Throne of the Kings of the Ocean
Rulers: Xaprychor Alrandwe di Firdana, Rxychra Alrandwe di Firdana
Contact: Howlykin, The Hound
Co-written by: Howlykin, The Hound, Lacernella Rubra, Aleksei, Deus Ex Aizen, and Dorje
The variance of topography under the seas may seem less drastic at first glance, but the area accommodates crags, trenches, mountains and reefs. Nymeria itself, formerly known as Firdana in its days on the surface, is dominated by a deep trench marking both the area to which the city had been taken by the Elder God, and the place where the same God was slain. The deepest areas of this trench are scarcely illuminated by surface-light, but bioluminescent creatures and plants make for a strange pelagic luminescence.
Still, while capable of survival in the dark and deep waters, Nymerians do not prefer it. The “Trench Barons”, Nymerian descendants who formed their Baronies in the years between the fall of the Elder God and the awakening of their two Kings, had expanded from the original trench dotted with remains of their ancient surface-city at varying depth to other landmarks and convenient natural formations to build their minor cities.
During the early decades following the fall of the Elder God, the enterprising Trench Barons took to expanding beyond the trench where the majority of their old city had gone. They of course were somewhat stalled and eventually stopped by the discovery that they were far from the only species in the depth. Other underwater kingdoms, all connected by the current-based trade route of the Great Scaled Road, turned out to be neighbors to the budding Nymerian nation and, while willing to accept the newcomers, also demanded respect to their rules and borders. Thus, restricted from wanton expansion, the Trench Baronies remained at least partially tied to the location of the original city of Firdana. At first it was an uncontestedly sacred site and the resting place of the Kings for the duration of their stasis. Later on, it served as more of a forgotten mythic symbol - tangible, but surrounded by too many rumors and distorted by too many alterations of historic tales to be taken as a serious charge. The two Kings actually returning have of course brought the site’s significance back to light.
Firdanan buildings mostly remain within the trench and, following the return of the Kings, have seen some additional development. Treated with nigh-religious reverence by some and mere respectful nostalgia by others, the ancient buildings are being preserved rather than utilized. Still, they have not fallen to disuse. While an inexperienced traveler would consider it a bioluminescence-bathed grave, it is in fact the concealed heart of the city. Some of the more secretive deeds of Nymerian society are done in the imposing dark.
A much more public and apparent heart of Nymeria is the castle housing the throne of the King in the Deep, the more “homebound” of the two rulers. It is perhaps the sole deviation from the respectful detachment Nymerian people have maintained from Firdanan architecture. Instead, it is an ancient structure raised from the trenches below and suspended with a network of bridges across the trench. The elevation allows the castle to be much better-lit than the deeper structures, and the extensive work that went into fortifying and augmenting it made it truly unique.
On either side of the trench are the actual districts of the city. They are covered by shell-like domes that make the area surrounding the castle look like a peculiar nesting ground of giant molluscs. Closer inspection proves that the seaweed-covered translucent domes shield elaborate vertical structures with entrances, windows and multiple populated levels with streets in-between. City districts are practically “layered” underneath the scallop-like “shell halves”, their inner surface serving as an eerie opalescent “ceiling” high above the heads of Nymerians underneath. Sunlight from the surface casts beautiful auroras on these wonders of Nymerian bio-engineered construction.
Beyond these purposeful fortifications, Nymerians take an opportunistic approach towards anything they find sunken or naturally eroded close to their capital. Sunken carcasses of ships are utilized, sometimes as they are, other times reinforced with Nymerian-made structures. Caves and ravines are populated, both by building structures at the bottom and by carving caves into walls. Where they make their homes, Nymerians often plant their bio-engineered seaweed or anemones. The organic, yet strangely consistent patterns of brightly colored and occasionally glowing sea-life are considered a near-certain mark of Nymerian presence.
While the Trench over which looms the royal Nymerian castle is chilled by its depth and significant distance from sunlight, the further settlements which edge closer to the coils of the Great Scaled Road are significantly warmer. Even a surfacer would find the area closer to the great current to be comfortably warm for a swim (if only one would manage to dive deep enough).
