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Discussion in 'THE TEST CHAMBERS' started by onyxsunrise, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. -THE WEIGHT OF THE CROWN-
    Kingdom Sheet
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    Glaen​
    BASICS​

    CASTLE |

    RULER |
    LOCATION |
    Iveragh
    aka Champion's Island
    Queen Alana
    Northwestern Forest
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    CREST
    The colors and crest of the kingdom are the same as that of the royal family: red and gold, and two griffins intertwined in battle. [​IMG]
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    WRITTEN APPEARANCE
    In the foothills to the west and slightly south of the westernmost mountain there is a lake surrounded on all sides by dense forest. This is where the kingdom of Glaen makes its home. Though the forest is expansive, the kingdom is less so; their people fear the depths of the forest and do not stray too far from the lake that serves as a focal point. The thickest woods, they say, hold the strangest things. Travel is not quick among all the trees, but a day in a two man canoe will carry you across the lake unless the wind is against you - but then, the trees usually break any wind. Among other things, Glaen is unnervingly still.

    Culture: Glaen is not wealthy or abundantly fertile, but there is always enough to go around. In some towns clearings are made so more crops can be grown; however, the forest is both respected and feared almost as a separate entity, so many citizens of Glaen view this as an unnecessary offense, unlike taking wood to build or keep themselves warm. For the most part, agriculturalists have discovered and maintained groves of nut trees and fruit trees and tapped others for syrup and tar. For this reason, sweet flavors dominate the cuisine of Glaen, supplemented by the little they farm and the small game and mushrooms that are plentiful amid the trees.

    Because water connects all of the towns and cities to each other, visitation and communication among each other are frequent. However, because trees impede easy and quick movement on land, travel outside the kingdom and travel to the kingdom are minimal. They conduct what trade is necessary for them to get by, but otherwise they are very isolated. However, they welcome new things, finding it very exciting when new inventions and curiosities make their way into their hands.

    They are simple people, and pay little attention to trends. Their clothing is largely functional because frills and extra fabric invariably get caught and torn on branches. Women are not expected to wear dresses unless they are attending an event of some sort; the norm is deerskin leggings, sturdy boots, and short tunics over a long-sleeved undershirt. The most fashion forward of the residents will embroider their clothing with designs and small pictures, and laces are a common feature on all clothing. In the harsh winters this attire is supplemented with thick woolen sweaters. The standard is different for nobility and royalty, who are expected to be dressed formally more regularly, though it is still acceptable for them to dress down when training.

    Glaen's most unique sport is known as "tree-racing," wherein participants climb and leap from tree to tree until they reach an arbitrated finish line. Fishing and swimming are also common leisure activities, as the lake is not large enough for fishing to be industrialized. However, their most popular, beloved, and attended sport - to the point of being an enormous cultural focus - is dueling. Never to the death, they aren't barbarians... But violence is an art and prowess is to be revered. Nobles are expected to be proficient duelists.

    Glaen is home to four noble families, one of which being the royal family, House Glaen. The Houses are spaced almost evenly around the lake, and each looks after their quarter though Glaen rules them all. Inheritance passes from eldest to eldest, regardless of gender. While men are considered to generally be stronger than women, women are considered to generally be more intelligent. However, these stereotypes have little bearing on the options available to each gender, as the people are a proud people, and believe that hard work will make anyone excel in their field and if someone has worked hard for something then they have earned it.

    Common professions are foresting, fishing, carpentry, hunting & trapping, construction, and various types of rudimentary botany. Aside from the study of the naturally occurring flora in their area, the kingdom is scientifically lacking and only picks up on what other kingdoms have discovered and shared.

    Religious Structure: Glaen very proudly follows the large, monotheistic religion of the land, believing that their god protects them from the gloom of the forest and gives them strength. There is a small church in most every town, and the largest cities have wondrous citadels. However, their fear and reverence of the forest as a thinking entity borders on cult or religious behavior, and some small groups do worship old spirits they believe make their home in the largest trees. This is strictly forbidden.

