Sanction of the Athar
Benefit: You gain a +3 bonus to knowledge skill checks to lean about psionics and psionic creatures. You may assist with such skill checks as if you were trained in the relevant skill, even if you are not.
Benefit: Add Bluff to your class skill list. Effects which grant you a bonus to Will defense also grant the same bonus to your Bluff checks.
Situated in the extreme northwest corner of Koar, The Convergence is one of the few unarguably evil civilizations to be found a world where shades of gray abound. The nation is ruled by seven massive Illithid collectives, who control a vast slave nation through their Drow servants.
The Convergence is large, resource rich, and unified under the minds of its Illithid overlords, but it is hemmed in to the north and south by mountains, and to the east by Gondeth, leaving it little opportunity to expand and threaten other nations.
The western coast is heavily patrolled on land at and sea, and from the port of the nation’s capital city of Hivewood, privateers raid the western coast of the continent in search of loot, bounties, and most of all slaves to sell at market in Hivewood’s vast markets.
Inland, the citadel at Castelor serves as the hub of The Convergence’s military power. A vast fortress complex constructed during the Imperial Epoch, Castelor was the last bastion of the free Drow before they were subjugated, more than a thousand years ago. Since then the facilities of a major city have developed around it, and the Illithid have fortified the area with great ring walls and satellite keeps, making it into an unassailable hold-fast.
Races & Society
The Convergence is rules by seven Illithid hives: Cha’Sek, Cha’Tel, Cha’Debis, Cha’Zekil, Cha’Aurn, Cha’Gest, and Cha’Angrad. Each of these hives represents a significant power block within the nation, although the differences between them are largely lost on outsiders. Collectively, these seven hives form the Convergent Council, which acts as the nation’s central government.
Beneath the ruling hives, there are numerous lesser hives, which broadly varying characters. Some lesser hives specialize in particular fields of commerce, craft, or war. Others are political entities, always on the look out for the opportunity to seize more power for themselves, and force their inclusion on the Convergent Council that governs the land.
Below the Illithid hives at society’s table are the Drow. As recently as two thousand years ago, the territory now controlled by the Illithid was the province of a nation of Drow elves. When the Mind Flayers came, they did not take the nation by force, they infiltrated, and bit by bit brought the Drow under their sway. Now, the Drow form an effective middle class within the Convergence, filling any role that requires skill, intelligence, or trust.
At the bottom of The Convergence’s social ladder are slaves. The Illithid and their Drow minions have long raided the Bladewind coast, and have built a self-sustaining slave population that vastly outnumbers the Drow and Mind Flayers put together. Psychicly indoctrinated to accept their lot in life, these slaves are the muscle of the nation, serving as labor, rank and file soldiers, and in any other menial position that is considered beneath the Drow.
Geography & Features
The majority of Convergence territory lies blanketed by the Forest of the Lost, a vast evergreen forest which covers the eastern portion of the nation. The carpet of trees is broken up by steep, parallel stone ridges that trace sinuous grey lines through the green canopy. The geology is volcanic and earth quakes are common place. Where several ridges grind together, the forest is broken by towering pinnacles or dark stone, or vast sink holes forming crater lakes or dotted with stinking hydrothermal pools.
To the west, the Bladewind coast tends towards eroding earth cliffs and rocky beaches. Just inland, the rolling hills host most of the nation’s agriculture – vast terraced farms worked by hundreds of slaves. The land is not especially fertile, but the scale of the industry is so great that The Convergence can easily afford to continue expanding its population for the foreseeable future.
The Brine River and the River Basa both flow west through The Convergence, emptying into the Bladewind Sea. The Brine runs wide and deep up to Castelor, allowing small and medium sized raiders to make base in the citadel. The Basa runs mostly to canyons, snaking back through the Forest of the Lost clear into Gondeth. Its fast currents and rocky course make it in-navigable by boat, but major overland routs follow the river’s rout along its length.
The country’s southern border is built up against the Phalanx Peaks which separate the Mind Flayer’s territory from Eren Pazan to the south. A young mountain range, pushed up during the events of The Betrayal, the Phalanx Peaks form a towering ridge of jagged stone with peaks more than ten thousand feat high. They are generally considered impassible by land, and thus far no rout has been found that might disprove the notion.
On the north coast, the Seawall Mountains are as old and weathered as the Phalanx Peaks are young and severe. By and in large they are covered in the same kind of dense forestation as the Forest of the Lost to the south, but feature fare more mountainous underlying terrain. A few outposts and villages cling to the coastline at their northern feat, and many productive mines operate on their inland slopes, but they are otherwise undeveloped and largely unexplored.
Politics & Diplomacy
The Convergence is politically stable internally, locked under the mental dominion of it’s Illithid rules, but maintains no formal relations with any outside nations. Informally they are known to trade with the Naga of Aderus, primarily in slaves and arms which fetch prices that justify crossing the vast distance between them. Until recently, they also traded with Dalthep’Amnor, but the political collapse in that nation has rendered the enterprise unprofitable.
The nation exists in a de facto state of war with its neighbors down the Bladewind coast – Eren Pazan, New Silverheim, and the Buandazi Empire – thanks to aggressive piracy and raiding carried out by privateers under the Convergence colors. Eren Pazan in particular is effected by this. Without the privations of their northern neighbors, their western coast would serve as a vital trading stop on the rout from the Great Sea coast. As it stands, it is little more than a lawless frontier.
To the east, Gondeth is the only nation which poses a direct military threat to the Convergence. The Trul nation is seen the Council as a sleeping giant which must not be roused, and the Trul seem content to hold their border. The two nations occasionally raid each other, the Trul have never invaded, and The Convergence has not attempted a major mobilization against their eastern neighbor in more than a century.