The Lake People are the remnants of the former Tobelan Kingdom, living in the continent of Nerthus. When their cities were destroyed by Emperor Kieran I of the Charlangian Empire, they fled south to Lake Tobelo, and formed a community living on floating platforms in the middle of the lake. The Lake People control the lake, as well as part of Phandaele. Their capital is the floating community of Laketown. They are currently at peace with the Empire, but the Lake People still hold much resentment towards the Empire.
For more see: Tobelan Kingdom
The old Tobelan Kingdom used to control the southern Ebene Plains, the Tobelo Woods, Lake Tobelo, and the northern part of Phandaele. When the Charlangian Empire, under the command of Emperor Kieran I, began their second wave of conquest, they focused on Tobelan controlled lands north of the Tobelo River, which included their holdings in the Eben Plains and the Tobelo Woods. After being pushed back to their capital Omodeo, on the shore of the lake, the Tobelan Kingdom surrendered to the Empire. Kirean I, however, despite the surrender, ordered his troops to ransack the city. The Tobelans fled across the lake in whatever vessels they could find. As one boat found another, and they found still more, a mass of floating platforms began to develop. The Tobelan refugees lashed their vessels together and watched as their home burned. This was the beginning of Laketown, and the Lake People.
The Tobelan royal family was never found after that night. No one is sure if they were killed in the battle or if they went into hiding, and a few more paranoid citizens maintain that they were captured and are still being held in some dungeon in the Charlangian capital 60 years later. Regardless, the Lake People found themselves leaderless. At first, people merely helped each other to survive, cooperating with just the day-to-day aspects of living. Some of the Tobelans decided to cross the lake to live in Phandaele, however most of them decided to stay on the platforms until the Empire’s troops left, and they could rebuild their capital.
Eventually, as time went on, more and more decisions needed to be made, and often the citizens deferred to the opinion of whoever seemed to have the best idea of what they were doing. Eventually, one man became the de facto leader of Laketown, as it had begun to be called, by the fact that everyone thought he was the best man for the job. Umbert Esadoa was once a simple shopkeeper in Omodeo, and his sense of practicality and fairness appealed to the people of Laketown. He was eventually named the official mayor of Laketown, and the steward of the Tobelan Kingdom until the return of the royal family. He originally refused, but the pressure of the rest of the citizens of Laketown caused him to accept.
While he was adored by the common folk, the nobles of the former Tobelan Kingdom were not pleased with Umbert’s appointment. Those still living in Laketown and those in northern Phandaele felt that they should be the ruler of the Tobelan Kingdom, and assembled a small fleet to show Umbert his place. Upon their arrival at Laketown, they had found that the people had unlashed all of their boats and platforms, and drifted apart, leaving nothing for the fleet to really target. When the fleet had moved far enough into the mass of floating platforms, groups of Lake People boarded the fleet from their platforms and forced the nobles to pledge allegiance to Umbert.
Umbert’s rule as Steward of the Lake People has been relatively peaceful, although altercations with the Lizardfolk living along the northeastern shore have escalated somewhat in recent years. Umbert rules wisely and justly, although the Tobelan nobles still resent his power. Umbert is allies with The Niasa, although he refused to engage his people in war with the Drow of Ssiks-Ul’Plyr. He also maintains good trading relations with the Glimmerspark gnomes. As Umbert is nearing the end of his life, he has begun wondering if the Tobelan royal family are ever going to come back, and if it is indeed appropriate to appoint a new Steward. The common folk want him to appoint another commoner as Steward, while the nobles think the position should go to one of them.
To further complicate matters, when the Charlangian Empire withdrew from the Tobelan lands, they left behind a sizable military force to maintain peace, meaning that the Lake People’s pledge to rebuild their kingdom when the Empire left their land has still not come to pass. Many of the nobles are championing the idea that they should force the Empire to leave, and are using the increasing voice of the Tobelan populace of the Empire for succession as evidence that they should do this.
The Lake People consist mainly of humans. They also halve one of the largest populations of halflings in Nerthus. The population breakdown of the Lake People is as follows: Human – 75%; Halfling – 20%; Other humanoid races – 5%.