The City-States of Doria

Not so much a country as a conglomeration of independent city-states, they never the less recognize a common bond of similar geography, culture, origin, and race. The city-states organize themselves into constantly shifting leagues for mutual support and protection as the states often war amongst themselves for control of disputed territory and choice trade routes. These leagues are fragile alliances and frequently collapse as the members find allies they believe to be stronger and more beneficial to their thirst for power. Despite the military clashes between the states, even non-allied cities will come to the defense of a neighbor under siege by ‘outsiders.’ Their common traits create a bond that ties each to together. Nothing would be so intolerable as to be controlled by another nation.

Each individual city-state has its own form of government, laws, and method of organization. In addition to a primary city, each also lays claim to some of the surrounding territory which often includes small trade towns and agricultural communities. The central city government administers to these outlying settlements which frequently send representatives to communicate their needs. Whether their voices are heeded or not depends on the whim of the city’s rulers. These rural towns find themselves with little choice as to what state they wish to be a part of and are often scenes of bitter disputes between the cities. They are completely at the mercy of the powerful governments who may choose to tax them or impose any number of policies.

Leagues are formed based on common goals and the need for support and protection. These groups often seek to counteract and balance the power of the region to prevent any group from getting the upper hand. Each member of the league has a determined number of representatives who create the administering body of the league. Not all members are equal, however, as the more powerful and wealthy states generally hold more sway due to their greater contributions. These imbalances can easily break a league if the other members are given enough reason to fear being controlled by their stronger allies. The general agreement between members is to come to the aid of the others in case of conflict with a rival league’s members and to contribute food and money if a member falls into extreme hardship. If, for any reason, one member attacks another, the league usually splits as members take one side or another.

Religion: Each city-state claims a patron deity to whom they pay homage. This is not an exclusive religion though, and a person is free to worship any god ‘approved’ by the state. People rarely worship a single deity choosing instead to petition many depending on their needs. War gods are petitioned for skill in battle while gods of agriculture may be honored to ensure a plentiful harvest. Supplicants go to the nearest temple of the deity and make an appropriate offering or donation.

Culture: Value skill and ability, proud and inventive, very family/clan oriented with pride in their particular city-state coming next in importance, driven to acquire, skilled in crafts and shrewd traders, excellent warriors with great pride in their combative skills, also known for their skills as sailors and navigators.

Dellos (patron: Delleb)

Dellos is a center of learning, famed for its literature, poetry, theater, schools, buildings, philosophers, and government. Its citizens are superbly educated and advance the latest theories is science, art and philosophy. Their advanced education allows them to experiment in new methods of production consequently making them more productive and having a higher standard of quality. Architects and engineers have built fantastic and beautiful structures as well as excellent defenses for the city. Given a choice, the nobles and affluent of other city-states send their children here to be educated. The citizens tend to view themselves as intellectually superior to their neighbors and feel they are the shinning pinnacle of their culture. They maintain a powerful standing army and a magnificent fleet of war and trading vessels. It is rare that the state feels the need to wage war, but their skilled tacticians and well equipped soldiers make them fierce opponents.

Dellos boasts one of the best schools of magic in the region, training wizards from many countries. Wizards and magic are considered common place in the city and hold some of the highest governmental positions. They are a people who place high value on intelligence and learning. Despite its large and prominent religious quarter, the city is not known for divine magic or religious innovation. The temples’ clerics on the whole come from outside the city, being drawn from Dellos’s subjugated territories or even other city states.

Government: Every citizen is expected to serve in the government at some point. All positions are elected with specific terms of service. The major governmental body is a council of five primary officials, the Inner Council, with ten secondary advisory positions, the Outer Council. The primary officials are the ones who have the final vote on all policies and laws. The term of office for the Inner Council is ten years; this is longer than most positions to prevent frequent upsets due to change in leadership. The Outer Council is expected to collect information and public opinion on issues as well as stand in if a primary official is unable to attend due to infirmity or in the case of sudden death. The Inner Council also elects one of its members to act as emissary and representative when dealing with other countries and within leagues.

Physical Description: Dellos lies on a rocky part of Doria’s coast. The main part of the city lies on a cliff high above the water. Below is the port which was actually carved and constructed from the rock of the coast. Originally, the area was considered far too dangerous for ships to enter with shallow water and rocky bottoms. But thanks to the advanced engineering and skill of the Dellosians, they were able to create a magnificent harbor. Since it was man-made rather than natural, the harbor was given a prime defensive location and shape with easily controlled entrances. An ingenious system of pulleys and lifts allow for fast and relatively easy transfer of goods and people from the harbor to the city proper. Visitors are encouraged to tour the harbor and marvel at its beauty and invention. The city police force pays special attention to keeping it safe and free of riff-raff to make a good impression.

