I had a mention of four being the last one, and it being mine, but that has been changed to a lie (or an inaccuracy) by Shadoweagle adding more land to Decathros, so I'll just say this: Hypoten is caesar193's and its way awesomer than all of your places!Name:
Hypoten (pronounced HY-pot-EN)Overview:
Low to mid elevation, warm coastal area. Some hilly areas especially towards the eastern mountain range. Two woodland/forested areas, one by the coast to the southwest and one to the northeast, merging with the forested part of area 5. Neighbors are area 3 to the north(by sea), and area 5 to the northeast.
The main population center is the Alsabar peninsula. The rest of the land is mainly farms. A strange feature of the terrain is holes, with completely smooth walls and around a five-ten foot diameter, randomly scattered in the terrain near Sylvia. These are created by the groth-wurms- more on them in the Life Forms section. The holes are an annoyance to the farmers, as they cannot grow crops on that land. Occasionally, strange noises have been heard echoing from a wurm-hole, and brave souls adventure into them to investigate- but this is more of a topic for the Dungeons section.
The hills near the mountains are a rough area. Less suitable for agricultural purposes, Hypoten has instead found a use for them as a water source. Lacking rivers from the hill areas to the rest of the area, the snow-melt lakes that are formed there have been drained through the use of canals. Indeed, the need for water and the time and effort needed for the canals is one of the main economic reason that pushed Hypoten towards isolationism (more on that in Society). The snow melt lakes have been formed over countless years, and make a natural reservoir. Because of height concerns, Hypoten could not make an aqueduct, but canals have been made. Most of the canals in the hills converge onto the Green Canal, which carries water down the center of the Alsabar Peninsula to Hyrare. Two canals split off from the Green Canal before it reaches Hyrare, and these lead to northeast and south Hypoten (both emptying out in the ocean. The Green Canal, after traveling through Hyrare, splits in two, with one emptying out on the north side of the Alsabar Peninsula, and the other emptying out on the west side. Some environmentalists complain about the damage to the lakes' ecosystems ("The yellow-bellied red-tongue frog is about to go extinct!"), but there are so few of them that nobody listens to the "flower-pickers."
The mountains themselves are tall, grand, and austere. They have been scoured in the past for a way over them to Skaldevale, but none have been found. And so, in a characteristic way, Hypoten shrugged it off, made some comment about those d**n stubborn Skaldev fools, and worried more about its own problems. This was, of course, before they became truly isolationist and blocked out all contact with the rest of the world. Nowadays, the mountains are used almost exclusively for military training camps. A couple months of freezing much too close to death and the recruit is ready for anything. Especially if you dangle the prize of getting out of the mountains for the next phase of training as a reward for mastering the techniques taught in the mountains. And to keep the soldiers in line, troublesome (aka, people who make smart-ass comments to the sergeant) soldiers who "are the top of the line" are sent to guard the mountain training camps.
The Alsabar Peninsula is where the main population is at. The three cities of Hypoten are all right there, with many large towns and villages scattered over the rest of the peninsula. This is where the Hypoten culture and arts are. It is the single most important area of Hypoten, even if the capitol city was not there. It is the most developed and urban area of Hypoten.Dungeons:
Same as the Chinese one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_lance
), only with metal instead of the bamboo (no bamboo grows in Hypoten). Hypoten's Fire Lance's are still attached to spears. Stockpiles of them are kept in the major cities' armories, the DMZ, and other military institutions.Life forms:Groth-Wurms:
The groth-wurm is a beast that looks something like a large worm with an acne problem. The groth-wurms usually bear a mottled hue of dark brown and light brown (almost like camouflage clothes on soldiers), but some are an all solid color- maybe 25% are all dark brown, 50% mottled, and 25% light brown. Scattered all over these beasts are pimple-like extrusions, a light pink in color, and always slightly oily. The groth-wurm diet is a mixture of rock, dirt, and organic matter. Bu organic matter I mean feces, plants, fungi, and whatever animal life that is too slow to get out of its way. Groth-wurms, because of their diet choice, move only when they eat. Strangely, because of their great size, they don't actually have to eat very much to satisfy themselves- the average groth-wurm eats maybe 20 feet of tunnel every day, and sleeps the rest of the time. Most groth-wurms pick a particular territory and stay in that area. A territory is, unlike human territories, has volume. The height of the territory is usually double the groth-wurm's height, and the area of the territory is about a quarter mile square. Since the groth-wurm's live about two centuries, the tunnels can grow very slowly. Mating of the groth-wurms occurs above ground, though the location of this is not known. Some speculate that the mating of the groth-wurms happens in Sylvia.Locations:The Alsabar Peninsula-
