Nations (Elegy Supplement)
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The Vaniri Empire:
Current Ruler: Imperatrix Katiana A'kula
As little as seventy-five years ago, the sizeable island chain south of the kingdom of Falle was composed of a series of islands. Each boasting small kingdoms and nomadic tribes that sprawled across the grasslands, rolling hills, ancient forest, and imposing mountains. One kingdom after another descended into war, and eventually the whole of Vanir and it's outlying waters all belonged to one kingdom the kingdom of the Vaniri. Save the small heavily forested mountain island of Apex. Were Sentinel keep an the Soulforged reside. The Vaniri currently have little relations with the kingdoms to the north, although it is no secret that Katiana desires to expand there borders.
Peerage is titled as follows: Imperator/ Imperatrix, Elector, Kynatz, Ur-kynatz, Komandar, Ur-Komandar, Sarl.
The Kingdom of Falle:
Current Ruler: King Anadan Dominix, Queen Althea Dominix
The Kingdom of Falle is something of a misnomer. Although there is a throne in the capital city of Siher-Falle, and a king does sit upon it, the real power are the seen dukes that make up the bulk of the kingdom's territory. For the past 200 years the Grand Dukes of Fall have ensured that the king would have little power, having only a token standing army of his own. Edict after edict was passed until the king became purely ornamental. The Dukes are: Pythia, in the North, and traditionally the strongest; Selby, in the Northeast; Redway to the East; Salmarissa in the Southeast; Nivelet in the South; Avenal in the Southwest, and Mauntag in the West.
Nobility are titled as follows: ArchDuke, Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, Baron, Knight.
The Kingdom of Cardinia:
Current Ruler: King Harar DeGlance, Queen Jeanette DeGlance
Cardinia holds itself to be the oldest of the human nations, not counting Duinseach (which is co-ruled by men and elves). A monarchy by name, it functions more as a republic, as the King co-rules along with a House of Lords. Cardinia is the most stable (and wealthy) of all the human kingdoms.
Peerage is titled as follows: King, Earl, Lord, Count, Viscount, Baron, Knight.
Current Ruler: ??
Strelichz, whether by accident or design, isolated itself from the world hundreds of years ago. Human history claims that the inhabitants were tribes of warlike people who were driven far to the north by both men and elves after a fierce war. Whatever the case, the Lichenzen surprised everyone by not only surviving, but thriving in the wastes of the far northern mountains. They are a self-sufficient people, and are not given to travel south over the mountains.
Meresankh is composed of tribes of nomads. They are renowned for their horses and horsemanship. They deal frequently with the Dukedoms of Redway and Salmarissa. They are a friendly people, but are also incredibly fierce, and extremely territorial. Not even the Vaniri have been brave enough to anger the tribes. Fun fact: the Meresankh word for “tribe” is the same as the word for “Warband” and the word “foreigner” is the same as the word “enemy.”
Current Ruler: Queen Ivy Whitewind
While only one king sits on the throne of this nation, that King is by law always at least halfelven. Both elven and human gentry alike own the land here. Perhaps the most metropolitan of nations, it may be the wealthiest in the known world. There are almost more gnomes living in Duinseach than in the Gaddunshom.
Laisren (LOSS-ren) “high home”
Current Ruler: High King Eleveth Chrionn
Laisren is the new seat of the elven High King, or Ard Tiarna. The Old Forest was once called the “First Home” of Elves, but the Elven cities there were laid waste in the destruction of the Demon Wars. Laisren's borders are closed to those not of elven blood except by special dispensation.
Eithne Fainnear (enna fanar) “Silverleaf Foresthome”
Current Ruler: King Alvion Chrionn
Silverleaf is the most intermixed of all the Elven lands. A peaceful monarchy, it has good relations with all other kingdoms except the Nock Mar and the Vaniri.
Mionait Fainnear (min-NOTE fanar) “Western Foresthome”
Current Ruler: Queen Moirenne Amaruil
These elves of these islands are a quirky bunch, unlike their brethren who live inland. It is said that these Elves inherited the fickleness of the sea by sailing it. Whatever the case, they are almost as prone to pranks and jokes as gnomes. They are also less 'civilized' and can be almost barbaric (by elven standards, perhaps). They fight with curious but remarkably made weapons, and though their skill with them is remarkable, they closely restrict the knowledge of their weaponmaking from travelling beyond the borders of their island. Still, no-one denies their mastery of all things that travel on the water. It is hinted by some that there are cities of elves UNDER the water as well, and stories are told of Allafione, a fabulously wealthy elven island far out in the western sea.
Dinear Drubhda (Dee-NAR Drowd) “Those who dwell apart from the Sun”
Tales are told of a terrible elf war before the age of man, where evil elves were driven off-shore to a dark island full of dark jungles and forbidding forests. This is Dinear Drubhda. One hundred years ago, the King of Cardinia sent colonies to this island, who found the eastern half to be not too inhospitable, and annexed it as part of the kingdom. Of these so-called “drow” or dark elves, there has was no sign, although most of the explorers that set out eastward into the jungles never return. Fifteen years ago that changed, and the drow currently wage a guerrilla war against the Cardinian settlements there.
Elven Peerage: Ard-Tiarna (High King) Tiarna (king), Bantiarna (prince), Lairde (lord)
Current Ruler: Owain Rann Hyrule Cliffton Oakhollow, Igraine Mela Thistleblossom Goldenleaf Brandywine Oakhollow.
