Climate/biome: Seasonal forest and shrubland (heavily cultivated), mountain
Population density: High
Common Inhabitants: Humans
Rare Inhabitants: Realm
Aurion deliberately excludes non-human creatures from its territory, so those who do live here are usually those who can pass for human.
Known as “the Kingdom of Light”, Aurion is a human theocracy ruled by the zealous Church of the White Staff.
Like the other human nations, Aurion is situated along the southern coast of Alm, enjoying mild weather most of the year. It shares a very uncomfortable northern border with Tenebrae, but is separated from the rest of the continent by seas to the west and the Soaring Sentinels, a mountain range running between itself and Brandeis, to the east.
The Church of the White Staff predates humanity’s departure from Parosea, and its adherents give sole credit to their god—simply known as the One God, or the True God—for sustaining them through their long ordeal. The Aurites believe that this faith is vindicated by their eventual liberation, which is surely proof of their god’s divine intervention.
Given the chance to found their own nation, they naturally chose to make their religion the law of their land. Although their territory is relatively poor in resources and strategic value, their devotion to their faith makes them a strong military force, calling often upon the benefits of divine magic.
Aurion is ruled by the Exarch of the Church, supported by a hierarchy of priests and inquisitors. The Exarch is believed to be chosen by the True God, and his life bound to that of the Church until his time is done. Thus, an Ascendant to this role must prove his divine choosing by allowing himself to be impaled upon the spear of the First General, the highest ranked commander of Aurion’s armies. If he is truly the chosen avatar of the True God, the Ascendant recovers miraculously from this death wound, and rises to be proclaimed the new Exarch.
Due to its religious stricture, Aurion has poor relations with other human nations. Its traditional nemesis is Tenebrae, which is considers a land of heretics and death cultists, but it also openly calls Independence a morally bereft sewer of capitalism. It is somewhat more favourable toward Kalyvas, which seems to share its belief in austerity, but this goodwill ends as soon as Kalyvas refuses to denounce the other kingdoms.
Non-human relations are even worse for the Aurites. The Church teaches that only humans have souls, leading to the natural conclusion that non-humans are all lesser species (and that half-human individuals, like thulls and elan, are abominations). Thus Aurion remains diplomatically isolated from most other nations, and distinctly lacking the benefits of equitable trade with their neighbours. However, Aurion commends itself on its devotion and perseverence, claiming always that its suffering shall once again be rewarded.
Persons of Note
The current Exarch is a former soldier named Kamael, an aged but robust man who perfectly embodies the stern, patriarchal ideal of the White Staff. He is perhaps less zealous than previous Exarchs, and it seems a surprise that he Ascended from the army rather than the clergy. However, his piety is indisputable, and his divine appointment is enough for his people to follow with no complaint. Nevertheless, rumours hold that the Inquisition had hoped for a more aggressive leader, and would be happy to see a new Exarch chosen.
First General Sephnar Kol
General of the first army and high commander of all military activities, Sephnar Kol is a career soldier of many successful campaigns.Having fought side-by-side with the Exarch in their younger days, he serves as Kamael’s close confidant and adviser as well as his suboardinate. His wisdom and experience mean the Exarch often treats him as an equal in the field of military decisions, and he is well aware that there are those in the clergy—the Inquisition especially—who are displeased by this relationship.
High Inquisitor Hamied
After the Exarch and the First General, High Inquisitor Hamied is the highest authority in Aurion. Charged specifically with the duty to stamp out the heresy of arcane magic, Hamied takes deliberate pleasure in his often gruesome work. Quiet, secretive and ruthless, he is a fearsome figure even to Aurite citizens, who do everything they can to stay beneath the Inquisition’s notice.