Thursday, September 24, 2015

Locales: Ackmere

Ackmere is the south-westerly kingdom of Evandar's seven that borders Swavia and Aelethemer to the north, Moesia to the east, and the region known as the Darklands to the south. On the western side of Ackmere are the grasslands that lead to the desert known as the Waste. Where the grasslands north of Ackmere are claimed as part of Aelethmer's domain, the ones on the border of Ackmere are not claimed as part of that kingdom but rather reserved for the people who were ancestrally displaced from the Darklands during the Great War of the last Age. Officially, these people are free and not tied to any kingdom. In practice, however, they align with Ackmere. They, however, are not part of the seven kingdoms that make up the greater kingdom of Evandar.

In the north of Ackmere, where the pinnacle of the boundary meets Aelethmer, the foothills of the Shattered Mountains roll. There is a region of six lakes that are heavily sheltered by the hills from the bitter winters of the north. These lakes are known as the tears of Roen, for local folklore states they were formed by her tears as she walked the world and saw the evil Morguthu brought. Around these lakes, there are vineyards. This is where Ackmere's wine production predominantly happens. The wines of Ackmere are considered to be almost as good as those of Aelethmer.

The mountains of the Shattered Mountains range march through the eastern side of Ackmere. They divide the kingdom into two regions. The western side of Ackemer is approximately two thirds of the kingdom. The western region with its hills are known for the sheep and goats that reside there. The villages and towns of western Ackmere are predominantly places where fabric is fashioned and traded. In the city of Crookdown, the largest center of fabric trade of the seven kingdoms is located. Exotic fabric, such as silk from the distant lands of Pannonia in across the sea, first come into the kingdom here. While Ackmere is not favored with ports, it is part of a great trading route that moves through the lands about the great sea.

Eastern Ackmere is a place where timber is traded. The trees of the southernmost part of the kingdom are rare, for they have grown in the bogs that reach into the realm known as the Darklands. The bog wood is reputed to possess magical powers. It is also extremely durable and resistant to rot. There are also orchards in eastern Ackmere that are famed for their fruit. The plums of eastern Ackmere are fashioned into a wine that is popular through out the seven kingdoms for its sweetness. Eastern Ackmere is considered to be the gateway to the inner kingdoms. The trade routes through the Shattered Mountains are well policed with a dedicated force that answers to the king.

The monarchy of Ackmere is a matrilineal one. The rule of the kingdom is handed down from mother to daughter. The queens of Ackmere have an established reputation as ruthless and devious enemies of their foes. The sitting queen is living up to her reputation with her merciless rule over her lands. Malcontents are found out and punished when they speak out against the queen. The queen is also known for the fact that she has ridden out into battle, leading her troops personally. The king of Ackmere is generally more of a consort figure with substantially less power, though in theory he is the queen's equal.

In the entire history of Ackmere, there has only been one known battle between the queen and her king. This battle has been remembered as a bloody civil war between west and east Ackmere. The conclusion of the civil war brought a considerable reduction to the king's power. Indeed, that king was imprisoned by the queen and died under suspicious circumstances.

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