- The world is called Wendfell.
- There are 7 (known) continents on the world, of differing sizes.
- Your story begins on the southeastern continent of Estuin.
- Estuin is made up of 3 countries:
- Meneras – Northwest
- Orindel – Northeast
- Soldenia – South
- Your story begins in the far south of the country of Soldenia.
Basic Information on Soldenia
Capital City/Seat of Power:
- Sol Denath Capital and home to the royal family
- Corvas Major western port city
- Dal Korrigh Ancient Dwarven underground city in the eastern mountains
- Val’ishad High Elven city atop the plateau on the far southeastern coast
Quick Summary of Soldenia:
In the grand scheme of things, Soldenia is one of the younger countries in the world. It’s also the most diverse nation in the world. It is exceedingly rare to encounter prejudice based on race or gender. The populace worships a variety of deities, but in modern times there is no overwhelming majority religion. While Soldenia is a Monarchy, its court and other systems are highly democratic and generally efficient. Soldenia has a strong connection with the Summer Fey. In fact, the capital city of Sol Denath houses the only constantly open gate between the two planes, known as the Summer Gate. Soldenia is well known for being isolationist and closing their borders in response to wars in which they are not directly involved. They maintain cordial relations with the neighboring countries to the north, but most trade is done indirectly through established lanes run by the island nation of Kestis across the sea to the west.
Geography and Climate:
Soldenia encompasses roughly 200,000 square miles of land with elevations ranging from mountain peaks to swampland at or below sea level. The country lies below the equatorial line of Wendfell, so the warmer regions of Soldenia are to the north. However, the southern coast is still well north of the frigid southern area near the poles. The waters around Soldenia tend to be relatively warm, cooling as one passes the southern coast.
Royalty and Titles of Soldenia
The Royal Family:
The Denath Royal family, based on the bloodline of King Gladrien Denath, rules from the city of Sol Denath.
- The bloodline was once patriarchal. It has been matriarchal for around 500 years.
- The current High Queen, Ellerial Denath has been ruler for 60 years.
- There is no King, instead the Queen’s mate is known as the High Consort.
- The next in line to the throne is known as the Rising Queen, her mate as the Rising Consort.
- All others in the line of Denath are simply known as a “Child of Denath,” their mates “Consort of Denath”
“Lady” and “Lord“
Titles bestowed on noble families through birth, who retain privilege from before the “Ruin of the Mad King“ (see below). Follows firstborn females, unless there is no female heir. It will then be passed on to the firstborn female of the next generation. Mates of Ladies/Lords are referred to as Lady/Lord respectively.
Title bestowed on those of no noble bloodline, but who prove themselves to the Queen directly or via nomination by a Child of Denath, Lady/Lord, or another Favored. A town may come together and petition that the Queen make someone Favored, but such things are rare.
Civic and Military Structure of Soldenia
The Shielding Council:
The Soldenian Army is run by three Generals who are appointed by, and all report directly to, the Queen, known collectively as “The Shielding Council.” One is charged with guarding the cities and roads (internal security); One with borders and waters (external security); and the third with lands and peoples (crime and punishment).
The Courts of Justice:
The court system is built upon a hierarchy of local magistrates who are elected by the people, with their choice being approved by the Queen. Local magistrates report to regional magistrates, who answer to the 13-person court of Grand magistrates in Sol Denath, who answer directly to the Queen.
Other Government Offices:
A variety of other civic offices exist, each holding responsibility for concerns such as trade, diplomacy, public infrastructure, and all other facets required to maintain a functioning nation. The heads of the various offices are elected by the people and approved by the Queen.
The High Queen’s Council:
The Queen maintains a council of advisors made up of the Shielding Council, the Grand Magistrate of the Courts of Justice, the head of each of the civic offices, and the official Ambassador of the Summer Court of the Fey. She also, at her discretion, often requires 3 representatives of the people be chosen at random to give their opinion on matters of import. These are selected randomly via magic and are transported via teleportation by a personal envoy of the Queen to the meeting of the Council. They are compensated in gold for their time and willing service to the crown. To be chosen is seen by most Soldenian citizens as a great honor, despite the selection being entirely random.
