Church of Divine Patronage

Now the only church remaining within Whitehood, the Church of Divine Patronage is the last remnant of the human religion that was at one time dominant in the city.  There are still ample churches throughout Damir, but they would be found in Proudhill and Belvadore.  The Church of Divine Patronage is massive, and is one of the oldest buildings in the city, dating back to 262 ACW, only a dozen years after Whitehood was established.

For a time, the church served as a dwelling for council members to meet and discuss state of affairs, back when Whitehood was governed by a human council.  It is the site where Bandrian married Laurette, where Lord Valimond was coroneted, and where Lady Elayne gave her vows to Chancellor Valan.  Although few go to the Church of Divine Patronage, it is an iconic symbol to old Whitehood and nobody has the gall to suggest tearing it down.

There was a time in Damir history that painted the Church of Divine Patronage in terrible light.  King Valimond II admonished the church because it criticized the borderline worship of the colossus made in his father’s image.  He banished the Archbishop of Belvadore, which angered the priests and priestesses of the church.  Afterwards, it is rumored that members of the Church of Divine Patronage got together and plotted revenge against the king.  But when the king died, they decided to take it out on his heir, King Viktor I.  Viktor was no saint.  He was a womanizer and a hedonist.  The church despised him and his rule.  Some argue that it was the church that was behind the assassinations of King Viktor and Queen Noelle. 

Although it’s never been proven that there was any link to the assassinations and the church, evidence does suggest that some of the women that Viktor had affairs and conceived offspring with came to the Church of Divine Patronage for protection.  They feared Viktor would kill them or their children.  The Church offered succor to them and would use funds to send them into hiding.  Whether or not the king’s death was related in any way to these women or their children remains unknown, but the church’s aid to them is not in question.

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Nursing Academy

The Nursing Academy is located in the center of the city of Whitehood.  Only women are sent to be trained nurses.  Men wishing to be doctors or surgeons are usually sent to Belvadore for intense study.  Recently the nursing academy began to accept applicants from women of all walks of life.  Due to the increase in orc incursions (three in one century) the demand for nurses has never been higher. 

The academy is run by a Matron, who delegates to several head nurses who carry out her orders.  The academy is funded by the military, which gets its funding from the royal treasury.  Because it is funded by the military, the academy is forced to follow any orders given to it by any high ranking officer.  Once enrolled, a nurse is forced into service for no fewer than five years.  A nurse can stay on in the academy indefinitely, however, as long as her record remains clean.  The academy can admit any patient whose condition merits constant supervision.

A classic yarn shared among the nurses who enlist in the academy is the tale of “Nurse kiss, nurse saw.”  Long ago, a beautiful but simple-minded nurse treated a wounded knight at the academy.  The knight had been stabbed, hacked, chopped, sliced, bashed, and bloodied but still alive.  The nurse, unsure how to treat him, asked the knight what he would like her to do for him.  The knight told her that each of his limbs were rendered useless and needed to be amputated.  Feeling sad for the knight, the nurse kissed each limb before removal.  Enjoying the touch of her lips, the knight requested she kiss his head and face next.  Needless to say, the nurse had a lot of explaining to do when the Matron discovered the headless knight some time afterward.

During times of peace, nurses are scattered throughout Damir from Gilstad to Belvadore.  Some eventually form their own practice or team up with a local doctor and leave the Nursing Academy.  Other nurses are hired by wealthy patrons, such as the royal family or Damir’s nobility, to be in-house nurses.  Of course, a nurse must pass all exams and finish her five year requirement in order to leave the academy.

Proudhill part 2

As the years went by, Proudhill grew and the power of the human council began to exceed that of the church’s.  Sister Branta, a prominent member of the church, became an outspoken critic of the human council and demanded more involvement in Proudhill’s policies.  As a sister she didn’t outweigh a priest or priestess in authority but became the voice of the church nevertheless.  Branta wanted the laws in Proudhill to reflect that of the moral doctrine the church insisted upon.  She wanted social norms to be enforced by military means: specifically rigid rules on marriage (no legal divorce to be tolerated and adultery punishable by death).  The Council refused to make policy supporting these norms.   Sir. Humpecker, a very devout templar, took it an extra step and threatened to remove the council all together and replace it with members of the church.  These threats proved to be fighting words to the Council, who turned to Sir. Gallac once again.  Gallac was now much older but was still held in high regard by the Council.

Over the years, Proudhill’s templars had become more and more disgruntled with the church and their pious teachings.  Several templars were not looking forward to a church-controlled council and sided with the Council on the matter, rallying behind Sir. Gallac.  This division amongst the templars contributed to Proudhill’s Civil War.  In 240 ACW, Proudhill turned its war of words into a war of swords.  Templars fought templars, farmers attacked farmers, peasants attacked peasants, and the priests and councilors pulled the strings.  It ended when the prominent leaders of the church died.  Sir. Humpecker was cut down in a skirmish and Sister Branta tripped on her skirts while trying to flee, falling down a rocky slope and breaking her neck.  (The slope has hence been named “Branta’s Tumble.”)

