Kingdom of Rheynland
|Kingdom of Rheynland|
The Kingdom of Rheynland (formerly known as the Kingdom of Westholm), is the first state exclusively established by the human race, currently ruled by Meredith Isobel de Retford I. The kingdom’s capital city, Avengard, is built upon the abandoned civilization of Calendale. It is a gem beyond the western mountains, its tall and kept city walls standing proudly, hearths warm in the homes of its citizens, and its streets bustling with activity. The denizens of Avengard are prized for their solidarity and unity.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Politics
- 4 Culture
- 5 Institutions
Upon the reemergence of the mortal races in the year 0 A.C., Edwyn Thorpe, a descendent of the refugees that had escaped the Calamity, convinced a split human race to congregate and march to the old settlement of Calendale. As they marched, they examined any remains upon the land and took any salvageable resources. Once arriving in Calendale, a blood-drenched cloth with a serpent nailed to its pole was raised on a grassy hill - becoming the founding stone of the then Kingdom of Westholm.
Although the human race seemed on track to thrive, fate was not well to King Edwyn I, stepping down from the throne of Westholm due to illness. The current Lord Marshal, Richard de Retford I was named Regent in his stead. However, King Edwyn would see his end, as despite his illness he traveled to the Gates of Reyn to duel a Dwarf by the name of Rogrim to settle what the Dwarves of the Kingdom of Ordheim had declared to be a grudge against him. King Edwyn I proclaimed as he passed that Richard I and his line would become the new monarchy of the Kingdom of Westholm. At once, Richard de Retford was crowned King of Westholm at the Gates of Reyn, evoking the Right of Will to pass the crown to his house. Later that same year, a coronation was held for Richard I, and the ruling house officially passed from House of Thorpe to House de Retford.
King Richard I did not have much time to celebrate his newly found kingship before the kingdom had to be steered through a time of war. Alongside the Kingdom of Tor Ascara’s Order of Lothelia, Richard I leads the Royal Army of Westholm towards the Kingdom of Ordheim to push back against alleged banditry that had been tracked from the northern lands of Enarion. The raid was a bloody mess for both sides, with hordes of Humans and Elves dying trying to push past the near-impenetrable walls of Ordheim, and countless Dwarves dying to the eventual charge that saw the gate of Ordheim breached. Eventually, the raid was declared a stalemate, and the tensions between the Kingdom of Westholm and the Kingdom of Ordheim were settled with an open field skirmish between King Richard I’s fyrd and King Thorsten Bronzebeard’s Bronzeshields, which resulted in the death of the Dwarven king.
During the short time of peace, the Royal Wedding was held within the city of Westholm, joining together King Richard I and Lady Saoirse Winterskorn. The day seemed to be cursed, with a storm blowing through the city, interrupting the wedding. Lady Winterskorn’s ceremonial torch was blown out by this storm, leading to the Cult of the Five Divine’s clergy to intervene, pressing Lady Winterskorn on her faith. Through all the chaos, a clergyman by the name of Raymond ‘the radical’ was murdered upon the steps of the temple. Engarant de Corseilles and Gregor 'the filthy', the former being the Grand Augur of the temple and the latter being a clergyman, were then arrested and tortured, before being released sometime after. This event became known throughout Enarion as The Scorched Wedding.
Despite the decline of the Kingdom of Ordheim, a splinter kingdom arose in the form of the Kingdom of Helheim. In the year 3 A.C., the Kingdom of Helheim stormed the city of Westholm. To the surprise of many Humans, the Order of Lothelia, the Kingdom of Tor Ascara’s military, backed Helheim’s aggression. The cause for the Elven aggression is believed to be distrust of the House de Retford’s political intentions with the Kingdom of Tor Ascara, as a formal Declaration of Alliance had taken far too long to sign in the Ascari’s eyes. However, the Royal Army of Westholm was mobilized in the months after the raid against Westholm and marched south to the city of Tor Ascara. Breaching the northeastern wall, the Royal Army blew a devastating blow to the Order of Lothelia through a flank, sacking the city. As a result of the Holmish counterraid, the Ascari pulled their military support away from the Kingdom of Helheim, and eventually, the Dwarven splinter kingdom dissolved, cementing the Kingdom of Westholm as the strongest militaristic force upon Enarion at this time.
