Isle of Oman

Capital: Ironkeep

Population: 33,000 (50% Human – Norl, 48% Human – Illuskan, 1% Various)

Government: Monarchy (Gavelkind succession), King Thelgar Ironhand

Religion: Tempus and other suitably martial religions from the Faerunian Pantheon

Overview

The Isle of Oman has long been untouched by the activities of humanity. It was the home of a great evil, and the elves forbade any to approach the island lest the accidentally unleash the terrible evil imprisoned there.

The ffolk regarded this island as off limits and gave it a name that roughly translated to “No man must set foot here”, this has been corrupted in the common tongue to Oman Isle (derived from Noman Isle). Warnings however are often forgotten or ignored and the ffolk settled here after many centuries, unleashing the evil upon the Moonshaes once more.

Once the norl established their presence on the Isles of Norland and Norheim, their next target was the Isle of Oman, for whoever controlled this island had easy access to all of the Moonshaes. They finally achieved this aim in 761 DR, and the Isle of Oman has remained in northmen hands ever since.

Following the arrival of the illuskans in the Moonshae Isles, Oman swiftly became a vassal of the Kingdom of Gnarhelm. Oman has since gained its independence and has fused the best parts of norl and illuskan society to create a people that embrace useful technology and magic, but remain hardy and warlike rather than become softened by their cultural advances.

Timeline

  • c. -5000 DR: The dwarves and firbolg empires of the Moonshae Isles war with each other for over a century. The final battle sees Grond Peaksmasher battling the great bear Darvyr atop Icepeak before the mountain top collapses and Grond is never seen again.
  • c.-2000 DR: Kazgoroth the Beast first appears on the Isle of Oman, gathering an army of ffomorean to his side and waging war against the entire Moonshae Isles before being defeated by an alliance of dwarves, elves, firbolg, halflings, and LeShay.
  • 176 DR: Year of the Wyrmclaws: Kazgoroth escapes his imprisonment on the Isle of Oman.
  • 203 DR: Year of Scattered Sands: High King Cymrych Hugh tasks a number of clans with settling the Isle of Oman to protect it from being exploited by Kazgoroth and other evils.
  • 535 DR: Year of the Upright Man: The stone fortresses of Caer Windlaur and Caer Donall are completed on the Isle of Oman. These twin fortresses protect the only viable beachheads on the island.
  • 761 DR: Year of Laughter: The fortress of Caer Windlaur completely vanishes during a norl invasion of the island, allowing the norl raiders to land and ultimately conquer the island.
  • 764 DR: Year of Mistmaidens: Battle of Four Prows: The navies of Moray, Callidyrr, and Corwell battle the longships of Norland, Norheim, and Oman. The battle ends in defeat for the ffolk.
  • 937 DR: Year of the Turning Wheel: King Torgred Helmuddson of Gnarhelm conquers the Isle of Oman.
  • 944 DR: Year of the Animated Armour: Following the death of High King Tanner, King Torgred Helmuddson forces the ffolk kings of Callidyrr, Corwell, and Moray to relinquish any claim to territory on the northern Moonshae Isles.
  • 947 DR: Year of the Advancing Wind: King Torgred Helmuddson is lost when his dragonship sinks during a storm. The islands of Gnarhelm, Norland, Norheim, and Oman break from the Lillemaron Alliance and each become self governing once again.
  • 1243 DR: Year of the Blue Dragons: King Smedar reclaims the ruins of Caer Airaun from the firbolg that seem drawn to the area.
  • 1290 DR: Year of the Whelm: Thelgaar Rolgarrson declares himself King of Oman.

Life and Society

The people of Oman are a fusion of the warlike norl and the more advanced Illuskans. They merge the best aspects of both societies to create a people that are aggressive, curious, hardy, and laborious, most importantly the people of Oman do not fear magic or technology, and are more than happy to use both if it helps them achieve their goals (which usually involve conquest).

The society of Oman is feudal in nature like the illuskans of Gnarhelm. The Jarls (lords) of Oman own the land in and around the settlements, allowing others to buy or rent it from them as desired. These lords form the upper nobility, and bequeath smaller parcels of land to lesser nobility that they choose to patronise. Commoners work the land of these nobles, giving a portion of their wealth to the land owners, or in the settlements they provide services to other inhabitants to pay for their rent.

