High Kingdom of the Verian Isles
Àrd Rìoghachd na Eileanan Vèrannach (Àthaic)
Motto: "Urram agus Glòir"
"Honor and Glory"
Anthem: "The Fian's Last Voyage" ("Turas mu Dheireadh an Fhian")
Royal anthem: "Blade of the Crown" ("lann a' Chrùin")
Veria (top right) and Galemòr (bottom left) in green
|Location||North Concordian Ocean|
and national language
|Regional and minority languages|
|Artagan IV Taranìr|
|Noble Council (Comhairle Uasail)|
|Guild House (Taigh Guilidh)|
|151,453.22 km2 (58,476.42 sq mi)|
• 2023 estimate
• Per capita
|SDI (2020)|| 0.925|
|Currency||Verian Aonad (🝪) (AON)|
|ISO 3166 code||VI|
Veria (Àthaic: Vèrinn), officially the High Kingdom of the Verian Isles (Àthaic: Àrd Rioghachd na Eileanan Vèrannach) is an island nation in the northern Concordian Ocean, located just west of Borea and east of Novaris, the latter of which it holds territory on through the Crown Colony of Galemòr. Veria shares no land borders with any other nation on Urth, and the only nation it borders by sea is Kurandia. Out of Veria's 17.4 million population, 8.9 million live on Mòrrùn, the largest of the five main islands. The capital of Veria is Ruinaith, and its largest city is Lotharne.
Modern Verian history begins with the rise of the Kingdom of Àthia, formed from the unification of the County of Kèr Seanaire with the lesser Àthian city states. Under the semi-mythical King Alator à Seanaire, the Kingdom of Àthia conquered most of the Verian Isles, spreading what would eventually become Àthaic, the modern language of Veria. Though Àthia eventually collapsed in the Àthian Strife upon the death of King Alator II, the Mòrrùn Kingdom rose from the conflict of the Strife, establishing itself as the first true predecessor to the modern Verian state. It was during the Mòrrùn Era that the Kingdom of Malainn was conquered and subjugated, marking it as one of the five principal kingdoms of the Verian Isles. The Mòrrùn Era ended with the partition of the kingdom between the three heirs of King Arlen V in 979.
The High Kingdom of Veria as it exists today was born in the aftermath of the Verian Consolidation Wars, a series of military and religious conflicts spanning roughly the first half of the 14th century. By the conclusion of the Consolidation Wars, King Midir of Àthia held the crowns of all five kingdoms, and was crowned as the first High King of Veria. Under his rule the Verian Guilds came into formal power, and the exploration that would eventually lead to Verian colonialism began. The colonial period lasted from the 15th century to the early 20th, ending with the outbreak of the Great War, and only briefly interrupted in the 18th century with the Guilder Revolt of 1717, which most historians mark as the origin of the contemporary Verian government.
Formed from a union of the monarchy and the Verian Guilds, the Verian government shares power between a High King and a legislature formed from both the nobles of the lesser kingdoms and the leaders of the guilds, semi-governmental organizations that function as both state corporations and regulatory bodies for their respective fields. It is up to the citizens of Veria to vote for which nobles represent their region on the Noble Council, and up to the guilds to decide who represents their interests in the Guild House. The High King is a hereditary position kept in check by the two halves of the legislature, and may be replaced upon a two-thirds majority vote from both the Noble Council and the Guild House, though this has only happened once in Verian history.
While small, Veria is a considerable regional power with a prospering economy, of which very little goes to military expenses. Veria maintains a small, well-trained army and a more significant navy, reinforced with its diplomatic ties to Norgsveldet, with which it has been allied since before unification, dating back to the Kingdom of Àthia and the Kingdom of Novreheim. Veria maintains observer status in the Borean Assembly and associate status in the League of Novaris, but is not formally part of either organization.
The name Eileanan Vèr (Isles of Vèr) is first recorded as appearing in the stone tablets of the Adrah-Sình, which date back to roughly the 5th century BCE. It is unclear whether the term was used to refer to the entire archipelago before the creation of the tablets, but historical records suggest the name was at least popularized in the decades following the spread of the Sinhàdranhic faith throughout greater Veria. Documents dating to 879 CE are the oldest existing records that use the modern Vèrinn as the full title of the isles.
The Staynish-Codexian exonym Veria likely originates from a shortened Codexian transliteration of the Norgsveltian name for Veria, Vennrikia (Norgsveltian: lit. "Friendly realm"), which itself is also an exonym, and first came into use in the Kingdom of Novreheim after early contact with Verian sailors and merchants.
