Insel der Freiheit
|Areas of Interest|
All information on this land has been compiled by the Guild librarians from varying reports arriving over the years from varying sources. This is an attempt to compile this information and any details may be erroneous or incomplete. Additional advice on these matters is to be found under the Guild warning at the bottom of these notes. - Elegin D'ronet (Guild Librarian)
LOCATION: Far Eastern Alusia (18N 152W)
POPULATION: Total island population around 12 million. (~7% Urban)
- Variant of Folksprach 99%
- Erelheine 30%
- Common 6%
- Varient of Lunar 10%
- Dwarfish 3%
- Elvish 2%
- Literacy 4%
- 1 The Land
- 1.1 History
- 1.2 Culture
- 1.3 Trade
- 1.4 Magic
- 1.5 Religion
- 1.6 The Civil War
- 1.7 Magical Locations
- 1.8 People
- 1.9 Current Residents
- 1.10 Creatures
- 1.11 PC notes
- 1.12 Scribe notes
- 2 Templates
Insel der Freiheit is a large (287,000 square miles) teardrop shaped island situated over eight hundred miles from the most northern of the Dragon Isles. The island is almost entirely hardwood jungle and mountainous terrain with towns and cities mostly on the coast or along rivers.
The bulk of the population live in small villages often close to, or in many cases on top of, the many rivers. The rivers also provide the main form of transport between the town and cities.
The towns and cities generally occur in cultivated areas and are in the main regularly planned towns. The exceptions to these are small towns in the highlands where they have grown as and when the jungle has been cleared.
The land was first populated by an indigenous people, in 367WK the explorer Hans Riechman had set off to circumnavigate the continent and discover new trade opportunities for the kingdom. Caught in severe storms and having lost two of the five ships in the fleet he made it to the island. A series of accidents, mishaps and disasters befell the survivors and yet their descendants grew and spread taming the land and interbreeding with the locals.
In 532 other settlers arrived predominantly from the Lunar Empire after rumours of easy to find gold arrived in Western Ports. This influx also saw the arrival of a Dwarven contingent from Kondasgel who have not been seen again. Another arrival was Bodenius Sornatius Voturia, who on arrival gathered a small following and settled lands on the north of the Island, far distant from the main populations. Bodenius is still believed to be alive today and is the prince of the Sherazar province, a title bestowed upon him in 628WK by Albert DeWinter for assistance during the wars.
In 626WK a series of small wars broke out between the various city states fighting continued for a number of years before an army led by Albert DeWinter conquered and united the lands and formed the city states into a thriving monarchy.
Since then the land has been at peace, with no other neighbours within easy sailing distance there has been nothing to disturb the peace with the exception of the lands in the north of the island. Shortly after the wars finished the land began to dry out and the plant life began to wither and die. Only the hardiest of plants live there now and even these are starting to die. The effect is the result of a curse.
In 799WK King Granius died which sparked a Civil War lasting until 806WK.
The vast natural resources and the unsettled nature of this land have recently made this a popular destination for mercenary companies however as of 806WK mercenaries are outlawed throughout the islands.
Over the years there have been three major cultural traditions that have melded together.
The original populace had many cultural traditions and art forms but these appear to have been systematically exterminated by the more recent settlers. The only surviving aspects appear to be concealed withing the Highlands religion of Qualeo.
The Survivors of the original shipwreck imprinted the language and many of the customs on the island. Much of the poetry, artforms and theatre of the isle are descended from Aladarian histories and styles. Dates and holidays have also been taken from the western kingdom, although a number of other local holidays also exist.
The addition of settlers from the Lunar Empire has left a significant imprint on the layout and style of the towns. Most are well planned and stick to a standard design, only the older towns and the villages high in the jungle do not conform, and many of these will still show similarities to the style. The naming conventions have also been picked up, prior to their arrival there had been little in the way of a stratified society and the integration of a class system is believed to have been one of the driving reasons behind the wars of 626WK.
The various religions as well as the secular establishments have a number of festivals and holidays.
External trade is very limited to the islands with only a couple of traders visiting the island each year but the money to be made from each run is sufficient to keep the traders returning. Major exports are Gold, Hardwood Timber and unique varieties of Spices not found anywhere else on Alusia.
