Hearts of Iron: The Serpent's Skull
Andoran (pronounced ann-DOHR-ann) is a nation of the people, governed by the principals of Common Rule which grants every man a voice. Andoran holds the reins of its own destiny in the strong hands of its people; it is the birthplace of freedom.
Andoran is located on the northern coast of the Inner Sea. The nation is separated from its western neighbor, the empire of Cheliax, by the Aspodell Mountains. The Five Kings Mountains perform a similar function in the north, serving as a barrier between Andoran and the nations of Druma, Isger, and Kyonin. To the east lie the nations of Galt and Taldor; much of Andoran’s eastern border lies within the Verduran Forest, and follows the flow of the Sellen River.
Andoran’s interior is dominated by plains and hills, and the remnants of Arthfell Forest. The nation’s northwest region is known as Darkmoon Vale; the Vale’s northernmost border is dominated by Droskar’s Crag, a massive volcano that serves as the southernmost point of the Five Kings Mountains.
What is now the nation of Andoran was founded approximately in 1707 AR, following the successful Taldan military campaign of General Khastalus of Corentyn. The native peoples of the area were a generally peaceful, yet primitive, folk, who held the eastern civilizations in great awe. Once brought into the Empire, Andoren forests were felled to provide the Imperial Navy with ships. Lumber harvested from the Arthfell Forest was transported to the shipyards at Augustana, and it was from here that that vessels destined to build colonies in Arcadia and the remnants of Azlant were launched.
In the year 4081 AR, Andoran cut its ties with the Taldan empire. The move was prompted by Aspex the Even-Tongued of Cheliax, who sought to add the region to his fledgling empire in what would become known as the Even-Tongued Conquest. Facing challenges of corruption and decadence from within, as well as an invasion by Qadira across the empire’s southern border, Taldor was forced to cede Andoran to Cheliax without a single battle.
Under Cheliax’s rule, Andoran flourished for hundreds of years. Merchants in towns and cities grew rich exploiting the country’s bountiful natural resources until their power rivaled that of the hereditary landed nobility. Despite its economic success, the nation still had its share of challenges: hobgoblin attacks in the northwestern wilderness, pirates on the open seas, druidic and fey troubles in the Arthfell and Verduran Forests, and disrupted trade with its colonies in Arcadia. These setbacks were temporary, however, and did little to deter the nation’s growth.
Andoran prospered as a part of the empire of Cheliax until 4606 AR. The death of the empire’s patron god, Aroden, resulted in a power struggle among the nation’s various noble houses. This civil war ended with House Thrune claiming control of Cheliax in 4640 AR.
Andoren government (and Andoren society as a whole) are built on three principles: the tolerance of all benevolent religions, a transparent government, and an efficient, prosperous system for trade. To ensure that all are treated fairly and that no one abuses the power of their office, public servants in Andoran are regarded with a measure of suspicion and subject to regular scrutiny.
Andoran is a nation abundant with natural resources, and transport ships carrying lumber, minerals, and other goods frequently leave the cities of Almas and Augustana for destinations throughout the Inner Sea region and beyond. Additionally, the nation’s three leading exporters, House Goldfield, House Naran, and House Vaylen, operate large and profitable banks within the region. Andoran’s banks provide readily accessible and affordable credit to the nation’s people, though any who seek to exploit this system are exiled as traitors.
Andoran profits from resources beyond its borders as well. Artifacts and resources originating in exotic locations such as Osirion, the Mwangi Expanse, and even Azlant and Arcadia are gathered and sold. These goods are sometimes rare, often difficult to locate and obtain, and many groups fight one another to possess them; despite the risks involved, these items generate significant wealth for Andoran. Competition in this field has also been growing with the neighboring states of Cheliax and Taldor.
Above all else, the people of Andoran are passionate about their country and their freedom. A history of being ruled by foreign powers, first under Taldor, and then Cheliax, resulted in a heavy burden; over time, as the region’s resources and the people’s independence were slowly worn away, this burden grew too great to be tolerated any longer. The proud people of Andoran claimed their nation’s sovereignty, and are determined to prove to disbelievers that the concepts of freedom and equality that they hold will remain strong in the face of any hardship.
The people that inhabit the nation of Andoran are highly opinionated, often holding differing perspectives on how best to preserve their nation and spread its influence. That said, almost all Andorens share certain beliefs in common. Arguments and discussions should be based on merit, rather than half-truths or falsehoods. All people have a right to have their voice heard, and one should be judged by their actions above all else. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so long as it is not actually that of a foreign power. By embracing and preserving these beliefs and others like them, the people of Andoran hope to ensure Common Rule, and the freedom it brings, for many generations to come.