The main city is arranged so that the most important buildings are closest to the cliff face, giving the best view of the water. The religious quarter and main governmental buildings are situated here on the choicest ground. The wealthiest homes and establishments ring these, creating a rather stratified city plan. Poor neighborhoods and businesses that produce noxious odors are forced to the outermost edges. The city also boasts several grand plazas which are used for markets and large gatherings. These are the center of daily life in Dellos where people come to trade goods, gossip, and debate.

Economy: Dellosians are known to be great crafters with superior products. They are able to sell their wares at nearly any port and command a substantial price. Raw materials must be imported for the most part, though marble and granite are plentiful in the area. Revenue from the foreign students to the schools also makes a significant profit. The port allows Dellos to import goods to sell further inland to other city-states. The rocky ground gives way not far inland to fertile soil which the Dellosians take advantage of. While they are not able to grow quite enough food to sustain their large population, it keeps them from being entirely dependent on outside sources.

Laccon (Patron: Hextor)

Lacconians, above all else, are known for their discipline and skill in combat. They boast one of the best trained and best equipped armies to be found. Contingents are frequently dispatched to do mercenary work for which they are well paid. All Lacconians are trained in physical and combative arts from the age of seven. This training is rigorous and difficult aimed at producing warriors of unparalleled skill. Upon reaching the age of 21 every young man and woman must pass a test of skill. Those who fail are relegated to being second class citizens. While able to own property and land, they are excluded from participation in the government and enjoy limited protections and rights. To have a child who fails the test is considered an embarrassment. Young men who pass the test are immediately inducted into the army and undergo another three years of harsh advanced training before they are considered fully fledged warriors and are allowed to return to their families. Young women who display remarkable ability are sometimes taken into the army as well. In most cases they are encouraged to instead take a husband and raise a strong family. Since their husbands are often away during military excursions, women are given control of the households and have the ability to function as head of the family.

The only non-soldiers who retain full citizen status are the weapon and armor smiths and their families. Laccon arms are of the highest quality, crafted from ore dug out of the surrounding mountains. Most smiths come from families who have crafted metal for generations. Each family has a particular style and method they have developed, and soldiers can proudly name the family they created their equipment. Sometimes a child from another family who shows exceptional ability will be apprenticed. In such cases, the child will often modify his last name upon completion of his training to honor his patrons.

The Lacconian army also has a number of warrior priests who serve the gods of war worshipped in the city. They are an integral and valued group who act as leaders, warriors, support, and sometimes healers. These are the only clerics who are citizens. Those who wish to worship ‘pacifistic’ gods are sent elsewhere.

Battle-mages are few and far between due to the inherent distrust in ‘learned’ magic and emphasis on physical ability. There are a small number, however, that use their talents to devastating effect. This small coterie holds a unique place among the Lacconians, being not entirely trusted yet too valuable to exterminate. The Lacconian mages carefully choose new members through a series of tests designed for each individual candidate.

Those who can fully claim to be Lacconian are few in number. Casualties in battle as well as the delay in the age of those starting families take their toll on the population growth. Sometimes outsiders who prove themselves worthy may become citizens with all the attendant rights and privileges. They must also give up any citizenship to another country or city-state and devote themselves solely to Laccon. The children of second-class citizens may be allowed to enter soldier’s training as well. This is infrequent, however, as most take to being merchants and artisans, neither of which are respected in Laccon.

Because of their narrow focus on military prowess, the Lacconians keep a large population of slaves to work their lands and create other essential goods. Slaves are drawn from groups of prisoners taken during war and raids on lowlands areas. They are loath to actually buy slaves if it isn’t necessary. The large number of slaves and low population of citizens make the threat of revolt very real. A select group of soldiers function as a kind of ‘secret police’ to prevent it. Their task is to root out instigators and malcontents before they can cause serious harm. They are feared by the slaves since they have the power to met out punishment in any manner they see fit – including torture.

