Titled Ruler: Emperor
Governance: Hereditary Monarchy
Common Folk: Half-Elves
The Kingdom of Kryta is where the old ways remain strongest. It is home to Ascalon, one of the largest cities in the world. Ascalon houses the Krytan palace, where the emperor resides. Smaller towns radiate outward from Ascalon across Kryta's rocky moors. Small copses of trees dot the landscape of rolling hills and heaths. The city of Ascalon sits on a massive mesa in the middle of the Lake of Heroes, a long body of water that flows around the rock and over an enormous waterfall. The eastern tip of the rock juts out over the waterfall itself, and it is on this dramatic pinnacle that the Krytan palace stands.
Ascalon is the largest city in the kingdom. It's the seat of Krytan authority, built as a city of walls and various bulwarks designed to keep powerful threats at bay. While smaller settlements are constantly under siege by monsters, the inner parts of Ascalon and the palace are the safest areas in the kingdom, which sometimes gives the royal court a skewed perspective on how dangerous the world outside really is.
The gilded walls of Ascalon are a complex system of bulwarks and defense lines. There are remnants of older walls, which have crumbled and lost their effectiveness. But even the old walls demarcate the city into sections, some which have a penal or ceremonial function.
The massive Krytan palace has three wings and a network of halls, courtyards, outlying chambers, and vaults. There are well-kept gardens and substantial training grounds for Knights of Morgnan. Outside of Ascalon, estates are quite rustic, constructed from rough planks and often containing only a single room. The palace is opulent by comparison. The grounds between the wings form a triangular courtyard that is locked from public view by high walls. Most people don't know the courtyard exists. Only the most powerful nobles are permitted to set foot in it.
At first glance, the courtyard resembles an ornate garden with stands of fruit trees and gold-and-white flowers that are cultivated with painstaking care. At the heart of the garden, the trees fall away, leaving a view of the Fort of a Thousand Vigils.
Kirch is a wide, fast-flowing river originating in the mountains of Istan. It empties into the Lake of Heroes, with murky water, high ridges bordering the bank, and depths of hundreds of feet. Great sea serpents and other creatures are said to hide in the depths of the Lake of Heroes, which stretches almost twenty miles before flowing over the two thousand foot waterfall known as Kirch Falls.
The River Kirch flows into the Lake of Heroes, over Kirch Falls, and into the sea. The continuous roar of the water over the falls has a different rhythm depending on the season and volume of water coming down from the high lands. The palace grounds are lush and fertile from the continual spray of mist.
Ascalon lies in on the northern edge of the Kingdom of Kryta. It's the largest walled city in the Mortal Realm, although parts of Avathar's seaports are more densely populated. Ascalon's population is mainly half-elves; merchants and artisans. With the throne's influence, the city maintains a high standard of cleanliness and order. There is a standing militia and the palace pays a host of workers to keep the streets swept, the public gardens tended, and the riff-raff off the street. Begging is strictly prohibited, and there is a street curfew enforced by the militia. Several alms houses exist just outside the main walls of Ascalon, and the palace regularly sponsors 'caravans' to take the needy to the sea ports, where they will ostensibly be able to find employment or trade work more easily.
Kryta has five provinces, including Ascalon: Videns, Wittal, Effalen, and the Moorland. The province known as the Moorland is larger in size than the other four combined. Each province may have multiple castles, towns, and temples. Within a few leagues south of Ascalon's walls, there are several medium-sized towns. This area is called the Nearheath and is inhabited mainly by artisans and farmers. Being so close to Ascalon affords a good deal of protection to these towns. Most have fortifications or walls in case of attack or some other threat, but there are many outlying farms as well. Nearheath is composed of several provinces. Videns is a region of vineyards and rolling hills with small castles with walled estates. The River Kirch runs through this region. Wittal is the most thickly forested area of Kryta. Although small in size, the forest is dense and dark, with ancient pines trees that dwarf the deciduous forests in the neighboring provinces. Effalen is the rockiest area of Kryta.
Two of the main villages in the Nearheath are Estwald and Hanweir. Estwald is the center of woodworking in Kryta and part of the Wittal province. Hanweir is the agricultural jewel of Kryta. Hanweir is the site of the largest open-air market, the place where livestock are traded and envoys from Eternia bring their wares. Hanweir is in Videns province, and the River Kirch runs through the village, making it a bustling port where goods are brought in from the other provinces before being transported up to Ascalon by horse and cart.
Beyond the Nearheath is the Moorland. This has always been a more desolate region, filled with stories of spectral wolves and wandering spirits. There are few trees in the Moorland and the ground is covered with coarse grass, bracken, and violet heather. There are boulders and standing rocks, and the countryside seems to be covered in perpetual mist. The area is rife with monsters, and travelers are constantly at risk.
Selesnya settled her seat of power in Ascalon, atop the ruins of her former tomb in the year 50,000 AC. The Battle of Ascalon was fought in the city that was once the envy of the world, and Selesnya won it in 50,010 AC. During the Final Battle of Ascalon, Emperor Rurik of the Rebel Alliance sacrificed himself to slay Selesnya in 50,015 AC.
The warlord Marrduk was named King of Kryta in 50,016 AC.