The Anguis Imperium
Capital: Ral Tneprez
Culture: Medieval and Oriental mix
Religions: Church of Tiamat, Devil worship, Snakes
Alignment: Evil (Lawful)
The Anguis Imperium lays across the Aes Draconis (Dragon Sea) from the kingdoms of the Varencian Empire. A warm climate bathes the heartlands of the Anguis Imperium, the source of the nation’s bountiful resources.
The Imperium was formed after the ancient Wensharian civil war by the evil survivors and their slaves. Fleeing north through the lands of the ogre nations, the survivors reached the area that would become the Anguis Imperium, in the arable croplands south of the Chasm mountains. The Anguisians soon became the dominant power in that region, assisted by distance from the young Varencian kingdom, and the discovery of ancient ruins of an unknown civilization in the mountains.
The culture of the Anguis Imperium is a mixture of medieval and oriental. Citizens and nobles prefer robes, tunics, and capes, and live in houses with curves and domes. Slaves and working people commonly wear pants, shirts, or tunics, and live in wooden houses with thatch roofs.
Most swords are light, straight, edged on both sides, and good for stabbing and slashing. Some nobility prefer katana like swords. Spears and pole arms are popular throughout the region, as are all kinds of straight and curved daggers. Armor ranges from the rare ornate plate armor, to leather. Shields are rare and normally associated with the army.
Worship of Tiamat as the stern mother of all creation is prevalent throughout the area, even among the non-evil residents. Snakes and other draconic reptiles are seen as the progeny of Tiamat, and are revered in all aspects of life. Other serpent powers are tolerated if associated with Tiamat, and watched cautiously if not. Shrines to various devils are openly accepted, as long as they pay homage to Tiamat’s authority.
Slavery is legal and encouraged throughout the Imperium. Slaves “may” earn their freedom, or be bought and then set free by their owner, although both of these practices are frowned upon.
With all the Tiamat and serpent worship, one would assume that the clergy would be the true power in the Anguis Imperium. This assumption would be false, the wizards rule throughout the Anguis Imperium and are the highest form of nobility. A wizard of rank’s word is law, unless overruled by the authority of a higher ranked wizard, or by the standing decrees of the wizard’s council. Second in power is the military leadership, whose highest ranked general is declared the Imperator (emperor) by the Wizard council. The clergy of Tiamat are third in power in the Imperium, which is rumored to greatly amuse Tiamat.
The ruling wizards of the Anguis Imperium are formed into guilds, which can be identified by the color of the robes they wear.
- Blue Wizards – Battle wizards and specialists in evocation and destruction.
- Gray Wizards – Illusionists and mind readers.
- Red Wizards – Summoners and diabolists.
- Black Wizards – Necromancers and delvers into shadows.
- Green Wizards – Arcanists, sages and seers.
- Purple Wizards – Purple Wizards are the politically powerful members of the wizards council that have theoretically left their previous guild behind, gaining knowledge and secrets not known to other guilds. Wizards are only promoted to the council (which numbers in the hundreds) when there is a vacancy, which seems to be often caused by death, another fact that amuses Tiamat to no end.
The Anguis Imperium and the Varencian Empire are currently in a state of uneasy détente. The wilderness between the two countries that used to be the old kingdoms of the ogres is a unofficial warzone. Scuffles between forces occur with alarming frequency, yet nothing to the point of causing another decades long costly war like the one that ended nearly 30 years ago. The Varencian Empire is becoming increasingly concerned about the rise in piracy in the area of the Aes Draconis, and has sent numerous envoys to the Anguis Imperium, insisting something be done. The Anguis Imperium replies that it is suffering from piracy as much as Varencia, and that they are aggressively pursuing the matter.