A Description of the Continent of Pyranon
(A letter from soon-to-be King Keena to his betrothed)
It feels quite odd addressing you as Queen or Your Highness, but I understand. We are children no longer. We’ve known one another since we were children, but I’ll try. I promise.
I’ve dreamed of the time when we marry for what feels like the entirety of my life. I’ve loved you always. Although now, on the eve of our wedding, I am torn. Tomorrow, I shall be your king. It is my dream come true.
Tomorrow, as all kings before me, I’ll begin to lose myself to the Banu’s curse. My mind will dissolve to that of a child who cares only for base things, eating, breathing, sleeping. This will only take months. Soon, I won’t know if I’m married or otherwise.
The curse isn’t mine alone. You, my love, will be owned by the Banu just as your mother, Queen Ariana, and her mother before her. The Banu’s eternal power runs as deeply through your lineage as the dimples and blonde curls handed down from generation to generation of queens in Pyranon.
So, my blessing—my biggest dream—is also my curse.
I love you still.
For a time, I will rule by your side as you tread the cold, biting waters of the dark seas of corruption and mistrust you’ve inherited. You’ll rule over kings and queens from all twelve continental realms, and I will assist you any way I am able. The Pyranian Empire is ruled by a single high queen from here in Pyraeya, where stands the grand palace housing the Seat of Queens. The Bellagraves, your family, have held the throne for centuries. Since my childhood in Montbracken, I’ve wondered if the other kingdoms’ central castles are as wondrous and imprisoning as the place I shall call home tomorrow.
It’s as if the darkness here has always been, and has even carried over into the architecture. The castle is gothic in nature, which is a style believed to be a remnant from the Giants, or Pyranoi, who once ruled and lived on Pyranon, but who are now said to be extinct after the Great War, an extinction that carried over to the other parts of the globe.
But we aren’t supposed to know about them, are we? Keeping the Giants a secret was your ancestors’ decree. But now that I know my days are numbered, I feel like shouting the news across the land to end the corruption for you. You could be the first of your line to be a truly good queen. You deserve that, my love. No lies. No deceit.
It’s not all bad, I suppose. I love our home. The Continent of Pyranon is filled with wonders, geological phenomena, diverse races, and bats of all sizes. You know how much I adore our bats!
The landscape on Pyranon is alive with active volcanoes, some of which were said to be occupied by Giants. It’s said they created immense catacombs inside the volcanic chambers for safety from pyroclastic clouds and eruptions, not your ancestors. The flowing lava is controlled by an ages-old system of canals that channel the molten rock into many areas for improvement on the continent. Some are even channeled into the sea to create new land. Because of this excess of volcanic activity, cooling lava creates overwhelming quantities of gems and crystals that vary in rarity and value. Most major volcanoes have lore going back to the beginning of time. It’s a wonder the people of the great realms of Pyranon believed these could be created by Humans.
Along with emeralds, onyx, diamonds, and rubies, electrum is formed by the volcanic activity. Electrum is so scarce that it is considered the paramount medium for creating valuables, including jewelry and embellishments, and the continent’s legal currency. I’d mine like the dwarfish Delvers to collect all the electrum in the realms if it meant putting a stop to what you must endure now. Other geological wonders like Mystmoor Causeway, the oceanic crater and shelves of the north, and the grand thuroi being found across the land are said to be created by the Giants we’re not supposed to know about. The Queen’s Deceit is tyrannical enough to carry the weight of those lies. The existence of the Giants, the other continents across the seas; covering up two enormous lies—an entire world of lands with races, and races with cultures, and cultures with art and beauty. Why must this deceit continue?
It cannot. You are good. Your heart is pure, and your soul is as kind as the Banu is evil. You can stop him.
Amongst the beauty on Pyranon there is danger. The central desert with treacherous Sandrunner pits, the Boil, and more. Pyranon is home to diverse peoples and creatures. Our races include Humans, multi-limbed Arachla
n, Dryadic Trome, subterranean Delvers, sea dwelling Merlakai, fabled Mist Lords, shrewish Sandrunners, and the elvish Pinahrah. We’ve all been lied to. Creatures and animals include domestic farm animals like horses and pigs, dogs, butterflies and garden moles, and non-domestic brownies, pixies, and a host of new species that find homes in the vast forests, seas, lakes, rivers, mountain ranges, swamps, and prairies of Pyranon. And how could I neglect to mention the many species and various sizes of bats, which have roles ranging from pets, to saddled and carriage transportation, to weaponry and beasts. And all of these races and realms are cheated and deceived by your family’s lies.
Please, my love, I beg of you. If the seed of revolution is sown, let it be you and I, not these other races or realms, who bring it! Let it be us who end the Queen’s Deceit.
If war is coming, it will not stop with Pyranon. I can’t bring myself to believe the other continents were rendered mere wastelands like your ancestors tell us. I know you don’t either.
Technology on Pyranon is ever-changing and evolving. Hydrostatic power is used widely. Enormous machinery is still being uncovered at present in 1713 MG, ranging in use from controlling the flow of lava to drawing gates and more. I’d wager all the precious gems and electrum in Pyranon that the Pyrnanese aren’t the only people with these tools. We can’t be. If other cultures exist, they might also outnumber and outgun us.
I’m aware you never wanted to inherit the Legacy of Queens. I know you yearn for the simplicity of a small family with a modest house and a farm deep with meadow grass. But you are a queen, and this is your legacy, too.
Rule with an honest heart. Have strength and shine with integrity. Above all, I beg you to have faith in yourself as a ruler.
For tomorrow, we will be wed in the eyes of the Goddess Runa. Not only to each other, but to the Legacy of Queens.