Developing Akorros (part 3) – Factions

This is part 3 in a multi-part series developing the city of Akorros in Darokin from the skeleton outline in GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin to a full-fledged city which I can use as a campaign base. In this series of blog posts you will be able to follow along my research and thinking as I develop it into a rich adventure environment. Once sufficiently developed, it will also be available on WorldAnvil as part of my Melestrua’s Mystara campaign world. Subscribe to this blog to follow along. Previous posts:

In this post I start to look at some of the factions and political groupings within the city.

The Merchant Houses

Aside from the government itself, the merchant houses and guilds are the most powerful institutions in Darokin. Some critics (though they are rare) claim that the merchant houses are the government, but that’s not exactly true. It is true that the houses and the guilds exercise a great deal of power over the economy of Darokin, and that in turn affects the government and all the people, as well.

A merchant house is a large trading company, usually dominated and named after a single family. It was the largest merchant houses that met in 927 and formed the current system of government, and it is the members of the largest merchant houses that fill the majority of important government positions, including the Chancellorship and the seats of both Inner and Outer Councils

GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin, DMG p22

First and foremost, we need to consider the nine great families of Darokin.

The 9 Major Darokin Merchant Houses
The 9 Major Darokin Merchant Houses

Toney House, the local house, “the smallest of the “Great Houses” of Darokin, … has made its fortune (ninth best in Darokin) on a combination of lake shipping, foreign trade with Glantri and Atruaghin, and domestic trade in the rich agricultural region just east of Lake Amsorak.” This is the home of Toney House so they will have a huge presence. They are suffering from the depredations of the Thieves Guild, however, and this has brought them from sixth richest down to ninth, so while the public buildings will still be kept looking great, maybe their warehouses and lesser buildings are starting to suffer.

Umbarth House, now the sixth richest house in Darokin, are based in Akesoli. They “[do] a great deal of foreign trade with Glantri and Ethengar, and they also do business (through their “second home” in Darokin) with nearly every other nation in the Known World. Umbarth house also does a tremendous amount of business with Alfheim, probably because of the large number of high-ranking elves in the house hierarchy. Decades before, when Toney House were asking too much for harbour fees and taxes, they set up a rival port to the north in collaboration with Pennydown House. Although now subsumed into the main city, this rival port still trades, and Umbarth and Pennydown have their primary presences there. Of course they also have grand buildings on Toney Plaza in the centre.

Pennydown House “has a large number of Travelers and Keepers, and they do just enough porting to keep their shops supplied at the lowest possible cost. Pennydown house owns nearly 100 shops across Darokin, and employs over 200 more Travelers. As the largest single retailer in the country, they’ve built a business that now ranks as the fifth richest in Darokin.” They worked with Umbarth House to set up the northern port in Akorros to bypass the Toney harbour fees and taxes.

Mauntea House, “by far the richest house in the country and, for over 200 years, has remained the standard by which every other merchant house is judged. … Based in Darokin City, … and continues to lead by example.” They will clearly have a large presence here in Akorros, as everywhere else in Darokin. They are probably working their diplomats hard trying to find a way to shore up Toney House against the Thieves Guild here and prevent their takeover of control spreading to other areas of Darokin.

Corun House, the fourth richest house and founder of Corunglain. Their fortune is “built almost entirely on domestic trading.” They almost certainly have a large presence here in Akorros, buying goods shipped from the west and transporting them around the country.

Franich House, the eighth richest house, built “without specializing in any one market or type of business. Rather, there seems to be nothing that Franich house doesn’t have at least a small piece of.” They will definitely have multiple presences here.

Al-Azrad, the seventh richest house. Mostly does business with Ylaruam to the east. Competitor to the spice trade from Akesoli and the west, but I don’t see them having a huge presence in Akorros beyond some

Hallonica House, now the third richest house, having “dominated business in Selenica and Eastern Darokin for as long as anyone can remember” and now working with Al-Azrad. Again, eastern based, so probably not a huge presence here in Akorros.

Linton House, the second richest house based on their sea trade in the seas of the Known World. Based in Athenos in the south and working with the merchants of Ierendi and the Minrothad Guilds, again their focus is elsewhere and their presence in Akorros will be less substantial.

The Guilds

The guilds of Darokin, with the support of the merchants, wield tremendous control over their respective crafts and industries. Nearly every skilled occupation in Darokin, so many that a list would be nearly impossible to make, has a corresponding guild. These guilds determine terms of apprenticeship, approve the applications of apprentices wishing to graduate to their own shops, set prices, negotiate contracts with suppliers of raw materials, and make sales to dealers of finished products. Guilds who abuse this great power are pressured by the merchant houses to mend their ways. “Enlightened self-interest” is, again, a major guiding principle in guild politics.

GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin DMG p25

The Merchant’s Guild

The single most powerful guild is, of course, the Merchant’s Guild. … The Merchant’s Guild serves as a meeting place for the various merchant houses to meet and negotiate business deals, as well as providing a single voice with which the merchants can influence the government of the Republic. The Merchant’s Guild also exerts considerable influence over the other guilds of the country. An unfavorable reputation in the halls of the Merchant’s Guild, or even—heaven forbid—a Guild boycott or embargo, could destroy or cripple an entire industry in a matter of weeks.

The Merchant’s Guild building will be one of the most imposing buildings on Toney Plaza after Toney Palace itself, and the Guild’s tendrils will be everywhere.

The Honourable Guild of Protection, Liberation and Redistribution

…otherwise known as The Thieves’ Guild…

The Akorros Thieves’ Guild, like its brothers throughout Darokin, has been around as long as anyone can remember, certainly long before the Great Merger and the establishment of the Republic. At first, the government allowed the Guild to continue for several reasons. First, they thought they were “controlling” the thieves by keeping them in one place and under a careful eye. Second, the Guild promised to police itself, hunting down “renegade” thieves on its own, and forbidding the more violent crimes. Lastly, the Guild is not too greedy and, since the guilds pay taxes on their proceeds, most city governments figure they would lose more to thieves if there were no Guild than they do now.

In Akorros, however, things have gotten out of hand. Through payoffs, intimidation, and even assassination, the Akorros Thieves’ Guild has risen to such a level of power that nothing of consequence happens in Akorros without the Guilds’ approval. The Toney merchant house is a member of the “Great Nine” houses, but it is number nine. Just ten years ago, Toney was the 6th-largest house, and their losses to the Thieves’ Guild are the main reasons for their decline. The national government in Darokin is just beginning to realize how serious the situation is here, but they recognize that rooting out the Thieves’ Guild will not be an easy task.

GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin, DMG pp32-32

So the Thieves’ Guild is everywhere. It will have an imposing public face and building in Toney Plaza, but the real business happens elsewhere, in the back streets and warehouses and docks. Although “The Thieves Guild” suggests a single organisation, I see this as a large collection of organisations with their own specialities, territories and tribalism, with conflict between the different organisations rife, and the balance of power constantly shifting (often at the cost of the common people who get trampled in the crossfire). In fact, the Thieves’ Guild probably deserves its own complete article for the different groups which are prominent at the moment. Despite the conflict, they present a united face to the rest of the government through their representatives in the Toney Plaza headquarter. The representatives may change as the balance of power shifts, but the message is consistent, and groups within the guild who stray too far will bring down the wrath of the Guild on their heads.

Other Guilds

So there are guilds for everything. I love the old-style florid guild descriptions you used to get, so I’m inclined to mimic this.

The Heroic Guild of Explorers, Champions, Guardians, Quest Takers and Monster Tamers is more commonly just referred to as “The Adventurers’ Guild“. It has an elaborate building on Toney Plaza, funded by the rewards of successful exploits and with ornate carvings and tapestries and murals and paintings throughout depicting some of the more marvellous escapades. The style of the building is somewhat more florid and colourful and less restrained than the rest of the elegant buildings on Toney Plaza, and the general agreement is that, without quite earning the description “vulgar”, it is somewhat overblown and not in best taste.

Inside, members are welcomed with a variety of venues and eating areas in styles around the world, as well as having a ready market for rare and valuable trinkets and ingredients, discounted valuation and money changing, and the quest room where anyone with a mission can bid for adventurers to take their quest (for a reasonable fee, of course). This room is full of scrolls detailing the goal of the mission, who is asking for it, and what terms they are offering. Guild members can then arrange to meet the goal doner and try to agree terms. The guild asks 5% of all earnings through such arrangements, in return for exclusivity on the mission for a set period. …

…er, this seems to be turning into a full blog post on its own. I’ll move on… With thanks to Joseph Browning and Suzi Yee and their comprehensive “A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe“, here are some more:

