Between the coastal Fourshire settlement and Dracula’s expansive territory near the north-western mountainous border, there lies a vast neutral territory which has been claimed by neither. Dracula’s advance is slow and calculated as he takes his time to subjugate Moonveil’s myriad of clans. Fourshire, on the other hand, remains at a nigh-standstill due to a mix of uneasiness and difficult conditions for workers. Shipping in materials to expand upon the settlement is a time consuming and arduous process and there’s no guarantee that those supplies won’t be torn down by monsters. After being attacked by the likes of a Djinn, the people of Fourshire have been persistently on edge.
A majority of magic society settlements in the neutral territory not owned by either Dracula or Fourshire’s monarchy would smartly hide themselves amidst the trees of the wilds. With two large factions threatening to take away their ways of life, they would prefer to be in places not so easily found. Lumine Haven is the outlier in that sense, having been built in the middle of a vast, wide-open clearing. There is no shield around it, anyone who wants to enter the village could do so without resistance. It is close to equidistant between the borders of Fourshire and Dracula’s territory, meaning it’s in both the safest and most dangerous position. Either of the two great factions would have to make a great stride towards the other to enter Lumine, though if this fact does not deter them then the village could easily be crushed by both.
The core idea that makes Lumine what it is would certainly be the mentality of acceptance practiced by its residents. Lumine Haven is intended to be the place where those who are mundane and those who are magical gather in harmony to make something new, something better than what they could create individually. Anyone can come to the village and share and practice their own cultures, just so long as they don’t harm the other villagers. If a conflict of ideals arises then those involved are encouraged to make something unique from it, an innovated ideal born from the two prior. The elder villagers are more than happy to moderate such debates to keep things within reason, the truth of the matter is that not all ideals are equal and these invigilators make sure that no one is being forced to accept the likes of Fourshire’s anti-magic propaganda.
The concept of giving and sharing is also key to Lumine’s culture. This initially only regarded the sharing of knowledge and ideas, beginning with humans sharing their industrial knowledge and magic folk conferring their familiarity with magic. However, in the short time since Lumine’s founding, this generosity has expanded to physical objects as well. The giving and receiving of gifts is an everyday occurrence and offerings are regularly made to figures such as the spirit of the river which flows through the lands of Moonveil. Although, that isn’t to say that teaching and learning isn’t still key to the culture. Everyone in Lumine is given the equal chance to learn magic and the vocations practiced by humans.
Oddly enough, a roundabout economy of trade has been born from this selfless giving. Lumine has yet to adopt any type of system of currency and is currently still small enough to thrive without one. The passion to give and share that its residents have is enough to keep everyone fed and fulfilled. Though, in Lumine, acts of kindness don’t tend to go unrewarded. A vast majority of the villagers have some type of craft or passion that they’ll invoke to give something to the local vendors in return for their services. Furthermore, even without any official currency, you’d be hard pressed to find a Moonveil local who doesn’t know how to live off of the land regardless.
Since a lot of the architectural knowledge in Lumine came from those hailing from Fourshire, one might assume that the buildings are similar in structural design. However, what one must keep in mind is that the people of Lumine don’t have the same resources available to them. The Fourshire settlers import a majority of the materials they use and their coastal positioning gives them plenty of access to mortar. By comparison, the locals of Lumine pretty much only have the dirt and trees immediately available to them. They’re more than capable of making bricks and mining metals but the effort required for the latter isn’t viable given the village’s currently low number of residents. Monsters are still a threat and there’s something creepy about Moonveil’s underground caves.
Due to the above factors, a majority of Lumine’s architecture comes down to being simple, wooden structures. The distinctions between them simply come down to how they’re carved and the symbols etched into them. A couple of brick and stone buildings can be found in the village, the blacksmith’s place being the standout example, though they are still few. That isn’t to say there won’t be more, though, the village is still young and has plenty of room to grow. The people are happy so long as there are roofs above their heads. In fact, some of them don’t even need that. Given time, Lumine is certain to physically become the beacon that it spiritually already is.
In his younger days, long before Lumine Haven was so much as an idea, Kaepora was an explorer out in the wide world beyond Moonveil. Explorers had become increasingly common over the years as the age of calamity became little more than memory and written history. It became a curious subject among the young who were lucky enough to be born in the age after, many of whom wanted to know more. Much of the knowledge regarding the calamity was either covered up or erased by the Templars, all people were allowed to know was that it happened and it was a tragedy caused by magic.
