A Brotherhood Reborn
Ravinia is the region located on the southern coast of Ravanaster. It has a mostly temperate climate, with warm, dry summers and mild winters. Before the Unification, Ravinia was once known as the Kingdom of Rivara (“land between rivers”). For thousands of years, Ravinia has been ruled by the same noble family: the Martels.
The region is famous for its abundance of Blackstone, which manifests as giant, rocky black craigs and cliffs, as well as sparkling black sand beaches. It is also a well-known tourist location, with several unique and interesting cities and landmarks.
Ravinia is one of the largest and most influential cultural hubs on the mainland.
Before the Unification
Before the Unification of Arcadia, the region was called the Kingdom of Rivara. It was a kingdom of artists, musicians, and wordsmiths. It was a fairly cultural kingdom and tended to be stay neutral during conflict.The far more militant kingdom of Arcadia—who had previously been at war with the northern provinces—saw this neutrality as weakness. With the northern provinces joined under one banner, Arcadia set a course to occupy Rivara and take its lands as its own.
While Rivara is heavily protected from naval attacks, it is fairly indefensible from the north. The superior Arcadian army faced little opposition as they marched their way south.
After the Unification
After Rivara was conquered, the Martels were able to maintain some control over the region as the Dukes. The name was changed to Ravinia and they paid a portion of their tax profits directly to the King’s treasury. 3,500 years later, the Martel family still serve as the Dukes of Ravinia.
House Martel is one of the oldest noble families on the continent of Ravanaster. They have ruled the area known as Ravinia for close to 5,000 years. Until this current generation, House Martel was a fully-elven noble house. Their colors are Purple and Gold and their House Sigil is an Eagle. After the unification, the Martel sigil became a Two-Headed Eagle, to demonstrate “the symbolic merging of Rivaran culture and Arcadian discipline.”
House Martel primarily swears fealty to the God of Poetry, Art, and Beauty, Baldir. Baldir was a Rivaran God long before he joined the Arcadian pantheon. His holy symbol is an eye with three vertical lines extending from the top and the bottom, like a drawing of a sun. This is also the symbol imprinted on the Guilder, and as such, one can use a Guilder as a Holy Symbol in times of need.
House Martel is known for holding very strictly to the idea of noblesse oblige, believing that nobility requires anyone who holds such a status to fulfill greater social responsibilities. This belief that the nobility exists to lead and benefit the people has earned them a reputation as fair, generous and—at times—rebellious. Their family motto is: Power through Generosity.
Duke Olivier Martel was the patriarch of the Martel family before the massacre. He had four children, two with his first wife, Elowen Enmoira (Faínor, Sylvana) and two with his second wife, Celandine Allard (Emrys, Olivia). 10 years after Elowen’s tragic death, Olivier took Celandine, from House Allard as his wife. At the time, mixing blood was extremely frowned upon. That the union resulted in Half-Elven children was even more blasphemous. Still, the Martel’s persisted and Emrys and Olivia grew into fine noble children, despite their muddled heritage.
Ravinian politics are in complete shambles after the shocking murder of House Martel. Zadimus Saxton sits on the throne as Regent. His policies run counter to everything Rivaran, causing unrest among the lesser nobles and common-folk alike. Still, there is hope. Rumors circulate of a surviving Martel heir, one who can restore Rivara to her former glory. Many barons remain loyal to the former Ducal family, hoping against hope that a worthy heir will appear and take back the throne.
The famous “Cliffs of Ravinia” act as natural walls, making the region one of the most easily defensible locations in Arcadia. There are two major waterways in Ravinia. On the western border there is the Teviri River. Dividing the region in two, there is also the Arinoc River.
The Duchy of Ravinia is split into five baronies:
The Baron of Adamant is generally related to, in some way, the Duke. Traditionally it has been the second-born son of the Duke.
Cities of Note
- Algassi: Algassi is the largest city in Ravinia. It is partially a canal city, located at the mouth of the Arinoc River. It is a place where anyone from anywhere can call home. It is a sprawling metropolis of traders, travelers, and artisans. It is one of the largest cities in Arcadia and controls all trade coming from the south and east. It is home to 103,000 residents.
- Amaranthe: Amaranthe is the capital of Ravinia and the seat of its local government. Castle Martel is located on the outskirts of the city, just south of the Arcadian border. Amaranthe has a population of about 45,000 and was once home to the fabled Adema Theatre Company.
- Mirradin: Mirradin is a city located on the south eastern side of Ravinia. It has a population of about 100 people.
- Baromisace: Baromisace is located near the Drakemoor swamp. While the population isn’t as much as the other notable cities, the city is home to one of the primary druid circles on Ravanaster. Nina is the current head druid.
The Adema Theatre Company
The Adema Theatre was a large, four-story open air amphitheater located near the Amaranthine city center. It was home to the Adema Bardic College known for their biting political satire.
The theatre seated close to 3,000 people and was a popular tourist attraction for many years. A few years prior to the outset of the civil war, the theatre was raided by the Shadowguard and many of the actors were arrested (or outright executed) for “sedition, libel, plotting against King and Country, and treason against the Crown”. Of those who made it to prison, over half of them were sentenced to death.
Olivier Martel, the Duke of Ravinia, petitioned tirelessly for their release. In response, King Gabranth marched an army 15,000 strong into Amaranthe and burned the city center—including the Adema Theatre—to the ground. Castle Martel was sacked and almost destroyed before the King called off his army. With a heavy heart, Olivier Martel relented.
There are whispers that the Adema never died, simply went underground. The Adema swear no loyalty to King or Kingdom. They are impartial, wandering bards who collect secrets, trade information, and spread the truth whenever possible. They have a plethora of cyphers, both magical and otherwise, they use to communicate with other Adema. One cannot seek out the Adema. Bards and minstrels are approached once they are deemed worthy and can be sufficiently trusted. Or so the legends say.
A more detailed map of the region