Data based on census ordered by royal decree, 997 YK.
Population: 2 million
Area: 560,000 square miles
Sovereign: Queen Aurala ir’Wynarn, heir to Galifar and Regent of the Brightest Realm
Major Cities: Passage, Stormhome
Highest Point: Mt. Colieris in the Starpeak Range, elevation 16,112 feet
Heraldry: The head and wings of a dragonhawk, on a field of blue, beneath the tome of knowledge and grains of unending wheat
Founder: Wrogar, fourth scion of King Jarot
National Motto: “What we sow in effort, we harvest in good fortune.”
FIVE THINGS EVERY AUNDAIRIAN KNOWS
1. The names of fine wines and other liquors. Not every Aundairian can afford Bluevine wine or something from the Mount and Moon cellars, but everyone can name his or her favorite labels and engage in animated conversations about the relative merits of each.
2. Some signature dueling moves. Aundairians love the flash of swordplay, and even the clumsiest citizen can slowly emulate the “twisting lunge” or “dragonhawk riposte” that he sees in the sword-fighting demonstrations common in village square entertainment.
3. A bit about horses. With its rolling verdant hills, Aundair is horse country second only to Valenar in Khorvaire.
4. Several “add-a-verse” songs. Popular as everything from children’s lullabies to drinking chanties, rhyming songs where a verse is added each time (such as “The House that Galifar Built” or “The 12 Days of End Year”) are an Aundairian tradition. Some run for nearly a hundred verses.
5. The Epic of the Valiant and Vigilant. Popularized some forty years ago by Aundair’s bards, this tale takes about forty-five minutes to recite—and most Aundairians have heard it so many times that they can recite it from memory. The Epic of the Valiant and Vigilant describes the twin sieges of Tower Valiant and Tower Vigilant in 951 YK, told from the perspective of two lovers, each trapped within one of the castles but believing the other to be safe.
ROLEPLAYING AN AUNDAIRIAN
Many outsiders consider Aundairians to be fiercely competitive, almost arrogant in their willingness to display their verbal, martial, and intellectual skill. Arrogance is hardly a unique trait in the Five Nations, however. A clever commoner would instead say that an Aundairian learns from an early age to stand his ground. Those who grow up in the country with many brothers and sisters quickly learn to deal with competition. Any Aundairian who’s worked an afternoon in a trading village’s marketplace knows that making a living depends on making your opinions well known.
This doesn’t mean that an Aundairian responds to any disagreement by being stubborn; quite the opposite. Aundairians know that if they can’t settle something with a quick test of wits, a simple duel to “first blood,” or a clever quip, their neighbors are “resolute” enough to hold a grudge for a long time. Bad feelings can easily escalate into a more dangerous conflict. An Aundairian is more likely to follow someone with a good plan or glib tongue than the largest or strongest warrior in the group. When bullied or coerced, an Aundairian patiently waits for a time when he can overcome his opponent with wits, not force of arms. This is as true for monks and bards as it is for well-armed fighters. Aundairians who are unusually belligerent are more likely to embark on adventures in distant countries, since boorish or crass behavior isn’t tolerated in local trading villages and marketplaces.
Aundairians walk a careful balance between pragmatism and idealism. Even common folk feel a responsibility to stand up for what is right. When a hero makes a stand, an entire village steps forth to support him if he fights for what is right—or mobilizes against him if they believe he is wrong. If the world does not live up to an Aundairian’s ideals, he is patient enough to work throughout the year, or even a lifetime (in some cases), to make it right. Its citizens are ambitious without being foolhardy. They know that the nation has skilled fighters and wizards to resolve problems they cannot handle, but if no heroes are around to aid them, they will tackle the problem as best they can.