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The Witchrealm of Morvathia

A Realm Shaped by Witchcraft

"I was hatched in a time before the Age of Witches, when the High Divine still reigned supreme over the land. But as the witches began to rise to power, I found myself drawn to their craft. Over the decades, I have witnessed the evolution of this land's culture and history, and let me tell you, there is power in witch blood that even the wisest among us have yet to uncover. But worry not, dear reader, for I, the great Salama, am here to uncover those mysteries and shed light on the unknown. Through my tireless pursuit of knowledge and mastery of the occult, I shall push the boundaries of what is known, and reveal the true depth and breadth of Morvathia's majestic power. So sit back, relax, and witness the brilliance of my research and discovery. Know that, as you hold this tome in your hands, you are in the presence of true greatness."
— From: "A Comprehensive Guide to Morvathia's Mysteries" by Salama the Dragonwitch
  Morvathia is a realm of unbound magic, where the threads of spellcraft, demonology, and the arcane are woven together seamlessly. Rooted in rebellion against the Divine Dominion of Galdorsmynd, the Morvathians treasure their independence and personal freedom, with witchcraft serving as a symbol of their triumph over oppression. Each year, the illustrious "Liberation of Morvathia" festival pays homage to their ancestors' relentless struggle, culminating in the mesmerizing "Great Witch's Dance" - a mystical midnight revelry where the witches of the realm unite to showcase their power and forge unbreakable bonds.   Thirteen witch families rule over the realm, yet the practice of witchcraft extends far beyond their own ranks. Within the wider populace witchblood is common enough to give rise to practicing witches in every corner of society. The very fabric of life in major cities is intricately adorned with shops, learning facilities, and services dedicated to the mystical arts. Here, the pursuit of arcane knowledge is not merely celebrated; it is revered and actively encouraged, nurtured by the venerable Morvathian Coven, custodians of magical education and groundbreaking research.   To the Morvathians, witchcraft is more than just a craft—it is a sacred birthright, a poignant emblem of the sacrifices made by their resilient ancestors. Yet a stark chasm divides those graced with the gift of witchcraft and those bereft of such blessings. While city dwellers cherish witchcraft as their shared cultural heritage, those dwelling in rural hamlets perceive witches as gatekeepers to prosperity and influence.   Intriguingly, some families in the countryside actively seek to foster children displaying nascent witching abilities, yearning to ascend the social ladder. Conversely, there are those who view witchblood as a mark of elitist oppression, accentuating the cultural divide between these factions. Nevertheless, magic remains an indelible tapestry in the fabric of Morvathian culture, shaping their beliefs and customs in ways unfathomable to the uninitiated.  


The People of the Witchrealm

  Morvathia is a vibrant and diverse melting pot of species and cultures. While humans, each possessing varying degrees of witchblood, constitute the majority, the realm's allure has drawn people from all corners of Netherdyn, culminating in a cosmopolitan society. Here, the open practice of magic and witchcraft beckons seekers of knowledge and freedom alike. This has led to a strong bond between Morvathia and the southern realm of Anatara, with their noble families often intermarrying and sharing customs and traditions. Anatarian cuisine, music and fashion is often valued in the high society of Morvathia's noble class.   While the Curse of the Beast had driven people out of Demenore more than a century ago, the descendants of those refugees have found a new home in Morvathia. The Dunweil's historic role as a safe haven for Demenorian refugees has fostered a strong sense of community and solidarity among its residents. Over time, the cultural symbiosis between the refugees' descendants and the existing Morvathian society has enriched the realm's traditions, as well.   Due to their history with the Divine Dominion, Morvathians also have a significant amount of Alben blood in their genetic makeup. Alblings, the offspring of humans and Albs, are a common sight in the landscapes of Firnland and Avasland. Despite any wariness towards the High Albs, Morvathians treat Alblings with the same respect as each other, embracing their unique features as just another threads in the realm's diverse cultural fabric.  
Non-Human Population
  At the heart of Morvathia's technological revolution lies the varlori, closely linked to House Siegmund. Masters of arcane technology, they have spurred remarkable advancements within the realm, establishing enclaves in various cities where their architecture and culture flourish. Varlori artisans contribute their expertise as esteemed engineers, skilled smiths, and gifted craftsmen, resulting in the fusion of Varlori styles with Morvathia's own, yielding something entirely new and mesmerizing.   Venturing into Morvathia's countryside reveals the reclusive kobucks, a curious race reminiscent of goats. Beloved creations of the deity known as "The Horned Father," Kobucks have graced these lands since the arrival of the New Gods. In their tranquil existence, they tend to crops and lovingly nurture their farmlands. Revered as cherished friends and partners, Kobucks find warm welcomes in many farming villages, where their presence is celebrated for the bounty they bestow. Throughout the realm, Kobuck merchants sell their fresh produce in bustling weekly markets.   Morvathia is known for its relaxed social norms and liberal attitudes, enticing visitors from realms near and far. While outsiders may perceive Morvathians as resolute and prideful, their hearts harbor no trace of xenophobia. Instead, they embrace all wanderers with open arms, transforming Morvathia into a sanctuary where souls from distant lands converge. Among the seekers are, for example, the knowledge-hungry quillows from the Floating Archipelago of Euwlingaard and various visitors from the Free Realm of Bittermarsh.

