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Templedom of Cinden
Cinden and its primary and secondary political divisions
Geographic map of Cinden and Northwestern Medaina (bottom right)
79.02% Dennlander |
|Cartyn IV of Byrwold|
|Legislature||Ducal Council (de facto)|
|14 Focaen 2748|
|28 Haits 2824|
|315,978.55 km2 (122,000.00 sq mi)|
• 3018 estimate
|8.070/km2 (20.9/sq mi)|
|Currency||Cindane goulding (g)|
The Templedom of Cinden is a sovereign state which occupies the entirety of the Aschen Isles, bounded by the Thalasic Ocean to the west, the Dorian Sea to the southeast, and the Icewind Sea to the northeast. Cinden is made up of eight Duchies and three distinct environmental-geographic regions; the Dennlands, the Stanlands, and the Aschenlands. Cinden has a total land area of about 122,000 square miles and a total estimated population of 2.55 million people as of 3018. The capital of Cinden is Trebben in northern Riveraine, while the largest city in the realm is Sorensted in southeastern Gavance.
Cinden has a mixed aristocratic-theocratic government with a balance of power between the Houses of Cinden and the Oathbound Temple. The Houses, with each House occupying the faculties of a Duchy, have control over secular military, commercial, and property affairs, while the Temple holds religious, magical, and moral authority. The Houses pay a large amount of tribute to the Temple, which in turn legitimises the rule of the Houses from a religious standpoint. In practice, the High Seer of the Temple, the lifetime leader as elected by the Convocation, is the most powerful political figure in the realm, followed after by the collective of Dukes, who, when sitting as a common legislative body, collaborate and collectively bargain with the Temple in an organ known as the Ducal Council. Each Duchy, as well as the Temple, maintain their own military forces and levies, though in times of hostile invasions all Cindane forces typically band together as a single defensive force. This arrangement of power dynamics was created by the Peace of Sunnbyrg in 2824 at the conclusion of the Second Cindane Ducal War.
Recorded Cindane history begins with the undated manuscripts of the Geseon; the first three Books of the Geseon are assumed by most scholars to have been written only several weeks to months after the creation of the world. The supposed date of the world's creation in Geseonic scripture is taken to be the first day of the Cindane calendar. It is believed that human life originated on Cinden, and that those humans who did not flee the First Long Aschen-Night and remained on the island were the ancestors of contemporary Cindane people. The early Cindane people were originally concentrated in southeastern Gavance, and that around the year 150 these peoples spread across the island of Cinden during the migrations of the Nine Tribes of Cinden. The Second Long Aschen-Night, occurring from 950 to 954, was the first accurately recorded event in Cindane history, Saint Taetha the Ardent Sword and her Six Disciples kept records of their battles during the conflict and extensive writings took place during the subsequent founding of the Oathbound Temple. The manifestation of the Temple marked the unification of the tribes of the Dennlands and Stanlands, and thus, the foundation of the First Templedom. The absolute power of the Temple endured over a long period of peace and stability in Cinden, though as time passed, political fractures between religious and secular authorities began to materialise. The Stanlander Revolt of 1214 was the first in a series of sustained conflicts between the chiefs of the Dennlands and the Stanlands, a cultural divide which unhinged the delicate political unity of the Temple-led realm. The outbreak of the Dennlander-Stanlander Wars effectively broke the realm into warring polities, with the Temple unable to affect much order during this period.
The Western Dorian Expeditions brought Cinden into contact with the greater continent of Medaina in 1467; the first contact of the two cultures saw the development of the first trade routes in the Dorian Sea. An ineffective Temple administration combined with the relative development of the city of Sorensted compared to other settlements across Cinden meant that sea-based trade was largely limited to that city. Sorensted, as a result, became the wealthiest and most powerful city in Cinden, and the resultant power of House Tone saw their domination of the other tribes in what would become known as the Tone hegemony. Though the hegemony would endure for nearly two centuries, after systematic acts of tyranny by successive Tone chieftains, the First War of the Oath overthrew the Tone hegemons, sacked the city of Sorensted, and saw the assumption of political power by the Temple once more in 1631. The restored Temple authority presided over a period of peace which lasted more than three centuries, though this peace was brought to an end by the Third Long Aschen-Night in 1959, by far the most devastating eruption of Mount Mothersblood. Rolling conflicts against demons and widespread crop failures lead to one of the deadliest periods of Cindane history, and thus little resistance withstood the Emetrian Invasion of 2144.
