The Kingdom of Nurani is located nearly smack dab in the middle of the Grandiel Continent. This smallest and weakest country (weakest in terms of military power) shares her border with three neighbours, the Drumvell Kingdom located to her north, the Kingdom of Marak located to her west, and the Jazwin Kingdom that lies both to the east and south to her.
Virtually surrounded by six countries (with the Alvian Kingdom located too far to the west and the Shahjahad Kingdom have to cross the Straits of Ferrowing and two kingdoms to reach her), the Kingdom of Nurani seems destined to be swallowed up by her bigger and power hungry neighbours.
But it wasn't meant to be so. The Kingdom of Nurani continues to exists and strive with the rest of the eight kingdoms. There are two main reasons for this. The first main reason is the Kingdom of Nurani is the birthplace of Enah, the major religion embraced by most people in the Grand Continent (with the exception of the Shahjahad Kingdom who have their own god who they worship and the various hill tribes, forest people and nomadic tribes scattered across the continent who believe in various smaller deities and spirits).
It is said when the God Enahel first descended from the heavens a thousand years ago, he landed here. Of course the Kingdom of Nurani didn't exist at the time, it was only formed after the First Grand War of the Grandiel Continent around 700 years ago (give or take a few years). But many believed he walked here, in the land that would later formed the Kingdom of Nurani. So you can understand why other kingdoms are a bit apprehensive about attacking such a holy place, lest they incur the wrath of their own people who worship Enahel.
The second main reason is whenever some random country would declare war and attempt to invade the Kingdom of Nurani, the other countries won’t sit by quietly and rally to her defense. Over the course of 700 hundred years, the Kingdom of Nurani had repelled and defeated (with outside help of course) over half a dozen mad kings and would-be conquerors who thought that invading and ruling over this small country would legitimate their claims on the rest of the continent. The Kingdom of Nurani would never actively go to war with any kingdom (unless it’s to defend herself) and seek a position of neutrality in any conflict.
These two reasons are why the Kingdom of Nurani is one of the most peaceful and prosperous country in the Grandiel Continent, which in turned gave rise to another problem. With the other kingdoms going to war constantly with each other, thousands of refugees would flood into the Kingdom of Nurani seeking shelter and protection. Unable to properly close her borders or to heartlessly turn away the refugees without looking bad (this was supposed to be a holy kingdom after all), the Kingdom of Nurani went with her best course of action.
She established the Order of Enahel, a group of knights who would go around war-torn countries and conflict zones and try to the best of their ability to meditate peaceful settlements, negotiate cease-fire and prevent war crimes and other atrocities.
These keepers of peace were mostly successful, and the flood of refugees into the Kingdom of Nurani slowed down to a trickle. But then another problem presented itself. With each new conflict that emerges every once in a while in different parts of the continent, the Order of Enahel found themselves stretched thin.
Not wanting the Order of Enahel to implode and collapse under the burden of stress, overwork and lack of manpower, the Kingdom of Nurani then went with her next course of action. She established the Whiteford Academy, a school to train future knights who will then go on to fill in and replenish the Order of Enahel ‘s ranks. Orphans, unwanted or abandoned children, sons and daughters of common people are all accepted into this prestigious academy.
But there is a catch, they need to break off any previous allegiance to their former countries and families and swore loyalty first and foremost to the Kingdom of Nurani, the Order of Enahel, the Whiteford Academy and lastly to their brothers and sisters in arms. Then and only then will they be allowed to walk into the great halls of the Whiteford Academy (but also only after they've been bathed, cleaned and given new clothes first, I mean, no one wants a dirty ex-child beggar dredging mud and filth onto the marble floors of the great academy).
Children of wealthy foreign merchants, nobles, counts and even royalties are also accepted into the Whiteford Academy. These privileged foreign children are exempted from taking the oath and breaking ties with their previous countries. They are also not expected to join the Order of Enahel. The Kingdom of Nurani believes that by educating these future rulers and decision-maker on things like chivalry and justice, they will return to advocate peace, order and lawfulness in their own countries.
