The Kingdoms of Elyria: A Critical Analysis

A Cursory Critical Analysis of the Kingdoms and Guilds of Elyria, with Adjunctions on the Notable Figures

In conscious effort to maintain good records, both for my mental sanity and future accounts, I embark here to annotate the quibbles and strifes of the political realm of Elyria. I will make every possible effort to remain neutral in my assessments, but mortal bias dooms this to a failing cause. This record is, first and foremost, my own account, and is therefore susceptible to the same prejudices I am similarly subject to. I write, therefore, as a metaphoric Publius, humble servant of the public court.

In the absence of the physical game to comment on, I am restricted to the Discord realms that persist throughout the Elyrian community. I have little doubt, however, of the lasting impact of the petty squabbles found therein; the alliances and feuds forged now will likely stand the test of time and be present for the game at large. Contrary to the insistence of the Lord, the Dance of Dynasties has already begun.

To be more specific, the dance of dynasties began long before I committed ink to paper. As I write this in August of 2017, the kingdoms of Elyria stand erect and proud, each a burgeoning mecca of community. And in each microcosm, there lies political machinations that would would pale even the most corrupt politician's past. This is an era of unabashed scheming and plotting on a stage spanning vast backroom channels, some of which even I am not privy to. But before the first act may begin, the actors must be introduced. I write first of the West, for it is with them that I am best acquainted;

The principle place on this list must be reserved for the Kingdom of Blackheart, who resides as the eldest kingdom in the West. In earlier days, this august position provided Blackheart with swollen membership and respectful deference in international affairs; however, new kingdoms have eroded that monopoly. Still Blackheart stands, as it has for more than a year, unified as ever to a fault. Yes, to a fault, for if there were any intentional error to be assigned to this kingdom, it is these fanatical insular notions found within. The denizens are wont to displays of zealotry and fervor, committing themselves totally to their queen and their "Blood". They are a closeted people, refusing both treaties of friendship and declarations of enmity. Their obstinance in adopting stances on matters of international accord weaken their position in the larger stage.

All power in Blackheart is vested in the Queen, Rowena, who reigns as a demagogue in her own right. Although she retains a council of dukes to aid in her decisions, they are ultimately her decisions. She is also matriarch to a large brood of Darkholmes. This secretive family embodies the nature of Blackheart at large, and sets the tone for lesser citizens. Prominent among their numbers is Gustavus, right hand and shield to the Queen. Indeed, there are times when I am unsure of whether the kingdom had taken action by the queen’s words or by his own.

Whereas Blackheart may be the oldest, the Kingdom of Ashland has proven the most robust. Long ago did Ashland mark herself as a counter to Blackheart, a reaction to the homogenous masses. From this deviation did Ashland garner great popularity, and many counted among her citizens were once of the Blood. Each duke holds incredible autonomy in keeping with the kingdoms axioms. This laissez-faire federalism has resulted in a veritable cornucopia of diversity. Indeed, it would appear the community of this kingdom to be the most widely arrayed of any other on the west. The miscellany of her children may very well lead to her ruin though, as Ashland dukes are prone to fractious debate and heated discourse at times. Ducal citizens are more proud of their home Duchy than they are of their mother kingdom.

Ashland’s king, Sev Kimura, is as aloof as his ruling style. Owing to this, he has been untarnished by pernicious rumour. Indeed, he is incapable of generating any such terse opinion, for good or for ill. If the Mann is evil, I know not, for it would appear any tells are confined to his personal correspondence. One Mann I can confirm as worthy of his title is the esteemed Duke Ambrosius Seleucrei, of the Duchy Sanctaphandri. He is as noble a Mann as I can list, and has garnered much adoration throughout the West for his well mannered attitude. He controls a vast swathe of land in the form of a twofold duchy, and is wedded to another duchess of Ashlands, making him one of the most powerful voices of that council. I cannot speak higher of the Mann; he is polite with dignity, affable without formality, distant without haughtiness, grave without austerity, modest, wise and kind. Should I ever settle in a single area long enough to call it home, I should very much like to be counted as a Sanctaphandrian. Alas, I am too in love with my mistress freedom, who will not allow for amorous ventures with titled entities without abandoning me herself.

