Nox

Nox

Nox, was once the jewel of Xoria. At it’s height it boasted a population of over 200,000 people. As the capital of the Xorian Empire a vast amount of wealth flowed into the city. The nobility and upper class grew rich off of Xoria’s expansionary wars while the lower class expended their lives to push the Empire’s borders outwards. Blendegad’s church of Dragoviniysm had its headquarters in Nox. Great people were rewarded with immortality, while the lesser people were punished with draconian laws and weekly bloodletting. At the end of the Second Alliance War the fledgling religion collapsed under the region-wide revolt against the upper class.

Many people, now freed from the dragovinians and the war, left the city to return to smaller communities across Cimmeria. It seemed as if Nox would fall along with the Xorian Empire, but a leader stepped in to stabilize the dwindling Xorian Kingdom. Princess Tarigananata, now over eighty years old, reclaimed the throne that had been stolen from her by her brother so long ago. As Queen Tarigananata fairly redistributed the wealth of Xoria. Food and justice were provided as needed at great expense to the crown. The city survived and Petar and Cecilia kept their oaths of fealty to Nox. The Xorian Kingdom will continue for now, but Tarigananata has no children. When she passes, the Kingdom may go with her.

The Kingdom of Xoria began its true expansion under King Demotinira. He trained the Xorian army and made some initial forays against Colchis, Dradelden, and Makotako. When Demotinira died he left his throne to his eldest child, his daughter, Tarigananata. His son, Jevaninada I, rallied the nobles of Xoria against Tarigananata, claiming that she was possessed by a demon. She was exiled and Jevaninada I took control of Xoria and Nox. He continued the expansion of the Kingdom, taking over Dradalden, Colchis, Makotako, and Semanarie. As his invasions threatened more and more of Cimmeria, the First Alliance was formed by Princess Tarigananata to reverse Jevaninada’s actions. The First Alliance took several cities and killed Jevaninada I. Jevaninada’s Amazon Queen Anajakaze took control of the growing Empire and ultimately crushed the Alliance.

During the last months of the war, Anajakaze gave birth to Jevaninada II, the son of Jevaninada I and the king of Xoria. Until Jevaninada II turned eighteen and could take the throne, Anajakaze ruled as his regent. She continued the relentless expansion, taking over Gazeara, Danar’s Swamp, Crafterton, and Sheerzen. Anajakaze implemented a matriarchal system of leadership, placing women in positions of power to undermine the traditional patriarchy. Jevaninada II resented this system and wished to return to the old ways. Anajakaze, aware of this, did not surrender her regency when Jevaninada II came of age.

Both Jevaninada II and Anajakaze were in for a surprise. After months of insisting that his mother step down, Jevaninada II attacked her in an attempt to force her compliance with his wishes. Their battle was interrupted by the arrival of Blendegad the Reaper, the vampiric red dragon. Blendegad slew the queen and drank the blood of Jevaninada II. The vampiric dragon blood mixed with Jevaninada II’s divine royal blood creating a new form of vampire, dragovinians.

A new religion was created for Xoria, Dragoviniysm. The deity, Blendegad, and his avatar, Jevaninada II, asked for service from their subjects and the immortal status of the dragovinian was gifted to the faithful. The matriarchal reforms were reversed. Jevaninada II spent twenty years securing his power within his own Kingdom. Fearing the evil dragovinians, Amalganus formed the Second Alliance of Eastern Cimmeria. In 400 BCE, Jevaninada II mobilized the Xorian people to attack Eastern Cimmeria, sparking the Second Alliance War.

The initial stages of the Second Alliance War went well for Xoria. Dragovinian soldiers gave Xoria a distinct advantage, along with the increased militarization of Xoria’s culture. Unfortunately for Blendegad and Jevaninada II the Olympians intervened. In the chaos, Phoenix, Greshen Dale, Bradel Fields, and Nox were devastated. Desperate to end the war, Jevaninada II challenged the leaders of the Second Alliance to a small-scale melee. The Alliance members won and the war concluded.

Nox was once home to the Museum of Power, a collection of magical artifacts guarded by the resurrected hundred-eyed giant, Argus. Because of the destructive potential of these various weapons, visitors were only admitted to the museum by petitioning King Jevaninada II himself. The collection included the Sanguine Belt of the Night Mother, the Mace of Slaughter, the Invisible Ring of Cats, the Crescent of Wrath, the Fork of Horripilation, the Ten League Boots, the Face of Gods, the Ring of Impervious, the Prismatic Blade, Sin’s Mask, the Shadowstaff, the Staff of Not, the Ring of Draconic Wizardry, the Orb of Omniscience, a Hammer of Thunderbolts, a Deck of Many Things, and a Staff of the Magi. The museum is one large hall with Argus standing in the center of it, eternally watching and guarding the items to make sure none of them go missing.

During the Second Alliance War, the dragovinians moved some of the Orbs of Dragonkind to the Museum of Power. The Alliance required one of these Orbs for a ritual to revive Zeus from his slumber. The Alliance members worked with Athena and the Hecatonchires to breach the Museum’s defenses and recover the White Orb. This attack destroyed the Museum along with half of Nox. This led to the city’s sharp decline after the Second Alliance War and a continuing rebuilding project led by Queen Tarigananata.

Originally all the buildings of Nox were contained within the city walls, but more and more people immigrated to the city over the years. Now less than twenty percent of Nox’s population is actually protected by the walls. The rest of the city sprawls outwards to the west and north. After a large fire within the walls decades ago the city was rebuilt with orderly straight streets. The fire also allowed the nobles of Xoria to cluster their estates around Castle Xoria in the center of Nox. A fortunate side-effect of the Hecatonchires attack is that it will allow for better city planning outside the walls as well.

Although Castle Xoria is not as physically strong as Colchis Castle or Sheerzen, it does have the advantage of being a complete maze. Most of the inner passageways are only two or three feet across. Guests often get lost if not accompanied by a member of the castle staff or a noble. There was even one noble who was thought dead for ten years who resurfaced in the castle. He had lost his way and survived on rat flesh and moss for a decade. The problem is so severe that some visitors to the castle are sure that magic is at work.

The nearby wood is called the King’s Copse because only Jevaninada II and his guests are allowed within the forest’s borders. He goes there occasionally on hunting trips, but the copse is used for nothing else. Any who venture into it are never seen again. The wood that Nox uses for fires, buildings, and furniture is acquired from the thin Royal Forest to the northwest or imported from Makotako.

Nox’s main export is food to Persia, Scythia, or the rest of Cimmeria. Nox previously imported a large amount of luxury items. With the collapse of the city’s nobility it is unclear what will replace those commodities in the city’s economy. Currently the city is supported by Queen Tarigananata’s public work projects.