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Kingdom of Torland
Torland Map.JPG
CapitalTor's Watch
Official language(s) Ean Trade, Eorlin
Recognised regional languages Goblinoid
Government Monarchy
 -  King Dagrun the Oathborn
Population
 -   estimate 100,000 
Wild and untamed as a stallion, Torland is a land rich with history written in blood and forged in battle. The borders of the Kingdom of the Horselords are: the Gulf of Eamon to the south; the Barrier Mountains and the Boer Run River in the north; the edges of Athel Kellar and the White River in the west; and the Corsair Coast in the east. Torland remains a largely untamed wilderness, quite lawless in many places. It is a breathtaking land, dominated by vast stretches of boulder-strewn plains and rolling hills; it is a land of pastures and lush tall grasslands, and are therefore perfect for horses. It hosts only a few small scattered woodlands, with only two large forests. The Barrier Mountains in the northern part of the country form a towering and formidable defensive wall from the marauding tribes of goblins further north, and it is for this reason that the mountains are sometimes called Tor’s Shield.

Called Eorlin in the Old Tongue, Torland was formed as a province of the Castillan Empire with its conquest by a legionnaire commander named Tor, for whom the province was later named. At the time, Eorlin was a land occupied largely by goblin tribes who warred constantly amongst themselves and the scattered tribes of humans native to the region. Tor led the Empire’s armies in a glorious crusade, pushing most of the goblins of the Khanak Empire out of the land and beyond the northern mountains and into the barren badlands beyond. Tor received the moniker of “Goblinslayer” during this war, and was eventually named Praetor of the Eorlin Province and as a reward for his continued loyalty and service to the empire, his Praetorship would pass to his sons.

Under the rule of the Empire, many things changed for the people of Eorlin. Though they prospered more than they had in the past living alongside goblin tribes, like many of the lands which were conquered by the Empire, their riches were largely plundered. Eorlin’s greatest resource, its magnificent wild horses and their native Eorlin trainers, were widely sought after across all of Damasia, and so many were taken back to the heart of the Empire for use in the Emperor’s legions. Worse though than the plundering of Eorlin steeds, was the damage the empire did to Eorlin culture. Many of the disparate human tribes worshipped the Lord of Battle, much like the goblins did, but the Empire, considering such churches antithetical to imperial control replaced all of the local laws and customs with adjudication by Mirandan priests, and replaced Keldrasian shrines with those to Luana.

When the Empire finally fell, the Eorlin Province was the first to secede, being furthest from imperial control and having suffered arguably the worst under the Empire’s yoke. In honor of their greatest hero, the land was renamed Torland, under the rule of King Baldrys.

Industries

Exports: Grain, Horses, Livestock, Mercenaries

Torland is the least developed of the civilized lands of Damasia, and so maintains many of the same industries of the ancient world, seeing very little of the wonders that come with the Arcane Renaissance flourishing in other parts of the Continent of Kingdoms. It however does boast some of the most open land for agriculture and raising of livestock, much of which remains undeveloped. The real heart of Torland both culturally and economically has always lay in its magnificent native horses. Wild bands of horses still roam free across much of the Kingdom of Torland, and are selectively bred by the Torhadrim, who are still considered the best horse-trainers on the continent by far.The Torhadrim are also widely known for their prowess as skilled warriors, coupled with their close bond with the Eorlin Horses, are commonly sought out as mercenaries by other lands. In fact, Torhadrim warriors have been on the winning side of skirmishes and conflicts in the City States of Ea for hundreds of years.

Life and Society

Life in the Kingdom of the Horselords is harsh by most standards, with very few of the conveniences that have been brought by the spread of gnomish technology in other lands. Particularly among the more learned, many consider Torland to be a land stuck in the Dark Ages of the Post-Empire years, with the majority of the population living in relative squalor and serfdom to jarls who owe their position to their abilities as warriors more than accomplished rulers. This has only grown over time after the people of Torland expelled their Imperial satrap and declared independence during the Castilan Empire's collapse.

