Volkstadt Castle Building / Landmark in Fyria | World Anvil

Volkstadt Castle

The Empire of Aldelgis is an ancient and proud nation, born in the wilds of the northern continent the first settlers of the region fought through frigid winters, dangerous mountain terrain, and dangerous predators including giants, words, and wyverns. But now, thousands of years after their difficult beginnings, Aldelgis stands as one of the mighties powers on the continent of Fyria. And Volkstadt Castle is the seat of their power and a symbol that shows their longevity and strength as a nation.   Volkstadt Castle was built by the men and women that first settled the future capital of the nation, the Crown City of Elric. They did so under the brave leadership of the nation's first ruler, Emperor Arlof Volkstadt. Volkstadt had a vision for the lands in the north, to build them to prominence and grant those that served under his banner safety and prosperity. Legend says that Volkstadt took his people into the valley that Elric now resides within, a valley surrounded by the impenetrable mountain walls of the Wulftier Circlet. His people knew of a dangerous and evil elder dragon that slept within the peaks of the mountains, but he calmed their fears and told them to build their homes and farms, and to worry not. Volkhardt took three of his most trusted knights, his closest companions, and ventured into the mountains. They did not return for weeks, but one night as the story goes, the citizens of the soon to be capital of Aldelgis heard the mighty roars of battle. Gouts of flame the size of the mountains themselves were said to brighten the night sky as the battle wore on for hours. Suddenly the last agonized roar of the dragon was heard across the land, as Volkstadt himself struck the final blow deep into the creature's chest. Upon his return, the citizens of the land pledged their undying fealty to him and crowned him Emperor of all Aldelgis for his great dead.   As his first decree, Emperor Arlof Volkstadt commanded that a new castle be erected for him and his council to rule from. It would be built at the base of the waterfall that flowed from high above, originating from deep within the Wulftier Circlet. Years later, the castle and the royal ground would finally be completed, and from there the rest of the Crown City of Elric would be built, with Volkstadt Castle residing at the very top of the city, right at the base of the waterfall. Emperor Volkstadt would rule from his throne from within the castle for the rest of his days before bequeathing the throne to his son. Now more than a thousand years later the rulers of Aldelgis still sit upon the same throne within the defensive walls of Volkstadt Castle. Though many rulers have led the Empire of Aldelgis, and much change has come upon the land itself, but one thing has remained unchanged. Volkstadt Castle sit stills up high above the Crown City, keeping a vigilant watch over the descendants of the citizens that built it so many generations ago.  
Castle Architecture and The Royal Grounds
  Volkstadt Castle sits at the very top of the Crown City of Elric, within its own private grounds in which only the ruling family, their court and servicemen, and specially permitted guests may enter. If you are granted permission, you may pass through the heavily guarded gates that lead up to the Grand Gardens that surround the castle. These grounds are lush, filled with a variety of local and exotic flora, including a special garden in which trees and flowers from Shikyuo have been planted, gifted to the royal family years ago by the empress of Shikyuo as a token of solidarity and trust. All of which sits underneath a vast waterfall, that falls from hundreds of feet above the entire city, to this day no one knows where the source of the water flows from.   The castle is of a much older design and many architects struggle to imitate the original design whenever repairs or additions happen. The castle appears to be constructed from dark grey stone, the original portion of the castle looks to be constructed of long slices of the stone. Each being layered next to each other to create a foreboding and brutalist visage. Volkstadt Castle has numerous sections, all of which have been connected to the original castle via bridges, halls, and even numerous underground and hidden tunnels. The castle has dozens of hanging spires that reach out from the upper portions of the castle on long stone arms, they hang over the royal grounds and give a spectacular view of the city below and the territory that surrounds the capital. These views are magnificent and those lucky enough to be granted these views can see the hundreds of lakes and farmlands that are owned and operated by Aldelgian citizens. You can even see the Crown Train of the Empress coming and going on the ether fueled tracks designed by the Grand Archons of the capital.   The grounds and the castle may be ancient but it has been kept in pristine condition over its long tenure, a large selection of citizens have been tasked with keeping the grounds and the castle itself in good condition. These individuals are given special permission to the grounds when the services are required, though they must go through extensive searches and checks each time. Those that keep the grounds clean and the gardens tended to, live on castle grounds in a squat building to the back of the castle. While this building is not nearly as nice as the castle itself, it still provides a much more luxurious living quarters than any other groundskeepers working elsewhere in the city. and the dark stone bricks that it is constructed are still easily able to deflect all manner of attacks if it were to ever face them. This includes their own private access to a small outdoor tea area with its only duck pond, they may use this space any time they are not on duty. Many of the groundskeeper and their families have been serving the royal family for generations now.   Over the years the castle has undergone several additions and upgrades. The most impressive of which is not even a part of the castle itself but of a very special item that floats above it. The Edler Crystal, a gigantic floating Ether Crystals installed by the first Empress of the Sunnhild royal line. This crystal is able to power an immense energy shield that encircles all of the Crown City if the city were to ever fall under attack. While none have dared to attack the city since the installation of the crystal, it is still activated once a year during the annual Edler Festival of Light held on the fourth of Hielo, the birthday of the first Sunnhild Empress.
Where the Empress and her Council Rules
  The Crown City of Elric and the entirety of the Empire of Aldelgis is ruled over by Lord Noble Empress Aristea Odessa Sunnhild and her Council of Six. While the empress is still rather young, she has been on the throne now for a few years and is slowly easing into her role as ruler. While in her early days on the throne Empress Sunnhild mostly acted as a figurehead to be viewed during special occasions, while her Council of Six made all major decisions and ran the day to day of the nation. This caused quite the controversy throughout the kingdom at the time, as they believe a ruler should rule and not leave her responsibilities to her council, and that if she couldn't rule properly she should abdicate the throne entirely.   However, due to the recent attack on the city led by the fallen Arch Bishop Grigory Alstaf that much of the Aldelgian Ildyr Diocese and members of her Council of Six, were actually agents of corruption seeking to destroy the city. As such, the empress moved to excise the recently discovered corruption and begin to step up and make rulings on her own accord. While many still think she is too young for this, she has earned increased support from her citizens for her sudden shift in maturity and her quick actions in cleaning up corruption. Empress Sunnhild has established a new Council of Six, however only four currently sit on the council, several individuals of note have been considered to fill the two vacant seats but the matter is still undergoing discussions. The current presiding council consists of Arch Bishop Bishop Notker Adelgeis, Prince Bishop of Elric Torben Behr, Empirical Commander Cordt Staigmer, Grand Archon Ziffaris Furold Bodo, and presiding over them all is Empress Sunnhild.
The Oldest Structures in Elric
The only other structure as old as Volkstadt Castle is Gerlach Cathedral - The First Aldelgian Church of Ildyr, which began construction only a few months after Volkstadt Castle.
The Crown City of Elric
Settlement | Dec 1, 2020
Gerlach Cathedral - The First Aldelgian Church of Ildyr
Building / Landmark | Jul 4, 2019
Aldelgian Ildyr Diocese
Organization | Jul 15, 2019

Cover image: 2018 Vis Dev by Jose Vega


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