Imagining "Narland" (Kingmaker spoilers!)


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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We've had official word that the Kingmaker kingdom in the Stolen Lands will remain canonically undefined, as to allow tables to insert their own proud creations there, but I figure with the 2e re-release it might be fun to take a swing at imagining such a thing! As the title warns, again: this thread will contain Kingmaker spoilers!

The "Kingdom in the Background" sidebars offer brief glimpses at a default option: Narland, with its capital of Shrikewall built over the fort of the fallen Stag Lord. We can imagine that, like all 1e APs, the player characters were successful - so Narland survives its trials, incorporates Varnhold and Pitax (as well as Olegton and Tatzlford), and presumably enjoys peaceful relations with the Nomen centaurs. There's a chance Narland has kobold citizens, and at a stretch may even be home to some iruxi and trolls. With the introduction of Jamandi Aldor's prologue and the heavy Brevoy slant of the official Backgrounds, Narland is likely allied to some degree with Aldori and Rostlander factions within that nation, perhaps enough to cause escalating tensions with the ruling Issians.

What else am I missing? What would you like to see from a Narland on the map?


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Knowing a few of my players, there's a high chance that the majority of denizens of the Stolen Lands will have a place in the citizenry of the nation, be they kobold, human, centaur, Sprite, or troll. Perhaps even a parallel with Azaersi's Oprak in the west. While I don't imagine the notional Narland would necessarily be like this, I wouldn't mind seeing another highly diverse 'monster nation' which accepts any who wish to have a place to live in peace.


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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Knowing a few of my players, there's a high chance that the majority of denizens of the Stolen Lands will have a place in the citizenry of the nation, be they kobold, human, centaur, Sprite, or troll. Perhaps even a parallel with Azaersi's Oprak in the west. While I don't imagine the notional Narland would necessarily be like this, I wouldn't mind seeing another highly diverse 'monster nation' which accepts any who wish to have a place to live in peace.

It wouldn't surprise me if lots of groups skewed that way, and being a little bit more 'wild' and 'monstrous' helps keep some of that original Stolen Lands flavor. If you want to be a traditional noble, knight, or peasant? That's Brevoy. Narland is where the fey-blooded Sorcerers and cursed Thaumaturges come from, a place where people speak at least a few words of Draconic and have a vague idea of Numerian technology. There's a lot there!

Radiant Oath

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Darnit, Keftiu, now I gotta actually finish playing through the Kingmaker PC game to have an answer for this instead of continuing to restart at the end of the prologue out of anxiety! :P


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Leafing through Kingmaker 2e with an eye for potential allegiances, and assuming our hypothetical heroes tried to make as many friends as possible… Bog Striders (Seshes), Boggards, Centaurs, Goblins, Iruxi, and Kobolds all get shouted out as potentially being able to contribute to the kingdom’s army. An exceptionally diplomatic party may have even made overtures to Hargulka’s followers; the hobgoblins are explicitly interested in nation-building, but the idea of a few harpies and trolls being swayed is a fun one.

Kingmaker’s Backgrounds all assume the PCs hail from Brevoy, and so much of Narland’s core population likely reflects that: primarily Taldan and Kellid humans from Brevoy (likely more Rostlanders than Issians, with a good degree of Aldori sympathies), but also a few of that land’s dwarves and gnomes - and some folk of other CRB Ancestries, but they seem less common there. Add into that a good number of folk from the River Kingdoms proper, including the mighty Kellid folk of the Tiger Lords and the canny people of Pitax (home to actors, bards, and clockwork tinkers), and there’s a good degree of variety in play.

Erastil’s presence is all over Kingmaker, and so I imagine he’s similarly ascendant in Narland - even “civilized,” I can’t picture these folk forgetting their wild roots. There’s several fey they could’ve hypothetically befriended, including quite a few of considerable power, and there’s almost certainly bound to be some cult of the Lantern King. Calistria and Desna enjoy prominence in Pitax, while the Tiger Lords venerate Gorum. There’s a chance to be blessed by Pharasma herself, which might spur her cult to further activity within the kingdom. Cayden’s faithful have a historic presence, and are easy enough to imagine being popular anywhere.

