8th Dec 2017, 7:04 PM in Geography and nations

Principalities

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Principalities
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Author Notes:

Darksh1ne 14th May 2021, 9:35 AM edit delete
Darksh1ne
(The idea of this land belongs to Glacier36. Thank you so much for your creativity and hard work!)







A nation without capitol
In the Heart of Karandia, the central region of the continent, lies a very interesting nation. Eight independent cities, each with its own government and unique culture, together form a strong nation without a unifying ruler or capitol. The ancient history predating the creation of Principalities is vast and convoluted. Since the Great collapse and for the next eleven thousand years dozens of different kingdoms rose and fell in this part of the world – some were small and insignificant, others powerful and ambitious. Each of these kingdoms deserves an article of its own, but this time we’re focusing our attention on Principalities, starting its history in 110th century when the eight cities reached a certain equilibrium of power and have been forced to form a military alliance against the Green tide, a rising threat from across the Midland sea.
The Green tide rose and fell, but the alliance carried on, evolving from just a military union to a strong cultural and economic bond. Together these eight regions, also known as “Pricepts”, form the nation of Principalities and despite not having a specific ruler, effectively act as a single unit on the international arena.
Each pricept has its own ruler, carrying different title name from one city to another:
Azmath - Representative
Halacyn - Archmage
Caldus - Lord Mayor
Zaltara - Fleet Admiral
Daeus - High Smithy
Kurgarn - Battlelord
Sahangal - Lord Banker
Ribera – Highmaster
Every pricept solves internal problems in its own way, relying on their own judgment and laws. But when a problem touches more than one pricept at a time, or when tensions between neighboring pricepts rise and threaten the stability of the entire nation, the Council of Eight is called, gathering every ruler in one place where they have to find a solution that would fully satisfy every side of the conflict.
Councils of eight rarely happen more often than once a year, considering how bothersome it can be for the rulers to travel across the land. To make this situation fair for everyone, such Councils traditionally take place in a different pricept capitol every time, making a full circle around Principalities.

Pricepts
Each pricept has different culture, traditions and laws. What is allowed on one might be forbidden in the other. What is a gesture of good will here, may be considered an insult there. The racial representation also varies from one pricept to another.
It is sometimes difficult to comprehend how such different nations and cultures can effectively co-exist as one force. To outsiders Principalities often seem to be an anomaly, an exception from the rule, an order that should not be possible to sustain for long. And yet twelve centuries later Principalities still stand, strong and stable as ever.
Let’s take a closer look at each pricept to see what makes them unique and what role each plays in the grand picture of this land.



Azmath
‘Give a man food, he’ll eat for a day. Teach him to harvest and he’ll eat for an eternity.’

This is the land of endless plains and rolling hills, sprouting with countless small villages and farm fields. Also known as the Beating heart of the land, Azmath is the provision giant of Principalities. Every imaginable type of food is cultivated and gathered here. Azmath produces much more food than it can consume itself, that’s why a large portion if it is funneled into other pricepts and even sold abroad.
Some pricepts such as Halacyn and Daeus rely on Azmath’s food so much that they barely have their own farms, preferring to buy it cheaply and in large supplies from their bountiful neighbor.

The population of Azmath is massive and consists of mostly humans and elves, evenly spread across the pricept. These are simple, freedom-loving people who like to throw up festivals several times a year. The pricept is known for its unique and weird food-based competitions and sports.

Falava and the tall walls
The capitol of Azmath, as well as several other old castles scattered across this land, are surrounded by unusually tall walls. While they may feel out-of-place nowadays, these are the remnants of the old age, when instead of valleys and hills, this region has been covered into dense forest, infested with dangerous monsters.
The seat of power is occupied by the Representative, an elected offspring from one of the five noble families residing in the capitol. Traditionally only those who come from one of these families may even be considered a pretender for the ruling position. These five families are the descendants of nobles responsible for the historical “Reclamation of the land” projects, which in the end of 89th century challenged nature itself and freed Azmath from isolation, hunger and constant threat of extinction.

Azmathi farmlands
The vast plains of this region are covered in seemingly endless fields of crops and animal farms. In the center of it stands a small town built around a portal gate, managed and maintained by the mages of Halacyn. This gate is activated three times a week to transport provision purchased from the Azmathi farmlands directly into the White citadel.