The Kingdom of Westholm sees significant growth in the period of peace after the years of war. The Shire of Barwic was founded, nestled along the River Aire, by a group of disgruntled peasants who were discontent with life within the city of Westholm. The land outside the former holding of the Kingdom of Helheim was also settled upon by the Holmish people, becoming known as Winterhelm. This time of peace was celebrated in the capital city of Westholm with the Dance of Light held.
With the death of the then Lord Marshal, Eadwulf of Myrfeld, the Ealdorman of Barwic, Oswald Wright, was elevated to the position. Two prominent men of the kingdom, Reynald and Leofric of House Myrfeld, are publicly condemned as traitors as well as revoked of their nobility for the crimes of necromancy and attempt of assassination against the Lord Arthur de Blackford. This event marked the beginning of the Blighted War, with the Undead Siege of Westholm occurring in the year 5 A.C. The King of Valrond, who led the undead horde, had possessed the late King Edwyn I’s body to the kingdom’s shock. Valrond was expelled from Edwyn’s body by King Richard I, whereafter Valrond’s Horde retreated to the northern holding of Ordheim, the former halls of the Dwarves.
The Kingdom of Westholm had to fight on two fronts for a time, one against what would become The Regiment of Blight, and another against the Principality of Vlachia. After reports of aggression against a reeve of Barwic, along with rumors of slander against the kingdom, the Royal Army stormed the Principality with little resistance. The Knights of the Realm] were founded in the year 6 A.C. by King Richard I. Arthur de Blackford was named as Knight Paramount, and shortly would take over the Kingdom of Westholm as Lord Regent during King Richard I’s religious pilgrimage. The battle against the Undead waged on during King Richard I’s absence, with a large Holmish-Wiccan party sent out to venture into ancient Human ruins. There, the then Chamberlain Romund “the Round de Retford lands the final blow onto King Valrond’s armor, freeing him of the evil spirit that was controlling the King. Following King Richard I’s return to the kingdom, Lord Arthur de Blackford, Knight Paramount of the Knights of the Realm, disappears from the lands and assumed to be dead.
The Lord Marshal of the Kingdom of Westholm, Oswald of Barwic, falls in battle in the year 9 A.C. In his stead, Gared Errmark is named Lord Marshal of the Royal Army. Harald Ragnarsson is also named Knight Paramount in light of Arthur de Blackford’s disappearance. The Raymond Academy is established, with the goal of creating a higher level of education within the Kingdom of Westholm. After a short tenure of two years, Gared Errmark resigns from the position of Lord Marshal, and a man by the name of Alberic Farnham ascends to the position.
The Kingdom of Westholm and the Kingdom of Aellen (previously known as the Kingdom of Tor Ascara) both host a carnival within the city of Westholm in the year 12 A.C., where their alliance is formally declared. King Richard I departs for another religious pilgrimage, placing Knight Paramount Harald Ragnarsson as Lord Regent until his return.
After many years of planning and preparation, the Kingdom of Westholm is refounded as the Kingdom of Rheynland, the capital city named Avengard. The city is rebuilt, expanding beyond the Hamlet of Jorrick and opening the city. A masquerade ball celebrating the opening of the new city is held in 15 A.C., hosted by Queen Saoirse. Romund de Retford resigns as Chamberlain, passing it onto Queen Saoirse. In the wake of Arthur de Blackford’s long absence, he is declared dead until proven otherwise, and Lord King Richard I dissolves House de Blackford. The Sanctuary of Scholars is opened, replacing the previous Raymond Academy. The Heir Apparent Prince Roland de Retford is seen in public for the first time. In preparation for the Siege of Ordheim, the first war camps are set up outside the ruins of Barwic. In the next year, Saoirse is murdered by unknown circumstances, her body discovered in the gatehouse by the city guard. Meredith de Retford, cousin to Lord King Richard I, is named Chamberlain until a suitable replacement is found.
In 17 A.C., the first Mayoral campaigns were announced. The Royal Army of Rheynland contributed to the Siege of Ordheim, and would later successfully drive the Regiment of Blight from Enarion. During the battle, Alberic Farnham is revealed to be Leofric of Myrfeld, a wraith, and disappears, and subsequently, Rulgan of Tarragon is named Lord Marshal.
