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Established February 2010
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* Plot Information for Askavi Terreille

For nearly two centuries Askavi floundered, brought low in the wake of the Red Queen’s war. The institution of one court with its Two Queens and the end of restitution payments promises a brighter future. Still, War knocks on the Eyrien’s door from all sides and the people fight against the need to meet it.
Culture of Askavi
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Author Topic: Current Askavi Territory Petition  (Read 3499 times)

Description: For reference purposes (by Nicole & Gavin)

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Current Askavi Territory Petition
« on: Mar 09, 18, 09:53:19 AM »
Quote

Character's Name: Illyrian Kriat
Character's Caste: Queen
Character's Jewels: Tiger Eye to Summer Sky

Character's Name: Drakkar Estaroth
Character's Caste: Warlord Prince
Character's Jewels:TBA

Territory Plot:

For centuries, Illyrian Kriat protected her province in Askavi. While the Red Queen drove Terreille into ruin, Illyrian dared to commit treason: She hid the people she served. Black Widows loyal to her devised webs that would keep those bent on destruction from ever finding Gravesend, while those who needed her and wanted to preserve the honor of being Blood find her. Those with destruction in their hearts would become hopelessly entangled in the woods, while those seeking to preserve the honorable ways of the Blood would be able to uncover this safe harbor in the midst of war.

After the War and the Purge left most of Askavi in ruin, the Eyriens of Gravesend continued to live peacefully. Gillian Yatskaya, a mixed-Blood powerful Sapphire Queen, wanted to restore the Eyrien homeland. She found her way to Illyrian, and they agreed to rule all of Askavi together: A Court with Two Hearts.

Askavi, even nearly two centuries on, still aches from the wreckage wrought by the Purge and the War. The territory was paying restitution fees to other territories in Terreille, a meager recompense by the measure of some for the pain and destruction caused by the Red Queen. However, the Court with Two Hearts had to end those payments, as they could no longer afford them.

Askavi is still limping from its deep wounds. The Purge left few Queens, and none with dark jewels. Nourishing the land is slow work, and while Gravesend has flourished because Illyrian and her grandmother continued the rituals to nourish the land in the years following the purge, the rest of the territory remains parched. The ruling Queens have worked with others to help them heal the land, but after so much neglect, it is slow work.

Nearly bankrupt, the territory recently sent negotiators to Hayll, explaining they are no longer able to pay restitutions. Hayll sent their diplomats back in pieces in a box. The Queens have been doing their best to keep this tacit declaration of war secret, and they have heard no more from Hayll. They have hidden this news from all but their very closest advisors, resigned that they cannot go to war with Hayll -- but they would not be able to stop Hayll from choosing to wage war against them.

But the absence of the men and women sent to Hayll becomes more conspicuous with each passing month.

The Purge happened during the lifetime of most living Eyriens, and its survivors are mostly broken or light jeweled. Money and raw power are in short supply, leaving Eyrien temper and pride.

Gillian and Illyrian re-established provinces and districts, and there remain some quarrels over borders, as the ruling Queens, Priestesses and Warlord Princes struggle to make ends meet for their portion of Askavi. Tithes go uncollected in some areas, while in others, the districts and villages are over-taxed. This means the territory court rarely ever gets its share of the tithes, leaving the Territory Court in dire fiscal straits. With Queens in short supply, there are more Priestesses and Warlord Princes ruling districts and villages than there are Queens in ruling positions.

Eyriens share Askavi with Landens, who greatly outnumber the Blood. The land is cracked and parched, and the Queens are unable to give enough to get crops flourishing enough to support everyone who lives in Askavi. The Landen are fairly subjugated to the Blood, and are seeing less and less return. With 80 percent of the population Landen, they are beginning to become more organized in their complaints to the Territory Court.

Rogue warriors, who banded together to live lean and survive through the war, Purge and tough years that followed, are beginning to doubt the leadership of the Court with Two Hearts. They are men who evaded serving one bad Queen, and they will not hesitate to eliminate two if they must.

Meanwhile the Jhinka seem to be growing in number and intelligence. The jhinka are a winged species of nightmares: Fierce fighters, slighter builds than most Eyriens, and sharper teeth. They attack, devour the carrion and attack again. What they have in numbers and hunger they lack in sheer intelligence -- but their strikes have seemed more strategic and coordinated, and the camps are being slowly worn down.

Still unrecovered from the Purge, which had Askavi as its epicenter, the Territory faces numerous threats: The spectre of a war with Hayll, friction between the Eyriens of Gravesend and those left to fend for themselves in the wake of the Purge, Landen unrest, Jhinka attacks…

And then the loss of one of its ruling Queens when Gillian Yatskaya goes missing.

Roles of Castes specific to Territory:

Queens: Queens are rare, and very much in demand. Many were completely broken or killed in the Purge. They tend to be very weak and old, or very young, inexperienced and light-jeweled. There have been no known Queens who wore dark jewels except for Gillian. The Court with Two Hearts has been reaching out to the Queens to give them training in caring for the land, as the rituals had been neglected or forgotten under the rule of the Red Queen in the heyday of the Askavian Empire.

Black Widows: The Hourglass Coven has been an important faction in support of Illyrian. She could not have sustained Gravesend without their craft and spells, and the Queen has never forgotten that. They have a powerful voice in Askavi. They are feared for their skills and prowess. This makes them either deeply respected or resented. The rogue factions may try courting some Black Widows to get their power and craft on their side, though the Hourglass Coven as an organization will frown on that.