Emmetrian Cinden saw the persecution of the Oathbound Temple, the creation of the Duchies, and the settlement of the southeastern coast by Emmetrian colonists. Though the Empire outlawed the Temple and razed Trebben Temple, many native Cindane people continued to practice in secret, and the hierarchy of the Temple fled to northern Byrwold, where Imperial control was at first extremely minimal. After the Gabra-Grania Revolt in 2203, the Emmetrians began to enslave native Cindane peoples and sent another wave of colonists to penetrate deeper into the fertile lands of Riveraine. Slave revolts became common, though often repressed to the degree that entire revolting towns would be razed by the Emmetrians. Though highly unstable, Emmetrian rule was enforced by its overwhelmingly superior military prowess, and the Dennlanders remained powerless despite numerous attempts at rebellion. Emmetrian domination of Cinden began to decline in 2419, when the Emmetrian homeland was threatened by the Second Emmetrian-Ponzooti War, and the eruption of Mount Mothersblood in 2425 and subsequent Fourth Long Aschen-Night saw a full withdrawl of Imperial forces from the island. Most ethnic Emmetrians left with the soldiers, but some remained and were massacred by the formerly enslaved Cindanes. The Temple managed to muster support from the Dukes to form a military coalition to end the Fourth Long Aschen-Night, and after the conclusion of the conflict Trebben Temple was rebuilt in 2431. Immediately following the conflict, the powerful House Gabra, the centre of Emmetrian colonisation, invaded both Riveraine and Gavance to establish the Gabra hegemony through the creation of the Grand Duchy of Milkwold.
The Gabra hegemons, famed for their mastery of magic, presided over a period of unprecedented growth and stability. Academies, libraries, and new Temples were built across Cinden, and the immense amount of tribute paid by House Gabra to the restored Temple insured the blessing of the Temple for their hegemony. The rule of House Gabra was remarkably stable and well received, with little to no insurrectionary activity from either commoners nor other noble Houses. The peaceful state of affairs would last for just over three centuries; in 2733, the first of the Norholmer Invasions began with their conquest of the Aschenlands and the de facto independent Anrothan Duke of Deorfeld swore allegiance to House Gabra in return for protection. Though the initial invaders were repelled, subsequent invasions in 2738 and 2741 weakened House Gabra substantially, and the successful Nolhomer conquest of Byrwold in 2743 saw the collapse of support for the hegemons. Saint Ursana successfully won the support of the commoners of Cinden, forcing the noble Houses to rally behind her, and the Second War of the Oath saw the complete expulsion of the Norholmers in the Stanlands and the Aschenlands in 2748. Following the Temple-led victory, an attempt by House Grania to establish a hegemony was promptly crushed, and the Oathbound Compact was adopted to formally acknowledge the Oathbound Temple as the true political arbiters of the realm.
