"To fair Rukemia, bright jewel of the East,
cradle of civilization and
heir apparent to the glory of the Thullian Empire..."
- from the prologue to Rebirth of a Realm
by Timon Agrusi, Imperial Historian
|Proper Name||The Great Rukemian Empire|
|Ruler||His Ever Illustrious Imperial Omnipotence, Radiance of the Eastern Realms, Ruler of All Ithria, Master of the Obsidian Throne, Serrax Thurin, the August|
|Population Density||37 people per square kilometer
(95 people per square mile)
|Demographics||Human 52%, Grum 16%, Ogre 12%, Orc 8%, Elven 4%, Dwarven 4%, Saurian 1%, Borrellian 1%, Baenite 1%, Other 1%|
|Languages||Rukemian Official language of the state.|
|Capital City||Aridorn (Population: 156,300)|
|National Colors||Purple and white|
|Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods||Due to the immense size and varied lands of the Rukemian Empire, it has extensive natural resources. The top ten are as follows : wheat, lumber, fish, iron ore, marble, cotton, potatoes, pigs, sheep and beef cattle.|
|Government Type||Imperial Autocracy|
|Government Stability||Very Stable|
|Allies||Kitar, War Vale, Ormek, Mercia, Carrikos|
|Enemies||Duthelm, Rift Vale, Coalition|
|Technology Level||Middle Ages|
|Other Religions||Barrinor, Vorkayne, Semorjon, Sarreth Kael, Mireldokar, Glavyris, Daramis, The Three Fates, Drenmoragin|
|Total Land Area||771,100 square kilometers
(297,700 square miles)
The Great Rukemian Empire is a sprawling political juggernaut that dominates the east completely. It controls more land and has more wealth and resources than any other nation. The Rukemian Empire is broken up into sixteen duchies : Asria, Clear Water, Eastlands, Great Plains, Jekur, Karkellia, Dellaren, Madrakia, Ossyria, Quar, Sarakor, Storm Bay, Thurin, Uthria and Vanir. In addition, the central duchy which holds the capital city of Aridorn is named Rukem.
Rukemia rules Kitar, Ormek, Mercia and the War Vale as subordinate kingdoms. In total, the Empire controls all lands from the coast to the Ice Rock Mountains and to the Baen Desert. The nation of Duthelm was formerly a subordinate nation, but has since fallen to the ogres and other forces. The Rukemian Standard is a white eagle on a royal purple background.
The geography of the Great Rukemian Empire is as varied as its many duchies. Rukemia is bordered on the east by the Sapphire Main with a wild coast punctuated by beaches and cliffs. Many small islands dot the waters just east of Rukemia. To the west, the eastern hills of the War Vale follow the path of Pacey's River and form an unofficial western border for the empire. The north and south borders are ill defined and always seem to fluctuate back and forth between the empire and her two subordinate kingdoms in those areas. Rukemia's climate varies greatly with location, but is mild and temperate throughout. The central region of Rukemia is dominated by the Emperor's Grove, a large forest through which several small rivers flow.
The lands, plants and animals of the Great Rukemian Empire have been thoroughly domesticated. There are very few predators or dangerous animals within this realm. Most of the lands are farmlands and forests. Livestock includes goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, donkeys and horses. There are some instances of flesh fungus in a few towns. Despite attempts to rid the empire of them, blood roaches maintain a foothold in some towns and villages. Koryns steeds are favored among the nobility, especially in Aridorn.
The great Thullian Empire was destroyed during the Great War. As the empire disintegrated, the fragments of the once great nation struggled to survive in the new world. Some formed alliances with other groups, some banded together and others fled.
In 795 CY, more than 300 years after the Great War ended, a wealthy guild master and shrewd businessman, Sindarian Rukemin, began to organize the scattered fragments of the dead Thullian Empire and gather them together under one political regime. His eloquent speeches that spoke of the glory of the Thullian Empire attracted many. He was well connected and traveled extensively. Aristocratic Thullian families, once wealthy and powerful, pledged their support and flocked to his banner.
In 809 CY, Lord Rukemin crowned himself King and declared the founding of the Kingdom of Rukemia. With his social connections and loyal knights, he united all the duchies and baronies of the old empire. This was the beginning of what would eventually become the Rukemian Empire and the founding of this Kingdom marked the beginning of a new Age.
In 1456 CY, Alfred Thurin, an ambitious baron, overthrew the then-reigning King of Rukemia and declared himself Emperor. A series of political reforms swept the nation, reshaping it into a true Empire. The formation of the Rukemian Empire ushered in the Age of Legends. The Rukemian Empire has grown steadily ever since. It is, in many ways, the rebirth of the Thullian Empire.
An outbreak of Stiffening began in 2124 CY starting in Ormek and quickly swept through the empire. It killed over 3 million people before it was finally brought under control in late 2128 CY.
Rukemia is an empire. A single ruler, the emperor Serrax, controls the nation completely free from any restrictions. His word is law. But Lord Serrax is only the summit of the governmental structure. Beneath him is a vast and complex machine of committees, councils, offices and protocols. This massive government supports the emperor, carries out his decisions and runs the empire. It is these thousands that carry out the day to day tedious paperwork and do the emperors will. The administration is quite corrupt... open to bribery, forgery and more.
