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    Kingdom of Zofon, Sunelan Coast
    Posted on Thu, February 07, 2002 by taladmin
    TalMeta writes "Fifth and final gazetteer for Tal Meta's Sunelan Coast Campaign: Zofon of the Brilliant Hills. Come and visit the most warlike of the Sunelan states, wracked by turmoil both religious and militant....

    Author:Tal Meta

    Used with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission.

    Proper Name: The Brilliant Hills of Zofon
    Ruler: King Orjanu II, Righteous Arm of Lendor, Knight Protector of the Crown
    Government: Feudal Monarchy
    Capitol: Jadecliff
    Major Towns: Badgor, Caellon, Hordul, Jadecliff, Je'narina, Kalbris, Kozumin, Kunafon, Lojiir, Pidik, Qualfon, Reynuk, Shentlis, Talisam, Xla'riis, Zar'ulos, Zola'fen
    Provinces: Eleven major Duchies , ruled by noble families; Bados (Badgor), Caelos (Caellon), Jados (Jadecliff), Kalos (Kalbris), Lojos (Lojiir), Pidos (Pidik), Reyos (Reynuk), Shenos (Shentlis), Talos (Talisam), Zaros (Zar'ulos), Zolos (Zola'fen)
    Resources: lumber, foodstuffs, livestock, various ores
    Coinage: Prince (pp), Baron (gp), Duke (ep), Lord (sp), Knight (cp)
    Population: 1,250, 000 (89% human Sn, 7% dwurin, 3% olven, 1% other)
    Languages: Suloise, Dwurin, Olven
    Alignments: LN, LG, NG, CG
    Religions: Bralm, (Dwurin), Jascar, Lendor, Lydia, Osprem, Phalkon, Phyton, (Seldarine), Wee Jas, Xerbo
    Allies: Sunela, Zobolfon, Nochet
    Enemies: Osbyle, Huuncha, Niphos
    Overview: Settled in the early days of the Empire, Zofon was officially made a Principality in 3980 SD. Inhabited primarily by nelakan savages in the forests, and dwur'tabul who ruled the hills, the first Suloise settlers fought many battles for control of the land with both.
    The dwurin'tabul would capitulate first, suing for peace, accepting Suloise dominion, and swearing fealty to the Suloise Emperor in 4091. The nelaka, on the other hand, would be systematically exterminated, either being sold into slavery in the north or slain in battle defending their homes.
    Once secure within their own borders, the nobles of Zofon set about gaining access to every possible resource the land had to offer. Vast tracts of jungle were cut, and the timber used in constructing towns, forts, and ships. Stone from quarries in the hills built cities, walls, and luxurious palaces that soon dotted the landscape. With the jungle cut away, herds of cattle soon covered the land, imported from the north. (Zofon's horse breeders are still considered the best in the Empire, even today).
    When the hochebi began raiding shipping and coastal settlements, Zofon was quick to respond in kind, sending heavily armed ships out in pursuit of the raiders, seeking their home ports to raid in return. Though no record of it exists, it is quite probable that Zofoni ships were among the first to encounter (and be consequently sunk by) Niphosian ships among the Huuncha Isles.
    By the time the Niphosians were delivering their ultimatum to the Suloise via Zobolfon in 4190, Zofon was already in an undeclared sea war with them, having lost seven ships and having sunk four in return. Zofoni troops briefly occupied the city of Sekken before being overwhelmed by hochebi down from out of the hills. When war was finally declared in 4193, The Prince of Zofon himself, Urgrash II, sailed out with a contingent of Suloise War-Mages, and burned that same city in reprisal for their losses there the previous year.
    Zofon's ports remained among the most active in the war, her reserves of timber and other shipbuilding supplies proving critical to the war effort. When Niphosian reprisals began to be felt along the coast, the cities of Kozumin and Hordul were both burned, but not before the ships that brought the enemy troops to their shore were themselves burned in their harbors.
    When the war finally ended in 4240, Zofon found itself somewhat ill prepared for peace. Her large warfleet was mostly converted into merchantmen, though a signifigant number of vessels retained their prior role in watching the Niphosians for signs of further aggression. But trading with the Niphosians proved to be far more profitable than raiding them, so eventually Zofon's great fleet was either dismantled, retired, or converted over to trade.
    When the Huuncha (the strongest tribe of hochebi) rebelled against their Niphosian masters in 4634, Zofon secretly aided them with supplies of food and weapons. When the League was formed in 4720, the Prince of Zofon, Kregis IV, smiled, thinking that their fledgling state would remember that aid and help serve as a further buffer between his kingdom and that of Niphos.
    Instead, the hochebi proved to be somewhat lukewarm allies, preying equally on the shipping of all the Sea of Niphos states, sparing none. Zofon could hardly complain too loudly, since their participation in the revolts that led to the formation of the league were hardly authorized by their own Emperor.
    When the Bakluni war entered its final phases, Zofon's Prince Elvuk III was in Suendrako as an advisor to the Emperor. He cast an affirmative vote in the Council of Nobles in regards to the Invoked Devestation, and perished along with his sovereign when the Colorless Rain began to fall. Queen Issal remained at home, and watched helplessly as the mountains to the north glowed with the fury of the Bakluni.
