The Commonwealth Today


In Commonwealth Year 830, the Commonwealth is a sophisticated, peaceful, mercantile civilization. It is far-and-away the largest and wealthiest civilization in the known world; it stretches from the shores of the King's Sea in the east to the western coast of the Emerald Plane, and to the Haven Isles beyond. All this territory is united in a prosperous web of trade, overseen by the Commonwealth Council.

The Commonwealth is broken into six provinces:

  • Dragonshire Province lies in the northeast, to the west of the Kingdoms of Men. It was an independent kingdom under the (nominal) rulership of the Dragon Karrach, until it was incorporated into the Commonwealth with the Compact.
  • Heartland Province is the territory to the southeast, south of the Dragonshire and west of the Goblin Empire. This is the territory where the Commonwealth was born. It is still governed as a network of manors, united by a web of charters and contracts.
  • Haven Province consists of the Haven Isles, and island chain off the west coast of the Emerald Plane; the largest island is Islandhome. Haven Province has a sophisticated, tiered political structure, and is something of a hot-bed for political thought. It's also known for its warm climate, its large urban centers, its olive fields, and its brisk ocean winds.
  • Herd-and-Pack Province consists of the territory of the former Herd-and-Pack Alliance, a group of Herder, Gnollish and other tribes that united to stand against the Shade Elves. Long an ally of the Commonwealth, it was incorporated as a Province with the Compact.
  • Northland Province consists of the far north, both to the east and west of the Worldspine Mountains. It largely consists of the Dwarven and Orcish holds that chose to join the Commonwealth; not all of them did.
  • Westward Province consists of a narrow strip of land claimed by the commonwealth, running from the Worldspine Mountain to the west coast of the Emerald Plane. It runs along the northern border of the open grasslands claimed by the Shade Elves of the Shaded sea; it sees constant raiding, and is heavily fortified.

The Commonwealth also contains several City-States — large cities that are treated as provinces unto themselves:

  • South-Harbor is a major port-city built into the steep, irregular cliffs of the southern Worldspine. Besides its role as a major port, it also hosts a substantial fleet-yard for the Commonwealth Navy, and is the current seat of the Commonwealth Council.
  • Crossroads actually consists of two cities, one above-ground and one below, built in the middle of the Worldspine. It is a major trade-hub, sitting at the nexus of both above- and below-ground trade routes.
  • Prosperity is the largest city in Heartland Province — or it would be, if it were part of Heartland Province instead of being an independent city-state. Besides being a trade hub, Prosperity is known for its cosmopolitan population, the quality of its universities — and its unusually-elaborate government, compared to the rest of Heartland.

The Commonwealth is overseen by the Commonwealth Council. The council doesn't govern the Commonwealth — it does not make laws or prosecute criminals — but it does negotiate with other nations, make treaties, declare war, settle disputes between provinces, collect taxes and tariffs, and spend those monies on its various agencies.

Among those agencies are the Commonwealth Artisans, who maintain a network of roads, bridges, dams, and locks; the Commonwealth Patrol, who secures the vast interior; the Commonwealth Army and Navy, who defend the Commonwealth; and the Commonwealth Arbiters, who help to settle internal disputes. Because of the work of these Council Agencies, the Commonwealth is secure, stable and prosperous.

The Commonwealth is, by design, a little different than your typical fantasy nation: it is a large, prosperous, secure, just and diverse society. This means that a lot of typical fantasy adventure structures don't work: there are no bandit gangs to slay; typical "monster" races are your allies; and your society is richer and more sophisticated than any ancient ruins scattered about.

The Commonwealth's major concerns — and thus, the sources for typical adventures — are external: strange wonders that explorers uncovered at the edge of the known world; intrigues and threats brewing in neighboring nations; and the machinations of hostile Great Spirits.

Commonwealth Technology

In general, we're shooting for a level of technology roughly approximating Europe in the 1500s. Innovations like the three-field rotation, the use of horses in agriculture, the development of gunpowder and the development of the printing press occurred decades or centuries ago, and have begun to transform society. Just as importantly, they've also begun to develop very sophisticated philosophical thought — beginning to develop the ideas behind rationalism, and to contemplate the design of political systems to serve their peoples.

However, you should not assume that the Commonwealth is precisely equivalent to Europe at the beginning of the Renaissance; we'd like to incorporate ideas from other great civilizations as well!

