The Empire and the Valley
The Three Kingdoms of the Realm
All life in the valley and the very existence of the Ra-Theris empire is due mainly to a vast river that winds its way through the entire desert valley, and is one of the only sources of life. The river, called the Serpentine River, stretches from the southern Labaris sierra, to the northern shores of the Malachite Sea and is flanked by miles of barren deserts and rocky mountains. It is said that civilization is the gift of the Serpentine River! For without the river, there would be no way for the empire to survive in the valley.
The Ra-Theris empire is one of the few civilized realms in the untamed, savage world of Superna. The realm of Ra-Theris is comprised of three united kingdoms. Each kingdom is ruled over by a single pharaoh who is a direct descendant of the god Ozer, the first pharaoh who established empire that is Ra-Theris. The three descendent pharaohs collaborate to govern the entire realm of Ra-Theris in accordance with one another through a council they call The Triptych Eye. Throughout the history of the realm, each kingdom has preserved it’s individual culture. That culture is rooted in the tribes that united under Ozer.
The upper kingdom, Duldrom, is ruled by a Dwarven pharaoh named, Ergamenes-Kahlid-Goldenstone-Ozer-Kan-Ra, in the cavernous halls of the Labaris Mountains. The middle kingdom, Ishtam, is ruled by a Human pharaoh named, Rahl-Amene-Ozer-Kan-Ra, who presides over his kingdom from the summit of Monolith Peaks. The lower kingdom, ElerakarIO, is ruled by an Elven pharaoh named, Nefertari-Arat-Ozer-Kan-Ra, who commands the kingdom from her mystical lagoons near the Malachite Sea.
The Lower Kingdom, ElerakarIO
Elven Dynasty – 2nd Dynasty, 2nd Elven pharaoh, Nefertari-Arat-Ozer-Kan-Ra.
The lower kingdom, ElerakarIO, resides at the shores of the Malachite Sea, and many of it’s nomes surround two massive lagoons. The kingdom is predominately Elven. The landscape is mainly jungle and swamp, and the Elves have gone to great lengths to create cities that naturally weave together the areas of the jungle into societal structures. Most of the jungle provides everything the communities need to live and farming is almost nonexistent because of the plentiful jungle resources propagated by the Elves.
The Elves of ElerakarIO are the masters of the arcane, and of the ancient secrets covered by the sands of time. People looking to have the best career as a practitioner in the magical arts often travel here in an attempt to be accepted into their various arcane schools.
Though this kingdom resides at the shore, no one in the empire has ever gone out to sea. There are rumors that an ancient race that lives beneath the sea captures those who go out too far into the ocean.
Nomes: Dusk Moon, Lotuswebb, Firepond
The Middle Kingdom, Ishtam
Human Dynasty – 6th Dynasty, 27th Human pharaoh, Rahl-Amene-Ozer-Kan-Ra.
The middle kingdom, Ishtam, resides along the middle stretch of the Serpentine River, and takes advantage of a massive lake where all of the rivers converge. The lake, Nystual Lake, is the biggest trade post in the realm, and many merchant houses reside in the town Hotep, that sits on the north-eastern bank of the lake.
This kingdom is predominantly populated by humans, though it is the most racially diverse kingdom. Races from each kingdom, and those from the desert tribes can all be found in this cosmopolitan domain.
The structures found throughout Ishtam, are either made of sandstone, or in the poorer or more ephemeral encampments (such as those built to house commoners building a pyramid) the structures are made of mud-brick with stuccoed surfaces.
Ishtam is also well known for its religious temples, and houses some of the best established divine training for those committing themselves to life as a Cleric or Medjay (Paladin).
Nomes: White Falcon, Shadow Ray, Dune Horn
The Upper Kingdom, Duldrom
Dwarven Dynasty – 1st Dynasty, 4th Dwarven pharaoh, Ergamenes-Kahlid-Goldentone-Ozer-Kan-Ra.
The upper kingdom of Duldrom is a sight to behold! Half of the kingdom resides alongside the river that flows down from the Labaris mountain range, but where the waters fall down from the mountain, spectators will witness the massive, 30 foot high mountain doors that are made out of the original rock walls of the mountains themselves! Two 30 foot high, stone-cut statues representing Ozer and the first dwarf pharaoh, Ua, flank the doors to the inner Duldrom kingdom. Unfortunately the doors to the inner kingdom are shut right now. Rumors abound as to the reasons why. Some say Ergamenes stumbled upon something dangerous that he wanted to protect the realm from and others say his prophets have predicted a terrible plague the realm will suffer and that he shut his doors to protect himself. None yet know…
The upper kingdom is predominantly populated by Dwarves.