Priestesses: In the absence of Queens, in addition to their usual duties, Priestesses have been relied upon to rule villages and districts. There are currently more Priestesses and Warlord Princes ruling villages and districts than there are Queens, because Queens are so rare.

Healers: Healers are crucially important in the warrior culture of Askavi. They are also protected. Many have lived through a war, and seen many horrible injuries. Others have been subjected to life in the rogue camps, which can be hard on the distaff gender. True to Eyrien culture, combat is not taught to the distaff gender. Healers are expected to escorted at all times, particularly when going about their jobs.

Witches: With so much need in the territory, witches are encouraged to train into other castes -- either into hearth craft, or as healers or priestesses.

Warlord Princes: In a society that doesn’t allow women to fight, Warlord Princes are vitally important in protecting what Queens remain. While there is some anger toward Illyrian, this caste in general takes very seriously its responsibility to protect women, especially the precious few Queens in Askavi. They are also looked to as leaders in the Hunting Camps and Rogue Camps. Their role as leader and protector also has them in positions of rule in districts and villages, more frequently than Queens due to the scarcity of the traditionally ruling caste.

Princes: Princes are expected to be skillful in combat, like all of the spear gender. They have also taken the lead in trying to rebuild trades and merchant opportunities in Askavi, searching for some way for the territory to win some steady wealth and income.

Warlords: These men are the backbone of most camps. They do most of the ground work in protecting the villages and districts, and especially guarding against the jhinka. They are protectors, and are the caste most likely to be guarding healers.

Succession Plan:
During a routine visit to Fell Valley, Gillian Yatskaya disappeared, abducted.

For now, the identity of her abductors is unknown. Those in the first circle suspect Hayll is behind it, and wait for the Hayllians to send more demands, or her wings back to them. The prevailing belief is that Hayll is behind this act of war against Askavi, and more questions are raised about the whereabouts of the diplomatic envoy sent to Hayll. Others believe that rogues within their own borders have taken the Queen.

This leaves Illyrian to rule alone: A Summer Sky Queen seen by many Eyriens as a traitor, who protected her own Province through the Purge and years of hardship that followed, and shared the relative largesse of Gravesend only when Gillian came and urged her to help in the effort to heal Askavi.

Illyrian, still mourning the loss of her co-ruler and dear friend, is dealt another heart-crushing blow: Her husband Eristovar is killed in a skirmish with a band of rogues. The Court Guard brings the leader before her for judgment and the pair face two hard truths.

First, the rogue leader has too much support from strong Warlord Princes for her to simply eliminate him without consequence, especially given her precarious position.

Second, the rogue leader belongs to her. The Darkness bonded him to her.

In the absence of Gillian, as the court is set up to be ruled by two, Illyrian uneasily accepts this man who would have been an enemy as the Warlord Prince of Askavi. He is subordinate to the Queen, but in many ways, in name only. Both rulers recognize the other has important factions in their respective camps. They are forced by their bond and the threat of their Territory crumbling around them to cooperate. At least, for now.

Illyrian has the people of Gravesend, the strongest of the Queens, the Coven and the remains of her court behind her. The Rogue Warlord Prince has most of the warrior camps, many Warlord Princes and the hardest-hit provinces behind him.

Impact on the levels of District/Province/Territory/Realm:

Territory Tensions
- No one knows who has Gillian, though her abduction was intended to fan the flames of tension between Askavi and Hayll.
- The court must learn how to get along. Those who were bonded to Gillian are distraught, and resentful of her “replacement.” Those loyal to Illyrian are divided between supporting her and being angry that she rewarded a murderer with power. Those the Warlord Prince have brought in are critical and questioning of everything the court does.
The rogue factions do not want to bow to Illyrian, and feel that only by going to war will they win back their honor.
- Need for Queens: Illyrian will negotiate for Queens from other Territories to come and do seasonal rituals for the land, though not to rule. Some visiting Queens may find themselves bonded to males, and desire to form courts. Some factions in Askavi would welcome more Queens, others will be offended at the idea of a non-Eyrien ruling in Askavi.

Province Plots and District Drama
- The Starving Province: A Province Queen is desperate to hold the land she rules together. The Landen here are antsy and organized, and getting ready to rise up. At least one of the districts under her is ruled by a Warlord Prince who is getting some pressure from the camps that protect his villages to push back on the Queen, and throw more support behind the pro-war faction forming behind the Warlord Prince of Askavi. Meanwhile, the Province Queen wants to get everyone fed, appease the landers, and get the support she needs to bolster these efforts without igniting more conflict.
- Jhinka: In the snowy mountains, the Jhinka have gotten smarter. Their attacks are more coordinated. The nearby districts are constantly on the defensive, relying on the nearby Hunting Camps to keep them safe. A faction of Eyriens have secretly been harnessing the power of the Jhinka, using Black Widows to control them.

- Hunting and Rogue Camps: The Hunting Camps and Rogue Camps are choosing sides, and that means conflict with each other as the males try to settle among themselves whether to support the Queens, or whether war is the only way forward -- and those who oppose them, Queens included, must be pushed out of the way.

Realm-wide potential
- Illyrian dispatches diplomats to Pruul, Dena Nehele and Dhemlan. If war with Hayll should break out, those territories are trapped between the Eyriens and Hayllians. Illyrian would like them on her side.
- Who kidnapped Gillian? Who wants this war? And why?
- Depending on who wins out between Illyrian and the Warlord Prince, Askavi may attack Hayll, to the peril of everyone between the two territories.
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