Details on

The Midlands

fortress by the sea

Here a map of the Midlands


1. Background

The Midlands are a separate continent in Arthia with an intricated dovetailing of land and sea, forming many different landscapes and climates and thus a strong political and cultural fragmentation. A common political, religious or cultural alignment cannot be determined, too great is the variety. Even a geographical delimitation is difficult due to the vast unexplored areas.

The history of the Midlands was characterized by waves of the people migrating which contributed to the multilayered face of the continent. One can nevertheless determine a common core of development which became typical for the civilization of the Midlands: The struggle against the Dark Empire and the collapse of the Meglatic Empire about 600 years ago. This led to feudal power structures establishing themselves such as the papacy of the Akhian Empire or the order of the "Red Hoods" in Castegal. Despite the meglatian idea of empire being widespread in the Midlands it offered enough room for a variety of development such self-managing universities, immunity of monasteries, even up to the emergence of largely autonomous towns.

Towns are the typical form of settlement in the Midlands. Some standing on ancient foundations, other have arisen as trade settlements in the protective shadow of castles or princely residences. They always form the economic and cultural centers of the nations, however. On the edges of the civilized areas lie -- so it is told -- large wildernesses inhabited by strange and frightening creatures.

This is the description of the calendar that is widely used in these realms.


2. Realms

De Sinople, chargé de cerf d'argent, chargé de épée d'argent et d'or a bend dexter

2.1 Anblia (map)

Anblia consists largely of two big islands in the west of the Midlands and has therefore always been somewhat separated from the great happenings on the mainland. Therefore also the occasionally used name "Sealand" for this realm. The power of the Dark Empire has left less traces here than elsewhere. The country is ruled by an aging king who lets his vassals do they please. The western half of the main island is a big wilderness, separated by mountains. One tells the most terrific stories about this region since hardly anyone dares venture there. There is also supposedly a dragon there. In the past, there fairly often were wars to the nearest realm on the mainland, Bovignia. The main point of conflict now is the city of Port Royal, a possession of Anblia as a result from the last war, which lasted many decades. In contrast, the relations to the Dykelands are peaceful, only at trade are the two realms competing with each other.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in English

People name: Anblian

Language name: Anblian

Dominant faith: Church of Light (67%), druidic (33%)

D'Azur chargé de lis d'or, à champagne d'or

2.2 Bovignia (map)

Bovignia is one of the realms with the oldest origins in the Midlands. The first typically bovignian cultural developments are about 1500 years old. One of the most unusual and mysterious places of Bovignia is the Ancient Pyramid, which has an even older origin. After the rule of the Dark Empire and the Meglatic Empire Bovignia attained its sovereignty about 600 years ago and the capital of the realm became Grandbourgh. The druidic culture is deeply ingrained into bovignian history being heavily involved in many of the wars and revolutions. As regards domestic policy, Bovignia proved to be quite unstable over the course of the centuries. With regard to foreign affairs the nemesis Gashtar represents a perpetual threat for Bovignia. Also, the relations to Anblia and the Akhian Empire are still troubled and burdened by century-old prejudice despite having considerably improved over the last decades.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in French

People name: Bovignian

Language name: Bovignian

Dominant faith: Church of Light

2.3 Castegal (map)

Local clan leaders ruled over the inhabitants of Castegal during the times of the Dark Empire and the Meglatic Empire. With the increasing weakness of the Meglatic Empire Castegal renounced its rule and one of the clan leaders was elected the king of whole Castegal. The country has enemies almost on all its borders. Gashtar is a perpetual trouble spot and only the enormous mountains between the countries prevent worse conflicts from happening between them. The longest border Castegal has is to the wild and unexplored areas of the Wildlands, called Ashtanar, from which bands of orcs repeatedly come raiding and looting into the country. Only recently one has begun building a line of fortifications to ward off those raids. Castegal has "normal" relations only to Bovignia along a short border to the north. Vinomanchado, a province in Castegal, moreover provides unrest with its continuous endeavors at becoming autonomous. Castegal is traditionally an old seafarer nation with a great war and merchant fleet and far-reaching trade contacts. On the southern peninsula, the region of Cuzcon, where the inhabitants speak a peculiar dialect -- almost incomprehensible for the other Castegalians -- the craft of ship buildings is well advanced and the best ships of the whole country are built here. Proud Castegal is ruled by a capable, power conscious king who is planning a great expedition to explore the Western Ocean. The powerful order of warrior monks "Capillas Rojas de Santo Giovanni" holds an important place within the state hierarchy not only due to its military strength but also because of it involvement with the administration of the public finances.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in Spanish or Portuguese (in the south)

