Two homebrew nations for your perusal. The first one is psuedo-Roman, the second pseudo-Russian. Comments are welcome and appreciated.
Major Ethnicities: Human (Lurian, Atathian)
Major Religions: Absyun, Balder
Common Languages: Lurian, Atathian, Sun Elven
Climate: Grassy hills dotted with forests and mountains
Major Imports: N/A
Major Exports: Wine, Olive Oil
Common Male Names: Adrian, Agrippa, Aquila, Brutus, Darius, Dominicus, Felician, Glaucus, Ignatius, Julius, Latinus, Martinus, Percival, Scipio, Terminus, Venedictos, Victorius
Common Female Names: Academia, Aleria, Bella, Callula, Domela, Faustina, Gloria, Julia, Larissa, Leverna, Livia, Novea, Oria, Pia, Reselda, Serena, Tullia, Venessa, Victoria
Atathia the city was founded in the year 8424 AC by a man named Atath. The city was in the kingdom of Brunhelm. Brunhelm was the dominant Human nation on the Peninsula of Tears. In the year 8732, Atathia, during a war between Brunhelm and another nation, Munheder, gained its independence. This revolt was largely due to the fact that Brunhelm had raised heavy taxes and conscripted many Atathians. At this point, the mayor of Atathia, Terminus I, crowned himself King of Atathia. Terminus I had a large amount of legitimacy, as he had found the legendary sword Galerus, a sign of Absyun’s favor.
Terminus I launched a successful campaign against the Brunhelmians, which put a few cities into Atathia’s domain. Terminus’s success was largely due to the quality of his leadership and soldiers. Atathia’s flag was based off of Terminus’s coat of arms, which is a golden phoenix with wings outspread and flames beneath on a red background. Given Atatha’s military success, international recognition soon followed. For example, an arranged marriage with the Maslin dynasty of Leuraux (later Fleurgurd) happened in 8956 AC.
In the year of 9021, Atathia captured the capitol of Brunhelm, also called Brunhelm. The Atathian king at that time, Aquila Lorii, declared himself Atathian Emperor after the capture of Brunhelm. From this point on, the Atathian Empire followed a policy of aggressive expansionism, first taking all the other Human kingdoms on the Peninsula of Tears, then by assaulting the barbarians of the Brogar Woods. Although the Brogar Woods were never conquered, many attacks were launched, and the residents of the Brogar Woods have a lasting resentment against the Atathians for it. It should be noted that Atathia never made an attack on the Elves to the West.
In 9543, when the last King of the Maslin dynasty died, the Atathian Emperor presented his claim to the Council of Barons, but was rejected in favor of a native Fleurgurdian. The Atathian Emperor, Martinus XIV, had the correct claim, and invaded. With the help of New Luria and Okina rebels, Fleurgurd lost the war, and was incorporated into the Empire. This began the period of Atathian overseas expansion.
In 9571, under the leadership of Julius V, Atathian soldiers landed at what is now Northrend. There, Nordic raiders had been plaguing trade in the Northern Sea. A great naval battle ensued in the bay that the raiders were using as a base, called the Battle of Northrend, destroying many of the Atathian vessels. Forced to land with their remaining soldiers, the Atathian Legionaires luckily won a land battle, encircling the docks where the Nordic ships had made port. A fort was built over the site, called Northrend, and large elements of the Atathian navy were posted there. From this central base, Atathian generals slowly expanded their reach over human elements of the Isle of Giants.
In 9687, war broke out between Tunia, Kretos, and Arxia. Atathian troops landed at the behest of the Tunians. What they found in Tunia was complete and total defeat at the hands of Arxian Yuan-Ti. Atathian legions managed to recover the offensive, launching a counter attack on Arxia. Atathian soldiers managed to defeat the Arxian Yuan-Ti. In the place of the devastated government of Tunia and Arxia, the Atathian government set up a colonial government to govern the nations.
