Kanon is the principality located further south of all those that have remained in the Sacred Holy Empire, a warm land prone to precipitation, fertile growing and rich vegetation. The nation has few geographical features, but is known for its immense deserts, vast plains and dense forests.
Kanon has a strong economy thanks to its famous shipyards, which have been producing great galleons and countless smaller vessels for over a hundred years. Their boats, whose reputation extends throughout the continent, are widely are recognized as the best in the world. They also get large revenues from the export of fish and the fees charged to vessels of other nations for the use of their escort boats. The country is poor in mineral resources, so it is forced to import metals from elsewhere, but fill this gap through the large quantities of quality timber extracted from their forests.
Kanon’s government still functions much like the traditional Sacred Holy Empire; a prince, who serves as supreme monarch, advised by a council of senior nobles, governs the entire land. Milek Vanderveer Janssen is the current ruler, a middle-aged man known for his pensive behavior. He’s spent years trying to acquire greater personal power, which has caused some friction with the aristocracy.
There are not many large cities and, except for a few great ports, the entire mainland consists of dispersed farms and small landholdings devoted to agriculture or logging, which supplies the needs of the population centers.
The principality has a well-trained army, but it pales in comparison with its navy. Combining their galleons with those under the command of the Lord of War on their shores, Kanon comprises almost a seventy percent of the naval fleet in the Sacred Holy Empire.
The current fragmentation of Abel has slightly affected the stability of the territory, as some important nobles thought that, following the death of Elias Borges, it was the most appropriate moment to secede from the Empire. The situation could have easily escalated to a major civil war if not for the quick action of the imperial armies in the principality, which in combination with the forces of the prince soon calmed the spirits of the insurgents without bloodshed. Today people continue on normally with their lives, but many feel the tension of war on the borders with Togarini and Bellafonte, where their powerful navy would do them little good. Many strategists believe that, in the event of war (something which everyone anticipates), the logical move of the Azur Alliance would be attacking Kanon first. Of course, people do not feel very comfortable with that idea.
Culture and SocietyEdit
Most of the citizens in Kanon are farmers and ranchers living in small rural villages or large independent farms. Not very accustomed to bustling city life, people normally spend their days following the traditions that their parents and grandparents practiced before them. Their society stresses family values and the relatives commonly know and help each other, even if they live a hundred miles away. It is widely believed that education is a waste of time, and parents usually prefer to teach their children themselves, passing down what they consider really important.
It’s very common for children to inherit their parent’s businesses. Consequently, jobs are usually predetermined and it’s difficult for a teenager to leave the “inheritance” that his parents have left to him. The only service held in high esteem among all families is enlisting in the imperial navy, which is an easy escape route for anyone that does not wish to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.
Kanon has a strong feudal structure and almost every family owes servitude to one high noble house. The rigid traditions completely prohibit the marriage between nobility and commoners, at the risk of losing their titles. The people who live on the coast usually behave in a more metropolitan way, but they still keep their traditional values as much as the ones living in the rural areas.
Regarding the SupernaturalEdit
The people of Kanon are quite closed-minded towards the unexplainable. Since the dawn of the Empire its citizens have always regarded the supernatural as a dark force to be feared, as it only brings pain, perversion and death. The strong influence of the Church in the principality has also spawned the belief that any unexplainable skill is demonic, and that it must be eliminated at its source to avoid greater evil.
Paradoxically, the master builders use limited supernatural formulas in the construction of the Sy´luen, although the Church, unable to attack a tradition so deeply rooted and important to the fleet of the Empire, declared centuries ago that such practices originate from the blessings of the saints and angels.
If the people of Kanon witness unexplainable events, they will not hesitate to accuse any practitioner of witchcraft, immediately reporting them to The Inquisition. Occasionally, they have gone as far as to hold public lynching when the use of supernatural powers were violent or had criminal goals.
Sy’luen, the Lords of the WatersEdit
Of all the wonderful types of boats built in the shipyards of Kanon, nothing can compare to the Sy´luen, the Lords of the Waters. These are extraordinary ships that combine the most advanced principles of aerodynamics with some mystical elements. They can be of almost any size or class, but the white wood that is used in its construction and the intricate symbolism that marks their hull always identify them. A Lord of the Waters is not only much faster than other boats of its class, but allows incredible handling and resistance the sea. To date, none of them has sunk by natural causes.
The Lords of the Waters are inspired in the ancestral ships of the Duk´zarist. Their original designers, unable to properly craft the Ghestal wood, used wood from the sacred elven forests to make the first Sy´luen, obtaining some surprising results.
