Songs by the Hearth
|Ruler:||The Millennial Emperor|
|Capital:||Arran’ak (see below)|
Arran’ak is a small country, referring to both its capital and the small amount of countryside around it. It is ruled by the Millennial Emperor (also known as Grandfather), along with his wife the Dawn Empress. Perhaps the strangest part of this country’s rule is that it is public knowledge that the Emperor is a lich. The Dawn Empress is reincarnated and the new Empress is chosen when the current one dies, such that the city is never without both their Emperor and Empress for more than a few years.
The people of Arran’ak view death differently than most. The commonness of undead in everyday life has lead to a society where death is not feared, but almost anticipated as another step in the natural order of things. When one dies, their body doesn’t rot in the ground, but remains useful, with a purpose as it is reanimated and used for labor. This idea, that death is merely another service you’re doing for the good of the country, leads to a very patriotic and resolute society.
The reanimated dead are broken into several group. They are differentiated based on masks of varying materials. The categories are:
- Conscripts are enemy soldiers and criminals who have died and are brought back as foot-soldiers in the army. They wear plain clay masks.
- Risen: These are the most common. They are the undead brought into the service of the state, used for unskilled labor. They wear bronze masks.
- Sentinels: These are the ever-watchful guardians. Soldiers in life who are brought back to continue fighting for their country. They are used for keeping the piece and in wartimes, make up the back-bone of the army. They wear steel masks.
- Chronus Guard: The highest rank Sentinel, dedicated to protecting the Emperor within his spire. They wear pure white porcelain masks.
To facilitate the responsible use of the undead, the Millennial Emperor restricts necromancy to licensed practitioners. In order to become a necromancer you must undertake arduous training and rise through the ranks. Initiates and Adepts help prepare bodies for reanimation and perform clerical duties. Masters are the ones who perform the rites to reanimate a body. Sacrificed are the highest order of necromancer, binding their life to the Millennial Emperor’s phylactery, they are able to become deathless, without succumbing to lich-dom.
What sets the the necromancy practiced here apart from your usual necromancy is that raising undead usually requires binding a soul to a dead corpse in order to reanimate it. Here, corpses are used much like homunculi or golems, creating a semi-sentient body without a soul possessing it. Souls are still allowed to pass into true death; a very important facet of the necromantic process.
Arran’ak remains one of the strongest and most influential magical societies in Illia, thanks to the abundance of very powerful magic uses and skilled artisans and craftsmen.
Tal’nalad, Valne’va, Tyr’mina
Major Geographic Features and Places of Interest:
The Great Bay, Garo River