Heretoafter, the kingdoms listed have been transposed from the East. They reside here in the West primarily for want of a better political clime, one that could not be found except on foreign shores. Aranor is first among those who made the perilous flight, and still suffer the consequence of their choice. While she flourishes as a strong component of international politicking, her numbers have been severely reduced by way of their flight. Her numbers are small, but they make up some of the elite minds of the West. Perhaps their largest fault can be of their overt speech in matters extraneous to their borders; some particularly high ranking have developed penchant for involving themselves in foreign disputes, making the name of Aranor known throughout the West.

Aranor's Queen Ieana stands as queer as her kingdom, in both word and deed. Although outclassed in competence by several of her underlings, she maintains loyal deference from them in all matters. Indubitably, she possesses some ineffable quality which draws such talent to her. Among these talents lie a certain Yorick Grunwald, with possession of such administrative talent that his contribution to his kingdom can hardly be understated. Indeed, in Ieana's absence, no better substitute could be found than that of Yorick. Nearly equal to Yorick in standing is Matrim Cauthon, a man greatly esteemed in matters of finances. I would be in no great shock if Aranor rises as a preeminent trade kingdom, it shall be in no small part attributed to him. I can, however, find error in this triumvirate’s outspoken nature, from which the entire kingdom is besmirched. They are, of course, radically deficient in discretion.

Following in her neighbors footsteps, Tyria hastened to the West in search of better foothold for her people. Whereas they may have been choked in the East, they have found agreeable purchase in the West. Tyria stands as a proud nation of people, resolute in their sovereignty. They are a quiet group, but respectable nonetheless. I cast anxious glances to Tyria’s future, as the growth of her population will undoubtedly put into peril her familial aura. Whether anything comes of these nervous thoughts is yet to be seen, as of all the kingdoms, Tyria is most qualified to deal with such growing pains.

Her King, Archibald Rothe, is a solid, taciturn Mann. Under him, Tyria is not a lawless land, nor is it wanting in personal freedoms. A happy medium is struck, moreso here than in any kingdom thus described. Her lesser nobility is more supportive of each other, and more willing to lend aid. To an outside observer, this fraternal tangle is an exclusive order, impossible to pierce without months of ingratiating oneself. Of the notable members, Eric von Roth the stands in a position of prominence. He is a noble Mann, prone to a precise candor that serves the whole of the kingdom.

Riftwood is the latest addition to the Western variety, bringing with her all the expected regalia of a matured kingdom. She is a quiet, bucolic state. Her upper echelons are wise in their legislating, while maintaining an open mind and ear to good suggestions.

King Einar is a respectable Mann, if somewhat absent. His kingdom flourishes regardless, and is home to many an esoteric mind. Wren Thunderstride is nearly omnipresent in all matters regarding the kingdom, and maintains a fair and even hand in his opinions. He has recently been bestowed Chancellor of Trade, and a more fitting Mann could not have been found. Wren excels in diplomacy, and from the immediate outset of his tenure he labored to bring about financial boons for Riftwood.

Of the kingdom of Azeron, near nothing can be said, nor should be said. He is King in name only, a fanciful reverie of nationhood.

Moreso than the kingdoms, the guilds of Elyria will drive their respective communities to greatness. They are many in number, too many for one author to pen here. Thus, I will attempt to transcribe the eldest and most vigorous of these niches. As the game at large nears, I have no doubt many of these will become defunct, torn asunder by their own stratagems. At the present, they are indelible edifices in the mountain of Elyria.

Of the various and sundry guilds, none are as old as the Alliance of Svellaros. They are a multifaceted organization, comprising the Fennec Academy, Cloister of Xen, and Burning Peregrine organization. They are situated in the City of Svellaros, from which they derive their name, pledged to the Kingdom of Blackheart. Situating themselves as a renowned trade organization, they possess both the means and talent to seize their fortune.

