A knight in the capital city of Petor.
The Kingdom has survived from the remnants of Hevia and has transformed itself from a world of chaos into one of order and reason. In the absence of magic the martial arts have been developed extensively, yet the people and rulers have sought to avoid the hubris that caused the destruction of their ancient land. The King rules, but all obey the rule of law.
After the cataclsym, the Dwarves retreated from the world into their caves. The desert and the Orc-Men separate them from the rest of the world, and they have not sought to change this in all the millenia that have passed. It is rare to find Dwarves in the Kingdom though some do make the trek through the Burning Desert.
At first a force of wild nature, the Elves learned discipline and the pursuit of knowledge from the Hevians. Their long lives let them avoid the burning desire that the fated Wizards had, however. In the aftermath, they helped to rebuild the Kingdom and remain close allies with them.
The best of both races is present in the Half-Elfs of the Kingdom; the Elven self-disicipline and long-life and the Human adapability and inquisitiveness. With no true community of their own they travel freely between the forest and the plains, forming the bridge that connects these two races.
The Hin have lived among the Humans since the dispersion of their lands at the hands of the Wizards. The Halfings of the Kingdom work and live side by side with the Humans, and share fully in their economy and government. There remains a strong Hin cultural tradition that has assimilated itself into modern life.
The Orc-Men are the twisted descendents of the Wizards of Hevia, a whole nation bodily transformed into a creature that has only the baser natures of man. Orcs only breed true with other Orcs and as such there are no Half-Orcs. Orcs are not a player race in Vidalis.
Of all the races the Gnomes were the ones least displaced by the fall of Hevia. Living in and among the Dragonspire mountains in the south, they are friendly with the Kingdom but are not of it. Their close associations with the Dragons and their work in reclaiming the lost magic sets them apart from the rest of the world, yet no ill has come of this.
The Wizards of ancient Hevia were responsible for the destruction of their nation and the creation of the burning wastes that now lie over the ruins of their cities. Nearly all their knowledge has passed, but there still is some magic in the world. Spellcasters are the sole class that is capable of casting spells. Either self-taught or through rare training with the small Guild of Mages, no two Spellcasters are exactly the same. They refer to themselves as Mages.
The Gods of the Kingdom do not manifest themselves or interfere with mortal concerns on a regular basis. There are accounts of divine beings appearing with instructions and aid or malice; these are matters of history. The source of magic is debated by theologians and priests, but those are titles that any man give himself. The Mages do not neccesarily concern themselves with where their power comes from. There are as many different theories for that as there are Mages, and none has been proven more right than the others.
The capital city of the Kingdom, Petor is the seat of the Senate and residence of King Garreth. It is home port to the ships of the Kings navy and is surrounded by many small farming communities. With a population well over one hundred thousand Petor is easily the largest city in the Kingdom. Thereís a saying popular among the residents that if you canít find it in Petor then it doesnít exist.
Since the end of the Demon War Petor has become a center for refugees and displaced families. The outlying villages and towns are filled with new arrivals and the city itself is crowded, though not nearly as dangerously as Cabra.
Since the early days of the Kingdom the Borderwatch Keep has been the peoples first line of defense against the Orc-Men of the desert. Placed at a natural choke point in the terrain the Keep had successfully repelled every attack from the raiding tribals. When the scouts reports of the Demons army began to come in Colonel Bryant requester the Keep be brought up to full strength. Even with the combined might of Lance Riders from four battalions and the 7th and 12th Infantry Regiments the Keep was quickly overrun by the Demons horde. The defenders of the Keep were slaughtered nearly to the last man and it was because of their sacrifice that scouts were able to get the word south and prepare Frivale for the siege.
Today the Keep stands shattered, its walls broken and towers crashed. The Guard maintains a border presence both to deter people from entering the desert as well as serving as early warning against possible further attacks.
