Sacred Wind heraldry is forth coming.
Shire of Sacred Wind is located in beautiful Ellensburg, WA. We currently meet Saturdays 1pm-5pm (11am-3pm winter hours) at Alder Street Park.
If you are in need of foam fighting, drop us a line.
Note: The conceptual inspiration was the nation of Switzerland. Think of a group of people, in a well-defended spot, who have found ways to profit off of surrounding nations without getting squished themselves.
AMTGARDIA, LANDS OF CONFLICT
Amtgardia is a world of constant conflict. Much of that conflict seems meaningless, as armies and individuals constantly fight with little notion of what is to be gained from the battles.
Some objected to that sort of thing, and others thought the conflict might be directed by an unseen hand, for aims they might not want any part of.
THE SHIRE OF SACRED WIND, ORIGINS
Individually or in groups, many of those who objected to the pointless conflicts gravitated to a high mountain range, feeling pulled there by something they could not describe, but felt was very important. One by one, these travelers found their way through the peaks, into a vast valley of forests and fertile meadows. They kept themselves hidden from the outside world, and built a fortified town they named Sylvandale and called their lands the Shire of Sacred Wind, named such for the strong winds which often blew through the valley.
Their numbers increasing, and their walls fortified, the residents of Sylvandale built roads to the passes and outposts on their borders. They proceeded to open the roads to the outside world so that Sylvandale might become a hub of commerce and transport. As travelers continued to settle or simply visit, an institution of higher learning and magic was founded in the town. This academy was named Stargazer University, run by a group of magi known as the Order of the Azure Star.
Sylvandale itself is a fairly well-ordered town with a fine meeting place, the Green Dragon Tavern, known for the quality of its food and drink. Several merchants have set up shop, and while almost all of Sylvandale’s inhabitants are humans, there are a number of elves and halflings, along with a few dwarven engineers who assisted with building the local fortifications. It is located at the junction of several roads. The Road to Ruin winds north towards Hermit’s Hold. King’s Highway bisects the realm, granting easy access to Stormhaven to the east, and various settlements united under the banner of the Northern Lights to the west. The lesser-traveled path to the south, the Twisted Road, leads ultimately to Cage Valley to the southeast, and even the lands of the Mystic Seas and surrounding territories.
The dominant feature of Sylvandale, and the reason the town was founded where it is, is a massive oak in the center of town that has Sylvan Tower built around it, and has a healing spring beneath it in a subterranean cavern.
The Wellspring of the Source, this source of healing water, was created by a mysterious deity known only as “Stabby”, or sometimes, “Mister Stabby”, as something of a perverse whim. Stabbing tends to result in dying, and a cessation of stabbing. But if there is healing, there can be more stabbing! An Order of Hospitallers maintains the spring under the direction of the Church of Stabby, and sees to it that the roads and borders are defended, augmenting the local militia.
INFLUENCES IN SYLVANDALE AND THE SHIRE
There are four main “powers” in Sylvandale. First is the government, headed by the Sheriff and his or her Champion. They also command the military force known as the Guardians, and the militia. Second, the Order of the Azure Star provides arcane knowledge to those in Sylvandale and runs the University. They are growing in power as their members learn higher circles of magic. Third, the Church of Stabby, which seems to be rapidly gaining converts. Finally, there is a shadowy group known in whispers as Silhouette, which acts as an intelligence agency for the government as well as having its own secret aims. While each group may sometimes seem to be at odds with the others, ultimately they all work together in a somewhat complex power and influence sharing arrangement, with the overriding principle being "We're all in this together."
SOURCES OF PROSPERITY
Sylvandale is prosperous for a few reasons. The University is a financial boon, not to mention aiding in the town’s arcane defense. The Church of Stabby oversees the healing spring, which attracts pilgrims. Silhouette engages in smuggling, mostly of the sort that avoids tariffs and taxes in neighboring realms, rather than any activities which negatively affect Sylvandale. Silhouette does not crap on its own doorstep.
Finally, the inhabitants of Sylvandale realized rather quickly that while they did not necessarily like to fight for no reason, they certainly didn’t mind doing so for personal gain and profit. Many inhabitants of Sylvandale serve as mercenaries in surrounding realms. The high mountains with easily-defended passes surrounding the Shire of the Moving Trees make retaliation against Sylvandale difficult. This is helpful, as the Shire’s mercenaries have the potential to sway battles elsewhere.
DARK MYSTERIES AND DANGEROUS PLACES
Sylvandale's location in a high mountain valley is secure in some ways, but it is not completely safe. Many goblins inhabit the mountains and enjoy raiding the locals when they have the opportunity. There are also many unexplored wilderness areas, particularly forests. There are rumors of darker creatures dwelling in such places. At least one necromancer has taken up residence in Sylvandale, attracted by evidence of undead in the forests.