The Kingdom Of Hadriana
|Races||The Attian Humans|
|Current Leader||King Roderick Withmond †|
|The Royal Court||Rembrand Ausemdorf|
The horsemasters, the Hadrians call themselves, for their dominance on the field is unmatched. The charge of the Hadrian cavalry is an avalanche of steel that drives everything before it with lance, hoof, and blade. It is a truly majestic sight in their shining armour and proud heraldic liveries.
While the Hadrian knight fights in the name of their divine lord, the Maker, the thorns of the Hadrian rose are it’s people, those who rebuild the foundations of the crumbled Attian Empire.
Those who have survived the countless horrors of Eden, but stand valiantly to safeguard the Attian race and the Kingdom of Hadriana.
Culture and Society
The Death of an Empire:
The newly united Attian tribes stood triumphant over the now humbled Denur Imperium,
the citizens appointed the first leader of their freshly founded nation, home in the south of the Magna Attia. A city of culture, the use and normalization of magic, and the influence of races such as the Elves, Denur and Khadan turned the Attian empire into the pinnacle of civilization. The people got used to their simple lives as they became self-reliant, not needing much to obtain what they sought. Yet, in the end, their excessive comfort and blinding arrogance brought the downfall of their Empire. It brought forth the many cults that infected the city with darkness and debauchery. Eventually ending when the entire city sank beneath the surface. The remnants of humanity moved south to the Heartlands to start a new life in their reformed Kingdom of Hadriana.
The Kingdom of Hadriana:
The citizenry of Hadriana learned of their past, the mistakes made by their ancestors. The people of Hadriana reside within a rebuilding Kingdom, a second chance. This new kingdom combines hard work, a military that stands firm like a rock, and relentless zealot belief into the cornerstones that keep civilization from collapsing like the Empire of days gone.
The kingdom adopted a feudalistic system. The monarchy ensures that the Attians do not wander towards a path of destruction once again. The highest-ranking of all; the King and Queen. Who rules over everything within the nations' borders. Underneath him is the nobility: lords, ladies who rule over smaller portions of land and its citizens. These knights are a significant influence on the people. They are seen as the elite of both the people and the army of Hadriana. They are the carriers of colorful banners raised high throughout the nation—showing outsiders how solid and vital these knights are to their people.
The people, the peasantry of Hadriana, fill the nation with many stories. Stories of heroes and magic of old. But also are the key to the culture of Hadriana, a culture shaped throughout their history. The people in Hadriana created a culture around hard work, music, the military, and their religion. Citizens in Hadriana are taught to work hard to earn and provide for their family, king, and god. Because of this, many career options opened, bringing forth the many craftsmen, smiths, and horse breeders in the nation, the cornerstones of a thriving economy. These laborers created the buildings, tools, and armor you see today. Comfort is earned through hard work. And its city grew into a trade hub between the nations of the Denur Imperium and Al-Khadir. A place where people of many countries are welcomed to trade and work. Horse breeding became one of the many qualities of Hadriana. Horses became a key in the lives of the citizens of Hadriana. This is due to their significant presence in the military, a symbol of power and wealth, and the amount of labor the animals could perform; horses became a symbol of many knights' crests. This all brought forth the many colorful people that inhabit these lands. From the colorfully dressed citizens, the bards that sing and tell stories, to the smith that creates weapons, to the knight that wields it to fight and defend in the name of their Maker.
Religion and magic go hand in hand in Hadriana. Religion is of utmost importance, to the point of fanaticism. And those showing tremendous devotion to The Maker are richly rewarded. Yet, people whose commitment to the one true faith is wanting or favoring false gods are swiftly struck down by the mighty fists of the Maker, more commonly known as His righteous followers.
Its military rules with an iron fist. The knights and man-at-arms of Hadriana keep the nation in check by both protecting it and acting as the bringers of judgment and law. Because of this, joining the ranks of Hadriana is one of the most popular career choices and a patriotic act in itself. They are kept in high regard by the population as even though they are, in a way, feared, they are the sole protectors of the nation, the ones fighting in the name of the Maker and the king.
