Royal Court of Shadows
Ritual sacrifice marks the commencement and completion of the Royal Court of Shadows’ annual Midnight Ball.
Secluded deep in the heart of Umbra, the capital city of Ebonstone has been forged in blood and war. Within its walls, the infamously wicked Royal Court of Shadows rules, hosting elaborate, yet heinous, balls and bacchanals. Few on Lyra can claim to have ever been in attendance, but all have heard whispers of the horrifying entertainment.
The Court first emerged in the years following the War of Shadows. After being bested by a united mainland, and with the Nai eliminated once more, what was left of the Umbran army was forced to sign the New Dawn Accords. Under the treaty Blood Orcs & Elves, Rattaka, Humans and Mordred alike were allowed to return Umbra, their crimes absolved, attributed to the Nai’s hunger for power. For a time after, Umbra was overrun by chaos, violence and darkness. A nation in constant turmoil, as the various remaining Houses competed not just for power, but for survival. But in the end it was the Mordred, a species of the Nai’s own making, that took the seat of power.
The House of Bloodthorn, a notoriously violent Mordred clan that yielded many high ranking officials during the War, seized the throne through cruelty and cunning, forcing all of the great Houses of Umbra to relinquish their claims. After their ascension to power, the Bloodthorns wielded Shadow Magic and Rattaka labor to build the city of Ebonstone, and within it, fashioned a lavish castle from which to rule. A place of dark, sensual luxury, the Royal Court of Shadows was born. Within the Court dwells representatives of all species of Umbra, though only a descendant of the Bloodthorn bloodline may sit upon the Weeping Throne. A brutalist monarchy, all heirs must be eliminated, until one remains to claim the throne. As long as another eligible Bloodthorn survives, the title of Lord or Lady cannot be achieved. Consequently, the Royal Court of Shadows is plagued with the omnipresent veil of betrayal and bloodshed.
While only the Mordred drink blood for survival, in a show of cruel dominance, the Bloodthorns mandated that all members of the Court of Shadows must practice Vampirism, regardless of need. Within the castle walls, the Court maintains banks to hold their Crimson Vintages, bloodwine produced from all Lyran Species. And though only spoken of in whispers, Umbrans are all too familiar with the rumors of private blood baths that the nobles frequent. Ritualistic sacrifice is naturally common in such a society, and is used to mark the commencement and completion of the annual Midnight Ball.