Civilized Vs. Wild
One major distinction among the various nations of Adelrune consists of the “civilized” nations on the one hand and the “savage” nations on the other. Civilized nations subscribe to the Rules of Society, an internationally-binding agreement that ensures that proper respect is paid to leaders of all nations by establishing a caste-like system of peasants, nobles, and royalty. The ratification of the Rules of Society created a base expectation for society that allows the military, religious, and political leaders of various nations—even ones as different from one another as Mandala, the Nadine Empire, Ad Decimum, or Cestrel—to treat with each other without causing undue offense. On the other hand, the “savage nations”--or “Wild Nations”-- reject such structures, choosing instead to maintain their own traditional ways of life. The Saek, the Drir, the Gael, the Vicaul, and the Coatl are generally recognized as savage nations, and the majority of them tend to have an antagonistic relationship with the more structured nations around them. Finally, too, there are the Trahazi, a nomadic people of wagon caravans, who were forced from their homeland during the Purification, and now wander through the back streets of the “civilized” nations.
Ad Decimum is a small, quirky society built upon academic knowledge and spellcraft. Almost all Decimals have an aptitude for magic, and those who don’t are viewed as second-class citizens. Most all Decimals are interested in developing their mastery of magic. Those who do not have magical talent are forced to pick up mundane trades and perform the needed but less valued functions of the society.
Built on the sea cliffs that separate the Expanse from the demon-controlled lands of Breach, Castle Thorn is a single, enormous fortress that stands to fight more demon-kind than any other nation. Known for their stalwart courage and stubborn nature, the people of Castle Thorn take it as a matter of pride to never flee nor yield against their enemies.
A nation of misty moors, lush grasslands, and sparse yet verdant forests: the Isle of Cestrel is large and filled with many small settlements. The ruling family utilizes a swift cavalry that can move to defend whatever region is needed, and indeed the people of Cestrel have a unique affinity for animals, such that they are hailed as the finest animal trainers in the world.
Arguably, Dace is the most powerful of the city-states. Possessing the largest mercantile force in the world, this island nation boasts trade agreements with almost every other nation, including the demonic settlements of Breach. Thus commanding vast fortunes, many Dacians spend their wealth on the arts, including theater, fashion, sculpture, and painting.
Spreading across most of the eastern Expanse, the Amalgamation has conquered more territories than any other nation. Religious zeal and fanaticism have long been staples of this society; in recent years, however, these qualities have also led to internal strife and a steep decline in this nation’s power.
The Celestine Empire sees itself as “the mirrored reflection of the heavens in the world.” It bases much of its culture, fashion, religion, and morality upon this belief. Celestines are a people who pull strength from their faith but are not blinded by it—or at least not to the point that they fail to see the importance of military strength and sound battle tactics.
Cole, considered “The Gambler’s Paradise,” is a port city-state along the Western (“Red”) coast of the Expanse. The people of Cole are rogues of all sorts: pirates, smugglers, mercenaries, con-men, and much more. They follow an odd code of honor, and they revere the concepts of luck, chance, and fortune.
Mandala is comprised of an intricate series of strangely-twisting valleys, said to have walls as smooth as polished marble, that spiral and cross through the mountains and among misty forests of ancient, gnarled trees that cover the landscape. All Mandalans claim that their city-state, which lies at the center of these rings of mountains, is situated in the remains of an ancient draconic nesting ground.
Though small in comparison to the Amalgamation or the Celestine Empire, the Nadine Empire is a major player on the world stage because of its ruthless approach to politics and conquest. It is made up of several conquered city-states, all united under an Empress.