- "For every slight there is a price
Ours will be long and paid twice.''"
The Kingdom of Callow is a polity east of the Whitecaps. It is bordered by the Dread Empire of Praes, the Principate of Procer, Mercantis and the Golden Bloom, as well as the Waning Woods. It is currently ruled by the Black Queen, Catherine Foundling, and its capital city is Laure.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Ethnicities
- 4 Government
- 5 Namelore
- 6 Famous Callowans
- 7 References
It has been stated that, unlike Praes, Callow was never occupied by the Miezans. The closest they came to Callowan land was the Blessed Isle, where they built an island-fortress. Before being unified as a single country, it was made up of several smaller kingdoms including the Kingdom of Daoine to the north and the Kingdom of Liesse to the south, which both became duchies later on.
The Kingdom of Callow was born during the rise of House Alban, which united the many petty kingdoms into a single whole. The first Albans were seneschals of Laure and the city later became the center of their power and the capital of their Kingdom. The kings of Liesse were forcefully brought into the fold although their integration was not without issues. Twice they rebelled for independence under the Alban dynasty. Notably, the Alban dynasty failed to annex or vassalize the Kingdom of Daoine under their rule.
As the reigning line, they had significant influence on Callow's development. They introduced the Alban Calendar, the Alban Cathedral serves as Callow's center of faith and they've had significant impact on the military. The Gallowborne used by Catherine Foundling were based on the Forlorn Hope - an order of traitors, criminals and deserters - forced into the most difficult battles. Similarly, a steel avenue is a military tradition in which the reigning monarch passes underneath bared steel of the knightly orders, dating back to the Alban dynasty.
Their reign ended when Dread Empress Triumphant invaded Callow during her conquest of Calernia. By unleashing a demon of madness on the city of Laure, she killed nine out of ten inhabitants and completely eradicated the Alban royal line. She ruled Callow for fifteen years altogether - it was the first instance in which the Dread Empire managed to conquer said Kingdom.
The Fairfax dynasty was founded by Eleanor Fairfax, the Rebel Knight, who led the rebellion against Dread Empress Triumphant in the First Crusade. Eleanor was touched by Contrition and when she made her stand, all of Calernia gathered behind her. After her victory she became a queen due to popular acclaim and her martial prowess - after all, there was no royal blood left.
As a monarch, she managed to reestablish her Kingdom's independence and annex the Kingdom of Daoine under Callow. Partially, this was the result of the growing fears of Praesi resurgence and the diminished strength of Daoine, and partially due to the relationship between the two rulers, rumored to be sexual in nature. The duchy is still under Callow’s rule today though it effectively acts as a vassal state.
The heraldry of House Fairfax are the Twin Bells of Laure, set on a blue field. It's possible this is also based on bell lillies since Eleanor was said to wear a crown made out of them as a sign of victory. Not much is known about her immediate successors, although we can speculate their rule was mostly focused on rebuilding much of the country. Her grandson was involved in extending the Royal Palace in Laure by building the Songbird’s Cage - an annex to house his mistress which turned into a prison for royalty and other nobles.
Looked on as a whole, the Fairfax dynasty primarily focused on consolidating the power of the monarchy and uniting the disparate noble families under their banner. The dukes of Liesse, who tended to rebel under house Alban, calmed down significantly under the later Fairfax monarchs. Fairfaxes have spent centuries locking away the trading guilds from direct political power. The monarchs have also limited the knightly orders to a thousand full-fledged knights in order to avoid any organized resistance against their rule and make them easier to manage. They’ve established the precedent where the crown prince or princess - usually Named - would hold the command during wars. Some Fairfaxes have encouraged scholarship in their kingdom, although this didn't seem like a priority.
In reality, the bloodline of House Fairfax was destroyed when Yolanda the Wicked killed the rest of the ruling line to ensure her children could succeed her, even though they had no right to rule. Yolanda was married to a Fairfax but he died before he could get her with a child. Despite having no relation to Eleanor, the name was kept to give additional legitimacy to her descendants.
House Fairfax was officially eliminated in its entirety during the Conquest, around twenty years prior to current events.
Wars with Praes
It was noted by Cordelia Hasenbach that the Empire made "seventy-odd" attempts to invade the Kingdom of Callow, only two of which were successful. Flying fortresses were involved several times, and one of them fell on Laure: Catherine's narration notes that the royal palace is built out of stones scavenged from a flying fortress' ruins.
Twenty years before the beginning of the first book, the Black Knight Amadeus undertook an invasion of Callow at the behest of Dread Empress Malicia I. The most famous battle was the Fields of Streges, which resulted in an overwhelming Imperial victory. The ruling king, his heir and the Wizard of the West were among the casualties. Other mentioned battles include the Siege of Summerholm, the Siege of Laure and the taking of the Wall by Marshal Grem One-Eye. The war ended in an Imperial victory and the occupation of Callow by Praes.
Catherine Foundling rules Callow, having broken free of vassalage to the Dread Empire of Praes. The Government was mostly led by Governor-General Anne Kendall, the former baroness of Dormer, until her death in the Night of Knives. The current heiress-designate of Callow is Vivienne Dartwick.
The Kingdom of Callow can be roughly divided into four separate entities: the Duchy of Daoine plus the Central, Northern and Southern Callow. These divisions stem from the historical, political and geographical pressures which culminated over the years into fairly significant cultural differences. By and large though, the nation can be treated as a single entity with the notable exception being the duchy, which acted as an autonomous vassal state, both during Callowan independence and the Praesi occupation.
