strokesRPG: The War of the Burning Sky
|Location||The Ragesian Empire lies in the northwest of the region, spanning several hundred miles north to south and east to west.|
|Capital||Ragos (Metropolis): Conventional; AL LE; Mixed (56% human, 24% orc, 16% half-orc, 2% elf, 1% half-elf, 1% other)|
|Form of Government||Dictatorship|
|Ruler/Leader||Emperor Drakus Coaltongue has been assassinated, therefore several groups are vying for control (the Inquisitors appear to be the strongest of these groups).|
|Allies||Shahalesti (with the recent assassination of the emperor, the rulers of Shahalesti fear the standing treaty may not be honered), Sindaire, Dassen, and Ostalin.|
|Enemies||Gate Pass, Lyceum Academy|
Every region has a large component of orcs in the population, along with heavy military presence to ensure loyalty and peace. Though the people of Ragesia have been conquered, most are content that they live today in relative safety. Given the power of the empire, rebellion just doesn’t seem worth it. The majority of the population is still human however, or half-orc, and different ethnic groups remain mostly concentrated in their old homelands, which are often separated by low, long mountain ranges.
The northern reaches are home to people known as the Kelaquois, who live in frigid lands that are frozen for most of the year, where they coexist with frost giants, mastadons, and vast herds of bison. The western plains were once the nation of Latia, its renowned ship-building now benefiting Ragesia and its navy. The southern lands are craggy, with cold rocky deserts dominating what was once Chathus, a land of nomads and traders who nevertheless defended their lands with great vigour, using cavalry and mobility to wage a protracted war, allowing their home to be the last conquered by Ragesia. The central heartlands once belonged to the powerful nation of Morrus, and numerous old castles, forts, and walls dot the landscape, defenses which were easily bypassed with Emperor Coaltongue’s Torch.
The capital city of Ragos stretches along a vast lake, and the imperial palace lies safely offshore on a fantastically-defended island. At night its walls burn with thousands of torches, making the lake look like it is on fire.
An ocean borders Ragesia to the west, with rocky mountains marking Ragesia’s borders with the nations to the south — Sindaire and Dassen. The northern border is a high, frigid mountain range, separating Ragesia from most of the rest of the world. The same mountains curve down to form the eastern border, rising high enough that Ragesia never saw much value in trying to conquer beyond them.
The Old Dragon, some called him, since he seemed immortal, and he only grew more cunning and powerful with age.
Decades ago, a warlord arose among the orc tribes of what is now Ragesia. Drakus Coaltongue, half-orc son of a human noblewoman, brought a level of patience and political cunning rarely seen among the savage orcs. He united many tribes, slew a gold dragon and took its child as a prize, and prepared his people for glory. And then, to everyone’s surprise, he did not sweep into human lands for a bloody but ultimately short-lived rampage. Instead, Coaltongue allied with various poor human nations, helping them drive back the predations of the strongest country in the region, Morrus. Coaltongue even gained the aid of the insular elves of Shahalesti, until finally he was ready to lead a coalition army against Morrus. For this great assault, Coaltongue revealed a devastatingly powerful artifact that would lead him to victory, the Torch of the Burning Sky.
The power of the Torch was to call down fire from the sky, and to carry Coaltongue’s army hundreds of miles in an instant, plucking them up with one pillar of flame, and depositing them with another. Coaltongue and his allies easily defeated Morrus, and from the nation’s burning remains, Coaltongue created a new kingdom for himself and his orcish followers, Ragesia.
For a time Coaltongue and his allies coexisted in relative peace. Coaltongue was content with his new homeland, and did not want to jeopardize it by reaching too far and falling before the might of many nations, as Morrus had fallen before him.
But slowly, Ragesia expanded its borders. It took years for events to play out, and always in a way that Ragesia’s imperialism was justified, either in response to enemy attacks, or to aid another nation that was being threatened. With the benefit of hindsight, many suspect that somehow Coaltongue provoked these conflicts. Finally, when Coaltongue was far older than any half-orc had right to be, all the lands that had once belonged to his allies were his.
Recently, after nearly a decade of inactivity, Coaltongue offered to help the Exarchate of Sindaire put down a rebellion within its borders, and the nation nervously accepted, fearful of being swallowed up by another trick. What Coaltongue was planning may never be known, because a few weeks into his military campaign, something went wrong. Ragesia has not heard from its emperor in over two months, or if they have, they have hidden the news.
Some dread it, and some cautiously hope for it, but it seems the Old Dragon has been slain.