The scions of Galifar I were not the first humans to claim the region now known as Breland. In ages past, humans seized cities and lands once held by goblins, and others before them. Still, none were as successful as the king driven to forge an empire out of the untamed wilderness. Seeing the region as a buffer to protect his holdings against the monstrous threats in the far west, Galifar gave these lands to his daughter Brey and named the realm Breland.
Lore of Breland
Common Knowledge: Breland’s position on old Galifar’s frontier led the nation to develop in distinctive ways. Rather than embracing the old governmental institutions upheld in its neighboring realms, Breland afforded its citizens greater freedoms, instilling a fierce independence and a loyalty to Breland’s regents. Taking advantage of vast resources and the freedom to become rich, Breland’s population swelled, forming sprawling cities and cultivating lands across the nation.
Size is a large factor in Breland’s increasing power. Although the nation lost territory during the Last War, most Brelish folk escaped the worst fighting—the nation’s front lines stayed in the north and northeast, far from Sharn and Wroat. Breland’s infrastructure also escaped the war’s ravages, allowing it to recover more quickly than its rivals.
History DC 15: Breland leads the way in social and political innovation, and its people have greater rights and liberties than those of the other Five Nations. King Boranel commands the kingdom’s armies and enforces its laws, but he shares a great deal of power with a parliament elected by the citizens.
The parliament consists of two branches: the Nobles Chamber and the Commons Chamber. Twenty-seven nobles make up the Nobles Chamber; each holds the position for life and passes it on to his or her heir. The people elect the Commons legislators for terms of two years. Power and influence shift from one chamber to the other, depending on the charisma and stature of the chambers’ leaders. The parliament’s primary responsibility is to create laws. As a result, the people have the parliament to thank for their increased freedoms.
History DC 20: Democracy flourishes in Breland, but loyalty and love for the king keep the people from dismantling the monarchy altogether. An adventurer before his ascension, Boranel traveled twice to Xen’drik in his youth. During the Last War, the king won hearts and minds by leading sorties against enemy forces. He personally defeated an ogre chieftain while his people in the west retreated across the Graywall Mountains to escape the brimming violence of savage Droaam.
The royal family consists of King Boranel plus his six sons, five daughters, three younger brothers, and four sisters. Boranel’s family holds important positions in his court. Kor, a brother, is a royal advisor and the commander of the King’s Citadel, Breland’s elite military arm. His son Bortan holds the post of royal steward and controls the crown’s finances. Boranel’s youngest son Halix and his daughter Borina dwell in King Kaius’s court in Karrnath as part of a peace guarantee. In exchange, Kaius’s sister Haydith lives in Wroat, where she has won great favor in the Brelish court.
History DC 25: Boranel is not the first ruler in Breland to have progressive ideals. The nation has always been home to those who have little use for the heavy hand of kings and queens. Wroann, the first queen of independent Breland, championed these ideas to a greater degree than ever before. Still, given her taste for fine living, ceding power to the lower classes seemed contradictory to her nature. Some historians point out that she was one of the instigators of the Last War, and opine that her need for the people’s support to wage war led to the parliament’s greatest gains in power. Regardless of Queen Wroann’s motives, the parliament supported her break from Galifar and helped raise armies to defend Brelish lands during the long years of war.
Today, Breland is a major player in the international political arena. Most other nations fear its power and tread with caution when dealing with the king and his diplomats. Courtesy has not formed strong bonds of trust, however. King Boranel remains skeptical of Karrnathi intentions. The king also distrusts Queen Aurala’s well-chosen words and sees Thrane as an unstable state on the verge of erupting into violence at any moment. Raiders from Droaam and Darguun don’t help calm matters. In response to all these factors, Breland maintains considerable armies along its borders. The one nation with which Breland is clearly at peace is Zilargo; the two have been strong allies since the start of the Last War.