The Wheel - Book 1: Death of the Phoenix

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The Twelve Kingdoms: Isles of Astrum

Kingdom - Isles of Astrum

Capital - Eistr Mariskh

Patron - The Healer

Sigil - Horse

In all the thousands of years that the Twelve Kingdoms have existed, never has there been an Emperor or Empress from the Isles of Astrum. Broadly speaking, the residents of Astrum do not possess the same ambitions such as their neighbours in Syvina to the west, or Kailda in the south west. Thus, Astrum has always remained much smaller than the rest of the other kingdoms and very well distanced; its greatest weakness is in its lack of direction because its residents are content to live without ambition. Yet this is also the kingdom’s greatest strength. Freedom, like the wild horses that roam on these isles, is what the people value the most. So long as the Isles of Astrum are allowed to continue in their own steady way, the residents remain content.

The Isles of Astrum are also purported to be the most progressive kingdom, alongside the likes of Paxima. Any person of any founding may find sanctuary in Astrum, so long as they follow the flow of the land. This tradition was set long ago by Astrum’s founder. Hailing from lands still unknown to the world, Althea was a poor woman of no import. Having travelled far and wide across the Twelve Kingdoms, even traversing through the Ashen Lands far to the west, she had found no home - at least not until she stumbled, exhausted, onto the Isles of Astrum. Because her robes were a tattered grey that made her appear like a ghost, marking her as a wanderer, the residents that already lived there dubbed her the Grey Lady and welcomed her into their home. And home did the Isles of Astrum become to her: Althea found these lands not only to be the ideal place for her to practice the delicate healing magic she had learned, she knew that these lands were special. Her powers once mediocre, became from then on advanced, revolutionary even. The mystical energies that harked from the largely unknown depths of the Loi Sea led her to discover healing abilities that would for thousands of years after be an enviable legacy across the Twelve Kingdoms. Then there was her rare and rather unnatural ability to communicate with nature, a skill that was out of place in all other kingdoms until she found Astrum. Legend has it that as she arrived upon the sacred Ootoe beach, all the horses of the isles greeted her as she waded through the waters onto land. Horses of Astrum are not like their ordinary brethren on these isles. While most horses would shy away from strangers unless tamed, these horses of Astrum often roam the lands peacefully among humans, never tamed. They also find people in need, sometimes carefully guiding or carrying them to safety, or comfort the sick and the dying. Yet the occurrence of all the horses appearing before Althea has never happened again since; many since in Astrum proclaim that the horses knew that their patron had come, that the Grey Lady was the one to show the way for the Isles of Astrum.

To make sure her teachings were available to all willing to learn, Althea then founded the Eistr Mariskh, a great and beautiful temple where many, whether born on Astrum or not, flocked to learn from her, to discover the marvel of her healing and conjuration magic. Eventually becoming the capital, the Eistr Mariskh remains from whence it was originally built, a place of worship and learning where the best priests and priestesses grow, and many temples since have been built in its shadow. Despite the greater lack of wealth and militia in this kingdom, the Isles of Astrum is an influential kingdom. Any leaders of Astrum are revered for their wisdom and their mercy in matters of the Twelve Kingdoms, two staple principles that embody Althea and the people of Astrum when she found refuge on the isles all those years ago.

*Please note: there are flags of each kingdom available to view on Wattpad, as Inkitt hasn’t got a tool for me to publish these images here. If you cannot view the flags on Wattpad, bear with me, I am deciding which other platform I can use for you all to see them. Thanks for your patience!

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