The Grand First
The youngest of the Six Kingdoms, founded only two hundred and twenty years ago when the nations of Tartala and Avaronia united to form a single nation-state. It was a basically bloodless conquest of religious conversion, as the Tartalan nobility adopted Istusianism. The Avaronian Theocracy had existed for quite some time and the new converts were folded in to the existing structure under the head of the Istusi Religious Order. They maintained their lands and holdings, but gained new titles as Priests of Istus. The fused country uses the tenants of Istusi as the foundation of law and everyday life.
The vast majority of its citizenry is human, with a here-and-there scattering of other races in the more populous areas. Tar Avaroners are generally welcoming of foreigners so long as they don’t cause any trouble—which includes the public worship of any gods other than Istus. Unlike the other nations, Tar Avaron mints its own currency outside of standard, with the largest denomination, Wills, equal to about 2.2 Gold pieces on equal exchange (in appearance, a will is a coin slightly larger than a gold piece, with a circular gold center ringed by a silver band. The gold center is pressed to resemble the all-seeing eye of Istus—open on one side and closed on the other.) The smaller denomination coin, the Fate, is a silver coin with a hole in the center, equal to about 2 Silver Pieces on equal exchange (in appearance, the Fate is pressed on both sides to show the threading of Istus’ needle). An easy way to tell the wealthy is that they require purses or coin pouches for their Wills, since citizens of more modest income simply carry long cords of leather threaded through the holes of their Fates.
Tar Avaron is home to some of the largest ore deposits in Medatouria, and is responsible for a little over half of the copper and silver production of the world. One of the major mining towns, Crawstone Deeps, is inhabited and operated entirely by dwarves who may or may not be as devoutly interested in Istus as the rest of the population.
Tar Avaron is technically under the rule of the god Istus, with a high priest called The Diviner enacting their interpretation of Istus’s will. Each region – Tartala and Avaronia – acts with some measure of autonomy, with a mutual duty to defend and support the other in times of need, with open borders between the two and laws respected equally regardless of origin. Upon becoming the Diviner, the leader’s first act is to select a child (usually of the nobility) who will be designated the Diviner’s heir. This child lives in Kingspear under the tutelage of the Diviner until it is their turn to assume the title, severing all family and earthly ties and adopting a new name in service of Istus’ divine will.
Diviner Servil III
Tartalan Priests of Istus: Ser Gendy Borthwight, Ser Tarkin Paeon, Ser Fridal Timpac, Lady Yinsey Leeds
Avaronian Priests of Istus: Lord Doch Mauchamp, Lady Tandril Pil, Lady Cassondi Beneday
With the exception of a few major cities that were around in Tartala prior to the unification of nations, all towns and cities in Tar Avaron follow similar patterns of layout, with a temple (or in some smaller villages, an altar) at the very center and concentric rings of streets and buildings laid out around it. Any government or religious (or both) building or structure is oriented to face the town’s center.
Despite the harsh punishments imposed on criminals for even the most mundane of crimes (thievery, for instance, carries the penalty of three days of confinement without food or water) the crime rates in many of Tar Avaron’s larger population centers are quite high.
For Tar Avaroners, disputes can escalate up to a duel of daggers, which must be held in a public place presided over by a priest. These duels last either until one side accepts the surrender terms of the other, or one of the parties involved is killed.
Tar Avaron is home to the continent’s largest population of Orcs, who roam the western areas of the country preying on farmers and occasionally sacking entire towns. As a result, the nation has developed a home defense force called the Gauntlet of Avaron which exists separately from the Diviner’s Army (the official military force of Tar Avaron).
Major population centers: Kingspear (former Tartalan Capitol, current Tar Aravon Capitol), Crawstone Deeps, Aravale, Hontzing (former Avaronian Capitol)