It’s hard not to look at a good chunk of the story on this blog as an inside joke/fan fiction. It will always make the most sense if you have read The Chronicles of Albion (If you haven’t you ought to.) Morgaine, the Demigoddess of Albion, is an awesome story-teller and her world is complex and interesting and just–cool! (Why else would I want to write a story in it?)
When my fourth stab at creating a world for my sims story crashed and burned earlier this spring, Morgaine was kind enough to offer me use of hers. We’ve collaborated on a lot of elements to make Albion what it is. Plus, I think she was just tired of hearing me implode my own creations.
I believe the words “You’re not poking holes, you’re taking a Uzi to it!” were uttered.
That being said, a lot of the best source material can be found on her page. You can see the early years of Albion. Plus there’s a lot of info to be found that I’m not going to bother to repeat if you check out the world building tag.
So that’s where I started. Here’s where I’ve gone.
Boys of Summer is set 500 years in the future from the original story. In 1014 (The current year in Albion over at the Chronicles, at the time of writing this.) River Sulis is still very much a part of the Reman empire, located to the west of Albion under the name of Aquae Sulis. As the power of Reme wanes, Albion’s power is waxing and Albionese settlers make further and further inroads into the territory that the Remans once held easily.
But Reme is not overly happy about losing the ground and border towns, like River Sulis, are often hotly contested sometimes flipping back and forth between countries for decades at a time.
Approximately a hundred years ago, Joshua the first, a scion of the house of Orkney, decided to make his name by conquering the town. He succeeded after a long protracted siege but within a year of his death, approximately seven years later, the town gone back to the Remans. As Joshua’s son, Lot, was sickly, the town stayed with the Remans, but Lot’s son, Piers, helped to win it back for Albion approximately thirty-five years ago.
The town has stayed uneasily in Albionese hands thought conflicts were prone to flare up at the smallest provocation and both the Remans who remain in town and the Albionese have no small suspicion for their neighbors and their loyalties. Still the relatively iron fist of the ruling family, the Caricos (Named thus because the current Lord was born in the Lothianshire city of Carico), may do nothing to prevent skirmishes and uneasy tension, but it does at least keep open war from out of the streets.
One of the other tensions in River Sulis lies in religious belief. All of the citizens are ostensibly Wrightians, but some time ago (I’m not saying when so as not to give out spoilers as to whether this is a future plot point in at the Chronicles or if this is something that happens afterward.) a revolution ripped through the Wrightian church, bringing a lot of changes to the “way things had always been.” However, not all Wrightians embraced these changes and the Remans were some of the most stubborn.
They believe that the current state of the church, especially as practiced in Albion, is little more than politically induced Heresy. So add that to political, social, and economic tensions and you too might start stabbing people.
River Sulis is home to five orders* of the Wrightian Church. The sisters of St. Coral who run the local orphanage. The brothers of St. Pascal who run the local cathedral. The brothers of St. Hugh who run the Academy of St. Hugh, an incredibly prestigious private school as well as the Library. The sisters of St. Betsy who run the local charity hospital. Lastly, the brothers of St. Galahad who run a veterinary hospital.
Some of the orders are more powerful than others and some of the leaders with-in those orders are more effective than others. Currently there is quite a bit of tension between Father Valen, the abbot of the order of St. Hugh and Father Remi, the abbot of the order of St. Pascal. A lot of it is thought based. The Pascallians tend toward believing that thought is wonderful–in the hands of people who are trained to think. Those who haven’t been trained to think are better off leaving their thoughts in the hands of others.** The Hughians, however, think that you can’t stop knowledge or unthink thoughts and you shouldn’t fight against knowledge. That it is better to combat bad things by increasing the number of people who know good things than by sticking blinders on them and pretending that bad things don’t happen.
In a nutshell, that’s where things stand, of course who knows how that will change?
* For those who follow both Boys of Summer and the Chronicles of Albion, only the Orders of Pascal and Coral are in the original canon. The other three orders are based off of sainthoods granted to people who are characters in the Chronicles and as they’re all still alive in 1014, it’d be really hard for them to be saints already.
** I’m not saying that this is how I view the Pascalians in 1014, just what the order has evolved to in 1513.
Things to check out:
If you want to know how it all started, this is a good place to start. At some point I will be updating the maps to reflect the changes made to country and shire borders over the five hundred year gap, but it’ll give you a general idea.
The Calendar of Albion:Morgaine tells it better than I can paraphrase it. The dates, holidays, and season/year cycles will make more sense that way.