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Kingdom Spotlight: Arrus (Part 2)

Culture In Depth:

To go in depth about the culture of Arrus is to take a long hard look at a Kingdom that is both troubled and lucky. First, we must take a look at the various "factions" within the kingdom, starting with the baronies.

The Barony of Edna:
The Barony of Edna is the largest, the most powerful, and the most influential. Sitting in the territory are both the village and cities of Edna, Edna Castle, Fort Ashdown, South Valley Village, and Rockfall Hamlet. Ruled by Baron Iwan Treharne, Edna is a prime example of Arrus's glory. Edna Village, while it is better off then many others, is certainly in a decline, plagued by poverty. Edna City is sprawling, but has earned a reputation for being a den of cutthroats and thieves. Yet Rockfall Hamlet is known as one of the few places one must visit if they are in Treharne's territory.

The Baron is said to be just, but with Thorgin III's iron fisted rule, justice, temperance, and kindness are being forced to wait. Unfortunately, this has taken a toll on all the lands here.

The Barony of Soul's Lake:
Soul's Lake was once a much larger barony with many towns and villages, but in the days of Thorgiin I, many of those villages were ransacked, burned, and destroyed by roving bandit bands. Such was the norm when the king refused to police. Soul's Lake flies in the face of the kingdom in decline - Sorathium, the main holding of the barony, is constantly growing, and the wealth is spreading. It is said that if one wishes to become rich, then you go to Sorathium. The lord of the territory is Baron Allon Norington.

Baron Norington is currently waging a secret campaign to strike at Thorgiin III when the time is right - he believes that the king has disgraced his family line - a tarnishing made worse by the fact that Thorgin II was so great - and Thorgin I was considered an evil man.

(More to come.)

On Magic: Laws and Schools

Magic in the 10th Prophecy is both similar and dissimilar to most other forms. It is not the high fancy fireball slinging physics defying game changer of many high fantasy worlds, nor is it the low tech, so subtle you'll never know it of low fantasy/low tech worlds. Indeed, magic in the 10th Prophecy finds an eager balance.

"Magic" as it is called in general is a mystical power. Talking to spirits, healing people, making the earth rumble are all mystical in nature, just as surely as enchantments are. There is no "true term" for magic, but if you were to ask a commoner and a well versed nobleman - the answers would be different. The common man would use the term "magic," while the noble would explain that magic is a generalization.

There is a good reason. Magic is broken up into many categories.

First is Elemental Magic. This is the most well known sort, the easiest to learn - and in this particular world, the most restricted. It has the potential for both harm and for good. Elemental magic can be as simple as encouraging a plant to grow faster then it normally would (in the case of Earth magic,) or touching a sword, and setting it ablaze. Because the wide variety of potential things one can do with elemental magic, only the most well versed of mages are allowed to truly practice elemental magic - even if most mages learn it first. There are however, those who live outside the laws of the mage -> they are often thought of as sorcerers, warlocks, or even witches, but truly, they are known as Druids.

The second type of magic is Illusion magic. This is one of the hardest to master, and because of this, only the oldest of mages truly have access to it. It requires concentration, for the act of Illusion magic is a very lie. One might hypnotize another with it, or perhaps make things appear to be as they aren't. Create a wall where there isn't. Perhaps you might make yourself appear invisible, when truly, those who are not affected - can still see you. Illusionists are well respected and yet, are so few, it is thought of as a dying study.

The third kind of magic is Destruction. It is taught not by any of the formal mage councils on Tereadan due to the often negative attributes associated with it. The Rohabian Empire however, while on Tereadan, is not subject to most of the laws of the rest of the land. Because of their secluded, xenophobic, and often hostile attitude, the rest of the land does not try to push the matter. The Rohabian Empire trains its own mages - to essentially be battle-mages. These mages are trained in destruction. It is in destruction that the most pain can be inflicted. Some spells are designed to puncture armor, and destroy weapons. Other spells require the spilling of blood in order to inflict seering pain on the enemy, dropping them before they even get a chance to do battle. It is powerful, dangerous, and often times, the mages who wield it die under its influence.

