Pennamore - The Mist Continent - The Riverlands
mist continent1 by skaforhire, on Flickr
Few know of the continent that the Royal Geographers call "The Mist Continent." Few from Historica's courts have been to this far off western continent. Most stories about the Mistlands or Riverlands comes from some of the most skilled navigators of the great trading houses and companies such as the Petraea General Trading Company, The Avalonia Trading Company, or the Greater Eastgate Article and Resupply Company. Still, very few residents of the Mist Continent have actually visited Historica in the last 200 years - despite the Moon Princess's claim on the Throne of Historica.
The Guild of Pennamore is territory often called "The Riverlands," because that is where the Guild originated from on the continent before their conquest. Today, the guild owns all the lands of the Mist Continent, thus has many different terrains. Still, the River People's culture is considered high culture in Pennamore, and the only accepted language at the Moon Princess's court is Pennamorish. The Pnnamorish people are highly honorable, and the greatest source of honor is building a legacy - almost always through architecture, and often by building bridges in the marshy deltas of the continent. The guild has had a policy of isolation for the last 700 years, since their failed attempt to take Historica. The only place that traders from other continents are allowed to dock is a large island off the west coast with a city called Trader's Port. The rest of the continent remains mostly a mystery to outsiders. Because of the deep and thick mists that often surround the mainland, it is easy to keep foreign navigators away.
Colors: Blue and Gold
Religious Capital: Olsbrent
Guild Leader: The Moon Princess Valdonna and Maenz of Parwidth
Races found on Pennamore: Human (80%), with sizable Elf, Orc, Troll, Half-man, and Wolfman populations.
Climate: Mostly wet, Jungle, rain forest, and large forest. Has a sizable mountain range with limited volcanic activity, and a fairly large desert region.
Architecture: A mix of East Asian / Tibetan/ and Norman with hints of Mongol. Common theme is the moon and tides, which leads to many curves in structures for builders who have the money.
The Birth of a Guild:
2000 years ago the Mist Continent was controlled by warlords. The Great War of the Tides, where the Sealord Vaskis was deposed, changed the layout of the continent for over 1500 years. (It is said that Vaskis took his exile to the continent of Historia and later conquered great swaths of land there.) Three guilds had risen to power. In the parched plateau there lived the Guild of Horrance. The Horrancians were mighty people of the bow and horse. It was said that most of these men and women lived, loved, and died on horseback. They were a fearsome lot, with a high Khan that ruled the smallest of the three guilds. The second guild, the coastal merchants of the Trader's League, lived between the Dawn Mountains and the western coast of the continent. They were a prosperous lot, with great ships that sailed the world over. The third and largest guild was the Riverlands. During the War of the Tides a King living in the center of the Riverlands, Parwidth Pennamore, consolidated not only his fellow Riverfolk, but the warriors of the Midlands and the Northwaters. This created a guild that was 2/3rds of the continent.
Origin of the Riverlands:
The Riverlands themselves, were a territory dominated by many mighty rivers that created a vast marshy plane also known as the Great Delta. Many islands sprung up in between the rivers, some miles long, some mere yards across. The land was extremely fertile, and the area soon became heavily inhabited. Men, as individuals and clans, took to claiming the islands of the Great Delta. At one time, there were a thousand kings in the delta, and the most powerful were those men who laid claim to the coastal finger islands, large tracts of land that were legitimate islands that could be held by naval forces. Still, the kings upriver did well for themselves, creating multi-marsh-island fiefdoms. In these lands bridges and barges became more important than horses and castles. Most of the Marsh kings lived in fortified bridges that connecter their small islands.
Then came the greatest bridge builder of them all: Parwidth. He created a central city in the middle of the great river Aristona at the head of the Great Delta. His bridges were magnificent, and many of the lesser marsh kings around him flocked to his banners. The city that would eventually bear his name would become center for learning, military drill, and watercraft building. However, the golden age was short-lived. Out of the Midlands came Vaskis the Conqueror. After Vaskis consolidated the Midlands, a semi-dryer environment between the Riverlands and the geographically-similar Northwaters, he moved north to take the lesser lords of the Northwaters. After this he swept into what is now called the Trade Coast, or the west coast of the continent, dominating the seafarers there. After that Vaskis moved south around the Dawn mountains and defeated the great Parched Plateau horsemen.
