The Four Families of Romtol

Listen you stone-brained fool— you belong to us. You are here to look like a leader, but us? We will decide how this country runs. Should you forget that, you will find yourself reminded of how your predecessor died. Are we clear?
— Ropom Poggok, to the current Pomm
  The four families of Romtol are the oldest known lineages within Romtol, having existed in some capacity since the nation's very beginnings. The head of each family attends the hextennial trials known as the Gounom, which determines the Pomm or ruler of Romtol— and decide on the victor of each trial.
Generic4-1
This event is held within a great arena in the capital of Romm, and is viewed as a great spectacle for the public to enjoy. Trials include foot races through fiery tracks, improvisational acting, gladiatorial combat, and more.   Despite this spectacle, and the Pomm's title, the four families are the true leaders of the nation, heaving any blame onto the Pomm whenever things go wrong. While the Pomm technically holds power over them, the four families have a tight grip on the nation's various assets— to oppose them would be suicide.   In the Tolech language spoken by the Tollouchi of Romtol, family names pass from mother to daughter and father to son— so each of these four families is primarily embodied and ruled by a sole gender each.

The tumble

The four families were not always in charge of the entire country— they truly were no more than representatives for the nation's people at first.   Then the Year of Stone happened— the great drought crippled the power of the Pomm, who was barely able to keep the citizens of Romm fed.   In their place, stepped in the four families— with their power and influence, they set out to keep those around them fed. Some increased trade with foreign nations, others warred over arable land— regardless of their methods, they had gained footholds where the Pomm had slipped.
Children

The Poggok

Also referred to as the "Women of War," the Poggok are the most militant of the four families. They control the eastern half of Romm, and the imposing Rillok fortress bordering Louh. Split among these two settlements are the nation's largest garrisons, smiths, and military training grounds. All family representatives are trained soldiers, and served their own time in the field at some point in their lives— those who refused to do so were cut from the family entirely. They are common sights on the battlefield, leading or fighting alongside those under their command. Even the eldest Poggok, currently Ropom Poggok, is able to stand toe to toe with the strongest of foes in her old age.   Their rise to power was one soaked in blood, as they fought their way to earn the impassioned respect of their soldiers when they were generals in the Delta Wars against Louh. This respect was then leveraged to send their army after other families— until they were among the four eldest. For generations they have utilized this same strength to fell any would-be challengers to their rule. That said, those not in their military feel stifled by their rule, and often incompatible ideals. Artisans in particular left en masse after those who refused to produce weaponry and armor for the army were taxed greatly— and even found themselves threatened by soldiers.  

Notable members

Ropom

Head of the family. Cold, she does not mince words, everything she says is concise and to the point. She commands the family as she would command an army, titles must be used on all occasions. She has a unique distaste for the common lifestyle of other Tollouchi, believing discipline to be paramount to success.

Rolm

The eldest daughter, second in command to Ropom. She handles the training of their armies, and does so as coldly as her mother— she is known to be crueler in some cases. She is trained in various fighting styles from around the world, so that she can fight whenever and wherever she is needed.

Mopulk

The youngest daughter, tasked with overseeing supply chains, collecting taxes, and paying soldiers. Quiet, obedient, yet headstrong— she bides her time to one day take over as the family's head, ensuring that it does not fall apart before she gets there. In secret, she meets with Kogoch of the Rocholdomn to plot their rise to power.
 
Might is what drives this world, and with might we ensure it is steered in the right direction.
— Ropom Poggok
 

Relations

Dzom

The Poggok look down on the Dzom, and have attempted on numerous occasions to assassinate their ruling members, including a particularly embarrassing incident where a Poggok married a Dzom in the hopes of getting close to their most respected memebrs— but she would instead fall in with the revelrous group and refuse her mother's commands, eventually renouncing her former family name.