Nymerian “home turf” is less hospitable in this regard, yet it’s still far from being a polar sea. No Nymerian will have seen an iceberg without purposely traveling far beyond their territory (or conjuring one with magic, though it would not last long and, for that matter, neither would a Nymerian waste time on such a foolish thing)
Flora and Fauna
The Elder God and the Nymerians alike have largely influenced the area in which their cities are situated. Somewhat barren and originally populated mostly by pale unassuming beings, both the mad creativity of the deity and the subsequently adapted science-art of Nymerian people have transformed it. Kelp, seaweed, anemones and elaborate coral reefs have adopted new colors, new luminosity and, on occasion, new dangerous qualities. Bewildered merchants travelling past the previously unimpressive seafloor would bring back home news both fascinating and intimidating. Thankfully the Nymerians, or at least the Trench Barons preceding the bi-monarchical Nymerians, were compliant enough not to expand too far and thus their peculiar gardens, groves and outright forests are a sight isolated to their territory.
The Nymerian culture is rich and vast. It primarily stems from its militaristic roots, but all jobs are treated equally. They enjoy festivals, dances, have special rituals for the coming and going of seasons, as well as a passion for art. The culture is open and free in its emotions and desires, as well as any aggression they might have. They hold nothing back, and share their passions with one another happily.
Arts are just as important to Nymerian culture as any other facet, as the art and the Artists who create it repurpose the bones of the dead to protect the city. They are also responsible for creating deathmasks and statues honoring the fallen. Arts in Nymeria are highly revered, whether it be dancing, singing, sculpting, or any form therein.
Largely militaristic in nature and described as barbaric by the races who have seen them in combat, while Nymerian culture does largely center around martial law it is far more complex than those who stand removed from their society can see. Loyal, fierce, and almost exclusionary of other races to the point of derision, the proud people of Nymeria are extremely loyal to the royal family. Otherwise, the hierarchy of importance regarding the common Nymerian citizens is rigidly meritocratic, relying solely on their contributions to Nymerian society. Due to the militaristic aspect of the culture, warriors are the most valued tier of their people, encompassing both those who have an aptitude for battle magics and those who rely on their physical prowess in order to slay those who threaten their society. Merchants, scholars, and artists are valued equally, as they fight their own battles not only to preserve the Nymerian people, but their own culture.
The role of women in Nymerian culture is unique in the fact that they are not looked upon merely as broodmares, but also are valued as some of Nymeria’s most capable combatants. The dual reign of the King in the Deep and the King in the Waves has seen the ascension of both men and women to higher ranks and more important roles, awarded solely on merit and never on sex. A race of passionate creatures by nature, it is not uncommon for Nymerian males and females to engage in heated sexual trysts with people of either sex before they find the person to whom they wish to dedicate their lives to (whether heterosexual or homosexual in nature). Once mated with their proverbial other halves, Nymerians remain loyal for life. It is said that the loss of a lover changes a Nymerian, and not many survive that change. Those who do, however, rarely find the bond again.
After the fall of the Elder God, King Rxychra disbanded the established monarchy in favor to a new ruling system: Instead of ruling as a singular king he elevated his brother alongside himself to the Throne of Nymeria, dividing the position in two: The King in the Deep, and The King in the Waves. While the King in the Deep oversees the affairs of the citadel and is in charge of the immediate operations of the Nymerian Empire, the King in the Waves serves as a primary defender from interloping forces and as a conqueror when need be. In short while the King in the Deep oversees the pursuits of the citadel and the preservation of Nymerian culture, the King in the Waves oversees its’ defense and ensures that the Nymerians who fight for the Empire remain true to their purpose.
Although pockets of Nymerian population live away from the underwater citadel, every single living citizen would not hesitate to answer the calls of either the King in the Deep or the King in the Waves. Highly prejudiced against land-dwellers and oftentimes thought to be solitary recluses, Nymerians have formed an amicable relationship and opened their doors to other creatures of the sea, such as the Naga and Merfolk.
The Nymerian economy is founded on fair acquisition from Nymerian to Nymerian. This trade is focused on a 1:1 ratio, in which equal exchange is mandatory. You cannot exchange an item for higher or lower than its proven worth unless otherwise agreed upon. This does, however, impose the risk of one not knowing the true worth or value of an item. In which case, Nymerians will haggle and negotiate on a fair exchange that comes from agreement. If for any reason a Nymerian feels they have been conned and duped from their wares, they are free to dispute the matter to their King, where a fair decision will be determined. This may result in the reversal of fortunes for the swindler, so swindlers beware.