What could not be covered up were the scars left upon the world from that age. Places where reality itself twisted and made unnerving, unnatural landmarks that will likely stand until eternity comes. Such abnormal sights only spur adrenaline and excitement among the youthful explorers as they were driven to uncover more. As one of these explorers, when Kaepora found out about a place in the world where magic still thrived, he wasted not a moment. He took the next ship to the new settlement known as ‘Fourshire’, though his life there wasn’t what he had expected. A barrier had been erected around the settlement and, though it was meant to prevent monsters from getting in, to Kaepora it was a restraint on his wanderlust.
For a time, Kaepora was drawn into the lie that the lands outside of the barrier were unsafe and that he would be safer inside. At the time, he had no experience in combat and would have certainly been killed if he were caught off guard by a monster. He was conditioned to believe that the only peace he’d find would be inside of Fourshire’s established territory and he was pulled into the buildings efforts. Yet, it was not in Kaepora’s nature to be stuck in one place for too long. He often skipped work just to wander the streets for no other reason than to be moving around, he just couldn’t stay still without cultivating a feeling of discomfort. He got himself a sword and taught himself the basics of how to use it and, once the stagnation became too much to bear, he went outside the barrier.
Given the supplies that he took, Kaepora only expected to be gone from the settlement for two or three days at most. That was, if it didn’t get chased back by some horrendous beast. The breaking point for him was an encounter with one of Fourshire’s hunting groups, people who he had thought justified at the time. From the perspective of the Fourshire locals, these hunters were the ones putting their lives on the line to push back against the evil that curses Moonveil’s soil. Kaepora saw no such heroism that day, instead what he saw were a gang of immoral savages prepared to slay a creature that bore a look of pure terror on its face. An expression that Kaepora could only see as human.
Though he knew that his swordplay most likely wouldn’t be enough to defeat several hunters, Kaepora defended that humanoid creature. The hunters called him a madman, a heretic; and then they ran. In a display of utter cowardice, they dared not face a foe who could feasibly defend themselves. As Kaepora turned to see the tearful and thankful expression on the humanoid’s face, he realized he had been fed lies. The one he saved was a female Orc named Sheba, who subsequently went on to introduce Kaepora to her clan. An entire tribe of Orcs, all of them intelligent and even adept in magic, a far cry from the brutish image sold to Kaepora by Fourshire.
He stayed with the Orcs for a short time but, now knowing that there were countless magical cultures like this spread across the land, Kaepora found himself unable to sit still once again. With Sheba at his side to act as a mediator, he set out to meet with countless other creature communities. Along the way, he befriended a greater nature spirit named Amaterasu who took the physical form of a white wolf. After that came the find that would define the rest of his life. In the middle of an expansive grassland of perfect green, he came upon a giant feather which radiated with all the colors of the spectrum. Sheba told him that this was the feather of a legendary creature named the Caladrius, a tremendous avian who could guarantee a life of good health upon any it looks upon.
Kaepora decided, in that moment, in that field, that he would make a place where both humans and beings of magic could come together and be safe. After living a life of whims, this would be his final and most definitive. With the aid of the creature friends he had made on his journey, he began construction of what would become Lumine Haven. There was little reaction from Fourshire at first but, once word reached the settlers, more open-minded humans than Kaepora ever would have imagined turned up. With full belief in his vision, Kaepora could finally settle, for adventure will come to him so long as he remains the elder of Lumine Haven.
After Kaepora and Sheba founded the Haven, the Orc became the village’s primary tutor of magic. She was the most proficient at it among her clan and bears a disposition that makes her an effective teacher. She attempted to confer her knowledge unto Kaepora but it turned out that he had no talent in casting magic whatsoever. While it is possible, it’s very difficult for regular humans to wield magic and some are just born completely incapable of it. Tomes are the most common solution used to get around this since the magic is stored within the tomes themselves and need only be drawn out by the person holding them. This still isn’t necessarily easy but the existence of tomes does make Sheba’s lessons more accessible to those who want to learn. While she’s naturally attuned to wind-based magic, she’s an expert in all fields of spellcraft.
