The Lhazaar Principalities

The Lhazaar Principalities stretch across the eastern coast of Khorvaire. The islands northeast of the Hoarfrost Mountains are dark and cold, while the winters are long and the sun a rare visitor. These isles are the source of many sinister tales; living in the long shadow, one can easily imagine ghost ships prowling the waters and lich-lords hiding in the mountains. To the south, steaming jungles cover the Lhazaar islands; the land is home to deadly dinosaurs, and colossal sea serpents are said to lurk beneath the waves. From the frigid north to the southern tropics, these are hard lands that produce hard people.

The Lhazaar region draws its name from the Sarlonan explorer and pirate who colonized Greentarn, Orgalos, and Cape Far. Despite her fame, Lhazaar was neither the first nor last pioneer to settler along the eastern coast of Khorvaire. Over two dozen large islands are in the Principalities, and a remarkable range of people have found their way to the eastern shore. Gnome explorers from Zilargo claimed the isle of Lorghalen long before Lhazaar made her crossing. Elf refugees from the Aereni civil war found solace in the icy solitude of Farlnen. Dwarves and orcs from the Ironroot Mountains migrated to the eastern shore, laying the foundations of Tantamar and Cliffscrape. And dozens of human expeditions followed in the wake of Lhazaar, with most being Sarlonan explorers and fugitives from nations since destroyed by the Riedran Empire. The islanders have come together over the centuries, forming cosmopolitan communities and common traditions.

Despite the blend of races and cultures that have come together to form the Principalities, Lhazaar's influence can still be felt. It was Lhazaar who organized the first raider fleets, leading expeditions against Zil merchants and the ships of the dying Dhakaani Empire. Lhazaar granted her best captains the rank of praelas — a Riedran rank translated as "prince" in the Common tongue — proclaiming herself to be the prince among princes. She established the few laws that are universal throughout the realm, notably the fact that the title of prince is not hereditary. By the edicts, a Lhazaar noble holds his post through the power of his fleet and ability to command. Should he slip on either count, a more capable leader can lay claim to his title and his lands. Over the centuries, a number of principalities have adapted this custom to their own traditions; the gnomes of Lorghalen allow would-be princes to challenge a ruler to games of wit and tests of strategy, while the Farlnen elves expect a prince to possess arcane skill in addition to naval power.

The Lhazaar princes have always been willful and independent, and the history of the region is filled with feuds between princes. Powerful alliances have risen and fallen, but the islands have never been fully united under one prince. There has always been at least one lord who has claimed the title of high prince. This claim usually reflects the power of the lord's fleet, and as a result the high prince usually has the respect of the other princes — but this doesn't make his word law. He can make requests of the other princes, but unless he intends to use force, he cannot make demands.

In the present day, the high prince is Rygar ir'Wynarn, the lord of Greentarn. A clever diplomat and brilliant captain, Rygar has earned the loyalty of a host of warriors and the respect of most of the princes; those who oppose him do so quietly. Rygar called together the delegation that represented the Principalities in the Treaty of Thronehold, and he hopes to one day rule as the true king of the seas.

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The Lhazaar Principalities

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