Rocholdomn

A threat, one to be wary of. Rocholdomn attempts to buy out Poggok informants has turned into a wonderful opportunity to discover just what the Rocholdomn wish for them to avoid, and has allowed them to sabotage a handful of their trades and deals with other families. Lesser family members have been found dead in the years following their war, an act of retribution by the Poggok.
 

An untimely death

The former head of the Poggok had disappeared without a trace— and was believed by Ropom to have been killed by the Rocholdomn, given their long-standing feud. A brief civil war broke out, lasting for six months until the annual burning of the cursed forest forced it to come to a close. Not to mention that a significant number of the Poggok do not believe the Rocholdomn to be capable of carrying out an assassination against someone so strong— especially given the fact that the former head had been surrounded by soldiers the day she disappeared. None of which witnessed anyone entering or leaving that day— which leads some to suspect that Ropom herself had killed her mother. This group include's Ropom's own daughter, Mopulk. In truth, the former head was discovered by the Cichuelizon as a tether— and assassinated by one of their own, utilizing eldritch magics to carry out the deed.
   

The Dzom

The Dzom family are well-known hedonists, whoever heads the family may change by the day, it's open to whoever feels the need to do so— and is sober. They control the western half of Romm, and the settlements along the western coast. Within their lands live the greatest artists within the country— and the best spirits. If one wishes to experience both art and drunken revelry, the lands of the Dzom are a grand destination. Though their methods of ruling may seem lax, the majority of the nation's exports are produced by their subjects. They lack the discipline of other families, but it is this very freedom that allows for the best possible balance between productivity and quality in the work of their artisans.   Their rise to power can be attributed to this as well, members of the family are known to drink and engage in acts of merriment with their subjects. Through this, they became well known, loved by many— even by the four families at the time. Their position today was won in a drunken bet with one of the previous four families, simply through a drinking contest. One that was rigged by the bartender mediating the contest, who greatly preferred the Dzom to their current rulers. To this day, challengers take on the Dzom Bet— should they out drink the head of the family, they may take their place. Few have even come close to winning.  

GenericWoven3

Notable members

Gukonm

The Bronze Kidney. Simultaneously the most and least respected of the family, she is the eldest— and the most notorious drunk. So much of her life has been spent inebriated, in fact, that even the rest of the family barely recognize her when sober. Despite this, she is a calm, resourceful leader— able to mitigate disasters as they come no matter her state. This peculiar skill sets her apart from the rest, and has lead to many considering her to be the true leader of the family.

Mochomn

An artisan at heart, she primarily deals with the artisans within Dzom territory. This includes allocating raw materials, exporting their finished goods— and protecting them from harm. Her own wood sculptures fetch a high price around the world. She only sculpts while drunk, which by her own words "allows the wood to speak through me." Particularly intriguing are her sculptures made of the cursed Rotomul— which guide her to sculpt faces resembling those long past.
 
I did not sculpt this face, you must understand— it was already here. I drink because they whisper to me, and were I sober I would burn the cursed things to ash— but they cry out for me to free their visages. I must oblige.
— Mochomn Dzom
 

Relations

Generic3-1

Poggok

The Dzom see the Poggok as a threat to their way of life— the antithesis to the way they live and rule. Rather than outright fight them, they strive to defy their ideals by showing how much more effective their methods of rule are. The Dzom also spread revelry into their territory, by paying for tavern patrons' drinks, drunkenly running amok and goading others to join in. This they typically pay others do to in their stead, as drunken brawls directly involving the family could have disastrous political ramifications— and they certainly do not wish for war.  

Rocholdomn

To the Dzom, the Rocholdomn seem to be in great need of merriment— and whenever their members meet to discuss business, they will invite them to drink. An offer they typically accept— though these meetings typically end with the Dzom agreeing to a deal proposed by the Rocholdomn. As they have funded a handful of theatres and taverns within their land, however, the Dzom do not typically mind this, there is, after all, more to be drunk.    

