The Edict is the first book in The She Trilogy and opens up a whole world to you. It starts on the continent home to the Reluwyn Empire. Stretching from the Northern Moors south to the Tao Desert and through to the mysterious Southern Forest, the Kingdom of Emrilion is bordered to the east by Castir it’s neighbour in political turmoil after deposing it’s child-queen and to the west by the Western Sea and rumoured lands lying beyond it.
Emrilion is spread across conquered lands with one ruling race, the Reluwyn, and many subjugated races all with their own distinct looks, attire and culture.
The Kingdom of Emrilion
The rulers of Emrilion, the Reluwyn started out as a nomadic people in the Tao desert to the south. Originally living alongside but separate to the Radichi, the Reluwyn have a strong warrior culture associated with both sexes. They take pride in physical strength and prowess both in hunting and on the battlefield. The women of the Radichi are expected to take pride in their bodies and show them off! They wear revealing attire and are not ashamed of men’s ogling glances. The men on the other hand favour silk tunics, trousers and leather versions of the latter as well as heavy-duty coats in the colder climes of the north. However, the men do revert to their tribal wear when ceremonies or traditions are enacted.
Though the Reluwyn have grown from a nomadic peoples to a settled race as overlords across all Emrilion, they don’t forget their roots and are proud of their love of battle and pleasure. Whilst their capital is Emril City in the central-eastern region of Emrilion, there are numerous forts scattered throughout the kingdom as strongholds of Reluwyn authority and many of their people have made settlements and villages across Emrilion.
The Laowyn have always been a peaceful people. Living predominantly in the north-west of Emrilion one of their largest towns is the forest town of Miresh. A town built around and within the trees themselves Miresh is a settlement thriving on local craft with small trade routes in the surrounding area. Whilst there are larger dwellings their are many small homes weaving in and out of each other making a maze of living alleys that even the Reluywn would rather not get lost in; preferring open spaces harking back to their desert origins.
On the western coast lie the ruins of Ishtalia, the old Laowyn capital from which their council of elders led the race. A city of bright white stone sitting on the western sea it was slighted (the walls were destroyed making it indefensible and uninhabitable) during the wars of conquest by the Reluwyns, destroying any thoughts of unification or rebellion.
Believing in one Great Spirit, the Laowyn are often seen as foolish and weak by other more bloodthirsty races. Their opinion of modesty rivals the Reluwyn’s desire to appreciate physical beauty. They believe in women being dutiful daughters, wives and mothers; and men largely taking the lead. They are a more sombre race, inclined to peace rather than war, but their wisdom is underestimated in the kingdom, though their compassion is widely known.
The Meir Elves
The Meir Elves’ home is the Great Forest. Whilst the Laowyn have settlements within the forest borders the Meir Elves are the native race. Unlike many other elves, those in Emrilion have become sour and suspicious because of their Reluwyn overlords. Once a celebrating race who made the most of harvest and spring, they have been persecuted by the Reluwyn government who want conformity in the races, not celebrations which highlight racial differences.
The Meir Elves are generally a quiet race that keep to themselves. They believe the forest sustains them and so they must sustain the forest and so have never had thoughts of expansion or conquest. Due to their close proximity the Meir Elves have close trading links with the Laowyn and are similar in values to them.
The Chieftain Tribes
The chieftains are leaders of small groups of people who live in the central-western area of hill-land in Emrilion. The warmer climbs make pleasant living for these peoples who largely live off the land and trading animals with the Reluwyn.
They have one of the main ports that trades with the Western Isle lying off the coast of Emrilion. Pief Port is largely a fishing port and one of the gateways across the Western Sea.
The Radichi Warriors
The Radichi Warriors, unlike the Reluwyn, are still very much a nomadic race. Living in the Tao desert which their overlords largely abandoned twenty years ago before the wars of conquest, for the Radichi home is a tented dwelling. Whilst they are a proud race who love their fighting and their women they are also the main pool of mercenaries which the Reluwyn dip into when they need extra troops.
In appearance the Radichi generally have darker skin but very fair blond hair which they wear in beaded braids – both men and women – but their most defining feature are the unusual pale brown tattoos which run in intricate patterns just under their skin, all over their bodies. It’s said that these markings mean something, and perhaps tell the Radichi lineage from the beginning of time, but it’s a secret the race keeps to themselves and no one outside of it knows the real truth.
Once home to the Southern Elves, not to mention weird and magical beasts found no where else in the Kingdom, the Southern Forest is largely uninhabited and allowed to run wild. The Southern Elves exiled themselves across the Western Sea, or so the stories say, however, with no confirmed rumours of land lying beyond it, no one really knows where the elves went. As to why, only the Reluwyn government know anything and they’re cagey about letting out any truth so both the forest and the elves lie mostly in the realms of mystery. Enter the forest only at your own peril, many souls have been lost between it’s changing and shifting trees to all manner of unknown beasts.
Emril city is the cornerstone of the Reluwyn Empire. Found in the central-eastern region, it is built entirely from sandstone quarried in the Tao desert and brought north for construction. As such, though it lies a few miles south of the Great Forest and in moderately temperate climes, it maintains the appearance of a desert city. Many even talk of the mini-sandstorms whipping themselves up in the streets, though those with more wisdom recognise them as nothing more than building erosion and dust from an over populated city.
Situated at the heart of Emril City, the palace is a unique building made up of multiple circular walls wrapping around one another. The gateways from one wall to another don’t line up so a visitor is forced to walk several miles to gain entrance to the most central palace buildings pushing through traders from across the empire on the way. Besides, you won’t be getting into those inner-circles unless you have something specifically valuable to trade or have business at court. The main buildings of the palace are large and sprawling including halls, living quarters, kitchens, grand entertainment areas, the royal library, harem, stables and a myriad of courtyards giving open spaces and dissipating the claustrophobic feel.
The whole palace has a feeling of sumptuousness with its great painted murals, tented ceilings – shadowing the Reluwyn’s previous nomadic existence – arched doorways, ornate domes and jewelled tiles.
The Western Isle
The isle lying off the west coast of Emrilion is a beautiful paradise but often hit by storms that come in off the sea. Trading primarily with Pief Port in the Chieftain Lands, the Western Isle is home to a mysterious and secretive people who are generous in trade, gifts and hospitality but not necessarily in the truth of rumoured lands across the Western Sea.
A huge roaring ocean off the west of Emrilion, there are rumours about land beyond it, though no sailor has made the journey and then returned to talk about it. At least no one’s come forward… The Reluwyn’s, who are interested in trade and expansion, are exploring the Western Sea to see if there’s any truth in the tales.
Emrilion’s eastern neighbour is the Kingdom of Castir. The Castirian border runs north to south with part of it marked by the mountain range in which the Emrilion town of Lothian perches. Castir is in turmoil with its child queen first ascending the throne and then being deposed by her own people. At the moment relations between the Kingdom of Emrilion and Castir are amicable.