Capacionne is a wealthy and proud country, with abundance and drive. To the rest of the Throne, they represent both the best and the worst the Throne has to offer, the experiment of humankind united in a single empire, and what it can or should become. Capacionne is a rainy, forested country with rolling hills and many rivers and swamps. Situated between a mountain range inhabited by Dwarven peoples to the north, the Hestronne Sea to the south, mighty Gotha to its west, and the deserts of Sha’ra to the east, it is a diverse region with many well-worn trade routes, access to plentiful resources and technology, which it has put to use in the improvement of its lands and peoples. Within this country can be found feast and famine, both war and peace, exotic new ideas and stalwart orthodoxy. Despite its smaller size relative to neighboring Gotha and Hestralia, it has the highest population density of any country in the Throne. Its cities and towns are close, as are its people. Above all, there is pride in Capacionne and being Capacian.
At the end of the Age of Witchkings, Capacionne was in terrible disarray, utterly devastated by their enslavement to Chiropoler, the Feasting King, the Lord of Mouths. Of all of the subjugations suffered by mankind during that terrible age, Chiropoler is usually considered the most awful and terrible. Chiropoler was a mighty sorcerer of earth magic that used his power to grow ever mightier and mightier, in a defiance of the laws and principles of magic that baffles magicians and esoteric scholars to this day. Every spell Chripoler cast layered upon the last, until his form could no longer bear the burden without growing ever larger. By the end, Chiropoler was miles long, a mass of flesh and monstrous eyes, mouths and more exotic sensory organs. It lived beneath the ground where the earth and rock protected it like a skin, tree-like appendages spreading above the ground that would shiver and shake to alert the main body of the presence of animals, of people; meat. Somewhere under the ground, his endless veins and tracts span through the darkness, ever growing, kept alive through sorcery and sacrifice.
His apprentices, monstrous and inhuman themselves, though by no means as large as the Witchking himself, would support their master’s growth by forcing the people of the land into the great mouths that dotted the surface to receive offerings of meat. First it were the criminals, sacrificed while creating law and order in the hideous kingdom, then when fear blunted away all crime, the infractors, disturbers of peace, or the victims of any kind of blame-making, then, its hunger only increasing, anyone at all would do – hundreds of people cast into the undulating, fleshy maws of the underground king, wherever the closest one could be found. Still, it hungered.
The final answer was the Flesh Tax, a magical tithe of ten percent of every person in the great region’s body fat every month. Queer sorcerous gardens produced fruits and grains at a rapid pace, though the the harvest was otherworldly and disturbing, alternately strange-tasting and bland, yet no matter how much the people ate, they could never stay full. They ate, and ate, feasting constantly, just like the hideous cthonic god-king beneath them, yet they wasted away like beggars.
After years of preparation, heroes of the Ordo Croix were able to mount an expedition into the interior of the monster. Utilizing a sorcerous relic that they had obtained to remain undetected, so as not to simply be crushed by a flex of a muscle while they trekked hands-and-knees through flowing rivers of blood and chyme, they finally reached the chamber where its many enormous hearts pumped to the beat of strange emerald light, the tell-tale mark of the fractal sorceries that kept such an enormous being from rotting in its own filth. Only one of the heroes emerged from the blood and darkness, the rest drowned or crushed in tidal rivers of blood as they hacked down each of the gargantuan hearts, killing the Witchking forever, and freeing the people of Capacionne from the curse of the Flesh Tax. In the years after, the one member who crawled from the gut of Chiropoler, Francois Marseilles, was declared the Sanctified King. Ordo Croix agents did as they had elsewhere for regions that had been freed from their Witchkings, helping the people rebuild some semblance of a life.
A decade later, when Victor von Herkheist had completed the majority of the conquest of modern Gotha and began to make preparations to invade the new Kingdom of Capacionne and bring it into his empire. The Emperor’s scouts and outriders had revealed that the Kingdom was already formidable, with powerful armies and defenses. The Imperial Calculators had judged that it would take all of the combined resources of the new Gothic Empire to break them, but it can and would be done, once the recently conquered states had a chance to mobilize and train new armies. To His Imperial Majesty’s surprise, however, he received a diplomat from King Francois in his capital of Fenristadt, who informed the Emperor that the King was himself a fervent follower of Benalus, that he knew of von Herkheist’s holy mission to complete the work of the Prophet, and that Capacionne was prepared to join the Throne and bend the knee in deference to the Emperor.
