Capital: Kavelin (pop xx,xxx)
Government: Monarchy/Democracy (Emperor/Senate)
Alignment: Lawful Good
Varencia sits on fertile river plains on the south eastern edge of the Aes Draconis (the Dragon Sea). A standard temperate climate provides for a normal four seasonal year. The eastern edge of Varencia is bordered by the dense and dark Venifica forest, and the western edge runs into the Mistglen hills. The central and northern portions of Varencia meet the Aes Draconis sea and curl their shoreline around Bronze Bay. The southern borders of Varencia slowly turn into brushland and wilderness that extend to the Rampart Ridges, which act as the border between Varencia and Landfall.
Varencia was formed after the ancient Wensharian civil war by the victorious rebels and their supporters. The rebels formed a new city-state, dedicated to protecting the area from the remaining evils of the Wensharian Empire. This city-state soon established a center of calm and safety in the middle of the chaotic aftermath of the wars. Like a beacon of light, it soon established an era of freedom and enlightenment.
Varencia, while greatly diminished in size from the glory that was the Wensharian Empire at it’s height, slowly reclaimed the central area around Brass Bay. With the help of their new gods, they eventually became the dominant power in the area. Today, Varencia occupies the central portion of the Alyndrican continent, providing Imperial rule over the kingdoms of Crondor and Rel Astra. The monarchy of Sunaria and the Free State of Landfall are considered members of the empire, but have the right of self rule.
The culture of Varencia is a Greco-Roman mix. Governmental buildings and temples feature smooth columns and pavilions in their design. The citizens and nobles of Varencia feel they have an artistic heritage and this is reflected in the various statues, gardens, and fountained pools built throughout their villages and towns.
The culture of Varencia is a Greco-Roman mix. Citizens and nobles prefer robes, tunics, and capes, and live in mainly live in houses with walled gardens and waits high walls. Servants and working people commonly wear pants, shirts, or tunics, and live in varied styles of housing, to include mass population tenements or blocks of housing.
Although slavery is not allowed in the Varencian Empire, certain rules do allow for indentured servants. These who hire or keep these servants are expected to take care of them according to their station, i.e. provide room, board, and fair wage. Misuse of servants is overseen by the courts, and some in cases servants have been released from their bonds when maltreated. Some families have a proud history of servitude, with others it’s the only work they can find.
Weapons preferred by the Varencian empire are the gladius, the longsword, and various types of javelins, spears, and halberds. The most prevalent type of armor is the breastplate, and half-plate armor. The Imperial armies are almost always armed with a breastplate, a gladius, a javelin, and a small shield, and have perfected their use in military maneuvers.
A special feature of the armies of the Varencian empire is the dozen or so young to adult bronze dragons that serve with them in the legions. These dragons are part of an extended clan that lives in the rocky waters off the coast of Varencia. Ancient Wensharia had a pact with an ancestor of these bronze dragons called Neolithic, which was broken during the Wensharian decadence and civil war. The return of the younger bronze dragons to serve with Varencia is seen as a sign that the empire is on the path of righteousness.
The religion of Varencia is a mixture of the newer Imperial gods that assisted the kingdom in their revolt against the wicked and decadent Wensharian empire, and the older gods that were prevalent in the area. The Imperial temple, with its leaders the god Mithral and his daughter Minvera are the most common religion in the land and is considered the state religion. The Imperial Temple is converned with the governing of society and the well being of the people, and is focused on freedom and rights for the greater good. The Pantheon (remnants of the Wensharian gods) are more concerned with philosophy, reason, and intellect. Scattered about Varencia, mostly in the farmlands and provincial areas, are temples to the Old Faith, gods of nature and agriculture, similar to the religion in Landfall. Varencia is also home to the draconic faith, a temple that worships the three gods that guard and protect the cosmos. While not as prevalent as the other faiths, and mainly considered a fading religion, the draconic faith, especially the order of Bahamut, is greatly respected among the populace. The inclusion of Tiamat in the faith, and her significant presence in the religion of the Anguis Imperium does cause some friction.
The hereditary emperor is the ruler of the Varencian Empire. He rules in conjunction with the senate (a council of representatives from the various provinces of the empire. The crown prince/princess of the empire rules the Principality of Crondor once they come of age. Representatives for the senate are elected by the people, and confirmed by the emporer, who also may chose from the candidates if there is no majority. Imperial Legates rule provinces, and Magistrates rule cities and towns. Imperial Legates are also used as representatives of the emperor in allied nations.
The Imperial Academy is the largest and most powerful group of arcane practitioners in Varencia. They are mainly multi-classed practioners of both arcane and divine magic, and follow a philosophy guided by the goddesses Minverva and Hecate. They have sworn binding oaths of allegiance to the empire and the emperor. While mostly neutral in outlook, their servitude and dedication to the empire has won them the respect of the populace.
Banned in the Varencian Empire, the Brimstone Society is a group an underground group of sorcerers and diabolist that specialize in the summoning and binding of demons/devils, rumored to have originated the downfall of the Wensharian empire. Proof of participation in Brimstone Society brings a mandatory death sentence anywhere within the Varencian empire.
The Gladiator’s Guild is popular across the all of Varencia and most of the surrounding kingdoms and countries. Participants may be there for various reasons, fame and fortune, debt, punishment for crimes, etc. There are one on one combats, spectacles against dangerous beasts, and multi-participant war games. There is much betting and most individuals in the empire follow the career of their favorite fighter with great enthusiasm. The games in Varencia are much more professional and less lethal than the ones in the Anguis Imperium, but accidents do happen.
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.