The Obelisk of Stultabon rests in the center of the town. The current King of Stultabon, Phylis Rauber, resides in the royal palace in Macita. The country is ruled from the capital city of Macita(1), in the central state of Stormseed. Macita(1) is bordered by the twin city Filimag(2), and commerce between the two is continuous. Each city or village across the country has a single elected representative who is usually the most experienced individual in the area. They may appeal major issues to the head of their respective state. In case of major troubles, the head of each state, who is elected by the local representatives, may appeal to the ruler of Stultabon through direct audience.
Candidates to be the king of Stultabon are chosen from the local representatives of each state, and an additional 100 random individuals from across the country are also selected. Each potential king is teleported in turn to Macita and given a rigorous examination for both health and mental strength, followed by a psychological examination. The chosen king must not desire the job and have at least average physical abilities. The strongest, brightest, most experienced, and most charismatic candidate is given the seat of the king. The new king is placed in front of the Obelisk of Stultabon, a very powerful artifact that instructs the new king to complete a Royal Task. The Task delegated can always be completed by the new king, although it may seem difficult or even impossible. The chosen king will rule for ten years or until the specified Royal Task is completed, which is usually a major crisis currently facing the country. If the king completes the designated Royal Task, the king is free to leave office and return home. However, if the Royal Task is not completed by the end of the ten years, or if the king's attempt results in an unrecoverable failure, the king, and only the king, will die by the magic of the Obelisk and must then be replaced. Once the Royal Task is placed upon an individual, there is no known way to remove it apart from its completion; the magic allows no saving throw, automatically overcomes any spell resistance, and functions as a spell of deific power. Besides the Royal Task, the king's duties include management of the military, diplomatic relations with Pravudens, approval of new laws proposed by the heads of each state, and finding solutions to local problems brought to his or her attention. Immediate family members, which includes children under the age of maturity and the king's spouse, may live with the king while he or she is in office.
Each city, town, and village pays a tax appropriate to their economy and population level, and receive state-funded protection and assistance based on those taxes paid. Very poor villages often get little or no military defense against barbarian raiders; only when a larger city is threatened does the state militia or Stultabon Army become involved. Each state pays a certain percentage of their earnings to the great Stultabon Treasury.
These are all core laws of Stultabon and cannot be changed by anything less than a total revolution by the people and the destruction of the Obelisk. So far, the governing system has worked well, and even the low income villages approve. Villages have both incentive to improve and the freedom to use their funds for a local militia; large cities are given a great many benefits by the government, which compensates for the heavy taxes placed upon them.
Races are diverse throughout Stultabon, with many different people and cultures living together. In some places, however, there is a racial majority, and this will most likely influence the political agenda of that region or state.
Below is a list of each state of Stultabon and some basic facts that most (if not all) characters would know. More detailed information depends on a character-by-character basis.
The capital city is Semoritos(11). Alaceria is the most magical area of Stultabon as its forests are populated mostly by elves, fey, and gnomes. Humans and other races live primarily in the plains and clear areas of the state. Logging is only a minor industry in this region and most of the state is undeveloped.
The Way Populated mostly by elves. Elves living in The Way without paying taxes are not considered to be part of the Stultabon populace and are treated as citizens of a separate country. Diplomatic relations between the elves living here and residents of Stultubon are healthy a strong and trades are often made between the two cultures.
This area has a single clear-cut path through the forest approximately a quarter mile wide. This was done during the reign of a previous king to lessen the chance of raids upon travelers passing between Trappe(16) and Slagle(20). A deal was made with the inhabitants of The Way before its development, so there is no latent animosity.
The capital city is Thogston(69), also a military outpost. There is a single valley in the center of the mountainous region with a single mountain at its center. Although its whereabouts are known, this valley is unexplored and there is no information on the inhabitants, if any. There is a lot of potential for mining operations in Bearhead, but no large mineral deposits have yet been found. The population of Bearhead is composed primarily of dwarves.
