Republic of Narse - Nation
- Parent: Northern Niadris
- Population: 3,750,000
- Languages: Narasian, Trade Common
- Exports: Grain, Textiles, Silk, Banking, Education, Entertainment
- Cities: Ala Novia & New Nulb
Born in the chaos of the Breaking, the great Republic of Narse flourished in the 3rd Age, but suffered horribly during the Draining, when six of every 10 citizens died to famine and disease. It was sheltered from losses during the Sundering, and entered the current age a recovering world power. When the Elemental War bubbled into mortal lands, Narse was dealt a hard blow and now finds itself fighting for its very survival against the elemental legions.
While Narse exports a large amount of food and textiles, it is the schools, banking, and arts that are of far more significance to the world.
The scholars of Narse are considered the best-in-the-business and they have access to massive stores of knowledge collected and carefully preserved over millennia. Narse has also led the way in the creation and management of banks. The Central Bank of Narse has offices in most foreign capitols and provides services to anyone that wishes to pay their fee. This has allowed individuals to amass a significant amount of wealth that is held in trust by the Republic itself. Although others have taken up banking, it is the Central Bank of Narse that has both the best reputation and only true guarantees.
Republic artists also produce a considerable amount of art that is disseminated throughout the world. Painters, novelists, sculptors, dancers, musicians and more. Narse values these things over more practical pursuits and as such provides an environment that encourages the pursuit of artistic talent. The most famous bard of all times, Quinthar the Magnificent, was a product of Narse as was the renowned songwriter Elio Butos.
Life and Society
When people think of the Republic of Narse it is the capitol, New Nulb, that defines that vision. Within New Nulb great institutions of learning litter the landscape, city squares are given over to places of debate and discussion and the leisured life of an artist is valued above hard work. Life within the city is not hard by most standards and only the poorest live in anything that begins to near the squalor of other towns. Within New Nulb and, to a lesser extent, many of the larger settlements within the Republic, this is the way of things. Despite the easy lifestyle of city-dwellers they represent less than 10% of the population. The remainder live in small hamlets or on homesteads spread throughout the rolling pastures and idyllic hills of Narse. Life is not as relaxed for the rural folk although most lead a happy, fulfilled life with little government interruption. Taxes are light in the Republic and if the country folk think that the city folk are perhaps a little eccentric they are proud of all that the Republic has accomplished - and recognize that it is within the cities that most of the advances occur. Within the Republic the two peoples - rural and urban - have found a way to coexist in harmony, each complimenting the other.
Although there are many noble families within the Republic the title of nobility offers little more in the way of rights than a common man. In fact, beyond inherited wealth, the law recognizes no difference between noble and common born (or male and female, human and elf, etc.). Immigrants and visitors often find this difficult to understand but in the Republic it is the measure of a man's life that is valued not his stature at birth. A more meaningful distinction, and one that brings certain legal benefits, are those that have and are in public service. Foremost among this class of citizen are the Senators but local magistrates and governors also enjoy protections not afforded the common man.
Slavery is absolutely abhorred within the Republic and even visitors from abroad are not allowed to bring slaves into the borders of the Republic. Any that do so will find their slaves freed.
Government and Politics
The Republic is ruled by the Senate and Alian Tenius (M human 56) serves as First. He has held the post for three terms and is widely expected to continue for at least one or two more. Alian has been a Senator most of his life and is a native of New Nulb. He is particularly popular amongst the middle class and known to be a strong supporter of business. Alian is known to be friendly with several large trade unions within New Nulb and has interceded on their behalf with the Protectorate.
The Senate is loved by the people of the Republic and no greater honor exists that to serve as a member. Senators are afforded great respect by all people of the Republic and given special protections under the law. Senators earn a healthy wage for their work and no senator - serving or retired - can be considered poor. In addition to monetary rewards senators are afforded land and homes in their provinces. Senators are among the most powerful segment of Narasian society.
