The Verentian Empire
Modern Verentian government stems from Colbrian organization, which was originally based on a council of Garricleves (war leaders) from the strongest clans of the Savaxelen. These clans were the nobility, and the lesser clans were the citizenry of the various river states. When the Empire enveloped surrounding foreigners, the class of unfree peasant and slave arose. Although this classification of citizenship was done away with during the Era of Serentean Compellators, the new Verentian order reimplemented it.
There are now a total of five levels of citizenship: nobility, merchant, military, craftsman, and slave. Merchants are considered free, craftsmen unfree, and the military includes both free and unfree divisions. Government also tends to fall into two levels of representatives of the free, and representatives of the unfree. All real power, of course, is in the hands of the nobility.
There are five divisions of government. The top level is that of the Emperor and his staff, given the full powers of Sadaria (judgment). Below him are four Sadarias: Darian (clan-level), Vexillian (province-level), Paladean (free town-level) and Grivellian (unfree town-level).
The Emperor embodies many concepts of rulership: Head of State, Head of Religion, Chief Elder of the Antegene, Commander in-Chief of the Military, and Supreme Justice.
The Regalia: Five parts make up the Imperial Regalia: for each function embodied within the Emperor. As Head of State, he wears a headress fashioned like a great house (a diamond shape, surrounded by pillars), symbolizing the great household of the Empire. As Head of Religion, he bears five symbols for each major deity: the Ruler's Eye on his forehead, the Warrior's Blade in his right hand, the Protector's Bracer on his left wrist; he wears a skirt of Sea Dragon scales and always walks barefoot so he may remain in contact with the Earth. As Chief Elder he adorns himself richly, so that all may know him as the wealthiest chief, and in these ornaments are the silver badges of the Antegene. As Commander-in-Chief the Emperor wears the white plume and Verentian blue cloak insignia. Finally, as Supreme Justice the Emperor wields a golden torch-mace, to shed the light of Silaxar's truth.
The Imperial Staff consists of elected officials who represent the people of Verentis to the Emperor and, in many instances, vice-versa. They perform several functions: (1) presiding over Darian and Vexillian Sadarias; (2) presiding over judicial proceedings; (3) commanding the military; (4) managing imperial finances; (5) managing imperial and public land. Each function has two officers (one for the free and one for the unfree) and often several deputies as well.
|Office||Holder ca. 1990 VC|
|Lord Master of the Darian Sadaria||Dar. Varinti|
|Lord Master of the Vexillian Sadaria||Ascomar Cladene|
|Master of High Justice||Vil. Grilland|
|Master of Common Justice||Mar. Racheti|
|Master of Mercenaries||Bardalis Avarlis|
|Master of the Free Army||Hachtor of Heche|
The Darian Sadaria
The Darians are direct descendants of the original Garriclevin Assembly of Colbria. Its members are all nobles of the fifty clans of the Sevachelle. The Darian Sadaria elects the four Magistrates, their deputies, and the Imperial Justiciars and Carnificis who represent Imperial rule in the provinces.
Provincial Administration (6 provarchs)
Verentian Client States
The Vexillian Sadaria
The Vexillian Sadaria consists of representatives from every province of the Empire. Its members pass laws, elect the Lord Masters, and the four Masters. Actual members are chosen from every social class of each province and includes the governor (i.e., the Provarch) of that province. At the province level, the Vexillians manage the daily affairs of the townships.
Each province is governed by a Provarch appointed by the Emperor (except for Colbrivaine, governed directly by the emperor himself) as a representative of the Vexillian Lord Master in that province. A Provarch has at his service several officers, each of whom are provided by the Darian Sadaria. For an example of these officers, see the descriptions of any province below.
Local Administration (city governors; estates)
Paladean and Grivellian Sadarias
The Empire consists of provinces, and each province is subdivided into townships, Imperial lands (owned by the nobility) and public land (unused land or land rented to unfree). For each township there is a Paladean and a Grivellian Sadaria. These assemblies elect ministers to supervise markets and fairs, religious ceremonies and holidays, and to serve in judicial proceedings under the Imperial Justiciar.
