The Kingdom.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 4 posts
Wed 5 Nov 2014
at 01:35
The Kingdom
"Why need it a name?  Being alone in its grandeur and reach, the Kingdom needs none."
-Hyrium



Until two years ago, the land was ruled unquestioningly by King Osmell IV, who assumed the throne several decades ago from his father.

All lords in the land swore fealty to him and to protect his lands from foreign invasion, outlaws from the west and demons.

The richer lords with large tracts of land then divide their lands among their own lords and so on.

Land along the great river is lush and verdant farmland.  Between the river and the mountains is a vast forest.

To the south lies the sea and across it the Chal'i islands.  Departing largely from Bayton, but also from the 'married' cities of Galeena and Hyrium, merchants trade with the islanders.  Common imports include spice, wine, silk, ironwood, whale products (oil, blubber, bone) and jewels.  Common exports include beer, livestock, gold, iron and weapons.

The Chal'i are regarded as a jovial people.  The climate of the islands being overall tropical, they tend toward darker skin and less clothing.  Because of this they often decorate themselves instead with jewelry (bracelets and ankle-lets are common) and died or otherwise ornate hair which can incorporate jewelry and feathers.  Their islands are described (especially by them) as a paradise and more wealthy merchants from the kingdom will maintain homes there.

To the east is a vast range of mountains broken by only one known route, the caravan pass, through which merchants trade with the Nor on the far side of the mountains.  Common imports include spices, berries, wine, silver, olives and figs.  Common exports include beer, livestock, gold, iron and weapons.

The Nor are known as professional but gruff and glum.  They tend toward darker hair (more hair) and darker dispositions.  They also tend to stand out in the Kingdom because of their (often gratuitous) tattoos and piercings.  Although they trade freely with the Kingdom, few are allowed deeper into their territory than the cities closest the mountains.

Amid the mountains is God's Kiln, an enormous smoking volcano.  Its eruption long ago is attributed to several of the First men, depending on which story is being told.  As a result of the blast, the area around it are ashen and nearly devoid of normal life.  However, these Kiln Lands are rich with mineral deposits, obsidian and other materials spewed up by the Kiln every so often.  Those who live in the area are often called "Ash Farmers" and live under the banner of the lord of Crag Seat.

The land is divided by the great river, with most of the larger cities and richer lands to the east.  Far to the west of this river is the relatively undefined boundary of the Badlands where the King's reach ends.  The Badlands are populated by largely uncivilized men who either refuse the King's peace or have had it revoked.  At times raiding parties will enter the King's land from the West.  The denizens of the Badlands are expert horsemen and masters of the sling, bow and atlatl.

Going north, the King's reach also ends and it is said that Ogres have their frozen kingdom.

Between the west and north is a vast marshy land riddled with small rivers and ponds, swamps and knots of gnarled forest.  It is difficult to travel through for anyone, especially those who are not local.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:18, Thu 04 Dec 2014.

GM
 GM, 12 posts
Thu 6 Nov 2014
at 01:37
The War
"There is no 'rebel king', only a rebel who will soon be slain by a king."
-King Osmell IV


Since as long as you can remember, there has been tension between the "north" and the "south".  Normally, this is purely a political and courtly issue, with the north claiming that the crown does not provide them with the support and representation they need, while the south claims that the north are just trying to get out of paying their due taxes.

Recently, however, these tensions have gotten worse and more specific.  The north does not have access to the trading capabilities of the cities further south, and furthermore has to deal with constant harassment by Ogres and raiders from the Badlands.  In short, it is not feasible, they claim, for a King in Hyrium to protect them and their lands.

A year ago, Northreach stopped communication with the south.  Envoys were sent, but were stopped in Lorraine and Losthelm and told to turn back.

Soon thereafter, the King's nephew Xander, declared himself King in the northern lands with Northreach as his capitol.  The lords of Lorraine and Losthelm immediately declared their support, with Goose Neck following suit soon after.  King Osmell immediately dispatched troops to reinforce Long Plain and Red Junction, as well as rallying his lords for support.  Although these larger cities were protected in time, motions against them by Xander's forces were a feint.  Instead, forces appeared in The Twins from the north and west and took the city quickly, securing all of the marshlands.