  • The Omniscient Guild of Scholars, Sages and Librarians. Come to one of its members if you need answers to questions or need to do some research.
  • The Diverting Guild of Minstrels, Acrobats, Tumblers, Entertainers, Prestidigitators, Jesters, Conjurers and Illusionists. Or more simply, The Entertainers’ Guild. Where the performers hang out. Note: includes minor magic, particularly suited to bards.
  • The World-shaking Guild of Divination, Conjuration, Abjuration, Evocation, Transmutation, Enchantment and Illusion. Or more simply, The Magicians’ Guild. Yes, there’s overlap with the Entertainers’ Guild. It depends how you use your magic 🙂 Not a guild you want to cross…
  • The Watchful Guild of Harbourmasters, Pilots, Lighthouse Keepers and Navigators.
  • The Steadfast Guild of Guards and Escorts
  • The Ingenious Guild of Jewellers, Goldsmiths, Silversmiths, Gemsmiths and Toymakers
  • The Learnéd Guild of Cartographers, Scribes, Clerks, Copyists, Scriveners and Engravers
  • The Vigorous Guild of Butchers, Poulterers, Fishmongers and Victuallers
  • The Intoxicating Guild of Brewers, Vintners and Distillers
  • The Athletic Guild of Dockers, Coolies, Porters, Bearers and Stevedores
  • The Masterful Guild of Carpenters, Roofers, Bricklayers, Masons, Plasterers, Tilers and Thatchers
  • The Tasteful Guild of Bakers, Pastry Makers and Confectioners
  • The Colourful Guild of Bleachers, Dye Makers, Skinners, Fullers and Tanners
  • The Companionable Guild of Negotiable Affection
  • The Hospitable Guild of Innkeepers, Restaurantiers, Tavern Keepers and Hosteliers
  • The Dependable Guild of Messengers, Runners, Couriers and Emissaries
  • The Fragrant Guild of Toshers, Mudlarks, Gong Collectors and Chimney Sweeps – it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it!
  • The Trustworthy Guild of Moneylenders, Valuers, Moneychangers and Bankers
  • The Lofty Guild of Shipmakers, Ropemakers, Sailmakers, Naval Outfitters and Chandlers. (Note these Chandlers are ships’ outfitters, not to be confused with the candlemakers)
  • The Erudite Guild of Alchemists, …and probably some others…
  • The Estimable Guild of Blacksmiths, Buckle Makers, Cutlers, Scabbard Makers and Weaponsmiths
  • The Laconic Guild of Drovers, Herders, Cowhands and Swineherds
  • The Worthy Guild of Bowyers and Fletchers
  • The Masterful Guild of Architects and Engineers
  • The Capable Guild of Barrel-makers, Coopers, Wheelwrights and Wainwrights
  • The Artistic Guild of Drapers, Rug Makers and Weavers
  • The Meticulous Guild of Girdlers, Glove Makers, Perfumers, Purse Makers, Tailors and Vestment Makers
  • The Immaculate Guild of Chandlers and Soapmakers (these are the candlemakers)
  • The Industrious Guild of Cobblers and Leatherworkers
  • The Distinguished Guild of Saddlers, Spurriers and Harness Makers

This is a list that can grow and grow (and shift and change). Time to get it onto World Anvil and maintain it there.

Religious Organisations

The third major grouping of organisations are the religions. Referring back to the gazetteer:

Darokin is a land of diversity. Its history is one of many different peoples and races coming to the “Land of Leftovers” from many different realms. Even today, Darokin traders go throughout the Known World, and merchants from all across the Known World visit the Republic. This incredible mixing of cultural influences has led to a great tolerance of religious diversity in Darokin. As a result, nearly every religion known to intelligent life in the Known World is practiced in Darokin.

Thus there is obviously no “state” religion in Darokin. Religious preference is an intensely personal subject and business associates may work together for years without knowing each other’s religion. And just as individuals respect each others’ choice of religion, so do the religions themselves. There are no rivalries, crusades, or holy wars between religions in Darokin.

GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin, DMG p25

So that gives plenty of scope…

Looking on Pandius, we find Immortals and Churches in Darokin by Ohad Shaham, which is much more forthcoming. Not sure if this comes from published canon or not, but hey, it looks reasonable.

Darokin has no state religion per se. The political rulers of the republic receive their power through money, which is what some may call “the real immortal of Darokin”.

The different churches in Darokin follow various immortals and the state does not intervene with the religious beliefs of the people. Every church has a crowd of followers that may vary at times. Each citizen is allowed to pray in every church he likes within the land and he or she can be a follower of several deities at a time. For example, a craftsman may pray to Kagyar each morning for the success of his work, but also attend prayers at the local temple of Halav to ask that immortal’s help in Darokin’s military efforts. This is not true for priests, who devote their entire life and soul to the worship of a specific immortal. A priest of Koryis will follow that immortal through out his career and so will a druid of Djaea.