Southern Callow (former Kingdom of Liesse)
Composed out of four main cities, this region saw little war during the Conquest and historically turns to the city of Liesse for direction. It’s rather wealthy due to the trade with Mercantis, spearheaded by Dormer, and it generally avoids conflict. Main cities are:
- Formerly ruled the House of Caen, Liesse was known as the City of Swans. During the Uncivil Wars, during Akua's Folly, the entire population of Liesse was exterminated using Still Water, after which the city was made into a flying fortress. Its ruins were eventually transferred to a piece of Arcadia which would later become the Twilight Ways.
- Formerly ruled by the House of Kendall.
Part of the Kingdom of Laure before it became the capital of Callow, this area often bears the brunt of Praesi invasions. The cities here are of key strategic importance and as a result, they are well protected with large walls, guards which often train in the use of spears, and siege engines. They include:
- The capital city of Callow. Formerly ruled by the Albans and the Fairfaxes. Currently ruled by Catherine Foundling.
- Known as the The Gates of the East, because it borders Praes.
- Formerly ruled by the House of Talbot.
- Blessed Isle
- Ruled by Baron Henry Darlington.
- Ruled by Baroness Ainsley Morley.
- Ruled by Duchess Kegan Iarsmai.
- The Wall
Notable Geographical Features
- The Whitecaps, the mountain range on the western border of Callow that acts as a geographical border between the kingdom and the Principate of Procer.
- The Red Flower Vales. A set of two passes that go through the Whitecaps, to the west of Ankou.
- The Silver Lake, located between Daoine and Central Callow. The centre of commerce for that region.
- The Hengest Lake, located between Liesse and the Waning Woods. The ealamal of a Hashmallim tricked into perdition by Dread Emperor Traitorous lies in this lake.
- Hwaerte River, which separates Central Callow from the Fields of Streges.
- Wasaliti River, which separates the Fields of Streges from Praes. Often used for trade between the Kingdom and Mercantis as well as other free cities.
- The Greywood, north of the Fields of Streges.
- Fear Ba Lake, leads into the Wall in the Duchy of Daoine.
There are two mentioned ethnicities in Callow so far: ethnic Callowans and the Deoraithe. Callowans are said to be "fair-skinned and often blue or brown-eyed". Blond hair seems to be associated with southern Callowans, referred to as "Liessen". The Deoraithe are dark-skinned and live almost exclusively in the Duchy of Daoine. They are noted to be isolationists and seem to have often been raided by orcs in the past. While they pay tribute to the Empire it has been noted there are no Imperial Governors in Daoine, implying a certain level of political independence.
Callow was formerly ruled by a royal family. The ruler himself was often Named. There seemed to have been several tiers of Callowan nobility. Mentioned titles including duke, count and baron.
- Good King and Good Queen
- Rebel Knight
- Wizard of the West
- Shining Prince and Shining Princess
- Lance of Light
- Lone Swordsman
- Bumbling Conjurer (potentially - need to check if he was from Callow)
- Commander (Deoraithe exclusive)
- Catherine Foundling, the current reigning monarch.
- Vivienne Dartwick, the Thief.
- Anne Kendall, the Governess-General. Leader of the Queen's Men.
- Brandon Talbot, the head of the Order of Broken Bells. Leader of the Regals.
- Abigail of Summerholm.
- Good King Edward Fairfax (number unknown). Killed by an ogre during the Fields of Streges. (Maybe mixed up with King Robert below, or a son?)
- Good King Robert Fairfax, referred to as "the Fairfax who’d died on the Fields of Streges failing to turn back the Conquest" (italics added) and also as the ruler in Brandon Talbot's youth and during the earlier battle against Dread Emperor Nefarious – meaning he did not inherit the throne on the battlefield.
- The Shining Prince died on the Field of Streges after being "mobbed by a company of goblins until one drew a red smile across his throat" "when he’d ascended to the throne of Callow halfway through the [battle]". Said to have been the son of King Robert, and engaged to marry Brandon Talbot's aunt Elizabeth.
- Theodore Langman, the Wizard of the West.
- Eleanor Fairfax, the founder of the Fairfax Dynasty.
- Jehan Fairfax, the Wise. Hung seven princes and one from the Principate.
- Selwyn Fairfax. King of Callow during the Third Crusade.
- Henry Fairfax, the Landless. He was the royal heir during the Sixty Years War.
- Juliana Fairfax. Cousin to Henry the Landless, took her life to prevent becoming a Proceran puppet.
- Alistair Fairfax, the Fox.
- Charles Fairfax, the Rightfully Wary.
- Albert Fairfax, the Thrice-Invaded.
- Edward Fairfax V.
- Yolanda Fairfax, the Wicked (known as the Stern during her time). Born in Procer, married into the bloodline; murdered the rightful heirs so that her children might inherit. Several of the above may or may not be her descendants.
- Edward Fairfax VII. Descendant of Yolanda.
- Mary Fairfax, the Songbird. Daughter of Edward VII.
- Queen Moiren Fairfax. Grandmother of the above-mentioned King Robert; fought off a Praesi invasion at least a hundred years before current events.
- Elizabeth Alban, the Queen of Blades. A great conqueror, assassinated by the Watch.
- Edward Alban. Annexed the Kingdom of Liesse under Callow.
- King Edmund of Callow, the Inkhand.
- Queen Matilda the Elder of Callow.