|The Hastings Estate in Nostvale|
|Location||Central Valmasian Plains|
|Ruler||Queen Judith Hirano|
|Motto||Always Stand Again|
|Symbol||An oak tree on green|
Nostvale is the centermost village of Valmasia, and historically a chronically unstable location, as the land held comprises the juncture of the east and west. Infamous for being the seat of power of Lord Ro'tro, Empress Eline Sakete, and Empress Aria Hirano, Nostvale has passed through many hands. Relatively recently, Nostvale has long been ruled by the Hirano family. In it's darker hours, it has often been forced to vassalage at the hands of Danarium and Frostvale in the west.
The current holder of the Black Crown of Nostvale is Queen Judith Hirano, a human.
The population of Nostvale is heavily human. Given the prior presence of the pagan Sacred Knights, most of the population is mildly accepting of those beliefs, with several families still serving the Urayan faith within the city. While rarely publically stated, given the general antipathy of the population towards Frostvale following the Western War, Ryujin worship was subdued, although the recent queen has lessened antipathy towards Drakanites immensely.
Nostvale is notable for having several occultist rulers in the past- From the madness of Eline Sakete, to the benevolence of Konaa Hirano- Leading to a bucket of mixed feelings on the matter. Nonetheless, until the ruler gives an official stance on the occult, the populace of Nostvale is inclined to a wide variety of reactions, but almost never outright hatred towards occultists.
Nostvale's history in Pre-Elinian times after Seraphiel Melym the First's ascendance to the throne was generally unremarkable, as the golden era of the High King rule lead to a stable period of direct, taxing governance.
Umbra Mortem Edit
Skirmish with AlterosEdit
Immediately following Eline's death, former Empyrial Watchman Biorr ascended the throne.
The Western WarEdit
In 756 AC, due to a diplomatic fallout between Brenin Alpheral and Sacra Jetniss Ravehart of Frostvale, several Nostvalian citizens were arrested within the borders of the northern city on suspicion of espionage, including Lucindra Stormwell and Corvus Creed. After months of posturing, war was finally declared with the drakanite King determined to conquer Nostvale and take Alpheral's head. This war would prove disasterous for Nostvale, the Emperyon Legion being utterly defeated on both occasions it clashed with the Draco Nivis. Mysterious circumstances caused the Black Gate to crumble into dust, leaving the south prairie wide open. A scant three years after war was declared, the city was conquered and made a vassal to Frostvale, with its leadership and much of its remaining military fleeing the city. A council including Zahilekim Sakete and Gene Caitiff was formed to rule in Jetniss' stead.
However, the sin mage of Greed was not content to leave the crown in the hands of Jetniss Ravehart. With his lover, Namarre Sakete, they formulated a plot to assassinate the Sacra of Frostvale with emissaries from across Valmasia whom had been slighted by the dragon-king. Successful, Zahilekim Sakete took the throne and promptly married his fellow conspirator.
Tensions rose to marked highs with Danarium and the civilized west for permitting a sin mage to hold the throne. However, this wouldn't last long. An ill advised coup lead to Emanuel Vaunson, traitor to Nostvale twice over attempting to seize the throne by force, and in order to back his claim, allowed the armies and force of Danarium in through the Black Gate.
Nostvale was promptly vassalized by the west, losing it's hard re-earned freedom, and King Uriel Melym promptly passed over the turncoat in favor an election for a local lord. He was summarily executed by the winner, Lord Konaa Hirano, less than a day after his appointment to the crown with no objections from Danarium.
In the aftermath of the plague, few available magi were left within the starved and war-battered state, save for Priscilla Hirano, a drakanite taken in by Lord Hirano at a young age.
Policies trended intensely towards anti-slavery following Biorr and Alpheral's caretaking of the city, despite attempts to bring it back in the more 'humane' and legal form of indentured servantry for offenses put down by Frostvale and Zahilekim and Namarre Sakete. Nostvale had little ties with the east at the time, with a 'complex' relationship with Danarium as reparations could only go so far in healing the rift, often a controversial topic within Nostvale.
Nonetheless, it was well known that it was only through magical might and name that Priscilla ruled; Ill suited to the task of the throne, she was considered a figurehead with the state mostly run by her advisors and later, her husband, Sishio Hirano. After a scandal came to light of the sword of the murdered Rachel Klaus, queen of Frostvale and daughter of Alpheral being in her possession, she fled from the throne and hid away in ignominity, passing the crown indirectly to her husband and abandoning her children.
