Cultural Level: Medieval (7)
Landscape: Full Ecology (Temperate Forests, Hills, Plains, Mountains, and Swamps)
Garvidia (GAR-vid-eeah) is the second largest domain in Ravenloft’s. land area known as The Core. Garvidia is a vast domain with its borders that stretch across the southeastern edge of The Core just southeast of Nova Vassa and running north up unto the southeastern edges of Darkon. Garvidia is a grandiose land that encompasses an astonishing variety of landscapes.
Water is plentiful within Garvidia both the Dnar River and the Ivils River rush across its borders and empty into the Sea of Depression located in the southeastern edge of Garvidia. Along the stormy shores of this sea is Garvidia’s largest city. The port city of Baylock is a racial melting pot that influences all who travel to it. Trade flows freely in this great city and it creates a thriving metropolis full of action and adventure. Numerous freshwater and saline lakes dot the landscape as well. Most notably is the Lost Lake which is Garvidia’s largest freshwater lake and it is located in the southwestern edge of Garvidia.
For miles along the northwestern edge of Garvidia is the Anagarvin Mountain Range which has summits that reach above 10,000 feet and is crowned by the volcanic peaks of Mount Kilmore, Mount Nerak, and Mount Volkar. Rugged and mostly trackless these mountains are a fierce sight to behold. Along the northeastern corner of Garvidia is a minor mountain range known as the Gnome Hills. These mountains are not as steep and treacherous as the other mountain ranges in Garvidia but none the less should not be overlooked. Hidden within these mountains is the Vale of Shadow a wide rolling floodplain dotted with small shadowy woodlands.
Southeastern Garvidia holds one of its largest forests. The Mist Forest is a menacing wood that is so ancient and dense that no light can reach the forest floor. The forest covers a vast area and is rumored to hold a large historic elven city. Vast plains fill the middle of Garvidia, filled with open skies and vast changes in weather. A smaller forest known as the Lost Woods surrounds Garvidia’s capital city Dioscuri and the king’s stronghold Castle Anagarvin. The climate within Garvidia is temperate tending toward extremes with harsh winters, hot summers, but with pleasant springs and autumns.
Major Settlements: Ansearin (pop. 7,500), Baylock (pop. 65,00), Cornwell (pop. 6,000), Dioscuri1(pop. 10,000), Farënx (pop. 3,500), Gavrãn (pop. 4,000), Gemini (pop. 6,500), Jehad (pop 1,500), Knosãve (pop. 500), Marquean (pop. 2,000), Orion (pop. 5,000), Pollux (pop. 10,500), Pyragyrön (pop. 1,000), Reist (pop. 3,000), Storm City (pop. 35,000), Verüvianite (pop. 2,500)
The Folk: Population – 175,000. Humans 65%, Dwarves 10%, Elves 10%, Halflings 8%, Gnomes 3%, Half-Elves, 3% Other 1% Languages- Garvidian2, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Paterna3 Religions – Bane4, The Morninglord, The Eternal Order, and Ezra
The people of Garvidia have no common physical appearance nearly every conceivable combination of stature, facial features, eye, and hair colors can be observed among them. Skin tones tend slightly toward fair to light tan but this hardly the norm. Despite the variety Garvidians tend to dress in practical garb; with men favoring a tunic and breeches and women favoring a blouse and skirt. Earthen colors preferred. Among nobles, both genders pride themselves on their elaborate cloaks with long boots and gloves. Black and red colors preferred.
The diverse Garvidians nevertheless take pride in their common heritage. Indeed outsiders who settle in Garvidia often find forgotten roots in the region. Perhaps it is because of the relatively large population of dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings in Garvidia prejudice against nonhuman races is not as widespread here as it is in other domains within Ravenloft. Although races still tend to congregate with their own kind. The purely reactionary fear or hatred of nonhumans that seems to dominate the land of Mists is largely absent in Garvidia.
The Law: Feudal militaristic autocracy. King Primevil, chosen paladin of Bane, rules Garvidia as its undisputed monarch. The Mists of Ravenloft granted him this large domain after a traumatic battle within Baron Strahd Von Zarovich’s castle. King Primevil governs Garvidia with an iron hand. Even though King Primevil rules harshly he has set up a feudal base for his government which is overseen by his military. A powerful baron rules each major settlement and the surrounding region governing it as he sees fit yet knowing that at any time the king and his military could resume command. Barons are free to have their own vassals, set local laws, appoint magistrates, and control trade in their regions. Local militias are conscripted in most settlements to keep the peace. Barons and lesser nobles also have their own personal forces.
The king also maintains a secret police force. They are known as the Gauntlet and they enforce the will of the king. Any agent of this secret police may disregard any regional law and fear no reprisals. These agents are accountable only to the king. Agents of the Gauntlet are greatly feared among the citizens of Garvidia. The king may also close the borders whenever he chooses.
Trade and Diplomacy: Resources – wheat, barley, rye, oats, hops, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, apples, grapes, hogs, sheep, cattle, goats, chickens, dairy, herring, cod, flounder, halibut, trout, pike, sausage, beer, wine, honey, timber, peat, gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, salt, gems, adamantine, weapons, books, dye, cloth, ceramics, perfumes, silks, ships, arcane knowledge, religious knowledge. Coinage – Flaming Blade (pp), The Hand of Bane (gp), Spiked Gauntlet (sp), Skull (cp).
Garvidia is quickly becoming one of the most powerful domains within the entire Core of Ravenloft with only Darkon ahead of them. Garvidia is a true political, military, and economic kingdom. In order to keep exerting its influence and to achieve power and wealth Garvidia does brisk trade with virtually all the realms of the north.
Characters: Classes – bards, barbarians, clerics, fighters, rangers, druids, sorcerers, wizards, monks, and rogues. Skills – Alchemy, Bluff, Climb, Craft (armorsmithing, blacksmithing, pottery, fletcher, clothing, cobbler, weapon smithing, shipmaking, stonemasonry,) Diplomacy, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Hide, Intimidation, Knowledge (arcane, nobility and royalty, local, religion, undead, monster lore, geography, dungeoneering,) Listen, Move Silently, Perform (chat, lute, harp, shalm, drum, guitar,) Pick Pocket, Profession (baker, brewer, cook, cobbler, farmer, fisher, lumberjack, merchant, military, miner, sailor, scribe, stable hand,) Ride, Search, Spot, Spellcraft, Survival, Swim. Feats – Back to the Wall, Blind-Fight, Cold-One, Combat Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Haunted, Improved Critical, Jaded, Run, Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Focus (longsword).
1. Denotes the capitol city of Garvidia
2. Denotes the official language of Garvidia this language has both an oral and a written form. Garvidian is a rougher form of the Common language using heavier accents and more slang. A character trying to use Common to communicate suffers a -2 to Diplomacy, Bluff, and Gather Information skill checks.
3. Denotes the language of the Vistani who are a race of gypsies who that have bargained from the king free travel throughout Garvidia and its borders.
4. Bane, the Black Lord is the official religion of Garvidia. All major settlements with a population of at least 500 or more contain at least one temple to the church of Bane. The church of Bane is separated from Garvidia’s government when it comes to taxes. Yet, each town that contains a temple of Bane must donate 5% of its annual income to the church of Bane. Although other religions are not illegal they are severely frowned upon by the king and do not receive any financial aid from the government.