Campaign of the Month: January 2008
A Deadly Affair
- Leistos – a human kingdom that once covered nearly all the known world. A military dictatorship that officially recognized no aristocracy, only humans native to the original lands of Leistos or humans who served in the armies of this empire could own land, and therefor accumulate wealth. All other races were treated as second class by the landowners, and often pressed into service by the legions. Authority was passed from one emperor to the next by male line descent or by military coup (which accounted for almost a third of the transitions of authority). Most of the culture was based on a military hierarchy, and anyone not associated with the legions had no rights (to include most of the non-humans). The closest thing to aristocracy were wealthy landowners who supplied the military with food, weapons, and supplies. (Think late Rome, but without the Senate)
- Antiri’s Empire – the Lich Emperor ruled a kingdom of Trolls and Troll-bred races with a sort of laissez-faire dictatorship. He conquered the feudal kingdoms surrounding his own ancient city to give himself peace. He instituted a council of kings drawn from his conquered lands to rule during his absences, and would often recede into seclusion for decades at a time – for research or other mysterious purposes. In his empire, the Trolls held an elevated social status, but all other races were considered equal. A classic medieval social structure separated the population into peasant, craftsman, and a full hierarchy of nobles. Only Trolls could hold the highest levels of nobility, but other races were often directly below them. The system existed before Antiri, but he placed himself at the top, and enforced it with a skeletal fist, encouraging the peasants to worship him as a god. Their culture glorified combat as a way to power, and as a method of social mobility. Great heroes of combat were often elevated to nobility by their regional rulers, or occasionally by the council of kings or Antiri himself. (Think a mix of Holy Roman Empire and Klingon Empire)
- Arkuz – a clan-based society ruled loosely by a council of chieftains, this geographically isolated kingdom could nevertheless summon a powerful army to defend the natural borders. Members of all races were represented at this council, and one of the major clans was a mixed-race clan of refugees who fled before the legions of Leistos. Members of all races and both genders were considered equals, and several of the clans were matriarchal. Nearly everyone was expected to know how to lift a blade or shoot a bow in combat, though most people spent their days as farmers or craftsmen. In time of war, the council of chiefs would elect one of its own to be the War Chief, who would command the armies. Never in the history of the nation did a War Chief fail to step down after the conflict.
- Freigrund – Freigrund was originally established when a settling expedition from Leistos washed up on shore after their ships were destroyed in a monsoon in the Sea of Storms. Much of the island they landed on was tropical jungle and they struggled with the new landscape, trying to find food and trying to build a ship to return to Leistos. There were tribal natives living on the far side of the island, but the large jungle between them left space for both groups to subsist comfortably without interfering with each other. Eventually, the tribal peoples came to the starving settlers and helped them find food and taught them about the archipelago. Over time, the settlers completed their ship, but by then few of the settlers wanted to leave the paradisaical place. About two thirds of the settlers remained, and established a small town that grew into a city. On the other islands, more shipwrecked groups and refugees from wars and disasters worldwide continued to land and stay. The groups grew and settled into city states. This land is now the modern Kaligtasan.