Vaskis soon turned his troops on the holy site of Olsbrent, where the King of the Moon lived. The King of the moon was a religious figure in those days, presiding over royal weddings, feast days, and sacrifice to the old and new gods. Olsebrent was under siege and a pigeon was sent to Parwidth. The builder was a good friend of the Moon King, but he also knew that it would not be long until Vaskis won his siege and rode east to the Riverlands. Parwidth called his small council, promoted them all to high Lords of the Realm, and put out a general call for the river kings to swear fealty to him. His offer: Any man or woman who claimed and held an island in the great delta could come to his court and become a lord in his kingdom. They would not have to pay taxes, just send men for defense of the realm. They would also be rewarded with riches from the upcoming campaign, land in the Midlands, and they would forever be friends of the great city that he had built. He then threatened to build a bridge, no matter the distance, to any king that held out and did not join his realm. Astonishingly, only one war was fought to consolidate the Kingdom of Riverlands - the battle for Fareach, the last of the finger kingdoms.
Upon consolidation, Parwidth marched his new legions west to liberate Olsbent. The campaign was long and brutal, but eventually Vaskis was defeated and sent into exile. King Pennamore was victorious and he granted independence to two guilds - the Horrance and the Traders league. He kept Pennamore as a kingdom, but when he died without an heir, Pennamore became a guild with an elected leader. For 1500 years the three guilds lived in relative peace. Pennamore, allied with the Trade League sailed an army to Historica in order to conquer the continent about 780 years ago. However, under the leadership of Bryan the Bold, the Cedrican forces were able to finally drive the Mistborne troops back into the sea. Many men from that army declined to sail home and settled on the out-setting islands of the Inland Sea in present day Kaliphlin.
About 500 years ago, the Pennamore Guild elected another expansive rule - Kragen. Kragan was a military genius, quickly forcing the interior lands, commonly known as the Holy Reach, under his control. He made the Moon Queen Hildaria bow to him, crown him emperor of the continent, and finally she wed him. He took on the mantle of Moon Emperor and quickly brought the Trade League under sway. The Northwaters, which had been guildless for 1500 years, was his next target. They fell in three months, leaving only the Horrance peoples to oppose Kragen. The campaign for the parched plateau lasted ten years. The great horselords kept moving, and the great city in the middle of the desert, Kharstark, never fell to the Kragen. Eventually the Horrance guild and the Empire of Pennamore came to the negotiating table. The two smaller guilds and the Northwaters lords would submit to Pennamore rule, if and only if, the Moon prince (which was not Kragan's son, but a son of the moon queen from her previous husband) would be the successor to the Moon Throne and rule the whole empire. It was also decided that upon Kragen's death, the whole continent would become one unified guild under the Moon Prince as a symbolic ruler, with a noble council that would choose the new leader of the executive guild. The council of nobles would consist mainly of Riverlands nobles and a few representatives of each other region. Kragen could not object because he was dying of a campaign disease hundreds of miles away in Parwidth. With his death came the second great period of peace, and the current ruling structure of the guild.
The Guild Today:
DSC_1837 by skaforhire, on Flickr
There are five different divisions within the guild, although the Riverlanders, or the heirs of Pennamore, rule the guild . Each Area has a distinct culture, but Riverlander culture has bled into all of them. Honor is especially important on the continent of Pennamore. Except for on the trade coast, worth is determined most often by what one builds in life. This means that even the tiniest marsh-lord of the Riverlands or Northwaters can be considered to have great honor if he or she builds a magnificent bridge or castle on their tiny island. In the Parched Plateau, where the horselords live, it is about how many horses one has bred over their life - so again, the idea of building a great legacy plays deeply into the guild's culture. All Marshlords - those who claim to own an island in the Great Delta or in the Northwaters - are summoned to court each year. They are accompanied by 3 representatives from each of other regions: the Trade Coast, the Parched Plateau, and the Holy Cities. The Midlands is not and has never been represented. At the gathering of the Marshlords, each lord is required to list their deeds over the years past. It is here where honor is gained.
