Most of our stories have taken place within Rubia, a human Kingdom on the western shore of the Old Continent. To the North it borders the dwarven Kingdom of Cascadia with whom they have strong trading relations similarly to the Free Cities to the south. To the east lies the Minthras Imperium (formerly the Land of the Cleavers, a confederacy of orc tribes).
The Kingdom of Rubia is a feudal monarchy ruled by Queen Merilda III. Only a minority of the land belongs to the Crown, the Queen mostly relies on her vassals (dukes and counts) to provide taxes and soldiers, in return they get a great deal of autonomy in how they govern (this has led to a number of abuses and shady deals). This freedom benefits the nobility greatly so they have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. On magical matters the Queen is advised by Archmage Vilgefortz, who resides at the court in Oringrad at all times.
The Archmage is not only the personal advisor of the monarch but also the head of the Council of Mages whose members are elected for life by the sorcerers of Rubia. The Council of Mages is called together only in times of great magical danger. It is common that mages serve their full duty in the Council without the Council ever being called together. When not advising the Queen, council members are free to leave Rubia, and in fact they frequently do so to visit empires of the Old Continent and the Western Continent, they are however, required to return to Oringrad immediately at the summon of their Archmage.
The vast majority of Rubia’s population follows Pelor, the god of Light. The influence of the clergy is very strong in Rubia, this is most apparent in the presence of the Knights of the Holy Flame, their military order, whose strength rivals the armies of the Crown. Practice of other non-evil deities is allowed but uncommon outside minority groups (e.g. halflings). Also, the worship of non-deities (e.g. dragons) is forbidden.Most of the population is human with small pockets of elves (mostly around forests, often druids), dwarves (mining towns in the north) and halflings (Rolling Hills). Cities are racially mixed but the majority is always human. In general there is little racial tension except for orcs and half-orcs who are viewed with distrust as many people associate them with the Cleaver orcs from the east who used to raid settlements along the border.
Recent History Edit
Queen Merilda III ascended to the throne little more than 15 years ago at the age of 16 after her father and his archmage had fallen in battle against the Cleaver orcs. The young Queen promoted her mentor, Vilgefortz to the position of Archmage and has been following his advice ever since. Her reign has mostly been peaceful, but her resentment towards orcs led her to legalize their enslavement soon after her ascension to the throne. She also funded a number of slaver expeditions into Cleaver territories as orc slaves were in high demand for the newly established colonies of Two Sisters. Queen Merilda focused most of Rubia’s resources on these colonies as the booming sugar trade produced exorbitant revenues. To safeguard the colonies and the Rubian monopoly on sugar she commissioned a powerful navy equipped with the most modern weaponry (cannons), while neglecting Rubia’s land army and fortifications. For security on land she increasingly relied on the Knights of the Holy Flame, a military order of the Church of Pelor.
Recently Rubia has experienced a string of extreme bad luck that put the kingdom at the brink of destruction. First, the previously dormant krakens awakened and decimated the Royal Navy. Later a surprisingly well armed slave revolt took over the colony of South Sister massacring all humans on the island and destroying the sugar plantations, the kingdom’s main source of revenue. Meanwhile in the East the Minthras Imperium invaded the Land of the Cleavers. Although Rubia provided some support to the orcs, they were easily defeated in the Battle of Ragged Gorge making the Imperium the realm’s new eastern neighbour. Now Rubia is a weakened kingdom with a sunken navy, a neglected army and an empty treasury waiting for the inevitable war with its new neighbor.
And war did come. With their allies abandoning them the Rubian Royal Army was quickly overwhelmed at Kaedwen Crossing. Although the majority of the nobility managed to escape, but the Knights of the Holy Flame stayed to hold the line (none survived). The Imperial Army ravaged the Kingdom but in the end Rubia was saved by The Faultless Arrow who unleashed the Edict of Fire on the invaders, sacrificing the city of Oringrad in the process.
After the War Edit
The Imperial Army devastated the heart of Rubia, most cities in the central region have been looted and a significant portion of the population was either taken as slaves or pressed into service for the Crimson Tide. The loss of Oringrad, home of the Royal Court and a major trading hub, disrupted both commerce and governance. Fortunately, with the aid of Cascadia, the Kingdom is on the road of recovery, most of the damage has been repaired in a few months, the Royal Court has moved to Sylnerion and Dewport and Westport took over as the new trading hub in Rubia.
The victory over the invaders showed the world the Imperium can be defeated emboldening the rest of the Old Continent. The Kingdom of Cascadia and Rubia and the remaining Free Cities formally declared each other allies and both rulers swore an oath to come to each other's aid in times of war. All knew that the resulting peace was just temporary, the Emperor can not let such a blemish on the Imperium's reputation fester. His retribution will be overwhelming and without mercy...