Important Ig Notes

Posted by Sceadu (forums)

Official Senate Decree

Let it be known throughout the republic that the Senate has decreed that all militias will now be assisted by from this time forward by the Consuls of the Legion in the management of their leadership. The Consuls may delegate this function to their subordinates as they see fit. This decree does not give the legion the power to issue orders to the militias unless a state of emergency has been declared by the Senate. During a state of emergency, the leaders of each militia shall report to the Consuls or their representative to receive orders in assisting in such emergency. At this time, the Senate recognizes these organizations as official militias; The Blackvine Militia, the Monlon Volunteer Guard, and the Traevant Miltia.

Posted by Sceadu (forums)

Organzational Changes

In an attempt to help streamline Organizations we have made a few changes:

The ability to add and remove leaders has been enabled for some orgs. These will include any org that isn’t a government run or answerable to “higher powers”.

Militia orgs (any org formed to help in the defense of any or the entire republic) will now fall under the umbrella of the Legion. What this means is that the Centurion of Legio 1 will have the power to add and remove leaders to any such org. Currently these orgs consist of the MVG, the TM, and the BVM. The Centurion is not to “micro-manage” these orgs, but there to assist in leadership issues and to offer advice in the way they are run. This translates into an In Game Senate decree and should be taken as such. Any of these orgs that are currently having leadership issues should approach the Centurion and discuss these issues with him.

This should assist in the transitions of leadership in many orgs and allow those that wish it to have multiple leaders (access to the @org menu) if they wish.

Note: A character cannot remove THEMSELF as leader of an org. If they wish to pass on leadership, they will need to add the new leader and then let the new leader remove them as a leader.

Posted by Japes (forums)

There are critical differences between the constabulary, the Legio, and the various militia groups. The first two are long-established parts of the gameworld, with a history that runs far back into the origins of the Republic. Both are institutional instruments of the State, with specific jurisdictions, duties, and defined roles. Neither are completely independant in action and policy, as even the officers of both groups must still answer to NPC superiors.

On the other hand, the militias are relatively recent groups with an organizational structure separate and independant of the government. They were not formed under the authority of the Senate, nor are they an official extension of the state in any way. While they enjoy the backing of local authorities, their current role is still simply that of a paramilitary group.

The basic point is that the militias exist outside the power-structure of Iridine. For a local governor to arm and support a group of warriors and mercenaries, then use them to pacify his city and solidify his power, would be outrageous. He would be accused of raising a private army, encouraging mob rule, or even plotting against the Senate.

Posted by Japes: (forums)

The Parcines are originally plains folk that were driven into the hills by the Iridines and other 'civilized' peoples.

The Blackroots are the original inhabitants of the mountains (as far as recorded history is concerned).

Posted by Japes (forums)

"… it was on the third day they made themselves seen, and I emphasize this because they are seen only when they wish. They rose up all at once upon the crest of the hill, tall, wild-haired, and each one noisier than a wild buck whipped into frenzy. We could barely see their skin, so vivid was the warpaint that covered them completely. Their rank was alive with colors, but the most prominent were red and black, the colors of blood and death. The barbarians were near-naked yet all the more rash because of it. Occasionally among their number strode an elder warrior, wearing the glint of fine mail and the grotesque masks of their iron helmets.

Every warrior waved about a great axe, some bore two. These were no ordinary axes, but the kind used to chop lumber - multiplied two-fold in breadth of blade. It with a deafening scream that each warrior brought his axe to our line, and it was only by the grace of Ereal that we held that day…"

- Report by Subalturn Scio Eberus, after the Second Battle of the Chasm

"… The Blackroot man stands a good foot above the average Iridine denizen. It is no secret that they are taller and stronger than the denizens of surrounding lands, and they have made good use of this fact in their raids and choice of weaponry. However, one must not be deceived into thinking of the Blackroot as a hulking simpleton, no matter how appealing this image may be.

A brief visit to a Blackroot home will reveal a household as orderly and strictly-managed as those run by the most traditional of patrician families. An austere, simple people, the Blackroot generally look upon items based on a pragmatic assessment of their usefulness, rather than the aesthetic appeal of their glitter. It is with great dismay that many merchants find them unmoved by gold, instead preferring the proven usefulness of iron. And iron is indeed abundant in the southern mountains.

Every tribal warrior is expected to wield an iron weapon of some kind. Those tribes which are fortunate enough to control an iron mine find their warriors equipped with several or more. Though their craftsmanship in most fields are, naturally, inferior to their Iridine counterparts, their smiths produce work of perplexing quality. One must wonder if these metalworking techniques are legacies left behind by an older civilization, of which the modern Blackroots are but a pale shadow. Some ruins seem to indicate…"

- Excerpt from "A Study of Tribal Customs and the Natives of the Blackroot Mountains" by Tairo Immunes

Posted by Japes (forums)
"The Piper"

When they have come unto the river's bank,
in winter's solemn garb, that listless trance,
all wordless, arm in arm, they'll join in rank,
for ashen silence marks the piper's dance.

The flute will breathe a softly spoken tune,
then feet will shuffle, borne on flesh gone stale,
Perhaps to spin with grace beneath the moons,
Perhaps to tumble, lost, into the veil.

If you have gathered such with foes and friends,
all stripped of laughter, lacking tears to cry,
then know you lost the chance to make amends.
The piper plays, and it is time to die.

- fragment from the Tablet of Songs
Currently stored in the temple archives,
locked away by order of High Priest Tharius.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

To the Citizens of the Republic of Iridine

By order of the Senate, the merchant Houses that conduct banking activities within the Republic's bounds are directed to follow the orders of the Steward of the City in the manner described herein.

When so directed by the Steward of the City or his designated subordinate, the banking house shall transfer, in full, to the best of their knowledge, the worldly possessions that the bank has placed in storage as well as the sum total of all funds deposited by a given person, into the account of a second person.