Please also note that we aren't historians; please forgive us any minor errors. (We're always open to making our world more historically plausible, or being introduced to new, interesting ideas that we can incorporate.)

The Commonwealth is arguably the most sophisticated nation in the known world.

They have developed a number of sophisticated farming techniques, suited to the wide variety of territories that they've integrated: in the interior, this including sophisticated field rotations, differing plow designs appropriate for a wide variety of terrain, water course [i.e. aqueduct] irrigation and the use of horses in agriculture; in the southern foothills and marshes, this includes sophisticated flood-plane agriculture and planted terraces to make efficient use of water; and in the Haven Isles, it means aqueduct irrigation of vineyards and orchards. These innovations allow them to produce a large surplus of food, which in turn allows them to support a large urban populations; to support their large, professional military; and to still have a surplus for trade. (There is a very good reason that wheat is a symbol of the Commonwealth.)

The Commonwealth also boasts sophisticated artisans, enabled by a network of powerful guilds. The Commonwealth's architects, masons and carpenters have mastered a number of construction techniques, adapted from the many cultures that they've incorporated and suited to the many different regions that the Commonwealth occupies: masons in the Heartland and Dragonshire have used sophisticated arches, columns, vaulted ceilings and flying buttresses to produce awe-inspiring buildings; Northland is dotted by timber-framed homes, Dwarven dugouts and Orcish holds; the shores of the Haven Isles feature stilted homes constructed by Ratfolk; and the peaks of the Haven Isles include incredible underground cities constructed by Kobold and Shade Elven masons and excavators. The Commonwealth also boasts some of the finest steel produced in the known world, enabling them to produce everything from plows to armor at a scale and of a quality that cannot be rivaled.

The Commonwealth also has access to a rich and diverse cultures, arts, and bodies of knowledge.

Notably, the printing press was invented in Heartland Province some 83 years ago; this has led to an explosion of the written word. The Commonwealth's large and sophisticated universities are also centers of thought and learning — and cheap printed books and tracts are turning public squares, pubs and libraries into sites of political discourse and the sharing of ideas. Philosophers, thinkers and academics are pushing the bounds of ethics, natural philosophy, political philosophy, medicine, and the arts. The Commonwealth's leading thinkers have begun to develop the fundamental ideas behind rationalism, to develop sophisticated political thought, and to explore the precursors of a theory of calculus.

They have also been able to deduce that the world is round, and increasingly sophisticated and capable sailing vessels have enabled them to voyage out into the ocean to explore it — and to build increasingly prosperous webs of trade along their coasts. They have recently begun to construct large, two-masted vessels, capable of sailing great distances on the open ocean.

The Commonwealth has also developed sophisticated techniques for capturing natural sources of energy. Windmills, water-wheels and aqueducts allow the citizens of the Commonwealth to use winds and streams in agriculture and artisanry.

They are also making increasingly sophisticated use of gunpowder. Developed more than two hundred years ago, some of the earliest uses of gunpowder where awkward and dangerous; more modern uses, including fixed cannons and matchlock rifles, are far more effective, and are beginning to change the nature of warfare.

And, of course, the Commonwealth has a sophisticated understanding of magic — although the people of the Commonwealth generally view magic as another aspect of nature to understand, not something beyond the reach of natural philosophy.

Commonwealth Life, Society and Economy

The Commonwealth includes myriad different races and cultures, so the details of daily life can vary widely.

Throughout the Commonwealth (and in most of the rest of the known world), the vast majority of the population — more than 90% — are involved in producing food. They are farmers, fishers and shepherds, living in small communities throughout the countryside or sitting on the shores of rivers and lakes. Though these people are often poor, it should be noted that they are not serfs or slaves, as slavery has been abolished in the Commonwealth — unlike in some of the Kingdoms of Men, for example, or in the Goblin Empire. They often own the fields they work; when they don't, they are at least not the possession of a lord, and are free to depart.

Many of these people know little of the outside world, and may never venture more than a day’s walk from the place they were born. This situation is helped somewhat, though, because, since the signing of the Compact, the Commonwealth has increasingly funded a modest form of public education; teachers, medics, and mages travel a circuit through the scattered villages and hamlets. This means that most residents of the Commonwealth are at least literate and numerate.

Many of the small hamlets and freeholds are often dependent on nearby manors and towns, which will hosts necessary markets and artisans.