    Zofon received few refugees; the mountain passes that led from Zofon to the Suel Basin were few, high, and treacherous. Many of those who arrived destitute in Sunela would, however, eventually make their way to Zofon, for there was always work for those that were willing to do it. More would also filter in from the north, refugees from the olven court, and the Days of Rage that followed the burning of their ancestral forests.
    But in almost every case, those that did arrive were powerful people in their own right. Peasants could run, but few lived so close to the mountains as to make a difference. Mages, priests and their retinues made up the bulk of the refugees, being able to cross great distances in the wink of an eye.
    When Empress Vionne called for unity in the face of Huunchan aggression, Zofon responded with a vengence, for while Queen Issal was hardly the warrior her husband had been, she was still Suel. If she could not make the Bakluni pay the blood price for her husband, she would have it twice over from Huuncha for daring to disturb her grief.
    In the fall of 5127, Queen Issal learned of the death of her only son, Sterna, when the Huuncha burned the city of Hordul (again). When peace was finally declared, she renounced the Throne of Brilliance and sequestered herself at the Sisterhood of the Ebony Mists at Kalbriis (an order devoted to Syrul).
    Empress Vionne gave the Kingdom of Zofon to her daughter Malandre and General Kime Alzume as their wedding gifts. Their line would rule Zofon peacefully for another century, until the rise of Garrik the Pretender.
    Garrik claimed that he was the grandson of Queen Issal, in a direct line of descent from the daughter she'd borne after she'd joined the Sisterhood at Kalbriis. The Sisterhood, naturally, had all the necessary records to back his claim, and they'd done a considerable amount of groundwork among some of the more influential noble and merchant houses in case that was needed.
    Prince Jirin II was naturally suspicious of these claims, and he had Garrik arrested when he came to court to present his case before the Ducal College. The next morning, his cell was empty, and the Alzume children were all found dead in their beds, except for the eldest, Mirianne, who was away studying in Nochet.
    A month later, Garrik resurfaced in Kalbriis, gathering an army to march on Jadecliff. The bulk of the army was comprised of roka and chebi, but a decent portion was made up of the knights loyal to several noble houses of the north as well as mercenary units in the pay of various influential merchant princes. Though Garrik's forces lost nearly every battle in the war, the tide turned in 5198 when an assassin's blade finally claimed the lives of Jirin and his wife inside the walls of their palace in Jadecliff.
    With Jirin II dead and his only remaining heir an underage daughter effectively exiled in Nochet, chaos reigned. Jirin II's top aides tried to rally the support of the nobles loyal to the Alzume line, but when their children began dying under mystrious circumstances, it was only a matter of time before Garrik was 'popularly' declared Garrik I, Prince of Zofon.
    Mider II, Emperor of the Exiled Throne, initially refused to recognize Garrik's sovereignty, but had been too mired in politics at home to send aid to the legitimate rulers when their victory had seemed assured. When Garrik I appeared before the Imperial Court in the spring of 5203 bringing along his young bride, the legitimate Princess of the realm, Mirianne, his pledge of loyalty was accepted with some reluctance, but accepted nonetheless.
    While Garrik I was insuring the legitimacy of his rule in Shatura, his supporters at home were far from idle. By Royal Decree, the Church of Sheler (a pantheonic cult honoring Bralm, Beltar, and Syrul in a maiden/mother/crone mythology) was elevated to the status of State Religion, and given authority second only to that of Prince Garrik I himself.
    Over the next several decades, though Garrik and his issue continued to reign, few inside or outside of Zofon doubted that the true power lay with the priestesses of the Church of Sheler. The daughters of Garrik I were raised almost entirely by the church (all the sons but one having died in their cribs) and quickly rose to power. Garrik I himself died under mysterious circumstances in 5231, leaving his three eldest daughters to serve as regents, and administer his kingdom and the Church of Sheler as their own. This fell theocracy would rule Zofon through means both secular and divine for the next several centuries.
    The Church's influence grew slowly outside Zofon's borders, infecting the noble houses of those cities along the borders. Battles were fought with Zobolfon, but the end result was a close alliance between the two lands when the children of both Principalities were wed. To the East, the honeyed words of Zofon's ambassadors to the Sunelan Princes eventually paved the way for their most ambitious move, the assassination of the Emperor, and the War of Three Crowns.
