The northern isles compromise two large isles, and several smaller ones surrounded by a warm sea, on the more southern large isle is the capital city of the Republic, Nolton.
To the south of the republic, on the main continent are the lands of the Empire of Rhode. Rhode’s capitol city is Bernast along the Dannik river that runs through Rhode.
South of Rhode is the Shadow Wood, inhabited by the wood elves.
South of the Shadow Wood are lands comprising of desert, savanna and jungle.
To the west of the Republic of the Isles are the coasts of Prolia inhabited by sea faring humans/half orcs who alternatively fish, raid other coastal villages or pirate the seas.
Inland from Prolia are the mountains formerly ruled by a great dwarven and gnomish civilization that fell hundreds of years ago. Now inhabited and ruled by giants and called Estvald.
Between Estvald and Rhode are the hilly lands of the Rock Gnomes,
Demographics presented in this section are loosely based on Medieval Demographics Made Easy
Overview Map of Alia
Republic of the Isles
The northern isles compromise two large isles, and several smaller ones surrounded by a warm sea.
The islands are:
- Wellsland (pop. 4 million), the more southern large isle has the capital city of the Republic, Nolton, the major ship building industry of the Republic is the City of Farifax, and the Dwarven city of Cragmore.
- Rhime (pop. 2 million), the large island to the north of Wellsland. Cities include Alia_Lannish, Narrowford.
- Khole (pop. 200 thousand), a small island west of Wellsland, and east of Prolia.
- Darkshore (pop. 200 thousand), a small island east of Wellsland.
- Icehold (pop. 100 thousand), a medium size island to the northwest, off the coast of the northern forest.
Map of the Republic of the Isles
|From Devious Plot|
The humans of the Republic are seafaring masters and are skilled at naval combat as well as coastal raiding. This from long years of fighting off pirates from Prolia. (Some say from an infusion of Prolian blood from all the raiding as well.) The Republic’s official religion is the Order of Man. The Emperor is a hereditary figure-head. The actual rulership comes from the house of lords where each founding nation’s noble families meet in Nolton for 2 months in the summer to pass laws and discuss national policy and by a group of ministers elected from within those lords to administer the country. There are currently 15 ministerial posts, including a Prime Minister, a Minister of Defense, a Minister of Justice, and several others. These ministers are the true rulership of the empire.
Adventure in the Republic
The republic is the home of oldest known human civilization. It is 90% settled with few only a few remaining dangerous areas. There is no appreciable Monstrous Humanoid presence on the main islands of the republic. Adventures, tend to be driven by civilized peoples. Common conflicts include:
- insane or criminal villains
- political machinations
- ancient crypts and tombs.
- The Harrow Wood is an enchanted forest inhabited by all manner of the fey.
- Mistraven Swamp is an evil place inhabited by a large coven of Hags.
There are five dragon fiefdoms in the Republic.
- Fringle the Green, has a fiefdom with 22 Dragons on the western side of the Harrowood.
- Krestag the Bronze, has a fiefdom of 12 on the easternmost coast of Wellsland.
- The Brood, is a fiefdom of 8 Black Dragons who collectively claim the lands surrounding the port town of Narrowford.
- Sharvakan the white, holds a fiefdom of 12 dragons on the northern coast.
In the straight between Wellsland and Rhime.
- Othleigh the Red, and his entourage of 6, claim the entire island of Freidmore.
People of the Republic
Nobility is a long tradition of the Republic. The histories of human civilazation of the lands of Prolia began with the first kingdom of humans on the southernmost isle of the Republic (Wellsland). The nobility of today is mostly a thing of tradition and has been replaced by the reality of a modern government.
Political reality of The Republic:
- It has an independant judiciary.
- The Rule of Law is paramount.
- A standing army reports to the Minister of Defense and to the House of Parliament.
- Noble titles are mostly irrelevent. Either a family is a peer of the realm, and thus it has a hereditary post in parliament, or it doesn’t. Power comes from wealth and from political influence.
