Ravenstern

Kingdom of Ravenstern


Government Absolute Monarchy
Population 60,000+
Technology Intermediate (3)
Size Medium (3)
Capital Ravenstern
State Religion Unknown (Minor Religions: Nerull, Erythnul, Hextor, Olidammara, Pelor)
Primary Culture Ravenstern
Races Human, Other


Description

Ravenstern is a strange place indeed, high in the mountains summers are brief and fleeting causing little to grow at all. The food that is produced in Ravenstern is small in quantity and so in order to support their population they conduct raids all through summer to the lowlands through Saffrongate and take back the harvests of Gallia. The Gallians resent this greatly but their horsemen are useless on the mountain passes and their soldiers inadequate when facing the warriors of Ravenstern, almost barbarian creatures. In Ravenstern more than anything else birth means everything. It's illegal to breed with a member of another class and so through the centuries Ravenstern has been molded into a group of four distinct peoples, the aristocracy, the deathspeakers, the warriors, and the labourers. Each plays a very distinct role in their society and while there are occasional clashes between lords Ravenstern is not a nation prone to revolts. The King rules with an iron fist and absolute power, deciding on almost every aspect of the way the country is run and the nobility disseminate his will amongst their own regions, it is a simplistic system with little thought to rights and rigid codes. The laws are simple and the penalty is usually death.

Though they are officially vassals to Kelrath they rarely act on Kelrath’s word and it’s even rarer still that they acknowledge and pay tribute to the Empire, preferring instead to do their own business. Every so often an Emperor will lead a host to purge Ravenstern of its’ people and though they win and in the end receive tribute paid it is always extremely costly. It’s not uncommon for great rulers to die of pox and other ailments on campaign and that fear has contributed much to the protection of the small kingdom.

More than the other kingdoms the people of Ravenstern are isolationists and prefer their own company to that of others, subsequently not much is known of them other than what they willingly share about their culture. Most of these interactions are done by the nobility as it’s rare for any of the other castes to come in contact with outsiders on peaceful terms.

The warrior caste consists of various men and women who come from different clans aligned to different nobles, on occasion a clan will change its’ support but that is a rare thing and generally only happens when the King is unfit to rule over such a harsh land. They are a restless bunch and this contributes much to the raids conducted each year for plunder which is the warriors only real source of income. It’s said that the warriors also fight other foes from the mountains, but if they do the nobles don’t speak of it to outsiders.

The deathspeakers are the smallest caste in Ravenstern and are the priests to its’ people. Generally they are clerics or sorcerers and conduct strange rituals that more often than not involve the death of either slaves or willing sacrifices. They hold an honored place within the society and frequently act as advisors to chiefs, lords, and even the king. It’s rare to see a Ravenstern warband without its’ own Deathspeaker and is considered an ill omen by their people for an army without a deathspeaker is an army that goes into battle without the help of the gods. The deathspeakers have their own internal hierarchy though of this not much is known.

The most pitiful of the castes is the labourers, some of which are born in Ravenstern and others join it as captured slaves from other nations or disgraced warriors or nobility forced into servitude. They are responsible for all the menial tasks such as building and farming, selling and crafting, as well as many other things. Though they are the least respected they are treated decently enough by their lords and protected almost like citizens of the country.

Ravenstern

The Crimson Throne Matt_L