This page is best
viewed with eyes
The Kingdom of Carolis
~ General Introduction ~
For three hundred years the kingdom of Carolis has prospered. What happened before them, or what the world was even like before then, is unknown. There was someone (most stories claim a man, but then again they would) who decided that the past needed to be erased, so that everyone could start over fresh. All history and political books were destroyed and all cities razed to the ground. New cities were planned and built and the trade route to the north buried under avalanches and trading ships trying to land were fired upon. The last act of this person, or people, was to erase themselves from history as they had erased everything else.
Ever since the (re) Founding, the Kingdom has been ruled by a succession of kings drawn from the 36 noble families, the Lords. The kings line runs through Salic succession (meaning that females and those descended from the female line of any house are ineligible for royal rights of any sort), and as such over 6 houses have ruled the kingdom with varying degrees of success. The current ruling house is Lodik and they've ruled for 60 years with 5 kings, so far, and only 8 deaths by natural causes of male heirs (for kings, assassination is a natural cause). Lodik the XIV, the current King, is 34 and has 2 daughters (Petunia and Chastity) and 5 (living) sons: Donik, Oman, Yesell, Robin and Ijit. There are also two brothers (identical twins) between Oman and Yesell but twins are considered cursed so they are not eligible for succession even if one of them dies. They run the torture chambers.
The 36 noble families are basically lordships scattered all over the kingdom, 6 to a duchy. Above them are the six dukes (owners of the duchies) who cannot become kings but advise the kings. Under them are barons they appoint and the barons typically are required to train and field knights (the dukes themselves take care of cavalry, normally, though this can be designated to baron(s) as well). Within their domain the barons are the law. One can appeal to lord over unfair laws, but this takes time since one must reach the duke, get audience and the like and is by no means a sure think. Dukes can overrule the lords, but seldom do so. Over them, of course, is the king whose word is law for the entire kingdom.
Carolis is a large kingdom of mostly plains and hills in a southern climate. Skin tone ranges from a light tan to indian (native american, whatever) brown and darker brown in the land. The skin tone of choice is a toffee/creamy brown that is prized by the nobility (especially for daughters who are used for marriage) to the point that breeding between various skin tones is literally an art among them. There are some larger forests in the land, but they are mostly near the mountains that surround the kingdom to the north and west. The mountains are widely considered impenetrable and few live in them, though the Royal Air Force patrols it regularly. To the east lies a desert that has barbarian tribes that ostensibly owe loyalty to the king but pretty much do their own primitive barbaric thing. South of the land is a large ocean patrolled by the Navy. Any vessels approaching Carolis are destroyed.
Travellers to the land are thus extremely rare. After the first hundred years of recorded history they pretty much stopped since they all tended to die, rather messily. A few dwarves or halflings sometimes stumble into the land, but if they're wise they find a way out before they die. (So, yes, you could play some non-humans, but racism is really big since it's an isolationist culture. Humans with black or white skin would more than likely be mistaken for non-humans as well.)
Season wise, most of the year is pretty much spring, temperature wise. The rainy is typically the first quarter to third of the year and some the end of the year as well. The middle of the year is generally known as the Serpent's Breath (What we on earth call the Dog Days when it's really stinking hot). The turning point of the year is generally a little cooler than the rest of the year, about the only thing that distinguishes it. Snow is unknown, except to the Royal Air Force in the mountains, and most of them never actually spend much time in the mountains since their rides come down to them. The practical result of this is that the growing season for plants is generally considered year-round though neighbouring baronies often stagger their growing and harvesting seasons so everyone can have fresh food year round and help those who need it with the harder harvesting season.
As the kingdom currently has a population of almost 2 million (over half of which is in the cities; and half of that in the capital city of Manichee itself), society tends to be very structured and the cities were designed to accommodate a lot of people. (The founders realised that isolationism breeds a lot of people and wars just increase the population rather than decrease it and all-out civil wars are just bad for everyone.) The cities have indoor washrooms and there is a light train that goes about the city for the nobility to go from place to place. Clocks exist, and technology in the cities is at least renaissance level (and probably higher for the king and the dukes). In the country, the level of technology remains around the middle ages for farming and living: the tried, tested, and true.
