Claws of the Dragon
This page discusses the general history and politics of the Theran Empire. For information on the island namesake of the Empire, see Thera.
In the Selestrean Sea, far southwest of Barsaive, lies the isle of Thera, seat of the Theran Empire that held sway over Barsaive in the years before The Scourge. Though the Scourge cost the Therans control of Barsaive, they regained a small area of the province in the years that followed. The Theran-controlled lands in Barsaive include the city of Vivane, and the surrounding vicinity, which is called Vivane Province. Theran territory extends to the southern edges of Cara Fahd, and border conflicts in the area are common. Adventurers often encounter Theran patrols and airships in these regions. Even though the Therans have established the military installation Triumph in Barsaive’s heartland, the Therans rarely venture beyond the Twilight Peaks, preferring to consolidate their hold on the territories they already control.
Rumors place Theran spies in virtually every major Barsaivian city, as well as several of the larger towns and villages. The Therans at Triumph pose a threat to Barsaive; few people doubt the Therans’ intention to one day reclaim Barsaive as part of their empire.
One of the few remaining Theran outposts in Barsaive, Sky Point lies southwest of the city of Vivane. The Eighth Theran Legion quarters at Sky Point, giving the outpost the strongest Theran presence of any Barsaivian settlement. The outpost consists of a large platform supported by several huge pillars, and many small villages beneath the massive platform supply the Therans with necessities and slave labor. Sky Point also serves as the home port of the Theran Armada, comprising more than 25 airships, including three kilas and two dozen vedettes. Half the vedettes are outfitted for elemental mining and unsuitable for combat; the remaining craft boast fire cannons and can each carry up to 100 troops. General Crotias commands the Eighth Legion’s soldiers and cavalry, although half of them have recently been sent to guard Triumph. The area around Sky Point is heavily guarded against intruders.
Clearly visible from the Serpent River, the grounded behemoth Triumph towers over the nearby landscape. Commanded by General Nikar Carinci, a t’skrang related to House K’tenshin, the fortress has a great influence on the region. Slave trade has increased along the southern reach of the Serpent River to provide the Therans with a suitable workforce. In addition to the Fifth Legion and half of Sky Point’s Eighth Legion, Triumph boasts a considerable fleet of airships and kilas which remains detached from the main Armada stationed at Sky Point.
Once one of Barsaive’s most beautiful cities, Vivane now stands as a testament to Theran power. As the city nearest to the seat of the Theran Empire, Vivane fell to the Therans when they returned to reconquer Barsaive almost 60 years ago. With many of its buildings still in ruins, this southwestern city remains a shadow of its former self. Though the Barsaivian magistrate Quarique Oathstone nominally rules the city, all of Barsaive recognizes his true status as a puppet ruler controlled by the Theran Overgovernor Kypros. Kypros often docks his massive airship, Ascendancy, at Vivane to remind the city’s residents of Theran power. A support base for the Theran outpost at Sky Point, Vivane is also the only city near Barsaive with a sizable slave population.
Lankarden is a small garrison town, strongly built and well armed. It boasts two impressive airship towers inside the walls and a number of defenses to keep enemy forces away. The Therans use Lankarden as a waystation between Vivane and northeastern Barsaive, as well as a staging area for raids into Cara Fahd and Landis. Well-maintained roads link this small town to both Vivane and to the city of Parland in the south. Visitors other than the usual merchants who sell provisions are regarded with suspicion, and the town guards write down the names and places of residence for all outsiders entering the place. The town grew up only a few hundred yards from the Longbone River, named for the huge bones (said to be troll limbs) found by the first Therans to explore the river. Local people rarely fish for themselves, instead relying on Vivane for provisions, and devote their own efforts to capturing and selling slaves. Little trading or business goes on in Lankarden; the town exists primarily to serve Thera’s military needs.
Once a jewel of Barsaive, the former provincial capital of Parlainth is now a dead city, picked over by adventurers and haunted by terrible monsters.