County of Coventry
Light of Truth COUNTY SYMBOL MEANING: The tower, a prevalent feature of The Citadel which dominates the cityscape, represents solidarity. The lobster on a field of blue alludes to the sea and its bounty, and above all, a book on a field of gold, for knowledge is above all other worldly pursuits.
GOALS OF COUNTY: The county of Coventry within the Land of the Forgotten Covenant pursues mastering the world through research and science. It aims to be a beacon of travel and trade, settled at a major crossroad, in order to support and sustain its alchemists, mages, scholars and scribes with the most ample supply of exotic goods used in their crafts. Count Von Zoid is pledged to the worthy goal of education as well, as a High Proctor of the queen’s council. Coventry also hosts The Citadel, a guild of warriors who pursue the rarest and most dangerous scraps of knowledge in the land, while providing protection and aide to the academy that also bears their insignia.
Most simply consider the Citadel to be a school, but it strives to defend and preserve the knowledge and enlightenment of Mannkind from within its walls. It is not only supported directly by the county but it plays an integral part in its affairs from leading efforts to explore and develop the county to training and certifying its workforce, developing technologies, and assisting in the training of its military and militias. Members of the Citadel may even travel the world to new unknowns and may be called upon to expand to new areas . At least one city within the county will be a port, in order to allow easy travel and access to maritime commerce. Finally, the county will also be working to industrialize what resources are available locally to it and hopefully become a major exporter within the nation.
LORE: Nobody knows the exact origins of House von Zoidberg, but the legends of this mysterious house speak of people from the sea who appeared on the shores of the land. Some say they were exiles from the realm of Oceanus with red hardened skin and others say they were mann who had learned to build large boats and navigate the seas.
These strange visitors spoke secrets of the past to the villagers they happened upon. Tales of ancient powers and grand constructs captivated the tribal mann that eagerly listened around their campfires. In time these visitors intermarried with the locals. The children of these unions would ultimately become the von Zoidbergs and these odd yet cunning leaders would unify many of the local tribes into a greater whole using careful negotiations, but also advanced weaponry and tactics for the time that was handed down from their ancestors. There are legends of occasional magical feats performed by this house, but also of a warning from the ancestors that the misuse of ancient powers and enslavement to them presented the greatest threat to Mann.
As the von Zoidbergs consolidated their power, they became more reclusive, ruling the lands from within their manor and the library left to them by the ancestors from the sea. It was said that the books within held many secrets of the past, but that they were written as riddles in strange runes with cryptic meaning that most could not decipher. A decadent obsession with understanding this knowledge consumed the leader of the house, Buche von Zoidberg, as he poured over translations and sources that might give insight into the hidden knowledge of the gods. The warnings of the ancestors were forgotten as his mind became transfixed on this quest.
The late nights and fevered reading continued as Albrecht became brooding and unstable, and blind to the growing unrest among his people. He began to have vivid dreams of a woman from another time and place warning him of a coming danger, a power of the ancient times that would threaten the world. Still Albrecht ignored all counsel and became more aggravated, muttering about patterns, riddles, and symbols.
Then one evening Albrecht entered the library to find the bodies of family and servants seated around the table lit aflame. As the flames quickly spread to the books and the rest of the manor, Albrecht could see a dark figure in the thickening smoke hovering above the table and could hear its voice in his head.
“So you seek knowledge?” It taunted and laughed, “Behold, I have taught them how to burn! Though you may envy them this, you shall be forced to suffer in ignorance.” The figure dissolved into the smoke and Albrecht stumbled out of the manor gasping for breath as the conflagration consumed his home.*
Over the next several days Albrecht sat in the ruins of the library consumed by his loss and considering what he had become in the days leading up to the fire. When he emerged from the ruins he was as a man transformed. To those gathered at the ruins he spoke soundly and clearly for the first time in many years of the curse of the covenants of the gods in the books that had enslaved his mind and of the breaking of these covenants with their burning.
He spoke of how the power of Mann rested in its works and in the knowledge borne out of these works, and that he would build a Citadel of knowledge to gather and disseminate it to the people that they might prosper and gain strength and be prepared for the time when the dark powers of the ancients would rise again to bring destruction and enslavement to the peoples of Mann. Thus was established the edifice of The Citadel to gather those with skill and knowledge to educate the people and explore the world for the hidden places and secrets of the past so that they might be locked away and used in the defense of Mann in its most dire hour.
- Scholars of The Citadel investigated the legend of the destruction of Buche von Zoidberg’s manor by interviewing the families of those who had witnessed or been alive during the time. After hearing many accounts, their conclusions were that the most likely course of events was that Albrecht’s studies resulted in a psychotic break with reality that caused him to set the fire and hallucinate the events described.
Those who died in the fire were likely caught in the manor unawares due the its sudden spread with so much fuel in the library. Whatever the truth may be, all accounts agree that Albrecht seemed to have a great weight lifted from him afterward and he placed all his energies into his work on behalf of the people of Coventry.
HOW TO JOIN: Contact the count on the Aranor discord, his name is Von Zoid. You can also contact him via his website.