(Note that Rhakor is destroyed. What follows is a description of the Kingdom in the year 1 BR)__
The Middle Kingdom or Crossroads of the World
Capital: Tosall (8,790,400 (Metropolis) )
Population Breakdown: Humans 62%, Halflings 11%, Dwarves 8%, Gnomes 7%, Nim’ari 7%, Other 5%
Notable Settlements: Haven(22,000), Emeris(7,340), Far Point(11,450), Brennshold(6,200), Horizon(8,800), Southwall(14,350).
Ruler: King Tsimos II of Rhakor.
Languages: Aboleth, Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Catfolk, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Grippli, Ignan, Infernal, Orc, Samsaran, Strix, Sylvan, Tengu, Terran, Undercommon, Vanaran, Vishkanya and Wayang. Common is by far the most universally spoken language in the Kingdom however.
Religion: Church of The Twelve.
Technological Level: Peak.
Mystical Level: None.
The largest, most prosperous and progressive of the Five Kingdoms(#), Rhakor is recognized as the geographical as well as the metaphorical ‘centre of the world’. Famed for being an cosmopolitan land where all people are accepted and given the benefit of the doubt, people are judged upon the merit of the deeds rather than the circumstances of their birth.
Stretching as far as The Landa River in the North, Darkfen Lake in the East, the fields of Pale Willow in the South and The Emerald Coast in the West, Rhakor is a vast Kingdom and its influence reaches far beyond its borders, with staunch allies in the North, connections to the Mor-Denoch tunnels and the Southern Defensive Perimeter all meaning that the Rhakorian border is always a constant reminder to her neighbours.
Cited as the cradle of Human civilization (almost four million years ago according to Nima’ri scholars), Rhakor stands as a shining beacon of Human endeavour and inter-species co-operation.
- This is written of Rhakor pre-The Reckoning. The Kingdom of Kajir did not exist at this point)
HISTORY: The Kingdom now known as Rhakor is situated on (and named after) the ‘Middle Province of Rha’kor’, part of the ancient Elven Empire: Nimben’el. Though Nimben’el vanished from the world over six million years ago, the first Humans were thought to evolve in this area approximately two million years after its demise. According to legends and ancient scriptures, primitive Human nomads migrated across the world, but the two largest migrant groups headed north (eventually becoming the Halflings and Enotians) and East (eventually becoming The Dracen and Omishurans). The remainder and largest population stayed in Rhakor.
The first major settlement – then named ‘Tosa’ – became the first Human city and flourished the Ancient and Mythic Era, expanding its borders out to the vast area the Kingdom controls today. Developing a monarchy and fast establishing its power-base, Rhakor solidified its power during this time, taking advantage of its geographical location and bolstering its defences, though remaining at least cordial relations with its neighbours. The City of Tosa became so large that it dwarfed the other cities of the world at this point and was dubbed the first ‘Metropolis’, changing its name to Tosall in recognition.
With the coming of the Dark Era and the loss of magic from the world, the Humans of Rhakor were among the least affected, having not been ‘gifted’ with many of the magical abilities inherent to other species of the world. Though many records were lost during this time, a recurring note shows up in many remaining texts describing how Rhokar – and specifically the Capital of Tosall – took in many refugees during this time who were suffering from magical withdrawal or who were unable to cope without their innate talents. This, along with the Rhakorian’s open diplomacy, helped to cement their reputation as a compassionate people.
The adaptability of Humankind meant that by the time of the Industrial Era, the people of Rhakor had already adapted to a life without magic though many still believed in the importance of religion, and it is in the city of Tosall that The Church of The Twelve was officially established.
GOVERNMENT: The Kingdom of Rhakor works under a parliamentary system which is headed by the Monarchy; currently King Tsimos II of Rhakor. Laws are developed and brought before the King by Judges (who are all of Noble lineage) and he decrees which laws are or are not passed and used in enforcement, punishment and guidance. The King picks and chooses individual cases to get involved in personally as is his sovereign right, and he can overturn even his own previously decreed laws. In this way the government of Rhakor is an autocracy. This leadership is a hereditary monarchy, with a clear line of succession running from one male to another or in the absence of a male or a male under ten years of age, a female. The head of Rhokarian Government is The Halls of Justice in Tosall, and though the King may decree laws from either there or his Palace, laws only become official until they have been recognised and entered into the records at the Halls of Justice. Each city or major settlement in Rhakor (being Haven, Far Point, Brennshold, Horizon and Southwall) is run by a ‘Magister’, an overall leader put in place by the King to manage the settlement and surrounding area in his name. Though they have absolute power over their region and can even create and enforce local laws, they can be overturned by the King (and only the King). In all other ways they are left to manage the regions as they see fit (The Magister of Tosall is the King).
RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE: Rhakor is well known as the founder of The Church of Twelve, the most widely-practiced and recognized organised religion on the planet. Preaching the importance of worshiping the eleven Gods recorded in the time of the Titanswar and also the acceptance and understanding of the ways of Ki, The Church of Twelve (often referred to simply as “The Church”) has spread across the world in the six-hundred years since its inception and has helped create a global community which crosses territorial, species and language barriers.
Though practiced all over the world, the official center of the Church (materially speaking) is The Cathedral of The Twelve in the capital of Tosall. From there Priests of the Twelve learn the teachings and head out to form congregations of their own in communities all over the world. Paladins act as the protectors for their Priest brothers and Sisters as well as lending their might to defend the Kingdom in times of war or dispatch evil within Rhokar’s borders, while Inquisitors weed out corruption in the name of the Twelve.
In the last two-hundred years religion has been fighting a slowly loosing battle against science, and though many people go to the Church in times of aid or as part of tradition and a sense of community, people are turning more to science to answer many of the complex questions in the light of an absence of the divine.
The current Archbishop of The Church is a man called Abrham Shadur, a quiet and contemplative man who is compassionate but also devoted to the Gods, and who worries that people are turning their faces too far from the divine.
ECONOMY: Easily the wealthiest of the Kingdoms, Rhakor is a veritable powerhouse of economic strength. A civilization built on trade and investment, the Middle Kingdom imports and exports more goods that two of the other Kingdoms combined, and has a complex but potentially lucrative set of laws centred around trading which protects both the merchant and customer from fraud; which is one of the most heavily punished crimes in the Kingdom. Thanks to not only their merchandising savy but also the tithes and tributes collected by The Church, the Royal Vaults of Rhakor are very rarely anything but full apart from times of war, where they have more than enough coin to outfit their soldiers, hire mercenaries or sometimes even buy off the enemy. Famous as a place of opportunity where anyone can ‘make their dreams come true’, the fact that more than most who come to Rhakor to follow the high life often find the cost of survival much higher than they thought and end up getting into horrendous debt, it doesn’t stop more and more people arriving every year in the hopes of making their lives better.
Unfortunately the wealth that makes Rhakor so famous is primarily focused in the cities, especially Tosall. The life of an average citizen in rural communities is often hard and laborious, with high taxes and long working days. The cities are often an odd mix of sparklingly clean, opulent and tourist-friendly, with a darker underclass behind the scenes keeping things going and doing the dirty work most others would turn their noses up at. There is a distinct social divide due mostly to financial circumstance, but also to social standing. The Nobility and religious elite make up the upper classes, with merchants, bureaucrats and clergy filling the ranks of middle class. Everyone else within the cities (and almost all the people outside) are referred to as ‘Ruds’ and are the lower/working class.
Though merchant caravans are still a staple and traditional way of transporting goods between towns and cities (and abroad), another thing that Rhakor is famous for is its railway system. Starting out from a simple automated cart system developed fifty years ago, thanks to some heavy monetary investment and a joint program with Enotian Engineers, Rhakor has a fast and reliable steam-powered rail service that allows rapid goods and passenger transport between all the major settlements in Rhakor and even a cross-country service across the border in Enotia.
MILITARY: In a word, the military forces of Rhakor are ‘massive’. Though not as adaptable as the forces in Enotia, nor as disciplined as those found in Omishiru, their sheer numbers and a desire to fight for their King cannot be understated. Though Mor-Denoch may have more specialised soldiers and Midian may have fearless hordes who live for battle, the Rhakorian Military is a well-funded, dedicated and truly overwhelming force.
Tripled in size since the Midian Invasion in 577 BR, the Rhokarian standing army is stationed mostly just outside of Tosall City but has garrisons all around the perimeter of the Kingdom, with a notable mention going to the massive fortress-city of Southwall which a good forty percent of the entire army stand ready to defend against another invasion from the South.
