Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Saints, and Their Cults

One interesting aspect of the Faith that actually parallels Nightland practice are the cults of the saints.  Men (and a few women) of exceptional moral character--or at least purported exceptional moral character--who are seen as reflections of the Gods, saints are revered as intercessors with the Seven, prayed to and honored in hopes they will use their good favor with the same to help the petitioner.  Relics of the saints are highly valued in the Faith--wars have even been fought for their possession.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Orders Militant

The Orders Militant occupy a strange place in the Faith, both priests and soldier.  The oldest Order Militants, the Order of the Hospital of Saint Henry, commonly called the Warders, was founded to protect locations within the Concordat from invasion--it lead to similar orders being founded both within the Concordat, and in Leonais and the Easter Kingdom.  The largest active order is the Sacristans, which pledges its loyalty to the King of Leonais, followed by the Radiants, who are pledged to the Easter King.  The Warders on the other hand, continue to decline, in the face of the Eremites and the Stylites.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Synod

One aspect of life in the Lands of Light that is quite different from the Lands of Night is religion--as opposed to the independent abbeys and temples of Mother Night, the Faith is a united church, ruled over by the Synod--indeed, as previously noted, it even rules over its own state amongst the Lands of Light.  The power of the Synod cannot be underestimated--they claim authority over all the Metropolitans, bishops, and canons of the Faith, even as far as the Easter Kingdom...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Lands of Light--The Easter Kingdom, Trinovant

At the center of that great Kingdom is its capital, Trinovant--a young city, but an impressive one, filled with sights to amaze.  It was for this the city was built, for the Easter King who created it, Vasily the Blind, desired it to be a wonder, that would command the respect of all who saw it, a city of topless towers, great bells, fine statues, and wondrous fountains.  Vasily built it, knowing he would never see it--but he also never saw it completed.  It was his son, Dmitri, who would wander its streets, live in its palaces, and declare "Here is the city that will never be equaled." 

Those who follow him as Easter King--for Dmitri had no children, and his family has not ruled for centuries--keep up this boast, surrounded by their slave soldiers and wearing their golden diadems.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Lands of Light--The Easter Kingdom, Its Borders

It is ironic that both Leonais and the Lands of Night it frequently wars on share a common foe, one they both border, for the Easter Kingdom stretches so great an expanse it includes the very source of the Murkenmere. In the great mountain chain that includes the Fangs, raids from the various tribes and cities that pledge their loyalty to the Easter King are a regular problem for the Ogre Kingdoms, part of a great slave trade that demand from Trinovant still fuels.  In Leonais., Almace in the north is the scene of regular skirmishes, while the south has frequently seen aggressive attempts by the Easter King to expand his influence...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Easter Kingdom; The Land Explained

When talking about the vast array of lands popularly known as the "Easter Kingdom" one must first realize that this is not what the kingdom calls itself (though some border residents of shifting loyalty have acquired the habit of using the term)--to the Easter King and his most loyal subjects, he is the glorious heir of the Holy Empire, Ruling in the East.  While he has not a drop of Alcide blood in his veins, the present Easter King, Ilarion Skarvsky, boasts of being their heir to an extent that beggars even the Oaken Throne of Leonais...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Kingdom of Tintagel, the Outer Islands

Of course, Ys and the isle it rests on are only part of Tintagel--albeit somewhat under half.  There are over seventy Holly Isles, though it must be added many are quite tiny and cannot support sizable settlements.  On the larger ones there exist a lower nobility then the high officials of the two Courts, ruling over their own halls and petty fiefdoms with a sort of rural solipsism.  For the earls and barons, the affairs of the Right and Left Courts matter not at all, and the High King--or Queen--of Tintagel is a figure that borders on the mythic.  And yet one should not imagine that they are any less devoted to the Holly Throne than their fellow, nor that there lives are any less bounded by age-old custom...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Kingdom of Tintagel, Ys and Environs.

An ancient kingdom that predates the Holy Empire, Tintagel is an island nation, spread out among the isle chain known as 'the Islands of Holly." It is an old land, an honorable land, ruled by custom, and by age-old law.  Nowhere is this stronger than in the capital of Ys, where the Kings of the Holly Throne have ruled for time out of mind, at the center of the Courts of the Left and Right and their many household eunuchs.  Here, lives are lived to the rules of customs so old, that no one living knows when they started...

At least... until recently.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Concordat

A group of cities to the north of the Free Cities and the east of Leonais that are ruled directly by the Faith and its Holy Synod.  The name actually refers to the old treaties with kings and emperors that established it as the bastion of the Faith.  Rule is vested in the Synod, and its Flamens, while military affairs are looked after by the Concordat's Knightly Holy Orders--the Wardens, the Eremites, and the Stylites.  Of these, the Knights of the Tower are perhaps the most mysterious, their service to the Faith seen somewhat distasteful.

Even if it is necessary.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Verdant Cities

Moving away from the Crossing, one comes across a land with a beautiful climate, fertile soil, and long, flat plains.  The cities of this region, frequently called the Verdant Cities, are some of the largest in the Lands of Light, and export their grain to their sister cities and the Concordat.  Most interesting--while most of these Free Cities are ruled by hereditary nobles much like the Mountain Cities, they are not all Dukes, and frequently must deal with elected councils that serve as a check on their power.  In three cities--Talossa, Cazlona, and Corniglia--these councils have supplanted their nobles entirely. 

Something many nobles find... subtly alarming.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Mountain Cities

The five Free Cities nearest the Crossing--that narrow point in the Murkenmere where a massed force can move over that great river--are the Mountain Cities, Montfort, Montalban, Monleone, Agrismont, and Monteriano.  The five have many things in common--all are hereditary monarchies, ruled over by a group of dukes whose families stretch back for centuries, in some cases from the era before the Holy Empire.  The rugged terrain and constant threat of invasion have made a hearty people, independent, and fiercely loyal to their rulers...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Lands of Light: The Free Cities as a Whole.

The tendency to treat the thirteen city-states that have become known as the "Free Cities" since the fall of the Holy Empire as a single polity remains something of a annoyance these prideful states, most of whom have spent centuries fighting various petty wars with each other.  Still, for all their vaunted independence, the fact remains the Free Cities are closer to each other than they are to any other state, something (comparatively) recent developments such as the creation of the office of "Lord Protector" have only underscored.  Even so, there are divisions within to consider...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Lands of Light: Southern Leonais.

The Leonais of sophisticated cities, high culture, and great old families--or so it likes to imagine itself.  The truth, as always, is more complicated.  Southern Leonais boasts of its ancient heritage, of being the old home of the Holy Emperors, and so it is--but it also a land of blood feuds, of schemes, and of a dozen petty kingdoms that had to be forcefully united under the Pescheours' rule, by force, by marriage, and by trickery.  A land of wealth and trade, yes--but also a land that has seen invasion from the Free Cities, the Easter King and the Lands of Night. And above all a land where loyalty to the Pescheours is perhaps not so great as the Oaken Throne would imagine...