The Roman Empire (Season Three)
the roman empire
It has been a hundred years since the end of The Great War where the Hobgoblins of Sarmatia rose against Rome and assassinated her Emperor. The known world was shaken as Hobgoblins using fiendish devices granted them by horrific allies from the depths of Carceri struck all across the Imperial Provinces. Much of the Eastern Empire was set to blaze and ruin, pushing refugees into the Provinces of Syria and Judea to the South, while more flooded into Macedonia and Thrace. Heroes rose to fight the invaders, wielding magic and arms, they led the legions to victory after victory. In 876 AUC, penned in by land and sea, the heroes called upon the gods during the Siege of Carthago. Sacrificing one of the enemy leaders to the Olympians, the gods answered with Divine Retribution. With that victory, the war turned. A new Emperor rose from the ashes and internecine squabbles of the powerful. Caesar Pescennius Niger took the throne and ruled for two decades, ceding the throne to Caesar Commodus, the heir of Caesar Marcus Aurellius, as he had sworn to the gods on the shores of Carthage many years before.
Rome, an empire that rules over a third of the population of the world, of whom a third of its subjects are slaves. Rome, the most powerful Republic of the era, whose directions are beholden to the whims of an Emperor. Rome, whose riches and resources have built the first true network of paved roads bringing trade to the metropolis and all its regions, protected by the most ruthlessly efficient army of the age. To be a citizen of Rome is to enjoy freedom and prosperity unheard of, built upon the backs of the conquered and enslaved.
Rome is at the height of her power. She can, and often does, dispatch a hundred thousand legionnaires to any border to quell any challenge from without while the weight of her economic might and fear of those legions keeps most provinces suitably cowed. Formidable artillery often accompanies the Legions and their Equestrian units. The mobility of these siege engines is a new development maintained only by the cooperation of the Carthaginian alliance.
Very little challenges her navy on the Mediterranean Sea, with the massive “Fives” or πεντήρης dominating the fleets of the day. With the retreat of Aegyptus behind its barriers, and the alliance of Carthage, no true enemy exists for the fleet within the Mare Internum Nostrum. The warships, with Aquilla capping the masts and great Iron Corvus ramming bridges painted with the Eye and Trident of Neptune, keep piracy to a bare minimum and keep safe the harbors of the empire.
Imperial Law applies to Imperial Citizens, specifically Human Imperial Citizens.
Rome At A Glance
|Capital||Roma – Italia|
|Ruler|| Emperor Severus
(CAESAR LVCIVS SEPTIMVS SEVERVS AVGVSTVS)
|Language||Latin, in addition to regional languages|
|Population||Varies by Province. At least 85% Human, most non-humans in the Provinces are not Citizens|
|Known Waystones|| Rome – Throne of Jupiter, Temple District
Byzantium – Acropolis of Apollo, First Hill
Nicaea – Amphitheatre of Miletus
Crete – Seal of the Labyrinth, Knossos Temple District
Octodorum – Temple of Apollo, Poenius Mons
Baetica – Pool of Neptune, Baelo Claudia Temple District
Athens – Parthenon of Minerva
Judea – The Rock of the First Temple
Antioch – The Watchstone of Rhosii Mons
Judea – The River Stone of Bethabara
Aquitania – Grotto of the Garumna, Lugudum Covenarum
Black Sea – Blood Stones of the Marsh, Tanais
Palmyra – Rock of the Chimera
Carthage – Rock of the old temples, Harbor District
Delphi – Plinth of Apollo’s First Light
Ostia – Submerged Stone of Neptune
Rhodes – Pedestal of the Colossus
Alexandria – Great Library Summoning Chamber
Bubastis – Obelisk of Bast, Temple Complex
|Major Threats||Border Wars with Fey, Germanic Tribes, Slavs, and Persians. Continued wars with the Sarmatian Hobgoblins. Rising Byzantine independence. Unknown evils in Germania Superior, Thracia, and Roxolanii|
|Regional DM||Bill Morgenthien|
In the decades that have passed since, Romes fortunes have risen and fallen, as do all things.