Narland might emerge as an alternative to Brevoy, rather than an ally to Rostland; a place where folk can escape old feuds (or imminent civil war!) with a more rugged life in tune with the land. Farmers entreating with local druids or fey to bless their crops, Nomen centaurs participating in Pitaxian jousts, kobold merchants on trade caravans to Numeria… the patchwork is a vivid one.

Radiant Oath

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Stellar reading...I think I may want to make some adjustments to the character I was planning to play the game with (Iomedae-worshipping swordlord aspirant who is very much a Rostland partisan) to lean more in some of these directions.

PC game SPOILERS!:
The idea of burying old feuds and working together for a better future is pretty prominent in the PC game too. In the Old Sycamore, for example, instead of the relatively straightforward scenario of fighting the mites on behalf of the Sootscale kobolds and taking down Tartuk, there's an option (if your alignment has at least one Neutral component) to broker peace between the kobolds and mites, causing in them to form a united community and later even having children together (admittedly I don't wanna think too hard on what said kobold/mite babies look like *shudder*)!

Shadow Lodge

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A possible organizational scheme and settlement list for Narland (sourced from the 1E Adventure Path as I do not have the PC game or the 2E path):

North Greenbelt Province
-Olegton (small town) (encounter area A in Stolen Land)
-Elksridge (village) (encounter area J in Stolen Land)
-Sootscale (small town) (encounter area R in Stolen Land)
-Tatzlford (small town) (encounter area U in Stolen Land)
-Shrikewall (small city; provincial capital, national capital) (encounter area Z in Stolen Land)
South Greenbelt Province
-Sidhestage (village) (encounter area G in Rivers Run Red)
-Stisshak (small town) (encounter area N in Rivers Run Red)
-Candle Keep (village) (encounter area O in Rivers Run Red)
-Narlsgard (small town; provincial capital) (encounter area R in Rivers Run Red)
-Sellenside (village) (encounter area U in Rivers Run Red)
Leveny Province
-Torswatch (village) (encounter area K in The Varnhold Vanishing)
-Varnhold (large town; provincial capital) (encounter area L in The Varnhold Vanishing)
Hooktongue Province
-Fort Drelev (large town; provincial capital) (encounter area M in Blood for Blood)
-M'botuu (small town) (encounter area N in Blood for Blood)
-Tok-Nikrat (small town) (encounter area V in Blood for Blood)
Glenebon Province
-Whiterose (small town; provincial capital) (encounter area D in War of the River Kings)
Pitax Autonomy
-Littletown (village) (encounter area K in War of the River Kings)
-Rushlight (village) (encounter area N in War of the River Kings)
-Pitax (small city) (encounter area P in War of the River Kings)
-Sarain (small town) (off the Kingmaker map)
-Mormouth (small town) (off the Kingmaker map)

Settlement names in italics are invented. Elksridge is named for the Temple of the Elk built into an upthrust ridge of rock. Sootscale is named for the kobold tribe. Sidhestage is named for the Dancing Lady. Stisstak is named for the lizardfolk tribe's ancestor. Candle Keep is named for Candlemere and the will-o'-wisps. Narlsgard is named for its position at the southern end of the Narlmarches, at the frontier of Narland. Sellenside is named for its position on the bank of the Little Sellen. Torswatch is named for its position athwart a pass in the Tors of Levenies. Whiterose is named for the abbey.

Olegton, Sootscale, Tatzlford, Stisshak, Varnhold, Fort Drelev, M'botuu, and Tok-Nikrat had some preexisting populations that were either friendly or befriended and thus incorporated into Narland (Sootscale, Stisshak, M'botuu, and Tok-Nikrat thus have notable-to-majority populations of kobolds, lizardfolk, boggards, and bog striders respectively); Elksridge, Sidhestage, Candle Keep, Sellenside, Torswatch, and Whiterose were founded on the sites of preexisting but ruined structures; and Shrikewall and Narlsgard were conquered from unfriendly states or quasi-states.