Under the Compact, the entirety of Cinden was united for the first time as a single state. The optimism brought about by the success of the Compact was swiftly ended as divides once more began to chafe between the Duchies. It would take more than half a century of recovery before the prosperity of the Gabra hegemony could be recaptured, and though at first the Dukes welcomed the Temple's leadership with open arms, the Temple's lack of ability to intervene in and resolve interducal affairs gave way to the First Cindane Ducal War in 2799. The bloody conflict ended with the establishment of the Ducal Council in 2806, though even with official end, the Temple remained reluctant to involve itself in the squabbles between the Duchies. A series of minor skirmishes between the Duchies of Westerye and the Esterfangs in 2819 marked the onset of the Second Cindane Ducal War, an even more violent conflict than its previous, and with this conflict, under the leadership of Saint Olath, the Temple intervened and demanded that all combatants stand down. Though the leaders of the Duchies attempted to ignore the Temple's demands, the commoners of Cinden rose up in revolt and the Temple quickly came to the aid of those revolting peoples. The Peace of Sunnbyrg ended the conflict with a total victory for the Temple, and with its victory came its recognition as the superior force in Cindane governance. The end of the Ducal Wars brought to Cinden a long peaceful period of development, known as the Golden Age of the Renewed Oath, which lasts into the contemporary day.
Cinden has a majority rural population which is largely involved in sharecropping. The Duchies own all lands aside from those explicitly gifted to the Temple, and all who farm upon Ducal land pay rent to their respective ruling House. Crafts and trades are located throughout villages, towns, and cities, and artisan crafts are on a whole organised through the Guilds of Cinden. Most Cindane international trade occurs in two port cities, Sorensted and Laitpool, located in Gavance and Milkwold respectively. Cinden is largely isolated from most foreign affairs due to its relative distance from mainland continental Medaina, and most trans-Dorian commercial exchanges occur at the prerogative of the Dorian League. Aside from its cordial trade relationship with the League, Cindane leadership typically views foreign powers with suspicion and distrust. The sole foreign nation with which a friendly intergovernmental relationship is maintained is Ponzooti, though the long distance between Cinden and Ponzooti mean that a mutually beneficial defensive alliance is infeasible.
Geography[edit | edit source]
Cinden contains the entirety of the Aschen Isles, the archipelago which consists of two primary islands: Cinden Isle, the primary landmass of the archipelago, and Amyrge Isle, the second largest island located to the east of Cinden in the Dorian Sea across the Aschen Strait. Cinden Isle contains all geographic extremes of the Aschen Isles, including all directional extreme points, the highest topographic point, Mount Mothersblood, and the lowest topographic point, the Fennet Basin in eastern Gavance. Secularly, the whole of the Aschen Isles are believed to have come into existence through volcanic eruptions over a long period of time, with the present region of volcanic activity limited to the northeastern coastline of Cinden Isle, as well as the volcanic island of Amyrge. Due to the heavy influence of the Oathbound Temple on all research activities, geographic research on the nature of the formation of the Aschen Isles through volcanic activity is a highly politicised subject, and as a result, is limited due to the constant shifting of ideological alignments in Temple leadership. Academic consensus has been reached on the conclusion that the Aschen Isles came to be out of volcanic activity, but it is the scale of time over which this happened which remains a subject of intense debate.
Climatically, ecologically and topographically, Cinden Isle can be divided into three distinct regions: the Aschenlands, the Dennlands, and the Stanlands. These three regions each contain their own unique climate systems, flora and fauna, and various land formations.
Aschenlands[edit | edit source]
The Cindane Aschenlands consist of the entirety of the Duchy of Deorfeld. It is the only geographic region to be entirety encompassed by a single Duchy. The Aschenlands have two subregions, Tarwind and eponymous Deorfeld.
Tarwind is defined by its mountainous, rocky terrain, constant volcanic activity, and a near-complete lack of both flora and fauna. Moss growth is common on mountains which sustain less volcanic activity, and several kinds of fungi and land algae are somewhat common in elevated areas as well. The most common animals found in Tarwind include ash aedelgrefs, ash weasels, and various kinds of insects. Due to the extreme volcanic activity that occurs in Tarwind, there is little to no sunlight on any given day, in large part due to constant dust and ash storms and heavy regular fogs. All of Cinden's active shield and stratovolcanoes are located in Tarwind, including the highest peak on the Isle, Mount Mothersblood, which is also the largest known volcano in the world. Mothersblood has a caldera which is estimated to be over 140,000 acres in size, and though constant seismic activity makes an exact estimation of its height difficult, the rim of the caldera is consistently over 20,000 feet in altitude.
