Witten: The Council of the Gods======
Witten is an ancient Nord ceremonial complex on a northern promentatory on the Jadess Coast. It is also a nearby independent Nord trading city which is the capitol of the Rosen League, a league of independent trading cities which is the direct rival of (and often at war with) Rosenwaeric. There is also a very strong veneration of the Celdsi pantheon of Roving Gods in this area which pre-dates the coming of the Nords to the Jadess Coast. In fact, many scholars speculate that the Woden Alfader and his band of Aesir or Maiar established their seat of power at this location because of its strong association with the fiercely independent spiritual power of the Roving Gods of old.
Council of the Nord GodsEdit
The Nords are a tall and pale race of men whiih migrated across the icey tracts of the Halifarax in the wake of the Noldar Exiles. The settled along the Northern Peninsula of the Jadess coast in large numbers, displacing several petty kingdoms and chiefdoms of Celdsi. They also claim ceremonial complex of Dunas Cashel, which was considered the site where the Wild Brood was born.
Dunas Cashel: Dunas Cashel is a large cermonial complex of earthernworks and megalithic stonework. At its heart is a large ringfort on the crown of a large artificial mountain. Within the mountain is a complex labrynth where the Celdsi druids and priest-kings went to commune with the Roving Gods of the Wild Brood. At the top of the mountain is an ancient and formidable ringfort which encloses a massive ring of 7 free-standing megaliths (presumably one for each brother or sister of the Wild Brood).
Woden Alfader and the Venir: When the Nords displaced the Celdsi they also displaced the ceremonial functions of Dunas Cashel. According the Nord legend, the first elected king of the Nords, Woden Alfader, settled at Dunas Cashel making it his capital and the home of his supernaturally powerful clan, the Venir. It is widely agreed that the Venir were in fact a unique phenomenon that collesced around this place because of its primordial power. The Venir not a clan of Nordic warlocks, which Woden unilaterally imposed on the Nord clans as their chieftains, as Nord legend suggests. Rather, the Venir seems to have been a parliment of Lesser Aesir, Maiar, nymphs, genii, animii, and other spirits of nature that banded together to fight the chaotic powers of the Wild Brood which had greatly disrupted the supernatural ecology and topography of the area. Woden seems to have been a Lesser Aesir that helped guide the Noldar and the Nords across the glacial Halifarax. In this case, he was duly elected and attended to by a council of local Maiar to organize the fight against the Wild Brood. It is likely that Woden had been adopted as a patron and war god of the most powerful clan of Nords, whose settlement grew into the modern city of Witten. In order to neuter the power of the Wild Brood many of the Woden and his chief Maiar lietenants were forced to incarnate and sacrifice themselves.
The City of Witten: When Woden passed away the wittan, or parliment, of the Venir seems to have disbanded. In this case, the power over the Nord people devolved to his clan of Nord followers who had build a strongly defensible city in the shadow of Dunas Cashel, on an island off the very western tip of the Northern Pennensula of the Jadess Coast. This clan, known as Witten, formed a city government based on the democratic principle of Woden First-King. The city, to this day is strongly divided by clan, sept, and family, and votes for the kings are still cast within this electoral structure. Witten quickly outgrew its small island and spread over onto the mainland of the Northern Peninsula. The island, as the seat of power for the king, overtime developed into a strongly fortified complex, containing a large castle at its heart, the Wittenberg, several forts, and a tightly-pack old quarter. The island is now known as the Old Bailey. Witten continued to grow on the mainland stretching in both directions up and down the Northern Peninsula, clinging to the rocky coast. This newer section of town is known as Witten 'Proper. Witten Proper clings to the rocky, but flat coastal regions of the peninsula and grew around Dunas Cashel which largely occupies the craggy heights of the peninsula's tip (about a mile inland). Dunas Cashel, itself has been reappropriated and converted from a druidic cremonial complex setup for open-air rites, into a strange oppidum-like complex. Most of the Old Bailey is built in stone, but this is not the case for Witten Proper or Dunas Cashel, Which are largely earthen and wood in construction. Dunas Cashel retains its fortress-like feels in its outer approaches. However, within its various layers of walls sloping up the artificial mountain, the city of Witten seems to continue, as if added as an after-thought. This is the closest the city has to an outer defense. The cliffs upon which the city is built and the bastions Dunas 'Cashel provide ample natural protection. The only place that is guarded is the sloping approach to the sea which faces the Old Bailey. This is where the massive docks and wharfs of Witten reside. And extensive complex of canals, docks, dikes, wharfs, and bridges, marinas, and breakwaters connect the Old Bailey to the mainland, and hold the treacherous tides at bay that would otherwise separate the Old Bailey from the mainland. On top of Dunas Cashel is still stands the ringfort and the megalithic Brood's Nest. It prooved impossible to desconstruct it, so the kings of Witten built the only other stone structure in the city within it; the great Mausoleum, a large open-air arcade, which houses the Temple of Alfader, and the Celestial Cemetary.
The great city-state of Witten is organized along tradition Nord clanlines. The Nord clans of the city each elect a cheiftain to represent them in the Great Witten, or Assembly of Chieftains. This assembly serves three functions. 1)Elect a king upon the death of the current king 2) Serve as an advisory body to the king on important matters 3) serve him in the administration of the the kingdom. The King is the head-of-state, and leads the kingdom in all matters, but he is often greatly checked by the inertia and conservatism of the Great Witten.