In the fateful year of 9802, disaster struck Atathia. A demonic army was summoned in the city of Atathia, and from there it wrecked destruction on everything it could find. The Emperor and his heirs were killed. The army consisted of “Narzugon”, elite cavalry armed with foul halberds. This army was finally stopped at the Battle of the South Ridge, where Atathian legions and Sun Elven crusaders made a final, defiant stand. Shockingly, the Narzugon were defeated. The parts of Atathia that the Narzugon attacked became the Dead Lands, as nothing grows there, and the land is infected with a sickly blight.
In the chaos of rebuilding Atathia, the overseas colonies won their independence as large amounts of the Atathian military were called back to Atathia proper. The colonies afterward founded an alliance against further Atathian aggression.
Atathia in recent years has struggled to maintain its independence from assaults by undead and Dark Elven armies from the Dead Lands. It has also has to deal with strenuous relations with Brogarun, the kingdom made by Ug in the Brogar Woods. Many wonder when they will launch invasions of Arxia, Tunia, Fleurgurd, and Northrend, as the Atathian claim to these lands still stands.
An emperor rules Atathia. While the emperor and the state are considered one and the same, giving him direct control over the government, the emperor does have to abide by limits set in place by the first emperor, known as the Imperial Dictation. The limits are mainly placed on the emperor’s spending, so that he cannot run the empire into a deficit by spending on frivolities. In addition, the imperial family (not including the emperor) is denied any control over portions of the government except the military. The emperor is also denied the right to change the state sponsored religion of Absyunism and the right to edit the Imperial Dictation. Also included are the guarantee of certain government institutions, the abolition of slavery, and the wheat distribution to the poor. Not abiding by the Imperial Dictation is punishable by forced abdication of the throne after a consensus of the Heads of Treasury, Military, Commerce, Foreign Affairs, and Religion, which are the five government departments.
The throne is passed on to the favored relative of the emperor. This allows for a female to take the throne, although this has not happened yet, and the throne usually goes to the sons of an emperor.
Atathia is divided into provinces and territories. Provinces are individual units, ruled by a governor, while territories refer to groups of provinces. Cities and towns are directly subordinate to provinces, which are directly subordinate to their territories, which are directly subordinate to the empire.
Atathia is widely divided between the poor and the rich. The poor live in cramped, multi-story apartments in the cities, while in the countryside they live in mud brick housing. The rich, however, live in elaborate estates and villas. It is worth note that slavery is illegal in Atathia.
The Atathian state has multiple countermeasures to keep the poor content. Wheat grain purchased by the state is given out to the poor, and quarterly inspections insure that the grain goes to those that are truly poor. There are nearly always government jobs available, since the government needs many laborers for it’s massive works projects, such as roads, sewage systems, and aqueducts, although the public works jobs tend to not pay much. Others can join the Atathian military, and in addition to their wages, can receive land after service. A state bank provides loans to those who need financing, although failure to pay these loans results in serious criminal punishment. These measures make sure that no one is starving, provided that that person is willing to go to a government office.
Corruption is also kept to a minimum; this reduces discontent and keeps the state in line with Absyunian philosophies. To accomplish this, accurate records, auditing, and firm control of tax collection make sure that money is not embezzled. Military personnel are often stationed away from their home province and relatives are not put in close proximity in the government.
Atathia’s military is made up of professional soldiers, although conscription is possible in dire circumstances. Standard training is conducted at various sites, and those unable to meet certain standards are sent home. The people that finish the standard training become legionaries in the Atathian military. Those who excel on certain tests of mind are sent to the Atathian Military Academy of Officers, the Atathian Military Academy of Engineers or the Atathian Military Academy of Mages. The Academy of Officers offers training in tactics and strategy, and those who graduate from the Academy of Officers are guaranteed at least a position of centurion in the Atathian military. The Academy of Engineers offers training in construction of siege weapons, fortifications, and naval vessels. The Academy of Mages trains students to be either battlemages, which are mages specialized in the wearing of armor, or artificers, which craft magical items for the Atathian military. Equipment is issued upon completion of training. Standard equipment includes a backpack, a repeating crossbow, a longsword, a tower shield, banded mail, and necessary items such as waterskins. Battlemages, cavalrymen, marines (as legionaries on a ship are called), engineers, and artificers are all given different equipment to suit their needs. Although issued by the army, the soldier is required to pay for it in time, either by way of deduction from that soldier’s wages, payment of pre-existing funds, or a combination of both. Once past training, soldiers are given stations away from their home province.
