Qadir: The Zahanim
This is the last of the bulk of what I had prepared for this world. I might revisit it, and lay out the plot points of my own game. I feel it has the most value as an example of how you can turn conventional campaign sacred cows on their head and make something new without really having to work that hard at it.
Everyone knows of the Imperial Republic of Zahanim, it is the invading force that seeks to impose order on the region. The Zahanim homeland is across the sea far to the northwest, and rumored to be a nation that stretches over hundreds of territories and city-states. Little is known about the Republic outside of these shores, but they function with governors here. Each conquered city-state is ruled by said governor, supported by a small standing army and a class of elite civilians, who being Elves may or may not be potent fighting forces.
The ultimate authority in the region is the First Governor, but he has appeared less frequently as of late. The cities of Baqal, N’Habaz, Yeneh, Murradin and Teyloh fell to the invading force, in that order, with Baqal being a piece of the republic for nearly a decade now, and Teyloh having fallen only recently in a spectacular strategic coup.
Life for non-elves in the Republic is ordered, many of these people being treated as full citizens after years of paying taxes and contributing to support positions or fighting positions in the armies of the Republic. They are left alone, their temples are left intact, and the laws protect them from abuses from above as it controls their behavior as well. In the long conquered cities, the populace has a specific view of the Elves as inscrutable strangers who are beginning to teach them and aid them in daily life. In the recently conquered ones they are an interminable foe that must be tolerated or defied at every step. There are underground rebellions in Teyloh and Murradin.
The Elves are of different minds about the lesser races they subjugate. Some treat them as potential believers, and they themselves are missionaries intent on furthering worship of the Goddess. At the far end of that extreme are those who treat them as nothing more than savages who will never fit into their society, nor deserve to, but must be kept in line and services must be provided to attempt to civilize them. On the other end, there are those who see the other races as equals, even if underprivileged compared to themselves. This class of elf is most likely to see something beautiful in a human, and court them. Thus, there are a handful of half-elves, children of the elves who have a human parent. Usually a half-elf appears to be human or elven, even if their lifespan and physical capabilities are more than the former and less than the latter.
This mish-mash of ideals sits atop a complex machine which rules, and conquers the region with glacial slowness. There are attempts to disenfranchise those elven nobles who leave the area in order to show the First upon his return the progress they have made. As no noble leaves his lands behind unattended, this sometimes results in political infighting as their less capable lieutenants and children are embarrassed or arrested to make way for the most aggressive members of the elite. Sometimes this is racially motivated, as the extremists do not believe that half-elves and human stewards should have any power in their regime.
Example of an extremist:
Sarediel is one of those elves who is smug in his superiority, the kind you love to hate. He isn’t evil, but he truly believes that Order in the New World can only be brought by the Zahanim, and he sees the fringes of human society, especially a certain loose end that he was unable to tie up, as a threat. He is unafraid to kill to achieve his goals, and is much more tainted than an elf who keeps worldly thoughts far from their conscious mind. As the bulk of the Zahanim host has returned to their homeland to address a rising threat, he is of the mind that Teyloh must be brought under martial law.
He espouses the following beliefs:
- Elves are superior to all, grind the humans until they are willing servants
- Consolidate our hold in these lands, remove all external threats
- I will prove my worth to the most Noble, doing whatever it takes to advance
His first instincts are always to:
- Accuse Elves who make friends with lesser races of being traitors
- Draw a blade when surprised
- Belittle human aid and involvement in important matters