Heartland Province, the oldest province, may represent the Commonwealth's "archetypical" culture. Heartland is a decentralized web of city-states, manors, and hamlets and freeholds. Manors are, very roughly, small towns, surrounded by fields, orchards, and forests; they are typically established by a charter, which is often held by a Lord, or by some organization (like a temple, guild, or university). Manors are often self-sufficient in terms of food, and often host a few artisans as well. Nestled between manors are any number of small hamlets and freeholds, which are often interdependent with nearby manors. Manors, in turn, may have obligations to nearby city-states: city-states host large markets, where their food can be sold, and goods can be purchased; they are the homes of universities, guilds, and governments; and they are often walled, and strongholds of local defense.

The cultures and traditions of these city-states and manors can vary incredibly widely — the flexibility of the system is one of its benefits. While the most common culture is one that is distantly derived from that carried west by Humans from the Empire of Man — significantly changed by the intervening centuries and contact with other races and cultures — many other races and cultures are also represented by city-states and manors.

Other provinces can vary widely. Westward, for example, is similar, since it was founded by settlers travelling from Heartland; however, it is significantly more militarized. Large fortifications have taken over some of the roles of city-states; in fact, the three largest population centers in Westward are giant, modern star-forts, established to resist the constant, ferocious raids coming out of the Shaded Sea. Dragonshire Province, having a centralized monarchy and sophisticated bureaucracy, is more vertically organized; Nobles, with their seats in cities, claimed the rule of the territories around them — often in turn headed by other, lesser nobles, and subject to the whims of the various guilds and councils. Northland, in turn, is more sparsely populated; it is a land of Orcish and Dwarven holds, clan politics, Gnollish herders, and snow. Herd-and-Pack, the domain of the Herders and their allies, is a land of herders and hunters, with few permanent settlements and fewer large cities. The Haven Isles are a hotbed of political theory and public discourse; it sports a sophisticated, tiered civil government.

Commonwealth Governance

830 years ago, the New Charter formally create the Commonwealth Council, and established the Commonwealth Council to administer it. The Commonwealth Council was not granted the rule and command of the Commonwealth, like the Three Cities of the Empire of Man had hand; instead, the Commonwealth was something of a loose alliance. The Commonwealth Council had the right to collect certain taxes and levies, and the ability to spend those monies to maintain the army, construct roads, and mediate disputes between signatories — and little else; it also had the right to settle disputes between signatories, and to conduct external diplomacy.

The Commonwealth Compact, signed in CY 744, was designed to govern a large and prosperous people, and reserved significantly more power to the Council; also, respecting the discrete regions that had sprung up, it broke the Commonwealth up into Provinces — this also allowed it to incorporate several long-time allies as proper members, since it allowed them to preserve a large measure of their autonomy.

The Commonwealth Council

The Commonwealth Council still does not rule the provinces, as such; it does not make or enforce law — except for the operation of the garrisons; rather, the Council collects taxes and levies, and spends them to provide serves and secure the common welfare. The Compact specifically grants the Council the right to establish taxes, specifically including taxes on land, trade, and import; it also allows it to levy the people, drafting them for combat, or even potentially for civil service — although in the modern era, such service is compelled exclusively in times of war or crisis. The Council also has the right to manage the Commonwealth's external affairs — to conduct foreign diplomacy, and to declare war and peace.

The Compact also details procedures for resolving conflicts between the provinces; for establishing how one province must treat another's citizens; and for listing certain freedoms each citizen must have.

Other than this, each province is free to govern itself — to make and enforce their own laws, by whatever method their residents see fit.

Council Operation

The Council consists of 50 seats, allocated to each Province by population, to a minimum of 2. (Seats are allocated by population, then any below 2 are "rounded up." Although it's never happened, it is possible for this "rounding up" to add seats, so the Council might not have exactly 50 seats.)

The council operates by simple majority votes for most things — although certain major actions, such as amending the Compact or declaring War outside a state of invasion, require a two-thirds vote.

Provinces can elect their representatives however they see fit — although the use of the word "elect" in the Compact has largely been taken to require some kind of democratic process. In CY 819, this was slightly amended, so that, however a province selects its representatives, each citizen therein must be given an equal vote.

The Commonwealth Council can make its own schedule, although it is required to convene for at least three months of every year, with at least one continuous one-month period; in practice, the Commonwealth Council typically meets for four months during the summer of every year. The Commonwealth doesn't have a capitol as such; instead, the meeting-place rotates between the prominent cities of the Commonwealth, with a new city being chosen every three years. The Council has been meeting in Southarbor since CY 829.

