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map of Empyria with Wywick shown in yellow
Wywick highlighted in yellow; Wywish territories in the process of being ceded to Orlis highlighted in red.
Demonym Wywish
Capital Kimaris
Current King Lorella Sylvan

Wywick

The Kingdom of Wywick is one of Empyria's two large sovereign states. It covers the entirety of Milluria and the west side of Aurnica, where it is bordered by Orlis.

Wywick's land is less affected by magical weather anomalies than Orlis, so it did not suffer as much from the extinction event that accompanied the Cataclysm. Its lush temperate forests are a major source of Empyria's biodiversity.

The Chosen Hero who ended the Cataclysm 1000 years ago is said to be from Milluria, and summoners his descendants. Whether this is true or not, it certainly is the case that Wywick has a much larger population of summoners than Orlis. Wywish society thus makes extensive use of monsters as mounts, guard animals, and so forth.

Government

The Wywish government describes itself as a constitutional thearchy; supposedly, the royal family is chosen by the spirits to rule the country. This divine right is not irrevocable, and the spirits will send natural disasters and angry peasants to express their displeasure if the king abuses their power. In today's enlightened times, it's rare to find people who still literally believe this, but it remains in use as a framework for the political hierarchy.

As the spirits only choose a ruling family and not an heir for each generation, there is no fixed order of succession - instead, any child of the current or previous king is eligible for succession. The pool of eligible candidates holds an election to choose a crown prince, who will become king when the previous king dies, abdicates, or (in rare cases) is dethroned for displeasing the spirits. Succession drama is frequent; aspiring kings bribe and conspire against their family members to ensure their place on the throne.

The current King of Wywick is King Lorella Sylvan, the third king of the Sylvan Dynasty.

History

Being home to two Great Spirits and some of the oldest minor spirits, Milluria has been a centre for spirit worship for almost as long as spirits have existed. The original Wywick was a prophet who claimed to have received visions from the spirits instructing them to build a temple in an empty field near modern-day Kimaris. When Undine appeared and claimed the temple, they gained support from other believers, and eventually the settlement grew into a large kingdom named after the prophet. (Funnily enough, Undine herself refuses to get involved with human politics despite being the reason the kingdom was founded in the first place. Some historians take this as evidence that Wywick was not a prophet at all - merely a powerful magic-user who sought out an area dense in pure water mana, recreating the conditions of Sylph's appearance at Valefar some decades beforehand.)

Being the only large power on a sparsely inhabited continent, Wywick didn't have any significant enemies during its early years; instead, conflict came from within. Many families have claimed to be the legitimate rulers of Wywick, pointing to various magical phenomena as omens from the spirits in their favour. Ones who gained enough support were able to dethrone the previous kings and install themselves as rulers. Wywick has gone through five dynasties in this fashion.

Recent Events

In the past few decades, Wywick has come into conflict with Orlis, as both countries want access to the valuable ruins on the continent of Aurnica. Eight years ago, Orlis destroyed the Wywish settlement of Barnett with newly developed war machines, ending the war; Wywick surrendered and is now in the process of ceding its Aurnican territories to Orlis.

After the loss of the war, King Sylvan's popularity among the citizens dropped precipitously. Over the course of her nearly 50-year-long reign, she has been generally well-regarded for her traditional and diplomatic policies, but a growing number of people believe her attempts to keep the peace ended up costing them the victory. Security at the Mirror Palace has visibly increased, and rumours say King Sylvan may abdicate the throne soon in favour of a more aggressive king, to keep the Sylvan dynasty in the public's good books.

Notable Cities

Kimaris

Location: Central Milluria, on the bank of the Teale

Notable Landmarks: Undine's Shrine, Mirror Palace

The capital of Wywick. Situated in a valley on the bank of the Teale River, Kimaris is a beautiful city surrounded by lush vegetation. The nearby hills have been converted into multicoloured rice terraces, producing plenty of food to be exported to the rest of the kingdom.

It was chosen to be the capital based on its proximity to Undine's Shrine; the Great Spirit of water's presence lends a certain credibility to the royal family's claims of being chosen by the spirits. Undine herself rarely gets involved in human politics, though, preferring to let them just sort it out themselves.

Ronwe

Location: West Milluria

Notable Landmarks: Gnome's Shrine, Ronwe Coliseum

Ronwe is a historied city. It was built over the ruins of a First Age city a few decades after the Cataclysm, and there are families in Ronwe who can trace their heritage all the way to that beginning. Today, it is mostly known for its festivals - some with historic origins, some brought by travelers, and some just plain invented for the sake of it. There's some big party or parade practically every week of the year.

The landscape around Ronwe is rugged and mountainous; in fact, most of Ronwe's buildings and walkways are carved directly out of the rock face. The city sits practically on top of a fault line and earthquakes are a common occurrence. Mysterious First Age machines buried deep below the city used to stabilize it and protect the city from the worst disasters, but most of them have ceased to function, and today Gnome takes that role from within her underground shrine.

Barnett

Location: West Aurnica

Barnett was a small Wywish town located in the forests on the west side of Aurnica. It was a small farming community, wholly unremarkable other than its proximity to a large underground First Age ruin. The latest Orlis-Wywick war sprung from a territory dispute over said ruin and its surroundings, including Barnett. The conflicts escalated until Orlis deployed an experimental new war machine in Barnett, leveling the town and instantly killing everyone within it. The site where Barnett used to stand remains a virulent magic wasteland to this day.

While it is sadly common for Aurnican towns to suffer in conflicts over First Age ruins, Barnett is the only town to ever be destroyed during such a conflict. Livable cities are a valuable resource in Empyria, and both major countries are usually quite careful to capture cities without doing major damage. Thus, it has posthumously qualified for this notable city list.