Kingdom of Grace

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    Just SurvivingKingdom of Grace[Realm - Solania]Copyright © 2000 by Heiner de Wendt

CharacterLove all that is, and you will create love everywhere. Grant mercy where you can, and feel a deep sorrow for every violent defense of goodness and justice that is required. Work to bring civilization to its peak, in all aspects - but especially when it comes to morality and justice.

PowerGaphomor, part of the (relatively unknown) Shinnan pantheon in which he is the God of the Sun and of Mercy, rules the Kingdom of Grace, but he rarely has to actually do anything here. The inhabitants of this realm are so peaceful and industrious that they could probably even get along without the aid of Gaphomor. Then again, his followers are convinced that they wouldn't have become so peaceful and industrious without the power's help.

DescriptionA realm of vast cities, the Kingdom of Grace is one of the most civilized places in all the planes. The Kingdom has only few and small uninhabited parts. Every petitioner here has a role in society, and many visitors say that the Kingdom of Grace is what Arcadia should have been. It is a calm realm, yet one full of happiness and joy. Musicians and other artists roam the street as much as beggars in many Prime cities, smithies forge wondrous items, often for no more than a hot meal (and, when someone of a good heart is in real need, some even do it for free), and the paved streets are clear and beautiful. Each and every building is a piece of art, made from finest material (marble being among the least of them) and ornamented like a great piece of jewelry. Those who live here can easily have a prosperous life - but it is granted to them only if they work to aid others, as well. Visitors are treated with friendliness, and people in the streets often discuss philosophical topics with everyone who's interested, but only those who settle here permanently are really seen as a part of society. Then again, most visitors don't even notice the difference.

Principal TownsThe largest and grandest settlement in the Kingdom of Grace is its capital, Silversun. With about 500,000 petitioners living here, the city is huge. All the buildings here are made from a strange, but utterly beautiful substance that looks like solid silver sunrays. Chant has it this material was created by Gaphomor himself from the very light of Mount Celestia, but no one knows the truth. Silversun is "guarded" by a host of six throne archons, led by the strangely melancholy Jamiria Winterheart (Px/female throne archon/LG). They rarely have to fight to defend the city; most often, they are busy helping the petitioners with any kind of problem, thus promoting their power's ideal that even the mightiest should still care about seemingly unimportant individuals. There are even some legends (the latest one no more than hundred years old) that Gaphomor himself came down from the Mountain of Light in the center of Silversun to aid the inhabitants of his realm. It might be just a bard's tale, but it is told that this is the reason why Jamiria is so melancholy. The story tells that Gaphomor appeared to her countless years ago, and helped her to solve a problem she had. During that encounter, Jamiria fell in love with Gaphomor. Although she knows that her love will never be fulfilled (Gaphomor is married to Rajilya, an Elysium power of love and peace), she treasures it and finds a bittersweet joy in serving the ideals of her power.

Special ConditionsSpells that create insanity or otherwise weaken or twist the mind simply don't work here. Even a helpful battle spell that lets the caster fall into a furious rage would have no effect (or, in case of more complex spells, it would have all effects that are not a result of the rage). Even a "Magic Jar" spell would fail (which fits especially well, considering Gaphomor's particular aversion to shadow fiends), while an "Emotion" spell could be used for positive effects only.

Principal Non-player CharactersJamiria is probably the best known being in the whole realm (after the power himself, of course). She practically rules Silversun, advised and supported by the other five throne archons in that city (the other 16 large cities in the realm all have one throne archon as ruler, while the smaller cities and towns are ruled by lesser archons). The well-known petitioner sage Murion Dawneye (Pe/male half-elf/F0/LG) constantly works on new tomes explaining the philosophies of Mount Celestia, and many of those who have traveled the Paths of the plane say that these tomes have given them extremely helpful advice and insight. Murion is known to travel the realm, except just before he publishes a new book (then he gathers writers to help him copy his book). Quite unknown, but still of importance, is the bariaur paladinesse Shudonna Lighthoof (Pl/female bariaur/Pa 22/LG). She serves Gaphomor with extreme devotion, but as she also isa passionate member of the Order of the Planes-Militant, she always hopes for more sword-arms rising in the realm. She is aware, though, that if her wishes came true, it would change this peaceful realm so much that its elegance and unique beauty would be lost. Still, she keeps her eyes open for any inhabitant of the realm who might be a fitting new member for the Order. A visitor who's known only to a few mighty archons is the rogue baatezu Diego (Pl/male baatezu [osyluth]/LN(E)). In a Blood War battle a few decades ago, he was betrayed by his superiors and was nearly killed by a horde of approaching tanar'ri (for whom he had unknowingly been the bait). As the forces of Mount Celestia were also involved in that particular battle, the trumpet archon Lurial noticed Diego and rescued him from the tanar'ri. The confused baatezu first wanted to attack his rescuer, but then, as he saw how well the forces of goodness worked together without even the slightest fear of betrayal from among their own ranks, something in him cracked (or should one say, something in him was healed?). He kept away from the rest of the battle that day, and later asked the archons for permission to follow them. Since that day, he lives in the Kingdom of Grace, slowly learning the ways of Goodness and establishing an ever-deeper friendship with Lurial.

ServicesThe inhabitants of the Kingdom of Grace are even more civilized than most other people on Mount Celestia. A criminal is treated with even more mercy than usual (which does not mean that justice is not fulfilled), and more help than could be hoped for is given to anyone who shows he is in need. A story known to be true tells of a paladin of Tyr who mentioned his quest for a lost holy relic while talking to a baker; the next day, a scholar of Silversun approached him, giving him an old map to the relic's current location. Furthermore, people here tend to do their work really well – the smithies of the Kingdom of Grace rarely outmatch those of the nearby dwarven realms, but the items they create tend to be even more beautiful and ornamented. The bakers may not be among the best of the planes, but they always have a fresh, warm loaf at hand (and often give it away for free), and the songs of the local musicians are as light-hearted and joyful as few others can be.

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