“That’s the official version. What the Kingdom of Nurani’s real aim is that you self-entitled little cunts will not grow up to be even bigger cunts and start shit that will drag your whole country into war. Which then forces us to come clean up your mess.”
Headmaster Rykell Joss says as he surveys the children sitting in the front rows of the opening assembly. Okay, he didn't actually say that, but he was thinking it as he was looking at the faces of the children, mostly the sons and daughters of nobles, royalties and the wealthy that fill up the front area of the great hall.
All the less-privileged children (the orphans, the unwanted, the abandoned, and the commoners) are sitting in the middle and all the way to the back of the great hall. With a small empty area that separates the two groups. Headmaster Joss sighs, so much about preaching the values of equality and togetherness.
Headmaster Joss looks at the faces of the well-fed and groomed children sitting in the front rows. Blessed children born with silver spoons in their mouths who will most likely grow up to be arrogant sons of bitches with sticks up their asses. The 53 year old headmaster smiles at the irony that when it comes down to the battlefields, you won’t see these guys in the front lines. Instead it will be the poor and the common people who are sent to charging their deaths, just so the rich and the powerful could stay rich and powerful and/or win some pissing contest.
The headmaster notices that more than half of the children in the great hall are asleep, which is a sign for him to wrap up his welcoming speech. The children, ranging from 11 to 13, are on their way to becoming first year students at the Whiteford Academy. Headmaster Joss smiles wryly again. He is extremely tempted to slip in the words “shit”, “cock” and “piss” just to see if anyone is still paying attention.
Just as the headmaster is about to say the words “And I hope you will have fun in your cla-asses” that would have signaled the end of his speech, a blood-curling scream pierced the snores-filled great hall and awakens every sleeping students from their slumber. At the back of the great hall, in the second group, a young boy stands up panting. Gasping and gulping for air, Headmaster Joss could see his body is drenched in cold-sweats. The disturbed boy has long raven black hair that covers half his face but they couldn't hide the fact that his eyes are darting wildly about.
Before the headmaster or one of the teachers present in the great hall could do or say something, the boy screams at the top of his lungs “FUCKING RUN YOU GUYS! THEY ARE COMING!” before vomiting on himself and passing out on the floor, but not before hitting his head on a nearby chair in the process. Headmaster Joss is secretly impressed, he would have clapped loudly at the brave performance of the boy if some of the teachers under him wasn't so judging.
Maybe I’ll do the same thing next year, thinks the headmaster. Minus the hitting your head on a chair of course, before retiring to his office for a drink or two. His deputy, Master Harken Wes seems to be handling the situation.
Master Wes’ long strides bring him from the front of the great hall to the back in just a few steps. He takes one look at the young boy laying unconscious in a pool of his own vomit and blood before signalling at a couple of boys to come closer.
“You two, get over here.” orders Master Wes.
“Yes, sir.” answers one of the boys. “My name is-“
“I didn’t ask for your life story! You and that short boy beside you. Take this vermin to the infirmary on the second floor of the east building.”
“Sir , yes sir!” replies the eager boy and motions to his new partner to grab the “vermin’s” legs while he carries the upper part of the body.
“The rest of you! Go back to your respective dormitories for some self-studies. Dinner is at 8 at the north hall. If any of you are late, I will come for you and personally castrate you!” Master Wes bellows to the students shuffling as fast as they could to escape the great hall.
While still carrying the unconscious “vermin”, the friendly boy decides to strikes up a conversation with his short companion.
“Hi. My name is Athorius Devs of Nurani. What’s your name?
“Nice to meet you, Athorius. I’m Marven Jaste of Trev.”
“Cool. You wanna be friends?”
“Sure. Why not?" Both boys drop the “vermin” at the same time and shake each other hands.