Once a jewel of the Kingdom, Frivale has been completely destroyed. Itís buildings have collapsed, the streets filled with the rubble of once tall towers. Tens of thousands of civilians were caught in the city when the Demon came down and those couldnít escape or choose not to leave fought a daily battle for survival for nearly half a year. Dragonriders fought in the air against horrible creations of the Demons magic while his raised army of Orc-Men fought tirelessly in the rubble of the city. It was a surprise attack by King Garreth from the northeast of the city that broke the Demons siege and forced him to retreat across the desert.
By that time it was too late for the city. Those that have returned have yet to go back inside. The streets are strewn with bodies and stone and at night strange noises and lights can be seen and heard from inside. The tent city that has sprung up south of the city holds ten thousand people with more arriving every day. The Guard has strained itself in trying to provide protection to people in the tents, as well as from the unknown dangers of the ruined city.
Stones End Tower
Originally built as a northern training base for the army, Stones End Tower has served in the past century as an isolated outpost for those escaping from lives in the mainland. Though it holds a regular garrison of Kingdom troops the majority of the people that live there have formed a community that is separate from the rest of the Kingdom. Outcasts and wanderers found their place in the Stones End militia and built up a self-sufficient life at the base of the mountains.
King Garreth called upon the irregular militia during his raid on Frivale and the whole came along and distinguished themselves in battle. Most have returned to the Tower to return to their isolated community while others took the chance to leave and return to Kingdom life. Recently the Tower has become a popular destination for displaced warriors from the war and those with no home or family to return to.
Shelo is the largest city on the main road from Cabra to Petor. Though it has a sizable port and fishing industry the city is mostly supported by the outlying villages and farms, along with the business that comes from travelers. During the war Shelo was a waypoint for refugees escaping the war as they passed on through to Cabra. The city itself has lost a sizable amount of its population as citizens joined the fight up north and the majority have not returned.
Cabra boasts the largest port in the Kingdom and it is the home of the finest sailors and shipbuilders. The Long Road Trading Company brings the lumber and other supplies from the west while the master craftsmen build everything from rowboats to fishing trawlers and the new warships. Though it was far from direct conflict during the war, Cabra became the new home for the tens of thousands displaced from Frivale. The city was not built to sustain such a great number of people and it has become dangerously overcrowded with little to no extra support received from the rest of the Kingdom. Only through heavy reliance on fishing has the city kept themselves fed but there are too many people for the city to endure for much longer.
High in the mountains, just below the clouds, lay the roosts of the dragons. Though owing allegiance to none they are friendly with the Gnomes that share their mountains beneath them. While the Kingdom turned towards more martial study after the fall of Hevia, the Gnomes instead sought to recapture the magic that still lies inherent within them. It is perhaps because of that aspect of the Gnomes nature that the dragons tolerate and accept them, even going so far as to allow the Gnomes to ride them into battle.
The elves were not immune from the war within their forests. The Demon sent raised Orc-Men to slash and burn their forest home, hoping to draw the elves away from the siege of Frivale. Forced to make a difficult decision the Elven leaders recognized that if Frivale fell, then the Kingdom would fall. If the Kingdom fell then the Elves would be next. Instead of following the Demons plans for them, they sent as few warriors to the northern woods as they could spare while the bulk of their forces fought in the east.
The results were devastating. Though the elves managed to drive off the Orc-Men in some areas, the undead raiders broke through the Elven citadel and burned hundreds of acres of forest to the ground. The smoke from the fires could be seen as far away as Petor and the elves at Frivale fought all the harder for they knew the sacrifice they had chosen was real.
In ages past the Burning Desert was a beautiful land of rolling hills and plains. The Wizards empire stretched from coast to coast and their cities were gleaming landmarks of beauty and power. Their fall was so terrible that now nothing remains but sand blasted ruins and the rolling dunes, home only to the Orc-Men that rove and fight in their tribes.
There had always been a certain amount of wonder associated with the land as the people of the Kingdom imagined what treasures could be found within the desert ruins. The harrowing reports of those brave fools that were lucky enough to return alive from their explorations were not enough to turn people away, and adventurers and fortune seekers would still risk the dangers to see what could be gained.
