Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Whitelands

Imagine if Byzantium had conquered Africa by using an Orthodox crusade. Then have a great flood wipe out most of civilization. The Whitelands is the society that rises from the watery ruin.

The Whitelands has been ruled by the Ijabul family for ten thousand years by divine right... or so the faith preaches. It's unlikely that any dynasty survived the Drowning of the World. Historians and sages of other nations place the Ijabul dynasty somewhere between six hundred and eight hundred years old--a respectable age for a mostly human nation.

The faith also preaches that the Queen and the Theologists rule the Whitelands in "a harmony that shines like a sun spirit upon lesser peoples." What's closer to reality is that each Queen carves out what power she may from the ruling religious council (called the Theologists). Daughters of the Queen are taught statecraft at an early age, and those that can't or won't learn it well become puppets of the Theologists. At least twice in recorded history, the Whitelands has come to civil war due to disputes between Highcastle and the Theocratic Manse.

There was nearly a third civil war during the Red King's Turning, when Queen Tiombe decided to accept the Red King's trade offer and let Redlander merchants into Whitelander ports. Tiombe outmaneuvered the theocrats in an epic struggle of statecraft that would no doubt be legendary... if anyone left alive from that time would relate the details. The defeat still rankles the Theocrats, who managed to strengthen the ban on Dark Domain goods. The current penalty for any Whitelander doing direct trade with any Dark merchants ranges from excommunication and imprisonment, to banishment, to being stripped of all worldly goods and titles.

Despite it's hand in politics, the Church of Heironius has a strong presence in the daily life of all Whitelanders, and more Whitelanders hear the call to paladinhood than the people of any other nation. Nearly every ship in the Whitelander navy boasts at least one paladin on board.

The Whitelands gets its name not from the people (who are dark-skinned), but from it's white sand beaches and ivory trade. They also export many types of exotic fruit, and fish that can only be found in one of their interior freshwater lakes and rivers.

While the population is mostly human, a great many elves and dwarves make their home in the Whitelands. Most are descendants of refugees from the Red King's age of madness

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