There are more than a dozen widely worshipped deities in Darokin and almost every other known immortal has some followers in our great nation. There is one restriction though. Very few churches will tolerate the existence of evil cults, following of Demons or the practice of necromantic magic. If such cults are discovered, usually the high priests of the good churches will order their destruction.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Asterius

Asterius is the most important immortal in Darokin. He is the patron of Darokin City and the most widely worshipped immortal in the nation. Asterius is the god of wealth, of commerce, communication and travel, all the ideals that our nation is known for. Asterius is also god of the moon, and patron of thieves. His temples are found all over the nation with the most impressive one in the capital city.

In addition to the temples, small altars to Asterius are found along side the major roads in the country. Prayers to Asterius are made before any business transaction or before and after a caravan journey. It is said that thieves utter a silent prayer to Asterius before picking a lock, but this isn’t a certain fact. The dominance of the church of Asterius is the reason that thievery is not considered a major crime in Darokin.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Patron of Thieves? There will certainly be plenty of churches and shrines to Asterius within Akorros, then…

Khoronus

Khoronus, or Father Time, as he is known to most people, is also a very important immortal in Darokin. Khoronus is the god of time, knowledge, history, education and rulership and to some extent of the changing seasons. He is worshipped by scholars and rulers, historians and students. Khoronus’ priests are often charged with the rituals of birth and burial, which bestows to them great influence on the populace.

The most impressive temple of Khoronus is found in Akorros the city which he patrons. Other large temples can be found in Darokin and Corunglain. Smaller temples abound through out the nation.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

So there you go. Patron Immortal of Akorros, with Khoronus’ most impressive temple here.

Ixion

Ixion, otherwise known as the Sun Prince, is also a very important immortal in Darokin. Ixion drives the sun across the sky, giving warmth and life whilst banishing darkness. Ixion is the patron of the Centaur tribes that were once located in the Canolbarth forest. He is also the original patron of the city of Selenica, but his popularity is on a decrease in that city. Large temples of Ixion can be found in all major cities. Small towns and villages have small altars in which sacrifices can be made to Ixion. Farmers usually sacrifice some of their first crops to Ixion as thanks for the sunlight that helped grow the crops. During the Spring Equinox (Nuwmont 2ed) the priests of Ixion organize great feasts and dances to hasten the arrival of spring.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Given the importance of the farming belt around Akorros, I imagine there will be many followers, particularly out in the countryside but also among the many townspeople dependent on the farm trade.

Djaea

Goddess of wildlife of plant and animal life, protector of farmers and patron of druids. Djaea is the incarnation of nature in Darokin (filling the niche otherwise belonging to Ordana in other places).
Farmers across the nation erect altars for her in their fields. Djaea has no formal temples and no formal church. Instead, her loyal druids travel the countryside helping the farmers and protecting nature. These druids are well treated by the peasants and farm owners. The druids are often offered food and shelter.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Plenty of shrines among the farmers, but I don’t see much of a presence in the city of Akorros itself.

Kagyar

Known as Kagyar the Artisan, or Kagyar the Dwarf, this deity is the patron of crafts, arts and the entire dwarvish race. It is a custom to have a prayer to Kagyar before setting the first stone of a building in order to bless the construction process.

Sacrifices to Kagyar are normally small works of art. Kagyar has no large temples, but small stone temples exist in every city and town of the republic. These temples are always made of stone and always very beautiful.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Plenty of artisans and builders in Akorros, many of them probably quite affluent, so plenty of very tasteful shrines and a major church. Patron of The Dexterous Guild of Jewellers, Goldsmiths, Silversmiths, Gemsmiths and Toymakers, The Trustworthy Guild of Moneylenders, Valuers, Moneychangers and Bankers and The Constructive Guild of Carpenters, Roofers, Bricklayers, Masons, Plasterers, Tilers and Thatchers.

Halav

The worship of this immortal came from Taraldara in ancient times. Since than Halav has become the most important god of war in Darokin. He is patron of heroes and soldiers and all that wield a sword. Halav is the slayer of trolls, orcs and all that is savage. Halav is the Patron of the warlike city of Corunglain. He has a large temple in the capital and Selenica also. Halav is the enemy of Karaash, god of the savage orcs.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Looking in my own archives, I find the following:

Halav was a fighter in his former life, now an Immortal of the Sphere of Thought. His favourite aspect is as a 7’ muscular man with generous (but not long) curly golden-brown beard, shoulder-length hair and a huge battleaxe. He has a golden aura. He is also said to appear as a huge golden eagle or an enormous golden-haired bear. He inspires his followers to understand and better themselves, and to bring meaning to their lives with a greater purpose – with a slant towards bringing purpose to Traladara and restoring the fabled golden age. While not overtly belligerent, he encourages people to stand up for themselves and their family and friends, and to stand against injustice. He watches over and inspires the warriors of the land, teaches continual tests of military prowess – competitions, bouts, war games, and his favour is invoked in martial ceremonies and before contests and battles.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

…but given the relative security of Akorros, probably not a huge presence here. Patron of The Steadfast Guild of Guards and Escorts

Valerias

Goddess of passion and love, beauty and romance, fire and weapons. Valerias is worshipped all over the land but organized temples exist only in Darokin City, and in Selenica. Most of Valerias priests are women. Mysterious and wild ceremonies are held in her honour in her temples and in the wilderness. She is the one who lovers pray to for help against all odds. Her symbol is the rose, and like that flower she is beautiful yet dangerous, as her wrath is difficult to appease, and sacrifices are not always accepted. In the southern parts of the country, worshippers of the goddess become very rare, as these simple folk want nothing to do with passion and romance.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Looking in my own archives, I find the following:

Valerias is the patroness of love and the girder-on of weapons. She promotes love and romance – particularly fiery, passionate romance. Very much associated with pale pink, her favourite aspect is as a stunningly beautiful black woman enveloped in yards of diaphanous pink gauze so fine it merges into her aura. Where Tarastia is stern and serious, Valerias is smiling, cheerful, laughing, often even giggly. Often accompanied by showers of rose petals which give out a rich calming fragrance (calming, but also inspiring of romantic feelings). She is also said to appear as a rose bush with pale pink roses, or to be drawn to bless such plants, so single rose bushes standing on their own often have gifts and wishes for romantic success, and rose petals are a staple ingredient in love philtres.

She is also known for bringing weapons to those in need.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

So no major temples, but I bet there are a lot of private shrines, particularly in the buildings of The Companionable Guild of Negotiable Affection.

Petra

Goddess of women, of fertility, of the household and of crafts. She is the potter and the weaver. Most homes in Darokin have a small altar to Petra in their homes. These altars can be as simple as a small stool covered with cloth and on it a lantern or candle. Most villages and towns also have a small temple to Petra in which ceremonies of marriage (and divorce) are held. Petra is the protector of women and children and her priests often use her temples as shelters and orphanages. She is also the patron immortal of Ansimont.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Looking in my own archives I find the following:

Petra was a cleric in her former life, now an Immortal of the Sphere of Time. Her favourite aspect is as a milky-skinned woman swathed in white robes (sort of Roman effect). She has a white aura – overall a VERY bright white effect. She will also sometimes appear as a white doe or as a flock of doves. She teaches acceptance of change and the flow of life, the cycles of the seasons and the natural beginnings and endings of life and death. Of the Immortals of Traladara, it is her influence that is most invoked in the ceremonies of life – birth, coming of age, marriage and death.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

Probably multiple churches to Petra spread across the city, although maybe no huge central temple.

Koryis

God of peace and prosperity. Koryis is popular among the ranks of the Darokin Diplomatic Corps. Small temples of Koryis exist in the central parts of Darokin, but none exist in frontier towns and those alongside the borders. Whenever a pact or treaty is signed between Darokin and another nation a priest of Koryis performs a ceremony in order to sanctify the bond.
Koryis is also the patron of the town of Dolos.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

I think a shrine built into the offices of the Darokin Diplomatic Corps makes the most sense.

Protius

The old man of the sea is the patron of Darokin’s ports. He is an unpredictable deity and before a nautical voyage, most people give some sacrifice or tribute to Protius’s temples. Protius’s worship is scarce in inland Darokin.

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

He may be “the old man of the sea”, but Lake Amsorak is sufficiently large, fickle and treacherous that I imagine there will be substantial temples to Protius near both the major docks.

Diulanna

Worship of this immortal arrived from Thyatis and is gaining popularity. Diulanna is a favourite deity of adventurers, hunters and athletes. The motto of her worshippers is that with enough willpower, one can accomplish anything. This notion sits well with the general attitude of Darokin as a nation. As of date, small temples of Diulanna exist only in the three large cities (Darokin, Selenica and Corunglain).

