The Elysium that Lune awoke to differed greatly from the paradise it was once supposed to have been. What had once been the Second Front of the Devastation War had been divided into two relatively weak political entities. The north and east were in the purlieu of the Orakian Kingdom of Divisia, while the south and west were held by the very loosely allied Layan Southern League.

As can be expected given the original allegiances of these two polities, customs, traditions and laws differed significantly between both sides. However, in a unique display of cultural development, the end results for both sides were fractious power structures that prevented the dominance of any individual institution or ruler, though the nature of this internecine conflict was somewhat different in Divisia than that within the League.

Divisia, similarly to other Orakian lands, installed kings to govern. For a given value of "govern," at any rate. While in theory the Divisian King was the highest authority in the land, the reality was far different. Power within the Orakian kingdom was dispersed in the hands of great and lesser lords, subordinate knights, various priesthoods dedicated to Orakio, rich merchants, and artisan guilds. In such a patchwork, the king was, at best, the first amongst equals.

Other constraints on regal power existed. Unlike other kingdoms, the throne was not hereditary. The most powerful nobles in Divisia elected the new king from one of their fellows. In theory, a low-ranking knight could be raised to the regal dignity, but in practice only the most worthy of aristocrats achieved the perk of the throne. Of course, the most "worthy" lord was the one to offer the most valuable concessions and gifts.

Originally, Divisia's strength and finances relied on the lands held directly by the Crown that belonged to the man who held the throne. Over the centuries, however, these lands were pawned off as bribes to the aristocracy, whether for votes to become king or other reasons. In essence, the Crown was supported by the king's original fief instead of by the kingdom.

In contrast to their peers in other Orakian realms, where nobles held their fiefs in the names of their kings, the aristocracy of Divisia owned their lands independently of the royal will. This made it difficult, if not impossible, to punish recalcitrant vassals without the drawn-out process of gaining the consent of the other powerful nobles of the land, a process easily subverted by the rebellious lord.

By the time of the Champions' War, House Gran Direha had successfully held the throne of Divisia for over fifty years. After five successively impotent kings from the same dynasty, the aristocracy was indifferent to who held the regal dignity so long as they received their traditional gift and could do as they wished. Private wars between lords and knights were common. It was not unusual for full blown battles to break out between different factions in pursuit of honor or, typically, money. Kidnapping also became a tool as abduction was considered a more refined weapon in the pursuit of leverage, as it limited property damage and financial losses.

Excerpt from The Champions' War

Kara Kay Eshyr

Princess of Dahlia