The World of A Griffin’s Tale
The Dythian Empire- Capital: Whitemont, Dythian Isles. Monarch: King Richard D’Arques, Queen-Consort: Crystal D’Arques. Titles: His Imperial Majesty, Lord of the Isles, Guardian of the Waves, Defender of the Faith. He is 32 years old and has ruled for 6 years. His wife is 29, they’ve been married for ten years and have 3 children: Aimee (10), Veronica (8), and Duke of Shorebridge, Keve (heir-presumptive, 6).
The Empire is a Constitutional Monarchy. By Law, the Monarch is the prime mover of foreign policy, and has veto power of Parliamentary Legislation. But the Parliament holds the power of the purse, and must approve any Declaration of War. There is no women suffrage (but that’s common to the world, it is an idea just gaining proponents).
Parliament is Dual Chambered: The Upper House: The House of Peers is comprised of each of the Noble Families’ senior members. In theory, it has no political parties. But they do elect half the members of the Lower House when they are seated. The Upper House typically only need meet to seat its members for the Lower House (following a general election) and then quarterly to approve all ‘routine’ business. “Crisis” meetings involving war or questions of succession are called by the King. The Speaker for the Peers is selected as the first order of business at each meeting in the February session. Routine business it vetoes cannot be raises until the next year, with the exception of the budget, which must be passed before the end of the first session each year.
The Lower House: The House of Burghers is comprised by a two-fold election to fill its 300 seats. Half the body is comprised of Ministers from a general election. General Elections are held every five years, or sooner if the King prorogues the Parliament (in which case, an election date must be called within 30 days of dissolution). The Parliament may prorogue itself as well by voting no-confidence in its Premier. That also requires an election within 30 days. Special Elections have no impact on the date of General Elections.
The second half of the Lower House is comprised of appointments from the House of Peers. Negotiations are made between the noble families and representatives of their interests pack the chamber. In theory, this should allow the nobility to control all business in the Parliament. But in practice, they’re fractious enough to split between the various political parties and allow the House of Burghers to perform a legitimate function.
The Political Parties: The Dythian Parliament is two-party. The first and typically largest party is the Traditionalist Party. They believe in limited government, an influential monarchy, and minimal interference by the Parliament in the affairs of business, the Church, or the King. As a result, they tend to be the favored party of the wealthy, the majority of nobles, the devout, and the monarchy.
The second and typically junior party is the Egalitarians. They’re for curtailing the power of the Monarchy. They desire Constitutional change to prevent the Peers from packing the Burgher’s House. They’re also for a full involvement of Colonial citizens in the business of government. They typically only take control when the Traditionalists have made a blunder.
The third party, by far the smallest, is the Guilders. They’re a party of the working class, particularly the working poor. They’re for abolishing the Monarchy, the House of Peers and forcing all business to be conducted in a single-house Parliament. They’re also for decertifying all churches. This does not endear them entirely to the groups they hope to entice. They’ve only shared power during the wartime National Unity Government. That said, they control a disproportionate number of City Halls.
The Premier is: the leader of the Traditionalists, who hold an absolute majority in Parliament at the moment. His Cabinet is comprised entirely of members from his party.
The Monarchy often elevates “self-made” middle-class families to the nobility. As a result, the Peers control much of the production and wealth of the Nation. The House of Peers, as part of their routine business, appoints all Colonial Governors and the Trading Company Governors. These Governors are approved personally by the King as well. As a result, most of the wealth on the Home Isles is controlled by the Peers, and many families escape the poverty and dreadful working conditions of the ‘working poor’ in the Isles by fleeing to the colonies.
Conditions in the colonies are no less harsh. But there’s more room for growth and success there. Especially for those with a trade. As a result, many seek to go there to earn their fortune, and a path to nobility. The military is also a common path. For those who are more interested in academics than wealth, the ministry is often a choice to escape harsh working conditions as well.
For lower class, 12 hour days, starting from the age of 10, working 5 days of the 6 day week, are the norm. There’s no job security and failing to be prompt a single day might leave the worker with no hope of returning at that factory. Work continues often without an breaks until they’re sent home for the day. Trade Unions are illegal, but still exist.
