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Avalonia is a large Island continent, with a land mass a little larger than what in our world is North America. It is actually a connection of four very large islands all encircling a smaller island city. The capital; Avalon. The entire continent is surrounded by what’s called the Mystic Barrier. A force that prevents anyone from getting in or out.
The four major Islands each perpetually have one general season, with little variation. Winter to the north, Spring to the East, Summer to the South, and Autumn to the West. And are so named. Unlike the others which have day and night, Autumn remains in evening time for 12 hours before going dark. Except for one month of the year where the days and nights are regular. Avalon is the only place which gets all four seasons in regular successions lasting one year.
Though there are what could be seen as different ethnic groups, the main groupings are by the type of Veroxe power one has. Although there are certain physical traits that are more prominent in certain areas. The most common person however usually has olive to tan features with either silky or afro hair. With Summer having the highest number of them. Lighter inhabitants are found mostly in the Spring and Northern Winter. Though there is also a dark skinned population with silver hair and pupils native to Winter as well. Autumn tends to have the most mixed population, however the majority there have violet hair and eyes regardless of physical background. This is due to the Intuite or “will” type of Veroxe which is the most common to that area, which influences ones genetic make up. However the individual inhabitants of Avalonia are typically classed by their power types or where they grew up. With the former taking precedence. Following the saying “family before powers.” People from the various regions are called Winterfaels, Summervals, Springfaels Autumnuus. The official census holds the total population to be at around two hundred million. The average lifespan of an Avalonian is from 180 – 200 years. On average, romantic attraction biologically begins around the age of 19.
Three quarters of Summer’s land has tropic style climate and plants. With the remaining being desert. The people in this area tend to live in large bungalows, designed to maximise air flow. Summervals are deeply proud people, ruled by an unwritten code of honour implicit to their culture. This honour is conferred by either acts of strength, courage or wit. They are a people of action but also very practical. As well as the only region unified under one single Monarch. The inhabitants of Summer tend to be strong in emotion veroxe. Which channels the light energy that permeates the universe and energizes the underlying forms of matter. One such power it affords them is ability to create out of light things they’re familiar with or imagine. These however are largely temporary an illusory. Functioning only as well as the users focus and grasp of their creation. This ability has led to the mythic character of the Breoganare. A trickster who said to even be able to completely change their appearance long-term. In the fables they are usually considered harmless caring only to steal and play jokes.
Due to the energizing power of the light they access, Summer is known for having “floating cities”, these are ones where some of the buildings are suspended high in mid air by the force of veroxe. The cities also have various flotation disks in various locations. Usually allowing for quicker routes around town but sometimes for giving access to places only those with emotion veroxe can reach as they’re the only ones that can power the disk. They have for a while been working on flying transportation with marginal success.
Before the introduction of Veroxe into Avalonia, the four major regions would fight for control of Avalon, which meant being the Ruler of rulers amongst the societies. After Veroxe and the formation of the Assembly, the Rulership was given on rotation, with each head Monarch in the four regions reigning as Emperor or Empress for seven years. Something which some of amongst the Summervals still feel bitter about, as they had just about secured absolute control at the time this was introduced.
At Summer’s most southern region are largely desert and harsh terrains, separated from the tropic by large mountains. It is typically where the Summervals would chase their criminals and excommunicated members. It eventually developed into an area without law or rulership, with no one wanting charge over the outcasts of society. So long as they didn’t cause any trouble for the civilized regions of Summer. These places have formed various smaller and self-governed, yet officially unrecognised towns and villages. And is typically where those from other regions who are escaping the law, or wish to start over without anyone knowing who they, tend to go. Due to lack of governance, the official size of the population there is unknown. However the Summervalish army does occasionally march into the area as a reminder that any insurgent activity would be swiftly put down.
Summervals are famous for good hospitality, with there being few things more shameful than being a bad host. As friends they look after you well, as enemies they are unforgiving.
This is a tundra like region with cold icy water and lakes. There are a few city populations, but Winterfaels tend to live in scattered small villages. The most Northern city, Varfaelahnn is famous for consisting of largely see-through underwater domes and dwellings. These were originally ancient recourses against the famous Tragoladesh snake monsters, who for being snow-dwelling creatures cannot swim. Winterfaels also tend to have houses with more than one floor in order to escape the snow below, or keep from being trapped in during heavy storms. Winter also is closest to where the mystic barrier has had a recent opening. So most outsiders, who come to Avalonia, stay in Winter. Given the near self-governing and autonomous spaced out villages, Winterfaels tended to have many chieftains as opposed to Monarchs. This meant that they were not very unified, and were the land near their northern border was often times invaded and ruled by the Springfaels.
In order to avoid further encroachment by the Springfaels, and any such ideas of conquest from the Autumnuus, a small Monarchy did form in southern Winter. The local cities and villages appointed a King, who could call them to battle in case of invasion by the Autumnuus. However during times of peace, his rule was largely nominal. Dealing mostly with arbitration and keeping the region safe by enforcing the law. The Winterfaels closer to the Southern border tend to have darker skin, with with silver hair and eyes. Whereas the ones closer to spring have lighter skin, with golden hair and blue or silver eyes. But both are said to bear the marks (colours) or ice and snow. And are largely seen as one people by everyone else. Being strong in intellect veroxe, Winterfaels are able to grasp the underlying forms and transform the matter and material around them. Changing either from one thing to another or combining them to create new and sophisticated objects. This focus on invention has been a source great pride for them, as well as bringing a high level of efficiency and advancement to everyday life. Which is part of the reason they are considered as having a form of snobbery. Since the term “hand labourer” is only really a slur in the Winter region.
The Springfaels live in largely forest covered areas and divided into five smaller kingdoms. They live amongst large and tall trees that they build their cities from, in and around. Usually living near the higher regions. Having power over sense veroxe, they can control the elements. In particular air, which helps them glide and hope across branches, with falls being rare and many safeties accounted for after centuries of trial and error. There are rare Springfaels that have control of both earth and animals, which helped both economically and militarily. Which had certain implications, for example both the beasts and fruits in Springfael are significantly larger than anywhere else. With rats growing to be anything from the size of small dog to a cow. This has been a large part of the reason why they live high in trees.
With the southern border largely secured from attack, the Springfaels tended to focus on either fighting each other or advancement of territory in Winter. At once stage capturing occupying almost half of the region for almost five hundred years. The combination of Springfaelshin control over nature, and Winterfaelshin mastery of the forms, led to the largely underwater town of Varfaelahnn. As a response to the threat of the Tragoladesh. Without a Monarch in the land, the Springfaels in the Northern territory, simply moved their capital where their king resided to Varfaelahnn. Both so that the Wintervaels wouldn’t have one of their own as ruler. An also to say that the half of Winter was simply an extension or continuation of Northern Spring’s rule. This however was a mistake for the Northern king, as both his lack of focus on the Spring territory, coupled with a reluctance to delegate much authority, let to upheaval. And ultimately the fall of the Spring territory to another king on the mainland. Making dividing Spring into the modern five kingdoms as opposed to six. After this the Northern King, lost most of the land captured at Winter. But still remained the Monarch of its Northern region. Thus leading to the current situation where the southern region has a nominal king. The northern region a Springfaelshin Monarchy, since till this day they tended only to marry from the mainland. And a largely self-governed region in between.
Not all Springfaels live amongst trees. Given their mastery of the natural elements, they are found in the most creative, stunning and surprising habitats that blend and compliment their surroundings.
The Autumn region is possibly the most mysterious of them all. For most of the day it’s evening, before going dark and having near clear skies. Most of the big cities are in the northern half of the region. Due to past wars with Summer, the borders around both regions only became populated after the Unification of the four Isles. Autumn is a land full of small lakes, hills and mountains. The Autumnuus are famous both for their floating towns, where most transport is by boat. As well as cities carved into the sides of mountains. The people are curious, since they largely a mixture of Summervals who migrated up North, and Winterfaels who migrated down south. The soft evenings and chilled temperature were a comfort from both the hot and cold extremes of their previous homes. The population inherited both aspects of their former culture as well as genetic makeup. Having mostly long dark curls, with tan complexions. However given their predisposition for Intuite (short for intuitive) or rather “will” veroxe, the vast majority of inhabits have violet hair and eyes. This the key distinctive features of the intuite, regardless of ethnic background. Which is another reason for their mixed appearance, due to migration from far regions from Intuites not born in Autumn.
Following after their Summeravalish roots, the Autumnuus also have a strong concept of social order and honour. Which mixed with their Winterfaelshin heritage, means laissez-faire approach to governing. Intervening mostly when there problems. This applied to their foreign policy too, which meant not seeking conquest of either regions beside them. In fact there are three Monarchs, who live in three cities all located on the same territory of the Autumnuus. Where rule isn’t by territory but, by delegation of authority and voting amongst nobles. This came about from the time when the Southern region of Autumnuus used to belong to the Summervals. And the northern region was unofficially claimed by the Winterfals, who would require tax and implement unfair trading practices on the northern Autumnuus. The war of independence meant that the three kings, then ambassadors, of their respect regions, decided to share all their artillery and resources, cut off formal ties to their mainland and form the nation of Autumn. With the Winterfaels focused on the threat from Spring, the Autumnuus were able to establish a strong defence of north. Whilst driving back the Summerfaels by the sheer force of their combined numbers.
The Autumnuus with their Intuite powers are able to move objects from a distance. As well as form fields or waves of veroxe around them as a defence mechanism. They are also sensitive to the “the will and order underlying all things” and some can at times sense the future at times or sense people’s emotions. There are very few Intuites who can even go so far as to read minds. But these are often feared and mistrusted by all Avalonians in general. The majority of Sunarches have historically been Intuites. Unlike the Winterfaels who make inventions that can be used by all Avalonians, the Autumnuus have various objects that can only be accessed by someone channelling their Intuite powers. Which further adds to the mystery and mystique of their land and culture.
6. The Capital
Avalon, usually referred to as “the Capital” is actually a large island with a diameter of 500 miles. It is encircled by a large ring, which amongst many things channels the power of the water, to strengthen the veroxe of the land. It is divided into eight regions, all considered extensions of the Capital. A title which refers primarily to the centre but spoken of the entire land as well. At what is considered the centre of the centre, is a large circular opening. Where the most important religious ceremonies are held. The Sunarche, head of Avalonia’s established faith, also resides in the Capital.
Avalon having been fought over many times in the past has become a microcosm of the entire continent. But at the same time a unique culture in its own right. From the Capital you get the highest number Vnat. Which means “two” also refers to those who can use more than one type of veroxe.
There were also two important reasons why the system of Cyclical Emperorship worked. The first was that due to its centrality, Avalon naturally drew the best and brightest of the various regions. This includes both intellectually and militarily. Ever since Avalonia’s unification, the Imperial army consisted of guards from every island. Forming a power mix of the various powers for combat. Unlike the islands which consisted largely of one. Wars are largely a thing of the past in modern times.
The second key reason was that the Capital doesn’t collect tax from the four regions. In the past, collecting tax from the other regions was necessary in order to keep ones region in power. Whereas now, each reign only lasted seven years. With the respective region where the Emperor hails, wanting to demonstrate their grandeur to all the lands. No one wanted to bring the city that they inhabited now, and were at some stage going to inhabit again, to fall. Even during the times of warring regions, they did not generally like to harm Avalon. With the general population going about their every day lives, simply waiting to see who would be ruling them next. Such that it would be said “one side of the field, men fight, but on the other side, children milk the cows.”
All this meant that the riches of all the lands one way or another always end up in Avalon. And ironically the ancient lost traditions and distinctive of the four regions, are preserved in one form or another at the Capital. Eventually only those who could afford it or who excelled in veroxe would tend to remain long term in Avalon.
The concept of time is different for the people of Avalonia. Consider that all the four regions experience a continuous season without change. Whereas only the Capital gets four, but the duration of each is roughly 360 days. This means that the highest form of numbering is not the year but the “Ciorkli” or “Cycle”. With one ciorkli, containing each season, or four years. Hence someone who is 16 would be be 4 Ciorkli.
There are festivals marking the beginning of each ciorkli held at the Capital lasting a month. Whilst they do not celebrate birthdays as such, once a person reaches a full ciorkli, they receive small gifts during the month in which they were born.