I've undercoated some more Chaos Dwarfs so I'll return to wargaming soon, but here's another post as part of my designing of Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil
|More than just faux-Europeans in plate mail wielding longswords: An adventurer outside the city of Habarga, in the land of Mu'Nahre.|
The Dragon Pharaoh sounds an all-powerful being, almost a millennia old with mighty mystical powers to protect her and her own priests & army to carry out her will across the seas and void. Various other lands are vassals to the Dragon Pharaoh: the Elven Princedoms, the Gnomish traders, the Dwarven strongholds and the strange peoples of the Reptilian South. Beyond the sky, floating in the cosmic void, other worlds have inhabitants who send tithes and prayers to Cleopatra. The teachings of Draco Deus say that every new soul that swears fealty continues the great plans of the gods, until one day all the world will call the Dragon Pharaoh their lord and it shall be as the gods command.
But things are not so perfect as Draco Deus would wish and there are threats both to Phratil the empire and it's ancient ruler.
THE ENEMY WITHOUT: THE GREAT POWERS
For one thing, Phratil must share her world and her skies with other great powers - empires which space the stars and which resist her. They possess their own armies, their own treasuries and their own Wrydstone Bombs. As such Phratil is forced to sit alongside them for now, with every side jostling for what advantage it can achieve against the others.
To the east is Phratil's main competitior, the Jade Union. The JU is made of several independant countries who band together for defence - the main members being the Eternal Kara-Turian Empire, the Republic of Kara-Tur, Kozakura and the Republic of Koryo. These eastern countries are geographically seperated far from the rest of the world, so evolved very separate cultures - including a curious faith worshipping not gods but an omnipresent soul energy, Incarnum, which all things possess. The peoples of the JU are famed for their mastery of arcane magic and of producing the best Astromancers.
|Arcane magic has been highly researched in the JU: but healing magic is rare, their Incarnum magic focusing elsewhere. As such sanitation is more of a concern in their cities and diseases a bigger threat to their population.|
THE ENEMY WITHIN: APOSTATES AND HERETICS
Not all who hate the Dragon Pharaoh are without the Empire. Client states, off-world colonies and even the heartlands of the Empire can hold those who struggle against the Empire. Sometimes this is simple politics - upstarts who seek more autonomy or to defect to one of the other major powers. However, it is more often Draco Deus and their monodominance of faith that breed dissent.
|A statue to Caira, goddess of healing, love and childbirth. She is usually portrayed as a female Satyr though sometimes she is instead shown as a human or elf.|
These cults are anathema to the Draco Deus, who brand their members heretics, traitors and devil worshippers. To deny primacy to the Dragon Pharaoh is to deny her divine right and to undermine the entire basis of the Empire. Harsh punishment awaits those caught of such crimes, yet the further one gets from the Dragon Pharaoh's throne room the more readily such activity takes place.
THE ENEMY BEYOND: THE HUNGRY STARS
The Great Powers have colonised the other planets of Phratil's system and in doing so have encountered other life which did not arise on the same world as humans, elves and dwarves. Scientists and theologians both have questions to ask about such beings - when one encounters the brain-devouring beasts that lurk in the oceans of Biscales, one has to ask how such beings came to pass and what dark god or demon placed them there.
|One of the strange starcraft used by the Neogi|
Without the might of the Sa'ka, the vigilance of Draco Deus and the wisdom of the Dragon Pharaoh, the great Phratil Empire could not survive in such a sea of opposition.