The Great Charter of Valyria

The Great Charter is the primary document of law and government for the Kingdom of Valyria, and it fulfills the role of constitution for its society. Like other charters in Valyria, the Great Charter is a document granting extensive rights and privileges from the sovereign. However, the Great Charter is unique and important in that its grant of liberties extends to the entirety of the Valyrian people. These rights and privileges differ according to Valyrian social class, but are comprehensive. Significantly, the Great Charter records a historical relinquishing of royal power in the form of the licensing and creation of Parliament, a legislative body that affords power to noble lords and elected representatives. In the lore history of Valyria, the ancestor of the current King, who was the one who first drafted the precursor of the Great Charter, effectively made Valyria into a constitutional monarchy by this act. The current Great Charter on display is a reissued inspeximus drafted by Duke Oriens of Wessex, Hand of the King, and signed by His Majesty, King Valen.

The wording and concept of the Great Charter is drawn in large part from the historical Magna Carta of 1215, which saw the barons of England extract many concessions from King John. The Kingdom of Valyria’s version of a Great Charter was drafted and composed by Mike Dunchok, the player behind Oriens Dei and Manus Dei.¬†Some of the contents found in the true Magna Carta have been excluded for irrelevance or too much complexity and depth for a game, but much seemed to be be strikingly relevant to Chronicles of Elyria. The current “Great Charter of Valyria” is a strongly updated and cleaned up version of the old Carta Solis which served as the constitution to the Kingdom of Hyperion. It served Hyperion well, but much of its content proved extraneous and never found utility in prior games, whose mechanics did not approach the depth and design of Chronicles of Elyria. That there are now to be found direct correlations between historical concepts like Forest Law, sheriffs, and even King's Bench within the public design journals of Chronicles of Elyria is extremely satisfying for a document that has seen such persistence and longevity while being so underused in the past.