    Geography: The dense forest West and slightly South of the Seven Mountains is of a temperate variety. It is perilous to walk through it inattentively; the woods are cut through with ravines and deep rivers, the roots of the countless trees arcing out of the sides of the drops. The forest is thinnest closer to the mountain, but also more dangerous, rife with steep drops and waterfalls. To the west, the trees cluster more closely together, and the land flattens some. The trees go on for many miles, but the people do not venture too far west for fear of strange things flitting between tree trunks. The lake is neither very large and deep nor very small and shallow. Its shores are comprised largely of small stones, though the southernmost shores are comprised of sand and sometimes dirt. In these southern areas, leeches are often a problem and swimming is less popular. Iveragh is built on a small island not far from the western shore. It is connected to a city along the lake by a long stone bridge. The city was made in a clearing of trees and is one of the brightest and least touched by the forest. Other towns and cities vary; some are also made in clearings, and others work around the trees. A few make use of the trees and build upwards, vertical cities bustling with development, with many a bridge from tree to tree overhead.

    Pertinent History: It has been several generations since a man last sat on the throne. Queen Roisin bore Queen Meredith bore Queen Roisin (second of her name) bore Queen Alana, who wears the crown now. Queen Meredith, however, had several children before her heir, some male, but all were stillborn. The influence of Glaen once spread much further through the forests, but several hundred years ago droves of people began flocking to the east, gibbering about unnatural beings that blighted their crops, brought bad luck, and often did them bodily harm. This fervent account was not believed at first, but gradually the superstition developed and as the relocation of villagers died down, paths leading to towns in the deep woods were blocked off and none have since ventured out to see for themselves what has become of them. Most likely they would find rundown ruins, cities abandoned to be overgrown by nature and picked through by bandits who used fear to their advantage in one malicious kingdom-wide prank. Or perhaps they would find that the hobs and faeries had moved in.​
    CONFLICT
    Queen Alana's position is contested, moreso than even she knows. Depending on who you ask, it is unclear whether the late queen wanted her eldest child (Alana, a scrawny young woman who is well-suited to diplomacy but cannot wrap her head around strategy or stomach the thought of battle) or her first-born son (one who rejected his gender role and has trained and studied to be a talented duelist and brilliant tactician) to assume rule following her death. Though the Royal Prince Shay loves his sister dearly, he is bitter and feels he deserves what has been handed to her simply for her order of birth.

    It does not help that she is once again another Queen, causing many to wonder if foul play is at hand. It is even speculated that male first-borns are being murdered to keep women on the throne. Alana's disposition and skillset are not in line with Glaen's image of strength, and given her soft-hearted nature, many a man both within the country and outside of it may think the time is ripe for him to wed her and control her. With all of that, there are many whispers behind hands of unseating her and installing someone more suited. Alana recently traveled to Caeryth and came back distracted, giggly, and full of sighs. Love is in the air, but with who is anyone's guess. As it happens, it is unlikely anyone would approve of her object of affections, as he is a commoner.

    Many of the higher ranks of Glaen's citizenship have been restless lately, whispering of times when Glaen was a great, fearless land. However, they are torn between the desire to reclaim that glory and their ingrained preconceptions of the harsh nature of the world around them. Their superstitious reluctance to delve further into the forest limits space, and as population density grows so does crime. It is not yet a noticeable issue, but it soon may be.

    A religious schism is growing, perpetuated by followers of the Old Faith slowly spreading their word.
    ARMY STATUS
    The army is not much of one; if for some reason Glaen decided to wage war it would almost certainly lose. They may, however, be able to fend off invading attacks; the young men and women in Glaen's small force are trained to use the environment and the enemy to their own advantage, and this includes shooting arrows from treetops, setting traps, nimbly evading attacks, and slipping past a fighter's defense. Mixed with a heavy emphasis on planning and clever approaches, Glaen's army is efficient and skilled, which may compensate for lack of manpower.

