Ryftbreak Nations

Nations

Nations? I got nations. How many you need? I got nations with dragons, nations with books, nations with trees. I assure you, it is some exciting shit.

Cielos:

This autocracy on the southern end of the continent is devoted to collecting and preserving knowledge of all kinds. It is said that the first archive in this continent was built by the gods to hold their documentation of the world’s creation. Today, however, such a place cannot be found on any map, and not for lack of extensive searching.

This kingdom is populated largely by aasimar, tieflings, high elves, and winged anthros such as birds and insects. It is a common point of origin for wizards, bards, warlocks, and paladins who have taken oaths to preserve life and knowledge. Wizards from this kingdom have access to the densest and most plentiful volume of arcane literature in the world, but collecting and comprehending the best information can be a challenge, and there are few opportunities to put their magic to practical, real-world use.

Ceilian cities are dominated by vast, fortress-like archive buildings, which house countless shelves of books, papers, and artifacts. Most of the archives built or renovated in the past century have been obsessively fireproofed, as a measure against pyrophilic adventurers. There is also a good number of reputable magical and academic colleges, which form long-standing partnerships with archives that keep the archives funded and maintained, and the school’s curriculums current and competitive. Since the continent is small, and the cities are dense, and the climate is inhospitable, most of the food and natural resources in this kingdom have to be imported from Ironroad or conjured by mages.

Cielos has no proper governing body. There is a strict code of conduct, established with the country’s founding, which is enforced by informal community leaders and managers of archives, as these individuals tend to be powerful mages and paladins.

Füz’tyanni:

This magocracy is enshrouded in deep forests, with towns and cities which range from difficult to near-impossible to find with a map and compass. Naturally-occurring magic abounds in this kingdom, and those who dare explore its wilder corners will come across all manner of artifacts and oddities.

Wood elves, drow, half elves, mammalian anthros, firbolgs, halflings, genasi, and forest gnomes all call this kingdom home. Druids and rangers commonly live in the wild, and wizards seeking a more hands-on education than can be found in Cielos flock to the forests in search of magical oddities. Hermetic monks, wild magic sorcerers, and paladins with nature-focused oaths serve as champions, protectors and admirers of the life and beauty in Füz’tyanni.

Towns and cities in this kingdom are often built around notable natural features, such as giant trees, majestic waterfalls, and luminous fungal displays. There are are few prominent wizard schools, although not as many as in Cielos. The forest roads of this nation are notoriously unreliable. Often, natural magic and intentional trickery can cause travelers to become hopelessly lost, but those who have lived their whole lives in the wilds know the tricks, and may even be knowledgeable of magical shortcuts and portals which put the quick and efficient transportation systems of Ironroad to shame.

The monarch of Füz’tyanni is a powerful half-anthro wizard named Fols’ynn. Heirs to throne are not chosen by heredity, but rather by trials made to test the wisdom, fairness, and magical prowess of prospective rulers. These trial are held once every few decades, and receive hundreds of applicants, very few of whom make it beyond even the first round of the trials. The exact type of tests and competitions change every time, so that it impossible for prospects to prepare ahead of time. It is believed that a proper monarch should have the the skills and resourcefulness to deal with any situation, whether or not they have prepared for it.

Greyhall:

This feudal monarchy is home to the highest level of technology and industrialization in Ryftbreak, and their production and mining capabilities far outstrip any other nation. The church is closely associated with the government, and clerics often take positions of power where knights and lords do not.

This kingdom is home to humans, dwarves, gnomes, elves, and half-elves. Relations between the races are uneasy, as the highly hierarchal power structure leads to fierce bids for rulership and general distrust for outsiders. Due to the high influence of the church, clerics and religiously-devoted paladins are common in this kingdom, and fighters of noble persuasion are trained in the military arts. Wizards are not uncommon either, but they typically fill advisory roles, and are universally distrusted, as their magic is not divine in origin. There are no wizarding schools in this kingdom, so aspiring wizards are reliant on individual mentorships and apprenticeships. Being a coastal kingdom, Greyhall has its share of aquatic anthros, but they are rejected by the monarchy, and are not considered actual citizens.

