Kingdom of Aca-Santerra
("Sacred Land/Region") is one of the most powerful nations on
the continent of
Nybelmar. Its people populate the islands east and
northeast of the mainland and also a portion of the continent itself that lies
between the broad Jerrah river and the hills of Thales ("Oberion Thaleseth").
The kingdom has earned a reputation as being the greatest seafaring nation of
whole Caelereth with the biggest fleet on the Western
As the kingdom spans from the plains of the continent to
the rocky shores of the islands its landscape is very diversive. The
homeleands of the Santerrans lie at
the rocky coasts of the Isles, most of them of black granite with sharp cliffs
and burly stones. The pure Santerrans are in many ways like these black cliffs
unyielding and unforgiving. The best example of these regions are the fortified
cities along the coasts that for centuries defended the common population of
fishermen and craftsmen against all kinds of invaders and were often built in
terraces against the cliffs.
Beyond these cliffs usually lie the rural hamlets of shephards and farmers. The
soil is poor and
so are the life conditions so that the
Santerrans depended early on what could be harvested from the sea and laid the
base for the seapower that once emerged from it.
The only fertile plains - that are capable of feeding most of the Santerran
population - are the Plains of the Jerrah. These are the only fertile plains
that permit farming
with great measures and their
importance was proven when Jhelim the Great moved the capital of the High
Kingdom from the capital of Delvynnar to the city of
Altyr overseeing the plains.
The hillands north and south of the plains are again mainly inhabitated by other
tribes, the northern being the
more troublesome as here the tribes of the Murmillions
(translated "Men of the Glens")
live, who were the fiercest
enemies of the kingdom for centuries. Beyond this natural border in the north
still live the independent
tribes of the Murmillions in their stone castles and mountain cities.
The High Kingdom
controls some of the most
prosperous harbours on
Nybelmar, the greatest of them all being their
capital Altyr. From here most trade from North to South and beyond the
continent's waters is maintained, controlled and regulated, giving Aca-Santerra
a great impact on the foreign policies of the continent with any kingdoms
abroad. Most of the kingdom's
wealth is based on this trade that is even enriched by the goods and resources
the Santerrans produce themselves.
While meat and grain is always short the Santerrans export great amounts of
tools, armory, weapons and jewellery as well as gold, silver and iron. Among the
goods they import are spices, all kinds of cloth and pottery.
The ships of Aca-Santerra reach nearly any port of the Western Sea which brings
- beside profit - great
political influence in most ports and the tribes depending on them.
The most common religion in Aca-Santerra - which is also the state religion - is
the "cult of the Erin", the
Highgods and the Twins of the
Beginning. The priesthood is
omnipresent in the kingdom and has major influence in any domestic affairs and
politics. The priesthood - that only consists of women - has
full powers as enforcers of the godly law. In many ways the male nobility is
completely limited in maintaining the kingdom and waging war against any outside
Spiritually the kingdom is ruled by the priesthoods of Barkhas - the Highest God
of the Kingdom -, the followers of Angus,
whose main seat is in Altyr and the priesthood of Retarra, the Deity of War.
Added to these priesthoods are the male mages of the kingdom, the Horathrar
(the female mages are usually becoming
priests on their own), who
serve in the name of the temples as magic
without the acceptance of a temple is seen as an unholy act and punished even
With strict laws and rules the Santerrans often look with great suspicion at
strangers who are often referred to as "Outlanders".
The kingdom is located on the islands northeast of the
southern border on the mainland is the Jerrah river, a 100 peds wide stream that
seperates - and protects! - the High Kingdom
against the Empire of Korweyn. The northern border,
inhabitated by the conquered tribes of the Murmillions,
are the "Oberion Thaleseth" (Hills of Thales). The river and the hills define a
triangle that closes in the west at the border of the Gaeldorioth
Emerald Woods). Everything in between and on the islands is Santerran.
The High Kingdom is inhabitated by various tribes - most conquered by the
Santerrans in centuries of war - but the ethnic borders are still pretty clear
as the Santerrans don't like to mix with the native population.
The homelands of the Santerrans themselves are the coasts and the cities of the
kingdom which they populate in urban communities since the beginning of history.
Most villages, towns and cities were built around a harbour from where their
fishing fleets launch to harvest the treasures of Barkhas.
