Myllenoris

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Myllenoris
New Myllenoris.jpg
Myllenoris at the height of it's power, around 1743 AC.
Government: Theocracy
Ruler: The Weaver (Goddess)
Founded: 737 AC
Population: Roughly 8000
Majority Religion: The Children of the Weaver
Military: Disorganised; Citizen Militia

Myllenoris is a small kingdom to the south of Esshar, once known as Moonfall, and the former home of the Teraphim. The kingdom is centralized around an enormous stretch of land known as the Greatwoods. Strange magical activity throughout the centuries has created groves of trees that tower above all others, the tallest of which reach heights of more than a hundred meters. At it's height, it was often described by outside travellers as a mystical realm of strange sights and even stranger magics.

The kingdom was once a theocratic state ruled by the religious head of Aschea's Faith, the High Lord of Myllenoris, who wore the Crown of Aschea. Now, it has fallen to the influence of a dark Primordial, ruled by the Children of the Weaver.

Society

Modern

Myllenoris is now a fallen city, overrun by the Weaver, Her children and Her acolytes. The city is fully under the sway of the Weaver’s faith and thus her tenets are the only law remaining within its walls. Chaos reigns as Her influence spreads from Her to Her followers. The only residents remaining are those loyal to the Weaver’s faith and its population is slowly growing as more followers begin to congregate.

There is a very strict hierarchy within its people with the Weaver sitting solely at the top. Just beneath Her sits the one appointed to interpret her vision and bring it to the rest of the acolytes dubbed the ‘Spinner’. They are responsible for relaying the orders and objectives of the spider queen as Her commands echo across the web. They have the highest authority of any of the followers and their word is taken as Savarra’s word.

Beneath this sits the rest of the Acolytes with no formal ranks to distinguish between them. This often leads to infighting between them as they try to establish dominance above one another but this feeds into the Weaver’s tenet of Discord. An informal ranking system has been set up between the other acolytes but this mainly serves as a thinly veiled reason for them to backstab, usurp and assassinate one another over.

While those of the faith live in deceptively fine conditions, those outside of it live in squalor, struggling to feed themselves. Vermin have decreased significantly due to the addition of vast numbers of spiders, the Weaver's favoured creatures.

Under Aschean Faith - 1686-1783 AC

Myllenoris was a Teraphim-dominated militant theocracy administrated by the Valeborn, a group of religious figures and military officers. The High Lord ruled as both monarch and theocrat, advised by a body of Teraphim known as Mistseers. The Mistseers oversaw the Greycloaks, the elite of the Myllenoran military. Greycloaks may or may not be Teraphim. Most of the original Teraphim bloodlines had risen to nobility in the kingdom, and almost every notable position of power in Myllenoris was held by a Teraphim. The High Lord was succeeded by the Teraphim who may successfully wear Aschea's Crown, as the ability to do so was akin to being marked as the rightful leader of Myllenoris. The High Lord was able to promote any Myllenoran to the position of Mistseer, no formal limit to how many Mistseers there could be existing, although it tended to be a small number.

Aschean Myllenoran society was far closer to their original druidic origins than the witchcraft of the 17th century. The people of the Kingdom lived harmoniously with nature as much as was reasonable, and the magi population practiced Nature magic to a degree unmatched by any other nearby kingdom. Adherence to Aschea's Faith was nearly universal within the Kingdom, although other faiths were not explicitly disallowed. Occultism and Witchcraft was anathema within Myllenoris, punished by either excommunication and exile for the former, or ritual sacrifice for the latter.

Myllenoran weddings were very simple affairs. Typically, two people wed in a bright, sunny day among greenery. There was a quick exchange of vows, the two individuals are declared married, and the gathered dispersed. It was not uncommon for there to be festivities afterward, but this was hardly an expectation. Marriages between Teraphim, however, were viewed far more seriously. The High Lord was required to officiate the wedding, and the teraphim were required to visibly manifest their bond in order to prove their devotion. If this could not be done, the marriage was not recognised. In either case, it was typical to give to the wedding couple a gift of cabbage, which they were expected to eat.