    The Queen's Warriors (King's Warriors, when a man is on the throne) are a group of elite duelists, many of whom have also studied war extensively, making them effective commanders. Though Glaen has not fought in a conflict in a very long time, the Warriors are always keeping abreast of recent ones and discussing among themselves, as philosophers are wont to do, new questions and new answers in the field of war. Warriors do not waste themselves on a battlefield and would not likely last long on one, as they are accustomed to a single opponent who holds a strong code of honor, similar to themselves - not the indiscriminate killing soldiers face. Instead, Warriors swear in their initiation vows that in times of war they will serve as leaders and organizers, their sharp minds guiding others' sharp blades.

    Warriors are predominantly but not exclusively female; this may be because they are nominated and inaugurated by the ruling regent, and there has not been a King in some time. Occasionally, political disputes are settled by duels. The Warriors may be called upon at any time to champion the regent in such a duel, though it is considered a sign of weakness to not fight your own battle. The Warriors also act as a royal guard, ensuring the regent is safe from any who mean them harm. Their numbers rest somewhere in the twenties.

    Many cities have established a rudimentary police force, but towns and villages do without.
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    MAJOR PLAYERS
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    NAME:| Alana of House Glaen
    ROLE:| Queen
    CLASS:| 18
    AGE:| Royalty
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    BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
    By all standards, Alana is very beautiful, something she must have received from her father for her mother was very severe and plain. She carries herself with confidence, but not in the same way that a warrior might, and this brings her trouble. She indulges very frequently in her appearance and does not often change into informal attire.​
    BRIEF HISTORY:
    Alana is a sociable girl and has been just about since birth. She loves people: talking to them, reading them, influencing them. She was the first of the late Queen Roisin's children and therefore knew she would rule one day, but had not realized it would be so soon. As a child she was often thrown into the rink. Someone would force a wooden sword into her hand and tell her to fight. She found the entire thing horrifying, and no matter how hard she tried to escape or to win, every week saw her on the ground, nursing bruised fingers. Then they sat her in front of the books, told her to learn. She read and read and read, but the words swam about on the page and by the end of the book she felt that she had retained very little of it. Instructors would drill her on ancient battles and as she stumbled over her incorrect answers she would be met with sneers. None seemed to see her talents. She and her mother were not exceptionally close but she seems to have taken her death quite hard.​
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    NAME:| Morag the Treetop Singer
    ROLE:| Heretic
    CLASS:| Commoner
    AGE:| 16
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    BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
    Morag is a dour-looking woman under all that red hair, and she's short and lithe, which is ideal for what she does. In all the times that she has been seen as the Treetop Singer, she has her hood up and ancient patterns on her face, symbols of spirits that Glaen abandoned long ago. Her demeanor is cold, but her eyes, though pale, hold fire.​
    BRIEF HISTORY:
    Morag is the daughter of an arborist who keeps a hazelnut grove, and she works among the trees leading a mostly uneventful life by day. By night, she and her family slip away to convene with strange people and worship the spirits of forest. Morag hides her identity and climbs to the top of trees to loudly sing pagan songs that praise the forest in her beautiful voice so all can hear, earning her the nickname The Treetop Singer. Among those who follow the old faith she is revered as an avatar of the Spirit of Song, sent to live among them. Even she believes it's true.​
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    NAME:| Callum the Wheel of House Ready
    ROLE:| Queen's Warrior
    CLASS:| Noble
    AGE:| 30
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    BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
    Callum is lean and strong, and shockingly flexible. He has close-set features that can make him seem cross, but outside the arena he is as gentle as they come - physically, at least. At 6 feet tall, even, he is towering among his medieval companions, but he does not seem to let this impede his movements. Callum bears several scars from his losses. He maintains a beard which is, for him, rather a point of pride.​
    BRIEF HISTORY:
    Born a noble, Callum learned to fight at a young age but always seemed dissatisfied with something, frequently using weapons in ways they were not intended much to the chagrin of his instructors. However, a trip outside of Glaen made him very curious about alternative weapons and during his trip he found a long polearm fixed with a thin, slightly curved blade at the end. After giving it a spin, literally, he purchased the item and the services of an expert who would train him. After much practice he mastered the weapon and takes it into duels with him, spinning it near constantly and earning himself the nickname of "the Wheel." He is considered the highest of the Queen's Warriors currently. Callum has encountered misandry among the Queen's Warriors and bitterly wishes for there to be a King on the throne.​
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    NAME:| Margaret of House Glaen
    ROLE:| Princess
    CLASS:| Royalty
    AGE:| 15
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    BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
    Margaret, "Meg" to her friends, is a paragon of innocence. She's very pretty, though mama used to say she could stand to bulk up a little. It's true that she's very slim, but not for lack of training. She is with the royal tutors daily and enjoys the competition and exercise, and she has become quite good with her pariser, though she is not confident that she could fight competitively.​
    BRIEF HISTORY:
    Having known no other life that the idyllic, Meg is optimistic and cheerful, but also naive. Being the baby of the family, she was always mama's little girl, and she has grown up rather spoiled. She has taken her mother's death gravely, as the two were very close However, there have been talks of betrothing her to a man from Cain'loren, and this has brought some excitement back into her cheeks.​
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    NAME:| Hester of House Cathasach
    ROLE:| Seargent
    CLASS:| (Low) Noble
    AGE:| 32
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    BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
    There's no other way to describe her: she's a hardass. Hester is responsible for training new recruits and she is a demanding tutor, very difficult to please. Her tall, broad stance completes the picture, sunstreaked brown hair cut short and practical.​
    BRIEF HISTORY:
    While technically Hester is a noble, it's in the sense that she is the daughter of a cousin's youngest, someone so far removed there was almost no fuss made over him marrying a commoner. Her family is enough to make others give her respect, but she is not wealthy and does not live in a castle like a proper Lady. She too married a commoner and she has one child, a son who is nearly grown up.​
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    MAIN CHARACTER
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    HISTORY
    NAME: MAEVE THE LEAF || AGE: 22 || ROLE: QUEEN'S FAITHFUL || SOCIAL CLASS: COMMONER