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Not well known in Akorros, but there is a shrine to Diulanna in the Guild House of The Heroic Guild of Explorers, Champions, Guardians, Quest Takers and Monster Tamers

Zirchev

This mysterious immortal is the lord of forests and wilderness. Zirchev is followed by rangers and druids of the deepest forests and the highest mountains (in contrast to Djaea’s druids who exist in all wilderness and countryside environments). Lots of rare and strange creatures are holy to Zirchev, such as the white deer, the unicorn and others. People of frontier places know better than to harm these creatures in order not to wake Zirchev’s wrath (and that of his druids).

Immortals and Churches in Darokin, by Ohad Shaham, on Pandius

Looking in my own archives I find the following:

Zirchev was a wizard in his former life, now an Immortal of the Sphere of Energy. His favourite aspect is the classic sage with a long beard and hair, huge bushy eyebrows and a gnarled staff – think Gandalf. He will appear and disappear in a flash of flame and a puff of smoke. He also favours the falcon, the salmon (appearing as a 4’ Ocean salmon) and the salamander (often also appearing in furnaces and ovens). His teachings are constant learning, creation and invention, making the world better one change after another. He inspires his followers to come up with new inventions and innovations in all areas of industry and teaches his most promising acolytes in flashes (literally) of inspiration and fiery signs and portents. He is the champion of craftsmen, wizards and merchants.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

Hmmm. A bit of a clash there. Oh well.

Worship in Akorros restricted to a few hardy wilderness souls and the haunts which serve them, which will be few and far between. Possibly also Alchemists and Wizards.

Other Immortals

…from my own collection and notes

Tarastia

Tarastia is the patroness of Justice and Revenge. Usually depicted holding up scales in her right hand and with a grounded sword in her left hand (representing the two aspects), the Church of Karameikos is dedicated to her. She is associated with the colour blue – a rich blue like the blue of the sky on a summer day, and the main church of Karameikos in Specularum has an 8-foot statue of her carved in marble with her robes magically stained blue. It is one of the tourist sights of the capital. She is also said to appear as a blue-barred raven from time to time, and is associated with the lily – flower of fragrance and funerals.

She always looks imposing and imperious. Her teaching are those of the Church of Karameikos. Her clerics can call on her for assistance in impartial judgement of cases and commensurate penances and punishments, which they are expected to then carry out and enforce. They are also expected to look out for and deal with injustices in society.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

I think there is probably a church to Tarastia somewhere in Akorros, maybe invoked during judgement.

Vanya

Most popular Immortal to the main Thyatian population [in Karameikos], although overshadowed in Karameikos by Tarastia, Vanya was supposed to have been a Thyatian warrior-woman in the distant past. She is now patroness of war and conquerors, so particularly popular within the Karameikos armed forces. She expects her followers to show prowess, steadfastness and bravery in battle, and to fight to the last, and to those who embody these ideals best in her name she is said to bring luck and guidance. Always depicted in golden armour and kilt with bare arms, sandals which strap up to her knee and with short hair – the classic roman legionnaire look.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

Again, not widely worshipped in Akorros, but probably some of the guards also pray to her as well as Halav, particularly if they have come from Karameikos or Thyatis.

Thanatos

Thanatos is a death-loving Immortal who hates all life. His followers are underground sects of clerics who would betray their race for personal power. Often depicted as a hunch-backed ugly man swathed in dirty sack-cloth, he is used by the general population as a bogey-man to scare kids with and as a curse.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

Followers of Thanatos won’t go public with it, but I bet there are a few disciples among the thieves, beggars and low-lives of Akorros.

Alphaks

This patron of pure evil causes death, destruction and misery. His sect is illegal within the Thyatian empire and also Karameikos. Part of his dogma is “Alphatia must be destoyed” which explains why it is popular with chaotic Thyatians who hate Alphatia, and also why it is less popular within Karameikos. It is rumoured that the leaders of the Black Eagle Barony follow Alphaks.

Personal Notes for Melestrua’s Mystara

It will definitely be hard to find followers of Alphaks unless you know exactly where to look. But is Alphaks involved in the dominance of the Thieves’ Guild? Hmmm…

Moving on…

There will of course be other organisations involved in the general administration of the. city. For example the City Guard. But this post is already long enough and delayed enough, and I really need to start getting some detail of the organisations which the party may get involved with when they arrive. I’ve probably only got one session left before they finish X2 Castle Amber, and then they’ll be dropped into Akorros.

2 thoughts on “Developing Akorros (part 3) – Factions

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