- 1 How it started
- 2 The Handshake
- 3 Current Officials
- 4 Seats of Power
- 5 Controlled Territories
How it started
Around a century after the arrival, the amount of powerful and motivated emergents finally reached a critical point. A wizard by the name Sławomir Bala, together with his two personal friends, cleric Arthwr Howells and captain Murata Michinori formed the original Triumvirate. All three of them were fairly famous in the adventuring circles and commanded enough influence to step in after the Cradle city council made the mistake of attempting to apprehend all the adventuring parties that were resting within city walls.
The trio quickly realized the potential of city council's mistake and completed the revolution by adapting the political system to the nature of the world of Hexpanse. They've planned and executed a complex set of reforms, rebooting the failed economy, that almost collapsed by that time, due to inflation caused the fact that gold and silver could be just found in a directly usable form in the hexmazes. Combining the forces of Cradle and Red Hill, they organized a gradual move from the feudal bureaucracy to a completely new system based on direct, rather than assumed power.
Only after stabilizing the situation between the three settlements, Cradle, Red Hill and Direwood Hold (a mere camp at the edge of Enchanted Forest back then, that would eventually become an actual town and the power seat of Maréchal) the Triumvirate was able to direct their attention outward. The dwindling amount of travelers and messengers from other settlements was becoming a concern and as Cradle's city council documents suggested, was already an issue before the revolution. Triumvirate dispatched adventuring parties (the term "hexraiders" was actually a name of one of them, that later became a general word to describe the parties) to investigate. The parties were able to assist some of the towns and settlements besieged by the environment, but a number of them were lost (though some of those were successfully evacuated). After securing what's left, the Triumvirate gathered their authorities and described their vision. After some debate, they agreed to gradually transit to a representative government thus creating Arcane Council, Exarchate and Maréchal. The Triumvirate kept their authority as the executive branch, being appointed by the common committee of the three power groups.
- Arcane Council's representative, Xaevan Nash, D.D.
- Exarchate's representative, rev. Ahto Oivio, aspect of Light
- Maréchal representative, gen. Tanweer Jatrana
- Convener Vladimir Ivolgin, I.D.
- 8 tradition leaders
- 4 representatives of other arcane ways
Church of Creation Exarchachate
- Exarch Kipli bin Biru, aspect of Life
- 2 Exarch's personal Viziers, aspect of Knowledge
- 10 Vice Exarchs
- Commander-in-chief Rumwold Voss
- 10 generals
- 2 admirals
Seats of Power
The largest city and de facto capital of Triumvirate's domain. The name comes from the convenient mountain plateau on which it was built. The waterfall cascade nearby, facing south, origin of the Twin River, provides the city with running water and additionally an artificial reservoir was created later on the plateau, dubbed the Bright Lake. The plateau is large enough to have fertile soil, though major part of local vegetation was lost to our own agriculture. Later, the farms were moved to lower plateaus leaving more space for the urban sprawl. An abundance of igneous rock determines the sturdy and rugged masonry of the city's main part. The Arcane Council spire and the dirigible port tower were built with addition of imported white stone, as were peripheral cottages and estates. Recent inventions prompted construction of elevators and funiculars and the city now expands up and down the White Mountain slope.
As a seat of power for Arcane Council, Cradle hosts the research institutions and facilities, as well as more traditional libraries and a University. It is the bank of Cradle that was the initiator of the shift to arcane currency, not tied to noble metals that are rather abundant in this world and thus are not much valuable.
The second largest city, situated in the hills beyond the end of Cockatrice canyon, more than hundred miles west of the Cradle and the mountain range it is built on. The names comes from the peculiarly colored clay, abundant in this region. White stone quarries are another local feature, giving the city a distinct look. The rough circle of relatively old and small buildings, surrounding the central keep, is often referred to as a Mushroom Circle. The city started as a monastery, created by the faithful that were dissatisfied with Cradle leadership and wanted to have a domain of their own. It is here, at the common gathering of the followers of different pre-exodus gods it was decided that the Creation is much larger and complicated than their particular doctrines were claiming it to be and thus the Church of Creation was born.
The city grew with the influx of refugees from smaller settlements and finally, in year 351 p.e. it rivals the Cradle. It is wider and less dense than Cradle, and the central keep, only slightly shorter now than Arcane Council's spire, is the Exarchate main residence.
