A little over four thousand years ago, a man named Barus Simynn achieved great political power in Nylevran. After so long, people had grown disillusioned by the Elves ruling over them. It was exactly this that led to his popularity among the people. The political responsibility that befell them was due to the High Elves, afterall.
Barus, having come from humble roots, had a harsh view of the world. This did not dissipate, even after his rise in the Court. Soon, his ideals and warped sense of relations spread like the plague. People of every stripe began to hate the Elves and the busy, but relatively well off, position they had put the Humans in.
The ever watchful eye of their overlords had somehow skipped over Barus and his rise. On one fateful night, he and his followers made the boldest move imaginable. Barus Simynn proclaimed himself the Emperor of Nylevran. Before long, Elven politicians and ambassadors had been killed or taken into custody. Many citizens grew nervous, but those believing in his message cheered his name and new seat of command.
When the letter of this declaration arrived before King Soran’Vythellas, he was shocked more than anything else. It was with great hesitation that he deployed his army to Nylevran. To the surprise of his people, Barus fought. He clashed head on with the royal army of San’Aormet. Being a politician, and not a commander or warrior, he was brutally defeated.
King Soran’Vythellas took to the High Court. Many assumed he was there to have the leaders answer for the false Emperor. Meeting with the court, in a legendary decision, the High Elven King granted the Humans complete freedom. Any responsibility the Elves had thrust upon them, they were liberated of. Records of the time recall it being a somber occasion.
Few things changed. Nylevran had made its living off of politics, and continues today. The good will from the King led to better future relations between the two races. With a strong symbiotic relationship developed over the years, Barus’ foolhardy rise led to prosperity and newfound mutual respect.
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Commerce and trade is at the forefront of Cyrdoma’s life as a society. Trading goods and services helps keep economic stability. This is made easier by having a base system of tender with a set value. Currency comes in many forms throughout the country.
After the War of the Lines, the collective of races established a form of monetary value in the Imperial Mark. To this day, the same system is used. Marks are a gold piece, which all value derives from, in the shape of a small wheel printed with a crown on the face and a laurel on the back. Gol’Anais, Khalggorn, Nylevran, and San’Aormet all use them as their primary form of currency.
Delrin uses a similar coin, though it carries much less pizzaz. Their currency is simply referred to as Gold. These are also printed on wheels, with the depiction of Sorianeth on the face and a mountain on the back. Their value is relatively high when compared to the Imperial Mark.
Yvoria prints an odd coin called the Plains Penny. It is a squared bronze coin with a punched hole through the middle. Considering the country’s immense emphasis on trade, it comes as little surprise that they find melting gold into currency a waste. The Plains Penny is only slightly behind Delrin’s Gold coins in value.
Ogaitnas, Pirfwandis, and Tinechi use unmarked gold circles as their currency. With their lack of involvement in the High Court, Ogaitnas and Tinechi are condemned to their own devices with trading. Pirfwandis, however, has some delegates from its more notable cities. Despite this, as they cannot collect into one unified nation, they cannot be granted access to Imperial Marks.
Despite the many currencies, Cyrdoma operates quite well. The economic disparities between classes, however, are present. In areas like eastern Nylevran and the Buervan Highlands, poverty is rampant. While a world full of wealth is ideal, even in the far future, it will never be realistic.
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King Jargos Vulkan has been the ruling monarch of Delrin for the last twenty nine years. In this time he has many great feats under his belt and proven to be a benevolent and kind leader. Delrish Kings have a specific order called the Crown Vigil, a handful of loyal guardians that see to the country’s stability.
As we discussed previously, Eric Frankell is the leader of this brave collective. Having been lifelong friends with the King certainly helped him attain this impressive rank, though the man’s hulking figure helped secure it. He is regarded as a master of all weapons, carrying an arsenal with him at nearly all time. Some speak of a technique in which he dual-wields a maul and a greataxe.
Regarded as Eric’s second-in-command was Fivthen Arrliac. He had nearly served as long as his superior, falling short by just a handful of years. Fivthen is regarded as a crude man who is easy to get along with. This, however, does not eclipse his ferocity in combat. He wields a black greatsword and uses chains of Dark Magic to pierce or subdue his enemies.
