Below is a list of people, places, objects and ideaologies prevalent in the era of the Vassal War.
The Vassal War Appendix
Aegis: An alchemical substance that greatly reduces the effects of magic. Most often used as a coating on city walls and fortresses, the invention of aegis saw a fundamental shift in the politics and military forces of Secunda, which for most of its existence saw magi dominate the battlefield, especially during sieges. Some speculate that . Aegis is a tricky substance, though, requiring trained hands (mostly those of the Visian Guild) to brew and its components don't react well to metal, limiting its use mostly to being applied on shields and hide leather armor. Somehow the ironsmiths of Perunas have found a way to integrate aegis into their steel armor and weapons, though understandably they guard this secret with a passion.
Appetia, kingdom of: A harsh land in the southern Midlands which nonetheless played a pivotal part in the Vassal War. Its rulers use of mercenaries allowed it influence above what could be expected. The kingdom nearly succeeded in uniting the Lower Midlands into a confederacy, but when its king, , died unexepectedly the work he'd been trying to accomplish was undone by his impetuous son and heir, Alphonse. Now a magistracy of the Free Duchy of Perunas after they submitted to them early on in their conquests. Appetia borders Ashenia to the west.
Archaean Empire: The collective lands to the east making up rougly a quarter of Secunda and having protectorates over many small kingdoms and city states of Prima. They also hold dominion over the northern Decian League. The Archaean Empire origins lie back in the expansion east of the dual kingdom Oiresec- . Until quite recently the Empire was engaged in a fierce proxy war with the Republic of Morwenna over the Midlands nations that lie between them, until the Perunian invasion forced them to concede to them those lands. Despite starting off as a people's free territory, the Archaean Empire over the centuries has stratified into a rigid hierarchy comprising Tribunes, High Tribues, Dukes, Archdukes. Atop it all stands the People's Tribune, the Emperor, whose noble house and family go back to the days when they were the advisors and chancellors of the royal family of Oiresec-
Ashenia, kingdom of: A small kingdom in the Morwennite sphere, Ashenia was claims a long tradition of nobility despite being a relatively young country. Named after the cloud of Ash that covered its lands during a thousand years ago, the domain was a relative backwater for most of the Great Rebellion and Mirh era, home to bandits, traitors and caitiffs as well as the more respected monks and cenobites hoping for solitude. The lands saw a surge of immigrants from the Midlands during the Fall of Mirh and patrician and aristocratic families settled there. The kingdom of Pachel claimed dominion over it Ashenia until a rebellion led by its first king, Josepth-Edienne I. The rebellion also saw the emergence of the Knights of the Ashenian Order, who safeguard (and some say rule) the kingdom ever since. The lands of the kingdom vary from the foothills and mountains of the west to the wasteland desert to the east, and its lush resources and high industry make it a pride for a nation so small. Ashenia is an ally of the Republic of Morwenna.
Ashenian Order, Knights of the: (Also known as the Grey Knights) A Order of knights whose skills in battle are nearly unparalled in the Eastern World. Their fighting techniques were devised by their founder, the legendary Saul Martiell, who brought back the techniques after his sojourn in the West. The Ashenian Order's ranks are filled with knights and warriors, though some specialize in other fields to best protect the kingdom. These knights belong to different wings of the Order.
Knight Paragons: Taught to observe the world around them and to act in shadows, the Paragons are the eyes and ears of the Order. Their spy web and activities extends across Secunda and some whisper beyond it as well.
Knights Pathfinders: Scouts and rangers for the Order, these knights are experts in the wilderness and forests.
Knights Palladium: The esteemed honor guard of the Ashenian King and his family, only the bravest and most loyal knights are admitted to their august ranks.
Knighs Marquis: The common soldiers of the Order, if such a term can be used for them. These knights make up much of the Ashenia's military might.
Aura Sephirot: The dominant religion of Secunda and one of the leading inspirations for the Great Rebellion. The Auric faith can be seen as a branch or extension of the Esher Sephirot. Founded on the teachings of Joachim tov Gethsem (ne Khem), whom the faith's adherents regard as a Prophet of God. Conforming to the reincarnation, fallen grace and fideles doctrines set down in the Adjuvare Council, the Auric religion has places great emphasis on the role of humanity in leading God's will on earth. The faith became varied, with different denominations and interpretations of doctrince throughout Secunda. The largest of these sects, the Lotusian Creed, is the official religion of the Archaean Empire and much of the Midlands and is overseen by the Patriarch in the Holy City of Lotus.
Barbaroi: Pagan, primitive and brutal, the barbarians remain at the outer fringes of the civilized world. While a thousand years ago the barbaroi were a constant threat to civilization, since that time they've been a declining force in Secunda. Their long alliances with the Gall have been frayed, and each generation sees more of its youth embark to live their lives in cities or on tenement farms. Even the strongest refuge of the barbaroi, the Free Lands of Perunas, have succumbed to civilizations siren call. The barbaroi are a fading light in the world, and many see their end in sight.
