Celdun

Celdun is a peninsular human land, surrounded by ocean on three sides. The border to its north is a barrier mountain range which mostly separates it from the barren land called the Galduun Wastes.

Celdun has no significant naval forces. This is partly as compliance with the millenia-old Galduun Accords, which banned Celdun from having a national navy after the first Great War. However, privateers working for the crown have been quite prevalent for many centuries, trade ships have begun to sail again, and since the fracture of the monarchy, the Barons of coastal regions have begun to slowly increase their own military shipbuilding efforts.

Trade ships from outside nations occasionally approach Celdun, and send small vessels to dock and trade, but many avoid it as its laws and customs are dangerous to outsiders.

  • Avery Port - Large city on the western border which used to be a port.
  • Harreton - Large city in north central Celdun, previously the seat of the monarchy.
  • Salt Peak - Moderate sized salt mining town in east Celdun.
  • Havehollow - Small village on the southern coast of the Slevsky Barony.

In five of the seven Baronies, magic is punishable by death. If witches (most magic users of any kind, save for Clerics of the Light, are dubbed “witches” in Celdun) are located young they are taken to the closest Facilitation Center where they are taught by enslaved witches called Facilitators. They are taught extreme obedience, shackled with magic-dampening collars, and taught basic location and a handful of evasion and combat spells for use in the Hunt. Witches with relatively no talent are trained to be Branders and nothing more; they are used to brand the new children that are brought in.

Those with talent are taught to be Hunted (Although those with too much talent are often executed summarily). The Hunts are a way to train Marshals - a terrible practice that allows the Marshals to gain practice in hunting and killing witches. Occasionally, a witch evades capture beyond the end of a Hunt, making it into the safe areas outside the hunting grounds. Once they are reclaimed they are given their own choice of fates - lifelong service as a Brander or as a Facilitator, or to be escorted to the Wastes and released, exiled from Celdun on pain of death. The hunts are widely celebrated.

These procedures keep magic weeded mostly out. Use of magic for any reason is of curse strictly forbidden in the five witch-outlawed Baronies unless one is performing in a role, in the correct setting, as a Facilitator, Brander, or Hunted. In the two remaining Baronies, Villor and Mulak, magic is generally condemned and magic-users are often discriminated against, but the total outlaw of the craft and the reach of the Church and its Marshals has not yet extended to total control in these areas.

The Marshals are the mage hunters. The Marshals keep diligent track among themselves of who has killed how many mages, and what “grade” of mage it was. They are trained religiously by the Church of the Light, and then militarily at the Marshal Academy before being dispatched into the wild to locate Magi, roving solo or in pairs for the tenure of their careers. The Facilitation Centers are also guarded by Marshals.

Mages were at one point the major Healers in Celdun, as in most areas of Aithar. However, after the Day of Blood, the rulers of the Baronies who participated in the purge decreed that healers who had never been known to practice any other sort of magic – namely clerics of other denominations and religious beliefs – would be exempt from death as long as they never practiced witchcraft again. After being branded, and sworn upon pain of death to never again practice magic, they were left living so that they could be responsible for teaching the new generation of healers how to heal the sick using whatever non-magical techniques they were familiar with.

Celdun was historically a hereditary monarchy, which has been in the House of Creed since the founding of Harreton, ruling a disparate group of Baronies. Each time the monarch died, the Princes or Princesses who lived would be put forward as successors. The eldest child was often the choice of the Council, but not always. This council, formed by a representative sent from each Barony (often the Baron themselves) would make the selection and crown the new monarch. Lack of a consensus would mean that for one year, Celdun would be ruled by that same Council, at the end of which time, power would revert entirely to the Barons of each respective Barony if a ruler could not be approved and crowned. The standing national army would be dissolved, and all national taxes, benefits, and safeguards would fall away. Celdun would no longer be a land united. For centuries, this pattern stood. Sometimes, the rules were bent, when there were no suitable heirs, and a cousin, aunt or uncle, or other relation were tapped for the monarchy, but otherwise, succession was never a particularly problematic issue.

After leading a campaign against a group of evil warlocks and their followers in the mountains on Celdun's northern borders and into the Galduun Wastes region, King Jovan returned to a coup. He was cut down in the streets of Harreton by so-called rebels, agents of a group of the Barons, and the sole heir, Prince Garyth, was not approved by the Council, most of whom unfortunately were separatists and behind the regicide (or afraid of the same). A calm-mannered ten-year-old child, the Prince was thought by the general populace to be the salvation of a tired and bloodied nation, just free of a brutal war, who might rule in peace for some time, at least until his coming of age. But for reasons of greed and personal ambition, the Council decided otherwise. A short year later, the Baronies began to fight among themselves over the ruins of the Kingdom. Within the first five years of the independence of the Baronies, two of the nine Baronies had been absorbed by others, victims of short and vicious small-scale wars between the regions.

As for the monarchs, Prince Garyth was kept under a loose house arrest by the Barons during the intermediary year. The Day of Blood followed, as the Council announced the end of the monarchy and simultaneously declared magic use a capital offense in most Baronies. In the thirty years since, he has been lost to history, presumed to be dead or else to be rotting in some nameless dungeon, never to be heard from again.

2019/08/14 00:19 · asherion