Since Adalgott’s time, Lorine has ruled as an independent nation, under countless dynasties and kings. The southernmost of the kingdoms of the north, Lorine enjoys the benefits of a border with the elves of the Golden Court, and the Elnish men who trade in sweet wines and fine crafts. Lorine has its capital at Wulfstan, the ancient city where Adalgott once ruled the entire north. In this city, Adalgott carved his palace from a massive rock which jutted from the ground and prescribed the first written set of laws upon it.
Lorine has never been able to recapture the glory of their former king, and rather the nobility squabble over land and power, crippling the effectiveness and prestige of Lorine. The best hope for Lorine’s return to glory is vested in King Oswine, the aged ruler who has restored some sense of order and stability to the country. From Wulfstan, he commands a powerful host of knights, the Order of the Red Gyrfalcon.
Even with this newfound prosperity, the realm sits on stale and waiting wind, for foul omens fills both rural and urban lands. In the alleyways, languages thought cursed and dead are spoken. In the country rituals to powers long banished are uttered in profane blasphemy. Lorine must prepare for war.
The Order of the Eternal Dawn has stood watch over the various kingdoms of the north since the Age of Glory, when Adalgott, the first king, fought against the demon Azrael. The order was founded from former companions of Adalgott, who knew the battle between good and evil had only just begun. Their first knightly commanders prayed along the shore of Midland to Cinder, god of the sun and light. Upon hearing their call, Cinder bestowed the world with a dawn brighter than any fire or midday sun, golden and radiant beyond words. Upon this sight, the knights painted their shields with the image of the dawn upon the ocean’s horizon and formed the brotherhood.
From Castle Zweleran, a massive complex of towers and walls, the Order of the Eternal Dawn guards the realm against various foes, from lowly bandits to giants come to reave along the shore. In recent years, the rise of kingdoms in the north has taken away much of the power, crippling their reach and influence. Now the knights operate chiefly in Midland, though a few of their order quest through the rest of the world, seeking holy relics or lost knowledge.
House Oderyr has stood, rather, sunk in the Red Marsh for thousands of years. Their capital and only walled castle, Green Rock, has stood the test of the wetlands, surviving both floods and frigid winters. House Oderyr is considered the weakest of the Midland houses, even more so than Moricar, with roughly a thousand or fewer levies in total. Oderyr’s contribution to Midland is their key chokepoint, as Green Rock is the only roadway through the Red Marsh, and into Midland.
Recently, Oderyr has declined even further, as their liege lord Theodric, and his wife, Elanna, have been driven mad from old age. The lands of Oderyr are now practically autonomous, with no real authority of law.
Another great piece by Piere. This is the map inside the book. It started out as a rough sketch hanging in my room, and with Piere’s help it became a true work of art. If The Sword to Unite does well enough, I intend to do more stories with other parts of the world currently unmapped.
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Note: Image is copyrighted by Peter Hopkins, all rights reserved.
Here is the official cover for the paperback version of The Sword to Unite. Done beautifully by an artist on 99designs, Piere d’Arterie, I highly recommend you check out some of his work.
It was a great experience to see the cover come to life the way it did. As you can see in the background, the various coat of arms can be seen on the banners behind, a really nice detail. The sword is also a great focusing piece of the cover, and exactly how I imagined it in the book.
Note: This image is copyrighted, please feel free to contact if you would like to learn more.