Kyngdom
Kyngdom
Capital Brin Proper, Brin Province.
Population 2,584,500 (45% Human, 15% Elf, 15% ???, 10% Abilen, 8% Halfling, 4% Dwarf, 3% other)
Exports Wood, lumber, horses, wine, and grains
Languages Common, Elven, Halfling, Savahlyne

Kyngdom was initially a nation that coalesced almost by accident. Indeed, its name indicates exactly how the nation came to be - human settlements began banding together and referring to themselves as being "of the Kingdom" for so long that the other common races simply took that to be the nation's name.

Kyngdom has been significantly affected by each of the societal upsets that has heralded the end of an Age. At the end of the First Age, the High King decreed serfdom an illegal state, rendering many of the fiefdoms of the nation economically unfeasible, leading to a civil war that lasted a decade.

At the end of the Second Age, it was a far more passive, but nonetheless equally dire event that brought about the close of a thousand or more years of peace - the High King of the day died after four decades of prolonging his life, still bereft of a son. With the High King's death, Kyngdom itself was plunged into yet another civil war, as all of the warring nobles, by definition, can trace some legitimacy to claiming the throne.

This state of civil war has been exaggerated, however, by the knowledge that the gods Palescai and Belladan walk the lands of Kyngdom personally, brought down by the Kobold Damnation.

The King's War has been in official state now for a single year; while the High King's death was prophesied for 1458 AG, he was somehow able to defy the decrees of fate and live out his life beyond his means, trying to hold his nation together by force of will. However, even a single day of life is beyond the means of a mere man to give, and this has led to aspersions being cast on the character of the former High King, and indeed if the nation being purchased in blood is not already being ransomed to some darker power.

Government And Politics

Kyngdom's government is, right now, in a state of flux, with enough layers of bureaucracy and political machinery that it cannot be truly called in disarray. While no head resides under the High King's crown, the institution of government of nobility has borrowed enough power that the government as an entity, even in a time of civil war, still operates. Roads are maintained, citizens are taxed - sometimes heavily - and each Noble still sends their tithe to the city of the High King, filling a coffer that they all seek to claim as their own.

In practice, Kyngdom is a feudal monarchy with multiple layers to its society. There is an element of some democracy, with the King's Parliament formed every year to discuss issues of national interest, but the only vote at the King's Parliament that can overturn the High King's own vote is a unanimous declaration from all other voting nobles - including those that might not even be in attendance.

Power Groups

Kyngdom, historically, has been a feudal system since before the official beginning of the First Age, if that title is somewhat misleading. Therefore, thousands of years of tradition, and generation upon generation has helped to coalesce into the current political hornet's nest that is Kyngdom. However, even now, most of the major political forces are also marshalling military forces, as the claim to the throne will most likely be through force of arms.

House Danube

House Danube's founding coincided with the creation - and signing - of the Nobilis Sanctum. As one of the older houses, Danube has a strong basis in tradition, but given that it is the second-youngest of the Principalities, it also embraces change more effectively than its neighbours. Indeed, Danube offered its cities as a testing ground for the High King's magic expansion project.

Danube's current ruler, Duchess Shamrel Danube (LG Human Female, Aristocrat 2/Fighter 4), is a proud, regal, woman, who puts the concerns of her domain over her own. In this vein, she actually has not dedicated any time to courting a lover or mothering an heir, but the current political situation has made such notions more than slightly trivial in her mind.

Danube trades primarily with Corrindale to the north, which has led to an elven influence in the country's population. However, the main import in the past forty years has been that most revolutionary of devices - firearms.

Danube's main interest is, of course, the throne. However, the Duchess primarily wishes to claim the throne for herself to prevent other parties - significantly, house Theilan - from having it. Thanks to their reliance on technology and training, Danube's military is one of the largest, if not the best - it's much easier to train a good rifeleman than it is to train a good archer.

