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TERMINOLOGY OF THE CONTINENT

Explains the places, organizations and notions of the world of the Dark Knights.
 

Terminology of the continent, from A to K

Specific to the world of the Dark Knights

 

A

A.A.N. : Reference calendar. Mention appended to the dates for Anno Aquilae Nigrae (« of the Year of Black Eagle »). Sometines annotated A.I.A.N. for Anno Imperii Aquilae Nigrae (« of the Year of the Empire of Black Eagle »). Year zero was the one when Cassiodorus ascended the throne, making of Black Eagle an Empire.

 

Ace : Currency of Eaglecross. Bronze coin of 2,2 centimeters diameter for 2,72 grams, silver-plated in the center. Smallest monetary unit of the Empire of Eaglecross. Fifty bronze Aces are worth 1 silver Sicle.

 

Aquila : Fief. Historical domain of the Aquila family, in the province of Lyonnesse, South-east of the Empire of Eaglecross. See also Lyonnesse.

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B

Barracks of the praetorian Guard : Seat of the Order of Eaglecross, in the Noble Quarter North of the capital, at the foot of the imperial Citadel. Officially barracks of the Guard, training grounds of the bodyguards of the Emperor, in charge of watching over him and annihilating threats. In reality, Order of Dark Knights who influence the Emperor and the great nobles, often holding the future of the Empire in their hands. See Order of Eaglecross, City of Eaglecross.
More: Order of Eaglecross: Council chamber.

 

Black Eagle : Ancient Empire. Former name of Eaglecross, or first Empire. Has historically ruled over two thirds of the continent. Its decline began around 130 A.A.N., followed by 2 centuries of agony and revolts, ending in a spectacular collapse, with the sack of the capital in 371 A.A.N.. See also its successor, Eaglecross.
More: brief history of Black Eagle and Eaglecross.

 

Black Shield : Nickname of the Order of the Eclipse, after the black shields worn by its warriors in battle. See Order of the Eclipse.

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C

Cerulea : Frontier Kingdom. Small Kingdom to the West of Quicksilver, separated from it by the 120 Kilometers of Mounts Hiltmar, where roam the rebels of Jehunguir Khan. Owns rich silver mines.
More: Map of the frontier Kingdoms closeup.

 

Chaga Ki : City, and birthplace of the Order of the same name. See Dark Circle of Chaga Ki.

 

City of Eaglecross : Capital of the Empire of Eaglecross facing the Ponant sea, West of the continent. Called « Black Eagle » until 544 A.A.N.. Deemed to be the first city founded on the continent, its origins lost in mythology (supposedly founded 1300 years ago, around –190 A.A.N.). Famous for its merchants and its navy, it is also the city of guilds, the seat of the imperial power, the place where everything can happen and anything can be bought for a price. Corruption and bribes are regarded as routine interactions. Only the Guard of Eaglecross is considered incorruptible, the Dark Knights around the Emperor. The name of Eaglecross comes from « the crossing of routes », the crossroads of major trade routes that allowed to save the city.
Eaglecross is home to more than half a million souls on nearly 2223 acres, surrounded by 28 Kilometers of walls, 274 towers and 4 gates. It is divided in 17 quarters such as the Granitic, the Vesperal, the Procession, the Necropolis, the Confluent or the Caravanserail, where one can loose his way walking all day. See also Imperial Citadel, Barracks of the praetorian Guard.
More: brief history of Black Eagle and Eaglecross.

 

City of Quicksilver : City of the kingdom of the same name, very large for a realm of that size. Sprawls on 279 acres, enclosed by 3769.92 meters of walls with an almost entirely circular perimeter, and a grand total of 68 towers. It is an imposing sight. The walls reach 9 meters high. Population: 8,481 souls, in the first days of June 1112 A.A.N. The main street crosses the city from South to North, through the main place at its center. Among the districts of Quicksilver: the old borough, the quarter of the drapers, and the sadly famous labyrinth.
The laws of the kingdom forbid foreigners to stray from the main road, and to leave the city through the Northern gates. The penalty is death. See also Quicksilver, Hour of the dead, Watch of Quicksilver.
More: Map of Quicksilver.

 

Crepusculars : Order of Dark Knights. Also called « The Pillar », self-proclaimed « Pillar of the Dark Orders ». The Crepusculars seldom show their features. It is an ancient and withdrawn Order that is little concerned by the affairs of the world, but respected by the others. Most of its forces are horsed. The seat of the Order is lost in the sands, South-west of the Great Desert, close to the Empire of Eaglecross.
They are sometimes called « Guardians of silence », for their towers stand in the dry South-west. It is said that one hears there only the noise of sands. Among them, they enjoy referring to their Order as the « Pillar », and consider themselves the « Pillar » of the Dark Orders: those who did not deviate from the true way. They tried to impose and achieve the hegemony among all Dark Knights, at the time of the great convention nearly 620 years ago. It is the only Order that does not expand in territories and avoids fighting the other Dark Knights. Their talent is not in question: they are believed to be vastly superior in combat. They keep their features often hidden under veils or the ventail of the armor (a flap of mail tied on the lower face), opening vast speculations. They arouse the mistrust of the other Dark Knights. The Crepusculars probably still dream of hegemony, and to ply the other Orders to their will. See also Orders of Dark Knights.
More: Map of the Great Desert.