The Steward of the City is authorized to so direct a banking house for the following reasons:

- If a person's will, duly filed with the office of the Steward of the City, so directs the disposition of their worldly possessions AND said person's body can be presented to the Steward of the City's designee;
- or, if an authorized subordinate of the Justice of the City and Foreign Justice of the City so requests in the pursuit of justice.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)


It has come to the attention of the Senate and the Cult of Ereal that objects discovered outside the small village of Rock Valley have been imported into the city. These pebbles, known colloquially as "tears", are said to give the bearer fanciful visions upon the application of percussive force.

The Cult has examined several samples of these items and found them to be nothing more than rocks whose curious formation has trapped small amount of noxious aroma inside each cavity. Upon breaking, the smell is released and befuddles the senses mildly.

As the ritual destruction of these items has now increased in commonality, and given that these pebbles are normally used by the outlying barbarian tribes in their unnatural ceremonies, the possession of these tears has been decreed to be a crime against the Republic, suiting the charge of Possession of Outlawed Magical Items.

All those currently in possession of the barbarian pebbles are advised to turn them over to the nearest priest for destruction. The Phoenix Guard has been alerted to confiscate these items during their regular searches at the gates. Offenders will be prosecuted under the statute named above.

The use of these tears shall be punished as the Use of Outlawed Magic.

[Please note that priests on the street will accept tears, if you feel the need to rid yourselves of them immediately. NPC constables will now respond to attempts to crack tears, and the PG will be treating tears as magical contraband.]

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

On Weddings

The Cult of Ereal regards the vows of marriage to be a sacred event, undertaken under the watchful gaze of Ereal and in His Light. The Cult, however, has limited resources to officiate at weddings and does not consider it necessary to validate one's commitment to Ereal.

The vows, then, are intensely personal, and while the Cult is pleased to celebrate the vow-making between two people who are able to afford its mandatory donations, no such spiritual requirement exists. The Cult will gladly accept a couple's word that their vows have been made before Ereal, and that His Joy fills their union.

The Cult is willing to celebrate the ceremony of marriage at any point, whether it be immediately upon the taking of vows or after fifteen years of matrimony. The celebration is just that—a festive event that can recognize either the joy of new happiness or an old love still thriving.

The religious obligations are not the same as social obligations. To an upper-class family, a wedding ceremony without the Cult's blessing would be unheard of, a genuine scandal. No well-born person, whether a patrician or merchant, would dream of some common vows being exchanged in private.

Please note that as easy as this circumstance may seem to be entered in upon, it is not lightly broken. The Cult must sanction the sundering of the marital chains, and only if good cause is presented.

Posted by Kritios (forums)

Citizens and residents of the great Republic,

On behalf of the Senate and to be overseen heretofore by Quaestors Marrinus Valistian and Armenus Indultas all active soldiers of the Legio I and II shall be provided a stipend during their period of service in recompense for expenses encountered in the line of duty.

(sealed with the symbol of the Iridine Senate)

[These wages have been based off of the existing salary model for the Iridine Constables, which had originally been intended to be in place for all government organizations.]

Posted by Japes (forums)

Applications for citizenship

Let it be known that, from this point forward, all queries regarding the application process for citizenship by foreign-born residents of the Republic and their sponsoring patrician patrons are to be made through the office of Records to the Steward of the City or his designated subordinate.

A detailed list of requirements necessary to process citizenship applications is available through the office of the Assistant Steward of Records.

The Steward of the City is authorized to approve or decline all citizenship applications made by foreign-born residents and their patrician sponsors.

[Costs of 2 influence or 1500 role points will be applied upon approval of the application.]

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

Answer: Question #1

Altene History—

Long ago the people now known as Altene's lived as part of another kingdom, now long forgotten. It is said that a great cataclysm fell across the lands and the gods themselves turned their backs on mankind for the earth quaked and the sun was blotted out from the sky. During this time those who would be named after their leader rose up against their rightful master with greed in their eyes. For this crime they were cast out of their homelands, a punishment even the great hero Khoras could not prevent.

Yet still did the lust for their masters land lay within the hearts of the Altene's, it was not until Alterod himself was struck down by a fell arrow and lay dying that they realized the error of their ways, for it was then that Erai'Theran first appeared. Disguising himself as a healer he dragged the dying king out of battle, mended his wounds and saved Alterod's life. This selfless act opened Alterod's eyes to the grievous crimes he and his people had committed. At that moment Alterod began to plan the future of the Altenes.

Shutting himself away for three days Alterod set down the fundemental laws of Altene society, and placed Khoras' noble sacrifice as the ideal for every true Altene. When Alterod had finished this and finally left his tent the sun once more shone through the clouds, and Alterod realized who it was who had saved him from certain death.

Despite this, the Altene's continued to wander for several more years, and it was during this time that the Altenes took their name, honoring their stoic and saddened king. At last, they reached Tuchea, camping upon the peninsula, and watched with curiousity by the Tucheans. It was a rocky, barren place, with little land for farming, and practically none for raising herds. Some say Alterod was weary unto death with wandering, and simply decided to stop. Others say he chose the barren, rocky land as penance for his people's greed, out of shame for what they had done. Whatever the reason, Alterod decided to make the peninsula the new homeland for his people.

Alterod might have been worn down by his people's travails, and weary of flight, but he still possessed a keen and observant intellect. He had observed the rampant internecine warfare between the noble houses of Tuchea, and he knew of a way to insure his people's chosen homeland would remain theirs. He met
with the King of Tuchea, and struck a deal, insuring his and his line's longevity against assassination in return for the land encompassed by the peninsula. The Tuchean King realizing the fragile position he and his kingdom where in, accepted the deal, and the Royal Altene Bodyguards were formed. With the peninsula now his, Alterod set about building a strong city embraced by thick stone walls. To protect it, he formed the Heart of Altene, an army composed of every man, woman and child left to their race. His new laws required all Altenes to be trained in combat, to honor their race, to be true to their word and the laws of their king. Never again would they would they rise in greed or envy against another.