you know, the only peninsula in Hypoten? The one nearing Vartanadel?Hyrare-
Hyrare (pronounced HY-rar-E) is the capitol and major city of Hypoten, and is located in the middle of the Alsabar Peninsula.Slithenos Province-
Slithenos Province is the mainland area of Hypoten. It contains everything that isn't Alsabar Peninsula.The DMZ-
a belt of forts running across the northeastern portion of the map- slightly northeast of the blue x. The DMZ stands for a couple of letters of Oled, the Hypoten's old language.Triland:
that cluster of islands north of the Alsabar Peninsula. There are three islands there, and thus the name. Triland is a like a cousin of Hypoten- Triland does its own thing while just sending imports/exports to the mainland. Technically, a part of Hypoten, but nobody really cares about it (like America caring for Maine during the War of 1812). It is Hypoten'smain source of seafood- Triland has excellent harbors and has shellfish, oysters, and regular fish.Sylvia:
the southern forest is feared, loathed, cursed, and shunned. No one lives there. Even necromancers and others scum of the earth avoid it. Hypoten used to send criminals in there on their own, but it was considered too barbaric and horrible and stopped (though public whippings, magical torture, implement, crucifixion, slow strangulation, eaten by maggots, etc., were still a part of the punishment system at that time). Summed up in three words? Don't go in.NPCs:The Royal Family:Queen Iliza-
Hypoten law has always stated that the eldest child of the royal family is the current monarch, which allows Queen Iliza to be the current ruler of her country. Iliza is an almost fanatical Angelist, and has attempted to purge Hypoten of the Demonists.King Charil-
The king of Hypoten, since he is just someone the current monarch, Queen Iliza, married, only has power through Queen Iliza. Charil has not exercised it too much, and is just living a life of extravagance. Behind his queen's back, King Charil has had a couple affairs, but so far no one has caught him. Charil does attempt to stop his wife from purging the Demonists, but he doesn't try hard to do so- he doesn't really care all that much.Prince Elenoth-
Elenoth is still a young prince, in his teen years, but he is loved by all. Kind and courteous, and very politically savvy, Elenoth is all ready a force to be reckoned with. During his childhood years, he grew up with fairy tales of brave knights seeking adventure in unknown places. Perhaps because of this, he would like to end Hypoten's isolationist years and rejoin the fold of the world.The Circle of Seven:Relen:
Relen is the Head Treasurer. He is a very math-concious person, and doesn't believe that anything that isn't math-related isn't really worth his time. He also prefers to keep minus signs out of his ledger that keeps track of Hypoten's funds, and is more prone to vote on the least-costly option on each matter.Weyhan:
A noble from Alsabar, Weyhan is a young warrior. He, like Prince Elenoth, wants to end Hypoten's isolationist years, but wants to do it to declare war on the neighboring countries. He is young, rash, and the type to shoot (or swing?) first and ask questions later.Cal:
Another noble from Alsabar, he is not the brightest of people. In fact, he is down-right stupid. He is, to all intents and purposes, a figurehead. Cal's father was the one who got Cal a seat on the Circle, and Cal's father is the one who determines what Cal does on the circle. Cal's father is pro-isolationist and pro-getting bribed.Sethel:
The third Alsabarian noble on the Circle, Sethel is good at crafting words and making arguments. He is a good person to have on our side for this particular issue, because he can usually sway another person to your side.Alain:
a noble from the southern section of Slithenos, Alain is adamant about staying isolated from the rest of the world. Since his lands happen to be adjacent to Sylvia, he know first hand the horrors of the outside world (not that he or anyone he knows of as ever gone into Sylvia, or experienced anything about Sylvia). Alain is also highly paranoid, and goes every with a squad of bodyguards- the more expensive, the better.Dreus:
It has been rumored the Dreus, a noble from northern Slithenos, has managed to get past Hypoten's borders and enter illegally. Since then, he has taken over a noble's domain, and has managed to get on the Circle. Whatever did happen, his physical characteristics are definitely not Hypoten. Dreus, though, denies illegally immigrating into Hypoten (perhaps because doing so results in execution?), and is also very pro-isolationist and wants to increase the strength of the DMZ.Rauth:
