The nation of Ceriloth is little more than a collection of communal hamlets that surround several centers of sin. The primary source of income for the ruling elite in Ceriloth are money garnered from sins of the flesh. All are welcome to partake of these pleasures, including all manner of human, demi-human and humanoid creatures, after all, money is money.
Ceriloth is the wild, swinging party nation on the southern edge of the continent. Bordered on all sides by water, ocean to the south and west, large rivers to the north and east, it’s simply what was left over after the other political heavyweights in the region made their claims. It would be difficult for the current geography to be held by any "proper" nation because of it’s isolation. There are bridges and ferries that transport visitors to the mainland, for a fee, of course.
There is almost nothing that is outright "illegal" in Ceriloth, and the nation operates on a moral code of "live and let live". The citizens are tolerant of most things as long as they do not impinge on the freedom of others. Law Enforcement as most people would know it is all but unheard of in the outlying areas, and exists in the large sin centers only as a means of assauging the fears of citizens of their more orderly neighbors that have come for a visit. Don’t expect the law enforcement to actually *DO* something about a problem you have, though. They are window dressing, there for the appearance of law and order, and generally don’t do much beyond leaning on their spears, paid to do that by the more astute of the criminal elements, who recognize that appearance of law allows them to attract more customers.
Citizens of Ceriloth walk the streets armed to the teeth, at all times. Most "crime"(as we would know it) in Ceriloth is of the organized sort, where crime syndicates operate brothels, gambling dens, drug houses, and trade in exotic and often morally questionable items(illegal in other nations). The citizens of Ceriloth view this as simply making a living, rather than crime. The violent crime is often simply turf wars between the various criminal elements of the nation. There is very little individual crime, because every thief in Ceriloth knows that if they are caught, their penalty is likely to be swift death on the spot by their victim and the other nearby citizens. Because of the moral code of the area, if someone is the victim of crime, it is likely that every citizen in the area will hunt down the criminal and exact their own justice before much time passes. Tolerance of individual crime, especially violent crime, is extremely low, and anyone engaging in such activity is likely to have a very short lifespan.
The brothels, drug dens and casinos bring in a healthy sum of money for the established syndicates, due mainly to the visitors from other nations, who generally can’t find their own particular "sin" in their home nations. As a matter of fact, the "Queen" of Ceriloth, Yirawin Taenydd, is little more than a sitting crime lord, who "rules" with a fair hand, allowing people to go about their business without let or hindrence, providing they aren’t messing with her business, which is innocuously criminal in the same way everyone else’s "crime" is crime. Her particular brand of "crime" happens to be gambling, she is the largest operator of gambling games in the Realoth area.
Everyday citizens of Ceriloth make their way in all of the standard careers that can be found across the continent. There are butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, all armed to the teeth to prevent thieves from taking advantage of them. They are pleasant and accomodating, and make their way in life as most do, by providing a service or product that others want at a reasonable price.
There isn’t a government, per se, in Ceriloth, but everything manages to work itself out. Communities band together to build essential services, like roads and wells, everyone helps out and pitches in to assist people who suffer unfortunate tragedy(such as house fires). Trade in goods and services are done at pure market value, so most things are reasonably priced, and you can even find reasonably priced exotic items as well.
Also, there isn’t an "army" per se, except that any organized attack on Ceriloth would be met by the collective might of the entire citizenry, all armed to the teeth with quality weapons, and a lifetime of experience in using those weapons to defend their way of life.
One thing that most people who are strangers to Ceriloth find unnerving is the loose method of conflict resolution. It’s not uncommon for a duel to take place in the street(with, of course, bets from onlookers as to who the winner will be). Bar brawlers are simply thrown outside to finish the fight off, without regard to their safety after the fact. Often, these scraps are ignored by the general population, because they happen often. It is unusual for someone to die, usually the fight ends before that situation occurs, but if someone does die, it’s viewed as a fact of life. If you aren’t willing to die, don’t get into a fight, is the general opinion.
The other thing that is somewhat unnerving to outsiders is the conglomeration of species that coexist here. It is not uncommon for all manner of creatures to be walking down the street, including humans, dwarves, elves, orcs, goblins, even the occassional ogre and giant has been known to make his prescence felt. As long as they keep to themselves, the citizenry don’t much mind the intrusion. However, if someone starts something, the citizens will be QUICK to end it, and are ALWAYS ready, willing and able to do so.
If you’re looking for a wild time, head to Ceriloth, and Realoth in particular, the largest city in Ceriloth. Every imaginable excitement and adventure can be found within that sprawling metropolis of sin. Just remember to bring your weapons if you want to survive. And thieves be warned: if your finger dip too long into another’s pocket, it’s likely that you’ll find your hand chopped off at the wrist.
Geez, where to begin…
- Thieving guild campaign: This is just RIPE with opportunities for a thief specific campaign centered on business building and eliminating rivals(over individual pickpocketing, etc). Take any gangster movie and plop it in here lock, stock and barrel. I won’t elaborate on that, as being too obvious.
- Trade Routes: in order to meet the needs of the people, some of the items that Ceriloth requires are not found within it’s borders. Surreptitious trade routes to gather items illegal in other countries are required. Defend the route, run the route yourself(as PC’s), there’s lots for that one.
- Problems associated with "Sins of the Flesh": Drugs can be a huge problem if they aren’t kept in check. Perhaps a new form of recreational drug is making it’s insidious entrance to the world from inside of Ceriloth. This could even be a problem in outlying nations. Same for gambling and prostitution, though probably not nearly as much.
- Assassination: one guild has taken over an entire city, and is milking the inhabitants for all they are worth. The citizenry can’t do anything about it, they just aren’t strong enough, and they can’t find the focus of the problem. Enter the PC’s.