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Theodonia

Theodonia refers to a collection of Kingdoms in the north-western Katerian Empire . It is composed of the kingdoms of Grundholm, Thallund, Revellund, and Furthmark. The name originates from the first Katerian explorer to chart the nations, Theodonus the Wanderer. The following excerpts are taken from "The Traveller's Guide to Theodonia" a popular book by Markus Van Der Kvastmann, a renowned traveler and adventurer.  

Nations

 

Revellund


Arms of the Kingdom of Revellund
The largest of the Theodonic nations, Revellund is the financial center of the region and is primarily composed of plains and wetlands. The terrain of Revellund becomes rougher the farther east you go, with the flat plains and marshes yielding to rolling woodlands and grassland before climbing into the foothills of the Eisenkrone mountain range. The border stops just short of the mountains, over which the Kingdom of Grundholm holds sway. The northern coast of the nation is characterized by dramatic blue-grey cliffs, building into the distinctive fjords of Furthmark.
Theodonia
The westernmost kingdoms of the Katerian Empire belong to the Theodonic culture group, and are sometimes referred to as Theodons, therefore this particular grouping of Thallund, Furthmark, Grundholm, and Revellund is referred to as Theodonia.
The capitol of Revellund is Vennebruk, an old city, even by Imperial standards. Founded in the 3rd century CE, it quickly grew into a powerful market town. Leveraging its strategic location of the banks of the Hebbriand river, the city was named the capitol less than three centuries later, and has retained the title for the majority of time since. The city is noteworthy for its many museums and art galleries, as well as being a haven for painters practicing in the new styles.
 
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Rechenbiechlin by Jakob Koebel
Osterbroek, to the south west of Vennebruk, is an extremely wealthy trading city. After the great fire of 1823 CE in which the harbor of Ponstaad burnt almost entirely, the city has undergone a dramatic change. Having the pick up the slack of the other great city, massive amounts of wealth flowed into Osterbroek, and the city experienced what many would refer to as an explosion. Almost overnight the number of residents doubled, and large construction projects began. Highlights of Osterbroek include the city's impressive walls and the beautiful Trade house that dominates the city market. Fans of architecture will find plenty to gaze at, with the nearly half the city having been built in the last twenty years.
 
Reimink is the most eastern city in Revellund, situated picturesquely on the shores of a lake of the same name. The city is noteworthy due to housing the head of the Oparium Temple, as well as nearly a dozen universities. It is said that at any point in time nearly a third of Reimink's population is made up of students. It is here that the Empire's elite send their children for preparation and education. Due the high concentration of younger folk and clergy, the city is an interesting mix of somber ritual and enthusiastic celebration, and due to the University of St. Dane, the city has some of the finest food in all sixteen kingdoms. Of particular interest is the Basilica de Sanctum Deo in the city's northern ward, this center of religion is also an awe inspiring architectural wonder and an absolute must visit.
 

Grundholm


Arms of the Kingdom of Grundholm
The King-
-dom of Grundholm
is the industrial capitol of the Katerian Empire, and it is no wonder. Nestled between the Eisenkrone and Blue Heart mountains ranges, the Grundish have plentiful access to ore of all kinds, as well as large amounts of stone coal with which to fuel their foundries. To the south however, on the marches of Drynlaxia the jagged peaks give way to rolling hills, and then to wide open plains in the Bernstein valley which are covered in patchwork farm plots in order to feed their burgeoning populations. Overall Grundholm is characterized by impressive mountain ranges, beautiful wooded foothills, cozy villages and an abundance of castles.
Theodonia
The westernmost kingdoms of the Katerian Empire belong to the Theodonic culture group, and are sometimes referred to as Theodons, therefore this particular grouping of Thallund, Furthmark, Grundholm, and Revellund is referred to as Theodonia.
 
Sternberg is the capital of Grundholm, situated almost in the direct center of the nation at the convergence of the Weissal river's tributaries. Grundholm has has a intense history, with many wars and conflicts rolling across its green hills, and this can be seen in Sternberg. Upon first arrival travelers are greeted by the sight of massive dark stone walls, flowing with the green and black of the king, typically quartered with the blue and gold of the city. However don't let this distress you, the city inside these impressive fortifications is vibrant and alive, with residents out in the streets at all times of day and night. The city has grown upward in recent centuries rather than outwards, so almost every building is at least three stories tall, and packed together tightly. In the North Eastern ward of the city is the massive Reichschloss castle. Composed of many layers of walls and a dizzying number of towers and gatehouses, it demands absolute respect from the city.
 
