Known by several names such as "The Great Compact of Arx", "The Compact of Arvum", "The Grand Compact of the Five Kingdoms", and just simply "The Compact", the Compact is a political alliance of the five formerly separate kingdoms on the continent of Arvum. Comprised of the great noble houses and their vassal noble house bannermen, these include House Grayson of eastern and central Arvum, who have historically worn the crown of the monarchy of Arx. To the west lies House Valardin, the proud nobles who most embrace chivalry. To the north lies House Redrain, who would politely ask the other houses to not describe them or their bannermen as 'savages', 'barbarians', or the like. To the south lies the collection of city states of the Lyceum, with House Velenosa currently rising as the strongest of the Lycene city states. And finally to the east, House Thrax has dominion over the waves and great many islands that comprise the Saffron Chain.
The Compact was founded in response to the Reckoning, a thousand years ago, when legend states that mankind was nearly exterminated and only a valiant last ditch defense in the city of Arx staved off extinction. For hundreds of years after, the King or Queen of the Compact acted as a very nominal first among equals of the high lords of each respective great house, but during the time of Queen Alarice the Great, five hundred years hence, the Compact became a true alliance of subservient vassals to her majesty due to the crisis of the Elf War, though the power of the Grayson monarchy has waned considerably in the past five hundred years. The respective lords still rule by fiat in their own lands, nor have wars between the great houses been absent in the relatively peaceful past few hundred years. Whether the Compact and monarchy can survive the political turmoil of the days to come is no longer an unthinkable question.