Armagh

Armagh map

The northwestern country. The Wall runs along the border, rising from a border marking to a real barrier, high smooth and white, blocking access from the canal. Beyond it the hills become high and rolling, breaking into rocky cliffs suddenly, like a sea that was turned to stone and then covered in grass. There is very little technology. The roads are difficult for things with wheels, and airships run risks from dragons. Strangers are very suspect here. The place considers itself a buffer between the world and the Hebrides (Holy Lands). But there are hospitality laws, so you can travel safely if you watch not to offend and don’t stay long. Its very rohirrim-numenorian look; tolkein-meets-beowulf. Elves, dragons, centaurs, and dwarves are as common as men.

All this said, the land is wide and sparse, humans in Armagh live in clans, with great halls, in Riocht (kingdom). Armagh has Righs that rule Riochts. They have superior craftsmanship learned from elves and dwarves, so they have nice things. But they live pretty simple lives, farming, surviving. There are clean, somber men there – like numenoreans, and there are hairy, promiscuous, crazy viking men, and everything in between. Elves live apart but usually on good terms. The elves who live there want to live near people. There are more dwarves there too, than anywhere except the mountains.

Where there are people it is cozy, where there aren’t there mostly aren’t. But there are people who like to wander, or live apart. And they can. Its a dangerous land, but not evil. There is no stigma for being a wanderer if you are from there.

The one rule of the land is that every ruler, human or elf or dwarf, sends a group of his people, usually warriors, to help defend and patrol the land, called ‘Sent to the Wall’. The rulers set this up in different ways. Maybe they have a mage who scries and would use their own army if something came up. Maybe they have a band of mounted warriors who are permanently on patrol far and wide of their lands. Maybe its a coming of age you have to do it for this long, like the Israeli military.

The druids also are very concerned with protecting the land. They do this under their own orders from the Druid councils, who are considered above the law and home in any man’s hall.
The main purpose, as far as national identity, is to keep all the “lesser” people who have become soft and modern and corruptible out. They filter heroes through, allowing them on to the Hebrides. They listen for word from the gods, and make trade or petitions with the holy islands. So they are a proud people, even though they are many peoples.
And everyone else thinks they are scary and stuck up.

The high council meet of Armagh is held at a very prestigious stone circle – Tlatchtga – on a perfectly circular steep hill’s top from which you can see the Hebrides themselves.

Hospitality Law

Someone asking to stay at your house must be treated as a guest for 3 days. If they do anything to harm you, the deal is off – which is where there is a lot of grey area, and why its still dangerous. But they just have to show up and say “I want to be a guest at your house.” Theoretically you can do this to the king, to a beggar, to a druid. There are many other honor laws, there is a lot of that sort of tradition – like kings giving their booty gold to their warriors to keep them, or single combat deciding a war, or small oaths being binding in crazy ways.

Armagh

Vanya and the Green Knight Nalga