Lore: Rheingold

Rheingold, also known as ‘The Pirate’s Coast’, makes up the southern coastland of the island of Velsun. The landscape of a Rheingold is a difficult one to traverse. Heading south from Tusna it is broken, rocky, and prone to sinkholes. It is rare that anyone would ever make the journey south across this difficult terrain, and even more unlikely for one to inhabit the area. The southern coast of Rheingold only has a beach during low tide. During high tide the ocean ends at a sheer rocky cliff that soars 200 feet straight up from the water.

But despite these challenges, Rheingold is not uninhabited. Approximately 90 years ago, an Aljian trader named Ankekain left Uwar at the helm of the Maiden’s Scale, a ship fully laden with goods to trade for the Sultana. Influenced by the fact that she was pregnant, single, and didn’t want to live her entire life at sea, Ankekain sold the goods but did not return to Uwar with the profits. Instead she loaded her ship down with timber from Northshire and a construction crew of the strange golem creatures that had recently ceased their hostilities, and then sailed to the southern coast of Velsun. She knew this location would be easily defensible if she could establish a settlement with the sea to the south and the cliffs to the north. Putting the golems lack of breathing to her advantage she had them drive pylons into the ocean floor deep below the surface where no others could possibly go. On top of these pylons she constructed a series of docks and small buildings. This would the first of many small villages built above the sea in deep waters and become collectively known as Rheingold.

Shortly after the village was complete, Ankekain gave birth to a daughter she named Kiana. Knowing that she, her daughter, and her original crew, could not survive on fish and seaweed alone, Ankekain took the Maiden’s Scale back to sea, where they pretended to be disabled in order to lure another vessel alongside the Scale. The golem forces she now employed sprang up from their hiding locations to surround the unfortunate captain of this new ship. Having never seen a golem in person this captain immediately surrendered his ship and all it contained. Ankekain gave him and his men a choice. They could either join with her and hers in her new settlement or they could “go swimming”. Most decided that since she was offering them homes, jobs, and their lives, that working for her was as good as any other and Ankekain returned to Rheingold with two ships. The goods from the newly acquired merchant vessel were traded in Tusna and more timber was purchased with the proceeds. This timber was used to build another settlement on the Rheingold coast.

Much time has passed since the unusual founding of Rheingold. Kiana grew and took a husband. Ankekain passed, though the details of her death are somewhat suspect. Kiana took Ankekain as her title of leadership in honor of her mother. In time she had a daughter of her own, Nitaalli. Rheingold has managed to flourish as most nations see it as too much of a hassle to try a naval assault. Ankekain was also intelligent in how she conducted raids. Ships would only be taken as necessary to gain finances to trade for things that the sea couldn’t provide. This meant that at times periods of as much as five years between raids would pass.

These days the residents of Rheingold are under the rule of Ankekain Nitaalli and still live above the ocean. There are more than a dozen individual settlements. Many of the original golems from Ankekain’s day still reside there, though none of them seem to remember.