Halacyn
The center of magical study in Principalites, Halacyn is mostly covered in dense, hard-to-trespass forests with large presence of dangerous monsters. Only one settlement can be found at the North and a few in the Southern border of the region. In the heart of it stands White citadel, the capitol of the pricept.
A comparably low population of this pricept consists mostly of elves and other magic-gifted races. Representatives of other races can also be met, but most of them are either visitors or students of the numerous magic schools.
The pricept is famous for its cult of magic, which is displayed in abundance of enchantments in architecture, peculiar, magic-themed clothing and unusual manner of speech. Locals love to display their intellect in public discourses and debates held in the middle of streets and squares. Knowledge, wit, oratory skills and the ability to spell cast are the most valued features a person can have here.
While there presents a certain degree of snobbism and elitism Halacynians display towards other pricepts, they open their arms to anyone who is willing to study magic in their schools and participates in their discussions and public activities. The process of application is so simple and the quality of presented knowledge is so high in magic schools of Halacyn that many aspiring students met here come not only from other pricepts but from the distant kingdoms lying beyond borders of Principalities.

White Citadel
An ancient city of many spires, towers and arcane beacons. At its heart stands the Ivory Spire, residence of the Archmage and the Council. Spread about the base of the Spire are the grounds of the ‘Academia Arcana’, the most prestigious Magic Academy of Principalities. The remainder of the city is divided amongst smaller schools of magic, shops, markets and residential housing.
The capitol receives provision directly from Azmath via a teleportation gate, situated in the Southern district of the citadel.

Lighthorm fortress
A section of an ancient colossal wall, the rest of which had been destroyed during the Great collapse cataclysm. The purpose and true size of the original structure are unknown, but what remains of it had been occupied by Halacyn’s army and repurposed into a fortress in 112th century.


Ashen waste
a highly dangerous area lying in the mountains past the Lighthorm fortress, infested with warped, mutated creatures who were once humans and beasts living in this area. Shortly after the mysterious incident that led to the creation of the waste in 112th century, the crazed creatures spilled into the pricept and led to heavy casualties among unsuspecting residents of the White citadel. Once the first wave has been defeated, Archmage ordered the creation of the Lighthorm fortress to monitor and combat new potential attacks from the Ashen waste.
It is unknown who was responsible for the incident, but it is widely accepted that Ashen waste is an artificial creation caused by an exceptionally powerful spell. Some even tie it to the mysterious Sol crystal.



Caldus
It’s often said that the twin regions of Caldus and Zaltara are so intimately joined you could never tell where one ends and the other begins unless you have a map. And these too pricept would become a single one, if not a series of disagreements in law enforcement and banking limitations that came up shortly after the formation of the early Principalities.
The common ground between the leaders of pricepts has never been found, so to keep a friendly status they agreed to remain independent and to follow their own laws the way they liked. Simple folk of both pricepts cares even less about these differences, and actively keeps contact with one another, especially considering that both nations love sea-faring and use same waters of Midland sea for fishing and trade.

Golden Sails Harbor
The capitol and the primary port of Caldus. A large city spread thin but far along the shoreline of Midland sea. The beautiful palace of Lord Mayor stands on a tall hill in the Sothern district, overlooking the entire city.

Marblehead Watchtower
A small military port famous for the largest lighthouse in Principalities. Its construction began shortly after the end of the battle on the Crimson Fields and serves as a monument to the fallen in that event. Crafted out of the finest marble from the Daeus Slagworks, the lighthouse homes various long range ballistae and trebuchets, at any moment ready to be used against any potential invader from the side of the sea.

Greendol
One of the few existing safe zones for “redeemed” goblins in Karandia. In Monstroniverse goblins are believed to be naturally evil and wicked race, but once in a while lone goblin outcasts appear on the surface in search for peaceful life, away from the never ending wars of the Underworld and violent slave-seeking raids to the surface.
The stigma against goblins exists in every nation of Karandia, and finding such shelter among civilized societies is a tremendously difficult task for outcasts.
The town of Greendol has been founded in the early years of 119th century, when one such goblin befriended a noble of Caldus and opened to him the secrets of Underworld. Moved by his friend’s story and the belief of potential good in every goblin, the noble spent an immense wealth on gaining approval and building a small town where goblin outcasts would find peace and safety.
The one condition for its approval, however, was that Oblins were not allowed in the town. Goblins living in this town are only allowed to have children with women of their own race.


Zaltara
While Caldus and Zaltara are barely distinguishable by such basic characteristics as architecture, moral and cultural standards and love of all things naval, there are a few differences. It’s fair to say that while Caldus values trade and fishing above other activities one can indulge themselves on the open waters, Zaltaran sailors have a certain competitive side that Caldussians don’t.
This minor detail becomes noticeable when a visitor begins to notice monuments, songs and tales that depict humans battling and defeating giant oceanic monsters. There is no such profession as naval monster slayer in Zaltara. To them it’s a calling, a national identity.
Very often even fishermen on their tiny boats have been seen chasing giant krakens, as soon as a tip of a flipper of such beast has been spotted above the surface. Needless to say people never returning from the sea is a much more common occurrence in this pricept than in any other.
The only thing that Zaltarians like to complain about is that to them Midland sea is just not big enough. That they wished their pricept stood at the bank of an ocean instead.

