"A little place called Hardrock"; or the story of how Hardrock came to be
Show me the money.
Sembia was once entirely forested, but is now mostly plains and grasslands due to heavy logging – an action that has set them at odds with the elves; elves are not welcome in Sembia. The land is temperate and open, much like the plains of Spain or France, though with the many noble houses and merchant lords, the politics of the region are more Italian. Sembia has absorbed part of the Dales and changed the village of Moondale to Ordulin, capital of the nation. Sembans speak Chondathan rapidly.
Likeness: Cairhien/Renaissance Italy
- The richest nation in the Heartlands, it used to be forested, but all the forest has been cut down for fields. Few non-humans – and no elves, apart from one last, defiant community in the Tangled Trees.
- The Overmaster is elected by a merchant’s council, and there are many noble families. The Semban crest is the raven and a stack of silver coins, in honor of Rauthauvyr the Raven, who helped found the nation and carved Rauthavyr’s Road through the elven forest of Cormanthor. The elves haven’t forgiven them.
- Sembans – not Sembians, though that’s the term to refer to items and traits, if not people – will sell anything to anyone, and the least of them is a master of negotiation. They like to display their wealth.
- Sembia has swallowed down Moondale and turned it into their capital, Ordulin. The streets are patrolled by helms (watchmen).
- Piracy means a death sentence, as does consorting with pirates.
- Religions aren’t that important to Sembans (they get in the way of doing business), and their most important god is Waukeen.
- Cormyr is a rival nation, especially for trade.
- Sembia mints its own odd-sided coins, which are used throughout the Heartlands.
- Pomp and ceremony is well and good, but religion gets in the way of business.
- Titles and religions don’t matter at the bottom line of the ledger.
- Unlike foreigners, we know what we want and work hard until we get it.
- Barbarian – none
- Bard – minstrel, jongleur, circus performer
- Fighter – sellsword
- Rogue – Guild thief, merchant
- Mercantile Background
- Silver Palm
- Twin Sword Style
Available prestige classes for this background:
- Alchemist (FRC pg.40, Arcane Devotee)
- Guild Thief (FRC pg.45)
- Duelist (DMG pg.185)
Sembans, like Cormyreans, are divided by class, but in Sembia anyone who can earn a fortune can become a merchant lord. The people are haughty, sharp bargainers and ruthless negotiators – and flamboyant swashbucklers. Cityfolk dominate Sembian life, and they all look down on the folk of other cities. They like to show off their wealth at public events, and old money carries respect. The government is a plutocracy; the people are ruled by a council of merchants with an elected Overmaster. Officially, slavery is illegal, but in practice nobles determine the law on their own estates – except for the harshly enforced law that no one may deal with pirates on pain of forfeiting their life and fortune to the state. The land is covered with nobles’ estates with orchards and vineyards.
Waukeen’s is hands down the most popular faith in Sembia, as they are the official moneychangers of the Realms, incorruptible and constant.