Background

A realm on edge…

Food prices are up and wages are down. An oppressive tax burden falls on the laborer and merchant classes, while Priests and Nobility who have grown rich off the poor fight to keep their ancestral privileges, especial exemption from taxation. Adventurous foreign wars have left the Crown almost bankrupt, unable to secure the Kingdom’s trade routes, yet seemingly still wealthy enough to hire mercenary Orcs to patrol the streets and enforce tax collection.

Osar

All of the Kingdom’s problems are amplified in the City of Osar. King Vasseleus’s fortified palace and the gleaming residences of local nobility and wealthy merchants (Gulmone) overlook a bustling city center flanked to east by a vast, poverty stricken slum (The Skitts).

Civil unrest appears to be the new normal. Frequent conflicts erupt between the rabble who can barely afford food and those they see as hoarding it. Merchants report frequent disappearances of stores of grain and other staples from warehouses, though culprits are rarely caught or even seen.

Orcish mercenaries hired by the king to keep order roam the Streets. (Their arrival seemed to correspond with the arrival of a mysterious figure, Abelard, an outsider known to few recently appointed as the Royal Librarian…). How the King is able to exert such tight control over such typically wild race, no one is quite sure, though many conjecture they must be compensated extravagantly.

In the The Skitts, two main political voices have risen. A brother and sister, Lanzo and Linza, were born to a lesser mercantile family and educated abroad by the gracious charity of a noble benefactor. They have returned established themselves as wise, charismatic and forceful advocates for the downtrodden. Lanzo spent several years establishing himself as a cunning commander in the King’s Army, while Linza followed academic pursuits, spending years studying in some of the great schools of the realm.

At the moment, notable members of the nobility are assembled in a Conclave of Earth, a judicial body called by the King in order to attempt much needed reforms. Though most nobles accept they will have to accept some taxation just to keep the Kingdom going, a rift grows on whether the King of the Conclave can issue new taxes themselves, or if – as ancestral law dictates – they must convene a Conclave of All Stations to legally create reform. And such a meeting has not been called for almost 200 years…

(Factions and Maps on the Main Page)

Background

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