As the peninsula was not good farming land, Alterod began to make money using the only thing he had to export; his soldiers. Thus the Five Companies, or The Fist, of Altene, was formed. They too would be exemplary in conduct, loyal to their contracts unto death, unless first broken by their employer. Thus do Altenes hate oathbreakers and those who murder their kin, and hunt and chase them mercilessly from their homeland. They will not easily tolerate speaking about oathbreakers, nor their origins, as, somewhere deep within, they hold an ancient shame for their original deed, which brought such terrible misfortune upon themselves.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

Cineran Entertainment -

Cinerans are typically described as the brutes of the world; outside of the barbarous lands they are the most well-known for their brutality, slovenliness and open attitude towards ferocious cruelty. These aspects partially disguise to the outside world their society's complex social fabric, attitudes, and mores.

The Cinerans upper classes, the warlords, generally find their amusement in genteel pastimes. Much as the Iridine nobility do, they hunt for game, place wagers on trivial matters, and vie for political power. Many of their more public amusements are curtailed, however, out of security concerns; after all, the only way to assume a noble's lands and titles are through his death. This does not lead to a very secure life for those nobles, and their enjoyments reflect this fact.

It is a fact that everyone in Cinera is the slave of someone else; the lower class, enslaved to the Cineran warlords, find their enjoyment in far more mundane activities. Topping the list is the perennial duo of drinking and gambling. Cineran drinking habits account for a large chunk of a man's reputation; an inability to hold one's liquor deals a serious blow to one's esteem about town. Similarly, those who haven't got the ability to sit down with a pair of dice and lose, quite graciously, several year's worth of earnings are viewed with disdain. While puffing on his foul-smelling pipe the Cineran peon will often abuse women and small animals, discuss at lengths his upcoming attempt to levy an army and conquer Iridine, or practice new and innovative techniques with the dirk.

One more unique facet of this strata of society lay in the curious Screnaca Coranadin, which translates roughly as "The Dance of Drizzling Blood". Men (and occasionally women) consent, for the sake of honor, entertainment, or pure drunkeness, to bind their right hands together. Holding dirks with their left hand, they proceed to strike at each other. The first to draw blood on the other person three times is declared the winner. Entire industries thrive around this form of entertainment, which the warlords detest with such loathing it is almost impossible to believe they share common blood with the lower classes.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

The Cineran/Aestivan Alliance -

Astraea has long been the site of conflict. A prominent trading post, where three of the great nations of Midlight meet, Astraea serves as the hub of communication for most of southern Midlight. Included in this calculation are the barbarian tribes of the Kuramas and beyond.

The party that controls Astraea controls all of this wealth. Until Year of the Republic 170, Astraea was a possession of the Cineran warlord Hikteros. The Astraeans endured seventy years of harsh Cineran rule; prior to that, they had been a member of the Aestivan League, having been the spoil of war after the First Aestivan Treaty. And before that, they had belonged to Iridine since the Cineran defeat in YR 2… and so on, since the founding of Iridine itself.

The most recent capture of Astraea left deep scars. The Cineran warlords of the east, traditionally the most aggressive against the Iridine Republic, penetrated with their armies nearly to the foot of Monlon before suffering a massive collapse of their army east of the forest surrounding Monlon. The triumphant legions of Iridine drove the routed Cinerans all the way past Astraea, soundly defeating them and leaving no room for a negotiated compromise.

This humiliation resonates in the nobility of Cinera even today. Hikteros' son Trithos, one of the chief aggressors against Iridine in the current war, dispatched emissaries to the Aestivan League after hostilities were opened with the kidnappings of YR 207. The specific discussions between those forces are unknown, but it is generally accepted that Trithos used a combination of intimidation and enticement to draw the Aestivan League into the war. Captured in the great Battle of Monlon in YR 219, Trithos' central role in the war was not fully realized before he was thrown to the sands for the enjoyment of the mob. His death, and the sound defeat of Cineran forces, seem to have sowed the seeds of doubt among the Aestivans and has been widely attributed as a cause of the Aestivan withdrawal.

Posted by GMJenn (forums)

…." And the kings of Selm grew decadent and turned from worshipping the powerful gods of the Sea, and for their sins the gods called up great walls of water to crash against their palace. Yet still, the kings would not repent. So the gods sent rain clouds to block out the sky, and drench the land with their anger. Yet still would they not repent. Only after the people themselves began to cry out for relief from these great calamities did the gods pause in their terrible wrath. Even so, the sun itself would not warm the land, and many many people starved and died, the King and his nobles among them. It was only when the tall, blond people from the north landed their great arching-prowed vessels upon the strand, that the sun destroyed the lowering clouds and emerged to warm the land and bring life to its people once more."….From The Book of Aengrud, First Smith of Windward

