The Royal City
In the heart of The King's Lands rests the Royal City of Éirigh, home to those living in the light of the King's favor and resting in the shadow of his Royal Palace. Made of up 3 concentric rings, and surrounded by the stunning, ancient Woods of Escaine, this city is home to not only the most notable Nobles and merchants of the kingdom, but to the The Royal Palace of Éirigh itself.
To reach the Royal City, you must first make your way through the massive, ancient trunks of the Woods of Escaine. The air is fresh, perfumed with the scent of moss and crushed leaves as you wind your way between trees the size of small houses surrounded by thick underbrush. The sunlight dances through the canopy in rays of golden green, until at last you reach the outer ring pressed tight against the forest.
As you pass into the outer ring, you are assaulted by the scent of human refuse, and surrounded by beggars swimming in loose, threadbare clothes. Unless you've taken the wide main road, you must squeeze between the weak, barely habitable wooden structures that one would struggle to call shelter, much less a home. This ring is home to the poorest peoples of the kingdom, those with nowhere else to go who have sought asylum from the King.
You know you've reached the second ring when a threatening Knight of The Royal Guard calls for you to halt and give an explanation for your visit to the Royal City. If your answer is deemed acceptable, you are ushered to the nearest gate in the tall brick walls. Once through, you welcome the scent of freshly baked delicacies that surround you. The poor wooden structures are long forgotten at the sight of a bustling marketplace, packed to the gills with the finest wares and goods in the kingdom. Down the alleys and side roads, you can just make out the sturdy homes of brick or stone beyond. Here, the grandest merchants, lesser nobles, and families of the Royal Guard reside in comfort.
After being fitted for a grand new jerkin by one of the many skilled tailors, or tucking in to a delicious minced meat pie, you might find your way back to the main path. Another guard questioning your business, another gate -- this time, hewn from heavy stone walls -- and you feel as if you've entered a whole new world. There's room to breathe here (unless you've come for the Festival of Samhain), with broad cobbled streets, vast stone mansions with sparkling faces and accents of rare Crimson Pine wood, and vast lawns all around. You've reached the height of society, where only the favorite nobles of the King are permitted to live.
A delicious perfume reaches your nostrils, and you follow it to the royal gardens, filled with all manner of stunning flowers, fountains, and shrubberies. You could stroll these paths for hours, drinking in the sights and smells in the cool shade of the stark walls of the Palace.
The Royal City was created during the reign of King Teilgeoir Slánaitheoir I, meant to be a place where peoples of every class could find refuge. Throughout the rule of The Slánaitheoir Royal Family, this remained true to some degree, despite the vast differences in comfort between the rings. As time went on, the Royal City carved further and further into the Woods of Escaine to make room for its residents, but the King always ensured that his people were well cared for. In times of celebration, the Royal City was the place to be regardless of your stature, filled with good food, jaw dropping sights, and warm company. The truly lucky may even be invited to a performance at the Royal Theatre, tucked inside the Palace walls.
However, this all changed when The Máirtín Royal Family took the throne. While the central ring of the Royal City remains the most elegant place in the kingdom, the class divides have grown shockingly severe, with the outermost ring falling into nearly unlivable conditions. Only the most trusted allies are allowed within the Palace walls, and a sense of fear pervades the city regardless of your status. Even the Royal Theatre has been torn down, replaced by an arena hearkening back to the times of the gladiators. Never before has the shadow of the palace walls felt so strikingly cold and dark.
Festival of Samhain
The Festival of Samhain is the celebration of the fall harvest. This seemingly mild tradition laid the foundation for the system of governance in Éirigh.
The First Great Dynastic Shift
The First Great Dynastic Shift of Éirigh occurred in the year 1475, putting a brutal end to The Slánaitheoir Royal Family and ending with the Traitor King Máirtín I on the throne.