Only a limited number of master artisans know the complicated techniques to design the Sy´luen, and all them are considered indispensable to the principality. The Sacred Holy Empire typically assigns a group of Knights of the Heaven Order to them as bodyguards, to make sure that their secrets do not fall into the wrong hands.
Usually, all the Sy´luen built are for imperial use, but sometimes they are created on commission for astronomical amounts of money. In these cases, it is necessary to obtain an authorization or the express permission of the prince, which is extremely rare.
The History of KanonEdit
Before of the founding of the Empire, the lands of Kanon were a wild area where diverse ethnic groups coexisted. During the Age of Chaos the Sylvain nations tried to unify the country, but the presence of hundreds of dragons and elementals made it virtually impossible. The few men who dwelled there learned to coexist with large supernatural forces, surviving in any way possible. In the years following the Messiah, the negligible human presence in the area was the reason that none of the Holy Kingdoms were interested in annexing these lands, and even less interest when they understood what kind forces they would face there.
The proximity of the territory to The Inner Sea caused that the activation of Rah’s machine provoked terrible consequences for the supernatural creatures who lived there, destroying them or, at the very least, making them dormant for centuries. This lead to a rapid expansion of the human families residing in the area, soon reinforced by the refugees of the war. Kanon became a principality of the Empire in 235; a year after Abel’s forces stormed the area. Unfortunately, their prince Jareck Stanislaw was assassinated by a group of mages, who tried to seize power during their uprising. Determined to set an example, Aeolus commissioned to pacify the territory to one of his old companions of the War of God, Kaz Vanderveer Janssen, who exterminated all supernatural entities and became the new prince of Kanon. During the following years there were several clans that, accustomed to the use of magic, did not accepted the prohibitions imposed on the supernatural powers. Still, a strong presence of the Church and the valuable support of Abel in Kanon’s development and security, made almost all people leave such arts.
During the fifth century, the coastal cities began to experience a great boom, and given the quality of their boats the Emperor decided to invest money and effort into completely renewing the imperial armada. This meant that thousands of teenagers joined the navy, therefore initiating the formation of its extraordinary naval force.
In the year 652 and later in 701 Kanon went to war with Lucrecio, although both conflicts, which Kanon emerged victorious from, were decided with very few casualties according to imperial policy and under the strict arbitration of the Lords of War.
The lack of unity in the Sacred Holy Empire and the death of the Emperor produced a state of momentary confusion in the principality. Some nobles demanded that Prince Milek claimed independence from Abel, but he preferred to support the Empress. However, a few noble families still maintain strong ties with Togarini and back the Azur Alliance, which feeds the tension in Kanon even further.
Relevant Geographical FeaturesEdit
Kanon is a flat land, devoid of almost mountains or slopes. The only thing that it’s really known for is its high meadows and forests scattered all across the principality.
The Burnt Countryside: The region currently known as the Burnt Countryside was until recently a lush green forest. Despite its small size, the soil was especially rich and the trees grew tall and strong, which made it a great source of quality wood. Unfortunately, less ago than five years ago most of the trees became ill and their leaves fell off, while their trunks rotted. Herbalists and botanists from all over the Empire came trying to save the forest, but to no avail. Finally, to prevent the disease from spreading to the Cozal Forest, the army was forced to burn it all down. Since then, the zone is known as the Burnt Countryside and is little more than barren and black piece of land, punctuated by a few charred remnants of trees still left standing. Fortunately, the drastic action was effective and managed to halt the disease, thus preventing the spread to other forests.
Even so, both Samael and the Magus Order are greatly concerned, since the strong supernatural atmosphere that filled the woods shortly before it rotted was a clear indication that the disease was magical, although of unknown origin. Both organizations have initiated independent investigations, fearing that what happened in the area could spread and cause more problems. Whatever it is, there’s a possibility that what produced it is somewhere in the forest.
The White Forest: This small forest of albino trees, called qualdem, is an old stronghold of the few Sylvain settlers who lived in the region in the past. It’s a sacred place devoted to the Ilakavir Rafael, and everything that grows within it is imbued with a strong luminous essence. The wood extracted from these ancient trees is used to construct the Sy´luen, and the number of them that get chopped down every year is limited. The place is considered an imperial treasure and is protected by a small detachment of Knights of The Heaven Order.
Green Lake: This strange spot is one of the most representative places of Kanon, a mandatory visit for anyone who wants to enjoy a beautiful landscape. In this large lake grows an unusual type of tree that can grow in the deep water. Their cups protrude several feet above the surface, reflecting on the water and giving them a beautiful greenish hue.
