Common Knowledge: Talingarde
Here are thirteen things everyone knows about the kingdom of Talingarde.
1. Talingarde is an island. It is about the size of England in the real world. It is an isolated place far from any other nations and outsiders are something of a rarity. In the south it enjoys a temperate clime, but the north of the island is quite cold and often blanketed with snow. Most people avoid this part of the island because it is populated by monsters.
2. Talingarde is a lawful good nation. Talingarde is a place of law and order. Violations of the law are punished severely but fairly. Talingarde is also a place that reveres the ideals of goodness. Clergy tend to the sick, often for no pay. Knights seek to protect the weak. Paladins are fabled individuals often featured in stories and songs. Talingarde might be, in all the world, the nation most committed ot the ideals of law and good.
3. Talingarde is a monarchy. It is ruled by good king Markadian V called the Brave. Markadian is a much beloved ruler from a well-established royal family known as the House of Darius.
4. The King has no son. He does however have a daughter, the beautiful princess Bellinda who is twenty years old and still unmarried. The king and the princess are the only full-blooded members of the royal family, though they have lots and lots of cousins and more distant family. The King’s wife Lucinda died in child birth and he has never remarried.
5. The Victor was the first Darian king. Markadian V is actually the great grandson of Markadian I called the Victor who established the House of Darius and defeated the former royal house, the House of Barca, at Battle of Tamberlyn. The Victor remains beloved in Talingarde even decades after his death and you still see statues of him everywhere.
6. The only god you are allowed to worship in Talingarde is Mitra. Once other gods were worshipped, but that all came to an end under the House of Darius. Worship of Asmodeus, arch-enemy of Mitra, is outlawed and punishable by death by burning. Worshipping other nonevil gods is technically allowed but highly discouraged and very rarely seen.
7. Mitra is the Lord of Light. Mitra is the god of light, healing, goodness and leadership. He is usually depicted as having three aspects – a king, a healer or a living flame. Mitra is benevolent god and the arch-enemy of the First Tyrant, Asmodeus.
8. The Church of Mitra is everywhere. No town in Talingarde lacks a church of Mitra. The priests are almost always important men in their community. The second most powerful man in the kingdom is the High Cardinal of the Church, Vitallian of Estyllis. There word is not law but it is heard and respected and ignored only infrequently. The House of Darius and the Church of Mitra are allies dedicated to keeping Talingarde the bastion of goodness, law and Mitran devotion that it is today.
9. Asmodeus is the enemy of Mitra and Talingarde. Only one faith is banned and punishable by death within the kingdom of Talingarde – the faith of the devil-god Asmodeus, the lord of the Nine Hells. Before the House of Darius rose, Asmodeus was part of the pantheon of Talingarde. Asmodeus was not loved, but he was feared and respected alongside the other gods. Markadian IV called the Zealot outlawed the faith and unleashed the Inquisition against it. In the Asmodean Purges of the twenty years ago, every temple and high priest of Asmodeus was burned. The Temple of Asmodeus never recovered.
10. Talingarde is defended by the Knights of the Alerion. The Knights are a storied and legendary order of warriors who uphold the right, protect the weak and work to see justice done. They are a religious order and everyone has sworn oaths to Mitra. Uniquely, they are not all nobles. Even those of common blood may become a knight if they are deemed worthy. Not every Knight is a paladin, but their order has produced more paladins than any other.
11. Talingarde has six regions. The Island of Talingarde has six parts – The Cambrian Ports, The Heartland, the Borderlands, the Caer Bryr, the Savage North and the Lands of the Yutak. The Cambrian Ports are the three large cities of Talingarde that sit upon the Bay of Cambria. The Heartland is the farms and rural parts of Talingarde. The Borderlands are the northern reaches of the kingdom protected by the Watch Wall. The Caer Bryr is a great forest inhabited by the savage Iraen. The Savage North is a wasteland of ice ruled by monsters. And the Lands of the Yutak are scattered small northern islands inhabited by strange men very different from the men of Talingarde (or Talireans as they are sometimes known).
12. Talingarde is protected by the Watch Wall. Twelve fortresses mark the northern border of the kingdom of Talingarde. These fortresses control every point of access from the Savage North and defend the land from incursion by the bugbears and other monsters that live there. Markadian V called the Brave earned that name defending the Watch Wall.
13. Talingarde is at peace. But will it last?