Next is Amadeiya Turner, a fierce woman from Nylevran, who journeyed to Delrin on a personal quest. It was on this quest to restore an inert magical weapon that she met Jargos. With his help she succeeded in restoring her ancient family blade. Over the years, she married and made the snowy country her home. She now guards the King with her life, using her family’s precious blade, Zephyr, and impressive Air Magic..
Ardremmalech was initially made as Jargos’ ward, sent by the Ogre King Huruk. The young Ogre found much comfort in the Delrish King and learned Water Magic from him. Thankful for such a warm upbringing, Ardremmalech swore to defend Jargos with his life. Most notable is an intricate hammer he carries with him at all times. A glass orbs resides between the faces of the weapon. I’m curious as to how the thing hasn’t shattered into a million pieces by now.
Finally, there is Kylar Stenvarg. Nephew of the famed Wolflord Darien Stenvarg, Lord of the industrial Delrish city of Hokkal, the young Vigil member had large shoes to fill. Traveling to Nylevran in his youth, he learned Fire Magic under Michael Hadiel. Today, he is regarded as one of the most creative users of the element, developing a combat technique that involves giving flames a physical form.
Though there are only four members and one leader, the Crown Vigil’s small number helps ensure coordination on the battlefield. Their methods have defended Delrish Kings for several centuries, giving them quite the reputation. They are certainly not an organization to be trifled with. Their combined force is among the most powerful collectives on all of Cyrdoma, if not Vinadorin.
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Frankell is a name associated with craftsmanship and ancient martial techniques. Their family crest is an axe and a blacksmith’s hammer laid over a skull. This symbol perfectly encompasses the Frankell’s claim to fame. It is said their line dates back to the humans of Goaranor, and are among the original settlers of Nylevran.
The family has spread greatly since then. When the merchant lords travelled northwest, an auspicious Frankell arms maker went with them. When Sorianeth took Delrin by storm, he brought a young Frankell as his personal armorer. The rest, however, stayed to see to their homeland of Nylevran. Today, things are good for the Frankell family.
Eric Frankell is the patriarch of the family's Delrish branch. They say the man is impossibly tall and wields many weapons into battle. He is the leader of King Jargos Vulkan’s Crown Vigil, as well as an accomplished craftsman. Despite following the monarch around, he owns a small and prestigious forge.
Cecilia Frankell is the matriarch of the Nylevranian branch. Like her cousin in the north, she too runs a blacksmith in the city of Valencia. Her massive foundry is famous for how quickly it can put out quality steel. Despite her relatively small stature, her ability to hammer metal is unrivaled. She has earned quite the reputation for herself by innovating weapon production.
Pierre Frankell is the patriarch of the Yvorian branch. He is a relatively wealthy merchant, dealing in the weapons trade. His company, Hammermark Arms, has business across all of Cyrdoma. Many have criticised him for selling to the Ogaitnans throughout the years, though he defends himself by claiming lack of ignorance.
Even in The War of Black Dawn, the hero Lukien Frankell was instrumental in taking down the death God. Honorable and proud, the Frankell family is one of rich history. With a well practiced trade, they have ensured success for many generations to come.
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Yvoria is a nation that rose from the success of another. When a merchant class finally arose in early Nylevran, a desire for more grew. Those with an eye for power traveled northwest and came across a flat and fertile landscape ripe for the taking. Establishing the coast hub and capital city of Port Caeryn, Yvoria quickly prospered.
Using the fertile land, vast amounts of crops were grown and sold. To this day, it remains as Yvoria’s main export. In time, vast gold mines were found across the plains. After developing a self-sustaining economy, the merchant roots of the country came back out. Port Caeryn quickly became the largest market on all of Vinadorin. You can find anything there!
A Merchant King or Queen rules over the people for ten year terms. They are elected by an elusive council of trade lords. Their sole duty is to ensure the economic prosperity of the country and safety of the common people. While the monarch can establish new laws, they are forbidden from changing term limits.
With such a huge emphasis on trade, the country has maintained prosperity. Though, in this, they have not become complacent. This wealthy nation has built a sizable navy and military. Far from the largest in each, they are still quite the force to be reckoned with. All-in-all, Yvoria is a robust and successful nation.
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I never talk much about my homeland of Khalggorn. I find it hard to discuss, as my saturation of Nylevranian culture has left me very much at odds with them. I’m a Dwarf and, at the end of the day, I love beer. Have ever since I could walk. My mama could make a mean milk stout. Today, I think we’ll take a look back at several brews to be found across the Dwarven homeland.