A greater nature spirit born from the feelings of Moonveil’s residents that gathered in its lands. Compared to most greater nature spirits, Amaterasu’s bound area is extremely wide, covering a vast amount of the neutral territory between Fourshire and Castlevania. Before Kaepora came along, she spent her time gathering up lesser nature spirits and keeping them out of trouble. Though lesser nature spirits tend to be pranksters by nature, Amaterasu emits something of a calming aura to them. Nature flourishes around her wherever she goes, a fact which quickened the construction of Lumine by no small amount as resources were more rapidly available. Amaterasu and the other lesser nature spirits who follow her now act as protectors for the Lumine Haven.
Clay & Winifred Milton
Another human who came from Fourshire, Clay was born into a family who had more than their fair share of suffering thanks to the conditions of the settlement. Between shipments of building materials, many workers are sent to work on a mining effort in an attempt to expedite the process of expansion. The mortality rate is high within these mines as the rushed workers, tired from the construction efforts, just aren’t given proper time to rest. Clay’s father was one of the casualties of this practice and his grieving mother died not long after. This left him, the eldest sibling of the family, to take over their mother’s cow den.
Even at a young age, Clay could tell that the business wouldn’t be sustainable for very long. The settlement’s taxes were crippling and space was cramped, there were no wide-open places for the cows to roam. The livestock just couldn’t survive in those types of conditions, much less make enough produce to sustain the den’s livelihood. The situation only became worse as Clay’s siblings, bearing no motivation to carry on the family business, left to live their own lives. Clay couldn’t blame them but it would be impossible for him to do the work he needed to on his own. That’s when word of a Haven reached his ears, a place where humans and monsters lived together for mutual benefit.
Though the rumors were passed around the settlement in jest, Clay saw it as an opportunity. He needed to take a risk if he wanted his livelihood to thrive, so he rounded up the cattle and set out into the wilderness. No warning could stop him, in his mind anything was better than just waiting and going the way of his father. The Haven ended up welcoming him with open arms and provided more than enough space for the cows to graze. Since then, his farm has become the primary producer of dairy products throughout all of Moonveil.
Currently, Clay himself spends a lot of his time helping the local blacksmith to gather resources from the underground caves. He wants to make sure that any adventurers that come along are well enough equipped to carry out their journeys as freely as they want. Meanwhile, the farm is left in the care of his niece, Winifred, who had escaped an arranged marriage back in Fourshire. Such things have been becoming progressively more common to tie people to Fourshire, its governing body aware of its own lacking conditions. These types of tactics are meant to serve as an answer to the threat Lumine poses to them, though in this case it was rather ineffective. Winifred found her calling in her uncle’s farm and has become an expert in advertisement, becoming a local celebrity in the process.
Hallond & Samantha Ballister
Hallond, more commonly referred to as ‘Hal’, is the Haven’s iconic alchemist and blacksmith. His name has become widely known throughout the tribes of Moonveil due to his proficiency in alchemy, a craft which is extremely experimental and rare. It originated from one of the sages after they left the Djinn to their devices as a means of attempting to restore the world to how it was. That sage believed that if they could control the transmutation of matter then they could unravel the remnant twists in reality left from the calamity. Sadly, the subsequent crusades would prevent the sage from fully exploring the potential of this craft.
What mattered is that the concept was out there and, as with all things magic, that knowledge managed to make its way to Moonveil. After having been passed between many mouths and ears, the idea of alchemy became a feared thing. The lack of innovations regarding it can be sourced to rumors that it ran the risk of taking parts of whoever tried to practice it. If one attempted to transmute an object into something of greater value then the magic would use the caster’s body to make up the difference. Of course, such rumors were never proven and in practice end up being exposed as baseless.
When the Haven faced its problem of having very limited types of building material, Sheba theorized that alchemy may offer some type of solution. She gathered whatever knowledge she could about it and got the basics of it down but wasn’t able to do anything significant enough to overcome the problem at hand. Hal, only a child at the time, was brought to the Haven at some point during this experimentative phase. His parents had been executed before his eyes for defending the Haven in public, an untold yet grave crime within Fourshire’s barrier. This happened only hours before Kaepora returned to Fourshire for the last time to try and bring some of his old friends, Hal’s parents among them, to the Haven. He arrived just in time to save one traumatized child.
