Thuria and Beyond
A kingdom situated south-west of Ophir, west of Koth and Shem and south of Zingara and Aquilonia, Argonia is one of the Mitraic Great Kingdoms of Thuria. With a long Western Ocean coastline, Argonia is a nation of shipbuilders, fishermen, traders and seafarers of all sorts.
The coastal cities of Argonia are cosmopolitan in the extreme, the streets teeming with visitors from as far north as barbarian Vanahem and as far south as the black coast. Of these cities, the Argonian capital Messantia is the greatest, lying on the wide estuary of the Korotas River, whose valley upstream is rich with orchards, farmland and the oak forest which provide wood for the shipbuilders.
Argonia is a feudal kingdom, split into baronies. In terms of wealth, however, Argonia’s Merchant Houses outshine the land-owning barons. The Merchant Houses have grown rich from both conventional trading up and down the long western coast of the continent and a peculiarly Argonian form of buccaneering. Acts of piracy against Zingaran vessels are naturally forbidden and attacks on ships from the friendlier city states of Shem are discouraged. Otherwise, however, piracy is positively encouraged. Both independent captains and the skippers of vessels owned by the Merchant Houses always escape any kind of punishment provided a portion of any booty plundered is remitted to the coffers of the Argonian crown. Bold attacks on Stygian and Kushite vessels are celebrated as acts of commendable derring-do, as are raids on coastal settlements in lands deemed to be uncivilised.
As a signatory of the Treaty of the Church of Mitra, Argos forbids the enslavement of the subjects of its allies. Slaves from uncivilised lands, however, may be bought, sold and owned by those wealthy enough to do so. The strongest and most spirited slaves can be found fighting in the gladiatorial arenas of the principal cities of Argos.
The various fief-holders beneath King Milus administer their own estates and exercise their own justice. The most powerful of these nobles enjoy financial support from the Merchant Houses in exchange for influence in the King’s court and military support when needed. The nobles levy their own taxes and tolls and do pretty much as they please, their formal fealty to the King notwithstanding.
The Church of Mitra, the official faith of the kingdom, is at the heart of religious life in Argonia. Unlike in neighbouring Aquilonia, however, other cults are tolerated. Worship of Set, though, is still viewed with extreme suspicion and anger.
Among the kingdom’s numerous pirates, buccaneers, freebooters and fences, the Shemitish god of thieves is respected. In these circles it is perfectly acceptable to venerate Mitra and the god of thieves.
At the start of our campaign, Argonia is ruled by King Milus.
The coast of Argos has many natural harbours offering shelter from ocean storms. So as well as the largest coastal settlements, fishing villages about along the shore of the Western Ocean. The countryside of Argos is largely wooded, although large farms and orchards line the fertile Khorotas valley. Beyond the valley, away from the coast and towards the south-east of the kingdom, the countryside begins to resemble the conditions found in neighbouring Shem, the woodlands giving way to arid, bare hills. Settlements are rarer and smaller in this corner of the land, more dependent on wells than rivers for their water. The coast itself is rocky with high cliffs and the winding, clifftop roads interconnecting the various seaports and fishing villages are, in many places, frequented by bandits.
The Khorotas River is the major waterway of the kingdom, his is Argos’ major river, running from Poitain through Ophir and emptying into the sea at Messantia. Although the Poitain stretch of the Khorotas cannot be navigated by large vessels because of cataracts and waterfalls, is it wider and safer once joined by the Tybor, so goods from neighbouring kingdoms can be transported to Messantia.
The Rabirian Mountains form the border with Zingara. These serrated peaks have forested crests. Precious ores about in these mountains and mining is quite extensive in the foothills on the Argonian side of the border. The Saxula pass through the central part of the range is the widest, safest route into Zingara.
The most important cities of Argonia are:
In addition to these settlements, two coastal Free Cities, which are independent from Argonia itself, are completely contained within the borders of the Kingdom:
Argonia is home to some of the larger elven settlements of the Thurian kingdoms. Most of these are found in woodland glades in the eastern part of the kingdom, which is less densely populated by humans than the coastal regions and the Khorotas valley. Additionally, rare and more exotic sentient species including satyrs and centaurs can also be found in these sylvan settings.
Woodland animals suited to temperate climates abound in Argonia.