The Rules of Engagement

(A subset of the Nobilis Sanctum)
The Nobilis Sanctum is a treatise on how a civilised nation conducts war, and how it goes about it. Here, in summary, are the four major rules of Engagement, observed in skirmishes and battles Kyngdom over:

  1. 1. You shall meet your opponent clear and free of deception. Ambush is a coward's tool.
  2. 2. Weapons of war are to be clean and clear; poison is cowardice. An archer's main is in his arm and eye, and a swordsman in his arm and eye; a poisoner's main is in his spite and deceit.
  3. 3. If your enemy has bested you, be strong enough to admit it. Defeat from a superior is no shame.
  4. 4. No man who surrenders should be harmed; those that have not the will to fight to the death do not deserve an honourable death in battle. Yet no man who surrenders shall raise arms ever again - let that duty fall to his progeny, who hopefully will have more gumption than he.

House Glotharen

The Church of Palescai is strong in Kyngdom, and it is especially so in Glotharen. The militant, common-sense preachings of the clergy help to define the lifestyles of the Glotharen cities, and even out in the rural lands, ascetic clerics of Palescai teach the Way to those that listen.

Duke Bjoren Glotharen (LN Human Male, Aristocrat 6) has spent the majority of his life taking the advice of the church of Palescai - in this case, the Captain of the High Temple of Palescai, one Pardrick Dedame (LG Human Cleric 11). Glotharen has, thanks to Dedame's advice and counsel, been shaped into a strongly military state, directing it away from its conventionally pacifistic roots. Now, Glotharen stands as an untested military force which could have enormous potential to shape the face of Kyngdom in the coming years.

House Sanders

House Sanders is the oldest of the seven houses, and bears with it a proud fundamentalist and traditionalist heritage. The High King's changes - significantly those of magical integration and technological advancement - have not taken well in Sanders. Many towns in Sanders stand without a schoolhouse, and more than a few rely on druidic aid from other nations to supplement their crops.

The //Nobilis Sanctum //was originally drafted and proposed by the Duke of Sanders; for this reason, house Sanders is the house most expected to follow the rules laid down in this seminal document of war.

This could not be much further from the truth. Intimacy with the rules gives one much more knowledge of where the rules best bend, and House Sanders plays its depiction as a noble house to the hilt.

Duchess Bowen Sanders (LG Human Female, Fighter 9) has spent years cultivating an evironment of military superiority borne out of adherence to the Code. The Sanders military, while not the largest, is easily the strongest, conventionally speaking; its knights are the best trained, and Sanders horses fetch more than four times as much as the horses of other principalities do in open markets.

Despite this, however, Sanders is not all about direct attack and plans of battle. While Sanders may command the best military in Kyngdom, its spies and assassin are almost peerless, with only Theilan fielding better agents.

Duchess Bowen believes that, as the oldest noble family in Kyngdom, the right to rule is hers by blood alone - all other claims are unnecessary. However, she understands that others may attempt to take advantage of the confusion, and has been doing what she can to protect her principality; only once she's assured she can hold her own territory will she begin expanding into other areas.

The Royal House

Unlike the other major power groups, the Royal House is almost guaranteed some power once the Civil war resolves. The Royal House consists of two families - the Regent family Byruch, and the advisory council family Horedus. The two families were, for a while, joined by the royal line of the High King - but as the High King died and left no heir, that direct family line is now quashed, and it falls to the diverse nobilities of Kyngdom to assert their own right to the throne.

In the meantime, there is an heir to the Byruch family, and it is Ten Byruch (LN male human, Aristocrat 3/Rogue 5). A consumate organiser and administrator, Byruch rules Kyngdom with the hand of a practiced beaurocrat - one able to manipulate even the system to his whims.

Even if he wished to, Byruch couldn't command a military action without unanimous consent from the other power groups, and this means his current role is primarily to maneuver his opposition to solve his problems for him.

House Theilan

Theilan is the southernmost of the Kyngdom Principalities, and is by accounts of heraldry, a Barony rather than a Duchy, like the other principalities. Theilan was originally a smaller territory, and received the lion's share of new area when Brin began to shrink. Therefore, it led to a Duchy-sized Barony, without the appropriate advancement in rank and court for the principality's (supposedly) hard-done-by administrator and lord.

Theilan paints itself in the public and courtly eye as a scrappy underdog in a battle of legitimacy against larger, more pure-bred political beasts. This image, while conceptually accurate - Theilan is also the youngest principality, and who owns the least claim to legitimacy in the eyes of historians - it is also an absolute farce when one recognises the strengths of House Theilan.

