Ulkadian Empire

Dreams tell us more about ourselves than we care to admit. How many waking hours do Oracles spend scouring their dreams in hopes of a missed vision from the All Sight? I’ll dream of glory by victory in the sands of the coliseum. When the crowd roars, at least I know someone is paying attention!
— Balric, Arena Fighter
Ruling collectively under the watchful eye of the All Sight, the Five Great Cities of Ulkadia have grown into a mighty empire in a few short decades. Differing governments establish each of the five city states, all flourishing independently, knowing that in a time of need, each will aid one another and the All Sight.   Garuthian and Ulkadian feel a sense of pride for their city of birth, resulting in rivalries and petty squabbles dominating the day-to-day. Similar to sibling rivalry, the Five Great Cities are in constant competition with each other. Never wishing any lasting harm, but relishing in small victories such as having the best poet, the best wine, or claiming victory in the season's Great Games.
 

The Five Great Cities

Each of the five great cities enjoy grand coliseums, public amphitheaters, marketplaces, and surrounding farm life under the guidance of the All Sight. Below is a brief overview of each city.
 

Antheria

Symbol: Green Tome
Population: 22,000
Government: Democracy of philosophers known as the Senate. Eight senators serve at a time with two seats voted on every year. After an election a senator holds their seat for a minimum of five years. Every fifth year is without elections and sees the most accomplished.
  The largest of the five great cities, Antheria rests in the shadow of the Gray Peaks under the Temple of Five. Built adjacent to the Pool of Chimes, Antheria enjoys an excellent harbor, coliseum, and multiple religious and political centers throughout the city.
by Gamingbrew
A grand theater provides a place for philosophers to share ideals, poets to serenade audiences, and oracles to deliver visions. However, Antheria is best known for the School of Vales. A place of higher learning devoted to the studies of alchemy, medicine, and foreknowledge
by Gamingbrew

Kyrah

Symbol: Twin Red Spears
Population: 15,700
Government: Republic ruled by the Legion, a collective of leaders from each of the three military units of Kyrah.
 
Kyrah happily boasts the largest coliseum of the five great cities, and unironically also touts the most victories. Most renowned for their military skill noticeably woven into the daily fabric of their livelihood, Kyrah sees themselves as the true army of Ulkadia. A sight to behold for allies and a terrifying death ball for enemies, these mighty warriors fight as one, weaving death and destruction on the battlefield.
When a Kyrah child, male or female, comes of age and is considered worthy of wielding Ulkadian Bronze, the commencement begins. The child is equipped and quite literally thrown to the lion's den on the outskirts of the Wood of Old. If the child can slay a great lion or boar alone, upon returning to Kyrah, the child is coveted by the three military units choosing one to enlist service.

Syrollo

Symbol: White Dove
Population: 13,400
Government: Theocracy of All Sight oracles.
A collective of accomplished oracles guide Syrollo, known as the Sightless. Upon ascending to a leadership position, the oracle becomes blind from overwhelming foreknowledge granted by the All Sight.
 
An opulent city with marble pillars and great statues, Syrollo is a symbol of beauty and pleasure. Known for lavish gardens and wealth, Syrollo owes its abundance to the vast vineyards which surround the city.
by Gamingbrew
Opposite their fertile fields, the city resides next to the Alabaster Glade, home of fey creatures drawn by Syrollo’s splendor and the plotting Ssatzul, who curse their fortunes from the tree lines.
by Gamingbrew

Thekis

Symbol: Blue Trident
Population: 19,400
Government: An Ogliarch of powerful merchants who divide Thekis into districts under their control.  
A city of sailors and traders, the famous Thekis harbor extends into Siren’s Whisper, allowing the city to enjoy imports and exports from across Erenel. A melting pot of citizens, Thekis’s many merchant houses grow wealthy thanks to exploration envoys sailing to the many unnamed islands or the eastern continent Lyrathil.
A colossal statue of the warrior sailor Thekis, whom the city is named, stands ready with a trident in hand, watching over the city from the sea. Many cities fall to piracy in such conditions, and Thekis has its share of criminal activity. But vigilance by the merchant houses and the many Ulkadian oaths and curses, steer the city in a reputable direction.

Vropia

Symbol: Brown Boar
Population: 11,800
Government: Patriarchy governed by the longest serving Imperial Dragoon.  
The smallest of the Five Great Cities, Vropia, acts as the first line of defense against the Desolation, an enormous wasteland expanse overrun with Gnoll Warbands and deadly creatures. The Imperial Dragoon, elite warriors of Vropia, protect Ulkadia from threats attempting to scale Boar’s Hide Wall. This stone wall extends from the Crestfallen Mountains to Hallow Wind Gulf.
by Gamingbrew
Many opportunistic traders attempt the dangerous trek across the Desolation in hopes of reaching Bernick, and the Krovian Empire. Mercenaries, referred to as Wasteland Runners, face the dangerous task of protecting trader caravans as they cross the expanse.  

