Gears of Kesmai
Illyria is a long chain of islands located far north. The Illyrians, a hardy seafaring folk, gain their livelihood from the rich fishing off the shores of their islands, and from the mighty Illyrian merchant fleet. Illyrian vessels are common the world over, except in Mnar, where Illyrians are most unpopular. The Illyrian Navy is also omnipresent, serving to protect the interests of the merchant fleet, and to guard and govern the colonies from which Illyria obtains many of her trade goods.
The people of Illyria are generally tall and of fair complexion. The nobility of Illyria claim descent from the Elves of old, and make sure no one ever forgets it. They often have the long noses and somewhat pointed ears that Elves were reputed to have. Highborn Illyrians often go to great lengths to emphasize whatever nasal elongation or pointiness of ear they are born with, resulting in some ridicule whenever they travel abroad. Illyrians, as a rule, are competent fighters. They specialize in bow weapons, which they use in ship-to-ship fighting, and in the use of the longsword. The rapier and its complement, the parrying dagger, are fashionable in Illyria, since they involve greater finesse than a simple sword and shield; demonstrating one’s skill with these weapons is considered a means of showing the results of one’s fine lineage. Wizardry also is common, since Illyrians tend to be practical people and are quite distant from the hotbeds of clergy centered in Mu and Hovath. In fact, The Imperial Institute of Wizardry, located in Illyrium, the capital city, is considered by many as the finest in the world. Many aspiring young wizards travel there to complete their education.
Illyrians attribute many of their attitudes to their Elfish ancestors. Strongest among these is an abiding hatred of the Black Art. Sorcery is outlawed anywhere the Illyrian Navy can amass enough strength to make its force felt. Even rogues labor under considerable disadvantages in the Illyrian islands. Anyone in Illyria who is not strictly sworn to Light is highly suspect and closely watched. Even the famed Knights of Lemuria consider the Illyrians a bit too good to be proper traveling companions. Of course, Illyrians who take service abroad tend to develop a more liberal point of view.