Aundair is a nation of contradictions, with its territory covered with sprawling farmlands yet also the home of some of Khorvaire’s most respected institutions of learning. Ruled by Queen Aurula, its people are fiercely loyal to their sovereign. Following the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold, much of the nations territory was annexed into the Eldeen Reaches. The people of Aundair felt slighted by this and still hold a grudge, believing those territory to belong to their nation.
Aundair is one of the five nations of the original Kingdom of Galifar. Although much of its western forest territory has now become the Eldeen Reaches, Aundair still possesses beautiful swaths of fertile fields that supply the nations of Khorvaire with food and fine wines while large institutions of higher learning output scholars and knowledge.
Much of Aundair’s boundaries are marked by natural geographical features. The Wynarn River and Lake Galifar in the west, The Blackcaps to the south, the Eldeen Bay in the north, and Scions Sound and Aundair River in the northwest. The only border not so demarcated is that between Aundair and Thrane, its neighbor to the east. Breland sits to the south and the newly formed Eldeen Reaches borders the west. The Lightning Rail passes through the larger cities of Passage and Fairhaven while House Orien roadways network through to smaller cities and westward to the Eldeen Reaches.
Aundair’s people are a model of duality. Split between rugged hard working agriculturalists and learned, bookish individuals the “typical” Aundarian is anything but. Metropolises bustle with activity as two major dragonmarked house enclaves and two centers of learning draw heavy business, while solitary monasteries dot the landscape where monks live in almost complete solitude, rarely venturing from their homes. Aundair’s temperate climate and fertile soil make it a haven for good farmland and Aundair’s wine is especially well known across Khorvaire. Two great centers of learning reside in Aundair, The University of Wynarn and the floating city of arcane study Arcanix. Both of these institutions have suffered from a lack of students during the Last War, but admissions are increasing yearly.
Aundairians are known for their somewhat arrogant attitudes. Although arrogance is hardly a trait unique in the Five Nations, the Aundarians learn at a young age the results of a strong will in competition with others. That is not to say that every Aundarian is stubborn, or thick-headed, but that they will not easily concede a point they believe to be right, and indeed public duels have become a staple of Aundarian society; so much that many Aundarians have adopted names for specific maneuvers and styles used in duels.
Aundair is big and roads network throughout the nation making travel easy. Most Aundarians live away from major cities in farmlands, but still remain connected to their local cities and towns; thus Aundarian horsemanship is second only to the elves of Valenar.
In -1502 CY the humans who had spread over Khorvaire formed five distinct settlements. These settlements would become the Five Nations of Thaliost, Wroat, Metrol, Karrnath, and Daskara. The nation that would become Aundair was then known as Thaliost. In -802 CY the Mark of Handling appeared among humans in Thaliost.
The Last War
During the last war, Aundair spent most of its time in warfare against either Thrane or Karnath, and the loss of Thaliost to Thrane bristles Aundairian national pride to this day. During the Last War, the Eldeen Reaches seceded from Aundair, causing the nation to lose one half of its total area, along with one fifth of its population. The Knights Arcane bravely fought for Aundair, along with peasant militias. Aundairian military tactics emphasized maneuver with light cavalry, with magical support from wands.
Five Things Every Aundairian Knows
1. The names of fine wines and other liquors. Not every Aundairian can afford Bluevine wine or something from the Mount and Moon cellars, but everyone can name his or her favorite labels and engage in animated conversations about the relative merits of each.
2. Some signature dueling moves. Aundairians love the flash of swordplay, and even the clumsiest citizen can slowly emulate the “twisting lunge” or “dragonhawk riposte” that he sees in the swordfighting demonstrations common in village square entertainment.
3. A bit about horses. With its rolling verdant hills, Aundair is horse country second only to Valenar in Khorvaire.
4. Several “add-a-verse” songs. Popular as everything from children’s lullabies to drinking chanties, rhyming songs where a verse is added each time (such as “The House that Galifar Built” or “The 12 Days of End Year”) are an Aundairian tradition. Some run for nearly a hundred verses.
5. The Epic of the Valiant and Vigilant. Popularized some forty years ago by Aundair’s bards, this tale takes about forty-five minutes to recite — and most Aundairians have heard it so many times that they can recite it from memory. The Epic of the Valiant and Vigilant describes the twin sieges of Tower Valiant and Tower Vigilant in 951 YK, told from the perspective of two lovers, each trapped within one of the castles but believing the other to be safe.