The people of Oman are hard workers, and see no profession as weakness, measuring a mans worth by his strength, size, and skill at arms rather than by the work he performs. They rarely raid the lands of the ffolk (believing that conquest is more productive), preferring instead to raid further afield (such as Ruathym and Mintarn), or taking the goods of pirates. There is however a long tradition on the Isle of Oman for engaging in war against the more dangerous inhabitants of Oman (and now extending into northern Gwynneth).

Nobility

The people of Oman follow the concept of hereditary nobility which they inherited from the illuskans of Gnarhelm (who once conquered and ruled over Oman for a time), believing that the strength of the parents are often passed down to the children.

However, following the norl concept of the right of arms, the nobility of Oman are fairly fluid and it is not uncommon for noble families to go extinct after a few centuries following a succession of weak members.

Customs

Heraldry: The illuskans of Oman started the tradition of marking the shields of their warriors with the symbols of their noble patron. This tradition has since passed to the norl of Norland and Norheim, and even to Gnarhelm (who still carry banners like the ffolk).

Each noble family chooses a heraldic symbol (with some thought given to make sure no other symbol exists in the kingdom, but mistakes do happen and internal conflicts have erupted over such mistakes), and those warriors in the employ of these nobles are forced to carry the symbol of their Ljord whenever they march into battle on their behalf.

The banner of King Thelgaar Ironhand is a crimson dragon rearing on its hind legs on a black background. This is unusual because red dragons are not often seen in the Moonshae Isles, and are rarely chosen as heraldic devices by the northmen.

Government

Oman has been an independent kingdom since 947 DR, when King Torgred Helmuddson of Gnarhelm, Norland, Norheim, and Oman perished at sea. The mixing of norl and illuskan influences has given Oman a form of government different to the other northern islands.

Hereditary nobility is a stable part of society in Oman, however those that prove themselves repeatedly weak or inept (a lack of ability in Oman is viewed the same as a norl would view physical weakness) are quickly removed from their position in favour of a better candidate. The same applies to Kings.

Only nobles can become King (an illuskan influence), but any noble with enough physical, political, and military power may claim the title of King for himself. Upon the death of a King the title passes to his eldest son (a male gender bias inherited from Gnarhelm), and his eldest son, through the ages.

Should a King prove himself weak (intellectually, physically, politically, etc) then he is eventually removed from his position. This removal is usually performed by one of his sons or immediate kin (brother, uncle, etc), but if none of them are willing, or able, or exist, then it is often other members of the nobility that rise up to remove the King.

The regular removal of weak rulers has allowed the kingdom of Oman to continue to thrive when their norl kin are weakened by internal strife and their illuskan kin are fatigued by sloth and greed. The law of Oman does not allow for the punishment of those who remove a weak king (their weakness determined by the success of the plot to remove them from office), and it is not uncommon for such kings to flee their fate or embark upon a suicidal raid to avoid an ignominious death.

King: Like the illuskan rulers of Gnarhelm and the ffolk kings, the King of Oman has absolute power over his subjects, able to enact laws, set taxes, start wars, and bring life and death to them, the only obligation the King of Oman has to meet is to ensure he is respected (or feared) and his subjects are happy with his rule.

In order to deliver his policies and decisions to the large area he controls and those living within it, the King grants lesser powers to the nobility, allowing them to make decisions relating to certain issues in his name (usually the collection of taxes and enforcement of law).

Ljord: Oman is divided into smaller regions, each ruled by a noble lord known as a Ljord. The Ljord’s rule that region in the name of the King, deciding on matters of law, taxation, defence, trade, etc with all the powers of the King. 

Typically the Ljord’s collect taxes from their subjects and provide an agreed monthly sum to the King to secure their nobility, the rest of the money they may keep to finance their own household and see to the needs of their land and its people.

Geography

Grampalt Highlands: Known as the King’s Mountains in the language of the norl, this range of high mountains dominates the southern half of the Isle of Oman, with a single peak towering above the rest and covered in ice; Icepeak.