A great deal of damage was done to Ancient Eorlin culture during Imperial dominance of the land, and over the years many even began to forget that their forebears came from the north, not the southern lands of the Imperials. Much was sacrificed for the aid the Empire gave to drive out the goblins of the Bloodclaw, not only the land's autonomy, but also much of its religion.

One thing the people of Ancient Eorlin never relinquished was their strong cultural ties to their native horses, which lie at the center of Eorlin warrior culture. The horse is revered and honored throughout the country, often the center of art, music, and festivals.

The Empire prized Eorlin not only for its horses when they conquered it, but its powerful warriors as well. Eorlin culture was always considered brutish by most "civilized" standards, but there was a strong sense of honor and pride awarded men for their proven prowess as warriors. The Empire sought to utilize this strong warrior culture to its own ends to extend its influence across the continent, but they also wanted their subjects loyal to the Empire above all else, and so were careful to blend native culture into Imperial culture just enough to make the people accept them. As a result, the land of Torland still maintains an exceptionally strong warrior culture, though the Empire's influence, particularly through the church of Luana, have extended that respect and honor to warriors regardless of sex.

Now that the empire is long behind them, and Torland has been free for a hundred years, there has been a resurgence in Ancient Eorlin culture, particularly among the youth, many of whom travel north into Goblin lands in search of glory and bloodshed in renewed honor of the ancient Eorlin devotion to Keldras, while others journey even farther north, seeking out ruins of the far older Aquilan civilization from which the Eorlin trace their heritage to.

Government and Politics

The feudal system remains stronger in the Kingdom of Torland than in any other land of Damasia. The majority of the population are little more than serfs, working the land and toiling beneath the warrior-nobility. Torland is divided into six provinces, each of which is ruled over by a Jarl who is granted that position by the High King Dagrun the Oathborn, a descendant of Torland's revered hero, Tor the Goblinslayer. Most Jarls owe their position to the glory and honor they have received fighting in Torland's and the High King's name. These Jarls compete among each other for greater favor from the High King, occasionally resulting in internecine warfare between the provinces, particularly during the summer months.

Though the High King's position seems unlikely to be challenged by the Jarls, there are some who speak of a legitimate opposition to his rule. There are rumors that the corsairs of the Iron Islands, particularly amongst the Darkmane clan, have a more rightful claim to rule over Torland with a lineage more closely connected to the ancient nobles of Eorlin. Should these pirates and malcontents succeed in gaining a greater foothold on the eastern coast, they may yet have the might to claim what is theirs by birthright, and perhaps even return Torland to the glory days of Ancient Eorlin.

Religion

The biggest change made in Eorlin culture after the Empire conquered the land and pushed out the Bloodclaw Goblins was to the religion of its people. Churches of Miranda and Luana became dominant in a land which was largely devoted to Keldras, both by the men and goblins which dwelt there. The church of Luana became quite dominant over the years, which aided in uplifting the role of women in Torhadrim society. The church of Keldras did not however completely disappear, and in recent years has been growing in strength with the resurgence of Ancient Eorlin culture and more scholars delving into the ancient history of the land itself.

Major Settlements

Tor's Watch: Though not the largest city in the country by a wide margin, Tor's Watch is the seat of the High King and thus considered the capital of Torland. Tor's Watch is unique among the capitals of the Kingdoms of Damasia for being neither large nor particularly fortified. The city is built atop a solitary rocky hill overlooking the central plains of Torland, and is ringed by a wall that is little more than a palisade structure of thick wood spikes. Most of the city's population lives in the middle district at the base of the High King's Hall which sits atop the highest point of the hill overlooking the city and the surrounding lands. There is a small merchant district at the base of the hill, where traders and foreigners come and go. Though most of the buildings are simple wood and thatch construction, there are some ancient walls and foundations that date back to Ancient Eorlin. There are even some who believe that a network of catacombs lies beneath the city, extending out so far as to the barrow mounds which surround the city just outside its walls.