DSC_1834 by skaforhire, on Flickr
The current Guild leader is Maenz of Parwidth - The Marshlords (as the noble council has come to be called now) chose him seven years ago. Guild leaders rule for 40 years or until their death, whichever comes first, and then a new election is held. He was once a Warrior of the Moon - the official army of the Capital and the Holy Cities. These soldiers, like their princess, wear all white. Above Maenz proudly presents the banner of Pennamore with two Warriors of the Moon as escort. Because every man is expected to fight in combat, Riverlanders rarely have standard bearers - usually preferring to secure the unit's banner to the back of the bravest warrior (he becomes a target of course.) Maenz has always demanded that he wear the banner, and has the scars to prove it.
DSC_1841 by skaforhire, on Flickr
DSC_1839 by skaforhire, on Flickr
The other leader of the guild, at least ceremonially, is the Moon Princess Valdonna. Pictured above with her bodyguard and advisor, the D'jin Estea. He was trapped long ago by the royal family, and has been a guardian of the ruler ever since. It is rumored that the Princess has sent an envoy to Historica, in hopes to secure a marriage to the prince heir so that they combine their great realms together. Other rumors point to these envoys as spys, preparing a new invasion of Historica.
DSC_1842 by skaforhire, on Flickr
The architecture of the Guild is diverse, but dominated by moon and waves decoration when money allows. Additionally, peoples of the Riverlands, Midlands, and Northwaters tend to build their structures on stilts or elevated due to the flooding of the many rivers and deltas of those areas. Bridges are considered artwork, as most legacies are made by building such connections. The architecture of the Dawn Mountains / Holy Cities takes on a east Asian feel (Tibetan) whereas the Trade Coast seems more Mediterranean. The great trade city of Mar Kading sits on canals, and is strangely similar to coastal architecture of some Kaliphlin ports. The Parched Plateau has little permanent building, other than its central city of Khanstark. This city is plain, low to the ground, and mostly made of mud. Below you can see the vinette "The least of the Marshlords." This demonstrates one of the many proud Riverlanders and his entire holding.
DSC_1867 by skaforhire, on Flickr
A few other pictures of Lord Enith's domain:
DSC_1868 by skaforhire, on Flickr
DSC_1869 by skaforhire, on Flickr
As you can see, Lord Enith, least of the Marshlords, took three tiny little islands in a bog (hence green water instead of blue - and I don't have any blue) within the Great Delta, and built upon them his fiefdom. Like most structures in the Great Delta, his fortress stands on long stilts. The structure itself is mostly wood and slate, lacquered white to stand out.
DSC_1870 by skaforhire, on Flickr
The back (I really need to break my habit of tilting right when shooting...)
DSC_1873 by skaforhire, on Flickr
Enith is a gracious host, and even waves to passers at the rear of his fortress.
DSC_1875 by skaforhire, on Flickr
In this picture you can see all of Lord Enith's subjects. There is his young daughter on the second tower, his son with standing watch on the first floor alongside his Enith's good friend and knight, Sir Havros. On the second deck you can see the one foot soldier he employs - Henri. In times of war he sends Henri to ride under the Moon banners.
DSC_1877 by skaforhire, on Flickr
In the Riverlands and the Northwaters, you are no one if you do not own a bridge. Well, the three rocks that Enith calls islands were too small to build his habitat and a bridge on, so he built a sky bridge between levels for defensive purposes and to demonstrate his skill as a builder. Most bridges in the region resemble a half crescent, as this signifies the moon.
DSC_1864 by skaforhire, on Flickr
The structure itself is meant to look haphazard, Enith basically put anything he could find together to build his sanctuary, and he didn't quite use the latest architectural techniques. In his mind, there is nothing a new coat of lacquer can't fix.
Edited by SkaForHire, 23 September 2012 - 04:32 PM.