Saturday, January 12, 2019

Fallen Empire Campaign Elements Part Three: The Major Powers and Demographics

Time to start naming fools and calling them out!

The Prince. 

We already have the name of the Prince. His name is Yaroslav and he is from House Triskelion. He is the youngest brother of three. His middle brother murdered his older brother, who was the prince. Then he tried to murder Yaroslav. Yaroslav, then a boy, went to ground in the countryside. He built a little army and invaded and then put his middle brother's family to the sword. So his family is a big mess.  Was a big mess. They're all dead now.

The Main Guilds. 

There are four main guilds: Weights and Measures who are essentially currency traders but they also certify scales and other measuring devices are accurate; Dock Workers who are the stevedores and sailors. If you're a ruffian or have no skill, you would be a member of this guild. They are bloodthirsty badasses. Sailors and bodyguards and most of the infantrymen are members of this guild; The Royal University, where they keep secrets, spy on people, and train wizards among other things; and the Merchants Guild, who are the people responsible for shipping in and out of town, such as the ship and caravan owners and capitalists who fund expeditions. 

Regulation and oversight, muscle, information, and money: these are the four resources that make up the main power base among the gentry.

So let's think about the heads of these guilds. Who are they and what are they like? In case you're wondering, I'm using this document to spur my imagination when I am stumped. You could use it too.

The head of Weights and Measures is a human woman named Mary-Fraunchounette d'Etremont (Al L, C1). 

She is presents as a nun of the Lawful religion which I have not named yet. She is not young, is plain to look at, is sturdily built, and brooks neither fools nor flatterers. Her bald manner of speaking is off-putting, but everyone always knows where they stand with her. She is a tireless worker and often personally inspects scales and weights along with one or two of her men.

EDIT: Now that we have determined that there are Lawful clerics of each sanctioned religion, I have decided to have her be a Sister of the Church of Stella Solim.

The Old Drinker by Gabriel Metsu

The head of the Dock Workers Guild is a man named Anatoli Gilca, a great soldier who fought for the City in every war for fifteen years (AL C, FM 6.) He is older now and smokes pipeweed and drinks heavily. He is blunt and intimidating, but he can solve a lot of problems by throwing angry young men at them. He is a master psychologist and is very good at inspiring loyalty. 

"Portrait" by Sandara

The head of the University is Matron Bar Sheva Irit-Reiss. She is a small gray-haired woman of some interminable age (AL N, MU 9) and allegedly the most powerful wizard in the Realm due to her long life and great study. She keeps to herself and writes letters to express herself and rarely accepts visitors. Her second in command is a man from the east named Vedha, who is the head of the Starlings. The Starlings are a social club but they are also secretly the Prince's spy network. 

The head of the Merchant's Guild is, (rolling randomly) a Dwarf! 

Eagrin Steelbeard, Dwarven Merchant (AL N, 0-level). He's been in charge of the guild for only just over a year. He's young and "new money." He's very charismatic (for a Dwarf) and even the very closed and traditionalist noble houses are warm to him. He made his money running a very efficient operation overland along the Trade Road from Port to points north over the last fifteen years. Note that this is not a Dwarf-only or even a Dwarf-majority guild, which makes it even more unusual for a Dwarf to be at its head. 

People are not sure whether he's a figurehead placed there due to his popularity or whether there's more to him than it seems and he has been working behind the scenes for a long time to amass personal power. Either way, he seems acceptably competent and people like him. On the other hand, some say he is too young and will be replaced by someone with more gravitas within the year.

The Three Noble Houses.

The three noble houses along with the Prince derive their power and income from owning all the land outside the city.  Succession of leadership within the houses is exclusively through male primogeniture. That is, when the Count dies, the next Count is the nearest male relative by blood. Barring that, the nearest male relative by marriage. 

Each house owns vast tracts of farmland accumulated over time, along with that which was gobbled up after the old King was defeated and the country fell to ruin. The family names of these three houses are Aearcus, Iulus, and Tibulus.

I had some trouble thinking up the names so I used this name generator page for inspiration.

House Aearcus is headed by Count Johannus Aearcus (AL L, FM 3). He is in his mid-30s and athletic. He is a patron of the arts and his court is well-known for hosting the greatest musicians from around the world. His parties are subdued affairs. He is unmarried. However as a young man, his nose was broken on the fields of valor and it is now pronouncedly crooked. His detractors call him John the Crooked. 

House Iulus (pronounced Yulius) is headed by Count Gilles Iulus (AL N, 0-level). He is quite visibly pious and never appears without a trio of priests conspicuous in his retinue.  He is tall, gaunt, and gray. His languid, calm speech presents the image of a man who is in control of himself and his surroundings. 

House Tibulus is headed by Count Charles Tibulus (AL C, 0-level). He is bald on top with a prominent mole above his left eyebrow and a hawkish nose. When dispensing justice to particularly peevish criminals, he prefers to feed them live to alligators he keeps in a special pit in his manor house. Usually the threat is enough to keep people in line. 

Finally, here is a chart of the distribution of 0-levels and characters with classes:

Click to Enbiggificate

NEXT TIME: Religions and Religious Orders.

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