Most middle-class families try to stay clear of the urban blight. And families in the hellholes of the slums dream of gathering enough money to escape to the colonies, knowing the farmlands outside the cities will never be affordable to them. Outbreaks of disease are common in the city, and infant mortality among the ‘working poor’ is much higher than otherwise. Families of the ‘working poor’ tend to be larger given the expectations of loss. The middle class is organized in guilds and farming communities which protect their interests and status comparatively well.
Train transport exists on the three larger islands. But on the others, horse and buggy is still the primary means, other than ships, which of course, are prized by anyone of standing. They have by far the largest Navy and Merchant Fleet. Despite the conditions of the working poor and the colonials overseas, they are the richest nation overall, and the disparity between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is hardly limited to them alone.
Religion: The major religion of the Isles is Reformed Kreiosian. 400 years ago, it began as the final attempt to Reform Episcopalian Kreiosian from within. When it failed, widespread persecution began, with the survivors fleeing to the Isles and other lands that were then ‘outskirts’ of civilization. The Monarchy of the Isles had previously converted to Reformed and confiscated the lands of the Episcopate hierarchy. Thus the D’Arques line took the title, “Defender of the Faith.”
Reformed Kreiosian is Congregational in form, with a Presbytery elected from each congregation to represent the church in larger issues of doctrine and practice. Reformed Shepherds do not accept ‘confessions’ as such, and function primarily as preachers and spiritual counselors. Each believer is accountable through The Soter to the Kreios. Reformed Kreiosian has a very strict guide of moral conduct. But it also accepts that people lapse from such. The extent to which one may lapse varies from congregation to congregation.
Kreiosian faith is monolatrous, rather than monotheistic. It accepts other powers exist. But it does not accept they are worthy of worship. Some Reformed “Houses” have been know to experience ecstatic worship. This seems most common in poorer congregations than richer ones. Some consider this evidence of a lack of ‘education.’ They reply it’s a sign that God is comforting those who need comfort.
They believe in ultimate accounting of the world, and all in it, to God. And they believe in the end pain and suffering will be ended as the world is remade by Him with the death of the Adversary and those who serve him. Creation was marred by the work of the Adversary, who slipped away while Kreios made the first humans and began to unmake the world. While Kreios repaired what was damaged, the Adversary came and seduced its first daughter. So sin and death entered the world. Their religion is based on an understanding of the ancient text. Hierarchy exists for guidance, discipline, and wisdom; but it does not stand between the believer and God.
The Dythian Isles contains about 30 million souls, and rules approximately 200 million in its colonial possessions. The flag is a bright blue background with a fox running on the ‘waves.’ Whitemont is the largest city in the Isles, and the largest city of Trivoria as well, with over 4 million people. Janwick is the next largest city, with about half that amount. No other city in the Isles is over a million.
The Crown Trading Consortium- A chartered company of the Dythian Empire charged with maximizing the wealth and trade from all Dythian Colonies. All Colonial lands may export ‘only’ to the Mother Country. The Consortium crushes smuggling, sets prices for trade goods, and ensures that each Colony has what it needs to be economically viable and self-sustaining. It is seen as a benevolent, if efficient, form of exploiting the wealth of the lands subject to the Dythian Crown. While all colony needs are met by the Consortium, they ensure that all wealth, after their own operating costs and profit margins, are sent to the Crown Coffers. Dythian Citizens may buy shares in the Consortium, and it pays regular Dividends.
The Dythian Crown Colonies of Imperial Itica- Northeast from the Home Isles, almost a week by airship, and over two by ship, to the immediate west of the great empire of Zouxing, lies the Itica Subcontinent. A vaguely oval-shaped landmass well over twice and long east-west and it is north-south, it has been the province of foreign powers for over fifteen thousand years.
First, Zouxing ruled over it, crushing the native Monarchy and destroying the ruling class and priesthood before replacing it with their own system of daemon-veneration and direct rule by the Ten Families.