Claiming the mayoral title to Svellaros is the didactic Magvad Yernbosque. A wise Mann in his own right, he has received some of my better council quite warmly, to his benefit. He is an engine of production and possesses all the prerequisite aptitude to enact his designs. I was once of the opinion that the Alliance attached themselves to Blackheart too prematurely, and that they should exhibit more careful council in such an impactful choice. Time, however, has vindicated Magvad and his council. Blackheart has become an apt decision and has benefited both parties well.

Competing directly with the Svellaros Council for trade dominance is the Rioghail Tradeway, an Aranor enterprise headed again by Yorick Grunwald. While maintaining a focus on pecuniary matters, they also uphold a secondary goal of creating the greatest network of roads of the West. Here, Yorick's organizational ability will be the guilds greatest asset.

One of the more intriguing organizations that I have found in my travels is that of the Elyrian Cartographer’s Guild; a relatively new guild, untested in managing any number of people and still struggling to put down roots. The immaturity, however, is counterbalanced by the youthful exuberance of its founders- Cirdan and Elessar Talarius. These two fraternal partners possess such a drive, that should they ever become enamored with the prospect of a crown, they will obtain one so abruptly as to turn the whole realm on its head.

Among the plethora of religious organizations that have sprung forth to defend their chosen deities, none are so well managed as that of the White Stag. Headquartered in the resplendent county of Stenhus of Blackheart, by the magnanimous Lord Tarvald Hammerbull, they encompass a myriad of goals without outstripping their means. They can boast of amazing talent as well as true camaraderie within their keep.

Tarvald is a wry fellow, long a veteran of Elyrian affairs, of good moral and executive stock. Of Elyrians, I can scarcely find a better Mann. He is knowledgeable in international affairs and leads with his flock in mind. When seemingly cast aside with indifference in Ashlands, he braved the political unknown and shepherded his people to Blackheart.

Hereunto I delve into a strange twilight realm of neither kingdom nor guild; a mere loose array of likeminded confederates under the banner of Avalon. They occupy a Duchy that, until recently, could call Blackheart their home. Queen Rowena, upon inspection of the Duchy's motives and the character of Duke Infinity, has found him a Mann of abusive persuasion, devoid of guiding morals, and unbecoming of a Duke. Thusly, She has cast him out and made him a beggar and homeless bastard.

Of the outcast Duke, I find him exceedingly incapable of diplomacy, unnecessarily harsh, and rash to the point of folly. From the outset of his tenure, he seduced his followers with promises of supplanting another king and taking a crown for himself. This, of course, stood as an open declaration of war any kingdom perceived as a target. These parlays grind directly against Blackheart's enforced neutrality, so much so that it is a wonder he was not evicted earlier. Moreover, rather than expressing joy and congratulating his followers when good fortune overcame them, he derided and abused them with words. He speaks as a republican, as a messiah to his people, but is nothing more than cheat and a liar.

9/13/2017 1:49:58 AM #1

Here now I write of the kingdoms of the East, the eldest of which have grown from the same vine as the eldest of the West. The East is a much quieter region; political fires tend to burn shorter and consume less. Despite this relative tranquility, the fame (and infamy) of prominent Easterners is acknowledged and respected throughout the realms.

Unlike the West, there is one undisputed power- and it is hard to overstate the influence projected by Vornair. King Evelake Rhyne has crafted a true empire, disciplined and vast. While King Rhyne does not use his sweeping might to dictate international affair as he very well could, his words take on a more de-facto air among his peers and his lessers. Other kings, indeed, other realms look to Evelake Rhyne to dictate policy and set precedent. Internally, Vornair is an oligarchic plutocracy, where the most powerful from within strive to gain more power. The people of Vornair are among the most driven, nationalistic, and proud of any kingdom. Her one liability is that, although unintentional, she has become the Tyrant of the East, the all-encompassing and oppressive force that other kingdoms must struggle against. Therefore, her position of preeminence has also marked her as the preeminent target of the East.

