“The sun never sets in Akalos.” – Barandaran saying
The map again, for reference.
In the Fire Wastes, south of Barandara, lies the nation of Akalos. The Red Range serves as its eastern boundary. It is a land of red rock and dirt and rivers of lava that flow constantly from the volcanoes of the Red Range. The only actual river in Akalos is the River Red, and huge aqueducts carry the water to the cities.
The volcanoes in the Red Range are the only in the world, and even when they are not erupting, they continually emit red and gray smoke. This smoke hangs permanently over the Blood Waste, and the sky is always reddish-gold, dimming only at night.
The biggest volcano, Mt. Blazingburn, is sacred to the Akalosians. The Scarlet Keepers, the priesthood of Akalos, state that the Furnace of Reckoning lies deep beneath the volcano, and only the Scarlet Keepers can intercede with the spirits to provide Akalosians safe passage to the afterlife.
Akalos has a religious society centered around the Flame and the Blood. The Scarlet Keepers teach that the Flame is one’s soul or spirit, while the Blood is what connects everyone to each other. The Flame has the power to warm hearts as well as to destroy relationships. The Blood has the power to strengthen relationships, but can also destroy one’s individualism. The Scarlet Keepers teach that a balance must be maintained between the two.
Akalos is ruled by a dual monarchy. The Sovereign of Fire and the Sovereign of Ichor each hold separate courts and dictate different parts of the nation. The Sovereign of Fire is over the military and diplomacy, while the Sovereign of Ichor is over domestic affairs. The two sovereigns do not have to be related and may not even know each other, other than ceremonial meetings and national affairs.
The Sovereign of Fire is chosen by popular vote – even a peasant can become one. The Sovereign of Ichor is voted for as well, however, he/she must be a member of the Dynastic Family, a sprawling extended family of nobles and people that could be considered an oligarchy. One can become a member of the Family by adoption, marriage, or direct appointment by the ruling Sovereign of Ichor, although the last option is not very liked.
The current Sovereign of Fire is Velegon Ralazza, Born of Fire, Bearer of the Burning Blade, Speaking With the Tongue of Gold, Defender of Akalos, etc. etc. you get the point. Velegon Ralazza was voted in as Sovereign after his mother, the former Sovereign, and his father, were killed when Barandara rebelled against Akalos. He has led Akalos well, but many in the court say that his anger may cloud his judgments sometimes. Velegon is also known to be hot-headed and demanding, and can get mega rip**** pissed off when he doesn’t have his way.
The reigning Sovereign of Ichor is Monista Melarandalia, Guardian of the Blood, Uniter of Our Souls, Watcher Over Our People, Lighter of Our Spirits, Holder of the Bond etc. etc. Monista has been the Sovereign of Ichor since before the Barandaran rebellion and has seen it all. She has kept Akalos at a level of safety after the rebellion shook everyone up.
Directly beneath the monarchy are the Scarlet Keepers, the priesthood of Akalos. I stated their teachings earlier, how one must balance the Flame and the Blood, so that the Scarlet Keepers can provide them safe passage to the afterlife. Of course, some people don’t fit in with the Scarlet Keeper’s teaching. Some people, called Infernos, embrace the flame too much and refuse to conform to the status quo. These people perform erratic and odd deeds, from wierd art to serial killings to show their nature. Others, called the Bleeding, fade into the Blood and become little more than husks who do whatever they are told. Both are considered dangerous to society and the Scarlet Keepers hunt them out and either try to reform them or lock them away and use them in their rituals.
Akalos has nasty relations with Barandara. Barandara was once apart of Akalos, but nobleman Themir Consoza rebelled and formed his own country, which left Akalos serously weakened. Akalos depends on Giant-Country for food, because even though the soil is very fertile, it never rains. Akalos performs a large export of metals and gems, and their armor is the best in the world.
Akalos has a strong military, consisting of legionaries with large shields and spears. They are flanked and preceded by lighter, more mobile units of swordsmen and archers.
The cavalry of Akalos is famous, as they are mounted upon the fierce Akalosian salamanders – dinosaur-like creatures who live in the hot caverns of the Red Range.
Akalosian artillery consists of catapults hurling flaming bolts. Scarlet Keepers often accompany Akalos into battle, as they can summon fire elementals and phoenixes. The burxagen sometimes march alongside Akalos. We’ll talk more about them in another part.
Lastly, dead people.
I said earlier how the Scarlet Keepers provide safe passage to the afterlife for Akalosians. They can also use the embers of life to raise the dead. The Cindercorpses are one kind. They are very strong individually and are seen marching with Akalosian armies. The second type are the Bloodbones. They are like zombies, strong as a group but are very weak by themselves. Even though raising the dead is banned in Barandara and other places, is perfectly legal and accepted in Akalos.
Next time we’ll talk about Barandara.
In this section, I’ll put songs and instrumentals I listened to while doing the post.
“Over the Hills and Far Away” by Nightwish
“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” by Nightwish. I don’t believe in evolution but that song is awesome.
“Amarantine” by Enya
“Every Breaking Wave” by U2
“Shout” by Tears for Fears
“Hello” by Adele
“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers
“The Final Countdown” by Europe
“You Found Me” by the Fray
WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos OST
WarCraft III: the Frozen Throne OST
“Time” from the Inception Soundtrack
This piece from Amelie
“Now We Are Free” from Gladiator
“What Child Is This” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (You are sinning if you do not listen to this song every holiday season.)
“Carol of the Bells” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (You are sinning if you do not listen to this instrumental every holiday season.)