Since the Demon War the Guard has placed a border patrol at the ruins of Borderwatch Keep. They are fearful of someone waking up another horror from the desert, one that they might not be able to stop. So far no one has tried to bypass them as the people are too busy recovering their lives in their own land.
The ancient home of the dwarven peoples, the Hammerdelve Mountains have proven themselves to be the dwarves strongest weapon. They have dug themselves in for millennia and the caverns underneath the snow capped peaks go deeper and farther than any in the Kingdom can imagine. Since the fall of Hevia the dwarves remained a solitary people, cultivating the foothills beneath their slopes and rarely crossing the desert to the Kingdom.
The Demon caught them unprepared to fight such a large force and they were forced to retreat within their caves. From there they fought a terrible battle of siege and attrition, often having to face the reanimated bodies of their comrades who had been slain in previous battles.
Now that the war is over, the dwarven people are recuperating in their fashion of solitude. A single dwarven leader has been volunteered to travel to the Kingdom to build relations between the Kingdom and to ensure that the desert wizards never rise again.
Little is known about the tallest mountain in the land. Dwarven legend holds that above the clouds at the top of the mountain the winds come alive and dance and sing to the giants that live on its slopes. Others claim that the moans of the wind are the cries of the sky as it is pierced by mountain, forever in pain.
Royal Martial Academy
The institution formally known as the Royal Martial Academy is referred to by nearly everyone as simply The Academy. All of the Kingdoms warriors that study the Martial Way are trained on the Academys grounds. The complex houses nearly 500 people that live and work there in support of the Academy. The schools Commandant General Holton suspended training at the Academy during the war and took all the Academies students to the fight, a number large enough to fill two battalions. The hundred warriors that returned were given the Kingdoms award for Valor, a red stripe sewn into their left sleeve. The commendation includes the Knighting of the recepient, and some of the Hundred Knights returned to the school as new instructors, while others sought new lives elsewhere.
Guild of Mages
Magic has started to make a return in the past century. At first adepts traveled to the Dragonspire Mountains to study and learn from the Gnomes and dragons. Soon after the Guild was created by a young man named Cedaris and three of his fellow mages. The first Archmage since the time of the Hevians, old Cedaris is still the leader of the Guild and it now boasts nearly a hundred members.
The Guilds purpose is to promote the study of magic and train all those who seek to wield it in a responsible manner. Well aware of the folly of the Heavians, Archmage Cedaris and his three intsructors are careful to guide their students away from the search of power for powers sake. He teaches that magic is a dangerous ability and one must be careful and consider the implications of its use lest a student be faced with sudden consequences they did not foresee. In the past few years the military began working with the Guild in developing battle mages for use in their army.
During the war many of the Guilds members fought with the Kingdom against the Demon. Archmage Cedaris himself was instrumental in the Kings raid that broke the siege of Frivale and those mages that survived the war have returned with lesons that could not be taught in the Guild hall.
Disciples of Legends
The people of the Kingdom do not have Gods that they call upon or revere. There was once a deity that the Hevians worshipped though the records are mostly legend now. While the complete story is not known one myth says that it was the Hevians fall that silenced their god. What terrible and powerful magics they had that could affect their own god is unknown but it is whispered that some of the Wizards tried to usurp their gods power. While they were unable to kill him they injured him somehow and the transformation of the Hevians into the Orc-Men was his curse upon his people. As far as what happened to their god or why he hasnít been heard of in milennia no one knows.
Arising from the ashes of the Wizads empire the Kingdom looked to its own people for inspiration. Throughout the ages individuals have risen to great power and have become entombed in myth and legend. Revered as Heroes these figures of antiquity serve to exemplify certain aspects of the human condition and people look to their example as to how they should live their own lives.