Government: The Lacconian government’s primary purpose is to function as war leaders. A council of twelve elders and a King lead them. The elders advise the King with wisdom garnered through many years of service. They are the ones who keep the Lacconian traditions close to mind. The elders are elevated to the council by mutual agreement of the people. Those who have excelled in battle and survived to a ripe old age may be offered the position. Only the King may counter the people’s decision on such a matter though he rarely does so. Such an honored seat caries a lifetime term as reward for capable and consistent service. The King’s seat is hereditary and he is expected to lead the country in war and to set all policies and laws. An unfit ruler, however, will quickly find himself unseated for another member of the family for the Lacconians do not tolerate failure in their leaders. While reluctant to do so, the charge of kingship may be transferred to another family entirely if no fit candidate can be found. This is extremely rare, though, as all members of the royal family are drilled in tactics and leadership. Lacconians have faith in the strength of blood and believe that good qualities are inherited.

Physical Description: Laccon lies in a vast basin high in the mountains. Easy to defend and difficult to siege, it is an ideal location for the city of warriors. The somewhat harsh climate and rocky soil make agriculture difficult. Slaves who work these fields find little to comfort them. The Lacconians’ dwellings are simple but sturdy and warm during the cold months. The interiors are more luxurious, decorated with trophies and spoils from campaigns. Homes for the slaves are of smaller but equally sturdy construction. The mountain pass that leads to the city is blocked by a massive, gleaming white stone wall which contains the city’s single gate. This is the only fortification in the city since the mountains themselves provide ample protection. Just inside the wall are the homes of the second-class citizens and the barracks of the soldiers who maintain the wall. Further in are the citizen’s homes, temples, and public buildings. The King’s home (hardly a palace, but the largest dwelling none the less) sits near the temple of Hextor which occupies the very center of the city. A line of soldier’s barracks separates the slaves’ homes from everything else. Beyond these are the growing fields and mining shafts. Mountain streams flow into the basin and provide plenty of fresh water.

Economy: They base the bulk of their economy on war, hiring out as mercenaries, selling surplus weapons and armor, and trading and dealing in slaves. Items and food are imported from outside as necessary. Full citizens rarely deal with money unless it is payment for services rendered. The merchant civilians, second-class citizens, are the ones who most frequently deal with outsiders and who trade goods. It is surprisingly difficult to get access to any actual leaders or soldiers.

Religious Notes: Lacconians really only honor gods who have some type of warlike quality in their portfolio. Hextor and Heironeous are the two most commonly worshipped, though Heironeous decidedly less so. Pholtus (for his more martial aspect) and Telchur (considered because of the cold climate) also have small temples dedicated to them. Erythnul has a small number of followers though they are regarded with some suspicion.

Megarra (Patron: Zilchus)

Megarra is a bustling costal city focused on trade. Nearly all citizens are trained in at least rudimentary accounting and most are familiar with the trade laws of common cities and ports all along the continent’s coast. In fact, Megarrans are known for two things: producing glorious textiles and a near universal love of money.

While perhaps not as wealthy as Dellos, Megarra has the largest and most prosperous middle class to be found in Doria. A free wheeling, independent people, Megarra provides its citizens with greater personal freedoms than any other city-state. The civil government places only moderate restrictions on its people who despise those who would seek to limit their rights.

Megarra features a large population of foreigners who come to trade or sometimes escape. Unlike most of the other city-states, Megarra offers protection and rights to non-citizens who live within its reaches.

Government: Megarra is run by an elected mayor with a five year term of office. Beneath him are all manner of city officials and civil servants who keep the city running. The relaxed attitude of the people makes for fewer conflicts and ease of execution of duties. Government service pays quite well making it a profitable career choice. The Megarran government is set up in such a way as to balance the power of various positions and to keep corruption from getting out of control. Officials are allowed a certain amount of money they may accept for favors and granting special provisions. Those who exceed this loose their office and are banned from holding one ever again. A select group of independent investigators polices the officials and metes out punishments.

Physical Description: Navigating the city may be difficult, but one can always find the harbor by following the flow of traffic. Megarra’s large port serves as the hub of all activity in the city. Items are often sold directly off the inbound ships. Those who choose to can set up shop mere yards away in the vast open market space. The port is always crowded with people and nearly anything imaginable can be purchased there. The docks are ringed with warehouses that traders may rent for longer term storage and a group of teamsters will transport cargo to anywhere in the city for a small fee.

The grand temple of Zilchus is perhaps the most impressive building in Megarra. Faced in white marble, it gleams in the sun. The temple serves as the city’s bank and recording office as well as the primary place of worship. Priests are dispatched to attend to all manners involving money and act as officials to record transference of property.