Celebrations and Holidays:
- Saint’s Day : At every change of the seasons on a Saints Day, the last day of the week, requires every Hadric citizen to attend local church sessions and pray to their sentinel of choice or The Maker in general.
- Day of the squire : The day of the squire is a day where local commoners are called up to prove themselves in a series of tests. Local farm boys, workers, citizens or others are able to freely participate in this event. Those who succeed and pass, will eventually be judged by knights. These knights will eventually choose which person will become their squire, hence the name “Day of the Squire”.
- Saint Nillias day : Day originates from the priest Saint Nillias who performed multiple miracles and pilgrimages in order to become so famous. He gifted children who behaved presents, those who did wrong were given a piece of charcoal, symbolizing an unhealthy future and bad luck. A sign of disobedience. On this day, children are told to behave even better by their parents. A priest from the local church will visit them, judge the children and perform the same tasks as Saint Nillias. The children have to sing for the priest at home or outside in little choirs. Even visit other homes to sing in front of their doors.
- Yearly jousting tournament: Once every four years a jousting tournament is held. All knights and warriors around the world are challenged to participate in a tournament of honour and chivalry. A festival which holds tests of strength, courage and agility. Ending in a tournament of jousting. The winner of this tournament receives a prize.
- Harvest Festival: A day where the big harvest is done by the populace of Hadriana. To celebrate this, a big feast is held in the capital. A harvest market is set up around the main road and square, inviting many outsiders as well to participate in such a feast.
- Feast of the Ashes: Originating from the day Hadriana was founded, after the great collapse of the Attian Empire, followed by the exodus and the founding of the kingdom. On this day Hadriana celebrates by holding a great feast in its castle and town. The king gives a speech, where afterwards all knights, again, take their fow on this day to pledge loyalty to the kingdom. After this is done, the feast will continue until the next days’ sun rises.
Romance and marriage:
Marriages are celebrated in Hadriana, typically a small party thrown to celebrate the newly wed couple. Arranged marriages are normal in the city. It’s seen as an easy way to grow in power and the social hierarchy. As the act of marriage creates a link between two families, marriage is a powerful tool. Wars and blood feuds which have lasted for centuries have been ended by the strategic union of houses through marriage. Moreover, it is customary for the suitor to ask permission for her hand in marriage from the father or warden. Lastly, in order to officiate the wedding, the couple must consummate their marriage on the night of their wedding. Also, the Kingdom only allows for monogamous marriages to be carried out, and incest is frowned upon.
A matter many citizens care to improve their lives. In order to officially be wedded or divorced it must be approved by the main church of Hadriana. Marrying through romance is welcomed as well and is not seen as foolish. Those who are widows or children of honorable deceased are treated with great respect in public.
It is a tradition for the couple to receive gifts from their family members. The wedding ceremony is usually finished by dances around a decorated tree, displaying their ancient traditions from the old times..
Life & Reproduction:
The Hadrian people are hard working, they are never idle for too long. Those who couldn’t afford luxurious meals normally ate soup and bread for their meals.
Hadriana becomes alive the most in the mornings when people head off to run errands. It’s a hustle around the central area in front of the post office; various different stories crossing paths at once. Whether it’s a long day at work or a commemorative party, the evening is the period of rest and celebration. The local tavern being a hotspot for those who need to quench their thirst. Life is comfortable, warm, and festive.
The Hadric people view birth as a gift from the maker and as a liability to them. It is not mandatory, but producing or adopting heirs is advised from the King to regrow the population after the devastating plague. The society of Hadriana expects parents or guardians to educate their child on any possible dangers as precaution. Due to the environment most citizens can live up to 60-70 years before passing away of old age.
Death & Funerals:
Death in Hadric Society is a bittersweet occasion. While the pain of losing a loved one is greatly felt, it is believed that if they were righteous in life and steadfast in their faith they shall return to the Maker in the afterlife, free from the woes and hardships of mortal life.
Dying in combat is seen as the greatest honour a knight could receive, as he has died protecting and serving those in need, his kingdom and The Maker. This is especially for those who are in the military; hence why joining the military is one of the most popular career choices. It is believed that the body should return to the Earth from whence it came. The traditional funeral rites of Hadriana are burial or interment. Commonfolk are typically buried in a local cemetery, while the wealthy and highborn may be interred in catacombs beneath their estate should they be there.