Each of the main Dwarven clan is famous for a unique ale. Based on where they reside, their beer can change wildly. The process starts with barley, hops, water, and yeast. From there, it can be enriched with any number of ingredients. That’s where the real magic happens. The secrets are lost on me, but the flavor is not.
The Malden clan, residing in the far north, is famous for creating an ale with nutrient rich soil. The earth is gathered and refined, then left to ferment with the rest of the concoction.
The Jyhkbol clan, residing in the heartland of Khalggorn, makes a beer from yamak fat. The fat is cut off the raw meat and left to boil until it becomes liquid. Bold flavor from that.
The Thunderkegs, residing in the east, have an unorthodox method. Facing heavy storms blowing in from the Hygorrian Ocean, the Thunderkegs leave barrels of already fermented beer out in the storm. Submerging a cap with a lightning rod on it, the storms strike the rods and give the beer a fizzy taste.
The Doraen clan, residing in the south, have a selection of brews crafted from fruits. Blueberry or apple spice, they’ve got it. The produce are mashed up fine and what’s left is poured into the fermenting barrels.
Finally, the Whelan clan is known for their seafaring lifestyle. With a large fishing population, it was only natural they make a beer with fish oil. Sometimes, they sneak a bit of honey in. The high alcohol content make it pack a punch!
There are many other clans, with an infinite number of brews. Unfortunately, I’m not as much of a Dwarven beer connoisseur as I’d like to think I am. While I do miss the wild variety, I’ve grown comfortably numb with the human brews. They lack innovation, but their appreciation is admirable.
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P.S. - My favorite is the static ale from the Thunderkegs. I just had to play favorites.
Nine-hundred and twenty years ago, a young Sorianeth Trumonde journeyed to the icy peninsula of Delrin with a small army. He had been sent by his grandfather, the mighty soulwarped hero Aevitas Trumonde, to bring peace to the warring Kaevalonian tribes that had settled there. With a great deal of aggression inside of him, he was hellbent on destroying his enemies.
It took Sorianeth all of three years to bring the barbarian tribes to heel. Near the end, some surrendered, rather than face his might. It came down to him and Skaalgorm the Iron King, facing off in an open field. Though he took the man’s leg, he was merciful. Sorianeth had plans contrary to why he had been sent there initially.
Taking the barbarian King’s daughter as his bride, the young man crowned himself as the first King of a unified Delrin. He ordered a great capital city to be built immediately. With a legion of soldiers, who had grown incredibly loyal to him, and a horde of subjugated tribes, he could withstand any retaliation that his home may launch against him. Fortunately, it never came.
Sorianeth was a firm ruler, establishing and enforcing laws upon a lawless people, he was dubbed "the Breaker". He and his wife had three children, who continued on the Trumonde royal line. A real integration of the Nylevranians that had come with him and the Kaevalonian people took many generations, but led to the strong Delrish people of today.
While the Trumonde’s of Nylevran faded to time, the Trumonde Kings of Delrin were forever immortalized as great leaders. The line is now at its end, and the final Trumonde as Queen, the Vulkan line has been placed into power. While Jargos has thus proven a great leader, the Trumonde mold could never be shaken from the country and the hearts of its people.
Today, Delrin and Nylevran bear no ill will against one another. Ironically, the Delrish play a large part in the High Court. The younger prince of Delrin, Benjamin Vulkan, recently studied law here. He was a bright young man. I believe you can always talk things over, as Nylevran should have done with Sorianeth. That was nearly a millennium ago, yet I still feel the strained relationship could have been avoided entirely.
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Magic. Magic is the very essence of Vinadorin; Arcane energy that flows freely through our world. This energy acts as a clay, used to form into a shape that we can comprehend. Typically, it is invisible to mortal eyes, unless invoked through ceremony or spell. Visible, Raw Arcane often ranges from blue to purple swirls of transparent power.
Learning magic is very much like learning a new language. Books, scrolls, teachers, and infusion ceremonies are all ways to bolster one's powers, much in the same way exposure to a different tongue expands your understanding of it. If you start young and diversify yourself, you can easily pick up two or three types of magic by late adolescence.
Even then, there is another layer to that. Five types of magic are to be noted: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Dark. If a person has any ability to produce magic, they will have an affinity for one type in particular. Much of magic is envisioning how to manipulate the Arcane in the form you want, and that’s no easy feat. Even someone as myself, learned in Earth Magic from the school at Delrin’s College of Magic faced difficulty in my studies.
