Shaintar_J&L_Rangers of Bearheart
The fortress city of Bearheart can be found in northwest Olara, between The Forges and the Southern Range. It is a heavily militarized city standing between the Kal-A-Nar Empire and the Southern Kingdoms.
The City of Bearheart is dominated by a massive military fortress. Since Bearheart stands between The Forges and The Southern Range, it has always been the doorway to the Southern Kingdoms from invaders to the north. Since its founding, it has hosted military units from Galea, dwarves from the Forges, and elves from the Elvish Nation. While Olara rules Bearheart, it has wisely cooperated and sought wisdom from their guests, who have in turn kept all the southern kingdoms safe with their own particular expertise.
While the city itself is heavily fortified, there is still a vast empty expanse on either side before reaching the mountains. Well-trained and equipped armies patrol these areas heavily, but it’s still not hard for small groups to evade notice. This means that 1) spies, especially those who can pass as locals, can easily infiltrate Olara, and 2) all citizens are encouraged to be on the lookout and prepared to defend their land.
The city itself is mainly human, but hosts a sizable dwarven minority. Elves and Dregordians are also represented here. The city itself contains a number of districts devoted to foreign citizens. Each has its own embassy which is considered sovereign soil. The Brinchie and Goblinesh don’t have any official representation, but local groups are often invited to strengthen ties with any who would oppose their common enemies.
Bearheart actually contains relatively few “commoners”. Given the danger, most citizens are either warriors or those brave enough to do business in such a dangerous location.
The areas around Bearheart are rough and hilly, but large farms support the city, as do forests and mines closer to the mountains.
Most dwarves in Bearheart are citizens of Olara. They speak dwarvish as well as Olaran and maintain close ties with their human kin. Because of this, foreign dwarves are more welcome in Olara than other human nations. The humans of Olara see them as equals and are fully accustomed to seeing them. Their forges supply the Olaran army with the best weapons, and their soldiers are integrated into every part of the army.
The Fae Nation
Olara’s relationship with the elves is complicated. While not officially or openly hostile; their subtle ways are off-putting to many Olarans. Bearheart hosts a large contingent of elves which serve as advisors, trackers, light infantry, and most importantly- magical support. The Fae mostly keep to themselves in Bearheart, and the rest of Olara accepts this arrangement.
Olara’s bond with Galea is strong. So is its friendly rivalry. Most Olarans secretly accept Galea’s superior military, but few admit it openly. Galean citizens and soldiers are the largest foreign presence in Olara, and their involvement in the defense is probably equal to that of Olara. Obviously, Galea has a vested interest in keeping the Southern Kingdoms safe. Some in Olara resent this arrangement, but none say so.
The Freelords of Lone Keep maintain an office in Bearheart, but can rarely be found there. Their unique skills are almost always being utilized elsewhere, and they prefer this. Much like the Grey Rangers, they are specialists and are called upon mainly for more unique missions.
There is a contingent of druids in Bearheart, including the descendants of the Stone Bear Tribe. They are respected more than most other magic-users in Shaintar.
The Church of light also has a large presence in Bearheart. They have as much a stake in fighting the War of Flame as any other faction represented there. Also, they consider it their unique responsibility to stand against the Prelacy’s Crimson Crusade.
Recently, this group has become a source of aid and intelligence for the southern kingdoms. Special units from Olara’s military actively seeks them out as contacts and recruits.
The Kal-A-Nar Empire
Open conflict with the Kal-A-Nar Empire has died down recently, but incursions are still common.
The Empire’s Sword of Truth can be found within Olara more and more as of late. Their dishonorable ways mean that the people of Olara hate them even more than a typical Kalinesh soldier. As such, rewards are paid to anyone who can bring in one of these Imperial agents, dead or alive. (Note that proving such a thing is difficult at best. However, in the spirit of wartime propaganda, the Kingdom is happy to declare a Kalinesh invader Tor Mastak if they believe it will rally the citizenry).
These creatures are obviously killed on sight in Olara. While even many civilians are able to kill the lesser childer, they are encouraged to notify the army or the Grey Rangers.
Encounters with the mercenary army are rare in Bearheart. These cowards would rather not face the Olaran army, but occasionally raid less protected villages. Officially, you are expected to try to take maelstrom mercenaries prisoner, but most Olarans would not grieve the loss of any of these parasites.
The corrupted elves of the north mainly enter the southern kingdoms through this area, but rarely in great numbers. Any encounter with them should be taken very seriously. Their ways are subtle and very dangerous.
The Prelacy of Camon
It is assumed by all Olarans that War with the Prelacy is just a matter of time. They are ready. Rumors abound about what form this will take. Since no other nation has managed to take Bearheart, it is assumed that the Prelacy will not use conventional means. The use of Arcfire weaponry is only one such rumor, but seems to be taken quite seriously. Olarans rarely show fear, but this scares them.
The Malakar Dominion
Agents of The Dominion are good at remaining hidden while in Olara, and as such are rarely dealt with officially. It is often up to the Rangers to uncover them, which is rare.
The Red Store
Olara has hardly even acknowledged the Red Store. It is simply below their notice, as they are fully occupied with open war. As such, it is up to the Rangers to deal with them.
The dwarves of Olara know much more about the Builders than the human do. Olara is taking them more seriously now, at the dwarves’ heed, and due to increasing encounters. Their possible involvement with the Prelacy is also a concern.
History of note:
1748 – The Stand on the Forge – Pursued by yet another army sent by the Kal, Banrick Olar, chieftain of the Stone Bear Tribe, makes camp in the area east of the Forges known as Bearheart and declares that he “will run no more.” Various other tribes join him, and they make a stand against the forces of the Empire. Even as the Kal forces threaten to overwhelm them, dwarves from the Forges and Elves from the Crystal Forest join the battle and break the Kal army. This is marked as the founding of the Kingdom of Olara.