Original map design by Jaques Smit
Embark on a spiritual journey to the Holy City of Kindra, a realm where the earthly meets the divine atop the revered Holy Mountain. Nestled in the Nord Forest in West Rendin's north, it stands as neutral ground as Kindra's sanctity transcends territorial conflicts.
As a pilgrim, historian, or seeker of truth, you will find Kindra's gates open, its ancient paths inviting, and its mystical aura enchanting. This city, known as the spiritual heartland of Azrea, beckons to souls seeking enlightenment, solace, and a glimpse into the timeless dance between the mortal and the divine.
Early Beginnings (Pre-420 B.R.M.): The flat-topped mountain and its holy spring have been sacred to the Stillari of Stillendam since 200,000 A.R.M. The Holy Mountain is a celestial conduit, a place of power through which the Ladies of the Cult of the Weave could connect to their followers and the material world.
Kindra Coat of Arms - Image generated with Midjourney AI
King Zholani - Image generated with Midjourney AI
The Rise and Fall of the Grengar Kingdom (420 B.R.M. - 375 A.R.M.): In 420 B.R.M., the tranquillity of Kindra was upset by the ascent of the Grengar Kingdom under the rule of King Zholani. The Stillari found themselves ousted and driven back to Stillendam. However, in 375 A.R.M., a human king, Louis 'Grengarbane' du la Rent, emerged as a beacon of hope. He united the people of Azrea under a uniquely diverse alliance and led them to drive King Zholani's forces back to the Darkveil Forest, reclaiming Kindra's and re-establishing the cult of the weave.
The Resurgence of Spiritual Enlightenment (375 A.R.M. Onwards): Post-liberation, King Louis' reclamation of Kindra also led to him and his human followers converting from Sarghus to the Cult of the Weave. Though the Stillari hesitated to dwell among humans, they forged a pact of spiritual kinship. The city of Kindra was rebuilt, with the Stillari granted unhindered access to the Holy Mountain, a pact still honoured today.
The Enduring Alliance: The alliance between the humans, the stillari, dwan of the Northern Towers, and quintri of Quintrom has allowed Southern Azrea to withstand many terrible foes, including Frost Wild invasions and undead pestilence. The high priestesses, as torchbearers of spiritual enlightenment, guide the city's ethos and governance.
King Louis 'Grengarbane' - Image generated with DALL-3
The Legacy of King Louis ‘Grengarbane’ du la Rent: King Louis' legacy resonates through the annals of Kindra's history, his heroic deeds etched into the city's spiritual and temporal identity. His flaming hammer, a symbol of triumph against the menacing Grengar, is an emblem of hope, courage, and enduring alliance between the followers of the Cult of the Weave.
The Pilgrim's Path: Kindra's reputation as a spiritual epicentre flourished, drawing pilgrims from far and wide. The sacred temples, direct access to the divine Ladies, and the enduring tales of heroism continue to inspire, making Kindra a living narrative of Azrea's divine and historical legacy.
The Cult of the Weave:
Core Beliefs: The Cult of the Weave reveres the cycle of life, death, creation, and destruction, embodying the natural order of existence. Its teachings emphasize maintaining balance, delaying entropy, and fostering virtues of compassion, charity, honesty, integrity, duty, and responsibility. Adherents believe in navigating life with a sense of divine purpose, and a commitment to uphold the sacred balance amidst the ephemeral nature of existence.
Graphic design by Jaques Smit and Image generated with Midjourney AI
The Divine Pantheon: Central to the Cult are the five goddesses, often referred to as "The Ladies." They represent different domains of power, embodying the various facets of existence.
Cos (the All-Mother):
Domains: Light, Protection, Healing, Motherhood
Holy Symbol: Pentacle
Avatar: A radiant woman standing amidst sunlight
Personality: Cos is perceived as a nurturing and compassionate goddess, embodying light and protection
Preferred Weapon: Spear
Domains: Oceans, Chance, Change, Travel
Holy Symbol: Crescent Wave
Avatar: A majestic dragon
Personality: Aeg, the capricious goddess, embodies the essence of change and fate, especially among those who voyage across the oceans
Preferred Weapon: Trident
Domains: Nature, Land, Earth, Agriculture
Holy Symbol: A dual pentagon, one inverted within the other
Avatar: A feathered flying serpent
Personality: Jor, wild and untamed, is revered as a protector of land and a goddess of agriculture
Preferred Weapon: Scythe
Domains: Winter, Summer, Life, Death
Holy Symbol: Spiralled Tear
Avatar: A grand winter wolf
Personality: Lot embodies the cyclical nature of existence, portraying the transitions of seasons, life, and death
Preferred Weapon: Sickle
Domains: Magic, Balance, Knowledge, Divination
Holy Symbol: Octagonal Web
Avatar: A giant purple spider
Personality: Wise and powerful, Mag is revered as a guardian of magical balance and divine knowledge
Preferred Weapon: Wand
Lost Divine Entities:
Belmung: The enlightened God of Destruction, trapped within a sword named after him, currently with Kallen du la Rent.
