An artificial monarchy/aristocracy. The founding families, wandering after the destruction of the Cataclysm, found an ancient library in a ruined castle. Sick and tired of the destruction, with the ties to nature cut off, they became fascinated with the pre-Cataclysm fictional romances. They painted a picture of a feudal kingdom with brave knights, loyal retainers, dashing adventures, beautiful women and tear-jerking romantic complications. So they set out to create that kingdom in truth.
About 15 years later, remnants of the original Meztlan population sought refuge in the area. The Auringon elves gave them refuge, in exchange for working the land and playing the role of serfs, servants, and yeomen. Starving, they accepted.
Their top priority was to teach everyone the distorted truth and to inculcate obedience to this planned society. Doing this required help. The First Families used an artifact in the ruined castle to manipulate the memories of and lives of everyone in the kingdom...at a cost. They sacrificed their people's vitality, decreasing their lifespans to those of normal humans and cutting themselves off from nature. So now they're basically humans with pointy ears and a few other traits.
Royal House/Duchy Aurin
Auringon is ruled by a king, Aurel III, grandson of the first King. Now an elderly (~75) man himself, he has played his part well. Also Duke of Aurin. Physically infirm (although the intervention of the Heroes Foretold has drastically improved his health by ending a slow poisoning). His wife Queen Tatya (his 3rd wife, as the first two died in childbirth) is much younger (~18), and a bit of a flibbertigibbet at least on the surface. Very beautiful and beloved by her people.
He has two living children (with two who have died). His eldest daughter is, Lady Sophrenia. She's 50, has never married and serves as the king's mage and the head of the Mage's College. His youngest daughter is Lady-Priestess Yelena. Aged 25, she's the daughter of the 2nd wife and the kings' favorite. She serves as High Priestess of the Lady of Jewels. She's a total slut and a schemer, although most of her schemes revolve around her...conquests. His heir is actually his eldest grandchild, Prince Alan (age 19). Alan's father, Prince Axel (Aurel's firstborn), died in a drunken accident about 2 years ago. Alan is vain and not very bright, although the exposure of Duke Avignon's treachery has brought him to his senses a bit.
Each of the 4 other duchies are ruled by a Duke. Some duchies have counties or earldoms.
The Dowager Dutchess Yvore is actually in charge; the duke is her 4-year-old son. They abolished serfdom even before the Heroes Foretold shook things up in 250 AC. A large number of the meztlan refugees from the most recent crisis have settled there. Yvore has two divisions: Yvore County and Northford County.
- Dowager Dutchess Yvore
- widowed young (32). Technically an advisor, Regent Hawthorne rules for son, but is patsy. Does not trust mages. Friendly towards the Federated Nations.
- Count Northford
- Veteran knight, no ambitions.
- Lord Hero Gabriel
- One of the Heroes Foretold, Gabriel has married into House Yvore and been granted an estate in Yvore County.
Smallest and newest duchy, Troyes was only founded in 220 AC. The bulk of the meztlan refugees settled here and are transforming it into a bustling area. Like Yvore, Troyes has abandoned serfdom.
- Duke Troyes
- Poor except in land. Looking for workers, but can't pay. Laws prevent him from offering freeholds to outsiders. Fully in favor of the Federated Nations.
- Baron Saint-Germaine
- Rules over eastern marches. Paranoid a bit.
The oldest dutchy (beyond Aurin itself). Directly in the path of the refugees, they bore the brunt of the impact. Avignon has very few freemen, mostly serfs. Currently in bad odor, as the prior Duke was revealed to be a traitor conspiring to poison the king. The counties are Avignon County and Colmar County. Colmar has also recently changed leadership, as the former Count Colmar was Avignon's henchman and also traitor.
- (Former) Duke Bors Avignon
- Grasping, arrogant, scheming. Pretends to be traditional, but really wants to take power. Was poisoning the king via Tlalocana-provided parasite. Killed in the Trials of the Heroes Foretold. Father of Queen Tatya, although she despised him.
- (Former) Count Jared Colmar
- Brute. On his 6th wife (he likes them young and broken). A part of the plot to take over the kingdom, he was also killed in the Trials of the Heroes Foretold and is missed by exactly no one.
- Duke Sorel Avignon
- A weak man, spared the purges after his uncle's betrayal only because he was too obviously spineless to take part. Very devout, very not bright. Totally under the thumb of Queen Tatya.
Considered back-country. Very loyal and traditional. Two counties: Vitre County and Laon County.
- Duke Emmanuel Vitre
- Older, traditional. Hates politics. Very loyal to royal family. Will do whatever the royal family says.
- Count Illyas Laon
- (Former) High Priest of Crowns Roland
- Ambitious man. Uses Laon & Yvore as patsies. Deposed by Hero Priest Yosef, who currently reigns in the temple of Roel Kor. Roland is currently serving in a small chapel on the southern border.
In mid summer 250 AC, the Heroes Foretold arrived as part of a Dashingwell-sponsored diplomatic mission from the Federated Nations to Auringon. They uncovered Duke Avignon's treachery and the threat from Tlalocana. They also brought an end to the Tale by passing the Test of the Elder Library and closing the Tome. In the aftermath, they've settled down here and started to prepare the nation against the oncoming Tlalocanan armies.
As part of this, two groups of refugees from the south were incorporated into Avignon. They are the meztlan and K'ijn peoples. The uacmin were denied entry and are actively hunted when they raid. The meztlan have settled in the most, while the k'ijn largely went north and east around Auringon.