High honoured knights or warriors are buried in burrows. This will later on be decorated in white flowers and intricate headstones by the family.
During the times of the Rotting Plague, people tried burning the bodies believing it would rid them of the plague, however it did the exact opposite. The smoke contained the disease and it became another mode of transmission. In order to contain the disease, mass graves were dug, and people weren’t allowed to touch or come in close contact with the infected bodies, especially with their bare hands. Normally, however, a burial is more of a ceremony where the family and friends would carry the coffin containing the deceased to their grave.
Commerce and Work
Due to the dedication the people of Hadriana put into their work, providing for themselves and the nation, Hadriana became known as a nation of mass-producing quality products. From your furniture, tools from the blacksmith, to the best quality bred horses of Eden. The many different kinds of career options in Hadriana give its citizens and newcomers plenty of opportunities to learn new skills to share with the nation.
Hadriana provides its nation with different kinds of Mead and Ale. But are also the founders of the Golden Stallion Whiskey, but also Vodka and Rum liqueur. Quantities equal to the different kinds of Elven wine. But even the army provides for anyone who wishes to learn the ways of the sword.
To those who wish to unite themselves in groups of same interest craftsmen and trades are gathered in different guilds. When cooperating, certain tradesmen can apply to raise a guild. In return for the privilege of a guildhouse the guid pays a monthly fee. Some guilds may differ in structure but an overlapping theme with guilds is that the guild appoints a master of a certain trait. This master is allowed to keep several apprentices for a certain period of time. These apprentices will rise through the ranks of the guilds to earn their privileges to set up a prominent shop.
Having authority is important in the city. It’s the reason why many commoners push themselves to work hard and obtain accomplishments. Becoming a knight or getting involved in the church are the best ways for them to climb the ranks. Being included in the church shows that you are close to the Maker. Someone speaking ill of the King or the maker in public will lead the bystanders to side eye and possibly torment them. Citizens strongly believe their voices must be heard when it comes to political affairs.
There are positions within nobility such as Lords, Marquess, Marchioness, Dukes, Earls, or Viscounts. The Duke being the highest in nobility and a Lord being the lowest. The King’s court and nobles are known to have heavy influence on the society’s trends and political events. The King’s court is made up of Nobles and high representatives to suggest ideas to the King. It’s a high honor to be able to contribute to improving Hadriana.
The primary religion within the Kingdom of Hadriana is known as Makerism. The followers of the one and only God, The Maker, believe that he is the one who created the heavens, soil and life of Eden. Together with the nine Sentinels, each one represents emotions and challenges that all humans will encounter throughout their lives.
The clergy may outwardly appear as a humble social class wielding little power beyond ceremony, the truth of the clergy is much deeper. As the appointed representatives and servants of the Maker and the Sentinels, the word of the clergy is treated practically as law in the deeply religious society of Hadriana. They are pervasive throughout Hadric society. In every village there is a chapel to the Maker or a shrine of a sentinel, and in every noble court there is a resident clergyman. When a child is born, they are taken to the clergy. When a couple is to be wed, it is a clergyman who officiates. Even in death the clergy’s influence is felt, as clergymen are there to administer religious rites at any funeral.
The people of Hadriana believe in an afterlife. Those who live by the principle guidelines of the Maker’s traits, known as the Nine Wisdoms, are welcome to join him there in the realm of Heavens. This place is where one is presented by all his or her life choices and can reflect on the time that was given to them on Eden. Eventually living out the rest of their lives in these realms in peace.
However, if one does not live by the Maker’s teachings, one will fall into the abyss of the mirror realm, to a place the light can’t reach.
This mirror realm has many names in Hadrian religion. It is both known as The Void or The Four Hells. This realm is ruled by Dolus, the sentinel of corruption and deceit. He punishes those who fell to his corruption by turning them into monsters he unleashes onto Eden. Hence, being “corrupted” or known as turning Heretic is punished severely.
On the Nine Wisdoms.