Mimic Emergence Edit
The year of 836 was the year the Battle of Imperial Black Gate took place. The armies of Danarium and Frostvale in the west, lead by Ersa Avharain of Danarium, clashed with the defending Nostvale and Imperial loyalists, with Magi of the continent fighting on either side. The purpose was upheaval; to end Empress Hirano's reign over the other kingdoms, forcibly. The wall armored troops of Frostvale broke through the gate with magi assistance and fought through the swarms of rabble and skeletons Nostvale had to offer, while their cavalry were forced to sit idle. While the battle was fought in the West's favor, much of the actual fighting was between magi; dueling between groups of mundane warriors.
The battle ended with Nostvale's retreat on King Falco's order, after such names as empress Aria Hirano, the half-angel Judeal Loki and the vindicator Rachel had fallen, slain. Dominic Falco abandoned Nostvale soon after the end of the battle and a ceasefire turned truce was made between the kingdom of Nostvale and the rebels. With Empress Hirano's death at the ends of Ersa Avharain, the High Crown vanished, as expected.
=== Inquisition Era
The Black GateEdit
A defensive structure established by Eline Sakete and Hakim Najeer in the year AC, and reconstructed after the Western War by Namarre and Zahilekim Sakete in AC, this massive magi resistant structure spans the only notable pass from the Sarab down into the Southern Plains. Standing taller than dozens of men, this imposing structure primarily serves these days as an excellent deterrent to smugglers, a well manned post that catches the most impudent of criminals. Trying to make headway through the less utilized crags and crannies of the southwestern ranges of Valmasia is trying and best, and deadly at worst, making passage through the Black Gate the sensible route for anyone without something to hide; And the worst case for an army, but the only practical route.
Made of dark, rune inscribed stone, the bulwarks of the Black Gate attempt to absorb spells angled upwards towards defenders, making it a stolid and tricky locale, an ideal bottleneck. The repeatedly adamantine reinforced steel layers of portculli force would-be attackers through a treacherous shift of lowering and closing metal deathtraps. Whether or not this has been maintained, of course, is a question.
High King Ro'troEdit
Commander of the Tenebris Aurora, Ro'tro, wielder of Durendal and summoner of a dark phoenix swept Valmasia by force in the 500s. While little concrete history on him exists in the modern day, the atrocities propagated by Tenebris Aurora under his command and concretely based in Nostvale are still the subject of children's tales today.
Nostvale quickly became the seat of her rule, and her death was allegedly within the very throneroom as she impaled herself on Durendal, succumbing to it's fell madness. Eline's rule ended the declining Melym dynasty and centralized rule of all Valmasia, splitting the continent into myriad petty kingdoms and crafting the Crowns of Power that would revolutionize politics as the continent knew it.
The first king to take up the mantle of ruler in Nostvale in the Post-Elinian era, King Biorr Hawthorne was known less for specific achievement than for his death and the results of his decisions. He was slain in a skirmish with Alteros in defense of his people from slavery, leaving behind his spear, Gae Bolg.
An influential figure from the mid 700s, Alpheral was the regent of Nostvale and guardian of King Biorr's children in the post-Elinian era.
King Zahilekim SaketeEdit
Zahilekim Sakete, the son of Eline and sin mage of Greed forcibly obtained his crown through the assassination of Sacra Jetniss Ravehart in 765. His reign was short, but met with some of the greatest tensions of the east and the west, giving rise to the political climate thereafter.
The first of the Hirano line to ascend to rulership of Nostvale, the former commander of the Empyrion Legion before it was reformed as the Viridian Legion by his hand. Having served under Nostvale at the side of Alpheral and Zahilekim alike, he was well known for his benevolent mindset and virtuous goals in spite of his occultism; His signature sword of Exodus remains one of the iconic weapons of Nostvale's royalty.
Empress Aria Hirano Edit
Descendant of the adopted line of Lord Hirano, Aria Hirano was the youngest of five who ascended the throne through connections with fallen angels and dark necromancers, having trained her dark powers within Alteros from an early age. Utilizing these, Aria's first attempts to create a council to rule Valmasia were crushed, leading her to take over Valmasia by force. Her reign was long, and considered brutal by many, but provided many modern guidelines and educational systems.
King Dominic FalcoEdit
Commandant of Nostvale under the reign of Empress Hirano, Dominic Falco begat much of modern Valmasian marvels such as arcane, simplistic cameras, and magic detection wands. His experiments long left behind the trappings of human mortals as he sacrifices thousands in order to investigate his quandries of the universe; From the creation of the artificial star, Acrux, to summoning a god of sin to ask it of it's nature.