Nearly as influential and certainly as important to the governance are the Dawnblades. The police force within the Republic, the Dawnblades are commanded by Julius Cosias (M human 48) the Master of Blades. Julius serves at the pleasure of the Senate from the massive complex called Vigilance within New Nulb. He is serving in his third term - a nearly unheard of happening - but has proven to be extremely effective in his job. During his first term he took a very controversial move and instituted the Eyes of Justice, a branch of secret police overseen by Julius alone. Despite this, he remains very popular with both the Senate and the common man and under his watch crime has decreased throughout the Republic.
To protect the people from the Dawnblades, the first Senate to hold session established the Protectorate that officiates from the sprawling structure People's Rest within New Nulb. The Protectorate, like the Dawnblades, have offices in every city and outposts responsible for every region. It is the judicial branch and no single individual holds great power within the Protectorate. The supreme court of the land is led by the eight High Protectorates, appointed for life by the Senate. Two High Protectorates - Elinaris Kelisharn (M elf 643) and Jinsala Tes (F elf 596) - have been on the court for more than 500 years and are considered to be two of the most wise and just citizens in the Republic.
Although the people of Narse trust and love their government it is widely believed that power is corrupting. This belief has led to term limits on many elected positions, particularly those with the greatest influence. Narasians are very proud of the fact that their free republic has stood strong for nearly 5,000 years while in the world around nations and empires have risen and fallen.
Not a single time in its long history has the Republic of Narse ever launched a war of aggression. Every war fought by Narse has been defensive. For this reason the country enjoys friendly relations with nearly every other nation on Niadris as well as many from the more distant continents. Art and learning from New Nulb can be found as far away as the streets of Minose and this means that among Korinthian nations Narse is one of the better known and influential. Within its borders it is the people that hold the greatest power, for it is the people that elect their leaders. The First of the Senate and the Triumvirate also each hold significant personal power but it is checked by short terms of office.
Church of the Creator: The holy Church of the Creator holds far less influence than it would like within the Republic. Despite centuries of proselytizing and attempts to make their worship illegal, the Old Gods are still venerated by a large number of Narasians. Arch Bishop Vandirion Atilmo (M human 59) leads the largest congregation in the Republic. One out of two Narasians identify themselves as followers of the Way and this gives the church great power, if indirect. The history of church officials meddling in government affairs is long in Narse and began when the first missionaries arrived. Vandirion works tirelessly to translate the teachings of the Way into law within the borders of the Republic. Due to this, those citizens that do not follow the Way often are quite hostile to those that do, seeing their religion as a force seeking to diminish personal freedoms.
Nobility: Narse has its share of noble families who trace their ancestry all the way back to the days of the Eaglecrown Empire when a king ruled in Narse. Nobles enjoy no particular legal rights different than the common man but they typically have far greater wealth allowing them to purchase much more elegant (and often effective) defenses when before an officer of the Protectorate. Many of the noble lines are very popular - including the Brightfang family and the House of Alec, both of which trace their ancestry back to members of the Company of the Dawn. The Quildan'in family is widely credited with forging friendly relations between the Republic and the Shan'Del as well as brining Annaeus back into the Republic itself (the city of Annaeus succeeded briefly near the time of the War of Return).
Shan'Del: As most countries, the Republic has welcomes the Shan'Del into their lands and the Spires of Nulb are second only to those in Sindoon proper. From those spires, Es'Shar Araval Dur'San (M human 135) oversees the local activities of the Shan'Del. The Shan'Del have several holdings (considered their autonomous property) within the Republic including the grounds of their spires and the Mines of Titermiulus. In the many years since the Shan'Del arrived they have worked in concert with the Republic, giving easily a portion equal to what they take.
The Narasian Senate: There are 141 serving senators currently. Five from each metropolis (and six from New Nulb), four from each large city and three from each of the other cities (those smaller than small towns do not elect senators). an equal number of senators are sent in from rural regions. Senators serve for a term of five years with different regions and cities holding elections every years such that 28 senate positions are up for election every year. Senators are one of the very few elected representatives that are often re-elected for many terms.
