Kingdom of Avernum

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Avernum was the name given to the small community created by the first people to be Exiled by the Empire. Since then, the community has grown to stretch across Exile and has become the Kingdom of Avernum. Name comes from an ancient word for the Underworld.

Factbook

Background

Originally a penal colony, the first settlers of the caves were Exiled by Hawthorne II in 767. The crimes committed by the exiles were those of not fitting in, or speaking out against the Crown. The Kingdom of Avernum was founded in 777 IE, under the first King - Micah.

Geography

Location

The caves of Exile, extending to Upper Exile.

Map

Maps:Avernum

Area

Approximately 300,000 square miles.

Land Boundaries

The entire levels of Exile and Upper Exile, excluding the lands west of Northeastern Exile (Giant Lands) and west of the Abyss belong to the Kingdom of Avernum.

Coast Line

N/A

Climate

Cool and extremely humid, with sickly bluish light emitted from trees and [[glowing moss|moss].

Terrain

Some cavewood forests, stalactite and stalagmite formations, several large lakes, and large natural caverns (Eastern Gallery and Great Cave).

Elevation Extremes

Natural Resources

Land Use

Many caves are mined for valuable metals and crystals, and there are large expanses of terrain used as mushroom farms.

Natural Hazards

Living in the caves for an extended period of time when not used to it is known to lead to a malady involving incontinence, nausea, light-headedness, and headaches. Upon returning to the surface, it goes away in less than two weeks. Also, there are still many untamed areas of the caves, where monsters such as goblins, Nephilim, chitrachs, cave slimes, giant lizards, magical worms, and more lurk.

Population

Current Population

450,000 (estimate)

Age Structure

  • 0-7 (14%)
  • 8-15 (16%)
  • 16-24 (22%)
  • 25-40 (25%)
  • 41-55 (15%)
  • 55+ (8%)

Population Growth Rate

Approximately 5% annually.

Nationality

  • Noun: Avernite
  • Adjective: Avernite

Ethnic Groups

Religions

Languages

Imperial Standard

Literacy

64% over the age of 15 can read and write.

Government

Country Name

Conventional Long Form: The Kingdom of Avernum

Government Type

Constitutional Monarchy

Government Structure

Originally, there were three major branches of government: the military, controlled by the king, the magi, controlled by the Triad, and the city governments, represented by the Council. The Council consisted of the mayors of the six largest cities in Avernum — Silvar, Formello, Cotra, Almaria, Blosk, and Dharmon.

This system reflected the struggle for the colonization of Exile, when Micah led the warriors and the Five led the mages. Each of these branches was theoretically subordinate to the crown. In reality, the Council was stubborn and controlling, and the magi were too powerful to question.

When the Empire-Avernum War began, power rapidly centralized under King Micah. The military swelled as a result of the war; also, after Linda's summoning of Adze and Erika's assassination of Hawthorne III, trust in the mages had eroded.

When the much-maligned Chevyn took the throne, the Council overrode his powers and took control of Avernum. Upon Starrus's ascent to the throne, Starrus and his advisor, Houghton, abolished the Council and the Triad. Recently, public opinion has leaned towards reinstating the Council.

Administrative Divisions

Leader

King Starrus

Capital

The Castle, in the Great Cave

Flag

A golden, eight-spoked sun on a field of blue.

History

Discovery

Hawthorne I was Emperor when the land of Exile was discovered. His court mages discovered the system of caves beneath the surface, and he sent down an exploratory expedition, aptly named the First Expedition. The expedition was led by the warrior Karzoth, and was slaughtered "to a man and a woman." Hawthorne concluded that the caverns were not useful, and they were ignored until 767 IE, when Hawthorne II began to send people — first criminals, later all sorts of people — there as punishment.

The First Exiles

The first people to be Exiled were helpless in the dark, unforgiving caverns. It was not until a young warrior named Micah united them and forced them to work together that they began to live and survive. They only had the resources to defend one settlement, the predecessor to Fort Avernum, but did so feraciously. Still, it was only a matter of time before they were overwhelmed by the enemies lurking in the caves.

Banishing of the Archmagi

After Hawthorne I's death, his son, Hawthorne II, came to power. He began to send down to Exile violent and dangerous criminals of the foulest sort, instead of executing them. Then, in 776 IE, there was a power struggle among the mages, and the faction of the unscrupulous mage Garzahd emerged victorious, appointing him advisor to Hawthorne II. Hawthorne II banished the losing mages to Exile, including Erika, Rone, Solberg, Aimee, Linda, and Patrick.

A Society Forms

Joining with Micah, they established the Kingdom of Avernum in 777 IE and began to fight the demons and Slithzerikai that threatened them. They created cavewood trees, created hardy and edible mushrooms, built more cities, learned to fight, and they took over the caves. Erika used her considerable magical skills to teleport her spellbooks down to the caves and began teaching students with Patrick. In 779 IE, the archmagi and their apprentices were able to stage an assault on the demon lord Grah-Hoth in his fortress of Akhronath. They captured him in a bottle and imprisoned him in Skarragath, with the lich-ified Prince Hrothar, who had fallen in the battle, to watch over and guard him.

Avernum Asserts Itself

When Hawthorne II died and Hawthorne III came to power, Garzahd remained his advisor. Hawthorne III saw the portal to Exile as the answers to all of society's troubles. All the misfits, antisocials, petty lawbreakers, and more were sent down to Exile. And this proved to be his undoing.

In 817 IE, Avernum's agents infiltrated the Empire, assisted by Erika, and assassinated Hawthorne III in his own throne room. In 823, the Kingdom, with the help of the Vahnatai, defeated the punitive expedition the Empire launched in response. In 833, contact with the Empire was re-established and peace terms were signed.