Nymerian acquisition in commonplace in accumulating wealth. Raids are commonplace and there is a general respect that you keep what you kill between warriors and citizen. Though warriors retain the lion’s share of loot before non-combatant citizens, half of their bounty is given to the government by law to facilitate the wealth of the city where it is needed. These frequent raids have given the Nymerian people their reputation of fierceness and wealth beneath the waves.
The Vaults - The Vaults of Nymeria are long and winding, the entirety of their depth and width not entirely known to anyone outside of the Vault Keepers themselves. The Vault Keepers are Keepers of Lore and Chroniclers. They are present at any activity that is deemed large enough to be put in their records. They oversee marriage contracts and Coming of Age Ceremonies.The Vaults house many things, some rooms are dedicated to marriage contracts, others to death certificates and death masks. Everything that the Nymerians are is in the Vaults. Further, hidden rooms deep within the halls contain weapons and forbidden arts. These rooms are forbidden to enter, and only the royal family is given access, the locks only activated by the elder blood.
The Wall of the Ancestors - Once a proud alabaster wall surrounding the peripheries of Firdana, the Wall of the Ancestors has now become a separating force between the city’s ancient citadel and its’ newer parts. Following the beliefs that a soldier’s duty isn’t done even after their death, the Wall of the Ancestors is an ever evolving building, constantly augmented with the bones of fallen Nymerian soldiers and former soldiers, people who have won honor within Nymeria, and mythical beasts that presented challenge to Nymeria. Created with the belief that a Nymerian’s strength never passes, the Wall of the Ancestors is a testament to generations of Nymerians, Nymerian heroes, and Nymerian legends. Sometimes, beneath the moonlight, it is said that the whispers of the fallen warriors within the walls can be heard. A rather large, sculpted bone gate, manned by the Deepwatch, is the sole entrance to the ancient Firdanan Citadel from the main parts of the city.
The Throne of the Oceans - Formerly known as Firdana’s Azure Keep, the Throne of the Oceans is the palace of the Nymerian Royal Family, the Alrandwe Clan, and the former throne room of the Black King of Nymerius. Built with war in mind, the Throne of the Oceans is a heavily fortified circular structure made out of a lustrous navy blue metal. Located in the heart of the old Firdanan Capital, the build has been kept and restored with near reverence by its’ citizens as a token of times past. Although no longer used as the throne room for the Kings of the Ocean, the Throne of the Oceans is where many of the main negotiations are conducted and where important guests of the Alrandwe clan are kept. Over their years in exile from the world above them, the Alrandwe Clan saw fit to continue the keep’s expansion downward, creating a network of rooms beneath the castle’s floor. Boasting of a few of the only rooms (both halls and private housing rooms) within Nymeria that can be entirely emptied of water in order to simulate above-sea conditions, it is not uncommon to see soldiers of the Land Invasion Legion and Nymerian prisoners of war inhabiting the depths of the castle.
The Throne of the Godslayers - Erected directly above the Throne of the Oceans’ position in the original Firdanan citadel, the Throne of the Gods is often viewed as the new heart of the capital. Constructed after the fall of the Elder God, the palace stands in defiance of the usual functional beauty of Firdanan architecture with its’ lavish appearance and elaborate, towering design. Serving primarily as the King in the Deep’s domain (as how the King on the Waves is hardly ever present there), the Throne of the Godslayer’s main chamber consists of a large, rectangular hall of painted walls and sculptures. At the farthest wall in the back, two thrones are seen side by side. To the left, the throne of the King in the Deep, which is an elaborate ivory affair said to have been carved from the skull of the Elder God. To the right of it is the original throne of the Nymerian Kings, named Seat of the waves and made out of the same lustrous blue material as the Azure Keep once had been, seldom used by the King on the Waves when he is present in Nymeria.
Arena in the Deep - A wonder of Nymeria created entirely after the sinking of Firdana, the Arena in the Deep is considered one of the most wondrous sights in the sunken city. Built in the lower levels of the military district, the Arena in the Deep is a large oval amphitheatre capable of seating over 80,000 Nymerians. Made of marble and bits of bones from slain creatures, the Arena differs from typical Firdanan a few key ways: Opposed to elaborate facades of Firdanan buildings, the Arena in the Deep is plain saving for the carvings in the bone bits that connect the marble large blocks of marble. Upon close inspection, the names of the city’s heroes and champions can be seen amongst the bone carvings. Usually used for festivals and as an outlet for the more savage side of the Nymerian Population, the Arena in the Deep is popular amidst both the highest ranking and the lowest echelon of the proud warrior people. It is also the preferred location for executions of enemies and traitors.