The greatest honour a common Myllenoran could receive is the Rite of the Chrysalis, a process shrouded in mystery in which an individual is transformed into a Teraphim. The worthiness of an individual was decided by the High Lord and the Mistseers, who were required to unanimously agree on the matter.

Religion

Children of the Weaver

The majority faith of modern Myllenoris, worship of the Weaver focuses on three main tenets:

  • Hedonism: Followers of the Weaver embrace life at its fullest, seeking new and entertaining experiences, and indulging in all manner of things, from fine food and alcohol to drug use.
  • Cunning: The Children of the Weaver have an element of trickery to them, from innocent jokes to rather darker 'pranks' that could well end in the loss of a limb.
  • Discord: Stagnancy and the ideals of 'Order' are boring, and if nothing else the Children of the Weaver are taught to avoid being bored.

The Children of the Weaver form the theocratic leadership of Myllenoris in the present day, with infighting extremely common. At the head of their faith is the 'Spinner', the chosen of the Weaver.

Ascheaism

The Teraphim faith, a belief system centred around the residual whispers these children hear from their Mother Aschea, revolves around the concept of balance. A realm without balance is one that is certain to fall apart, no matter what the two sides are. This concept was a unique one that Aschea held to within the Spirit Realm, and it was for this reason that her involvement in Moonfall was required, for the village had sunk far too deep into the depths of darkness, blotting out any source of light or goodness.

The idea of balance extends to all aspects of the collective community, but many Teraphim hold firm to one side of the ‘scales’ they choose to represent. In this regard, an aquatically adept Teraphim may find a strange bond with a flame aligned one, or a Teraphim exhibiting a talent for scholarly activities may have a strong relationship with one of a more athletic stature.

While this means Teraphim believe in a world of both shadow and light, good and evil, many of them remember the tyranny of the Elysium Coven and share a continued and staunch opposition to the practices of dark magic and demon worship.

Even so, Aschea’s teachings are clear, and the morality of walking a life attuned with equal steps holds incredible importance. The Valeborne pledge themselves to Aschea and vow to uphold the natural balance of all things. They undergo a rite of passage within the depths of the Vale within the grove that Aschea was said to fall. The Valeborne once made up the primary hierarchy of Myllenoris's leadership, with the head of the church ruling as a theocracy.

The Aschean faith has been supplanted by the the Savarran faith, as of 1872 AC.

History

Moonfall - 800s-1686 AC

The kingdom originated as a small village within the Moonfall valley that became isolationist in the early 8th century during the period of turmoil after the Bastard's Rebellion. Although it is known to have practiced a druidic tradition, much of the village's early history is lost, it only coming back into the annals of history in the mid-17th century due to an increase in the level of occultic activity within the settlement. Over the course of two decades, Moonfall became and remained a significant threat to the Essharan people, dealing in witchcraft and even summoning Demons from Atrellya into the region for the first time in centuries. Ultimately, however, their days were numbered.

Rise of Myllenoris - 1686-1735 AC

At the height of Moonfall's war against Osrona, the Coven of the forest village made an attempt to call upon their Dark Lord for guidance and power in the calamity around them. The thin barrier that existed between Eternia and the Spirit Realm within Moonfall’s Vale was torn open, but instead of being greeted by the powers of Helheim, a benevolent entity that had been observing the corruption of Moonfall from afar decided to intervene. Aschea, an Overseer of the Spirit Realm and a Primordial, set foot onto the Vale’s ground to counter the horrid witchcraft at play there.

For each flower that wilted in the presence of the Coven’s occultism, a dozen more bloomed with each step forward Aschea took. True to their nature, however, the witches did not flee in fear or caution, but fought back immediately against what they deemed an intruder and an enemy. The battle was long, and those outside of the Vale that night say the entirety of Moonfall shook where the darkness of Elaide’s daughters clashed with the light of the Overseer.

