Mists of the Past
The story of this part of the world extends deep into the distant past, far beyond what most scribes of the Throne can recall. Luisant and the larger Lorassaint region in which it is located have an especially limited record of history. It dates back only a few hundred years, shortly before the death of the monstrous Feasting King Chiropoler at the hands of the valiant Ordo Croix, an order of Benalian warriors.
For a wider view of the history and culture of Cappacione, the country in which Luisant is located, click here to read its culture packet. Staff suggests reading this packet prior to this page if you are not already familiar with the history of Cappacione.
The Age of Witchkings
Luisant itself had not been founded during the time of Chiropoler’s rule, but old stories speak of a loose, unnamed community that had formed around the rich deposits of bog iron in the area, and was unlucky enough to be within the vicinity of one of the great maws of the King. It is likely that those unfortunate miners were sacrificed to the Maw, along with many others.
Thousands of souls, first convicts and criminals and later anyone who could be snatched off the street, were herded into the gaping mouth and devoured, their deaths overseen by one of Chiropoler’s monstrous apprentices and his minions. The area that would become Luisant was a morass of agonized humanity, penned in and waiting for death.
While the names and stories of these individuals have been lost to time, their manner of death and the horrific rule of the Thousand-Mouthed King himself are commemorated and remembered to this day across all of Cappacione. Many of Luisant’s rich traditions and holidays are inspired by these events.
Founding Of Luisant
The Feasting King was finally killed by a heroic order of Benalian warriors, the Ordo Croix, and many of those who suffered under his rule were freed.
The remote corner of the world that would become Luisant was an exception. An apprentice of Chiropoler ruled there, overseeing the feeding of the Maw, and had grown used to having human slaves, enjoying the power that it gave him. After his master’s death, though weakened, he refused to give it up. Perhaps he believed that in such a quiet faraway place, he could escape the notice of the valiant Templars of the Ordo Croix and shore up his defenses. He was wrong.
The lion-hearted Templar Venantius- who was later venerated as the patron of Luisant- led the attack on the Apprentice persecuting the area. No official record of the battle was taken down, but old tales tell of the Saint’s hair seeming to burst with righteous flame as he hacked open the slave pens and spoke holy words to their frightened, starving inhabitants, inspiring them to take up arms and fight back against their dread lord.
After the blood and mud had settled and the Apprentice had been slain and burned by Venantius, the town of Luisant formed naturally- many of the freed captives had no homes to return to, and some simply had no ability to make the journey. The ruins of the slave pens and pits were cleansed and removed, and families began to form, some marrying into and adopting the names of the clan lineages that were common in Lorassaint.
Resources for the townsfolk to begin gathering and producing food and materials were initially provided by the fledgling Church, who assisted in settling the town and establishing it. It was at this period of time that the townsfolk began to seriously contend with many of the oddities of the ancient forest that surrounded Luisant; during their captivity it had become clear that it was no ordinary woodland, but it was only when they attempted to grow crops and clear areas and found their work erased by poisonous plants and vicious, unnaturally fast growing thorns, that they realized the true extent of the forest’s unnatural qualities. Their origin is unknown; some speculate that the whole region was rendered Wyrd and eerie by the Feasting King and his apprentice, while others blame elusive witches. Still others believe that the forest itself is alive and hateful, spiting any attempts made by humans to eke out space for themselves- although it is curiously true that no incursions were made within the town borders.
Both mundane and spiritual attempts to mitigate these phenomena failed, and the residents of Luisant were largely left to fend for themselves against the malignant spirits and strange habits of what came to be called the Old Forest.
As the town was established, its position on the borders of Gotha was noted. The bog that covers parts of Luisant is directly connected to the swampy lands of the Gothic House of Kreuzmoor, and with the idea of establishing stronger trade routes between Cappacione and the Kreuzmoor and using Luisant as an outpost, the small and reclusive Cappacione House of Beauchene took up a residence in Luisant shortly after it was founded.
Dangers From Outside
Once known as a center of art and culture, the Lorassaint region has suffered a decimation of its population over the centuries due to plague. The illness’ origin is unknown, but it sprang up repeatedly throughout the years and left whole villages standing empty, abandoned by their frightened inhabitants or, in some cases, populated only by the dead. Luisant survived, partially due to its almost total isolation from the surrounding townships, but it was not untouched, and many of the elderly and weak were taken by the plague.
Through the years of illness and fear, trade routes to Luisant that were already tenuous and rarely travelled were abandoned almost completely, and travelling to the little town from any great distance is now a significant feat. Most trade is done with surrounding villages that survived the plague, and even those are few and far between.
Abandoned towns and possessions presented a tempting opportunity for outlaws, vagabonds, and those who wished to avoid the notice of local authorities or Churchmen. In recent years these lawless groups have grown in number and begun to join forces, calling themselves a kingdom and harassing the survivors of the plague. Entrenched as they are in the deep woodland, local forces have not found a way to effectively deal with them beyond deterring them from crossing into populated areas.
In current times, Luisant is a small, flickering beacon of humanity in the deep dark woods. The [Noble House]’s hold over the area is relatively weak, and the Noble himself is a recluse, interfering little in the daily lives of the people. The inhabitants of Luisant look to community leaders and their fellows for guidance and enforcement, as even the Church has little reach when it comes to the town, and the gentle priest Pere Clement cares more for the welfare of his charges than dictating their actions. The greatest threats posed come from the depths of the Old Forest and bandit strongholds, though the latter is kept back to some degree by the woods themselves.
For a more indepth view of Luisant’s current state, click here.