 

Currencies : The most widespread coins on the continent are (in gold / silver currencies) : Wedges and Sicles, Drakks and Hykses, Reids and Driels, Shanas and Skatts. These coins come respectively from the Empires of Eaglecross, Drachenmar, Umbriel, and Shaundakka. See also Tall, Oerion.
Monetary system of Eaglecross :
1 Gold Tall = 40 Gold Wedges = 400 Silver Sicles = 20000 Bronze Aces
or 1 Gold Wedge = 10 Silver Sicles = 500 Bronze Aces
Monetary system of Drachenmar :
1 Oerion = 20 Gold Drakks = 200 Silver Hykses = 400 Half Hykses
or 1 Gold Drakk = 10 Silver Hykses = 20 Half Hykses

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D

Dark Circle of Chaga Ki : Order of Dark Knights. Dark Order from the Far East, in the bay of the Empire of Umbriel, renowned for its dexterity. Deemed to be frighteningly capable and very secret, coupled with great skill in combat. Its name means dark moon or circle, an invisible star in the heavens, or a circle that unites its members. See also Orders of Dark Knights.
More: Map of Umbriel, Details on the Circle.

 

Dark Orders : Latin, « Ordines Nigri ». See Orders of Dark Knights.

 

Drachenmar : Empire. One of the four great Empires, North-east of the continent. Stretches very far to the North, on cold and little fertile territories. See also Order of the Eclipse.
More: Map of Drachenmar, details on the Empire.

 

Drakk : Currency of Drachenmar. Large gold piece of 2,3 centimeters diameter for 3,57 grams, thick on the side. One gold Drakk is worth 10 silver Hykses. The coin is rare and little in circulation. See also Currencies.

 

Ducal Army : Army of Duke Darius in Quicksilver, formed of professional warriors. Opposed to the levies, that are civilian forces drafted in times of war. Very well equipped, the ducal army is much larger than the size of the kingdom would suggest. See also Ducal Fortress, Watch of Quicksilver.

 

Ducal Fortress : Or simply « Fortress ». Huge castle of the kingdom of Quicksilver, the seat of power on the top of a lonely mount. Taken by Darius from the hands of baron Ragaï in 1103 A.A.N., the Duke has strengthened it over the years, notably extending the keep. Located 752 meters above the valley, the Fortress is bordered to the West by an almost vertical chasm. It possesses two very high curtain walls, and three courts: the bailey, the garden court and the high court, where are the main dwelling and the keep. See also Quicksilver.
More: Plan of the ducal Fortress.

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E

Map of Eaglecross

Eaglecross : Empire. Great cosmopolitan Empire of thirteen provinces, founded anew in 612 A.A.N.. Successor of the Empire of Black Eagle, it has inherited of its bad reputation. Quite complex, the power is shared between the Emperor and the Senate. Various factions, including the great nobles, the imperial dignitaries and the guilds also defend their interests by trying to influence the political game, through open or discreet means. See also Black Eagle, City of Eaglecross, Imperial Citadel, Lyonnesse.
More: Map of Eaglecross and its provinces, brief history of Black Eagle and Eaglecross.

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F

The Faceless : Order of Dark Knights. In the Empire of Shaundakka, the Faceless are much closer to thugs and assassins than knights. Far from a chivalric behavior, they plot and scheme around the Emperor, performing the dirty work in return for payment. So far only the authority of the Tarkidians has kept them from gaining a decisive ascendancy and manipulating the imperial court. Accustomed to secrecy, the Faceless are less clumsy than thought. Still their large spy rings in the South of Shaundakka are only loyal as long as they are paid. The Faceless are regarded with contempt by the other Dark Orders (perhaps wrongfully), who see them as vulgar assassins, just capable of sticking a dagger in a back. They are considered much inferior in combat, their attitude shifty and dishonorable, with too much complacency for vices. The other Dark Knights reckon that there is no deed so low that the Faceless will not perform it. Their upper ranks are called « Shades », and the obsession in this Order is to remain unrecognized, not to let identify his features. Hence the name of the Faceless, who use disguise, concealment, fake names and masquerades to spring from the shadows. See also Orders of Dark Knights.
More: Map of Shaundakka, Organization of the Faceless, Intrigues of the Faceless in the South.

 

Flavius : Shaded Kingdom. The largest of the Shaded Kingdoms to the West, much under the influence of the Empire of Eaglecross. The great dorsal of Flavius is a thin range of mountains that runs from North to South, cutting the duchy in two, leaving only a narrow strip to the South for the caravan routes. It restricts the possibilities of invasion. See also Shaded Kingdoms.
More: Map of the Shaded Kingdoms, Strategic importance of the region, Details on Flavius.

