Geography - Illium
“At its highest point, it was the home to those as close to gods as a mortal could hope. At its lowest point, it was driven beneath the sea by the fist of a goddess. Thus are the fortunes of Illium and indeed the race of hailene.” ~ Jothan Blackkard, Gazetteer

The nation of Illium sits some ninety miles off the coast of Mindeforme in the east. It is an island chain comprised of four moderate sized, forested islands; Ilia, Solit, Granai, and Seti as well as a host of smaller islands. At one time, there formed a larger island, called Illium, but it was sundered by Dey at the end of the Hailene War.

The islands are the tops of gently sloped, underwater volcanoes and covered with lush subtropical forests. The soil of Illium is the most fertile on the plain, but the terrain is uneven and mostly unsuitable for agriculture.

In the dawn of the Age, the hailene were much beloved of the gods. So much so that when the common races were being seeded throughout Ere, the hailene were given the island paradise of Illium as their own. A tropical land of plenty, Illium provided everything the hailene needed and as trade began to emerge, it provided for the rest of the world as well.

But then the gods stepped back form the world and the dragons rose to power. Despite being remote and free of Draconic Control, the hailene saw their fellow races living as slaves and would not accept it. They infiltrated the mainland continents, stole powerful magics from the dragons themselves, and along with the elves and rogue dragon nations helped rally mortal kind against their oppressors.

From the ashes of Draconic Control rose the Vishnari Empire – but remote Illium was not included. Where elven heroes was lauded, hailene heroes went unsung. And to make things worse, the hailene’s patron god, Dodregaar ceased communing with his hailene clerics. Enraged by these slights, the hailene declared war on the world, seeking to take the respect and power they felt hailene should be afforded by force.

The War of Ascension was brutal and crippling to Vishnari, but it’s climax was literally shattering for Illium. The goddess Dey struck the island a mighty blow during a pitched battle, obliterating the hailene fleet and sinking a large portion of the Illium mainland.

It would be many centuries before the hailene would set foot on the broken island again. Today, Illium still struggles to recover, its leaders selling its history and very land to maintain the government and the once heirs of an advanced civilization forced to pander to rich tourists.

The hailene of Illium had abandoned the tribal society they adopted on the mainland and as a people struggle with the old, ingrained superiority complex common to hailene. They try to make themselves as open to other races and cultures as they can both to ensure their children’s future as well as to erase the past sins of their race.

Other hailene, those just returning and hoping to carve out a plot of land in the old homeland to call their own, cling fiercely to that selfsame superiority, attempting to create a cultural elite in the archipelago that enforces cultural and racial purity. Both groups clash in the political arena for the heart and soul of Illium.

Golems and other constructs do most of the physical labor, so the hailene bend their concerns to craftsmanship and artistic pursuits. Some of the world’s most respected galleries and museums can be found on Illium.

As most citizens of Illium are hailene and have a racial distrust of the Greater Pantheon, worship of anything more than traditional hailene hero-gods is generally frowned upon in Illium, though it is not strictly illegal. Cults of Kayda have found their way onto the island as well and practice in secret.

With much of Illium’s mineral wealth now beneath the sea, Illium’s economy has been crippled. In recent years, the government has taken drastic measures to raise funds; selling ancient Illium artifacts, licensing adventuring parties and historical guild digs intent on plundering the ruins of the old empire, and even hosting tours of said ruins for wealthy patrons. A fledgling industry has grown up around souvenirs and luxury items.

This has had a secondary effect of making Illium a destination spot for the vacationing wealthy and the fraudsters and brigands that prey on them.

Artifacts and other lost magical techniques are also routinely sold to the highest bidder by the current administration.

Illium is a representative democracy with the population voting once every three years on their ten representatives in the Legislature and once every six for their Executive Minister. Governors in each represented region are appointed by representatives and answer to them.

The current Executive Minister is Johan Everret Goldwing. Like his predecessors, Goldwing’s main concern is simply funding the nation while encouraging more hailene to return to their homeland. To this end, Goldwing has resorted to the relatively new method of print media to showcase his nation in hailene communities.

Organizations and Individuals of Note

The Phalanx of Justice
Founded in some fifteen years ago, the Phalanx is the elite guard of the Legislature and Executive Minister. The Phalanx is made up of both martial and mystically inclined individual who have proven their unwavering loyalty to Illium and serve out of duty and the promise of land to retire on. To become part of the Phalanx is one of the greatest honors a young Illium hailene can dream of.

Major Settlements
Anda’Kanat (City)
The capitol of Illium, Anda’Kanat is built on the ruins of an ancient fortress. Towers of alabaster comprise most of the architecture, though many of the many heavy blockhouses from the war have simply been converted into shop space.

Anda’Kanat is best known for its open air bazaar where the normal legal restrictions on goods to be sold are lifted. Everything from exotic poison to powerful scrolls can be bought at the Anda’Kanat bazaar.

Silver City (City)
Silver City is the port city that most ships that come from the mainland weigh anchor at. The harbor also serves as a hub for deep sea fishing and whaling industries, though the actual companies are owned by foreign interests.

The Silver City Tournament, a competition for warriors who mix martial prowess with magical ability draws thousands each year during the gathering season.

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition © Wizards of the Coast
World of Ere and related original content © Landon Porter