Then, when Emperor Wu-Hong died in the Great Geyser four hundred years ago, the Itican people rose in revolt. Dythia and Vravan arrived twenty years after the revolt began. At first they were welcomed; they brought trade and helped the natives in their attempt to throw off the Xing yoke.
But as the feuding Itican warlords began to fight each other with the ferocity they did the Xing, the Dythians slowly used their Crown Trading Consortium to exploit the land and force dependance on the Mother Country. This was accentuated during the Republican Wars, when the Vravani were forced to withdraw most of their troops to protect home interests. As a result, due to Dythian blockade, manipulation of local revolts, and superior military force present, they ejected the Vravani, becoming the sole trading partner for Itican goods.
Eventually, the Dythians were able to divide and conquer, supporting rulers who worked with the Consortium, crushing those who fought. Presently, everywhere but the Interior was governed by the effective interests of the Dythian Trading Consortium. The most fanatic and determined of natives remain in the Interior. But as it is grossly underdeveloped and there exist few natural resources desirable to the Home Isles there, the Dythians leave it alone, save for periodic military patrols to keep the worst of the rebel tendancies under control.
The Subcontinent has been divided into several Provinces, vaguely consistent with old tribal lines. But all are governed by Dythian rulers. The Itican Colonies consist of 120 million souls. Of those, 85% are native, 10% mixed race, only 5% are blueblood Dythian. That is, not counting the military presence. The majority of elite units near the cities are Dythian Regular. 30% of the population is Reformed Kreiosian, 5% Episcopate, and the remainder hold to native religions or the Zouxing spirit-based religion. Only Reformed ministers are allowed to plant missions, though any faith is legal to practice in private.
Chot Drissa– This province occupies most of the southeastern quarter of Itica. It is by far the most populous and wealthy of the Itican provinces. Its Governor is Colonel Jefferson Stanway, he’s a heavy-jowled Engineer. The Itica Capital of Basierne is in his domain, a city of 10 million. Kelamar is another 7 million, Kasiri about the same, Villa about 3 million. The province as a whole has almost 60million, nearly half of Itica’s entire population. The majority of the Colonies’ plantations are here, including silk, tea, tobacco, and coffee.
Atat’Nala- This northeastern province is rugged and largely uncultivated. Though it does have large ranches for domesticated animals. The mining city of Tanagar is the largest and wealthiest city in the province, with 9 million. Kasiri, however, is actually the capital and has 7million. Kandh hosts another 5 million. The entire province has 30 million. It’s Governor is Colonel Simon Forbes.
Bel’Pura- The western province was the first colonized by Dythia when it arrived. The Asi Trading Post still exists and functions, though it’s a shell of its former self, with the mighty hubs of Basierne and Tanagar taking its place. Bel’Pura is the most rural province. Asi hosts 4million, and is still the capital. The northern city of Grimna another 3 million. The province entire about 15million. And the industry is largely local farming, and some dyes. The governor is Colonel Andrew Hale.
The Interior- By far the largest ‘colony’ in terms of land mass. But it’s also the most sparsely populated, with a population of barely 5 million, officially. The Capital of Chenas is barely a million, and the secondary city of Sinad is little more than a fort with 400,000. The Governor is Colonel Richard Loche. There is little in the way of native industry, other than trappers. What there is is lawless banditry, rebel strongholds, and half-insane trappers and prospectors, many of whom may be criminals or rebels as well.
The Daraskan Crown Protectorate- Before the Zouxing’s Golden Horde smashed across Trivoria and Erand 500 years ago, before the Trivorian Empire that was slaughtered and cast down in the Religious Wars that ended with Xing conquest forcing both Reformed and Epsicopate to put aside their enmity. Before even the now-dominant Kreiosian Faith existed, there stood the Daraskan Empire. It ruled from the world’s oldest city, Daraska. And it’s power radiated in all directions even unto Zouxing, with whom it traded freely and shared secrets of Mystic lore. Their mighty roads still connect more of the ancient cities to the eldest, the first, and still glorious Daraska. Its residents still believe humanity first appeared in the Unchanging City.