 

The Frontier Kingdoms

Frontier Kingdoms : Region. Cluster of seven independent Kingdoms (« fortunes there are made and unmade ») nestled in the valleys of the mighty mountain range, center North of the continent. They are called « Frontier Kingdoms » for they form a natural barrier that separates the Empires of the Est and West, limiting trade and most military invasions to the South, through the Shaded Kingdoms.
See also Quicksilver, Cerulea, Levant-land, Great Way of the frontier Kingdoms.
More: Map of the Center North, Map of the frontier Kingdoms closeup, Details on the Kingdoms.

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G

Great Desert : Region. Also called « bright desert », occupies the heart of the continent on almost 1500 Kilometers of dunes from North to South, and 2500 Kilometers from West to East. All trade routes go around it. See also Crepusculars, Karak.
More: Map of the Great Desert and details.

 

Great dorsal of Flavius : See Flavius.

 

Great Empires : The great Empires are Eaglecross, Drachenmar, Umbriel, and Shaundakka.

 

Great Way of the frontier Kingdoms : Or « Great Way of Kingdoms ». Altitude road that crosses through the whole mountain range of the frontier Kingdoms, from Sylveblade to Kilmaleague. Side roads and passes, sometimes severely guarded, lead to the valleys. The great Way is dotted with coaching inns and roadhouses. The seven frontier Kingdoms pay for its maintenance, and reward themselves through tolls. But the bulk of trade between the great Empires still takes the southern and easier roads, through the Shaded Kingdoms. See also Frontier Kingdoms, Sylveblade, Kilmaleague.
More: Map of the frontier Kingdoms, Details on the Great way.

 

Guard of Eaglecross : Order of Dark Knights. Also known as Imperial Guard, praetorian Guard, and among other Dark Knights, as the « Order of Eaglecross ». See Order of Eaglecross.

 

Guard of Strikeforge : Professional warriors assigned to the watch of Strikeforge. Less trained than the troops of the ducal army, with the exception of the archers who are the most skilled of all Quicksilver. Extremely watchful, they are forced to constantly stay alert. See also Strikeforge.

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H

Hin : Concept of the Order of Eaglecross. Consists in maintaining an ever vigilant and attentive watch on one's environment, to respond faster and without bias. This state of flux might supposedly detect hostile intent or concealment, and even allow to anticipate in combat with infinitesimal time on an enemy attack. See also Order of Eaglecross.

 

Hour of the dead : Tradition. Noon in the city of Quicksilver, when one digs the graves and only the gravediggers are exempt from observing a moment of silence and stillness. The hour of the dead rings at the belfry, and at that moment no one must enter the city. This custom stems from the Prophecy, that announces a possible disaster, which would bring a major upheaval and the end of prosperity. See also City of Quicksilver, Prophecy of Quicksilver.

 

Hykse : Currency of Drachenmar. Heavy silver coin of 2,4 centimeters in diameter for 2,12 grams, thin on the side. 2 half Hykses make 1 Hykse ; 10 silver Hykses are worth 1 gold Drakk.
The half Hykse is the most common coin, with only 1,06 gram of silver in the center, the rest made up of a large bronze border so that the coin reaches 2 centimeters in diameter. Its name is synonymous with dubious quality. See also Currencies.

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I

Imperial Citadel : of the Empire of Eaglecross, or « Eagle Castle ». Gigantic seat of the imperial power, which dominates the City of Eaglecross North on a 25 meters cliff. Protected by walls rebuilt many times, rising 16 meters above the summit, the Citadel is a city within the city, which shelters the northern barracks of the imperial army, the great warehouses (reserves), legions of scribes and notaries, cohorts of servants, the treasury, the winter and summer palaces. It is the expression of power of the greatest and oldest Empire of the continent. A recurring vision in the distance, with its endless grey walls, the Citadel bars the whole horizon to the North of Eaglecross. It dominates the Noble Quarter, which houses the most beautiful palaces in the city, and the barracks of the praetorian Guard (actually the Order of Eaglecross), which was built at its foot almost 7 centuries ago. See also City of Eaglecross, Barracks of the praetorian Guard.

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K

Kane Without Pity : Warlord who ransomed many cities in the South-east. Both contested and revered, he vanished at the top of his glory. For 9 years, he never failed at siege warfare.

 

The Karak : Also called « the Rock ». Seat of the Order of the Lords of the Rock, the castle of the Karak stands at the center of an oasis formed by the crater of a meteor. The Lords of the Rock like to say that its walls are made of stones fallen from the stars - which is only partly true. « Karak » refers to the vast fortress, and by extension the oasis which includes the Temple of the Order, dug under the western foot of the circle of mountains. See also Lords of the Rock.
More: Map of the Great Desert and details.

 

Kilmaleague : City-state where the great Way leads, to the East of the frontier Kingdoms. It stands at the crossroads of Drachenmar, Umbriel and Shaundakka. Deemed as interesting as it is fishy, with its very permissive laws as long as trade is not disturbed. Many men-at-arms come to seek contracts in the city.
More: Map of the region with the location of Kilmaleague, Other details on Kilmaleague.

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