While the Commonwealth does not have a capital as such, it does have several Council Campuses. These campuses include administrative offices, libraries, and archives.

Council Agencies

Almost certainly the greatest impact that the Commonwealth Council has on the day-to-day lives of its citizens is through the agencies that it funds. These include:

  • The Council Architects, who are responsible for maintaining roads, bridges, dams, and other large public works;
  • the Council Colleges, who directly run several large civil and military colleges, and who fund the Circuit Tutors;
  • the Council Mediators, who mediate disputes between the provinces — and who perform the functions of a high court in some of the provinces;
  • the Council Administration, responsible for collecting taxes, distributing notices, and the general operation of the bureaucracy;
  • the Council Military, the Commonwealth's formidable army, navy, and guard — the preeminent military in the world.

All of these agencies are ultimately responsible to the Commonwealth Council.

Notably, the Commonwealth doesn't include a single executive, like an Emperor or King; each Council Agency is responsible directly to the Commonwealth Council. In the drafting of the Compact, there was some concern about the ability of the Council to keep control of the agencies; in order to ensure that the Council could quickly deploy an agency — or bring it to heel — each Agency is especially responsible to a Committee in the Council. Each committee can, with a two-thirds vote, command a given agency.

Council Agencies

The Council Architects

The Commonwealth can boast an incredible network of well-maintained roads and bridges; of dams and aqueducts; of strong city-walls and innumerable fortifications and outposts; and more. Many of these constructions are the responsibility of the Council Architects. Most of the roads and bridges that tie the Commonwealth together in a vast network of trade where constructed and are maintained by the Council Architects directly; on other projects, like the walls of cities, they merely assist, providing assistance with funding, design, and labor to local governments.

The Council Military

For centuries, the Commonwealth was unique for its permanent professional military; even now, only the Goblin Empire can also boast of a full-time army. The Commonwealth's military is widely regarded as the premier military in the known world.

The Council Military is divided into Guards, Armies, and Navies; the Guards are responsible for keeping the peace, the Armies are responsible for land warfare, and the Navies are responsible for ocean warfare. Each Guard, Army and Navy has its own commander; the Commonwealth Military has no single supreme commander, in part to prevent a military leader from gathering too much power. The Guard and Army are separated for the same reason.

The Guards

Centuries ago, the Council funded one large armed force, responsible for the security of the Commonwealth. They patrolled the roads, manned the forest and outposts, patrolled the frontier, and repelled invaders. Though sustaining a full-time standing army was expensive, it paid massive dividends; it secured the roads between manors and cities, and allowed trade to flourish in the early Commonwealth. Importantly, it also allowed the Commonwealth, while being a far more mercantile than martial culture, to cultivate a substantial amount of military skill and infrastructure among their people; this made them a remarkably formidable force.

With the Compact, the Guards (responsible for patrolling the interior) and the Armies (responsible for warfare) where separated, but the role of the Guards remains much the same. The Guards man countless forts, watch-towers, and outposts throughout the interior of the Commonwealth; they patrol the roads and forests, keeping the peace; and they serve as a way to build military experience, training, and discipline during peace-time. And, thanks to the continued service of the Guards, the Commonwealth is remarkably peaceful and secure; banditry is almost unheard of, and trade continues to flourish.

The precise mission and organization of the Guard varies by province: in Heartland, for example, the Guard are the primary means of law-enforcement outside of the city-states, and are responsible for

The Guards are organized into marches, a term borrowed from the military terminology of the Dragonshire and Kingdoms of Men; most marches correspond to a particular region of a province, although some marches with special missions might overlap others or cross provincial borders. Each Guard is headed by a March Commander; beneath each March Commander are several Fortress Commanders, who typically oversee a primary fortification, several overland road routes, and minor outposts; and each Fortress Commander is served by Patrol Commanders responsible for a particular patrol route or unit of Guards.

March Commanders are typically responsible to the governments of the provinces in which they operate; because different provinces can have very different legal and governmental systems, the Guard can operate very differently in different provinces. Heartland Province, for example, has no significant provincial government; their Provincial Charter endows the Guard with the ability to prosecute various forms of violent crime, and specifies that they are responsible to the city-states within whose holdings they operate. The Haven Isles, however, have a sophisticated provincial administration, and their own law-enforcement authority; in that province, the Guard support the Haven Isles' own patrols.

