The Westmark Empire

“It does not matter what colour you wear. We are all Westmark.”
– Emperor Gabrïel Wolvenshield

“King reminds of the late Prince Jonathan … hope this one lasts longer!”
– the peasants of Westmark

Westmark is home to a classic medieval society. The beautiful lands of Westmark encompass great forests, mountain ranges, and rich flatlands. The capital city of Santia lies on an island in the middle of the kingdom and is controlled by the royal family. The Kingdom of Westmark, or rather Empire as it was proclaimed a year ago by the new King, is currently led by King Emperor Gabrïel from the Noble House of Wolvenshield. He was crowned two years ago as a result of his remarkable feat of finding the Sword of Ancient Kings. This resulted in the kingdo… empire, and all its greater noble houses, once again working as a united force.

In Westmark, the age-old traditions put the noble families and the religious figures (ecclesiarchy) at the top, with knights, farmers, and city folk as their subjects and followers. The monarch rules over the whole of Westmark, but the greater noble families have control over their lands, trade its resources, and tax the people that inhabit them. The monarchy is ruled by queens and kings alike, where the first-born heir traditionally follows on the throne unless someone else was appointed by the monarch. The noble houses of Westmark have a long history of political marriages for alliances, trade, and peace among each other, with same-sex marriages and partnerships not being that uncommon. People of Westmark are devoted followers of the two-faced god Deomodron, the One and Only.

When all houses work together, Westmark is very powerful – yet most of the time, the kingdom is known for a lot of quarreling and internal conflicts between the Noble Houses.

The Kingdom, now an Empire, is stretching from the banks of the Arcatian river in the East to the Seskayel river of the Elves on the West. The lands are divided amongst the greater noble houses: the ruling House of Wolvenshield was gifted the central lands which are surrounding the capital, while the House of Griffin inhabits the south, the House of Oakenhelm lives in the western peninsula, the House of Stonecrown inhabits north-west and the House of Lilja lives in the north-east.

In the north, Westmark borders Elanthir, the dark elven kingdom, with which it is currently at war. The dark elves are our constant enemies, and we would show no mercy to them. They have killed countless Westmarkians, even one of the rulers, King Frank Stonecrown. The rest of Westmark is surrounded by water. In the west, a narrow gulf separates from Elumenir, home to the wood elves, allies of the house of Stonecrown for many centuries. In the east, past the Arcatian river, lies another strong ally, the human people of Honorad known as Saxions. Finally, in the south, past the sea, there are the norse tribes that have repeatedly attempted to invade Westmark. A few years ago this lead to one of the bloodiest battles Westmark has seen in a while – the battle of Bridgetown in which Griffin forces with joint Westmark armies remained victorious despite having suffered great losses. Other rivalries include the Golden Empire, which has repeatedly tried to gain power within Westmark Kingdom, and has, as some accounts say, had a hand in the death of at least one of the Wesmark’s monarchs.

Last year’s events

Since King Gabriel’s ascension to the throne, Westmark has finally been acting as a united force, making it a powerful ally and a dangerous foe. Last year, the House of Wolvenshield has been unifying the Kingdom in many internal matters by re-establishing the Royal Council. Amongst others, most efforts went towards unifying matters of law, defense, and command. During the Gimle trade days, the King has to everyone’s surprise also announced his marriage to the Ambassador of the Golden Empire. The wedding celebrations were however cut short, as the Ambassador was publicly slain right after the wedding by the hands of the Dutchess Daniella Griffin herself. She managed to escape custody but was stripped of all her power and titles. Under the new leader, Griffins have proven themselves as worthy to the King and the unity was saved. But perhaps, the most important event of all was yet to happen. At the very end of the trade days, the grieving King stood in front of all the Gimle trade days visitors and declared the Kingdom of Westmark an Empire, and the lands of Gimle, now Westmark’s property. Despite all, Westmark stayed united, but there really is no telling, how long the unity will last…

The Noble Houses of Westmark

The Noble House of Wolvenshield

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Color: Purple
Attitude: diplomatic, honest and direct
Regent of the House: King Gabrïel Wolvenshield

For numerous years house Wolvenshield was a smaller noble house allied with house Stonecrown. They inhabit the central lands surrounding the capital Santia. They are currently the smallest of the greater noble houses both in land and soldier power.

