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Thread: Gaialin: a SLOW Work in Progress

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    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default The 3 Kingdoms

    The Kingdom of Lionspride

    The Kingdom of Lionspride is comprised of multiple small regions in the Commons, roughly the central-northern area bordering the Minoan Sea. Composed of several nearby duchies, the city and capital for which the kingdom gets its name dwells in the Lyon Highlands, on the holy site where Lyora the Lightbringer fought an ancient battle. It has since become the spiritual center for most Gaialan, especially those that dwell in the Commons. Each duchy is also located at different sacred sites, and over time have come to mirror the city of Lionspride.

    The lands are patrolled by the Knights of the Crown. Dedicated to protect the lands and peoples of the kingdom, they also are oathsworn to a moral standard called the Code, including defending the helpless, speaking only truth, preserving freedom for all men, and upholding justice in all forms. They infrequently travel outside the kingdom, but the Code is a greater duty that sometimes pulls them away from their country.

    In the lands between the duchies, there are many freemen, most notably the Lyon Clans, that swear no fealty to Lionspride. However, these farmers and shepherds are friendly neighbors that trade with the kingdom, and the chieftains are welcome guests in many of the noble's courts. In fact, when problems do arise between the various clans, it is often a duke or King Lionel himself that arbitrates the dispute, to avoid an escalation of violence.

    Lionspride is a walled city, with many small temples dedicated to great heroes of the Rise. Over the centuries, additional monuments have been erected to other heroes, figures that proved through their deeds worthy of the same honor. Pilgrims from all of Gaialan come to pray for aid or guidance from these appointed saints, and various sects of monks work hard to maintain even the smallest shrines. Though no structure besides the castle is particularly ornate or elaborate, it is notable how peaceful and clean the city is. Pilgrims often describe how welcoming and charitable the residents can be, when they return to their home.

    The city guard are most concentrated at the city gates, the dock in the north beyond the walls, and at the more important monuments. Its not that they don't patrol the rest of Lionspride, its simply a matter of there being little need, being a holy site that almost all respect as sacred. The guards themselves are competent warriors, willing to fight and die to protect the city, but are notable for being arbitrators and peacemakers first. As such, crime is virtually unheard of within its walls.

    Castle Lyora is a massive structure of white, the upper layers visible outside the city walls, and above that is a central tower where a Northman's Sacred Flame burns. Within the main courtyard of the castle sits the Altar of the Just Blade, leaving it guarded but open for pilgrims to visit and pray. The royal family have protected and maintained the site since the beginning. The great hall of the castle also functions as a spacious Northman Hall, though in its center is a ring of tables for the King and his court. No matter the time of day, there will always be at least a Lord and several advisors available in this court, for important matters don't always wait for the King.

    Hero Cults

    There is no central pantheon of gods in the Commons. It isn't unusual for people to worship Celestial beings or local gods, most choose to worship great heroes.

    These figures mostly come from the era of the Rise, but there have been dozens that have reached this status over the centuries since. Looked upon similar to saints, they are often associated with broader concepts related to their legends, such as "bravery" or "freedom", or perhaps "charity".

    None of these Hero Cults have a monopoly on these concepts, nor do they exclude each other. For example, someone that is working towards what is considered a hopeless cause may pray to Lyora the Lightbringer, the Pendragon, or both, and may also seek to appease local gods as well.

    Some discover a particular affinity towards one of these figures. When this sense becomes great enough, they typically take a role as a monk or priest at a temple dedicated towards that hero, ensuring their deeds and the lessons that can be learned from their lives are never forgotten.

    The Barony

    In the early years after the Rise, the Kingdom of Hume was an attempt for a human power in the north-western region of the Commons. Though that early nation fell within a century, the territory known as the Barony managed to persevere. Starting in an old Giant territory that had been deforested and left barren, it has since used some of the remaining resources to become a notable industrial and trade center. Though only slightly larger than most duchies of Lionspride, it is an economic powerhouse.

    Key to their success is the Gnoman Rail, a rapid transport system that allows for trade with the northern ports of the continent and the Gnome Republic. The Barony is the only kingdom that can sustain it, due to being so far removed from Goblin raiders that its construction could be completed. Because of this, the Barony is a major trading hub, with most goods by sea and by rail passing through their territory.

    There are few farms in the Barony, the region depending on nearby freemen and trade for produce and grains. It's primary food source comes from the sea, utilizing parts of the fish in their normal diet that most races find unpalatable. More inland, the landscape is dominated by massive mills and foundries, refining raw materials into finished products traded across the continent.

    There is no law enforcement or military force inherently serving the Barony. Instead, individual lords employ mercenary forces for the task that are only as loyal as their wages. Baron Dante Tiranno III directly controls a lucrative territory three times the size of any of his vassal lords, and employs five times as many mercenaries.


    Demon Pacts

    Darker powers, such as devils or malevolent fey, are rarely worshipped. They are blamed for misfortune on many scales, and truth be told they often do have influence.

    Because of this, it isn't uncommon to attempt to appease them, through ritual or sacrifice, to be spared their wrath. Offerings of food, wealth, or even livestock are placed at the base of a twisted tree, or a place that never sees the sun. There are rarely temples or altars to these forces, but the proper corners of the world are known to most locals.

    Doing such a thing is not an inherently evil act, though champions of good choose to overcome the influence of evil, rather than to momentarily overlooked.

    There are some that seek an audience at these same places, in order to bargain for direct support or power. Wagers and contracts, called Demon Pacts, are dangerous invitations that rarely end well for the mortal.

    The Allied Holds of the Aerie