Trade to and from the Island is dominated by House Paetas whose deep water vessels port all over Alusia. Their coastal traders also carry 80% of local trade and most of the gossip.
Magic is not common on the islands, fear of Necromancy and Witchcraft is common and those believed to be practitioners suffer death by exposure after having their tongues and index fingers removed.
The only exception to this is the practice of Shamanic magics and practitioners are generally considered holy men. This is one of the only cultural forms to have survived from the indigenous populations and is revered by many in the highlands.
The shamanic magics are almost entirely ritualistic in nature and most are performed with many people, some mages, and some not taking part. The rituals involve dance and animal sacrifice and tend to occur on specific nights and phases of the moon.
It is believed that the ruling family of each province secretly masters a college and teaches it to most of the major family members.
Two religions are popular amongst the islanders, Balai and Quaelo. There is no antipathy between the followers of either religion and, in the high country, both are followed as there are few, if any, strictures that clash.
This is the primary religion of the islands. The Priests and acolytes who wander from village to village are well respected at all levels of society. Their temples and shrines are very simple in style and there are no defined symbols or idols. Shrines are simply a small altar with room for incense or candles to be lit and a plate for offerings. The priests live lives of poverty eschewing the trapping of grandeur, excess money and offerings are used to feed the poor within the villages who in turn are expected to assist the village by working in the fields and keeping the streets clean in the towns. There appears to be no God that is worshiped, instead the souls of the ancestors are praised and expected to come to the aid of those in need. Meditation and reflection also form a major part of the priests day and when priests meet there is often vigorous discourse on the meaning of life, and the dictates the priest believe will help in the search for eternal life and an understanding of each persons place in the order of the world.
In the cities, larger temples allow greater numbers to worship. These are generally large pagodas with small shrines set into the walls on all sides, allowing the multitudes room to meditate and pray. Those who look after a temple and no longer wander are the Kinsen.
Boenoel is the home of the Balai Kinsen, the holy man of the Balai religion. The Kantagaresh (Main temple of the Balai) is a huge complex housing several thousand Kinsen (Disciples) who train in both martial and mental prowess. They are deadly archers.
Qualeo is the religion of the high country, shamanic and steeped in ritual, the practitioners are revered by the general populace. Most high country villages will have a single representative who will lead the villagers in rituals at the appropriate times of the year to ensure the divine protection of Qual. The practitioners are believed to be able to gain insights from the ancestors and commune with the spirits of the Jungle.
The rituals are highly magical and outsiders are not permitted to witness the rites.
The Civil War
The details of the recent Civil War are detailed in the Timeline of the Freiheit Civil War
- Balai Kinsen
- Holy man of the Balai religion. He is the most powerful man on the island outside of the Great Houses. At his command he has 2000 Warrior monks trained in Martial Arts which are probably the largest and best trained troops on the island.
Sister to Isreana, freed from the islands curse by a Guild party she was last seen in the company of the dragons and was taken to be healed.
- A Spider shaman, lives in a cave on the southern slopes of Mt Ereid. She is at least as powerful as Shareal. She can scry through spiders hundreds of miles away by possessing them, and reads people's minds by sending spiders to burrow into their brains. Her agenda is unknown. She is an enemy of Shareal, and probably of Isreana. Name currently unknown. Her spiders do alchemical poison that is usually lethal from a single bite, and can attack in hundreds. Not recognised as a shaman of the isles by other shaman.
- A large Dwarven Clan has mines and tunnels running under large sections of the islands. They are secretive and have requested that their presence on the island not be made common knowledge.
A number of Shaman live on the Isles and appear to be tied to the land in some way. A number of these individuals have been encountered by Guild Parties. At present, only Insect shaman have been encountered, although there are reportedly a large number (perhaps up to 60?) including animal and avian, as well as 3 elemental shaman.
The known insect Shaman are able to see through the eyes of all of the associated totem creatures on the island. Both Shareal and Isreana have been observed by guild members doing this. the process involves repeatedly "drilling down" onto an area they wish to view. The Spider "demon" seems to have a similar ability.
There are 5 Dragons who live in this region. They claim to be analogues to the Powers of Light sharing a similar cause but they do not have any particular antipathy towards the Powers of Darkness. They all display the ability to appear in Elven form at whim and DA's of a scale believed to possibly originate from Romache showed the scale to have come from a Fae avatar.
