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Thread: Empire3! Lands of Celessa

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    Default Re: Empire3! Lands of Celessa


    The Kingdom of Gleiss

    King Markus Huvendagar
    Diplomacy: 10
    Military: 10
    Economy: 5
    Intrigue: 4
    Faith: 1
    Rolls.




    Gleiss
    Region 52

    History
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    For much of recorded history, what is now the Kingdom of Gleiss was a chaotic mix of coastal cities vying for trade and influence, and the Hourn clans who fought both among themselves, and more frequently with the coastal cities and their inland encroachments. The rest of the time, a king may have briefly emerged along the coast– only to be brought down by infighting among his vassals and frequent clan raids. For nearly a thousand years, no central authority had existed within the region– even the church had abandoned trying to exert any meaningful control over Gleiss.

    Seventy years ago, however, Felix Huvendagar began to emerge as what many assumed would be another failed king. He subjugated many of the coastal cities, and– hoping to retain the momentum of his conquest– turned his eye towards the Hourn clans. While he made early progress, the clans saw the outside threat and united against him. Several bloody yet indecisive battles culminated in the Battle of the Red Ford, which saw over six thousand dead, the majority of them clansmen– although the fighting did see the death of King Felix. Felix’s heir, the young Isolde, saw little point in continuing the uncertainty of conquest– his troops demoralized and at risk of deserting, he instead sought another route.

    Isolde drafted an agreement that he called the Royal Promise– a treaty that, in return for their loyalty, granted the Hourn clans certain rights and privileges under the crown. After a week of negotiations, the clan heads who survived the Red Ford argued for and acquired many more rights than were originally planned. Among these were cultural and religious freedom, free from royal interference, and established that there would always be a council of clan heads to advise the king and exercise his will upon the clans– within reason, of course.

    Isolde anticipated that, with the news of his father’s death, many of the city lords would once again assert their independence. Consequently, he led his combined army of Hourn clansmen and Komand citizens to the largest city in Gleiss, Törich. Upon reaching the city, the city lord quite foolishly repudiated the authority of the king, declaring his newfound independence. Unfortunately for him, the majority of his city guards did not agree with this decision– they promptly opened the gates for the king. He made an example of the unfortunate nobleman– ensuring that no one else would get similar ideas.

    Now, after 60 years of a strong king and peaceful rule, Isolde the Benevolent is dead. His grandson, Markus Huvendagar, has taken the throne at the age of 32. For the first time, a united Gleiss turns its eye outward. The question becomes: who will Markus seek to emulate? Old King Felix, the conquering warlord? Or King Isolde, the silver tongued diplomat? Perhaps he will forge his own path; only time will tell.



    Terrain
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    The coast of Gleiss is known as the Blükast; so named due to the abundance and vibrancy of the flowers that bloom all along the seaside. Most of its length is made up of steep cliffs and treacherous rocks, although western sections are generally more tame and have the greatest concentrations of navigable bays and coastline. This western portion is host to most of the great trading cities, although one city– Elnöde– managed to survive and achieve prominence in the east. This coastal region has a population of about 800,000; about 15% of this population dwells directly in the cities; the rest live on either noble plantations and estates or small townships along the coast or slightly farther inland, though not far enough to be considered a part of

    The inner regions of Gleiss can be divided into the Low Hills and High Mountain areas. The Low Hills are, of course, a hilly region sprinkled with many small lakes and streams, around which the majority of settlements have formed. This area is settled by both Komand and Hourn– meaning that there is significant amounts of cultural blending between the two. The Low Hills has a population of around 350,000, which is more Hourn than Komand, although they do form a significant minority– about 100,000 Komand settlers have moved here. The High Mountains, on the other hand, are entirely settled by the Hourn clans, numbering about 150,000 total. While not quite xenophobic, these mountain clans are hostile towards outsiders– especially coastal ones. These clans have settled upon the lower slopes of the mountains, while the peaks are often treated as places of worship.

    Gleiss is nearly perfectly divided by the river Teil, a small river with few tributaries originating at Lake Einerste. Due to the delta, which is unnavigable, the river is of little strategic importance; a few small towns have grown up along it, but little else has developed. The only notable feature of it is that it’s banks are the only place where the Tears of Kummer will grow in any significant density inland, although they are generally less vibrant– and therefore less valuable– than those that grow along the coast.

    Elnöde is a marvel– a glimmering city sitting upon a high cliff, far above the sea below. It is built around and above a massive bay that begins as a large crack in the cliffside, but quickly widens into the bay proper. A large sandy beach takes up roughly a third of the inner bay, and is where most of the mercantile district is built upon; as the city grew, however, businesses and warehouses began to be built into the stone cliffside, with docks emerging directly from the stone. The bay is connected to the city proper by a combination of stone roads carved directly into the cliffside and wooden walkways constructed alongside it. In recent times, some enterprising noble has installed large, moving platforms powered by oxen in order to move large quantities of materials up and down the cliff.

    Edelstein, the capital of Gleiss, sits towards the center of the coast– close to where the river Teil hits the coast. The city has been the seat of the Huvendagar family for close to 400 years, and has shared in the family’s success: the population swelled from 40,000 to 90,000, with most of the growth coming under the reign of Isolde the Benevolent. One of the major factors for the growth was Isolde’s implementation of the “Wechseln Anwesenheit” system. This idea was created by Isolde in order to force the loyalty of the city lords. The system forces the lords to maintain large mansions within the city proper, to reside in them every other year, and to ensure that close relatives “maintain” these estates year round– all justified in the name of ensuring that the King can call upon nobles to advise him at any time. It is, of course, a thinly veiled hostage situation, but one in which has preserved peace on the coast for Isolde’s reign.



    People
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    The Kingdom of Gleiss is a land of two peoples: the coast and parts of the inland hills are settled by the Komand, who tend to be tall and willowy, with a tan complexion. Straight, dark hair is the norm, although due to interbreeding with the Hourn clans, most inland Komand have streaks of blonde hair to one degree or another. Regardless of their location or station, the Komand wear many bright colors– the dyes are easily acquired due to their abundance around the coastal cities.

    One of the great pursuits of the Komand is art; it is seen as the pinnacle of human experience. While painting is the most prominent and valued in Gleiss, other expressions of art are valued and respected– particularly when one is good at it. Wealthy merchants and nobles often encourage their children to became great painters or musicians, spending lavish sums on tutors and materials for their children. Great artists are patronized by the wealthiest families; often, one’s status can be measured in how many artists you patronize, and how good they are. Indeed, one of the major avenues for social advancement is through art; many a minor noble family has spawned from an urchin with a gift for song, or a matron with a hand for sculpture.

    The Hourn clans are the second group native to Gleiss. They tend to be much shorter than the Komand on average– 5’4” to the Komand’s 6’0”– and in general have a broader build. Most have blond hair and green eyes, although blue or black eyes are also common. The Hourn are organized around feudal clans– each one numbering 1000 to 2000 individuals centered around a hall or keep owned by the ruling family. These clans are scattered about the slopes of the Daingneach mountains, as well as many of the lower hills. There are no true Hourn cities– the closest to one is the city of Orden, which was settled by coastal Komand to act as a trading post between the clans and the coast.



    Religion
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    Both the Komand and the majority of the Hourn clans follow the Kunist branch of the faith; although there is significant debate and division over who might be considered true prophets of the church. While Gesalb, the patron of arts, is nearly universally accepted, some Komand scholars say that he is the only true prophet since the times before Ananda; others say that there have been as many as a dozen just within Gleiss itself, and still others fall somewhere in between. Among the Hourn clans, they only recognize a man they call Stonewalker; there is frustratingly little information available on this man, as the tales of him vary between each Hourn clan– when they will even consent to telling stories of the man.

    The remainder of the Hourn clans– mostly those living on the fringes of Gleiss, within the mountains– are a peculiar combination of paganism and Kunism. They continue to worship stone and maintain an independent priesthood known as the Stonewardens, yet still recognize the central authority of the church, without subjecting themselves to it. Some whisper that these mountain heretics refuge more radical segments of the church, or even that they themselves are Gadists in secret; these rumors, however, are swiftly smothered or denied by the Hourn Council.

    At the end of the river Teil, where it meets the Blükast, a delta formed, creating many small islands separated by small rivers and streams. This delta made the end of the river unnavigable, rendering it of little economic or strategic importance, though the site was long renowned for the particular vibrance and beauty of its flowers. However, 1500 years ago, a local prophet by the name of Gesalb visited the islands in the last years of his life, and proclaimed them to be an Exalted paradise upon the earth; a place of beauty and wonder. While the prophet died soon after, his legacy lived on; a monastery, known as Steigen, was built on a few of the larger islands. Its monks originally dedicated themselves to preserving the natural beauty of Gesalb’s Gardens, although as the monastery expanded and grew in importance it also became a haven for artists of all sorts. Now, the monks retain their headquarters in Steigen, but their influence can be seen across the region in the form of the works of art valued by the Komand.

    The great city of Nachtun sits on the far western edge of Gleiss; the last great city one will find before they leave Gleiss behind entirely. While it is famed for the beautiful violets found near its shores, the true marvel of the city is Die Zuflucht. Literally translating to “the refuge”, it is a cathedral began 400 years ago by the ruler of the city to serves the ultimate expression of art and religion combined, while at the same time serving a practical purpose by helping the poor and downtrodden of the city. While even today it has yet to live up to its creators dream, the central hall– the most beautiful part– has been completed. The stained glass windows of the building immortalize some of the more famous prophets and chosen, as well as the eternal struggle between the Exalted and the enemy.

    Clach Iadh is the main religious site for Hourn clans. Sitting atop Àrd Rìgh, the tallest mountain within the Daingneach chain, it has been a center of worship for the Hourn clans for millennia. There is little information available about it– only clan chiefs, their heirs, or Hourn priests are allowed atop the mountain, and this guard is maintained by a special clan of Hourn made up of loyal warriors from across the Hourn people. The only whispers I have been able to obtain say that is where Stonewalker sacrificed himself, and where they continue to venerate him. ~Albrecht Veneer, Scribe

    Religious Centers
    Steigen Monastery: Kunism (Komand)
    Die Zuflucht: Kunism (Komand)
    Clach Iadh: Kunism (Hourn)



    Resources
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    Legend has it that, near the beginning of the world, there was a Chosen man who walked the earth, railing against the power of the Enemy. His name is forgotten, but he is widely known as Kummer– “Sorrow”. His journeys eventually took him to what would become Gleiss, where he beheld what the Enemy had done to this land– it had driven all life from the coast, leaving it barren and grey. For this injustice, Kummer fell to the ground and wept– wept for the beauty that must have been lost, wept for damage that could never be undone. As his tears fell upon the ground, however, he beheld something wondrous– a small sprout off color, a vibrant red in ashen grey dirt. With this, Kummer stood, his tears dried up, for he knew that this was a sign that the Enemy had yet to win– that there was still hope for this barren land.

    Thus comes the tale of the Tears of Kummer, the flowers that grow upon the cliffs and bays of Gleiss. Their origin attests to the hardiness of the flowers– they are able to cling to life even on the barren and wind blasted cliffs of Gleiss. With these flowers, the people of Gleiss are able to manufacture a great variety of dyes, in nearly every color and shade. While the flowers grow in the greatest concentrations on the more tame and hospitable western shorelines, the greatest colors come from the eastern cliffs. The cliffhangers of the east spend great amounts of time combing the cliffs for the most vibrant and beautiful colors– at no small risk to their own lives, as the cliffs are often beset by storms, rough waters, and powerful winds. Still, the rewards can be great– the most talented of painters often only use cliff dyes, and the richest of nobles wear exclusively cliff-dyed clothing.

    Trade Nodes
    Elnöde (Minor)
    Törich (Good)
    Edelstein (Great)

    Region number Resource Minor Good Great
    52 Tears GLE O O

    Stone is often hard to come by in Gleiss; the Hourn clans, while still members of the Shishiyan church, retain elements of their former pagan ways. Among these are a peculiar reverence for stone; they view it as sacred, and to walk on it– or quarry it– as blasphemous. Due to the Royal Promise, it is often impossible for merchants in the coastal cities to procure stone from the mountains the Hourn clans call home. As such, they must look abroad to procure it in great numbers.


    Ciriya
    Region 51

    Government
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    The entirety of the region known as Ciriya was once governed from the eponymous city of Ciriya, towards the center of the region. The Laskist Wars, however, were not kind to the government. The Kin of Ciriya– a pseudo-king elected from among the nobility of the city– died early on in the fighting, and the nobility, who were divided almost evenly between Laskism and mainline Shishiyanism, were unable to elect a new Kin. The city of Ciriya descended into infighting, from which it has only emerged in the last 20 years. The Laskist nobles were driven into the south, where they maintain a strong presence to this day. The ones who remained in Ciriya elected a new Kin, but he was a weak king; the nobles of Ciriya, instead of reasserting control over the region, fought each other over control of various districts within the city in a period now as the Division. King Markus Huvendagar marched into the city nearly unopposed, executed the Kin, and ordered the remaining nobility to gather and declare a new Kin– and heavily encouraged them to make the right choice.


    People
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    By and large, the people of Ciriya have dark brown skin, are dark-eyed, and possess straight black hair occasionally streaked with a pearly, almost luminescent white color. The amount, prevalence, and positioning of this streak is seen as an indication of one’s noble rank, though by this point, the trait is rare and only seen among a few select families; the stories concerning this trait wildly vary and often contradict one another, but it is generally told and accepted that some blessed ancestor from long ago has passed the hair color to the rulers of the land. The people are of a moderate height; at an average of 5’8”, they sit squarely between the Komand and the Hourn in height.

    Ciriyans are often a fractious and condescending lot. No matter where they're from, how far from Ciriya they live, or what religion they belong to, all Ciriyans regard the city itself as the pinnacle of civilization. To them, it will always be “the City”; even abroad, they are near religious in their praise of the City.

    While the native Ciriyans form the vast majority of the population of the central and southern provinces, the north and west are more mixed. The west has a smattering of Hourn clans settled along the mountainsides; the north has cities made up of both Komand and Ciriyan, though the Komand form no more than 10 per cent of the population.

    Recently, goblins from Jauder have been settling within Ciriya; the current population is extremely small, but growing steadily. They have all settled into a district in the slums of the eastern end of the city, which has derisively become known as “Gobbotown” by the nobility– thought the common people have been significantly more welcoming. This district has come to be led by a goblin man by the name of Kadhir Gene, the self-proclaimed Baron. By and large, this population has adopted a curious blend of Ciriyan practices mixed with their own traditions from home. Changelings are often adopted from the orphanages that dot the slums of the outer city, or from urchins brought in from off the street. Native goblin names have been discarded in favor of Ciriyan ones, or, more rarely, Komand names.






    Terrain
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    The two great peaks of Kiret Tarar and Kavē Tari (Great Brother and Favored Sister, respectively) dominate the central landscape of Ciriya. They are geological oddities: they sit alone, with no other mountain ranges or even singular peaks until one reaches Hourn mountains to the west. Between these two runs the broad river Tāy; on its banks is the great city of Ciriya. Ciriya is the only city of any size sitting on either the coast or upon the Tāy; the nobility of the city have long set building taxes on cities along the coast or river, to keep them from growing too large. After the collapse of central government, however, Ciriya’s control has grown lax; in the south, the city of Turoki has grown up, and in the north, another settlement, Itil, has gained influence. Only time will tell if these cities will grow the industry and economic power to challenge Ciriya.

    Ciriya itself is a massive city of over 250,000 people; the vast majority of these are native Ciriyans, though in times past the city has been host to merchants from the world over. The city is neatly halved by the river Tāy, though the island of Aranmanai, almost a half of a mile long, sits near the center of the city. Numerous bridges connect it to the rest of the city; it is the only point where the river is narrow enough to cross the river with bridges. Upon the northern end of the island sits a walled complex, the Kin’s Palace. The rest of the city is divided into a wide variety of districts, ranging from the dockworker’s district, containing about 8% of the city population, to the foreign merchant’s, an area on the southern end of the city, which is currently severely underpopulated.

