Kingdoms of Jal

A collection of petty kingdoms and fiefs that make up the known world. The Kingdoms are filled with rivalries and minor wars, with the following main regions and rulers known:

Hembard Wilds

Named for the ill-fated explorer, Jorund Hembard, that first charted the region, the Wilds are a thumb-shaped area of civilized lands, forming the northwestern corner of the Kingdoms of Jal along the Hembard River. While the petty kings and nobles of the Jalish Kingdoms bicker and fight amongst themselves, the local lord, Thambar the Prudent, takes little interest in the affairs of the court, being more interested in scholarly matters. He rules from Highcliff Keep, which perches like a great crow on the cliffs above Auslaug, the largest of the three main villages in the Wilds.


Thambar the Prudent is the ruler of all three towns in Hembard Wilds, and lord of all the scattered farmers and serfs scattered as well. His interests are overseen by his steward Eyvindr Endesen, who is assisted by six reeves (one each for Hustwood, Auslaug, Brekkevale and New Town, two for the various scattered farms and freeholds). The reeves are responsible for overseeing taxation, and enforcing the lord's economic laws.

Each settlement is governed by a mayor and council of aldermen. The mayor is appointed by Thambar, the aldermen elected by the local populace. The council varies in size depending on the village. Three in Hustwood, four in Brekkevale, and six in Auslaug.

The mayor and aldermen enforce building codes, manage common spaces (pastures, roads), and resolve civil and land disputes where possible. They advise the reeves and lord on civil policy and other matters. The mayor and council also determine market days, direct the local militia in police duties (including issuing warrants for criminals in some cases), and issue building permits for lands within ten miles of their respective villages.


Vargen Detwood is captain of the guard at Highcliff and commands the militia as well. Though day to day militia / marshal duties are managed by the mayoral councils, Detwood is the ultimate authority, and determines deployment to each village. Generally each village has an officer or two, plus two or three sergeants, and a dozen privates stationed there. Generally the privates are locals, serving their duty cycle. Officers and sergeants are professionals.

The guard at Highcliff is fairly small, but adequate to the keep's defense. Most are professional soldiers, though there is often a militia rotation training in the keep's courtyard. Thambar often recruits mercenaries (dwarfs from the north, elven archers) when the situation dictates.


In civil matters and minor cases, the mayoral council will judge the case. Taxation falls to the reeves, or Thambar himself. Criminal matters or civil judgement appeals are dealt with by Thambar's appointed judge, Calen Gara, chief priest of Erlinga. He is based in Auslaug but travels regularly to the villages.

Local Geography

Hembard River

A mostly navigable river that serves as the primary travel route to the Hembard Wilds. During the winter months the river is often frozen, making travel to the rest of the Kingdoms of Jal risky at best.

Tajen Peaks

The Peaks form the northernmost edge of the Hembard Wilds. The range runs generally west-southwest to east-northeast, and varies in both elevation and ruggedness. Several passes cut through the range, including the ill-named Vale of Bones, but these valleys are poorly mapped at best.

Western Woodlands

Western Woodlands is the name given to the relatively unknown lands beyond the borders of Hembard Wilds, generally covering the area northwest of Hustwood, and south of the Tajen Peaks. The Westwalk skirts along this area, marking the informal border between civilization and wilderness. In fact there are people living along this rough road, chiefly woodcutters, homesteaders, hunters and trappers, but they're few and far between. It is from this scattered folk that most of the rumors about the Western Woodlands come, as expeditions into the Woodlands usually do not return. Here are a few stories and rumors: