The Realm of Shadowmire
Ruler: Caine Vladislav
Religion: The Nine Houses
The Realm of Shadowmire was formed from a tear in the fabric of Creation. A powerful sorcerer used the tear, weaving a realm for themselves, drawing power from both the Underworld and the Realm of Shadow. While the sorcerer was successful in creating this demi-realm, they were punished for their deeds, and erased from existence. Undaunted, the realm ‘mirrored’ the physical world, creating within it a nation.
The region under the influence of Shadowmire appears during the day as a swamp, spreading through a region west of the Shire Lands, buffered by the Northern Wilds and Anaitha. The swamp appears normal during daylight hours, though undead are often found wandering the region before they are destroyed by Anaithan knights. During the three nights of the new moon however, the barrier between Shadowmire and Kith Kanaan fade, and the nation of Shadowmire manifests.
Shadowmire is a vast city nestled within a valley surrounded by swamps and low mountains. The realm has slowly grown over time, expanding in its own place, while the swamp in Kith Kanaan has slowly expanded as well, marking the power of the realm. The city is cramped, the buildings chokingly close to one another, filled with narrow, dirty streets and homes with empty windows. Shadowmire seems to be in constant nightfall when it is visited, though those who have braved the realm for more than the night have described a dull, dying sun behind a constantly overcast sky.
The realm’s populace are often either peasants who are ‘native’ to the realm, or slaves who have been captured from outside of the realm. The ruling population of Shadowmire are vampires, a number of noble ‘houses’ which rule different sectors of the city. These Houses each compete with one another for influence, and often attempt to draw outsiders into the realm as new pieces in their games, or sometimes send their offspring out into Kith Kanaan to extend their influence. The ruler of Shadowmire however, is a rumoured lichtor or revenant known as Caine Vladislav. This powerful undead is nearly a demigod within his own right, and rules his realm with an iron fist.
The people of Shadowmire worship the Nine Houses – the noble vampire lines that control the city. The head of each House is considered a god in their own right, and the peasants and merchants of the city pay obeisance to the Houses. To speak against a noble of one of the Houses is heresy, and those who are too vocal tend to vanish during the night. Sacrifices of animals, or from one’s own wrists, is not uncommon. There is no burial in Shadowmire, any who die are usually decapitated, and then burned on the house fire as soon as possible. The reason is simple – any who die in Shadowmire are doomed to rise as a zombie if they are not burned. Worse, there is always the risk of the spirit returning as an incorporeal undead if the family is not extremely careful.
Those chosen for the gift of vampirism are considered ‘ascended’, becoming gods in their own right. The Houses usually choose from the merchant class, though some send for fresh blood from outside of Shadowmire, choosing from those that stray too far from the Shire Lands or from Anaitha.
Since the only people who come into the realm come at night, when the doors are barred and windows shuttered, a visitor’s first impression is that the citizenry are not hospitable. Things couldn’t be further from the truth – it is a simple fact that anyone found outside is ‘fair game’ to the noble Houses, and interference with their hunt is punished severely. However, any who survive until the day are met with food, shelter, and all the desperate hospitality the people of Shadowmire can offer – in the hopes of seeking aid, word from outside, or even smuggling people out of the realm during the next night of the new moon.
Shadowmire looks like a very gothic Slavic city. The merchant class do what they can to keep the city running during the day, and the peasants try to keep the city fed. There is little hope within the realm, but the realm itself seems to keep threads of hope alive.
The last names of people from Shadowmire are usually the names of one of the noble Houses, indicating who the family serves, and what section of the city they live in. The Nine Noble Houses are: House Alina the Kind, House Bela the Fair, House Casimir the Destroyer, House Danil the Judge, House Iren the Peaceful, House Jasna the Clear, House Katerina the Pure, House Lel the Taker, House Sonia the Wise.
Male: Bo, Boris, Damek, Dmitri, Fadey, Gavril, Jovan, Kolya, Kostya, Luka, Miroslav, Muncel, Nicholai, Nikita, Oleg, Stanislaus, Stesha, Vanya, Vladimir, Yakov, Zan
Female: Alena, Ania, Beyla, Brencis, Chesna, Chessa, Danika, Duscha, Evelina, Idania, Jana, Jovanna, Katia, Kristina, Lana, Lumina, Marija, Mira, Natalia, Nikita, Olga, Ona, Panya, Raina, Sileny, Sveta, Tasya, Triska, Valeska, Vesna, Yanka, Yeva, Zenevieva, Zora
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