Deorfeld is the easternmost part of the Aschenlands. It is home to considerably more plant and animal life than its western counterpart, though the region is still nowhere near as lush as other geographic regions of Cinden Isle. Grasses and mosses thrive on the rolling hills of the region, alongside low-lying shrubs and flowering plants. Greystags and ash yooks are common in Deorfeld, and this gives way to a large population of ash wyverns and ash adelgrefs. Seals are found on the shores of northern Deorfeld, the only place in Cinden aside from Byrwold where those animals can be encountered. Alongside these larger animals, ash weasels and deorcocks can also be found in the region. Though Deorfeld is not subject to continuous ash or dust storms like Tarwind, the area is still climatically subject to high velocity wind and rain storms, due to its middle location between the cold Thalasic Ocean and the warm Dorian Sea. There are no large mountains in Deorfeld, with most of its topography limited to rolling hills and cliffs along the shoreline in certain places. Limited volcanic activity in the form of lava flows can occur in Deorfeld, especially in the western part of the region.
Dennlands[edit | edit source]
The Dennlands geographic area covers the Duchies of Milkwold, Riveraine, Gavance, and Westerye. Though it is the largest general geographic region, it only consists of two geographic subregions, Midfeld and Egghyl. Egghyl itself is actually geographically divided between three separate areas, in Westerye, southern Gavance, and southern Milkwold, though they are nonetheless grouped together due to a commonality of environmental and topographic features.
Midfeld is the largest contiguous geographic subregion on Cinden Isle. Midfeld is a lush region with a high natural diversity of plant and animal life. Midfeld is knowing for its rolling temperate grasslands and deciduous forests. Many different kinds of deciduous trees can be found in Midfelder forests, including ash trees, oak trees, willow trees, and yew trees. A variety of native berry bushes are also found in Midfeld, including gaeberry, blueberry, and strawberry bushes. There is also a wide variety of flowering plants and variously lengthed grasses, though the region is especially well known for its orchids and bluebonnets. In terms of animal life, Midfeld contains the highest number of creatures, including, but not limited to, deer, pheasants, wild yooks, wild scapes, aedelgrefs, forest wyverns, black bears, timber wolves, red foxes, hares, and forest weasels. Topographically, Midfeld is mostly made up of gently sloped hills and large plains, though some steeper river valleys and basins can be found in Riveraine and eastern Gavance. Climatically, Midfeld is known to be very temperate, experiencing only occasional rainstorms. Westerye and western Gavance have historically, though very rarely, experienced major storms blowing in off the warm Dorian Sea.
Egghyl is a single geographic subregion divided into three separate physical areas across the southern coast of Cinden; the subregion is typically classified into Far Western Eggyhl in Westerye, Western Egghyl in southern Gavance, and Eastern Egghyl in southern Milkwold. The subregion contains many of the animals found in Midfeld, though there are distinct variations between the coats of these animals found in the two regions, as Egghyl is, on a whole, much rockier and topographically than Midfeld. A second difference between the two is the warmer climate of Western and Eastern Egghyl compared to Midfeld, and as a result, slightly different flora are encountered in this southerly region. Lavender, heather, and other shrubland plants can be found in these warmer areas. Alongside a difference in flora, the climate of southern Egghyl is considerably warmer than it is to the north, though precipitation is largely the same as it is in the more temperate regions of Cinden. Southern Egghyl is the only place in recorded Cindane history where a drought has ever occurred, and especially warm summers following particularly dry winters can often lead to outbreaks of wildfires.