King Evelake is a man of unmatched administrative renown. Vornair’s success rests on his shoulders- the kingdom is well branded, well connected, well advertised, and well run. By his efforts, Vornair has become the Empire that exists today. Despite existing within their magnanimous King’s shadow, the Lesser Dukes of Vornair manage to shine in their own rights as well- Duke Bombastus and Duke Morbis spring to mind. Bombastus is well known among Elyrian circles for his peerless wit and intelligent conversation. He is knowledgeable in many diverse fields. Morbis is most known for his sprawling publication, the Town Crier, which has done much to spread Vornair’s influence.

Whereas Vornair may be the accepted champion of the East, Kairos stands as the unwavering underdog, prepared to put up a challenge on all fronts to Vornair’s prestige. They boast a wide assortment of internal guilds and organizations, which cover all manner of fields. From these guilds, Kairos has groomed an elite aristocracy that will serve them well. Intelligent minds of military, economic, and administrative styling all bolster Kairos’ ranks, and lend legitimacy to all her efforts. In particular, Kairos has her sights set on economic superiority. In this cause, I find no reason to doubt that Kairos will meet success.

Although nominally led by Thared Richfort, the good King has been absent for a number of months on excusable hiatus. In his stead, Duchess Ilaria of Ashira and Kenrik Mazo of Val’Praem have mantled the responsibility of running the mundane operations of the kingdom. Ilaria, in specific, is deserving of more commendation than I can give here. She has kindness in her soul beyond measure. However well managed in the interim, nothing good may come from a truant king; for Kairos’ sake, I hope for his return.

The Kingdom of Bordweall straddles a strange divide of its own making. They abhor an authoritative central government with a startling passion, and to this end, allow each duchy an outrageous amount of sovereignty. Thus, King Dleatherus is a King of the Kingless. Each duchy operates more as an independent kingdom than a subordinate to a crown, and it would seem that laws passed by the king are voluntary. How this unrestrained freedom will settle, it is yet to be seen, but I fear for the King nonetheless.

This is not to say that Bordweall is a hopeless case, doomed to fracture; indeed, of all my travels in the East, I cannot say I have enjoyed a kingdom quite so much as that of Bordweall. Dleatherius is a marvel, a Mann who simply cannot abide a breach in his moral convention. He has gained my utmost respect for that. Yet another in Bordweall has caught my eye; the alluring Kitlandria Bokest, herald of the Bordweall Chronicles and Duchess of Sahai'nira. Kitlandria shows consistent effort, and throws herself into projects with aplomb. Set before her any task, and rest assured that it will be completed.

And what, then, can be said of Fortuna? Nothing, of course.

The East flourishes with all manner of organization, even moreso than her neighbors in the West. Here lies some of the oldest guilds, tempered with time and aged like fine wine. Far from being slumbering giants, these guilds are vibrant and thriving. They maintain a continuous crusade of recruitment; faltering in this preordained task is seemingly unthinkable for those in the East.

Of Eastern guilds, no kingdom provides a safer haven than that of Kairos. There, organizations gather en masse- to pen even a fraction of them would be a monumental task, one I would not relish. They have among their numbers the Golden Bank; the Golden Trade Company; Xeilas; and the Red Branch Order, just to name a select few. But of the myriad of colorful guilds, none stood out to me so much so as Apollo. She stands as an impressive monument, both in age and fortitude. Commanding legions of Menn-at-arms, she provides her host kingdom with valuable trained forces. Apollo’s great downfall, her Achilles’ Heel if you will, lies in the dangers of abject hopelessness persisting in her ranks, calling into question whether members will carry on as a guild at all.

But of course, I would be greatly remiss and inattentive in my duties if I did not give at least mention to the Helgrim Enterprises. The jewel of Vornair, Helgrim sparkles with unmatched shine. They hold themselves to a professional standard in all they do. They have positioned themselves in such a way to ensure a complete monopolization of their field; from production to sale, Helgrim manages it all. They have grown to incorporate their own military and education system. Indeed, it would seem Helgrim operates more as a small nation than a guild.