King Osmell moved to defend Riverspan, but this was again foreseen by Xander who next siezed Salt Pans with forces from the west.  Reports indicate that these were largely raiding clans from the Badlands, but they quickly gave way to supporting southern lords who had since declared for Xander.

As it stands, "King" Xander controls everything north of Long Plain as well as all the lands west of the Great River except Galeena which is currently under siege.  River traffic is cut off between Riverspan and the bay at Salt Pans and from Riverspan north as well.  Xander controls vast tracks of land, but has very few lords and troops on his side.  According to rumor, he is bolstering his ranks with Badlands raiders and Ogres from the north, as well as dark powers unearthed in the Ruins.

It is supposed that Xander's intention in seizing Galeena is to open up trade with the Chal'i islanders.

Naturally, King Osmell has declared Xander a rebel and "king of nothing", calling on all true lords to his cause.  The battle lines are thus drawn in the fields above Long Plain, along the Great River and the marshlands, and at the walls of besieged Galeena.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:29, Thu 04 Dec 2014.

GM
 GM, 13 posts
Thu 6 Nov 2014
at 01:37
Technology
"Those who wield a sharp mind have no need to labor the earth with a dull stick."
-Sherax


The level of technology that exists is roughly commensurate with the European early Medieval era in middle-Europe.  Cargo is moved by cart, horse and boat.  Men fight with sword and bow, farmers plow their fields with oxen.

Most nobles can read, as can most priests but commoners normally cannot.

In the great academy of Galeena, scholars and alchemists study the world with such marvels as telescopes, though few understand or even know about these.

Magic is not unheard of, but is normally tied to an inherently magical being left over from the Original Dream.  Angels and Demons, for example, are magical beings.  Alchemists can harness magical materials for various uses, but there is no proof of humans who can harness magic directly.

Bone Charms, supposedly made from the bones of the First Men, are claimed by some to exude magical auras around whoever carries them.  These auras grant various benefits such as luck, health, virility, protection from evil, etc.  There is little in the way of proof that these charms are legitimately of the First Men or have any magical properties at all, but the superstition remains entrenched.

Alchemy is the art of using plants, herbs, rare metals, parts of various animals, etc. in a chemistry process to produce salves, potions and other valuable substances.  Most large towns will have at least one alchemist and large cities will have several or even their own schools or libraries.  Most alchemists learn their trade through apprenticeships, but in the larger cities there are formal schools.

Alchemists are tasked to create potions for a variety of uses from the mundane to the military.  Common requests are for healing salves, teas to alleviate chronic pain, Moon Tea to prevent pregnancy, poisons to kill rats (and other things), balms for wounds, etc.  Alchemy overlaps with medicine, so that the town alchemist is often either the town healer, or else consulted in such matters.

Alchemists are also called upon to create various compounds and substances for war, including Liquid Fire and explosives and, supposedly, draughts which can make a man fight with the strength of the Juggernaut himself!

Some alchemists, it is said, also dabble with the more arcane, including wards against demons, potions which cause prophetic hallucinations and the transmutation of lead into gold.

Astrology is the study of the stars and their alignment for the purposes of predicting future events and quantifying the forces of luck and probability.  The world, as the Church preaches, is the result of a dream had by God eons ago.  As God is omniscient, it is logically deduced that although humans perceive time as linear, all details past and present exist in the world at the same time.  Astrologers maintain that it is possible to glimpse into the future of God's dream (the world) by watching and studying the stars.

The easiest things to predict include weather, seasons and large vague events such as crop yields, etc.  More focused and specific predictions are possible, but only the most renowned astrologers are capable of such feats.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:38, Fri 05 Dec 2014.