A loose organization has developed over time that chronicles and maintains the history and legends of the Heroes. The self-titled Disciples of Legend seek to emulate the best characteristics of the Heroes in their own lives. While the group has little political or economic power the members consider themselves a brotherhood (including women) of people that strive to raise humanity up to its highest potential.
The other races of the land have their own gods. The Dwarves worship Moradin and his soulforge. The Elves in the trees revere Corellon Larethian. The Halfings follow Yondalla where she would lead them, and the Gnomes abide under the firm but just Gaerdal Ironhand.
The Long Road Trading Company
Five half-elfs of the Kingdom started this merchant caravan business 30 years ago. It has grown from a single wagon team into a mobile supply chain that reaches from the eastern to western coast, including two yearly trips to the Hammerdelve Mountains. The Kingdom frequently hires the Long Road to move its own personnel and supplies, and the company has a good relationshp with the freelance swords that hire on to protect the caravans from bandit attacks.
During the war the Long Road was instrumental in bringing supplies to the siege of Frivale; without their caravans it is speculated that they city would have fallen. However six months after the war the Kingdom has yet to begun to repay the Long Road for the use of their caravans. Senators cite the other costs of reconstruction, while others say that it was the Long Roads duty and that they wonít be paid. Though the merchant masters of the company have not yet demanded repayment there have been grumbles and rumors about what should be done.
Council of Balance
The official name of the Senate, the Council of Balance serves as the legislators for the Kingdom. The Senate seeks to ensure that the laws are just, whether they be fair or not. Though most Senators come from noble families, the only official prerequisite to holding office is a Honorable term of service in the Kingdoms military.
This thieves guild has a well-earned reputation for its skilled thieves and unique sense of honor. Though the Eye remains a criminal organization, it seeks to avoid open confrontations and prefers bloodless victories. Although the guild controls nearly all aspects of organized crime in the Kingdom, it is best known for itís daring jewel heists. The trademark of the jewel thieves within the Emerald Eye is a emerald stone, cut to resemble a cats eye.
During the war the Emerald Eye suspended all thefts and many members served under false identities as scouts for the Kingdom. Since the war has ended the Eye has remained silent though the typical victims of the Eye are too busy with reconstruction to give thanks or wonder the cause for the respite.
Guards of the Watch
The Petor guard is organized under the firm hand of Chief Magistrate Falen J. Fairweather,*III. As a port city, the Guard is kept busy dealing with smuggling and all the usual petty crime of a large city. Petorís courtroom falls under the jurisdiction of the Guards of the Watch, so the Chief Magistrate is often indirectly the judge, jury and executioner. A cold man who gives no mercy to his criminals, the Chief Magistrateís sole failure had been to break the Emerald Eyeís circle of crime.
In the past few months the Chief Magistrates central concern has been security. Too many warriors were lost in the war, and the underpowered state of the Kingdoms military is a closely guarded secret. The Guard has expanded their normal duties to include border security along the desert as well as protection outside the ruins of Frivale.
The people of the Kingdom do not have Gods that they call upon or revere. There was once a deity that the Hevians worshiped though the records are mostly legend now. While the complete story is not known one myth says that it was the Hevians fall that silenced their god. What terrible and powerful magics they had that could affect their own god is unknown but it is whispered that some of the Wizards tried to usurp their gods power. While they were unable to kill him they injured him somehow and the transformation of the Hevians into the Orc-Men was his curse upon his people. As far as what happened to their god or why he hasnít been heard of in millennia no one knows.
Arising from the ashes of the Wizards empire the Kingdom looked to its own people for inspiration. Throughout the ages individuals have risen to great power and have become entombed in myth and legend. Revered as Heroes these figures of antiquity serve to exemplify certain aspects of the human condition and people look to their example as to how they should live their own lives.