Stanlands[edit | edit source]
The Stanlands is composed of the Duchies of Byrwold, the Esterfangs, and the Westerfangs. The Stanlands are the only geographic region of Cinden to have a largely uniform climatic and ecological composition, though there are three distinct topographic variations found throughout the Stanlands. The Stanlands is mostly covered in coniferous forests, mostly with spruce trees and alpine shrubs. The high acidity of the soil in the Stanlands means that little plant life aside from mosses, trees, and other coniferous shrubs struggle to survive in the region, though certain mountaintops are home to various kinds of grass and heather. In terms of fauna, the Stanlands are home a large number of elk, wolves, mist wyverns, pheasants, brown bears, mountain weasels, and spruce foxes. The Stanlands has some of the largest numbers of aedelgrefs in Cinden, and many of its highest mountains are home to large aedelgref colonies. The Stanlands contain some of the most dramatic topographical features in the Aschen Isles, and the Snowfangs, the mountain range which covers the north of Cinden Isle, are mostly found in the Stanlands. Aside from the Snowfangs, Byrwold, the coniferous forest to the north of the mountain range, is largely made up of steep, rocky hills, deep ravines, and coastal fjords. The region as a whole is, on average, considered the coldest part of Cinden due to the cold southerly current of the Thalasic Ocean. North of the Snowfangs, the sky is typically overcast and windy, while south of the Snowfangs, the weather is more temperate. The winters in the Stanlands are known to be particularly harsh.
Politics[edit | edit source]
Cinden has a mixed political system which shares power of governance between theocratic and aristocratic oligarchs. The Oathbound Temple, the official state church of the realm, is the political-religious body through which the individual feudal lords are united. The High Seer of the Temple serves as the de facto head of state and head of government of Cinden, as all governmental decisions which affect the entirety of the realm are ultimately approved and enforced through the High Seer. The Ducal Council, the assembly of the eight Dukes which hold absolute secular power over their lands, has the power to overrule any edict of the High Seer. Though the Dukes are technically of a lower rank than the High Seer, paying the Temple a great deal of tribute every month in return for religious legitimacy, in practice, real administrative power is divided between the two; the Dukes and the Ducal Council have impunity over matters related to justice, interducal commerce, land ownership, and intraducal defence, while the High Seer and the Temple have absolute power over matters related to diplomacy, magic, and religious affairs. It is only in times of foreign invasion that the two parts of Cindane government unify for a common military purpose. The Oathbound Compact was a multilateral treaty between each individual Duke and the High Seer, and though the Compact bound the Dukes to the Temple, it did not set any rules or obligations other than a common defensive agreement and an agreement that no one Duke should wield any power over another. The agreement of the Peace of Sunnbyrg, which ended the Second Cindane Ducal War, is the binding legal apparatus which more clearly delineated the areas of administrative power between the secular and religious authorities. The Peace itself derives legal legitimacy directly from the Compact, and so to breach the terms of the Peace would be to invalidate the Compact. This means that if any individual authority were to go against the Peace, they would be nullifying their protection from any other internal power in the realm. Thus, the Duchies and the Temple are bound to one another in such a way that prevents any one Duchy from overpowering another.
Government[edit | edit source]
The Oathbound Temple governs over the policy areas of diplomatic, magical, moral, and religious affairs. The High Seer of the Temple is effectively the sole individual in which the full power of the organ is vested. The High Seer has the power to create edicts which are binding to all Seers and the whole of the Threefold Order. These edicts must relate specifically to diplomatic, magical, moral, and religious matters, otherwise they would be non-binding. Often, the High Seer is involved in diplomatic affairs both domestic and foreign. The Temple often acts in practice as a mediator between conflicting parties whose affair threatens the stability of the realm as a whole. The High Seer serves a lifetime appointment, and upon the death of a High Seer, a Convocation is held to elect a new one. The Convocation consists of the Seers of each individual Temple as well as the Knight-Commanders of the Threefold Order of the Oathbound Knights, the military-religious organisation which enforces the will of the Temple. The High Seer wields complete control over the Threefold Order, though in practice, minor offences are typically dealt with directly by a Knight-Commander through their Troop at the direction of a Temple's Seer. Wherever a physical Temple exists, attached to it is a Sanctuary of the Threefold Order, wherein resides a Troop led by a Knight-Commander. The Threefold Order is typically most concerned with investigations into allegations of heresy and abuses of magical power. The Oathbound Temple is supported on a whole by the tributes paid to it by the individual Duchies, as well as the donations that it receives from the laity.