Windward is a large island to the northwest of Iridine, home to a range of peaks bearing rich deposits of copper and iron ore. The island is called Windward by the Iridines because of its location in the direction of the prevailing winds. In ancient times, before the ocean rose and washed across the island, Windward was known as the kingdom of Selm, but much of that history has been lost, and no one knows what the inhabitants of Selm or their kingdom were like. Only a few mysterious passages in some old tomes hint at a decadent nation that traded its precious metal for other wealth.
Attracted by the glitter of exposed ore high on the mountain peaks, the people of Tuchea came to explore the neighboring island, and discovered a people barely managing to scratch a living from the sea-drenched island. The Tucheans were swift to take this island into their realm, and equally swift to see that the mines were soon working at full capacity. The Windwardians, living off Tuchean food until their own farms should again produce, hailed them as heroes and accepted their conquest with aplomb.
For the most part even-tempered and hard-working, the islanders worked for their overlords the Tucheans until an upstart young nation by the name of Iridine managed to annex the island after a series of vicious naval battles at various points around it. The Iridinians were of course more than happy to receive the precious copper and iron ores from Windward, but in exchange they gave the islanders more freedom than ever before….to own their mines, to work their land as they saw fit, to sell ores at competitive prices…as long as the bulk of those ores went to the Republic.
After being welcomed into the Iridine republic, Iridine engineers helped the islanders build the city of Chalcicus on the southwestern point of the island, on top of a small fishing village. This marvel of architecture features streets laid out in a block grid, making it one of the neatest and cleanest cities in the Republic. To protect its new assets, Iridine sent a contingent of soldiers, who built and manned a fort on the northeastern plateau of the island. The descendants of these soldiers keep a watchful eye north and east, towards the nations of Tuchea and Cinera, and Iridine periodically rotates units into and out of the fort.
In the leeward shelter of the ore-bearing mountains, rich green farmland grows wheat, olives, and even some grapes, with sheep grazing the higher mountain slopes. A few small villages have survived from ancient days, though most of the populace lives in Chalcicus.
To this day the Windwardians are a strong, independent people, hard-working and plain-spoken.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

A holistic approach to the worship of Ereal guides the life of most Iridinians. From morning to night, small rituals and observances mark the day of a devout Erealite.

Most Iridinian homes are host to a small shrine. This space (often just a corner of a room), is intended for reflection, prayer, and admiration of Ereal. It typically includes small reminders of His presence — devotional pictures or statues displaying one of His aspects, linen emblazoned with the golden sunburst, and scented candles are the most popular in contemporary society. The wealthy often outdo themselves in the creation of their personal shrines, dedicating entire rooms to hosting gaudy, functionless altars and dozens of expensive myrrhwax candles. The most common function for these shrines are prayers after waking and before sleeping; the Cult encourages all its adherents to thank Ereal for allowing them another day of breath in His world. For a time around 150 YR, it became common for these shrines to include a homage to the family's ancestors. This was stamped out as heresy in 159 YR, after the infamous Riots of Prilaxos.

Two regular Cult services occur during the day, prior to the noon and evening meals. Each of the three sects hosts a small service during which an acolyte recites the ceremonial Adulation. After the Adulation of Ereal is complete, a priest gives the Blessing of the Sun to the assembled congregants. Once weekly, the evening service is expanded; a bull is typically sacrificed and its meat shared among the attendees. Less fortunate temples are often forced to make do with lesser animals or even a sacrifice of vegetation.

There are no formal strictures on what the "right" amount of attendance at Cult services is; no parishes, per se, exist and participation is quite informal. In general, citizens are urged to attend a service once per week. In point of fact, the average citizen above the Head Count normally attends more than that, as most public occasionsceremonies, feasts, Festival days, games, birthday celebrationstend to include elements of a Cult service.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

Through the years, Iridine has accrued its share of military lore. Through the stories of its greatest military commanders, the common Iridinian shares his love of Iridine and the Republic with his fellow man.

Ielios Pardelian

A centurion named Pardelian served for over a decade in the constant wars of King Quintus the Marauder against the Parcines barbarians. After watching for ten years the generally discipline-less conduct of both the barbarians and Legio, he took it upon himself to begin instilling a fresh sense of discipline in his men. His discipline was not attractivehe is rumored to have been the first to have decimated his own men, though that remains unsubstantiatedbut effective, and despite his sterness and, perhaps, cruelty, men clamored to be assigned under him. The reason was simple—despite active duty against the Parcines, his men survived engagement after engagement at a rate unheard of in other centuries.

His tactics, however, were not appreciated by those ranked above him. He was called insane and dangerous by those tribunes under which he served; constant reports of his tendencies towards rebellion made King Quintus nervous, and in one fit of anxiety Quintus ordered Pardelian killed, dispatching his nephew and a servant to do so. When the nephew arrived, however, the Iridinian army was in the middle of a pitched battle against a force of Parcines. As the nephew watched, Ielios' centuries marched in strict formation, wheeling and turning with precision at the commands of the decurions. The disorganized hordes easily outnumbered the Legio there, but were swept under as wheat in a thresher by the gladii rising and falling in a synchronized ballet of bloodshed.

The nephew was so impressed that he refused his commission and, instead, commanded that Ielios Pardelian be placed in command and pursue the barbarians he had so neatly defeated as far as his supplies would take him. Pardelian obliged, gaining miles of territory that had been fought over for years with no movement. The nephew returned to Iridine and convinced Quintus to instead promote the loyal Pardelian, which the Marauder did a year before being assassinated.

Valstaron Martius

Perhaps the bloodiest, and certainly the least stable, of the Cineran kings was Parsos Emrial. In his thirteen year reign he slaughtered the elders who had guided each of the preceding reigns for two hundred years. Valstaron Martius served in the Legion with honor but little distinction for over ten years; while he was of a noble house, he had shown no interest in politics and preferred to serve Iridine in the field, against the Aestivan nobles. The Aestivans conducted a civilized war, completely unlike that which Martius' comrades told him about in the south, against the barbarians.

Emrial conducted a particularly brutal round of slaughter in Scran of EK 213. Martius' uncle, of House Oradanae, was one of those killed in a show trial; when word came to the far reaches of the East in Palut EK 213, Valstaron transformed himself from a mediocre tribune to a figure of heroic proportions. He contacted his opposition, promising them the cessation of hostilities in return for several miles of valuable border territory, and marched back with his cohort to the City, picking up disaffected cohorts and scattered units en route. Word of his legendary marchcaptured, years later, in the song "The March of Martius"spread like wildfire ahead of him.

Knowing full-well the importance of pomp and circumstance, Martius encouraged a story of doubtful integrity from which he drew the name "The Hawk". It was told often that when he was a child, the young Martius was confronted by a sword cat in the plains outside Iridine. Wielding only a toy wooden sword, the young boy faced off against the prowling cat, prepared to fight and die. Before the sword cat could strike, a circling hawk dove in and began scratching at the sword cat's face. The cat was distracted long enough for Martius to jab the wooden gladius home, killing the sword cat. It's said that the hawk flew onto Martius' shoulder and whispered, "The Republic must live through you."

