Annwyn – A mysterious, newly discovered land that appeared in northwestern Arnesse.
Apotheca – The Apotheca, an order comprised solely of men, is one of the oldest and most venerated institutions in all the kingdom, if not one of the more secretive. They specialize in and devote their lives to the study of the healing arts, the crafting of all manner of substances and potions, and the acquisition and retention of the world’s knowledge. Members of the Apotheca often find work in the service of the nobility, where they receive funding for their research in exchange for their services.
Arnesse – The continent upon which the setting takes place, and the name of the kingdom which is comprised of seven Protectorates.
Artisans – Artisans are Freemen who have learned a tradecraft and make their living selling goods and services. They are typically either in the service of a noble or the Cirque. Most Artisans live in cities, where they have access to markets to sell their goods. Artisans have no honorific unless they have advanced enough in their field to be called Master or Mistress. Most Artisans start off as an Apprentice, are promoted to Journeyman, and then finally, Master.
Note: Traders and merchants fall under this social caste as well. An artisan is a craftsman; they create goods or provide services. A merchant is someone who typically stays in one place and owns a shop or stall that they sell goods at. A trader is someone who travels from place to place, carrying their goods and selling them wherever they go. There is often much overlap between these three terms.
Aurean Road – One of the longest roads in the kingdom, the Aurean Road runs north to south from the Everfrost to Tarkath.
Auron – A priest of the Aurorym faith.
Aurorym – A religion that originated in the Hearthlands. Their prophet was the man named Magnus Blayne. The center of the religion is not a divine power, but rather, the divine light that can be tended and grown within each individual.
Barrier Mountains – The mountains in the North that separate the southern Protectorates from the Everfrost. Most of the mountains are within the domain of the Everfrost.
Book of Magnus – The collection of writings by the Aurorym prophet, Magnus Blayne, as well as stories of the Saints of the religion.
Castellan – A member of a noble’s staff who is in the confidence of that lord and authorized to govern in their name.
Cirque – The Cirque appears to be a typical guild that is comprised of artisans, merchants, and tradesmen. They have guild houses in every major city and town. Not all artisans, merchants, and traders in an area are members of the Cirque. The organization chooses their membership carefully from among the finest talents in a region. Of note though, they rarely recruit from the gentry or nobility.
Commonfolk – The population of Arnesse that is comprised of the lowest castes in society; Serfs, Freemen, and Artisans.
Dusklands – The Protectorate of Arnesse ruled by the Great House Richter. It is located in the central western region of the continent, south of the Everfrost and north of the Sovereignlands. The people of the Dusklands are referred to as Dusklanders.
Everfrost – The Protectorate of Arnesse ruled by the Great House Hale. It is located in the northern region of the continent. The people of the Everfrost are referred to as Northmen.
Fayne Moirai – An order comprised solely of women, the Fayne have cultivated a singular reputation for being oracles, seers, and readers of the fates. Some discount their abilities as tricks, and yet many Great and High Houses employ them for the services they are most known for, and then some.
Freemen – Freemen are serfs who have earned their freedom by paying off their debt to a noble, either by coin or years of service. They are not bound to a noble’s land; instead, they are typically employed by another person of equal or higher social class to them. Freemen most commonly rent land from nobility in exchange for coin or a percentage of their farming yield, and they are free to keep whatever they earn above that rent. They have no honorific.
Gentry – Gentry, also referred to as Gentles, are the nobility of Arnesse who do not own a land title. The best example of a Gentle is the son or daughter of a Lord or Lady who owns land. The son or daughter does not earn the title of Lord or Lady until they inherit the land from their parent. Before that, they are considered Gentry. Gentry are one of the smallest social castes, but they have the most freedom, are the most wealthy, and have the most access to an education. The honorifics of Gentry are “The Honorable”, Master, or Lady. Note that if a Gentle is referred to as “Lady”, it must be followed by her first name and not by her last name, as that is reserved for the land-holding noble.
Great House – A noble family that has sworn fealty to the royalty of Arnesse. There are eight such Great Houses, and they control large swaths of land in the kingdom, called Protectorates. The exception to this is the Lord or Lady Paragon Rourke, who rules no Protectorate. It is extremely rare for a new Great House to be created. The most recent addition to the Great Houses was House Blayne in 612. Before that, Great House Corveaux only became such after the members of its predecessor, Great House Castellan, were killed and no living heirs remained.
