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"Arkland's destiny is not one of complacency but of action! Never before in our history has our nation been so formidable, so wealthy, and so resolute in its desire to expand. My King, my Lords and Ladies of the court, the Light of Arkland has never burned brighter, and the time of our manifest destiny is upon us. Let us not hold back within our walls, but instead, let us bring the Light to the non-believers. Let us bring the strength of Arkland to bear on our ancient enemies, and let us show the world, a world obsessed and addicted with the Spirits, that the true strength of Humanity lies in the hard work of its labor, in the fervor of its devotion, and its ability to forge cold steel!" - High Priest David Regnard addressing the King's Court in the year PC 4.

The Kingdom of Arkland is a land of high civilization, bolstered by a thriving trade economy and an inseparable connection to the seas from which the people of Arkland originally came. As foreign settlers, the people of Arkland first left their homeland in flight from a famine and settled on Indagar. They established the Bay of Kings as their own, ceasing control of it from the Stars of Ixhotl. The Kingdom of Arkland has been standing for over one-thousand years, having seen both long periods of war and peace. Arkland has been the protector of the eastern shores of The Republic for one-thousand years. To live in Arkland is to be a citizen of a structured, baronistic kingdom and to be attached to technology, trade, and the ocean. The artisans and engineers of Arkland have long been able to produce some of the finest goods in the known world, and this has made the Kingdom of Arkland a very rich, naval, trading power.

The Kingdom[]

In present times, King Geran the Fifth was recently assassinated, and the Kingdom of Arkland is establishing a new king. Kings are established by decree of the powerful barons, each in control of some county that is apart of the Kingdoms. These barons are rich and powerful land owners, each a product of their own dynasties, and they must constantly vie for power among the other powerful families within their Baronies to establish themselves as a current ruler. Barons come and go, sometimes as often as the seasons, as these powerful families all plot to become the next baron. Beneath the barons are lords who oversee land management and also the smaller cities of Arkland with King's Crossing, the largest city in Arkland, being under the direct governance of the King and the Baron of King's Crossing. Still beneath these lords are appointed officials and governors of smaller estates, farms, and subdivisions of cities. This ruling elite controls a populace of mostly peasants but also of a strong middle-tier of society made up of merchants, traders, scholars, engineers, and craftsmen.

The kingdom controls all of the land of the Bay of Kings and is bordered to the east by the ocean and to the west by the plains of Indagar, territory of the Stars of Ixohtl. The kingdom is divided into nine baronies, each controlled by a baron's ruling family. Much of the land of Arkland is temperate and fertile, and large portions of the bay are dedicated to farming, husbandry, or mineral mining. Each of these counties boasts a capital city, a meeting place for the people of the county and the place of central governance. The barons keep their palaces within each of these cities and act as their supreme rulers, creating and enforcing law, managing the business of the nobility, hiring and maintaining bureaucrats, and issuing edicts and decrees to the populace.

Within the cities of Arkland, there is a large aristocracy typically made up of successful business people who have made a small fortune trading goods across the seas and all of Indagar. The powerful navy of Arkland protects trading lanes. Most counties have a border with the Bay of Kings, allowing trading vessels and fleets to dock and transfer goods. This large middle and upper tier of society is what has kept Arkland stable for over a thousand years. Although the majority of the populace of Arkland are peasants and workers, enough of the population has enough wealth to maintain order with the peasantry remaining proud of their nation.

Learn More About: Arkland Social Strata, Arkland Economy, Arkland Political Structure

The Baronies of Arkland[]

History of Arkland[]

The original homeland of Arkland was known as Montilliare, a mountainous continent with deep valleys which run throughout its western shores. During the time of the founding of Arkland, Montilliare was the home of many disparate kingdoms, barely more than city-states. Life in this region was tough as colder weather plagued the area and farming was difficult. However, the rugged people of this area, who had settled from lands farther south on the continent, were proud of their ability to survive and built villages and cities on the often hostile terrain. These kingdoms often found themselves at odds, fighting over land and resources, but the people in general, still prospered.