To get the sizes (outside the Pitax Autonomy, where they are defined in canon), I assumed each settlement would grow to at least village size under the stewardship and protection of the central Narland authority; incorporated settlements grew one step further; provincial capitals grew one step further; and the national capital grew two steps further (each boost stacks). Tok-Nikrat is probably toward the small end of small town, given its location.


Narland's core population comes from Brevoy, likely Rostland in particular; the Kingmaker 2e Player's Guide shouts out all non-Goblin Ancestries as Strongly Recommended (they're one tier down, alongside Leshies). Brevoy itself it majority Human (mostly Taldan, but some Kellids, and plenty of other folk come through as nomads or exiles), with the bulk of the nonhumans seeming to be dwarves, gnomes, half-elves, and half-orcs. I think the bulk of that holds true for Narland: the streets of Shrikewall or Varnhold are mostly Taldan and Kellid humans, and the bulk of the rest are dwarves and gnomes, especially given the latter's fey ties.

There's likely a some social lines between the vaunted core around Shrikewall (as the heart of power and profit), the more rugged frontier in places like Varnhold, and then sophisticated and separate Pitax. I can easily imagine the Rushlight Tournament endures, perhaps even turned internally the let the various regions express their individual patriotism some. Learned folk who study fey legends all day almost certainly feel distinct from rural people who depend on their Sootscale or Nomen neighbors for mutual survival. A seat for Narland at the Outlaw Council is inevitable, and they're probably on the brink of counting as something greater than a River Kingdom - but it's an identity thing, keeping to those laws and ideals.

Shadow Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
Shrikewall (as the heart of power and profit)

The heart of power, certainly. Profit? Maybe not so much. As much or more trade (Narland's industry is nonexistent and its manufacture is pitiful, its state gets revenue from customs duties and excise taxes) may flow through Fort Drelev-M'botuu. New Stetven and Restov are about as major exporters, and absent some major building projects, the Shrike and the East Sellen present about as potent natural obstacles above Mivon. The Shrike has at least two major cataracts between Restov and Shrikewall, and of course the East Sellen flows through Hooktongue Slough. The upper Shrike needs a navigation, or the Slough needs to be at least partially drained, before either route becomes obviously better than the other. Both projects would face significant local opposition; the shallows and fords of the upper Shrike are natural crossing points for the Nomens and dredging them would limit their range unless replaced by a (high, to permit river traffic, thus difficult to build) bridge, while the boggards and bog striders depend for their ways of life on the Slough remaining more or less as it is.

And that's still not really enough to link the country together, because it does not control the territory that commands the water transport links - that is held by Mivon. Narland needs at least an east-west road north of the Narlmarches from Olegton to Fort Drelev via Wyvernstone Bridge).

Even with the infrastructure in place, Issian merchants (and southern merchants looking to sell in the capital) may very well still prefer the East Sellen route, and Rostlander merchants (and those looking to sell in Restov, and Aldori travelers between Restov and Mivon) the Shrike route, just because of where they are placed.

All of which is to say, even Narland's intra-elite politics should be fairly centrifugal between the elites of Shrikewall and Fort Drelev. And Pitax, where the elites remember their independence and indeed preeminence in the Outlaw Council, well.


You can't convince me that Narland doesn't swell with pumpkins in the fall, and that its folk don't make little candle lanterns with fearsome faces on them. It's just so perfect.

Radiant Oath

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keftiu wrote:
You can't convince me that Narland doesn't swell with pumpkins in the fall, and that its folk don't make little candle lanterns with fearsome faces on them. It's just so perfect.

Gotta watch out though, or they may end up with a vampire problem like Ustalav has! :3

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