The greatest strength of House Theilan lies in its leader. The Lord of House Theilan, Ritter de Theilan (LE male human, Rogue 5/Assassin 3) is a cunning and cruel political animal, whose family motto is classically translated as 'Do your enemy no harm'. That its proper translation, is in fact 'Do your enemy no small injuries' is a perfect vignette of the personality of Baron Theilan. No matter how erudite and able he is in court, his veneer masks a seething cauldron of ambitious rage. He recognises that no manner of military conquest will be sufficient to own Kyngdom - it must be won in the hearts and minds of its people. It is with this aim that Theilan began his campaigning as an underdog in a battle of giants.

Further, the Theilan military has one enormous advantage over the other principalities. Thanks to coming into existence some years after the concord Nobilis Sanctum was signed, House Theilan is technically exempt from the letter of these strict rules of combat. This has lent a dangerous air to its small, skirmishing troops, who keep to the Nobilis Sanctum… or at least, have done so.

House Virret

House Virret is one of the younger houses, and was originally founded as a way of honouring the river privateers Kyngdom had been using to protect its river trade. The captain of the privateering company, one Hylus Virret was honoured with a Duchy and domain of 'The Rivers of Kyngdom'.

Two generations later, the Duke of Virret finally recognised that, technically, this gave them right over import and export duties, and the house of Virret became the thriving business it is today.

Duke Hylus Virret III (Human Aristocrat 3/Ranger 4) rules Virret from the rivers; while technically, Virret does indeed own land bordering Willowsebb, it is the least employed part of their domain. Rather, the majority of Virret is waterborne, commanding one of the few naval forces Kyngdom has to offer.

Hylus feels that he will not be able to claim the throne, due to his less public nature; however, he does feel that it's a good time to run for second place, and has been brokering power (and transport) to the other houses.

House Willowsebb

The administrators of the Willowsebb Duchy are barely clinging to their state as a major power. Thanks to the sudden shift in political tone of Kyngdom in the past five years, a principality that bartered its peacetime merits has suddenly had to take a significant reduction in importance once civil war erupted.

Duke Sirius Willowsebb (N Male Human, Aristocrat 2/Ranger 4) is a peacetime lord who has to now learn - and quickly - how to gauge a nation for war. His principality is large, and thanks to its dangerous terrain, difficult to defend at the borders. For this reason, Sirius is beginning to hire adventurers and has even gone so far as to recruit the druidic and bandit tribes that live in his principality.

Industries

Kyngdom has a strong agricultural base, and typically produces a great number of products reflecting this, including cereals, grains, vegetables, and wines. Meanwhile, the seven major cities of Kyngdom each house a university, and there are numerous clerical seminaries dedicated to particular gods in Kyngdom. Clerics of the primarily lawful and good religions often rise from Kyngdom's cities, while the more free-spirited clerics of chaotic gods, or the more hidden clerics of evil gods often tend to be from rural areas - or at least, better hidden within the cities.

Kyngdom is also renowned for producing fine war mounts - Sanders Horses are regarded as the finest on Bidestra.

Rural Life

Rural life in Kyngdom is actually one of the better-off lifestyles amongst peasant folk. Serfdom being deemed both illegal and extremely well-defined, the nobility have been called upon to treat the lower classes extremely well compared to their historical lot in life. These individuals raise crops and provide food, and are taxed bimonthly by their lords. While some of these farmers pay lease on their lands, the vast majority of farmers in Kyngdom inherited property, and own their lands free and clear of outside interference.

In many principalities, particularly those more heavily forested areas of Kyngdom, the rural life is occasionally fraught with monstrous incursions from any one of a number of possible assailants. To control monster populations, most lords post bounties (in smaller principalities), or house standing armies of hunters (in larger, wealthier principalities).

Magic, if an influence on one's life in rural Kyngdom, is most often sponsored by one's lord, and therefore, has most likely been withdrawn in recent years, as finances were diverted towards the defense of the lord's principality (or aggression towards someone else's).

The War has not yet run on long enough for the rural populace of Kyngdom to be affected. Given the Kyngdom Rules of Engagement and the Nobilis Sanctum, the Civil War only follows a significant increase in taxation, rather than a complete pillaging of the land. When the larger, better sponsored armies are done with their weaker neighbours and have consolidated their power bases, it is quite likely that life will get ugly for the rural Kyngsman - and many folk, with long memories or keen ears for history can see that threat lurking on the horizon.