The fourth kind is Life. Life magic is benevolent, and while few know it, the mages on Tereadan often seek to master it - and yet it takes a special kind of person to wield it. Life magic has the ability to cure disease, or even heal wounds. Some whisper of dead-raising, but the only account of it claims that the mage had to die for the dead to rise. There is also another hidden talent to life magic, one that is twisted, and malign. Biomancy... creating life. It is said that long ago, a group of mages defected and vanished - but not before creating strange horrific life forms to slaughter those who followed.

The final school of magic is Death Magic. Very little is known, other then the fact it taps into something simply known as the Shadow, and the more you wield it, the closer you are to losing all traces of your humanity. It is said that the most powerful of death spells can destroy whole kingdoms - at the cost of all sanity and health.

Kingdom Spotlight: Arrus (Part 1)

Name: Arrus
Government: Monarchy
Current King: Thorgiin III
Religion: Polytheistic (Human Pantheon)

Culture:

The Kingdom of Arrus can be summed up as a true Feudal nation. On the continent of Tereadan, Arrus stands supreme, rivaled only by the Broan Empire - and truly, the only threat to Arrus is the Broan's alliance with the northern kingdoms.

Arrus is ruled by a King. The King, of course, has a select few he considers above all others - his Regent, his Knight Commander, and his Marshal. Since Arrus is spread out, with several of the baronies separated by mountains, swamps, and forests, his Regent is often the most visible member of the Kingdom - more so then the King. Of course, as of late with Thorgiin III, the current Regent's hands are seemingly tied, and is little more then a public figure to please the crowds. The Marshal leads all the militias of the kingdom - and underneath him are the various Magisters and Constables of the baronies. Finally, there is the Knight Commander, the one in charge of the militaries of Arrus.

Underneath them, are the lords of the kingdom - the Barons and their territories. The Barons have rule over their land, and yet must still answer to the King and his court. The Knight Commander may not hold land, and yet his home is in the royal palace - thus, his status is higher then a baron. And so, if the Commander demands a barony's men, the men of the barony shall go follow. If the Baron breaks a law, the Marshal - though usually common born - may correct him with any means necessary. Finally, the Regent, under normal times, may inspect each barony and make sure that each landowner is treating his people well.

The people of Arrus as a whole are an ever changing lot. Their moods change based on who rules them. The economy shifts as well. The only true thing about them, is that they are unlike that of Silverford - many are common, and most of those who are common, are poor peasant types. Many who are peasants are suffering and starving - and thus not paying their taxes - and thus villages are left undefended.

Arrus may be mighty, and yet, because of its size, it is a moment's breath away from collapsing.

Kingdom Spotlight: Silverford

Name: Silverford
Government: Monarchy
Current King: Blair Callinwood II
Religion: Monotheistic - Aiah

Culture:

The Kingdom of Silverford holds a unique culture. As a fledgling nation, Silverford is still figuring itself out, and yet, it has a well developed culture, dating back to its days as a barony of the Kingdom of Arrus. From the beginning, Silverford was always known as a pious place, indeed, while part of Arrus, it was the most visited place for those of the faithful of Aiah. In the city proper of Silverford, there is a great cathedral built in the goddess's name, where people worship her, and stand before her in ceremony and ritual.

Because of their faith, Silverford is a very chivalrous nation. The Silver Knights are recruited from each of the Noble Houses, and are the best of the nation's soldiers. Despite this, the Silver Knights themselves are not just warriors. Some are priests, others are merchants, hunters, or smithies. The core tenet in the Silver Knights' code has little to do with battle, indeed, it has everything to do with faith. "In service we are bound. In kindness we are free" is their motto.

Ruling over Silverford is the King and his Queen. The Royal Line has been forged in a unique way that is considered strange to many other human nations. While the blood of the King is important, he has established the five great noble houses. Should his own line be destroyed, or should he die without an heir (boy or girl,) it is the patriarch or matriarch of the 2nd House that becomes King. Each house's place in succession is determined by their deeds, and favor with the King. While the nation as a whole values honor, sometimes these noble houses break out into unreasonable feuds, sometimes leading to bloodshed - though this is rare, as the King often clamps down on such behavior.

