Knights of the Realm
Britain and it's regions
Britain is divided into five areas: Logres, Cambria, Cumbria, Pictland, and Cornwall. Logres is by far the most important. Furthermore, several Saxon kingdoms inhabit the eastern coastal regions.
Logres is the lowland region of Britain previously ruled by the Romans, who established many great cities. Your character’s county, Salisbury, is located here. Logres is the largest and most powerful kingdom of Britain and the home of British civilization and culture. It includes about one half of the island’s population. It is divided into several regions that are loosely based on the pre-Roman tribal areas. However, those tribal regions have been subdivided into administrative counties, each ruled by a count (though a couple of them have dukes instead). These Roman-imposed regions are stronger and more practical than the older divisions. Logres contains several signif cant cities, of which London is the largest and most important.
All the rest of Britain outside of Logres is foreign land. These lands are divided among five larger regions, each of which has several kingdoms within it. Many lands are inhabited by Cymric peoples, others by Irish, Saxons, or Picts.
Cambria is the western region of Britain. It is sometimes called Wales or, in the French fashion, Gales. Cambria, however, extends eastward beyond modern Wales to include a much larger region.
Two strong kings contend for power in Cambria. In the south, King Lak rules over Estregales. His subjects are generally descendants of ancient Irish raiders who settled here. He receives fealty from the lords of Escavalon, Gloucester, and Cardigan.
The lands of Gomeret and Isles (Anglesey and the Holy Isle), including Cheshire, are ruled by King Pellinore, an ambitious and difficult king. He is a fair and just man, but his passion for the hunt sometimes overcomes his obligations to his kingdom. Still, his people love him, and he has protected the land well from Irish raiders.
The interior of Cambria is all rugged mountains and forests. Many tribesfolk live there, outside the rule of any king or civilized ways.
The people of Cumbria are often called the “northern British.” Cumbria includes all the lands north of the Humber River and south of the Pictish mountains. Much of this region is of moor-covered mountains or dense, unexplored forest.
King Lot, the King of Lothian, is the preeminent king of the north. He comes from the northern islands of the Orkneys, but rules over Lothian. He also has alliances with many Pictish tribes. Though Lot is dominant, the rulers of most of the other British kingdoms have not submitted to him.
The Kingdom of Malahaut is the strongest single kingdom, and King Uther recently saved its king, Sir Barant de Apres, from the Saxons. Barant has as many titles as King Uther does: the Centurion King, King of the Brigantes, heir of King Coel the Old, and especially King of One Hundred Knights. He rules from the city of Eburacum (York).
The Saxon Coast
Several regions of eastern Britain have been settled by Germanic peoples from the northern mainland of Europe. Collectively, they are called Saxons, though technically not all are from Saxony. Saxons currently hold Sussex, while the Jutes hold Kent. Angles hold the lands of Nohaut and Diera. These regions each have their own kings.
Although they are all hostile to the Cymry, the “Saxons” are also rivals, and a rough peace is maintained through a high king called a Bretwalda, who is currently King Ælle of Sussex.
Pictland includes everything north of Cumbria. Most of it is mountain, unexplored and unknown to anyone except the wild, tattooed natives. Its rugged western coast line, called the Long Isles, is occupied by Irish from the powerful kingdom of Dal Riada. The wild tribesmen of this region regularly raid and pillage Britain, returning home with plunder.
Cornwall and Brittany
Cornwall and Brittany are “the west.” Cornwall includes the entire southwestern peninsula of the British Isle (an area much larger than the Cornwall of modern times).
It is famous for its rich tin mines and its close political connections with Brittany, whose settlers have been populating and dominating the northern half of the peninsula for a generation. Cornwall is divided between two rulers. Neither has ever submitted to Uther. The northwestern half of it is ruled over by Duke Gorlois; his wife, Ygraine, is the most renowned beauty in Britain. The southeastern half is ruled by King Idres, who also rules most of northern Brittany.
Brittany was once a Roman province, but it was severely depopulated by barbarians and disease, and has recently been settled by emigrants from Britain. Its coastal lands are rich and thriving, although the interior is a wild and enchanted forest. Most of the north is ruled by old King Idres
of Totnes, the Cornish king. King Conan of Vannetais, in the south, is the other major ruler, ambitious and troubled by a fierce hatred for the King of France.
Ireland is a barbarous island populated by many clans of notorious wildness, all divided into five great kingdoms. It has a High King, but he rules more in name than in fact.
The savage tribesmen of the region regularly raid across the Irish Sea to pillage Britain.
Little is known of continental Europe in this time. The major regions are Rome (Italy), France, Ganis, Gaul, and the far-distant Byzantine Empire. The great Roman Empire of the Caesars has fallen, replaced by warring barbarian kingdoms ruled by grandsons of the ancient German war gods.
France is a large country in the north occupied by the Franks. Its king is Clovis, who does little more than oversee the many Frankish lords who continually bicker among themselves. The capital city of Paris is a squalid, fortified city.
Ganis is a powerful land in the southern coast of Biscay. Sailors of Ganis and Brittany contend for the Atlantic trade routes between Britain and the Mediterranean, along with the many Saxon pirates who ply the region.
Gaul is the southern region, more civilized and Roman than the northern French. (Most of its inhabitants can still read and write!)
Italy is dominated by the Goths, Germanic tribesfolk who try unsuccessfully to ape the Roman ways. In Rome is the pope, the leader of the Roman Christian church. The Byzantine Empire is a powerful one, but is so far away that it is beyond concern. Every other land in Europe is a feudal or barbarian kingdom. The farther north the kingdom lies, the more barbaric it is, making the Picts and the Scandinavians the most barbaric.