Guildsmen – The people who make up the memberships of the Cirque, Fayne and Apotheca guilds. The Guilds draw their membership from all levels of society, from serfs to nobles, and once one joins their ranks, they are said to have given up their old life and started anew. Each guild has their own ranking system, but anyone outside of their guild will refer to a Guildsman as Master or Mistress.
Hearthlands – The Protectorate of Arnesse ruled by the Great House Blayne. It is located in the central eastern region of the continent, south of the Northern Marches and north of the Midlands. The people of the Hearthlands are referred to as Hearthfolk.
Hexen – The Hexen are an ancient group of unhallowed beast hunters, which has recently come under the auspices of the Aurorym. They are a small group of highly specialized fighters. They are often seen as harbingers of bad luck, but the commonfolk are quick to ask them for help when fear of the unknown surfaces.
Highcourt – The seat of power of the Kingdom of Arnesse. It is the largest city in all seven Protectorates and is the home of the current King, Giles Bannon II, and his Queen, Aline Bannon.
Highfolk – The population of Arnesse that is comprised of the middle castes in society; Guildsmen, Gentry, and Knights.
High House – A noble family that has sworn fealty to a Great House. They control land within the Great House’s Protectorate. It is uncommon for a new High House to be created, as most of the High Houses that already exist are well established and can often trace their lineage back several hundred years. But it is not entirely as rare as the creation of a new Great House.
House Aragon – The Great House who rules Tarkath.
House Bannon – The Great House who rules the Sovereignlands.
House Blayne – The Great House who rules the Hearthlands.
House Corveaux – The Great House who rules the Midlands.
House Hale – The Great House who rules the Everfrost.
House Innis – The Great House who rules the Northern Marches.
House Richter – The Great House who rules the Dusklands.
House Rourke – The Great House who sails the Three Seas.
King’s Council – The King’s Council is comprised of the King’s most trusted advisors. The positions of the King’s Council are: Chamberlain (runs the King’s household), Chancellor (the King’s second in command), Exchequer (controls the King’s finances), General (leads the King’s armies), Admiral (leads the King’s naval fleets), Master of Shadows (the King’s informant), Patriarch (representative of the Aurorym), Grand Magister (representative of the Apotheca), and Reverend Mother (representative of the Fayne).
King’s Crossing – Located in the Midlands and ruled over by House Corveaux, King’s Crossing is at the meeting point of the Aurean Road and the Vermilion Road. It is the second largest city in Arnesse and is a bustling center of trade and commerce.
King’s Laws – A series of laws that are enforced across all seven Protectorates and all three seas of Arnesse.
Knights – Knights are all well trained, professional soldiers who are typically in the service of a noble. They are the best equipped and best trained force in any noble’s army. A Knight Errant is a knight who belongs to no order and has sworn their sword to no one. A Knight of the Realm has sworn their sword to a liege in an Oath of Fealty and often has also sworn to a Knightly Order. Their honorific is Ser, or Lord or Lady if they have been granted land.
Land of the Dead – Said to be ruled over by the Goddess of Death, Lirit, it is believed by most people of Arnesse that the Land of the Dead is where you go upon death.
Lesser House – A noble family that has sworn fealty to a High House. They control land within the High House’s domain in a Protectorate. Lesser Houses are typically comprised of Knights, and their families, who have earned the gratitude of their High House in some way. In return, their High House granted them land and the title of Lord or Lady.
Lirit – An old and night-shrouded goddess whom is said to hold sway over the dead and of death.
Lord’s Council – The Lord’s Council is made up of the Lord and Lady Paragons of the seven Protectorates of Arnesse, plus the Lord or Lady Paragon Rourke. The King has the right to gather this council at any time. When they are gathered, it is most often to discuss affairs that pertain to the entire Kingdom. If the King wanted to change the King’s Laws, for example, he could gather the Lord’s Council for the discussion and final decision of his changes. It has been some time since a Lord’s Council was called, and it has been an even longer time since all eight Lord and Lady Paragons have been present at the same time.
