Herman Land

Considered the center of the known world, the Kingdom of Herman Land, represents the height of human civilization in Aquerra. The richest of the kingdoms in central Aquerra, Herman Land (as it is most often called) has been a model of efficient government and safe maintenance of its borders. The Kingdom of Herman Land is also a land of traders and merchants, who have always found it easy to travel beyond the confines of their own lands to find the needs, desires and resources of other kingdoms and match them with their own.


The Kingdom of Herman Land has been ruled by a succession of 16 kings of the same dynasty since its founding (see History of Herman Land below). During this entire time the role of king has been balanced by a parliament called the House of Guildmasters. While the king makes proclamations in regards to general law and criminality, and in regards to war and in terms of diplomatic relations with other kingdoms, the parliament deals much more in the minutiae of law. The parliament hammers out the details of trade and tax law (guided by the wishes of the king), and takes votes to endorse proclamations of the king, or to try to force the king to declare laws beneficial to their agenda.

The parliament is made up of representatives of the various guilds, with the number of representatives (and thus their voting power) dependent on the number of dues paying members the guild has. In this way, the guilds work to protect the rights and address the concerns of their members. In addition, the parliament has seats held by the two highest ranking generals of the Royal Army (basically, guaranteed votes for whatever the king favors), a representative of the Church of Ra, and a representative from the Academy of Wizardry. While there have been kings who have completely ignored the votes and proposals of their parliaments, generally, the Parliament is considered "the voice of the people" and Herman Land's kings work closely with them on matters of law that might make or break a monarchy. Currently, there are 47 parliamentary seats, with the Ferryman's Guild holding the most (with 5 seats - see Ferries in Herman Land below). The Merchant's Consortium of Herman Land and the Shipwrights' Guild come in second with four seats each.

Local government is handled by nobles and Lord-Mayors. Nobles hold lands and titles, and are descended from a long-line of men who can connect their lineage directly to the leadership of the various tribes that once roamed these islands. These nobles keep order and collect taxes in their counties, and in return defend the those who live there from bandits and monsters. They also help to raise armies for the Crown in times of war. Large towns and cities are ruled by Lord-Mayors who are appointed by the king. These appointments are not inherited and while a lord-mayor make recommend his replacement, this is left up to the king and his advisers. Often Lord-Mayors are nobles who also rule counties, or the close relations of the head of those noble households, but on occasion a high-ranking officer or an adventurer who has proven himself loyal to the crown may be give the dubious honor. The one restriction is that the king may not appoint someone who holds a seat in the Parliament. In addition, a lord-mayor may be removed by the Parliament, if a local chapter of a guild files a grievance against him. Of course, a goodly amount of investigation occurs before one is removed, and this is extremely rare.



The main portion of Herman Land it made up of nine small islands. This does not include many much smaller (and often uncharted islands) or the islands of its semi-independent states (the Archduchy of Wallbrook and the Black Islands). Closely packed together, these islands are connected by well-traveled ferry routes, which range from a few minutes to over a day in travel time between towns. The southern of these islands are dominated by flooded woodland and swamps, while the northernmost are much more hilly and have thicker drier woods. Between these extremes are excellent farmlands, which swell with water in the late spring and enrich the soil. Some of these islands are actually divided in two by narrow rivers.

Overall, the area the nine central islands cover is very small. They extend about 345 miles from northernmost to southernmost point, and 300 miles from easternmost to westernmost. The names of these islands have fallen out of use in the almost six centuries since the founding of the Kingdom of Herman Land, as they have become known for the cities and towns found on them. However, some old maps can still be found that make references to the island names which are derived from the tribal names of yore (see History of Herman Land below)


The monarchy of Herman Land has long tolerated the presence and power of the Parliament of Guildmasters, because it is generally believe that the Crown would not exist if it were not for the early guilds of these islands. Until the last few years of what humans call the Third Age, the islands that make up Herman Land were home to dozens of warring tribes of men, who fought equally as often on land, as they did on the water in their long war canoes. The extermination of some of these tribes during this constant warring, and the coalescing of others through treaties and agreements (like the famous Ermaine/Kotah Pact) led to less frequent war, and to the tribes settling in one place and the building of some of the some of the monuments of Herman Land today (like the Dwarf Walls of Verdun). Those from different tribes who did not cease their wanderings began to help facilitate trade, and offer services, and soon declared themselves as independent of any tribe, and came to be known as guilds.