The most prominent Wolvenshield was Olivia Wolvenshield, who married King Steinar Stonecrown and became Queen Olivia Stonecrown. After her death, the house was mostly eradicated by Daniella Griffin. The few surviving members, including Olivia’s sister Catherine and her two children Gabrïel and Eleanor, sought shelter with the Stonecrowns. This lasted up until the trade days last year, when Gabrïel Wolvenshield found the Sword of Ancient Kings and claimed the throne of Westmark. After days of battle and negotiating, the other houses of Westmark swore fealty to King Gabrïel, and house Wolvenshield became the new royal house of Westmark.

In the past year, King Gabrïel and his court have shown themselves to be honest and strong leaders, who seem to prefer a diplomatic and direct way of ruling. The King has seemed to prefer honesty over scheming and is always willing to talk. The Wolvenshields do not shy away from hard decisions and seem to believe that in order to create change for the better, the ends have to justify the means. King Gabrïel also hasn’t shied away from creating alliances with others outside of Westmark, most notably hiring a group of norse bodyguards. In his own words, “there’s nothing more reliable than a Norseman’s greed”.

The Wolvenshields feel as though their right to rule is divine, and that Deomodron themselves granted them the throne by allowing King Gabrïel to find the Sword of Ancient Kings. They are fierce believers of the faith and dedicated to spreading the word of Deomodron.

The Noble House of Griffin

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Color: Red, gold
Attitude: fierce, proud and pragmatic
Regent of the House: Lady Iris Griffin
House call: High we fly!

The Noble House of Griffin has a long tradition of ruling the southern lands of the Kingdom, with the capital Bridgetown. Being fierce and tough by nature, the people under Griffins are ruled both with love and an iron fist.

The most prominent member is Daniella Griffin, who took up the regency of the House after her father was slain in the Elven wars assisting Stonecrowns in their battles, and her mother perished due to intense grief. Led by the needs of her people and the injustice of high royal taxes put upon them for a war in elven lands, Daniella started a rebellion against Stonecrown which resulted in a civil war. The war ended when the Noble Houses became united for a brief moment under the marriage between Daniella and Queen Olivia Stonecrown (maiden family Wolvenshield). Despite their love was ended moments after the marriage due to a successful assassination, Daniella remained the Queen of Westmark. Being heavily disputed by other families, the crown was eventually taken away. After the current king assumed the throne, she saved his life, which brought Griffins good favors. Yet recently, slaying the new queen of Westmark, a foreigner and a Golden Empire Ambassador at that, Dutchess Daniella was stripped of all her titles and was after a successful escape, not seen since. The current regent, lady Iris Griffin, has again solidified The House of Griffin as Westmark allies and has kept the unity.

Griffin lands consist of large meadows, grassy hills, rich forests, and dunes, with a long coast and a great port in the south. The main city is called Bridgetown as it bridges across the mighty Arcatian river in the east towards Saxions. Yet it is the center of the Griffin lands, where the famous Red Tower, the residency of Griffin nobility and governance, is situated in.

Griffins are a powerful and capable nation, as they protect the kingdom from constant Norse threats. Used to be the first line of defense against brutal invasions, Griffins usually value actions and results more, than words and promises. Yet they have been seen using all of them to get what they are after, as they are often passionate people driven by many motives. Despite their iron-fisted rule, Griffins know how to enjoy the amusement and other delicacies life has to offer, often seeing them as a well-deserved gift for their hard work. Their nobles are known to be strong-minded and rule with a healthy emphasis on hierarchy. Due to owning slaves and their fierce nature Griffin reputation is often under the judgment of other Noble Houses – and their dedication to results paired with sometimes too obvious lack of care about unnecessary things, such as court etiquette or high and knightly causes, don’t help much. But despite what others think, Griffin nobles take care of their people well, who in turn offer their loyalty, hearts, and, when necessary, lives.