The villagers who had been subjugated by the witches for so long ventured into the woods to meet the conflict, and it is said that it was there where they found the great spirit bloodied, but still fighting. Most of the Coven had been forced back, but the wounds upon Aschea were proving to be more than she could handle. The villagers rose up against the witches in order to defend the spirit who had come to save them, but their numbers began to dwindle with each wave of shadows they had to face.

In a final moment of desperation, Aschea gave her last blessings to the Moonfallen who had come to her aid, many of whom were lying in their own death beds amidst the twisted woods. With her light now within them, the Moonfallen who would have otherwise perished rose again, and found that they had gained the power necessary to finish the job. These Moonfallen, druids and human villagers alike, were able to free their home of the witchcraft that had held it hostage for so long. Those who were born anew with Aschea’s breath discovered their physiology changed. With skin pale white, occasionally tinted with a natural hue of green or blue, these children of the Overseer called themselves Teraphim, and with the blessings of their Mother Aschea they vowed that their new kingdom, dubbed Myllenoris, would never again fall to darkness, marking themselves as its spiritual protectors and hunters of the night.

In the aftermath of Aschea's intervention, the people of Myllenoris were liberated from the foul influence of the Witchcraft that had dominated them. They were rightfully reverent towards the Teraphim, who they recognized as being blessed by the Primordial, and soon the Teraphim had risen to the equivalent of Osronan nobility in social status within the Valley. They continued Aschea's work, purifying much of the Vale and ruling the people of the Valley benevolently, although they soon came to consider themselves superior to the non-teraphim. During this early period, one Teraphim rose above the others, a man named Randor Dinendir. Dinendir refined the whispers believed to be from Aschea heard by many Teraphim into an actual religion, which came to be known as Aschea's Faith. He also forged from arcanium a crown, in which was set the 'remains' of Aschea, a small reddish-purple gem. As Myllenoris' new social structure settled, he was declared the 'High Lord' of Myllenoris and ruled as the de-facto king through the Barsburg invasion until his death in 1728 at the hands of a Rhoynish mercenary captain. He was succeeded by High Lady Asta Hargrave.

Under High Lady Asta Hargrave, the Kingdom of Myllenoris continued to forge it's destiny. Under her leadership, tensions with Osrona were reduced by an arranged marriage between the High Lady and the Osronan Lord Regulus ven Grimmore. Following a failed attack of the bandit settlement of Ilburg, Myllenoris and Osrona entered into the Treaty of 1733, a defensive alliance. Myllenoris aided Osrona in the war against Theria due to their harbouring of witches, but following the death of Duana Kurokaiyo ceased support of the offensive war, stoking tensions with King Alexander II Petrakis. This short-lived alliance fell apart following the events of the King's wedding reception, which ended with the death of a knight at the High Lady's hands and subsequent escape alongside her husband.

War with Osrona and the Pact of Beasts - 1735-1779 AC

The war with Osrona started immediately following the Wedding Reception, the High Lady and her husband claiming that the King of Osrona had attempted to depose her. Alliances were formed with Osrona's other rivals, forming the Essharan League. The first battle was held over control of Starfall Tower, a shared military fortress originally controlled by a joint garrison of Greycloaks and First Light knights. The Myllenorans won the battle, pushing forwards to seize the villages surrounding Osrona whilst the Myllenoran Army at large, forces strengthened by wraith and spirits, carved up the Essharan Empire with the aid of the forces of the rest of the Essharan League; Theria, Ilburg, and Alabastre. The final battle of the war in 1741 was bittersweet; while the Myllenoran forces swept through their opposition, High Lady Asta Hargrave was slain by King Alexander II. The Osronan King in his moment of triumph was seen to strike at the Crown of Aschea itself, and as the angered spirit of Asta tried its best to destroy the city the enraged Teraphim joined in, heralded by the words of Mistseer Finn Ghede: 'Kill them all'. Asta's spirit was ultimately dispelled, but Osrona was thoroughly sacked.

