Politics

Society exists at several broad scales. The following goes over how creatures organize themselves to protect what small luxuries they have from the wild beyond their walls. There is also a brief discussion of the largest Empires that have formed since the Apocalypse.

City-States


Given how wild the wilderness has become, civilization only exists within gunshot of the nearest fortress. Lands that aren't guarded day and, most especially, night become overrun with mutated creatures. Thus, the basic unit of Civilization is the City-State.

At this most basic level, you will have small feudal demses where a local governor or lord has set up some fortifications. This will vary wildly in form based on race, but it will be defensible to most basic threats, have some method of deterring the supernatural, and be large enough that the entire serf population can cower in terror inside its walls.

At the far extreme, you have the great cities, sprawling metropolises where thousands upon thousands of people cram into tiny, dirty houses inside a hodgepodge of walls, crenelations, towers, battlements, and fortresses. These cities rely on the massive tides of people to keep the dark at bay. They are generally looked over by the most extreme fortifications and protections they can muster. It is an unfortunate reality that a difficult target insures that you will only have to deal with the most serious of threats.

Nations


While generally a match for the local fauna, flora, and hyper-intelligent carnivorous fungi, a single City-State cannot hold its own against any kind of unified force. Without allies to break their lines, any city state can be sieged, the citizens starved, until the Lord has no choice to surrender.

As such, City-States that share share bonds of geography and culture will generally form alliances. In many cases, one local Lord becomes so powerful that he could crush any of his nearby neighbors, become the de-facto King. In other cases, like the Orc tribal structure, a group of City-States bands together to form a more or less equal society.

These Nations tend to be very very lose, with highly irregular borders, shaped more by the local zoology then geography. As far as is possible, there will generally be routes of relative safety connecting all the various City-States that make up a given nation. Depending on how kind the land is, there may even be some central hub of safe, civilized countryside. Or, at least, less instantly murderous countryside.

Empires


Recently, the various Cheiftans, Kings, Sultans, and Thanes have been looking towards each other's lands with envy. The harsh wilderness can prove very resistant to civilization, after a while your neighbor's cleared fields start to look very tempting. An enlightened few quickly realized that open war would drain so many resources away from defense that Cities and Nations would be overrun by the creatures waiting just outside the walls.

The Powers that Be


Three large alliances of Nations have formed since the Apocalypse.

All directions here are given relative to the pre-Rift maps. The directions here would be meaningless to a native of the world.

To the North-East lies the Allied Kingdoms of Ankya. Forged by Royal Marriage, this Alliance is primarily comprised of Human and Orcs. The Orc Tribes have carved out a sprawling Empire in the rugged Mountains and Plateaus to the West. The low lying river system to the East is a diverse kingdom ruled over by a Human. Many other races comprise both of the component Nations, but the ruling class is predominately Orc or Human. The Mountain ranges that seperates the two great Kingdoms are filled will Goblinoid races that pay fealty to the Orcs while continuing their raids on Human lands. There is a subturranean City-State of Dwarves near the Human lands. While they trade freely with, and often fight beside, the humans, they refuse to give up their millenniums of war with the Orcs.

To the South-East lies Gaol's Impernium. A massive totalitarian Empire dedicated to the eradication of Chaos in all its forms. This Empire is highly diverse, welcoming all who worship Gaol into their protection. Worship mostly comes in the form of massive Tithing and oppressive, paranoid, neurotic security measures. The Impernium is an aggressive Empire, looking to bring all living creatures into their fold in hopes of ending Zbraxian's ascendant power. The Emperor himself is a Dwarven Priest of Gaol.

Finally, Due South is the domain of the Iron Lords and the Impossible Army. An extraordinarily loose affiliation of island states, to the ignorant observer this area of the world looks to be chaos incarnate. Tiny islands, each with their own customs and culture, each constantly raiding their neighbors for food and resources. However, almost every island in the chain owes allegiance in one way or another to one of the 12 warrior-kings and queens known as the Iron Lords. These military paragons are responsible for fielding the all volunteer, all mortal army that stopped the advance of the Arch-Lich Rosarius a decade ago. Ever since the world powers watched an undead legion perish at the hands of some hastily organized fishermen, none have dared the ire of the Iron Lords.

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