The western shores of Montilliare were very important as they had calm seas, and as such, ports could be built not only to produce fishing villages, important when the farm lands ran bare due to a harsh, early winter, but also the start of a trading region where goods and services could be brought in by ship. So began the history of Arkland, embedded in a culture which lived by the sea.

Over 1200 years ago, a blight struck the land of Montilliare. Facing starvation, a few of the kingdoms banded together in an attempt to send colonists across the seas to a land that was newly discovered. This land was the Bay of Kings on Indagar. They did this out of desperation, needing to shrink their populations so that the competition for food and resources would not be so high. A people who were already used to a rugged life and to constant struggle, the colonists, most made up of the young men and women of families and a small protectorate, set out on a long voyage to Indagar.

Upon landing on the Arkland Peninsula, the colonists almost immediately came into hostile contact with the Stars of Ixohtl. Unable to return home and not provisioned for a longer voyage, the people of Montilliare simply decided that they fate was sealed, one way or another, and they began to fight. They were able to drive the Stars back and set up a colony on the Arkland Peninsula, eventually conquering and settling the city of King's Crossing.

A fleet already at hand, these adventurous people began establishing trade routes across the seas, especially back to their homeland, and traded the valuable Ironwood that they discovered. They shipped food, goods, and crafts. Through this, Arkland became a hub for artisans, engineers, marketers, and businesswomen over a long period of time.

Learn More About: Establishing Arkland, Rising Power of the East, Arkland's Relationship with its Homeland

The Wealth of Trade[]

Establishing itself early on as a trade capital, Arkland grew quickly in power and wealth. Although, continued wars with the Stars of Ixohtl during its early years kept it from fully thriving. Under the control of The Republic, the Kingdom grew into a mighty sea power fueled by a great trade wealth. A people of hard work and ingenuity, Arkland became a focal point for great minds seeking their fortunes as they had money to invest in new ideas and the ability to produce new resources.

The trading fleets of Arkland grew by leaps and bounds. They began sailing the entire sea around Indagar. They continued trade with the continent of their homeland and even made contact with The Minsheng Empire. This level of business and trade allowed even normal working class individuals to begin to develop wealth and eventually created a powerful merchant class. Growing so rich off of business, the King of Arkland also began to establish laws around the free creation of business, allowing those with ambition an avenue in life to success.

The cities and towns of Arkland were born of this wealth. The population became healthy and strong as widely available resources benefited all walks of life. Arkland spread to farms and nearby villages eventually claiming all of the land surrounding Bay of Kings.

Learn More About: Merchant Class. Shipping Economy

The King's Army[]

Due to its wealth, Arkland has nearly always maintained a professional military throughout it's history. Due to its ability to trade and some inherent natural resources, that military has also been extremely well equipped, trained, and funded. Being a soldier in the so-called, King's Army, is a profession, one which is undergone by choice as young men and women enlist to serve Lord Commanders as soldiers. The profession is well paid and offers an avenue of success to those who join, but the life of a soldier is demanding and difficult. Soldiers spend a large part of the year living together in barracks. They do this as part of their training, learning to trust their battle brothers with their lives. They train together, nearly daily, drilling combat techniques, tactics, skills, and strategy. Any Arkland soldier is expected to be able to step up, when needed, to the rank of battlefield command should an officer be slain, and as such, battlefield education is part of their daily regiment.

The King's Army is actually comprised of the banners of many Lord Commanders who are all funded by the various baronies and the powerful and rich families therein. Although referred to as the King's Army, in fact, in order for all of Arkland to march to war, an accord must be reached between the barons, and thereby to the families within those baronies, to send their armies to war as a single nation. It is also not uncommon in the history of Arkland for a powerful and rich family within a barony to use its banners to gain control of a barony or for one barony to attack another in a power grab.

Soldiers are assigned roles when entering the army, either as infantry, cavalry, war machines, or archers. This will dictate the next many years of their training as they specialize in those roles. They learn not only the skills necessary to that battlefield job but also how to work in concert with their fellow soldiers. As a result, the soldiers of Arkland are not only powerful warriors in their own right, but they have also mastered the ability to use formations and also how to work in conjunction with other forces to be stronger as an army than just the sum of its parts.