GM
 GM, 15 posts
Thu 6 Nov 2014
at 19:39
The King's Laws
"The laws of God and The Dreams need not be put to paper For they are unbreakable.  As forthe King's Law... I would not recommend it."
-Garth Yorren, Priest



In addition to the basics like thievery, murder, etc. there are specific things that are illegal under the King's Benevolent Rule:

-Aiding the enemy
-Consorting with demons
-Bribing an official of the Crown
-Failure to pay taxes or to submit for conscription if applicable
-Forgery of Royal documents
-Impersonation of an official of the Crown or a member of the Royal Family

Notably, prostitution is not illegal, nor is mutually-consented dueling.  Slavery is illegal, but indentured servitude is not.

Each Lord may have additional laws in his own lands, particularly when it comes to taxes.

Paladins are knights charged by the King to seek out and destroy demons and their collaborators (Demonspeakers and witches).  The Order of Paladins is made up of the knighted paladins themselves, their staff and supporters, demon hunters and inquisitors.

The Order of Paladins being well-funded, there are large bounties for assisting or providing information on demonic activities.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:45, Fri 05 Dec 2014.

GM
 GM, 17 posts
Fri 7 Nov 2014
at 12:14
Cities and Fortresses
"Let us make a wager, you and I.
I shall give you all the stout warriors you desire, while I shall take the dregs.
I will put my forces behind the walls of a strong castle.  You shall attack and I shall wait for you to tire and surrender."
-Sherax



Note:  The map shows only major cities, fortresses and features.  Many small towns, towers, rivers, etc. are not.

Amid the mountains and just above the caravan pass is Crag Seat.  This is a great fortress nestled among high mountains making it nearly impervious to conventional assault.  Its walls and towers protect vast mining operations that produce much of the Kingdom's iron, copper and gold.  Thus it is vastly wealthy.  The Kiln lands and most of the mountain bordering lands south of Long Plains are all under the banner of the Lady of Crag Seat.

Just below the fortress is the only gladiatorial pit in the Kingdom.  Strangely, it is the only aspect of Nor culture the Lady of Crag Seat has allowed into her lands.

Bayton is the largest coastal city and the center for trade with the Chal'i islanders to the south.  It is also close enough to the caravan pass that it sees many merchants from Nor as well and thus is the most international city in the Kingdom.  The Lord of Bayton is liege to Hoggle and the surrounding lands.

Hyrium and Galeena are known as the 'wedded' or 'married cities' and are named after the First King and Queen.  The royal palace is in Hyrium, while the Queen's palace is in Galeena.  Hyrium is the center for government and is where the King holds court.  Galeena includes the Academy, the largest school and library in the land.  Where the cities sit, the great river widens to form the bay though the span here is but a few miles.  Thus this region is thick with traffic going back and forth.

Red Junction sits in the middle of the great forest in a small rise above the largest of the redwood trees.  It is here that the largest roads running from Hyrium, Riverspan, Long Plain  and Bayton intersect and is thus a center for overland trade and a common stopover for travelers.

Riverspan is the largest city on the river north of the wedded cities.  It is a center for trade with everything along the great river.

The Lord of Riverspan is liege to Salt Pans and The Twins.

Long Plain is the largest city in the King's lands by area.  It is a massive sprawling affair split between the tops of small hills and strewn in the valleys between.  The nobility, naturally, live atop the small hills within stone rings looking down over the common folk and artisans of the valleys.  The sides of the hills are covered in staggered gardens including grapes, flowers and others.

Northreach is the fortress furthest north in the King's lands.  It was initially established as an outpost to warn of Ogres approaching the kingdom proper, and maintains that function to this day.  It is small but heavily guarded and defended.

Lorraine and Goose Neck are cities in or near the vast marshes at the head of the great river.  They produce vast amounts of peat, waterfoul and clay for bricks as well as a famously strong dark lager.

The Lord of Lorraine is liege to Goose Neck and the rest of the marsh lands.

Losthelm was founded based on traffic toward the ruins in the northern mountains.  The Church claims that these ruins are the remains of a vast fortress from the original dream, though its purpose is unknown.  Others say that it was built by The First Men, while still others claim it was built by an ancient race of demons.  Scholars still travel to the site to conduct research on the ancient remains, runes and other artifacts.