New Myros
Originally a settlement created to house refugees of both Damani and Boltok who crossed the sea during the twelve-year war and the following Green tide’s reign of terror. With time it grew in size and importance, eventually overshadowing the former capitol of the pricept Great fishing wharf. in 114th century it has been decided to move the status of capitol into New Myros, to the great relief of residents of Great fishing wharf. As they say “The further away from the leadership – the better”.

Robius Naval Academy
Not large but tightly build and very busy city spread thin across the coastline. The Academy itself serves as a premiere center for education in the ways of the seas. Any fool can find or purchase a boat and set her out onto the ocean waves, but the Academy serves to impart and refine the skills needed to sail upon the Midland sea and beyond.

Great fishing wharf
a large city and a largest port of Midland sea. Most famous for the “Museum of deep terrors”, where on displays can be found remains of the largest sea creatures and monsters caught by famed citizens of Zaltara on the waters of Midland sea and beyond. In fact, one way to become famous in this pricept is to return from the sea with a head or at least a bone of a sea creature bigger and meaner than the ones already on displays.



Sahangal
There’s a saying amongst the regions of the Principalities: “The only thing more two-faced than a gold coin is the Sahangal Banker’s Guild.”

Built from the ground up on their seemingly uncanny ability to peddle and trade anything to anyone, the region of Sahangal was built on one key principle: The acclimation of Wealth. The majority of the region's inhabitants possess astounding accounting capability and an uncanny trade acumen. However the initial history of the region wasn’t the most glamorous.

In the early days of the Sahangal’s Trade Boom in which the bulk of their monetary wealth was acquired, anything was considered fair game for trade and commerce: food, luxuries, materials, even slaves could and would be sold to anyone who could afford the price tag attached. By today’s standards many see it as a ‘dark times’ for the region whilst a select, unscrupulous few still considered it a ‘Golden Age of Trade and Economic Growth’ as the pricept’s ‘chief export’ was its slave trade – officially forbidden practice in modern Principalities. However, rumors say that if one knows the right people, heavily reinforced locked doors may be opened to reveal deep underground tunnels leading towards obscenely decadent auction houses and markets of rarities, artifacts and slaves even now.

Guilded Coffer
The capitol of the pricept and practically the only noticeable landmark of this side of Principalities. A truly giant city forming four distinct layers, with its gold-covered roofs and tower peaks displaying the adoration of wealth and business deals of its residents. A city of opportunities where one can either win the game of life and become richer than kings… or, in most cases, lose everything and gain obligations before people who would not forget and would find you anywhere if you’d try to flee and hide. Guilded coffer is famous for three things:
- Banks that serve clients from every known kingdom of Karandia.
- A place where everything could be bought. Everything at all. If it’s not in stock, for a fitting price it will be obtained one way or another.
- Previously mentioned underground Back market.

Zemyr harbor
The main port of Sahangal, used primarily for trade with neighboring pricepts and other kingdoms of Karandia. A large but rather unremarkable city.

Puck island
This seemingly peaceful island homes the most powerful naval base of Principalities, curated by both Sahangal and Caldus. While Sahangal provides it with provision, tools and payment, Caldus forms the majority of the sailors and ships. The primary objective of ships maintained here is to patrol Northern waters of Midland sea and hunt down pirates who often attack trade ships that enter Midland sea through the Northstorm canal.



Daeus
This is the pricept of metals and stone and the harsh people treating and giving them shape. While every pricept has its own collection of smelters and blacksmiths, weapons and tools from Daeus are valued above any other thanks to the exceptional quality of the metals they’re made of. Most weapons and tools used all around Principalities have been created here.
Daeus is mostly covered by wild plains, hills and forests with a relative low population of monsters. A series of small and medium sized towns are scattered along the Southern and North-Western parts of the region. The overall population of this pricept is low comparing to others, and majority of it is concentrated around Ebon forge and Slagwork mines.

Ebon forge
The capitol of Daeus has not been built by its current residents and not by any of their ancestors. This ancient underground city, crafted almost entirely out of black stone and filled with curious machinery and wonders of architecture, existed long before the Great collapse.

Slagwork mines
A large settlement at the base of Peaks of the world mountains leading to countless mines and quarries. Provides the bulk of the metal ores and construction materials that are used around the Principalities. The exterior of the Mines is a series of wooden scaffolding, walkways and pulley systems designed to get the ores and stone from the mines easily and quickly. Beyond the incredible boons and quality of what is acquired, the mines themselves are otherwise uninteresting to the outsider eye.