It is precisely for this reason that there are many farm folk raising their children to take up sword and shield and leave the farm, to quest and adventure and not receive the crippling burden of restoring a war-torn farm.

City Life

The cities of Kyngdom are densely populated with trained craftsmen and their apprentices or associates - most businesses employ a professional, and accompany his services with those of a few untrained commoners. These people, the untrained labourers and shift-workers are part of a migrating population, who travel away from their farmlands and families to make lives in the city.

Monstrous infringements on Kyngdom's cities are a less common thing - instead, the major threat to life and limb in the Cities of Men is the far more prevalent humans. Those monstrous races that do incur in cities are rare and thinly-distributed, aiming to avoid direct confrontation.

Magic, as a reliable source of profit in Kyngdom, has become a part of the economy. Most small towns and cities own a small magecraft shop, and in the larger, more well-developed cities, there are even multiple such shops in competition with one another.

Much of Kyngdom's cities were constructed with the aid of some magic, as well before the end of the Second Age, the public works projects of the High King involved - economically - employing magic in the facilitation of city developments. Thanks to these advancements, magical lanterns were made to light the streets, public streets and buildings were kept clean by small crews employing cheap and reusable magics, and buildings were erected in record time thanks to magical aid. However, since the onset of the war, these services have been diverted to military use, and citizens are starting to hurt for their absence, many coming to view the ways magic made their lives easier as part of their right as citizens, rather than a luxury supported by a curious, experimental king.

The War's impact has been telling on the cities. Unskilled labourers are becoming less available, as many have found an easier, better paying career in the service of the military or as mercenaries. Furthermore, some industries have been recently diverted to military purpose - the smithies of Kyngom's cities work overtime producing armour and arms.

In the first year of the war, no major conflict has broken out that involves a city, and the battles of the civil war are more skirmishes than anything else. As the larger principalities establish themselves and consolidate their power bases, larger conflict will ensue, and it is then that the cities will become involved - if not as zones of battle, as ready supplies of troops.

Ultimately, the city folk of Kyngdom vary in their opinions, but there is an overwhelming perspective that the war isn't going to really affect them.

Economic Means

Kyngdom as a nation owns three distinct bands of economic class - Poor, Middle class, and Wealthy. In rural areas, the distribution is sleighted towards the poor majority. In such areas, nine in fifteen people are poor, five in fifteen are middle class, and one in fifteen is wealthy.

The cities of Kyngdom are more sleighted towards the middle class; five in ten are poor, four in ten are middle class, and one in ten is wealthy. This distribution, and the greater commonality of the middle class, is one of the factors that draws the rural folk from their homes to the cities.

The Poor of Kyngdom are primarily farmers, unskilled labourers, and tradesfolk in the poorer economic class. Those defined as poor have no more than 50 silver pieces as available money (not invested in property or work goods) at any given time, and usually have a lot less. Investments that the poor have are most often inherited, or found through extraordinary strokes of good fortune.

The middle class of Kyngdom are classically skilled labourers, tradesmen who have parleyed their way into a higher economic class, small to medium property owners, and other prosperous workers. Members of this class have no more than four hundred gold pieces in cash available at any time, again, again not including investments or property.

The wealthy of Kyngdom usually have access to a few thousand gold pieces in ready cash available at any given time. In this class, the nobility typically fall, along with the heads of big trading houses and unions, the most successful of individual merchants, the royalty and governmental class, and most high-level adventurers.

Education

The availability of different levels of education is one of the things that defines the societal difference between the rural and urban classes of Kyngdom, at least in the eyes of the people in question.

The High King was exploring experiments into public education, sponsoring schools in major cities and settlements, but this project hasn't shown sufficient fruit to be fully sponsored. Most major cities have both private and public schools in them, but further out, private schooling is primarily the only option available.

In the rural areas, education is most often the domain of local clerics and scholars, significantly those clerics of Torus Thontan, who are talented at providing an unbiased perspective on facts. While not a way of learning a great deal about the hard sciences, these clerical tutors hold schools in towns and villages, and are most often given financial support by the people of their hometown.

