History of the Empire

Recent Events 286-299 YE (Year of the Empire)

There was an Empire, the Hadrian Empire.  The Emperor died (he was Hadria XIII).  There was much tumult as all three of his sons, one of his daughters, and two of his younger brothers vied for the throne.  The War of Succession was fought over eight years, but ended with the youngest son winning the throne and slaying both of his traitorous uncles.  He is now Hadria XIV.  

Many of the domains on the edges of the Empire managed to win their freedom in the struggle.  Some are ruled by the Emperor's brothers and sister.  Others are ruled by formerly loyal nobles who saw an opportunity.   

Current Events 300 YE

While the War of Succession is over, Hadria XIV has not rested.  His older brothers both have strong claims to his title so he is seeking them out next.  There is actually little tension between him and his sister, as she has at least relinquished her claim to be Empress and is not actively trying to claim more of the Empire's land.  She also stands as a buffer between the Empire and the lawless wilderness further east of Ket.

Letheia is the Protector of Ket and self-styled "Queen in the East". Letheia married a Kettish noble and took control of the area, declaring it a Protectorate and Ket a Free City. She has enough of an army to control and defend her domain but not much ability to project force.

Now that the War of Succession is (mostly) over, there are thousands of displaced persons and unemployed mercenaries looking for new homes and jobs.  Think "Free Companies roaming France during the Hundred Years War" except Ket is strong enough to prevent looting and is actively pushing these folks to continue further East. 

Religion in the Empire and the Wilderness

Within the Empire, there is a pantheon of gods.  I am assuming it's ok to repost them here since Alex posted them on these boards already.

Ammonar: Ammonar, called the Lightbringer, the Lawgiver, and the Lord of the Dawn, is the god of light, law and creation. He is symbolized by the winged sun, and the eagle is his sacred animal.
Calefa: Calefa is the Lady of Fortune, goddess of wealth and protector of the dead. Her symbol is a 7-spoked wheel, while her sacred animal is the raven. The Sisters of Mourning are her priestesses; they manage funerals, oversee wills and estates, and offer prayers for the dead. A secretive Imperial guild of assassins also serves under her aegis, following ritual rules of engagement to punish lawbreakers who escape other sanction.
Istreus: Istreus is the Master of Secrets, god of knowledge, learning, and magic. His holy symbol is the crescent or the tower, while his sacred animal is the owl. The mages and scholars of the Tower of Knowledge pay him allegiance. His worship is conducted in secret, and only the initiated know the meaning of the mantra, “no sooner spoken than broken”.
Ianna: Ianna is the Lioness, goddess of love and war. Her symbol is an eight-pointed star and her sacred animal is the lion. She has two orders of priestesses, the Dancers of the Veil and the Dancers of the Blade. The veil-dancers serve as courtesans, temple dancers, and sacred prostitutes during the Feast of Fertility. The blade-dancers are highly desired as bodyguards by the nobility.
Mityara: Mityara is the Noble Lady, goddess of peace and civic duty. She is symbolized with either an ivory lady with her arm outstretched, or with an ivory torch. Her sacred animal is the dove. Her priestesses are known as the Keepers of the Hearth Fire; they maintain the sacred fires and pure waters of the city, oversee ceremonies such as marriage and childbirth, control censorship of the arts, and may pardon any criminal.
Naurivus: Naurivus is the Patron of Explorers, god of travel, water, and weather. His symbol is the galley, and his sacred animals are the dog, the horse, and the dolphin. He is also known as the Lord of Winds, and sailors praise and curse him. The Imperial Company of Explorers, whose men and women serve as scouts and navigators around the empire, hold him as their patron deity.
Turas: Turas is the Marshal of Justice, god of strength, justice, and nobility.  His symbols are the hammer and the sword & scales, and his sacred animals are the bull and the dog.

In the East, there are lots of other people who are not Citizens (i.e. subjects of the Emperor).  The East has been in the Empire, out of the Empire, colonized by the Empire, or some other variant of control for ages.  As of today, it's been out of the Empire for a few centuries as the Emperor's focus was elsewhere.  Thus, you have your usual assortment of refugees, malcontents, bandits, rebels, nomads, monks, witches, beastmen, and hermits occupying the East.  Some worship the Empire's gods.  Some worship evil gods.  Some worship a different pantheon of ostensibly "Lawful" gods.  Some worship the spirits or the elements or the Earth Mother.  You name it.

Some of these folks in the East may end up being your allies or subjects.  But if they worship "the Old Gods" and you come in with a Wonderworker and a Paladin of the "New Gods", there is potential for conflict.  Religion is less important for some and more important for others.  For example, they may be tolerant when you're a visitor but might get a little worked up if you build a castle two hexes over and start charging taxes.

The Domain of Ket

The Free City of Ket is the Class I city in the East.  It's about a week's horse ride away from the frontier.  If you go NE from Ket, you'll reach the Northfort. If you go E from Ket, you'll reach the Shining Spire.  If you go SE from Ket, you'll hit Avauntar.  All are the equivalent of Class V towns.  One will be the base from which you initially venture into the wilderness.  You can buy or rent property in any of these and assume it's safe from burglars and marauders.  You could set up a lab and library there.  The Shining Spire is the home of a guild of mages.  You can use their library and facilities for research but it will cost money if you're a guildmember and cost more money if you're not a member.  If you're a guild member, you will have to do guild tasks from time to time.  An example of a guild task is "Take this map and travel to X.  There you'll find the tomb of Apsa the Necromancer.  Recover Apsa's wand and return it to us.  You may keep anything else you find in the tomb."


Assume this is part of the rumor-gathering sessions you've been pretending to do while drinking your faces off in Ket.

The Northfort is there to protect Ket's mining interests.  The terrain becomes very hilly and then mountainous to the north just past the Northfort.  No one seems to have a good idea of what the mines need to be protected from...  Rumor has it the Northfort's lancers are well versed in the art of dragonslaying.  And technically speaking, none of the mines are within Ket's borders.

Avauntar borders the southern badlands.  Past the Badlands, you get to a lot of swampy, marshy land.  Past that, there's supposedly a thriving pirate city.  The Empire doesn't have the ships in these parts to do much about the piracy, and the swamps and marshs protect the pirates from being attacked by land.  They say you can buy anything from the pirates, if you've got the coin.

The Shining Spire is pretty boring.  Lawbreakers don't just get a month of hard labor, they get transformed into a horse and literally plow a field for a month.  That being said, adventurers are welcome because there are a lot of mages doing a lot of spell research who are willing to pay top coin if you're the type who  can procure rare items. [/quote] .

Heavy horses and mules travel at 120', or 24 miles per day.  Since there are roads between Ket and the border towns, the rate is 36 miles per day.  It takes five days of travel to reach the border towns.  Thus, the border towns are 180 miles away (30 hexes) from Ket.

Medium horses travel 54 miles per day on roads.  One could reach the border towns a bit before noon on the fourth day of travel from Ket.

Light horses travel 72 miles per day on roads.  One could reach the border towns at noon on the third day of travel from Ket.