Kaepora took it upon himself to be Hal’s adoptive parent, blaming himself for not bringing the boy’s family to the Haven sooner. Regrettably, though, he could not possibly direct Lumine’s construction while also giving Hal the time and focus he needed. That’s when Sheba stepped in, taking on Hal as a young apprentice in her alchemical endeavors. As it turned out, Hal actually had a knack for it, when it came to solid objects at least. He was rather disastrous at liquid alchemy, though the failures often made for good laughs. Regardless of if his experiments succeeded or failed, alchemy helped Hal to smile again.
Hal went on to meet Samantha in his later adolescent years thanks to some forced help from Kaepora. The two hit it off after being paired for a blind date and, years down the road, ended up getting married and had two children. Samantha spends her time acting a lookout for the Haven, tasked with making sure that no monsters, Fourshire soldiers or Templars come with ill-intent. Even while off-duty, she busies herself by helping Hal around the store, playing with the kids or going into the underground to get her husband more materials. She’s a complete workaholic and has to be constantly busying herself, most of the villagers believe that the only two days she’s ever taken off were the ones where she gave birth. The armor she wears while on-duty was forged by Hal and is made of the same material as her wedding ring.
A Golem who works in the service of the Ballisters, Tec is a relatively recent addition to the Haven. He was found inactive somewhere between the village and Dracula’s territory before being brought back to Hal, who got to work trying to fix the damaged and ruptured figure. Hal believed that he had been brought a simple well-crafted sculpture made of an unknown, dense, stone-like material. The blacksmith never imagined that the statue would come to life upon the restoration of the runic figures on its form. The Golem thanked Hal for restoring him and swore to serve the blacksmith, though Hal had not the want or need for servants. Tec instead became more like an adopted family member, just one who’s really good at moving heavy objects.
Though Tec appears to display a sentience on par with other intelligent life, his mind is clearly immature. Upon being first reawakened, Tec sought constant guidance from Hal as he had no idea how to make decisions on his own. He has since become relatively more independent, doing things like playing with the children of the village of his own volition. He has no idea who made him or why he was where he was found, in fact he has no memory of the time before Hal reactivated him. From Tec’s perspective, his life began with the Ballister family and he’ll stay with them for as long as he can. Until his markings wear down and he becomes inactive once again.
Bianca is one of the exclusive few who is attuned to dream spirits and works together with them in her clinic. She refers to the dream spirits as ‘Baku’ and uses their dream manipulating abilities to provide insight into the dreams of troubled patients. This is a part of her ‘sleep therapy’ in which she relaxes the mind and calms stressful and anxious thoughts. It’s all gathered up in the form of a ‘nightmare’ and extracted, allowing her patients to feel like a weight has been lifted from them. The Baku are also allowed to feed on portions of the patients’ dreams, which invariably leaves them feeling a little groggy.
Bianca was born into a middle-class family in Fourshire, privileged enough to not be pulled into the harsh construction effort. She managed to live a childhood without any traumatic tragedies befalling her, she got a proper education and she was well-liked in her local area. What was odd about Bianca was that she never dreamed, though she wished to have the experience even once. The nightmares that the other kids had, scary as they sounded, didn’t deter her interest at all. Unbeknownst to Bianca, it was her dormant hypnokinetic abilities which make dreaming impossible for her.
Her fated curiosity in dreams allowed her to begin drawing out these powers. She found herself able to subconsciously make people drowsy, regardless of how restless they were. This was passed off by the local community as a calming effect of her pleasant disposition but her parents figured out the truth. Their daughter’s new abilities worried her and they urged that she suppress her abilities lest she draw the attention of the templars. Despite these warnings, Bianca’s fascination with dreams and sleep patterns only increased. Moreover, the rumors of Lumine Haven also caught her fancy.
At the age of thirteen, she made up her mind to visit the forest and possibly further her understanding of her own magic. Her father spoke out against this, unwilling to let his naive daughter face the treacherous territory outside the barrier. The two argued several times with Bianca always backing down until she mustered enough confidence to defy her parents. In one last confrontation she stood her ground and tearfully left her home in Fourshire behind. The villagers of the Haven took her in without question and gave her a roof to live under until she had her bearings. Her cheerful outlook and calming aura was as appreciated here as it was back home, in fact she even managed to make a business out of it.
