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Kalarian Empire

Culture

Language and Education
The Empire’s primary language is Common, as it is the most widely spread across the lands and easiest for others to understand. However, with the addition of the Academy, other languages have become more prevalent within a few larger cities; often among the nobility as a way to avoid being overheard.   Education in many forms has become more easily accessible, with each settlement possessing at least one individual who specializes in tutoring the young. Reading, counting, and writing have all become commonplace in recent decades, even among the peasants. Masters are also known to teach select slaves these skills if they did not possess them before being purchased, to better perform their tasks if it is required.   Magic training has become an accepted practice, with many young and talented casters being invited to the Arcane Academy without need of the general fees paid by those who wish to study before showing an aptitude for magic.
Religion
Due to the nature of expansion, many religions are found within the empire, worshipped in many different ways. Aesir, giants, genies and the like are all tolerated to an extent, with the exception of the god Loki, who’s worship is strictly forbidden under pain of death. Small shrines to him have been found scattered about in hidden away areas of cities, but these few cultists have yet to cause issues and are dealt with if discovered praying at these alters.   Temples to the aesir and genies can be found within any major city, but the most common is the temple of Hela, who is the favored god of the queen. Worship of her is not required by law, but it is a commonly held belief that placating the mistress of death with offerings and prayer will help sway the queen’s anger should it befall you.
Gender Roles
The gender roles of the empire are a mixed bag, having not settled fully in the time since the founding of the empire; mostly because of how long many races of the empire live and their deeply engrained biases. In typical situations, gender does not matter for much, but there are times when dealing with lords and ladies that they may treat either gender as lesser dependant on their own race. This is particularly apparent amongst drow, though their cultural beliefs have been loosened slightly in light of the queen matriarch being less strict about them.
Racism
The Empire has an unstable relationship with racism. While all races can be found in all professions and social standing, it is no secret that high class positions rely heavily on the queen matriarch and consort’s favor, and therefore a hopeful person must contend with the biases of the drow and persian. Even if they are successful, they may find themselves in over their head among many who have been playing the political games since before the empire’s founding. Failure to adapt could end in disappearing in the dark, being cast out, or even reduced to a slave.   Even outside the circle of nobility, inherent racism is prevalent at a near instinctive level. Some grudges could last elven lifetimes even when held by short lived races, and so the empire has yet to erase all the strife between its citizens. However, laws have been set in place to either stifle the more destructive tendencies of the people, or at least direct them into a more manageable setting.  

Social Hierarchy

A citizen earns their place through either their own labor or the efforts of their parents, particularly their mother. Children inherit their initial status from their mother, regardless of who was the father due to uncertain at times who actually sired the child. A noblewoman may bear the child of a commoner and the child would be considered noble; while a nobleman could sire a child with a merchant and the child would be middle class alongside the mother.
The Crown
The ruler of the empire is known as Queen or Matriarch, or both, dependant on if a person comes from the surface or the Underdark. There is little doubt that she makes the rules and is the sovereign ruler and commander of the empire. Her task is to protect and see that the needs of her citizens are met in some form, though that is often delegated to lower tiers of authority. Her primary focus shifts between plotting the conquest of new territories and seeing to the will of the goddess Hela. Her close connection to the goddess has led many to call her Hela's Pride or Preistess-Daughter of Hela, and it is no secret that the goddesses will comes before everything in the queen's mind. Despite being a conqueror, she is not entirely heartless and can be fair, even sympathetic, if shown proper respect.   Beneath her are the Royal Consort and Advisor. Both are to assist the queen in the governance of her empire, though the advisor's primary focus tends toward the arcane and discovery of new wonders, and the consort's focus is upon the trade wealth of the empire, rather then the well being of the common person. This opens up the empire to great intellectual and monitary wealth, though it leaves the treatment of citizens to the queen's whims. While it is unclear how a person may become the royal advisor, the belief of the drow is that anyone could become the royal consort if they either impress or woo the matriarch's attentions away from the current, or otherwise get rid of him. The queen matriarch does not discourage this belief, though many courtiers have vanished under strange circumstances related to these efforts.
High Class
Prince and Princess are the children of the Queen Matriarch, though not nessisarily the current Consort. They have few duties in their own right that is inherited with their status, mostly to stand as a display peice by their mother's throne or occassionally assist in managing the palace staff in preperation for later command positions. As they mature, they are expected to earn themselves a position outside their birth title, typically within the military or government. The current prince is a general of the royal armies, while the princess is still finding her footing in the world.   Nobles encompass the lords, ladies, governors, courtiers and other such ranks that work to keep settlements and cities functioning in a suitable manner. With deep roots within the blood noblity and racial biases of many cultures, the many ranks within this classification form a complex web of influence and schemes, each trying to gain the upperhand over another, or gain favor from the rulers. Spies and assassins are an unofficial but prevalent part of this game, and a knife in the back is not uncommon. While it is not unheard of to see races of all types among the nobility, there is an admittedly disproportionate amount of drow within the noble tiers of society.   Clergy of Hela are respected all across the empire, out of equal measures fear and awe. The higher ranked clerics are often the speakers of the queen matriarch and as such an attack upon them could carry heavy consiquences. There is always at least one drow cleric of Hela in ever city or manor, sitting in the counsil of lords and ladies. They are to inform the queen should any problems need her attention, or destroy the undead they keep on their person if the need is dire enough. Their position is dangerous, however, as they would likely be the first to die if a rebellion against the empire were to happen within the city they reside in; it is this fact that allows the queen to know which cities need reminding who is their sovereign.
Middle Class
The citizens who are well off, yet not as influential as the high class. They typically live in nice homes and are well educated in some trade as they grow up. Due to the empire's focuses on trade, those that can distribute or craft goods of exceptional quality find themselves welcomed among this tier of society.  
  • Merchants
  • Artisans
  • Clergy of other assorted deities
  • Low Class
    Peasants tend to be on a varying scale as far as how comfortably they live. Their lives tend to be more focused on providing for themselves and their families, rather then accumilating excess wealth or influence. Depending on their trade, they can still be fairly comfortable in terms of money, and those who need a boost often go on the winter raids or sign up for the military.  
  • Commoner
  • Farmers
  • Sailors
  • Unclassed
    Professions that do not fit within the heiarchy often follow seperate structures of authority. They can still gain wealth and status within the empire, often rapidly in terms of those who become professional adventurers. Of course slaves are unable to gain any standing, and are seen more as property then people.  
  • Mages
  • Raiders
  • Soldiers
  • Adventurer
  • Slaves
  • History

