Post Greyhawk Wars: 585 CY
Shield Lands, The
Ruler: Her Most Honorable Ladyship, Countess Katarina of Walworth, Knight Commander of the Shield Lands, in exile (Iuz)
Capital: Amundfort (pop. 6,200)
The growth of the Shield Lands was a direct result of the reaction by nobles with lands just north of the Nyr Dyv to the growth of the Bandit Kingdoms. The Earl of Walworth was chosen as Knight Commander, given Walworth’s strategic island location with the only major city (and that being a fortified port). A holy order, the Knights of Holy Shielding, was consecrated at Walworth to the service of the Powers of lawful good (most notably Heironeous).
Supported by Urnst and Furyondy, the Shield Landers fought off increasingly severe raids from the Horned Society lands for many years before the Wars. Yet when the War came, Earl Holmer made a terrible mistake on this score after those lands had fallen to Iuz.
Warned by Belvor of Furyondy of the growing might of Iuz, Holmer refused direct Furyondian military aid, suspecting that Belvor wished to annex the Shield Lands. A flanking maneuver by Iuz’s forces, east through the Bandit Kingdoms and thus into the Shield Lands, caught Holmer and his generals myopically peering north and ensured the vital element of surprise. Nearly half the knights of the lands fell in the strategic retreat to Admundfort. Armies were evacuated in large measure across the Nyr Dyv to Furyondy, Dyvers, Urnst, and Greyhawk before Admundfort fell to Iuz. Iuz gleefully installed fiends as a mock council of nobles in Admundfort, presided over by an especially cruel and sadistic marilith. Holmer himself was taken to the dungeons of Dorakaa, to an unknown fate.
Exiled Knights of Holy Shielding are found in Greyhawk, Dyvers, Urnst, and in exile in Willip. Since Holmer’s presumed death, his cousin Katarina has taken his title and leads the Knights as a negotiator and representative; she is a young paladin of Heironeous and makes up with charisma what she lacks in tact. The Knights are proud and valorous men and women, and to have hit hard times in which some must work as mercenaries and bodyguards for merchants does not rest easy on their pride.