Citizen’s homes and permanent businesses are haphazardly placed in almost every other available place. Megarrans enjoy a surprisingly high standard of living with most homes being a decent size and in good repair. The affluent build mansions mingled with three story apartment buildings and bakeries. There seems to be little concern for weeding out the poor or creating ‘neighborhoods’ of like individuals. The interiors of homes are decorated in the most extravagant fashion the owner can afford. Megarrans take great pride in their houses and want to put forth the best impression of their families. Any house welcomes visitors with great zeal and hospitality.

Economy: Megarra produces some of the finest textiles in all of Doria. Supple fabrics with beautifully dyed patterns are their hallmark. The raw materials are imported but Megarran weavers are known to be industrious and highly skilled. These textiles are highly sought after by the wealthy of other states. Megarra also profits from its friendly and welcoming atmosphere which attracts travelers who come to Doria. They serve as the hub for much of the region’s trade with the outside world.

Corin (Patron: Procan)

Corin is a mid-sized coastal city that lies on the very edge of Doria. It is a city of trade but also home to some of the most skilled ship builders on the continent. Master crafters of commercial and war vessels, the Corinians have amassed a substantial wealth selling ships to other countries. They focus much of their daily lives around the sea and owe to it their prosperity and livelihood. Also of note is the city’s huge public works program. It keeps unemployment low during the seasons that the ships cannot sail.

Corinians are some of the best sailors to be found, being a practical, no-nonsense people of hardy stock. All are trained in the rudiments of navigation and ship repair. Two-years of attendance in a military school is mandatory so every Corinian can defend their city in case of an attack. Their navy is second only to that of Dellos and patrols the coast to protect merchant ships from island pirates.

While Procan is the major patron of the city, Celestian is also highly regarded. Sailors here consider his priests to be good luck on voyages and honor him for their ability to use the sky to navigate at night.

Government: Corin’s head of state is a mayoral/presidential position elected for life by the people. The government is kept small with only the minimum number of positions needed to effectively run the city. They are divided into departments whose heads are appointed by the President. The duties of each department are kept clear and simple to prevent conflicts. Any that arise are settled by the President. Some of the major departments are: The Office of the City Watch, the Ministry of Traders and Sailors, The Ministry of Shipwrights, the Ministry of City Planning and Works, and the Military Office.

Physical Description: Corin is decidedly simple. Buildings are sturdy without much ornament; clothing is practical and rather drab. Public buildings and spaces are well cared for by the ministry of city planning and works who keep the streets clean and plan out future building projects. The port functions like a well oiled machine thanks to the experienced Ministry of Traders and Sailors. Everyone knows their job and can easily direct new comers to the proper authorities for any problems that arise.

The city is well organized thanks to advanced planning, making it easy to find your way around. The Ministry buildings can be found that the end of gridded streets that bare their names with the President’s office near the city’s heart. Temples are dispersed through the city at major intersections. Small markets are arranged so that one is within easy walking distance of every residential section.

Economy: Corin makes the majority of its wealth from the sale of its ships. Fishing and trading make up much of the rest. Grains and other produce must be imported due to the lack of viable farming land.

Cadmeia (Patron: Pholtus)

An ancient city rich in association with legend and religion, Cadmeia struggles to maintain its position of importance. In times past it served as a center of mainland trade. Its central location and military security gave it a commanding position within Doria. Cadmeia endeavored to establish supremacy over their kinsmen and outlying towns. The city enjoyed great prosperity and controlled the region with little contest. Resentment from other cities grew as did the strength of other states. Cadmeia soon found itself at odds with Dellos which was rapidly gaining power and it was nearly destroyed during a heated conflict with the younger city state. The city was rebuilt but couldn’t restore its former glory. The people are still proud and ambitious, seeking ways to steal power from its competitors, but they have always been hindered by a lack of true military strength and dominating leadership.

Government: Cadmeia is governed by a caste of landholding aristocracy who jealously guard their power. They have instituted strict statues which govern the ownership of property and its transmission. Non-nobles find it nearly impossible to significantly shift their position within the stratified society.

The government practices a policy of centralization, absorbing nearby towns with greedy consistency. Common citizens have few rights and freedoms and laws are strict with harsh punishments. Foreigners who have little money will find living in the city difficult as they are closely watched and given little incentive to stay.

