Telicia – The continent on which Leylines takes place. Split between three nations, and a smaller, uncontrolled wild land to the North.
Leyline – A well of magical power that cuts across the face of the continent. Five of them exist on Telicia, forming outward in a fan shape.
Bonding – A ritual that gives a person a deep connection to a specific Leyline, allowing them to draw on its power to wield their own unique arcane ability.
Talent – The specific ability that a Bonded individual can use when drawing on the power of a Leyline.
The Three Nations – The three countries that exist on the continent of Telicia; The Holy Nation of Eldin to the West, Ganaval in the East and Selenne between the two.
The Troubles – A period of war and revolution, in which Eldin, the first nation, was rent asunder when the lower classes in their strict caste system revolted, some even with the support of treasonous nobles. The entire continent was rocked by war, and two groups of revolutionaries succeeded in founding their own states, giving birth to the nations of Selenne and Ganaval.
The Holy Order – The accepted religion of Eldin, which is still widely practiced even throughout the other nations. Although founded by the nobility, it has relaxed its standards after the Troubles, and allows men of all walks of life to serve in its ministry across the Three Nations.
Evaniel – The god of the Holy Order, who is said to have been the creator of the known world. The creation myth states that he pulled up the continent of Telicia from deep beneath the sea, grew its forests, shaped its mountains, dried its deserts, and then inhabited it with all manner of beasts and animals. But mourning the lack of freedom the unintelligent creatures he’d spawned, he created his final race, the race of Man, and endowed one among the Firstborn a gift of his power. Eldin also considers this the manner in which their nation was founded.
Karos Eladin; The Firstborn – Evaniel’s chosen disciple, according to the Holy Order. He is said to have been the first High Priest of the Order, and the only king that Eldin has ever known. He ruled his people, using the powerful magics granted to him by his God, for over a thousand years before fading into the mists of obscurity.
The Gift – When Karos left the world of men to join his father in the heavens, he left a gift for the peoples he had left behind. In the early days, it is said no man held the power of magic but him alone, but when his time on Telicia was done, he left the Leylines behind to guide his chosen people.
Regional Information – Eldin
The Holy Nation of Eldin – The first nation, which is ruled by a group of nobles known as the Highborn. It has a strict, three-tiered caste system in which peasants have almost no rights to speak of, and two of Telicia’s Leylines lie within its borders.
Highborn – Said to have descended from the 21 sons birthed by Karos the Firstborn’s 21 wives across the century of his life, the Highborn are the 21 families that form the ruling class of Eldin.
Council of Lords – From the 21 Highborn families, there can only be one Lord at any time within each, and these 21 Lords form a council from which all the far-reaching decisions of the nation stem. Within each family, there is a large amount of backbiting, politicking and other underhanded schemes as the family fights and squabbles over the position of a Lord’s heir, but very rarely does this end in assassination or other extreme measures.
Lowborn – Anyone not descended from the pure blood of the 21 families is considered Lowborn in Eldin, and has many of their freedoms and rights removed for that reason alone. At one point, their treatment was barely above that of slavery, but conditions have improved since the Troubles.
Oathsworn – A rank of Lowborn that was raised to a new class after the Troubles proved that the Highborn alone couldn’t stop a peasant uprising. The Oathsworn are given access to a Leyline, although the Highborn still restrict one of the two for their use only, and are given many of the freedoms and rights that Highborn get, allowing them to form businesses, gain leadership positions in the military, and achieve other things most peasants can never even dream of. The only catch is that to become an Oathsworn, they must prove themselves to be a bastard of a noble line, and their children will lose the title if the Oathsworn marries a Peasant.
Seeker – The Seekers of Eldin are a group of elite Oathsworn bounty hunters that directly the serve the Council of Lords in pursuing individuals guilty of treason. This is a mere formality, however. Their true purpose is to punish Peasants who try to break the status quo by illegally bonding to a Leyline, and thus discourage others from trying to do the same. This purpose, combined with their own Lowborn heritage, has earned them the derogatory title of “Kinslayers”, which is used far more often by all castes of the general populace than their true name has ever been. They are single handedly the most despised peace keeping force within the nation, and its members suffer greatly for their acceptance of that role.
Kinslayer – See “Seeker”.
Peasant – The bottom of the caste system in Eldin, the Peasants are given almost no rights. They can’t pursue a career, can only take a trade if they apprentice to an already established master, and for the most part are forced to farm off of lands they don’t own. Although laws are enforced in Eldin, an exception is that any crime committed by a Highborn on a Peasant is not deemed illegal in the eyes of the law, although such infractions are rare these days. Peasants are also restricted from ever Bonding to a Leyline, and without outside help or fleeing the country, they never know the joy of discovering and using a Talent to better their lives.