Typically the two factions (rural and urban) within the senate work in concert with one another but there are blocks that stand opposed to one another. Ascius Vans (M human 38) is a powerful senator from Trinius that wants to see the rights of businesses supersede those of individuals. There are seventeen others in his coalition, and Alian, though not a member of Ascius' block often supports his motions. Frea Caricius (F half-elf 65), a rural senator from near Puna, leads a block of twenty-three that oppose nearly every new law proposed by Ascius.
The senate is notorious for being slow-moving and bogged down in tradition. It can often take weeks, months or even years to pass important legislation. The position of First was created to help keep the county moving and a large amount of authority, particularly over day-to-day activities, lies with the First. Any new laws enacted by decree can be overturned by the Senate with a simple majority and one part of each day is set aside to reviewing new decrees from the previous day. Because the position of First holds such great power no one is allowed to serve in the role for more than five terms.
Triumvirate: The Master of Blades, Lord Marshal and Lord Admiral make up the Triumvirate. Controlling the police force, the Master of Blades wields tremendous power, but the power of the Lord Marshal, who commands all the armies of Narse, and the Lord Admiral, who controls the navies, is no lesser. Each of these three positions is appointed by the Senate every six years, which each appointment two years apart. It is only very rarely that the same person controls one of these powerful branches for more than a single term.
Julius Cosias leads the Dawnblades and is in his second term with wide support for a third. Although this is nearly unheard of, he has instituted sweeping reforms that have already shown significant impact. He asked for twenty-four years to enact his reforms and the Senate has thus far given him this time. His work in the Dawnblades is focused on internal policing (the role of the Eyes), stamping out corruption (particularly in the cities) and providing additional training to the rural officers. Julius' current term expires in two years (11742).
Durn Vaeling (M dwarf 337) serves as Lord Marshal of the armies of the Republic. He is a no-nonsense dwarf famous for his love of ale and rotund human women. His term expires in four years (11744). The Republic has long been at peace and Durn, like the Lord Marshal's before, struggles constantly to keep the armies ready. He keeps the army split into three units. The Northern Command led by General Irinial Quesalidus (F elf 415), is camped north of Cardus and responsible for guarding enemy incursions alone the northern border and through Blackclaw Peaks. The Western Command is camped Alaus and commanded by General Tirus of the House Alec (M drow 525). Tirus is responsible for guarding the western border from Puna to Vannius. The Southern Command is led by General Antius Lessio and based in Fort Mico. They are primarily concerned with monstrous activity in and around the ruins of Nulb but also watch for incursions through Gryphon Flight.
Elicus Labo (M human 38) serves as Lord Admiral and watches over the seas. Elicus, like most Lord Marshal's, pays little heed to politics within the Republic and spends most of his time on the high seas searching out pirates. He is a known critic of the Senate, insisting that the navy requires increased resources but thus far he has been unsuccessful in requisitioning such, likely due to his severely lacking political skills - the last time he visited the Hall of Senators he decried the entire Senate to be 'fools befuddled by their own stupidity.' His coarse relationship with the Senate and the fact that he was only recently appointed highlights his naval skills.
One of two Narasians belong to the Way of the Creator and a like number of those remaining continue to revere the Old Gods. Despite this, the people tend to place their allegiance first to the Republic and second to the church, an attitude that the clergy of the Way has long sought to change. All religions (save those that are outright evil) are welcome within the borders of Narse and most large cities hold temple districts where churches dedicated to the Way of the Creator stand next to the Temples of the Old Gods or the Khimal and the Khime.
The Khimal and the Khime is the smallest of the major religions represented in the Republic but it has many influential followers including Praden Dalio (M human 71), believed to be the richest man in the Republic. Most of those that follow the Khimal and the Khime are noble born. Most of these treat the religion as a fad but there are devout among them.