Guilds and Organizations of Note
The Elias Enclave:
A scholarly group of individuals working to catalog the history and peoples of Soldenia. Headquartered out of Sol Denath, they maintain a massive library and archive of historical works. They have smaller branch offices in each of the four major cities. Named after the great scholar Dagoth Elias who founded the organization, they’re generally respected because they do a lot of good for their communities via volunteering. They also provide regular literacy and history lectures and classes anyone may attend at no cost.
The Goodkind Guild:
The Goodkind Guild provides a means for adventurers and sellswords of good reputation to take on missions for various groups and individuals. An international organization, the Guild’s headquarters is located in the country of Bastillia, on the continent of Aesora. Their main Soldenian office is located in Sol Denath, but small branch offices are spread out throughout the larger cities and towns of the country, along with some small outposts in the more untamed areas of the land. They are actively neutral in all political matters, and are sworn to serve the greater good, as judged by their leadership, the 7-member Council of Goodkind. Membership comes with advantages, such as use of teleportation circles and better missions. They are willing to take on individuals or groups of adventurers as “Allies of Goodkind” until such time as they prove themselves worthy of membership.
The Order of Wendfellows:
A group of researchers and archivists with a keen interest in conservation and the natural world. Many of the “Wendfellows,” as they’re known, are druids, but anyone is welcome to apply to join or volunteer their time helping the Order. They have no centralized headquarters, operating instead on a chapter system with local leadership gathering together in a democratically-chosen location when decisions of note must be made.
The Vesperit Guild:
An international guild of alchemists and transmuters, the Vesperit are based out of the Elven city of Val’ishad in the far southeast of Soldenia. The Guild maintains a prestigious college in Val’ishad dedicated to training in the alchemical and transmutation sciences, as well as research. Earning one’s mantle as a full member of the Vesperit Guild can open many doors across the world of Wendfell. However, doing so is extremely arduous and competitive, and the Guild guards its archives and secrets well, to ensure they are not used for ill purposes.
Grodge and Windel’s Assorted Goods:
Founded 90 years ago by Bodrick Grodge and Sampton Windel – two enterprising young halflings from the idyllic heartland of Soldenia – Grodge and Windel’s is a chain of retail stores with branches found in nearly every city, town, and village on the continent of Estuin. All branches sell a variety of common goods, most everything a person could need. Each store has these basic goods, along with additional stock relevant to the community in which they are located.
The Grodge and Windel’s in Sol Denath is their flagship location – a three-story shopping experience with a dedicated rare goods department, a full-service restaurant, and even a real estate department where homes and land may be purchased right on site. In recent years, they’ve also successfully petitioned both the High Queen of Soldenia and the Summer Queen of the Fey Court and attained the right to move goods between the two realms. They opened their first store in the Summer capital of Ambris Sol just over a year ago, and business continues to prosper.
Soldenia: A Timeline of Major Historical Events
Excerpts from “A People’s History of Soldenia” by Seras Guim of the Elias Enclave
The Founding of Soldenia
King Gladrien Denath united the various human tribes with the dwarves in the eastern mountains and the elves of the southern reach beyond the Auldwood forest. They named the lands that would fall under this unification “Soldaenextia,” which over time was shortened to “Soldenia.”
The name was rooted in the phrase “Sol Denath Aen Extentia,” which, as translated from the archaic common tongue, states “The Light of Denath is Eternal.” Various legends give different reasonings as to why the unification happened and the true role of Gladrien Denath, however, very little is known of this time, due to the loss of artwork and historical records during the period known as “the Mad King’s Ruin.”
Circa Year 820
The Age of Misfortune
Around 600 years ago, the great dragon Korvanyx invaded Soldenia and ravaged the country, setting up a hoard in Mount Charibas on the northwestern coast of the country. The great beast did as it pleased for 15 years, killing all who rose in opposition. It demanded tribute in sacrifices and gold, and took great pleasure in wreaking havoc throughout the countryside. It was finally defeated sometime around the year 834.
