One of two former nations that now comprise Brevoy, the pirate nation of Issia was known and feared all along the length of the Sellen River. Perched on the edge of the Lake of Mists and Veils, Issia had an unforgiving geography that forced its people to be cunning and brutal in order to survive.
The lands of Issia lay south of the Lake of Mists and Veils and are barren and unsuitable for agriculture.
Issia is dotted with many tiny isolated fishing villages and citizens make most of their living from the lakes and rivers either through raiding vessels or through fishing.
Issia’s main settlement is Port Ice, which has grown into prominence since the Surtovas took political power in Brevoy, but the city is still a rough and tumble, semi-legitimate river-pirate port that it was in the days before Issia joined Brevoy.
For more than a thousand years Issia was ruled by House Surtova, a family of pirates and scoundrels who were unequaled in cunning and power by any of the other pirate clans and maintained an iron grip on its people. Due to the harshness of the land, Issia was never able to support a large military and so House Surtova had to outsmart its opponents.
Issia first came into existence when explorers from Taldor came across a disease-ravaged frontier colony of the ancient Iobarian empire. The area that came to be known as Issia was too barren to allow true agriculture so the inhabitants turned to raiding to support themselves. Issia became renowned as a land of river pirates and other such scoundrels with the center of raiding activity being the boisterous Port Ice. Despite Issia being a nation of raiders and pirates it was relatively stable, being ruled by House Surtova for the last thousand years of its existence. House Surtova ruled by virtue of being the most cunning of all the river pirates and by beating the resistance out of all of the other river pirates.
When Choral the Conqueror came to the region in 4499 AR and laid waste to the nation of Rostland to the south, House Surtova surrendered, deferring to him and the self-proclaimed nobility of House Rogarvia. As a result, Issia survived the transition into the new nation of Brevoy far better than Rostland did. Their surrender also allowed House Surtova to ingratiate itself into the new regime more easily, eventually allowing it to gain control of Brevoy after every member of House Rogarvia within Brevoy’s borders mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind a power vacuum in the capitol of New Stetven.
The people of Issia are renowned as raiders and pirates though many Issians are simple fishermen or traders trying to make a living plying the waterways of the north. There have always been rumors that there was something odd about the folk of Issia with hushed whispers about them engaging in dark practices such as human sacrifices. Outsiders to this day often find themselves shunned in the smaller villages and rumor has it that the true masters of Issia lie beneath the freezing depths of the Lake of Mists and Veils.