The Academic Triumvirate - A true wonder of Nymerian ingenuity, the Academic Triumvirate consists of the carcasses of two sunken ships expanded upon by the Nymerian artists and builders, separated by a gigantic pearl-like structure that each ship nearly touches, but somehow manages to miss. The Military Arts Academy and the Mage’s Academy each inhabit one of the ship-buildings, while the pearl-like dome is home to the Artist’s Compound. The beginning step for those hopefuls whose exams guide them into the life of a Soldier, an Artist, or a Mage, the three academies reside near one another due to the belief that all three fields intertwine, no matter what one’s primary assignment is. Once the three sole buildings in the area they have chosen, the Academic Triumvirate has slowly become surrounded by smaller buildings dedicated to the specialized education of students whose dreams may not fit into the three most common categories of training.
Faliga - A collection of huts that sit separately outside of the grand citadel of Nymeria, the Faliga are a separate community housing all ithfunzi, Mchogma, and Inyea; The ithfunzi stay in the huts until the completion of their trainings, while the Mchogma and Inyea have the choice to remain within the Faliga or leave once their training is completed. Separated from the general Nymerian commune due to their specific necessities while they train, it is said that the area in which the huts were built has been cleansed by the Head Healers, removing all bad karma from the area that could affect their learning and teachings.
The Trenches - Even beneath the ocean, some parts are more affected by the darkness and corruption than others. Whether by the Elder God’s perversions, or the offset of the magic required to sink Nymeria, or just evolution in the deep darks, the Nymerian Trenches house some of the darkest dangers that surround the former Firdanan capital and its’ peripheries. Often policed by the Deepwatch and used for training exercises, the Trenches provide for several of the needs of Nymeria, namely through the magma vents which provides the city with warmth, heat, and a way to cook whilst underwater, and the plentiful fields in which underwater vegetation is collected and sea beasts which are hunted for food and sport. It is rumored that within the many gorges of the trenches sects of nomadic, rogue Nymerians travel and seek to improve their craft in order to find ways to dethrone the Kings and bring back the reign of the Elder Gods. As per the King on the Waves’ orders, the Deepwatch engages dangers to Nymerian citizens on sight, and to prevent entrance to the Bone Forest without an express order from either King.
The Bone Forest - Easily the most dangerous area within the Nymerian Trenches, the Bone Forest has earned its name due to scattered bones of disgraced Nymerian soldiers, animals, and invaders who try to traverse through this particularly dangerous area. Home to some of the more dangerous creatures under the ocean, such as leviathans, wild hippocampi, and if rumours are to be believed, sea dragons and krakens. Oftentimes the place where disgraced Nymerian soldiers are sent to find their “last bout”, the Bone Forest is said to be haunted by the spirit of unfulfilled soldiers who have yet to find peace. Although normally noncorporeal, there have been cases of spirits possessing shards of bones around themselves and creating a makeshift vessel in order to attack those who are not paying attention. Due to the high concentration of dangerous beasts, supernatural threats, and criminal elements within the Bone Forest, soldiers are forbidden to enter without permission of one of the kings, and Mages and Artists are altogether barred out from entering alone. The exception to this, however, is the Fourth Legion of the Land Invasion Legion, who is often trained within the Bone Forest by the King on the Waves.
After the fall of the Elder God, Nymerians by and large found the need to worship a deity antiquated and for a large part have done away with it. As a society, Nymerians have found themselves returning to their old beliefs and placing their trust in animal totems, which they believe award them with different virtues. Additionally, members of Nymerian society have found comfort in the belief of the Sea Mother: Not a goddess, but rather a living organism that provides and adds to the circle of life present beneath the seas.
Local Government - Diarchy Rule
The Nymerian culture has a focus on monarchy, aristocratic oligarchy, and roots itself in a socialist society that values meritocracy and martial law.
The monarchy of Nymeria sees the Two Kings, its Queen, it’s Princes and Princess as the united power of the Nymerian government. The basis of the diarchy is that a king remains present within the city while the secondary king was free to conquer abroad as the hand of the military forces. This presented a crude form of checks and balances, with the princess serving as an ambassador and delegate of stray political topics that could fall in either domain.
