SEVENFOLD SWORD: how does the government of Owyllain work?


A reader emailed to ask how the government of Owyllain worked in SEVENFOLD SWORD. 1.) Specifically, if Owyllain has one High King, why are there nine kings for nine cities? 2.) Also, why do only two of the Kings of Owyllain carry one of the Seven Swords?

1.) Well, Owyllain is called the realm of the Nine Cities, and each one of those cities has its own king. But over all the kings of Owyllain is the High King, who has been traditionally one of the Pendragon kings of Aenesium. It’s like the legends of King Arthur, where Arthur was High King of Britain, but there were lesser kings in Britain (like King Lot and King Ban and so forth) over whom he had authority. (Or the Holy Roman Empire, where the Emperor had nominal authority over lots of independent kings and princes who tended to do what they wanted, or early Capetian France, when the King of France had control of Paris but his powerful nobles ignored him.)

In fact, in the world of SEVENFOLD SWORD, since the Pendragon kings of Andomhaim and Owyllain are descended from Arthur Pendragon, the founders of Owyllain consciously chose this form of government. The idea was that Owyllain was originally going to be a loose confederacy of nine independent cities, with the eight other kings answering vaguely to the High King in Aenesium. They would only band together when under attack from pagan orcs or some other threat. But the threat of the Sovereign forced the nine cities to work together much more closely than they would have otherwise, and consequently the High King had greater authority than he would otherwise due to the need for a war leader.

2.) Among the kings of Owyllain, only Hektor Pendragon and Justin Cyros escaped the fighting at Cathair Animus with two of the Seven Swords.

The Masked One and the Necromancer of Trojas each rule one of the cities of Owyllain with the power of their Swords, but they’re not kings and make no pretensions that they are. (Like a dictatorship where the dictator keeps the title of Colonel or General or whatever and doesn’t call himself President.)

The Confessor also took one of the Seven Swords, but the Confessor is a dark elven lord and one of the Sovereign’s former lieutenants, so he definitely doesn’t count as a king of Owyllain.