Myllenoris

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Myllenoran towns are often small and tucked away deep within the woods. Some villages have chosen to hide themselves from the rest of the world, remaining untouched and undiscovered for decades, only occasionally visited by the Valeborn.

Myllenoris is a small kingdom to the south of Esshar, once known as Moonfall, and the 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. It is often described by outside travellers as a mystical realm of strange sights and even stranger magics.

The kingdom is a theocratic state ruled by the religious head of Aschea's Faith, the High Lord of Myllenoris, who bares the Crown of Aschea.

History[edit]

Moonfall[edit]

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.

Aschea[edit]

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.

Myllenoris[edit]

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.

Society[edit]

Myllenoris is a Teraphim-dominated militant theocracy administrated by the Valeborn, a group of religious figures and military officers. The High Lord rules as both monarch and theocrat, advised by a body of Teraphim known as Mistseers. The Mistseers oversee the Greycloaks, the elite of the Myllenoran military. Greycloaks may or may not be Teraphim. Most of the original Teraphim bloodlines have, since Aschea's death, risen to nobility in the kingdom. Almost every notable position of power in Myllenoris is held by a Teraphim. The High Lord is succeeded by the Teraphim who may successfully wear Aschea's Crown, as the ability to do so is akin to being marked as the rightful leader of Myllenoris. The High Lord may promote any Myllenoran to the position of Mistseer, and there is not a formal limit to how many Mistseers there may be, although it tends to be a small number.

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

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

The greatest honour a common Myllenoran may 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 is decided by the High Lord and the Mistseers, who must unanimously agree on the matter.

Religion[edit]

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. Members of Aschea's Faith, the primary religion of Myllenoris. 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 also make up the primary hierarchy of Myllenoris's leadership, the head of the church ruling as a theocracy.