Meadow of the Fallen: It is the territory that extends from the southeast coast of the principality to the Inner Sea, beyond the Land of Ashes. It is a region of plains covered with white flowers and smooth hills. On the coast there are some small fishing villages, dedicated to shellfish boating. Despite the appearance of calm and tranquility in the zone, some major battles were fought here in the past, when in 652 and later in 701 Kanon went to war with Lucrecio. Although there were many deaths and other warlike scenes, it cast a strange reflection in The Wake, where the white flowers are tinged with the color of blood. People who wisit The Wake here and smell the crimsom flowers fell a strange sleepiness and, if they do not awaken soon, will fall into an eternal hibernation. The “key” to accessing The Wake in the Meadow of the Fallen is to spill blood on the flowers, although this doesn’t always work.
The Cozal Forest: Located in central Kanon, Cozal is the principality’s largest forest, renowned for its beech and spruce trees. Hundreds of trees are felled every day to provide valuable wood for the sawmills. Because of its great size, it has always been impossible to wipe out the dangerous wild animals that live inside of it, although they have learned not to approach the outskirts too much and just attack lone travelers. In the depths of the woods there are large flood zones very difficult to pass. Few have gone so far, and therefore nobody can confirm what can be in the core of the forest.
The Land of Ashes: In the southeastern section of the principality lies its most inhospitable region, a barren and rocky area that extends for several miles. The whole place is filled with smoke, and the temperature is extremely high, at times exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Some geologists have theorized that everything is due to the existence of underground lava flows, which cause the heat and a continuous leakage of gas. However, the secret behind the smoke is quite different. In the deeps of the earth more than a hundred dragons slumber, made dormant for 700 years by the power that Rah unleashed. Only one of the creatures is awake, ensuring that their dreams do not influence the world of man; Manah, the immortal Dark Wrym of Gaira that is bound to the Delkavir Erebus, Lord of Dreams and the Supernatural. Thanks to her powers, she takes the form of a beautiful woman with golden eyes and ash colored hair, but she can also transforms into a raven when she wants to avoid someone. Generally, Manah wanders erratically in the Land of Ashes avoiding being seen by humans, except when she’s deathly bored and desires conversation. Naturally, she never reveals her true nature to anybody. Why she has remained there for centuries, simply observing, is something that nobody knows for certain.
Places of InterestEdit
Except for the ports and shipyards, Kanon has no large towns or cities. By contrast, there are hundreds of tiny rural villages, large estates and some scattered farms.
(Rural Community, Population 5,000+)
The community of Aldon is a group of tiny villages and farms that extends in the northwest of the principality. Except for a few stone buildings, the houses are unsophisticated simple wooden cottages. Although each population is slightly separated from the others (never more than a few hours away), all maintain a strong sense of unity that goes back several centuries. Accustomed to working side by side during the hard times, Aldon’s families owe large debts among themselves that their children have inherited for generations. The barons Taid and Olesia, rule over the community and are appreciated by the members of their congregation.
(City, Population 238,000+)
Because of its great size, generally foreigners tend to think that Bendek is the capital of Kanon. Originally it was a huge military fortress built during the establishment of the Empire, around which the war refugees raised their homes. The core of the city is composed of the oldest and poorest neighborhoods, while the outskirts belong to bourgeois or noble families. The majority of the buildings are made of stone, although there are hundreds of parks and trees scattered everywhere. Bendek is the main commericial center of the principality by proximity to Americh, reflecting a relentless flow of goods and money from the products entering and leaving the City of Free Trade.
Bendek is also particularly famous for the Cathedral of the Dragon, an enormous shrine where the skull of one of these great beasts is displayed. The remains have been the subject of controversy for years, as both Tol Rauko and an important sector of the Church considered its exhibition unacceptable, but finally both organizations agreed to conserve it by order of the Emperor.
The baron of Bendek is Brede Kazaria, a man who maintains a close business relationship with the council of merchants in Americh.
The Church of Saint BernabeEdit
(Building, Population 100+)
Located at short distance from the coast in the southern part of the principality is the church of Saint Bernabe. The building was constructed two centuries ago in commemoration of the birthplace of the father Bernabe, a man who devoted his entire life to helping underprivileged children. The church, a large structure surrounded by green meadows, currently serves as an orphanage. There are nearly a hundred children growing up happily together with their tutors like a real family. Saint Bernabe is lead by two young sisters and the father Alexias, an affectionate good-natured middle-aged priest everyone loves.