The individual Duchies govern domestically over the secular matters of justice, commerce, property, and defence. In these areas, each Duke has full control over their respective Duchy. Dukes typically only concern themselves with matters related to other Duchies; the Earls and Lairds which are vassals to these Dukes are the more common arbiters of intraducal affairs. All Dukes, Earls, and Lairds possess a certain amount of land with which they are principally concerned in a governmental since. The titles of these landowners are inherited by their children, typically it is the oldest child, though it is not uncommon that a landowner chooses another child for their talents. In terms of justice, each landowner acts as the adjudicator in any given offence, though landowners with particularly vast holdings will often appoint magistrates to adjudicate on their behalf. In terms of commerce and property, the landowners are the possessors of all that is produced within their holds, and thus they are responsible for the accounting and taxation of all commercial interactions related to their holds, with the exception of anything produced within a Chartered City. In terms of defence, each landowner manages their own levies as supplied by their holds, and in times of foreign invasion, the individual levies of each landowner are collectivised and led into battle by the Threefold Order. The Dukes of Cinden are all members of the Ducal Council, which bargains collectively with the High Seer in mediating between complicated affairs which concern combined secular-religious matters. The Ducal Council also has the power to challenge an edict of the High Seer, though in practice this has never been done.
Law and justice[edit | edit source]
Criminal and civil law in Cinden is a secular affair under the purview of the Duchies and the Chartered Cities. Sheriffs are responsible for the enforcement of criminal codes across the individual Earldoms and Chartered Cities, and in particularly large or heavily populated areas, there can often exist more than one Sheriff. In both criminal and civil matters, disputes between commoners are settled by either the landowners directly or through their magistrates. Criminal and civil codes of law differ from Duchy to Duchy, though a criminal in one Duchy is considered to be a criminal in any part of the realm. Magical and religious law is under the control of the Temple, and more directly, enforced by the Oathbound Knights. Magic is regulated by the Temple because violations of magical law are considered to be heretical in the same manner that blasphemy is. In Cinden, magic is believed to have been granted to its people directly from the Gudegoeds, and as a result, any abuse of magical power is seen as heretical for using it against the will of the Gudegoeds. When a magical or religious law is broken, a the violator's case is heard by the Seer of their local Temple, and, should they be considered guilty, their sentence is carried out by the Oathbound Knights. When any law is violated by any person within the realm, they can be arrested by either a Sheriff or an Oathbound Knight, though their trial must be heard by the official responsible for adjudication in that respective legal subject.
Political divisions[edit | edit source]
Cinden is primarily divided into 8 Duchies and these are subdivided into a total of 64 Earldoms. The country's primary political divisions of the Duchies represent the secular administrative regions between which law and custom can differ greatly. The majority of real authoritative power in Cinden is vested in the Duchies, and the Dukes of the Duchies themselves only hold, for the most part, small portions of their realm under direct reign. The 64 Earldoms, the secondary political division of Cinden, make up the integral sources of local administrative authority through which the secular laws of the realm are upheld. Each Earldom, under the control of a single Earl, serves as the basis for a the commercial, legal, and military composition of the entire realm. Each Earldom can be further subdivided into Lairddoms, though these are vastly more numerous than the first two classes of political divisions, and the frequency by which Lairddoms are created, amalgamated, and destroyed makes them untenable to keep constant record of.
|Duchy||Banner||Capital||Population (3018 estimate)||Land area (km2)||House|
Demographics[edit | edit source]
Cinden has a racially homogenous population, with little to no people of foreign heritage living in the entirety of the realm. Very small numbers of Emmetrian and Ponzootine travellers, merchants, and envoys live in the Chartered Cities of the southeastern Dennlander coast, where the majority of international commercial exchanges take place. An even smaller number of foreigners can be found in the interior of the realm, mostly independent merchants or travelling caravans. A small number of foreigners reside permanently in Cinden, and the permittance of foreign settlement varies by Earldom to Earldom due to the highly localised nature of "citizenship" in the realm. The concept of "nationality" is not entirely perceived as a belonging of one person to the entirety of the realm as a singular state. Rather, people are considered first subject to their local Laird, second to their Earl, and third to their Duke. Though all, serf and lord alike, are considered subject to the moral and religious authority of the Temple, in practice, the secular liege is the most important political link to the average Cindane person.
