The Free Peoples of New Arkhosia is a vassal state to the Salassian Empire. It lies about two weeks by road from the Imperial Seat during the summer. During the winter, it is for all purposes unreachable, as the brutal winter makes travel impossible. As a result, it tends to stay isolated from the empire. They relish this freedom, paying their imperial taxes, and otherwise staying out of imperial matters.
This is a human land, with a smattering of other races. The illiteracy imposed by the Empire has caused some very strange ignorances in the border kingdoms. None serves a better example than New Arkhosia.
These humans have patterned themselves as the new “dragonmasters”, not realizing that the original Arkhosian Empire was composed dragonborn and dragons.
The New Arkhosians revere Io, but their priests are woefully uneducated, and the feeble connection that Io has with the World doesn’t help matters. [For game purposes, clerics/paladins of Io cannot gain above 5th level spells].
The Free Peoples have a very simple rule: If you have a dragon mount, you are a noble. If you don’t you are not.
Of course, this rule is stretched every which way. A “dragon” can be anything scaly that can be mounted. Wyverns, hydras, and cleverly disguised bears have been known to be used.
In addition, the nobility of being a Dragonrider is relative. For example, if your uncle is a Dragonrider, you are a “Dragonborn”, and have noble privelege. However, there are many arcane nuances to these relations. The death of a aged Dragonrider can collapse a whole family tree of precarious nobility.
As a result, almost every summer, an alliance between two nobles will breakdown and they will war with each other, with the goal of killing or stealing the other noble’s dragon.
The primary benefit of nobility in New Arkhosia is being a first class citizen. On your own lands, you are the law. In other lands, you are only subject to the “law” of the resident noble.
Another notable benefit of nobility is the right to wear “High Armor”. [For rules purposes, this means BreastPlate, Half-Plate, Plate, and Shield.] Non-nobles are forbidden to wear High Armor, as it is above their station.
So, if you want to wear High Armor as a PC, you need one of the following:
- have an Imperial status that trumps this rule
- be Arkhosian nobility
- be sneaky with your armor
- be bold with your armor and ready to be called out on it