The History of Sundren
Year of the Sunderer (1196-1200)
Sundren, unlike many nations, was not the result of warring states or unified tribes. It instead, emanated from a young diviner's desire to be unrivaled as an explorer. Through the clever use of scrying, in 1196 Mundus of Waterdeep discovered within "The North" a formation of mountains that concealed a bountiful valley, which at the time was uncharted and perplexing. Further divining revealed lush forests, serene coastlines and even mines filled with precious ores. Mundus drew many conclusions from his nightly discoveries, but could find no way to access the mysterious new piece of land. The seas while beautiful--were filled with rocks that would make travel by water impossible. The mountain formation continued until the spine of the world. Their height and girth made them both immovable and impassable. In his desperation, the young wizard spent several months scaling the bluffs and precipices of the mountains. It was not until four years after the original discovery that the frantic Mundus finally found a way to reach the valley. He would break the smallest mountain in the formation with channeled circle magic produced by over fifty Thayan mages. For the astounding price of 60,000 gold pieces the Red Wizards of Thay cast a chain of fireballs that shook the earth and sundered the mountain completely, sending boulders and debris flying miles away. When the dust cleared, the mages were gone and the rocky road to fame finally appeared.
The Shaping (1200-1201)
With the mountain now consisting of rubble, Mundus was now hindered by only the stones before him--or so he believed. It was apparent however, that regardless of how he would proceed, the remains of the mountain would need to be relocated or allocated elsewhere. A few nights after the sundering, by Selune's light, Mundus found a practical way to rid himself of the troublesome debris. Early the next morning he assembled his peers and in a great display of skill caused the largest of the stones to chain together to form earth elementals. Then, with a solitary hand motion sent them off to work. The hulking creatures toiled day and night until their task was finished. When Mundus returned with his assembly in the morning the elementals had vanished and there stood a gigantic wall of polished stone that spanned the entire distance separating the two nearest mountains. In the center, an iron gate no less than twenty meters tall stood triumphantly.
Rock and Gnoll (1201-1213)
The gate of the sunderer was complete and although there were no roads, travel to and from the new land became vastly easier with the creation of the wall. Mundus' exploration could finally begin on foot. The first full year in the immature territory was spent charting the grasslands and shores. Cartographers were summoned daily and new maps were drawn consantly but with so many disagreements amongst his Underlings, the wizard became impatient. He took it upon himself to investigate the few unexplored areas remaining within the valley--the twin forests on the east and west ridges. Mundus assumed that since the rest of the valley was uninhabited, the forests would be as well. It was not until traveling only a few yards passed the first tree, that he was abruptly corrected by a gnoll ambush and nearly slain. Mundus escaped with a contingency teleportation spell, but his companions were not as fortunate as he. They were all mercilessly slain and never returned. Following his arrival at his camp at the gate, a battalion of gnolls struck at the sentinels awaiting at the wall. The wizard's forces succesfully defended their encampment, but the discovery of opposing forces damped the morale of the entire exploration team.
The Advent (1213-1215)
After discovering the hostile forces in the forests, Mundus began to concoct another scheme--this time, focusing on protecting his underlings. To carry out his plan, he called into service a translator capable of speaking gnoll and an apothecary. From the Apothecary, Mundus took several vials of the most flamable substance he could muster and met the translator on the edge of forest. Together, the two snuck passed the gnoll sentries and quietly began their preparations outside of the largest village they could find. Mundus first created a large circle of the flamable oil around the edges of the camp. He then proceeded to gleefully whisper a few words to the trees, causing them to animate. The final step of his plan came to fruition when he cast a booming voice spell on the translator and ignited with the oil--leaving the camp surrounded in a ring of fire and the translator's voice clear for all to hear... "Yeenoghu demands the attention of his servants!" The trees shambled toward the fire engulfing the camp and the gnolls themselves began to quake in fear. "You will not harm anyone outside of the forest! Your territory is here! Feast on the corpses of your enemies within the trees, not outside. To do anything else would defy my word! Inform the other tribes of my judgement. Let it be known that those that defy my word will face my wrath!" At the end of the speech, the trees halted, the fire subsided and the two fled to safety.