The Noble House of Stonecrown

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Color: Blue, white
Attitude: calm, honorable and knightly
Regent of the House: Duchess Emeria Stonecrown
House motto: Never betray the trust of those you protect!

The house of Stonecrown has always been one of the main actors that shape Westmark. They inhabit the north-western lands of the Kingdom, with their capital Stonehaven. People under The House of Stonecrown are used to stable and knightly rule.

The most prominent Stonecrown was King Steinar Stonecrown, the deceased husband of Queen Olivia Stonecrown (maiden family Wolvenshield) who was a well-loved king, dedicated to eradicating evil and slain in a dark ritual. During the next years, all children of King Steinar died soon after they ascended to the throne, each in another way as if some wicked curse was put on them. Throughout the recent years, a knight Lord general Gilbert Rubywine arose as another prominent Stonecrown figure, as he was entrusted with keeping the throne of Westmark and the regency of the Stonecrown Noble House safe, until passing both on a year later. The throne was taken by King Gabrïel, and the regency of the house was succeeded by the, now of-age, Dutchess Emeria Stonecrown, the last known descendant of the Stonecrown’s bloodline.

Stonecrown lands consist of large mountain ranges and rich, dense forests. The long river coast lies on the west and has a great port. The main city is called Stonehaven and is the center of their lands. Due to the long history of ruling the Kingdom, they have a good land connection with the capital of Westmark, Santia.

The Stonecrown nobles are usually well-liked and trusted by the people they rule over. They are often considered good-hearted, stubborn, and honest. They are said to always consider their people’s will, as they see them as the force that brings them forward. Stonecrown armies are known to venture into battles against the dark forces of Elanthir, accompanying their long-standing allies, the Elves of Elumenir. They are usually led by a strong faith in Deomodron as well as their knightly honor and righteousness. They are often of reserved and humble nature, yet a very strong force to be reckoned with. Stonecrowns strictly follow Deomodron’s teachings – both deeply caring for their people and lands as well as fighting against the dark forces, keeping them at bay, even if the fight is outside of the Kingdom’s borders.

The Noble House of Lilja

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Color: Green, white
Attitude: posh, arrogant (sometimes vain) and politically opportunistic.
Regent of the House: Duchess Imogen Lilja

The Noble House of Lilja has a long tradition of ruling over the northeastern lands of the Kingdom. Being luxurious and politically savvy by nature, the people under Lilja are used to being ruled in a grandiose manner.

The most prominent Lilja was Dutchess of Lilja, who stood tall and stayed true to herself to the very end, even when their political plans turned against them. During the time of the civil war between Griffins and Stonecrowns, Liljas used the opportunity to declare independence. Their arrogant attitude and flaunting of riches made them an easy target of the common folks, which, combined with the hate they received from then freshly united Griffins and Stonecrowns, ended in the famous Gimle Massacre. Since then, they have been on a rocky path, gaining and loosing their political power, measures being taken against them by both Stonecrowns and Griffins. Two years ago they were even given an ultimatum by the new King Gabrïel, as they declared war on Elves over being accused of stealing a simple cup. Last Gimle Trade days only two of their wards were seen happily residing under the House of Griffin.
Lilja lands consist of grassy hills, rich forests, and meadows. Their lands are ruled by the main city Arkaley and have a long border with the Arcatina river.

Lilja’s love for luxury and riches often makes them a natural target, which is compensated with political moves. They are a formidable foe, who has had their lack of misfortune in recent years. Their ruling is sometimes perceived as a joke, when they come to the council drunk, sometimes as vain, when they enjoy their noble lifestyles to the fullest, and sometimes as proper. Yet it is clear, at least to some, that in all those times, they are making a formidable political gamble. Opinions of Lilja peasants are very mixed, as some love their nobles and boast about the luxuries they can afford as if they were their own, while others feel differently but due to the strength of the political power the nobles wield often remain silent until the right opportunity appears. Generally, people under Liljas live a decent life.