- The Order of Man, while being the official religion of the Republic is seen as separate from the rule of the country. Golanist philosophy is still very much a part of the Republic’s moral fibre, so although Humanity is seen as the rightful rulers and higher in the hierarchy of reincarnation, the “lesser races” are not mistreated.
- The republic has close ties with the Dwarves of Cragmore, the Wood Elves of Shadow Wood, the Gnomes of Green Hill and is seen by demi-humans of the Empire of Rhode as a safe haven.
- Elves and Half-elves are accepted in the Republic. There are some noble half-elves, which by law have all the rights of nobles, but who may not occupy a seat in the House of Lords (Proclamation of the House of Lords and the Will of Emporer Ralph VII, Bill 34, Summer Session 402 OY).
Empire of Rhode
The Empire of Rhode rules all the plains drained by the Dannick and Red rivers, right up to the edge of the Shadow Wood to the south, Mount Silverpeak to the East and Estvald and the hills of Greenhill to the west.
|From Devious Plot|
The Empire of Rhode is, in fact warring on two fronts, with the Republic of the Isles in the north and with the elves of the Shadow Wood forest in the south. The economic and military might of Rhode is great, due to the large amount of fertile land, the temperate weather and good supply of natural resources, bolstered by Rhode’s use of slave labour. They appear to be doing well in both wars.
Population of Rhode
Rhode is an Imperial Monarchy. Lands are divided into duchies, counties, marches and baronnys and ruled and administered by their hereditary nobility. All pay tribute to the Emporer and to their Duke, both in taxes and troops. The system of government is entirely based on the feudal system. The empire has no single standing army, but rather each noble, by his oath of fealty must equip and train men, and send them to serve the Emporer or Duke in his wars.
All land is owned by the nobility, by law. Most land and businnesses are also administered by hirelings of the noble families but there are a small number of commoners who rent from the nobility and run their own operations. Being low-born is a great impediment in the southern kingdoms.
The Empire of Rhode has a total population of 18 million.
Population breakdown by class is as follows:
- 0.1% high noblity – ranking land owners with taxation rights (18k)
- 0.9% “low” nobility – knights or noble merchants and traders (162k)
- 4% commoner merchants (200k), traders(70k) and clergy (450k).
- 5% serving class (900k)
- 5% skilled labourers – artists (100k) and skilled crafters (800k): smiths, coopers, brewers, sculptors, etc.)
- 65% free common labourers – farmers, and light unskilled labour (11.7 million)
- 20% slaves – heavy and/or dangerous labour (3.6 million)
About 1/4 of low nobility are combatant knights (40k). These have regional affiliations and rarely more than 1/2 of a region’s knights are called to the field. Typically, knights compose up to 10% of an army the rest are composed of militia drafted from the peasantry.
A region’s knight-defenders will consist of 1 knight per 400 population and 1/4 of the population might be called upon to defend a town or city.
A region’s army sent to battle would be half the number knights plus as many as 1 in 20 of the population of commoners.
Slaves are rarely if ever used in combat.
The Royalty of the Empire
Rhode has a single emporer and number of princes. The emporer appoints those princes in his favor to rule the non-hereditary posts of the six Duchies of Rhode. Other princes are granted titles at the Emporer’s pleasure.
Peers are the true nobility of Rhode. Counts, Marquis and Barons are all titled, hereditary ranks, with full taxation rights over their land, and bound by an oath of fealty to their Prince and to their Emporer. Each is responsible for equiping and training a certain number of footmen, and for providing mounted knights to be sent to war at the Emporer’s or their Duke’s word.
Marquis have sovereign power over a march or border city. Counts have soveriegn power over large county or city. Barons have soveriegn powers over smaller baronies.
These landed nobles are named after the counties, marches, cities and baronies they rule. A nobles word are as law to all commoners, and to all lower or equal ranked nobles in their domain. Visiting nobles are usually treated with respect, but may be banished from the domain by the right of the ruling lord.