    The rest of the region is made up of gentle coastal plains that eventually transition into hills before finally reaching the western mountains, known as Ninta Val. Ninta Val is the primary source of the region’s extensive lumberyards that produce the wood used to build their famous ships. In the past, the native Hourn clans formed the backbone of the labor used in these camps; more often than not, they were poorly treated and exploited by Ciriyan taskmasters. With the collapse of Ciriya in the Laskist Wars, the lumberyards shut down and the clans were able to assert some amount of independence; recent attempts at reopening the lumberyards have either used Ciriyan workers or substantially better treated Hourn.


    Resources
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    The Ciriya have long been famed far and wide for their shipbuilding enterprises; and Ciriya, as the only city of consequence with access to the sea for centuries, is the heart of this enterprise. At the eastern edge of the city– past the bridges and ferries which connect the two halves of Ciriya– numerous docks and wharves extend far into the river, and the banks are covered in shipyards. In recent times, the docks of Ciriya have fallen into ruin and disrepair; on the best of days, only a third of what was produced in antiquity can be built, and often production falls short of even this benchmark.

    In order to support a robust shipbuilding industry, three things are needed: wood, labor, and cloth. These first two are in ready supply in Ciriya– plentiful forests in the western mountains and a large population within Ciriya create an abundance, but the last is far more difficult to acquire. In the past, Ciriyan merchants have looked abroad for their supply; with the collapse of government and order, as well as the subsequent fighting, they have been unable to purchase great stores of it. Any hopes of once again creating a thriving shipbuilding enterprise in Ciriya stems first from acquiring a ready supply of cloth.

    Trade Nodes
    Ciriya [Minor]

    Region number Resource Minor Good Great
    51 Ships JDR X X


    Religion
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    The lands of Ciriya are heavily divided religiously; the north and western sections are largely Kunist, the central provinces surrounding Ciriya are Shishiyan, and the south remains a Laskist stronghold.

    The mountain of Kiret Tarar has long been a center for religious observances and practices; the first written record of such events comes from over 1,000 years before the birth of Ananda, and apocryphal story puts that figure at nearly 6,000. Now, the mountain is host to a large complex of temples, monasteries, and living spaces, all of which sit on the northern side of the mountain overlooking the city.

    In contrast to Kiret Tarar, Kavē Tari is almost completely bare of human settlement. The southern side, facing the city, is a series of descending barren cliff faces; ascending these cliffs are the Sister’s Steps. Supposedly, when the man yet lived, Ananda– or perhaps some other prophet, claim other stories– himself climbed this path to the top of the mountain, where he fasted and meditated for seven days and seven nights. On the dawn of the eighth, he descended to the people of Ciriya, to whom he delivered a sermon. Unfortunately, all records of this sermon have been lost to time. Now, the Steps are a popular pilgrimage site for Ciriyans. Few have the bravery to fully ascend the mountain– most stick to the bottom, where a large chapel was constructed and actual steps been carved into the mountainside. Braver souls must face a rough path, often climbing the cliff to continue the ascent. At the top, a small, ornate altar sits, containing only an incense brazier; it is considered good luck to carry incense from the bottom and burn it there.

    The Gathering Hall sits near the center of the southern Ciriyan city of Turoki, the principal stronghold of the Laskist nobles. As its name suggests, it is a gathering place, one intended for the discussion and debate of religion. Most of the scholars who visit it concern themselves with arguments over the authority of the Orthodox Shishiyan Church, the validity of the Prophet Ananda, and the superiority of Laskist ideas. Dissenting opinions often find themselves tossed outside the city– if not bleeding out in an alley.


    Religious Centers
    Kiret Tarar: Shishiyanism
    The Gathering Hall: Laskism
    The Sister’s Steps: Open



    Reash
    Region 53

    Terrain
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    The coast of Reash is made up of long, sandy beaches, largely unmolested by rough seas or rogue waves. A few bays and harbors break up the monotony; these form the foundation for the only large cities settled by the Ingeboren. These cities are one of the few places where Ingeboren from different villages coexist and interact with one another in significant numbers. Farther inland, gentle hills and valleys dominate the landscape; underneath the hills are extensive networks of caves. The largest of the caves, the Kerregrotten, has over 150 miles of mapped passages; at least another 60 miles are theorized to exist, however, as many of the deepest crevices have proven to be too dangerous to safely explore.

