Knights of Sceldrum takes place on the continent of Ortellium, a large continent in the northern hemisphere of the world. At the time the series takes place, the continent is divided into three nations.
The eponymous kingdom of Sceldrum is the smallest sovereign nation on Ortellium. Located on the southwestern part of the continent, it is the original homeland of the civilizations of the both the Luminous Empire and the Linmaran Republic.
The people of Sceldrum are infamously individualistic, and although the country is nominally a kingdom, in practice the king has very little authority outside the six main cities in the northern half of the country. Further south, the scattered villages live mostly independently, often engaging in conflicts with nearby settlements.
The Royal Knights were created after Sceldrum gained its independence from the Empire in the Battle of Darnellia in 176 AE, based on the Imperial Knights in the Empire. It was intended that the Knights would serve as an elite fighting force, which would have the authority to raise and lead a united Sceldrian army, if such a thing would ever be necessary. At the same time, they would serve as heralds and diplomats in times of peace. In all of Sceldrum, there are roughly three thousand Royal Knights.
Sceldrum is bordered in the north by the Valoniae (the western part of which is known as the Vanguard’s Folly) and the Swamp of Three Rivers, and in the east by the heavily fortified strip of land known as the Buffer.
The Luminous Empire
The Luminous Empire (Lunólam Alínyoí, Empire of Heaven, in their tongue) occupies the top half of Ortellium, known to them as Ävnavinyá. Its people originally lived in the area that is now Sceldrum, but years of warfare in the region drove many to seek a better life north of the mountains.
The Empire in its current form grew around a religious sect worshiping the Sun as its primary deity, and to a lesser extent the Moon as well. Using glyph magic, which they believe to have been given to them by the Sun himself, they assimilated and conquered the land north of the mountains, though they face heavy resistance in their eastern provinces to this day.
The Empire conquered Sceldrum when the Scintellian explorers had only just begun to settle there, but their Emperor at the time was not very interested in the region because it was very difficult to send troops south of the mountains, and only persevered for religious reasons. After Sceldrum achieved its independence, the only territory the Empire maintains south of the mountains is its series of fortresses extending all the way to the coast, known to Sceldrians as the Buffer, and in the Empire as Liyáí Vúnoli.
Most people in the Empire, especially in its western provinces, are fairly religious. Their glyphs bring them prosperity and many people even in small villages are literate. Sun Priests convey the divine rules of the Sun (and Emperor) to the people, and Moon Priestesses explain the symbolism behind their words, as well as providing other services of a religious nature, such as officiating weddings.
The Empire is bordered by the Linmaran Republic in the south, except for the southwest, where it is bordered by Sceldrum. Its eastern provinces, however, still desire independence, and many who live there do not consider themselves to be Imperial citizens.
The Linmaran Republic
The Linmaran Republic (known as Kunras Linmarai in their tongue) occupies most of southern Ortellium, known as Ginfinga to them. Its people originally lived in the area that is now Sceldrum, but years of warfare in the region drove many to seek a better life further east, leaving the old heartlands sparsely populated.
The Republic was originally an alliance of city-states who shared a culture and religion, which began to expand eastwards after their old enemies north of the mountains had been defeated. In doing so, they came into contact with another alliance of city-states, which was no match for them militarily because of their powerful glyph magic, which differed from the glyphs in the north in the sense that they required a sacrifice to work. The other alliance, led at the time by a family called the Jionni, was more interested in trade than in military might, and a deal was struck. The Jionni territories would join with the Linmaran ones, and the Jionni family would gain control over its trade routes and seats on regional councils, as well as the Grand Council in the capital city of Linmaranar.
Going even further east, the Linmarans ran into another coalition of city-states, who had been enemies of the Jionni. The Firenni, however, were now engaged with the Kentaxian tribes from further east, across the river known today as the Gissa Farsantso, and agreed to join the Linmaran alliance if the Linmarans would deal with the Kentaxians for them.
The Kentaxians possessed magic of a different kind, cast by trained priests known as Sarapsarines, who had been ritually tattood in different ways, according to the god they served. Their tattoos helped them focus their magic, which they cast through vocalizations which took many years to learn.
The Linmarans and Kentaxians fought many battles, though the formidable barrier of the Gissa Farsantso ensured most of these wars ended in stalemates. When the Empire, north of the mountains, was beginning to conquer its eastern provinces, the three major families of the Linmarans, and the three major tribes of the Kentaxians, joined by the merchants from both sides of the river, negotiated a fusion of the two sides into one entity that would be capable of withstanding an Imperial invasion. The alliance would also prevent either side from attacking the other, should the Empire only attack from one side. Despite the resentment to this alliance on both sides, it has held for well over a century at this point.
The people in the Republic are very diverse. The constant political squabbling between the Linmaran and Kentaxian sides of society and the large amount of trade with the southern continent of Uffonnirron means that nearly every religion and culture is welcomed and allowed to practice, as long as the laws set by the Grand Council (and its leaders, the Council of Seven) are followed. In general, however, most people are either Linmaran or Kentaxian, and despite nominally being a single nation, tensions are often high, especially around the Gissa Farsantso.
Because the magic of both the Linmarans and the Kentaxians require human sacrifices when used for warfare, the death penalty is almost never used in the Republic. Instead, prisoners are locked up in large prison complexes, where they often serve as fodder for experimentation.
Literacy in the Republic isn’t quite as high as in the Empire, and the skilled workers are all expected to join guilds, ran by the many merchants. The guilds charge high prices for their services, but by and large the merchants make sure that a majority of people makes enough money to be able to afford it.
The Republic is bordered in the north and west by the Empire (the western border being the Buffer), and in the south by a sea which separates Ginfinga from Uffonnirron, though much like with the Empire, people in the northeast desire independence and do not consider themselves part of the Republic.