The Grampalt Highlands are largely avoided by the norl, for it is home to a large number of firbolg tribes that war ceaselessly among themselves and raid the norl and ffolk nearby. The firbolg are split into savage and noble groups that are at war with one another, although the norl make no distinction between the two groups of giants.

The Grampalt Highlands are also home to a number of large ffomoreans, led by an exceptionally large and powerful specimen known as Queen Connomae; who unlike most ffomorean, seems able to control herself and launch intelligent strikes against the noble firbolg and the norl.

Icepeak: This impossibly tall mountain dominates the mountains around it and is taller by far than any other island in the Moonshae Isles. It is supposedly the resting place of the mythical being Grond Peaksmasher; sire of the firbolg race.

Legends of the firbolg say that the dwarves opened up a rift beneath Grond and collapsed the mountain top around him. Dwarven legends speak of a great earthquake that rent the mountain apart and shook the very foundations of the Moonshae Isles, causing the cavern of Ahfaern to collapse and bury their great capital. Whatever the truth, Icepeak does have a unique two pronged spire with a great cleft between them, as though the top of the mountain collapsed inwards.

Raun Chasm: This great rift in the heart of the Grampalt Highlands; located near the base of Icepeak, is several miles wide, impossibly deep, and filled with bubbling magma.

Raun Chasm is avoided by all sensible creatures, for its upper slopes are haunted by Queen Connomae and her hideous ffomoreans, while the depths of the rift are home to humanoid creatures made of lava that occasionally find a way out of their chasm and rampage through the mountains and plains smashing anything humanoid (although curiously, they leave the ffomoreans and savage firbolg untouched.

The noble firbolg believe some great evil clawed its way out of the ground here and left a taint behind that animates the very blood of the Earthmother (the lava) with a fell sentience.

Old Stone Wood: This densely packed thicket of trees covers the northwestern quarter of the Isle of Oman, although it was once much larger, covering the entire northern half of the island.

It is so named for at the centre of the wood is a grove of trees completely petrified into a rock that is resistant to all but the strongest of blows. Within this copse is the Stone Grove and home to a Greater Moonwell surrounded by trilithon and a ring of stone statues of humans in life-like poses of worship.

The human statues are weathered and many of their facial features and fine details are beginning to fade, which points to an ancient origin. These statues belong to a number of Dervynddur (precursors to the Druid) who sought to awaken the Earthmother and use her power against Kazgoroth the Devourer. They were at least partially successful, and the Moonwell erupted, turning them all to stone and awakening several of the Children across the Moonshae Isles.

Varm Land: The northeastern portion of the Isle of Oman is a land of rocky plains where most of the norl inhabitants dwell in large fortified settlements, attempting to eke out a living from the poor, rocky soil. This land is so named because Varm means defence in the norl language, but it is also a corruption of the ancient firbolg empire that dominated this island.

Large fields surround the settlements of Oman, where gangs of slaves work hard for their uncaring masters. The norl also work these fields, stubbornly growing food where only grass should be, using their great strength to plough the fields themselves.

Ironkeep (City, 3,000): This great fortress is almost as tall, and far more imposing than the mighty Caer Callidyrr. It is an ancient fortification that has been rebuilt and expanded many times to form the current incarnation, a sprawling edifice with a great stone spire at its centre amid a formidable black stone (obsidian) castle, surrounded by wooden halls and fortifications that spread along the cliff towards the shore.

The norl starved the ffolk out of their stone caer in 762 DR, later building their wooden halls and log palisades as personal expansions to house ever larger numbers of warriors and slaves, leaving much of the stone castle to ruin. King Thelgaar has revived the ancient ffolk caer by capturing many architects and stonemasons from Callidyrr to rebuild the heart of his fortress and erect the tall spire at its centre, known as Ironhand Tower.

The foundations of Ironkeep are even more ancient than any would suspect, the great hall at the centre of the Ironkeep is of titanic proportions, built with a lofty ceiling over 20 ft high, and longer than any other longhall in the entire Moonshae Isles. Its obsidian stones were first laid over 6 millennia ago, and there are many secret chambers and cellars beneath the keep that the norl are yet to discover.