Reichschloss may be imposing, but the gates are usually open, and the Boar and Bow Tavern in the Merchant's yard serves some of the finest pork stew that I've ever eaten, absolutely would not miss.
— Markus Van Der Kvastmann
 
Berkenshof is the second largest city in Grundholm, but perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the empire. When seen from a distance the city shines like a marble block. This is due to the white colored stone used to rebuild the city about the horrors of the War of the Necromancer. Sitting atop a hill in north eastern Grundholm, near the Drussal pass, Berkenshof commands almost all trade entering the kingdom from Thallund and Vergneou. Due to this commerce the city has a thriving market where almost any goods can be purchased at reasonable prices. However the city's single most impressive feature is the stunning Cathedral of St. Felix. A marvel of the Gothic style of architecture, the Cathedral's spire scrape the heavens themselves. While the Cathedral suffered a terrible fire just this year, efforts are currently under way to repair it, and an entirely new wing is being constructed as part of the renovations.
 
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Kuchenmeisterey by Unknown
Ebendorf sits on both banks of the Weissal river, shortly after it joins with the Hassel. The city is the gateway from the mountains of northern Grundholm to the sweeping plains of its southern heartland. Ebendorf was formed shortly after the War of the Necromancer, after the destruction of the city of Goldfeld the survivors moved down the river and built a new city. If one wishes they can take a boat down the river to the ruins were they can tour the destroyed city. Guides wait near the town docks in order to take eager travelers for just such a visit. As the center point of travel between the farms of the south and the industrial centers of the north, Ebendorf hosts many travelers and an abundance of fresh ingredients, as such it would be a sin to visit Ebendorf and not partake of its many delicious foods and restaurants.
 
If I could narrow the must-visit restaurants of Ebendorf down, it would be the Fischhaus right off of Mull Street near the town square. It's an unassuming little place, but the locals rave over its trout in cream sauce, for good reason. And the second would be Johan Aldersbruke's. an eatery tucked in the cellar of the Baker's guildhouse. I had a steak there once that I still dream of to this day.
— Markus Van Der Kvastmann
 

Thallund


Arms of the Kingdom of Thallund
The land of bread and beer, Thallund is one of the most pleasant nations to travel in all of the empire. Stable, unassuming, and aesthetically pleasing in a deeply quaint way, the red checked banners of the Thallish signify comfort in my mind. Thallund sits just above Grundholm, with its southern border matching the northern Grundish border just at the edge of the Eisenkrone mountains. The Kingdom's wide rolling plains descend from the foothills and tall peaks into gorgeous, lush expanses dotted with forests. The main feature of central Thallund are its two large lakes, the Blaunsee and the Rotensee. These lakes act as focal points for the Kingdom's commerce and industry, and many boats and small ships can be seen plying their waters in the middling months of the year. The eastern parts of Thallund flatten considerably more, and it is here where the pride of the Kingdom is grown. Thallund produces huge amounts of grain every year and a large portion is dedicated to the production of their specialties, Beer and Whiskey. Almost every town in Thallund has a brewery with their own special recipe, and almost all are well worth trying.
Theodonia
The westernmost kingdoms of the Katerian Empire belong to the Theodonic culture group, and are sometimes referred to as Theodons, therefore this particular grouping of Thallund, Furthmark, Grundholm, and Revellund is referred to as Theodonia.
 
Taubenbrunn, the lakeside capital of Thallund, is a big city with a quaint feel. Strolling along its paved roads one can find themselves simply wandering for hours at a time. The people I have generally found to be remarkably hospitable and the food is of course excellent. The most important sight in the city must however be the Well of Hearts near the city center. This impressive stone construction stands nearly five stories tall and is composed almost entirely of tall, thin archways. In the center is a pool of perfectly clear water. Local legend states that the well once granted your heart's dearest wish if you waded into its center, but stopped working when a tyrant wished for the death of his brother. Nowadays entry to the pool is not permitted, but it's worth making the trip simply to see the structure.
 