A Culture of Opulence

  Often perceived as garish and exuberant by outsiders, the realm's culture is a jubilant celebration of freedom and defiance, a vibrant contrast to cultural emphasis on quiet dignity, modesty, and restrain imposed during its days as a vassal state to the Divine Dominion. It was during those formative days of liberation, that the people embraced their newfound autonomy and the witches reveled in defying the traditional norms, celebrating their sovereignty through a splendid display of vibrant colors, extravagant fashion, and lively music.
Bewitching Cuisine
  Morvathia, though small in size, boasts a diverse and rich culinary scene. The melding of its western and eastern shores brings a variety of seafood delicacies. Along the coasts, one can enjoy salted and smoked fish, tender squid, and briny clams. The forests of Guland, Firnland, and Knightroot provide wild game, which often appears in the hearty meals of rustic inns and homes.   In the fertile regions of Avasland and Rubisgrad, fields yield fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, turnips, and potatoes. These areas are renowned for their cheeses, such as the semi-soft Velveter Veil and the firm Edermont Ember. The countryside kitchens produce stews, pot roasts, and savory meat pies, along with soups made from bones and root vegetables.   The cosmopolitan heart of Morvathia introduces exotic flavors to the realm. Thanks to cultural exchanges with Anatara, dishes such as spicy curries, veggie dumplings, and cottage cheese with chutneys and tomato sauces have become popular.   Knightroot's vineyards, particularly in Bockinfield, Owlbrunich, and Oldkurich, are famous for their sweet wines. Rubisgrad and Avasland are known for their light and amber-hued beers, enjoyed by both locals and visitors.
Enchanted Fashion
  Fashion in Morvathia is an extension of a witch's magical identity. Witch clothing features intricate details and opulent embellishments, such as embroidered sigils, mystical symbols, and gemstones. Natural materials like silk, cotton, and linen are preferred for their comfort and ease of movement during spellcasting. Enchanted fabrics, like shimmering cloths and color-shifting silk, add a bewitching allure. Rich hues like regal reds, majestic purples, and ethereal blues highlight the garments, often set against black, dark grey, or pure white.   Female witches favor flowing dresses and skirts, while male witches prefer vests, jackets, frock coats, and trousers. However, fashion in Morvathia transcends gender norms, with rings, necklaces, and amulets enhancing any outfit. Hats and headpieces, symbols of a witch's power and status, are essential, with pointed hats and elaborate headbands being common.   Fashion varies across regions. Dunweil's garments are practical and sturdy, while Blackfather Isle's feathered coats and dresses mirror the island's darker essence. In Avasland's high society, opulence reigns, with bold colors and extravagant designs reflecting lavish tastes.   Among commonfolk, garments with mystical symbols and intricate patterns are popular, showing pride in the realm's magical heritage. Traditional Morvathian garb, with loose, flowing garments and ornate embroidery, remains beloved, uniting the people in their cultural identity.

As the old saying goes:
A proud witch needs an impressive hat

A Collective of Faith
  Religion in Morvathia contrasts sharply with that of its former oppressor, the Divine Dominion. Here, faith is less centralized, allowing for diverse cults and churches to flourish organically. Unlike the tightly woven religious structure of Galdorsmynd, Morvathia's religious landscape is a patchwork of different ideals, devotions and influences, with the worship of the New Gods becoming particularly popular.   Temples dedicated to the new gods are found in both major cities and humble settlements, their grandeur as diverse as the gods they honor. In smaller hamlets, shrines adorned with offerings to the entire Pantheon. Larger cities boast individual temples, each a unique work of artistry, venerating a single deity with reverence and adoration.   Amidst this harmonious worship exists an outlier—the Church of the First Humans. This dissident voice in Morvathian beliefs shuns the worship of the new gods and the practice of witchcraft. Followers of this church seek salvation in the teachings of the Divine Parents, hoping to return to the glory and immortality of the first humans before the Age of Silence. This rhetoric, appealing to those who view witches as gatekeepers of power, grants the Church a fervent following among certain segments of the populace.   Although the Church's ideology is controversial, it has not prompted significant backlash from the thirteen ruling houses. Considered relatively benign, the Church of the First Humans continues to carve its own niche in Morvathia. However, growing concerns are advocating for the church's potential banishment due to its dangerous teachings.