Each settlement also has a volunteer militia force as well, ready to aid the military and defend the lives of the citizenry. Paladins of the Twelve are often called upon to aid in times of war as well, required to replace fallen commanders or organise militias into cohesive forces. Though mostly made up of Humans, the army takes people of all species and has Nim’ari, Dwarven and Halfling battalions, a powerful cavalry force and a sizeable navy working out of Horizon in the west.
As well as the army, navy and militia forces, mercenaries and sell-swords also find their services welcome in the Kingdom of Rhakor. Considered another type of merchant, mercenary work is considered and honourable pursuit and coupled with the copious amounts of coin the Kingdom can offer, The Crown is always a popular client for mercenaries, with most town sheriffs selling warrants of commission in each town.
TECHNOLOGICAL STANDING: Though it is widely accepted that the centre of technological achievement rests squarely upon the broad shoulders of Enotian Engineers, the almost inexhaustible resources of Rhakor are the reason those inventions become mass-produced and widespread so quickly. If Enotia is the mind behind the invention, Rhakor is the hand that constructs it. With an unparalleled ability to sell almost anything, the merchants of Rhakor make sure that these wonders of modern technology get into as many well-paying hands as possible. Having worked with their northern neighbours continually over the years and directly funding many of the more resource-heavy projects, Rhakor are the second only to Enotia to receive such goods (sometimes even before with private funding) and are always the first to develop and utilize such advancements to their advantage.
Compared to most of the other Kingdoms (excluding Enotia), Rhakor seems tremendously ahead of its time, with advanced steam-powered ships and railways, gas heating and lighting, a developed sewage system and even basic photography (for those that could afford such luxuries). By 1 BR Rhakor was at the same technological level as early to mid Victorian Era in England, approx circa 1850.
MYSTICAL STANDING: Magic has not existed in the world for five-thousand years, far beyond the collective memory of many Human generations. Religion is still considered important by the people, but becoming ever less so in the face of progressive industry and science.
RELATIONS WITH THE OTHER KINGDOMS: Though Rhakor tries to remain on good terms with all of its neighbours, the King does recognise that this is not always possible. With the hostilities between Rhakor and Midian especially, the bad blood means that the two Kingdoms are unlikely to get along more than they do at present. Relations with Mor-Denoch are complex to say the least, with so many sub-factions among the Elder Council that it is difficult to support one group without gaining the ire of another, though both Kingdoms have many mutually beneficial trade agreements in place.
Despite many diplomatic envoys being sent into the East over the course of Rhakor’s long history, the people of Omishiru are still reluctant to form alliances, though progress has improved since the borders of the Empire were opened in 820 BR. King Tsimos I (the current King’s father) had an official alliance rebuffed by the Dragon Emperor in 54 BR, but the Emperor did sign a Pact of Non-Aggression between the two nations which is the nearest to an official friendship the two regions have ever seen.
Rhakor are dedicated allies to their northern neighbours, the Kingdom of Enotia. Since the Enotians came to the aid of Rhakor during the Midian Invasion of 577 BR, the two have formed trade agreements, pacts and eventually an official alliance. Should one nation be attacked the other would ride to its aid, making the conjoined Kingdoms very powerful indeed. Sharing resources and an open border between the two has obvious advantages, as citizens are allowed to travel between Rhakor and Enotia with only the barest of credentials, compared to tourists or dignitaries crossing borders anywhere else in Tulun.
Capital City of Tosall (Metropolis, pop. 8,790,400): The Capital City and center of the Kingdom of Rhokar, Tosall is the largest city in the known world, and is referred to as “The Jewel of Tulun”. With an open-border policy unlike anywhere else, private individuals of all races are allowed within the city walls regardless of their land of origin or the relationship Rhokar may have with their homeland at that time. Obviously, people from a land Rhokar are at war with are watched closely, but are not restricted access just because of their place of origin. It is this open-handed policy that makes Tosall diplomats popular in most places they visit, it is understood that any emissaries visiting Tosall can expect to be treated well even in times of war, and the way that Tosall’s diplomats act while abroad strengthens this bond. The city is well known for being technologically progressive, tolerant of others, wealthy and welcoming to tourists. What is less known is the strife between the different social classes and the vibrant criminal underworld that operates there.
