Zilargo
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Nature: Country
Continent: Khorvaire
Before the War: Breland

Capital: Trolanport
Population: 250'000 (60% gnome, 16% human, 11% dwarf, 7% kobold, 6% other races)
Languages: Gnomen, Common, Dwarven, Goblin
Exports: Alchemical goods, education, entertainment, maps, precious stones, ships
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Description

The gnomes of Khorvaire have lived in the area known as Zilargo for thousands of years. Situated between the Howling Peaks and the Seawall Mountains, the gnomes have thrived despite incursions by and conflicts with goblinoids, kobolds, and humans. They have always managed to maintain their independence, winning battles with words that they could never win with swords.

After Galifar established his kingdom, he eventually set his sights on Zilargo. The gnomes met his forces in the valley north of Dragonroost and immediately surrendered. During the negotiations, the gnomes became an independent province within the kingdom. Galifar left in victory, and the gnomes secured a safe place in the new kingdom — all without spilling a drop of blood. Relying on wisdom and cunning, along with elemental-bound items and illusions, gnomes can be surprisingly dangerous opponents.

During the Last War, Zilargo spent part of the conflict as a neutral observer before aligning with Breland in 962 YK. From that point on, the gnomes provided intelligence and elemental-bound weapons to Breland while avoiding most combat. As a result, Zilargo emerged from the Last War stronger than ever, and Breland owes the gnomes a debt for the services they rendered.

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Industries

For a small nation, Zilargo exports a large array of goods and services. The gnomes are known for diplomatic expertise, and the demand for gnomish translators, advocates, and mediators is high. House Sivis regulates these services, as well as maintaining a lock on communications in central Khorvaire.

The gnomes’ talent for words extends beyond mediation and scribing. Gnome poets and orators are celebrated across Khorvaire, while Zil bards weave words and magic together to produce dazzling shows of illusion and song.

In addition, the Korranberg Chronicle, full of news and stories, reaches common folk throughout the Five Nations.

The Library of Korranberg and its associated colleges don’t quite measure up to the magical research and artificing techniques going on in Aundair, but it might possess the greatest source of general knowledge on the continent.

The gnomes of Trolanport are among the greatest shipwrights and cartographers of Khorvaire, and even Lhazaar princes travel there to commission gnome-made vessels. Tremendous wealth pours from the jewel mines of Zalanberg, and the gnomes have discovered a method for binding elementals into vehicles, armor, and weapons.
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Life

Zilargo’s beautiful architecture fills the towns and cities of the gnome nation, and the streets vibrate with bright colors, song, and good cheer. Friendly, helpful inhabitants seem genuinely interested in talking with strangers, and theft and violent crimes rarely occur.

In truth, while the average gnome always makes time to listen to a stranger, this behavior has more to do with the gnomes’ thirst for knowledge than with sympathy for outsiders. Gnomes believe that every piece of information, no matter how trivial, may someday have value.

Zilargo society is bound together by a complex web of favors, secrets, and debts. For more than eight centuries, an invisible order of spies and assassins has been watching from the shadows, gathering information on all internal activities and using this knowledge to eliminate threats to society.

Every citizen of Zilargo knows that anyone could be an agent of this secret order. Most gnomes actually are good-natured and cheerful, but there’s always the chance that a friendly face masks more clandestine activities.
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Settlements

Zil gnomes place a high value on appearances. Their architecture, designed for beauty, features delicate carvings, elaborate railings and balconies, and lavish gardens. Murals and statues are scattered throughout every community.

Most fixtures and buildings are designed for those of small stature, but buildings constructed for the tallfolk also exist. Korranberg and Trolanport have undergone alteration over the centuries to accommodate travelers of other races.
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Government

The Triumvirate rules Zilargo. This council, composed of a representative from each of the major cities of Korranberg, Trolanport, and Zalanberg, was founded as an oversight committee to monitor the behavior of students and patrons of the Library of Korranberg. The powers and duties of the Triumvirate slowly expanded to cover the entire nation.

Each of the three cities has its own Council of Nine, gnomes drawn from wealthy families who manage local civic concerns. In theory, the city’s representative to the Triumvirate is democratically selected from its council. In practice, the process is anything but democratic, as secret wars of words and blackmail determine power within each council.

The Trust, the secret order that protects Zil society, reports directly to the Triumvirate. It has a coordinator in each city who works with the local council. Few realize that the Triumvirate possesses an impressive vault of information concerning political, military, and economic activities that rivals that of the Library, thanks to the work of the Trust.
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Religion

The people of Zilargo are extremely broad-minded when it comes to religion. Most gnomes try a few religions before settling on a single faith, usually selecting a patron deity from among the Sovereign Host. Some never make a final choice; there are gnomes who attend and even perform services for both the Sovereign Host and the Silver Flame.

Temples to virtually all religions can be found in the major cities of Zilargo. Korranberg even contains a temple dedicated to the Dragon Below, although the adherents are more philosophical and less disturbing than the fanatics of the Shadow Marches.

Despite this seemingly cavalier attitude, most gnomes take religion very seriously; they simply don’t see a conflict in following more than one belief.
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Known Natives

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