The Holy Country
To the south of Dragon Pass lies the magical land of the Holy Country, united for centuries by its ever reincarnating God-King Belintar. Six nations coexist in harmony in this kingdom, drawing on the ancient knowledge of the four directions, and from the Darkness beneath the earth and from the deep waters.
The six lands are:
Caladraland: This land of volcanic hills and peaks is dominated by the Vent, the home of the god Veskarthan the Deep (often called Lodril), a cone over 7,000 feet high and regularly smoking.
Esrolia: this rich and densely-populated civilized land is favored by the goddess Ernalda. It is ruled by queens and matriarchs, although its people are Orlanthi and closely related to the Heortlings of Sartar. Esrolia is home to Nochet, the largest and richest city in the world.
Heortland: This high plateau is also known as Hendrikiland. The people here are mostly farmers, Heortlings who worship Orlanth as the king of the gods, and Ernalda as his wife. The northern third of Heortland, around the fortress city of Whitewall, is functionally independent, having successful rebelled against the Holy Country more than two generations ago.
God Forgot: These islands are named after the wail of its inhabitants who long bemoaned the loss of their favorite deity. They refused to worship other gods and developed a radical materialist belief. They are ruled by ancient immortals who use the Brithini forms of life and government. Their ruler is called the Talar, and he is advised by undying sorcerers.
The Rightarm Islands: These islands are inhabited by fishmen, but are governed by the ludoch merfolk who live beneath the waves. A single High Admiral of the Boats is appointed by the mer-chief.
The Shadow Plateau: This vast black plateau is all that is left of the once immense Palace of Black Glass which the Volcano God made for his master Argan Argar, the Lord of Night. All that now remains is a land of ghosts, black sand, and a great bubbling tarpit where the center of the Only Old One’s palace once stood. It is called the Haunted Lands and is ruled by dark trolls.
Here we see the representatives of the Six Lands of Holy Country present themselves to Belintar the God-King. They are:
Xoroho Hellspeaker, envoy from the Eldest Kin of the Shadow Plateau. She is an old and powerful dark troll, daughter of a line of mothers reaching back to the eldest daughter of Xiola Umbar. A powerful priestess of both Argan Argar and Kyger Litor, Xoroho is the mistress of the dark powers that fought against Belintar, and yet has advised many incarnations of Belintar. She is friendly with many humans and her diplomacy has ensured that the trolls enjoys the support of the Master of Luck and Death.
Queen Hendira. The queen of Esrolia is a 35 year old noblewoman from House Norinel. She has been queen for the last 6 years and has two husbands (Jarstarkos of Delaeo and Hendrestos of Delainaeo). She broadly enjoys the support of the Grandmothers’ Council (the matriarchs who rule most of the clans in Esrolia). Hendira is shrewd, manipulative, voracious, and is willing to do almost anything to get what she wants. She maintains a close alliance with the Eldest Kin of the Shadow Plateau, who have provided her with a bodyguard of troll mercenaries.
Carvak Zirian, the mind of the Talar. Known to be more than three hundred years old (his actual age is a mystery), he has served Belintar since the Stranger first arrived in Kethaela. Carvak Zirian is a materialist sorcerer who views the gods as magical entities to be studied and controlled, rather than worshiped.
Carvak Zirian is friendly with many Lhankor Mhy sages. Two generations ago, his correspondence with Master Bondaru concerning the physical body and its ethereal attributes greatly enhanced the Knowledge Temple’s understanding of Second Age Jrusteli texts.
Verakanos Bluesmoke, High King and Governor of the Sixth of Caladraland. He is a long-time ally of the current incarnation of Belintar, and aided him in the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death. This is his second (non-consecutive) term as High King. Verakanos has fought many campaigns against the Western Barbarians in Thomble and he is considered the best warleader of the Six.
Sednadimos, Daughter of the Deep. A daughter of the mysterious mer-chief of the Choralinthor ludoch, Sednadimos provides Belintar with the counsel of the Deep. She, and her people, are strongly allied to the immortal God-King and make sure that none travel on the Rozgali or Choralinthor Seas without Belintar’s knowledge.
Sednadimos is a powerful magician and priestess of Magasta. She can speak all of the languages of the surface dwellers of Kethaela and can even write! Sednadimos is revered and worshiped by the humans of the Right Arm Islands.
Orngerin the Sophisticate, King and Governor of Heortland. He is a wise and just ruler of the Orlanthi, who keeps the peace in Heortland despite the provocations of the Volsaxi rebels at Whitewall. He was appointed governor in 1603 with much promise and hope, a patron of the arts and scholarship and all things good and decent.
Belintar the God-King
Nobody knows who Belintar was or where he came from, though there are many stories and theories. Some claim that he was the Golden Age ruler of Kethaela, from before the Vingkotlings and the Only Old One, returned to his land. Others claim that he was the destroyer of the Middle Sea Empire and came to protect the people of Kethaela. Still others claim he was a simple sea captain, or even a sailor, who magically survived the Closing.
When Belintar arrived, nobody knew what he was or initially believed his claims, but Belintar proved to all he was God-King of the Holy Country. He accomplished this by demonstrating to the many peoples of Kethaela the lawfulness and virtues of his rule and they helped him destroy the Only Old One. This process involved revelations by and about Belintar, remarkable appearances, magical contests, violence, war, and the occasional surprises that were not what anyone expected.
Since 1336, the mortal body of Belintar had expired 21 times. Each time, the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death produced a new body, sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes even an Elder Race.
Is the Blue supplicant a Brithini Zzabur? If so, shouldn’t a Brithini Talar fulfil this function instead?
Carvak Zirion is not a supplicant, although he is a member of Belintar’s court. Carvak Zirian is the Mind of the Talar of God Forgot. Known to be more than three hundred years old (his actual age is a mystery), he has served Belintar since the Stranger first arrived in Kethaela. Carvak Zirian is a materialist sorcerer who views the gods as magical entities to be studied and controlled, rather than worshiped. Carvak Zirian is friendly with many Lhankor Mhy sages. Two generations ago, his correspondence with Master Bondaru concerning the physical body and its ethereal attributes greatly enhanced the Knowledge Temple’s understanding of Second Age Jrusteli texts.
- 30 – Sideshows
- 31 – Harbinger of the End
- 32 – Ludoch and Triremes
- 33 – Gifts and Generosity
- 34 – Repaying the God-King
- 35 – A Purple Belt
- 36 – Release the Kraken, part 1
- 37 – Release the Kraken, part 2
- 38 – Release the Kraken, part 3
- 39 – Too Strong
- 40 – The Six Guardians
- 41 – Bring it on
- 42 – More than the sum of the parts
- 43 – Some disassembly required
- 44 – Patchwork god
- 45 – Errors of Judgment
- 46 – Thief