These are the chief officers of a township:
- City Governor (elected by Paladean Sadaria and approved by the Provarch)
- Imperial Justiciar (appointed by provincial High Justice)
- Paladean Sadaria (1 member from each aristocratic household, selected by the head of household)
- Grivellian Sadaria (1 member in 1000 from the general public, nominated by the general public but elected by the Paladean Sadaria; this system is often subject to some dispute).
The army consists of two fundamental divisions: the Militia and the Mercenaries. The Militia in turn consists of the Semidderets and the Free Service. Membership in the Semidderets is by direct appointment by the Master of the Free Army and requires a considerable income to qualify. (The candidate must provide his own weapons, armor, mount, and the means to support it). Free Servicemen are provided with training and equipment and are paid, but are required to come from a background of at least moderate income level. The Mercenaries are unfree, paid soldiers. They are required to finance and manage their own training and provide their own weapons. Mercenary social groups are established throughout the Empire to meet these needs.
The Selatrien Guard is the military contingent of the Emperor's Palace and those of the Lord Masters. Members are hand-picked by the Emperor from a list of candidates provided by the Master of the Free Army (who gets his list from the Chief Rider and Imperial Justiciar of each province).
The Army is organized into four Field Armies, each of which are responsible only to the Emperor and his staff. Free persons may hire mercenaries for private protection, but there are limits to the amount any household can control at any given time.
The Field Armies are stationed in strategic areas: one to watch the northern frontier, one to guard the eastern frontiers, one in Colbrivaine, and one in Aurelia. Verentian companies range in size from 80 to 120 men.
- Field Army of Aurelia
- 6 Rider Companies
- 18 Free Companies
- 27 Mercenary Companies
- 48 Auxiliaries
- Field Army of the East
- 3 Elite Companies
- 4 Rider Companies
- 24 Free Companies
- 40 Mercenary Companies
- 45 Auxiliaries
- Field Army of the Main
- 15 Elite Companies
- 6 Rider Companies
- 3 Free Companies
- 36 Mercenary Companies
- 43 Auxiliaries
- Field Army of the North
- 5 Rider Companies
- 21 Free Companies
- 25 Mercenary Companies
- 54 Auxiliaries
See also the section on troops and equipment.
- EMPIRE OF VERENTIS (pop. 4,864,000) (Selatrien/Ascalis)
Area: 89 600 sq km
The Imperial heartland. Much of its urban population depends on food from Morivaine. A stylized image of a crouched vardelen, ready to pounce, is the symbol of Colbrivaine and thus of the Empire.
Most of the population of the Empire lives in cities and towns. Agricultural lands are divided between clan-held estates and state-held commons in native Verentian areas. In the former case, agricultural workers live on the estates; in the latter case, the state-held lands are typically outlying of towns and cities, and the workers live in town. There are no villages per se though the communities of workers or slaves on the estates might resemble them. Rural towns strive toward self-sufficiency except where that is impossible.
Ascalis: Capital of the Verentian Empire. The city's metropolitan area includes Vilithrene, the Selatrien, and numerous outlying suburbs. The city and its suburbs cover almost 500 hectares of the north bank of the Sevachelle and several islands.
Selatrien: The Imperial City, located within Ascalis. The Selatrien is both a town and fortress.
Vilithrene: The port of Ascalis is a walled town in its own right.
Area: 92,300 sq km
Wine-growing country. The land of this province is given over mostly to cash crops rather than staples, so that, like Colbrivaine, much reliance is had upon Scadria and Rivardea. The symbol of this province is a grape vine.
Dardaraine, like Tirandes and Loria, is part of the Porelian cultural region.
Girlide: The capital of Dardaraine.
Area: 59,100 sq km
Home of some of the Empire's oldest and wealthiest clans. The nobles are conservative and strongly loyal to the Emperor. A mountain and bow & arrow are symbols of this province.
Belnumme: The last stop for merchants trading overland to Vidar and the Andalors. Belnumme is heavily fortified for its size.
Norimourn: Administrative center of the province. Norimourn also serves as a center of activity for the the powerful and wealthy Lumbris clan, whose traditional lands are nearby.
Area: 51,100 sq km
This province is home to several important military science clans, notably the Achelance, Ersache, and Rivarax clans.
Emeramn: Known for its military academy, where the Empire's brightest generals are schooled.
Area: 54,600 sq km
Wrested from Morianda, this province is the breadbasket of the east. The region is heavily militarized, and it is easy to find a mercenary company here.