When the Ermaine tribe decided to attempt to unite the tribes (fearing conquest from abroad) and conquer or destroy those tribes who would not abandon their anti-social tendencies, it was the guilds that made this possible. It was in their best interest to help, as those same tribes who were against unification, were often the ones that raided guild caravans and stole their goods, or took their members for slaves. After another long and bloody war, the various guilds formed a governing body and wrote a charter for rulership of the islands. However, a representative of the until then unheard of Academy of Wizardry, suggested that the charter be rewritten to include a king. The suggestion was accepted when it was realized that the surviving tribes would not abandon their monarchic form of government. And so, the son of the chief of the Ermaine tribe, Herman Ermaine, who had proved himself strong and wise in battle was crowned king in the 1457th year of the Third Age.

In the third year of his reign, King Herman Ermaine (now called King Herman the First) declared a new age to be counted from the first year of his rule, and so the Fourth Age (called Herman's Era) was established. The Kingdom of Herman Land has grown and changed a lot in this time, becoming allies with the Magocracy of Thricia, and conquering what would become the Black Islands Barony. It also took part in several wars that effected its current condition. First of all, King Herman V sent troops to aid Thricia in the war against the Kingdom of the Red God of the West. This was a long and unpopular war. King Herman VI, his son, withdrew the troops from this western front, signing a treaty which allowed temples of the Red God to be openly established in Herman Land, as long as all aggression against Herman Land and its citizens was forever ceased.

King Herman XII the Cruel began a long and protracted invasion of Derome-Delem (Isle of Dwarves) which was bloody and unsuccessful. This war led to Derome-Delem having been stricken from all royal maps for over one hundred years, and the Merchant's Consortium of Herman Land being banned from trading there. It also led to the ill-feeling towards followers of Nephthys that still persists in Herman Land today. The latter happened because the Church of Nephthys officially declared the war unjust, and many Friars of Nephthys (and their followers) traveled to Derome-Delem to sabotage the war effort, ranging from espionage to open fighting against the Herman Land armies. While the worship of Nephthys was never officially banned during this time, many of her sanctuaries in Herman Land, were razed and some her priests stoned. The people felt that the Church of Nephthys had betrayed them. While the century that has passed has curbed the extremity of peoples' reactions, many Herman-landers still sneer at the mention of the goddess' name. This war also helped to undermine the relationship between humans and the non-human races of their own kingdom, especially dwarves, who were purged from cities, and several strongholds within the borders of the kingdom were attacked for fear they may retaliate in solidarity with their Derome-Delem brethren (see Races of Herman Land below).

Between these two wars (disrupted only by Marcosias' Second Humano-Orc War) was the time known as the Age of Peace in Herman Land. During this time, many more guilds and organizations came into being and joined the House of Guildmasters, and scholars and artists flourished. It was during these relatively calm one hundred years that the second of the two Pyramids of the Kings (in the Palace District of Verdun was built.

The more recent history of Herman Land involves the civil war with the Black Islands Barony (see History of the Kingdom of Herman Land).


Trade and tax law is developed by the Parliament, and enforced by royal decree. Criminal law can be recommended by the Parliament, but can only the King can determine the actual punishments. However, on the local level, lords and magistrates uses precedent to determine the severity of punishment on a case-by-case basis. Legally, any citizen may have a trial by a jury of six (usually paid to hold that position), but only if the magistrate in question fulfills the request. Often this does not happen without sponsorship by a barrister of reputation, or by a noble or priest of station (and usually only if a priest of Ra, Thoth, or Anhur).