The Thirteen, the Queen and the Coven

  In Morvathia the course of governance is steered by thirteen venerable families of witches, collectively known as "The Thirteen." Among this esteemed council, one family holds the coveted position of Witchqueen or Witchking, their resplendent abode being the grand Glimmering Citadel nestled in the realm's heart, Vilandsburg. At the present, this throne is graced by the commanding presence and revered wisdom of Queen Faustina Valtessa, whose sharp intellect and unwavering willpower command widespread respect.
Ruler of the Counties
  Within the Thirteen, seven houses are recognized as major, each governing over one of the realm's seven counties. The remaining six houses, deemed minor, wield lesser influence in comparison. Biannually, the heads of these households convene within the resplendent halls of Guland's Crown, wherein the esteemed Realmshall is located, to address pressing matters of state. The discussions may be attended in person or by trusted representatives of the respective houses.   In these meetings, decisions of great urgency are put to vote, with all thirteen houses holding a voice, yet the Witchqueen or Witchking has a veto power that forces the Council to postpone and renegotiate a decision. A vote otherwise is deemed valid when it secures a two-thirds majority in favor. These consequential decisions bear profound impact on the realm and its denizens, rendering every voice heard and weighed with utmost care.   The seven counties, under the jurisdiction of the major houses, are governed by leaders who bear the esteemed titles of Count or Countess. Other members of the household carry the designations of Lord, Lady, or Liege. Possessing vast authority, the Counts and Countesses can raise armies, levy taxes, and enact laws governing their respective counties. However, their power finds limitation in their inability to overturn decisions made during meetings of the Thirteen or those set forth by the Witchqueen or Witchking. When circumstances demand, a Count or Countess may challenge a ruling during a household meeting, sparking fervent debates and consequential votes.   Further, each county is subdivided into smaller regions overseen by local barons or baronesses, entrusted with managing the day-to-day affairs of their territories. They, in turn, report to their respective Count or Countess, ensuring a robust chain of command throughout the realm.
Custodians of Education and Magic
  Supplementing this intricate structure of governance exists a central organization of witches known as the Morvathian Coven. Charged with the critical task of overseeing the realm's magical education and research, the Coven holds the immeasurable influence, with its leadership position of High Witch appointed by the Witchqueen or Witchking. Presently, Lady Isadora Nagastra commands this prestigious position, wielding formidable sway over Morvathia's political landscape while also presiding over the esteemed academy of witchcraft, the Arcanum Dona Viperia.   Within the Morvathian Coven, various smaller covens are tasked with specific aspects of witch culture, ranging from the Coven of Alchemagestry to the Coven of Ceremonial Sorcery and the Coven of Healing & Herbology.   Each coven is led by a Grand Master or Grand Mistress, an esteemed title bestowed by the High Witch. The reach of the Morvathian Coven extends far and wide, overseeing significant aspects of education and economy within the realm, ensuring that practitioners of magic adhere to the law and that magical training upholds the Coven's lofty standards. In this intricate dance of power and knowledge, Morvathia's governance and magical heritage flourish harmoniously.


The Chalice, filled with poison
for the guilty, wine for the innocent


The Great Oak of Enshara,
symbol of the Morvathian Coven
A Taste of Morvathian Justice
  Next to the Council of the Thirteen and the Morvathian Coven, the Court of the Chalice stands as another central pillar of governance, embodying the essential roles of law enforcement and judicial authority. The Court's name stems from an ancient practice where the outcome of trials was determined by a chalice's contents, ranging from harmless wine to lethal potions, symbolizing the fate of the accused.   Although this practice is less common today, in high-profile cases, the theatricality of the Chalice's judgment persists. The Court's hierarchy features Justiciars and Magistrates at its apex, with Constables, Inspectors, Advocates, and Archivists forming its operational and administrative backbone. Justiciars, representing each county, preside over trials and interpret laws, but their authority doesn't extend to judging members of The Thirteen themselves. However, the Chief Justiciar reports to the Witch Queen directly, giving her insight on current changes to the law made by the major houses - and allowing her to use her veto power quicker if she deems it necessary.   To Morvathians, the Court is a symbol of justice and a counterbalance to the power of witches and nobles, despite perceived biases.

