare Tectum, but that’s never been proven. What is known is that Irthos has been in his tower for as long as anyone can remember. Whether this is the same Irthos, or if that name is handed down from master to student over the years is anyone’s guest.
Irthos does take in talented students, and those who graduate from his tutoring enjoy an excellent reputation among the islands. For the most part, the Thavans leave Irthos and his tower along; only the the brave, the foolhardy, and the seeker of knowledge dare come calling at his door.