The Laideann People
The original human inhabitants of the the continent, the aristocratic Laideann are the last remnants of the once great Urbanus Empire. They enjoy a refined sense of the aesthetic and pride themselves on their excess. Mastery of art, music and philosophy are praised, and while many outsiders considers their tastes decadent and depraved, the Laideann consider their cold capacity for both callousness and mercy to be hallmarks of their controll over humanity's lessor nature. Physically, the typical Laideann tends towards slender and almost noble features, high brow and cheekbones, fine features and sharp profiles. They tend towards dark black hair,usually curly and dark eyes. They have a great love for wine and narcotics and the pleasures of life. The dominant religion is that of Talus, although regional differences in traditions and ardor exist. The Laideann at war are exceptionally organised, with a full-time professional standing army even in peace time. They utilise traditional yet effective formations and techniques and don't rely overmuch on any one type of unit, rather a cohesive whole, though their infantry are known for their discipline and skill with the longspear and sword. Traditional weapons include the longspear, longsword and dagger, and they lean towards defensive combat styles such as shields.
Laideann Northern City States
The majority of Urbanus live in the Northern City States, a loose collection of states covering a geographically small but politically and economically powerful area. As the name suggests, they are a group of city states which are clustered around banks of the White River, so named for its dramatically swift currents at the eastern estuaries. The states manoeuvre. Fractured and contrary, many states spend a great deal of time bickering and fighting amongst themselves constantly, constantly vieing for the upperhand in trade, religion and reginal policy.
The current Laidean States are mostly populated by the remnants of the Urbanus as the they fled north from the invading Keltoi, where they settled on the banks of the White River and built a series of villages that over time developed into the small cities surrounded by farmlands, wilderness and the occasional monstrous settlement that exists today. While sharing cultural roots, and the river as the main tradin thoroughfare through the region, the city states enjoy complete autonomy and each posses their own law, traditions and idiosyncrasies.
Yes, I'm lazy.
Laideanns follow a monotheistic and enigmatic god named Talus. He (though actually the god is seen as possessing both male and female traits) is a distant and non-interventionist deity who speaks solely through those with enough faith, or those who are high enough in the Church structure. His dicta and laws are not overly strict, though they have been construed as such, most notably by the Knights of the Gallows. Their holy writ, a code called The Dictates of Talus is a weighty tome barely understood by anyone outside the Laideann lands, and not all within as it is written in Old Laideann and has never been translated. This of course is where the vast majority of misunderstandings and misapplications stem from. Still, most Laideanns follow the rituals and pay them the required lip service, even if only for tradition's sake.
Laideann clerics follow the cryptic Dictates of Talus, which details their code of behaviour. Non-clerics do not have to follow these rules, but are generally encouraged to.
- One must not have a single hair on his body. It must be entirely hair free.
- Unless in war, one's must not wear a hat or helm.
- One must follow the Law of the theocracy.
- A cleric must be free of excessive ornamentation such as jewellery and tattooes.
- The Ritual of Clarity must be performed at sunrise (this allows the cleric access to his daily spells). He must awaken and pray for fifteen minutes and wash his hands and face.
- A cleric must keep scrupulously clean and hygienic unless it is impossible to do so. (If so, the Ritual of Clarity must be performed at the soonest possible convenience)
- Killing is discouraged in holy places unless strictly necessary or for punishment.
- The traditional punishment is hanging; it is the prescribed penalty for enemies of the church.
Primarily: Knowledge, Law, Protection, others as the DM allows.
The Talic Theocracy is a small nation state that includes the city of Talus, Port Ceseric and Tripontium. It is the largest and most powerful political entity in the city states. Led by the High Priest Lucius, the Theocracy dominates the Law and culture. There is significant prejudice against people who are not of the church and priests are given fair leeway in their activities, e.g., they don’t pay taxes. The Knights of the Gallows are the military arm of the church and where their influence is strong, you can find their outposts.
Talus, the City of Ten Thousand Domes
The City of Ten Thousand Domes is the nickname given to Talus due to the shape of their temples and while it doesn't exactly possess that many, there are entire districts devoted to their beloved deity. The layout of these temples is on an odd concentric circular pattern and when viewed from above, one can see a surprisingly complex network of circles within circles made entirely of the roofs of domed temples. It is a conservative and sombre city, but there are still plenty of places to enjoy yourself, though the entertainments tend to be more refined and upscale.
