I apologize for the tardiness of this post. I asked a friend of mine if he was interested in contributing to the blog, and he was excited to. He had the article to me on time, but I forgot to post it yesterday. Anyways, here is it. Please enjoy!
Déscaradh, by Adam Frank
The realm of Déscaradh (DAY-skar-ah) in the plane of Færie is separated into three distinct parts: the White Kingdom, the Red Kingdom and the Chessboard. The White Kingdom is the lair of the White Queen and her subjects. It is a place where freedom and creativity are treasured. The Red Kingdom on the other side is a place of slavery ruled by the Red Queen and where fun is seen with cruel tricks. Creativity is treasured there as well, but looked upon more favorably the crueler it is.
The White Kingdom is a place of eternal beauty. The White Queen, a beautiful Azata of incredible power is in dominion over it. She celebrates freedom and creativity of the most beautiful kind. The art of nature is abundant here yet constantly flowing: sculpted gardens, fountains that pour crystal from their spouts, even paintings done in living flowers are here. The Queen loves art and the artists that produce it.
The White Queen is always experimenting with something new and is rarely seen in the same shape twice as her form is shifting with her mood. Two things that remain static though are her incomparable beauty and the theme of white in her being and outfits. She is flighty and pleasant to deal with unless it comes to the war where she becomes as serious as stone; at her core she has become a warrior for her cause and her kingdom.
Within the court proper there are seven other very powerful Azata all of whom share the queen’s love of beauty and freedom. One named for each of the seven pieces on a chessboard: two Rooks, two Bishops, two Knights, and a King. What many don't know is that the King himself holds all the power despite being the least powerful there as the White Queen must review all her plans through him.
The weather is always shifting but is mostly considered enjoyable and fair from a light rain to a beautiful summer morning, even sometimes the floor will be dusted with snow. The weather is at the beck and call of the realms queen.
The Red Kingdom
The Red Kingdom tends to mirror its white counterpart with some very stark changes. While beauty, creativity and freedom are such huge precepts within the White Kingdom the Red Kingdom is rather the opposite. The Red Kingdom reveres the beauty of cruelty and perfect hate, the creativity of torture and pain, and it reveres slavery rather than freedom.
Ruled over by the Red Queen a Demon of unimaginable power, she is in a form that befits beautiful cruelty. She does not change form though many believe she has the ability. She is constantly seen as an elven woman with an elaborate red dress and a beautiful face she always caries a weapon of some sort on her and is quick to use it. The one thing she respects is her war with the White Kingdom. She has been known even to offer help, though it normally is detrimental in the end, to a new warrior of the White Kingdom.
The Red Kingdom itself is all sharp corners thorns and jutting rock. The weather though never extreme is always oppressive or overbearing and the screams of the victims of the Red court can be heard from almost anywhere in the Red Kingdom.
The Red Court like the White is made up of seven demons: again two Rooks, two Knights, two Bishops, and finally a King. Though powerful the King is consistently berated and put down, sometimes even to the point of him being tortured. His power lies though in his ability to veto much of what the queen says so she is careful never to push him over the edge.
Between the two kingdoms lies an expanse of land exactly 80 miles wide and 80 miles long. It serves as battleground, center of power and home for the inhabitants of Déscaradh. This expanse is called the Chessboard. Similar to an actual chessboard in several ways it had very stark defining lines every 10 square miles.
The color schemes in these squares are designed to be able to tell them apart: white squares and black squares. Each white square has a different environment dictated by the queens. Some are snow covered, some are deserts, while others are an expanse of brilliant white and blue crystal harder than mithral when set yet more malleable than gold in its raw form, there are 40 white squares each one stark and lacking many inhabitants. The black squares differ in this in that they aren't all black; in fact most of them are lush and vibrant. These squares vary from farmlands to cities grown from trees, to deep and foreboding forests. Most of the denizens of this plane dwell either on these squares or in the kingdoms proper.
On the Chessboard you will find the overall climate ideally suited to the specifics of each individual square. Some are freezing, so cold that a person would freeze without a heavy coat, others, sometimes the next square are perfectly temperate with frolicsome fey children enjoying the perfect weather that their queens have blessed their square with.
The one consistent fact about every single square is that it is constantly at war. Some of the fighting is obvious, with huge soldiers battling it out with each other bloodying the field; other squares are less overt, and the battle being fought there is quiet with spies and silence, information being transferred from one hand to the other. Everyone who lives on the plane from the biggest meanest troll to the sweetest looking sprite is a warrior and everyone who enters a square is considered to be a warrior.