- Savon, a woodsman renowned for great strength
- Desira, half-elf lady captain of The Laughing Face pirate ship
- Calonis Kel, the first Crusader
- Lothel, first Mage/King of the Kingdom
- Wilona, wise woman of the southern plains
- Lagrange, half-elf diplomat and tradesman
The other races of the land have their own gods. The Dwarves worship Moradin and his soulforge. The Elves in the trees revere Corellon Larethian. The Halfings follow Yondalla where she would lead them, and the Gnomes abide under the firm but just Gaerdal Ironhand.
Savon was a woodsman living on the edges of the Endless Forest. Though skilled in woodcraft and sword fighting he was renowned for his great strength. While he was known well enough in his home for his survival and tracking skills, his fame grew of the stories of his unique method of hunting. Not content to slay beasts with sword or arrow, he would track his prey for days, sneak close by and wrestle it into submission. His home was adorned with the heads of great beasts that he had subdued with his bare hands.
Though some scoff at the idea today, his most famous story tells of the time he wrestled with a brown bear for two days straight. Unable to simply overpower the beast he held on using his superior technique and endurance to defeat the bear. The story goes that after the beast was subdued Savon respected the bears strength and endurance and decided not to slay him. The bear joined Savon and followed him, the two becoming fast companions.
In the early days of the Kingdom the sea was an unexplored mystery. Until the resources could be developed to allow great ship building the people relied little on the sea, taking in only what fisherman could catch. Once the first great ships were sailing though, people took to the water with eagerness. One such sailor was a half-elf woman named Desira. She joined her first ship, The Laughing Face, still in her teens and never spoke of where she came from or who she was running from. She took to the sea like she was born to it, moving with a grace that seemed to be borne of water. The first time her ship was attacked by sea-raiders she laughed at their clumsy tactics and she rallied her crew to repeal the borders.
Having gotten a taste of the rogue life she changed the mission of The Laughing Face and set to attacking other ships. She never out of blood lust or greed, but for the sheer rush of battle and the exhilaration of it. Quick with a smile and a laugh, she was as nimble the sails or climbing the lines as she was on her feet or dancing through a battle. Legend holds that all the treasure she accumulated over the years was hidden in a secret island just off the coast, and that to reach it one would have to be as daring and quick-footed as herself.
Centuries after his death Calonis Kel is still regarded as one of the toughest warriors the Kingdom has ever had. Credited as the first warrior to earn the title Crusader, his story tells that before he became the foundation for the Devoted Spirit discipline he was a simple healer. Raised near the eastern mountains that are home now to the Stones End Tower, the Kingdom was little more than an ideal in peoples hearts. The land was untamed and dangerous and to survive Calonis had to become tougher. Trained by his father in the arts of medicine he had some minor spellcasting ability that he used to aid him in treating people. It wasnít until bandits attacked his family that he was forced to pick up the sword to defend his homestead.
With no formal training in sword fighting his skills were rudimentary at best, so instead he fought with his heart and iron constitution. Men rallied behind him as he led them in counter-attacks against the bandits and he learned to combine the healing aspects of his magic with the zeal of his righteous anger against those that had wronged him. Before he and his men had cleared out the bandits from their region news of him and his crusade against the lawless had spread across the land. Stronghearted warriors came to the eastern mountains in search of the famous leader the people had named the Crusader, yet they were surprised to find a simple healer that had gone back to his trade when the fight was over. Those who stayed and were willing to learn he taught the ways of the Devoted Spirit; not in grueling training matches nor in discussions of technique, but in unspoken lessons of what is right and just.
There have been more powerful Mages since Lothel and every King has reigned longer than he did but Lothel was the first man to claim that title and bring the Kingdom together. Born to a time of chaos when bandits roamed the land and terrorized the isolated pockets of humanity Lothel was one of the first to mark the slow return of magic. While meager compared to the standards of today his abilities set him apart from and above the rest of the people. He could have used his talents to unite the bandits and forge his rule through domination and fear but was instead inspired by the actions of the recently dead Calonis. Realizing what set Calonis apart was not necessarily his unique abilities but also the manner in which he employed them Lothel set for himself a code of conduct that allowed for the proper application of his magic when only necessarily.
