Aldea - The Dark Ages
What Tyranny Has Wrought
The effects of King Magnus’s tyranny can be seen across Aldis. While the exact changes his reign has created are too numerous to list, but the general effect of the policies put into place will be listed here.
One of the largest changes made was the official sanctioning of magic. Claiming to be an effort at weeding out dangerous sorcery, all magic users of any kind have to report in to the authorities and be sanctioned for magical use. If they are to travel, magic users must check in at the local authorities when entering a new region.
Unsanctioned magical adepts are dealt with strictly. The Inquisition is an organization formed by King Magnus to “eliminate supernatural threats to Aldis”. A secretive faction, the Inquisition hunts down any unlicensed adepts with brutal precision. The Inquisition also handles the location of new magical adepts, as well as transporting them for “proper training”, heedless of any pleas made by friends or family of the adept.
Due to the restrictions placed upon magic users, many ancient magical traditions are in danger of dying out. Spirit Dancing has been deemed illegal by the Inquisition, and the Divination traditions among the Roamers have been abandoned at least publicly. Many unsanctioned practitioners of magic still exist especially in the outer regions of Aldis where the grasp of the Inquisition is weaker, but any adept entering the heartlands of the nation needs to be careful with their use of magic.
Healing magic is the only exception to the rule. While not officially allowed, many authorities, including those within the Inquisition, turn a blind eye to healers and their art. The usefulness and demand of healers outweighs the trouble of finding and properly sanctioning magical healing. However, any healers who are found using any other kinds of magic are quickly taken in by the Inquisition.
State of non-humans
Out of the people, the non-human citizens of Aldis have suffered the most during King Magnus’s reign.
Sea-folk have been driven out of the coastlands for the most part, retreating to their aquatic homes in the island chains near Aldis. Having been almost entirely shunned by humans for the past years, they have learned to avoid humans in kind and are an uncommon sight in Aldis, even in places where they once were common.
The Inquisition has taken great interest in the Vata. In addition to their natural arcane abilities, many Vata of both kind are being taken in and studied by the Inquisition for various reasons. However, many Vata live entirely peacefully keeping with the King’s laws. Vata face no discrimination within the new government, with only a slight decline in numbers since the new King took the throne.
Rhydan in particular are in a poor position. Their fiercely independent natures clash with the sanctioning of magic, and as such anyone who is found to have bonded with a rhy-animal means they have at least latent psychic abilities, with the Inquisition at their heels shortly after. Due to this, many rhydan have turned even more reclusive than usual, with very few of them spotted in the heartlands of Aldis.
Night People are actively seen as abominations of nature by the Inquisition, and as such very few of them remain in Aldis, with most of them either hiding from the authorities or residing in the more tolerant outskirts of the nation where the King’s forces have less sway.
The New Nobility
Those few nobles who did not kneel to the new King were sentenced to treason or fled the nation. With the absence of the Golden Hart, the test of nobility that once ensured that only those pure of heart can enter the ranks of nobility cannot be performed. Thus, shortly after King Magnus took the throne he issued significant changes to the nobility. Instead of divine providence, nobility is now conferred through the Council of Representatives who examine the subject and their loyalty to the nation. Nobility still works on the same principles, with nobles being assigned either to various cities or as traveling nobles, with the Council deciding where the new noble’s skills are best suited.
Of course, nepotism has its eventual way and many sons and daughters make their way through into nobility without much examining, but overall the results have been admirable in providing Aldis with loyal nobles to its cause.
Regional nobles have the authority to bequeath the minor title of Constable upon its citizens, conferring them a status higher than common folk but still beneath actual nobles within their respective regions. Many of these Constables are citizens who have distinguished themselves to the community, but others are driven by nepotism and cronyism, giving titles to people who abuse the system for their own benefit.
The one thing that has been mostly left unchanged in Aldis is religion. Outside of imposing a ban on all depictions of the Golden Hart, priests operate unhindered by the new reign. This is beneficial, as many priests also work as healers.