While slavery is illegal in the Kingdom of Herman Land, those found guilty of certain crimes (or who cannot pay fines associated with lesser crimes) can be forced into indentured servitude. This condition lasts until a certain amount of work equal to the amount of fine or damages is completed. This may range from one year to twenty years. In any case, the indentured servant has his food and lodging needs taken care of during this time, and a spouse or adult children can offer to take up part of the work load (becoming indentured servants themselves) to lessen the time. The treatment of these servants varies depending on the landlord who buys their contract. In some cases, the servant's family will be allowed to come live with him, in other cases children may be forced into orphanages.

Other crimes have varying penalties ranging from small fines and/or short imprisonment (petty theft) to a few years imprisonment (forgery) to life or death by hanging (murder); draw and quartering was abolished by King Herman XIV.


Ra is the patron deity of the Kingdom of Herman Land, and it is said that by his divine will the kings of this mighty nation do rule. A temple of Ra can be found in every large city in Herman Land and in may smaller towns and villages as well. Libraries of Thoth are also common, as they are a favorite charity of the noble class, who donate money for the copying and discovery of new tomes and histories. This is also true of Bast, who is very popular in the urban areas of Herman Land. The following of Isis is very small here. and generally she is only remembered by the common folk on the Festival of Isis. As stated before, Nephthys is still viewed with some scorn by the general populace of this kingdom, but her temples have been rebuilt in many place, and it is not usual for someone to remember prayers for her when someone is imprisoned or kidnapped. The followings of the twin gods, Tefnut and Shu, are large and growing. Tefnut has always been a popular goddess in Herman Land, as so much traveling by water is occurs, but the recent bonding of these two factions, has caused an upsurge in the number of worshipers of the Wind God. While the worship of Set is technically not illegal in the Kingdom of Herman Land, the founding of temples and shrines to the God of Tyranny is. However, many common people in Herman Land often give offerings to Apep, which unknown to them just another form of the serpent god.

The Red God of the West has a stable following in the Kingdom of Herman Land, particularly among the poor and lower middle class in urban areas. Conflict between this god's fervent followers and followers of other gods is common though, especially in Verdun where several die each year in riots. In recent years, some of the gods of the Northern Reaches (Kalevala and Pohjola) have come to be worshiped in Herman Land, but this is still exceedingly rare.


The Kingdom of Herman Land is a human nation. The vast majority of the population is human, with demi-humans making up a small and fractured minority. The humans of Herman land are from a mix of original cultures, as people from the Archduchy of Wallbrook and other lands have immigrated here to find prosperity. Despite this ethnic mix, there is still a general "Herman-Lander Look" attributed to the humans of this nation. They tend to be of light to olive in skin tone, with black hair, which is often curly. Eye color tends to be brown, with the occasional green or hazel. Men are rarely above six feet in height, with women averaging a few inches below that.

Some cities and towns have halfling ghettos, but there are no known traditional halfling villages in Herman Land proper (there are some in the Archduchy of Wallbrook, however). While there are no gnome ghettos, as are sometimes found in other kingdom's towns and cities, there are a few traditional gnomish settlements in the northern part of Herman Land. Red dwarves (often referred to as Hill Dwarves here) can be found both in a few traditional strongholds, and living in their own neighborhoods in human cities. There are no known elven settlements or areas in Herman Land. Typically, those non-humans that take up residence in areas directly ruled by a noble or Lord-Mayor are considered citizens and are expected to pay taxes, and are usually afforded the rights and privileges of citizenship. Generally, there is no more or no less prejudice against non-humans that can normally be expected. Of course, they are treated better in some places than others. Those non-humans still living in their traditional homesteads, are left alone for the most part. The red dwarves of the Low Star Hills outside the county of Milbron, once paid tribute to the crown of Herman Land, but during purges of the Mountain Warsthey were besieged and many killed. Now, over one-hundred and fifty years later, these dwarves have taken to raiding nearby human towns and villages in reprisal. Perhaps the second most common race in the kingdom of Herman Land are lizardfolk. There are scores of tribes of these warm-blooded reptilians in the southernmost (less populated) isles of the kingdom. These creatures, despite their capacity for intelligence, are not considered citizens, and are generally considered a possible danger, as most still adhere to their traditional human-eating ways. However, in large cities and towns like Verdun and Outretowne, tame lizardfolk are tolerated in the confines of the city, and usually work as manual laborers or fish-hawkers.