A base camp for adventurers, looking to venture into the Enchanted Forest, grew rapidly after the Handshake and the understanding of the Emergence. One of the easiest places to raid, especially on its fringes, Enchanted Forest soon became training and proving grounds for all of the emergents' types. This infrastructure grew, and now this is the third largest city in the Triumvirate's domain. The name comes from the set of original wooden fortress, built to repel forest creatures and provide shelter and supply caches for the adventurers. Eventually, the territory calmed down and the forest was significantly pushed back. The military branch of the Triumvirate, the Maréchal, does not have an actual external enemy to contest with and thus is mostly responsible for border security against untamed lands and hotspots. The internal security is provide by a combined force of the Triumvirate to maintain trust between the different parts of our society. The Maréchal headquaters are situated in a castle, slightly offset from the city proper on the biggest hill they could find in this rather plain region.
A 'city of youth' as Direwood Hold is now often called, is the place to go when you are looking for entertainment. Though Bardic Colleges are scattered across the Triumvirate's domain, a common Palace-in-the-Clearing is their own proving and training grounds for practicing their various arts. Various theaters, dance halls, inns and taverns dot the sprawling city. The zoo, displaying the most weird creatures that were found and brought from the raids is maintained as a joint project of Maréchal and Arcane Council.
The Three Cities
The three pillars of our domain, power seats of Triumvirate's elements, are the largest and richest cities. They are still growing, though the Triumvirate education programs urge people to carve their own land for themselves from the grasp of eldritch things.
Church of Creation officially presides over all monastic orders of the Triumvirate's domain, however they are given rather wide autonomy. Their monasteries are scattered around, often specifically built in the most inaccessible and remote places. The Above is one of such places. A floating mountaintop, that never descends below the lowest layers of clouds was found drifting deeper in the White Mountain Range by an aerial recon expedition. It was surprisingly easy to move and thus it was brought closer to Cradle for study. The research was not successful, we are still nowhere near to the understanding of how such an object came to be. After the Arcane Council shifted priorities and research was mostly suspended, one of the newly minted monastic orders requested it to be their home. The permission was granted, with a clause that a research station will be maintained and accessible.
A dense and large forest, that is situated in what is now understood to be a volcanic caldera lies south of the Cockatrice canyon, almost half-way between Cradle and Red Hill. It's magical nature is rather apparent in many aspects. For example, it is impossible to cross it, even with an aerial vehicle. If you start moving inside, either on the surface or above it, the opposite end doesn't seem to become closer. From the external estimates forest is no more than 30 miles across, however the month-long aerial expedition was forced to turn back due to the lack of supplies. It was able to return by backtracing their path, however many other expeditions were not so lucky. Right now a moratorium is placed on deep expeditions, until better guarantees can be given. That doesn't stop rogue sorties, as all sort of adventurers seem to deem themselves smarter than the entirety of Arcane Council.
The Shiny Sea
About 200 miles south of Cockatrice canyon the Shiny Sea is located. It got its name from many luminescent creatures that populate it. This is and internal sea, with a strait leading to deeper waters in the south east, however only the northern coast is properly mapped. A number of settlements exists there, only two of them are large enough to be qualified as towns: the Twins at the Twin River delta and the Sprout Cape about 70 miles west of it. The first gets its name from symmetrical old towers that were found in delta of the Twin River and the second - from the strangely shaped cape at which base it was built. Sprout Cape is the only other (apart from Cradle) settlement that features a dirigible port.
An assortment of rocky islands exists along western mountainous coast of the Shiny Sea, one of them, known as The Perch is particularly interesting with its mushroom shape with a wide plateau on top about a mile high of the water surface. It is surprisingly stable. Currently it is used for E. Task's void travel experimental facility.
Rather peculiar terrain, located west of Red Hill, beyond the outward layer of farms, was dubbed the Eyed Hills. Most of the time it resembles a typical rolling hills biome, however, in certain weather conditions, giant unblinking eyes open in some of the hills. They eyes do not react to our activities and seem to follow the sun on its path. The area was designated safe, although the view is unsettling enough to scare people away. A small research facility is maintained there.
A relatively small ravine, branching out of the Cockatrice canyon hosts a grove of trees. Trees are of the same species that can be found throughout the Hexpanse, however their fruits are identical metal sabers of solid but not particularly good craftsmanship. They reach various sizes and if planted in the ground there eventually produce a new tree. We were unable to grow a saber tree anywhere else.
The Twin River
The Twin River originates in the cascading falls near the Cradle. When the stream reaches the valley beneath the White Mountain, it grows with the influx of other streams and then, few miles downstream it suddenly diverges in two. The streams then meander, mirroring each other up to the point where they reach the Shiny Sea. The unnatural symmetry is fascinating, all signs indicate that this happened rather recently in geological timeline so the natural processes haven't yet started equalizing it back to one stream in a new bed. The presence of two seemingly identical old towers found on both sides of the delta indicates that doubling process affected not only the river itself, but also the terrain around it.