    When there are so few noble houses, recognizing one over the other is placing disproportionate importance on them, even moreso than in a larger kingdom. This might be why the regent's Faithful, who serves as their right-hand person and fills an intimate advising role, has traditionally always been selected from the common folk. This is not to say, of course, that any rabble can be nominated. Maeve is proof of that.

    Maeve was born to a tax collector who worked for one of the noble families. Her father's job involved taking money, even from those who didn't have much, and thus she was widely disliked. But her father was well-off, and she never remembered him for being an unkind or greedy person. No, what she remembered was him taking her to the duels, playing dress-up with her when nobody was looking, and teaching her to tree-race. She loved the exhilaration of tree-racing, but found it monotonous after some time.

    As stated, she and her father were widely disliked. One day when she was ten, some other kids began insulting her, and she flew at them in a rage. She was soundly beat, and when she shamefacedly returned home, her father took one look at her and said, "I suppose it's time to teach you to fight."

    And teach her he did, going beyond the basics and truly refining her skill. One day, she asked how he knew so much and he admitted that he had once been a duelist, and the limp in his leg was from an injury that ended his career. It was then that Maeve decided she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and do what he couldn't finish.

    She was fierce. But she was smart, too. She took advantage of her smaller size and extra mobility and trained and trained and trained, winning as many duels as she could get herself involved in until she was at last noticed by the family employing her father and they offered to patronize her. With professional trainers and tutors now at her disposal, she rose far above even her father's heights, eventually being inducted into the Queen's Warriors, something that felt to her like crossing a finish line. Never one to stay idle, she simply set a new goal - to be number one.

    That has yet to happen, but she did manage to forge a close relationship with the late Queen and her children. When the previous Queen's Faithful stepped down to enjoy his old age, Queen Roisin appointed Maeve. It was not long after that that sickness took the Queen and Alana rose to the throne. Maeve currently serves as Alana's Faithful, and she finds herself to be thriving in the new environment. Maeve has never married and at this point is quite old and doubts she ever will.


