"He who has the gold, makes the rules." an old Darokinian saying
In Darokin, wealth is power. There is no place in this land for the unthinking brute who solves every problem with force. Darokin has survived by cleverness, by negotiation, and by guile, despite being surrounded by mighty barbarous nations
In fact, the Darokinians have thrived over the years, establishing themselves as the undisputed masters of overland commerce. And, since dead neighbors make poor trading partners, they've become equally adept at diplomacy
Darokin is a land controlled by merchants. Until three centuries ago, the lands now known as the Republic of Darokin were known as the Kingdom of Darokin. When the last King of Darokin died without an heir, the kingdom fell into chaos. The large cities of the lands became independent city-states, and the wealthy merchants and tradesmen became the leaders of these city-states.
Almost a century ago, the city-states of Darokin banded together to become a single nation again. To give each city-state some say in matters of governing, the Charter the city-states agreed to decreed that each city would send forth a representative to a Council, which would act as the governing body of the land. The cities would also elect a Chancellor, who would act as the ruler of the land. Only citizens of the cities who owned property were originally allowed to vote. Over time, this statute has been changed to allow any who have enough money to vote, due to the amount of power the Guilds wield. Because of the nature of Darokin politics, the Guilds hold tremendous power, and anyone who can afford to, joins a Guild when he can.
Darokin today is a turbulent place. Within the cities, life is good. The merchants of Darokin keep everyone in the land at a higher standard of living than any of their neighbors. Even the lowest "non-voting citizen" has more rights than the serfs and peasants of neighboring lands. People from many neighboring nations make their way to Darokin, trying to escape harsher conditions in their own lands.
Outside the cities and towns, Darokin is less civilized. Bandits and humanoid tribes roam the countryside, though Republic troops are stationed in forts along the major thoroughfares. Merchants pay good money for people to guard their caravans from these hazards,
Darokin is a huge nation that borders nine other nations and fully encloses a tenth nation within its borders. On its northeastern border sits the Principalities of Glantri, a nation ruled by wizard-Princes where those without magical abilities are second (or even third) class citizens. Directly to the north sits the Broken Lands, an arid land full of goblins, orcs, trolls and other humanoids who periodically stage raids into the Darokinian lands. Also to the north are the steppes of the Ethengar, a nomadic, warlike people ruled by a man known as the Golden Khan.
Northwest of Darokin is the dwarven kingdom of Rockhome, a nation existing almost entirely underground. Due east of Darokin are the Emirates of Ylaruam, a desert nation controlled by the Emir of Ylaruam. South of Darokin is the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, a nation less than fifty years old. Also to the south are the Five Shires, a nation of hin (known to humans as halflings).
Southeast of Darokin is the Atruaghin Plateau, a land ruled by the Children of Atruaghin. West of Darokin is Sind, another arid land ruled by the Rajah of Sind.
Directly in the center of Darokin is a land known as Alfheim, a forest land ruled by elves. Though centuries ago the elves and men of Darokin warred, today they have a strong alliance.
Darokin is surrounded by mountain ranges. To the north lie the Amsorak and Silver Sierra mountains. To the northeast lie the Dwarfgate mountains, and to the east sit the Altan Tepes mountains. Darokins southern border is dominated by the Black Peak and Cruth mountains.
Lake Amsorak, the largest freshwater lake on the continent, dominates western Darokin. The Streel River, the continent's main river, runs from the north side of Darokin down to Malpheggi Bay in the Sea of Dread and is a major thoroughfare for merchants and caravans. Malpheggi Swamp sits just north of Malpheggi Bay, and is home to man nasty creatures and insects.
The major religion of Darokin is the Church of Darokin, a splinter faith of the Church of Thyatis (originating from the nation of Thyatis to the southeast. The Darokinian (and Thyatian) Church is a polytheistic faith, centering on worship of a number of Immortal patrons. The Church of Darokin has their main temple in the capitol city of Darokin.
The leader of the Darokinian pantheon is Asterius, patron of Commerce and Diplomacy. Asterius is popular among the merchant class of the nation, who know that promoting diplomacy with other nations is good for business.
Another popular figure in the Darokin pantheon is Koryis, patron of Peace. Like Asterius, Koryis encourages his followers to use diplomacy to work out differences instead of the sword.
Kagyar the Artisan is another member of the Darokin pantheon. A patron of artists and art, Kagyar's priests encourages his followers to respect and patronize art as much as possible. Kagyar is a favorite of artists.
The Twelve Watchers are another group of major figures in the Darokin pantheon. Each of the Twelve is a patron of a different Craft of some sort, and each is known by the name of the craft his is a patron of (Carpenter, Smith, Miner, Butcher, Farmer, etc.). The Watchers are the major patrons of the "common" folk of Darokin.
Solarios, Immortal patron of the sun, is another member of the Darokin pantheon. Solarios's following is not as strong in Darokin as it is in Thyatis, but he still has a large number of followers. Solarios embodies everything about the sun - fire, strength, and light.
Halav, patron of weaponsmiths and warriors, has a small following in Darokin. He is mainly worshipped among smiths and weaponsmiths, though he shares this following with the Watcher Smith. Halav's faith is growing in Darokin, however, with tensions rising on the western border.
Petra, the patron of cities and defenders, has long had a steady following in Darokin. As a protector of cities, her following also grew during the war. Now, her priests are spreading her word even farther, and are using the destruction caused by the war to call out for improvements to the cities and the city defenses. Petra is a favorite patron of watchmen and city guards.
There are many other faiths in Darokin besides the Church of Darokin. The Church of Thyatis has a sizeable following in Darokin, with their major temple located in Athenos. The Church of Karameikos also has a following in Darokin and has its temple in Selenica. Both of these Churches have Immortal patrons in common with the Church of Darokin, and the Churches tend to have similar philosophies.
The Church of Traladara also has a following in Darokin, especially among Traladaran immigrants from Karameikos. The Church has its main temple in Selenica. The Way of Al'Kalim, the national religion of the Emirates of Ylaruam, also has a temple in Selenica, though the faith is slowly spreading through the rest of Darokin.
Temples to Rad, the Immortal patron of sorcery, dot the towns near the border with Glantri. Though Rad has no actual priests, the monks in the temple fulfil a number of religious duties. Near the border with Sind, a number of temples to various Sindi deities exist, but especially to Ayazi the Creator, Himayeti the Defender, and Aksyri the destroyer.
Finally, there are many dark cults secretly in Darokin. Alphaks the Roaring Fiend and Atzanteotl the Dark Serpent both have secret followings in Darokin. Kala the Black One has a following near the Sind border, while Orcus and Demogorgon both have underground cults in the nation. Many other dark Immortals also have followings in Darokin, though the government refuses to admit to it.
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