Facing the first serious opposition of his reign, Emrial panicked and packed a ship with his family and a great deal of Iridine's wealth while dispatching a meager force to encounter Martius outside of Vetallun. The force delayed but did not stop Martius, who punched through the city and set fire to Parsos Emrial's ship before it could set sail. In full view of the Mob, the gold-carrying ship burnt and sank to the bottom of the harbor, where it was soon picked clean by those lucky harbor scum that could hold their breath. Emrial and his family were sent back to Cinera; years later, Emrial was killed in a common dirk fight with his son.

Martius immediately set about the structure of government. He convened the elders that comprised the Senate and, after assuring them that he did not intend to rule as a tyrant, instructed them to form a government. The man that had impressed so few people in his military service ruled for a time with immaculate fairness; when the Senate had created a structure for government, codifying its traditions into procedures and laws, he stepped aside and went back with his tribune to patrolling the Republic. Five years later, he marched on Aestiva; in his twilight years, as he approached retirement, he cemented the victory over Aestiva at the Battle of the Legion of Oaks. He was struck by an Aestivan spear at that battle, and several months later died from the lingering effects of the wound. He was declared a Hero of the Republic and given a tribute postumously, during which his body was paraded through the streets in the traditional garland.

Tralius Allende

House Allende was a minor noble family that raised in status during the purges of Parsos Emrial. Tralius himself quietly opposed Emrial, and he worked tirelessly in the city during the days after Emrial's abdication for peace and unity. Valstaron Martius recognized this, and took Allende under his wing, giving him command over the city's defenses. Recognizing that the Cineran kings had never adequately prepared all of Iridine for attack, only their own holdings in the Steps, Tralius immediately and persistently worked to fortify Iridine, beginning with the natural point of attack—Vetallun. He recognized more than just the obvious vulnerability, however. The turmoil in Iridine became known to the Cinerans, who in short order organized for an attack. Less than a year after deposing Emrial, the faction that had produced Quintus the Marauder attacked, driving south from its fortifications at Franlius. Martius himself led the Legio that held off a two-pronged attack towards Monlon, while Tralius Allende was tasked with the defense of Iridine.

That defense began in Blackvine, as the two forces clashed northeast of the contemporary village. Tralius tasked several centuries of the Second Legion to utilize barbarian tactics in the forests along the coast. The Cineran horde became bogged down, losing momentum, as Allende directed his men to attack stingingly, inflict damage, then fall back. The numbers, however, soon became desperate as Allende observed the massive numbers of invaders. Several times members of the Senate sent messengers laden with advice for the young Allende: "Keep your men on the left flank!"; "Fall back and let them besiege the city!"; "For Ereal's sake, surrender and let us keep our lives!" To each missive, Allende replied with a simple sentence:

"Tell them I shall fight and I shall win, for if we fail today the Republic fails forever."

The situation continued to grow more dire as dark clouds rolled into site from over the sea. Into the darkness, and in desperation, Allende called back those centuries that survived to the Vetallun Bridge. They dashed across, pursued by several cohorts. As he crossed the bridge with the Cinerans only hundreds of yards behind him, he looked up and saw rows of villagers, citizens of the Republic, staring towards him. He later recounted to his son:

"I saw them looking at me. The look on their faces was indescribable. It was understanding, sympathy, and resignation. They knew that the dream we had started, of a Republic, was going to die."

Tralius Allende stopped and, with what was described as a guttural scream, turned back mid-bridge and faced the onrushing army. With the dark clouds behind him and the twilight in front, he drew out his dirty gladius and raised it high overhead. The several centuries that had been rushing furiously for the relative safety of the rudimentary fort turned and saw their Consul alone on the bridge. Fearing for his safety, several men rushed to haul him off; their efforts were rewarded with the flat of his blade as the enraged Allende screamed, "Let them come!"

And they came: his soldiers, standing eight wide and twenty deep, stood atop that bridge and fought. When Tralius was struck down with a Cineran dirk to his ribs he was dragged back by his men to the rear until, in a feverish fit, he rushed back into the fray. Iridine archers stood on the banks of the river and picked off those Cinerans foolish enough to try their hand at fording. For hours into the night the fight raged, the bridge becoming slick with blood. The river turned red, and the muddy banks themselves were impassable, and the Cinerans retreated. They laid siege to Vetallun for several days until being forced into a retreat, having had three out of every four men killed.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

Umbran Arxaeth

The sea was never a Cineran strength. The Cineran kings of Iridine did not establish more than a token navy force, and as the sea became more and more important for purposes of trade this vulnerability only became more pronounced. Umbran Arxaeth, the Seahound, was among the first to recognize this. House Arxaeth has never been very large, though it was old and distinguished, having first been established during the reign of Tulca II. Arxaeth had been raised by a severe father that insisted his son learn practical skills before joining the military; Umbran was drilled on ropemaking, carpentry, and the basics of sailing before any of his peers began thinking of the sea as more than a source of fish.

Thus it was that when, as a young tribune, Umbran heard of the constant harassment of Iridine trading vessels by pirates, he insisted on his own appointment as the first Admiral of Iridine's new navy. His father's connections became useful in pushing through the funding of three small warships, and soon after their commission he took his "fleet" and began the successful prosecution of a war against piracy.