All of the structures found throughout the nomes in Duldrom, are made of sandstone. Mud-brick is cheap and the Dwarves find this material weak and downright offensive to builders’ craftsmanship! The only structures not made of sandstone are those cut out of the mountain rock inside their grand cavernous halls. The most amazing rock-cut structures can be found in their nome, Goldendepths.
The Dwarves have given much to the empire. They are master forgers, and the have had a hand in setting up almost every single mining operation throughout the realm. Refined weapons made of bronze and the more recent and rare bronze-starstone are all crafts refined by the Dwarves.
The Dwarves are experts in martial training. Many of the elite fighters of the realm come here to train or challenge one another in tournaments held here often by the different warrior guilds.
Nomes: Goldendepths, Forgefall, Copperhelm
The Dead Kingdom
The name of the cursed kingdom, Zherthor, has become a phrase of malediction that invokes fear. The kingdom was once a glorious place that built some of the most incredible tombs for it’s pharaohs. Now, the cities and tombs of Zherthor are ruins and remnants of a tragic past, where the names of the Zherthor pharaohs have been scratched off the sandstone walls. Where the waters of the river once ran, there is nothing but rocky desert. This is the price the kingdom paid when it’s pharaoh warred with the realm in an attempt to become the supreme ruler.
The Zherthor kingdom has left behind many secrets that most will not brave to find. The pharaohs have been known to hire groups to search through the ruins for lost artifacts and other treasures. Some refuse to go to the ruins in fear of being cursed for theft of the dead’s treasure.
Though most of the people from this kingdom were killed in the war, some descendants from the kingdom still live on to this day, carrying the burden of their descendants’ curses even now. Some of the people were cursed with the blood of the devil himself and became Tiefling wanderers. Others were denied the afterlife and had their souls trapped inside sand-stone statues, cursed to wander the Dead Kingdom forever in search of redemption.
A rumor persists that the betrayer king, Minkah II, also wanders the sand wastes, punished by the gods to remain the supreme ruler of a ruinous realm. Some swear they have seen him: a horned skeleton in black robes with a smoking lamp, shrieking madly and commanding his undead followers.
Nomes: Bone Crown, Nine Bows, Black Obelisk
The Tribes of the Oases
Over thirteen hundred years ago, many of the original tribes of the valley escaped the dominant Themba slavers or decided they did not want to be a part of Ozer’s new established civilization at the end of the Tribe Wars. These tribes were forced to live amongst the oases in the Khafran Desert. Each tribe carries on their original traditions and way of life, much as they have since the days before the Tribe Wars and before Ozer established a unified realm under his rule.
Life is harsh in the desert though. The arid conditions and little water that is provided by the oases often kill those who attempt to live in the desert. But the tribes who live there have endured and managed to survive alongside the Ra-Theris empire. Often, the tribes come to Hotep to trade goods.
The tribes are often warring amongst each other for reasons big and small. As a solution to offset these feuds, the tribes set up a seasonal fighting tournament that takes place in a canyon called Crākos Gorge. Many people from all over the kingdom have been known to travel to the gorge to see the awesome spectacle of this event.
Crākos Gorge: The Barbarian Battle Pits – The tribes come here once every season, set aside their differences and use Crākos Gorge as a combat arena. Steppes that flank the lower valleys of the gorge form a natural amphitheater where spectators gather to watch events. A majority of the fights are non-lethal combat, except for a few blood feuds where two combatants have agreed to a death match. When a death match occurs, the reason for the match is announced to the spectators. Other lethal matches may include beast fights, which some slaves from other
lands are forced into. Some tribal members willingly enter beast matches to gain a name for themselves, or to showcase their skills.
Here are a list of the major tribes of the Oases: Amriel’s Fang (Gold Dragonborns), Howling Skull (Human cannibals), The Red Immortals (Red Dragonborn), Furia’s Hunters (Were-jackals), Dune Striders (Elves), Sunderstone (Hill Dwarves), Grim Legion (Orcs), Starspear (Lizard Men), Vulture’s Shadow (Humans), Diamond Mind (Human Monks). Players can also make up their own tribes.