Overview of Aldea
The World of Aldea in Blue Rose is presented in a generic fashion, often from the point of view of the characters in the world. Here I offer a comparative view of the world and peoples of Aldea to Earth history.
The Aldean region is a continental region roughly similar to Europe in size -- as illustrated in the map below. There are some rough parallels: Aldis is a temperate, fertile land similar to England or France. Kern is a colder land like northern Germany or Russia. Jarzon to the south appears most similar to Italy or Greece. Rezea's wide plains have no parallel in Europe. Also, it is depicted as less cold than Kern, so there is probably a warm ocean current coming from the south along the coast similar to Europe.
Map of Aldea with scale outline of Europe for comparison
Note that the Kingdom of Aldis in the center is significantly larger than both England and France in landmass. It is similar to France in that it is a mainland nation with a coast. However, it has strong natural barriers separating it from its three neighbors: Rezea, Kern, and Jarzon. This makes it conceptually more like England or Switzerland in its isolation. The topographic map below (from the World of Aldea supplement) shows the geography in more detail. It links to a larger map image.
Topographic Map of Aldea
Note that the Icebinder Mountains are enormous, more similar to the Himalayas than the European Alps. To the south, Aldis and Jarzon are divided by the dangerous, mystical Veran Marsh. Because of this, the countries are more isolated than Europe.
Civilization on Aldea is comprised of four branches of the human species, one offshoot humanoid species (Night People), and nine species of intelligent beasts (the Rhydan). Humans are by far the dominant species, but there are no clear estimates of the populations of the others.
The Aldean region is post-apocalyptic rather than medieval and developing. There was a highly advanced civilization (The Old Kingdom) which spanned all of the region. The Old Kingdom had advanced technology including shadowgates which connected the disparate realm. It was ruled over by an oligarchy known as the Council of the Wise. However, this turned into an oppressive empire which then dissolved into a devastating civil war among the so-called Sorceror Kings. Eventually, a successful rebellion founded the four current nations: Rezea, Aldis, Jarzon, and Kern. They are all in the shadow of the Old Kingdom, however.
There are two calendars for marking years (which are 360 days in Aldea). The first measures from the founding of the old Kingdom of the Red Rose (marked as RR). The second measures from the founding of the new Kingdom of the Blue Rose (marked as BR). The rough timeline would be:
The Nation of Aldis
The nation of Aldis is one of four kingdoms formed by the breakup of the Old Kingdom. It was formed by an alliance of the rhydan and the humans of the region. It was organized as a limited monarchy where the ruler was one of the human races, but chosen by the Golden Hart -- a mystical force representative of the rhydan. Government is implemented by an appointed set of non-hereditary nobles, selected from the candidates based on a series of tests. The nobles are also of human races, but they must be approved by the test of the Blue Rose Scepter, given by the rhydan upon the nation's founding. The scepter senses the intent and demeanor of the person at the time of their test, though it can only do so once in their lifetime. Each candidate must pass the test before being appointed a noble.
There are two advisory councils within the government. The Noble Council consists of 36 nobles, elected from the set of nobles. The Merchant Council (formed in 71 BR) consists of 36 elected representatives of the Merchant's Guild. Final decisions are decided by a set of four figures: the sovereign, the president of the Noble Council, the president of the Merchant Council, and a representative of the rhydan. The sovereign has two votes, while the others have one.
So compared to real-world history, Aldis is perhaps closest to the traditional rule of China -- where candidates had to pass complex tests to be officials in the bureaucracy. It is a limited monarchy influenced, but not directly controlled by the rhydan and the Golden Hart.
Because of this alliance and its central position, Aldis is the most powerful of the splinter nations. It is described as a naturally fertile country, which is relatively advanced via technology and magic (though still primitive compared to the Old Kingdom). It is certainly capable of sustaining greater population than medieval Europe. For comparison, here are some population estimates from Europe:
Aldis has a land area of around 650,000 square kilometers. The capital, the City of Aldis, has a population of 500,000 -- equivalent to London in 1700 or so. Based on a similar time period, I would guess it has a population of 30 million or so overall, mostly scattered across the many valleys.
John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net> Last modified: Wed Sep 13 13:50:32 2006