People name: Castegalian

Language name: Castegalian

Dominant faith: Church of Light

2.4 Gashtar

Little is known about Gashtar, one is not even sure where the heartland lies or the extents of its rule. Therefore one should consider the following to be more rumor than hard fact. Gashtar is a realm in the Gorshtarian mountain ranges. In the war between the Dark Empire and the Meglatic Empire Gashtar was never liberated since the region is too insignificant and inhospitable. With the collapse of the Meglatic Empire and the following chaotic years Gashtar developed more and more into the melting pot of fanatical supporters of the Dark Faith. They streamed to Gorshtanar (the land being called so at that time) from surrounding regions, either voluntary, or because they were being persecuted due to their faith in their home regions. An unconventional cooperation developed between people and orcs. Finally, a bloodthirsty theocracy on the foundation of the Dark Faith established itself at the dominant power in Gashtar. The realm is ruled by a caste of powerful priests led by the "High Council". This "High Council" in its unwavering fanaticism repeatedly has launched campaigns against the surrounding realms of infidels. At first Bovignia, then the Akhian Empire but also Castegal have repeatedly been the targets of these conflicts.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in the dark tongue

People name: Gashtarian

Language name: vague language

Dominant faith: presumably Ashk Golmonor

Taillé 1) d'argent et 2) de gueules; a soleil d'or broché sur le tout

2.5 Holy Akhian Empire (map)

The Akhian Empire is a more or less firm alliance of different princes and their estates who have sworn allegiance to an emperor. About 500 years ago, in the time of the Dark Empire and the Meglatic Empire, the area of Akhian Empire today was insignificant. It has made a remarkable advancement since then, which all began with the preachings of Hans the Holy, the founding saint of the Church of Light, as he journeyed through this region. His teachings found approval with the tribe of the Akhians, and so Leo I, then the clan leader of the tribe, declared this faith to be their official religion. Shortly thereafter, the unstoppable climb to power of the Akhians began. It culminated in their king being elected emperor by the most powerful princes of region and receiving the papal blessing. Faith plays a large role in the everyday lives of the Akhians and the use magic is viewed with suspicion, often being only allowed by official guild members. Capital of the empire is Kaiserstedt in which both the emperor and the pope have their residence. Also, exotic areas like the Schreckenskaarst, Frizzien, Großheintchen, Zammorkland or Sagienland are part of the Akhian Empire -- there is hardly another country with such a multitude of appearances so rich a history like the Akhian one in the Midlands. The conflicts with the nomadic tribesmen from the Vazikon Empire and the bloodthirsty war parties from Gashtar have dominated a large part of the history of the Akhian Empire. The relations to the western neighbor, Bovignia, is marked by century-old rivalry although they have improved considerably within the last decades.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in German

People name: Akhian

Language name: Akhian

Dominant faith: Church of Light

De Pourpre chargé de Aigle abaisse d'or

2.6 Oclatian Empire (map)

The Imperium Oclatianum sees itself as the legitimate successor to the Meglatic Empire whose culture dominated the Midlands for a long time. Indeed, it continues to possess certain essential characteristics of the late Meglatic Empire in religion, administration, art, architecture and military structure. But the claim to continue the Meglatic legacy remains unfulfilled in many aspects. The former parts of the Meglatic empire have developed into sovereign nations and the Oclatian Empire plays only a marginal role in the new order of things. The Oclatian Empire moreover consists of a rather insignificant, marginal region of the former Meglatic Empire. Although the empire definitely has an impressive military power, it is nowhere near being enough to the dominate the Midlands. The rise from the ruins of the old civilization seems to have sapped all the strength from the empire. It has proved its abilty to tie different peoples (particularly the Gurians, Niralians and Terian Nomads) into the primary culture and to profit from their contributions, though. The state's increased taxation has enlarged the privileged class lately, however, which has led to great concentrations of landholding. As a countermove one is trying to make the small farmers dependent on the landowners. The military power of the empire is still great enough to hold the different provinces together but the increasing decadence of the emperors and the leading families as well as the weakness of the central government gives rise to ambitious army commanders trying to take power. The slave rebellion which arose under the leadership of Spartaxos serves them as a further justification.