The king of Greyhall is a human known as Edrich IV. I’m gonna be real honest here; the guy’s a douche. He wants to expand his kingdom by reconquering Ironroad and using its infrastructure to launch an attack on Füz’tyanni. He knows that this wouldn’t go great though, since the whole continent relies on Ironroad economically, and the three other nations would most likely go to its defense. So the king is quietly building his military forces and mass-producing firearms and engines of war, biding his time until an opportune moment to attack.

Greyhall’s capital city is called Gladar, and is a hotspot for political intrigue, plotting, shady dealings, and scandals. ‘Uncommon’ people such as outsider races, and adventurers in general, are looked upon with suspicion. The streets are choked with ash and soot from the factories, and high taxation from both the king and the church mean that poverty is the norm.

Grors-Tka:

Also known as “The Needles”, this largely ungoverned nation sits around and among the jagged, sky-piercing mountain range that marks the northmost border of Ryftbreak. The first thing people think when they hear those harsh, guttural syllables is ‘dragons’. When you step into this nation, you step into dragon territory. Every community, from the biggest cities to the smallest tribes, lives under the gaze of one or more of these creatures, relying on their protection, indifference, or mercy for survival.

The hostile nature of the landscape and many of its inhabitants produces many able fighters, barbarians, and rogues, while the the ubiquitous presence of dragons makes dragon-blooded sorcerers inevitable, if not common. This region is also home to a great diversity of races, mostly existing in smaller segregated villages and towns. Its inhabitants primarily include reptilian and arachnid anthros, half-anthros, dragonborn, kobolds, goliaths, goblinoids, orcs, deep gnomes, and rock gnomes.

Dragons in Ryftbreak have highly progressive notions of gender and sexuality, and those attitudes pervade all throughout the Needles. Traditional binary gender roles are almost nonexistent in dragon culture, and the draconic language completely eschews gendered pronouns and honorifics. Many common-speaking natives of Grors-Tka use ‘they/them’ pronouns, regardless of race. Likewise, notions of sexual preference are fluid and expansive, and there are very few relationship taboos around two or more consenting, adult, sapient creatures.

Communities in Grors-Tka are largely defined by their relationship with the dragons whose territories they share. Many dragons serve as leaders and protectors, who ensure that their citizens are strong and flourishing. Others simply tolerate the neighboring humanoids, and don’t bother them as long as their treasure and food supply are untouched. The worst of the chromatic dragons make slaves, captives, and sacrifices of their humanoids, but this practice is rarely tolerated by other dragons, and is actually quite uncommon.

Ironroad:

The most unusually-shaped of the kingdoms, the territory of this capitalist democracy runs from the south border of Grors-Tka to the north border of Cielos. It is the newest country on the continent, having separated from Greyhall only in the past two centuries. Ironroad is a nation built around commerce and transportation, and dominates the most important railways, waterways, and roads on the continent. Therefore, this relatively new and unfortified nation has considerable financial and political power.

Ironroad, being a nation of nomads, traders, and wanderers, is home to races and classes of all types. Diverse groups of adventurers are a common sight, and many of the preconceived notions held about certain peoples melt away in the all-inclusive blend of cultures. Iron road also borders large enough bodies of water that aquatic anthros are not an uncommon sight.

Towns and cities in Ironroad are often bright and bustling centers of trade. One can expect to be accosted by at least one or two eager merchants just from walking down the street. Traders and business people usually hire a few bodyguards to ensure the safety of themselves and their property, and locals usually know how to avoid trouble, but tourists and travelers who don’t look tough enough to stick up for themselves are likely to be mugged or pickpocketed. While most towns do have a local guardhouse, guards are usually only summoned to deal with major disturbances or heists.

Ironroad is governed by a council of elected officials, usually prominent business figures and enterprising local officials. The council’s power over individual towns is actually quite limited, but they are able to put regulations on businesses and transportation, so that the most powerful individuals and entities are kept in check. There is also a rudimentary social welfare program in place, but it has some growing to do before it can provide for all the needy citizens of the nation.