Thursday, July 19, 2012

Errolyn -- City of Knightly Romance

Errolyn & Vicinity
If there is such a place that honors the quaint ways of knighthood in Alphatia, Errolyn clinches the title.  With the name itself harking back to a beloved thespian notorious for his swashbuckling style and debonaire swagger, one may think all Errols behave in such a way.  Most do.  It would be bad enough if wizards and all others clearly not of the knightly sort wouldn't also adopt the same mannerisms.  There isn't a street, alley, or city square where a dashing suitor doesn't attempt to woo a love interest peering down from a balcony or from behind her bedchamber's window.  All too often, string instruments screech painfully, would-be manly voices falter, and tossed roses miss their marks, landing on a nearby donkey's head or in a pile of manure.  Nonetheless, suitors of all ilk do put their hearts into courtship.  There are many who are blessed with the gift of charm and heroics, and they make it all better, somehow.  Flair and daring can earn you quite a lot in Errolyn.  It is nothing of substance, yet it seems to be all that matters.

Theranderol's capital isn't a very large city compared to Sundsvall or Aasla, yet it exudes panache and unique personality.  Although bold, its architecture pays homage to elegance, offering many a sight  for poets to find inspiration.  One such a place is Thera's Falls; a portion of the mighty river flows through  canals converging to the city's center where its waters thunder down a waterfall.  Thera's remainder circumvents the outer walls through series of locks allowing traffic upriver.  White marble buildings and great statues abound, telling the stories of the heroes of old who carved from dark and savage lands the empire that is now Alphatia.

Although citizens of an Alphatian magocracy, knights enjoy a special status, especially those in good standing and with great charisma.  Ultimately, local laws favor wizardkind, yet they provide constructive alternatives for those knights who somehow stray from the establishment.  Even more so, mages keenly see after their own household knights with a jealous sense of competition that one might find among horse owners.  "My knight is better than yours," is the sense one gets when dealing with Theran aristocracy.  A nobleman without a decent household is a pitiful thing.  Having no knights at all glares as an infamy.  Worse yet, a knight without a household remains even more unthinkable and would attract the immediate interest of nobility competing fiercely to acquire the new treasured prize.  Bidding can be fabulous, alas freedom never defines the final outcome.  Aristocrats rarely trade knights amongst themselves, as a matter of common courtesy and principle.  Chivalry orders do exist in Theranderol, however one may only join with permission of the wizardly liege.  Aristocrats never entirely let go of their precious knights, regardless of how well-founded or prestigious an order may be.  Lesser wizards may be hired and sent along to act as companions and assist household knights in any way they may.  It is one of the rare occasions in Alphatia where mages might serve knights.