The Greatest Tale Ever Told
A typical landscape in Ithos
Geography of Ithos:
Ithos is a small region in the northeastern corner of a larger continent. Due to an impassible mountain range, the rest of the continent is inaccessible by land and, due partly to this and partly to their own isolationism, the people of Ithos have never been in contact with whoever may reside there. The landscape of Ithos is comprised mainly of high mountains rich in iron and precious metals, and wide sweeping valleys possessed of lush forests and fertile farmland. These resources have made Ithos a wealthy country, despite the kindom’s small size. There is a small coastal region, but it is not very large and is comprised primarily of grasslands.
History and Politics of Ithos:
While Ithos is ruled over by a king, the driving force behind its politics and the events that have shaped its history are the Three Great Houses. These Houses are, in decreasing order of wealth and power: House Lionheart, House Elkhorn, and House Strongboar. While there are many other noble families, these three rise far above the others in wealth, power, and influence; and all the other families owe one of the great three their allegiance.
Royal succession in Ithos is determined not by heredity as it is in most monarchies. Instead , when the king dies, the heads of the Three Great Houses convene and vote on which one of them will assume the throne. Any heir the King may have becomes the Lord of their father’s House. As might be expected, the Lords almost always vote for themselves, resulting in a tie. When this occurs, the Houses take turns in providing leadership. The order goes: Elkhorn, Strongboar, Lionheart. Occasionally circumstances will disrupt this cycle, for instance: one or multiple Heads of House may be underage, the reigning family might attempt to stay in power, etc.
The most recent King of Ithos was the late King Damien the Old. He died at the age of one hundred after having ruled for seventy years. There has been a war of succession between The Lionhearts on one side, and The Elkhorns and Strongboars on the other and who will be the next king is still in doubt. This war has come to be known as The War For Lionheart Succession.
The Stronghold of House Lionheart is Lion’s Den; The Stronghold of House Elkhorn is Elkhall; The Stronghold of House Strongboar is Boarshome.
Laws and Customs of Ithos:
Ithos is a Feudal Monarchy, with the King and the top, then the High Lords, their Bannermen, Landed Knights, and commoners at the bottom. There is strong rule of law under which violent crimes and abuse of power are not tolerated, leading to a relatively safe and prosperous society.
For the sake of simplicity, Heads of House and Monarchs have been referred to as being male. However, laws of inheritance do not privilege one sex over the other. Rights of inheritance are predicated on age and a female is just as eligible to inherit as a male. In fact, King Damien’s predecessor, Queen Kita, was once the head of House Elkhorn. Women rarely take part in combat and ladies tend to serve their houses as diplomats and administrators.
Notable Figures (Living):
Lord Saul Lionheart Head of House Lionheart
Lady Enna Lionheart His Lady Wife
Sir Nathaniel Lionheart His Son and Oldest Child
Lady Aliena Lionheart His Daughter, Youngest Child, and Now Heir to Lion’s Den
Lord Mander Elkhorn Head of House Elkhorn
Notable Figures (Deceased):
Queen Kita Elkhorn Queen of Ithos
King Damien “The Old” Strongboar Her Successor and King of Ithos
Lord Tybolt Strongboar His Grandson and Head of House Strongboar