- New Nulb (metropolis, 250,000)
- Trinius (metropolis, 50,000)
- Olissus (metropolis, 40,000)
- Nibrius (metropolis, 32,000)
- Lania (metropolis, 25,600)
- Annaeus (large city, 20,480)
- Alaus (large city, 16,384)
- Nettia (large city, 13,107)
- Cuputtious (small city, 10,486)
- Calius (small city, 8,389)
- Telia (small city, 6,711)
- Falius (small city, 5,369)
- Janian (large town, 4,295)
- Cardus (large town, 3,436)
- Vannius (large town, 2,749)
- Sellio (large town, 2,199)
- Vapula (small town, 1,759)
- Puna (small town, 1,407)
- Trells (small town, 1,126)
- Ala Novia (village, 756)
The Republic of Narse holds more people than any other nation on Niadris. Less than 10% of Narasians are city-dwellers, the rest live in hamlets, villages and homesteads. The Republic boasts five metropolis' including the largest city on the continent, its capitol of New Nulb. In addition there are three large cities and numerous small cities and towns. No other country has as many urban centers.
Alaus (large city, 16,384): Alaus was the central base of the Northern Army until about fifty years ago when the city of Brakness was destroyed and leaving the keep of Alaus the doorway to the west. Nearly all overland caravans pass through Alaus and with Brakness gone that left the keep as the a logical stop. Alaus quickly grew into a sizable settlement and the Lord Marshal ordered the army out, keeping only a garrison inside Alaus Keep.
Arens (thorp, 75): The small village of Arens is important for two reasons. First it is situated just outside of New Nulb and all the traffic into the city from the north passes through. This brings huge amounts of tourism and wealth into Arens. Secondly the hamlet is the Narasian home of the Quildan'in family, one of the most powerful noble families in the Republic. Malagrysn Quildan'in made his name in Arens hundreds of years ago and his family has never left the place. His grave remains in the small cemetery just outside of town.
Lurus (thorp, 34): This tiny village is all that remains of the once-mighty city of Varnor. During the War of Return Varnor was destroyed and now is haunted but a few of the refugees settled a short distance out of town and live still in the village of Lurus. Very few people come out to the village and the people have become quite secretive and isolated. When Varnor was destroyed it had declared itself independent and the people of Lurus consider themselves Varnorians, not Narasians. They pay no taxes and refuse to send anyone to the Senate from their region nor do they allow the Dawnblades into their town. The Republic has done nothing to discourage this behavior.
New Nulb (metropolis, 250,000): New Nulb is the capitol of Narse as well as the largest city and largest port on the continent. With 250,000 full-time residents and at least 100,000 visitors at any given time, the city is massive, covering nearly ten square miles. More than anyplace in Narse, New Nulb is a melting pot where humans hold only a slight majority among its citizens. Dozens of languages are spoken on the streets here and the cultures of many different peoples have blended to become something different, something distinctly Nulbish.
Construction began on New Nulb in 8227 and has not stopped since. The city of Nulb served as more than just a capitol to Narasians, it represented the very heart of their beliefs and so when it was destroyed by Tanthraxus Dominion the people refused to give it up. The ruins of Nulb, dangerous still, were far more dangerous shortly after its destruction and so a new site was chosen for New Nulb. Several locations were considered before choosing its location between the Visalvius and Aldarian Peninsulas on the bay of Dawn's Rest.
In its capacity as the capitol of the Republic, New Nulb has an entire city ward given over to official Republic business. Within this ward stands the Hall of Senators, Vigilance, the People's Rest, the Hall of Records, the Vault of Narse and massive complexes for both the army and the navy. In addition there are countless smaller offices and homes for clerks, elected posts, city officials, and visiting public servants.
New Nulb is known for far more than its public services however.
New Nulb is famous for its learning. Scholars and sages from the city are believed to be the best in the world with more knowledge on ancient events and planar lore than anyplace else in Korinth. Five universities are based out of the city including the Kaber Institute of Warfare that has turned out nearly as many generals as the military traditions of Mathrene. Libraries are also abundant on the streets of New Nulb and the city holds the largest library on the continent - the Beith Library - believed to have millions of books in hundreds of rooms.