“As the night crept over the fields, Onnodrith looked up to the skies and saw the bright star of Hadrius. At this point, the star became so overpowered with light that through it the sentinels all came forth. Above them, hovered a man covered in bright light. The Maker presented himself to Onnodrith and his children. And together each of the children, good and bad, presented the nine rules the Attians had to follow. Nine rules that were needed for the Attian race in their new home. The sentinels sang and danced one last time together before Onnodrith, encouraging him to ride back to his home and settle the new kingdom. And only with a new start could its people survive, guided by the Nine Wisdoms of the Maker.”
- You will not have faith in false gods.
- You will not take the word of the Maker in vain.
- You will take the first day of the nine day week for holy contemplation.
- You will respect your forefathers.
- You will not take life.
- You will stay true in marriage.
- You will not commit thievery.
- You will tell the truth.
- You will not envy.
Military and Law:
Chivalry and Knighthood play a significant role in the nations' culture. Knights are those who have proven themselves to the King and have been given high status and the honor to serve under the King and nobility. Every knight must wear their households' colors or crest on them to represent their family. Nobility are those who have the high authority right under royalty. They possess more privilege than any other social class below them in Hadriana.
Structure of the Hadrian army
Knights of Hadriana
With the collapse of the Attian Empire and the subsiding Rotting Plague, the number of men needed to wield an army steadily declined. Hence the early kings of Hadriana relied on a professional core of riders, ditching their familiarity with foot-infantry. These riders required professional training from a very young age. Thus the concept of this riding elite quickly became hereditary, so riders would teach their children from a very young age to wield a sword and ride a horse. To keep this army loyal, the early Kings of Hadriana would give them special hereditary privileges as long as they swore the Oath of Fealty to the King. The families of these so-called knights would forever be anointed with these privileges. They have a special standing in Hadrian society and have the responsibility to administer provinces or fiefs. To be a Knight, however, is no easy feat; the course of Knighthood will start with rigorous training and exercise. Next to that, they learn the ways of court and manners. Follow up by the ways of the sword and shield. A knight is tasked with having the skills of many different weapons. A knight also needs to show an excellent set of skills for handling animals and horse riding. Hence, every knight cares for their horse.
Man-At-Arms are the backbone of Hadriana. They are the shield of the nation, the core of the army, and the last ones to falter. Man-At-Arms serve and protect the citizens and Hadriana as a nation. Man-At-Arms are often conscripts; people who wish to serve the King can sign themselves up for training. Man-At-Arms will be put under a Hadrian Knight, who will act as their superior. They will wear the colors of said knight by painting it on their armor, shield, or wear fitted clothing. This turns entire armies into endless parades of colors. A Man-At-Arms will follow a rough training period of drills, combat skills, and the handling of weapons and armor to mold them into the perfect soldier.
Chaplains, or commonly named Paladins, are the warrior-priests of the clergy. They minister the spiritual and psychological well-being of every knight, Man-At-Arms, or other that holds the steel to defend Hadriana. Yet, they are well known for their use of magic in combat. This is due to the clergys' laws around magic itself.
They instill the values and beliefs of the Maker and the Sentinels to promote veneration in the ranks. They are leading from the front as awe-inspiring Paladins, fighting wherever the foe is most fierce. Their training is a combination of standard Man-At-Arms training, combined with the church's spiritual, magical, and strict religious guidance. They could lead entire armies if needed, praising the Maker while rejoicing in the glorious act of war. They go to ever more marvelous deeds of bravery, devotion and chivalry—most of them devoting their lives towards one of the Sentinels.
The Hadrian law
Law article I. Thou shall not inflict acts of barbarism, violence, or other of the kind to those fellow citizens.
Law article II. Thou shall not steal from others in the name of self lust or greed.
Law article III. Thou shall not inflict destruction on other properties not owned by thou self.
Law article IV. Thou shall always stay faithful to the Maker, never to follow false idols or gods.
Law article V. Citizens shall not tolerate individual conversion or public praisings to false idols or gods.
Law article VI. Thou shall not kill nor harm an individual.
Law article VII. Citizens shall not tolerate any individual who denies the path of Makerism or His will.
Law article VIII. Thou shall never deceive those of goodwill or cheat in marriage.
Law article IX. Thou shall not take the word of the Maker and his Sentinels in vain.
