Steel, Lilacs, and Penumbra (Spellbound Kingdoms)
We are in the Jewel in the Hilt, the City of Sparks and Gasps, Rithaign. Rithaign is a major metropolis on the continent known as the Claw. Inside its walls, 100,000 people are compressed to a hideous density. The city is a ring within a ring. The inner ring, comprising the old city walls and watchtowers, is now the sprawling headquarters of the king's secret magi police, the Dryght. The outer ring, the new city walls, is home to the royal armed forces. Rithaign is the largest city in the kingdom of Akra but not its capital; the capital is Hessek, a fearsome, haunted town brooding atop one of the many tepuis that rise inland to the west. To the east is the Grand Hilt Bay, a vast inlet more properly considered a sea itself. A bit less then 100 miles across the Bay is East Fire, a major city that is a constant source of conflict between the rival kingdoms of Akra and Azenahal.
Godson Volaine, Earl of Glamorsange, has passed away of old age while visiting the king in the capital. The Earl spent most of his time in Rithaign. His body has arrived via barge for the imminent funeral.
The Eve of St. Jhess is approaching. On this day, the faithful of the Church leave the ones that they are with, even if only for one night. It is not seemly to love too much, or too constantly.
Royal 1: Beauty, especially in art, is the highest and most noble pursuit in this life. Anyone who does not have an Inspiration valuing Beauty has his maximum Mood lowered by 1 while in the kingdom.
Royal 2: Beauty is cheap, shallow, fleeting and hateful. Anyone who has an Inspiration valuing Beauty has his maximum Mood lowered by 1 while in the kingdom.
Local (House Tumenant in ascendancy): Anyone who has completed what can be considered "an adventure" boosts all existing positive reputations by 1 while in the city.
Textile and smithing are strong economic sectors in Rithaign. Armor and fashion items are all available at one wealth level below normal.
House Tumenant – Duke Raoul's house, and thus the ruling house of Rithaign. Also the Queen's house.
House Anfield – the King's house. Also, the house of many of the counts, barons, and earls who reside in Rithaign (regardless of how far distant their actual titled lands might be).
House Simonides - An old house of Rithaign. Its patriarch is Lord Drumaldi Simonides, Earl of West Thesoria, and Baron of the Silverfoil. Many whispers surround Lord Drumaldi, but they either have not reached the king or have failed to move the king, for House Simonides continues to hold its titles and its place at court.
House Volaine - House Volaine has long held lands in the west of the kingdom, under the shadow of the king, who rules sealed in his box from the acropolis capital of Hessek. Most of the nobles of house Volaine spend their lives in either Rithaign, Hessek, or both. It is said that they do not remain in their family seat, Hurge, because not even a noble can sleep with so many cries and screams echoing from the Dryght's camps in the cliffs.
Theodrick Raixe – Engineer, son of Isabella Raixe. Intended to give the Earl's cabochon ruby to someone named Errol. Also once stole the scroll of Lord Argos's maturity from House Simonides; he claims it now hangs on the wall in Ginny Siddal's trophy room. Why exactly she considers it such a prize is a bit of a mystery.
Ginny "Wheelock" Siddal - The guildmistress of the Merchants Below, which is the shadow arm of the Rithaign Factors, Insurers, and Beggars. Essentially, it is a thieving guild, caught in a struggle with the Cutters Guild for control of the world below.
Bishop Imre – House priest to House Simonides. Chief celebrant at the Earl of Glamorsange's funeral.
Robert Volaine, Dauphin in Glamorsange – the ten-year-old boy who was to be the next Earl. He appeared to die, then appeared to be reborn, at his father's funeral, which was also to be his coronation. He was taken away by kingsmen; his status is unknown but asserted to be fine. Perfectly fine.
Princess Ariadne – The most recent daughter of King Lucius I. She grew up splitting time between Rithaign and the court in Hessek, and knows House Simonides and its servants well.