The Atathian Military consists of Armies, headed by High Generals. These Armies consist of Legions, which consist of Centuries. Armies are simply defined as a group of 2 or more Legions. Legions are a group of 17 standard Centuries, each consisting of 80 infantry and 20 cavalry, one engineer century, one battlemage century, and one general’s century, which consists of the general and his staff, along with guards. Armies also control auxiliaries, which are ships, artificers, conscripts, and foreign units, and assign them to Legions under their command in addition to their 20 companies. Thereafter, the Legion commands the auxiliary until the Army redeploys it. Armies also control supply units, which are never put under control of the Legions.
Atathian Culture and Economy
The Atathians believe in duty to their country, religion, and family, in that order. They are human, and are thus short lived. For that reason, Atathian society focuses on glory in life. Thus, their society supports large, highly disciplined armies, which they use for conquest and self-defense. The religion of Absyunism also appeals to them, and is the main religion in Atathian lands. They are not known for frivolous artwork or music. Nor are they known for a respect of nature. They see the world as the glory that can be attained, and therefore war and compete for glory.
Atathia is based on a broad, hilly plain occasionally broken by mountains and forests. This makes their land most suitable for growing grapes, tomatoes, and olives. Aside from wheat, these three vegetables are the most widely grown in Atathia. Goats provide much of the dairy and meat. Fish is also popular in the coastal areas. Aqueducts provide water for farming projects, and food is bought and sold by the government, who use the selling of foodstuffs as a method of economic control. Trade is maintained with Al-Jaeira, for wheat. Metals and stones are mined from the range that runs through the center of the nation. Lumber tends to be imported, as few natural forests remain.
Atathian homes come in two categories, the city-homes and the country-homes. City homes will be done to provide for maximum utility. The walls are usually bland colors, and rarely do they use other materials than brick and stone. The higher class of a person, the more color their house will have, and the more their house will have stone. The cities also have sewage and water systems. Aqueducts and paved roads are the norm. In the countryside the same holds true, although houses are more spacious for comfort. For entertainment, many cities have arenas and chariot races or other competitive sports.
Music in Atathia is heavily influenced by the music the military uses for marches. Thus, percussion and brass instruments are the most popular in Atathia, although the lute has found itself a permanent place in taverns everywhere. Woodwinds and harps are generally viewed as too feminine for traditional Atathian music. Flowing with these trends, masculine vocals are preferred over feminine vocals.
Art in Atathia has many forms of expression, but all of it, emphasizes the glory of past events and the possibility for future glory. Paintings, in both small-scale and mural form, are very popular. They are usually portraits or paintings of important religious or historical events. Landscapes are unpopular. Sculpture is traditionally in either bust form or as relief in a piece of architecture, with stone, preferably marble, being the dominant medium. Mosaics originated in Atathia, and are still popular. Both mosaics and sculpture depict similar elements as painting. Ceramics are usually decorated simply with geometric patterns.
Places in Atathia
Brunhelm: Once a fort of the Elven Empire, later the capitol of the nemesis of Atathia, Brunhelm is currently the de facto capitol of Atathia. All important functions of the Empire were relocated to Brunhelm after the Demonic Incursion. Brunhelm is an inland city.
Cosia: The largest port city in Atathia, Cosia lies on the southern coast. It is responsible for most of the overseas trade that Atathia participates in. It is also the main harbor for the Atathian navy.