It did not take long for Umbran Arxaeth to recognize that the pirates he found operating in the trade lanes between Iridine and Remath were not unaffiliated rogues. Rather, they were organized by the kingdom of Tuchea, a small nation that had, through its marauding, amassed a sizable ocean empire. The pirate ships were easy enough prey for a warship, but when the ambitious Umbran began to challenge the kingdom's military vessels he found to his dismay that they were manned by members of the White Sharks, an Altene mercenary company. In a short but decisive battle, he lost two of his three ships and the captain of his own. His fleet in tatters, he sailed back to Iridine. Surprisingly, no shame accrued to his name; he explained that the navy had not been properly outfitted or trained by the Senate, and with a proper force could humiliate the Tuchean kingdom. The Senate believed him, and promptly built up a fleet of eighteen ships. Meanwhile, and more importantly, Umbran had contracted members of the White Sharks to train his own men in marine battle tactics. While unable to convince the White Sharks from abandoning their commitments, he was able to hire enough mercenaries to counter the Altene presence on the Tuchean side.

The two countries met again in a decisive battle for the sea. The Seahound was slightly overmatched by his Tuchean counterparts, but through cleverly ramming their flagship with his own was able to prevail. Rather than accepting defeat from the Tuchean king, however, Arxaeth sought to humiliate the aggressors. He destroyed each ship in the Tuchean fleet, stripped the small nation of all its imperial possessions (including, most importantly, the island of Windward) and confined the Tucheans to their own island. Umbran may have even attempted an invasion of Tuchea had it not been for the presence of the Heart of Altene and the king's bodyguards. Though the Altenes had been in Tuchea for only a decade, stories of their intensely militaristic society had already become general knowledge and Umbran thought it wise to let the war finish.

Stories of Arxaeth's heroism and Tuchean cowardice crescendoed when the Senate voted Umbran a tribute for his victories in the first naval war. He sailed into the Harbor with full white sails billowing as half the city watched from the banks of the Sandbar. The Seahound continued his career until being brought into the Senate ten years later; he had no further major military victories, but continued his suppression of piracy.

Adrian Lantos

The ancestor of Senator Egeanus Lantos was a short, unassuming man. He held the requisite military office as a young man and, despite a healthy ambition, never incited expectations of a brilliant career. He was admitted to the Senate at a relatively young age and spent most of his time weighing in on important matters of military financing and composition. Several times, he was appointed as a representative to negotiate with factions of the Cineran nobility; his constant envoys to Cinera gave him an appreciation for those people matched by very few of his contemporaries.

Over the course of his diplomatic career, he was given to understand the importance of Franlius. The border town, Cinera's southern-most outpost, was the constant staging area for attack into Iridine. The town itself was practically invulnerable to attack; it only changed hands so often among Cinera's warring tribes because of intrigue and betrayal.

So it was that when he was elected Consulnot for any particular platform, but because he had paid his dues and served his timeLantos shocked the Senate by announcing a campaign to take Franlius. He batted away suggestions of searching for glory and insisted that it was a military necessity—that, by razing Franlius and seizing the position for Iridine, he would be removing the chief means of ingress for invading armies. Still facing massive skepticism, he set out to take Franlius. The battle for Franlius would take most of a decade. A series of brilliant military maneuvers, destroying practically the entire Cineran relieving army, gave the Senate the confidence to reelect him Consul over and over and over during the siege's duration. Finally, after nine years of constant battle Adrian was able to take Franlius. He was given the governorship by the Senate and served in that capacity for another decade, strengthening Franlius' fortifications and making it once again impregnable.

The razing of Franlius, however, drained the Republic of its martial resources. Sensing an opportunity, hordes of barbarians from the southern mountains swarmed the Republic. They destroyed all in their path; Viron and dozens of other villages were destroyed with scenes of unspeakable cruelty. The barbarians made it to Vetallun and torched to the city before Lantos heard of their drive, and as he was making preparations to march to the city to relieve it the barbarians sacked Iridine itself.

It was the first sack of Iridine in over a hundred years. As most of the commoners in the city fled to the relative safety of the Steps (newly derelict as the nobility moved into more elegant neighborhoods), the Legio pulled back into the Tip and prepared for the siege. For forty-seven days and nights, the barbarian hordes camped around the Tip, occupying Transinvexium and the northern grasslands. The attacks were continuous and brutal, and the young commander of the forces inside, Arandes Pardelian, was almost convinced to surrender by the members of the Senate.

The battle-hardened forces of Adrian Lantos were more than a match for the barbarian army, however, that soon fell back. Joining Pardelian's forces in a push, the barbarians were driven back beyond Vetallun and allowed to run back to the foothills.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

A young man, hardly more than a boy, hurries down the cobblestone street in the dim light of early morning. He is late; the first day of his apprenticeship to the trading firm of House Hiforo.

The man finally arrives, hustling in through the small door in the modest facade that marks Hiforo's headquarters. The inside is far less modest; several rows of long marble-faced tables sit facing a board on which the prices of numerous commodities have been listed. The young man, Istelian, stops for a moment and stares at the massive board. It is his first time seeing it; he notes how the House tracks the most recent reported sale prices in each major population center for each commodity. Copper ore in Astraea, rose extract in Tuchea, canvas cloth in Cenath, down feathers in Remath itself.

Istelian is pulled from the reverie by a booming voice. Looking over, he sees the House Master, Peglos Ytran, with several of the other new apprentices. Blushing, the boy hurries over to begin the instruction.

"You will serve," begins Peglos, "To earn our masters of House Hiforo money. Our lady counts on you, and I trust you will not let her down."

The apprentices murmur that no such thing could be possible.

Peglos continues. "The role of the merchant is not merely to make money, however. Trade is the lifeblood of this world, the web that serves to bind disparate countries together. There is no greater glue than greed, the opportunity to profit, and the merchant's noble purpose is to facilitate the connections between all peoples.

"You will begin here as a simple scribe. Your task will consist of adding to the historical record that House Hiforos keeps. These records are the lifeblood of our business, the way in which we determine what and when to buy or sell. There are over a century's worth of records, and by the grace of Ereal we shall add another century's worth.