Thanks to these factors, most everyone in Kyngdom has access to education, even if all who could benefit from it don't necessarily take it. Furthermore, higher education is also available in the cities of Kyngdom, thanks to the major Universities of the country.

Magical study options also exist, and clerical training also is available across Kyngdom, but most often it is either a seminary or magical college, or in the service apprenticed to a master.

Language

Kyngdom's language of choice is Common. Trade is the main influence of language, and most traders specialise in picking up a secondary language to better deal with one another, depending on one's primary trading interest.

Many magic-related traders within Kyngdom also acquaint themselves with ???, which works well as a trade language amongst magecrafters. Most who trade to the northern lands of Kyngdom learn Elven, and those who trade to the south learn Halfling or Savahlyne, to better facilitate trade.

Religion

Kyngdom's major religions are typically bent towards the lawful. The Lord and Palescai are two commonly-revered gods of Kyngdom, if only because their mores promote a day-to-day lifestyle that doesn't allow much room for a truly chaotic mindset. The vast majority of the population in Kyngdom are involved in a form of a subsistence lifestyle, where one's investments indirectly pay for one's retirement, and this shows in their work ethic.

This leads to an overall lawful mindset, and the two most approachable lawful gods in the Pantheon - at least to a nation composed of mostly humans - are the Lord and Palescai. Palescai appeals to the noble, warrior heritage of the people of Kyngdom, and his mindset of warring with sense appeals to those farmers whose homes pay host to the battles. The Lord's appeal in Kyngdom is fundamentally obvious - he advocates a lawful society where everyone is rewarded as his due.

Major Settlements

Kyngdom's major settlements are scattered across distinctly large areas, with usually no more than a single large city to a principality. Townships and minor settlements lie scattered between these places, but due to the feudal nature of the country, and its history, it's rare for most of the nobles to invest the money in developing areas not immediately surrounding their homes.

Danube (Large City, 23,000)

Danube is situated fairly north in the Duchy of Danube. A scant hundred miles from the border of Corrindale, the city has a significantly higher elven population than normal, and this influence shows in the city's architecture. A market city of the highest order, Danube buys and sells produce from other cities with a great deal more vigor, knowing that it lies on the trade routes of two countries.

Glotharen (Small City, 15,000)

The city of Glotharen is home to the High Temple of the Church of Palescai, and it shows in the city's astonishingly low crime rate. Everywhere else in Kyngdom, crime is on the rise - but in Glotharen, the clerics of Palescai serve as guards and military combined. However, some find the heavy presence of church married to state to be more than a little disquieting, particularly members of less lawful religions.

Sanders (Large City, 24,000)

Sanders, the great military city of the great military duchy, best resembles a military compound in its design rather than an urbanised city. While recent development has spread out from its structured design, it still shows the hallmarks of being designed to withstand a siege above and beyond everything else.

Brin Proper (Metropolis, 150,000)

The dawning war has affected the citizens of Brin Proper more than other principalities. With their economy and populace already oriented towards the work of the government, and lacking in any military force itself, members of the Brin society have begun preparations to form militia should an inappropriate Lord come to claim the throne of Kyngdom.

Theilan (Small City, 12,000)

Theilan as a city is decidedly small, without much residential property. However, it's a tidbit of uncommon knowledge that a large amount of Theilan's population lives in the Hidden Cliffs; overlooking the gulf of Therris, the city has a vast, impregnable stronghold that typifies the Theilanic mindset - that a perception of weakness is in itself, a kind of strength. Theilan also has one of the best-hidden and best-financed Assassin's guilds in Kyngdom (if not the world).

Virret Keep (Small City, 11,000)

Virret Keep is little more than a stronghold with aspirations. What population exists is primarily administrative, or more Virret privateers in training.

Willowsebb (Large City, 18,000)

The comparatively small city of Willowsebb simultaneously holds a large portion and almost nothing of the Kyngdom east. While the borders of the duchy indicate a principality almost one and a half times as large as any other, the vast majority of Willowsebb is an unexplored, untamed wilderness. The city itself, however, bustles with activity.

Important Sites

Depending on where you start, Kyngdom can be a place of dark mystery and powerful magics. Huge, rolling expanses of forest lie largely unexplored, and tucked away in its mountainous regions are many valleys with hidden gems of arcane and divine power. Also, thanks to years of exclusivity, there are in fact areas that are of great interest just by their seclusion.

