Dread Barony of Mallocaballo Settlement in Scarterra | World Anvil

Dread Barony of Mallocaballo

Mallocaballo (Based on Spanish for "bad horse")   Tentative Geographic Assignment: Spot 2   Basic Concept: This is the Kantoc’s Las Vegas. What happens in Mallocaballo stays in Mallocaballo. The Baron runs the realm like a mafia don.     History: The current Baron of the realm is the descendant of a bastard son of a Kantoc king who became bandit lord and leveraged his power and influence to stage a coup over the previous Baron of Mallocaballo.     Government Style: The official title of the realm’s ruler is the Dread Baron. The Dread Baron blurs the line between hereditary absolute monarch and warlord. The heir is usually the eldest son of the previous Dread Baron, but poisoned cups and bloody daggers sometimes title things to a younger son or a nephew. The government is a kleptocracy. Nearly everything is legal is here, as long as the Dread Baron gets his cut, and he takes a relatively small cut. The Dread Baron officially endorses free commerce.   Goblins, aranea and more mercenary kobolds realize that gold and gems have value, but they cannot eat gold. The Dread Baron will accept treasure from these monstrous groups and give them back weapons, armor, reagents, potions and other things that they can actually use.   Basic criminal activities like prostitution, gambling, forbidden magical reagents, narcotics, fencing stolen goods, and falsified documents are common place here. The Dread Lord takes a percentage but he rarely gets personally involved with this stuff. What the Dread Lord values most is performing assassination, espionage, and other high end cloak and dagger activities for publicly respectful Kantoc and Meckelorn nobles who want or need things but don’t want to get their own hands dirty.   To his trusted aids, the Dread Baron likes to say “Gold is good, respect is better, secrets are best.”     Character of the Realm: The aura of the realm is the aura of a neighborhood under the sway of the mafia. People are polite and formal but there is an edge of barely detectable fear in most day-to-day interactions.     Religion: All religion is permitted here. The Dread Baron is publicly a polytheist who worships all the Nine equally. Unofficially, he makes under the table deals with the Masks, Lanterns, Testers, Children, Rovers, and sometimes even the Stewards . The Dread Baron tries to carefully maintain the balance, so no single priesthood gains too much power. He works to make Keepers and Guardians feel unwelcome here but he is open to working with any of the other seven deity’s followers. The permissive nature of worship here has made Mallocaballo a haven for religious heretics of all sorts.     Challenges: Not even the Dread Baron is aware that Mallocabllo houses more than triple the usual number of theurgists per capita compared to the rest of Scarterra. A disproportionately high number of the theurgists here represent heretical or extremist offshoots of their priesthoods. The various priesthoods are gearing up for a holy war. The Bachites of Nami, the Paladins of Mera, and an unlikely triumvirate of Lanterns, Guardians, and Keepers are all planning to make a move to overthrow the government. Ironically, the Bachite Rovers don’t want a full coup, they just want to convince the Baron to join their order and stop being so polytheistic.   The Children and the Testers are both planning to goad the three warring religious faction into killing each other and then swooping in to defeat the weakened victor. The Children and Testers have spies in all three of the main warring factions but they are unaware of each other’s plans.     In general, the Dread Baron is hated by Kantoc, Mecleorn, Stahlheim, and many other Borderlanders both barons and commoners. The crime is tolerable to them, but collaborating with goblins and monsters is unforgivable. So far, the Dread Baron’s brutal lieutenants and his ample supply of blackmail material of the rich and powerful of these other realms is keeping hostile foreign powers bay. The moment the Dread Baron outwardly shows weakness is the moment that his many enemies are likely to dog pile on him at once either with espionage or a full on invasion.
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Cover image: Map of the Border Baronies by Pendrake


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