Nominally, the Daraskan Monarchs still rule their city. But they are altogether puppets now of the Dythian Crown Trading Consortium. Still, although there are Dythian troops and bases to protect their interests, Dythia is leery of squeezing too hard, lest the people of the once-proud Empire rise in revolt. Here, of all places, the subtle constriction of the Consortium is a balancing act. The Dythians could come and take control in days, it behooves them not to upset a profitable apple cart. So things are left with the Daraskan Kings being “protected” by the Dythian Crown. The current monarch is Sekhtef VI. He is 70 years old. Daraska is still rich in gold, jewels, and precious spices, even if the Nare desert, created in part by a horrific Mystic accident by the ancient rulers, does devour more and more fertile land each year.
Two-thirds of Daraska hold to the Episcopate faith, with the majority of the remaining third being Reformed. There are still adherents to the old ways, though to do so openly is to invite social, if not legal, ostracization.
The Sylvunurian Empire: Capital: Paderburg. The Empire controls most of the eastern portion of the Trivorian continent. It also has a few scattered colonial possessions it took as spoils from The Caralie Republic when it was crushed at the end of the Republican Wars. Most of these are to the north in Erand. The origins of the Empire rose from efforts to unite the Free States of eastern Trivoria with the Grand Duchy of Paderburg during the Republican Wars. Ironically, Dythia was instrumental in bringing about the Sylvunurian League. The alliance reconstituted itself as an Empire in the wake of the Republican Wars, with Paderburg doubling in size from the unification with other Sylvunur states.
Emperor: Matthias Aigenhorst 54 years old, King in Paderburg since the death of his father Nikolaus in the Republican Wars 32 years ago. In response to the aggression of the Caralie Republic, he and his Chancellor, Othmar von Zenshofen, unified the Sylvunurian States in a league that eventually threw back the Caralie Republic, and with the aid of the Dythians, defeated Caralie 18 years ago. His wife (Marianne) died two years ago. His heir is Archduke Leopold of Paderburg (30), married to Duchess Julia. They have 3 children, 2 sons.
The Sylvunurian Empire has since engaged in wars to the West on the Novansk Theocracy, pushing them back to natural boundaries. They have also made several smaller city states to the north vassals of the Empire or annexed them outright in return for “protection” against the Theocracy.
Sylvunurian society is two-tiered: Native Sylvunurians have full opportunity to succeed by merit. The Army, Trades, and Imperial Governance are all open to them and the best are identified from a young age for those careers. The rest are given training and opportunity best suited their talents.
The non-native population, along with those native to conquered lands, are left as serfs or used as the underclass in the worst labors in the mines and factories. They cannot join the military. Cannot bear arms. And cannot conduct in any trade without the acceptance of the local governor, who is then responsible for their conduct and loyalty. Sylvunurian Governors are constantly alert from any evidence of a ‘native’ uprising (termed Villeins) in their lands. The surest way to lose favor in the eyes of the Imperial Court is to allow such an uprising.
The Population of the Sylvunurian Empire is about 150 million. About 40% of that number is native Sylvunurian. The rest are subject peoples conquered either by The Kingdom of Paderburg before the Empire began or brought in by the consolidation of the Empire. Slavery is illegal in Trivorian holdings, but practiced in the colonies. Paderburg is the largest Imperial city, Wallenheim, Glenigsheim and Zenshofen are also large cities.
The Empire is a Constitutional Monarchy. The Emperor appoints the Chancellor, who functions as his domestic policy adviser and the chief bureaucrat for the Empire, effectively managing the day-to-day affairs. The Imperial House is elected by free elections of all Sylvunur-born males 25 and older. Elections are held every five years. The districts have been drawn in such a way, however, that in practice, Paderburg holds a substantial majority. Furthermore the rural, more conservative areas are given higher than strictly-proportional representation over the urban areas. All legislation passed in the House must pass muster with both the Chancellor or Emperor, either of whom may veto any legislation. The Chancellor’s veto may be over-ridden by a 2/3rd’s majority. The Emperor’s is final. The Imperial House is comprised of 250 seats and is led by a Premier who is the head of the ruling coalition.
