Melhed is the result of balance between two opposing ideals, the Wolf and the Sun. The Republic is known to be wise, honourable, dependable, and ordered; but just as the other nations do not know that they are cultured and learned, they do not know of the less ideal traits. They are wise, and they are cold, they are honourable and they are byzantine, they are dependable and they are brutal, they are ordered and create chaos. The Melite people have long walked a delicate path between the light of the sun and the dark wolf in their hearts, between civilized idealism and brutal savagery. They know what they are however, and face their choices without justification, without trying to hide behind false pretenses.
Melhed encompasses a diverse range of peoples divided into four Strata with distinct responsibility in the hierarchy of the nation: the privileged Patricians, the wealthy Equites, the industrious Plebeians, and the wild Foederati.
|Patricians||The Patricians of Melhed hold proud lineages and wealth. Privileged statesmen, scholars and warriors, the Patricians have the luxury of choice and the ties and titles to back it. Either noble paragons of Melite virtue, or greedy knaves, they are the soul of the Republic.||Seeking political advancement to the senate or Tribune, Aeldie, Augur, Centurion, and Legetus, not to mention serving select senators for power, skirmishes with barbarians and inhumans, leading armies, matters of faith as priests, debates in court and lesser meetings, parties with foreign and local elite.|
|Equites||Not everyone has noble blood, and not everyone without it is poor. Melding wealth with lowborn blood the Equites stand as the scribes, messengers, merchants, healers and teachers of the Republic. They are the lifeblood which keeps Melhed running and have prospered as a result of their unique opportunities.||Research and study of unusual things, administering, shuffling papers, leading soldiers, organizing trade, making fine goods, tricking Patricians.|
|NPC Noble Staff|
|Plebeians||The diverse Plebeians are the most numerous of all citizens within the Republic, easily outnumbering the other Strata combined. Bound together across the domain by a strong work ethic and unrelenting determination, the multitude are the bones of the Republic and have beaten back the wild frontiers, claiming the north on behalf of humanity.||Crafts, farming, trade, fighting pointless wars for ungrateful... are they looking?, being in the military/militia, religion as followers, paying taxes, relaxing, being attacked by bandits and inhumans, being beaten around by all other classes above|
|Foederati||On the fringes of society is the tainted remnant of an ancient age, the Foederati tribes that wander the land of the Republic and yet only nominally follow the laws. The shadows of the Republic are ostracized and yet valued by the other Strata for their strange gifts. The roving bands consider themselves their own masters and struggle desperately against the wilds.||Adventuring, being beaten, finding strange treasures, being beaten, saving fellow plebeians from certain doom (while being beaten) stumbling into mysterious sages with magical lore, having magical lore stolen by patricians (with beatings), being pawns in the political games of patricians, paying tolls, getting in jail, saving damsels and lords from certain death, not getting paid nearly enough (except in beatings)|
Work and Fun
The day to day affairs are difficult enough so trouble is usually limited, there just isn't enough time in the day to work, relax and murder your neighbour, especially with so many other things to kill. Since many of the beasts and monsters stalk the night, most people tend to remain indoors once the sun drops, save bravado's and the bored. Rising with the sun, if not a little before, the morning is left for work. Why oddly enough even the patricians are up to see the sun rise, dawn is a major event for all.
By noon people are left to a little leisure time, even the senate closes down to enjoy the warmest parts of the day. Gladiatorial games are the preferred past time of the mob, though when the arena remains empty people find their own sport. Hunting monsters is considered a worthy pursuit, and helps the militia keep order. Indeed basic life skills in the form of games are so common most don't even think to mention them. While leisure is spent outdoors most work itself is kept within warm walls, if it can be helped. The winters are brutal, even summer isn't the most pleasant, and threat of monsters hardly makes a job outside a long term prospect.
Once winter sets in everyone who can stay indoors does so, which explains one of the strangest forms of entertainment, formal debates. Melites are passionate creatures, and the long time trapped indoors results in short tempers. To help alleviate this stress, and keep bloodshed to a minimum, the people are encouraged to duel with words. Even the poorest of Melites understand the basics of such debates, though their work is of far lesser quality then the halls of the senate, it is pervasive across the social strata. Interestingly the result is a fairly well educated people, or at least a substantial number interested in scholarly pursuits.
