The Vennican Dominion
The youngest of the great Empires of Emeriss, the Vennican Order, for which the Dominion is named, is home to some of the most powerful magicians in all the realms. Founded in the year 480 BC, the city-state of Vennica sat upon a great confluence of ley lines and quickly became home to some of the most powerful wizards of the age. By the time the Vennican Order was founded (516 BC), the first Magi had already begun to appear - deadly spell casters who combined powerful magic with the martial proficiency of some of the world's greatest warriors. When the Empire or Duras laid siege to Vennica in the year 307 BC it was these Magi that held back the Durasian legions while the citizenry retreated inside. These were the magi who harnessed the trickling magic of distant stars and raised the Veil of Vennica that protects the city to this day and used their spells to feed the desperate, hungry citizens of their home for nearly sixty-two years before the decision was finally made to end the siege and cede the city to the Empire. But the Magi never truly abandoned their fight and when the opportunity for retribution presented itself in the combined Imperial losses of the Catalainian Invasion, the rise of Darrius, and the Siegenthal Rebellion the Vennican Order did not hesitate to strike. Seeking out the magically gifted among the nobility of southern Duras, no matter how meager their talent, the Order offered them the secrets of the Magi if they would swear fealty to the alabaster spires of Vennica and send their armies to fight for the city's banner. Tempted by the promise of power, many of the noble families jumped at the opportunity and by the time the Durasian crown took notice the Vennican Dominion had already begun its invasion. Despite the Borderlands Treaty of 193 AD, Vennican ambitions to take Ensign and lay claim to the whole of the Durasian Empire have never truly dulled and territory on the edges of the Borderlands constantly shifts back and forth between the two empires to this day.
GovernmentA circle of eighteen Grand Magi is elected from among the nobility to serve as the Arch Magus' personal council, proposing laws and devising policy over which the Arch Magus has the final say. These elected Magi serve until they die, are removed by the Arch Magus, or choose to retire - which they almost never do. Once a seat in the Circle is opened, all the Grand Magi of Vennica come together to elect a replacement who will serve a similar tenure. Upon the death or displacement of the Arch Magus, it is also this Circle which elects one of its own to fill that exalted seat. Such elections are often surrounded by a suspicious number of deaths and disappearances within the Circle itself as the Grand Magi rally their allies and threaten their enemies in a bid for the highest power in the land.
Demography and Population
Divided into duchies, counties, and baronies, the lands beyond the Veil of Vennica are populated by small settlements and the occasional large city, usually home to the nobility that calls the surrounding territory their demesne. Notably, virtually all the inhabitants of the Vennican Dominion are human. While a few elves have earned the begrudging respect of their human superiors and the dwarves, gnomes, and halflings within Vennican territories are treated slightly better than animals, all other races are considered vermin - a stain on Vennican purity which must be enslaved, exiled, or executed for the betterment of the empire.
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