Festivals

Grand Coliseum.jpg
by West Studios
Ulkadians stage many yearly festivals, each held in honor of someone or something relevant to the culture. Festivals frequently change and are held not as holidays but by people in power wanting to garner support or improve economic status. One year a festival for Asanna, Lady of the Land may take place; during the following year, a festival of Ødger, the Storm Claw may take its place as a new host steps forward.   Regardless of who the festival honors, one can expect a fantastic spectacle. Wine, food, poetry, theater, and athletic events entertain and attract travelers from across Ulkadia. Each of the five great cities boasts of their coliseum while hosting a festival, promising to outdo the previous host. It is thanks to festivals that arena fighters, poets, actors, and philosophers have gained notoriety in Erenel.

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Maps

  • Ulkadia
Founding Date
584 EoBO
Type
Geopolitical, Empire
Alternative Names
Five Great Cities of Ulkadia
Major Exports
Syrollo Wine, Ulkadian Bronze
Location
Controlled Territories
Related Ethnicities

Ulkadian Bronze

by Gabriel Blain
The blacksmiths, woodcarvers, and traders found in the five great cities of Ulkadia reflect the nation's culture. A technique first taught by the Ashard Dragon Flight and perfected by the Forge Dwarfs; the Ulkadians craft their native weapons primarily from an enhanced Bronze alloy. But make no mistake, Ulkadian Bronze is as strong as it is alluring on a shield or sword.   To be an Ulkadian warrior is to master the art of the shield. Thousands of soldiers have trained in the Phalanx battle formation, a highly disciplined and effective tool of war. Equipped with a shield and unencumbered armor, Ulkadians fight as a unit, locking shields together in this defensive formation.   Ulkadians also wield a handful of unique weapons, which can typically be purchased at any blacksmith shop in the five great cities. Spears and tridents are common amongst the militia, but the Kopis and Chakram have gained ground after being popularized by arena fighters in the Great Games.
Ulkadia Equipment Expanded
Generic article | Aug 18, 2021

Ashard Dragon Flight

by Gamingbrew
Keepers of forgotten lore and hoarders of knowledge rather than treasure, Ashard Dragons differ significantly from their Dragon cousins. As an Ashard Dragons ages, the crystalline skeletal structure grows causing gem-like shards to protrude across their body. These “crystals” conduct, amplify, and store psionic energy allowing the Ashard Dragon to manifest remarkable psionic feats.   Contrary to popular belief, an Ashard Dragon does not fly and eventually abandon their wings altogether; instead, they propel themselves forward telekinetically. This muscle atrophy and weak skeletal structure obligate many Ashard Dragons to avoid contact as much as possible, preferring to hide deep below ground or high above the clouds.   Do not mistake cautiousness for weakness. The most mature Ashard Dragons can alter their surroundings in a manner that defies reason and are arguably the most intelligent creatures on the Mortal Plane.

Oaths and Curses

Oaths are not unheard of in Erenel. Kings, organizations, military units, religions, and others demand Oaths for service. However, the Garuthian take this one step further by swearing Oaths amongst themselves as currency or acts of good faith. An Oath of Aid may be sworn between friends as a call to arms should the other be in harm's way. An Oath of Secrecy is popular to prevent unwanted information from circulating Ulkadia or an Oath of Labor by crafters to carry out an agreed-upon task.   Seemingly carried by the wind, a cry for aid can be heard by those sworn to serve, as the All Sight notifies when an Oath must be fulfilled. Failure to fulfill an Oath entered upon by free will results in an Oathbreaker Curse. The All Sight and Ashard Dragons from the Temple of Five subject Oathbreakers to various curses with different degrees of unwanted and sometimes deadly afflictions. Regardless of outsiders' views on Oaths and Curses, Garuthian's fully support their use.

Desolation

by Dylan Pierpont
This colossal wasteland was once a thriving savannah. Thanks to the emergence of Gnoll Warbands, much of the savannah has fallen into chaos, though fertile "islands" still exist.   The Imperial Dragoon of Vropia protect Ulkadia from atop Boar's Hide Wall. Thanks to intense training passed down by the Patriarchy, Imperial Dragoons perform leaping assaults onto threats below.