Regional Information – Selenne
Selenne – A formal matriarchy in which the Queen holds all the nation’s power, it was founded on the precepts of national education and healthcare. Its people are well taken care of, and much better educated than those of surrounding countries thanks to the nation’s efforts; this is the only nation where illiteracy isn’t common. Only one Leyline lies within Selenne’s borders.
Warrior Queen Selenne – The founder of the nation was a Highborn noble by the name of Selenne Deshard, a woman who spent years campaigning for expanded rights for the Lowborn for years before the Troubles even began. When her efforts proved to be for naught, she resorted to drastic measures, and it is said that the forces she gathered to her banner were the opening salvo that officially began the start of the Troubles. Through the wealth, arms and strength she was able to gather from her noble house, she actually enterred the battle herself and led her revolutionaries to victory after victory, earning herself the title of the Warrior Queen. She is revered almost as a holy saint in the nation she founded, and all her successors to the throne have born her name in place of an actual surname.
vir Selenne – The title given to the queens of Selenne, they bear their ancestor’s name to acknowledge the legacy she left for them. Upon ascending to the throne, they surrender their former surnames and accept vir Selenne in its place with pride.
Queensworn – The military of Selenne, who for the most part receive a slightly different upbringing than the rest of the nation. Queensworn are trained in the art of combat and Talent use just as much as in educational matters, and although they don’t receive quite the education that others do, they’re still leaps and bounds ahead of most people from other countries.
Queensguard – A highly selective personal guard for the royal family itself, the Queensguard are chosen based off of aptitude from among the normal ranks. Almost every Queensworn dreams of the glory and prestige the Queensguard offers, and it is considered one of the most respected positions in the nation beside that of the Queen herself.
Collegiate – A graduate of Selenne’s education system, who has successfully started a career amongst his peers.
Noviciate – A new graduate of Selenne’s education system, whose final task before moving on to his professional life is to go out into the world, discover new knowledge, and share it with his peers.
Regional Information – Ganaval
Ganaval – The free nation, founded by peasants who dreamed of a brighter future. It is a free market, capitalist democratic republic, and although crime may be more common in its cities than in other areas of the known world, its people known a kind of freedom unheard of in other nations. Two Leylines lie within its borders.
Representative Elect – The elected leader of the country of Ganaval. The Representative serves a term of ten years, and can only be removed from office early by a 3/4th vote from among the Freeholders. Although they lack the power of a king, they retain the sole right to declare war, offer treaties, and similar nation-spanning diplomatic decisions. As far as their own country’s laws are concerned, they only have the power to propose bills to the populace.
Freeholder – One of 13 men who are selected by the populace as regional governors. The continent is split into 13 zones, each one headed by a Freeholder who has the right to propose bills and regulate their local economy in the same way the Representative does over the nation as a whole.
Mayor – The elected official in charge of an individual city, they are beholden to the laws instated by both the Representative and the Freeholders. They have very little power on their own, as they can do nothing without a majority vote from their populace, but few men have risen to the rank of Freeholder, much less representative, without a successful tenure as a Mayor first.
Militia – Named as such to honor the spirit Ganaval’s first army was born with, the Militia is Ganaval’s armed forces, but for the most part merely provides local security for towns and villages. They are the force that upholds the nation’s laws, and keeps the peace within Gan borders.
Freeborn – The self-pronounced title the Gan people have given themselves, as a parody on the Eldin Highborn/Lowborn naming scheme. Freeborn is often tossed around by patriotic men and women, but its true meaning is related to those who descended from the first revolutionaries that founded the nation, not the immigrants that came after.
Newblood – A derogatory term applied to the flood of outsiders that have been immigrating to Ganaval over the past century. It isn’t uncommon for the Freeborn to look at these people with disdain, that this word has proven to be just another way for them to express that.
Regional Information – The Wildlands
The Wildlands – North of both the Three Nations and the Northern end of the Leylines themselves lies the Wildlands, that have remained largely unsettled and undeveloped despite the long centuries of human habitation on Telicia. The reason for this, is that the magic of the Leylines can’t reach here. Just as if their users had left the ground, Talents wither and die in this harsh place, and both monsters of legend and wild heathenish savages are said to await those foolish enough to wander there defenseless.
Guardians – The tribes that live in the Wildlands call themselves the Guardians, according to those few who have met them and lived. They never leave their forests, and claim to watch over an ancient evil that was sealed in the woods long ago by a greater power. Missionaries and diplomatic envoys have been sent by the church and nations many times in the past, but the Guardians have proven rather violent towards outsiders, and after a while the Three Nations seemed to lose interest in the mundane land to the North.