Clothing & Fashion

Typical fashion dictates that women wear their hair long, and often braided. They wear dresses or skirts, with blouses designed to show off cleavage. Trousers are strictly the domain of men, and women wearing them are considered to be either poor or an adventurer. Men wear their hair short, and tend to don long coats and suits. Of course, social class determines to a great extent how people are dressed. Large amounts of jewelry is frowned upon in all classes of people, even the wealthy prefer a single elegant brooch worth a great deal to a gaudy display. This also goes for the wearing of many weapons. Make-up is worn only by upper-class women. Women of the lower and middle classes that wear noticeable make-up are considered whores, and are often treated as such. The use of perfume is a great love of the people of Herman Land, and various types of differing scents, qualities and costs can be found in almost every market in the Kingdom.


Of course, the Kingdom of Herman Land has just as many problems with evil humanoids as any other place in Aquerra. In particular, goblins and kobolds never seem to be able to be completely wiped out in sufficient numbers to allow rural towns to relax their guard. There have never been any known cases of hobgoblins tribes in Herman Land, but every few decades some orc tribe or another will begin raids from the hill in the north. Herman Land orcs are very adept at making and using canoes for raiding villages from the water.

Most citizens of the Kingdom of Herman Land are under the mistaken impression that there are actually very few large and dangerous monsters still found on the islands of their supposedly safe kingdom. Unfortunately, as many veteran adventurers know, this is not the case. In fact, one of the reasons that the Crown tolerates mercenary groups and the Parliament encourages them (Non-wizard adventurers may join the Brotherhood of Guards, Mercenaries and Warriors), is because their endeavors keep settlements safe from the many monsters still found in the swamps, hills, forests and other wilderness of the nine islands. The swamps south of Azmoage have always been the mating grounds for wyverns, and the broken lands of the northern hills have had a few manticores in them. In addition, giant varieties of insects have always seemed to be found in a variety of environments, giant wasps being among the most common and dangerous. Of course, truly disastrous monsters which can destroy entire cities, such as beholders and dragons, have not been reported in the Kingdom of Herman Land for hundreds of years.

Thieves' Guilds

There are two major thieves guilds which share (and compete over) control of Herman Land's criminal trade. Berman's Gang specializes in the "clean steal", that is thieves associated with this guild tend to see themselves as professionals who get what is needed and slip away without anyone knowing. It typically known as a guild run by fences, who will only steal what they can get out of the country, or legitimize through forged papers, or by manipulating bureaucracy. This is not to say that this guild is not involved in the shadier side of thievery, like protection rackets and confidence schemes, or that they are averse to violence when it is required. Berman's Gang controls most of Verdun, but their influence is limited outside of that city, with fewer contacts as one heads west.

Sharkey's Guild, on the other hand, led by the infamous and never seen Sharkey, is known as an organization that will do anything to get ahead, protect its interests and humiliate Berman's Gang. Involved in everything from the slave trade, illegal arms smuggling to assassination, Sharkey's Guild knows no bounds. Their common members are greatly feared as bloodthirsty and not valuing their own lives. In the streets of Herman Land's ghettos, having connections with Sharkey's Guild can mean the difference between life and death. Sharkey's influence is more scattered and less stable than Berman's, but contacts for it can be found in almost every mid-sized town to large city in Herman Land.