    War against Sunela would actually be the spark that would awaken the people of Zofon to their plight. Prior to this civil war, the forces of weal were scattered and reduced to hiding in the shadows; the necessities of war at home and abroad would bring members of groups that had no prior contact together for the first time.
    During the lull provided by the Regency, these groups grew in power and pervasiveness. Alliances were formed, both between the Zofoni sects and those abroad; by the time the second War of Crowns erupted, the cabals were ready to strike.
    While the Church sponsored knighthoods were busy fighting loyalists in Sunela, the local scions of the secret societies began stirring up trouble at home, razing churches, disrupting trade, and occupying the central fortresses that were undermanned due to the conflict. With their resources already stretched near to breaking, the Church of Sheler would eventually collapse, leaving Zofon free once more.
    Once Ulin I assumed the Exiled Throne in 5531, he placed the rebel Kingdom of Zofon under the sovereignty of one of his closest supporters, Sir Ian Lerzik of Hesnoth, a Knight of the Hammer (a militant order associated with the Church of Jascar in Sunela). This move showed the wisdom of Ulin I in two ways; first, by assigning the rulership of what had become arguably the most troublesome principality to a close supporter, he assured that no further treachery would be coming from that quarter. Second, by giving those same lands that had been dominated by a cult associated with Beltar to a follower of Jascar, he could be certain that the cult in question would be assiduously stamped out.
    The next few centuries would be a time of restructuring for Zofon. Free of the Church of Sheler, a renaissance of a sort would grip Zofon, as a new era of art, thought, and expression would come to flower in her cities and towns. Knighthoods would be sponsored, guilds sanctioned, and new designs of ships designed and built.
    When the Huuncha raids reached an unacceptable peak in 5760, Zofoni ships once more sailed out to war. Zofon's new galleys would make short work of the smaller hochebi vessels, and would prove equally efficient against the ships of Niphos.
    Within twenty years of the Niphosians entering the war, Zofoni and Sunelan ships would be raiding their heartlands in turn, for the first time since the Suloise/Niphosian War of 4193. Eventually, Sunelan Empire ships would be rounding the Horn of Niphos, and landing troops in the previously sacrosanct cities of the Niphosian southerm coast.
    Niphos would eventually sue for peace once more, and the nations of the region would return to raiding one another's ports and shipping 'unofficially' and 'accidentally'. This pattern would continue unabated until the earthquakes of 5801, which would spark a renewed interest in the East.
    Various maritime expeditions would be launched eastwards, encountering a variety of lands, both along the Amedio and the eastern reaches of the island chains. When the first foreign vessel smashed itself against Xerbo's Teeth, the survivors were the toast of Jadecliff, and one actually did marry the daughter of a wealthy Zola'fen merchant.
    Zofoni Prince Ramin III sent ambassadors to Sunela when word of the delegates that arrived in 6047 reached Jadecliff. One elected to return to Shar with them when they departed in 6051. To date, he has not returned, and is feared dead (the emmissary in question was an accomplished sorcerer, more than talented enough to effect his own return.)
    Conflicts & Intrigues: Zofon is currently in a relative state of peace, though this could change at any time. Osbyle and the Huuncha continue to be minor annoyances, raiding those ships they can regardless of origin, but Zofon's navy is feared by both.
    Niphos, for it's part, remains alternately a rival and trading partner; while the Niphosians obviously follow a code of honor similar to their own, the precise tennets of it continue to elude the understanding of the northerners.
    Though no official relations exist between Zofon and the Scarlet Brotherhood, they view the existence of another bastion of Suloise culture with both comfort and a sense of unease; the failure of their ambassador to return home as scheduled certainly doesn't bode well for the future.

    Note: Suloise,Sunela,Twin Cataclysms"
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    Re: Kingdom of Zofon, Sunelan Coast (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Fri, February 08, 2002
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    Now that the series is done, how about appending a glossary of terms? I know who the Niphon are supposed to be (Nippon = Niphon), but who/what are the Hocheti, Neluki, and Dwur'Tabul?

    Also, at least In My Campaign, Lendor is specific to the Suel of the Lendore Isles. I would substitute Cyndor elsewhere.

    Re: Kingdom of Zofon, Sunelan Coast (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Mon, September 28, 2009
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    Its always nice to see an expansion of our world of Oerth. And its interesting to see that Suel type states existed and evidently survived the Twin Cataclysms.

    I would be interested in knowing whether or not that "index of terms" was ever done, describing some of the peoples mentioned in the article.

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