Roma holds firm as the center of art, literature, and power. With the ascent of Caesar Severus to the throne, many of the senators worry that the edicts long separating military power from rule may erode, ceding too much influence to the Legions.
Byzantium, once thought the pearl of the Eastern Empire, chafes under Rome’s rule. The provinces of Anatolia, Cappadocia, and Syria flock to its banner instead of Roma’s. While the horrors seem to have retreated in the ancient cursed city of Palmyra, more creatures and bandits seem to emerge from the Ruins of the Parthic Kingdoms and Babylon.
Carthage remains the seat of science and learning within the Empire, as home to both the College of Physicks (Arcane) and the newly built Collegeium Scientia, where inventions of war and tradecraft emerge. Since the time of the first Chosen, Carthage has boomed with more and more dwarves choosing a surface life and lives in partnership with humanity over their former isolation.
Gaul has seen a steady decline in clashes with the barbarians and fey at the Vallum Hadriani that seals the border with the Arduenna Silva . Incidents of the elves and their allies crossing the wall are becoming rare events. This has led to the Legions being able to build up more over the vast defense line stretching from the Alps to the Atlantic. Burdigala, the capital port city of the Region has prospered in this relative peace, growing to a metropolis that rivals Terraconensis in the South.
Aegyptus is still sealed beneath the magical barrier over its Upper and Lower Kingdoms, leaving the Great Library of Alexandria and the Holy City of Bubastis without protection from the Pharonic Armies. The dwarves of Carthage negotiated a trade and defense pact with these orphaned cities, creating the Protectorate of Aegyptus. As a Roman Protectorate, Alexandria now hosts Legio II Traiana Fortis, while Bubastis is home to Legio XXII Deotariana. The Roman Imperial Fleet Classis Alexandrina also makes its home in the port of Alexandria.
The Dwarves of Carthage
Unlike most of the nonhuman races, the Dwarves of the Carthage (often called Cartagia) due to extreme skills at trade, general tactical capabilities, and innovative industry, are welcome throughout the Empire. If you see a siege engine, naval vessel, or mastercrafted chariot anywhere within the Empire, it was crafted in Carthage. In the past forty years, the Governor of Africa Proconsularis has been a dwarf. No true census of the dwarves of Carthage has ever been completed as they are a secretive people, and nearly never admit non-dwarves into their underground enclaves. They are fierce soldiers, capable of tactics that can circumvent most defenses using inventions seemingly crafted for that engagement. For Season Three, Cartagia are not available as Player Characters, however they will be met as NPCs throughout the Empire.
Due to their influence in Carthage (Africa) and Cartago Nova (Hispania), these cities are the most metropolitan in the Empire. This allows for nonhuman characters to find at least some semblance of acceptance, though often layered with distrust. Mods where this comes into play will be noted in the description.
Minoans of Crete
The island of Crete is the birthplace of the entire Roman Pantheon, along with the Titans and Cthonians before them. It is also the place in legend where the gods created the first man. While faith and legend hold this to be true throughout the Empire, it is backed with an incredible piece of evidence. Minoans are nearly identical to the olive skinned Greeks and Italians of the Empire in all ways save one, they are essentially Immortal. King Minos of Knossos has been in power for over four thousand years. His son, Lycastus, is over two thousand years old. While small in population, Minoans have incredible life experience and a very sedate way of looking at time. They hold the original fashions of the Greeks to heart, and rever the gods by their Greek Names. It is their claim that they are the original humans, blessed by Hades (Pluto) with the gift of immortality so they may hold a true record of history for the children of the Olympians. While fantastic, these beings rarely leave Crete for long. They do not appear to have siginificant impact on the Empire at large, and have never been able to pass on their immortality through intermarriage with other Romans. Many in the provinces of the Empire think these stories to be mere legend, and seeing as few Minoans ever leave Crete, this is unlikely to change. For Season Three, Minoans are not available as Player Characters, however they will be met as NPCs throughout the Empire.
© 2015-2017 Dark Earth Publishing, Ltd. Open Gaming License for Dark Earth