Though common throughout the land, congregating mostly in cities, gnomes do have a small kingdom to call their own. Ruled by a royal family, the Owain and Igraine (king and queen), the gnomish kingdom is a peaceful place. Oh, and it rakes in cash hand over fist as gnomish artisans are in demand the world over. Their failures are always at least as spectacular as their successes, and the gnomes celebrate both. Not too many of the “bigjobs” live in the gnomish cities, mostly because, well, would YOU want to live in Willow Ufgood's village? Still, gnomes and elves run many “bighouses” and inns for the taller folks. Rumors that some gnome inventors are witholding very advanced technology have begun to circulate, and the current Owain refuses to speak of it.
Halfling lands exist in all the kingdoms in the land by common accord, though they have no kingdom or domain of their own. Some halfling towns pay tithe to the local rulers, be they human or dwarf, but most do not. Picture the Shire from Lord of the Rings movies, and you have a race of little folk who mostly keep to themselves and don't case too much trouble. To be sure, many halflings make livings for themselves in towns and cities, and some smaller human and elven towns have halfling neighborhoods in them, coexisting peacefully. The halflings want to stress that the thieving reputation of city-dwelling halflings is ENTIRELY UNDESERVED. Oh, they just happen to be holding your coinpurse because... you, um, must've dropped it.
There are numerous clans of Dwarves, varying greatly in size, prestige, power, land ownership, beard style, etc. The head of each clan is called a king, but the dwarvish word has a more complex meaning, boiling down to something like "Chief Mine Director”. To the dwarves, it's a case of potato/ potahto. Still, almost all clans ally themselves with one of three royal clans.
The Goldenaxe: The Goldenaxe, or high-king of all dwarves, was a title that was last used some thousand years ago when the last Goldenaxe disappeared and no successor was found. The Goldenaxe's rule was determined by the Goldenaxe itself, an ancient powerful artifact that would pass from king to king as proof of their divine right to rule. When the last Goldenaxe disappeared, his weapon never re-appeared, and the dwarves divided into 3 separate nations. Thirteen years ago, an outcast dwarf rediscovered the Goldenaxe, freed the tortured soul of the last Goldenaxe (who, having not actually died, could not pass on his weapon to a successor), and the weapon declared him the new Goldenaxe before many witnesses. Of course this was not accepted by everyone, and there was war among the dwarves. But with the current orc threat, the dwarven clans have united behind the royal banner (at least outwardly), and are currently at peace.
The Royal Dwarven Clans:
The Drok'kren Dwarves are unique in that most of their cities are built aboveground, not just as a few structures clustering around a mine entrance. The Drok'kern have the most trade with other races, and are by far the most commonly encountered outside of dwarven lands. The capital city of Drok'Mar is a wonder to behold, carved out of a mountainside (picture Minas Tirith, but cooler). Atop the mountain city is the Temple of Clouds, a massive structure that draws scores of pilgrims every year. Even in times of war, the temple never closes it's doors to worshipers, regardless of race or clan. Of all the clans, the Drok'kern are the only ones on good terms with the court of the Ard Tiarna. They mostly support the New Goldenaxe, though several powerful dissenters do exist.
The Brek'kern are a single-minded bunch. They care little for the surface races, indeed, they care little for the surface. Barely one in a hundred dwarves of this clan ever sees the sun in his or her lifetime. They will trade with other races, but most of their trade runs through the Drok'kern. They are a stern, abrupt people, and most other races find them extremely abrasive. They are also the wealthiest of the Dwarven clans, as their lodes run deepest and strongest. However, some say that their generations of living underground has warped them. This is not true, mostly caused by encounters with bands of the dueregar (evil dwarves). Still, most people find it easy to believe that a secretive people must have SOMETHING to hide. The Brek'kern are the most outspoken against the new Goldenaxe.
If the other races thought the Brek'kern abrasive, they find the Nock'kern downright hostile. Not without reason perhaps, for the Nock'kern have fought more wars with the orcs, goblins, and other less savory races than both other royal clans combined. They are a militant clan, viewing all outsiders, even other dwarves, as potential threats to be avoided or dispatched as quickly as possible. They view themselves as having the closest ancestral ties to the First Dwarves, and many claim to trace their ancestry back to the last GoldenAxe. Possibly for this reason, the Nock'Kern are the new GoldenAxe's staunchest supporters.
The world beneath the earth is a strange place. Often seams of gold and other precious metals run together, and two clans with different mines will suddenly find themselves poking holes in each others tunnels. The wealth of a mine cannot be shared, so battles among clans happens both suddenly and frequently. Still, different clans do things differently. Some clans are perfectly willing to draw up agreements rather than spill blood, and many disputes are settled before the royal courts rather than in pitched battle. Even within the clan itself, division can occur, resulting in a schizm and a new clan being formed. To be officially recognized and sanctioned, the new clan must be approved by a royal court order. If not, the dwarves must either rejoin their clan, become servants for the royal clan (a popular option, as there are many opportunities for personal wealth and advancement, even as a royal servant), or become Kil Mar'Nock, which literally means “Not a true dwarf.” Such a dwarf is a nonperson, and can never hold land legally, be married into any clan, and any offspring will be considered illegitimate.
Unknown to all but 2 rulers and a few powerful individuals, a new species has recently emerged in the world. They are known as the Soulforged. Not mere machines, they think for themselves and even the most stubborn priests will admitted that these creatures do indeed have souls and are far beyond even living constructs. They are ruled by a being known as Apex. Their single city, Sentinel keep, exists deep within the Old Forest on a ancient mountain top. A radiant marvel of architecture. No kingdoms have established formal relations.