Banquaffte Valley

Tucked away between the Duchy of Sanders and Willowsebb, the Banquaffte valley is owned and ruled by Baron Stefan von Banquaffte; its main claim to fame, beyond its relatively neutral status to the major houses, is one particular citizen. Somewhere within the Banquaffte Valley lives the elusive Arnemeas the Wild (CG Male Half-Orc Barbarian 15/Wizard 20). Arnemeas doesn't involve himself in politics, but his presence alone is enough to guarantee that Banquaffte isn't an area claimed by the civil war that unfolds - only an idiot would anger such a powerful wizard, and Arnemeas is relatively anti-government at the best of times.

The Banquaffte valley also holds a Giant's Crossroads - that is, it is land that giants often travel through during winter when food becomes scarce. The occasional presence of a Frost giant in Banquaffte often leads to bartering, but also has been known to draw monstrous attention from Willowsebb.

The Grand Sanderson Stables

Known the world around for producing the finest horses in the world, the Sanderson Stables are home to the Baroness Dryn von Yarling (LN Human Ranger 6), their owner. The Baroness has hired a large number of Equitarn workers in her stables, and their innate ability with horses has made the stables already strong reputation even stronger.

That said, the Stables are not without their problems. Rival houses are attempting to disrupt the Stables, knowing that doing so would be a blow to the cavalry of Sanders, and military interests wish to own the Stables wholesale (instead of having to buy the horses from an effectively private business). Worse, each horse is purchased under a contract of good treatment, and if any of Yarling's agents find a horse being mistreated, it's reclaimed by the stables. This has meant that those knights who wish to be mounted on the best horses possible also have to devote significant time and money to their upkeep, something that many are unwilling to do.

The Stables are therefore a fine site to find work, even if it's just to patrol the surrounding area to keep it monster-free, or to take bounties for stolen horses.

The Timestone Cairns

Dotted throughout Kyngdom are a number of these cairns, each one holding an image of a creature. While otherwise perfectly normal areas, at particular times, when a trigger is brought within fifty feet of them, the creature triggers, coming to life, and attacking whatever creature it is that approached.

The Timestone Cairns can be triggered from something highly specific (a half-elven woman of no less than six feet tall), or something very general (something living approaching at all). These cairns appear to be the remnants of some misbegotten accident of temporal mechanics, and there are whispers of a cult of druids who have dabbled in the Magic of Years. As yet, there's no substantiation for these rumours, as no members of this supposed druidic order have ever been found.

The Bridge of Stars

Overlooking the Shore of Fangs on the southern border of Kyngdom, there stands a large, circular portal, who has lain dusty and unused as long as the kingdom itself has stood. No amount of magical tinkering has ever discerned how it should be opened, or indeed, what opening it may achieve.

Inscribed around its edges are shimmering runes, which are largely unreadable barring for one researcher, who claimed to be able to perceive their meaning - 'The Bridge of Stars'. The Bridge has been subject to numerous exploratory efforts, but has still failed to yield its secrets. Further confounding the issue is that, over fifty leagues across the Fangburn Strait, a similar portal on the cliffs of Savahlyne.

The most obvious assumption many scholars have made on the subject is that the Bridges connect to one another - in which case, successfully opening the Bridge would be an economical boon to the people of Theilan, who would no longer have to transport their goods to the dockland townships in the Theilan Gulf and sell their goods to the halfling tribes of the waves.

The Grand Temple of Palescai

Rising up from the city of Glotharen like a stronghold on a landscape, the Grand Temple of Palescai holds host to well over four score armed and ready military priests at any given time. Dispensing wisdom with one hand and justice with the other, the Grand Temple is responsible for a large number of the clerics of Kyngdom, and whenever the Glotharen army marches to war, it is with a horde of healers in its number.

The Grand Temple is presided over by the high priest of Palescai, one Pardrick Dedamem (LG Male Human Cleric 11). Pardrick has been preparing for the civil war for forty years; when the High King didn't expire at the time prophesied by the Oracle of Black, he saw that something was amiss, and was prudent enough to stockpile weaponry and able-bodied clerics to wield it.