Law article X. Thou shall not use magic for wrongdoing or without jurisdiction of the clergy.
Punishments given to those who break the law are strict and sometimes brutal. Those speaking against the law can receive punishment, as the givers of judgment are the law. And those speaking against it are against the law itself.
In most cases, they are looked over by a judge. The judge can either be someone of nobility or a priest of the clergy. In rare cases, the king himself can perform the role of judge.
Depending on the breaking of a law, punishments are always performed in public. Thieves lose fingers or an entire hand, for example, beggars and liars an ear, and those who commit acts of heresy are either tortured or sentenced to death by fire in the worst case.
An executioner or knight always performs sentences of death. The church looks over all public performance punishments that are linked to a law of religion.
The Days of Desolation
The chronicles of men alude back to an age of dawn when the men of the north were but scattered tribes spread across the plains of Magna Attia, or commonly known as the Northern Vale. The northern realm was a harsh environment and the divided people living in it had few common traits. Many of them were dependent on hunting and gathering with temporary settlements. Even though the tribes of Magna Attia had no common tongue, nor religion they did have a reoccuring tradition of seeing some individuals as enlightened or sacred. These Sacrius were said to have the blessing of the different pantheons the ancient tribes worshipped. They often combined the valor and virtues of these faiths and rose to demigod status themselves.
The other races of Eden knew of the existence of the Attians yet they rarely visited as the Attians were weary and distrustful of outsiders, and were still bickering and infighting amongst themselves. They offered no special riches and the ancient rituals, now seen as heretical, scared the other races. In fact the first literate account of the ancient Attians was not recorded by man but by a Wood Elven explorer, Aeris’tofae in the third century B.F.S, who was interested in the sacrificial tree rituals the old tribes carried out. He wrote of them as a “Driven but distracted people, who had a determination to make the most out of their shorter lives, yet didn’t seem to grasp the full ambition of greatness.”
At some point in the second century before the B.F.S. The climate changed much in Magna Attia and the desolate plains made way for fertile ground around the river which was hence called Arteriae.
The Attian Empire
The Arteriae flooded once a year because of melted snow in the Spine of Eden mountain region, which culminated in a lush bayou on the edges of the river. This is where the first settlements of Attia appeared and an effective written language. This civil advancement caused a population boom which then made way for a rapid expansion to the north, where the tribes came into conflict with the Denur, or dwarves, living in the Northern Mountains. The men of the Northern Vale were virtually wiped out by the Denur Imperium in 30 A.F.S. who viewed the Attians as an unholy pestilence. In this conflict dubbed the ‘War for Existence” the ancient Attians rallied under an able imperator, or general, who sought unify command of the different tribes. Auron the Great unified the tribes by stressing the need to fight their common foe. He was successful in turning the tide and even advanced to the gates of Dar-Ach-Denur but after a lengthy and dramatic siege with heroes on both sides he failed to capture the Dwarven stronghold. Peace was signed with the Dwarves, yet tension remained.
To ease the threat of another war Auron embarked on hiring Dwarven architects for his new Capital in 33 A.F.S; Attia. He invited Elven Philosophers, Khadan merchants and all sorts of intellectuals to his new city. They raised walls that couldn’t be penetrated. The sons of the first imperator, or emperor were said to have been blessed individuals and so a dynasty was born of the ancient god-emperors of Attia. The first emperors ruled fairly, spreading the borders of the Empire from the Hinterlands to the Northern mountains.
The first law codex of Justidius was signed in the second century A.F.S. A centralized church there was none but nine different idols were worshipped with different names depending on which part of the Empire you came from, people sacrificed by these idols in return for a favor, however much of the information on the ancient religion has been destroyed by the Makerist Church in what is known as the Great Damnatio Memoriae in 1120 A.F.S. by orders of Vater Sepulchre I
Collapse of the Empire
Eventually infighting in the imperial house caused a session of tragedies that spiraled in the near collapse of the Attian empire. Countless civil wars over the holy mandate and imperial throne were waged in the ninth century A.F.S. leading up the eventual collapse of the Attian Empire. This century is referred to as the Age of Corruption. The Empire eventually regained some sort of stability under Emperor Claudius who reigned uninterrupted for 20 years after winning a brutal Civil War.
