Tropes: The Kingdom
The Kingdom of Generica is the most successful and prosperous of the states that formed out of the collapse of the Old Empire, and tends to be at the center of the goings-on in the Imperia region of Clichéa.
Generica is a green and fertile land, with a generally mild climate year-round. It is bordered to the east by the Green Mountains, which curve gently westward in the country's north, broken by the North Pass before meeting with the Whitecap Mountains. It is bordered in the west by the Imperial Sea, which continues past Generica to empty into the Gulf of Marinea. To the northwest, it is bordered by the Kingdom of Antagonia. To the south, it is bordered by the Kingdom of Naboria, with a small stretch of border shared with the Republic of Marinea on the southern coast. On the other side of the mountains is the Hardlands, and beyond that, to the northeast, the Ashen Isle of Nefaria.
There are three major lakes in Generica: Wolf Lake in the Highlands, Lion Lake in the Riverlands, and Kingslake in the Crownlands. The Great Lake shares its northern shore with the Southmark, though it rests in Naborian lands.
- Rivers; Blue River from Kingswood; Crown River from Kingslake; Broad River from the Great Lake
- ~10% Urban; 1/3 in The Capital
Origin and History
Out of the dark times that followed the disintegration of the Old Empire, a warlord from the House of Crownroy rose up to unite the fractured people of north-eastern Imperia in mutual support and defense. Over the course of a few generations, he and his descendents won the allegiance of other warlords in the region, some by force, beginning with the House of Drakeburn, followed by the Stagwoods, the Wolfreys, and the Lionhearts. Of course, they never quite agreed on anything in particular, but the leadership of Jon Crownroy held the fledgling nation together, and he was crowned the first king of Generica 600ya. It has grown steadily since its inception, in wealth, power, influence, and population, in spite of setbacks along the way.
From its beginning, the kingdom's prosperity made it a prime target for raiders of all kinds and origins, and the envy of neighboring kingdoms still struggling to grow themselves—the early years were defined by war, with raiders and neighbors alike. But as the external threats eventually waned, the internal bickering between the Great Houses increased, which blinded the kingdom to the growing threat from the East that originated at Firemount.
Then, 100ya, The Overlord marched his black-clad, monstrous army out of Nefaria, laying waste all in its path, on its way to the heart of Imperia, taking Generica and its neighbors completely by surprise. King Jon XIV of Generica rallied the nations of Imperia, and with the help of the kingdoms of Dwarfmount and Elfwood, successfully drove the Black Army back to Firemount, though at great cost and personal sacrifice—King Jon, himself, was slain in the Battle of North Pass, leaving his son, Jon XV to lead the armies of Imperia the rest of the way. After the defeat of The Overlord, Jon XV ordered the building of beacon-forts all along the peaks of the Green Mountains and the Whitecap Mountains to the west, and formed the Sentinels, who would man the beacons at all times and patrol the border, ever watchful for sign of The Overlord's threatened return.
Succession: Agnatic-Cognatic Primogeniture
Active Crown Laws:
- Limited Crown Authority
- Papal Investiture
- Low Centralization
House Crownroy has held the throne of Generica since its founding, weathering the occasional challenge. As a result, it is the most respected Great House, secure in its place, and well thought of by its common subjects, though it is not without enemies.
In the south, House Lionheart is second in power and prestige only to the Crownroys, perhaps richer, and is widely considered to be the most treacherous of the Great Houses, masters of the Great Game. If some foul plot is afoot in the kingdom, a Lionheart is inevitably at the center of it, though they are rarely found guilty. Their desire for power is not limited to the Crown, but to the other Great Houses as well; their patriarch, Duc Vilinus Lionheart, has spoken publicly of his claims to Crownroy and Stagwood lands—some fabricated, no doubt—and has petitioned the King to grant them to him, which the King has denied, lest the Lionhearts grow more powerful than he can safely handle should (or when) they turn on him. Hoping to prevent such an occurrence, the recently-widowed King has promised to marry the Lady Malvyna Lionheart within the year.
In the west, House Stagwood has always been a supporter of the Crownroy Kings, though the Stagwoods have had claims to the Crown throughout Generica's history. Duc Rikard Stagwood, patriarch of his House, is known to have a weak claim through his grandmother, though he has declared that he would never act on it. Even so, it is rumoured that his ever-present priestess is a Witch, poisoning his ear against the Crown.
Meanwhile, to the north, the Stagwoods must contend with House Wolfrey and the various minor squabbles resulting from a centuries-old rivalry and some long-disputed borders they happen to share. Otherwise, House Wolfrey tends to leave well enough alone, fully occupied with keeping watch for threats from over the mountains to their north and Antagonia to their west, complaining that the other Houses don't do more to help, and keeping warm in the cool Highlands.