Fatigue is an important concept to understand when utilizing magic. As mortals aren't necessarily predisposed to the use of Arcane, it wears on the mind. This wracking of the senses can cause one to become, what is known as, Fatigued. It becomes harder to breathe, harder to focus, and eventually, the inability to produce magic until rested. Much like a soldier grows tired from fighting, a Mage grows Fatigued from casting spells at their threshold.
Casting a fireball or collecting some of the moisture around you is just the basics. True mastery, giving flame a solid shape or traversing your physical form through the shadows, takes years of mental fortitude and practice. No link has been made between familial relations and magical skill. Even though a parent may be a great Mage, the child could not have any ability for magic at all or vice versa.
Why, I remember Michael Hadiel, and his son, Dedricus. Michael was an astounding Fire Mage, working as a teacher at the local Mage’s school. While his son could produce Fire Magic, he had an affinity for Dark Magic. Maybe to call it an affinity is a stretch.
There are "other types" of magic we may cover in the future.
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The sword is the most common weapon one may run into on the continent. A good iron blade, locked down to a firm wooden hilt, and wrapped in fine leather. From Delrin to Tinechi, a trusted sword is the most valued companion. Nobility enjoys passing down ornate swords. They usually just sit above a fireplace for all eternity.
Maces are certainly weapons to be feared. They come in all shapes, from large spiked heads to rigged beasts. No other weapon has the capability to eat through solid steel quite like a mace can. Despite their great use, they are heavier and, therefore, less favored by the average combatant. The Knights of Yvoria are famous for wielding flanged maces into combat.
An axe is also quite easy to run into (please do not run into an axe). A crescent blade on a wooden haft makes for a deadly chopping tool. Many are used to cut wood in the colder months, though battle axes are light and deadly enough to wield into combat. Aiming for the weak spots in armor can take a limb simply enough. I like axes. I’m a Dwarf, and biased.
Short blades or daggers are often used by nightstalkers and thieves. Their light weight and deadly point make them quite effective. They can also be used for carving or crafting, so their use as a tool is unquestionable. While you’d never wield one as your primary weapon on the battlefield, carrying one at the boot could save your life.
A spear can vary wildly, as it’s really any blade on the end of a staff. Axe heads, swords, and curved blades beyond comprehension all qualify. When the Ogaitnans aren’t at war with each other, their favorite pastime is inventing new polearms. Why, here in Nylevran, we make quite the fierce spear. The Frankell smiths even made advances in flattening the point of leaf-bladed spears. Certainly something to think about.
Shields. Bah. You hold them up and you don’t die real good. If you don’t know what a shield is, go read a book!
Staves can come in several different forms: Wood or metal. Wood is preferred as it's easier to carry around. A metal staff, however, can provide a great offensive tool. As to why a mage would need to lethally beat someone over the head is beyond me; I’m just here to state facts. For magical purposes, staves are topped with an enchanted item, typically an artifact or a crystal, that the magic user can channel their energy through and yield a more powerful spell. Be warned, this is incredibly fatiguing to them!
I wanted to keep this topic a bit broad. Perhaps one day I’ll discuss more of the “unique” weapons to be found across the continent.
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The horned Ogres of Tinechi are an interesting people. A tribal folk, their clans have cultures unique to their land. The clan Seneschals all report to one person: the King. Though this ruler has no hard say in each clans laws, they vary greatly, he does provide direction for the country as a whole. Old King Huruk Kiragikhan rules from their iron capital of Tinechi City.
Some say Huruk has lived far past the natural age of an Ogre: claims say he is 173 and the average Ogre lifespan is 150 (a trait my people share with theirs). He is a secretive but wise being, valuing both brain and brawn. His brood is expansive, as he has many children. A prominent son of his was originally sent as a ward to King Jargos in Delrin; he now acts as a personal guard to the man.
I find myself at odds with Huruk. Though many of our ideals do align, the Ogre King refuses to mend old relationships broken in the past. They’ve hidden behind their mountains for far too long. Huruk, to this day, will not partake in the High Court. Seeing as the High Court is what keeps politics (mostly) clean on Cyrdoma, it’s strange to see a race not be a part of it.
It’s for the best to help each other, no?
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