After the war (which lasted only a few months), the term “templar” was replaced by “knight” and the church was no longer allowed a say in policy.  Knights of Proudhill became protectors of the Council, as templar training was officially dissolved.  Those loyal to the church left Proudhill; some went to Belvadore in the south, others went east and helped build up a small fortress there called Whitehood.

The largest threat Proudhill dealt with, aside from the bandits of the Blue River and the occasional raids of barbarians like the Blood Bunch, was corruption on the Council.  The Council was composed of elders: old families that had been among the first to settle there.  Tradition in certain families on the Council was permitting corruption to run rampant and the people of Proudhill began to demand reform.  The power grabbing that was happening in Whitehood served as a lesson for Proudhill not to replicate.  To prevent sedition and class envy, Proudhill instituted a roulette system of governance.

The Council would have nine people, from nine families, and each council member would have a term of five years.  After the five years, that council member’s seat becomes available to the next family, which is chosen by lottery.  This rotation by roulette and raffle became known as the “Raffle Senate” and it stayed in place for nearly two-hundred years.  The system was successful: exciting, but risky at times.  Every so often a certain Proudhill family would be selected to sit on the Council but their expertise on political and economic matters was limited.  Candidates were limited to only those families that either owned businesses or had a history of service to the Proudhill region.  Merchants, knights, priests, land owners, ranchers and bankers were common occupants on the Council.

Proudhill kept a frosty relationship with its neighbor Whitehood to the east.  Whitehood had fallen on hard times and was changing its system of government and leaders.  Warlords and corrupt councils kept steering Whitehood into becoming an eventual threat to Proudhill.  This all changed when Bandrian became its Protector and wiped out the dwarves of Duinmire.  The emergence of a human hero in the land caused much discussion for a Damish kingdom and the establishment of a royal line.  But Proudhill was against the idea, because their system of government had been so successful for so long.  Yet, Proudhill was still plagued by bandits and Blood Bunch barbarians who kept attacking the outlying areas and travelers.

Whitehood’s military was twice the size of Proudhill’s, and they boasted a larger population.  The leaders of Proudhill knew that Whitehood would only expand, and that Bandrian had demonstrated that he was an effective leader of men.  To protect the Salt Trade, the primary resource Whitehood shared with both Proudhill and Belvadore, Bandrian used his military to patrol the Blue River, keeping bandits away.  Compounding this were the elves of Merrimont and the orcs of Oringard, who barged into Damir, claiming lands and making humans in Damir uneasy.  Bandrian proposed a permanent alliance, a unification of the major settlements into a single kingdom.  United, the human kingdom would be well protected and any hostile action made by the dwarves, elves or orcs would be met with the banner of a kingdom, not just a settlement or two.

After years of negotiations and debate, the Council in Proudhill dissolved and joined under a single Damish banner, and pledged allegiance to King Bandrian.  A governing family was selected to rule Proudhill, and so the people unanimously chose the house of Gallac.  For over three hundred years, the house of Gallac has been the governing family in Proudhill.

Whitehood part 1

Located beneath Mt. Whitehood is the large human settlement named after the white-hooded peak.  The tallest peak of the Golden Mountain range, Mt. Whitehood sits at 14,200 feet high and it is the southern most mountain of said range.  The city rests among the Rossi Heights, the foothills beneath Mt. Whitehood.  Considering Damir’s age (circa 102 ACW), the city of Whitehood came to be settled late in its history.  Proudhill, Belvadore, Duinmire and Chance Rock predate Whitehood’s establishment, most of them by over a hundred years.  Officially, Merrimont was established long before any of them (circa 106 ACW), but the initial human settlement was destroyed by flooding approximately 147 ACW and again in 223 ACW.

Giving up on settling in the lush fields of Merrimont, survivors decided to try their fortunes by settling up north.  The hills and foothills surrounding Mt. Whitehood were untamed and unsettled.  A few sparse villages of native Damish people were about but they were primitive and unsuitable to maintain a viable population.  Humans had multiplied their numbers since the templar Lyndon had led them on a northern trek to new lands.  Those that stayed behind wanted to take advantage of Damir’s lush landscape, fresh water, and defensible settings.

The Rossi Heights presented an ideal place to build a settlement that could be defended.  The abundance of rolling hills would slow any army, and the mountain provided a safeguard against any attack from the  north.  Whitehood became an official human province in 250 ACW, and it started out primarily as a small community of miners.  A council of elders served as the town’s governing body, but as it grew so did its government.  In time, the elders began to jockey for the most influence and power.  This spawned internal fighting among the ruling class and later several bloody feuds which led to a string of warlords taking over Whitehood.  As the political situation in Whitehood deteriorated so did its economy.