Cathedral of The Twelve: Located in the Capital City, the Cathedral of The Twelve is an immense and grandiose building, second only to the Rhakor Palace in its finery. Spiritual and material home to The Church of Twelve, it is not only a holy building which holds many services a day, but is also a teaching school for the Priests of The Twelve. Though most of the Religious Elite can also be found here, Archbishop Shadur has a private residence as part of the building, and the grounds are protected by Paladins of Hanglr day and night.
Halls of Justice: This large building is found in the southern district of Tosall city and is three-quarters administration centre, one-quarter court-rooms. It is here that all laws presented by The Judges and passed by The King are made official and entered into the Law Registry, a massive collection of tomes describing every law ever passed in the Kingdom. Though rarely in residence himself, the King is The High Judge and presides over certain cases.
Halls of The Sword: Located in the north district of the city not far from The Royal Vaults, The Halls of The Sword is the main training ground for Rhakor’s standing army. From there soldiers are stationed out across the nation or remain within the city to protect the Palace and the King. The High General Jormar Rakneir is officially in charge of The Halls of The Sword, but spends his time between Tosall and The Halls of The Shield near Southwall.
Rhakor Palace: A true testament to the wealth of Rhakor, the Rhakor Palace is a phenomenal sight, towering over all the other buildings in the city and visible from all directions for miles around. Its glittering spires and colourful domes reflect the sunlight down upon the people bathing the majority of the Royal District in a golden light most of the year round. With over one-thousand rooms consisting of private and staff bedrooms, many kitchens, banquet halls, state rooms and function halls, the Palace can cater for massive groups of dignitaries but is often kept for the sole enjoyment of the King, his family and honoured guests.
The Royal Vaults: The source of Rhakor’s wealth, the heavily-guarded Royal Vaults sit between the Rhakor Palace and the Halls of The Sword and contain a dizzying array of coins, gems, previous works of art and other treasures from bygone ages. Despite the immense size and quantity of goods in the treasury, the vast majority of it is actually located beneath the surface, and is guarded by a set of dedicated Royal Guards as well as many complex trap mechanisms. It is full of more than just valuable items however, as the entire Royal Family have mausoleums as part of the Vaults, where the honoured dead can lay among their prestigious bloodline.
Grand Central Station: A large, noisy and vibrant hanger built in a baroque style, The Grand Central Station is a nexus point for the entire Rhokaran railway system, where one can change from one platform to another and get to any other part of the Kingdom – or Enotia – and is an impressive and well-run building where many hundreds of people come through every hour.
Haven (Large City, pop. 22,000): The tourist hub of Rhakor, if someone is looking for something a bit more serene than the hustle and bustle of Tosall yet still wanted a time spent following interesting pursuits, they could certainly do worse than visiting the aptly named city of Haven. Famous for its society of parties, artistic endeavours and somewhat hedonistic tendencies, it is a place that caters for anything a visitor might wish to explore within the culture of Rhakor. A lot more laid-back and carefree than many of the other cities in the region, with its many parks, canals, inns, museums, bath-houses and gambling halls it is often a hotspot for weary travellers or those with some coin to burn.
Gardens of Baelyne: Dedicated to the Goddess, the beautiful Gardens of Baelyne are actually a selection of twelve gardens of varying intimacy and grandeur located in the centre of Haven. A popular spot for lovers and courtiers, it is a place that often holds weddings and funerals, and is also a place many people come to talk about serious matters with the serenity of the gardens to keep them calm.
Halls of The Open Book: The centre of the diplomatic wing of the Rhakoran government, The Halls of The Open Book is a large but elegant state building within the city of Haven that is responsible for training the world-famous Rhakonan diplomats. It also doubles as the main Diplomatic Embassy for Rhakor, with an Enotian, Mor-Denoch, Omishiru and even Midian Embassy which is considered sovereign territory to those nations, and the diplomats within those halls have all the rights they would do in their home country.
Emeris (Small City, pop. 7,340): One of the smallest cities found in the Kingdom of Rhokar or rather, the largest rural community depending on ones’ perspective, Emeris is located on the edge of The Kingswood and is responsible for keeping the area free of poaches, trespassers and vagrants. The city itself is unusal in that it is home to many who would normally avoid the trappings of society, such as Rangers and Druids, but is considered of importance to the realm and is well funded for the preservation of the Kings private woodland.