The Priests of Pholtus nearly all come from the noble families and ensure the church’s standing with great zeal. While other gods may be worshipped, only Pholtus has a temple in the city. All other are relegated to small shrines and home services. The government forbids any proselytizing by other faiths and deals harshly with those they feel have broken that law. The Church of Pholtus and landed gentry control every aspect of the government and are not opposed to using that power to strike at their enemies.

Physical Description: Stone walls surround the city allowing controlled access. Guards constantly man the tops of the walls and are posted at each of the seven gates. These checkpoints can be intimidating to those who have never been to the city before as the guards carefully and selectively search people entering.

Cadmeia’s stratified society is reflected in its physical characteristics. The city is divided into zones which designate where people may live and what type of structures may be built. Poorer districts are pushed as far from the center as possible. Dilapidated structures crowded with tenants mark these bleak areas whose disheartened inhabitants eek out a living as best they can. The heart of the city is a grand vision to behold. Spacious mansions with lavish gardens are the homes of the aristocracy. Everything here is in pristine condition and watchmen patrol the granite paved streets to protect the gentry. The grand Citadel occupies the very center of the city and gives the nobility refuge in times of crises. It looks like a miniature castle with thick stone walls, battlements, and barred iron gates. The temple of Pholtus maintains a prized location surrounded by ‘public’ gardens with exotic plants and magnificent fountains. Visiting dignitaries and nobility are given places to stay here. In this extravagant quarter those who are not affluent are looked upon with suspicion and might find themselves refused service at the exclusive shops and taverns. Priests of gods other than Pholtus may very well find themselves harassed by watchmen and Pholtus’ own clerics.

Economy: Much of the wealth to be found here is that of old families which trace back to when the city was Doria’s political center. Cadmeia occupies extremely fertile land which is worked by tenant farmers and owned by the aristocracy. They grow an abundance of food for the populace. The surplus is sold to other states.

Sikyon (Patron: Wenta)

Sikyon occupies the richest, most fertile area in the mainland. Four parallel rivers bring water to the fields and the mild, stable climate offers an extended growing season. The plains of Sikyon produce unique plants that can be found no where else. The citizens are proud of the excellent surroundings and endeavor to maintain its condition by caring for their environment. They are known as a quiet, hardworking people. Life is relatively simple here and is reflected in the sedate manner in which the people conduct themselves. Still Sikyians love to celebrate their fine lot and share their good fortune with everyone present. Festivals of all kinds are celebrated throughout the year and attract visitors who wish to sample the local culture.

Sikyians raise magnificent, swift horses which they take great pride in. Horse races and shows are a common feature. They love to test their horses against those of the other states, though it is rarely much of a contest. Even in defeat, the people tend to be very gracious and honor any outsider who can beat them in a fair contest.

Also of note is the Sikyian focus on family. They tend to have very large, extended families and include even distant relatives. Family members are expected to support one another and share all they have. No Sikyian with living family will find themselves homeless or starving.

Government: The head of Sikyon’s government is an elected official who presides over the representatives from major families. These representatives are sent by the largest families of each village included in Sikyon’s territory. They are expected to uphold the interests and traditions of their homes. This body administers laws and policies as well as solving disputes between citizens. Members must make themselves accessible to the public who can raise issues to their attention.

Physical Description: Sikyon itself is a small city that serves as the hub of a vast territory. Those who engage in craft and industrial related professions often choose to live in the city where there is greater access to raw materials. Buildings are simple constructions of wood which is plentiful in the area. Most citizens live in small, comfortable homes arranged in clusters of relatives. Those with a bit more money might choose to build a large house which they invite more of their family to live in.

Temples and other public buildings are generally the largest and the only structures built from stone. This makes them easy to single out even to those unfamiliar with the city. Strangers are always welcome and will find the people friendly and helpful.

Economy: The rich growing fields produce a hefty surplus of grain and other produce which are traded to other states. They also produce olive oil, fine wines, and excellent timber for export. The rivers teem with fish and there is plenty of grazing area for livestock. Sikyon’s unique medicinal herbs are dried and made into potent remedies which are highly sought after by physicians.

Sikyon is also a major industrial city with a specialty in metallurgy. The area contains little metal of its own so it must be imported from the other city states. Garments and industrial products are crafted in large quantities for export. Women’s shoes from Sikyon are something of a fashion item for the wealthy in other states.