Due to its limited agricultural opportunities, Whitehood struggled to keep up with its booming population growth.  The land about Whitehood was not the best for farming, its soil rough and rocky.  Their neighbor to the west, Proudhill, was on the other hand rich in agriculture.  Eventually, a trading post was established between the two large human settlements and Whitehood’s economic situation improved somewhat.  But its political instability was holding the city back.  In a span of nearly seventy years, Whitehood had five different warlords claim jurisdiction of the town.

Even with the political chaos, Whitehood grew from a mining village to a township to a fortress.  Fear of rogue bandits and fearsome monsters drew people behind its walls for protection.  The warlord Keltan attempted to be Damir’s first “king” and establish a bloodline of rulers from Whitehood.  He helped turn Whitehood from a basic fortress to a sizeable keep.  While Keltan ruled for almost forty years (345-84 ACW), his son never ruled a day in Whitehood.  The Keltan line was cut down immediately after following Keltan’s death, his family over-run by a mob and publicly lynched and executed.  The uprising against the Keltans was a planned event, meant to strike when the warlord’s family was most vulnerable.  Led by several concerned citizens over the state of Whitehood, and the fear that warlords such as the Keltans would only lead the city down a dark path, a council was re-established.

Under the governance of a council, Whitehood flourished, establishing a trade route to Proudhill and all the way to Belvadore.  Proudhill was rich in agriculture, Belvadore in linens, and Whitehood in salt.  Because of the volcanic region around Mt. Whitehood, an active volcano, hot springs producing mineral salt were ever present.  Known as the “Salt Trade,” Whitehood’s primary resource was the salt mines that paved the way for the city to become an economic giant.  In time, Whitehood’s population grew larger and it began to incorporate outlying villages.  Settlers and villages placed around the hills fell under the protection of the city.

History eventually repeated itself, however, when the rich and influential merchant, Krogert, bought the loyalty of Whitehood’s military guard and took over the council.  Krogert, a fat, slobbery man covered in hair from head to foot, behaved like a bully, intimidating Whitehood into submission by terrorizing households and fellow merchants.  He came to power roughly 430 ACW and was a merciless tyrant who put to death anyone he suspected to be his enemies.  Because of how close Whitehood had become to the other human settlements in Damir, Krogert’s coup caused an economic ripple and backlash.  The Salt Trade was dissolved, with both Proudhill and Belvadore attempting to distance themselves from Krogert and his ilk.

People starved in the streets, and clothes and medicine were hard to come by.  Krogert and his guards frequently raided homes, taking food and valuables to help preserve himself and his rule.  Krogert’s greed and consumption of resources went to all extremities.  As a levy, if a family could not pay Krogert’s steep taxes he would require a family member to enter servitude to his house.  He primarily wanted women to please him at every turn and would seize young girls and wives from their homes without explanation.  Outrage was rampant but suppressed by Krogert’s elite henchmen.  His rule lasted roughly ten years, but in that time Whitehood had become weak and vulnerable.

Damir

Located in the northwest corner of the continent, Damir is about 37,000 square miles in area.  Damir has no access to the sea, landlocked by four neighboring lands: Lyndon, Gronde, Nubrince, and the Ice Lands.  Officially named by Samjin the Scout in 102 ACW, the word “Damir” is an Elvish term meaning “Land of Awe.”  Samjin considered the name on his expedition through Damir’s wilderness, across the open green plains and rolling hills, to the Reverence Mountains in the west.  Ultimately, it was the land’s high concentration of dark clouds and thunder that inspired Samjin to name it Damir.

Damir had been occupied for centuries by the cyclopsians, giants whose most notable physical trait is their one eye.  Using their size to their advantage, they had enslaved all the other indigenous races.  The brutality of the cyclopsians kept the indigenous humans and elves from prospering and multiplying.  Due to their own internal strife, the cyclopsian leadership acted more along the lines of a confederacy rather than a unified nation.  They were broken up into several clans and some of the clans resented the others.  Small wars over Damir’s lush lands yielded nothing but hardships and their culture did not progress.

Although the dwarves were the first to immigrate to Damir, they avoided the cyclopsians by staying well protected within the forestland of Oringard.  The cyclopsians knew of the dwarves but were afraid of the immense forest, and thus the two races did not interact.  However, because of how disorderly their society was, the cyclopsians did not detect Samjin, and the scout was able to move through Damir, taking note of the landscape.