Knights (form of address Sir or Madam) are a non-hereditary rank granted to an individual in exchange for service and fealty. The spouse of a Knight has no noble rank. Knights are typically the younger sons or daughters of titled nobility or baronets, or of knights. The rank of knight is granted to an individual cavalryman or spellcaster in exchange for military service. They are nobility by law, and have the right to bear arms or magical devices, to wear a white belt to identify them as nobles, to own land. The grantor of the knighthood will give the knight 1000gp, and a portion of his land as well as 50% of the revenue from such land. The knight is expected to provide all of his martial equipment, weapons, a mount, armor and or magical equipment and supplies as well is to build and or maintain a hall or manor. Experienced knights usually have a small retinue of retainers and cohorts as well.
Some knights are not granted a fief by their liege lords, but rather are paid a salary for thier service. This is the usual case when a noble has an obligation to provide more mounted troops for the Empire, but has no land to provide. Such salaries are usually 50 gold pieces per year of service as well as accomodation during times of peace. Such landless knights rarely have a retinue, but must still pay for their own equipment and maintenance and they are held in low regard by other knights.
The Church of Man, has the right in the Empire of Rhode to knight it’s own mounted warriors, in service to god and the emporer. These are called the Knights of Man. Such knights have the right to bear arms and magic, have the duty to answer both to the Church and to the Emporer, and are granted the rank of Knight by the Empire, but never have land granted to them. They are funded by either their family, or
by a wealthy sponsor.
(There is no prestige class, or class requirement to becoming a Knight of Man.)
Lower ranks of clergy have a social rank somewhat equivalent to landless knights, with higher ranking bishops, having a social status equivalent to a Landed Noble. The clergy are basically immune to the laws of the land but are subject to the laws of the Church of Man and internal discipline.
Most commoners are farmers, either bonded or free. Established farmers are typically free and have hereditary access to pastures and fields owned by their liege. When the hereditary land is not enough to support a family, younger men will bond themselves to a new (usually uncleared) fief. The knight will pay for travel to the new land and support his new bonded peasants while the land is cleared and planted, in exchange for bonded service. Farmers may pay off this bond, but usualy only do so after many years.
Slavery of non-human races is legal in the south. Humanoids like Orcs and Goblins are considered too foul to enslave and are always killed. The most common slaves are half-orcs and halflings. Half-orcs have been subjugated by the Church and have been taught that there rightful place in the hierarchy of life is as slaves to humans. Halflings are mostly Golanites and are pacifists, and as such they are easy to capture and are model slaves, although their small size makes them unsuitable for heavy work. Gnomes are also quite common although they are seen as more troublesome than halflings and just as unsuitable for heavy labour in addition their mastry of illusion has led to several slave breakouts. Dwarves are prized for their craftmanship, but are known to be troublesome slaves. They are regarded as worth it and are always well guarded. Some wood elves have been taken as slaves. So far, little gain has come of it, many wood-elves dying in their attempts to escape, sometimes taking some of their slave masters with them.
Citizens of Rhode and the families of Citizens are exempt from slavery. Citizenship is aquired by birth and is held by most humans, high elves and half elves who reside in Rhode. Citizenship is revoked for criminals, and several years to life enslavement is a common punishment for crimes. Children of human slaves, born in Rhode are commonly granted citizenship upon their 16th birthday.
Slaves comprise about 20% of the population of Rhode, and are responsible for about one third of all labour. By tradition and law, slaves are not used for agriculture. Typical jobs done by slaves include unskilled labour in foundries and other heavy industry, mining, and construction. Slave operations often use a mix of slaves and skilled labourers, for example, in construction of a keep, slaves will be used for heavy labour of lifting stones into place, while stone masons will do the stone cutting and supervision.