Now I turn my attention to the guild Ruthenium. They are an impressive people, weathered in age and maturity, and well organized. Strawhat is a force of diplomacy and a beacon for his local nobles. By securing varied trade deal, he has catapulted this guild into prominence in Bordweall. This guild also provides for a centralized collection of the most skilled smiths of the kingdom, and has orchestrated an incredible trade education system.

The world of Elyria is a cruel place, in part because so few pause to give thought to the more altruistic arts. In such a place as the Avatars of Elyria, those noble few can find a welcoming abode. The Avatars represent the best of Mann’s nature; benevolent, kind, selfless. They are an organization dedicated to nothing more than aiding their fellow Mann, under no pretense of reward or bounty. Lolinath leads this pious group and stands as their moral bedrock. He is a principled Mann and a beacon of light in a world blackened by greed.

9/13/2017 1:50:16 AM #2

Following my discourse on the Americas, and in keeping with my attempts for records, I will hereby attempt a similar chronicle of the European kingdoms, as they stand. They are perversely estranged from their western counterparts, prone to bitter outbursts and cruel vitriol. Despite- or perhaps because of- these festering wounds, European kingdoms have weathered more abuse than any other realm. While they may be vicious opponents in international play, no better kinship can be found. From the hottest fires comes the strongest steel.

Demalion stands as the Vornair of Europe. She controls vast swathes of bountiful land. Citizens are requested to undertake huge sacrifices to sustain the Empire's vast needs, and in return, the Emperor makes sweeping promises. Great trust is placed in the Emperor, with the dogmatic belief that He will act for the best of the realm. Although minimal effort would be required of her to exert her weight on foreign affairs, Demalion remains tactfully silent on the greater stage. She is an isolationist, unconcerned with her neighbors, focused instead on her own internal matters.

Her King, Vaizer, is a solemn Mann whom I laud greatly as an accomplished politician. He is not blinded by visions of idyllic harmony, but rather prepares for a world of harsh realism. He is not wont to displays of euphoric promising. He does vow to use the trust vested in him to the benefit of the kingdom. In the Mann known as Markof I have found intelligent wit and cunning. Never have I received his words and not found them satisfactory of presentation or ability. He has shown an impressive amount of astute reasoning on fairly confounding material. Although merely a count, I have no doubt in his ability to excel beyond his post.

The Kingdom of Fire is a welcome respite from the usual chaos of Europe; Nirath is as good a kingdom as one can find. Well managed and organized, Nirath is certainly a kingdom of the people. They make grand claims of bolstering their people, promising everything within their power to maintain a high standard of living for their people. Perhaps they go too far in their pledging; but then again, perhaps they can bring to fruition their claims?

Dragor is a just king, proving time and time again that he is beholden and dedicated to his people. He has even gone so far as to allude to his retirement, should the majority of his people desire it. Here we find the nearest true Republic of Elyria, though I fear Dragor is sacrificing an element of his own prerogative for the sake of his people. But Dragor is King in Absentia as of now, and has entrusted his crown to his trusted lieutenant, Rhaegys. In Rhaegys, I find a Mann more decisive and more prone to action, in both word and deed. He is a good foil to the King in Dragor’s rule and a good regent in his absence.

Once a subordinate of Nirath, King Usifan has struck out in independence in the kingdom of Al-Khezam. Despite the possibility of animosity between the two crowns, no such rancor has emerged in the relationship. Instead there flowers an enlightened friendship, unlike that found anywhere else in all the realms of Elyria. Usifan’s split was purely idealogical, and thus bore no personal grudge. Each kingdom, therefore, flourishes in their own right and amplifies the accomplishments of the other. Of the two, Al-Khezam has the sterner backbone of governance. She has lofty ideals of a strong central crown with complimentary civil, judicial, and military structures.

Usifan has proven himself an able diplomat, even headed and of level temperament. He sees clearly in his mind the idea of utopia, and Al-Khezam is his attempt to actualize those concepts. He is a daydreamer, but not an idle one. His work has gone a long way to making real his plans, and on this work is his kingdom built.