The city also has literally hundreds of outlets for artists - from street corner stages to opera houses to dance halls to large showrooms given over exclusively to the display and show of art. In these places the artistic flair of the city is seen. No place values art like Narse where a great artist is made wealthy beyond his imaginings. Narasians recognize and cherish every form of art and every form has dozens of outlets within the warrens of New Nulb.
At the heart of New Nulb stands a place of quiet reverence. Delunric's Square. Here the Company of the Dawn has been immortalized in marble statues of exquisite form. Delunric Brightfang, Quinthar the Magnificent, Venom, Alec and Zalintar Blackclaw all stand locked in mortal combat with Tanthraxus Dominion, and surrounded by the other members including Madrack, Griffon, Goat, Gabriel Drowslayer, Galand and more. Every day hundreds of tourists flock to Delunric's Square to see the carved images of ancient heroes and remember the city of Nulb, destroyed by Tanthraxus Dominion. On holy days people often come to the square to sit and meditate, quietly watched over by icons from ages long past.
New Nulb also serves Niadris as the northernmost port with easy access to the sea routes leading to Maaladorn. This alone brings immense traffic as nearly every ship sailing from Maaladorn chooses the northern routes as they are both shorter and safer. From the docks at New Nulb cargo is offloaded for overland transport into the heart of Niadris or sent on south along the coast for delivery to ports inside Lancaster or Sindoon.
Trinius (metropolis, 50,000): The city of Trinius grew up as a logical outgrowth of trade. It is the last stop within the Republic for southbound ships with easy access to the entire northern republic via the Selret River and the first stop for inbound trade vessels. While it lacks the grandeur of New Nulb, Trinius serves its core function as a trade city with finesse. Cargo moves smoothly from river barges onto sea-faring vessels for travel south while ships from the south are unloaded and readied on barges or caravan for distribution through the Republic. Due to its reputation as a no-nonsense port many merchants prefer to bring their cargoes into Trinius over New Nulb.
Trinius is governed by Chancellor Clauto Licius (M human 29) who is one of the youngest men ever elected to the post of Chancellor. Licius works tirelessly to enhance the image of his city and bring in ever more wealth to Trinius.
Because it is so ancient the Republic of Narse has an unusually large concentration of ruins. In the 5,000 years of the Republic it has grown and shrank many times and with each contraction new cities are left abandoned to the wilds. These often are claimed by savage creatures or are haunted by earlier residents. In addition to these prodigious ruins there are a few other areas worthy of notice.
Antia Keep: The Blackclaw Peaks are known for their savage and violent inhabitants. Fierce gnolls and goblin hordes are common sights. Antia Keep guards the lonely road that leads from the Mines of Titermiulus to the city of Puna. Garrisoned by soldiers in the Northern Command and augmented by Shan'Del, the Keep offers an imposing target to the monstrous denizens of Blackclaw Peaks. The keep has been sacked only once and that during the War of Return.
Captain Gurth Belens (M dwarf 245) commands the armies in the keep and Shan'Del Velpas (F elf 962) leads the fifteen Shan'Del stationed within. Velpas has long served in the keep and is greatly feared throughout the Blackclaws. Even mention of her name has been enough to route attacking goblin hordes.
Nulb: The ruined city of Nulb has lain unoccupied for thousands of years. Like New Nulb, the city was massive and the ruins spread out over more than five square miles. Every inch of the place is haunted by the dead citizens that once called it home and a number of portals open at seeming random into the belly of the Abyss and Nine Hells. With each portal opening unspeakable horrors shamble out into the mortal realm. All this together makes Nulb one of the most dangerous places in Korinth.
