|Enemies:||Alfar, Orks, Mahirim|
The majority of Humans are natives of Riada, a sunken realm which lay in the great eastern sea, its spires gleaming each day with the rays of the morning sun. When this island home foundered, Mercian survivors landed on the shores of their present-day realm, which they conquered after a long war with an aboriginal people called the Imric. The Mercians see themselves as a divine race descended from the children of the sun god Auros, and they are at best unmindful, at worst disdainful of the needs and opinions of other, presumably lesser races.
Main article: Mercia
The Kingdom of Mercia lies in the southeastern part of Agon's main continent. Beyond a war-ravaged no-man's land to the north lies the orkish realm of Morak, while the dragon-haunted Pall of Oncylus lies to the west. To the south, Mercia is bordered by the wasteland continent of Cairn, which is home to bands of giants and crumbling minotaur cities. In the ocean to the east lie dozens of pirate freeholds, the largest and most notorious of which is the free city of Silvertown.
The dominant terrain types in Mercia are light deciduous forests and gently rolling grass-clad hills. A multitude of lakes and waterways also mark this outwardly pleasant land, such as the majestic Eanna river, which flows southward through the heartland before emptying into Sanguine Bay. Mercia's long coastline features countless islands, such as a shattered, sprawling archipelago which lies between Mercia's southern coast and Cairn.
The Twilight EmpireEdit
Directly underneath Mercia lies the Twilight Empire, the vile and decadent domain of Malaut, who is also known as the demon prince of greed. In recent years, Malaut has turned his gaze upwards, and his breath and whispers now seep continuously through the Mercian soil, luring the weak and the foolish into traps of excess and depravity. Congregations of Malaut worshippers have emerged throughout Mercia, as individuals, families and in some cases entire communities are lured out of the light of Auros and into Malaut's shadow. Needless to say, the Mercian authorities spare nothing in their efforts to exterminate this sinister, rapidly growing faith.
The Imric AwakeEdit
For centuries, the Imric have been treated as a simple-minded underclass by their conquerors from across the sea. Now, as Malaut's whispers corrupt Mercian society from within, the Imric people have found the strength and will to rise up against their overlords. Several of Mercia's peripheries-- such as the region of Wychwode-- have already fallen to native rebels, who in some cases have found allies in sylvan creatures such as centaurs and wild Ciel Fey elves.
The human capital, Sanguine, lies in southern Mercia, not far from where the mighty Eanna joins her waters with those of Sanguine Bay. Built on the instructions of the nation's founding father, Duke John Malregard, Sanguine stands in an eminently defensible location, atop a broad plateau which dominates the surrounding plains. Despite such military concerns, the Mercian capital is a green and pleasant city, famous for its squares and expansive park areas.
All human adventurers start their careers in one of three villages which lie in the vicinity of Sanguine. Sandbrook, to the south, is a logging community which straddles the banks of a small river, and which lies amid the enormously proportioned ruins left by a mysterious race of giants called the Nithron. Heart of Eanna, to the east, is a large port through which much of Mercia's foreign trade passes. Monkfield, to the west, is a mining community which supplies much of the ore needed by Sanguine's smithies.
Culture and ReligionEdit
The Mercians worship Auros, a solar deity who they revere not only as the bringer of light and life, but also as the father of their race. According to Mercian origin myths, Auros chose twelve wives from among the mortal races and brought them with him to the sacred island of Riada. Over the next twelve years, Auros fathered twelve children with each wife, and the resulting 144 half-gods became the ancestors of the Mercian race. Thus the Mercians believe, quite literally, that they are the progeny of their own god, and they see it as their filial duty to expand the reach of his light and teachings.
The Auran faith dictates that all life issues forth from Auros, and that no matter how far from the light a creature has strayed, Auros will receive its life-spark after death. When killing a benighted or shadebound creature, Mercians believe they are sending it into the cleansing light of Auros.
In their exodus from Riada and subsequent campaigns of conquest, the Mercians were led by a legendary general called Duke John Malregard. Several centuries later, the kingdom of Mercia is still ruled by his descendants, even though the line has declined precariously in recent generations. The current monarch, King Robert IV, is a case in point: considered an inept buffoon by many of his subjects, Robert spends his time overindulging in the luxuries of court, while stubbornly ignoring the many challenges that his nation faces.
Fortunately for Mercia, devious advisers somehow maneuvered Robbie the Whale (as he is informally known) into marrying a woman who is made from sterner stuff. A scion of lesser nobility, Queen Morgaine has proved to be both an astute administrator and, in her traditional role as leader of the White Order, a formidable warrior.
Movers and shakersEdit
Shortly after landing on the mainland, Duke John organized his finest warriors into a knightly order which would serve as the vanguard of his armies. Mounted on fierce and towering warhorses, the Knights of Malregard won countless victories over the Imric, and ever since they have remained the indomitable and warlike champions of the Mercian people.
The primary task of the White Order is to shine the light of Auros upon creatures that scurry about in darkness and shadow. Traditionally, this has meant embarking on military campaigns against benighted foreign peoples, such as the Orks and the Alfar, but recently the Order has been forced to turn its attention to internal threats, such as the Imric insurgency and the growth of the Twilight Empire.
The Sons of Riada are a group of Mercian traditionalists who believe that many secrets were lost when the home island foundered. They seek answers and artifacts in ancient ruins, convinced that the keys to global supremacy lie buried in the past.
The Church of Malaut believe that the so-called light of Auros is a lie propagated by those who would force them into lives of pleasure-deprived austerity. Taking Malaut's chthonic whispers to heart, the members of the Church embrace excess and luxury. They seek to corrupt Mercian society from within, and their ultimate goal is to bring about the demise of the current regime.