Females are second class citizens in this kingdom for a few reasons. Among the nobility, this is because only males inherit power and titles. This mentality has filtered down to the cities themselves and women are considered generally inferior. The idea of a woman being given any real power is considered laughable, since they're not suited for it.
(An aside: The Womans Place exists, and is basically a tacit understanding among the female members of the nobility to work together. They generally prevent most wars and feuds and have more subtle power than is generally realized, even by their spouses who would be caught dead before admitting they discuss matters of importance with their wives (or to their wives, as quite a few thing of it). This exists in the cities as well mostly because women raise the children and look after them and as a result the attitude towards women has softened in the past two hundred years. In another hundred, a woman may be able to own her own property.)
In the countryside, the status of women is more a simple division of labour. Few men in the country really think of women as second-class (and never say it unless they want to never marry), it's more than everyone knows fighting is the man's job and giving birth and looking after the home is the woman's. It's what has been done, and it is what works. Some men may not want to run the household, some women may dream of running off and becoming Great Warriors of Renown, but at the end of the day neither actually does that, and the idea of a woman warrior is largely laughable. (Some women, especially in the more frontier edges of the kingdom, are taught enough to be level 1 fighters or barbarians or rogues, but they never get the time to learn more or advance and no one would dream of considering them to be *real* fighters - not even themselves; they're just a back-up defence for the children.)
A last note, if it ever comes up: The population is increasing. The land can only support so many people. (How long before sustainability is breached is unknown; the idea of a census has been floated around but no baron wants to give anyone else specific facts on their land, and the dukes sure as anything don't want to give the king that kind of information.) It's generally accepted that the land can sustain them for at least a couple hundred years longer, but no one is sure. So families with smaller children are encouraged (and co-operation between neighbours for harvesting and the like makes up for the lack of many children on each farm) and same-sex relations, while not admitted to, are accepted and condoned for the most part.
Trade within the Kingdom is done largely by barter. There are coins (Gold, Silver, Copper), but the mines of the nation are almost dry except for the iron ones, and using them as coin has been debated but there is the matter of how much iron is left in them, as well. The practical result is that most trade in the land is done by a barter system. The problem is, of course, for those travelling to other places who have no barter. Most coins, since coins are rare outside the city, cost more than they should. (They will buy more than they should, sometimes, as well.) Most cities accept IOUs and credit sticks (a piece of word with notches marked by a merchant-banker for how much party A owes party B). Failure to pay money owed is seldom a good idea since Carolis is only so large, and a great many rangers make their living as bounty hunters for debtors.
PC level is 3-4. (3 if you want a very odd PC idea ,or something Really Special for your PC.) The PCs are going to be a bandof wandering adventuerers/traders/mercenaries in the pay (or employ) or whomever. As such, the players will need to decide among themselves what PCs will be the defacto leaders and the like.
While a good crossing of classes can be good, I am not enforcing anything, so it's up to the players to get together and decide if anyone wants to be a sorcerer/wizard/druid type or whatnot. (And no, players won't be penalized or rewarding for what class they pick.)
Keep the mercenaryish nature of the PC group in mind when deisgning your PCs. Feel free to work with each other for complementary skills and the like if you want.
Total players will be 6, maximum (and 4 minimum). If you want to play, read the game site over, talk to Alcar, and other players. Find out if it's a game you'd like to play in, and we'll go from there.
There is no battle between Good and Evil happening. There won't be one. (The characters are, of course, free to decide they are on the side of Good in a battle, but it is more a case of Us vs Them than Good vs Evil.) The PCs are adventurers. Not heroes. They're just people.
There are some Monsters in underground areas, but they're rare and largely myth. Characters may have heard of some, but you don't know any facts about them, just legends.
The setting is not the middle ages. The cities are more renaissance than anything else, and the nobility are searved by lite-rail trains that fly over the ecity and are build and designed by a reclusive oder of techo-mages that few know about. (And no, a PC can't be one.) This being said, outside of the cities the technology level is basically the middle ages since that is what works. Farming is farming, as far as the farmer is concerned, and no fancy machines will do it better than a man and his ox.
Finally, few people travel. They don't have reason to. So the cities are largely built up to almost mythical status by those living outside them.