Overview of Morrain
Long before Morrain was an independent kingdom, it was known to explorers as the Argent Vale—a wide and verdant basin surrounded by towering mountains in the east and thick, highland forests in the north and west. Rocky foothills, open tundra, and a mineral-rich river comprised the Vale.
The passage of time and the influx of the civilized races have done little to change the vale’s wild geography. Since the time of Jorem the Elder and his famous son, the First Lord Morro Stormwarden, the people of Morrain have respected nature and taken from the land only what they need to survive. They cull lumber for their homes and hunt game for their food; they do not export these resources or seek to grow their economy with overt foreign trade. Only the silver mines and gem-rich hills provide material wealth that Morrain deigns to trade with neighboring kingdoms. Individual merchants may barter or sell for personal profit, but the rulers of Morrain have never sold its natural resources for greater wealth.
The climate of Morrain showcases the extremes of Ildavir’s demesne. The entirety of the Vale has only two real seasons, summer and winter, with very short intervals of moderation between them. Summers are temperate, if wet, often beset by lightning storms. Strong winds howl through the Vale throughout the year and precipitation is frequent. Winters are long, cold, and heavy with snow. The dwarf-highways that wind about the mountainous eastern border are nearly inaccessible after the first snowfall, and the ponds, lakes, and waterways are
often covered in a layer of ice. Even the most traveled roads are seldom traveled in the snow-filled months. A popular saying proclaims, “A man does not brave the Morrain midwinter unless he is a ranger, a fool, or a raiding giant.”
The people of Morrain call themselves the Imorrayn—in an Elven dialect of the Common tongue, this means “sons of Morro”—though outside of the kingdom they are generally referred to as Morrahim or, less respectfully, Morrainians.
Morrain is a monarchy bereft of the rigid feudalism common to the Northlands’ southern realms. Few of the people object to the mandates of their kings, for the Argent Sovereigns have always been light-handed. The current Sovereign is King Mirias Stormwarden, a ranger-king whose loyalty to his subjects is greater than the service he demands in return. Ruling from his throne in Stormkeep and defended by the Argent Knights, King Stormwarden is a man of martial renown and a friend to the natural world.
Morrain exists at the behest of the Criestine crown, but none who have witnessed the courage of the Imorrayn doubt they are an independent people who owe allegiance to no one but their chosen sovereign. Spaced atop the highlands along the borders are squat towers that garrison the kingdom’s soldiers. The defenders of the realm compensate for their small numbers with sophisticated strategies, a system of watchfires atop every tower, and the conviction that they are the first line of defense against a brutal world. When their defenses are strained, the king looks to his own people to raise again the banner of freedom. The Imorrayn enjoy their days, for they’ve had to work and fight for their freedom.
Yet when dragons, giants, and worse threaten the land, the people look to heroes without and within for aid.