Samjin was the personal and most trusted scout of the renown Templar, Lyndon.  Lyndon was leading a mass exodus of humans and some elves out from the ruins of the Chaos War.  He sent several scouts ahead of his migration north to find land that would be suitable to cultivate and rebuild.  When Samjin returned, Lyndon was convinced that Damir was the land they had been searching for. Despite the cyclopsian occupation, Lyndon felt convinced he could take the land because of the disorderly nature of the cyclopsian rule.  Entering Damir, Lyndon bypassed Oringard because neither he nor his followers had any interest in the wooded wilderness, compared to the fertile meadows to the west.

Initially, Lyndon and his followers settled near the Paia River but it flooded and destroyed their early settlements.  As a result, Lyndon pushed north and then west, and ran into the cyclopsians who met Lyndon with hostility.  It is unclear who attacked first, but in the end Lyndon drove out the cyclopsians from Damir after a five year campaign.

Along the way and during his wars with the cyclopsians, Lyndon’s followers began to settle across Damir, ending their continental migration to call the land their home.  Lyndon himself was not satisfied with Damir and had originally mistook the Blue River for a coastline.  Learning that the land of Damir was landlocked and had no access to any sea, the great Templar moved on and would later found the neighboring marshland, which would bear his name.

With the cyclopsians driven out, the vast majority of the people who migrated under Lyndon’s banner were human.  The human populace quickly spread and multiplied to become the primary race in Damir.  They would exist as a series of settlements until unification in 460 ACW by Bandrian, the first king of Damir.  The land of Damir became the kingdom of Damir and would attract other cultures and races to its lush domain.  Even with Oringard being overrun by invading orcs, the kingdom has withstood many different wars, which have shaped and molded it into a thriving monarchy.

The land of Damir has withstood thirteen wars, and have named the wars accordingly.  These wars include internal conflicts, and do not include minor border conflicts with Lyndon in 676 ACW and again in 715 ACW, both of which ended up favoring Damir.  Because the Blue River runs through both Damir and Lyndon, control of it has always been the motive behind the western border wars.  However, since the Templar Lyndon’s line was restored to Lyndon’s monarchy as supreme ruler, the two adjacent kingdoms have been allies.

To the south, the rocky and mountainous land of Gronde has been a passive neighbor to Damir.  Due to their free market, Gronde was once the center of trade in the northwest region and had a direct route to Blood Coast.  While Gronde has often distanced itself politically from Damir, the two have never shown aggression to each other, until the tyrant Rudimond took control of Gronde and formed a threatening army.  Rudimond has militarized the border between Damir and Gronde, making open trade impossible while putting a strain on their relationship.

Nubrince to the east has proven to be a nest of orc activity, but Nubrince only supplies the orcs of Oringard with recruits and has not declared open hostility against Damir.  In Nubrince, only orc law is present and that comes from the Orc High Council.  The Ice Lands to the north is a remote region of frozen tundra and hills.  It is rich in resources but no kingdom has ever been established there.  It is seen as a refuge for illegal activity and outlaws fleeing Damir and Lyndon.

The extreme west of Damir is only thirty leagues (almost a hundred miles) from the coastline, known as Blood Coast.  Although Blood Coast does not border Damir, only a sliver of Lyndon land sits between them.  Blood Coast is nearly five hundred leagues long, but only forty leagues wide, as it stretches down half the western coastline of the continent.  Blood Coast is lawless, controlled by pirates, mercenaries, and black market smugglers and operatives.  It’s illegal trade has infected nearby lands (including Damir) in a three hundred league radius.

Damir’s flag consists of a golden crown on a blue background.  The orcs of Oringard use a black flag with bright green Shogue (language of the orcs) letterings.  Since the orcs’ arrival, Damir has fought six notable wars against them.  The latest, the 13th War of Damir, was fought from 791-92.  Damir forces came close to capturing Mt. Phumbaas within Oringard, their military stronghold, but were forced to withdraw, allowing Oringard to replenish its numbers and gear up for another war.

Damir has a population of somewhere near 150,000 but it has been as high as 200,000 on more than one occasion.  Along with its wars and internal strife, the kingdom has lost large chunks of its population from time to time due to plagues (Scarlet Rash & Beggar’s Breath) and natural disasters, such as flooding.  Humans make up 54% of the population, while elves sit at 32%, dwarves 10%, while goblins and centaurs round out the population at 4%.  This excludes the orcs of Oringard (as the realm is viewed outside the kingdom of Damir despite existing within the land’s borders).

The most populated city is Whitehood, then Proudhill, followed closely by the elven city of Merrimont and  Belvadore.  Whitehood encompasses the Rossi Heights area, which sits between it and Merrimont.  When combining the populations of the Southern Farmlands and Merrimont, the population there surpasses Proudhill.  Gilstad can swell to fifth place during wartime, as the fortress is a frontline to orc invasions.  The ranking of city by population is thus:

  1. Whitehood
  2. Proudhill
  3. Merrimont
  4. Belvadore
  5. Chance Rock
  6. Duinmire
  7. Gilstad
  8. Purewater