Lore: The Kingdom of Rhûl Edit
A kingdom that reaches from the Dulataint Coast in the West across farmland, forests, plains and marshland, to the Khorrum Mountains in the East. An hereditary monarchy ruled by House Carth. The Patron Houses hold much of the land of Rhul and are considered by most to be the true power within their own territories.
Founded five hundred and three years ago Rhûl was originally settled by Humans coming out of the West, across the Great Sea, looking to form a civilisation away from the perceived impurity of the "ab-humans". Clearly they were a kind and caring folk, accepting of their neighbours. You can imagine their surprise then when they discovered that the ab-humans had beaten them to the punch. In the Khorrum Mountains to the East lay a Dwarven city that had stood for nigh on two thousand years. In the Eristhel Reach, the vast forests to the South, the Elves had waged their war for years innumerable. Still, the settlers had come this far and did not have the provisions to return home. Accordingly, they dug in their heels and firmly declared "No. YOU move!". Such was the founding of Rhûl.
The date of the first landing was declared to be the start of the Rhûlish year and declared the first day of the new Rhûlish Calender (RC).
Antaigne: The technical seat of power and capital of Rhûl. A large city that straddles two rivers. Home to Castle Auros which houses the throne. The Castle itself is a formidable fortress carved from a pale, yellowish stone and sits nestled in the centre of five massive defensive walls. Each ring is referred to as a Town, a separate settlement in it's own right, and each Town holds their own customs and holidays as the most Rhûlish.
Östheim: The oldest city of Rhûl, built atop the original settlement. When the King moved the throne to Antaigne in the year 200 RC, for fear that Östheim was not sufficiently defensible, he declared that Östheim would become the seat of learning for the Kingdom. The citizens of Östheim did not take kindly to this perceived insult, clearly they were not good enough for the King, and have never forgiven the Antaignites for their betrayal. As such the royalty and learned men of the Kingdom have always been at odds. Ironic, that.
Porttown: You will never find a more wretched hive of lazy writing and bad naming. Being the largest port in town, a ha ha, Porttown is fairly unique among the settlements of Rhûl in that it is not overtly controlled by any one Patron House. Instead Porttown is in the foul clutches of the Merchants Guild, a collection of rich Merchant Lords and Ladies who intend to use their considerable wealth and connections to make themselves and their connections considerably wealthier. The Council holds a monopoly on much of the organized crime that occurs within Porrtown ranging from beatings and muggings all the way to, well, monopolizing much of the organized crime that occurs within Porttown.
Soledium: Soledium is the central city of the salt mines to the North. It is a place that values function over form, with much of the city crafted from the readily mined stone of the area. While Soledium is officially a city of Rhûl, and governs the Province of Liepten, many of the residents hold the belief that Soledium is the capital of it's own small country. Solediums main trade item is the salt that is torn from the earth, provided mostly to the North Eastern Provinces as a preservative to sustain their armies. Rightfully, the Soliens should be making money hand over fist sustaining the war effort against the Gormen, yet Arden Carth declared that in lieu of payment Soledium would remain under it's own governance rather under the thumb of a Patron House.
Patron Houses Edit
The six Patron Houses are the nobility of Rhûl. They own large swathes of land and are able to enforce laws within their territories above and beyond what the King decrees. Provided, of course, the King doesn't take exception to their exceptions to the Kings Law.
House Carth: While technically not a Patron House I feel they deserve an honourable mention as they are the current rulers of Rhûl. House Carth have maintained their grip on the throne of Rhûl for four generations. In the year 407 RC House Gyre stepped down as the leaders of Rhûl to focus their efforts on repelling the Gormen threat from the Khorrum foothills. House Carth was to maintain stewardship of Rhûl until such a time as House Gyre had quelled the threat. Being a pack of basty craftards, the four generations of House Carth who have sat upon the throne have maintained a careful charade of supplying House Gyre with slightly less equipment, food and men than are required to outright defeat the Gormen. In this way House Carth have maintained their power for nearly 100 years. Due to their reputation House Carth are not very well liked and his public opinion has only been reinforced by the last two generations, Pious and Arden Carth having done much to weaken the throne and sow dissent among even their closest allies. The colours of House Carth are pale blue and black. Their sigil is a golden fortress with two rampant, red dragons.
House Gyre: House Gyre are known for their generosity, sense of honour and strength of arms. They hold much of the Lillendan Province, sitting in the North East of Rhûl, which provides some of the finest quality horses in the land. As such the Gyre cavalry are famous for the size and power of their mounts and are a sight welcome on any battlefield. House Gyre held the throne for three generations after Ordun Gyre wrestled power from the ruling House Liorm. Though non living remember the oppressive regime of House Liorm and the immense effort, nor the great loss, it took for House Gyre to overcome the tyrant many people still hold House Gyre in high esteem for their strong values and their efforts to keep the Eastern border safe. The colours of House Gyre are black and white. Their sigil is a white Gyre Falcon, wings spread, on a black circle, the Falcons wingtips extending beyond the pit.
House Olfgar: Descended from the foresters and hunters that settled the edges of Rhûl the Olfgars are charged with the protection of the Kings private hunting grounds that lie far to the South. Sitting on the edge of the Kingdom, teetering between the borders of the Eristhel Reach and the Khorrum foothills, House Olfgar are hard men and harder women. Keeping the predators from the Kings Game and occasionally fending off Gormen, Hobgoblins and other mountainous beasts has left them bereft of etiquette, instead preferring the company of cold steel and colder liquor. Though they are rough company they are never ones to deny a guest for in their lands a night spent outdoors may well be your last. The more "refined" Patron Houses regard house Olfgar as little more than a private army in service of the King; it is commonly held that there is no true nobility among the Olfgar line. Though they are one of the smallest houses the Olfgar name commands the respect of almost double the number of Banner Houses the other Patron Houses could muster combined.
Banner Houses Edit
The Banner Houses are the myriad lesser Houses of Rhûl. Be they the descendants of mighty warriors granted land for their heroism or the kinsmen of a particularly wealthy merchant the Banner Houses are respected or despised by the common folk by their more recent actions while a Patron House may commit a few despicable acts and have them overlooked due to a long history of good conduct.
House Lundmark: Bannermen of Dalten Gyre. Led by Lord Gustof Lundmark, the Lion of Ostwald. Manning Castle Ostwald to the North East of the Lillendan Province House Lundmark are isolated from the rest of the Province by distance. The colours of Lundmark are a gold field with green bar sinister and a bronze Lion pushing East, axe in hand.
Provinces of Rhûl Edit
There are eight Provinces in Rhûl, ranging in size from the unmapped expanses of Liepten down to the Königs Platz that surrounds the capital of Antaigne. Six of the Provinces are ruled by the Patron Houses while the Königs Platz is under the direct control of House Carth. In the North Liepten is given some semblance of independence through a combination of stubborn residents and remote location.