His code was instrumental in bringing together the Kingdom as the basic tenets were applicable to not only Mages but those with other abilities beyond the ken of common folk. His philosophy, called the Imperative of Inquiry, was simple enough for uneducated people to understand while elegant and strong enough to encompass nearly any situation into itís guidelines. The result was a growing populace of people that had a simple but effective way of determining the right and just course of action. Through his subtle leadership of the people they banded together under students of Calonis and fought against the disparate bandits. Faced with overwheming numbers, organization and fighting ability the bandits were destroyed as a major threat. In their victory the people rallied around Lothel and requested that with his intellect he be their first King. He accepted and helped set in place the government of the Kingdom that remains today. His tale has not a happy ending, as soon after the Kingdom was established a revenge seeking bandit slew him in his chambers. Mages of today note and revere Lothel not only as a point of pride for a Mage being the first King, but recall how the proper application of ones abilities was recognized as more important than the abilities themselves.
The people on the southern plains grew prosperous during the early years of the Kingdom. As stability increased in the land contact with the Gnomes in the nearby Dragonspire Mountains let the plains people develop an edge in magic and technology over their cousins farther norther. The Gnomes themselves were cautious of this new Kingdom of men as the dragons still remembered the Heavians and tales had been carried down through the generations to the Gnomes then living. Their gifts of knowledge were an unspoken test to the new Kingdom to see whether they would follow the same path as their ancestors. Backed by the dragons and their magic the Gnomes waited and watched to see what course the Kingdom would take.
It was only a few years when the first warning signs started to appear. Encouraged by their own success the people had subverted the lessons taught to them by their first King and set about taming their land and increasing their knowledge with a greed that was all too familiar to the dragons. A lone voice argued against the growing hubris, that of a wise woman named Wilona. Revered in her community as a spellcaster with a natural understanding of the world she spoke out against the corruption of the Kings Inquiry and the dangers that lay down that road. She championed for an era of compassion, of respect and regard for the land itself as well as the people in it. Most importantly she warned the people of the dangers of the knowledge given by the Gnomes. Knowledge given without being earned, she said, was knowledge not understood. Without going through the trials and hardships that came from experience she argued that the people did not have the capability to properly adjucate the use of this new magic.
Some people listened and understood while others gathered against her. Not satisified with ignoring her they found her a threat and her assassinated. Yet the dragons heard and recognized that she had understood what their gift meant. Angered that her own people would kill her for speaking the truth the dragons swept down from the mountains and proclaimed the truth of what she had died for. The dragons did nothing to her killers aside from inform the now repentent crowd of their identities. While her life and death became a tale of inspiration for centuries to come, her assassins graves were never marked by the mob that avenged her.
The elves that live in the western forest had little to do with the Kingdom as it struggled to rebuild after the fall of Hevia. The fey creatures had trusted humanity once and having been burned they were not likely to do so again. The elves left the young kingdom alone, and the only time someone saw an elf was if they had strayed too far past the unmarked boundary in the forest. Usually the first sighting was the last as the elves killed all who ventured in.
With the rebuilding of Perot the kingdom began expanding and the elves decided to destroy the Kingdom before it had a chance to repeat the Hevians mistakes. A long and bloody border war started that pasted for generations. Inside their forests the elves reigned supreme, but their forces could not compete with the Kingdoms cavalry on the open field. After 100 years the war seemed at a stalemate, and the resolve to fight was weakened on both sides by something new that the war had created: half-elves. Not born of atrocity, but instead the union of two races that had come to grudgingly admire, respect, and secretly love the other.
One such man was named Lagrange, and he fought not with sword and dagger but with guile. He made himself a political hostage held by the elves and worked to get both sided to sit at the negotiating table. After years of fighting the elves had learned that the Kingdom also wished to avoid the hybrid of their forebears and a peace treaty was signed. Lagrange was widely hailed as the cause of the treaty and his name was held in high esteem as one who worked for peace when battle raged.