On the 21st of the Eclipse, 20 A.C., Lord King Richard I announces his resignation from the throne, with Chamberlain Meredith de Retford falling in the line of succession. The crowning of Meredith de Retford I occurred on the 6th of the First Moon, 21 A.C. The Lady Queen's coronation is followed by a celebration of reign on the 27th of the Eclipse of the same year, concluded with the Festival of Lights. During the Midyear, 23 A.C., the newly crowned Lady Queen of Rheynland addresses the kingdom, and formally declares King Richard I as Eternal King of Rheynland, with any and all former titles of Westholm retiring with him.
Despite the Lady Queen’s best wishes to usher in a golden age for the Kingdom of Rheynland, a man by the name of Harold Ælfwine Eadwineson declared his right to rule, and requested a peaceful talk with the Rheynish people. Richard I met Ælfwine on the Isles of Ynslee to discuss, where Ælfwine was offered the entirety of the Isles of Ynslee, the former city of Westholm, 300 gold, and marrying a woman from the House de Retford. Ælfwine declined Richard I's offer, and instead offered a duel for the throne of Rheynland, and then a battle for the throne, both denied by the Eternal King of Rheynland. In the Midyear of 24 A.C., Ælfwine gave a speech to his men, aimed at the Rheynish people which would be remembered as For King And Country, formally declaring an invasion against the Kingdom of Rheynland. Quickly, the Lady Queen retorted with her own statement to her people, denying the claims of Ælfwine. Word reached the mainland of Ælfwine’s response to the Lady Queen’s claims. The Kingdom of Rheynland was in a collision course with the Wiccan folk of Cyneburh led by Ælfwine.
Harold's Invasion had begun with a raid on the capital city of Avengard. 2,300 Wiccans led by Ælfwine surrounded the city, mounting the tall cobblestone walls and searching for any way to storm the Royal Army. Situated within the center of Avengard, the Royal Army who stood 5,300 men strong, held their ground despite volleys of arrows coming from all directions. Fortunately for both sides, casualties were very minimal with the Kingdom of Rheynland losing 300 men and Ælfwine losing 100 men. Ælfwine wished to keep the pressure on, however, returning in a month’s time to Avengard with 1,700 men. The Royal Army of Rheynland assumed a similar strategy as the last encounter, fortifying the center of the city and defending without taking many risks. The Wiccans were withdrawn after many days of the relentless onslaught. Casualties on both sides were 1,200 Royal Army soldiers and 900 Wiccan men.
Something had to change in the invasion strategy, and Ælfwine knew this. The settlement of Divisus entered Ælfwine’s sights, and within the month he sent 3,000 of his men to draw out the Rheynish Royal Army. They were met with a joint opposition from the Royal Army and men from Divisus, totaling 3,400 men together. Unlike the previous encounters, this raid was swift and decisive, seeing Ælfwine order a ladder charge over the front walls of Divisus. There, the Wiccan folk charged their opposition, leaving an estimated 100 men to escape back to Avengard. This victory came with a toll, with 1,700 men lost in the effort.
Ælfwine pushed on with his strategy of attacks in quick succession. There was a slight alteration of his raid strategy, however. The leader of the invasion moved 2,800 of his men to quickly sack Divisus, and they were met with little resistance. 800 Divisus men were trapped within their hold, but instead of pushing further into Divisus, Ælfwine turned northwards and brought an army of 3,100 men to Avengard, determined to successfully storm the city. The Royal Army met the Wiccan force, 3,300 men strong, on top of the Avengard rooftops, in what would be the bloodiest clash of the invasion yet. The Wiccan soldiers were able to successfully charge the Royal Army, marking the first major victory for the invasion.
Rheynland is a coastal nation, situated beyond the western mountains. The capital city of Avengard is nestled at the base of the mountain range, surrounded by vast farmlands that flourish in the summer temperature. To the south, rivers originating from underground springs flow through valleys of rocky hills and flow down to meet the sea. To the north, a river filled with a variety of fish, adjacent to a jutting peninsula flows. To the east, the looming mountains protect the lands, forming a natural barrier from the rest of Enarion. To the west, the vast sea that borders Rheynland, beyond which the humans first originated from, along with the Isles of Ynslee.
