Carrion Crown 5th Edition
The Kingdom of Ustalav
The Immortal Principality of Ustalav
Population: 402,640 (90% human, 5% undead, 2% half-elves, 1% elves, 0.5% Halflings, 0.5% Dwarves, 1% other)
Government: Fragile confederation counties led by a king
Religions: (in order of number of temples) the Triad (Ilmater, Torm, Tyr), Kelemvor, Velsharoon (secret), Chauntea, Bane (secret), Tymora, Tempus, Silvanus
Matter: Books, glass, jewelry, metal, paper, cloth, grains, fruits, weapons, armor
Exports: Cheese, furs, leather goods, coal, wood
Trend: N, LN, LE
The Immortal Principality of Ustalav lies on the north eastern shore of the Sea of Falling Stars, a grim bastion of civilization amid the cold barbarian north, where a harsh landscape and a history rich in tragedies inspire a wary population with skepticism, religious devotion, and superstition. A conglomeration of loosely affiliated counties, each run by feuding nobles vying for power and influence, Ustalav is a pitiful shell of its former glory, before it was subjugated to centuries of slavery at the hands of the Whispering Tyrant’s undead armies. While the nation’s upper classes struggle to compete with the very nations that abandoned them to fend for themselves after the Whispering Tyrant’s defeat, the average Ustalavic citizen has it much worse.
Hundreds of years of subjugation and the residual horrors that plague the countryside have left the people of Ustalav suspicious of magic, religion, foreigners, and their fellow citizens. Beyond their eccentric and insular qualities, Ustalavs often have a dour worldview. They resign themselves to lives of suffering, seeing nothing in their people’s history to suggest there is any hope for a better life. Despite the physical and psychological strains upon its populace, Ustalav nevertheless fosters extremely hardy and tenacious stock: men and women who firmly believe that no matter how bad it gets, history shows it could always be worse.
Although Ustalav has little to offer its rural peasants, inhabitants of its many metropolitan cities fare somewhat better, and the centers of learning and culture they provide draw trade and travelers from throughout the North East region of Faerun. The capital, Caliphas, stands on the banks of the Sea of Fallen Stars, and its fog-shrouded streets host some of the nation’s most esteemed centers of trade and academia. In the north, the city of Karcau boasts a thriving culture of music, theater, and other fine arts, and its opulent architecture rivals the excess of even the most exotic Taldan palace. Meanwhile, Ustalav’s northwestern counties have broken from aristocratic rule and formed their own local, democratic government without nobles, calling themselves the Palatinates and providing a glimmer of hope for the downtrodden people of provincial Ustalav.
It is here, in the Immortal Principality, that the Carrion Crown Adventure Path takes place, and as you travel through the various counties, your character will rise from a simple pallbearer to the potential savior of the nation. As internally varied as a nation can be, Ustalav is your new home, and the possibilities for fame, fortune, and influence are as thick as the fog that creeps across the windy moors at night.
Administration of the Kingdom
Currently the Ustalav kingdom is divided between 12 Great Counties. These twelve, nine are governed by original noble families from the time of colonization Varisian, while three are governed by councils elected by the citizens. These three counties, Lozeri, Canterwall and Vieland are known as Palatinates.
Recent History of Ustalav
Ustalav now finds itself a strongly divided country, struggling to reclaim a semblance of its former greatness and burdened with a history of darkness few nations can equal. In recent history, the country has had to deal with some massively disruptive events:
- 1388 DR: The country was fractured as three north-western counties overthrew their hereditary governments becoming the Palatinates
- 1391 DR: Prince Valislav Ordranti moved the Ustalavic capital from Ardis to Caliphas and shortly died thereafter
- 1391 DR: The current Prince of Ustalav, Prince Aduard Ordranti III, ascended to the throne under the shadow of a rival claim from Reneis Ordranti who was born the same year
- 1404 DR–1410 DR: a civil war, known as the War Without Rivals, rages in the east leading to the formation of the wasteland called the Furrows
Under the political upheaval and machinations of its rulers, lie deeper threats to modern Ustalav too. The legacy of the Whispering Tyrant is a poisoned, cursed and haunted land; many of his followers remain at large, patiently hiding awaiting his return. Older threats also stir, including spirits of the Kellids that the Ustalavs destroyed over generations; and legendary beasts long forgotten. The threats from beyond its borders have not gone away either. All this leads to the modern Ustalav being of a fearful and suspicious character. Some seek meaning in the dark spirit of the nation and manage to turn to the arts or to faith and learning; while others turn to the shadows to be consumed by what they find there.
A Brief History of Ustalav
The modern history of Ustalav began around 480 DR when numerous barbarian families coming from Narfell, Varisians decided to settle in the region.
Soividia Ustav unified the clans in 495 DR after numerous wars and expelled the native inhabitants of the region. But the kingdom of Ustalav continued wars between families.
In 530 DR, Princess Carmina Ustav divided the country into 16 large counties, distributed among the 16 clans, all subject to central control Ustalav Crown. This caused an era of stability, providing prosperity and development.
The Rise of Tar-Baphon, the Necrotirano
612 DR, the Tar-Baphon Arquilich came into contact with a cosmic entity that awarded him unimaginable powers in exchange for his complete devotion. Tar-Baphon (also called Whispering Tyrant), conquered the whole of Ustalav with his army of undead.
He ruled Ustalav for four hundred years, accumulating forces and increasing their armies of undead and other creatures of darkness, when it began an expansion campaign looking invade Dalelands. After succeed in conquering part of Dalelands, the resistance of Elminster and the armies of Dalelands forced to retreat.
The Shining Crusade
In 1012 DR, the human realms of the Dalelands, Impiltur, Cormyr and Sembia, supported by the churches of the Triad (Tyr, Torm and Ilmater), joined in a coalition to end the threat of Tar-Baphon. They joined the Resistance Ustalav and defeated the Whispering Tyrant, trapping his soul in its capital, Gallowspire, County Virlych (which is still an infested dead land of the undead).
The Recovery Ustalav
Shortly after the Tar-Baphon fall, the noble families of Ustalav began a civil war for the right to the crown, which finally culminated in the Ordranti family ruler in the kingdom. In addition to the unstable political realm, the four hundred years of Tar-Baphon government left a land full of dangers and dark horrors.