Verian Consolidation Wars
Fourth War of Consolidation
Early Modern Period
The Guilder Revolt of 1717 was a period of civil conflict centered around and resulting from the longstanding power struggle between guild and state. By the early 18th century the Verian guilds were a long-established force in both politics and government, and with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in Veria the so-called 'Guilder' class—a social strata of guild magnates—had risen significantly enough in station to rival the nobility in political influence and power. Though the guilds had held sway in the High King’s court since the 15th century, the advancement of the guild magnates was the first time in Verian history that they stood on equal footing with the nobility, and many among their ranks were no longer content to serve a noble as their High King.
Rise of the Lodges
Guilder society was unimaginably exclusive, as demonstrated by the Loidsean Guilidh (Guild Lodges), private societies formed from the only most privileged members of an already privileged class. The lodges were organized as secret meetings of the high society, and became hotbeds for philosophical and political debate among the most prominent guild magnates. At the fore of popular Guilder rhetoric was the concept of Tionnsgainneach Riaghailt (Magnate Rule), a political philosophy that advocated for the magnates, as the champions of the Industrial Revolution in an evolving society, to rule the nation at the head of the guilds, which themselves would act as bodies of governance. The concept, famously characterized as "a monopoly over the state" by Duke Íomhar Taranìr, advocated for a peaceful transfer of power from the nobility to the magnates through the purchase of titles. The common belief was that if the guilds could acquire the titles assigned to important court functions, they could take over the government like investors buying shares to acquire a company.
Guilds in Government
By 1712, High King Talan VIII had granted royal monopoly rights to no less than seven of the most prominent Verian guilds, most notably an exclusive monopoly on timber presented to the Baldurbannal, a major guild that originated as a woodcutter’s association in Seanaire. The terms of the monopoly granted the Baldurbannal rights regarding the production and export of timber from the entire island of Àthia, and as Verian fir wood was (and still is) one of the nation’s most valuable products, the so-called Baldurbann Monopoly was nothing short of lucrative. The other guilds, most of which had been granted minor monopolies over colonial goods in Galemòr, objected, accusing the High King of favoritism, while the nobles of Àthia expressed their outrage at the power a single guild had been given in land they legally owned. To rectify the situation, Talan VIII revoked the Baldurbann monopoly, and issued Guildmaster Eònan mac Baldur with a minor title and the position of Lord-Woodsman of Veria. While the potential disaster the Baldurbann Monopoly represented had been successfully defused, one of the magnates now held a court position, and one that gave him and his guild almost as much power in their industry as the original monopoly grant.
Though many of his own nobles opposed the High King’s generous attitude towards the guilds, Talan VIII considered himself to be a modernist, and expressed his interest in joining one of the Guild Lodges on more than one occasion. His wish was granted shortly after mac Baldur’s appointment to court, and from 1713 to 1716 he elevated fifteen other Guildmasters—all members of the Lodge he joined—to court positions, all the while continuing to grant them monopoly rights. Talan VIII fell ill in late 1716 and was declared unfit to rule by the now largely guilder-controlled court, who assumed regency until his death in May of 1717.
The Uncrowned King
Talan VIII's heir apparent was his eldest nephew, Lord Talan Sàrmidir, and would-be Talan IX. A hardline traditionalist and open advocate for the revocation of the monopolies and court privileges granted to the guilds by his late uncle, Talan Sàrmidir never took the Verian throne. The guilds, fearful of what the new High King might do, convened the Cruinneachadh Loidsean (Gathering of Lodges), a convocation of all major lodges in which the magnates formally agreed to seize executive power at the conclusion of the assembly on May 31st, 1717. The very next day was the planned coronation, and the Lord Sàrmidir was in the process of taking the crown of the High King when he was shot by guild-backed troops as they stormed the coronation. While Talan Sàrmidir survived his injury and the three years of imprisonment he suffered under guild rule, his physical frailty from poor treatment during his confinement led to his claim to the throne being dismissed during the reorganization of the realm on the grounds that he was no longer fit to rule.
WIP - Describes Veria under Magnate Rule + the process of Duke Taranìr of Galemòr raising the colonial legions to restore the monarchy.
The Fall of Ruinaith
On May 12th of 1720 the combined forces of Duke Taranìr’s army of Galemòr and the loyalist Verian Navy defectors arrived in the Lotharne port district of Caladhsgìre. The garrison of Guilder-backed soldiers left in the city surrendered without conflict, some choosing to join the returning monarchist army rather than become prisoners of war. Bolstered by further defectors and reinforcements from the city militia, Duke Taranìr’s army marched from Lotharne a week later, bound for Ruinaith. Though Guilder-led forces fought what they expected to be a protracted defensive war, a combination of manpower issues and popular dissent left their army unable to stop the advancing monarchist troops, and fighting between them was limited to small skirmishes until the confrontation outside of Ruinaith in August of the same year. Unable to afford giving any more ground, the massed Gulder army met Duke Taranìr’s forces on the lowlands south of Ruinaith, only to be swiftly routed by Galemòrey musketeers and cannons. Pursued back into the city, Guilder forces continued to resist for nearly seven days until their eventual surrender on August 26th. By the following day Ruinaith was completely under loyalist control.