There are other thieves' guilds and gangs in some of Herman Land's towns (like Haffar's Port's Red Lantern Gang which have gained increasing power in Westron), but none have the power or resources currently to compete with the two described above, and are in constant danger of being wiped out or absorbed by either one or the other.


There is a saying in Herman Land about near impossible tasks. It goes, "You might as well try and bribe a ferryman." This because there is perhaps no more faithful group of guild workers in all of Aquerra. To be a ferryman is a great honor in Herman Land. It is a position often passed down from father to son for generations. The routes and rates of the ferries are carefully set by the Ferryman's Guild, and no change in them is allowed with out express permission of the guild. While ferrymen own their own boats, they abide by these stricture for two reasons. The first is that the political power the guild affords them makes the sacrifice well worth it. The second is that they quote and abide by the rules of the Ferryman's guild. as if it were the holy oath of paladin. This is not to say that every ferryman is the most scrupulous and trustworthy of men, many use the rules and laws regarding ferrymen to gain as much personal power as they can. It is against the law to run a ferry in Herman Land along a designated guild ferry route without being a guild member. The punishment for violating this law is a stiff fine, confiscation of the boat in question and up to three years imprisonment. This has led to another famous saying attributed to the ferrymen of Herman Land, "You can't get there from here." And if they say you can't, then most likely, you can't.


  • The Archduchy of Wallbrook: These three medium sized islands became part of the Kingdom of Herman Land, when King Arnik Ermaine married Princess Menefreda, daughter of dying King Ceyar of the Equin Isles. This united the two kingdoms. The islands were declared a semi-independent Archduchy in 546 H.E. The people of the Archduchy of Wallbrook are considered Herman Land citizens, and are loyal to the king, but have generally kept their culture intact; a culture that values the horse over the ferry.
  • The Black Islands Barony: These three islands (two large, one small) to the east of the nine "islands proper" are currently involved in a war of succession with the Kingdom. The civil war began in the autumn of 563 H.E. and seems like it will be long and bloody. The superior numbers and troops of Herman Land and the Archduchy of Wallbrook have been unable to make in-roads against the vastly superior Black Navy. This barony has always been trouble for the Kingdom, ever since the islands were claimed in the name of the crown by Captain Yeardley Scott in 131 H.E. The belligerent and fiercely independent people of the Black Islands Barony went as far as to start a war with the Kingdom of Neergaard, a war that the crown of Herman Land deigned to not get involved in.

Famous NPCs

Throughout The Kingdom of Herman Land's history there have been heroes and villains who have stood out in the consciousness of its people and abroad in Aquerra. These are only a few of those in chronological order: Herman Ermaine, Gwar the Mighty, Marcosias, Thion-Geb and Alazair, King Herman XV.

Cities & Towns

Large Towns & Cities: Verdun (capital) | Outretowne | Swampstop | Teamsburg | Westron | Zootsburg
Small Towns & Villages: Azmoage | Cjarzuff | Corbay | Felton | Fessigon | Grimes | Hamlet | Leshtown | Milbro | Orbamil | Secomber | Stillich | Symex | Turnbull | Weevon | Westwatch

Other Sites: Black Fens | Greenwood Seat | Hortburg (ruin) | King-maker River | Labyrinth of Issek | Low Star Hills | The Oracle of Mibor | Twisted Tower of the Quagmire | Underkeep of Thion-Geb and Alastair | Weirding Hold of Toinmen

Ermainian Islands: Big Azmot | Crown Islands | Ermaine | Furz | Glotton | Kotah | Little Azmot | Little Hahk | Mibor | Oestin

See also: Crook and Flail, Fourth Age, History of the Kingdom of Herman Land, The Kings of Herman Land, Map - The Kingdom of Herman Land, Naming Conventions

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