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The Brewer by J. Amman
To the north west of Taubenbrunn, along the Myrvaesen river lies the city of Latzschach. Latzschach is home to the Imperial Academy of Architecture and Engineering, and this shows in the city. Many buildings here are taller than normal, and in the city's Guild Hall is a tower in which a massive clock has been installed. More importantly, it is here that the Gnomish trickery known as distillation has been perfected. The distillery of the noted Hannes Deniaud is here and well worth seeing, and more importantly sampling. The famous Thallish whiskey has well earned its fame. The potent liquor is smoother and sweeter than that produced in the eastern sections of the nature, something that the makers attribute to the addition of corn to the mash, and charred oaken barrels used to age it. In addition to this the city hosts the annual Artifice Fair, in which students of the University (Or anyone who wishes to enter) present their most promising inventions to spectators, as well as competing in usual festival sports.
 
The city of Drachonhondel, the Citadel of the Dragon, as some refer to it, is a fortress city in north-eastern Thallund, on the shores of the Ringe Lake. It takes its name from it's founder, Herman Von Kruezberg. Kruezberg was a Knight in the 7th century who slew a large red dragon that went by the name Malthenvertrix, thus earning the dragon as his arms. Today, after centuries of construction, Drachonhondel is a labyrinth of walls and towers. It is notable for being the home of the Thallish Military Museum, as well as a national monument to the War of the Necromancer. If visiting in summer you may witness the Kriegsspiel, a series of imitation battles fought by the nobility of the kingdom concluding in a large chivalric tournament.
 

Furthmark


Arms of the Kingdom of Furthmark
The King-
-dom of Furthmark
is an austere land, though the south is similar in landscape to their fertile neighbors in Thallund, the farther north you travel, the more the landscape becomes dominated by short, hardy grass and tall evergreen trees. These trees are of course the pride of the nation, with these they build their famous ships which are sailed the world over. There is a certain beauty in the bleakness that often causes one to turn towards philosophy. As St. Felix said in his book Musings on Nature, "Observing the beauty and Furthmark requires one to slow down in life. To the busy man with a scheduled life the landscape appears bleak and full of decay; but when one stops to take in the crisp air one see’s that this is a land teeming with life. A tale of resilience and beauty as old as the gods themselves." This passage was my companion as I traveled through the north.
Theodonia
The westernmost kingdoms of the Katerian Empire belong to the Theodonic culture group, and are sometimes referred to as Theodons, therefore this particular grouping of Thallund, Furthmark, Grundholm, and Revellund is referred to as Theodonia.
 
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Fishermen by Hans Frank
The Capitol of Furthmark, Ryumgaard, is a large city in the north of the Kingdom. It straddles the Ryum river for several miles before reaching the deep harbor that made it so powerful. Many of the greatest Furthish vessels are constructed in this town, and the smell of sawn timbers fills the air. Visitors should make sure to sample the local seafood, brought in fresh from the city's fleet of fishing boats every day. If visiting in early winter travelers may be able to witness or maybe even participate in the Frost Games, an annual tournament in which the contestants run, then ski, then ice skate over 30 miles over the course of a day.
 
Traveling from the south I first arrived in the city of Davgaard, one of the only inland cities in the nation. It sits north of Drachonhondel, further down the Sangvinske river. Davgaard shows many of the familiar notes of a city built by early Katerians. It is arranged around a central plaza upon which were built a number of large stone buildings such as a Forum and a temple. It is notable however in that it has both maintained and continued using these structures, rather than dismantling them for building materials as so many did. While in Davgaard it is however imperative to stop at the Rodraev theater in the upper district. The plays put on there will rend your heart and make you cry from laughter all at once.
 
Far to the north of Furthmark lies Marslev, a most unique city in the empire due to it being split in half over the border with the The Kingdom of Kotimaa. Marslev is an oddity to witness as up until five centuries ago, the border was not enforced. Due to this each side has a strange mixture of imperial and Elven architecture. However because of this shared history of cohabitation, Marslev is the model of racial harmony. Here more than in any other kingdom do elves, humans, Rasuchi, and even a large number of Dreng live and work in peace. Worth visiting are ruins of Hartvadd Point, a castle built in the mid 9th century and destroyed by a hurricane in the late 15th century, and be sure to catch a boat for whale watching in the Drenghav sea.

Map of all Theodonia

Theodonia
The westernmost kingdoms of the Katerian Empire belong to the Theodonic culture group, and are sometimes referred to as Theodons, therefore this particular grouping of Thallund, Furthmark, Grundholm, and Revellund is referred to as Theodonia.

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Cover image: Summer Field by Olga Kim

Comments

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8 Apr, 2020 05:46

Nice map, and I like how you've formatted your article, along with the crests. The quotes are a nice touch.

- Hello from Valayo! And Happy Summer Camp!