The Armies

The Commonwealth's military is perhaps the premier fighting force in the known world. At its core are full-time professional soldiers, drawn primarily from the ranks of Gnolls, Drakes, and Humans; these soldiers are well-trained, well-equipped, disciplined, and experienced, and are more than a match for the soldiery of any other nation. While this core of elite soldiers is smaller than the armed forces of other nations, they can be reinforced by the Guard; the Guard allows the Commonwealth to cultivate and preserve combat training and experience among the population, beyond their armies. (While the Commonwealth can draft their common citizens, this is rarely done, for many reasons; among them is that, unlike in the Kingdoms of Men or Shaded Sea, combat skills are not cultivated among the citizenry at large.)


Of course, the Commonwealth Council and its various Council Agencies aren't the only powerful groups operating in Commonwealth society. There are also powerful Guilds; countless temples, cults, and religious orders; schools; activist organizations, like the Far Watch and the High Road; the wealthy and their powerful families; and, of course, gangs, smugglers, and other criminals.

Professional Guilds

Professional guilds are a major force in Commonwealth society. Many are quite large and powerful, holding great influence in their particular domain; some are also quite old, going back centuries — the first guilds cropped up in the years before the New Charter, although none of those earliest guilds still operate today.

Guilds are professional organizations, that the practitioners of certain crafts or trades can join. The guilds collect dues from their members; in turn, the guilds help support their members, help them to find work, help defend them against predation or exploitation, and help to arrange for training and apprenticeships. Notionally, at least, guilds also have an incentive to ensure that their members do good work, since, should a guild-member cheat their clients, do shoddy work, or otherwise earn the enmity of the public, that may reflect poorly on the guild as a whole.

Most guilds are local or regional organizations — it would be a practical impossibility for one guild to organize and represent all the carpenters throughout the Commonwealth. But, at the same time, most guilds form larger organizations, peering with other guilds throughout the Commonwealth. These guild-alliances often have a federated structure: there may be a Union of Carpenter's Guilds that oversees provincial guild associations, and those provincial guild associations in turn might unite as many local guilds as possible. In this way, a member of a Carpenter's guild based in Autumn's Hold in Heartland Province might be able to travel to the Haven Isles and draw on the support of an allied Carpenter's Guild there.

The potential advantages of such an organization to a tradesperson or artisan are obvious; whether merely travelling or completely relocation, an artisan in a distant province can draw on a web of support, finding work, drawing apprentices, and being supplied with tools.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, guilds can vary widely in quality and temperament; while most guilds in the Commonwealth are reputable and beneficial, bad guilds do occasionally form. And depending on their character, bad guilds can have remarkable downsides. Not every guild is eager to support newcomers our outsiders; some become territorial and protectionist, making it difficult for foreigners or newcomers to gain purchase. Some may even operate to strangle and exploit the local artisans themselves — at their very worst, some guilds are little better than gangs or cartels, taking control of all exercise of a given craft in a region and extracting exorbitant fees and dues.

Notably, sometimes guilds can overlap and compete — it is entirely possible for two separate Carpenters Guilds to operate in the same area. And of course, an tradesperson could simply choose not to join a guild — although some guilds may be more hostile than others to "independent" tradespersons.

Using Guilds

Beyond worldbuilding, guilds are primarily intended to be useful tools for players, particularly players for whom their Craft and Profession skills are central to their character concept.

Guilds provide at least some means for a chemist, say, to enter a strange town on the other side of the Commonwealth, and still have relatively easy access to the kinds of resources and connections they need to practice their craft — and perhaps also a source of local information.

Mechanically, establishing that your character is a member of a guild is easy: simply take the Guild Member class.

Bad Guilds

We generally recommend springing bad guilds on players who take the Guild Member class; if your players have paid for the class, they should usually be able to get use out of it. Bad guilds are more intended as plot hooks.

Guilds exist for most trades and crafts. For example, the Emerald Masons' Federation is a vast, tiered network of masonry and stonecutting guilds that operates throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. This guild is notable for being one of the more reputable, and ensuring the good character and beneficial operation of their member local guilds. It is also notable for extending beyond the Commonwealth: a number of masons' guilds in the western kingdoms of the Kingdom of Men have joined the Federation, and there are even a handful of members (though not an official chapter) in the western border-reaches of the Goblin Empire.