Roche, a gold has also been seen in the area but we assume he is not one of the 5 locals.
- Elvan mercenary leader. A huge Elf standing 7'2" tall he is well muscled and moves with the grace of a skilled warrior. He leads a mercenary force of 3000 men including a number of competant mages.
- He is also the Brother of Dramus and has returned to his homeland to retake his throne along with his Consort and Army. While on the islands he changed the shape of combat through the introduction of more complex tactics and the use of magic.
- A highly skilled Elven Assassin, who was held captive by Aulia for 2 years until Autumn 806, when she was successfully freed and reunited with her fiance Silver. She is a Celestial (Night) - wings, ceiling/spider movement, poison, etc. High+ level thief / assassin / mage. She has left with Silverwind for another plane. He presence on the Isles left a large number of corpses and tales of her exploits scare small children and hardened veterans alike.
The most common creatures on the Isles are the many and varied spirits that range from small nature spirits through to huge sentient spirits that guard an area.
The island is far from the 'civilised lands' of Western Alusia (many may consider this to be the other way around) and is a place of wonderment and great danger. Sightseeing while considered a way to spend some quiet time elsewhere is seriously dangerous here, especially with the lack of maps, information and in most cases people in the varying areas. Be prepared to fight your way through thick jungle, past scores of peasants who only know their local village and other menacing beings in the pursuit of 'sightseeing'.
It's hard going on the feet, body and mind struggling for each step through these jungle but if you go there, be prepared for anything!
- SEAGATE ADVENTURERS GUILD WARNING TO THOSE WISHING TO TRAVEL TO THIS ISLE
The guild information while looking comprehensive has a margin of error inherent in it which is 'slightly' larger than that of usual Guild Travel Information. If you rely on the notes provided to you by the guild (by those who have never been there) then you should bring along a cartographer as well as an additional scribe as you will be adding and updating whatever information there is to a more reasonable and perhaps factual level.
SIGHTSEEING: This 'hobby' should be discouraged but if deranged decisions are made to do so then the accompaniment of a Resurrection able Healer is advised
- END OF WARNING
The following notes are the comments from one adventurer and may not reflect the opinions of other travellers (although we suspect they probably do).
Q: How do we easily get across this vast island with little difficulty?
A: No chance at all currently. As visitors from the relatively 'civilised' lands of the Western Kingdom et al we are used to small areas of rustic charm and physical hardship whereas here on the Isles of Freedom it is the other way around, with only very small areas of any civilisation with the majority of the land covered in jungle, jungle, jungle and more jungle although occasionally this jungle covers huge mountain ranges, entire rivers and the like. In terms of people you tend to come across 'natives' who are very helpful when you approach in the respect that they throw fruit at you in the hopes that you will go away. Travel by flight is advised if not essential unless you wish to spend 3 months getting from one of the ports to wherever you are going. Often the places you are going to may have names which are informative to the natives but to us they are misleading and potentially fatal.
A (2): In large parts of the island, flying is near-instantly fatal. Multiple Whirl-wind Vortexes force you to land with alacrity. In addition anything 'interesting' is probably lethal, like a verdant mesa called the "plateau of corruption", or the quaint monastery with several hundred xenophobic archers who are lethal out to a couple of miles, or the deserted house full of 6' long, lethal cockroach spirits, or the quiet glades where the spirits send you to sleep and eat you, or ...
Q: What sights do you recommend on the isles
A: There are many many sights here but they are more potent since they haven't been diluted by the huge population of the Western Kingdom and the land is still 'pristine' (Read impenetrable, openly hostile to men walking through it and just plain unpleasant unless you like excessively hot temperatures, sweat baths and wildlife that would love to kill you whenever it sees you) with very, very few signs of penetration by humanoids. A(2): The sight of it slipping into the water behind you (curve of the earth, a good earthquake - whatever).
Q: Where is best to go for some rest and relaxation A: I recommend the famous Spa Argyles-Gazhost of La Chapelle d’Aboundanse in Borderlay because going to the isles of freedom is only going to cause you pain, death, exhaustion and a huge number of nasty little bites all over your body (In places you'd rather not be bitten), which all add up to not very much fun at all.
Scribe notes for past, current and future games are online.