Ribera
Similar to Kurgarn people, Riberains are the descendants of Kraf empire, fractured in a civil war of 93th century. A lot of cultural aspects of the frightening empire, such as spiky architecture, strict subordination and distaste to weakness and emotionality, can be witnessed her to this day.
A complete opposite to pricepts like Azmath, there are only two holidays in Ribera – New year and the Liberation day – the date of the civil war of Kraf was started.
Modern Ribera is seen as the highest seat of Education in the Principalities, many coming far and wide to seek knowledge in a variety of topics or subjects, all except magic, which is dominated by Halacyn. Riberan Scholars have thoroughly woven themselves into the Principalities way of life, becoming go-to individuals for everything from Teachers and instructors to Military Strategists and Officers, without doubt the Riberan are often the most intellectual, albeit annoyingly stubborn (at times), individuals on the Continent.

Ranika
The capitol of Ribera is ancient and although it has been heavily modified and expanded since being part of Kraf, it retains some of the spiky, hostile architectural features of the warmongering empire. As time passed the inclusion of decorative stone statues dotted several of the open civil centers of the city, commemorating the previous Highmasters and other important individuals of Ribera’s history.
Ranika is famous for its national library, containing literature and scientific works from all around Karandia and beyond. Some works here are unique and contain historical notes and researches that contain secrets of the world unknown to the general public.
Current Ranika’s nobility has a particular distaste to visitors from Tamir kingdom, for as in the end of 124th century a group of individuals from the distant land tried to destroy the library by setting it on fire. Gladly, they’ve been caught in the act and shortly after publicly executed.

Athera Academy
A significantly smaller in size and population city comparing to Ranika, it has an undeniable status of the most prestigious school in all of Principalities. Originally named ‘the academy’, it was eventually named after Highmaster Lucius Athera, many consider to be the greatest Highmaster in the pricept’s history. ‘Great’ in the sense of being the first one, of course.
Starting from 124th’ century, after the infamous attempt to burn the great library in Ranika, Highmaster ordered creation of another one in Athera academy. A library identical to Ranika’s in both architecture and its content. It took decades to hundreds of scribes to write copies of books and scripts for the new library. But once the work has been finished, one can be sure that the collection of knowledge Ribera keeps so dearly, will never be fully destroyed.

Red wall
While modern Kraf is not particularly interested in re-conquering the vast monster-infested forests and swamps of Ribera, the possibility of such campaign from Kraf, and the ever-presenting threat from Ik’sumar, led to combined effort of Ribera and Kurgarn at building the famous Red wall. It took more than half of 95th century to complete and formed a powerful bond of these two pricepts with Daeus, who provided a steady stream of valuable building materials.
This exceptionally long wall has no gates and does not even assume the possibility of being trespassed from the West side. The ever-vigilant garrison consists of both Kurgarn and Ribera soldiers, mages and officers.



Kurgarn
The most hated enemy of Kraf, Kurgarn began its path as a province of the famous empire millennia’s ago. After the civil war that fractured Kraf empire (which by the way have been started here by general Sanguinar) population of Kurgarn swore an oath to never return into the ranks of the empire and to change their ways, becoming as different from them as possible, culturally and morally.
While they succeeded in most of these noble goals, such elimination of slavery, religious freedoms and creation of laws defending the lower class citizens… one thing kurgarn could not rid themselves of was the love of a good fight.
Modern Kurgarn is known as the center of Principalities’ military might, the never ending battlefields at the border with Kraf empire and its favorite pass-type, blood sports. Gladiator arenas can be found in every city and every smallest village of this pricept. People use them not only to satisfy the need to watch people fight each other or beasts and monsters for the fun and glory, but as a method of solving disputes between neighbors and enemies.

Sanguinar City
Named after Kraf general who sparked the rebellion and sequential civil war within Kraf empire in 93th century, the capitol of Kurgarn resembles a giant fortress. It is built with clear focus towards military practicality than aesthetic pleasure and freedom. Tightly packed streets with very few open areas, the largest of which are the bazaar and the square before the Keep, residence of Battlelord.
The Arena of blood in the center of the city is used for the most exciting war games and holds weekly events, with thousands of seats getting packed each time.

The Killing Grounds
It is no exaggeration that Kurgarn warriors are born from battle. The Killing Grounds themselves serve as where they are born from. From within those halls aspirants are taken, broken down and reshaped into the true warriors known in the Principality and beyond. The training provided is as rigorous as you’d expect from people who revel in battle.
The most fascinating building in this city is the Grand arena, where aspirants fight to train and prove themselves all year long. Needless to say that deaths and heavy injuries are a daily occurrence on these grounds. But if the first one can’t be fixed, injuries are healed by skilled lifemages of Kurgarn’s support battalions.

The Eternal Battlefield
The name is not an exaggeration. The Eternal Battlefield is a swathe of blood-soaked land on Kurgarn’s North-Western border. A mountain pass the Kraf have used in many attempts to enact bloody vengeance for Kurgarn’s ultimate betrayal to the Empire. Fortifications of both Kraf and Kurgarn litter the landscape, as well as countless corpses of the fallen.