The capital city is Shadow Keep(107), also a military outpost. The area is nothing more than a large tundra, with temperatures often below the freezing point. During summer the temperature rises above freezing for one to two weeks and then falls below freezing again. This area is populated primarily by humans and halflings.
Those who live along the western Shadow Gulf and Reflection Bay coastlines are often attacked by Sahuagin. Shadow Gulf is a dark region, nearly always overcast, but Reflection Bay is far brighter, with the waters acting as an almost perfect mirror of the bright blue sky.
The capital city is Fort Johnston(44), also a military outpost. The most fertile and productive state in all of Stultabon, Paludis Valley has centers for logging, mining, fishing, farming, and even magical research. The logging industry is run from the city of Sabetha(36) near the Verrackit Forest, which spans much of the state. Mining camps exist in multiple locations throughout the Shaded Dale Mountains and Broken Spine, but most of it comes from the mines around Fort Johnston(44), which are all rich with ore deposits. Fort Johnston(44) mints much of the currency of Stultabon. Fishing comes almost solely from the fortified city of Five Islands(26), named so for the five islands in the Grateria Sound; the bay of Five Islands(26) is always a fertile area and rarely becomes overfished. Finally, while farming is spread throughout all of Pauldis Valley, arcane and divine magical research is performed primarily in the cities of Five Islands(26), Fort Johnston(44), Marto Jesapor(90), and Shephard Pass(33).
The southwest area of Paludis Valley, on the border of Alaceria and Southend, dwell several tribes of orcs who continually attack any passing through their area, which includes the roads between Five Islands(26) and Shephard Pass(33) and the trails between Five Islands(26) and Aculemortis Swamp.
This is a hot, murky swamp filled with lizardfolk and black dragons. Few that enter the swamp ever return and holy priests have remarked that a noticable aura of evil emanates from within the swamp. There is a trade route from Olene(38) to Witt Rock(56) that continually provides many of the needed herbal remedies and magical components required for both arcane and divine practices.
Orc Head Bay
This area is rich with oyster beds that produce the most beautiful pearls in the whole of Ludhumus.
Temper Sound is a quiet, stormless bay, but the lack of direct access to a port and its proximity to the Aculemortis Swamp makes it useful only as refuge for a desperate ship.
Bay of Death
Tales a powerful, dark creature living in the Bay of Death have traveled as far as Southend. The village on the coastling of the Bay of Death, which lies within the Flatwoods Swamp, is constantly threatened by this evil menace.
Broken Spine The Broken Spine mountains stretch northwest and southeast along the far southeastern corner of Stultabon. There has been increased mining activity of late, but only the location of a single mine is currently known. A Dwarven community has formed within the mountain range, attempting to gain the same political independence that the elves of The Way enjoy. So far their demands have not been met, as there is little incentive for Stultabon to release the dwarves from their duties as citizens of Stultabon.
This is a temperate swamp that seems to have no special qualities about it. Its close proximity to the Bay of Death has given many local residents cause for concern as they are uncertain how this may affect them.
So named for its startling bright blue waters, Sapphire Bay is surrounded by the Shaded Dale mountains to the west and the Flatwoods Swamp to the east. A very healthy fishing and international trading industry thrives in the area.
Shaded Dale Mountains
This is the main source of the mining industry, with three mining villages surrounding Fort Johnston(44). The cavern to the northwest of this city, between the two mines, was discovered during the city's founding. Within the cavern was found a series of veins of ore, including that or iron, silver, and gold. This started the intense mining operations around the city, which have yet to run dry. The Fort Johnston Cavern is today a major tourist mecca.
Wood elves live throughout the forest, but are rarely seen, if ever. Those that have seen the wood elves are usually loggers, and often remark that the elves seem to be observing their work.
This is the main source of lumber for Stultabon.
Sott Lake is an excellent source of freshwater fishing, but there is a significant amount of people who are lost in the waters. The strangest part about the deaths is the fact that nearly every person lost in the lake is never seen again. Only very rarely does a body turn up.