Despite its danger, or perhaps because of it, the place draws adventurers. Many troupes have set out to discover the secrets of Nulb and make themselves obscenely rich in the process but few ever return from its streets. Of those that do most never speak of it and many retire and settle down to the calm, predictable life of a common citizen. The most famous adventurer to enter Nulb and come out alive again is Filbo Olis (M halfling 72). Filbo was widely renowned as the greatest rogue in the land before he went into Nulb with three others. He returned a month later nearly dead and babbling. When his mind calmed he refused to speak of his companions or their fate. Instead he founded a bar - Filbo's Place - in New Nulb and retired. On rare occasions, when the rain is coming down hard and a cool wind is in the air Filbo will down too much whiskey and begin to speak in whispers of the terrors he witnessed in Nulb.
The Narasian Explorers League within New Nulb pays handsomely for any artifacts drawn from the ruins of Nulb. Among their collections are three statues of Delunric Brightfang, a statue of Tanthraxus, several fine pieces of pottery depicting Handmrick Eaglecrown and a large volume of ancient coins. They wish to add some artwork - either painted or woven - to their collection.
Varnor: The city of Varnor witnessed the worst act of wickedness in the history of the Republic. At the onset of the War of Return Nerisarin Kelisharn took the city. He cut the throats of all the children, animating them as undead to serve in his armies, placed runes of control on all the men, conscripting them to fight for him and took the life energy of the women to fuel the runemagic that enhanced his armies. The armies marched west and every city and village they encountered met a similar fate. Eventually Nerisarin was defeated and the Octocult thrown down but not before Visalvius Peninsula was decimated. The entire peninsula is now thought to be cursed and Varnor is the epicenter of that curse. Rumors suggest that the necromancer employed by Nerisarin to animate the dead lives still within the city.
Adventuring in Narse
Despite the relative peace that exists throughout the farmlands of Narse the place remains ripe for adventure. Literally hundreds of ruins - ancient and new - are scattered around and few remain abandoned for long.
The ruined cities of Nulb and Varnor hold both great wealth and great danger. Both destroyed by the Octocult though thousands of years between, neither has been safe since. Ghosts, zombies, skeletons, demons and other horrors bubble out of these places with alarming frequency and though many attempts have been made, no one has successfully tamed either ruin. Nulb is believed to hold artifacts crafted by Tanthraxus Dominion himself and many people believe that somewhere in the ruined city is the fabled Chronicle of the Pen. Varnor is also believed to hold artifacts created by the Octocult as the city served as its base of operations during the War of Return.
Blackwood and much of the larger Visalvius Peninsula is also ripe for adventure. Since the destruction of Varnor nine centuries earlier the entire peninsula has been considered cursed. The only settlement remaining is the thorp of Lurus and the folk of the village do not consider themselves Narasian. The Danwblades have no representation on the peninsula and the Octocult left behind dozens of ruins.
Both Gryphon Flight and the Blackclaw Peaks remain widely unexplored. Gryphon Flight is known to be hostile to intruders and for the many years of the Republic the wood has stood unmolested. What secrets lie within await brave adventurers. Blackclaw Peaks take their name from the gnoll Zalintar Blackclaw and not only because he was a member of the Company of the Dawn. They are known to be infested with orcs, goblins and gnolls and account for no small amount of skirmishes with the Northern and Western Commands. These mountains are supremely dangerous and only the Shan'Del risk the dangers regularly.
Aside from the wilderness areas there is high adventure to be had in nearly all the cities of the Republic. Court intrigue or politics might interest an adventurer or perhaps a scuffle with the local thieves or plumbing the depths of a haunted mausoleum outside a village. New Nulb has a maze of warrens beneath it that have been hiding secrets for more than 3,000 years.
The Republic of Narse loves adventurers. They look to their long history and remember names from the past that have risen up in their defense. To this end the Republic is one of the most tolerant of places for adventurers with special laws written to protect them. Nearly every household will put up an adventuring troupe for the evening in exchange for a tale or two and perhaps, if they are lucky, a small bit of wealth taken from some nearby dungeon.