The Rheynish lands are ruled by a monarchy, headed by the Lord King or Lady Queen. The monarch is surrounded by their Privy Council which acts as an advisory board. When the monarch is indisposed, the Chamberlain takes over their duties as the second to the Lord King or Lady Queen. The Marshal and Knight Paramount act as the heads of the military of Rheynland. It is the duty of the Marshal to oversee the Royal Army of Rheynland, who protect the people, and it is the duty of the Knight Paramount to oversee the knights that act as the Monarch’s guard. Overlooking the day to day domestic affairs, the city council is composed of citizens who have been voted into their positions, ranging from a collection of stewards to guild leaders.
It has always been imperative to the Kingdom of Rheynland to possess a powerful and capable military force. Either in peacetime or war, the Royal Army of Rheynland along with the Knights of the Realm serves to carry out the Kingdom of Rheynland’s wishes. It is a wise choice for young citizens of the Kingdom of Rheynland to enlist in the Royal Army, as there are a handful of ranks to climb by showing strength and loyalty.
The Kingdom of Rheynland is the home of the humans and the prosperous citizens of Avengard and its region. Its predecessor, the Kingdom of Westholm was founded on the 4th of First Moon in 0 A.C. by King Edwyn I of Thorpe and was founded by previously nomadic and pastoral humans who survived the Calamity and thus stepped into a new world of possibilities. After the rise of the Nornman family, House de Retford, the Kingdom was refounded by King Richard de Retford I under the new Nornish name, Rheynland. The pagan beliefs which the people inherited are based on tales of peace through helping their people succeed and thrive at any cost.
When the Sun rises over the ocean surrounding Enarion and the distant Isle of Ynslee is when the day begins for most in Rheynland. Merchants begin to open their shops and stalls, the Town Crier shares the news for the day, farmers begin sowing the fields and the crops, alchemists start off towards their laboratories, blacksmiths hammer away to form their weapons, and everything in between. Oftentimes the square and tavern are filled with music and the citizens moving throughout their days. Though, apart from work, the Savory Sun Tavern is considered a major social hub for the denizens of Avengard, hosting a variety of fêtes, feasts on the festival grounds, and providing provisions for tournaments. Another pinnacle of entertainment in Rheynland is horseback riding, one will find that the Royal Army has a large cavalry as a part of their collective and citizens riding leisurely outside of Avengard.
The old Kingdom of Westholm was founded by the Holmish folk that returned after the Calamity, however, a variety of other cultures quickly assimilated into the kingdom calling it home. With the reformation of Westholm into the Kingdom of Rheynland it has become apparent that the populace shifted toward mainly that of the foreigners, namely the Nornmen which make up the Royal Family. The Norns have attributed to many of the main hubs of entertainment, such as horseback riding, and important values of the kingdom’s populace, such as valuing honor in high esteem. There are many other cultures apart from the Nornmen and Homish folk that have made Rheynland their home including the Nordyr and the Wiccan people. There is no definitive social hierarchy in Westholm other than that of the Royal family and a large number of working-class citizens. Under Lord King Richard I’s reign, many of the impoverished were able to find ample opportunity for jobs due to the large spike in commerce within the city, diminishing the numbers of the peasantry heavily.
Main article: Faith of the Five
The people of Rheynland are apt followers of the Faith of the Five, believing in the Lording Sun and the Five Divines, each having their own virtues and what they are the Divine of. The Lording Sun is the main Divine, ruling over all the other Divines and everything in between.
There are only a few exceptions to not worshiping the Five Divines, those being granted by the Lord King. Regardless of their religion, the people of Rheynland have a strong sense of morals regarding being honorable folk and having loyalty to their kingdom. The Nornmen stick to their word and are known for being fair and honest people, though fiercely protective over their people if one strikes against one of their own.