Women & Children
With life as difficult as it is, there are two unusual social results. First childhood lasts about as long as it takes to wield a weapon. Too many things find small prey tasty to allow a prolonged, special, childhood. Second is the role of women. In the ancient days of the tribes and empire life was too much of a struggle, every person with an axe was needed. As the bloody times of the imperial period shifted to the republic women were pulled more and more from the front line because of one fact, there weren't very many of them. Even after all these years the ratio of men to women hovers around five to one for the lower classes, and seven to one in the upper. As a result only the most successful of men have even a chance of acquiring a wife, and everyone knows it. Perhaps because of this, but the most successful men of the republic also happen to be the ones deemed most suitable to wed. The question is if they attract the attention of women because of their position, or their position because they attract women. Either way the ladies have not remained passive in the political spectrum. Though removed from the front line of the fighting they have taken to safe guarding their interests and keep a close eye on the political landscape. Wielding their rarity as a formidable tool in their political efforts, and often naturally gifted in the subtle dance, many of the highest offices have long been dominated by women. The other thing of note is that despite the complex barriers between the social classes, marriage remains an exceedingly easy way to rise in rank, for a woman.
The people take solace in a multitude of faiths and rituals but two stand out among the rest: the humanist Old Gods, and the unifying Valentic Order. The tension between these two faiths has long tugged at the hearts of the people, with one focused on the material world and the other the life after.
|Old Gods||Valentic Order|
|In times past Humanity came to the unknown lands from across the Western Ocean. Seeking a new life those first colonists made a home amidst the wild forests and fertile plains; but they were not alone. The survivors of those days returned to the east with tales of hideous abominations alien in form and mind that stalk every shadow and call every forest and mountain theirs. These monsters did not suffer kindly the tread of human interlopers and so the land came to be known by these dreadful beasts Beluaterra - Monster World.
But Humanity is tenacious and returned again and again, with their gods and their ways, always seeking to tame the wild lands. This fleeting goal is thwarted at every turn for the Monsters are not alone; for they are the Children of the Old Gods.
The Old Gods of Beluaterra are the true masters of the land, holding absolute dominion over every rock, tree and beast. Called by many names these beings are the final arbiters of Humanity's fate upon this continent for it is by their whim that peace reins, or blood flows.
There is still hope for the Old Gods test their Children against the encroaching humans, testing each to see who is the greater. Thus the Followers of the Old Gods know that Humanity can earn the love of the Old Gods. For Humanity is the greater race that will vanquish the Children and claim dominion absolute over all of Beluaterra.
|The Knights of The Valentic Order are the best trained and disciplined fighters in the world. They are famous and easily recognized, usually wearing a distinct golden cape, with a red crown or cross emblazoned above the heart or on the chest, to signify their devotion to Komar. Joining this Order requires piety, obedience, and courage. For the warriors of The Valentic Order, there is a cardinal rule of never surrendering, with the understanding that if they were to die in battle, their entry into the Vale of the Highfather is assured. Their goal is to free all Souls from the influences of the Betrayers, and restore the World to the way the Highfather wished.
By our hands Culture and Civilization will spread; by our deeds the Souls are freed from the Betrayers. Go forth and make The World as the Highfather wished.
The vast dominion of Melhed have one unifying concept at their core: cold. From the farthest icy reaches of Lin Helon to the relatively temperate Fronepu there is not one part of the domain not touched by ice and a bitter wind. Despite this, the west sees an expansive forest, the Wailing Woods, so thick it blocks the sun even during mid day. To the east is the vast Emerald Plains where the majority of the farming takes place. To the north tundra takes hold, the icy ground never thawing but warmed somewhat by the Bay of Souls. The Gold River weaves down from the Roof of the World mountains bringing water and wealth to all at the great capitol Agyr.
|Agyr | Hopidrii | Gor Ault | Rengo | Bil Havil | Tepmona | Bisana | Trottie | Mhed|
|Lastfell | Orde | Kannoktet | Rafferty | Lin Helon | Affkat | Crim|
|Fronepu | Seven Rivers | Ieara | Lloringel | Qual|
|Unger | Wailing Wood | Winifael | Ukh | Mouzl|
The northern lands have tried many forms of government over the years to guide their passionate vivacity. The Pontefix of Flame established the first foothold in the city of Mhed through religious fervour. The Empire of Sun commanded absolute obedience to the God Emperor Tsu. The Republic of Balance saw all Patricians having a say and prosperity unrivaled. The Tyranny of Wolf saw warfare and violence used to force compliance.
