The History of the Country of Lindal
The country of Lindal is quite young, only coming into existence 20 years before the game begins. The pivotal event leading to the formation of the country was the Righteous War. Prior to the Righteous War, the cities of Anistyre survived as their own municipal governments united under the guidance of the Church of the Phoenix, with the other Churches providing key roles in society. One of the most contentious role was that of the Church of the Warrior, which controlled the military, known as the Army of the Defenders. During the time leading up to the Righteous War, there had been no major threats in Anistyre for almost 30 years (the last one being The Goblin Wars), and many of the city municipal councils were questioning the wisdom of maintaining such a large army. The tension increased to the point where the council of the city of Falstran, Menthras’ sister city across the Hopefire Lake, refused to pay the taxes to fund the Army of the Defenders. Angered by such defiance, the Army of the Defenders blockaded the city, effectively laying siege to it. While the Church of the Phoenix attempted to negotiate an end to the blockage, riots broke out in Falstran, and a mob attempted to break the blockade. The Army quelled the riots and seized the council of the city. The Church of the Phoenix denounced the actions of the Army of the Defenders and that of the Church of the Warrior. The land was polarized as cities declared support for one side or the other and the Righteous War began.
The outcome of the war was quite unexpected. After eight years of conflict, General Eurogan organized an army to fight both the Church of the Phoenix and the Warrior. His army received massive support from the populace tired of conflict and the dogma of both sides of the struggle. The war ended with the Treaty of Falstran and the formation of two new countries, Lindal and Nagumend. The position of power that the Church of the Phoenix and Warrior had were stripped from them under, what some consider, harsh conditions of the treaty.
The country of Lindal is rules by the High Council, with representatives appointed by the three major cities of the Lindal, the capital of the same name, Menthras and Limberly. The leader of the High Council is the Lord-Chancellor, a position initially appointed, although most believe that it will become hereditary.
Most of the past 20 years has been spent trying to rebuild the cities and towns from the devastation of the Righteous War. This was the first conflict where arcane and divine magic was used by both sides of a war, with the subsequent collateral damage of the conflict being quite significant.
The City of Menthras
Menthras is the oldest, largest, and wealthiest city in Lindal. Built on the Hopefire Lake, it is the gateway of trade for the country. The city is divided into the traditional five sections, each representing a role of the individual churches of The Ancients:
- Dockyard – the main port and shipyard. Also houses the main militia barracks
- Old Towne – the location of the offices of government and wealthy residences in the city
- The Smithy – center of craft and trade, it also houses universities and libraries of the city
- The Sally – Home of the grand market and many merchants
- Roseway – an expansive park inside the city walls. Some of the lands of the Roseway have been appropriated for the Free Mage Towers, center of free magic study of the world, currently still under construction.
The city itself flanks both sides of the Falcon River as it flows into Hopefire Lake. Bridging the River are the Arches of Menthras, two giant bridges that join the two halves of the city and act as platforms to bar the river in times of war.
The current Lord-Chancellor of Lindal is the aging Rois Eurogan, the very general who lead the armies to end the Righteous War. He has ruled constantly since the end of the war, although his age is catching up to him, with many fearing that he will not be able to hold his position for much longer. Being groomed to replace him is his daughter Nance Eurgon, the current Chancellor of Menthras.
Vying for political influence in the country is the Church of the Phoenix, lead by the their High Priest Toman Alberet, and the rather newly formed Guild of Free Magic, led by the First Wizard Duras, the last living apprentice of the guilds founder, First Wizard Timols, and the heads of the municipal governments of the other two major cities in the country.
The other Churches, Earth Mother, Maker, and Traveler, do not participate heavily in the political play of the country, focusing on bettering the people by supplying guidance in their particular area of influence. The Church of the Warrior has suffered much, even more than the Phoenix, since the Righteous War, as many blame them for causing the conflict. Despite this, they strive to provide a leadership role in city militias and military, without having any real power to influence.
Society is at a cross-roads, changing from its previously religious dominated social order to that of one ruled by land owners and nobles. While the change has been welcome by many, especially those with the personal experience of the Righteous War, there is a growing desire to return to the old way of things. Such desires have let many fringe and fanatical groups gain holds that they would never have. It is a troubling time, where taking a stand can be risky.
Each city is responsible for its own policing, with each city having a City Guard. The country does have a standing army, which policies the rural areas. Crimes are generally tied to affronts against a particular Ancient, and are thus treated as both sin and crime. Both are new responsibilities as the Church of the Phoenix used provided Paladins to lead the law enforcement of the land. Now such direction comes directly from the municipal councils. The severity of punishments tends to be buffered by standing within the local nobles or within individual churches, although this is not always the case. The worst crime is to be a proven associate of a Dark Ancient. Those found guilty of such an association receive the harshest punishments.