Class Options

Barbarian: Path of the Dragoon

All barbarians possess an inner fire that helps drive them to greatness. Barbarians from Ulkadia emulate the fearlessness of the same dragons who liberated their people. By following the Path of the Dragoon, barbarians undergo intense training, passed down by the Dragoons of Vropia, to safeguard the Ashard Dragon Flight with powerful aerial strikes and physical dominance.

Path of the Dragoon 5E Stat Block

Path of the Dragoon

Barbarian

Exploding Leap

At 3rd level, when you take the attack action on your turn while raging, you can leap up to 15 feet directly toward your target, without provoking Opportunity Attacks. If your target is in the air, you complete your Attack Action before falling. All distance covered when leaping expends movement normally.   Your leap distance increases to 30 at 10th level and 40 feet at 14th level.  

Dragon Hide

Beginning at 6th level, when you enter a rage choose a damage type. You gain resistance to the chosen damage type until your rage ends.   Damage Types: Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, Poison  

Earth Breaker

At 10th level, you've learned to perform a powerful aerial attack while wielding a Heavy Melee Weapon. As an action, you Exploding Leap to a target within range. Instead of attacking the target, you slam your Heavy Melee Weapon into the ground with immense force. Each creature within 15 feet of where you land must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier.)   On a failed save, a creature takes 4d6 bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, a creature takes half damage.   Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.  

Thunderous Jump

Beginning at 14th level, you attack with such force following an Exploding Leap that a shockwave erupts around you. When you hit an enemy with a melee weapon attack after using Exploding Leap, all creatures of your choice within 5 feet of the target, including the target, take thunder damage equal to your current rage bonus.

Fighter: Phalanx Martial Archetype

Famous for their defensive mastery with a shield and the Phalanx battle formation, Fighters who train in the Phalanx Martial Archetype are walking bulwarks. Only the most disciplined warriors lock shields together, relying on one another for protection in the most dire of situations.
  Available only for Gamingbrew Patrons. If you are a Patron the sub class will appear below.  

Rogue: Arena Fighter

Rogues who live and die in the sands of the Coliseum rely on their wits to pursue glory and gold. Arena Fighters perform powerful Gambits, searching for their opponent's weakness before striking, stirring the crowd in an excited frenzy. Even when badly outnumbered, they relish finding ways to exploit the battlefield and turn the tide in a flashy spectacle.
Available only for Gamingbrew Patrons. If you are a Patron the sub class will appear below.  

Warlock: The All Sight

You've made a pact with the All Sight, a powerful otherwordly being blessed with foreknowledge. Sworn into service as an Oracle, you are the All Sight's mouthpiece, delivering prophecy and mystery to the people of Ulkadia. The All Sight communicates to you with conjured visions, granted by inhaling incense during sunrise, brief visions, and whispered words carried by the wind.
  It is both exciting and maddening as every communication leaves you with more questions than answers.
  The All Sight 5E Stat Block

Warlock Patron: The All Sight

Warlock Class

You've made a pact with the All Sight, a powerful otherwordly being blessed with foreknowledge.  

Expanded Spell List

The All Sight lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a new warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

All Sight Expanded Spells

Spell Level Spells
1st detect magic, identify
2nd augury, see invisibility
3rd blink, clairvoyance
4th arcane eye, divination
5th commune, legend lore
 

Sight Beyond Sight

Starting at 1st level, you inhale an intoxicating incense, providing a brief vision of the future. Whenever you finish a short or long rest, roll 1d20 and record your rolled number.   You can replace an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw you, or a creature you can see within 60-feet makes with the previously rolled 1d20. You must choose to do so before the roll is made.   If you finish a short or long rest before using Sight Beyond Sight, the recorded 1d20 roll is lost. Once you use this feature to replace a roll, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.  

Oracle's Gift

Starting at 6th level, the All Sight shows a false future to your enemies. As a bonus action, each creature you choose within 10 feet must make a Wisdom saving throw. On failure, the creature immediately attempts an attack of opportunity on a false image of yourself, automatically missing and expending their reaction.   Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.  

A Battle Foretold

Starting at 10th level, the All Sight warns you of upcoming combat. Once per short rest, roll initiative with advantage.  

Mark of Destiny

Starting at 14th level, you may spend 10-minutes after a long rest describing for your companions what you saw in your Sight Beyond Sight vision. When you do so, choose up to five friendly creatures (excluding yourself) who can understand you.   Each creature gains one Mark of Destiny, which they can expend at any time. If the friendly creature finishes a short or long rest before using their Mark of Destiny, the Mark of Destiny is lost. A creature can have no more than one Mark of Destiny at a time.
  Mark of Destiny. Gain advantage on a single ability check, attack roll, initiative roll, or saving throw.



Cover image: by Maianhtran

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