Remark: The empire contains further peoples besides the real Meglatics (Meglatiae) which are the Gurians in the east and northeast, the Helicians in the south, the Niralians on a big island in the west as well as Terian Nomads primarily in the west. The names are mainly in Latin.

People name: Meglatic

Language name: Meglatic

Dominant faith: Oclatian Pantheon

Taillié 1) de pourpre chargé a Aigle deploye d'or et 2) d'or chargé de trois coquilles de gueules

2.7 Tigalia (map)

Tigalia consists of some large and many small city states. It traces its history back to the Meglatic Empire, whose capital Megara, still lies as a huge, mysterious ruin by the sea. Tigalia does trade with overseas, having made it rich and powerful. Some merchant families are therefore as important as the nobility. Art and culture are in a full bloom. Artists and scientists get as highly honored as outstanding warriors. The disputes between the city states are carried out by mercenary knights after a predefined codex. The faith of the Church of Light dominates the life of the Tigalians because its founding saint "Sancto Givanni" (also known as Hans The Holy), came from Megara and the decisive battle of the religious wars took place on the "Campo di Angelo" (Field of Angels) here. One finds churches, cloisters and places of pilgrimage, everywhere.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in Italian

People name: Tigalian

Language name: Tigalian

Dominant faith: Church of Light

2.8 Dykelands

This country consists of two parts, the slightly more wealthy northern Dykeland which is completely surrounded by a dam and southern Dykeland. The dam was built with magical help many centuries ago after the Dykelanders had sinned against the sea god Marnor and threatened to go under in the high tides sent by him. A large portion of the population is very tolerant of all other religions, but adheres to the United Church of Light for the most part. However, there still are some followers of the sea god Marnor. The economy is flourishing and there are many successful merchants. Many of these aspire to overcome the Merchant League, based in the Akhian Empire, which controls many of the ports of the Midlands. The wealth of the country is based upon its clothmaking industry.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in Dutch

People name: Dykelandian

Language name: Dykelandish

Dominant faith: Church of Light

2.7 Lonrachinis (the Bardic Island) (map)

For the most part Lonrachinis remains unaffected by the conflicts on the mainland. It is one of the most peaceful corners on the Midlands. Of course many bards live on this island and there are also famous bard schools here. There is also the peaceful and fantastic Pixie Forest in the south of the island where a fairy queen reigns over a people of pixies. All over the country ancient relics can be found from the time of the elves many centuries ago. The largest portion of the population adheres to the local, animististic faith or the druidic religion, as the one in Anblia. About 10 years ago Padwyn, a monk from Anblia, came to Lonrachinis. He has already converted of many thousands of inhabitants of the island to the faith of the 'United Church of Light' primarily in the eastern coastal regions though. He is admired by these as a great saint. However, the ruling class wants to get rid of him but they don't dare to do something against him since he is very well liked amongst the common people.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in Gaelic

People name: Lonrachninian

Language name: Lonrachinian

Dominant faith: druidic

2.9 Vazikon Empire (map)

A warlike, seminomadic people live in these barren lands. They are descended from the Kossun nomads. Strength is valued as the greatest of virtues, weakness and cowardice as the greatest sins. Every form of the religion is rejected. Magic is viewed with the utmost distrust. The country is dominated by a small caste of minotaurs. The strongest one of these is chosen to the absolute ruler of the Vazikon Empire. Although the minotaurs are already very powerful fighters, they make use of faithful, human elite warrriors, the so-called "gray riders" to ensure their tyrannical rule. These warriors enjoy many of the same privileges as the minotaurs but are hated much more by the people. There is a great wasteland, the so-called "Sea of Stones", in the southwest of the land where magic is very weak. In some legends it is claimed that this was brought about by a legendary artifact many centuries ago. There are such magic-weak wastelands also in other parts of the country. The Vazikon like to cultivate warlike relations with all their neighboring countries.