Despite the severity of punishments and the religious association with committing crimes, a thriving criminal underworld exists, especially in such cities as Menthras. Smuggling and fencing are two of the major areas of trouble. Around the walled portion of the cities, haphazard towns have built up. It is here, amongst the poor, that crime is most rampant. The city guards tend to turn blind eyes to minor offences against those without any status or money. There are prisons, but they are not large, and usually consist of the dungeons in the city guard compounds.
The following of the beliefs of the Ancients has been the foundation of human society for as long as can be remembered. Each Ancient fills a key role in society. The Phoenix provides direction and law, the Earth Mother food and health, the Maker, crafts and knowledge, the Traveler, communication and exploration, and the Warrior defense and security. One is expected to choose one Ancient and worship them above the others, although each one recognizes the divine roll that the other ancients play. More and more these days, especially in the cities, focus on a particular ancient to worship is being lost, replaced with a more general belief in the Ancients. Many of the church worry that this is a sign of a loss of direction in society.
The church of the Earth Mother is centered in the Temple of Tristain on the northern continent of Novelhum, far from Lindal. On Anistyre, the church is lead by the Willow’s Circle, a group of the most influential priests and priestesses of the Earth Mother. The faith promotes harmony with ones natural environment and takes the roles in healing and health, agriculture, and sustaining natural balances. The faith’s defenders, the Rangers, are a new phenomena. During the Righteous War, the priests of the Earth Mother continued to practice their healing arts on both sides of the war, which put them in some very difficult situations. Warriors left both sides of the conflict to take a role protecting the priests. The Earth Mother blessed these warriors and the Rangers were formed.
The church of the Maker is centered at The Ancient City, fabled home of the Ancients. Their temple is built outside the Ancient City’s tall grey steel walls, and only the most powerful and respected priests ever enter the city of the gods. The priesthood is filled with teachers, craftsman, and sages. It was one of the priests of the Maker who was the first human to learn how to harness arcane magic. The church itself is responsible for the grandest creations in the whole land: The Arches of Menthras, The Locks of Falstran, The Grand Areana in Nagamund, and The Golden Temple in Lindal. There are no projects on the go at this time of such magnitude, with most of the orders efforts being expended in repairing the damages done during the Righteous War, although a new fortress is under construction in the city of Lindal and the order is assisting the Free Mages in building their new tower in Menthras.
Centered in the Golden Temple in Lindal and given the role of guiding humanity, the church has fallen as of late. It is still a grand and noble organization, filled with wisdom and strength, just not as much as it used to have. The church has become stagnant due to holy families that took root and control the upper echelons of the organization. Positions of power are inherited now instead of earned, such as in other faiths, in an effort to maintain the Blood of the Phoenix pure.
The role of the Paladin was to be the upholder of law and justice and the strong arm of the Phoenix to protect the human race. The number of Paladins has dropped significantly since the Righteous War, when many were killed. Few new recruits have been found in recent years.
There is no central church for the followers of the Traveler, although shrines for gathering exist in all urban centers. Clerics wander from city to village, spreading news, guiding merchants, and spreading the word of their Faith. It is believed that there is a main temple of the Traveler, but it is hidden in a far away land, that only through the Traveler’s blessings, can it be reached. These days, the priests of the traveler, amongst their other duties, act as negotiators in the dealing between the two new countries of Lindal and Nagumend.
The Wanderers, the protectors of the followers of the traveler, are unique masters of unarmed combat, blessed by the Traveler to strike with uncanny precision. Their role is of guardian to the clergy but also as solitary warriors, wandering the countryside, righting wrongs done amongst the common folk. Even before the Righteous War, a commoner was more likely to approach a Wanderer than a Paladin to resolve a dispute.
Centered at the Grand Arena of Nagumend, the followers of the Warrior believe themselves the defenders of the realm. The faith does not just deal with prowess in arms but the strategy of battle and war and the development of the warriors spirit, that will and self awareness that will give you the strength to defeat opponents stronger and more skilled then you are. Since the Righteous War, the church has lost all right to participate in the defense of the realm or raise their own standing army, so they content themselves with battles and challenges in the Grand Arena.
The epitome of the warrior spirit, one against many, is the Battle Master. Those who walk this path receive the blessing of the Warrior to be an unstoppable force on the battlefield. Although denied their proper place in the defense forces of the realm, many wealthy nobles and merchants petition the church of the Warrior for a Battlemaster to head their house forces or act as personal bodyguards.