A Queen's Desire
Nidal is one of the oldest surviving countries in Avistan, having been founded during the uncounted years of the Age of Darkness.
Nidal is one of the oldest civilizations on the face of Avistan and is able to trace its history all the way back to the Earthfall. Little is known of the warrior culture that prevailed in Nidal before the coming of the Starstone blacked out of the sky but they have been referred to as horse lords, what is known is the terrible deal they made. In the lightless years of the Age of Darkness the ancient lords of Nidal prayed fervently to their now forgotten deities begging to be saved for extinction but it was not their deities that answered this plea. Zon-Kuthon, freshly released from his age long imprisonment on the Plane of Shadow, offered them a simple deal, he would save them from the horrors of the darkness in exchange for eternal obedience. With no other options, the rulers of ancient Nidal agreed. Ever since then Nidal’s destiny and Zon-Kuthon’s have been tied together. This destiny has not always lead Nidal on a smooth course.
During the Everwar, launched by Cheliax in 4305 AR, Nidal was invaded by their southern Chelaxian neighbors who eventually claimed Nidal as their own in 4338 AR. While the rulers of Nidal bristled under this rule for centuries, the death of Aroden and the rise of diabolism in Cheliax have lead the two states to become firm allies. So much so, that some in Nidal whisper that the invasion during the Everwar was just a cunning trap laid by Zon-Kuthon to lead Cheliax to darkness and evil.
With the invasion of Thugra, Nidal has become independant if Cheliax and currently maintains the strong alliance between the two.
Nidal is run by the sinister Umbral Court, the shadow touched aristocracy who have ruled Nidal almost since the Earthfall. In ancient times the rulers made a dark pact with a shadowy deity and ever since then the Umbral Court, the descendant of the ancient nobles who made the original pact have ruled Nidal using their powers of darkness and shadow to ensure their rule is unquestioned. Few have the courage to stand against the whims of even the most minor member of the Umbral Court for to do so normally means death in the most horrific manner.
Nidal sits on the western coast of Avistan, its coastline kissed by the vast Arcadian Ocean. To the south lies Cheliax, Nidal’s infernal master, to the north across the Mindspin Mountains lies the frontier lands of Varisia and finally to the east lie the warring kingdoms of Molthune and Nirmathas. Nidal is quite cut off from its neighbours being surrounded by the Mindspin Mountains to the north and east and the Menador Mountains to the south. Its main route to the outside world is via the sea with most of Nidal’s sea traffic coming through the heavily policed port of Nisroch. The main geographical feature dominating inland Nidal is the Uskwood a vast shady forest and the subject of many dark rumours. Beneath the Uskwood’s shady boughs lies Nidal’s capital city of Pangolais. In Pangolais it is said that the trees of the Uskwood grow so dense that it is impossible to tell day from night.
The inhabitants of Nidal live beneath the shadow of a pact made in the dark days of ancient history. The people of modern Nidal still pay for the ancient pact made by their distant ancestors and to this day live in fear of the dark powers Zon-Kuthon grants the Umbral Court. While the Umbral Court, the decadent nobles of Nidal, rule the land using divinely granted shadow powers the peasants of Nidal live much like the peasants of any other land except with a far greater fear of their noble lords. In addition to the human inhabitants as the favoured kingdom of Zon-Kuthon Nidal boasts many fearsome beast of shadow hiding within it benighted borders. The Menador Mountains are particularly infamous for the fell beasts which lurk beneath the mountains shadows including several umbral dragons.