The Seven Counties

  Morvathia is divided into seven distinct regions: Guland, Avasland, Rubisgrad, Firnland, Dunweil, Knightroot, and the Blackfeather Isle. Each is governed by one of the seven major houses of the Thirteen. When Morvathia achieved liberation from the Galdoric Empire, it largely retained the territorial divisions established during imperial rule. However, the region of Trachholt stands as a notable exception.   Trachholt, situated west of the Sarn and Gnil rivers with High Anchor as its capital, was initially granted to House Thraex, one of Morvathia's founding families. However, a decade after liberation, the devastating scourge of bloodrot decimated House Thraex. In the aftermath, House Argentier seized the opportunity to challenge their rivals' capacity to rule. They presented a compelling case to the Council of the Thirteen, arguing that House Thraex’s weakened state rendered them unfit to govern.   The council ruled in favor of House Argentier, leading to the demotion of House Thraex to a minor house. Consequently, the county of Trachholt was merged with Guland and placed under House Argentier's control. This strategic consolidation significantly bolstered House Argentier's influence within Morvathia. House Thraex, stripped of its former glory, has neither forgotten nor forgiven this act, nursing a grudge that has persisted for nearly 200 years.  
County of Guland
  Ruled by House Argentier, the County of Guland is a cornerstone of the Witchrealm, both politically and economically. It holds immense significance as the site of Guland's Crown, where the Council of the Thirteen convenes with the Witchqueen biannually to deliberate and vote on the political trajectory of the realm. This county's influence extends beyond politics; it is also a bustling economic hub, with settlements like High Anchor, Sieghaven, and Guland's Crown itself serving as key trading centers both nationally and internationally.   Guland's landscape is dominated by wide meadows, verdant forests, and two prominent mountain ranges: the Winder Mountain Chain to the north and the Red Thunder Ridge to the south. The county is also renowned for its agricultural produce, particularly its high-quality, sweet-tasting apples, which are used to create Guland’s famous sweet cider.
County of Avasland
  Avasland, under the stewardship of House Valtessa, is a region celebrated for its rich cultural and geographical diversity. It is blessed with fertile farmlands shared with its neighboring counties, Guland and Rubisgrad, which provide an agricultural bounty that sustains the local economy. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills and numerous small mining towns nestled along the Winder Mountain Chain. Additionally, Avasland's coastal area is renowned for its sea salt production, a valuable commodity in both culinary and preservative applications.   The heart of Avasland is its capital, Vilandsburg, acclaimed as the most beautiful city in the Witchrealm.The city's reputation is the main reason why Avasland is known for art, fashion and great festivals, a paradise for cultural and artistic activities that is home to numerous schools for dance, music and theatre. The city's thriving fashion community attracts artisans and designers, driven by the patronage of wealthy nobles eager to indulge in opulence and novelty.
County of Rubisgrad
  Rubisgrad, governed by House Girasola, is a county renowned for its unparalleled fertility and agricultural bounty. The witches of House Girasola, known as the witches of soil and earth, wield magic that ensures abundant harvests year after year. This magical intervention has transformed Rubisgrad into a patchwork of thriving farming communities, both large and small, that dot the landscape. The county's prosperity is largely attributed to the witches' ability to nurture the land, making it one of the Witchrealm's most vital food sources.   Geographically, Rubisgrad is nestled within the Moonjar Vale, a region enclosed by the imposing Red Thunder Ridge. One of Rubisgrad's most remarkable locations is the mountain town of Ilfburg. Originally an old military bastion, Ilfburg has been transformed by the ceaseless magic of the Girasola witches into a verdant sanctuary. Regardless of the season, Ilfburg remains lush, green, and warm, perpetually basking in an eternal summer.

The Witchrealm of Morvathia
Morvathia, a small realm ruled by thirteen witch houses, stands proudly in its unwavering embrace of magic, undaunted by the animosity it draws from neighboring nations. Here, all forms of magic find a welcoming home, free from fear or disdain.