    One of the most iconic sights of Reash is Four Stones, a massive valley near the center of Reash. Its name comes from the four standing stones, each over 50 feet tall, made of a dark grey stone; they are spaced about 250 feet apart from one another, forming a broad, flat expanse. Faint impressions can be felt along all four stones; time has faded them beyond recognizability, however. The site has long been home to Four Stones Fair, a massive gathering drawing in people from across the region and beyond. In times past, thousands would visit the fair over its two week span; merchants, peddlers, and entertainers would abound, covering the clearing and extending well beyond it. Now, however, the region has become too divided, too stricken by war and disaster to boast such numbers; Four Stones has become a shadow of what it once was.

    Mount Geit sits at the far western end of Reash; almost to the border with Saralyn and Guria. The top of the mountain is said to look like the gargantuan head of some primordial goat, with massive curling horns; though the resemblance is so slight that it is mostly limited to story and fable. Legend has it that the Ingeboren– then pagans who had yet to see the light– worshipped the mountain, and offered sacrifices there. Supposedly, on the edge of twilight on the summer solstice, the faint gleam of sacrificial fires can still be seen shining in the eyes of the goat god.


    People
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    Reash is a harshly stratified region, with significant religious and ethnic tensions keeping it divided. The western coast and the inner regions of Reash are both occupied by the Ingeboren– dark haired, dark-eyed, and light skinned humans. Many of the Ingeboren dwell in small villages scattered across the map; a few large cities do dot the coast, however. These villages are organized along the lines of what breed of goat they raise; they take great pride in the quality of their product, and to insult one’s goat is the highest offense. The towns are named after the goat breed they produce, as well as one or two words that serve to identify the specific village. The village headsmen also take the name of the breed they raise as a sort of title, and can be identified by the horns taken from a prime specimen that the leaders wear.

    Furthermore, a relatively large group of Bearmen live among the coastal Ingeboren. A group of devout and orthodox Shishiyans, they broke off from the rest of the Bearmen clans about 250 years ago, eventually settling in Reash. By and large, they have been integrated into Ingeboren life; the two people largely share a similar cultural identity. The exception is the Purifiers– a group of particularly dogmatic, almost Yadist, group of Bearmen. With the advent and subsequent unrest caused by the Laskist Wars, they have made themselves an informal inquisition, rooting and persecuting out Laskists and more recently Kunists found in Reash. With the arrival of Gleiss in the region, the Purifiers have by and large been killed or driven into hiding; however, Gleiss has not yet been able to fully rid the region of their stain, as small groups have hidden themselves in the cave systems of the region.

    The eastern coast is largely settled by the Verbann. An offshoot of the Komand found in Gleiss, the Verbann share largely the same characteristics, though they tend to be a bit shorter and have a higher prevalence of darker hair colors, and like the Komand, are primarily Kunist. By and large they have maintained peace with the other two factions– though in the past wealthy Gleiss city lords and merchants have financed revolts against the Ingeboren, and in more recent years, pressure from the Purifiers in the Hammer faction have been mounting against the heretics.



    Religion
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    Even before the Laskist Wars, Reash was divided by religious wars and skirmishes between the eastern Kunists, the Flowers faction, and the western Shishiyan, the Hammer faction. At various times one faction would hold loose dominion over the other– though that often would not last long. With the conversion of many Ingeboren to Laskism, a third faction emerged, the Wicks. Now, since the emergence of the Wicks, the three groups sit in an uneasy truce– though one often broken by small skirmishes and raids against one another.

    Of the Ingeboren, a little over half are estimated to be Laskist– these are the ones living in the southern hills. Not many will profess to being Laskist– frequent inquisitions from the Purifiers caused many in the past to hide their faith, though they would often provide support to the open rebels. A few of the more remote villages deep in the hills will profess to their faith, and rebel lords safe in their hill forts actively defy the strength of the Purifiers. The most powerful of these hill lords, Vliegend Godfried Sterke, has constructed a magnificent church partially carved into the caves beneath the hills. Naming it Kaars Hal– or Candle Hall– in reference to the name of the Laskist faction, it is both a place of worship and a final sanctuary for Laskists across Reash. With the arrival of Gleiss, and armed with the knowledge of its tolerance towards Laskists in Ciriya, the religion has become more open, though some still retain their secrecy.