Estimated Population: 30,000
The symbol of Witten is a golden ring. This is said to symbolize the democratic nature of the city. It also represents the great golden ring that the king attacheds to his helmet before battle to act as royal crest.
The military is largely irregular and adheres to the Nord clan structure. Each clan is commanded by its elected chieftain, each warband by its paterfamilias. All households which hold citizenship are expected to mobilize when ordered to muster. In times of peace the defense of Witten is largely left to the clan of the current king (who retains his title as chief of his clan).
Points of InterestEdit
- Dunas Cashel: The ancient ceremonial complex dediciated to the Roving Gods of the Celdsi, it has been repurposed as a part of Witten Proper.The military fortification and installments house the current royal clan in all of its gathered force, as it is considered in permanent muster. One can watch the royal clan, drill and practice on the great sloping grounds before the great mound, or puruse the open-air markets, or get lost in the labrythine corridors of the the residential and trade quarters within its walls. One may also visit the Mausoleum or the Great Witenagemot within the ringfort.
- Old Bailey: One can visit the neatly cobbled streets and the older, more traditional parts of town. Here are the homes and guildhall of great merchants and craftsmen,as the most protected industries of Witten such as the pyromancers, the weapon smiths and armorers, and cannon-founders. This is also where the great hall, palazzo, and apartments of the royal family are.
- Witten Proper: This is the major part of the city itself, not including outlying suburbs or shantytowns.
- Bayworks: The bayworks are a colossal system of dikes, dams, canals, breakwaters, bridges, wharfs, and marinas which occupies the marshy tidewater between the Old Bailey and Witten Proper. This the comercial and naval hub of the city, kingdom, and region. The Nords have carefully pushed the sea back, using windmill pumps and a progressive system of levies, dikes, canals, locks, and bridges. This is where all ships that come to Witten anchor and where the might armada of Witten rests.
- Wittenberg: The Wittenberg is the stronghold of the Old Bailey and backbone of the harbor defenses of Witten. The king and his family do not live here, but in a palazzo annexed to its side. It is a formidable redoubt that has never been penatrated. The king keeps special custody of it and puts it to use during times of tension with the Great Witten, During times of peace it functions as a jail for the kings enemies and prisoners.
- Brood's Nest: The Brood's Nest is the massive circle of stone megaliths which stands at the center of Dunas Cashel's summitt. It is an ancient open-air temple to the Roving Gods and their supposed birthplace. Many Witten kings have ordered it demolished and none has yet figured out how this is to be accomplished. It stands a passive symbol of resistance. The Nord's, always at odds with the Celdsi do allow local Celdsi into Witten Proper, but they are banned from entering Old Bailey or the grounds of Dunas Cashel for fear of waking old supernatural forces. Tyre Halfhand did order a statue of Alfader erected in the middle of it in an attempted resacralization (or desecration). However, the sculpture topped no matter how many times raised or how reinforced.
- Temple of Alfader: This massive stone temple stands within the large arcadium of the Mausoleum. It is a grand temple in Nord style to Woden Alfader, their mythic founder. Within this temple are the tombs of the first three elected kings of Witten: Woden First-King, 'Baldr the Bleeding Poet, 'Tyr Halfhand. Woden First-King is popularly misattributed to Woden Alfader, the king of the Venir, himself, which is not the case. However, Baldr is correctly attributed to the legend of the poet-prince who charmed his way through the seven gates of the underworld in a failed attempt to retrieve his lover. Tyr Halfhand, was not his son, but rather the second oldest son of Woden First-King, who acended to the throne after the premature death of his older brother.
- The Masoleum: this is a massive open air stone-arcadium that was built to occupy the inner sanctum of the ringfort ontop of Dunas Cashel. Within it are the Temple of Alfader, the tombs of the kings, and the Celestial Cementary. Also it contains the Great Witenagemot and the amphiteater where the assembly of citizens may meet, or public spectacles be held. The dead of Witten are burried within their family plots within the Masoleum, so if one wishes to see any of these sites, they find tombstones dispersed everywhere between these sites. The labyth built into the heart of Dunas Cashel was centuries ago converted to a catacomb, which is filled with surprises of its own.
- 'Celestial Cemetary: This is the most famous section of burial ground within the Mausaleum. It is a small patch of slain celestials which are buried together. The names upon the monument are: Alekkos, Petras, Kemos, & Demos. This is a favorite piligrimage spot, even moreso than the Temple of Alfader (much to the chagrin of the royal family).. This is because the Celestials, even in death, have a folk record of miraclous powers with which they faithfully reward their faithful. Many scholars speculate that, if Woden Alfader is buried within Dunas' Cashel the most likely place is in this plot. However, attempts by Wittan Kings to exhume his body and inter it within the temple of his namesake have met with stiff resistance from priests and pilgrims alike.
- The Great Witenagemot: This is the great assembly hall of the Great Witten.
Roving Gods of the Celdsi (Wild Brood)Edit
- Rhiannon Wild Horse
- Manannon the Driver
- Brighid of the Brooks
- Dread Morrigan
- Taranis Lightning Wheel
- Dagda Good-god
- Ogma the Fettered
Genii of the CeldsiEdit
- Sulis: The Weeping Woman of the Well