    Previously the city-states of Daneland, as well as a few coastal territories that were once ruled by the other nations, over the last fifty years were conquered by a new kingdom. Led by a drow woman and her companions, the armies of Danes, monsters, undead and elementals swept across the land like the shadow of an eclipse.   While the new matriarch focused on expanding and defending her borders, her consort and advisor focused on making sure their home would have every chance to prosper. With the tireless work force of undead and elementals, roads were torn up and reestablished, cisterns and aqueducts were constructed, fields irrigated for new farmland, wooden cities were deconstructed and rebuilt in stone, with basic plumbing systems to allow for more clean living conditions and hygiene.   To keep the peace and happiness of the people, even after being conquered, the queen allowed them to sustain their cultures and even allowed local leaders to remain in their positions if they were not killed in the initial attacks. These lords were required to swear fealty to the new queen and allow one of her drow to sit among their council; in return they will have the benefits that come with being a part of the empire and be allowed to keep their station.   Of course not all leaders were eager to bow before a drow, and they were swiftly executed, and a new lord or lady was put in their place… usually from among the queen’s drow.   Over the years, the empire has grown, and the more efficient roads allowed for easy trade and communication. With the addition of a mage academy, magic also became more common to see, and the crafts that came with it. With no small amount of political maneuvering, the royal consort was also able to forge powerful trade connections between the Empire and Persia, sealing a non-aggression pact between the two nations that seems to be holding strong to this day.

    Military

    The army of the Kalarian Empire is built up of many humanoid races, werewolves, elementals and mindless undead.   Each manor and settlement has rights to host a personal army, for the means of self defense should an attack arise, however all personal held armies are to join with the royal forces if a threat or campaign for more territories requires it. Aside from these calls to action, the lords and ladies are allowed to conduct and structure their armies as they see fit, though it is a fine line between having a standing army and not seeming as if you are building up a rebellious force. Many have lost their lives due to their lord turning them on the three rulers.   The elementals and undead are a small division of the army that only take part in acts of conquest, for that is when they are summoned. They follow commands unerringly from those that summon them, typically mages and clerics under the command of the queen.   Werewolves are present within the royal army as well, and many of the highest ranking official are infected with the curse to enhance their performance in battle. Of course this increase in power comes with responsibilities to control the beast within, and failure to do so could swiftly lead to disaster, in which case they are killed without hesitation.

    Don't mess with Hela's Pride

    Rulers
  • Queen Matriarch Kalaraja
  • Royal Consort Ardashir
  • Royal Advisor Finrod
  • Type
    Geopolitical, Empire
    Capital
    Alternative Names
    Daneland (Formerly)
    Government System
    Monarchy, Absolute
    Currency
    Gold and Secrets
    Major Exports
  • Magic items and texts
  • Potions
  • Timber (Underdark trade)
  • Major Imports
  • Special craft materials
  • Silks, spices and luxury goods
  • Slaves and poisons (Underdark trade)
  • Controlled Territories
    Races of the Empire:
    Common
  • Humans
  • Dwarves
  • Orcs
  • Drow [Selectively]
  • Uncommon
  • Gnomes
  • Half-bloods
  • Rare
  • Goblins
  • Elves
  • Tiefling

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