Thursday, April 26, 2012

Regional summaries, part 1

Terrasan Empire
Précis: A thalassocratic “Mediterranean” region, given over to decadence and opulence in place of vigor or power.
Conspectus: ruled by Esteve Gregorio de Galdames de Rossolló, by the grace of the Gods, King of Terrasa, Alcàsser and Segrià, Duke of Razina, the Tolosas, Posada and Feronia, and Count of Iclezza, an impotent and laughable king who sits over an uneasily united dynastic and personal union. Byzantine politics and intrigue from nobles and Electors seeking power; looming succession crisis, although king is still middle-aged. Dark underbelly of seething unrest and nationalistic fracturing; revolutionaries, cultists, organized crime and others keeping streets a bloodbath in bad neighborhoods. Baroque, decadent and ornate grotesque statuary and ornamentation. Smugglers and pirates increasingly emboldened as the navy withers in power.
Analogs: The Godfather meets picaresque Crown of Aragon.

Caliphate of Qizmir
Précis: expanding power, where a ruling class of jann sit uneasily over underclass humans
Conspectus: cultures in collision; jann and their “toadies” with foreign culture have been spreading into new areas for some time, “Qizmirizing” the locals. Many conquered people, or those who fear the swords of conquerors, stir and foment rebellion, even thought the yoke of the conquerors is light. Fairly unified central government is strained dealing with internal issues. There is also a fear of the former “mother empire” of the jann coming and reincorporating Qizmir. The local rulers value their independence and autonomy, however. Clash of east vs. west. Decadent and opulent in the late Ottoman or Moghul style. Some of the spread of the culture has been haphazard and incomplete.
Analogs: Arabian Nights meets Barbary pirates.

Khaganate of Kurushat
Précis: highly militaristic country with a conquering bent and looming succession crisis
Conspectus: Harsh and disciplined, but too far away to be an immediate threat to the powers of the Three Empires region. Old khagan with numerous potential heirs vying for position. Heavily involved in slavery, which fuels their economy. Cult to their god Yinigu, sometimes believed to be an aspect of Selvans, turns them into hyena-headed raveners.
Analogs: Mongols and hobgoblins blended together

Lands of Baal Hamazi
Précis: broken remnants of a former empire; city-states struggling against barbarians
Conspectus: Several city-states, with demon-worshipping theme, struggling with race issues, and vying to be the “true” heir of the mantle of Baal Hamazi, the empire that fell some two hundred or so years ago. Each city-state controls a relatively small area; around them are the wild Untash, Haltash and Tazitta tribes, making travel difficult. Harsh surroundings, reminiscent of the Colorado Plateau—looks like ancient Egyptian architecture squatting in Monument Valley or Arches National Park. Lots of intrigue, and lots of Old West style wilderness/frontier adventure.
Analogs: tiefling mafia surrounding by warrior culture that is half Huns, half Comanche.

Tarush Noptii
Précis: benighted nation ruled by vampires; humans are chattel underneath them and live in fear
Conspectus: capital city is constantly night time due to magical curse of some kind. Demonic primogenitor vampires roam the undercity, gone insane and feral, but rarely seen. Vampire houses vie for political power. Untouchables caste promised safety from vampire feedings by acting as agents of the vampires across the nation and beyond. Vampires are not necessarily hampered by sunlight (various varieties of vampire) but frequently are. People live in fear, but justify their sacrifices as the way towards a relatively peaceful life. Many flee Tarush Noptii and become “gypsies” that wander the other countries of the Three Empires region, but sometimes bring vampire agents with them.
Analogs: Dracula meets Nazi Germany

Free City-state of Porto Liure
Précis: home base for the majority of pirates and privateers on the western half of the Mezzovian sea
Conspectus: wild and wooly “wretched hive of scum and villainy” with just a veneer of civilization. Decadent Terrasan nobles come here to debauch, and it smuggles and pirates goods all across the region. Life is short, brutal and dirty, unless you happen to have the wealth to insulate yourself from it by hiring great bodyguards and building rich palaces to live in---which many do. The poor also have folklore and warnings of all kinds of supernatural occurrences—the city is a hotbed for the occult and supernatural.
Analogs: Pirates of the Caribbean meets Lovecraft’s Arkham.

The Slave Coast and Sarabasca
Précis: semi-Middle eastern themed rival to Porto Liure
Conspectus: Barbary pirates and hub of the slave trade; loose ties to Qizmir, major player in the city’s politics is an assassin’s guild that operates throughout the Three Empires region, surrounded by Cajun-like swampies who are sullen and suspicious backwoods hicks.
Analogs: Tripoli of the Barbary Pirates era combined with the Cajun section of H. P. Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu story

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