Each duchy is ruled by a Duke and these sixteen dukes are the highest ranking nobles beneath the Emperor. The Dukes come to Aridorn once each year for an annual council. At this meeting, they debate, make new laws and negotiate taxes.
The Emperor and the Dukes are supported by a Senate of 80 members that represent the various duchies. Each duchy has a five senators. These men are among the social elite of Aridorn. It is the Imperial Senators that argue policy, make laws, discuss matters of state and pass judgment on the nation. It is the Senators (and their staffs) who do the legwork, conduct the business and perform the research that fuels the vast bureaucratic engine that is the imperial government. But the final say in all matters rests with the Emperor.
A number of special offices exist in the government. Besides the Emperor and the 80 Imperial Senators, there is the Grand Magus (highest ranking official in matters of magic), the General Councilor (the Emperor's personal advisor), the Speaker of the Senate (the Senate Leader), the Commander General (leader of the military forces), the Fleet Admiral (commander of the Imperial Navy), the Master Castellan (administrator of the capital city of Aridorn) and the Master of Coffers (financial administrator of the Empire).
The emperor is a tall and well built man, despite his advanced years. He has leathery tan skin (as he is fond of being outside in the open air and sunlight) and snow white hair which is cut short. His regal nose and watery grey eyes are framed by a handsome face which is always composed in a calm smile. He has an air of authority about him and never raises his voice. (He never needs to). He typically wears a simple toga (a very traditional form of dress within the ranks of Rukemian nobility), silken slippers and the signet ring of his station. At social functions, he sometimes carries the Imperial Scepter, a magnificent short staff forged from adamantite and inlaid with rare gems and precious metals. It is known that this scepter is ensorcelled with potent magicks which protects its wielder and grants clear vision, but no obvious magical effects have ever been seen coming from it.
Rukemian laws are quite strict. Weapons require permits. Armour is discouraged. However, like titles, the wealthy and social elite may purchase pardons.
The military is divided up into several different sections: The Imperial Guard is composed of the most elite warriors. The Imperial Guard protects the Emperor and is always with him. There are only one dozen of these soldiers, but legends of their battle prowess are common. The Imperial House Guard patrols the Imperial Palace. This force is lightly armed and armored and equipped and trained for fighting within the great palace. The House Guard also performs more mundane functions, such as security checks, registering visitors, escorting officials and more. Exactly 100 members make up the Imperial House Guard. The Aridorn Guard patrols the city and monitors the walls and gates. This force, about 1,000 strong, is heavily armed and armed. They, however, receive only average training. The Rukemian Military patrols the country side and repels hostile invasion forces. It consists of two types of soldiers. The heavily armed and armored ground troop and the lightly armed and armored mounted cavalry. The former is trained and equipped for stealth and infiltration and sustained confrontations. The latter is lightly armed and armored, designed for mobility. Their primary function is reconnaissance and raids. The Rukemian War Fleet patrols the coast and is centered in Morcrest. The fleet consists of about twenty long ships (crew of 50 each) and 10 cogs (crew of 20 each).
The Rukemian Empire has an extensive network of paved roads the span all provinces of the empire. These high quality roads help Rukemia maintain a thriving and varied economy. The Rukemian system of currency is stable and well established. It serves as the standard for most of eastern Ithria.
Rukemia also has a very organized tax system which insures a healthy flow of wealth into imperial coffers. The reigning emperor sees the wisdom of taxing all citizens fairly and consistently. Overtaxing the empire would only led to revolt.
Definite classes exist within Aridorn. Imperial, Governmental, Gentry, Commoners, Slaves. Titles and offices can be purchased. As in Vogue, cosmetics are used among the nobles of Rukemia, most especially in Aridorn. This is more true for the ladies than for the lords. Perfumed oils, powders, paints and wigs are all used.
Rukemian Mail Service
The Rukemian Empire has a crude mail service. It is nation wide system that involves, cargo wagons, Imperial Letter Bearers, checkpoints and way stations. It takes anywhere from a day to a few weeks for delivery, depending on the distance between the start and end points. The Rukemian Mail Service is the only functioning nationwide mail system of its kind. Anyone, noble or common, may give a package or letter to a rider and the system can deliver a package anywhere in the Empire. However, it is expensive and usually only middle class and nobles take advantage of it. The price starts at a silver piece for a single letter and goes up from there. The long distance transport of a heavy package may cost several dozen gold pieces. It is an offense against the crown to attack or rob a Letter Bearer. This hasn’t stopped some bandits, but the Imperial Guard will go to great lengths to bring those bandits to justice. The Emperor himself is particularly interested in making this postal system work and the Imperial Guard has been making an example of mail thieves to deter the crime.
The Rukemian Empire embraces all facets of magical lore and training. There are several excellent schools of wizardry scattered across the vast empire graduating several hundred new wizards each year. There are dozens of well known wizards across the empire as well.