The capital city is Ulfdakka(104). Shadow's End is so named because the entire region is covered by a magical field that distorts shadows. When the sun is low in the sky, shadows may lead directly towards or at odd angles to the sun; at noon many objects show shadows where there should be none. Even the light from candles and torches behaves oddly, creating flickering shadows that fade in and out like a coastal tide. The effects are not constant, but come and go randomly throughout the day. Illusions also appear from time to time showing things and events without any identifiable pattern.
Shadow's End is populated primarily by gnomes who are intrigued by the strange effects that occur in this region. The main industry of Shadow's End is research, with exploration in arcane, divine, and scientific fields. New ideas and inventions spring up in the area all of the time, but all new research is property of the Stultabon government and thus are not available to the public. See the Frost Circle entry for more information concerning Reflection Bay and Shadow Gulf.
Thulnston(101) has been harrassed by sudden attacks from fish-like aquatic humanoids, much in the same manner as those near Shadow Gulf.
The capital city is Silver Road(61). Silver Tree is so named because about ten miles northwest of Throst Glen stands a lone tree that seems to be made entirely out of silver. The capital city of Silver Road(61) is built around this tree, preserving the strange growth as a local monument. Much of the population is elven, with a slightly smaller percentage of halflings. There is very little logging done in this area due to the strong influence of the elven community, so most of the income for the state comes from mining, fishing, and farming.
Southend The capital city is Slaughter(22).
This region is populated almost entirely by half-orcs and humans. In the undeveloped areas of Southend are many orc tribes that take every opportunity to raid the few cities and villages in the area. The capital city of Slaughter was given the name after an organized assault upon the city during its founding left over half the population dead, nearly five hundred people. The main income for the state is fishing and farming.
The stretch of five islands in this region are considered a part of Southend, but they have yet to be colonized. Rumors are mentioned of a tomb of an explorer somewhere on the island of Terterra.
Various colonies of neutral and good aquatic humanoids live in the area, forming a healthy system of trade with the land-based cities of Stultabon. Evil humanoids that attempt to invade the area are fought by a combined defense from both aquatic and land-based humanoids.
The capital city is Filimag(2).
Treants and wood elves live here, continually fighting off the encroachment of goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears.
This lake is named for the legendary explorer Torquilla Pravudens, who charted much of the continent; one of her descendants, Toquilla Pravudens XIV, chose to defect from Stultabon and founded her own country of Pravudens. Ships occasionally get floundered in this lake, although it is very rare. Most are salvaged, but there are sometimes ships that are lost at the bottom of the lake.
Shaded Dale Mountains
The Shaded Dale Mountains are rich with metal ore and many mining camps are situated both in and around the mountains. A well-known cavern between Galena(7) and Alesia(8) is said to have a great secret within its depths.
There are said to be three trails that traverse the Shaded Dale Mountains from east to west that can be navigated even without a guide. The first follows the eastmost river of Lake Pravudens, breaking off halfway to the source and heading towards Jaroso(98); a southeastern trek from Jaroso(98) will retrace the path.
The second trail goes northwest from Mount Blyton(41), ending at Tennga(94); starting at Tennga(94), the trail heads slightly southeast.
The last trail heads both northeast from Mount Blyton(41) and northwest from Leaf River(43), eventually splitting into two trails: one heading to Prentiss(91) and the other to Marto Jesapor(90). A southwestern then western trek from Marto Jesapor(90) or a straight southwestern trek from Prentiss(91) will retrace the trail; this path diverges, however, giving the traveler the choice of going west to Mount Blyton(41) or east to Leaf River(43).
This is the last remaining area untouched by whatever has corrupted the forest around the Tomb of Sorthain. Treants and wood elves live here as well, but there is little or no sign of goblin, hobgoblin, or bugbear raiding parties.
Tomb of Sorthain
This area was initially a fertile forested area, but over the last twenty years has turned into a disease-ridden swampland. The tomb holds the remains of one of the founders of Stultabon, Eric Sorthain. King of Stultabon for only four years. from 10 SC to 13 SC, he died in the Goblin War during the final battle that pushed the goblinoids out of the Broken Wood.