    The other half of the Ingeboren, as well as the vast majority of the Bearmen, are members of the Orthodox Shishiyan Church. No notable variations exist within the church of Reash– beyond, of course, the existence of the vigilante Purifiers. In the past, the most prominent cathedral in Reash was the Hamer Cathedral, built around 400 years ago by Zeldzaam Puck Klein. The church later became the headquarters for Destar Erwin Brennen, self-proclaimed leader of the Purifiers. With the withdrawal of the Purifiers, it has once again become host to a Shishiyan congregation– though one significantly smaller than it once saw.

    The Verbann inhabiting the eastern portions are, like their Komand relatives, mostly Kunist. They share many of the same beliefs– though, like the Komand, there are conflicting opinions on both who constitutes a prophet and the exploits of said prophets. One prominent tale concerns the prophet Gesalb, his residence among the Verbann for a season or two, and how he managed to acquire one of the legendary Vliegend. This tale has been immortalized in the Storied Garden– an extensive park in the city of Weiter, where scenes from the story are carefully sculpted out of foliage.

    Religious Centers
    Kaars Hal
    Hamer Cathedral
    Storied Garden



    Resources
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    The goats of Reash come in many different breeds, each with a different purpose. There is the Gemeen breed, the most common; it is not dissimilar to other varieties of goat found elsewhere, and is often slaughtered for food or its hide. On the other end of the spectrum is the Vliegend; the rarest and most valuable goat found in all of Celessa. As large as or larger than most horses, it is used by the Ingeboren as an alternative to that ignoble animal. The Vliegend is never traded to outsiders; only Ingeboren are allowed to ride the majestic beast. Legend tells of foreigners being gifted a Vliegend– among them Gesalb the Gardener and Ananda– but none exist in living memory.

    Trade Nodes
    Gemeen Villages
    Ongewoon Villages
    Zeldzaam Villages

    Region Number Resource Minor Good Great
    51 Goats ZHN SAR BBK



    Zenska
    Region 51

    History
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    Once, in a time long past, Zenska was the capital of a mighty nation, a bastion of strength and stability for the north. The now-ruined fortifications that cover the region turned back great and terrible armies many times, and the mithril mines made the region prosperous enough to field magnificent army. Alas, civil war and a series of weak Queen Mothers caused the collapse of this great queendom– outer provinces broke away entirely, and afterwards the Queen Mother only truly ruled the capital city. All else in the region may have paid lip service to her, but ignored her decrees and schemed against one another.

    With the arrival of the glorious armies of Saralyn, the Queen Mother and the Princess Maiden disappeared entirely– leaving only a half-senile Royal Crone as the nominal ruler. Saralyn, and later Gleiss, both initially ignored the power vacuum this caused, a vacuum that was quickly filled by one Gabriel Hemane, a wealthy merchant– and more importantly, a man. An influential mithril merchant and supposed arms dealer, Gabriel aims to overturn the matriarchy that has long ruled in Zenska and seize the crown for himself as the first king, though he has as of yet made little progress. For now, other concerns must take precedence for the crown of Gleiss; Zenska still remains in relative disorder.


    Government
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    Zenska is ruled by the Maidens, the Mothers, and the Crones. Every settlement, from the smallest village to the greatest city, is governed by a Mother. She is accompanied by a Maiden– a young girl who is the presumptive heir– and a Crone, a previous Mother who has given up her seat and now serves as an advisor. Succession to a role is based on the death of the Crone– once the local Crone has died, the Mother and Maiden both step up, and the Maiden’s daughter becomes the new Maiden.



    Terrain
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    Zenska is a dark and foreboding expanse; shifting mists drift through thick pine forests and across the streets of small villages tucked deep within. Lonely moors thrust up out of the fog– many covered in the remains of old watchtowers, forgotten castles, and broken fortresses. Broken blocks of stone, scattered about as if by some giant, abound, all that is left of once proud manors and estates. Cities are scattered about like so many bastions of civilization– yet they are few and far between, and between them lies naught but but expanses of dark wood and abandoned villages. Zenska has long been in the twilight of its existence; the terrain, the cities, and even the people have come to reflect this.