Social status is earned through meritocratic deeds. Women alongside men have rights to earn land, to socio-cultural norms such as marriage, serve in the military, own businesses, receive an education, vote on social and or political issues where applicable. The council and its ambassador filter the voice of the Nymerian people and assist the king in upholding its form of constitution. Therein, the King in the Deep serves to uphold the legislative, executive and judicial branches of this constitution.
General education is given to Nymerians until the age of 14, where they will spend a good deal of the year prior to their Coming of Age Ceremony being assessed on all they have learned, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Those suited for The Military Academy, or the Mage Academy, will proceed into whichever they've a higher calling for after the Ceremony, with the Dancers making way to the Artist Compound, where they will learn a rather well-rounded curriculum and serve the kingdom in various ways, from ceremonial purposes to that of protection within the walls of the cities, and especially the Vaults or Compound they work and live out of.
There are various methods of transportation through the Nymerian Kingdom, which include but is not limited to the use of heated vents along the volcanic ridges, which have often been utilized to propel forces to the surface in record time. While this is one of the more modern ways to transport units to the surface for land invasion, in earlier times it was far too dangerous for Nymerian skin could not handle the intense heat. In those days, and to this day still, Nymerians are adept swimmers who have learned to domesticate certain species of animal, either by use of training, magic lulling, or a combination of both. It has become commonplace to travel through use of bubbles which through careful magic can manipulate the surface tension to hold one or two Nymerians at a time, while water filtering through allows them to breathe properly. The faster method of transportation is to catch riptides and the vast networks of currents that wind through the ocean depths, and through the city.
Rxychra Alrandwe di Firdana - Formerly known as the King of the Oceans, Rxychra has become one of two kings, referred to as King on the Waves or (behind his back) the Black King of Nymerius.
Xaprychor Alrandwe di Firdana - The second eldest of Nymerian royalty, in a typical monarchy he would be the next heir to the throne. In Nymerias diarchal structure, he is the other half of the two kings, known as the King in the Deep. Responsible primarily for domestic affairs, he embraces the study and advancement of Nymerian bio-science, which entails admiration from some and terror from others.
Kharybdis Alrandwe di Firdana - The third eldest of Nymerian royalty, Kharybdis commands the Myrmidon forces with an iron fist. Driven by a peerless love and adoration for all things combat and an unquenchable thirst for conquest, Kharybdis and those that follow their warlord are revered as artisans of warfare.
Rahab Alrandwe di Firdana - The youngest of Nymeria Royalty and Ambassador of the Diarchy rule. Considered brave and self-confident as a political figure within the Nymerian government, Rahab has a cool exterior and is prone to responding harshly as necessary.
Q'myha'myha ( Alrandwe di Carchaeron) - Hand to the King on the Waves and an Elite member of the Land Invasion Legion's Fourth Legion. Son to the King on the Waves and a Shark Deity. Considered an expert with the Hook, as well as beast-related magics.
A'ryx Chtuuh di Nymeria - Member of the Fifth Legion of the Land invasion Legions and a surprisingly gifted scout, A'ryx is a man of mystery whose lineage and choices carry many secrets
Vyhax Signowr di Nymeria - Tidecaller to the Kings of the Ocean and loyal confidant to the King in the Deep, Vyhax has proven to be both shrewd and innovative both in uses of Nymerian Magic and in how it could benefit his Kingdom.
Eilwen Meraki di Nymeria - Mistress of the Arts and Keeper of the Vaults. Always high and in the nude.
Juni Onari Ic Tosa - Mother Mchogma, friend and confidant to her King Rxychra. Juni has proven herself to be a monster on the battlefield with the use of her voice and charming Cuttlefish movements; passionate as Mother Mchogma and Inyea, and a lover of all things shells, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Merenus Syesa zi Moitiane - Despite being known as one of Nymeria's most talented, experienced artists, Merenus has been far less active in recent years due to the untimely loss of his bonded partner. These days he tends to keep to himself, but has been known to accept commissions for especially worthy causes.
Izusisil Vedanta na Tukelea - Although she has already shown great talent as an ithfunzi (apprentice healer), Izusisil resents her calling and longs to return to her training as a member of the Meretricem. She lives to test the patience of her mentor, Juni Onari Ic Tosa.