The fortress of Ironkeep overlooks Ironbay, and the norl are ever watchful for intruders. The fortress itself houses over 1,000 drengr (warriors), while longhouses spread down the cliff and along the entrance to the shore (a gap in the cliffs is the only access in this bay) in which the remaining 2,000 inhabitants of the city live. A sizeable slave population lives and works at Ironkeep, taken from a variety of ffolk lands as well as the Nelanther Isles, and even the Sword Coast.

Lillemaren (Town, 944): The town of Lillemaren is a place of honour for the norl of the Moonshae Isles, particularly the Isle of Oman. It is at Lillemaren that King Torgred Helmuddson forced the ffolk kings to recognise the sovereignty of the norl over the islands of Gnarhelm, Norheim, Norland, and Oman, forever ceding any right to the lands they once held.

Situated along several miles of pebble beach are the traditional wooden longhouses of the norl heroes that must earn their right to inhabit and defend Lillemaren, and the very steep incline that makes the beach one of the few places with access to the rest of the Isle of Oman. Few bother trying to scale the cliffs to reach (quite poor) arable land, and so almost everyone in this settlement must fish (hunt whales) or raid to survive.

Everyone in Lillemaren is a veteran warrior of many winters, just approaching their greybeard years, usually having served as Skeldren with one of the great kings of Norland, Norheim, and Oman (the illuskan rulers of Gnarhelm often regarded as soften by their civilising touches).

 

House Hyshaanth had an extinct branch in Siluvanede with ties to the Eldreth Veluuthra

Hamnuatha – leviathan

House Evanara – Evermeet, wise, insightful

House Raerdrimne – Evermeet, no children born for centuries

Important NPCs

Queen Connomae (Evil, Giant – Fomorian, Expert 5): This huge ffomorean giant is a legend among the humans and giants of Oman. She is said to be ancient beyond measure, larger than almost any other ffomorean in Moonshae history (with the possible exception of the Scaerandaga of Moray), and crucially possessed of all her intelligence and cunning.  Queen Connomae now works to destroy the norl on Oman and inadvertently obeys the compulsions of another force that drives her to corrupt other Moonwells.

Crughth (Evil, Human – Ffolk, Magic User 4): Crughth is a diminutive, hunched humanoid creature with cracked, calcified skin that resembles a small orc or troll. He is often found wandering the Old Stone Wood and is a foil to the norl of Oman, calling upon the powers of nature to bedevil the warlike despoilers.

King Thelgaar Rolgarson (Neutral, Human – Illuskan, Warrior 4): King Thelgaar Rolgarson is the undisputed ruler of the Isle of Oman, regarded as the greatest warrior on the island, and the greatest king since Torgred Helmudsson. He has ruled Oman for 55 years, and made it the most powerful nation of northmen in the Moonshae Isles.

Important Items

Black Iron Shaft: This great harpoon is as long as an oar, as thick as a firbolg’s wrist, and made of a black steel of unknown origin. It was plucked from the ribcage of a large dragon skeleton on the shores of Oman many decades ago and is wickedly barbed to rip the flesh if it is pulled out.

The harpoon constantly drips with a poisonous ichor that seems to exude from the metal itself, and is effective against most living organisms (including the faeree), causing weakness, paralysis and even death .

Ironhand’s Reckoning: This two handed sword is the personal weapon of King Thelgaar Ironhand, the ruler of Oman. It is almost 2 metres in length and has thus far proved impossible for anyone to wield except Thelgaar (he often promises a noble title to anyone capable of lifting the sword and striking a blow against him while he wields a carving knife).

The sword has proved exceptionally effective against giants, and many suspect it is enchanted. Thelgaar claims he had the blade commissioned by his captive sorcerers, but loremasters have noticed similarities to the blade and tablets from the time of the firbolg empire depicting the giant kings and a sword they bore.

The dwarves of Highhome claim to have crafted the blade and enchanted it for the giants as a gift (although the enchantments may have been a perverse gift for a giant). It is possible that Thelgaar claimed the blade during one of his many purges against the giants that inhabit Oman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s