South Ridge: The site of the battle between Atathian forces and the Narzugon, South Ridge has become a memorial to the war and Atathian soldiers in general. The site now consists of marked graves for the soldiers that died in the war, along with tombstones for the civilians who died at the hands of the Narzugon. The total number of markers stands near 7 million.
Major Ethnicities: Human (Lurian, Nordic), Half-Dragon (White)
Major Religions: N/A
Common Languages: Common/Lurian, Konstanta
Climate: Cold Plains
Notable Imports: N/A
Notable Exports: Cold Iron, Arcane Equipment, Wheat
Common Male Names: Aleksey, Boris, Dimitri, Fyodor, Gyora, Ivann, Josef, Konstanta, Mikhail, Nikolas, Nikita, Sergei, Vasili, Viktor, Vladimir
Common Female Names: Aleksandra, Katerina, Kita, Nadya, Natassya, Sasha, Tanya
Lurian settlers first landed at would become Vladkimir in 4698. They found the land uninhabited except for a few Nordic humans and the soil extremely fertile, the Lurians turned the land into a colony, farming large amounts of wheat to feed their expansive empire. Colonial rule was relatively painless, but many began to dread the drudgery of Lurian rule. As Luria disintegrated into the first Churian Empire, the lands that would become Vladkimir gained their independence in 5982.
Early control of the liberated Grainlands, as Vladkimir was then known, was troubled. The kings of the Grainlands had trouble centralizing their new nation, and the economy suffered. The challenge that would undo the kingdom came in 6361, as a particularly bad winter hit the nation, killing most of the winter wheat. Starving and poor, the commoners backed a revolutionary, Konstanta the Glorious, who proclaimed that the end of the Grainlands kingdom and the proclamation of a new nation were needed to end the crisis. More importantly, he proclaimed that the gods cared nothing for the nation, and that the nation needed to not depend on their support. Near to two million followed his lead, starting the Great Revolution.
Early Vladkimiran Period
The Great Revolution raged, finally ending with the capture of the capitol of the Grainlands, which was renamed Konstantagrad. With the aid of his top leaders, Konstanta the Glorious formed a High Council in 6364, consisting of ten members, to rule the new nation. He also established the Great Arcane School, which would, in time, grow to dominate Vladkimiran politics. The High Council initially pursued policies beneficial to their people, but as unrest with the state atheism escalated, policies grew harsher and more concerned with maintaining control.
The first serious foreign challenge to their rule was a crusade, led by Sun Elves, against the High Council in 7905. In addition to the atheism which had agitated the rest of the world, the Sun Elves took particular offense to a new agreement between Vladkimir and the white dragons that inhabited the nation, which granted slaves to the dragons in return for fealty.
The crusade landed in the southern portions of Vladkimir, and, for a time, looked as though it might be successful. However, the crusade was defeated at the Battle of Dimitosk by a far larger Vladkimiran force.
Modern Vladkimiran Period
Time since the Battle of Dimitosk has slowly worn the Vladkimiran nation into a mess of civil war, strife, and rebellion. In addition, white dragons gained an increasingly active role in Vladkimiran politics. To combat these problems and restore the nation to its former glory, the Revolutionary Alliance was formed of discontents. Ten years ago, the Revolutionary Alliance rebelled against the High Council.
This started the Bloody Rebellion of 10017, which cost millions of lives on both sides of the conflict. After three hard years, the war ended with a victory by the established Vladkimiran government. Most of the rebels died, but several thousand escaped to foreign nations, trying to raise support for theior cause. The war devastated the High Council’s authority, and in the political vacuum that remained, Nadya Kertosink, the sorcerous spawn of a white dragon and a human, took power. Nadya established the new Council of Five to replace the defunct High Council, where she rules over the nation with an iron fist.