Racial breakdown of slaves are: 10% Foreign Humans, 10% Criminal Human, 50% Half Orc, 20% Halfling, 5% Dwarf, 3% Gnome, 2% Elf.
Prolia is a loose association of humans and half orcs that pay tribute to the Giants of Estvald. They are fishermen and coastal raiders as well as farmers and swineherds.
Prolia was once a unified knigdom. There are ruins of guard towers along the border to the northern forest, where once Prolian soldiers kept the goblinoid raids from the north out of the country.
Prolia as a country is in a bad shape. The unified rulership of the past has degenrated into a collection of independant towns with very little co-operation between them. Prolia is threatened by conquest from the south from Rhode, and by tribes of Hobgoblins to the north, all the while paying crippling tribute to the capracious hill giants of Estvald. The northern-most towns are on the verge of collapse. Each town and village struggles to survive to feed itself and to satisfy the Hill Giants.
Prolia exists mostly because the giants are uninterested in the flatlands near the coast and like the tribute without having to administer the area. Prolia is in danger of being overrun by the goblinoids of the northern forest, who would like better access to the southlands, but lack the organization to mass in numbers sufficient to take all of Prolia and who also do not wish to upset the giants. Rumors of a great hobgoblin leader who has been dealing with the giants for the right to take prolia persist, but so far only the northernmost town of Prolia, Prauld, has fallen, the goblins did not stay to occupy the area, but retreated to the forest.
|From Devious Plot|
The People of Prolia
There are three classes of people in Prolia. The nobility which are the Jarls and the families of the Jarls. The regular citizens of Prolia who do the bulk of the labour. There are also a small number of slaves. Slavery is accepted and practial in Prolia. Criminals are typically slain or put into slavery. Captured enemies or people captured in coastal raiding are also made to be slaves. Males slaves are castrated, (human, half orc, or elvish) females are often taken as wives. Children from these mixed unions of slaves are integrated into Prolian society. Because of this practise, there are no second generation slaves in Prolia, and their numbers are quite small.
In times past there was a King, and the King’s Law put restraints on the powers of the Jarls. In present times, Jarls are the rulers of all they see. Their word is law and all justice comes from the judgement of the Jarl. Where two Jarls meet there is either diplomacy or there is conflict.
Humans and Half-Orcs are the most common races of Prolia, although there are small numbers of half elves and elves, some full blooded Orcs, and a very small number of half ogres and half giants. Race has no bearing on social status within Prolia, although family history is very important. Usually only the paternal line is considered. Being the son of a Jarl is prestigious whereas being the son of the Jarl’s sister has little meaning.
Warriors and Heroes
Prolia does not have a standing army or a tradition of knighthood, however it does have a tradition of heroic warriors and users of magic, and has great respect for those who take up the sword or the staff. The Jarls of the towns follow a warrior tradition where their children are trained in the arts of war. The Jarl’s friends and companions during their younger years are accepted as their sworn protectors, heros and fellow armsmen. The number of sworn warriors that a Jarl has is usually around 50 men.
Life is hard in Prolia, and in rural areas, about 1 in 40 of the population are capable warriors or have class levels in a heroic class. These are free men who fight for themselves, for their villages or for glory. A call to arms by a Jarl or a renowned hero may gather between 10 and 80 percent of the region’s population of warrior-heroes and between 0 and 10% of commoners.
Given the population of the region of about 330 thousand, there are about 8200 warrior-heroes, and during a time of conflict Prolia could muster 6500 of them and as many as 33000 commoners. Given the current political situation in the country and the lack of instracture to support and feed such and army, it is unlikely that Prolia could actually put together such a force or if it did, feed them form more than a few days.
The Five Towns
There are five major towns which comprise Prolia. Each town is trade center for the region around it, with a small assortment of services. Most of the population of Prolia live in small villages and hamlets of between 100 and 400 people that are within 30 miles of one of the towns. Areas further than 30 miles from any of the five towns are unpopulated wilderness.