Remark: the Vazikon language has no real world equivalent

People name: Vazikon

Language name: Vazikon

Dominant faith: none (faith in their nation)

2.10 Helecos

Helecos has a warm, pleasant climate. The country consists of the easternmost corner of land on the Midlands continent and the complete island chain which goes from there to the westernmost peninsula of the Sulukkan Empire. Both the continental areas and the islands are very hilly and rugged. There is a lot of barren countryside and not many fertile valleys. Furthermore there is approximately a handful of active volcanoes in Helecos. Helecos politically is subdivided into many, small island and city states of which none is fundamentally more important or powerful than the others. There is a confederation, the 'Glaukian Naval Federation' (Symmachia Glaukos) with about two thirds of these small states belonging to it, however. This alliance primarily serves for the defense against foreign enemies but is inwardly completely divided though. Some a lot of these small states even wage war with each other. The residents of Helecos are about to 90% humans. Other humanoid races like minotaurs, satyrs and centaurs, comprise the remaining share of civilized residents. In the past however, the share of non-human residents had been much bigger, though many were driven away by pogroms. The residents of Helecos traditionally worhsip a whole pantheon of gods to which at least the following gods belong: Zanathoz, Kronikos, Pantomos, Jhia, Aian and Artos. Generally, the gods that are more frequently worshipped than others are 'Kronikos' and 'Artos'. There are many varying regional preferences where smaller gods are worshipped too. Helecosian are often open to the introduction of new gods as well.

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in ancient greek

People name: Helecosian

Language name: Heleosian

Dominant faith: helecosian pantheon

2.11 Ashtanar (the Wildlands)

Ashtanar, also called the Wildlands, is a completely unexplored area in the southern part of the Midlands. Actually, little is known of this land, not even its extent. Hardly anyone who set out to investigate the Wildlands has returned. Even when they did, they were just glad to have escaped with their life from the rough terrain with its hostile residents. One thing seems certain though: here orcs and other sinister shapes live aplenty, as one knows from reports of bordering areas.

2.12 Majindica

Majindica is a little peaceful island which has devoted itself to the magic and philosophy. The great magic presence in Majindica, called the Novum - a magical core deep beneath the surface, has lured the wisest and best magicians onto the island in the course of the centuries. Arcaia Nova, the large magical capital is the center arcane arts and houses the largest and most important magical academies of the whole continent: The Purple House of the scholastic mages, the black tower for the magicians of the dark arts, the white tower for the white magicians and of course the world-famous bridge for the Universal Guild in which Noz the Mighty - ruler of Majindica and one of the most powerful and most prominent magicians of the Midlands - lives. There are only four other towns, one for every magic guild, besides Arcaia Nova on Majindica. Urbs Clari, the white town in which Bianca lives, a woman who was named after the legendary white magician of Majindica. Urbs Nigris is the town of the black magicians whose chairman Ramburakk is. Rumburakk is probably the only Gashtarian descending from both elves and dwarves. As most black mages on Majindica he is not evil and fights hard against the prejudices against it? Noz the Mighty rules over the town Urbs Universus, that appears like a colossal castle and is oldest habitation after Arcaia Nova. But the most unusual town of all is Urbs Scholae, the town of the scholastics which consists completely of small and big tents and lies quite nearby to Urbs Universus. Chairman of the Scholastics guild is the dwarf Fladnag, a strict but wise teacher who often is at odds with Noz when Fladnag complains again, that the good old traditions of the magician guilds aren't being respected sufficiently. Majindica has a dark history but a blossoming presence. In the time of the Meglatic Empire the island was secretly explored and being used as a pure research area for the great magicians of the Midlands, when one noticed, how dangerous the strength of the island could be if handled irresponsibly. The Dark Empire abused exactly these powers a few centuries later when it made Majindica the most important manufactory of its evil magical artifacts. Only when the dastardly druid Yan fell into Bovignia, the power of the Evil Empire dissolved in Majindica and the island fell back into the hands of Good again. One only hesitantly resettled the island again though, the respect for its power was still too great. Due to its unusual political system Majindica is one of the most peaceful countries of the Midlands today. Everyone who lives on the island, largely does without any but a few private possessions. The elected parliament ensures that individualism and peace are preserved. If one doesn't observe the strict but fair laws, one is banished. But only few who don't have any unusual talent or interest for the magic, enter the island voluntarily. Still too many dark legends and truths abound in the land for it to be totally peaceful there. Who knows which evil spirits were summoned in hidden chambers someplace, of which not even Noz the Mighty knows?