The Kingswood: The Kingswood is the 150,000 acre private hunting ground of the Rhakor Royal Family, and all animals within in are the property of the crown. Due to the fact it suffered with a major poaching problem in the distant past as small group of rangers were hired to keep the area clear, and the small wooden residences they constructed slowly grew over the years bringing in trade and commerce until it eventually expanded into the city of Emeris. Anyone found trespassing in The Kingswood are under instruction to be shot on sight by order of the crown, and the rangers and druids who wander its woods are very adapt at recognizing one another to avoid any fatal accidents.
Far Point (Large City, pop. 11,450): The eastern-most city of Rhakor, Far Point acts as not only the furthest city from the capital in terms geographically speaking, but also marks the border between Rhakor and Omishiru, being only three miles west of the actual border itself. It is also the main connecting route between Rhakor and Mor-Denoch thanks to The Onyx Gate, and all trade between the two nations is done via this city. This city also houses the largest number of Dwarf and Gnome Rhakoran citizens outside of the Capital.
The Onyx Gate: A megalithic gate made from pure onyx (hence its name) was a joint construction between Dwarf and Duregar workers and represents the nearest the two old races have to an agreement of sorts. The gate (which is forty-three feet in height) marks one end of the Drespin Tunnel, the main route from Mor-Denoch to the surface world. Large enough for caravans and horse and cart to get through, it leads over two-hundred feet underground by way of a gentle decline down to the “Shallows” city of Ber-Sarg.
Brennshold (Small City, pop. 6,200):
The smallest city in Rhakor, Brennshold is actually a collection or large inter-connected rural communities that are between four to twenty-three miles apart, but all fal under the domain of the Brenns family, a noble bloodline which owned the entire area before Rhakor was unified under a monarchy. In respect to the past the name was kept, though a Magister now runs the “city” in the name of the King.
Darkfen Lake: So named because of its ominously dark waters, Darkfen lake is one end of Darkfen River, the other end of which stops in Brennshold. Once thought to be cursed and the center of many ghost-stories, Darkfen Lake has since been found to be the colour it is due to the unusually-dark coloured algae that makes it home in the deepest parts of the lake.
Horizon (Small City, pop. 8,800): The coastal city of Horizon is so named because it looks out over The Emerald Sea and has an unobstructed view all the way to the horizon. Originally little more than a large fishing village, Horzon has grown in size and importance over the years and is now the home of the Royal Navy of Rhakor. The people there are very down to earth and dislike the façade put on by many noble types, seeing it as unnecessary heirs and graces. It is also the main port within the Kingdom.
Royal Shipyards: This large selection of warehouses and shipyards along the western-most edge of the city of Horizon is responsible for the building, maintaining, and upgrading of all the warships and merchant vessels within the Royal Navy of Rhakor. Active day and night, it is far enough from the city itself so as not to unduly effect the lives of the local residences, and the gas-lamps that line the piers and warehouses act as a lighthouse for incoming ships.
Southwall (Large City, pop. 14,350): The second-furthest city from the capital after Far Point, Southwall has the dubious ‘honour’ of defending Rhakor from the Midian forces to the south. Essentially a military garrison the size of a city, almost the entire population are military personnel who either man The Wall or who are in constant training and a state of readiness should the forces of Midian encroach on the southern border of the Kingdom.
The Wall: One-hundred and twenty feet high, made of marble and lined with steel, “The Wall” is a massive defensive barrier that runs the length of the southern border or Rhakor. Manned day and night by Rhakorian soldiers and sharp-shooters, it is a feat of engineering that is almost unfathomably large, and costs an immense amount to erect and maintain. Of all the Kingdoms that could afford to finance such an endeavour though, Rhakor were able to do so with little trouble. Giving an excellent view across The Fields of Willow Pale, the site of the last major conflict between Rhakoran and Midian forces.
Halls of the Shield: The main training hall for Rhakoran troops, it is the Hall of The Shield that the city of Southwall was built around, and acted as the main line of defence against the south before the erection of The Wall. The Halls provide the troops which are stationed in Southwall, which make up an impressive forty percent of the entire nations’ standing army.