Deamoth: It is said by scholars and chroniclers alike that the history of Secunda lies in the stones of Deamoth. An ancient domain on the fork in the Shranis River, it was originally built by the Qlippoth invaders as an administrative and military centre of their empire in Secunda. It was the capital city of Prizak-in-Secunda, as well as the Realm and later Empire of Mirh. The city became the centre of the Duchy of Deamoth after the Fall and was mostly part of the Archaean sphere during the Vassal War until the recent Perunian invasion. Their sack damaged but did not destroy the city, and its inhabitants are slowly returning to their normal lives, though their pride has been wounded living under a foreign power. The black clay local to the city is the source of the distinct black roofs of the city. The city hosts such wonders as the Magistrate's Palace and the Great Opera Hall, though the latter is a ruin and relic of its former glory. The city is now the capital of the Free Duchy of Perunas, once again the crown jewel of a realm that unites and dominates the Midlands and central Secunda.
Domedia, kingdom of: The lands that comprise this kingdom have seen many names throughout its history, which is fitting since it occupies the pass between the mountains that link northwest Secunda to the Midlands. During the Qlippoth era it was known as the Kentro pass, during the time of Mirh it was the protectorate kingdom of Belpachel and later simply Pachel. After its loss of territory to Ashenia during the latter's rebellion and the trouncing they received in the Succession Wars, the kingdom was known as Domedia and became a vassal for the Republic of Morwenna. A succession crisis of its own has seen the kingdom split between East and West, each ruled by warring brothers acting as proxies for foreign powers. The Eastern part of the country is supported by the Perunians, while the Western part is propped up by the kingdom's traditional ally Morwenna. Several of the kingdom's people have become refugees in the nations surrounding it, with many of them sheltering in the shadow of Deamoth at the Archduke's magnaminity.
Esherites: Adherents of the Esher Sephirot creed, a minority religion Secunda though quite prevalent in the rest of the world. Quite similar to the Aura Sephirot, though there are key differences between the two faitsh, the most glaring being that they do not acknowledge the Prophet as the voice of God. Esherites are looked down as being second class citizens in most of Secunda if they are not outright banned from a nation's borders. They are most often found in the Archaean Empire, where they enjoy protection as the emperor's own vassals. There are rumours that several Esherite communities exist in the desert and wastelands of Morwenna.
Gall: A race of peoples that share Secunda with the humans, the Gall are a people on the decline. Once, a thousand years ago, the Gall and humans shared Secunda and their rulers even intermarried to strengthen tribal bonds between them. The rise of the Auric faith and the Great Rebellion shattered the links between the two peoples, and relations have only gotten worse with each subsequent generation. Like the barbaroi, the Gall are pushed to the fringes of the civilized world, though unlike them the Gall do not have the option of converting and joining the Auric world, as that religion sees only humans as truly worthy of being full members. All others are treated as secondary citizens at best, slaves at worse. Given the choice between death and extinction on one hand and perpetual slavery that will extend unto their children on the other, many of the remaining Gall have decided to fight back against their oppressors, even if it means dying for a lost cause. Better to die as warriors on their feet, several cheiftans have figured, than live as slaves on their knees.
Great Rebellion, the: The large scale uprising by the inhabitants of the Midlands against the Prizrak foreign occupiers from across the sea, the Great Rebellion is equal parts political movement, religious awakening and violent revolution. Historians have never been able to accurately delinate which event of the era belonged to what category. The Great Rebellion lasted over a hundred years (some say it lasted well longer than even that) and saw the foundation of the alliances that would become Realm of Mirh, the rise of the Auric religion to predominance in Secunda, and the expulsion of Prizraki forces. It also saw an increased role played by magi in the politics of the land, which would leave a lasting impact for centuries afterwards.
Magi: Singular magus. Magic users born with their gift and trained in its use by an established guild, fraternity, league or collegia, their mastery of elemental magic allows them to summon lightning, fire, ice and forces. The greatest of them can conjure storms from a cloudless day. A magus' power is hereditary. Magi have long dominated the battlefield and became the rulers of the Realm of Mirh until its fall. Regarded with equal parts admiration and suspicion by those without their talents (whom they call commoners), magi live apart from the rest of the population, forbidden to taint the blood with those who cannot weave magic lest their children not inherit their powers.
Midlands: Shaped by the great Shranis river, the Midlands make up a wide area in central Secunda. Previously comprising of a number of differeent petty kingdoms and tribal lands, the Midlands were unified into one whole as the Realm of Mirh. After the fall of the Realm the land once again fractured into nearly a hundred separate fiefdoms, duchies and kingdoms that squabbled and fought one another. The Midlands were the primary theatre for the Vassal War, the series of proxy battles between the Archaean Empire and the Republic of Morwenna as both sides sought to spread their influence and control. Recently much of the Midlands have been re-unified under the Perunian horselords and now goes by the Free Duchy of Perunas.
