Kingdom of Glonde
The Kingdom of Glonde has for centuries been a dominating and stabilizing power among the western Realms. As heartland of the Solarist Faith, it is beheld as a land of the pious and just. Its long illustrious history is filled with heroes and prosperity, and many of the stories of Heroic Lantern Knights often feature a Glondic protagonist.
But the glory and prosperity of this one-time realm of wonder is faded. The Royal line grew selfish, complacent and aloof, putting personal comfort and greed before the good of the realm. King Alaric Agrumond II, Grandfather to the current King Theodore “the Malevolent” began borrowing great amounts of treasure from the Order of the Lantern for the sake of his own luxury, beginning the Spiral of Debt that the kingdom struggles desperately with to this day.
The Modern Glonde is a place of stark Contrasts. The Order of the Lantern possesses great wealth, and still boasts mighty Warrior-Monks that vanquish the creatures that crawl out from the darkness of the eclipse. But the poor folk of the realm struggle desperately with the Taxes that the King levies to cope with the national Debts, making misery, famine and pestilence rife in the shadows of grand cathedrals.
The King’s Men
The Order of the Lantern has a way of poaching the most promising, noble and able-bodied youths into its ranks with promises of a better and more comfortable life. They fixate on the charismatic and mighty, inducting most who fulfill a certain standard.
This leaves remarkably little for the crown to actually work with. With the cream of the crop seduced away by an organisation with more financial power and a better reputation, royal men at arms must be recruited from what remains.
As a result, and armed force of the crown typically consists of a smelly and vulgar host of foul-mouthed and pestilent blaggards who are poorly disciplined and have atrocious moral codes. With this sorry sight being the men representing the king, guarding his tax collectors and patrolling the roads and trying to adjudicate law, it is no surprise that King Theodore has developed a poor enough reputation to have him entitled “Malevolent”.
This even extends to a declining nobility. The heavy taxes to the crown leaves few lords able to compose anything resembling a fortune, and rather than live a life of nothing but cruel obligation, many give up their life and lands to the Church, seeking a more glorious life. These lords often do very well in the Order, swiftly being raised to very prestigious stations.
A Sea of Troubles
Crisis of succession
As King Theodore the Malevolent passed into his twilight years, whispers began circulating as to who would be next to take the throne. While King Theodore does have a rightful heir, rumors hold that the nobility no longer carries any confidence in the line of the Agrumonds, that assassins have their eyes on the prince, and that a dozen pretenders seek to supplant him.
Fears of War
Many foreign powers note the fragile nature of Glonde’s military capacity, and look upon its lands with covetous eyes. The Dragonreich is an obvious threat, but in their case the Order of the Lantern would willingly take to battle against an invading force. But although it would condemn such an action, the order would have its hands tied were it to come to another Solarist Kingdom were to enact a conquest of Glonde. The savage northern realm of Borterdeen sees weakness and a chance for easy spoils. The Arid kingdom of Windholme to the west of Glonde envies the fertile farmlands that go all but unprotected. Even the League would care for a piece of the realm, though they are far more likely to buy the Land out from under them.
Banditry has grown out of control of late. While Solarist forces do what they can, they don’t tend to do it with much subtlety, and Bandit groups usually manage to go to ground before being dug out by their patrols. This has lead to even more trouble for the Kingdom’s debts, with Tax collectors being attacked, and foreign traders growing unwilling to take the risk.