The Noble House of Oakenhelm

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Color: White
Attitude: brave, humanitarian and principled
Regent of the House: Duke Magnus Oakenhelm

The Noble House of Oakenhelm has a long tradition of ruling over the eastern archipelagos of the Kingdom. They are among the smallest of the great noble houses. Being principled and humanitarian by nature, the people under Oakenhelm are used to being ruled in a virtuous manner.

The most prominent Oakenhelm, at least for the House itself, must be princess Donnia who lived more than a century ago. The story goes, that the crazy Oakenhelm princess killed her own parents and burned down the family castle, then fled to the forest where she was said to have copulated with forest creatures and given birth to forest ghouls. Ever since, the house of Oakenhelm considered their duty to be faithful and sacrifice themselves when needed, partially to be forgiven by God for the crimes and dishonor created by princess Donnia. The rest of Westmark has already forgotten about it, but they still care. Their visits to the Gimle trade days are very rare. The only proper visit happened a few years ago, amidst the civil war between Griffin and Stonecrown, when they came under the protection of The House of Lilja who at the time declared independence. When Liljas suffered terrible consequences, they however managed to survive.

Oakenhelms live on a peninsula stretching to the east of Westmark. Their lands consist of grassy hills and meadows with some forest. Their coast borders the West sea on the left and Seskayel river on the right, which is also where their main city Great Oak, and a great port lie.

The House of Oakenhelm is the House of True honor and will never go back on their word. They are true believers of Deomodron, some even say fanatics for they live for the one true god and for their honor. They go to daily Demodron mass, will preach your ear off, and will constantly remind you when you are not living life in a godly way. Oakenhelms know little fear because they believe god will protect them and show them the path. This house will never turn away the hungry, sick, or those who are in need of protection. That is why people, when they are in need, always come to the house of Oakenhelm first. When needed they will however not hesitate to kill, as they believe they are gods executioners. And anyone who does not follow the religion of Deomodron is really better off being dead. Killing a non-believer is actually just rescuing their soul from eternal doom.


Classic knightly medieval society, run by nobles exercising a varying degree of strict hierarchy. In Westmark, all genders are considered equal and can therefore inherit titles, ascend positions and marry each other, which is why some same-sex marriages and female leaders are not uncommon. People of Westmark are generally strong believers in the One and Only true god, the two-faced Demodron.

Greater noble houses usually have their own courts, which consist of functions such as Advisors on various matters, Masters of the coin, Generals or Masters of war, Masters of trade, Masters of Festivities, etc., with even people such as musicians, poets, guards, performers, cooks, etc. sometimes finding their place for a sitting or two. The council usually helps the Regent of the House oversee the matters of their lands, which are run by lesser nobilities. The King Emperor Gabrïel Wolvenshield also re-established the royal council, which consists of noble houses’ Regents and several other appointed functions, such as Master of Law, Master of defense, etc. serving to unify Westmark even more.

Despite Westmark being a coherent unit, the culture of the Greater Noble Houses differs mostly in the colors they wear, the cultural heritage and attitudes build over the centuries, resources they gather from their lands, alliances, specializations, and approaches to dealing with problems.

Songs and dances

Each great house has its own song, yet Westmark as a whole does yet not have any. There does however exist a poem written by the famous Gimle poet Pääp. Westmark has a few well-known dances:

  • The Clap dance: this is a very well-known simple yet fun dance even peasants know.
  • The Horse dance: is a bit harder so not all know it, but anyone of the status does at least partially.
  • The Whisper dance: a high court dance that nobility might know. If a peasant tries to dance it might be considered a breach of status by some and an impressionable skill by others.
  • Link to all

Status and rank in Westmark

Most of the relations in the high society of Westmark are based on status, rank, and appropriate behavior toward superiors. As such, every noble who wishes to be taken seriously should know what is the right way to talk to and address other nobles.