Rauth is the poor man's representative on the Circle, and (like most in his position) was the head of the Farmer's Council before he got elected. Rauth only cares about increasing the rights of the common folk, but doesn't gain much support for that- the rest of the Circle members are nobles.Plots:A Prince in Peril-
Elenoth has made a mistake. He has made his anti-isolationist view too widely known, and now groups- highly patriotic groups, who are in some cases the worst kind- who think that Hypoten's isolationism is a good thing want to kill him. Elenoth, whose bodyguards failed to protect him (or maybe he suspects they are part of the plot?), wants a third, neutral, and powerful party to protect him. Naturally, enter the PCs.Voting is for the Weak-
The term for the Circle of Seven is up, and a new lower-class representative is here. Understanding that he is surrounded by nobles who don't care too much on his particular issue- dealing with an increase of numbers with the groth-wurms, who are destroying the fields. Knowing that dealing with this increased infestation (can you call a ten foot wide monster that can chew through metal an infestation?) would be too big and widespread to be dealt with by just the PCs (strangely, unless you want a longer plot-line, the groth-wurms have just had a particularly good mating season), or with the meager funds he has available, he has decided to recruit the PCs to play the political game instead. If the PCs, by any means necessary, get the Circle to decide to deal with this problem, then they will get their reward.Society/organizations:Foreign Policy:
The overall society of Hypoten is an isolationist one, like feudal Japan. Blocked in as it is by the sea to the north and the mountains southeast, it became easy for Hypoten to to simply guard the northeastern choke-point and mind their own affairs. It became easy, as the powers of the rest of the world played their political games, too slip to the side and be forgotten. After all, Hypoten had no special resources, no superior trade routes, nothing worth conquering the area for. And with the difficulty in getting to Hypoten, past its main army base, really, it wasn't worth the effort.
And so Hypoten started paying attention to its own problems, forgetting the rest of the land as it would a dream. It closed off its borders, it told the world that incoming merchants would be killed, and minded its own business. Hypoten set up a number of forts along its border with Five, gave Vartanadel the evil eye as a warning, and dived into the numerous internal problems that are bound to come up in any civilized society.Political System:
Hypoten has a Constitutional Monarchy. There are two main parts of the highest authority- the Circle of Seven, and the monarch. The Circle is composed of seven members. These members all represent a different group of people. One member represents the lower-class, and usually comes from the head of the Farmer's Council, which is a group that raises issues from the lower class to the Circle, and always has members from the middle class to lower classes. The Farmer's Council almost always only has Alsabarian members. Two more members comes from Slithenos, and are each nobility. One of the members is from northern Slithenos, and the other from southern Slithenos. Three more members come from the Alsabarian nobility. The remaining member is the Treasurer. Each member of the council, except for the Treasurer, has a ten year term. After that, they are forbidden from running again. The Treasurer stays on the Circle until the internal treasury department politics replaces him and gets another head treasurer.
The Circle meets once a week to discuss and vote on the week's issues. The Circle meets with the monarch, who stays as monarch for life. Each member of the council has one vote, and the monarch has two. Each meeting, the issues are debated and voted on. After each issue has gained a verdict, next week's issues are revealed, and the members leave. Before the next meeting, however, the members will be busy vying for support with each other on whatever issues they feel are important. Bribes in the form of trades are common. A member may, to win support on a certain issue, agree to say yes on another issue, make a trading arrangement that's more beneficial for the other person, or simply use logic ("If we don't make these canals, then farming will be less profitable and we will have less money."). Because of the fact that the monarch has two votes, he is vied over the most.
The issues themselves come from three sources- the Circle, the Farmer's Council, and petitions. The Circle can, at the end of each meeting, name an issue that they would like debated on and voted on. Each member- including the monarch- can only raise one issue each meeting. The Farmer's Council, as said before, is a group of the middle to lower class that raises the poor's issues. They can raise up to ten issues. And the last source of issues are petitions. An individual citizen can, if at least 75 people sign the issue, submit it to the Circle for debate and voting.