Overall, there are an estimated 2.550 million people living in Cinden as of 3018. The vast majority of these people, at about 79.02% of the total population, are of Dennlander ethnicity. About 20.12% of all Cindane people are Stanlanders, while the remaining 0.86% are Aschenlanders. These ethnic groups align to the geographic regions which make up the country, as thousands of years of Cindane history has divided the peoples of the realms along these lines, not only geographically and politically, but linguistically and culturally as well. Though all Cindane ethnic groups share a common language, Cindane, there are different dialects which correspond to the three ethnic groups, and a variety of accents further defining the peoples along Ducal and even Earlic lines. Culturally, there are stark contrasts between the general behaviours and beliefs of the three ethnic groups; the Dennlanders are known to be proud and shrewd, the Stanlanders are known to be tranquil and hearty, and the Aschenlanders are known to be melancholic and morose.
Culture[edit | edit source]
Cindane culture is preeminently derived from the development of thousands of years worth ancient traditions fused lightly with influences from the Emmetrian and Norholmer invasions, as well as, though to a lesser part, through the non-violent cultural exchanges commercially by way of trade with the Dorian League and Ponzooti. Cindane culture is considered unique in and of itself, and religion has played a significant part in the development of an endemic Cindane way of life. As the homeland of Tregelven, the faith has had a strong role as a cultural centerpiece for a people who would otherwise be seen as divided along its three geographic regions. The intense promotion of literacy by the Tregelvan religion has resulted in one of the most literate realms in the known world, and the rich literary tradition of the island is only further supported by the emphasis placed on linguistic art forms by Cindane society. For this reason, Cinden is often called by foreigners as the "isle of fire winds and fair words."
Art and architecture[edit | edit source]
Contemporary scholars of artistic expression in Cinden consider the visual arts of the country, in terms of painting, to be weaker in terms of stylistic development than examples found across the Dorian Sea on the continent of Medaina. Instead, Cinden is most well known for its stone and gem work, in the mediums of sculpting, gem cutting, jewelry making, weaving, and dye work. Sculpture in Cinden has a long tradition dating back to the very first historical periods of Cindane civilisation. Ancient statues, said to have been kept since the earliest days of tribal Cinden, are found in many of the oldest Temples, and newer Temples often contain many of their own more recently made works. Sculpture work is considered to be one of the highest forms of art in Cindane culture because of the permanence of that which is created, and the belief that such creations can be shared with the world for many generations after the passing of the creator. Gem and jewelry crafts are considered to be of equal, if not higher, value than that of stonework, for the same reason of longevity of the work. On its own accord, gem and jewelry work is considered to be a more prestigious artform because of the nature of the materials that are worked with; that in order to create the intricate, complex designs popular in Cindane metalwork, a high degree of skill and craftsmanship is also required. Cinden is also well known for its dyed tapestries, cloaks, and other textiles, and though most people throughout the realm possess multiple cloth goods due to the high natural abundance of cotton and wool, ownership of Cindane dyed textiles is considered a thing of luxury in continental Medaina.
Architectural expression in Cinden has developed from vernacular forms to the contemporary styles over hundreds of years of stylistic change. For most of early Cindane civilisation, architecture throughout the realm remained functional and used only materials immediately available. It was not until the First Templedom and later periods, when the construction of Temples became widespread, that artistic expression became commonplace in the construction of buildings. Though specific styles vary by cultural region, there are considered to be two periods of architectural style before the present contemporary period.
