The Whitefire Chronicles
Methalia – The Empire of Steel and Honour
Methlia is, in many ways, the center of the modern world. No other continent is as rich in trade, resources or culture. Part of this is the geography – a mix of high mountains and vast plains, surrounded on most sides by open coastlines prefect for fishing and international trade. Many of the largest cities in the world can be found on the shores of Methalia. It was also the first and last bastion of the Fae, making this land rich in Arcane lineage as well. All of these factors combine to make Methalia a superpower.
Adding to this is the fact that nearly all of the Methalian continent is ruled by a single Empire, under the reign of Empress Joan the XIXth. The House of Joan has been an unbroken line of matriarchs reaching back to Joan of Methalia herself, and her line is beloved by the nation as few rulers in the history of the world. By having a large population and little need to maintain sizable armies outside the major centers, the taxation in Methalia is low and its citizens generally happy. It also helps that one of the pre-requisites for noblity in Methalia is the achievement and maintenance of the title of “knight”. The Herald Knights (particularly in the capital of Neiris) are legendary in their devotion to the chivalrous ideals of Courtesy, Compassion, Duty, Sincerity and Honour. The Knighthood is not granted by lineage alone, and anyone who wishes to inherit the title must be examined by the Empress and her Council and judged worthy to bear the right and responsibility of knighthood.
That's not to say that everything is idyllic; the sheer size of the land mass and the distance between major cities makes rural banditry and the threat of wild beasts attacking villages a constant concern. The recent advent of dirigible balloons is making villages better able to scout for threats, but few villages have more than a handful of guards or soldiers to protect them. As a result, mercenary business has also remained strong in Methalia (on both sides of the law).
In the modern age, there are also whispers of political unrest as well. The current Empress is a mere 17 years of age, having taken the throne suddenly after the tragic loss of her mother at sea 3 years ago. Rumours suggest that certain parties used this transition to cement themselves in a place of power on the Empress's personal council, and that the present Empress has become more of a figurehead than a genuine leader of the nation.
The Capital of Methalia. Home to the Imperial Court and the Methalian branch of Whitefire Company. The cultural and political center of the southern continents.
The former capital under the Fae. Was renamed in honour of the thousands of funeral pyres that were burned on the shoreline for those who fell in the taking of the city.
Located south of the mountain range known as the Western Climbs, Westforge is the trade destination for most of the mineral mined in this region. An economic power though steel and gemstones.
The last great stronghold of the Fae, is was a city designed to be an utterly impregnable fotress. It was so filled with mutated monsters, traps, laberynths and magical curses that even to this day only a handful of scavengers live here, risking death daily for the chance to uncover Fae riches or artifacts.
Perhaps the greatest trade city in the world, Shulve has the largest port this side of Shulanr. It's the center of trade with Mynnos, Findar and Shulanr, and features the largest open market in the known world.
The only true city in northern Methalia, it's primary function is the home base of Methlia's largest Naval Ships, which patrol the ocean between Methalia and Farothe.
X) Queen's Rest
Located at the edge of Lake Flynn, Queen's Rest is a week's journey from Neiris on horseback. It is said that the town was originally a palace belonging to a Fae Queen who would demand a place to stop for a few days leisure before continuing on to Irongate in the south. Today, is it little more that a way-point for farmers and other tradespeople, though a few Methalian nobles continue to treat it as a secluded place for meetings. It is little more than a single cross street, with a few larger hotels featuring well-appointed accommodations to be found just beyond the edge of town.