Ashes of Asgard
Maltiria - Seat of the God-Empress
Region: The Heartland – Southwest of the White Maw, separated from the Horn by a wide sea and an unforgiving mountain range, the land gives way to lush, rolling plains and temperate forests. Long ago, this land would have been the ideal place to begin a civilization, and for many years, independent city-states thrived. A vicious plague known now as The Mindrot, however, put an end to such dreams. For centuries, the Mindrot ravaged the Heartlands, bringing its people to the edge of extinction as bodies piled in the streets, and hunger and desperation turned into madness and rage. The Mindrot was said to have originated from a Heretic who meant to cast down the Patrons of the people of the Heartlands, and though the rumor was never confirmed, the plague seemed to have the intended effect. The Mindrot severed the connections between Patrons and their disciples, rendering them powerless – no more than blankly staring statues.
One hundred and twenty years ago, as the cities of the Heartlands crumbled, a woman rose to power in the city-state of Maltiria. Eva of Maltiria was a powerful healer, a prodigious military strategist, and most importantly, immune to the Mindrot. Through fire, she brought purity. Her touch could bring forth a white flame that, it is said, can judge the good and wicked alike. The innocent could bathe in the flames without fear of harm, and be cleansed of poison and disease. The sinner and the heretic would be engulfed and seared to ashes.
It was obvious to all who met her that Eva was destined for greatness, for immortality through ascendance into Patronhood, but decades would pass before the Ashes finally called for her to settle and ascend. In that time, Eva and her devoted army first rebuilt Maltiria and cleansed it of the Mindrot. Then, they proceeded through the Heartlands, doing the same to the other failing City-States. In some territories, they were eagerly welcomed, while in others, force had to used to throw down the corrupt governments clinging to power. The long march known as the Searing, marked a new era for the cities of the Heartland, as the Flames of Judgment spread through the countryside, driving out the Mindrot for good. Eventually, Eva and her army had forged themselves an empire.
When Eva returned to Maltiria, a Triumph declared her empress of the Heartlands. She ascended to Patronhood on the very throne she came to sit upon. Slowly, the ashes gathered on the throne until Eva no longer needed to move, neither to eat, sleep, or breathe. Like every ascendant, she came to rely on her disciples to carry out her will. Eventually, governmental powers were ceded back to representatives of the City-States, and though their territories remained part of the Maltirian Empire, the Court of Dukes took over most administrative business.
Today, the Heartlands are a diverse collection of duchies all united under the sovereign rule of the God-Empress Eva. Her decrees and edicts are communicated through Confessor Cassius Varino, and must be obeyed even by the Court of Dukes. Some say that, almost 70 years after the ascendance of Eva, known now as Lady Purity, the Maltirian Empire has its best days behind it. Guidance from their Patron comes more seldom than it used to, giving the Dukes more room to maneuver and hatch political schemes against one another. Some of the Dukes simply yearn for power, while some represent City-states like Montebelle or Cerevante, whose people feel it is time to formally split from the empire altogether. Meanwhile the Maltirian culture that was, for a long time, defined by war and conquest, struggles to find meaning and prosperity for itself in peacetime, threatening to collapse under its own weight.
Capital City: Maltiria – The most prosperous city in the Heartlands
Ruler: Confessor Varino
Banner Colors: Red, White, Gold
Insignia: A white flame bordered with golden trim on a red backdrop.
Governing Body: The Court of Dukes