Kazamung: The twisted God of Creation, entrapped within a pair of daggers, currently with Ulfhild.
Hazmothane: Known as the First Son, god of the Cycle, is trapped in the Realm of Shadow behind the Darkveil.
Anchorhall: Believers aspire to find their eternal rest in Anchorhall, where it's believed that righteous and valiant souls are graced with the divine camaraderie of the All-Mother over celestial brews.
The Ice Vault: Those who fail to uphold balance have weak souls and find themselves locked in Lot's vaults.
Spiritual Governance - The Holy Council: The spiritual and temporal governance of Kindra is under the stewardship of the Holy Council, comprising five High Priestesses and Priests representing each of the goddesses. Their abode in Kindra forms the nucleus of spiritual enlightenment and divine communication, making Kindra the spiritual heartbeat of Ayrul.
The Cult of the Weave shapes the cultural, social, and governance fabric of Kindra, making it a beacon of spiritual pursuit, divine wisdom, and communal harmony.
Landmarks, Architecture, and Holy Sites:
The Holy Mountain of Kindra - Image generated with Midjourney AI
The Holy Mountain: The Holy Mountain, around which Kindra is built, holds a central place in the spiritual and cultural life of the city. Its sacred grounds are a conduit to the realm of light, enabling communion with the goddesses and channelling their power to followers of the cult. The mountain's lofty altitude and serene ambience provide a natural sanctuary for spiritual reflection and divine interaction.
Temple Complex: The temples on the mountain are the city's most iconic architectural and spiritual landmark. Each of the five massive temples is dedicated to one of the goddesses of the Cult of the Weave:
Temple of Cos: Located at a venerated position, it symbolizes the nurturing and protective essence of the All-Mother.
Temple of Aeg: Known as the Temple of the Dragon, it captures the fluid and ever-changing essence of the goddess of oceans and travel.
Temple of Jor: Reflecting the wild and untamed spirit of nature, it stands as a sanctum of earthly wisdom.
Temple of Lot: Embodying the cyclical nature of existence, it's a place where devotees contemplate life's transitions.
Temple of Mag: Situated to the southwest, it's the keeper of mystical and divine knowledge, a place where the fabric of reality is revered and studied.
The Saint's Cup Inn - Image generated with Midjourney AI
The Saint’s Cup Inn: A quaint and historic inn, managed by innkeeper Henry Ollich. It provides a warm and welcoming abode for pilgrims, travellers, and seekers of divine wisdom.
Holy Spring and Waterweird Guardians: The Holy Spring is a revered site, believed to hold purifying and sanctifying properties. It's guarded by Waterweirds, autonomous water elementals controlled by "containment collars," ensuring the sanctity and protection of these holy waters.
Chapel of Lot and Guardian Vrylis: Within Kindra, the Chapel of Lot stands as a sanctified space, with a sculpted Valkyrie named Vrylis watching against intruders, embodying the vigilant spirit of divine protection.
Cleric of Cos - Image generated with Midjourney AI
Paladin Orders of the Pilgrim’s Rest: This order ensures the enforcement of the city’s theocratic laws and provides military strength to uphold the city's neutral and sacred status.
King Louis Grengarbane's Road: A historical trail of valour, this road recounts the liberating journey of King Louis and is a testament to the enduring alliance shaped during the conflict.
Knights of Alba Training Grounds: A symbol of martial and spiritual discipline, these grounds shape the paladins, clerics, fighters, and rangers who stand against evil, with many of them further stationed in Lonstad to keep the Dead Lands at bay.
The Walls and Countess’s Guard: The formidable walls of Kindra, staffed and guarded by the Countess's soldiers, symbolize both the physical and spiritual boundaries that preserve the city’s divine essence.
Kindra’s architecture blends the ancient with the eternal. The intricately designed temples, historic trails, and sacred sites guide pilgrims through a journey of divine discovery, while the fortifications manifest the city’s earthly commitment to keep the Lady's access to the world secure.
Theocratic Governance: The Holy City of Kindra operates under a theocratic governance structure, where religious authority melds with political administration. The city's laws and policies are dictated by the religious doctrines of the Cult of the Weave and are implemented under the authority of the High Priestesses.
Key Figures in Governance:
High Priestess Ovia Laquismja: As a stillari of Stillendam, High Priestess Ovia Laquismja holds the esteemed position of the city's ruler. She is also the High Priestess of Cos, embodying the All-Mother's principles of light, protection, and motherhood. Commanding the armies of Kindra, she stands as a significant leader within The Cult of the Weave, ensuring the city's spiritual and physical security.
High Priestesses and Priests: The high priestesses, representing each goddess of the Cult of the Weave, form the Holy Council that presides over the faith from Kindra. They play a crucial role in maintaining the city's religious practices, temple complexes, and spiritual education.