The first period, known as the Pre-Dorian period, developed explicitly from vernacular forms, utilising the most readily available materials but instilling upon those materials inscriptions and intricate carved works. The First Trebben Temple, now destroyed, was considered to be a monumental piece of Pre-Dorian architecture; the structure was elongated with three points of equal height running down the length of the building. The front of the First Temple was double-walled, with three stone pillar-walls before a second wall which held the three double doorways. Inside the First Temple, a triple stone colonnade was used to support the three minimum points of the roof at a constant interval. All of the stone used was carved with scenes from the Geseon and the Second Long Aschen-Night, and the rear of the Temple, around the altar area, was a half hexagon, above which the roof merged into a single half-hexagon form. Stained-glass windows on the side of the Temple were slim and aligned with the midpoints between the collonades, while the windows at the rear of the Temple were large and hexagonal. This style of building was commonplace for Temples and it was used sparingly otherwise, with the exception of certain other structures of notability in Sorensted and Trebben. Most homes and other structures remained limited to vernacular styles across the realm.
The second period, known as the Post-Dorian period, was influenced by the styles introduced at first through trade with Medainan polities and later through the direct construction of Imperial Emmetrian structures in Cinden. More obviously Emmetrian styles were limited to coast of the Dennlands, and their influence was much more consequential than direct in other regions of Cinden. The Mayoral Palace in Laitpool, formerly the home of the Imperial Emmetrian Governor, offers a prime example of Emmetrian influence upon Cindane styles to create a uniquely Post-Dorian architectural form. The facade of the structure, four stories in height, includes a colonnade with ten arches for each individual story, with windows between the columns of the upper levels, and a set of two double doorways between the central two colonnades. The columns themselves are rectangular and include sharp divisions between each individual stone, as was common in Pre-Dorian architecture, and upon these stones are ornate carved patterns. The roof of the building is flat, and the whole of the structure is square in shape with a courtyard in the middle; the roof is lined with a low-lying, stone-based fence which ends at a smaller square structure built at roof level. There are four total of these square structures, built at the four corners of the palace, and they include arches similar to those used in the lower levels, but instead of a wall and window, the archways are open, allowing for maximum visibility from the roof area. The roofs of these four corner structures themselves are pyramidal and lain with light-blue hued terracotta tiles. Post-Dorian architecture generally follows similar patterns as the Mayoral Palace, and more wood is used in such constructions the farther away from the Dennlander coast that the building is built.
The third and contemporary period of Cindane architecture, known as the Renewal period, fuses Post-Dorian styles with a revival of religious influences upon inscription and general designs. The Second Trebben Temple, reconstructed after the end of the Emmetrian reign over Cinden, is considered to be the most influential architectural example of this style. The layout of the Temple reflects the general design of the First, but the overall structure is much higher than the previous, and the facade itself includes an arrangement of colonnades similar to that of the Mayoral Palace of Laitpool, though with three large arches, three times over itself. The bottom three arches define the three entryways, while hexagonal stained glass windows with intricately detailed stone reliefs surrounding them make up the centres of the upper six archways. The roof and its interior supporting colonnades follow a similar pattern to that of the First Temple, though there are arches between the columns and the columns themselves are much larger due to the dramatic increase in scale. The area around the altar is mostly the same to that of the First Temple, but with a large series of three arches defining the back, half-hexagonal walls. The Second Temple itself also serves as the centrepiece of a larger Temple compound, with a square-shaped courtyard defined by a colonnaded walkway reaching out from the back sides of the Temple and forming a square which is partially interrupted by the remaining area of the Temple around the altar. In secular structures, the Renewal style is differentiated from Post-Dorian styles due to the increased use of decorative colonnades and the use of religious-themed stone inscriptions. In wealthier parts of the realm, most principally in the Chartered Cities, the Renewal style is used in many secular structures, while the vernacular style still remains commonplace in many villages and small towns.