The Continent is the setting of Melanie Rawn's fantasy novels of the Dragon Prince and Dragon Star Trilogies.


The Continent is a world of Sunrunners, Sorcerers, Dragons, and political intrigue. It is divided into thirteen princedoms, which are ruled by the High Prince from his seat in Princemarch, the center-most princedom. Each princedom is ruled by a separate Prince, who in turn rules over the Athr'im, or Lords. These Lords rule Keeps within each princedom and oversee the trade and prosperity of their cities and people. Every three years the Lords, Princes, and High Prince attend the Rialla in order to keep the peace, make treaties, and to conduct trade.

The princedoms are:

Goddess Keep, which lies within Ossetia's boarders, is the only holding that does not fall under the jurisdiction of a princedom; it is held of the High Prince. Goddess Keep is ruled by the Lord or Lady of Goddess Keep. It is the home of the Sunrunners, who only rule themselves.



In general noble titles are hereditary, though some titles are granted through marriage. If a royal line should end, then one of the closest relatives would inhereit. Titles can be won through right of war as happened after the War of 704, though all of these titles must be confirmed by the Princes and the Lady or Lord of Goddess Keep.

  • Athr'im: Rulers of the holdings within a princedom. They are given the title of Lord or Lady as are their children.
  • Prince: Rulers of the princedoms and their children.
  • High Prince: The most powerful man on the Continent; he rules and guides the other Princes, though his power is not absolute. The Lord/Lady of Goddess Keep does not have to bow to the High Prince, though he/she does hold Goddess Keep through the High Prince.
  • High Princess: Traditionally the wife of the High Prince, though recently she has held nearly equal power and bows only to the High Prince.


Earned titles usually take years of training and work to be bequethed. The exception here is the High Chamberlain, which is actually a working position not an earned title.

  • Knight: An earned rank through years of devoted service and hard training. They serve as squires, while training in combat and courtly conduct. The young man is also trained in ruling a Keep or an even princedom.
  • Master: A highly skilled craftsman, Sunrunner, physician, or scholar. Craftsmen usually become masters through an apprenticeship, then work their way to becoming a master of their chosen craft or trade. Master Sunrunners have eight or more rings. Physicians must study at the Physician School in Gilad to be awarded the title Master Physician. This title is also associated with the eighth Sunrunner ring. Scholars must study at the scriptorium in order to become masters of their chosen area of study. (If that area of study is law, then highly respected lawyers would fall under this category.)
  • Medri: Trained in both combat the nuances of the High Prince's Writ, the Medr'im are a type of police force that roams the princedoms. The Medr'im travel in groups of five - hence their name, which means 'five' in the Old Tongue - and enforce the High Prince's Writ. They settle disputes where needed and also offer aid where they can. First and foremost they are peace keepers. The Medr'im are trained at Remagev in special combat maneuvers. To become a Medri one must also study the law and know the High Prince's Writ backward and forward.


These are working positions rather than titles, though many of these positions are highly respected and their bearers treated with respect and deference. Many of these positions are held by people bearing some of the afore mentioned titles.

  • Regent: Temporary ruler of a princedom or holding until such a time as the true Prince or Lord can rule on his own. Such cases usually occur if the heir is not yet knighted or ready to rule. Regents are often appointed after crises such as the Plague and wars such as the War of 704 and the Vellanti War. Regents are often appointed due to a blood connection with the future ruler, though sometimes the position is awarded to a loyal man or woman.
  • Battle Commander: Commands the armies of a princedom. This title can belong to the ruling Prince himself. The Battle Commander not only leads the troops in battle, but also plans attacks and formulates strategies. He is often both the brain and the brawn behind the army.
  • Korrus: 'Battle Leader' of the Isulk'im, this is the equivalent of the Battle Commander.
  • High Warlord: Commander of all the Vellanti forces, he is the equivalent of the Battle Commander - if the Battle Commander were in charge of the Continent's army (which he is not as there is no Continental army).
  • Guards Commander/Captain: Head of a Keep's guard, he or she leads the Keep's defense if the Prince/Lord or Battle Commander is not present.
  • High Chamberlain: Oversees the everyday running of the Keep. A proficient chamberlain will be able to supervise others in their specialty areas, such as the guard or the servants. He organizes banquets, entertainment, accommodations, etc. and makes sure his and his Prince's/Lord's specification and instructions are carried out.
  • Chatelain: Female counterpart to the High Chamberlain, she usually just oversees the household, such as the maids, kitchen staff, entertainment, etc..
  • Steward: Runs the Keep in the absence of its Lord or Prince; this position is often held by the High Chamberlain.


Main article: Sunrunner

Sunrunners are generally separate from the rest of society's ranks, though recent Sunrunner Lords and Sunrunner Princes have greatly changed the way faradh'im are viewed on the Continent and what titles and positions they are allowed to hold.

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