Multiple versions of the events surrounding exactly who, when, and by what means Korvanyx was killed have been passed down through the centuries in song, story, and written word. None have been verified as the true account, but all agree on one vague detail: The beast’s death caused a cataclysm of some sort that killed half of Soldenia’s population in less than a day. Entire cemeteries were commissioned and filled in the weeks following this mysterious cataclysm. Unfortunately, written records from that period are exceedingly rare, due to the losses sustained during the period known as “the Mad King’s Ruin.”
Circa Year 887
The Mad King’s Ruin
50 years after the defeat of the great dragon Korvanyx, High King Selwyn Denath came to power upon the death of his father, Medullyn Denath. Within 6 months of assuming the crown, the young King began to complain of a variety of odd ailments. Examples include: hearing fingers scratching inside his pillows at night, his eyelids feeling “too tight,” and worrying that he was being watched at all times by a giant, invisible spectral beast.
The King continued to grow more and more paranoid and unpredictable over time, but none could assist him without risking his often-deadly ire. Things reached a boiling point when the King ordered the mass destruction of wide swaths of Soldenian culture, including the burning of the grand library in Corvas, the museum of Val’ishad, and more.
Two months later, the King was found dead in one of the fountains in the castle gardens. Records suggest he committed suicide by stabbing himself through the heart, though oddly, a few accounts indicate the blade was found sprouting from his back. With no remaining male heir, his 13-year-old sister, Sanawyn Denath, took the throne. She proved to be a competent and just ruler, and as a result there were few complaints when she proclaimed the monarchy would thenceforth after her reign follow matriarchal lines.
The Divine Consolidation
A century later, High Queen Benicia Denath the Enlightened proclaimed that all divine worship should be consolidated. This was done in order to make all worship equal in the sight of the law and the crown. Each town would, from that day forward, have one central temple for worship, with shrines to each major deity branched out from around the interior. Citizens would still be allowed to set up personal shrines in their homes, but no building dedicated to a particular God may be lawfully constructed. This has become a normal aspect of Soldenian society in modern times. Per her decree, each temple was accorded a Keeper of the Divine and various Assistant Keepers whose purpose was to maintain the temple and grounds. All priests and servitors of the gods – in addition to the Keepers – are required to undergo extensive training at the Royal College of Divinity in Sol Denath before being allowed to provide religious services to the public.
Three centuries ago, the Rising Queen, Mylena Denath, loved to traverse the wilder parts of the Auldwood along with her guards. One late Spring day, she became separated from her companions, and came across a small ruined camp, not realizing she had passed through one of the many weak places in the veil between the Auldwood and the Feywild. Inside the tattered tent, she found a sandy-haired man who had been gored horrendously by some sort of beast, and was at the point of death. She dressed his wounds and returned with him to Sol Denath, spending days by his side as he lay unconscious in the care of the royal healers.
On the 13th day, he awoke, but refused to tell her his name for 13 more. During that time, he came to love and trust her, and finally told her his name: Prince Erenis of the Summer Court of the Fey. As soon as he spoke his name aloud, a messenger arrived at the door from his mother, the Summer Queen of Ambris Sol, following the sound of his true name. A formal courtship followed, along with many joyful delegations. The two wed, in time, and across the planes, the two bloodlines became entangled – thus this is known to history as “The Entanglement.”
The fairy queen’s gift to the newlyweds was installation of a permanent gate in Sol Denath into the Feywild, emerging not far from Summer Capital City of Ambris Sol. Erenis, being Fey, outlived his mortal love, Mylena. Many say he still lives, spending his days in solitude beyond the Glasstop Sea in the Feywild. Their bloodline, however, now long-lived due to the partial Fey heritage, still rules to this day.
Today – Borders Closed in Response to War
It is currently spring in Soldenia, and a war has broken out between multiple countries and alliances spanning three of the seven continents of Wendfell. As expected, the High Queen has ordered all borders closed and guarded both via military presence and use of magic. During this period, no one will be allowed in or out of Soldenia without the express permission of the High Queen herself. All Soldenian citizens were provided with advanced warning, allowing time for them to set any affairs in order and return to Soldenia, should they so choose.