The Lord of Northreach is liege to Losthelm and the lands between.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:38, Wed 17 Dec 2014.

GM
 GM, 18 posts
Fri 7 Nov 2014
at 16:34
Languages
"I have no gift for tongues, per se,
though my tongue be gifted another way."
-Min



There is very little variety of language in the King's Lands, with only some minor regional dialect differences on the common tongue.  Northerners and those from the marsh lands are easily identified by their inflection while those of Bayton are marked by their peculiarly vulgar slang.

Outside of the King's borders, Chal'i and Nor have their own languages.  Merchants, traders and sailors will often speak some Chal'i or Nor, especially in Bayton.

The outlaws in the badlands speak a version of common that diverged from the modern language some time ago.  Generally, those who speak one can understand most of what is being said in the other.

The other language of note is Fell, the language of hell and its demons.  with the correct ceremony and sequence, this language can be used to summon demons into the world and bind their wills.  Thus, although speaking and learning Fell is not outlawed per se, it raises suspicion.  In the Academy in Galeena, as well as in some other cities, there are sanctioned lectures and studies of demons which can include tutoring in the language.  Naturally, these classes are closely monitored by Inquisitors who report to the Order of Paladins.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:40, Fri 05 Dec 2014.

GM
 GM, 21 posts
Fri 14 Nov 2014
at 01:45
Lords and Ladies
"A kingdom is built not on ground and with stone but on fealty and with honor."
-Unknown



The major cities and liege lords to the King.



SeatLord/LadyHouseBannerNotes
HyriumKing Osmell IVArkenhursttwin lightening bursts on blueHigh King
>GaleenaLord RobertRedwinered grapes on greenSteward Only
>Crag SeatLady UrsulaMkwynnwhite skull on a red mountainN/A
-->AmaryllisLord PeterGentTwo black mountains on greenN/A
-->SootwaterLord SvenLarelleA black volcano on red with a yellow hammer in itN/A
>BaytonLord ChesterMarlingreen man riding a yellow fishN/A
-->HoggleLord GavinTrentship in a cloud on blueN/A
>Red JunctionLord EldricStoneWall of bouldersN/A
-->HavenLord RickBruceShield with a doveMotto: "Peace is our Shield"
>Long PlainLady ShandraGarryellow lion fighting a black eagleN/A
-->EastwatchLord TorrenceGarrIron gates in the Mountainnephew to Lady Shandra
>RiverspanLord RoberroHillfennsword in a burial moundN/A
-->The TwinsLord KevinAstrida river through a treeDeposed
-->Salt PansLord MarkGarrolenshield breaking arrowsDeposed
>LorraineLord JarronElersred serpent wound about a tridentIn Rebellion
-->Goose NeckLady EuriciaBowmanarcher shooting hellfireIn Rebellion
>NorthreachLord XanderArkenhursttwin lightening bursts on blueIn Rebellion
-->LosthelmLord  AbleHezzenfortstars before a burning handIn Rebellion

Lord Robert Redwine - Steward of Galeena, not liege lord.  Traditionally, Galeena is ruled by the High Queen but Osmell is currently unwed.

Lady Ursula Mkwynn - Widowed Lady of Crag Seat.  Known to be ruthless, cunning and extremely rich.  One brings many suitors, the other makes sure they don't overstay their welcome.

Lord Gavin Trent - Fat, jolly and not overly scrupulous.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:08, Mon 24 Oct 2016.

GM
 GM, 106 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 14:03
Money and Economics
"I have my blade, sir.  The coin I leave to you."
-Magalan


All coin of the realm are minted in Galeena.  There is thus one official currency, though in towns that trade regularly with Nor or Chal'i, it is common for people to trade in theirs as well.