WIP - The modern Verian government was established following the end of the Guilder Revolt, Duke Taranìr used his influence from ending the revolt to get himself on the throne while making concessions to both the nobility and guilds.
The Verian government consists of a hereditary monarch, a bicameral legislature, and a judicial branch subservient to the High King, who himself serves as both executive and chief judiciary.
Court of the High King
The Armed Forces of the Verian Isles (Àthaic: Feachdan Armaichte nan Eileanan Vèrannach), sometimes abbreviated to FANEV, are the military forces of the High Kingdom of the Verian Isles. The Armed Forces comprise four primary branches and two notable secondary branches: the Army (Arm na h-Àrd Rìoghachd), Navy (Cabhlach na h-Àrd Rìoghachd), Air Service (Seirbheis Adhair na h-Àrd Rìoghachd), and Maritime Guard. Additionally, the Fian Rangers (Raonean Fhèinne) and Royal Marines (Maraichean Rìoghail) exist as branches of the Army and Navy respectively.
The High King acts as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, which are jointly commanded and controlled by the Verian Council-at-arms (Comhairle-aig-arm), also called the War Council (Comhairle-Chatha).
The bagpipe is both the national instrument of Veria and its most iconic traditional instrument, retaining a presence in modern Verian folk music as well as other genres. Though there are many variations of bagpipes that developed independently throughout the world, the Àthian Warpipes are the most famous variant from Veria, closely followed by the smaller phìob bàrdach, or "bard's pipes" (Àthaic: lit. "bardic pipes"), which is still preferred by bardic traditionalists throughout the Verian Isles.
The role of the bard and poet in Verian history and culture is deeply tied to the religious practices of the Sinhàdranhic faith. While they were never regarded as the chosen of any one deity, Verian bards were semi-mystic figures that spread their song and poetry through the commission of various temples, nobles, and even the various reigning monarchs of early medieval Veria.
Contrary to what the term “bardic tradition” may suggest, the bàrd was the lowest ranking and least prestigious class of poet, as well as the most common.
Fashion and Clothing
The Great Clans of Veria (Àthaic: Fineachan Mòra Vèrannach) are a class of houses elevated above the other noble families of the realm. To be officially recognized as a Great Clan, one’s family must be listed in the Leabhar Fulachd, the only book definitively listing the clans and houses of Veria. Managed by the crown itself, it is common for noble families to petition the monarchy for recognition as a family occupying a higher station, or for lesser houses to request their names to be added to the tome.
A phenomenon adjacent to but not part of the Great Clans is the creation of a new naming convention for noble families. While the use of the affixes Sàr- and Mòr- in the names of families is restricted by Verian noble law, there are no restrictions on the use of those words in names as long as they’re applied differently. Thus, the fashion of replacing the preposition in a name (usually à, or “of”) rose to popularity in Early-Modern Veria. Examples include the houses of sàr na Camranh and mòr Draìdd, formerly de na Camranh and à Draìdd. In addition to the stylistic likening of one’s house to the Great Clans, this is sometimes done by cadet houses of or families otherwise related to the Great Clans. For example, the house of de na Merachainn persisted in name as a cadet branch while the main family became the Sàrmidir, but they chose to rename themselves to sàr na Merachainn to show their status as a branch of a Sàrric House.
The Tighean Sàr, or “Sàrric Houses”, are families descended from or purported to be descended from the most important figures in Verian history—people who, after death, were recognized as notable ancestor-gods in the Sinhàdranhic faith. They are characterized by the affix “Sàr-”, meaning great, excellent, or noble in Àthaic, combined with the name of their primogenitor. Unlike the Tighean Mhor, the Sàrric houses are both finite and definite; one’s family cannot be listed among their ranks without proof of descent from an elder god of the Sinhàdranh.
As such, there are only seven legitimate Sàrric houses that still persist today, listed below in order seniority:
- Claims descent from the ancestor-goddess Turasùr. Archeological evidence points towards the family being the legitimate descendants of the ancient Queen Turasùr before her ascension to the Sinhàdranha.
- As the oldest of the Sàrric Houses, Clan Sàrtura was traditionally viewed as the most prestigious family in Veria, despite not holding any significant power for over a thousand years. Due to the fact that the family was established by a woman, it has observed matrilineal descent, a practice that established the modern Verian tradition of primogenitorial descent, wherein the family traces its lineage patrilineally or matrilineally based on the founder’s gender.
- Claims descent from the ancestor-god Caraìth. Historical documents dating to the 15th century cite an early copy of the Leabhar Fulachd as providing evidence for the family’s claim, but the first edition and early copies of the book disappeared during the Guilder Revolt of 1717.
