Lore of Vistania
The Children of Bael Dureth have inhabited Vistania for thousands of years, moving there even before the dwarves moved into Duerga. Why the first humans moved there has been lost to the ages. It is theorized that their leader, Barakas Dureth, knew of the awesome power that is said to lay on the Undren ithsmus, and led his followers there so that they could capture it. Ancient scripture labled that part of the land as Baator, the ancient seat to evil arch-devils who were de-throned during ancient wars. Barakas knew of this, and led his followers to the land to hunt out this power.
The settlers were unsuccesssful at gathering power until Barakas’ first son, Bael, finally found a link to the Court of Devils, and made a powerful bargain with them. In return for their undying fealty, the Tieflings were gifted the ability to tap into the very power of the Devils, the Infernal Major Arcanum. As a result of this, their bodies were slowly twisted into that of devils, marking them as fiendspawn.
Vistania is a closed country; only those with Vistanian heritage may be allowed safe passage into or through the country. Exceptions are occasionally made for very wealthy or very important persons, such as other kingdom rulers, but the casual adventurer is warned to stay clear of Vistania for fear of death.
Settlements and Features
The landscape of Vistania is that of broken shale and crags. Tall rocky mountains jut out of the ground at odd angles. Pools of sulpherous water bubble up from the surface, ruining crops and scaling livestock.
Dureth’Oras is the seat of the ruling Court. A massive walled city of polished stone and obsidian, it rises above the bleak and broken landscape taller than any other structure in Vistania. From its throne room, one can see for miles upon miles.
Vistania is a feudal society, and as such each Court owns its own fiefdom. The majority of those who live in Vistania are peasents who work the broken shale and attempt to bring in enough food to satisfy their vassal lords.
Plots and Adventure Sites
The Courts of Vistania
The Courts of Vistania offer more intrigue than most would usually care about. Assassination attempts are frequent, and bloody overthrows are common. Very few tielfings in Vistania care to visit the ancient underground homes of the Devils,the ruins of Baator, although whether this is out of respect or fear, none know. Others may be intrigued to see the former home of the ancient line of Devils, and the seat of the Infernal Major Arcanum.
Vistania is ruled over by a Court. Which Court rules changes every few decades. Currently, it is the Court of the Undying Rose, who recently took power from the Court of the Cerulean Sunset. This was a major upset, as the Sunset Courts had been ruling for centuries. Outsiders observe that it could mark a new beginning for the Arboreal Courts, which have not siezed power since before the Wild Courts.
Each Court is presided upon by a King or Queen, who has the power until the next monarch triumphs. The monarch asserts executive control over the law, while the rest of the Court exercises legislative power. The beaurocracy of Vistania and the Courts is truly a marvel in itself. While only one Court is in charge, the other Courts still hold sway with one another, as it is normal for a member of one Court to marry another, thus producing children with ties to both. In this way, the Courts are linked together in complicated ways. Court Historians exist to untangle these hereditary webs and determine who has what percentage of a blood linkage to what Courts, so that when Dukes and Earls wish to win over members of other Courts, they know who in that Court shares kinship with their Court—and so on. It is a complicated dance, and one that takes up so much time very little ever takes place in Vistanian assembliages other than dinner parties and balls, held to win favor with one Court or another.
This lifestile, however, is necessary to survive in Vistania. The dramatic dances they go through are sources of amusement for the Devils which the ancient progenators of the tieflings formed a pack with. Because of this, tieflings are forced to keep the intrigue high, to be two-faced and unpredictable, less the Devil masters pull their power.
Court of the Firey Heart
The best-known Court is that of the Court of the Firey Heart. Not a true Court, the Firey Heart is a guild who specializes in political assassination. Its members are of noble birth who can dance the dance as well as any other. In the Throne Room, the Firey Hearts concerns are voiced by nobles from true Courts, who owe the Firey Heart a debt for taking out one of their rivals. They are respected and feared by all, and of all the Courts, they are the ones who are most likely to leave the country, willingly taking jobs around the globe when an expert assassin is required. Its members are the only ones who know the recipie to their trade-mark, the Firey Heart Venom, which burns the heart of its victim, turning it to ash in their chest. Masters of sublty when they want to be, the Firey Heart enjoys ensuring that all know when they have killed.