Blood and Thunder
Tricarnia is a land of vast plains, crossed by a web of small rivers. The climate is mild and the crops abundant. Tricarnia is divided in Principalities, each ruled by a Priest Prince, although the day-to-day business is usually supervised by eunuch slave-bureaucrats. Tricarnians have greatly developed their farming techniques. In the last few centuries, they have used the many rivers of their land to create a great network of irrigation canals for their main food production: rice fields. The rice crops are so abundant that they can feed the masses of slaves who live in this land.
Tricarnia is what is left of the great Keronian Empire and the Priest Princes think with the grandiosity of their ancestors. Their cities, usually quite small, have such beautiful and complex architecture that even the best masons of Faberterra cannot imitate. However, the center of all important decisions is the Prince’s palace, which
includes all the most important parts of the city. So, for example, the merchant houses are located in the courtyard of the palace, like the temples and other major facilities. This is something that strangers must be aware of: entering a Tricarnian city means entering the Prince’s palace. Everything in it belongs to him and is only temporarily used by the slaves and servants.
The two major social classes are nobles and slaves, but a very small group of middlemen exist. They are freed slaves or the children of freed slaves and work as traders and specialized artisans. They are called freemen and their freedom is by no means guaranteed — they can easily be forced back to slavery.
Tricarnia has faced quite a number of harsh wars on its land, mainly against the Iron Empire and the Caleds, but also the Northlanders have occasionally attacked its borders. This is why large parts of it are not inhabited and crumbling ruins dot the land.
Not all the slaves are content with their condition, but for many of them there is no other choice. The few who manage to escape from their cruel masters go north, crossing dangerous deserted areas, and take refuge in the mountains, where free communities of runaway slaves exist. Life is hard for the former slaves, but they do not mind because here they can be masters of themselves. The Tricarnian Princes know of these communities but do not destroy them. The reason is simple: free men are usually stronger and more intelligent than the average slave and the mountains are a good source of manpower.
Every now and then, a Tricarnian Prince takes his army and goes hunting for men in the Brokenchain Mountains. This is both business and pleasure, because few things excite the Tricarnian nobles more than hunting men. But lately something has changed. The runaway slaves of the Mountains don’t simply flee, they fight. Someone has taught them how to defend themselves and, even worse, has given them weapons. The army of last Priest Prince who went to the Mountains to hunt for slaves was butchered and the Prince himself barely managed to escape. This outrageous behavior cannot be tolerated and will be harshly punished.
Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 24-25. Studio 2 Publishing.ISBN 978-8393179657