A Rukemian noble might dine as follows:
|Prawns with a spiced mustard sauce for appetizers.|
|Mangush - An extremely rich beef broth.|
|Rukemian Pod Salad - Fresh salad with cream filled pods and herb & bread crumbs.|
|Roasted pheasant - the main course.|
|Sarian Pulth Rice - Very small white rice kernels with a sweet flavor.|
|Tea, coffee and mints. Coffee is exceedingly rare as it must be shipped all the way from Qeshir. But the wealthy can afford it.|
|Aridorn||156,300||Aros Pramule||Rukem||5,980,600||Rukem is the largest of all the duchies and is the central duchy deep in Rukemian territory where the capital city of Aridorn sits.|
|Kandare||45,900||Thomas Heindrech||Great Plains||3,810,900||Kandare is a beautiful city situated on both banks of the Thule River. Several taverns and other business hang over the banks and river travelers can pull boats right up to the balconies and back porches of these establishments. Kandare operates a business of river barges that transports people and goods between Nordrun and Aridorn.|
|Haygen Keep||38,800||Matthew Haygen||Asria||2,750,800||Haygen Keep is a major Imperial military town. It is built around the keep for which it is named. This large fortress was built upon the ruins of a castle that was built before the Great War. Imperial troopers are trained here and most patrols originate from this point. Haygen's Keep is charged with defending the entire western border of the Empire.|
|Southwood||35,200||Frederick Murdoch||Karkellia||2,180,200||Primarily a logging city. The Duke of Karkellia is supported by the Forest Warden who is responsible for the logging and security of the Emperor's Grove. A small force of twenty rangers patrol the Grove.|
|Helmsdale||32,000||Eric Ithkhan||Madrakia||1,940,000||A city of smiths and miners that produce armor for Imperial troopers.|
|Seapoint||29,900||William Stuart||Ossyria||1,820,900||A naval port with a very good shipyard. Seapoint houses supply depots and repair facilities for Imperial ships in the Sea of Storms.|
|Nordrun||28,200||Lady Katherine Hemrich||Jekur||1,569,100||Nordrun is the largest town in between Snowy Timber and the Emperor's Grove. Many small villages log the forested hills there. Nordrun serves as a focal point for the hilly region.|
|Corrak's Perch||26,400||Stuart Greshin||Sarakor||1,177,400||This town derives its name from a mated pair of corraks which nest on a high bluff overlooking the town. Local folk tales going back centuries mention corraks on the bluff. It is believed that there has been a group of corraks living in the region for hundreds of years. The rangers from Southwood keep an eye on the birds and have established a stiff fine for any woodsfolk disturbing the nest.|
At one time King's Port maintained the Empires aging fleet and was originally the town that built them. Now, the contracts to build new ships have been moved to Mercia and the shipyards of this small city sit abandoned. The town has lost about twenty percent of its former population as men are forced to find work elsewhere. In fact, it's often joked that rats outnumber men here. The shipwrights who remain produce smaller boats, perform repairs and strive for technological innovations.
|Barrik||24,300||Cromwell Farrghen||Thurin||957,000||Barrik lies just north of the Emperor's Grove. Several of its wealthier citizens have planted magnificent flower gardens and arboretums. Within the town walls and throughout the valley, the fields are awash with color as roses, rhododendrons, carnations and more wave in the wind. Many of these gardeners take their gardens very seriously and compete with each other at a yearly floral festival.|
|Morcrest||22,100||Eduard Belison||Uthria||943,600||Morcrest is home to a small magical academy of high caliber. Every Grand Magus for the last century has been an alumnus of this school. Connected with the academy is a wizard's guild, also in Morcrest.|
|Ceranth||21,200||James Brolinar||Vanir||897,200||Ceranth is mainly a farming community. Located near Ceranth is a cluster of Forest Lord trees, one of the few groupings to exist on the eastern half of the continent. Ceranth has a small thieves guild that sends out small groups of bandits to prey on pilgrims and travellers on the roads. They often attempts to elude pursuit by venturing into the cluster of Forest Lord trees. The bandits have a few well concealed tree houses in those giant trees.|
|Wavehome||19,700||Simon Black||Dellaren||784,500||Wavehome is known for the farming of pearls from large oyster beds beneath the waves.|
|Windcove||15,500||Victor Arminus||Clearwater||693,400||Windcove is a town of beautiful beaches, chalky white cliffs and incredibly clear blue water. Many wealthy imperial citizens have summer homes here.|
|Bollus||8,200||Charles Adrian||Storm Bay||663,500||Bollus is a quiet town of fishermen and farmers. It has only one real claim to fame... a retired wizard named Demetrius has settled here. Demetrius was once the Grand Magus of the Imperial Court and advised the Senate on magical matters. But that was long ago. Now, Demetrius runs a small apothecary and spends his free time combing the beaches and listening to the waves. Quite often, nobles from Aridorn and sorcerers from other lands will journey to Bollus to seek his counsel. On occasion, Demetrius will be invited back to Aridorn to lecture or attend a state dinner and he will be gone for several weeks. But always, he returns to this sleepy little town.|
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