Midnight had always been home to an unusual strain of elf, in that they preferred to live in tight cities rather in the woods as the rest of the empire. As a result, it always had the most dense population and the largest cities. Some attributed this to a malevolent influence from the tall spires left behind by some unknown ancient race, most likely winged. These tall towers became the centers of the kingdom’s cities, but the cities sprawled out around them on the ground as well. The elves lived literally above their servants and became even more haughty and arrogant than most of their kind. A brutal civil war nearly destroyed the kingdom, and only one branch of the nobility managed to hold onto power. They were famous wielders of shadow magic and used terrifying creatures to break the rebels. But, unlike their predecessors and previous rulers, they were much more kind in victory, and gave their subjects surprisingly fair treatment.
They attracted brutish, thuglike allies and used them to keep their rivals likely to underestimate their intelligence. This also worked on subjects who came to the masquerades to try and influence court policy, thinking the elves were as simple as their chief allies. When the eladrin arrived, the now-royal family had barely been affected by the plight of their neighboring kingdoms. They had sent some aid from time to time to the Woodland Realm, but their troops were so ill-behaved that most of the others would prefer to have their kingdoms fall than to accept the aid offered. Folant was prepared for a very difficult battle to subjugate realm, and was very surprised when the king instead challenged him to a duel, in private in the crypt of the ancient royal family. No one knows what took place during the duel, but three days later both emerged looking tired but physically intact and Folant has been the king ever since. The terms of the surrender include that the old royals remain nobles and keep all their lands and titles, only the King has lost his throne and his identity. As a result, though he rules, Folant has no palace or holdings and is a guest at his rivals home. But on the other hand, no magic yet has been able to reveal the old king’s name. Everyone knows they used to know it, but now it is erased from reality. Whether this was how Folant won, or a result of the victory, neither man is telling.
Midnight has laws, but they are more like guidelines. In truth, it is a very dangerous kingdom and all citizens go about armed even if only with a knife. Murder is a bad idea because so many have connections and friends, but violence is common in the cities. The elves live above all this in their towers and often go about unarmed just to prove that they can. Bribery is often more effective than truth when dealing with the law. Midnight is a perfect Monarchy with the King theoretically owning all land and the lords holding it for him. Inheritance doesn’t exist and upon the death of a lord there is always a very large tournament to determine who will own the now available province. Technically, the king can assign the land to whomever he pleases, but it is very rare that the winner doesn’t get the land. Still, this happens from time to time so that hte King can establish his continuing dominance over the other lords.
Role in the ritual
Midnight is charged with learning the ways and identity of the enemy. As the Eladrin’s army in the dark and keeper of secrets, they are best suited for this. It is the old strategy of “it takes a thief to catch a thief”. They are also assassins and support the armies of the Woodland Realm and Solarium as needed. Allies and agents of Midnight are found much farther afield than those of any other realm, and they are given the most freedom to complete their tasks. However, dealing with the twilight court when one has failed is a prospect that most would rather not face.
More to come.