I’ve been working on this map for over two weeks. What I thought was going to be a simple recreation of an older Campaign Cartographer 2 map turned into major project. Adding in the political borders and roads and trails was a pain in the butt. The style I’ve chosen for the political borders is meant to be unique to the World of Kulan. Red borders are for human-dominated lands. Purple borders are for demihuman (dwarf, elf, gnome, and halfling) lands. Dark gray-blue borders are for monstrous realms. Dark blue borders are aquatic realms. And unclaimed territory is surrounded by a silver colored border. When lands of different races border each other, the political border shows both colors. The overall effect is a little chaotic, but I like it.
The political names are shown in the same color as that I’ve chosen for the capitals of each type of land: red for human lands, bright purple for demihuman lands, and blue for monstrous lands. The colors for aquatic realms are all the same dark blue.
The Eastern Shores has long been dominated by four human-centric lands: the Barony of Wolffire, the Duchy of Minar, the Kingdom of Stonn, and the Theocracy of Thallin. While dwarves, elves, and halflings have long lived in the region, humans are the most populous race in the Eastern Shores. And until King Varath came to power in Thallin, demihumans were rarely persecuted. Now, in the Thallin king’s theocracy, demihumans are not just persecuted, they are hunted. Many have been forced to become refugees in other countries with many choosing to flee into the Lands of the Cities of the Wind to the north and the Highlands to the south and southwest of Thallin. Others fled into Stonn, but many chose not to settle there — instead they migrated to the Duchy of Minar or into the region to the south known as the Thunder Lands.
The Theocracy of Thallin has become highly human-centric and its warlike king wishes to conquer all of the Eastern Shores. His dark knights and evil priesthoods have had many successes, but there have also been major failures. An entire region rebelled and joined The Highlands. The civil war that engulfed Thallin was a bloody feud between the king and the ruler of the city of Cabaret. It divided the country and the various peoples. The longstanding human nobility backed their king and his call for traditional human bloodlines and traditions. The demihuman races and many of the lower class humans backed Cabaret’s ruler.
While the war officially ended years ago, there are constant skirmishes across the old provincial border that now divides Thallin from the Highlands. There are now few rebels in Thallin, although the South Woods is full of political outlaws who now live as bandits. These outlaws receive little to no aid from anyone in Thallin, and they are rarely welcome in the Highlands (and not at all in the Kingdom of Stonn). The political situation in the Highlands is highly fluid. Before the war, the peoples of the Highlands preferred to keep to themselves. Now, with the threat of King Varath’s troops a real threat, the isolated communities of the territory are now forced to work together more often. This means more laws and patrols, which chaffs at the core of a Highlander’s independent spirit.
If it wasn’t for the physical boundaries that divide Thallin from the rest of the Eastern Shores, the troops of the theocracy would likely overwhelm its neighbors. The massive Wind River cuts through the region through a series of gorges and high hills. The South Woods is a dangerous place full of more than just hungry bears and mountain lions. The number of monsters in the forest has increased significantly and many believe the beasts have been drawn into the forest due to the growing evil in Thallin. The North Woods are less of a barrier to King Varath’s machinations, but it a very dangerous place due to the presence of the Spirit Rift, which was once a mountain range that fell into the earth during the Divinity War. The Jagged Peaks have always been a mystery and full of dangerous creatures and beyond those mounts lies the swampland known as Morilinlanta in the Elven tongue. (Humans usually refer to it as Amylinyon due to the despoiled elven city that sits near the festering heart of the swamp.)
There are other lands that are also part of the Eastern Shores.
- The previously mentioned Lands of the Cities of the Wind are independent of Thallin and guard that independence with zeal. However, the cities in these lands often bicker with each other, which makes them a prize target for Thallin’s king.
- In between Thallin and the Wind Cities is a new territory called Barrowrise. The territory is controlled by demihuman rebels (primarily halfling) who refuse to acknowledge Thallin’s control over the North Woods or the northwestern communities of the theocracy.
- There is also the small elven realm known as Alora, which sits inside the political borders of Thallin. The city used to be a hidden realm that few knew about, but during the civil war, Alora was exposed. Alora is protected by powerful magic and the mystical fog that emanate from the Spirit Rift.
- Two semi-independent lands exist within the political borders of the Kingdom of Thallin: the Shadow Magocracy considers Stonn to be its patron, but it is ruled by its own and the Principality of Ambra is a land that gained its independence shortly after the Second Ogre War. Neither realm has much of a navy and relies on the massive fleet of Stonn for protection.
- The Qualitian Belt Protectorate is under the guardianship of the Duchy of Minar and many believe that is inevitable that the peoples of The Belt are brought into the duchy. (Others are not so sure.)
- Mathghamhna is a realm of arcanists and the fishermen they protect. The Tower of the Arcane Order once stood in Thallin’s capital city, Fruen, but when King Varath took power, the arcanists of the Order magically transported the tower to the largest of the Elsed Isles on Lake Qualitian.
- The most powerful demihuman land in the region is known as the Highborn Lands (it’s name in Common). This land guards its borders with vigor and few elven refugees have been allowed to settle here.
- The Sunus Mountains are dominated by two nonhuman territories: the Ee’aar Clans and the Sunus Tribes. The Ee’aar Clans are wing elves and few humans knew of the existence of the clans in the mountain range until a decade ago. The Sunus Tribes are a mixture of humanoids and giants that have been a stain on the region for centuries. These tribes are currently ruled by a bugbear king.
The other named region on the edges of the map are not officially considered to be part of the Eastern Shores.
- The Kingdom of Navirosov used to be allied with the other major human lands of the region before the events of The Transformation.
- The Kingdom of Jalivier’s Honor was once a protectorate of Navirosov but now it struggles to survive on its own. A few in the Islands of Honor have turned to piracy.
- The Haven of Vice and the Holds of Guthhell are pirate islands.
- Greystone and the Farstone clans are dwarven realms and the Free Lands of Arkhangel has little political ties with the Eastern Shores.
- Anoria, the Black Kingdom, Calot, Cauldron, the Diabolic Enclaves, the Midlands, and the Strandlands are all considered to be part of the region known as the Thunder Lands.
- The Blood Elf Lands, Elavor, the Lands of the Lochfolk, and the Sacred Realm are considered to be part of the Great Forest of Harqual, physically and politically.
Elenhin is a new territory that arose in the Great Forest of Harqual after the corruption of the Old Knotwood. It’s capital is a large fortified tower of the same name. This territory is also known as the Realm of the Companions. It is a special case on this map. Physically, it is considered to be a part of the Great Forest; however, politically it is considered a protectorate of the Highlands.
Rumors are swirling that Companions of Harqual wish to merge The Belt into Elenhin in order to better protect the region from the predations of the blood elves of the Old Knotwood. Doing this would sever both protectorates from their protectors. Elenhin would be on its own, but it would be stronger in arms and politics. The Highlands would likely cede all the lands south of the Tarrinwood and west of the Wind River. The change would be good for the Highlands since its forces are spread very thin. However, the Duke of Minar isn’t likely to agree to anything without concessions from both the Highlands and the Highborn Lands, which is unlikely to happen.
People in the region worry that more conflict could spark another war in the Eastern Shores.
DM’s Note: While the scale on the map says that 1 Hex = 8 Miles, that is now out of date. I’ve significantly upsized Kulan. On this map, 1 hex now equals 30 miles. Note that I’m currently revising the main overview map for Harqual, so this map won’t be 100% accurate anymore. The changes I’m making aren’t significant but they will be noticeable.