The Empire is highly industrialized. They have the largest rail network in the world by far. They also have large coal and iron deposits. Their army makes heavy use of firepower and mobility, including exotic steam-powered contraptions, rail guns, Gatling guns and dirigibles. To circumvent Dythian sea power to reach their colonies they’ll use airships or submarines.
The Imperial Flag is a Fanion, (a triangular flag)with three vertical stripes of russet, crimson, and violet with a hydra and the motto Deus et pertinacia.
Episcopalian Kreiosian- Founded about 3000 years ago through the preaching of the Soter and the Early Kreiosian Fathers. The Soter was martyred in Tzuriel by vivisection. His followers spread throughout the world with his message. With the death of the Ancient Fathers, a hierarchy sprung up to continue the teaching and protect Kreiosian orthodoxy. The Patriarchs have survived, despite considerable internal dissent and external pressure, and the destruction of their Holy City at one point during the Golden Horde’s invasion. Always they’ve returned to Tzuriel to resume their function. A series of religious wars were fought from 500-450 years
ago to attempt to restrain the growth of the Reformed Kreiosian faith. But the attempt failed.
The vast majority of the Sylvunurian Empire, and indeed, the Mainland Trivorian Continent, is Episcopalian. But a persistent 15% remains Reformed, and the Monarchy protects their freedom to worship, as long as they don’t attempt to convert Episcopalians. Outside the Continent, the Reformed Faith greatly outnumbers the Episcopalian version.
The current Pontiff is Jonathan IV (77 years old).
The Novansk Theocracy- To the west of the Sylvunurian Empire lies the backward and confusing Novansk Theocracy. It is by far the largest realm in terms of landmass on Sibanenne. Their population, though somewhat less than the Zouxing Empire, is nearly twice that of the Sylvunurian Empire, even when their non-citizens are counted.
Novansk’s ruler is the High Priest of Sarakalsky, the capital of the Theocracy. The realm arose in the wake of the Zouxing conquest of the Grand Duchies 500 years ago. They combined elements of western shamanism with Episcopalian Kreiosian to form a dualistic religion with a centralized priesthood more akin to something from ancient history than modern society. The dogma of the religion is arcane even to many of its practitioners. But its shamanistic in practice.
The High Priest is chosen by the Collegium on the death of the predecessor. The current office holder is Ferapon III. The nobility was chosen by the Collegium at its founding and holds power at its sufferance. But it’s conditions are far better than anything the serfs endure. They are tied to the land for life unless a war that breaks out. Then they’re treated as unreliable cannon fodder. The noble families supply officers and cavalry soldiers. It is by far the most stratified society.
Trains are rare. Most transportation is still by horse and cart. Large scale train movement is strictly military in nature. Their Navy is small and they are much shorter on artillery than the Eastern Powers. The government does have a repressive secret police and is more than willing to fill its prisons and work camps with troublemakers. The Priesthood actively looks for those with mystic talent, the legacy of the Zouxing conquest. These are taken into its ranks and taught the arts and arcane doctrines of their faith.
They are in a constant state of skirmish with both the Sylvunurian Empire and Zouxing. They have been thrown back on their eastern border by the Sylvunurians. But to the west, there seems to be more stability. The Theocracy’s Flag is a Four Pointed Silver Star on a black field.
The Zouxing Dynasty- The world’s oldest monarchy, also the least centralized. There is no true hereditary nobility outside the Ten Families, and even these are often adopted into the family in their relentless search for those with mystic talent.
Mysticism is prevalent in the society. Their culture recognizes the presence of spirits of all kinds. Magicians serve as Counselors and heads of all the noble houses. In fact, the Emperor is the most powerful sorcerer in the land. Merchants are frowned on in the society as non-producers. Those who make goods are honored. Their warrior caste is made up of slaves trained from birth. They are chosen for skill, strength and obedience. They may be taken from their own peasant class or slaves abducted in raids from neighboring nations. They possess fewer firearms than any nation, and little in the way of modern artillery. But there are rumors of secret societies whose fighters can fly through trees or over roof-tops and even dodge bullets as they’re fired.
