Realm of Castles
The Realm of Castles is a dense, primordial forest broken intermittently by the holdings of the great nobility. These alabaster fortresses are ruled over by virtuous and beautiful Queens and their just and honorable Knights. Cities exist around these castles and safe roads pass through the wilderness, stopping at hostels and monasteries. However, beyond the civilized places lies a colossal blanket of mist that obscures the old borders of the Realm. Inside the mist lie terrible beasts, such as Griffons, Ogres, Manticores, Wyverns, and the eternally feared Dragons. Although women rule the Realm of Castles, men are expected to be great warriors to fight against the monsters of the wastes. Women are expected to be natural leaders, and citizens of the Realm believe that women are more suited to the task of ordering society. In ancient legend, the Unicorn that created humanity created men as a defender for womankind. Man was given as a gift for the first woman’s victory over monsters that menaced the Unicorn.
The Realm of Castles has no magic style. Instead, alchemy and force of arms have flourished as a substitute. The Order of the Horn, a monastic order that focuses on good works, is the keeper of alchemical knowledge in the Realm of Castles. The Order of the Horn seeks to emulate the Unicorn by performing good works for the people of the Realm. Although they are both chaste and peaceful, they excel and brewing beer and spend evenings drinking the latest draught. Characters that are Attuned are rare in the Realm of Castles, but are not unknown. Such people are often treated as witches or wise men for their obvious connection to an unseen world.
The people of the Realm of Castles are politically minded. The nobility spend evenings at parties and convocations called by powerful Queens, where power ebbs and flows. Even peasants are constantly aware of the political situation in their own Queen’s Holds. Therefore, characters from the Realm of Castles receive reduced cost for Diplomacy. The performing arts flourish throughout the Realm of Castles; jesters, acrobats, preachers, and musicians abound, and thus characters from the Realm of Castles receive Performance at reduced cost. Many people in the Realm of Castles serve in the military or have served in the military. Because of the ease of receiving military training, characters from the Realm of Castles receive a reduced cost for the Sword skill. Finally, there are two powerful and distinct styles of fighting that developed in the Realm. Double Soldier style uses the great sword to cleave through foes. The Noble Paladin style of combat uses a shield and a mace to fight back the monsters of the mists.
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