The City of Cowls
The Sunlands, or more properly, the Kingdom of the Triumphant Sun (Imperium Nerathi Solaris in Celestial), is a hereditary monarchy located in southwestern Sylua. The kingdom is unique in that it has adopted a monotheistic faith, trusting Pelor to see to the needs of all its people. Worship of other good gods is tolerated, but public veneration of dark gods is illegal, and devil worship is punishable by death.
As the cultural heirs to Bael Tuaratha (though they would never admit it), the people of the Sunlands have several idiosyncracies that may shock the unprepared outsider. Their fierce worship of Pelor is unsettling and has even caused civil wars in the past. They fear Tieflings, but bear no love for their ancient enemies, the Dragonborn, either. Still, they tend to be good folk at heart. Like anywhere, though, there are exceptions.
Major cities of the Sunlands include Pelaurios, the ancient capital, with its magnificent spires and white marble churches, Indiss, the bustling port that is almost everybody's first stop in these lands, and Dewspring, a mixed elven/human city in the north central forests. The Sunlands benefit from brisk trade with the West Marches to the north, and The Isle of Brye to the west, as well as sporadic trade with the dwarves of Beorngrym, which declined during the period of hostilities with the Khanor Clanholds, but has resumed now that the Clans are considered allies. .
The economy of the Sunlands is built on trade and agriculture; the rich, fertile soil and almost supernaturally long growing season and good conditions contribute to a bountiful surplus year after year. Were it not for this surplus, the blight that devastated the wheat crop in the farms around Pelaurios would have spelled the death of that city; as it was, somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of the populace starved or fled the city in panic. Two years on, the harvest has not yet recovered and many still go hungry in the capital. Indiss, which lives mainly on the catfish, rice, and bloodfruit of the Delta flats, has not suffered nearly as much from the blight, and some merchants have grown rich through the shipment of salted catfish to Pelaurios.
In the Sunlands, the climate is especially mild, and most regions see only an inch or two of snow in the coldest days of Ravendeep. The spring rains begin in mid-Blackfeather, and hot temperatures persist well into Silverboughs, only turning truly cold around the end of Wansun. The months of Reaping and Silverboughs are noteworthy for the great storms that blow into the land from the southeast, usually two or three times over the course of the season but sometimes as many as eight. YS 430 and 454 both had only one storm, but in both cases it was tremendously powerful.
The current King is Benedict III, only child of Angrohans V, who was stolen by the old Patriach as an infant and returned to the Sunlands as a grown man by a brave party of adventurers. One of these rescuers, Ashar of Indiss, is his Queen, though many among the nobility grumble about a commoner wearing the Silver Coronet and whisper that her sons and daughters are not truly royalty. Still, her strong personality and the love borne for her by the commoners have kept the dissenters quiet, and the Kingdom’s prosperity has given them little fuel for their fires of dissent. Two years into the wheat blight, though, the common folk are growing desperate and some have begun to blame the King and Queen for their ills, while in Indiss, Lord Mayor Fronc Derlain has won the hearts of many in Pelaurios with his frequent gifts of food from his city’s reserves. The future of the Sunlands is uncertain. It is a time of chaos and fear. It is a time for heroes.
See Also: History of the Sunlands