Social Norms, Beliefs & Values
It is no secret that the humans of Rheynland pride themselves on their honor, loyalty, and work ethic. Their disciplined nature clearly stems from the military being an epicenter of Rheynland. Both men and women are expected to be able to take up arms to defend their homeland if the need ever arises, defending what they believe to be right. The militaristic nature of those from Rheynland does not mean that they are not hospitable, however, they pride themselves on welcoming guests to the nation. Whether it be through having drinks in the tavern and sharing stories, or lavish festivities in the palace, they intend to ensure the guests they invite feel welcome and have an enjoyable experience in the borders of Rheynland. Most are taught proper manners at a young age and know that it is offensive to speak anything but common or a human dialect in public settings, seeing it as disrespectful to those around. Familial structures vary from house to house, however, a recurring theme is that children are held in high regard since they are the key to securing the future of their lineage. Women are expected to dress modestly as it is a sign of self-respect to take care of one’s outward appearance. The current fashion trends being set by those more affluent, women are often seen wearing dresses of fine silks and fabrics during formal events and for more casual wear it depends on their occupation.
Diet & Cuisine
Vast fields of wheat and barley spread out on the open farmland have been attributed to the hearty diet that the populace of Rheynland is accustomed to. In the lands of Rheynland, one would find that at the center of every Nornmen person’s diet is an assortment of viands stocked with protein. The close proximity to the seaside allows for fish to regularly be brought into the markets by the local fishermen, along with the availability of mutton and beef roast from the surrounding farmlands. The lands teem with free-range livestock grazing over the hillsides and in the clearings, between the mills of Barwic and the capital. Oftentimes the locals are seen enjoying drinks of wine, mead, and ale at any sort of social gathering as Rheynland is renowned for the substances they brew. The Nornmen folk enjoy yearly feasts to celebrate the bountiful harvesting seasons which the lands and the farmers procure.
There are many prominent institutions within the Kingdom of Rheynland. Many commonly referred to as guilds, they are the second-largest employers within the kingdom, behind the Royal Army.
The Artisan Guild is a place where one can improve themselves and if enough effort is put in, one could even perfect their craft. There is a multitude of jobs that require the acquisition of resources for the guild. Selling your resources to the guild will not only help you in the long run but also assist the guild itself!
Wanting to put your skill on display and sell your loot? The guild's storage comprises of many resources to help assist any eager artisan, however, selling your gear will mean that whatever you sell, a small portion of it must return to the guild treasury.
The Adventurer's Guild's main function is to repel the monstrous forces of Enarion, wherever they appear, through the use of bounty and quest boards. For those less combat savvy, the Guild also offers quests focused more on exploration and the gathering of rare materials.
Guild of the Iron Cog
‘’From the golden seas birthed the blessed hands purposed to amalgamate wood and iron, producing wondrous creations for the realm to see. Generations upon generations of the seafaring wiccans bred a unique type of man, one capable of seeing the world differently than those with ordinary eyes, one with unrivaled creativity dedicated to naval advancements. Such are the traits of the dewi as well, famously known for their development of machines that possess intricate mechanisms.’’
The Guild of the Iron Cog, informally known as the “Engineering Guild,” is the product of a friendship forged between Dewi and man— Milo Mythrilpouch and Lidmann Cooke. The Guild was founded on 19th of the Season's Turn, 16 AC, and sought out to promote the engineering craft.
Sanctuary of Scholars
Holding both as an academy for education and institute for research, the Sanctuary of Scholars offers a place for those wishing to dig further into uncovering secrets and their answers. With the Fellowship of Scholars guild mainly residing within these halls, other citizens are welcomed whether with intentions of joining the institute's ranks or aiding these efforts in other manners.
Savory Sun Guild
The Savory Sun Guild of Avengard supports, promotes, and celebrates the culinary arts within Rheynland’s borders. The guild is a hub for chefs, bakers, farmers, and culinary educators, among other professions, committed to bringing Avengard’s people from all walks of life delicious food to eat.
Members are primarily employees of either the bakery, tavern, or suppliers, though all enthusiasts of the culinary arts are welcomed to join. Connect with master chefs and bakers, and other innovative folks who wish to elevate the culinary arts and bring a variety of dishes to the denizens of Enarion.
Rheynland Post Office
The Rheynland Post Office allows and ensures an efficient method of short, medium, and long-distance communication across Rheynland and beyond. Offers several services like courier service, goods transportation, mass advertisement, issuing stamps, renting mailboxes, and selling books and quills.