By working their way up through the ranks, soldiers can become Officers. These are individuals who are training to one day assume the title of Lord Commander, a title which not only asserts control over many soldiers but also is a political title that is granted land and wealth. Lord Commanders draw the major battle plans for the soldiers of Arkland and march them to war as well as to the defense of the King and ultimately to the lord or lady that funds their company. Lord Commanders are also part of the political arena, being the connection between the barons and their armies.

The King's Army, when amassed, is quite small in number as the population of Arkland is, by comparison, also quite small. Their history, full of winning battles that were completely lop-sided, has taught Arkland the value of a professional, well-equipped military. That tradition continues as although they are small in number, skill and training more than make up for it. The soldiers or Arkland are the best trained, single fighting force in the known world.

Learn More About: Banners of Arkland, Banner Structure, Life of an Arkland Soldier

The Edict of Light[]

King Geran the Third issued the Edict of Light in 901 AF which established the Priests of Light as a militant arm of the King of Arkland. Having adopted a new religion, one based off of the belief that Light Magic is created and sustained by the mother Sun Goddess, King Geran the Third believed that it was the divine destiny of Arkland to spread the light across all of Indagar and eventually the world. It was his belief that the searing light was the Red Sun God's way of driving back the darkness and that the earth could become clean again by humanity choosing to follow the light. To spread the word of the light through Arkland, the Priests of Light were established as an official, national force in Arkland.

More of an inquisition than an actual priesthood, the populace of Arkland, many of whom already followed, as a direction from the king but also under threat of the Priests, quickly converted to this new religion. The divine destiny of the light invaded all political aspects of Arkland society and changed the way that Arklanders thought about themselves in relation to the rest of The Republic. Seeing themselves as the deliverers of the Goddess's light, Arkland assumed a role of aloofness in its foreign relations and began sending Priests into the neighboring lands to convert followers. In current times, the Edict of Light was issued just over 100 years ago.

Priests of Light[]

As a militant order, the Priests of Light are martially trained clergy who follow the religion of the Goddess's Light. They are all gifted mages with the powers of Light Magic. The priesthood has a strict hierarchy of control with the highest priest, known as the Light of Arkland, being the head of the priesthood, and an adviser to the King. From there, a network of High Priests direct the operations of the order down through the ranks of the Priests and Paladins all the way to the Adepts, who are Priests in training. Priests are the most commonly seen members of the order. Priests proselytize the religion of light to followers and maintain temples, but they also train in the use of armor and weapons. Their ability to harness Light Magic takes a battle oriented slant as they learn to wield spells of great power in combat, but also, they learn to use the dangerous yet effective healing properties of Light Magic as well in order to tend their flocks.

The order determined long ago that Priests, although powerful, still maintained too much of a connection to being clergy and to the study of magic to truly be the militant arm of the religion. Therefore, the order of Paladins was also created to train great warriors to lead the priesthood into battle if needed. Paladins are holy warriors, the secret weapons of the order, who train and meditate daily to combine the powers of Light Magic with an extreme martial regiment to produce world class combatants. Paladins are powerful and spiritual people, singularly devoted to the religion of light, one which promotes peace and humility, while also harboring the darker side of violence within them.

Neither Priests nor Paladins take on families or children, dedicating their lives to their purpose. To join the priesthood means essentially giving up one's life for the cause of defending the Goddess. They train and live inside monasteries which are often attached to temples or cathedrals.

The Priests of Light often accompany the King's Army to war, even though they are two separate organizations. The Lord Commanders respect the power of the priesthood, especially valuing the raw power of Paladins. Thereby, as Arkland pushes outward so does the religion of light.

Learn More About: Priests of Light, Origins of the Priesthood, Light of Arkland

Walls of Arkland[]

In response to increasing hostilities with the Stars of Ixohtl, an ancient enemy of Arkland that has long been an ally while under the banner of The Republic, Arkland completed construction of the Walls of Arkland to protect King's Crossing from the people of the plains. This wall network is a military fortification which stretches across the northern boundary of the Barony of Kings Crossing and also covers areas in the mountain passes just west of King's Crossing. This creates a land barrier between Arkland and the plains. This massive construction project was unfathomably expensive, and the timeline in which they were able to complete its construction was unbelievable. Said to be a product of Light Magic, the Wall now protects Arkland in the current, turbulent times.