  • Equality: women and men of Westmark are equal by tradition. It is therefore not uncommon to see marriages between various genders.
  • Royalty and nobility: in Westmark aristocracy, you are royalty if you are a descendant/family of the ruling House’s bloodline, and nobility if you have honorary noble titles. The rest are considered commoners.
  • Marriage: unless otherwise specified before the marriage, the noble marrying into the higher title acquires both the title and the surname fully.
  • Inheritance: most titles are inheritable so the title inheritance travels in two ways: by family ties or by appointment (this has been the seed of a lot of battles between the Noble Houses in the past). Historical records show this: when the last person carrying the title rank dies, the right to the title goes to the closest family (eldest child, then younger children, then ruler’s siblings, and so forth) unless it was otherwise officially appointed by both/the last title carrier. Meaning that if one of the ruling monarchs (King/Queen) dies, the ruling is usually continued by the spouse (the other King/Queen) unless the marriage was made under other conditions. And if the last King/Queen dies, the title usually continues to the eldest child/closest relative, unless appointed differently or they have remarried in which case marriage conditions apply.  
  • Proper addressing: it can get complicated, but if in doubt everyone of noble blood can be referred to as a Lord or a Lady. For royalty, it can however be considered insulting to address them with anything below ‘Your royal highness’.

⚜ Royalty

Are people that rule the Kingdom of Westmark and are from the ruling monarchs’ bloodline. They are above everyone else in the hierarchy. The King and Queen technically grant the Regents of the noble houses their lands, although it is not that simple to enforce any changes.

Queen / King of Westmark
The monarch outranks everyone else in the Kingdom of Westmark. They can appoint an heir that inherits the title.
? A monarch is usually addressed with the phrase “Your Majesty”.
? Children and siblings are called princes or princesses.

Prince / Princess
These are the people who are next in line. Includes children of the monarch, as well as any potential siblings of the rulers themselves. They are therefore royalty, as opposed to nobility. Usually given the highest noble rank too (Duke/Duchess) of certain lands.
? Would typically be referred to as “Your royal highness.”

⚜ Nobility

The five ranks of nobility are listed here in order of precedence (highest to lowest):

? Regent of the House
Is the one in charge of a Great Noble House. They do not necessarily need to hold any other titles, although it is almost always so. Compatible with any other royal/noble title.
? Address them with ‘Regent of _house name_’ or by other noble titles.
? The Regent is free to govern their lands and appoint further on their own unless it goes directly against the royal decrees.

? Duke / Duchess
? Areas under dukes can be called dukedom or dutchy, and the same people can command more than one area.
? The correct way to formally address is ‘Your Grace’.
? The eldest child will use one of the parent’s subsidiary titles. Other children will use the honorary title ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ in front of their given names.

? Marquess / Marchioness
? Formally addressed as ‘Lord / Lady So-and-So’.
? Eldest = one of the parent’s subsidiary titles. All other children honorary titles = Lord/Lady.

? Earl or Count / Countess
? The correct form of addressing is ‘Lord / Lady So-and-So’.
? Eldest = one of the parent’s subsidiary titles. All other children use ‘Honorable’ in front of their God-given name.

? Viscount / Viscountess
? A viscount or viscountess is addressed as ‘Lord / Lady So-and-So’.
? They were originally administrators and judges who ruled over specific regions of a county.
? The eldest child will use one of the parent’s subsidiary titles. All other children use ‘Honorable’ in front of their God-given name.

? Baron / Baroness
? A baron is the lowest level. Barons were the basic building block of feudal land ownership; holding land in barony meant that they acted on the king’s behalf to own a chunk of land.
? Always referred to and addressed as ‘Lord / Lady (Baron is rarely used).
? (H) All children are ‘Honorable’.

⚜ Lower titles

Titles that are lower than nobility.

? Baronet
Is not a part of aristocracy but can be inherited. They are higher than knights.
? The title can be sold by the regent of the house/ruler for a big sum of money to anyone whose annual income was at least that sum and whose grandparents were entitled to a Coat of arms.
? Address as: ‘Sir / Lady’ 

? Knight
A title of honor rather than aristocracy. It is NOT hereditary but is given for a whole life. There are different orders of knights.
? Address as: ‘Sir / Dame

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