Their Emperors extend their lives by alchemy and other magics and are worshiped as living gods. The current Emperor, Ru-Wei is over 500 years old and has ruled for over 350. Four hundred years ago, the Dynasty ruled from the western shore of Trivoria to the Gernhem Mountains, and south into Erand. They launched an invasion fleet intended to conquer the Dythian Isles. The Emperor Wu-Hong commanded the fleet personally. But as it neared the shores of Dythia, great geysers erupted from the sea and a powerful tidal wave sank the fleet, killing even the Emperor. The Divine Storm is an image of terror still to the Zouxing, and a historical miracle to the Dythians that set them on the path to becoming a sea power. For most of the next 100 years, the 10 families dueled and feuded for the right to rule as Emperor. When at last Ru-Wei ascended the Jade Throne, Zouxing’s Empire had been thrown back to their historical boundaries on the far west of the continent.
Ru-Wei has been more patient in restoring Zouxing’s dominance. He has sent the best of the scions from the noble families overseas to sow discontent in the Eastern powers. When they’re at each others throats, he hopes to send forth the Imperial Dragon once again. But for now, secret societies work toward that day throughout the East. They murder key figures, steal plans, moneys and artifacts, and sow hatred between realms, castes and religions.
They are very xenophobic and believe only their own people have the right to rule
the world. But they are also a very rich nation, as they are willing to trade their exotic goods and spices with the other lands. That wealth is accumulated almost entirely by the Ten Families and the Emperor. But the Dythians are the only ones allowed to trade with the Dynasty, and they must use only select trade ports for the purpose. All their goods and books are closely monitored. Anything entering that is deemed seditious is destroyed or confiscated. The Dythian Trading Compound is on an island off the port city of Nanchang. The Compound’s roof-tops are plated with Electrum and water kept constantly churning over the walls to prevent magical attack.
Sorcerers from the Ten Families can only be male. They may adopt female sorcerers into their families as concubines or slaves. But any female born to their family who is found with the talent must be killed to prevent the possibility of an Empress ever ruling over the land. Midwives by law must report all women who have been found carrying such a child, under pain of death.
Although Zouxing is not overly industrialized, the Dynasty has acquired enough stolen plans and intelligence to know many of the secret workings of other lands and is more than wealthy enough to fund experiments in mad science and weird mixtures of magic engineering.
The total population of Zouxing is unknown. It’s capital is Jinchang, within is the Imperial Compound (the Inscrutable City) and the Foreign Quarter. Some suspect there are as many people ruled by Zouxing as the rest of the world together. Kreiosian missionaries have attempted to infiltrate the land, but they’ve often met martyrdom rather than waiting converts. The Dynasty’s Flag is a Jade Dragon on a yellow field.
The Caralie Free Republic– Until 18 years ago, the Caraliens were a single nation. For nearly Five Hundred years, they were a Monarchy with their own king. But 40 years ago, the excesses of the Royal Family led to a violent revolt and calls for a Representative Government. The Monarchy refused to listen, and they were guillotined as a result. The Republican Council took control of the country and tried to remake the nation. But mistrust and excessive blood-lust led to civil war erupting in cycles of bloodshed and brutality. At last the people turned to a strongman to end the brutality. Vincentius Desmaires became ruler (and ultimately Emperor) and decided that the way to unify the Caralie people was to export the Republican ideology to the rest of the world.
They invaded the southern Sylvunurian Duchies and Erand. The Kingdom of Paderburg attempted to aid their southern kin, but King Nikolaus II of Paderburg fell in the Battle of Glenigsheim, throwing his Kingdom into disarray. Its capital taken by the Caralie Republic. But the sea power of the Dythian Isles and the refusal of Paderburg to accept defeat led eventually to victory at Munchefeld and the apparent suicide of the Conqueror rather than losing face and surrendering to his enemies. His last words to his generals before poisoning himself were, “We will meet again.” It is said by some his last act as Emperor was to send a letter to Zouxing requesting their aid when his people had need.