Morwenna, republic of: The dominion beyond the Azoth mountians known as Morwenna has traditionally been a wild and uncivilized place. Critics of the state that governs these lands now say not much has changed since then. A republic founded by refugees of the Fall and Succession Wars, and led there by angelic visions, the nation began as a confederacy of settlements and states but unified in the face of Gallish resistance to their expansion, the machinations of eastern states such as Pachel and Erisian pirates who patroled the long coast and many rivers of the land. In the face of constant strife and turmoil the Republic took up several of the tratitions of Qlippoth, such as structure and citizen army nature of their legions and the august body of the Senate. Though anyone (that is to say any male human) can become a citizen and thus vote in local and national elections, that right can only be passed down to one's children if they are of the Patrician class, who are themselves the descendents of the patrician families who founded the nation. As well, access to the Senate is strictly limited to those of that same class. In the last century or so the nation has expanded, not only in the size of its borders but in its industry and influence. Canals and brick stone highways are constantly being built, linking the vast land together and all the kingdoms and nations surrounding it are either vassals or allies. It even challenged the Archaean Empire in a proxy war for control of the Midlands, though both sides lost with the establishment of the Free Duchy of Perunas which now dominates those lands. Despite this setback Morwenna is on the rise, though enemies both internal and external plague the republic.
Perunas, free duchy of: The most recent realm to come into being, the Perunian nation now dominates the politics of Secunda. The Perunian people are rightly called horselords, for they are mounted men and women who live and breath in the saddle. Originally hailing from the grasslands to the north of Archaea, the were traditionally an inter-feuding pagan people, listed as barbaroi by the civilized nations of the continent, though their battle prowess was famous. Their lands were subjugated by the Archaean Empire and they were forced to pay them annual tribute, though not much else changed in becoming part of the Archaean sphere. The clans hired their young warriors out as mercenaries in the Vassal Wars by practically all involved, the Perunians were exposed to civilization and began to slowly assimilate certain of the customs. Most notable was the adoption of heavy plate into their armies, despite the fact that it slowed down soldiers and was therefore prone to magical assualt in battles. Recently though Perunian smiths came together in a great clan meet and were able to devise a means of applying the magically cancelling aegis elixir to their steel armor, making them virtually unstoppable on the battlefield. After a few civil wars and coup d'etats, a strong leader arose among the Perunians, Khagan Geisth, who broke away from their current commitments to the Empire and forged a path of conquest throughout the Midlands, uniting the scattered nations into one single realm. Their campaign culminated in the siege and taking of Deamoth, which now serves as their capital. During the invasion Geisth accepted both baptism into the Auric faith by the Patriarch and the title of Archduke by the Emperor. Though now at peace with the Archaeans, the Perunians are not content with peace. The Archduke has turned their attention west to such kingdoms as Ashenia and Domedia, the latter of whom they have invaded to suppor their claimant to the throne in a dynastic dispute while the former they have tried to destabilize through orchestrating a coup d'etat attempt. These actions have earned it the ire of the Republic of Morwenna, and it is only a matter of time before that great behemoth lets loose its legions in full fledged war. Added to that is the difficulty of controlling a vast nation of diverse peoples who have been feuding with one another for over three hundred years, as well as the fact that certain members of the Perunians chaffe at being forced to take up civilized living, and the Auric religion, and long to return to the old ways.
Prophet, the: Also known as Lightbringer, The Morning Star, The Best of the All High, The Right Hand of God. Born the son of a simple shepherd, few what have guessed what destiny had in store for the divine prophet known as Joachim Khem. The first records of Joachim show him healing the sick and wounded and preaching against the Esher Sephirot bishops and Prizak officials who were the dominant influences at the time. Quickly drawing both a cult of admirers and a conspiracry of admonishers, his sermons were spread far and wide across Secunda during a time of great turmoil. In his last years he was declared anathema by the religious and secular authorities, and Malach, the kingdom in which he saught sanctuary was invaded. Joachim himself was assassinated during negotiations with the invading forces, and his body was stabbed thirteen times. From this comes the popular oath 'Prophet's Wounds'. Far from ending the threat he posed he went on to become a martyr and his death sparked the conflageration known as the Great Rebellion. His teachings were written down and recorded by his eight disciples, though only five of those testimonies survive.
Secunda: The second continent of the world, home to the human and Gallish races. The lands comprising Secunda vary from the lush tundra over the Azoth mountains to the arid desert west of the great Shranis river to the steppe grasslands in the northeast part of the continent. Secunda is a land soaked in blood, and its history has seen both invading empire trying to conquer the land and local kingdoms and empires fighting each other for dominance. The major faith of Secunda is the Aura Sephirot, though pockets of Esherites and pagans persist. Seen for many a year as a backwater by peoples of the other continents, the nations of Secunda are growing more and more powerful as the years go by. Some scholars say it is only a matter of time when a nation of the second continent rises up to claim dominion over the rest of the world. The major powers of Secunda are the Archaean Empire to the east, the Republic of Morwenna to the west, and the newly forged Free Duchy of Perunas betwixt the two.
Vis: A rare magical substance found buried in the ground or in the blood and bile of dragons. A very unstable substance, vis has been known to explode at unknown provocations. The Visian Guild takes great interest in Vis and will go to great lengths to obtain it.
Visian Guild: An magical order that represents and supervises magi across most of the Midlands and western Secunda. Fellowship includes both magi and commoners. The guild is known for its strict control of its magi's affairs, seen as a necessary form of protection against those who hate and fear them, and for its interests in magical substances such as aegis and vis.