I hope everyone enjoyed the short story! Next week we resume with our regular updates.
Estul, the Blessed Province
In sharp contrast to Perennion, Estul is largely unpopulated as much of the land is now mountainous and littered with dry canyons, bereft of the plentiful resources it once had; the majority of the towns, like Templeshire and Garyne, are near the sea.
The capital of Estul is Vicary where both the Basileus Cathedral and the royal palace are located. The government is often referred to as the Vicarage or the Vicarage State as both the country’s powers are located there. The prominent deity is Seraphine, although others are also worshiped Adventurers from Estul tend to be clerics, paladins, or monks.
Before Estul was founded the lands were flat and vegetation was plentiful; however, the lands were not being farmed, as they were the battleground for a massive holy war between the Estuli and the Black Capols. The Estuli, led by Arlere Domingo, were an army of Seraphine-worshipping paladins; while the Capols were a massive tribe of ogres led by the great ogre mage Da’anik. The Capols were fleeing eastwards with the holy relic ‘the Heart of Elysium’ stolen from the Estuli Temple; the Estuli were in pursuit.
Their final battle took place at what is now Capol Point, where the Black Capols became trapped by the sea surrounding them and had no choice but to fight. The battle came to a climax as the elite warriors of the Estuli fought Da’anik at the peak of the cliffs. Here the great ogre mage used the Heart of Elysium to increase his own power tenfold. Arlere and his two closest friends, the vicar and eminent cleric Abitt Sauceny and the monk Garyne of Monos, defeated Da’anik. Da’anik collapsed and in his final breaths used the power of the Heart to cause the lands to shake, forming the plains into canyons and mountains; he then fell backwards off the cliff and into the seas. The victorious Estuli began to travel back to their home with the Heart in possession.
Unfortunately Abitt, who had been injured in the battle, passed away shortly afterwards. The normally stoic Garyne was unable to cope with the loss and left the Estuli to continue his monastic studies; Arlere declared he could not go on and founded Vicary in honour of the late vicar. The Heart of Elysium was placed into a large underground chamber, on top of which the Basileus Cathedral was built as the beginnings of Estul and the Elysium Church: the Domingos have ruled ever since.
A highly religious country, Estul has two governing powers, the first of which is the Elysian Church. The Basileus Cathedral is the dominant power in the Elysian Church, housing a large temple devoted to Seraphine as well as numerous smaller places of worship for other deities. The Elysian Church is lead by the Argent, who at present is Ennez Domingo, residing in the top tower of the cathedral, away from the rest of his family at the royal palace. The cathedral is built on top of an ancient chamber that houses the relic the Heart of Elysium, which only the Argent has access to. The top position in the church which can be attained without assistance of bloodline is that of Vicar, the three of which are generally on diplomatic missions so that the Argent may maintain complete power.
The royal palace serves as the government for Estul, but is little more than a figurehead in terms of its actual capacity for ruling – while officially it has more power than the church, it has never exercised it. The current King of Vicary is Francis Domingo, son of Ennez. When the king ascends to become the new Argent (after the death of the previous), his eldest son in turn then takes the seat of the throne. As a result of this family ascension through positions of power, the clergy and monarchy are very closely tied. The canon prince of Vicary and next in line for the throne is Accel Domingo, who has not recently been seen in public.
Seraphine is overwhelmingly the deity of choice in Estul – it is where she spent a majority of her time historically and those in the country are devoted to her without question.
Let’s jump to game terms for a moment again; the Estuli people are charismatic and devout. Religious types are easily the most common sorts of classes to come out of Estul, clerics and paladins of Seraphine in particular. The Aediles would be best represented by avengers, religious agents trained to work quietly, quickly, and in small groups if not by themselves.
Some of this may need to be edited in the near future when I wake up, and I do apologize for that – I just returned from working overnight and may overlook a few things. So, let’s talk Amya, starting with the country that the comic is currently in and the one in which we began.
Perennion, the Machinist’s State.
Perennion is a region of the continent of Amya, a comparatively large area which is both one of the most heavily populated and filled with natural resources. There are diverse geographic features running across the region, from an immense mountain range by the border of Greater Amya to lush forests and blue lakes.
The region has numerous neighbours, being centrally located on the continent – Estul to the east, Nayron to the west, Greater Amya to the north and both the wild lands of Miresa and Ibica on its southern border. Perennion shares many traits with two of its neighbours in particular. The first one is Greater Amya, as the two share an intertwined, if somewhat frosty origin, while the second is Nayron, Lore’s Land. If Nayron is the place of study and academic research on the continent, Perennion is the place to go and see it actually applied.
To learn of Perennion’s beginnings we have to wind the clock back quite a ways, over a thousand years previous to the present day. At that time, the only people on the continent of Amya were the ancient Ibicans, until immigrants and refugees from Esticis across the sea swooped in and started a half-century of conflict and eventually a very uneasy agreement to land with the Ibican people.
When this conflict came to an end two factions arose as a result. Those with a more militant bent calling themselves the Amyans believed in their just ownership of the new land and a right to permanent settlement, led by Event Hagermoten. The Perennials believed the situation would not remain as it was forever, and eventually they would be able to return to Esticis, led by Adeline Setoret. Unable to reconcile peacefully, the Estician people were split for good – Hagermoten’s Amyan people migrated northwards to permanently settle, while Setoret’s Perennials remained in the mid-continent, content with keeping to themselves and not making any lasting plans.
