The Shadows at Dusk
- Navarene -
Navarene is one of the largest and most prosperous kingdoms in the Steadfast. Disliked by all the other lands, the people of Navarene are thought of as aloof, difficult, and even arrogant. “Wealthy as a Navarene merchant” is a saying in the Steadfast that almost always has implied negative connotations.
The southern part of the kingdom is known for its rich farmland. Simple farmers and herders work for wealthy landowners who in turn pay fealty to a small number of aristocratic families, each of whom answers to the queen, who rules from her capital of Charmonde. Her palace is known as the Empiternal House, and at its center is a set of sealed chambers that Queen [[Xandera Armalu] never leaves. To come and go, her court must pass through a series of airlocks and undergo a misting spray that removes any potential contaminants. This odd but careful behavior, coupled with a variety of strange treatments and procedures, has allowed Armalu to live for 481 years—so far.
Queen Armalu is known for being both shrewd and ruthless, and her kingdom prospers as a result, for she uses these traits to best her enemies and the foes of her people. As long as her subjects are obedient and efficient, they are treated with a fair hand.
Navarene forms the boundary between the north and the rest of the Steadfast. Thus, the northern portion of the kingdom, south of the Tithe River, holds many forts and war-castles that help defend this border from the dangers of the Beyond. Now that the Amber Pope has declared war on the mysterious lands to the north of the Cloudcrystal, these fortresses are even more important.
Queen Armalu has petitioned the Papacy to require the other eight kingdoms to pay to help maintain the bastions. The other rulers balk at funding Navarene’s military, feeling that Armalu is as likely to use it to invade them as she is to defend them from the Gaian invaders—should they ever come.