Nidvalar (4e Environment)
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Masters of the enchantment of constructs
Monarch: Prime Minister Hafnir
Neighbors: Caliphate, Ironguard, Savage Sound, Wild Forest
Nidvalar is a small kingdom on the shores of the Savage Sound, wedged between the Wild Forest (from which they gather most of their timber and raw materials) and the Caliphate. To the north, across the Iron Road, is Ironguard. The lands of Nidvalar are often black with soot spewing forth from the arcane foundries in the capital.
The government is run by the Assembly, a council comprised of any citizen who can demonstrate the ability to create a permanent construct and who was trained by another recognized member of the Assembly. The Assembly meets every third month of the year, or if the Prime Minister requires a special session. The day-to-day management of the nation is handled by the Prime Minister, a member of the Assembly appointed for life (or impeachment).
In Foundry, the ability to make constructs is everything. It determines your powers, your status and your success, because the constructs control most aspects of like in Foundry. They are the servants (and, as regards the warforged, the slaves). Constructs till the soil, mine the coal, chop the timber, and defend the borders. And the Assemblymen who make the constructs control the constructs. All other citizens both enjoy the fruits of the constructs' labors, but must also defer to the authority of the Assemblymen. All jobs of citizens of Nidvalar are related in some way to the manufacture, operation, and maintenance of the constructs.
|Prime Ministers of Nidvalar
Buka and Hara (pre-Assembly) (2586-2606)
Foundry, the capital of Nidvalar, was once called Southbar, the southernmost anchor point for a massive wall that separated the Second Empire from the Alabastrian Empire. It was the first city conquered by the Ferroclasts, as they began to create their Caliphate. The Caliphate destroyed the wall and enforced a strict ban on all worked metal. This led the Kingdom of Ironguard to wage war on the Caliphate, eventually resulting in the liberation of the city and its inclusion in Nidvalar.
Meanwhile, the Wild Forest, which had once been the haven of Ferroclasts, was becoming a refuge for people escaping the tyranny of both Ironguard and the Caliphate. Amongst the refugees was Buka, a dwarf who fled Ironguard to avoid conscription into its legions, and Hara, an elven wizard who rejected ferroclasty. Together, they unlocked the secrets of making constructs. But the meager resources of the Wild Forest was insufficient for their vision of world where labor was performed by artifacts and people became a world of artisans.
When Ironguard was beset with a century of internal fighting, Hara and Buka, and their disciples, created an army of constructs and took over the city of Southbar. They renamed it Foundry and called the surrounding lands Nidvalar. They repelled successive attempts by the Caliphate and Ironguard to reconquer their possessions.
After the war period had ended, Hara and Buka began to bring their vision to fruition. They refused to become monarchs. Instead, they fashioned a legislative Assemblage from the arcanists and wizards under them. The two enjoyed almost complete respect, and while they were nominally Prime Ministers, they were so well-respected that the Assemblage was often nothing more than a rubber stamp for their desires.
Except for one instance. During Ironguard's Civil War, a general named Ulanganqara came to Nidvalar and sought to purchase or hire a construct army. He pledged wealth and an alliance with Nidvalar. Buka urged the Assemblage to approve the purchase, and all seemed like it would go as planned. Then a charismatic young member of the Assembly named Demetrius made an impassioned speech in favor of Nidvalar neutrality. He warned that Nidvalar's strength lay entirely in its exclusive knowledge of constructs. This general may have good intentions, but if his advisors could study the constructs, they could replicate it and then Nidvalar would be destroyed. Demetrius swayed the Assembly, and it represents the first time the Assembly rejected a request from Hara or Buka, the Founders. Buka accepted the defeat graciously (and the general ultimately lost his bid to rule Ironguard), but he did not forget the slight.
Eventually, Hara and Buka retired to their estates to experiment in solitude, leaving the Assembly to govern. In their absence, however, the Assemblage began bickering amongst themselves. The privileged position of membership in the Assembly led to a growing problem of corruption and cronyism. The most ambitious and corrupt of these officials was a man named Devon. When he maneuvered, almost openly, to purchase the position of Prime Minister, Demetrius stood in the town square and made another impassioned speech against corruption. The speech unified those who were not cronies of Devon. The Assembly stood at a standstill, deadlocked. The tie vote was only broken when Hara and Buka arrived in Foundry from their estates and voted for Devon. Demetrius was stunned. He blamed Buka for being vindictive over the vote against sale of construct armies to outsiders. Devon pronounced that Demetrius had spoken sedition against the Founders and ordered him exiled. Demetrius left, with many of his own followers, and he founded the Clockwork Circle, a society of renegade construct builders.
Hara returned to her estate, but Buka chose to remain in the city. While there he observed the corruption that had taken over the Assembly. After ten years, he intervened. Under his orders, Devon was arrested for corruption, tried, and executed. His cronies were also punished. A new Prime Minster was appointed and Buka oversaw the reformation of the Assembly. Satisfied, he now left the Assembly, for parts unknown. Some say he went to visit Demetrius in the Wild Forest, but Demetrius refused his apologies. In exile, Demetrius became consumed with the notion of revenge. He will not rest until the walls of Foundry come tumbling down.
Buka and Hara still make occasional forays into Foundry, just to ensure that the Assembly does not fall into corruption again. However, for now, the Assembly appears to function properly. But the Assembly is always a hotbed of schemes and politics, and resentment amongst the non-Assembled, and among the warforged slaves continues to grow. Demetrius' Clockwork Circle works to liberate the warforged, and works towards the day when the Foundry is dismantled and the Clockwork Circle rules Nidvalar.
- Heroes of Assembly: A member of the Assembly, who is also an ally of the heroes, has gotten into a shadow war with another member. He needs guards to stop the assassins sent after him, even as they are asked by the Assembly to unearth proof behind the attacks.
- Heroes of Forge: An experiment gone wrong has caused a construct to run rampant in the streets. The adventurers must stop it before more people are killed and it overruns the town.
- Heroes of Iron: A caravan bringing precious ore to Foundry has been lost. The adventurers are asked to find out what happened to it.
- Clockwork Circle: The heroes discover a plot by the Clockwork Circle to blow up the Assembly!
- Sabotage: Ferroclasts from either the Wild Forest or the Caliphate have been sabotaging forges around Nidvalar. The heroes must put an end to the sabotage. Their success is met with support and they are asked to stop the attacker's once and for all with support from Nidvalar's construct militia.
- Warforged: A conspiracy of warforged, led by a spellcasting warforged who claims to have the ability to make warforged of its own that are superior to Nidvalar's constructs, are ready to demand they be recognized as leaders throughout Nidvalar. With the adventurers stand with the warforged or the kingdom, and who will win when the situation escalates?