    The Riesenfestung, at the height of the Zenskan Empire, was the largest fortress in the region. Atop a high hill overlooking the capital, at one point it boasted 60 foot walls, a central tower 300 feet tall, and over 3,000 garrisoned soldiers. It sheltered the Queen Mother and her court six times over its lifetime, and at one point was credited with saving the queendom itself. Unfortunately, the size and grandeur that made it such a symbol of the monarchy turned it into the first casualty of the decline. As soldiers deserted and revenues collapsed, the castle was deemed too large and costly to maintain. Years of neglect have turned this once-beautiful edifice into a pile of broken blocks and rotting timbers, fit only for the desperate or the foolish.

    Lesdelney is a massive pine forest, covering much of the inner regions of Zenska. No major cities lie within it– only isolated villages, connected by poorly maintained dirt tracks, dot the woods. As with any dark and isolated area, numerous stories abound on the nature of this region. City dwellers say that the few who live here are twisted half-men, bestial in form, with red eyes and piercing screams. Those who live within tell different tales– of eerie forms that stalk the edges of isolated farmsteads and villages deep in the night, always seen at the night of the full moon.

    The Shining Depths are the former center of Zenska’s Mithril mines. In times past, the richness of the mines was well-documented– the metal was as plentiful as weeds, and
    it was so easy to find large veins that small chunks would be left in the miner’s wake. Alas, the prosperity of the past is no more. 250 years ago, the mines began to dry up; Mithril became harder and harder to find, and within 50 years, every scrap that could be found was dug up. In desperation, the miners strove deeper than they ever had before; unfortunately, a freak accident destroyed the new tunnels. A large explosion caused the tunnels to collapse; the culprit, an unexpected pocket of explosive gas. What few miners who lived must have been driven mad by the experience, for they spoke of a great lizard that caused the collapse.



    People
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    The people of Zenska are pale-skinned, blue-eyed humans. They are often favored by golden hair, a trait they claim is because the Zenskan are descended from a pair of Exalted; like most such claims, it is steeped in legend and lore. Men tend to defer to women in public– though in private, relationships are much more egalitarian.



    Religion
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    Unlike most of the rest of the world, the furor and hardship of the Laskist Wars mostly passed over Zenska. Its isolation, fairly low population, and lack of a central authority all caused the two warring sides to overlook the region. While the more western population converted to Laskism, it was more of a political decision rather than a religious one; they converted to appease more radical elements farther west. The Shishiyan majority in the east remained Orthodox for much of the same reason; the church maintained a stronger presence on their borders than they did in the west.

    The Kostel Cathedral is the center of the Shishiyan church in Zenska. Sitting on the far eastern edge of the region, it is one of the few true bastions of genuine faith in the region.

    By the same token, the Drala is the bastion of the Laskist faith in Zenska. Occupied by similarly zealous Laskists, it is a ruined fort turned somewhat restored church.

    The Krasna is a naturally occurring waterfall deep within Lesdelney, at the bottom of which sits an open glade. Long ago, legend has it that pagan cults dedicated to bestial gods would have a festival on the summer solstice within this glade. On the very last moments of that day, the sun shines through the mist to cast rainbows across the clearing. Now, it is only occasionally visited by artists and the occasional local– though the area has seen an increase in traffic as painters from Gleiss have become interested in the area.


    Religious Centers
    Shishiyan
    Laskist
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    Resources
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    The Mithril mines of Zenska lie beneath the moors of the region. In modern times, the mines are few and far between, and the extraction of ore danger and difficult. Still, even though far less is produced than what was made in antiquity, they still manage to eke out an existence.


    Trade Nodes
    Statkovy
    Nedostat


    Region number Resource Minor Good Great
    51 Ships O X X

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    Last edited by Lord_Burch; 2017-04-24 at 09:04 AM.
    Amazing Jaune Arc avatar made by the talented artist Comissar. Thanks a lot!

    Playing as the Kingdom of Gleiss in Empire! 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemental View Post
    A ravenous, numberless horde of immortal, undying goats cursed with unceasing hunger would actually be a very disturbing apocalypse.