It was Sheba who taught her how to properly handle her magic. The training wasn’t exactly standard given the unique nature of her hypnokinesis yet she still swiftly found herself becoming the go-to person for sleep-related issues. She began to unlock her potential and, as she did, her aura began to attract attention of a different kind. The dream spirits, lost entities born into an endless quest for purpose and who seek justification for their being. Bianca, as one of the rare few dream spiritualists to ever exist, was the one who could make their plight to exist worth it simply by perceiving them. Though they were still difficult to comprehend for Bianca seeing as the dream spirits have no straightforward method of communication, she realized that they meant no harm to her or those around her.
She monitored the activities of these spirits and managed to figure out their dream-eating nature. Bianca found that these spirits, which she had began to call Baku, were messy eaters as an odd mist leaked whenever they ate dreams. The mist was something like a dream leak and, through further research, Bianca discovered that it could be used to read a person’s dream from their perspective. She crafted new forms of magic that allowed her to manipulate the mist and she started up her business shortly after. Partly as a means of practicing her abilities, partly to give the Baku consistent and measured meals and partly to help the residents of the Haven in a way no one else could.
Another child of Fourshire, one whose normal life managed to last all the way until he reached the age of 10. That is the age when his magical ability first awakened, the thought-lost ability to see and speak to the spirits of the dead. This awakening was an odd thing for Mortimer, from his perspective he just woke up one day to find that there were more people around. He didn’t really understand the weight of the situation until his parents caught him speaking to someone that they couldn’t see. They feared what the other people of Fourshire would do to their son should they find out about his abilities and urged him to hide it, to ignore the spirits as much as he could.
They didn’t understand just how tall of an order this was. As it turned out, Fourshire was absolutely infested with spirits who weren’t able to escape from the barrier. Still, Mortimer did his best, keeping quiet while other people were around. When he was alone, though, he would talk to the spirits and allowed them to vent their frustrations. A majority of them were workers who died due to the conditions they were put in, all while the royals watched from above. A couple of years passed like this and in that time Mortimer’s body only became even more naturally attuned to magic. Even without any kind of tutor, conjuration magic came to him as naturally as walking did.
Then came a day where Mortimer decided he would show some tricks with magic that he’d learned to a friend of his. This friend had the proper response of a child of Fourshire, running away in fear of the supernatural. They told their parents and the next day a mob swarmed Mortimer’s home. He was chased from Fourshire, the fate of his parents and brother left unknown to him. He ran and ran until he could not run any more, taking shelter in an abandoned shack. He shortly thereafter learned that the shack was close to a certain village; the Lumine Haven.
Mortimer, still young and disoriented, was too fearful to go to the village. He remained hidden in the shack, accompanied only by the spirits around him. Pitying the boy, the spirits took it upon themselves to take supplies from the village so that Morty could eat and drink. This continued until one particular spirit who was closely associated with the village, Wendy Oldebag, caught on to what was happening. She followed the other spirits to the shack and sensed potential in the young Mortimer, choosing to take it upon herself to help him to join the Haven. His trauma regarding large groups made this more than a little difficult and his progress was slow until he was introduced to one of Oldebag’s friends, the Djinni named Elec Mazin.
Elec was an outcast similar to Mortimer and thus felt an immediate connection with the boy. After he heard Mortimer’s story, he even went to far as to immediately declare himself as the boy’s foster father. Elec taught Mortimer how to grow his own food, corn being the first thing they grew together. At this time, Mortimer found himself forcibly adopted by another powerful spirit, the greater nature spirit known as Rio de Mia. This river spirit had a long-standing rivalry with Elec and the two made it a competition to see which of them could teach Mortimer better. Meanwhile, in the background, Oldebag continued to help him with his social endeavors.
He met with Bianca on one of his earliest trips to the Haven and one clumsy conversation ended with the two becoming friends. Bianca’s outgoing nature meshed well with Mortimer’s laid-back nature and the two have since become very close, meeting up regularly. Mortimer became capable of living completely independently by the time he reached eighteen, though that didn’t stop Elec and Mia from being overprotective of him. The former of which continues to frequently check up on his ‘son’, helping him to further hone his understanding of magic. Though he continues to live on the outskirts, Mortimer is known as being one of the most capable mages of the Haven.