The Duchy of Valkland
The events in the debuting Solo Season of Downtime Manager, “Season 1: A wizard in need” take place in the Duchy of Valkland. So here’s a little backstory for this small city-state and its Academy. Enjoy!
Valkland is a prosperous mountainous city-state fifteen miles to the south from Highmountain. It barely covers 30 square miles, but its significance is not related to its size. Instead, Valkland is famous for the Valkland Academy for the Knights of Justice. The institute has been established 1 500 years ago and offers the finest warrior training to anyone who can pay the tuition fee. They are trained in melee and ranged combat, strategy and tactics, siege and defense, scouting and ranging, recruiting and logistics, basic alchemy and healing, magic and religion, and so on. The graduating knights are considered to be the finest military leaders of our time.
The entire city is built to serve the knights-in-training, or as they call themselves, “the radiants.” Armorsmiths, weaponsmiths, alchemists, fencing clubs, taverns of all qualities, bathhouses, ballrooms, shrines of dozens of deities, and the list could go on: every merchant, service provider, and vendor is here to squeeze out as many coins as possible from the students during their six-year stay.
The radiants mostly come from wealthy, old families, but every year, the Academy offers a dozen or so scholarships to the most talented boys and girls. The selection procedure is simple: on the 1st day of the 6th month, they open the gates of the Academy’s dungeons. If you survive, you’re admitted with a full scholarship. Survivors rarely talk about what happens down there, but some have such strange scars that discourage any questions regarding the topic.
About 73 years ago, a group of apprentice knights started a regular training expedition in the Highmountain. The goal of this excercise was to get rid of any hostile creatures who might endanger the trading routes of the city-state. After a few days of rather dull patrolling, they have found a cave, and inside that cave an egg. The knights – not knowing what that was – took the egg to the city. The rest of the story is hazy, but this is the event that marks the start of the terrible war between Valkland and the Dragons of Highmountain.
The war lasted for years, with dozens of knights and not a few dragons slain, when finally, both sides admitted that forgiveness, peace, and cooperation is a preferable option to violence, bloodshed, and revenge. Therefore, they signed a peace treaty, and as a token of friendship, the two sides exchange wondrous gifts every seven years ever since.
And so, every seven years, the Duke of Valkland asks the small but powerful Order of Magick to appoint one of its members to create a wondrous item worthy for the dragons. In return, the most talented artificers of the dragons create something extraordinary to strengthen the bond with the mortals.
Valkland will most likely be featured in more upcoming Solo Seasons! If you have any comments or suggestions, reach out to us!
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