County of Firnland
  In the north of Morvathia lies Firland, a county ruled by the shapeshifting witches of House Carathorn. This region endures the harshest climate in the realm, sharing its northern border with the Divine Dominion of Galdorsmynd.   The cruel winters of Firland impose significant challenges on its inhabitants, making them heavily reliant on the support and exports from other counties within Morvathia. Firland’s strategic location has also made it a focal point of political significance. Historical conflicts, such as the infamous 'Tragedy of Roserück,' have left indelible marks on Firland's landscape and its people.   Despite the adversities, Firland is not without its unique charms. The region's rugged beauty, with its snow-capped peaks and serene, icy waters, provides a stark contrast to the more temperate and fertile regions of Morvathia. Firland's inhabitants, though few in number compared to the more hospitable regions of Morvathia, are known for their strength, endurance, and unyielding spirit.
County of Dunweil
  Dunweil, the largest county in Morvathia by landmass, is ruled by House Brindlebrook. This expansive region is primarily characterized by the Drakarus Plateau, a desolate expanse with sparse vegetation and a haunting, barren landscape. Dunweil’s desolation is not due to its climate but is instead the lingering effect of a cataclysmic event during the Age of Silence.   Despite its harsh environment, Dunweil is home to several key settlements that contribute significantly to the realm. Karnigarst, for instance, is renowned for its wickroot harvests at the border of Demenore, a valuable resource in Morvathian witchcraft, alchemy and technology.   Another notable settlement is Serpenthall, which houses the Arcanum Dona Viperia, the largest and most prestigious school of witchcraft in Morvathia. This institution attracts aspiring witches and scholars from across the realm, serving as a hub of knowledge and magical prowess.
County of Knightroot
  Knightroot, ruled by House Kelpearl, the witches of the sea, is a county with a distinctive maritime and forested character. The eastern border of Knightroot meets the shores of Lake Azure, where numerous coastal towns thrive. On the western side, the Kelpe River serves as a vital artery, connecting Knightroot to other regions in Vespero, such as Bittermarsh and Anatara.   Guldingen and Oldkurich, two prominent harbor towns, are crucial hubs for trade and travel, linking Morvathia to the wider world. These bustling ports facilitate the exchange of goods and culture.   The interior of Knightroot is characterized by lush forests and steep hills, creating a picturesque landscape that is both rugged and beautiful. Among these hills lie various towns, with Owlbrunich being particularly noteworthy for its vineyards. The region produce highly regarded wines, like the Thornfeast or the Owler Sip.
The Blackfeather Isle
  Blackfeather Isle, governed by the witches of House Caladrius, stands as a distinctive outlier among the regions of Morvathia. Situated east of Guland, this larger island is accompanied by a smaller isle known as the Tailfeather, further to the east. House Caladrius has a long-standing history on these islands, predating the formation of the Witchrealm. Their lineage is notably connected to the Marquess of Dorcroix, a man renowned for perfecting necromantic practices.   Since the establishment of the Witchrealm, the Caladrius family has openly embraced both witchcraft and necromancy. This acceptance of the darker forms of magic, combined with their geographical isolation, allows the witches of Blackfeather Isle a degree of autonomy rarely seen elsewhere in Morvathia. The Caladrius witches are known for ruling their cold, remote island with a degree of independence, often disregarding the decrees of the council or the queen. Their defiance is largely tolerated due to the island's separation from the mainland, which provides a natural buffer against immediate enforcement of central authority.

A History of Witchcraft & Liberation

  The history of Morvathia narrates the struggle for independence and the unwavering commitment to its core cultural essence: the unfettered pursuit of studying and imparting witchcraft and magic. Spanning from the crowning of its inaugural queen in 1468 A.S. to the contemporary era, Morvathia has witnessed the rule of ten monarchs, each reign marking a distinct epoch in its chronicles. From safeguarding its borders against the Divine Dominion of Galdorsmynd to wresting authority from internal despots who sought to monopolize witches' knowledge and power, Morvathia's journey has been a journey of diverse conflicts that it has successfully endured.


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Jun 4, 2024 21:30 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This whole article is fascinating, but I think my favourite thing is that you've named a couple of types of cheese. :D   Great political character, too. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in one of those meetings between the Thirteen.

Jun 5, 2024 06:13

Thank you! I do like tiny details like that, they are fun to think about x3   And, yeah, I suppose these meetings get pretty heated at times. There's a long history of family feuds, broken promises, betrayals, behind-the-scenes deals and other political manoeuvring to outmanoeuvre political rivals. All the fun stuff!

At the end of everything, hold onto anything.