Population: 3,753,080 (88% human, 11% Skarn)
Religions: The Gods of Woe
Imports: Livestock, produce, slaves
Exports: Magic items, pearls, salt, spices
Updated Through: 2806
On the southern shores of the Valesian Sea lies one of Vatherias most powerful and dangerous nations. The Warlocks of Accolon are known throughout the world for their powerful sorcery, their aggressive navies and their cruelty. Accolon itself is often called The Land of Living Rock, for the great animated stone titans that guard its coasts and cities.
Accolon is a rich and mysterious land with an ancient heritage and a magic-based society, ruled over by a cult of wizards and sorcerers known as the Warlocks. Although Accolon has a traditional aristocracy, few of whom are spellcasters, the true power in Accolon lies with the cult of the Warlocks. Their secretive covens decide the policy and laws of the land, and few aristocrats would ever openly gainsay them. All the Warlocks of Accolon are male. Females form a far more secretive cult, known as the Witches, but almost nothing is known of the Witches of Accolon, beyond rumors of their existence.
Accolon is an aggressive nation, seeking to dominate the Valesian Sea region by war, trade, piracy and intimidation. It has fought two recent wars with the Crusaders and the Valesian city-states, and wages an ongoing low-level contest for control of the Valesian Sea trade routes. Its purple-sailed trading ships are welcome throughout the region for the trade in enchanted items, but its black-hulled reavers are feared by all as the most dangerous privateers afloat.
From the spider-haunted city of Damarrask on the banks of the River Mulgaunt, the Warlocks spread out across the face of Vatheria seeking knowledge, power and trade. They usually travel alone, or with few servants, but are typically well-prepared for the hazards of the road. Although Accolon has few allies in the world, the Warlocks are rarely barred from entering other lands, because where they go, there also goes the trade in rare items from across the known world and beyond. In most cases, the Warlocks scrupulously avoid trouble, at least in public, but are known to be the most prolific slavers in Vatheria.
The cult of the Warlock is bound up in Conorrian history, but is far older, harkening back to the days of mighty Iridian before its fall. It still preserves some small portions of that legacy, building upon hints and shadowy descriptions found in ancient scrolls or inscribed upon rare monoliths that survived the flooding of ancient Iridian. Any rumor of an Iridian artifact or ruin will surely attract the attention of the Warlocks, who claim all such treasures as their own.
The Warlocks are recognizable by the tattoos they wear upon their arms and chests, which are magical in nature and bond the Warlock to his brothers in the cult. Servants of the Warlocks are sometimes also tattooed to indicate their status and which Warlock they serve.
The most famous of the Warlocks was the mighty Lucan Spidereyes, who carved an empire in the Stoneheart mountains and created the fabled Lucans Spiderstaff. The most famous living Warlocks are Vardan, the one-eyed necromancer, and Epiphethes the sybaritic diviner. Many believe that these two represent the actual rulers of Accolon.
The Living Rock
Dozens of giant stone statues walk the deserts and coasts of Accolon, repelling invaders and unwanted spies. These ancient relics are controlled by methods known only to the Warlocks, and seem almost to have an intelligence of their own. One of these statues was said to have been bested by the Conorrian hero Tarsis, who supposedly blinded it and tricked it into running over a cliff.
Accolon is home to hundreds of spider species, from tiny mites to monsters larger than a ox. It is common for Warlocks to keep spiders as pets, experiments or as familiars. In some cases, they are even steeds. Spiders are revered in Damarrask as representatives of The Veiled One, handmaiden of Malbor, chief god of Accolon. Because of this belief, the penalty for intentionally killing a spider is enslavement by the temple of the Veiled One.
A centaur-like race, the Skarn have the lower bodies of large scorpions and humanoid upper bodies. They are intelligent and are considered full citizens of Accolon. Skarn lead solitary lives, or live in small desert communities. Most Skarn are skilled hunters and warriors. Some few are wizards or sorcerers, and these nearly always specialize in Fire magic.
Skarn will only rarely be encountered outside of Accolon or Farmuz, as they have little interest in politics and are themselves solitary by nature. Those Skarn found in the cities tend to be visitors, merchants come to sell rare desert plants, or sorcerers seeking rare components from distant lands.
The Skarn brew a rare drink used only in religious ceremonies, called Fireblood. This potent concoction allows Skarn shaman to leave their bodies and contact the spirits of the unseen world, resulting in prophetic visions and insight. Fireblood has the same effect on some humans, but others run the risk of blindness, madness or even death, so most Skarn will not sell it at any price. Some few are less scrupulous, however.
