Eberron: Shadows of the Last War
The Lhazaar Principalities
Pirates, sea barons, merchant traders and all with a love of the water find their home in the Lhazaar Principalities. With a history that is equal part piracy and seafaring trade the Principalities have remained a separate entity from the kingdom of Galifar even during the years they pledged allegiance to the crown. Now, with the nation of Galifar officially shattered the Lhazaar Principalities have formed a loose confederacy of states each ruled by their own sea prince living a life where might makes right and the man with the most and biggest ships rule the sea.
A narrow strip of land to the east of the Hoarfrost Mountains is the principalities’ only connection to mainland Khorvaire. A band of more than two dozen islands lies scattered off the coast of this narrow band of landscape and extends further north than any point on Khorvaire’s shores piercing into the Bitter Sea and extends south to islands off the coast of Q’Barra.
Lhazaar society exists more on the open sea than on any land establishment. Those that call the few land establishments home exist to service the sea industries and every major settlement exists on the coastline while much of the interior of the islands remain unexplored and uninhabited. Although the oldest settlements of Khorvaire exist in the Principalities they retain their feeling of frontier towns embraced by the beautiful and brutal environment around them. The sea princes over their own islands and every inhabitant pledges fealty to these sea princes. The princes themselves are as varied as the many rulers of the other nations of Khorvaire. Whereas one may be a tyrannical despot another might be a kind hearted ambassador of goodwill.
Lhazaar was the first one that set up Society in the Lhazaar Principalities. She gave the captains in her fleet the title Prince and created the few laws that are held thoughtout the land. The law that she is best known for is that the title Prince is not hereditary. Lhazaar nobles hold their title through the power of their armies. Should a Prince’s army be defeated, the winner may lay claim to that Prince’s title and land. While Lhazaar’s laws are universal, the variety of people and cultures in the Principalties means that each ruler has their own peculiar code of laws and traditions. The gnomes of Lorghalen challenge any would-be Prince to tests of wits. The Elves of Farlnen want a show of Arcane skill from their ruler in addition to naval power. The Sea Princes are very independent and feud among each other. None of the islands have ever been united under a Prince, but there has always been one prince that claims the title of High Prince. Such a claim must be backed by the fact that the Prince has a strong fleet and the respect of the other princes.
There are a few laws that the people of the Lhazaar Principalities follow throughout. Foremost among them is that the princes of have the right to administer justice in their own land, and may appoint officers as they sees fit. The Princes squabble amongst each other, but will band together against an outside enemy. Like their princes, the people of the Lhazaar Principalities will set aside their differences if attacked by outsiders.
The Lhazaar people love the sea. They live around the sea because they feel trapped when they are inland. They eat seafood and drink alcoholic beverages made from different sea plants. Because the Lhazaar has so many people from different areas and races they are comfortable with all races. Mixed languages have also become prevalent, as different races mix their languages with others, much like Creole. Clothing is different from one island to other but it tends to be tough and functional. Lhazaar residents also have a lot of pride in their hair.