Guilds also exist for more urban, sophisticated professions. There is, for example, the Guild of Representatives and Mediators, which represents lawyers and negotiators throughout Heartland and Dragonshire provinces.

River: Council Mediators can't join professional guilds, for the same reason that soldiers can't join mercenaries' guilds. So there can be tension between the Council Mediators and members of the GRM.

More recently, a number of Explorers' Guilds have formed. As sailing techniques have improved, more and more ships are venturing out onto the open ocean, or coursing down the coasts of the Ruby Plane. Explorers' guilds help to crew these missions. Explorers' guilds often include a particularly diverse memberships; besides sailors and soldiers, they can include doctors, geographers, scholars, translators, artisans, laborers and more.

Explorer's Guilds

Explorers' Guilds serve as a simple way for a GM to arrange an exploration-themed campaign. An explorers' guild is a simple way to connect individual characters with the group, and for the group to find campaigns.

Religious Orders

The Commonwealth is home to countless temples, shrines, monasteries, and religious orders. Temples are often prominent, important places; complete with shrines, altars, and libraries, they are vital institutions for allowing the people of the region to placate, bribe, and barter with the local spirits. While there are Great Spirits that are commonly revered throughout the Commonwealth, most temples are often far more concerned with the vast profusions of more local spirits, who can have profound impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the local population. Other times, though, temples and monasteries can be devoted to particular Great Spirit, nation of spirits, or even to a particular philosophy.

While many temples are independent, some are part of larger religious or philosophical orders.



The Elite

Criminal Organizations

The Commonwealth Guard is a potent policing force; banditry has long been all but banished from the countryside, and thuggery is rare in its cities. Even so, crime still exists; smuggling, vice, and blackmail are still profitable, usually carried out by well-organized criminal gangs. Commonwealth gangs are often sophisticated and shrewd, the better to avoid detection and destruction by the Guard; the naked threat of the Goblin warlord is replaced by the silvered tongue and subtle knife of the Commonwealth enforcer.

Many of these gangs survive by being at least as useful to the powerful as they are dangerous and damaging. Many smugglers in particular make their services available to the Commonwealth's spies and sappers, and to the operatives of the High Road and Far Watch.

Commonwealth Magic

The sages and scholars of the Commonwealth have amassed a vast amount of useful knowledge of magic, and much of this knowledge has been deployed to the benefit of the Commonwealth. Magic is studied in their universities, deployed in their military, and sold in their cities by clerics and hedge-wizards. While powerful magic items (for example, large magical siege-engines) are rare, simple and utilitarian magical tools and potions are common.

The Kairne Network

Of special note is the recently-developed Kairne Network. Each kairne is an unassuming stack of standing-stones, surrounded by an open space and paced out by smaller kairnes arranged in a circle. These unassuming ritual-sights allow specialized mages to rapidly transport themselves from any one kairne to any other — allowing them to cover great distances in the blink of an eye.

Presently, only a dozen Kairnes have been constructed, all in major cities or massive central fortifications. Their small number, combined with the need of a master mage to operate one, means that kairne voyages are in short supply, and are expensive — and even then, only a limited amount of extra cargo can be carried along. For these reasons, they are rarely used for trade; instead, they are used to transport small, valuable, and very time-sensitive cargos — like diplomats, military commanders, or rare artefacts.

Nevertheless, these kairnes are powerful and valuable installations; despite their limitations, they have begun a powerful transformation of trade and transport in the Commonwealth.

Secret Kairnes

Of course, there are rumors of secret kairnes — besides those in major cities like South-Harbor or Crossroads, or major fortifications like Seven-Points. These can be highly useful tools during campaigns, and potentially even the hook for an entire adventure.

  • The Far-Watch catches word that there is, hidden somewhere in the world, a secret laboratory; its exact location is unknown, and its primary access is by kairne. Who runs this laboratory? Is it a great lord or noble, wishing to research dangerous magics or contact powerful spirits? Could it even be a Commonwealth Council operation, researching weapons to use agains the Shaded Sea or Goblin Empire?
  • Kass Ahnaff, the current High King of the Kingdoms of Men, has long pursued closer ties with the Commonwealth; in particular, the merchant-king has made little secret of his desire that a kairne be constructed in his kingdom. Could there be a kairne under construction in Merchantmen City?