Beyond the Kingdom of New Hope
About the Kingdom
The entire kingdom is under the formal rule of a King, based in the central city of New Hope. The Kings themselves descend from the line of Whitehill, the first King being Arron of Whitehill, Supreme Captain of the Kings Seas. The current sovereign is King Daronnor.
The three other major cities are governed by Lords, whose titles are also hereditary. Their formal titles are are of the form…(Given Name) (Family Name), Lord (City Name)
Towns are governed by individual Mayors, who are appointed by the Lord of the nearest governing city. Villages are informally governed by the local Sheriff. A village Sheriff can make no laws, but is responsible for enforcing law and order,which is, in most cases not a particularly demanding job.
Disagreements and disputes between regions are minimal and if they occur at all, they are related to trades and taxes. The Kings and Lords are seen as benevolent and noble leaders, and for the most part govern as such. Even at the local level,politics never gets particularly nasty or corrupt, as such behavior would be dealt with quickly and decisively by the Lords,who can remove from office any official who they deem disloyal or dishonest. This would be seen as a highly rare and unusual event.
There is very little disparity between the rich and the poor. The poor tend to be subsistence farmers who make a decent enough living to keep their families fed. The rich tend to be successful merchants who can afford moderately well-appointed houses and a small collection of Old World antiquities. Even the Lords and their families do not live in any particularly extravagant fashion, apart from possessing a large and well-groomed estate house and a few house-servants.
The only true poor one would encounter in large towns and cities would be individuals who are afflicted with some malady and truly unable to work the feebleminded or the crippled. And even these unfortunate souls are usually well-cared for by the Church.
The coins of the realm are the gold crown, the silver crown, and the copper. The gold and silver coins are only plated, not solid. They are roughly the size of a quarter, although the gold crown is about twice as thick, and they each bear an image of the Kings Crown on one side and the four-star symbol of the Kingdom on the other. The copper is about the size of an American dime and is stamped with a C on one side and a large 9-pointed star on the other.
There is no platinum piece, as the metal itself is so rare as to be all but unheard-of. In fact, the island on which the campaign takes place is very resource-poor when it comes to precious metals. And even moreso when it comes to gems. There is nowhere in the Kingdom where diamonds, rubies or emeralds can be found. Any items that you would come across containing these sorts of gems would have to date back to the Old Kingdom. Any contemporary-era fine jewelery would be set with semi-precious, often quartz-based stones like amethyst, cat’s eye, or bloodstone. Pearls are also a very popular upscale adornment, and imperfect specimens are not terribly rare or expensive.
Law and Order
All villages, towns, and cities have a Sheriff who presides over the local Guard a semi-formal militia responsible for dealing with local criminal activity. Such criminal activity is usually limited to burglary, pickpockets, and the odd case of disorderly conduct. There is no organized crime, no thieving guilds, no widely-recognized crime problem, so the job of law-enforcement is relatively low-key. (In fact, being a member of the Guard in a small village is often only a part-time job.)A typical city or town guardsman is armed with a shortsword and lightly armored in leather, which is more of a uniform than for any sort of protection. It would be rare to encounter anyone even a criminal armed with more than a dagger or a knife. Certainly swordsmiths and armorers are not a necessary part of any town or city in the kingdom.
Another law enforcement group of sorts is an organization known as the Kings Couriers, who accompany shipments of valuable goods to and from the City of New Hope. Their job is to guard against the rare case of highway robbery. They are regarded as very successful in this regard, so being a Kings Courier is seen as a fairly prestigious job. They also act as a sort of mail and messenger service between the Lords and the King, and as such, they are known as skillful riders of fast horses.
Finally there is the Kings Army – a group of very well-trained and lavishly equipped soldiers stationed at the Kings Palace in New Hope. As there are no wars or outside enemy for them to fight, their role in protecting the King and his city is essentially a ceremonial one. They can be seen beyond the great city in parades and ceremonies at various times of the year. This is the only place one would ever see anyone wearing shining metal armor, armed with longswords and pole-arms in their role as trappings of royal authority and Old Kingdom nostalgia.
The religion of the people is a simple monotheistic, paternalistic god, known simply as God or The Creator. God sustains and governs the universe – and is purely a force of Good. Most common people are casually devout, but will attend Temple only on religious holidays and on occasion to seek prayers for healing or guidance. However, any person who owns any books at all will certainly own a copy of the Holy Books.
Each major city or town will have a Temple, and each temple is usually devoted to one of the three Saints. There is a patron saint of healing, one of courage, and one of enlightenment. These three saints provide only a tiny hint of polytheism, as common folk will often say prayers to a particular saint or carry symbols of that saint.
The priesthood is made of devout clergy who tend to the temples, preside over religious festivals, offer up prayers on behalf of congregants, and act as spiritual advisors to the governing officials. The priesthood is only informally hierarchical, and titles are based simply on age.
Saint Arron: (also Aronn/Aryn) Healing, Comfort, Protection
Saint Bevyn: (also Bevvin/Beddyn) Enlightenment, Peace, Guidance
Saint Cannon: (also Canyn/Canin) Strength, Courage, Righteousness, Long-life
16 – 30: Brother (Name)
30 – 45: Reverend Brother (Name)
45 – 70: Father (Name)
70 – 120+: Elder Father (Name)
Each Temple will usually have one presiding Elder Father. The Elder Father of the City of New Hope, as the spiritual advisor to the King, holds a special place in the structure of the church. He is referred to as the Great Elder Father, and while he holds no formal authority over the Elder Fathers of the other major cities, he is recognized informally as the spiritual leader of the church.
Women play a very small role in the church, as Sisters of the Order of Saint Arron, or simply Healing Sisters, who specialize in offering prayers for and “laying hands” on the sick. There are some Sisters of the order who travel from the large cities and towns to the smaller villages that do not have a dedicated temple structure.