Prauld (pop 1700, rural 60k)
Prauld is a lumber and fishing town.
In the year OY 602 it fell to Hobgoblin raids. The survivors of the attacks retreated south and have set up a refugee camp a days travel inland from its nearest neighbor, Beryl. The townsfolk of Prauld were not initially welcomed by Beryl, but after some diplomacy on the part of a representative from the Republic of the Isles and the support of prominent Jarl of Shinar, [[:jarlyutsen]
The town leader, Jarl Jorgen, was felledhurt in battle defending the town. Jorgen’s son, [[:giordi], took over as leader of the Prauld refugees until his assination by unknown parties. In the fall of OY 602, Jorgen recovered from his wounds and led his people back north to rebuild the town and re-establish it’s place in Prolia.
Beryl (pop 2500, rural 80k)
Beryl is led by Jarl Hastel.
Beryl is primarily a fishing village, with some income from coastal raiding, and herding of goats and pigs.
During the Hobgoblin raids of OY 602, Beryl factions were split into those who thought they should have used the Prauld refugees to defend Beryl from the hobgoblins, those who thought they should leave the Prauld refugees to themselves, and those who thought they should join with Prauld to attack the Hobgoblins. Jarl Hastel was in the last faction, but did not get support from key powers in the city until the Republic and [[:jarlyutsen] of Shinar offered theoir aid. In particular his brother Hagel, has been a long time pirate raider with ties to [[Alia_Letgar|Letgar], thought that the misfortune of Beryl’s rivals is to the betterment of Beryl.
Derros (Pop 3200, rural 30k)
Derros is a mining town. The ground is too poor for any appreciable farming or herding, the coast near Derros is to rough for a proper port for fishing. Iron mined here is smelted into bars, plates and ingots at the foundry and then shipped by wagon to Shinar. The primary focus of the town is the production, refining and transport of ore, and is seen by many as an extension of the town of Shinar.
Derros is led by two Jarls. Jarl Marrum claims responsibility for the northern half of the town and the iron mines. Jarl Ioda claims the southern half of the town, the foundry and the transportation of iron.
Shinar (pop 8600, rural 80k)
Shinar is the largest town of Prolia, with a population nearing ten thousand. Shinar is primarily a fishing town, with some light agriculture and light manufacturing. Most weapons, armor and tools made in Prolia are from Shinar. They have good relations with all the other towns of Prolia. Shinar’s Jarl Yutsen, is a keen businessman with a reputation for coming out ahead in all his dealings.
Belrane (pop 4400, rural 90k)
Belrane is the southernmost town of Prolia. Primarily farmers and herders. The town of Belrane is the least defensible town of Prolia, with many farmsteads spread out a fair distance away from the city walls. Belrane does send out regular patrols to scout the countryside for incursions from the south. Jarl Wellus, is paranoid about invasion from the Rhode, even though there are many miles of wilderness between Belrane and the nearest Rhode outpost.
The pirate island city of Letgar lies off the coast of Prolia. Letgar is not part of prolia proper, does not participate in the politics of the mainland, but was once part of the Prolian kingdom.
The ruined city of Jarlsberg was once the southernmost city of Prolia, and the longer ago was the capital. The (single) Jarl ruled the country from this ancient location. Prolia now has six Jarls each ruling a small portion of Prolia and each having a claim on the throne. Yuri’s Doom is the swamp that was created in 515 OY, by Yuri in defense of Prolia against Rhodes’ invasion and is still a major impediment in the Empire’s conquest of the area.
Tribute to Estvald
The hills above Estvald are inhabited by Hill Giants and by Ogres who claim tribute from all the towns. Each fall, a band of Hill Giants and Ogres will come down from the hills to the gates of each town and demand payment of tribute. The giants take the tribute and name their demands for tribute of the following fall. Typical demands include forged weapons, food and spirits, and gold or treasure. Failure to meet the demands brings about an immediate attack on the town.