High Priest Unhir Yetmin: A dwan of the Northern Towers, representing Jor, the goddess of nature and shaper of land.
High Priest Roland Thornfall: A human high priest representing Aeg, the goddess of the oceans, chance, and change.
High Priestess Ishyelle Hethnolas: A stillari known for her wisdom and skill with constructs, representing Lot, the goddess of winter, summer, life, and death.
High Priestess Evinja Sylver: Another stillari that represents Mag, the goddess of magic and balance.
Countess Hellen Almora(of West Rendin): While the Countess's soldiers staff and guard the city walls, her political power within the city is minimal compared to the religious authorities. Her role primarily revolves around maintaining the city's external defence and ensuring the safety of its inhabitants.
Mayor Celia Rhidder: Responsible for the maintenance and administrative affairs of the city, Mayor Rhidder operates out of the Town Hall, ensuring the smooth functioning of the city’s infrastructure and public services.
Paladin Orders of the Pilgrim’s Rest: This order, under the city's religious authority, enforces the laws in Kindra and provides a structured, disciplined force to maintain order and protect the city's sanctity.
Military Leadership: Among others, Brother Hein Witherwood, a capable spell caster and military leader, serves as a cleric of Cos stationed in Kindra, epitomizing the blend of spiritual and martial leadership that characterizes the city's governance. Each temple has its own military structure, containing monks and battle clerics. Since all are required to frequently rotate through Lonstand's defence, the leadership of each can vary.
Justice and Law Enforcement: The laws of Kindra are enforced by the Paladin Orders of the Pilgrim's Rest, ensuring adherence to the theocratic principles that guide the city. This integration of religious and political authority ensures a harmonious alignment between the spiritual aspirations and earthly governance of Kindra, providing a unique model of divine-led administration.
(Waterweird Guardian of the Temples by DALL-E 3)
Trade and Industry:
Primary Exports: The economy of Kindra revolves around its religious stature, which generates a substantial amount of trade and commerce, primarily through the following exports:
Pilgrimages: Kindra attracts thousands of pilgrims from across Azrea annually. The influx of pilgrims brings in revenue through services like lodging, guided tours, and religious ceremonies.
Blessed Items: The city is known for producing religious artefacts, amulets, and other blessed items. These spiritual commodities are highly sought after by believers and are exported to various regions.
Lumber: The surrounding verdant landscapes provide a rich source of timber. Lumber harvested from the nearby forests is a significant export, which finds its market in many neighbouring cities and regions.
Craftsmanship: The city boasts skilled craftsmen and artisans who specialize in creating religious icons, carvings, and other holy artefacts. Their work is not only central to Kindra's religious practices but also forms a crucial part of the local economy.
Temple Maintenance and Construction: Given the city's landscape dominated by temples and religious structures, there's a thriving industry around the maintenance, restoration, and construction of these holy sites.
Agriculture: Although not a major industry, agriculture, led by the blessings of Goddess Jor, supports the local populace. It also reflects the city's harmonious existence with nature, ensuring sustenance for its residents.
Open Market: Kindra’s open and accepting culture extends to its marketplaces. The city welcomes traders from various races and regions, promoting a diverse market environment. This inclusive approach fosters robust trade relations with neighbouring regions.
Trade Training: Many of the city’s clergy and military personnel receive training in Lonstad in East Rendin, home to the Knights of Alba. This inter-city connection further enriches Kindra’s trade and military relations, leading to a flow of goods, skills, and knowledge between the regions.
Religious Exchange: The exchange of religious artefacts, texts, and spiritual knowledge with other regions promotes a unique form of trade, enhancing Kindra's economic and spiritual ties on a broader scale.
The blend of spiritual and material commerce positions Kindra as a city where divine blessings fuel earthly prosperity. Through a blend of religious tourism, craft, and natural resources, Kindra maintains a thriving economy while upholding its sacred traditions.
The Holy City of Kindra is a spiritual haven in the Nord Forest of West Rendin. Its rich tapestry of history, religious fervour, and welcoming culture make it a unique gem. The city’s heart beats with the rhythm of divine chants resonating from the grand temples that stand as timeless testaments to its faith and resilience.
As pilgrims tread the sacred trails once walked by King Louis Grengarbane, they find themselves amidst an ageless narrative of valour, divine grace, and enduring alliances. The majestic temples, each a domicile to the revered goddesses, beckon souls from near and far to partake in this grand narrative.
From the governance led by the High Priestesses to the robust trade fueled by spiritual and earthly commodities, Kindra showcases a harmonious blend of the divine and the mundane.
Whether a pilgrim, a trader, or a history aficionado, the city opens its arms, offering a blend of spiritual solace, commercial opportunity, and a walk through the annals of a rich and enduring history.
Kindra continues to stand as a beacon of spiritual enlightenment, a hub of religious education, and a meeting point of diverse cultures.