The other Great Houses have their own troubles, trying to rise in prominence under the shadow of the more-powerful families while staying in the good graces of their lieges, or just trying not to attract too much attention to themselves lest they become the targets of the more powerful houses' machinations. The most prestigious of them is House Thornbull, the only other House to hold a Duchy; it has held the Southmark for several hundred years, and has been mostly left to its own devices due to the ever-northward focus of their only neighbors, the Lionhearts.
Warlords of House Drakeburn were the rulers of the region before Jon I conquered them at the founding of Generica. They have always coveted the Crown, believing themselves to be the rightful rulers. Around 120ya, all members of House Drakeburn were either killed or exiled by King Jon XIII, after yet another in a string of (mostly failed) attempts to seize the Crown by force. Much of the former Drakeburn land went to the Crown then, and was granted to members of House Crownroy, or other loyal subjects. These days, individual members of House Drakeburn tend to pop up from time to time, in rumour or in fact, threatening to continue the cycle; the latest of these was Luzar Drakeburn, whose army was defeated at the Battle of Crownsford by King Jon XVII a year ago.
Currently, the loss of the King's son, Prince Jon, has left him with his daughter, Princess Damsel, as sole heir to the Crown. The resulting potential for inheritance issues has emboldened the other Great Houses to position themselves to benefit should the worst occur.
Naboria is not nearly so strong or prosperous as Generica, but their cooperative relationship and mutual diplomatic, and when rarely needed, military support has allowed Naboria to outpace their other, smaller neighbors. The two kingdoms allow each other full military access to their lands as needed; it is not an unusual sight to find troops from either side in the other's territory, and they sometimes conduct friendly war-games. Naboria's kings have had a long-standing tradition of making an annual Midspring journey to the Capital to ceremonially borrow a cup of sugar. But the young King Willem IV (or his advisors, at least) knows that if Generica should falter, Naboria would surely fall with them; some influential Naborian politicians encourage the king to distance himself, or scheme behind the king's back to do it for him.
The focus of Generica's diplomatic struggles is their centuries-old rivalry with their northwestern neighbor, the Kingdom of Antagonia, driven by Antagonese jealousy over Generica's prosperity. The rivalry has grown hot and cold over the years at random intervals, the slightest diplomatic misstep sending the two kingdoms into heated conflict, though even the worst of flareups rarely results in anything more than a chevauchée or three. Currently, each of the two kingdoms have placed high tariffs on imported goods from the other, and border smuggling is commonplace on both sides. Antagonia has an old claim on the (currently) Generican province of Whitecliff, which Generica has always refused to relinquish. At court, their respective ambassadors accuse the other kingdom of encouraging banditry across their shared border, and spies for both sides are regularly accused and caught—and sometimes actually found legitimately guilty—by the other. Even at their worst, however, the two kingdoms would not hesitate to set aside their differences to face a common enemy, such as Nefaria, if only until the conflict is over.
The threat of Nefaria, and the return of the Black Army, has loomed like a shadow in the east since their defeat 100ya. But after all this time, the memories have faded, and the nations of Imperia have allowed themselves to believe that the inevitable might not occur after all. Even after word spread two years ago of Nefaria's incursion into the Hardlands on the other side of the Green Mountains, and the fall of Poorland to the Nefarian assault, they refused to believe they could ever regain the strength to cross the mountains into Imperia. Now the Sentinels' scouts have begun to report the movement of goblin and orc tribes, and other monsters, toward the east, no doubt to join a new Black Army, but these stories seem so fantastical that they tend to be ignored.
Generica has a long-standing, healthy and profitable trade-relationship with the Republic of Marinea. However, the Republic's own internal struggles between its individual city-states do sometimes threaten to stifle trade, and their inability to stem the flow of pirates and raiders into the Imperial Sea is occasionally cause for some harsh words. Relations between Generica and the High Patron of the Imperial Church are somewhat strained of late, owing mostly (it is said) to His Holiness' decision to bestow the prestigious title of "Defender of the Faith" upon the Emperor of Überland, with whom Generica is already at odds due to his backing out, at the eleventh hour, of a lucrative treaty that included the marriage of the Princess of Generica to one of the Emperor's sons (in favor of marriage to one of his vassals' daughters, to shore up internal support, or so he claims).
Generica is a de jure kingdom consisting of 6 duchy titles and 34 county titles. See also: Vassalage in Generica.
Duchy of the Crownlands
Duchy of the Highlands
Duchy of the Woodlands
Duchy of the Southmark
Duchy of the Riverlands
Duchy of the Coastlands
Rumor Has It…
- After Poorland, Nefaria will surely be coming for Generica for revenge
- Drakeburns are plotting their next attempt on the throne, and Luzar's capture was part of the plan
- There is an entrance to the Fairylands hidden somewhere in the Kingswood (and the Druids may know where it is)
- "The Old Throne" (=Iron Throne)