In the backlands of the islands, the hills and mountains usually other tribes
care for themselves, producing food or raw materials from one of the many mines
on the islands and the hills. While not completely merged into the Santerran
tribe they're accepted by them as mostly equal, only of "less noble blood".
The northern hills however, that are inhabitated by the Murmillions are only
referred to as "allies" because the Santerran still don't see these people as
equal in their kingdom. The Murmillions herd cattle and sheep in hills and add
to the strength of the kingdom by providing about the fiercest swordsmen known
to Nybelmar. Despite that the northern border region
remains a territory of unrest.
The complete population of the kingdom might be about 2 million people of which
about fifty percent are Santerran or affiliated tribes.
Arms/Sign. The Santerrans have coat of arms like most
Santharian settlements have, most noble house differ
from each other by just wearing differently dyed clothes. The colors of the High
Kingdom are usually the royal blue and orange which refer to the sky and the
The mythical beast associated to the High Kingdom is the "Hydra of Barkhas" a
giant seasnake that has the heads of all incarnations of Barkhas as well as the
heads of the seagull, the lion and the goat to refer to the lands which now are
part of Aca-Santerra and to honor Angus, Injeylla and Retarra as other important
deities of the kingdom.
The incarnations of Barkhas are many but usually are a shark, a
dolphin and the
kraken. Sometimes this symbol can be seen
on the blue and orange of the Saaterran flag but usually it stands alone to mark
something as decreeted by the Highking.
Climate. The climate
in Aca-Santerra varies from mediterran to subtropical, the northern hills having
a more moderate climate.
While the weather throughout the year is very moist
most regions of Aca-Santerra lack the soil to produce great amounts of crops.
The only exception are the Plains of the Jerrah that are
fertile nearly all year thanks to moderate temperatures and much rain.
Snow and Ice are seldom in these regions of the world and only occur at rare
occasions but the mountain ranges and hillands can be quite cold in winter.
Aca-Santerra is especially dependent on the tides and
currents that send them the valuable fish swarms that come to the Santerran
islands each spring and autumn. The island cliffs are usually haunted by a rough
north-south wind, another
reason they built their cities in the shadow of the cliffs. In autumn and winter
the wind changes and comes more from the east to west and means heavy rainfalls
on the islands and the coastal hills.
While rain or cold winds usually disturb the stay on the islands or coasts the
Pains of the Jerrah are comfortable all year, the
reason for three harvests each year.
islands have little major resources beside granite and marble though some very
rich deposits of silver can be found in the mountains of Vunmeer and Thegal. The
only other resource is tin from Euri. Both resources are mined only at few
places on these islands.
The hills of the mainland are far richer, especially in coal and iron that is
mined there extensively for weapons and tools. The coal can be found mainly
west, iron to the east. The coastal hills have some more deposits of silver. The
few gold that can be found is usually used for jewellery. Silver is the common
currency in Aca-Santerra.
At the islands also pearls are harvested in artifical shell farms and used for
export. The name of the Delvynnar derives from this profitable industry, the
City of Delv, the city of Nacre. Here the greatest farms of this kind can be
What Aca-Santerra lacks most is wood as the demand for this material is enormous
to build and heat houses and to built the enormous fleets so most forests that
can be found in Aca-Santerra are strictly regulated to gather as much
construction wood as possible without destroying the actual source.
Myth/Lore. For the myth
on how Aca-Santerra came to be see the History section.
Other mythological stories you can read here:
While Aca-Santerra has earned much respect having one of the greatest navies
most other kingdoms of Nybelmar look with suspicion
at them as outside the foreign harbours and off the ships they are very
isolationists that don't like to spare their time with strangers. Referring to
them is often to mark a certain stubborness but also strength.
One of the most famous examples for this is the myth about the "Santerran
Seawitch" which usually means the Highpriestess of Barkhas. The powers of the
priesthood are legendary and are said to have saved the High Kingdom more than
once. Whenever a storm rises, a ship is lost or the wind travels one fast
forward most sailors believe that the "Santerran Seawitch" helps or haunts them.
While being a mere human in the stories of the
sailors the highest priestess of Aca-Santerra is said to possess nearly godly
powers concerning the Oceans and the Weather.
In many other ways for "Outlanders" the Santerrans seem to combine good and bad
properties in often radical ways.