The joining of Capacionne to the greater Throne truly marked the beginning of the Lion Age, retroactively, for it secured a future for the nascent Empire and proved the concept of uniting disparate cultures and peoples from the world over into a unified mission under God. The western border of Capacionne was relaxed and the flood of Gothic trade began, as well as the coming of the Church of Benalus, those reorganized Ordo Croix that had specialized in teaching and rebuilding the world.
THE CAPACIAN PEOPLE
The standard of living in Capacionne is higher than anywhere else in the Throne. Whereas in Rogalia a peasant may live in a single room thatch hovel with a dirt floor, sharing a space with their animals for warmth, even the poorest places of Capacionne have timber buildings with raised wooden floors, timber roofs with baked tiles, and a coat of paint besides. More affluent families have indoor plumbing, hot and cold running water, and pipes that pump waste into communal sewer systems. The wealthiest regions are almost completely unlike the rest of the Throne, save the palaces of Hestrali Dukes or the fortress castles of Rogalian Counts.
Lifestyle is closer together and less rural, with villages having modest walls that professional gardeners have made an effort to plant roses along for both aesthetics and to keep climbers off. The scars of their history run deep in the Capacian people, and food is of paramount importance culturally. The best ingredients, the best flavors, and in quantities and richness that could stave off any famine, food and cuisine have become a metaphor for life, and the glory and bounty that the world represents when worked by human hands in brotherhood and peace.
Contact and trade with the Dwarf kingdoms in the Imperial Crown mountain range has lead to a mechanical revolution. When Capacionne joined the Throne, it had already made relationships with the Dwarven Clans in the area, and it is partially with their aid that Capacionne rebounded so quickly after the Age of Witchkings. It would not be for many centuries that trust enough with the Capacian Kings would be strong enough that Dwarves would share some of their greatest secrets of mechanics and black powder, but when indeed they did, the vast natural resources and human inventiveness of Capacionne would set those things into a wildfire of new progress. Mechanical bridges, pipes, sewers, tools of production, machines of labor, and the great cannons and guns of war have thrust Capacionne technologically into a class above other peoples of the Throne, only increasing the contrast of Capacionne to its cousins elsewhere.
The standard of living in Capacionne has made its people, when compared to other cultures, somewhat inflexible with regards to the rest of the Throne. It is difficult for them to imagine living a lifestyle where waste was cast into the open street, or where every menial task is done by hand or beast of burden instead of having a machine created to assist the work. Over time, Capacians have earned a reputation elsewhere of being effete and elitist, unwilling to empathize with the struggles of others.
In truth, the Capacians are no strangers to hardship. As the eastern-most border to the Throne, they are guardians of a hostile border, where Shariqyn, Orc and dangers unknown await. For all its sophistication and plenty, it suffers frequently from invasion and the devastation of war from hostile outsiders, as well as interior threats from banditry and brigands who can live like kings with the right string of Capacian robberies, ironically the same Capacian spirit as shared by more honest men – what we have, we have earned, bled for, tilled and harvested; there is no shame in great accomplishment.
Regions of Capacionne
Berceau de Artère
The Berceau de Artère, or simply the Cradle, sits on the east bank of the Artère, extending to the mountains. It is the jewel of Capacionne, and is legendary for its beauty. Despite its nearness to the capital, it has been set aside and left in its natural beauty as the king’s private land, full of airy forests and wide meadows. Any Capacian may visit the region and enjoy it, and it is a popular location for vacations for Capacians year-round.
The few villages that do dapple the landscape are those that were granted to Questing Knights in reward for their chevalerie. The bounty and beauty of the region makes its use as a reward for those most valiant knights to build upon a most compelling reward. The villages there specialize in catering to travelers and providing hospitality and wine.
