Of Barghests and Quests
Old Haven lies to the South West of Matera on a small extension of the continent across ‘The Strand’. it is one of the primary nations of The Alliance Pact. Old Haven is notable for it’s stance on ‘Dark Magic’: Necromancy is legalised and regulated throughout the country and the standing army is made up of ‘The Legions of the Dead’ – an army of undead volunteers. Although it used to have tensions with Matera, they are firm allies as of late and have a lot of trade, the primary export of Old Haven is Everlasting Lamp Oil.
Old Haven is also where The Order of Tomas was founded and is based. Death is seen as a part of life here, and the forces of shadow are worshipped as gods.
Old Haven is a very wet country, it sees a lot of rainfall and has many rivers, nearly a third of the land is Marsh, it also has dark forests which had to be cleared for farmland, Towards the North it has many hills. It has many links with the plane of Shadow.
Notable locations include:
The capital city of Leichestadt, where the grand Necropolis and The Tower of Tomas is based.
the town of ‘Lamp’ where Everlasting Lamp oil comes from,
and Zuhaust the first trade city near the border with Matera.
Old Haven was born from the chaos of Rending. In those quaking days of old when the transcendent swept the sky and magic ran amok, the southern stretches of safety for men were being plunged to darkness. It was in the darkness however one found means to survive, to bring order to inhuman and otherworldly beasts desecrating the land.
Thom, the first Thom, studied the dark around; unlocking it’s secrets and securing a method of control over the plane of shadow. Turning the lost and blinded souls of the plane back to a physical existence as undead and shadow folk he secured a line, a place of safety for his people. A haven.
Old Haven has existed in one form or another for as long as anyone knows, and for a long while it was isolationist, and guarded it’s secrets of ‘life after death’ from other countries.
The Royal line was established not from the first Tomas, who declined a leadership role of the nation after its founding, instead he offered the crown to his Servant and Advisor Conor Hyde who became Conor I and founded the Noble house of Hyde.
The Hyde line lasted for around 700 years and ended when Ronak III became the First Vampire King, feeling threatened the neighbouring country of Matera – with an order of paladins – attempted to Invade Old Haven and destroy the Vampire King, Matera lost the war as they struggled to defeat an army that gets larger with every battle.
King Ronak wanted to invade Matera back and claim its lands for his domain, but the Black Parliament (led by Matthew Tomas) were against this, which led to the Undead Civil War, which lasted for 3 years, which ended with Ronak III’s death and the installation of Oswald Kohl as the new King, (King Oswald I).
The Kohl line lasted for another 100 years, then Oswald II became a vampire during a hunting accident, fearing another war Oswald reached out to Matera on terms of friendship and peace and they formed an alliance which has lasted for just over 249 years.
Races and Peoples
Havenites – Humans, often pale and tall with dark hair.
Drow (In the Dark Lands beneath Old Haven)
Lizardfolk (Tribal in the southern marshes)
Old Haven Common
Shadelish – an ancient language of the shadow plane.
King Oswald II – ‘The Good Vampire King’
Caius Mordred – Master of the Order of Tomas, Chancellor of the Black Parliament
Allanah Surkesh – Ambassador from Vacir, engaged to King Oswald
Demetri Kohl – Great Nephew of Oswald, next in line for the throne.
Behind The Scenes
Old Haven was the first country I ever created for a roleplay game as I was fascinated by the idea of playing an undead game.
Currently it fits the Dark Fantasy of Gothic Medieval Europe and is mostly based on German and Scandinavian cultures.
Having a Vampire king was always intended, but making him a king and generous king and a reformist has made his personal story much more interesting.