    PERSONALITY
    MAJOR STRENGTH:
    Driven
    MAJOR WEAKNESS:
    Conflicting Desires
    Maeve is an ambitious person, one who cannot settle for allowing any part of her to be weak. She is always seeking new ways to excel, and if she finds herself out of her element she takes it as a challenge, not a roadblock. Maeve is a proud person, and a loss can make her moody for days. She does hold to the belief that hard work makes a person worthy rather than their circumstances, but hard work is so ingrained in her that she has a hard time imagining she could ever be unworthy of anything. Her pride extends into other areas, such as and especially the art of war and fighting and the culture of prowess and victory within Glaen. At times her pride borders on arrogance. Maeve is an honorable person, the code of the duel having been drilled into her head from a young age. Within the arena she is just and straight-forward, and outside the arena she is kind, fair, honest, and helpful to those in need. She would like to believe she is a good woman. Maeve is an intelligent person, enjoying the mental exercise of quick thinking and solving problems. Maeve is not the most socially adept person. She can read body language just fine, and discern people's motives well enough, but she doesn't excel at it - yet. She is especially inept at dealing with awkward or uncomfortable situations, lacking tact and finesse. She cannot very well defuse, nor does she know how to respond to things like the Queen's silly streak. She often views herself as the only sane person around.​
    POLITICS
    Maeve has not yet been included in the many whisperings against the Queen, possibly because she is fiercely loyal to Alana. She is also, however, quite patriotic, and even she has had thoughts - rapidly quelled - that Alana is not what a Glaennish ruler ought to be. She is very much on the fence, as her deeply ingrained sense of loyalty and honor demands she stand by the Queen unconditionally while her deeply ingrained sense of pride and value of strength make her uncomfortable with the way the monarchy is heading. What she thinks of politics may very well depend on who gets to her first; she has the potential to be the most steadfast of retainers or the most resolute of traitors. She is definitely Shakespeare's Brutus only more badass looking and female.
    FINER DETAILS
    Quirks: Maeve is an expert stone skipper and enjoys heading to the shores to teach children her secrets.

    Proclivities: Maeve cleans. If she is stressed, if she is angry, if she is upset or deep in thought, she will clean, whether it's her armor, her weapon, or her living space.

    Soft Spots: She tends to take a liking to underdogs, and cannot help but cheer for the ones who struggle in the beginning.​


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    MOUNT: Maeve is rather neutral towards horses and doesn't put hers to use very often, but the Queen insists she must have one. Maeve usually only rides her Arabian, named Valor, when she needs to journey to other kingdoms. Palace attendants see to her the rest of the time.

    WEAPON(s): Maeve is a master of the short sword, which gives her lightness and mobility but also slashing and stabbing potential. Of course, in a duel it's never the intent to injure, except to draw first blood. Her sword was a gift from Queen Roisin, a wonderful weapon whose handle is carved from black walnut and whose blade is dangerously sharp and mesmerizingly reflective. She is also known to change things up by using a dagger, which is somewhat shorter and more curved.
    APPEARANCE
    Maeve's white-blonde hair suggests that she has foreign blood, and it's certainly possible. Her father never talked about her mother much. She shines in any room she enters with her pale coloring and her confident stance. She stands tall, figuratively, but literally speaking she is rather short, scant inches above five feet. Her body is athletic: well-built but lean, with no undue bulkage. It is certainly the body of a woman, though a distinct lack of birthing has kept her hips sadly narrow. She has scars from the middle of her duelling career, when she was not so weak as to be facing small fry yet not so strong as to be facing honorable professionals. During this time she developed a nemesis who had no qualms doling out injury, earned and necessary or not. The gashes across her brow, cheek, and forehead remain dark red. While she rather likes them most of the time, on occasion she catches her reflection and laments having taken for granted her years of beauty when she might have made a family.​
     
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    #2 onyxsunrise, Oct 7, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016