The Beginning (1215-1230)
Mundus, pleased with his success in handling the gnoll situation began to direct his attention elsewhere. First, he claimed the new land for himself and his followers and named it "Sundren." After declaring Sundren his land, he began to market the various resources to the surrounding territories, bringing him both wealth and renown. All of his fortune however, went to nothing but the development of the land. Before he died in 1230 he invested heavily in the development of Sundren, bringing it from a small village to a large city filled with commerce. On his death bed, he left his closest advisors a large tome containing an outline for how he wished Sundren to develop after he died.
The Economy of Sundren
Sundren enjoys prospering trade with Mirabar, to which most of Sundrens’ plentiful mineral resources are exported. The various regions of Sundren are all rich in minerals, such as Iron and Mithral. Sundren also trades openly with Waterdeep, which still regards Sundren as an uninteresting colony. However, with the prospering trade and flourishing culture, this perception is fast on the retreat. The settlements in Icewind Dale trade with Sundren when possible, seeing a possibly powerful new neighbor.
Trade in Sundren is mainly conducted over land, as the reef in the seas around Sundren makes navigation nigh impossible.
Flexibility of the Economy
The Sundren economy is still very flexible, mainly because it is not yet firmly rooted in large organizations. However, some large factions do theirs to maintain control of trade in Sundren. At present time, the largest such is the Exigo Syndicate, composing mainly of Mulhorandi immigrants and others of such descent. At current time, the Exigo Syndicate is a mere 20 years of age, and fast expanding their influence.
Sundren’s economy is, unlike Waterdeeps’, not massive, and as such, the acquisition of truly expensive items is not yet possible. However, with the recent insurgence of adventurers, emissaries and the like, magical item trade is beginning to appear in Sundren, and magic is changing hands at a furious pace.
The People of Sundren
Sundren is a land that was recently colonized by civilization. Its people are mostly migrants from the Faerunian north, with minority groups that came from elsewhere. For the most part, Sundren is composed of humans, the vast majority of whom are Illuskans and Chondathans. In that regard, Sundren is not unlike the metropolises of the Sword Coast. Its overall demographics shows enough diversity as to not be completely homogeneous, as both ethnic groups maintain their distinct identities in harmony.
In politics, Chondathans tend to dominate leadership positions, as their complex social structure makes them more suited to upholding the day-to-day running of Sundren. In other pursuits, Chondathans and Illuskans are equally able workers, though Chondathans are more likely to have backgrounds in farming, engineering, scholarship, and commerce, whereas the Northlanders are the stereotypical fisherfolk, seafarers, builders, and soldiers.
Illuskan-Sundarians are migrants or descendants of migrants from the north, the Silver Marches, and the Sword Coast. They outnumber the Chondathans, but have adapted to living peacefully alongside them. Most Illuskan-Sundarians speak Common, Illuskan and understand Chondathan to varying degrees. Some Chondathan-Sundarians are the descendants of early settlers that came with Mundus of Waterdeep, though the vast majority migrated later from the Silver Marches, Waterdeep, and the Faerunian heartlands. They speak Common and Chondathan, and the lower-class amongst them tend to understand Illuskan to some extent.
Whilst Illuskans make up roughly sixty percent of the human population, Chondathans make up most of the remaining forty percent. Intermingling is nowhere from rare, but neither ethnic group is likely to entirely disappear to assimilation in the foreseeable future. In addition, Common (which itself began as a dialect of Chondathan) is used not only in trade or casual communications, but has also been adopted as the language in official use.
Other prominent civilized peoples that have colonized Sundren include elves, half-elves, and dwarves. The migration of half-elves accompanied that of humans, and they face no ill treatment even in rural parts. Considering the age of Sundren, few elves were born in Sundren, and there thus is no elven culture unique to the region. The dwarves came to Sundren as miners, mercenaries, and explorers. Most of them are Shield Dwarves, with a negligible minority of Gold Dwarves. They have their own thriving if small communities.
The Nobility of Sundren
The Nobility of Sundren is varied, and contains various nobles of different power and wealth. There are, however, two main Houses:
These two noble houses have immense wealth and power, and are influential in ways that the common people can't possibly begin to understand, or fathom. However, there are four lesser noble houses as well:
And finally, there are the newest noble houses, born from the ashes of the Second Bloodmaim Wars. They are fledgling, but they are slowly gaining influence and power.