The Kingdom of Relarish
Work in progress!
Overview of the kingdom.
The kingdom of Realarish is an ancient land that was settled long ago. Kings have come and gone, and many are simply forgotten.
Today the kingdom is a confederation of cities that have a presence of a king, his armies, and are kept together as much through scheming as military power.
The land itself is a warm temperate climate with extremely fertile croplands. Winters are mild, and summers are warm, and with both spring and autumn brief but comfortable. Strong winds bring enough moisture to provide for both forest and farmland. Rain and storms are swift, and the near constant breezes try to cool of humid summers.
Timber and minerals are available, though metals are augmented from trading with dwarves to the west, and increasingly to the east as well. Dwarves are uncommon in the kingdom proper, but people know they exist. The dwarves just don’t care for the long travel times, and the ever seeming fluctuations in the laws.
The kingdom is about the size of Earther’s Iceland for its core (approximately 300 miles East to West X 325 miles North to South), but with satellite cities and terrain that expands beyond those borders.
The kingdom is situated on a series of old roads and along the rivers and lakes in the region. Far to the north are the Great Dwarven mountains that border the Kitra plains, to the west are open lands, to the east are independent cities that line the river leading to the coast, and Red Grass fields lie to the northeast, as a potential looming threat.
Torcero is the young king of Relarish. Young is a relative term for the demi-elvin however. He has dealt with seasons of drought, of incursions of monsters from the northeast, the west, demands from the elves to cede control of the forests, attempts at political assassination, and much much more. He still presents a friendly public face.
As a youth he was in the military, as the bastard son of a human king. Not having the king’s favor left a mark, and many who didn’t like the king made sure the young demi-elf knew that through word and deed. Skill, intelligence, and a quick sword arm all led to his promotion, and education.
The tragic, and surprising death of his father and of three of his older brothers on the same day in different cities left the choice between him and his demi-elvin sister as the next ruler of the realm.
The choice was clear to the Greater Lords’ Council, and he was affirmed as the next king.
Since taking the throne, not too much has changed, except that he has used less force than his father, he has used guile and intelligence where he can, and force where he must. The city of Bosborghi is but one example. Once the home of some of the largest military garrisons in the kingdom, he withdrew the military presence, allowed mercenary camps to claim land just beyond the borders, and put a bounty on goblinoid ears. The decision has allowed a private army to sit just outside the borders of the kingdom that watches against the biggest known threat.
The cities of the kingdom reflect their personalities, and as long as they follow the rules of the kingdom, are allowed to interpret, and implement their own laws to the extent that each city has its own coin. Weights and part of the design are codified by the king, but the rest is open to minting and interpretation.
The kingdom has three tiers of law, four if religious laws are considered.
1) King’s Law. The law of the king is the word of the land, and overrules other laws.
2) Lord’s Law. The law of the local lord, and is beneath King’s law, but above Council law.
3) Council Law. The law of the local council (however they are determined – heads of guilds, elections, appointments, or other). Council laws fill in the areas that Lord’s law doesn’t quite reach.
4) Religious Law. The extent of the reach of the law depends of the immediate power of the religion, and the same religion may find their word in once city does not hold the same weight it would in a different city.
The central cities do not often face open threats, and this keeps the kingdom relatively peaceful within the cities, the roads still face bandits, and the occasional monster so they will travel fairly well armed. Most mercenary companies will be in the cities at the edges of Relarish, and many will be working to collect bounties for the king, or will be working on commission for some lord.
The kingdom of Relarish is a highly patriarchal society. Men have full citizenship rights, but women find them limited. Men have the rights to:
- Owning slaves
- Input in politics, and possibly voting
- Protection of law
- The right to be represented in court
Women have the following rights and restrictions:
- Property is held in a father’s or husband’s name, or other male relative. (Though this is not always followed. Some strong willed women have effectively defied this. The laws that enforce this are stronger the further south an individual travels.)
- The right to be heard in politics, mostly through their father, husband, or other male relative.
- Protection of law.
- Not allowed to (directly) own slaves, This too is often violated.
- Women must be “modest”. Not a law, but to placate a growing religious sect. The rules are more restrictive the further south one travels.
Slavery is a fairly common practice, and is often the punishment of a serious crime. Most citizens can be enslaved for a maximum of 7 years for an offence, but dwarves, elves, and demi-elves can be enslaved for 14.
- A citizen may be sentenced to slavery for a variety of crimes, but most are fairly serious offences. The crimes vary between cities.
- Slaves do earn wages, but shelter, food, and apparel can be deducted from those earnings.
- Slaves are limited where they are allowed to travel. Generally they must remain in the city where they were sentenced, and within the confines of what their master dictates, additionally there are areas within a city where they are not allowed.
- Slaves are required by law to wear the mark of their master. The mark is sewn into all pieces of clothing they wear.
- A slave can not be forced into fighting into the arena. (Often ignored.)
- Some masters are orders of magnitude better than others.
Most cities have an arena. The arena is a place for amusement and public spectacle. It can be used for plays and music, but those are secondary for its main purpose, to show men who fight.
The arenas have a variety of fights, but the most common are:
- Fights between individuals, or groups.
- Chariot races.
- A task. A capture the flag scenario or other.
A wide variety of people participate in the arenas. Freemen will fight, and fight alongside, slaves, and prisoners. A prisoner or slave can attempt to earn their freedom through earning enough coin. Men fight for coin, for fame, for women, for freedom. A prisoner or slave can earn their wooden sword, which is earning their freedom. They do so by earning enough coin to buy their freedom, and by winning every bout they are scheduled in a year.
Military men, mercenaries, second or third merchants sons, are often enticed to enter the arenas and fight for the amusement of others.
Purses often range from 10’s to 100’s of silver for a day’s winnings, with larger purses possible, but rarer. (This doesn’t include any betting that goes on outside of the arena.)
Not terribly surprising is that there are many skilled physicians that get their start tending the wounded of the arenas, and the best among them may be nearly as well compensated and sought out.