"You may spend your entire career as a scribe. It is not shameful, but important. Some of you, however, will in the course of time move on to take a more analytical position. With over a hundred years of records, we can plot the movement of prices through the years. Sometimes, the shift in price is glacial, with a steady increase against the price of silver. Other times, there are sharp spikes in some areas. Most of those are caused by political activity."

One of Istelian's fellow scribes interjected rashly, "Price of silver?" Peglos' gaze fell heavily upon him for a moment.

"You must measure all prices upon something steady," Peglos finally responded. "Silver is good for almost nothing practical, but the supply is steady. When there is a bout of prosperity in a nation, people will seek to buy trinkets, driving the price of silver up. When money is scarce, there will be a glut of silver on the market. You can use gold for the same purpose, though the usual measurement is in the talent of silver."

The assorted apprentices nodded wisely, understanding very little.

"As I said before, there is over a hundred years' worth of records in the possession of House Hiforos. These are a tightly held secret. The penalty under the Serenissima's law is harsh for the disclosure of this information to any outside party, particularly another House. Is that clear?"

Heads wagged quickly. Idly, Istelian wondered how House Hiforos, while only conducting business for two decades, had managed to amass a century of data.

Peglos continues, "Some of you will learn to analyze the trends. You will no longer simply observe the trends, you will act on them. Your role, and the way to better your house, will be to recommend trades. The decisions will be made by the merchant staff—a group which you, too, may join at some point.

"The merchants of this Houseof all the Houses, since this is the only way to do business in Remathserve two functions. They make the choices of sales to make, and they accompany the trade caravans or ships. At times, they will be called upon to make split-second decisions in the course of their travel that will put at risk hundreds of talents of House Hiforo's money. A wrong decision may cost the House, and the merchant, dearly.

"To be successful, the Hiforo merchants travel often, even when not on a specific trade mission. Their livelihood depends on the personal relationships they craft in their markets. At times," Peglos' voice dropped slightly, "Our merchants are even called upon to act as emissaries of the Serenissima herself, carrying messages to or conducting diplomacy with foreigners.

"That, I suppose, is the extent of the work our House does. Are there any questions?"

Babbling questions flood out of the apprentices. How did the merchants know where to go? What routes would they take? How long was a typical mission? How should one deal with the uncouth foreigners? Or the competition?

Peglos raises his hand in silence, "One question for today is all, gentlemen. You'll be learning quite a bit in the coming years, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have—though I might make you get together to vote in the future rather than letting loose this barrage.

"Let me describe, in strictly general terms, how the winds of trade flow through Iridine. Most importantly, our city of Remath is the center from which all trade is spun. You might imagine the exchange of goods through the world to be a spider's web, with the state of Remath the spider herself. Certainly, there are other citiesIridine and Coradon, in particular, are critical to the flow of trade. But without Remath, there would be no standard value of money, no brilliantly skilled merchant houses, and no central point of tradethe Market of Perillia."

Istelian's breath catches suddenly. The Market of Perillia was perhaps the most astonishing sight he had ever seen, even on his brief tour. The gilded walls, the board that dwarfed Hiforo's on the wall, and the horde of traders seeking to hawk their wares to other merchants all served to impress the young and impressionable. A common fantasy of his was to stand on that floor, yelling, cussing, and making deals to mint money in a way never before imagined.

Istelian misses Peglos' first few words. "…may very well rival Remath one day, but I doubt it. The problem Iridine and Cinera face is their incessant warmongering. War deters trade: it dampens the desire of all merchants to travel, creates an artificial demand for weapons and related goods, and raises patriotic bile in the mouths of the common citizens. Remath, you'll of course know, has fought no war while under the Condaian dynasty. We survive by our guile alone.

"House Hiforo allows its merchants to act with some degree of flexibility, within certain guidelines. For instance, on a recent commissioned trip to Tucheaa patrician family in Iridine needed squid ink for some unfathomable reason, and Hiforo agreed to secure itGalan Hestrian, the merchant in charge, was faced with an unexpected opportunity. He was traveling by ship… at least, the patrician family that had rented it called it a ship. It had one sail and the cargo space could barely fit the three barrels of squid ink he was purchasing. After finding the inkapparently, squid ink has an attractive purplish hue that no plant-based ink can approximateGalan took off for a well-deserved celebration. Halfway through his evening (and a bottle of mead), he overheard a sailor conversing with his mate about an entire catch of yldanae.

"Yldanae, you should know," Peglos comments in response to the assorted puzzled looks, "are a rare pink fish, very slim and very tasty. They are hideously expensive, not only because they are caught so rarely but because they perish quickly and must be packed securely with ice in order to be moved around.

"Galan heard about the fish and sobered up instantly. A catch like that would be worth ten times a normal catch. If he acted before the sun came up, he would probably be able to secure the load and send it here, where he happened to know the Serenissima's oldest brother's wife's cousin was anxiously looking for something special with which to cater her second son's wedding. In under four hours, he had raised the stake to purchase the cargo, struck up a friendship with the sailor and the mate, convincedand paidthem to have the entre cargo moved onto another ship that he had managed to rent, pack the fish securely and correctly with ice, and enticed his new captain to get the ship underway immediately."

Peglos pauses with intense drama, "For his efforts, he made over a hundred and twenty talents with the one boatload. Of profit, for House Hiforo. All from a squid-ink mission.

"And that, boys, is trade. Now go."

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

A Small Guide to Daily Life in Ereal's Light

Published in the twelfth year of the Tharius Allende's guidance
Written by Heasian Baiella in the Service of Ereal


The Head Priest of Ereal, Tharius Allende, has decreed that the following shall be undertaken at all places sacred to Ereal:

As Ereal rises over the horizon each morning, it is the most senior priest of the Temple's responsibility to greet His rays and thank Him for gracing the world with His Warmth and Light once again. Myrrh and rose incense shall be burned as each priest in the temple kneels to the rising sun and recites a private prayer of thanksgiving.

