Sep 1, 2013

Factions of the Valley of Hommund in the Year 99 [Update: Pictures]

So I recently typed this up for my players and I'll do it again here because why not and it'll help me memorize it all. The following illustrations are my own. Please give credit if used, and let me know.

Emperor Rohan

The Empire 
Leader: The Empire of Hommund is ruled over by the Emperor Locke Nosc Rohan (who was a PC and is now a secret vampire), commonly referred to as Emperor Rohan.
Goals: Expansion and control. Rohan is spearheading the first expeditions out from the valley since the Great War against the magical races 100 years ago. The Empire maintains control through fear, parading the Battle Mages through the streets to keep the citizenry in check.
Alignment: Lawful Evil. Rohan gained his power through a deal with the evil goddess Vessa, and though his intentions may not have begun that way, the deal draws to him corrupt and twisted followers who cheat taxation, pursue personal wealth, and bend the system in their favor.
Appearance: Agents of the Empire are vastly more wealthy than the average Hommunder, and can often be spotted by their noblemen's attire and lavish style.

Excuse the quality, I just took these with my phone.

The Battle Mages
The Emperor's personal legions. Raised up in a civilization where magic has been illegal for one hundred years, the valley was simply not ready when the Battle Mages appeared. The populace has no suitable way to combat the Mages, and magic is still illegal for non-members. The Emperor uses the Mages to strike fear into the masses and hold control.
Leader: Headmaster Thomas Whiteskies (former PC, deal with Vessa, supernatural charisma), formerly of the Bard's College, oversees the conduct secret training center, more as a carry-over ever since wizards were found illegally practicing magic in the Bard's College and the whole school was converted. He remains now like a relic in the place where he once had use.
Goals: Subservient to the Emperor.
Alignment: Lawful Evil.
Appearance: The uniform of the Battle Mages is a long cloak of dark blue. These are often stitched with obscure white markings, presumed denote rank. Battle Mages also wear baldrics to which they affix large spellbooks with a metal chain. Helmets hide the faces of these troops, only adding to the appearance of inhumanity.

The Explorers' Corps
The Emperor's para-military organization for the exploration of new territory and settlement in the name of the Empire of Hommund. The Explorers set up outposts for colonization, and claim the surrounding area for the Emperor.
Leader: Captain Michael Cunningham (former PC, rides undead black dragon, also made a deal with Vessa)
Goals: Exploration. Subservient to the Emperor.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Appearance: The uniform of the Explorers' Corps includes loose beige trousers, robust boots, and occasionally light armor. Most carry a large knife. They are most easily recognized by their trademark yellow cloak or sash.

The Adventurers' Guild
Travelers, fighters, and treasure-hunters, often for hire, or otherwise bound together for protection. The guild is notorious for its flagrant disregard for the Emperors' laws, which require an Imperial Ambassador in every official guild to oversee conduct, and that a tax be paid on any found treasure, and new cites reported, as well as mandatory sale of magical items to the government. As such, the Guild frequently falls under assault by Imperial guards or the Explorers' Corps.
Leader: It is unknown whether the Guild acts under the command of a single person or simply acts as an amalgam of like-minded individuals.
Goals: The exploration and claim of unexplored lands and treasures despite/before such things are taken or forbidden by the Empire.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Appearance: Members of the Guild are marked by their trademark red sash, and members for hire will often loiter on street corners or in taverns waiting for employers.

An old Illo I did of Marissa Leon. She will be older in this campaign.

The Weisekirk and the Order of Clerics
The Church of Weirdunn in Hommund. Since the rise of the Empire, little has changed in the church. The Order of Clerics is no longer a secret, as they necessarily emerged to protect the Temple of Weirdunn's Children from seizure by the Empire. They still keep to themselves, collecting magical artifacts in secret, and while some clerics are seen as freedom fighters, it is clear that they are not officially backed by the Weisekirk.
Leader: Marissa Leon, formerly in charge of the training of the Clerics, was promoted to Arch Priest of the Weisekirk after the death of the previous Arch Priest.
Goals: The collection of magical artifacts for preservation until such a time that the Valley is deemed ready for their existence in the world.
Alignment: Neutral inactive.
Appearance: Members of the church dress in white robes, and Clerics often wear white tabards or the colors of their patron deity.

The Grunkleid
The Grunkleid are the wandering ascetics of Hommund. These strange vagrants travel from one place to another through the wilds, living off the land. Reception ranges from fear to outright hostility, but the Grunkleid have never known to speak, even in the face of verbal and physical abuse.
Leader and Goals: Very little is known about the rank and motivations of the Grunkleid.
Alignment: True Neutral
Appearance: The Grunkleid can easily be rcognized by their green cloaks, ratty and tattered and often worn to the exclusion of other clothing.

The Diebenstadt
The Diebenstadt is the collective name of the many crime syndicates centered largely in Riverstadt.
Leader: The Diebenstadt, despite common misconception, is in fact a catch-all for many individual gangs and crime families, each with their own ranks and leaders.
Goals: Various individual groups work towards different goals. A common motivation has become the smuggling of new technologies out of Halfhill. The collective Diebenstadt exists for the assembly of new groups, finding of specialists, mutual employment opportunities, and the fencing of stolen goods. A community of thieves is held together by a shared knowledge that any member could betray any other, and face the consequences at the hands of the greater group.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Appearance: Most of the Diebenstadt attempts to go unnoticed, though specific gangs might be recognized by their own signs.

The Hexenshard
The remains, after a century, of the ancient Circle of Sorcerers, the Hexencranz. This illegal organization operates secret apothecaries and sorcerer training.
Goals: The Hexenshard facilitates the learning of magic illegally, and trade between magic users in scrolls, spells, potions, and the like.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Halfhill has been closed off from the rest of the valley since Lord Ferdinand's seizure of power. Few know what goes on besides Ferdinand's strict regulation of everything. Word spreads of two things: the strange new technologies being developed and smuggled, and the Resistance.
The Resistance is, as it sounds, a group of halflings working to take down Lord Ferdinand's government and open Halfhill once again.

One of the things I most look forward to is the interplay of these various factions, which should hopefully make world events more dynamic and interesting.

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