The further out one gets from large cities, the less common coin becomes and the more common to merely barter.  Under the feudal system, a large portion of the population live off the fief lent them by their liege.  They pay a fraction of each harvest.  Most goods (food, tools, clothing, weapons, housing, etc) are made by them or by neighbors.  Groups of families will band together as small 'towns' in which some members will possess some meager skill at smithing, tailoring, etc.  However, coin is rarely used even here.  Larger towns and cities are where excess goods can be sold and where the "professional" tradesmen are based.  In these setting coin is used commonly.

These larger towns and cities are controlled by minor lords who normally must pay taxes to their own lieges in coin of the realm, thus insuring its demand.

Coins:

Double - Large and oddly-shaped gold coin that looks like two coins welded together side-by side.

Crown - Gold coin with a likeness of the King on one side.

Silver Sun - Silver coin with a sun on one side, the moon on the other and a cross on both.

Silver Chip or just "Chip" - Smaller silver coin with the city of Hyrium on one side and Galeena on the other.

Penny or "Copper Chip" - Small copper coin.

1 Double = 2 Crowns
1 Crown = 20 Silver Suns
1 Silver Sun = 3 Chips
1 Chip = 4 Pennies

DoubleCrownSilver SunSilver ChipPenny
1240120480
N/A12060240
N/AN/A1312
N/AN/AN/A14

As most people either make their own tools and food or else trade for them, pricing here reflects costs in large towns or cities and fod goods above 'commoner quality'.  Prices will vary wildly by region.

Common Costs
Apple - 1-2 pennies/bushel
Bowl of Stew - 1 penny
Wine - 1-2 pennies
Meal - 1-2 pennies
Meal (fancy) - 5 pennies to 2 Chips
Mango - 1 chip
Shirt - 1-3 Chips
Hauberk - 1-4 Crowns
Knife  - 1 Silver Sun
Axe (new) - 2 Chips - 2 Silver Suns
Arrows - 1-2 pennies/dozen
Cow - 4-6 Silver Suns
Horse (work) - 5-10 Silver Suns
Horse (common) - 10-20 Silver Suns
Sword (cheap) - 1 Crown
Sword (custom) - 5-20 Crowns

Wages
Artisan - 20-50 pennies/month
Mercenary - 15-30 pennies/month
Man-At-Arms - 20-40 pennies/month plus board
Cabin Boy - 0-5 pennies/month plus room and board
Performer - 0-30 pennies/month
Apprentice - room/board

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:57, Mon 22 Dec 2014.

GM
 GM, 824 posts
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 15:54
The Calendar
... and the disciple asked, "Holy One?  Why do we mourn the death of a good man?  It is written that when God awakens, be Heaven full of good men, the Dream of Heaven shall come to pass."

"This is true," spoke the Holy One.  "We do not mourn the passing of a good man into Heaven, such is a joyous thing.  However, we do mourn the loss of the good man's influence from our Dream.  For good deed beget more good deeds and a good man begets more of the same.  Thus it is not the passing into Heaven that we mourn, but the loss of his influence and of all those souls that would, with his continued good influence, have followed."



The date is marked by year, month and day of month.  There is no real "week" and the days are not individually named.

In larger cities, in the military, aboard ships or wherever things are more regulated, there are normally standardized 5-day cycles for labor, scheduling and pay that could be considered the equivalent to a "week".

As months are roughly 30 days, this means there are about 6 "weeks" to a month.  Most commoners would not be concerned with weeks, only months.

The Year is 12 months long and is named after the current king's line.

So the date would commonly be recorded as, for example "Day 10 of the month of Warriors in the year of Osmell 20".

Months
Spring
The King's Month (honors Hyrium)
Month of Beasts (Honors Kragga and Belarius)
The Month of Warriors (Honors Juggernaut and Magalan)

Summer
The Month of Fish
The Month of Light (Honors Sherax, Min and Saazelari)
The Month of Rain

Fall
The Queen's Month (Honors Galeena)
The Month of Angels (supposedly named for Archellis)
The Month of Flame

Winter
The Mother's Month
Month of Darkness
The Month of Treachery (so named for the Traitor, though he is not "honored")

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:24, Mon 16 Nov 2015.