The Provarch of Morivaine is charged with the task of enforcing imperial claims to Morianda, as well as defense of the borders with Morianda, Omenarcas, Worlorn, and the client states of Savideche and Lirsalis.
Ediora: Destroyed at least twice during the wars between Morianda and Verentis, Ediora is as much a military camp as a city; its businesses thrive on the endless coming and going of troops and notables. She was the original Lirsalin capital but became the capital of a new province created out of land taken from the Mori.
Area: 37,600 sq km
An unassailable region, never conquered. Saraclaine annexed itself to the Empire under economic pressures. The symbol of this province is a fire-breathing dragon.
Verense: The capital of Saraclaine.
Area: 39,400 sq km
Home of powerful sea-trading clans, Tirandes is eclipsed in importance by Aurelia. Nevertheless, an established tradition of navigation and cartography maintains relevance. This province includes the isle of Loria. The people of Tirandes are mostly Porelian, who are descended from Hovar settlers and indigenous Sevalin tribes.
Loridunne: Loria's only town, it's inhabitants are mostly Porellians. Several important Porellian temples exist here and in other locales on the island.
Vardoren: A center for studying piloting, cartography, and other naval subjects. Vardoren is also known for breeding excellent vardelens.
Vault of Loria: An impregnable temple hidden within Mount Loria on the island of the same name. It is the abode of the Porellian god Dervidorn.
Economics and Trade
Elcas: Also called org, the elcas is a vicious meat producer.
Trocas: An animal often associated with field slaves, the trocas provides additional labor on estates and are used as draft animals for pulling carts and wagons. Also called pack lizard.
Vardelen (riding animal): Also known colloquilly as vards, vardelen are bred all over Verentis, but Tirandes and Lirsalis provide the best breeds, with Lirsalis breeds the most highly prized. There is also an illegal breed of vardelen which has a poisonous bite. Also called gardell.
The main export is Imperial technology: weapons, armor, household items, toys.
|From the Andalors:||grain, ground sloths, mastodon ivory, snow leopard pelts, tin, wax|
|From Goertha:||copper, grain, iron, muegran, silver, various fruits|
|From Caracand in the Prulam:||Aramur, incense, Krishari slaves, perrodines, sugar, trinkets|
|From Nareshai in Ai-Orai:||fine tapestries, silk|
|From Rispatta in Rashan:||balsam, gemstones, hawks, Marazi slaves, panthers, sugar|
|From Ralubia:||drugs, electrum, paper, slaves|
|trissi||vardelen||sheaf||1 p||bronze||5 g|
|beleur||Empress||Moon||20 p||silver||5 g|
|vilide||Emperor||Sun||240 p||gold||5 g|
The Pavinian Code of Law
Verentian law is derived from the code set forth by the Emperor Pavinias of Maletria hundreds of years ago.
Uniformity of Law
Laws apply differently to commoners and nobles. In practice, law also differs between the privileged and non-privileged classes.
Enforcement of law is moderate to high, depending on the quality of the police forces employed in the given area. The Empire employs its armies and paid mercenaries to enforce public order. Courts are overseen by a panel of judges (usually three) selected from the nobility. (In a noble's trial, this is essentially a jury of peers). Prosecutor and defendent each have a lawyer, witnesses are present, a torturer and armed guards are available to keep order. Noble trials may be attended by an audience of nobles only; common trials are open to anyone.
Slaves may not carry weapons; the penalty is death. Any member of, or employee of, the Antegene may carry common arms and armor. Even unemployed soldiers may not bear their equipment until such time as they are properly employed. The use of warmounts and artillery is allowed only to the Imperial armed forces.
The conduct of business is regulated by associations under the direction of a noble patron or patrons. Actual laws may vary from city to city, but typically the most profitable trades are monopolized by a single group, or sometimes a small number of groups in the largest cities.
The traditional places of banishment for guilty nobles have been Lunargho and Caracand.
Civil cases are tried as per criminal cases, except that a torturer is not present. Fines and restitutions are doled out as maximum punishments.
The Empire is liberal in granting personal freedoms. Aside from restrictions of association between commoners and nobles, inhabitants enjoy freedoms to speak freely, educate themselves, travel, and worship as they please. Only slaves, criminals, and indentured servants are limited in these respects.