Remark: the names of the inhabitants and the places are in simplified Latin

People name: Majindican

Language name: Majindican

Dominant faith: none


3. Races

The Midlands are inhabited mainly by humans. Human as race can therefore be selected for a player character in all realms mentioned above. There are other races in the Midlands (i.e. eligible for play as character, when the realm is released for setup) as follows:

Race
Realm (Region)
Centaur Helecos
Elf Lothimlad, Arboria, Akhian Empire (Grunwald)
Pixie Lonrachinis
Half-Elf Bovignia (L'Arbranchée)
Minotaur Helecos, Vazikon Empire
Orc Akhian Empire (Zammorkland), Vazikon Empire, Gashtar, Wildlands
Satyr Helecos
Dwarf Heymdahl, Anblia (north island), Northlands

4. Faiths

The peoples of the Midlands - with a few notable exceptions - are very religious and spiritual. Life after death is generally accepted and serves to explain many different phenomena like ghosts and magic. Also, belief in reincarnation is widespread amongst common people. The greater purpose of reincarnation is supposedly to improve oneself over innumerable lives according one's own aims and to make amends for mistakes in past lives. Although there were attempts by the ruling caste fairly often in the past to get rid of these beliefs, it is now either tolerated or has become a part of the official religion. There also is a supposedly misguided belief occasionally amongst people of a great creator who works in the background with the gods being his agents. Through the gods are respected nonetheless by this.
There are namely numerous gods of many different names and forms. Many scholars hold the opinion though, that there is only one actual deity per aspect being its greatest master and advocate. The different manifestations are only the different representations people make of them. For example, Jhia the goddess of life, nature and peace is often symbolized as either a tree or young elven female among elven worshippers but is also worshipped as Luna, the moon, amongst lycanthropic worshippers, whilst garden dwarves worship her in an abstract way as nature herself. Occasionally a worshipped god doesn't actually exist, though. Only the three most powerful gods, Va, Iotoli and Nokton each the highest among three major alignments good, neutral and evil respectively, come somewhat close to the common concept of a god as an all-powerful and all-knowing entity. The remaining gods are quite limited to their domain both in the type of powers they possess and their reach. For example, Marnor, god of water and the seas, holds only sway over the beings traveling on or under the water. Anyone far inland or in the air would effectively be immune to him. The gods are also not perfect in the sense that they do make mistakes and have petty disputes. Also their power is not limitless even in their dominion, though priests and common folk will often dispute this. In fact, their power is directly related to the worship they receive minus the power they exert. When a priest invokes a miracle the power is drawn from the pool available to his god and his following. This is why many deities prefer to influence events more through subtle manipulation and representatives. This saves them power and builds their base of worshippers. There are also demi-gods who often serve the more powerful gods. These have even more limited, specific powers though being still vastly more powerful than a mortal. The number of gods is not set in stone. Gods have waned in the past and whilst other have risen from the ranks of the being a mere follower. Despite all things in common the different religions frequently stand irreconcilably against each other. The existence of each other's gods is not denied but they are labeled as weak or unworthy of admiration.
Next to the transcendental sides of faith though, is it not uncommon to find crude superstition, blind fanaticism and strange rituals. The priests, many of whom are more inclined towards the material than the spiritual, don't mind seeing these peculiarities since it strengthens their position. However, occasionally mystical individuals appear bringing enlightenment to the masses. They perform great miracles thus proving their support by the gods. As time passes they become immortalized as saints in the myths of the Midlands.

5. Economy

6. Magic

These magical classes are available in the following realms (for player characters):

Realm
Magical Classes
Anblia bard, druid, magesmith, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, witch, priest, pagan priest, warrior monk
Bovignia bard, conjurer, druid, illusionist, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, witch, pagan priest, priest, warrior monk
Castegal alchemist, astrologer, conjurer, illusionist, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, witch, priest, warrior monk
Gashtar alchemist, necromancer, conjurer, illusionist, seer, sorceror, witch, evil priest, pagan priest
Akian Empire alchemist, bard, illusionist, magesmith, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, white mage, priest, warrior monk
Oclatian Empire alchemist, astrologer, conjurer, illusionist, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, priest, warrior monk
Tigalia alchemist, astrologer, conjurer, illusionist, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, white mage, priest, warrior monk
Dykelands astrologer, conjurer, illusionist, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, witch, pagan priest, priest, warrior monk
Lonrachinis bard, druid, seer, sorceror, trickster, witch, priest, pagan priest
Vazikon Empire -
Helecos alchemist, astrologer, conjurer, illusionist, seer, sorceror, scholastic mage, trickster, priest, pagan priest
Wildlands necromancer, conjurer, seer, sorceror, witch, evil priest, pagan priest
Majindica all

For details on how magic works see here.

back