In deference to the ancient glories of Rome and an emulation of her ways; thus is the path the grand nation of Arkadia has embarked upon. The governance of Arkadia is a heaving mass of bureaucracy with King Raziel sitting atop it all. The sprawling government is a strong one, perhaps the strongest that exists in Elyria, with ultimate power residing in the executive. Because of this, the whole of the kingdom moves as one.

Raziel has been subjected to some of the harshest critiques in Europe, but Arkadia has not crumpled under the weight of slander. Quite the opposite; attacks on Arkadia have solidified the people into a homogenous, cult-like apparatus. But the King has not been alone in suffering these injuries; his second, Darmky, has been another focal point for ruthless verbal assault. In the face of this ridicule though, I have never known the Mann to be vengeful or broken in spirit.

If Europe has garnered a fierce reputation, it is the Kingdom of Tryggr that has earned it. They are a boisterous nation of Menn who offer no apology nor quarter in combat. Indeed, there policy is that of a nation at permanent war; every citizen must be trained to take up the sword when called upon. Because of this, I see no other kingdom in any realm who will fight as tenaciously as the Tryggerians.

Although the crown is nominally held by the good King Ereshkigal, I have found power to be more evenly distributed in a council of kingdom elders. These three Menn, along with the King, represent the legislative, judicial, and executive powers in Trygger. The King may pass laws, but these laws are subject to review and even veto at the hands of the Council. These three- Darhk, Murhder, and Wrrynth- are the true leaders of Tryggr and dictate much of the nation’s policy and culture. They are an outspoken triumvirate, yes, but they have bred a people more united than any other.

9/13/2017 1:50:28 AM #3

[Reserved for APAC]

9/13/2017 2:24:08 AM #4

Really excellent piece, Mickdude. You're very much underestimated. An enjoyable and educational read.

9/13/2017 2:26:28 AM #5

Good to see Siggy finally usurped me.... guess I can hand over my duties ;)

9/13/2017 2:28:06 AM #6

Excellent, and definitely one of the more objective things I have read.

9/13/2017 2:30:33 AM #7

This is fantastic!

9/13/2017 2:32:35 AM #8

I am sure some folks shall disagree over the opinions put forth here but I don't think there will be much disagreement in regards to the fact that Mickdude seems to be crafting his own Niche at this point in time.

9/13/2017 2:42:24 AM #9

Nice read :). I don't know much about NA-E or NA-W but it is interesting to read about them even if it might not be 100% accurate.

Having said that the EU server is certainly an interesting place to be from a political stand point.

9/13/2017 2:50:11 AM #10

Surprised Mr. Bean GIF with dolly zoom effect

9/13/2017 3:04:12 AM #11

Good penmanship, I'll have to watch what I say around you now that I know you're taking notes...

a mick-journal would be pretty awesome, if you're starting a new long-term thing here

9/13/2017 3:08:52 AM #12

The parts that contained the European kingdoms are accurate now, also very much appreciated the manner in which you wrote it, made it an enjoyable read.

“He that keeps not his arms in time of peace will have none in time of war.”

9/13/2017 3:35:10 AM #13

wow... someone did their homework on everyone. Very impressive, a great place to start for new players and veterans alike.

9/13/2017 3:57:25 AM #14

An excellent write up Mickdude I can honestly say I wouldnt have expected something so well written from you. I am happy to be proved wrong.

Only caveat I might have is that it is definitely not just me that made Vornair what it is today. There are a huge amount of people who put a ton of effort in every day to make Vornair what it is and they deserve the credit not me. I am just the pretty guy with a beard that tries to look like he knows what he is doing.

"Pledged to the betterment of the Studio and CoE through realistic, open, honest communication about what players can and will do with the mechanics you give them."

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9/13/2017 4:19:02 AM #15

My only suggestion would be to add links to the above mentioned groups. it would help new players delve deeper into Elyria.