Lord/Lady Paragon – The honorific given to the nobility of one of the eight Great Houses of Arnesse. The current Lord and Lady Paragons are: Lord Paragon Desmond Corveaux, Lady Paragon Lyra Aragon, Lord Paragon Charles Bannon, Lord Paragon Frederick Blayne, Lord Paragon Talbot Hale, Lady Paragon Bodhmall Innis, Lord Paragon Hawken Richter, and Lord Paragon Tybold Rourke.
Magister – As Guildsmen, members of the Apotheca are given the honorific Master or Mistress. But they are referred to as Magister as well.
Midlands – The Protectorate of Arnesse ruled by the Great House Corveaux. It is located in the central eastern region of the continent, south of the Hearthlands and north of Tarkath. The people of the Midlands are referred to as Midlanders.
Nobility – The population of Arnesse that is comprised of the highest caste of society: Nobles. Nobles are at the highest point of the feudal pyramid. At the top are the King and Queen of Arnesse. Below them are the eight Lord or Lady Paragons. Below the Paragons are the High Lords and Ladies, and still below them are the Lesser Lords and Ladies. All are considered nobility, for they rule over land. A noble swears an Oath of Fealty to another noble, who then grants them land and lordship as a vassal. With this is the charge to uphold the King’s laws, pay taxes to their liege, and heed their liege’s call to war by sending their banners. The honorifics for nobles are Lord or Lady, followed by their last name, or Lord or Lady Paragon for those nobles of the eight Great Houses.
Northern Marches – The Protectorate of Arnesse ruled by the Great House Innis. It is located in the central eastern region of the continent, south of the Everfrost and north of the Hearthlands. The people of the Northern Marches are referred to as Woodfolk.
Protectorate – A large swath of land in Arnesse that is governed by a Great House. While there are eight Great Houses, there are only seven Protectorates in the kingdom: the Midlands, the Dusklands, the Sovereignlands, the Everfrost, the Northern Marches, Tarkath, and the Hearthlands. The Great House that does not govern a Protectorate is House Rourke. They control the Three Seas, though they have never been granted official rulership over them.
Remnant – Any unhallowed which is the spirit of a deceased person.
Resurrectionist – A person who has manifested the ability to resurrect another who has died within the last day.
Saint – A revered member of the Aurorym faith who has performed such hallowed deeds that they deserved recognition from all current and future members of the faith.
Serfs – The people of the lowest social caste of Arnesse. They are bound to a noble’s land and are often bought or traded. They make up the largest portion of the population of the Kingdom. They are entitled to protection, justice, and the ability to feed their family off the land that they work. But despite those entitlements, they are the least privileged and suffer the most in the social and justice systems. They have no honorific.
Sister – As Guildswomen, members of the Fayne are given the honorific of Mistress. But they are referred to as Sister as well.
Sheriff – A member of a noble’s staff who is the enforcer of the King’s Laws in a city or town. Their duties include performing arrests and investigations.
Sovereignlands – The Protectorate of Arnesse ruled by the Great House Bannon. It is located in the central eastern region of the continent, south of the Dusklands and north of Tarkath. The people of the Sovereignlands are referred to as Valefolk.
Tarkath – The Protectorate of Arnesse ruled by the Great House Aragon. It is located in the southern region of the continent. The people of Tarkath are referred to as Tarkathi.
The Three Seas – The three seas that surround Arnesse are: the Sea of Ice in the northeast, the Soundless Sea in the southeast, and the Boundless Deep in the west. While the Great House Rourke has never been granted official rulership over the waters, not many can dispute their claims of ownership. The people who call the seas their home are referred to as Seaborn.
The Veil – A group of servants of the Goddess of Death, Lirit. People of Arnesse know they exist, but none actually know anyone who is a member. The Veil can be petitioned at a Shrine of Lirit to take the life of another.
Thornwood – The vast expanse of forest largely controlled by House Innis in the Northern Marches.
Tradesman/Tradeswoman – As Guildsmen or women, members of the Cirque are given the honorific Master or Mistress. But they are referred to as Tradesman or Tradeswoman as well.
Unhallowed – Any flora, fauna, or human who exhibits otherworldly abilities or appears or acts unnatural.
Vale – The term that the people of Arnesse use to refer to the earth.
Vermilion Road – One of the longest roads in the kingdom, the Vermilion Road runs west to east from the Boundless Deep to the Soundless Sea.
Welkin – The term that the people of Arnesse use to refer to the sky.
Worldspine – The large mountain range in the Sovereignlands.