Women in Silverford are treated as equals, since their deity is infact, that of a woman. Despite this, women are still in traditional roles, mostly by necessity. Yet there are women who do serve as fighters in the army. These women usually join the Silver Battlemaidens, sometimes simply called the Silver Maidens. The Maidens are usually chaste (at least to start) upon joining, yet may marry so long as their spouse is also a soldier.

Slaves in Silverford are also unique. A slave is usually a man or a woman (usually women, as poor men often join the armies) who surrenders their freedom. In exchange they are taken into a noble or common man's house hold, and given free boarding, food, drink, and a semi-comfortable life. They must then work - according to their specialties. A poor man or woman who was a farmer will likely help out as a farm hand. A woman who lost her husband, but knows how to read and write will teach the children. A merchant who has lost everything usually becomes a wealthy merchant's assistant. Slaves may earn their freedom for good service, but such is usually only if they are owned by a noble house - and noble houses are not unwilling to make such deals: another fact that makes Silverford "odd" to their neighbors.

History:


Silverford was a barony in Arrus first. Three hundred years prior, it is said that a man was given a vision of a beautiful woman encased in a blinding white light. He followed the vision and found a woman tied up, bleeding at the hands of several bandits. The man drew his sword, and fought off the bandits, yet died doing so. He freed the woman before he breathed his last breath. The woman then was said to place her hand on the wound, and he was healed - just before she vanished into a bright light.

From there, the legend grew, and people made pilgrimages to the landmark where this attack - and miracle both happened. The man became a folk hero, and soon, the faithful of Aiah began to plant crops, and build homes. Soon, Silverford was a village - named so based on the streams that flowed by. The Kingdom of Arrus however, named Silverford as part of another barony, that of Stormgate. The lord of Silverford however, petitioned year after year for it to be recognized as its own land.

Sure enough, after the then-king Olstein visited the village, it was named its own barony. Sure enough, Silverford grew - and it grew - and it grew.

When Thorgiin I was King of Arrus, he was known for being a godless man. He promoted faithlessness amongst the kingdom, and demanded Silverford tear down the great cathedral. The Baron of Silverford - Aaron Callinwood IV - was executed for refusing. The new Baron, Blair Callinwood, also refused. Before Thorgiin could act however, he was assassinated by his son - who had been violently opposing his father's tyranny. Unfortunately, Thorgiin II was on the run, and could not take the throne yet - his father's chosen successor, a man named Argan Blackrage - yet lived. Argan continued Thorgin I's campaign against the faith of Arrus. He ordered an army to march on Silverford.

There, Blair Callinwood made a stand, and while he died in battle, his son, Blair Callinwood II, managed to defend the barony long enough for Thorgin II to return with his own army - and thus Arrus was lifted from tyranny. Not long after that, the Broan Empire invaded the kingdom. Silverford stood with its king, and when the Broans were refuted and sent back north, Thorgin II rewarded Silverford with their independence, while also signing a declaration of alliance.

Blair Callinwood II became king of Silverford.

About 10th Prophecy

10th Prophecy is a project that means more then just a novel, a trilogy of novels, or a whole sweeping series. It is a world. A living, breathing, absolutely dark and delightful fantasy world that has been bubbling in my head since I was 13.

What is 10th Prophecy?

It is a homage to the greatest fantasy worlds of all time, with distinct nods to Norrath (Everquest 2,) Tamriel (Elder Scrolls), Fereldan (Dragon Age), Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings), and Hyboria (Conan.)

It is a re-imagining of many classic fantasy tropes. Elves are replaced with a nature dwelling people that can be both peaceful and beautiful... or wrathful and ugly. Dwarves are non-existent. Orcs are non-existent. Goblins are not the cowardly little green men, but rather, the heartbeat of a bloody empire. There are beast races, the cat-like Kashir, the reptilian Shiz'roth and Shiz'rokhan. There are Romorians, a large honorbound warrior culture, mistaken as monsters and giants. Deep within the forests are the Guurhan, a reverent people towards the lands, harboring the ability to connect - and shapeshift - into their totem animal. And of course we have the humans, sitting in a true traditional feudal lifestyle.

Is is a new idea, a new world, and a new story. When you have enough homages, inspirations, and re-imagined concepts, you will inevitably find yourself with a new concept by default.

Such is the 10th Prophecy. As often as I can, there will be updates - many updates, and you shall learn the truth behind this great world.

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