- Claims descent from the ancestor-goddess Esàrdha. Though they remain a Sàrric house because of the longevity and significance of the dynasty, the Sàresàr have no documentation of their descent, as the actual identity of Esàrdha herself in life is disputed.
- Claims descent from both their namesake Damhàrradh, ancestor-god of food, farmers, and cooking, as well as the ancestor-goddess Hirannha, patron of waterways and safe passage. Though neither is as culturally significant as the other ancestor-gods represented within the Sàrric Houses, they are the only house that can claim not one, but two divine ancestries.
- Through the Sàrdamhàr are the primary branch, there does exist a notable cadet branch of the family known as the Sàrhiran, and are one of the only examples of a Sàrric cadet branch that has been given the same honor as the main family. On strictly legal grounds there is nothing barring cadet branches of Sàrric houses from using the affix, as they are by definition part of the larger Sàrric House, but most of the houses prefer to reserve the prestige for only the head branch of the family.
- Descended from Sir Ràchan, a famous Malaic knight who was deified as Ràchanìs, ancestor-god of valor, chivalry, and horsemanship.
- In life Sir Duran Rachàn was a knight purported to have participated in and won nothing short of a hundred and thirty tournaments in his lifetime, earning his fame, his family name, and a fortune that propelled the early Sàrachàns to the peak of high society in the early medieval Kingdom of Malainn.
- Descended from Dameron I “the Great” à Seanaire, the medieval king of Àthia who achieved divinity as the ancestor-god Damaròn. Their descent is verified, as the family (formerly à Seanaire) held the crown of Àthia until the Consolidation Wars.
- Descended from the first High King of Veria, Midir de na Merachainn, who was deified as the ancestor-god Midiràs. Due to the recency of Midiràs’ addition to the Sinhàdranh and the significant role the Sàrmidir family played as the High Kings of Veria until 1717, the legitimacy of their descent is well-documented.
- The house of Sàrmidir ruled the Verian Isles from the end of the Consolidation Wars in 1347 to the outbreak of the Guilder Revolt in 1717. Though they have not held significant influence since their fall from power, the family persists as a prestigious house with multiple notable cadet branches. These include the houses of sàr na Merachainn, sàr Ruinaith, and Talasanh.
With the position of the Sàrric Houses held in such high esteem, many petitioners lay their case before the High King every year, including a number of recurring claimants. While the veracity of their claims has yet to be decided, these houses are considered Sàrric Claimants, and traditionally invest a great deal of time and fortune in their campaign for the Sàrric title.
The most recent claimant elevated to a Sàrric House was the family of Mòrcàs in 1801 under the grounds of their supposed descent from Càslenn, the disgraced ancestor-god of nobility and marriage. While their claims of descent were verified and they temporarily held the name of Sàrcàs, dissent among the other Sàrric Houses led to their title being revoked in 1807 under the grounds that Càslenn was not suitable qualification due to his role in Sinhàdranhic mythology. Recent petitions by the house in 1997, 2005, 2017, and 2023 have reopened the debate, however, and High King Artagan IV has been more receptive to their arguments than previous monarchs.
The Tighean Mhor, or “Mòrric Houses” are noble families that, while not deemed worthy of the station that the Sàrric Houses possess, are still elevated above the other nobility by the merit of their founder. This is most often a figure of extreme importance in Verian history who has either not been elevated to godhood after death or only reached the status of a minor deity. The naming convention of the Mòrric Houses combines the affix “Mòr-”
As of the 2023 edition of the Leabhar Fulachd following its annual revision, there are 203 recognized Mòrric houses remaining in Veria down by one from last year. The latest edition marked two houses as extinct (Mòrtagadh and Mòrfelnìr) and added the house of Mòraìthe (formerly à Haghann) after translations of a medieval book of lineages revealed their family was the same as that of the acclaimed late medieval poet Raìthe de na Haigàn.
The Fianna (Àthaic: Fèinne) are a class of unlanded nobles that historically formed hunting bands of elite warriors, each called a fian. Members of fian bands were most often young nobles and aristocrats who either had yet to inherit the titles and land or their family or were not a significant enough heir to expect much inheritance, in which case they may have joined the Fianna permanently, rather than as a temporary vocation. In their combined role of knights, mercenaries, hunters, raiders, and explorers they have been likened to Ulvriktru Vikings, though the role they played (and continue to play) in Verian society is fundamentally different from that of the Viking.
Fianna in the modern day are maintained as part of the Acts of Tradition (Àthaic: Achdan de Dhualchas), a series of laws passed after the Guilder Revolt to appease the newly-established Noble Council. They constitute an elite branch of the Army of the High Kingdom (Àthaic: Arm na h-Àrd Rìoghachd), and while those of noble blood are often expected to enlist by their family, reforms made during the Great War formalized the Fianna as standard military units not limited by the archaic laws of nobility.