This has made the Grand Temple's priests some of the best-armed and best-trained military combatants in all of Kyngdom. For some inexplicable reason, however, despite their primarily lawful bent, the Grand Temple refuses to collaborate with the Sanctum Sanctorum, which regularly sends emissaries to offer aid to Glotharen's people.

The Sanctum Sanctorum

Situated in the city of Brin Proper, the Sanctum Sanctorum is the heart of the Church of the Lord, and the single biggest temple to his name. Austere, the Sanctum Sanctorum is also a monument to the practical lawfulness that the Lord preaches; there is no need for vistas of splendour, or for magnificent artworks of praise. Instead, the Sanctum Sanctorum honours the Lord in its works and in its teachings.

Anyone can come to the Sanctum Sanctorum, but it is the truly elite who leave with the title of Sanctum Guardian.

The Blackheart Woods

In the loosely-explored areas of Willowsebb, it is said that there lies an area of forest where the trees are sick and perverted, and who drink life itself from the air. Twisted, black creatures live there, things not accepted by nature, and these hook-mouthed horrors stalk the night, aberrant to the sun itself.

While the Blackheart Woods can't be substantiated by many, there are still Blackheart Initiates amongst the Druids of Willowsebb, who preach of nature as a brutal force that will sweep aside the civilization of man; occasionally, creatures are found in the southern forests of Willowsebb that defy mental convention and, by all accounts, simply should not be; these rampaging beasts are most often taken down by adventurers, but not before causing a distinct amount of property damage first.

Adventuring in Kyngdom

Travel between the major cities of Kyngdom is relatively quick and easy; there are highways that are maintained and patrolled from each city to Brin Proper, which decreases the possibility of random encounters and allows for much faster travel.

However, if a party wishes to travel from city to city without entering Brin Proper in the first place; doing so requires travelling along highways other than the Main, and in several cases, crossing the rivers that criss-cross the nation. In this case, there's always the potential for a toll from the Virret family Riverwatchers, and worse, encounters with highwaymen.

Vigilante justice is actually common enough in Kyngdom, even if only in the Duchy of Glotharen. Such action is (subtly) encouraged by the church of Palescai, and discouraged by the Church of the Lord. More than once, a criminal has fled the scene of a mugging only to be dog-piled by witnesses who then presented him before the magistrates. It's generally accepted, however, that one should let the proper authorities resolve an issue rather than taking the law into one's own hands.

Adventurers From Kyngdom

Kyngdom's current state of flux has driven many people from formerly content and familiar lifestyles into lives of adventure. Furthermore, one of Kyngdom's oldest historical societies is the Adventurer's Guild, who always has work of some kind or another available to those that are willing to take it. Heroes from Kyngdom come from all walks of life, and serve all walks of life in turn.

The guilds of Kyngdom have disseminated general wisdom to the populace of the nation, both by paying for worthy written works of sound advice for Adventurers, and by distributing these books in their guild houses and into public libraries. In the fronting page of most of these books is the Adventurer's Edicts, four tenets that the Guild believes should be recognised by all adventuring parties, regardless of their extraction.

Whatever reason drives a party, it's not uncommon for adventurers - employed by the guild or otherwise - to earn money by taking a Guildstone with them on their adventures and returning the stone with the tales of an adventure impressed upon it. Indeed, the small stipend that the initial receipt of a Guildstone grants is enough to start many adventurers down their path.

Common Classes

Fighters, Adherents, and Rangers are the more common militant classes in Kyngdom; the general level of civilisation and widespread education don't give rise to many Barbarians.

Clerics of primarily lawful and neutral faiths are commonly from Kyngdom as well, particularly followers of Palescai and the Lord. Druids are also common, particularly from Verrit and Willowsebb.

Wizards are far more common in Kyngdom than Sorcerors - the draconic influence that promotes sorcerous magic is rare in the Lands of Men. This in turn makes ??? uncommon.

Rogues and Warlocks are also very common in Kyngdom, as are Bards, who often fall to the role of a town's educator. While some townships are wary of letting such a potentially shady character teach their children, many bards have proven themselves trustworthy to the townsfolk.

There are almost no psions or psionically inclined classes in Kyngdom. Aside from a small sect of devotees to the Taliriic texts in Danube, there is almost no psionic influence in this down-to-earth nation.


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