As we all know, plans change.
The two factions would come into conflict once more farther into the future, when Greater Amya demanded the Perennians cede some of their land after the split of Caulmesti from Greater Amya, though the battles would not extend far past skirmishes and rare offensives.
Perennion’s current sovereign is King Dester Seton, first of his name, descendant of the Setorets, heir to Alba and the regent of the Machinist’s State, ruling from the city of Alba, home to both the country’s royal government and House of Lords. Lord Gregory Eolande is a member of the House and resident along with his family, Faye included. Other major cities in the region are Daneva, an important shipping town which Kaden hails from, Ordand by the border of Estul, and Deepwall, a choke point to the border of Greater Amya, the country that Perennion is on the shakiest terms with.
While not nearly as universally religious as the country of Estul, Seraphine is the most prominent deity in Perennion by far. Many of the deities in the Amyan pantheon are at the very least paid minor tribute, though, such as Jeroen the performer and trickster, Sekode the Gambler, and in waterside towns and cities Merielle, storm goddess and protector.
Speaking in game terms for a moment; the region of Perennion generally produces a number of people who are curious and inquisitive, perhaps to the point of recklessness. While the area produces all sorts of interesting characters, the most populous ones would be rogues, artificers and clerics of Seraphine. The country has a wide variety of terrain and locations suitable for setting an adventure, and was a good starting point for the campaign when Amya first began.
From here on out I would like to try and update semi-regularly, though I haven’t picked out a day or days on which to do so. I’d like to leave where we go from here in the hands of everyone else, though. There isn’t really a good polling option at the moment, so we can work through comments.
What do you want to talk about next? We have a number of options, such as one of the other regions of Amya, the deities of the continent and their domains, organizations, jumping a little bit more into the timeline, or about a hundred things I haven’t mentioned here.
Leave a comment and we can get rolling.
I decided to forward this from my tumblr, for those that would like to comment on the entry. As I’m sure you are aware, we are currently running a fundraiser through indiegogo for the printing of Amya’s third issue.
We are now over 100% of our goal our goal, which is incredible! I can’t thank everyone enough for the tremendous support we have received.
As part of the campaign I promised to do weekly updates through various media, and invited readers to send in question they would like to see discussed. Initially I was going to make a video about this, but due to my recent surgery I thought text would be better.
The topic I have chosen to respond to today is, “Why is Faye Mute, and how does it effect the story?”
When designing Faye – I wanted to create a challenging character. For those that don’t already know the story, Faye is a mute spell-caster who is thrown into an adventure with a group of new friends that don’t really know what to make of her sign language and lack of speech.
Apart from when there is pen and paper on hand, she is not able to communicate to them through words.
Because of this lacking element, we need to rely heavily on the artistic side of the comic to visually articulate what she is feeling.
However, seeking a challenge wasn’t the only reason I created Faye this way. When writing I tend to project a bit of myself onto my characters. It makes it easier to relate to and humanize them.
When I was young, I was diagnosed with a central auditory processing disorder. Though I could hear, my brain could not decipher what I was hearing. I did not learn to speak or speak properly for some time, and even when I did learn communication was still very awkward through my youth. Even to this day I rely heavily on lip-reading, as my mind becomes too confused to make out words if there is too much noise in the background.
Much like Faye I went through a good portion of my life in silence. And likewise I turned to reading and writing as a way to escape from the world, and as a communication tool.
Faye is non-verbal, but she is hearing – and does not have the same disorder that I was born with. There will be other explanations in regards to her lack of voice as the story continues.
That really summarizes why I decided to make Faye non-verbal; so onto the next question.
How do I think Faye’s silence effects the story?
I think it impacts it in a few ways. Mainly – how the other characters interact with her, and how she is perceived by the party as well as readers.
Faye has a lot of strength – but she hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to showcase it as of yet. The other characters to some extent have associated her disability with the idea that she should be a non-participant. But this is not the case.
Often when we first meet someone with a disability, we focus on what they can’t do and not what they can. Faye really isn’t limited at all. She can communicate and hold conversations through sign language, gestures and touch, writing and body language. It is the world’s understanding of her communication attempts that is limited.
If you have ever gone through Disability Sensitivity training in your workplace, you likely have a good idea of the common mistakes people often make when interacting with an ‘impaired’ individual. Making assumptions rather than asking, forcing aid, speaking to a third-party rather than directing attention to the individual, and so on. A lot of this can be avoided by common sense; however, I like to think they can be avoided by remembering one simple thing – that they are a normal human being.
A human being that has found alternate ways to maneuver the world and communicate when faced with great challenges.
As the story continues you will see the group overcome some of these issues; and I believe as the story progresses the perception of Faye will change greatly among the readers.
My journal entries tend to be rather scattered as I write as thoughts come. So if this post has seemed fragmented due to it, I apologize. My intent was to write this in my journal entry format, rather than turning it into an essay.
As always, thank you for all of your support. Please don’t hesitate to send more questions to firstname.lastname@example.org