Heroes with no Homeland
Aundair is two nations in one. Pastoral villages and farmlands line its borders or cluster around the keeps of the region’s feudal lords. The people here are simple, even rustic. The nation’s great cities, however, are alive with commerce and bustle with a crowd nearly as cosmopolitan as that of Sharn. The houses of government and institutions of higher learning nearly burst with the learned, the scholarly, and the magically inclined. Yet whether one is listening to scholars or farmers, mages or laborers, Aundairians speak of their nation with pride. They are unified in their identity, and they don’t care how greatly their customs and preferences vary.
Currently ruled by Queen Aurala, Aundair is focused on moving into the future and leaving the devastation of the Last War behind. The land-owning aristocracy works to build up the nation’s resources, and Queen Aurala extends all possible courtesies to the dragonmarked houses, hoping to transform her nation into the preeminent center of commerce for the Five Nations. Aundair is also the heart of arcane studies. Apprentice wizards and other would-be casters come here to attend various colleges, such as the Arcane Congress. If Aundair is to have any advantage in future conflicts with its neighbors, it will stem from the nation’s arcane supremacy.
Aundair is still struggling to recover from the war, with both its military power and domestic resources at low ebb. But Aurala’s efforts are guiding Aundair into a relatively swift regrowth, so hopes are high for the nation’s long-term survival. Queen Aurala and her supporters seem eager for war to resume; Aundairians are a proud, courageous, stubborn people. These traits allowed them to stand up to larger, more disciplined armies during the war, and these traits inspire Aundairians to strive for more than mere survival.
Although much of Aundair consists of small villages and unnamed communities, it also contains several large cities, and all boast great importance to the nation as a whole. Because of its extensive agricultural trade, the roads are well maintained in all but the most distant reaches.
Arcanix: A small yet vitally important village, Arcanix sits on the shores of Lake Galifar. The people work to meet the needs of the wizards who dwell in the three great towers that float in the air above the village. Within these towers’ labyrinthine halls, classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and vaults, mages struggle to master arcane secrets and teach spells to a new generation of students.
Fairhaven: The capital of Aundair, Fairhaven is the nation’s economic heart. Wide, straight streets provide easy travel, allowing merchants to deliver goods to Fairhaven’s bustling markets, including the famous Distant Exchange. More than anything else, Fairhaven is a city of learning, home to an uncountable number of institutions that range from full-fledged universities to tiny private schools, each educating students in a wide variety of topics.
Fairhold: The ancestral home of Aundair’s rulers, the fortress of Fairhold rises above all other structures in Fairhaven. Its towers, minarets, and walled keeps host the royal family, as well as the various courts and the garrison of the Knights Arcane.
Passage: The only large city in western Aundair, Passage sits on the shores of Lake Galifar. Passage is a major enclave of House Orien, which runs most of the city’s commerce and government. The city is the beating heart of the lightning rail system, for most rail carts are repaired and maintained here. Many consider Passage the gateway between the civilized lands and the Eldeen Reaches.
Stormhome: The primary enclave of House Lyrandar, Stormhome is technically a part of Aundair
but functions as an independent community. Ambassadors—both official and covert—of many nations and organizations meet in the island’s various restaurants, taverns, and other establishments.
University of Wynarn: The most respected institution of higher learning in all Khorvaire, the
University of Wynarn occupies a sprawling complex of six great structures in the city of Fairhaven. Due to the relaxed admissions qualifications put into place to increase attendance during and after the Last War, students of all races and all cultural and social backgrounds
can be found here.
People of Aundair
The people of Aundair are, by and large, a stubborn and patriotic folk. Over half o f all Aundairians are human. Among the major cities, half-elves, elves, and gnomes make up a significant minority, but these races are uncommon in the pastoral communities.
Halflings appear with moderate frequency in these more distant communities, but shifters are rare; shifters were once more common, but they were driven from Aundair by Silver Flame zealots more than 150 years ago. On rare occasions, orcs and half-ores of Eldeen, and even the occasional tiefling family, settle on this side of the border; the common folk of the region distrust these foreigners but rarely engage in open hostility.
Most Aundairians worship the Sovereign Host, but adherents of the Silver Flame account for a significant minority. Several of Aundair’s cities contain enclaves of Silver Host “puritans,” extremists far more fanatical than the average Thrane.
The people of Aundair are acutely fashion conscious. Nobles prefer bright colors, feathered
hats, long skirts, coats or cloaks, and ruffled or puffy sleeves. Poorer folk cannot afford to keep up with such fashions, but they often own a single “fancy” outfit that poorly models the styles of a generation or two gone by.