When Ereal has reached the zenith of His arc in the sky, his light is at its strongest and most radiant. It is at this time that His priests collect His precious gift of Light in the sunstone, a sacred object gifted to the Priestess Iridine by Ereal Himself. Each temple's collection of sunstones is to be set out on the central altar, beneath the window in the roof that allows the sun to shine onto the altar at every midday. After absorbing the gift of His Light, each sunstone must be wrapped in a cloth soaked in olive oil and stored beneath the altar until their use is required.

As day's end approached, the followers of Ereal meet once more to request that He, in His Wisdom, return again at the end of the night to once more expel the darkness. A sunstone shall be taken and set in a suitable place; the chief priest or his designate shall, with the appropriate incantation, allow the sunstone's light to fill the entire space. There it shall remain until before the next day's greeting.

Each man must find his way with respect to the adulation of Ereal. It is a personal matter that may not be dictated, only guided. A deeper look into your heart shall best inform your devotions.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

Jurisdictions of Justice

The Senate offers the following guidance to those dedicated to the pursuit of Justice in Iridine:

I. In the city of Iridine, the law shall be enforced exclusively by the Iridine constabulary. The Phoenix Guard shall be tasked to the protection of the Senate and the city walls, and shall be permitted on occasion to act against lawbreakers within the city itself, particularly those involved in Treason against the Republic. The Iridine Constabulary shall not find itself confined merely by the walls, but may exercise their due power within a reasonable distance from the city itself.

II. In the outlying regions, the law shall be enforced by the local constables or vigiles in conjunction with the two Legions. The Legio shall have precedence over any local force, and the Phoenix Guard shall have precedence over the Legio.

III. The City Justice and his subordinates shall have precedence for the ajudication of all cases originating within the city and dealing exclusively with crimes perpetrated by a citizen.

IV. The Foreign Justice and his subordinates shall have precedence for the ajudication of all cases originating outside the city or dealing with a crime perpetrated by a foreigner.

V. The Governors of outlying areas and their subordinates shall, in the absence of a Foreign Justice, be responsible for the ajudication of any charges involving incidents within their region. If a Foreign Justice is presiding over a trial, the Governor's representative may, at their discretion, sit in an advisory capacity with the presiding Justice.

VI. Any Justice, City or Foreign, if once having assumed the auspices of judgement in a trial finds that he is unable to try the case, may turn over judgment of any case to any Justice, City or Foreign, that is available.

VII. In areas where the Legio has assumed, with the Senate's permission, primary control of the administrative functions of an area, the Consul of the Legio responsible for administration in that area shall be responsible for the ajudication of all trials of crimes committed within the Legio's area of responsibility. Any citizen sentenced by the military Justice has the right of appeal to the Foreign Justice.

VIII. Suits brought by one private person against another seeking civil liability need not follow the rules of jurisdiction; the case shall be tried by the Justice or Governor's designate who is approached by the aggrieved party.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)

The assignation of traditional gender roles in an entertainment environment poses a lot of issues. Very few women are going to enjoy being subjected to the strictures of rigidly defined societies (in fact, we've seen that a lot of players complain mightily about enforcement of societal structures). In the initial game design, female characters in the society players inhabited (the common levels) were entirely uninhibited by societal norms while noble women played more traditional roles.

Even this has been supplanted, though, and at the present moment the only differences divided up by sex in the strata the player patriciate occupies are those found in even modern society: mandatory military services falls only upon men, and women bear an additional burden in the preservation of their chastity. As far as I can tell, the only other institutionalized case of sexism is the all-male Senate, but even that isn't set in stone. There are no rules that women can't join the Senate; it simply isn't considered possible… yet.

Posted by Bactrian (forums)


The dates mentioned in the "Era of Kings" help file stem from the first year of Tulcas I. Iridine had been in existence before he conquered the city, and many parts of the Steps are the remnants of that long-ago city. Portions of the wall ringing the Steps date back to pre-Invasion times. The Era of Kings lasted 213 years, and we are currently in YR 225, meaning that the modern city of Iridine is approximately 448 years old.

In YR 117, the city experienced some of the most horrific riots in the history of Iridine. While the exact issues and reasons for the rioting are obscure, what is well known is that several ages old artifacts, such as the Arch of Axonus and a good portion of Hutt's Road, were destroyed. The Senate decreed shortly thereafter that a portcullis be built and the gatehouse refurbished; work on the portcullis, speedily done, was finished in YR 118. Throughout the last hundred years, the Senate has struggled with the citizens, specifically those of the Steps, to maintain parity between caging the people like animals and keeping rampant violence from spreading through the city.

Posted by Bactrian: (forums)

About codices:

We've been very explicit over the last few years that books, per se, do not exist in Iridine. Here's a bit of detail on the difference between books and codices, so that there aren't really any misconceptions.

A codex in Iridine is merely a loose binding of papers, generally with some sort of basic backing. It is generally held together with a piece of string, perhaps leather. It may have a cover as well; generally the cover and the backing are the same. Rough leather is most commonly used as a cover. The cover is often larger than the sheets so there is overlap, and was more of a protectant against water than intended as an aesthetic statement.

Books have spines, which is a stiffened piece of sized wood (or in modern days, more varied material) that connects the covers. The spine is one of the most underrated of literary innovations, but I won't go into extended detail on its many positive points. Books, also, are bound, generally with thread and/or glue all along the left edge of the constituent papers, to the spine.

The net effect for your characters? First, codices are not stored on "bookshelves", so you won't see a return of those items. They cannot be stored standing up, so they simply lie on shelves. Second, codices are extraordinarily fragile. No, we're not giving a random chance that pages will rip out when you turn them (though that'd be amusing), but keep in mind that they're not as sturdy as books. Third, codices bound more robustly, with other materials, are quite rare. This is a new development to Iridine, and the idea certainly hasn't caught on with the Senate, who insist that all official materials be stored on scrolls.

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