The combined population of the Republics is 125 million. The Republican Flag (which is illegal to fly is a red and blue striped flag, alternating in three sets. The former capital and still-largest city of Caralie is Nicosiere, followed by Courthem and Carinthe.
The Union of Vravan- The union is not a single Realm in the strictest sense. Though it does control a Colonial Empire through its Trading Company. But they are individually governed city-states that agree to a mutual defense league. All of them are representative governments in some form. Some with monarchs, others parliamentarian, Heiderin is a direct democracy with both genders able to vote (the only place in the world where this is so).
In the Republican Wars, they at first supported the Caralie Republic. But when Caralie attempted to take their northern cities by coup de main, the Union joined the Eastern Powers against Vincentius. However, the perfidy of the Union was not forgotten, and the Dythian Isles stripped them of many colonial possessions and trade rights with the Zouxing. Though in the peace that followed, they were granted several of Caralie’s former holdings.
Religiously, the Union is primarily Reformed. But it’s a free-thinking society where unusual ideas are permitted as long as all other beliefs are respected and none use force to convert. This has led to an influx of even Western shamanistic ideas.
Their military draws on both genders. Women are volunteers only and typically confined to support/non-combat roles, but still receive combat training. Every male citizen (barring conscience or special exceptions) serves two years as the Obligation. After which they are eligible for call-up in event of war to the age of 30.
The largest city in the Union is Zoelwijk, followed by De Buren and Heiderin.
The Union’s unique society and mixing of ideas has led to an innovative and daring society. They are also the most densely populated land, with nearly 70 million in virtually the same amount of total land mass as the Dythian Isles. They are heavily industrialized and have a dense rail network.
They don’t have the dedicated mechanized warfare of the Sylvunurian Empire. But their fortifications are strong, with heavy guns, Gatling guns and rapid transport. There are also more unorthodox methods of defense, including strange automatons (Wandelaar), altered creatures, and a cabal of sorcerers designed to confront the Zouxing secret societies. They’re the most advanced ‘nation’ economically and industrially. Even if politically they’re not a nation in any legitimate sense. The Union’s Battle Flag is a Golden Griffon on a red field.
The Sagacious Griffins- A groups of sorcerers, approximately 30 in all, who have demonstrated loyalty to the Union of Vravan and have equally demonstrable reasons to fight Zouxing. They are identified by a griffin tattoo over the heart they receive on induction. The tattoo grows warm when another member of the cabal is near, or trying to gain their attention. They also wear a signet ring of a griffin standing on the throat of a dragon. The ring usually has the bearer’s initials on the top and is turned aside to reveal the true signet.
They seek out Zouxing Secret Societies and remove them. They also act as an arm of the Union’s Intelligence Network specializing in esoteric matters. In every city of the Union, they have a chapter house, each marked with a placard including the cabal’s symbol someplace in the ‘address.’ Their enigmatic leader is known as Alpha Griffon or The Cowled One.
Calender- The Trivorian year is 390 days long. There are 13 months, each month is 30 days long, based on the lunar cycle. Each week is 6 days long. Five weeks in a month. Each day is 24 hours long. Days of the week—with the middle four named after the Kreiosian Teachers—are: Sunday, Tecelday, Costiday, Ilaraday, Petronday, and Moonday.
The Months (year starts in spring): Tiziani, Victorani, Giulani, (summer) Velani, Antonani, Cesarani, Fest, (Fall) Desiani, Draconi, Bettiani, (winter) Caetani, Achilline, Duilian are named after old Trivorian Emperors, save “Fest,” the month-long Festival in the Trivorian Empire. The Seasons are reversed in Itica and most of Erand, which are located in the Northern Hemisphere.
Years are measured from the birth of the Soter. Zouxing years are measured from the ascension of the Emperor. Interregnums are counted on the previous Emperor’s era.