|Pontifex of Flame||Overview||Philosophy||Structure||Offices||Laws|
|Empire of Sun||Overview||Philosophy||Structure||Offices||Laws|
|Republic of Balance||Overview||Philosophy||Structure||Offices||Laws|
|Tyranny of Wolf||Overview||Philosophy||Structure||Offices||Laws|
The expansive library complex that is the Agyrian Academy is a centre of learning and information unrivaled in the world. The many departments and scholars have undertaken the near impossible task of understanding everything from good governance, geography, history, the nature of reality, studies of inhumans and more beyond. There is nothing they have not uncovered.
|Agyrian Academy Archives|
|Age of Mystery||2002-2003||Pontifex of Flame||First human settlements before the First Invasion and arrival of the Mercenaries.|
|Age of Blood||2003-2004||Empire of Sun||The end of the First Invasion until the fall of the Emperor and start of the Second Invasion.|
|Age of Reason||2004-2007||Republic of Balance||The Rise of the Republic after the Second Invasion until the collapse of the Four Kingdoms Alliance.|
|Age of Betrayal||2007-2013||Republic of Balance||After the collapse of the Four Kingdoms Alliance, through the Third Invasion and up to the Fourth.|
|Age of Ruin||2013-2015||Tyranny of Wolf||From the Rebellion of the Wolf Tyrants, the Fourth & Fifth Invasions until the fall of Melhed.|
|Age of Dust||2015-2019||From the Fall of Melhed until the Return.|
|Age of Shadow||2019-||From the Return until....|
|Melhed History Summary|
|The lands once encompassed by Melhed occupied Beluaterra's northeastern reaches, for years beyond counting, but that time has passed. Founded by one of the first groups of human colonists to the new continent, Melhed grew to encompass and unify the north of Beluaterra before internal descent and betrayal brought ruin to the once great nation.|
|Age of Mystery|
|Making a home for themselves in an inhospitable wilderness of ice and cold the early settlers braved the wilds to build a home for themselves. Every step had to be won, every breath snatched from death's icy grasp. Guided by the Pontifex, (2002-2003) the people succeeded against all odds but the struggle took its toll. That wild frontier plagued with constant raids by the inhumans required called to mercenaries from foreign lands. One such group was to be set as a march on the frontier, a shield for the nation but the death of Pontifex Argos did not see this come to pass.|
|Age of Blood|
|Outraged that the new Pontifex refused to honour the treaties the mercenaries rebelled, claiming the fledgling nation for their own and embroiling themselves in a destructive war with Fronen to the south that would see savage fury be restrained by an occupation. The foreign tyranny did not last and Emperor Tsu Sun brought freedom to the north once more. (2003-2004) A secular ruler, his appearance marked an increased connection between the human nations. However this did not bring peace to the north and the Defensive Alliance War soon followed as every nation in the land invaded Melhed, apparently to defend themselves.|
|Age of Reason|
|As the inhumans returned the Empire faded to be replaced with the Republic under the administration of the Senate. (2004-2013) This golden age of peace in the north tempered the savage heart with reason. As the rest of the continent descended into anarchy and war the Republic flourished and turned attention inward experiencing prosperity unrivaled. The realms of Valentia and Thalmarkin were founded by colonists intent to reclaim the frozen north leading to the creation of the Four Kingdoms Alliance with the sister nation Old Grehk.
|Age of Betrayal|
|The golden age of the Republic began to fade with the collapse of the Four Kingdoms Alliance. The infighting among the once great nations was a small concern next to the deep cultural and religious divides that came with the reintegration of Valentia into Melhed. Mistrust grew, and the struggles of the Patrician strata threatened to tear the nation apart. But in the end a compromise was made and the Valentic people turned their attention to matters of faith while the Melites to governance.|
|Age of Ruin|
|Though the Republic remained for many years it too passed with the rise of the Tyrant Kings. (2013-2015/03/06) Intent on glory and conquest long denied under the seemingly peaceful Republic the kings overthrew the Senate and awakened the savage heart all to march for war. Former client states and puppets shook off the neglected yoke of their master and through relentless warfare shattered the ancient nation.|
|Now all that remains are shadows and scraps, the record halls and trappings of power trampled in the dust. Who knows, perhaps one day the Melhed Wolf will stalk the lands again.|
|The complete history of Melhed, to the extent that there is one, can be found within the Agyrian Academy Archives.|