Castellonia, the southernmost region of Capacionne sits in the deltas formed by the Artère tributaries, and is by far the most wealthy and populous area. Sitting among fertile soil in every direction, having access to the coast, and protected by the Pavois islands just off shore, the coastal cities have flourished with trade, maritime industry, shipbuilding and culture. The mighty Capacian fleet docks at the islands, gigantic Man o’War vessels armed with experimental shipboard cannons.
Castellonia is a proud region and has sought independence from the Capacian crown on more than one occasion, creating their own constitution which created a local legislature and forbid the king to make laws without their consent. Though subsequent military action reinforced the royal authority, the region remains in tension with the crown over its future and its self-destination.
The Northwestern region of Lorassaint begins at the Artère, bordering the Kreuzmoor on its West. The region is the most influenced by Gothic culture, and is considered haughtily by the rest of Capacionne as “not really Capacian”. Indeed, those in the West of the region speak Gothic as their primary language, and the region is known for having the most elaborate cathedrals and monasteries in Capacionne, and it is known for its ciders, goat cheeses, and cave-aged hard wheels.
The region has suffered badly from plague over the previous century, and while once an incredibly prosperous center for art and culture, it now has lower than normal population and is under an economic malaise. There are entire townships still left abandoned, their churches swept by blowing leaves. While efforts have been made to revitalize the area, the more successful efforts of brigands to impose their own petty kingdoms has made it difficult to recover.
Sartois sits in the Northeastern region of Capacionne, against the Crown and Nain Majeur mountain range, and is the center of the Capacian engineering revolution. Almost all of the major industry of the region goes to support the city of Voult and its enormous fabriqué, specialized mills where machines are operated by specially trained workers, which work day and night to produce even more machinery. The city’s furnaces burn day and night, its high walls fortified with heavy cannons. It is home to the famous Royal Gunnery School, which trains captains and handgunners in the science of Military Engineering, cannonade tactics, and black powder logistics.
The Sartois region is famed for its history of learning and development, and its people tend to be better educated in than average in order to fill the highly technical roles in the city. As well, contact with the Dwarves is very common in the region, and most towns have a Dwarven quarter, sometimes large, sometimes small, where they live and work. Trade and Guild laws have had to be adapted to account for Dwarf members, or even entirely Dwarf-run Guilds, and it has opened fresh debate about the role of non-human species within the Throne.
The Easternmost region of Capacionne, Falaisia, is charged with the critical role of defending the Throne from the Shariqyn. The green valleys end in a series of dramatic cliffs before dropping off into the lowlands that form the shifting border between Falaisia and the Badlands of Korm. The Throne requires that the land be settled in order to prevent the Shariqyn from settling lands claimed by the Emperor, but doing so is difficult. The lowland regions are rocky, arid, and cracked, and ill-suited for farming, requiring the food to be grown in the higher lands and shipped down to the settlements below. Furthermore, Orc incursions into the area are common, coming down through the mountains or from Sha’ra, they are a constant threat.
The Falaisians who do settle there are a hardy people, and used to conflict. Monasteries breed the Gothic and Shariqyn breeds of horses together to produce even stronger stock. The people raise and ranch them to become some of the finest warhorses in the world, and the Falaisian heavy cavalry patrols is the true power on the dusty plains.
The Southwestern hills of Bouclair sit between Lorassaint and Castellonia, and are the breadbasket of Capacionne. Famed throughout the world for its wine, cheese, and art, it has a long-time rivalry with Hestralia’s Etruvia for who makes the world’s finest vintages. Bouclair has the advantage of being in the shadow of a series of volcanoes in the Bastionné mountain range to its West, providing it with rich black soil that produces incredible yields. Bouclair has a flower festival once per year where areas compete for honors among the cities of the region.
Aside from its agriculture, Bouclair is also known for its architecture and buildings, as well as its theater and opera. The ideal of artistry is ever-present, and Bouclaires try to include an artistic flair in whatever they do. Its people thought of as the most romantic, with many famous seducers and lovers in its history, as well as being the setting for many stories of Capacian romance.