The Castle of OdessaEdit
(Fortress, Population 3,000+)
Until a few months ago, The Fortress of Odessa was occupied by the barons of Rasia, a couple of powerful nobles who were investigated in the past by the Inquisition as potential practitioners of witchcraft. The barons belonged to a group of aristocrats who wanted Kanon and the Empire to separate, and they even sent assassins to attack prince Mileck hopping that, during the confusion brought by his death, it would be easy to take control of the principality through a treaty with the Azur Alliance. After being discovered and their plans foiled, the couple fled and their current whereabouts are unknown.
The castle in itself is a huge well-preserved bastion with half dozen large towers and two enormous parade grounds. After the departure of the barons, the fortress has been occupied by troops of the Lord of War, who intends to use it as an important bulwark of defense. So far, the investigators have discovered that Odessa hides hundreds of intricate passageways and secret chambers, some of which contain artifacts and obscure ancient texts.
Alexias, The Exterminator AngelEdit
Father Alexias is actually one of the most powerful and influential High Inquisitors of the Church, feared for his assassination talent and his unimaginable skills and powers. Wearing his dark black raincoat and wielding his twin Lawgivers, Umbra and Thanathos, he has brought death to so many immortal entities that he has earned the nickname of “The Exterminator Angel.”
Sometimes his job requires him to take an extended leave of Saint Bernabe, but he always returns to the orphanage to care for the children, which are his guiding light. The Thirteenth Cardinal only uses Alexias for special missions, and the mere mention of its name causes terror among the organizations like Samael, Magus or Yehudah. Naturally, nobody in Saint Bernabe knows his secret; so his enemies do not know either where The Exterminator Angel pass his free time.
Dark, cruel and ruthless with the supernatural, while simultaneously warm and affectionate with the children, only a few months ago Alexias encountered one of the greatest moral dilemmas he’s ever had to face. After executing a couple of Daimah, he heard weeping and discovered the daughter of his two victims, only five years old, crying in terror. When he saw the frightened cat-girl looking at him with glassy eyes, he felt his resolve waver and was unable to kill her. Without understanding why, he took her along back to Saint Bernabe, where he affectionately cared for her as if he were her father. Alexias fears the day he cannot hide the presence of the girl from his companions, but he is unable to execute her.
For the first time in his life, The Exterminator is truly conflicted.
(Fortress, Population 8,000+)
A fortress built by the Vanderveer family in year 653 after the first war with Lucrecio, this bastion has proven vital to the Empire now that Kanon borders the Azur Alliance. It is a building of three towers and high walls, located on a small plateau, which gives it a huge strategic value. The site, which until a few years ago housed only a few hundred soldiers, has been rapidly reinforced with troops from Kanon and the Lord of War.
Kassia is under the orders of commander Lidia Piryk, one of the few women who have managed to attain such rank in the imperial army. Although her main job is to monitor the actions of the Alliance, she cannot help but feel uncomfortable being so near to Lucrecio and its prince.
(City, 79,000+ inhabitants)
Kanon’s capital is sometimes overshadowed by other cities of greater renown such as Bendek, but it is still the most important metropolis in the principality. It was built in the fourth century using a small fishing village as a base, but when their citizens started manufacturing the first boats, the Empire invested large amounts of money in building the largest shipyards of the Inner Sea. With so much gold in circulation, the city was prosperous and the prince made it the capital to properly oversee the creation of the new imperial armada.
Brudge is an enormous fortress of stone, wood and metal, magnificently designed by the architects of Abel. The city combines beautiful ornaments with the military expediency of any city-fortress in Dalaborn. The buildings tend to be quite somber, but also have many monuments and great mansions. Its port is spectacular, and often has several hundred of galleons in their docks. The city also has one of the most famous navy museums, where the imperial army keep all kinds of artifacts of war, from simple swords to whole vessels, used in all the important conflicts of the Empire during the last seven centuries.
Rich in manufacturing (especially handcrafted wood pieces), Brudge has many lines of business, although of course the shipyards are the most important of all. More than half of the population here are sailors working in the shipyards of part of the navy. There are also many nobles living in the city, typically high officials retired from the active duty. The city has no walls by land, but it relies on a sophisticated maritime defense system called “God’s Thumb”, which ensures the protection of the navy while it is moored. This complex mechanism extends from the shore enabling it to lift enormous metal blades from the seabed. The control panel is in the “Thumb Tower”, an incredibly secure building. Nobody knows for sure who built such a device or how, but many believe that, rather than building it, the Lord of War discovered “God’s Thumb” purely by chance.
The city is ruled by prince Milek Vanderveer Janssen, known for his serious nature and his loyalty to the Empire.
Other Settlements: Berke, Reisz, Terhel.