|Kingdom of Ashenia|
|Ruler||King Kellan III|
The Kingdom of Ashenia is a largely landlocked great kingdom and a founding member of the Union of the Northwest.
The old Ashenite capital of Redrisakand was destroyed by the Cataclysm, and with it what were presumably records going back to its foundation centuries before. Unfortunately, this was a time when scholarship in Ashenia was limited and few outside the old capital felt the need to write anything down as they were a much simpler people then. As such, the rest is based on fragmentary documents, oral histories, songs and mythical accounts of the deeds of various noble ancestors and is thus not necessarily true.
About eight hundred years before the calamity (actually closer to six hundred), the Ashene crossed the mountains to the West, and finding good pasture and verdant valleys, stopped their migration from their ancient homeland situated "where the Sun rests". On their journey, they had met many different peoples, but no land empty enough for them to make their own until the harsh passage over the mountains (the legends say the mountain peaks pierced the sky itself and that howling spirits of ice and wind raged through the passes, clearly they exaggerate stories of the mountains being shrouded by clouds and the howling winds and avalanches the people had to deal with).
The people chose Shenath, the fearless leader who had guided them through the hardships of the latter part of their journey, as their king, and upon his death, the land was divided among his fifteen children with the eldest being placed into a position of leadership over his siblings, thus forming the thirteen noble dynasties of Ashenia and Hazaria. Over time, the difficulty of travelling south across the Marilath made contact with the southern clans difficult and royal authority soon became a distant memory in that region, its name even being forgotten to those who lived in the north.
Four hundred years before the as yet undetermined calamity, Redrisakand was founded on the plains of Ashenia where they come right up against the mountains. Legends paint its splendour as being unequalled throughout the world and it was here where writing and asceticism were first developed. More importantly though, it inspired the other nobles to settle down from their semi-nomadic lives and establish their own fortress cities in imitation. With this development, the heads of each dynasty were declared Castellans, sworn to safeguard the land under their control.
This of course meant very little as Ashenia had few neighbours at this point. Until, that is, the calamity struck and Redrisakand and the royal family were all but erased from existence. With no central leadership, the land fragmented into twelve pieces as the various Castellans vied for the throne. Over a period of fifty years, Ashenia was in a state of constant low-level civil war, ending with the rise of the House Toranath to ascendency over the other great houses through diplomacy, wisdom and honourable dealings, much to the chagrin of the House Neram, who seceded to form the Principality of Eseda, only to be conquered one hundred years later and their lands added to those of House Toranath.
The Royal CouncilEdit
The Royal Council of Ashenia is an advisory body with little power beyond the selection of regent should the need arise. Nevertheless, a position on the Council is considered a great honour as few other positions in the Kingdom allow one to be so close to the throne and to a hand in governance, however indirect it is. At all times, the Council consists of Ashenia's eleven Castellans, the Abbess of Salasan, three representatives from each other region under Ashenia's control and whatever advisors the monarch selects.
The representatives from the other provinces are: the Chieftain of the Ishanites, the Chieftain of the Maradites and the Chieftain of the Drasene from Hazaria; the High Priest of Carasan and two members of the Council of the Wise from Kyaralath; the Provosts of the cities of Angana, Aphinkad and Meningath from Angan Anvale; and two appointed clan chiefs and one priestess from Lacertia.