The following years were far from peaceful. Finn Ghede succeeded High Lady Asta as the High Lord of Myllenoris, and set to focusing on the city itself. Fate, however, had other plans. While in 1744 the Kingdom was preparing to aid the rest of the Essharan Coalition, the successor to the Essharan League, in its offensive against the Empire of Barsburg, the rise of Demons once within Esshar necessitated a greater focus on external matters, alongside the declaration of war between the Osronan Republic and the Royalist Nysea, at which point the High Lord recalled his forces from the occupied Osrona, having no intent to further pursue the defeated King Alexander II. By 1751 the Demonic threat had claimed the Dreadwoods as territory, and planned a march upon Myllenoris. The following war was bloody; with the alliance of Theria, the Osronan Republic and the Dreadwoods the Pact of Beasts came into existence. Nysea and Myllenoris found themselves unlikely allies against the threat, finding initial success but failing to besiege Theria. By 1754, High Lord Finn Ghede had stepped down in favour of High Lord Alexios. With the Barsburgian takeover of Osrona, the forces of Nysea - the population of which had abandoned the village to settle in Myllenoris - remains in the city, the High Lord Alexios promising to restore Osrona to the Nyseans. Up until 1780 the Myllenorans remained at war with Barsburg.

Pandemonium Chase and Aftermath - 1780-1783 AC

In the aftermath of the Pandemonium Chase, the force of Myllenoris were able to reclaim Osrona from Barsburg, pushing the imperial forces back to Achyon. Having determined this the restoration of the balance, the Teraphim began plans to go into a mass exodus into the Spirit Realm, in search of the remnants of Aschea's essence. This occurred in truth around 1783, the Vale left sealed behind them. A small population of Teraphim remained in Myllenoris proper, but cut off from the Vale and with much of their population left, the city began a slow decline from its glory days.

Beyond the Vale - 1783-1862 AC

In the years since the exodus of the Teraphim people the city of Myllenoris was left in relative squalor. The few Teraphim that remained behind took refuge in the city’s Temple of Aschea but as time went on the low birthrates and dwindling population left the city in the hands of its human and beastkin occupants. The power the Aschean faith had over the city dwindled further over the years until they were little more than a religious sect housed within the centre of the now rather mundane town.

Without a High Lord and with a population that only continued to shrink the Mistseers began to take more and more desperate actions to try and restore the former glory of both their people and their Goddess. They began to push their magics further causing a vast crystal chasm to form beneath the city and they began to perform more dangerous versions of the Rite of Chrysalis, hoping to create a new High Lord in the process.

By the year 1862AC the Mistseers had strayed far from their original faith, blinded by their desires to return to the former heights of power they once possessed. At the height of their ritual four Acolytes of the Weaver, led by Enna ath tel'lythi ath tel'Weaver, managed to breach their way into the Aschean temple and struck down the Mistseers within. Absconding with the Crown of Aschea, they defiled the temple in the name of the Weaver and sparked the rise of Her influence within the city.

The Web’s Embrace - 1872 AC-Present

By 1872AC the Weaver’s influence had completely encompassed the city. From a seat within the temple her webs have spread across every inch of Myllenoris’ surface coating the down in a thick layer of silk. Shadows skitter as whole sections of blackness seem to roam its surface, devouring anything in its path. The city is now all but abandoned to the Arachnid children of the Weaver and only those of faith would be able to brave its horrors.

From her new seat of power the Weaver and Her followers are beginning to stretch out across the lands. As time advances the influence of the Weaver begins to poke at even the Vale itself, attempting to spread its web through the realms beyond. So far, the attempts have been unsuccessful but no barrier lasts forever and Her children are nothing if not persistent.