The earliest histories of Accolon indicate that it was a part of Iridian that survived the cataclysmic floods which signaled the end of that arcane empire of prehistory. The earliest Conorrian kingdoms regarded it as an important trading partner, and later, as one of the first targets for conquest by their growing empire. The siege of Damarrask lasted for twelve years, and ended when the armies of Luxur retreated home at the death of the Ran, Nemthosis II. Thereafter, Accolon was an important part of the Conorrian empire for more than six hundred years. It was a frequent destination for ships from all over the Valesian Sea, and a common site for the villas of Conorrian noble families.
During the Mage Wars, the Warlocks supported several of the warring factions, but lent most of their support to the boy-emperor Valerius. In recognition of their efforts, when the Mage Wars were over, Valerius gave Accolon to the Warlocks to govern in his name. The long-sought power had come to their hands at last. When Valerius died, the Warlocks revolted and declared Accolon to be their own kingdom.
In 2622, an Accolon fleet under the Warlock Galdus invaded the Conorrian island province of Geshtai and deposed the governor, installing his own daughter as monarch. Geshtai has remained an Accolon puppet-state since that time. In more recent times, Accolon has fought two wars. One, the failed invasion of the Valesian city-states, ended in a terrible defeat for Accolon at the hands of the Supreme Strategos, Minaros. The other, a naval war against the Crusader knights, was more successful, forcing them to accept Accolons dominance of the Valesian Sea trade routes.
Currently, a new wave of Warlocks has spread across the face of Vatheria, searching for something, though none will say what. Meanwhile, there are rumors of a growing rift between factions within the cult, factions led by Vardan and Epiphetes.
MAJOR POPULATION CENTERS
Damarrask (Metropolis; population 132,000) Also known as the City of Spiders, Damarrask is Accolons capital, a great sprawling city in the desert that draws its life from the waters of the Mulgaunt river. While the river is the lifeblood of the citys people, it is the roads which are the lifeblood of the city itself. Damarrask sits astride the routes between the Empire and the rich markets of the south and those between the Valesian City States and the fabled lands of the east. Foreigners are a common sight in the city, but at night are required to remain outside the city walls.
Aggarha (Large city; population 61,000) Aggarha is the largest Accolon trading port on the Valesian Sea and a vital port of call for ships from a dozen nations. It also has one of the largest shipyards in the known world, producing everything from the dhows and cogs that ply the coasts to the great Accolon galleys that are the terror of the seas. Aggarha was badly damaged by a fire set by Valesian sailors in 7470, but has now largely recovered.
Nuradeem (Small city, population 35,000) The principle Accolon trading port of the Ymarian Sea, Nuradeem is a city rarely seen by travelers from Vatheria. The Accolons jealously protect their trade with the eastern realms and so have made it a crime for foreigners even to enter the city. The penalty is to be sold into slavery. This city of whitewashed brick houses is said to have a pleasant climate and crystal-clear blue waters famous for their pearl fisheries. The rumor among foreign traders is that the master of the city, the mysterious Starspeaker, is actually a blue dragon from the Sighing Sands.
Korrek (Large town; population 12,000) Korrek began as a small fortress on the Valesian border, and a town has grown up around it to serve the needs of the garrison. Over time, Korrek has waxed in importance, until the many retired military families and camp followers have nearly built a city in the desert. Korrek is frequently the object of border raids by Valesian armies and so its defenses have been added to almost continually. The heart of the city is now an impressive citadel that sits atop a bluff above the tiny Selintarran river. The garrison consists of almost a thousand full-time troops and an unknown number of Warlocks.
The Handmaidens Tower – The “tower” is actually a connected web of buildings and spires in the heart of Damarrask which forms the religious center of the nation. It is here that the High Priestess of the Handmaiden resides. Enemies of the Veiled One end up here.
The Gathering – Somewhere in the deserts of Accolon lie the half-buried ruins of an Iridian city whose very name has been forgotten. But in this ruin lies the secret heart of the Warlocks, and it is to this place that they look for guidance, leadership and orders. Powerful spells overlie the area, making it impossible to locate by means of magic, and many vicious beasts prowl the desert, assuring that no one discovers it by accident.
The Lake of Salt – In the depths of the Narran desert lies a great, empty lake bed. The floor of this ancient and inhospitable lake is made of hard salt, sometimes mined by the desert tribes for trade. On rare occasions, perhaps once or twice in a century, enough rain will fall in the nearby Altaia hills for the runoff to fill the lake to a depth of a few feet. On those rare occasions, a miraculous transformation takes place. Desert flowers that have lain dormant for decades will bloom in a riot of color. Some of these flowers are prized for their medicinal or magical qualities. However, locals know that when the lake floods, danger lurks, for then a monstrous beast rises from its slumbers beneath the salt bed and seeks ravenously for prey. This beast, the huwallak, is said to be completely invulnerable to magic. Even the dragons of the Narran will not approach it.