The Lhazaar Principalities
Pirates, sea barons, merchant traders and all with a love of the water find their home in the Lhazaar Principalities. With a history that is equal part piracy and seafaring trade, the Principalities have remained a separate entity from the kingdom of Galifar even during the years they pledged allegiance to the crown. Now, with the nation of Galifar officially shattered, the Lhazaar Principalities have formed a loose confederacy of states each ruled by their own sea prince living a life where might makes right and the man with the most and biggest ships rules the sea.
A narrow strip of land to the east of the Hoarfrost Mountains are the principalities only connection to mainland Khorvaire. A band of more than two dozen islands lies scattered off the coast of this narrow band of landscape and extends further north than any point on Khorvaire’s shores piercing into the Bitter Sea and extends south to islands off the coast of Q’Barra.
Lhazaar society exists more on the open sea than on any land establishment. Those that call the few land establishments home exist to serve the sea industries. All major settlements are founded on the coastline while much of the interior of the islands remain unexplored and uninhabited. Although the oldest settlements of Khorvaire exist in the Principalities, they retain their feeling of frontier towns embraced by the beautiful and brutal environment around them. The sea princes rule over their own islands and every inhabitant pledges fealty them. The princes themselves are as varied as the many rulers of the other nations of Khorvaire. Whereas one may be a tyrannical despot another might be a kind-hearted ambassador of goodwill.
Lhazaar was the first to bring modern society in the Lhazaar Principalities. She gave the captains in her fleet the title Prince and created the few laws that are held thought out the land. The law that she is best known for is that the title prince is not hereditary. Lhazaar nobles hold their title thought the power of their armies. Home to many different races, many of the Principalities have interpreted this law with their own traditions. The gnomes of Lorghalen challenges their would-be a princes to a game of wits. The Elves of Farlnen require a show of Arcane skill in addition to naval power.
The Sea Princes are very independent and often fight among each other. The islands have never been united under a single prince. But there has always been one prince that claims the title of high prince. This claim is backed by a strong fleet and the respect of the other princes.
There are few laws are followed by all people of the Lhazaar Principalities. The most important general law states that the princes of have the right to administer justice their own land and can appoint officers as he sees fit. The princes fight each other but they will help each other if a prince is being attacked by an outside invader. Like their princes, the people of the Lhazaar Principalities will help each other if attacked.
The Last War
When the Last War erupted in Galifar the sea princes remained decidedly neutral continuing as they had for many centuries to trade and explore the known world. As the war raged on for decades however the sea princes began to find the same argument that the dwarves of the Mror Holds had. Their agreement of fealty had been to Galifar and the Kingdom and with the kingdom now in ruin they saw their agreement as officially dissolved. Now free to revert to their ancient ways of piracy it didn’t take long for the sea princes one by one to return to their old ways. At first the various princes warred amongst themselves for supreme sovereignty over the principalities until they realized that the whole of Khorvaire was their oyster and they were holding all the knives. Piracy once again plagued the coastal towns across Khorvaire while other sea princes hired out their flotillas as privateers. As the Last War subsided the Lhazaar Principalities were able to hold themselves together under Prince Rygar ir’Wynarn long enough to attend the forming of the Treaty of Thronehold granting them all of the rights of the other nations.
However, now with the confederacy of independent states now officially recognized by the other sovereign nations of Khorvaire the sea princes had to lower their flags of piracy and return to the life of trade and exploration. Some renegade princes still plague the open waters, but the rest of the princes seem to be biding their time for another spark, content to wait it out like a bad storm.