Vladkimir is an oligarchy, ruled by the Council of Five. The Council of Five is headed by Nadya Kertosink, with Archmage Dosvin, overseer of the Great Arcane School, Nikolas Pertosl, owner of the Vladkimiran Banking Coalition and arguably the richest Vladkimiran, Josef Kertosink, Nadya’s brother, and Alexsei Taratov, leader of the Vladkimiran Armed Forces as additional members. The additional members can be changed upon Nadya’s whim; the oligarchy is closer to an autocracy in reality. Nadya uses a combination of bribes, blackmail, and threats to maintain the loyalty of the other members and her other subordinates. Nadya has a personal army of white half-dragons sworn only to serve her will, known as the Elite Guard. She uses them as an instrument of terror and enforcement, often ordering them to attack her political enemies. The Elite Guard is the most feared military unit in Vladkimir for its ruthlessness and quality.
Nadya uses her Elite Guard and the VAF to suppress all dissent in the nation through terror. This has led to a weakening of the government through her constant purges. Fear of her disapproval has led to false reports, and in many cases, corruption has increased. Rumors abound that she is secretly working for the white dragons of Vladkimir.
Nadya rules through a variety of nobles. Dukes take over once the Council of Five has given its decision on a matter, implementing it throughout their state. Boyars, or lesser nobles, enforce these policies, being one part magistrate, one part judge, and one part police. Competition within the circles of the nobles is fierce. Nadya does not have a firm enough grip on the nation to enforce her will completely, and many nobles skim off large percentages of the tax collections and are corrupt in other ways.
The VAF consists of three branches: the navy, the army, and the arcane forces. Arcane forces are treated as being superior to the rest of the military, and typically possess the best equipment. Most wizards in the arcane forces have had training in the Great Arcane School. Because they are a separate branch, the wizards are often used independently of the other branches. The army is underfunded for its large size, so many of the Vladkimiran soldiers have poor supplies and equipment. The typical infantryman only carries a light crossbow, a few bolts, padded armor, a short spear, winter equipment, and logistical equipment. Most also pick up additional weaponry from the battlefields. The navy of Vladkimir is large and, like the army, receives poor funding. Vladkimir suffers from the recent purges of Nadya; so many generals have been replaced by lessers in the art of war.
Many poor persons join the army as the army guarantees food, shelter, and pay. However, it is quite likely that the logistical system will fail and the supplies will not reach the average soldier. This often leads to mutinies or rebellions from within the armed forces.
Vladkimiran Culture and Economy
In Vladkimir, every day is an attempt at survival. For the poor, this survival is in terms of getting enough to eat or protecting oneself from the cold. For the rich, survival is an attempt to not be destroyed by the other nobles.
Vladkimir relies on its fertile soil for mass production of grain. Although it’s production is a state secret, the nation also exports large amounts of Cold Iron, accounting for most of the supply. Vladkimir lacks prime foresting areas and often imports pine from Fleurgurd. The mountain range in the east of the nation supplies most of the nation’s metal and stone. The wide gap between poor and rich in Vladkimir is the root cause of most Vladkimiran rebellions.
Vladkimiran homes are designed to keep out the heavy winter cold. Thick walls made of insulating materials are common, and all entrances to the house are sealed well. Nearly all homes have a fireplace which also doubles as a cooking area when food is put above the flame. When winter strikes, the poor have to house livestock inside the dwelling, and, for this reason, a second floor or separated ground floor are built to house the family. The homes of the common folk of Vladkimir lack aesthetic amenities, while the homes of the rich are often well decorated. When possible, entertainment is usually found by playing the traditional game of checkers.
Art in Vladkimir is solely a function of the rich. Paintings are unpopular, but tapestries and sculpture are very common. Also popular are decorative furniture, such as an engraved chair. Stained glass art is by far the most popular form of art, yet it is the most expensive.
Music in Vladkimir consists of the ever popular accordion, a Vladkimiran invention, woodwinds, and percussion. Vocalists of both genders find a placein Vladkimiran music. Most songs are sad, and concentrate on lost loves, although a few have hidden political meanings.