Reikhafen is a kingdom located of the western shores of Arestoneiam. The kingdom is well-known for its immense vampire population and use of humans as slaves.
The lands of Reikhafen were a strange and malicious place long before any of the vampires arrived to seize power. The earliest recorded history of Reikhafen was found in ancient ruins of a civilization that had sunken into the tar swamps that dot the land. On large slabs of rock, images were drawn of men with horns committing foul rituals with bloody human sacrifice, strange creatures dance across the etchings and it is said that on the following day, three of the peasants that uncovered the ancient writing died from unknown causes.
Just over one thousand years ago the first known Vampire in Reikhafen, Vladimir, discovered the preserved corpse of an ancient vampire in one of the ruins deep inside the mountains that run along the country’s border. After attempting to translate a scroll he found inside of the ruins for several months, Vladimir ascertained that he could become immortal if he drank the blood of the strange preserved corpse. After doing so, Vladimir successfully transformed into the first vampire to ever live in Reikhafen in written history. What is known after this is all rumor and no historian from Reikhafen has ever found documentation certifying any of these rumors. Constantin Vladimirescu, as he is now known, was very close to Vladimir, either as his son or apprentice in archeology and magic.
Upon Vladimir’s return to his castle, Constantin was shocked at the wicked transformation that Vladimir had undergone. Once Vladimir explained to him the wonderful power and immortal life that he had gained from drinking the blood of a vampire, Constantin immediately grew ambitious and began to have dreams of grandeur. Vladimir explained to Constantin that he burned the corpse of the vampire whose blood he drank, that way nobody else could gain immortality except for him. Constantin, driven mad by the desire to gain immortality, beheaded Vladimir and drank his blood to gain immortality. Constantin was disappointed to discover that nothing about him changed, although he became painfully ill and died within days of consuming Vladimir’s blood. Constantin was resurrected by the disease hidden in Vladimir’s blood and discovered he was now more powerful than ever, although the sunlight burned him and he had a particular aversion to fire.
Constantin created a scheme to poison the nobles of the land with drops of Vladimir’s blood to turn them all into vampires, whom he would rule over as the head vampire count. Constantin succeeded in his plan and then disappeared for one hundred years to gather powerful artefacts that would aid him in securing his rule of Reikhafen. Upon his return, the land was riddled with infighting and power struggle. With his artefacts and new dragon ally, Gheleist, Constantin united Reikhafen under one banner of vampiric rule. There were several human rebellions after this, but the superior wit and strength of the vampires, combined with magical prowess, put down the human rebellions. After this, every human was branded with a rune that would instantly kill them if the left the lands of Reikhafen, which were now marked by wicked and corrupt borders.
Cities and Towns Edit
The city of Drakken is the capital city of Reikhafen, it is home to the majority of the country’s industry, such as carpentry, stone cutting, gem cutting, furniture making, etc. The city is ruled from Castle Drakken at the very center, atop a huge man made hill, surrounded by moats. High Count Constantin rules from within its blackened stone walls. There are approximately 250,000 human slaves that live here in housing that ranges from hovels to mansions, depending on their class. One thousand vampires live here as well, acting as direct servants to the High Count.
Eschenport is the only location in Reikhafen that is accessible by sea. Man-made sea walls create an artificial chokepoint that limits the number of ships that can enter the port at once. Eschenport is home to a massive drydock facility where military and trade ships are created. It is the second largest trade hub in Reikhafen due to its sea access. There is a fishing industry in Eschenport as well, but the boats are searched before they go out and before they come in and a member of the Eschenport Customs Office has to be present on each fishing journey. Special un-branded slaves man these boats since all of the other slaves would die the moment they got onto the water. The human population of Eschenport is 150,000 and the Vampire population is 600.
Fort Posner is the home of the Knights of the Black Sky. It is here that every one of these knights resides when they are off duty, which is almost never. Kaiser ____________ is the vampire lord who owns the grounds of Fort Posner, he also is the head of the knightly order and personally promotes every knight in the order. Outside of housing the Knights of the Black Sky, Fort Posner also serves as a training grounds for landless knight orders and the Dominated. It stands at the base of one of the very few mountain passes into Reikhafen and would be the first line of defense if any enemies chose to take that path. There are very negligible amounts of human slaves that serve here and only the Knights of the Black Sky live in the castle, though there is room for many more defenders if the need ever arose.
Grimwald is a city of slave merchants. This is the only place in the kingdom where foreigners are permitted, though under close supervision by natives. This is the slave trading hub of the kingdom, where Vampire nobles and landed gentry come to buy slaves from all over the world. The city is walled and the gates are heavily guarded by The Dominated. Everything that goes in and out is inspected to ensure no slaves are escaping. The population of this city is fluid, as slaves temporarily live here until they are sold. It is estimated that there are 100,000 permanent human residents and between 500-650 permanent Vampire residents. Grimwald is ruled from Castle Krifgen, where ________ oversees the ever important slave trade operations.
Bastyl is rumored to be the happiest city in Reikhafen. The slaves tell tales of family members who were sold to Bastyl and write of what a wonderful city it is, they say the best architecture in the land makes its home in Bastyl and that the city is full of master craftsman. The reality of Bastyl is quite similar to the myth. It is in fact the happiest city in Reikhafen for both the Vampires and the Slaves. Slaves are treated very well and allowed a large degree of autonomy, making them very content and subservient. The truth behind this change in culture is not as cheery as it might seem. In the drinking water that Bastyl draws from, there is a naturally occurring chemical compound that helps to create dopamine and stimulate parts of the brain that cause the emotions of joy, happiness, and contentment. This chemical agent is also a known carcinogen that can cause schizophrenia and several other mental disorders to arise in those who consume it. Although the vampires know this, many of them still choose to live their lives in bliss. The ‘manic city’ of Reikhafen houses 450 Vampires and 170,000 slaves.
Wyndrom is a town that has existed since before the Vampires reigned in Reikhafen. The people that live there are a backwards and simple folk that care not for grand politics. They are content to live out their lives in the swamp and the Vampires hardly ever bother them. Because of the ever changing swamp soil, the citizens of Wyndrom live on raised wooden buildings. These are sometimes called 'stilt cities' by outsiders as they rise far above the muck of the swamp on crude braces.
Galstein is a moderate woodcutting village that sits just outside of Galstein forest. Both the village and the forest are named after their ruling count, Freidrich Galstein, he has ruled there since Constantin took power. Because of the intense and year-long darkness the village faces, they are also expert torch makers. Most of the village makes a decent living off of crafting elaborate braziers, lamps, and torch holders for wealthy clients in the Reik. The lumberjacks of Galstein are also known to be decent hunters and warriors, as the Galstein woods are home to all manner of dangerous beasts that love the taste of man flesh.
Khoren Quarry is a tribal village among the border mountains of Reikhafen. They are a warrior people who worship strength and prowess in battle above all else. It is because of this that they willingly follow the Vampire rule. Long ago Constantin and a few of his original knights of the black sky bested the armed mob of Khoren by themselves. The remaining survivors pledged their loyalty to the vampires for all of time and they worship them as Gods. Since then the Khoren have multiplied to be ten times the population that they originally were and they stalk the mountain passes of Reikhafen for wild beast or wandering slave, acting as the first line of defense against invasion as well.