The monarch also has other powers besides voting on the Circle of Seven. The monarch is also at the head of the military, judicial system, and foreign policy, and can make some decisions by him/herself in those areas. For example, if the king/queen wanted to declare war on some country, then he/she could. To limit those powers, the Circle could cut funding to any of the the military and foreign policy decisions that the king/queen does. Because of this, the monarch will usually raise the issue at a meeting before actually doing the deed, to see if they would have enough support to do it. Or they could just bribe enough other members into supporting their actions.Social Structure:
The social structure of Hypoten is varied and slightly convoluted. But the basic structure has nine main levels. At the bottom of the heap, at the ninth level, is the Slithenos farmers and miners. They are an uneducated lot, and have no real contact with the rest of society. The next level is the Slithenos artisans. These include everybody who makes things with the raw produce the comes from the farmers and miners- blacksmiths, tanners, etc. The third level is the Alsabar farmers. For them, so close to the population center, life is at a better standard. The fourth is the Alsabar artisans. The fifth is the middle class- doctors, teachers, mages, etc. They have the same status everywhere because they almost always come from Alsabar, where all the schools of note are. The fourth level are the Slithenos nobility. Since they are only lords over the country folk, they have less power and status then the third level, the Alsabar nobility. The second level is the royal family- which includes the king, queen, prince(s), and princess(es). And at the top of the social structure is the Circle of Seven.State Religion:
The state religion is in fact two religions, both inherently inter-twined that they are taken as one. The two religions are Angelism and Demonism. Both hold that the Creator made the world, and everything in it. The Creator also made Heaven, Hell, and the afterlife, and populated the world with Angels, Demons, and the mortal races (humans, dwarves, elves, etc.). He then left the world and either slept, died, or went off to make more worlds. The mortal races, as the neutral factions, settled Decarthos. The angels and the demons, however, where friends and allies. They settles Heaven and Hell in equal numbers. Both of those planes were filled with laughter and joy. Though inter-racial marriages were slightly abhorred and considered wrong by them (they are of completely different species), there were some, and the Angel and Demon who had married were not shunned or outcasted- they were accepted, and no one cared too much about it. But such happy days could not last, and the First War began. This is where the Angelists and the Demonists argue. The Angelists claim it was the Demons started the war, and the Demonists claim it was the Demons who did it. Whoever started it, the cause of the war is not in dispute.
Each side believes strongly in one side of a philosophical argument- Fate or Free Will. The Angels believed, almost as a whole, in Fate, and the Demons, likewise, believe in Free Will. This is the reason for how the war started. The Angels fought for fate, the Demons for Free Will. The exact series of event that started the war has been long forgotten. When the First War did start, the two sides fought with an unsurpassed tenacity. It had the feel of a civil war, and that was what it almost was- a civil war, because each side had been living with each other for generations. From their, the goodwill turned into hatred. Any angel or demon who said that the other side couldn't be all bad would be shunned and rejected. The First War would eventually end with the Decarthos Treaty, which was negotiated by the mortal races, who had been caught in the middle of this war. It gave the angels heaven, and the demons hell. From their, war between the two factions would erupt sporadically, and die down when each side's armies were crushed. Neither side had any advantage, and countless Angels and Demons died for no other reason besides prejudice.
In short, the Angelists are on the side of the angels and worship them. They believe in fate. The Demonists are on the side of the Demons and worship them. They believe in free will. It is important to note that neither side is good or evil- angels commit atrocities in the same number as demons.
Note to fellow Decartos Authors: this religion can be your area's main religion or not. It can also be true or not. It is your prerogative whether or not Angelism and Demonism is the religion of your area.Travel:
Hypoten has a highly developed road system. These roads are always kept in excellent care, and travel throughout the region is encouraged. It is simply travel outside the region that is prohibited. Along the roads at regular, 15 mile increments, are inns. These inns get worse and worse the farther from society, civilization, and law enforcement they are. If an inn is right next to a city, then they are good, solid, respectable inns. If they are near a small town, the innkeeper will cut some corners and the food will be worse, rats will be more frequent, and bedbugs might be a more real possibility. If they are near a village, rats and bedbugs are an almost certainty. The mattresses might go from being mattresses to piles of straw in a cloth. And if there is no civilization nearby, my suggestion is sleep outside.