The Rocholdomn

The Rocholdomn are the oldest of the four families, having been around in some form since the nation's very beginnings. Rumors, going as far back as those very same origins, claim that their ancestors were among those responsible for the curse of Rotomul. Thus, their territory surrounding the city of Mouch, which leaves them largely responsible for the annual burning of the cursed trees, is deserved. Tollouchi culture does not emphasize debt to one's ancestors, and this case is one of the very few extant today. Even the living members of the family feel indebted to their people, despite the fact that the ancient rumors have never been proven. Still, this makes them effective and empathetic rulers— at least, publicly.   In truth they have much to gain by maintaining this image— happier, more understanding citizens being the least of the benefits for doing so. Most notable, of course, is the land and coin they control. As their territory extends east into the Rollk Desert, any merchants who wish to trade with the Gokh must travel along their lands— and pay their taxes. The same goes for the mountain-dwellers who wish to travel elsewhere, they in particular are asked to pay in goods for transport, and to pass along various roads leading from their territory.  

Notable members

Dopuk

A greedy, money-minded man, he heads the family and spends most of his time managing the taxes within the family's territory. Taxation, to him, is a delicate dance— one that must be performed with practice, care, and patience. One cannot tax too high those with options— but when they have no other choice? That is where profit is made.  
Generic1

Dochomm

Adopted son of Dopuk, he works to keep their subjects happy. Not because he truly wishes to do so— but because his father pays him to. Once, he was the owner of Mouch's largest theatre. Dopuk, having no direct heir— and being sternly against the idea of relinquishing power to his actual family one day— decided to gain both an ally and an heir in one fell swoop. This was a particularly controversial choice, and led to the formation of a sub-faction within the family.  

Kogoch

Nephew of Dopuk— he would have been the next family head would Dochomm not have been adopted. The head of a sub-faction within the family, who believes that their power could be put to greater use than simply filling their pockets. He dreams of subjugating the whole of the nation under the Rocholdomn name— to redeem it. In secret, he has been meeting with Mopulk Poggok to discuss plans to overthrow both of their family heads and join as allies. Some spread rumors of the pair being romantic partners, which would serve as a convenient cover should they ever be caught.  
Do you not understand what is at stake, uncle? Do you not see the strength we truly posses? Or do your eyes only see as far as the purse at your side?
— Kogoch Rocholdomn
 

Relations

Poggok

Dopuk and his supporters believe Poggok to be their only credible threat— and as a result, they sabotage known shipments of Grondhan to their northern territory. In theory, should it come to war once more— they will have an advantage. Kogoch's sub-faction, however, sees potential allies in them and those who do not blame their family for the death of their former head.

Dzom

The Dzom are a profitable group as, when drunk, they are more likely to accept plans proposed by the Rocholdomn— and they are often inebriated. These plans have included both import and export taxes, the establishment of Rocholdomn-run theatres and taverns in their territory, and even their vote for Pomm on numerous occasions.
 

The Nonmoch

The smallest of the four, ruling the southernmost territory of Romtol, down to the border with Rektouzk. Only a single settlement lies within their territory, the town of Gommoch— yet none have been able to usurp them as one of the four families. Wild rumors claim them to be immortal— that no children have been born into their ranks, and that they simply assume different identities over the years. Each member of the family is noted to bear the same scar across their chest, which witnesses claim emanates a purple-hued smoke.   However, given that their territory is so small and undesirable— the other three families see them as more of a minor nuisance— but, a nuisance that halts would-be usurpers from going after the larger families. Beyond this, their impact and role within Romtol is not particularly noteworthy, and they don't seem to be very interested in the nation's politics or well-being— which does beg the question, why haven't they stepped down? Their vote still matters, but none beyond themselves know what interests that vote serves.  
Does it matter what we are? Why we are? Just know that we are— and leave it be.
— Repeated Nonmoch phrase
   

Related articles


Comments

Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!


Please Login in order to comment!
22 May, 2020 00:44

I love your colour scheme in this excellent article.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
22 May, 2020 04:08
Powered by World Anvil