The Great Citadel Of Panselinos before the collapse of Vrykia.
Panselinos, capital of the Prncipality Of Chersea, had once been one of the largest trading hubs of the Vrykian Kingdom, second only to old Aima. Founded on a large cliffside between the Chersan Hills and the Gulf of Platys, the city prospered, becoming rich from trade and self-sufficient thanks to it’s fortified fields, producing food for the population. The magical arts flourished in it’s academies, and the aristocratic family that ruled the city gained ever more power in the rest of the Kingdom. It was probably because of these things, that even a couple of years before the collapse, rumors had been spreading in the Capital that Panselinos, and the principality it ruled over, was making preparations to declare independence from Vrykia. Large forts were being built on the border, while other cities saw their fields expanded and their walls reinforced.
And it was due to those preparations, that Chersea survived the collapse almost unscathed.
During the destruction of Aima, with groups of revolting civilians combating the forces of the turned aristocracy, the entire population of the arch-principality escaped to other regions in the Kingdom, hiding behind the ancient Wall Of Synra, establishing forts in the Valaran Mountains or escaping beyond the Chersean Fortresses. It is probably with this wave of escapees that vampirism found it’s way to Panselinos, through nobles and other aristocrats that had been “infected” during the disorders.
Like what had happened in Aima, the aristocracy was soon completely converted. But the outcome would be very, very different. It would be because the vampiric ruling class possessed most of the magicians of the Capital, in addition to the many ones already living in the higher quarters of the Citadel. The population, unorganized due to the rapidity of the event and the massive amounts of refugees, couldn’t start a proper revolt, and were therefore crushed into submission by the aristocracy.
They were stripped of their rights, and made into slaves and serfs, expanding and fortifying the city and cultivating the in-wall fields to feed the rest of the human population, exploited and harvested like cattle in a farm.
Meanwhile, the overlords found a way to rule absolute even during the day. The scholars of the academies of dark arts, now brimming with more power than ever before, created a great ritualistic spell, that could shield the city from the horrific blaze of the Sun. Every month, during the night of a full moon, eight humans would be brought in the central room of the Temple of the Blood Moon, besides the royal palace.
Thanks to this powerful ritual, an eternal night remained over Panselinos, the blood red moon high above the horizon, blanketing everything in feeble crimson light.
Outside the citadel of the ruling class, nobody really knew what happened to those selected for the ritual, but what was certain is that they would never see them again. Families lived in terror, in terror of either being selected or having their loved ones taken away.
Things also weren’t much better for those living outside Panselinos. From the highlands of the peninsula to the plains above the Dasan Forests, all cities under Chernea had to give a large portion of their products to the Grand Citadel, and were all ruled by their minor vampiric lord, thick dark clouds blocking out the sunlight except for the one that hit the fields. The citizens worked relentlessly, and when they weren’t used as a food source, they were used to erect new buildings and pave new roads to make ruling for the aristocracy easier and faster.
In the principality’s south, three grand fortresses patrolled the border and pushed back the few human movements that managed to surpass the fields of the Wrath of Von Lockstein. Each fortress was built near or above a body of water, and had it’s own walled fields, making a siege difficult even for the largest of armies. And even if an army managed to cross the border, they would still have to cross the large and thick underside of the Dasan Forests, where soldiers would be lost between the mist or be slaughtered by vampiric minions.
Rich, powerful and distant from conflict, Chersea and Panselinos grew their power, while the Valarian human factions fought what remained of the vampiric arch-principality of Vrykia, to which Chersea rarely offered any sort of aid, if not to keep the conflict away from it’s doors.