A stinking pit of cutthroats, villains and thieves, Port Ceseric is famous for its slavery, wine and drinking holes. The Steep Streets District is an infamous dive for people who wish to peruse illegal and unwholesome fare. The town is officially in the control of the Talic Theocracy, however the law is so loose here, it might as well be controlled by the various pirates and thieves groups. The Gallows knights do have a presence here, but even they seem to be somewhat looser and more relaxed than usual.
Tripontium is the breadbasket of the Theocracy. Disparagingly referred to by the more urban cities in the region as Tripontium Village, it is nonetheless a peaceful and rather laidback rural city. It is a place of farmers and laborers with little of the decadent delights Talus or Ceseric offers.
Key Figures in the Theocracy
Lucius is the High Theocrat is a relatively conservative, academic, reasonable man with no head for politics and intrigue, preferring to delve into complex issues of doctrine, which is precisely why the Council of Pontifices elected him. He does not rock the boat and generally agrees on whatever the Priests put forth.
Father Talis is the head of the investigation into church corruption and is a dour, soft-spoken and introverted fellow. He is quietly ruthlessly efficient and has enough ‘information’ on various priests and lay officials to keep them in line, whether it’s true or not. He of course justifies this for the ‘continued stability of the church’. He is capable of quite monstrous acts in the name of his faith and continues his crusade against corruption and evil with a kind of calm and calculating fanaticism. Even when directly ordered not to do something, he will twist the intent and do it anyway, completely convinced that he knows better. He never loses sleep over his deeds because of his utter conviction of his beliefs. He has never been implicated in his deeds because of his scrupulous and almost anally retentive planning, though many people have a vaguely uneasy feeling about him.
Kingdom of Menoa
Although ostensibly the largest of the States, in practice it functions as many smaller states who disregard their ineffective royal family. While comprised almost entirely of the descendants of Urbanus Nobles and proud of their heritage, rank within the class is as often directly tied to a Noble's personal martial or magical prowess, as it is to control over military forces, wealth, or genealogy. Due to this a great deal of effort is invested in raising capable Noble children.
The Royal City of Mene
The Capital of Menoa and a pit of degeneracy and bacchanalian excess, Mene contains none of Talus's elegance, nor Colus's vibrancy, Mene is half dead city, much of it dilapidated and empty with little left but the extensive Royal Palace and surrounds which somehow manage to keep themselves in continual revelry.
City of Colus
One of many Menoan Cities and a natural fortress, Colus is surrounded by mountains on three sides and the open water of Sagum Bay on the fourth. Home to a famous gladiatorial arena, where many a dueling Noble has met his end in front of the Crowds, and many an unfortunate traveler has met their's on the end of a blade or spell so that some young hotshot can prove a point. More cosmopolitan than much of Menoa, it is also home to many a Noble's second house, a large Guilder enclave and the headquarters of a major Talus sect.
Originally a mining town in the western city states, the City of Roses has turned into a haven for those still touched by the Doomsday weapons used in the original war with the Keltoi. Shunned as often as not by their countrymen and used to the need to band together with fellow humans and monsters to eke out a living in their harsh land, the citizens of Rosarius are an egalitarian, if violent lot, and will give most people a chance to prove themselves, if not a second.
Laideann have often been called unprincipled or amoral. However, they are a varied people and don't really dominate one alignment, though they tend ever so slightly towards neutrality.
How the Laideann see the other races:
Ailokim: Odd little creatures that are useful for trade of knowledge and obscure unguents and spices. The Laideann feel the Ailokim are freaks and find them aesthetically displeasing but don't actively persecute them.
Dwarves: Purely a financial agreement, the Laideann don't have strong opinions about the Dwarves; they find them dull.
Goliaths: Few Laideann have seen one, but they find them brutish and ugly things, barely considered sentient in the true sense.
Lizardmen: Horrid beasts that are only good for extermination, though some of their glands make excellently aromatic perfumes.
Summer Islanders: For peoples who share a love of pleasure, the Summer Islanders and the Laideann couldn't be more different culturally, though they at least treat them like second class citizens instead of persona no grata. There is lively trade of exotic luxuries between the cultures, though.
Teleri: The Laideann have a history of trade with the Teleri and find certains aspects of their culture fascinating, though they don't really take them seriously and refer to them disparagingly as 'Sea Elves'.
Umberkim: The Laideann have almost no contact with the Umberkim and since they don't fight the Ailokim, have no general opinion of them.
|Societies||Keltoi, Laideann, Ailokim, Teleri, Goliaths, Goblinoids_and_surrounds, Dwarves, Orcs, Ashlands|