The Wall is a thick stone and earthen structure. Dotted every 300 feet is a tower whereupon a watch can be set. The normal walls are just over 16 feet high and are 15 feet across allowing the tops of the wall to be easily defended by archers and soldiers. Also along the wall are castles and barracks built to house the King's Army as they stand watch or need to defend against a siege.

The Walls of Arkland are a symbol of the fall of The Republic as they mark a fortification which was built directly to defend against inner strife among the people of the now fallen Republic.

Learn more About: Guarding the Walls of Arkland

Life in Arkland[]

The life of the people of Arkland is one of a complex culture and of a great society. If a person is not born into nobility, they may find themselves living in a city as a merchant, trader, artisan, craftsman, engineer, government official, constable, or any number of other common jobs. If they are born on a farm, they find themselves as high yield farmers, people who use tools and technique to produce large quantities of food for the populace. Transitioning from one station to the next in Arkland society isn't easy as there is no free and public education nor real avenues to do so. However, since the King had long laid out the ability for people with ambition and intelligence to make a name for themselves, driven individuals can and often do work their way up the social strata into positions of wealth.

Arkland, especially driven by the Edict of Light, has a common culture of the belief in large families. Thereby, many people do maintain numerous children. Children grow up learning the basic rites of the Religion of Light, and they are educated by their parents. Most children follow in the footsteps of their parents, learning the family trade and plying that later in adulthood.

The social strata defined by royalty and then those of non-royal blood is strictly maintained. It is rare, other than through either the accrual of great wealth or by working into the position of Lord Commander, that a commoner ever becomes a true land owner or has political position. Royals typically follow an age old tradition of arranged marriages to keep family ties strong between the powerful, and royal children are generally apart of the normal machinations of politics between families.

Forced into a devout religion, in present times, the average Arklander is also required to attend communal mass at least once a week in heavily religious areas. They tithe a certain portion of their earnings and devote a great deal of time to prayer and rites of the religion. The priesthood also heavily punishes blasphemers and those who wrong the tenants of their faith, and as such, there is a small current of fear of the priesthood which exists beneath the cultured exterior.

Learn more About: Commoners in Arkland, Commoners and the Light, Noble Houses of Arkland, Nobility and the Light

The King's Navy[]

As a powerful trading nation, Arkland also maintains one of the most powerful navies in the world. The Arkland navy is not only well trained, but it is also high tech as Arklanders have long since learned how to incorporate new invention with their naval vessels as well as durable, Ironwood. The King's Navy is used to maintain safety for trading vessels on the seas. It is also used as a weapon of war and for land invasion.

The make-up of the majority of the King's Navy is actually banners, funded by nobility. Just like land forces, the naval forces of Arkland belong to individual families or the Merchant Class. These individuals will typically maintain naval forces in order to defend their existing trading vessels. Marines will accompany trading vessels, either on board, or as escorts in naval ships along trading routes. Their job is to prevent piracy and to protect trading vessels while they are in foreign ports.

Just like with land based armies, when the nation of Arkland needs to send a national navy to combat, which is rare, naval banners will be summoned to aid the King or Queen. Nobility will be required to send ships and marines to assist in the war effort. Failure to do so is considered treasonous. Once combined, naval forces will be organized under experienced Lord Commanders who will establish a chain of command. The combined fleet of Arkland is a marvel, considered unstoppable, and is the most powerful naval force in the world, thanks in large part to Ironwood.

The crown also maintains a fleet as well as Lord Commanders. The majority of that fleet is maintained in port just outside of King's Crossing. There, the Capital Shipyards exist where new vessels are constructed with gold provided by buyers. A huge community of ship builders has sprung up around this port, and it is one of the richest townships outside of King's Crossing.

Learn more About: Naval Vessels of Arkland

Stories of Arkland[]

--Neil (talk) 21:27, 15 October 2016 (AST)