During the final years of the empire a witch called Cecelia of Aquine rose through the ranks of court. Eventually becoming the highest advisor to Emperor Claudius himself. She manipulated the Emperor by offering him means to an eternal life. Claudius was employed to prolong his life for he thought that he and only him could save the Attian empire from imminent collapse. For the empire had swollen and its borders were almost undefendable. The old legions were battered and worn due to the countless civil wars and public spending was cut to finance the immense war chest. Claudius became obsessed with obtaining immortality, and pagan rituals in the form of blood sacrifices were performed by Cecilia to ensure his prolonged life. First the helpless wanderers and poor disappeared from Attia to be taken to the secret temple of Cecilia. Nevertheless their blood wasn’t pure enough to be fit for the Emperor. As damsels and aristocracy began to be taken the whispers started in the Ancient court.
Investigating this mystery was the emperor's heir, Prince Severan was weary of his fathers condition and assembled a coalition to dethrone the Emperor and the Witch. This coup would be known as the Macabre Night 9 Edensrest 1114 A.F.S. For the band of nobles led by Severan were greeted by the sight of Cecilia slitting the throat of Emperor Claudius upon entering the throne room. Confronting the witch the prince suddenly saw the presumably lifeless corpse of the Emperor atop his chair, pale skinned and covered in blood. But then Severan heard a slight sob, whimper or cry coming from the direction of the throne as he saw a tear coming down his father’s cheek. At this sight suddenly a tide of shadows appeared in the corridors of the palace. The nobles held their last stand against these shadows and were all but slaughtered as they covered the retreat of Severan.
Fleeing to the Hills Severan was met by a strange light and a creature made of covered in the purest robes seamingly constructed out of illumination itself awaited him. It introduced itself as XI and it warned Severan that he needed to evacuate the innocents of Attia, for if he failed the one that made all, would take all. This event is known as the First Intervention for it was the first time that the Maker sent one of his Sentinels to interfere with the world of man.
For the city of Attia had fallen to voidal magic perpetrated by the Witch Cecilia. After gathering as many men, women and children as he could, Severan evacuated the city, fighting off the mysterious shadows and creatures in the process. In the middle of the night the sky suddenly illuminated and the sun rose in the split of a second. The temperature rose to an unnatural height for the region of Attia and the snow that kissed the mountains surrounding the Ancient city began to melt in enormous quantities. The tidal wave of doom that enclosed the Ancient city drowned it and anything left of the Voidal stench that had embalmed it.
And so the ancient city was lost to become nothing more than an ancient Swamp with almost nothing left but hints to the once great Attian Empire. The temperature lowered again across the entire north and the once fertile lands succumbed to wetlands and cold plains. The cursed bog where the imperial capital once stood is said to be haunted to these very days, and very few dwell inside it. Severan in the meantime became the leader of the estranged and scattered Attians waiting for yet another sign of their Maker.
The New Kingdom
The scattered peoples of Attia eventually settled in the Southern lands led under a new King named Onnodrith who had faced multiple trials of the Maker and his Sentinels. They pointed him to the brightest star in Eden that was hovering above a fertile valley. The star was named Hadriana, and thus the New Kingdom of Hadriana was born in what's known as the Second Intervention. It was at this juncture of time that the message of the Maker was recorded in the holy Dictus and the Church of the Maker was officially established. The Kingdom was challenged by existing tribes scattered across the Hinterlands in the south. The men of the Hinterlands always pestered the borders of the Old Attian Empire and this rivalry had but continued to the new Kingdom of Hadriana. The New Kingdom could however no longer rely on the ancient legionary system of Attia, because of its lower population. However the valley of Hadriana gave way for another blessing of the Maker for it was the home of the Hadrian Horse. This rare horse breed was equally ferocious in battle as loyal to its master. This made way for a specialised army corps of mounted warriors clad in iron, to serve the Kings of Hadriana. These so-called ‘Knights’ were renowned for their honor in battle and loyalty. The Kingdom of Hadriana trembled the peoples of the Hinterlands under the hoofs of these knights. The highest ranking amongst them being granted tiny plots of land to be cared for by them and their bloodlines.
The Rotting Plague