The Kingdom of Robinsroost
Once the most powerful region in all of Desara, the Stone Elf kingdom of Robinsroost has receded significantly in the last 250 years with the rise of its most recent ruler, Queen Avocet, who has elected to focus efforts on bettering the city proper rather than maintain strict military rule over the colonies and territories once held. While Robinsroost maintains some of its colonies, the largest have seceded and formed their own nations.
Their history of centuries as a very militarized country means that a large population of citizens have a background in Her Majesty’s forces, whether as soldiers or ambassadors. Even Robinsroosters too young to remember a time before Avocet’s reign will have immediate family who served at the call of Queen Myna and the various monarchs before her.
People of Robinsroost (sometimes referred to as “Roosters”) have a general sense of curiosity, seeking out new information and cultures to better their own, and will adapt their personal selves to things they see fit. Traditions, languages, and even idiosyncrasies of individual people will all be mimicked by a Rooster who is curious about them. This can be seen as mocking by people unfamiliar to the culture, but it truly is an attempt at empathy from a society largely without emotion. (Non-stone elf Roosters will also follow this behavior, but the practice stems from the first citizens.)
While the population is largely stone elves, it’s not unusual to find other noble races within the walls, including other types of elves, biata, hoblings, humans and even the occasional wylderkin. Other races can be found there as well, but are less common.
Robinsroost is a monarchy ruled by a royal family. Rule is hereditary and passed to the eldest child regardless of gender. Members of the royal family are named after birds, a tradition started by the first monarch (and founder), King Robin. Non-royal blooded citizens may also choose to follow this tradition. Surnames are patrilineal, composed of the name of one’s father followed by son or daughter (or the occasional “child,” used by both those who find the gender binary illogical and/or irrelevant as well as siblings who wish to have a single unifying name. The current four royal siblings use the surname Yanchild.)
Many baronies, duchies, and colonies have rid themselves of Rooster rule in the last 250 years, and their respective barons, dukes, and governors have lost their title in turn. While stone elves do not afford themselves anger or outrage, campaigns arguing the logic of letting one’s kingdom slip away have erupted.
The distinction between noble and peasant classes is generally one more of societal roles than wealth. Though noble families may have more income than lower classes, poverty has been all but abolished under Avocet’s rule. Arts, education, and local agriculture have also thrived.
Allies and Enemies
At one point, the monarchs of Robinsroost ruled over much of Desara, and some longer lived races may remember these times and be a little bitter. Selucia, Jardium, and some Nefarian islands were once all simply colonies of the crown. While Queen Myna and her predecessors were fairly benevolent, the various nobles ruling these lands were not always as such.
While Selucian leaders remain largely neutral to their former colonizers, Nefaria bought their liberation in blood, and Jardians are quick to recall the Celestial Wars that so thinned their numbers. Roosters see the animosity as unnecessary and inefficient. After all, that’s in the past, and continuing to hold on to hate does nothing.
Robinsroost has lost most of its colonies, and with it, most of their natural resources. Now as the kingdom focuses on bettering itself, trade schools for both magical and mundane professions flourish. Nobles across Desara are eager to hire advisors from Robinsroost. Bricklayers, city planners, professors, doctors, and tailors are some of the more common professions. Farmers can be found just outside the city walls, where land is far less crowded for livestock and fields.
Holidays are a time of celebration even for the stoic stone elves, though their “celebration” may look quite dull to an outsider. They generally involve a break from work, time to meditate, and a special dinner.
Individual’s birthdays are celebrated with practical gifts, like clothes or books. Children typically receive toys that teach them applicable skills. Birthdays of the monarch and their immediate family are observed only while they are alive. Roosters may also celebrate holidays they find interesting from other cultures.
January 1st: NEW YEAR
The first of the year is a time to spend in meditation, reflecting on goals for the upcoming year and progress in the previous.
March 19-21st: (date varies) VERNAL EQUINOX
It’s believed that on equinoxes, when the dark and light are equal, spirits no longer in the plane of the living may visit those they knew in life. Families will set out an extra plate at one of their meals on this day. If a spirit does not come by to consume it, they take it to someone in need, such as an elderly or sick neighbor. A spirit can show in many forms, and anything from a stray cat to a peculiar branch on the doorstep can be taken as confirmation that loved ones have visited.
June 4th: PRINCE SPARROW’S BIRTHDAY
The third child of Queen Myna Swiftdaughter and Baron Yan Kirenson, Sparrow never had a head for politics, and instead, manages charters and is a remarkable diplomat. It’s said that he occasionally disguises himself as a farmer to meet with the peasantry and understand them better. The possibility of Prince Sparrow visiting is occasionally utilized by parents wanting their children to behave or perform their chores. Farmers are given small gifts by the crown to honor the youngest prince.
July 28th: PRINCE GENERAL WREN’S BIRTHDAY
The second child of Myna and Yan, Wren has been appointed by his sister to oversee the decreasing military. Stoic even by stone elf standards, Wren expects perfection from his soldiers. His dedication to upholding the legacy of Robinsroost means the soldiers trained are the best in the shard, although he occasionally clashes with Avocet as more and more colonies are permitted to slip away. A military parade marks this day, a reminder to the citizens of the well-trained warriors lying in wait.
September 22-23rd (date varies) AUTUMNAL EQUINOX
Celebrated like the Vernal Equinox, untouched plates may become platters or baskets as the fall harvest causes an excess in many homes.
August 24th: PRINCESS DOVE’S BIRTHDAY
The youngest Yanchild, Dove is a patron of the arts, and was very close to Her Majesty. She advised the queen on matters, and Dove’s input could be largely credited for the flourishing arts districts. However, she has not been seen in the public eye in three years, and rumors circulate that the pressure of advising her sister got to Dove and she left Robinsroost in secret to teach at a Selucian university. In years past, her birthday was celebrated with playwrights, musicians, and artists presenting their works. Now, it has become a day of mystery, as many wonder where the princess has gone.
October 26th: QUEEN AVOCET’S BIRTHDAY
Ascending to the throne over 250 years ago, Avocet has vastly improved life for the citizens of Robinsroost. Each year on her birthday, a representative is picked from each village to come and speak with her. Though these meetings are brief, Avocet firmly believes that connecting with the people will build a better community.
Riddles and puzzles
Common Sayings and Dialects
The diversity of Robinsroost means that there are dozens of accents floating around the kingdom, and with them, their cultural sayings. These are the ones specific to the native Roosters. Some of these stem from recent events, such as “pulling a Dove,” which means to disappear, or go into hiding, and calling something a “Sparrow-tale,” which is to call something a hopeful rumor.
“The songbirds” - the royal family
“Robin’s ashes!” - an expletive (used mainly by non-stone elf Roosters)
“Knowledge is truly the only constant thing.”
“Deeds always return to your doorstep.”
“Seek after and be sought for.”
Robinsroost fashion draws largely from Stone Elf sensibilities: that is to say, practical and elegant garments in muted colors. Long hair is braided or pinned away from the face and is common in all genders, though shorter hair is common among military or military hopeful Roosters. Armor is common, and usually chosen to maintain mobility, that is to say, piecemeal and chainmail is more common than solid plate. Jewelry is understated and usually functional, such as a hairpiece, broach, or belt.