Argolis (Patron: Heironeous)

The city of Argolis lies on an elevated, windswept plain. Its citizens have struggled with the elements and rocky soil to produce sufficient food. They are a hardy, productive, and capable people in times of war as well as peace. Honesty and duty are important tenets of their society in accordance to their reverence of Heironeous. They are held in disgrace by the other city states for refusing to send soldiers and supplies for what they felt was an unjust war with foreigners who were attempting to reclaim their homeland. Despite how long ago the incident took place, the other states give little aid so the Argives have learned to be self-sufficient. In the other cities, they are portrayed as cowards and fools and that view is spread to newcomers who pass through.

Government: The High Priest of Heironeous leads Argolis. Changes in the policies or laws which date far back into the city’s history are rare. The High Priest appoints people to various necessary positions like the city watch. Citizens execute their duties to the best of their ability.

Physical Description: Built in the shadow of a large hill and surrounded by high defensive walls on a barren plain, Argolis does not project a very inviting image. Its people are generally somber individuals who go about their work with silent determination. They are uses to being persecuted and disliked which colors their reception of visitors. Those who prove they mean no harm and have no prejudice are welcomed rather warmly and offered all the comforts the city can provide.

The buildings are crafted mainly of rubble since wood is scarce and larger blocks of stone difficult to come by. Homes tend to be small and single story with few windows to prevent the cold from seeping in. Streets are only dirt which remains frozen for the better part of the year. The temples of Heironeous and other good deities are by far the largest buildings in the city. They provide shelter to the homeless, offer care for the ill, and serve as meeting halls for gatherings.

Economy: Argolis barely grows enough food for their own population and its soil does not contain precious minerals or stones. However, the city is the home to some of the finest sculptors and artists in Doria. They export their works to the wealthy of other cities and craft statues and icons for their own temples. The church of Heironeous features a twelve foot tall white marble statue of their deity carved by a local sculptor. Poets and musicians create works of literature and song which often become popular with those outside the city. Performers frequently set up small shows on street corners to earn a meager living.

Kastri (Patron: Oeridian/Doric Pantheon)

The city of Kastri is built into a mountain not far from the coast. It is the religious center of Doria nestled into a holy mountain of Doric legend. Ancient myths say the Dorian gods descended to Oerth from this mountain in a rare show of solidarity. They battled an eternal and evil power that threatened to decimate all of Oerth, banishing it to a prison far from the planet.

Snow covered temples greet those who make the arduous trek up the mountain. It is a frigid climate where snow falls nearly all year round. The city itself consists mainly of the temple grounds with small homes scattered around. Nearly all who live in Kastri are priests or acolytes and their families since the cold gives little reason to stay. Here one can find temples and shrines to every deity in the Doric pantheon. Most of the clerics who tend the temples are of good or neutral alignment, though even clerics of evil deities will not disturb such sacred ground. All those who wish to worship are welcome.

Kastri has no government in the standard sense. High Priests act as the city’s leaders and simply ask that the expected codes of conduct be followed on temple grounds. Food and supplies are sent by churches in other states as a token of faith and the clerics can supplement this if need be. They produce nothing to export and rely mainly on donations from the faithful.

The Oracles of Kastri are what most often attract people to the frozen mountain. They are the priestesses of an ancient, primordial goddess whose name has been lost. The oracles are her clergy and worshippers and they claim she personally chooses them. She is known only as the Goddess of Mysteries and claims what can not be known or should not be known as her domain. Her sole shrine exists in a cave near the city where warm springs create sulfurous pools. Here her priestesses cast divinations and consult with their goddess. Visitors come to ask the oracles for prophesy in the hopes the enigmatic goddess will grant them an answer. Supplicants are allowed a single question per year and are not guaranteed and answer. The oracles use any manner of divination depending on personal taste. They may be granted a vision of the future by their deity though it is often cryptic and clouded. Simple questions most often get a true answer while more complex ones may get none. In rare cases, the Oracles may have a vision unrelated to the question ask. These are always important, vast prophesies that will have a lasting and great impact.


All that is left of the ancient city of Mykenae are its vast ruins. Once the political center of the region, it was finally abandoned after being decimated no less than four times. It had been conquered, burned, and its people banished. Still the Mykenai returned to their home. They believed it had been founded by a great hero from early legend and were determined to stay. In the end, the damage done to the city was too great to recover from and its citizens lost hope. A very small number of people still live in the outer edges of what was the city. These people are either hermits, treasure hunters, or those fleeing from the law of other states.

In ancient times, Mykenae was known for its fine gold work and stunning gem cutting. Even now those descended from the Mykenai carry on the tradition of craftsmanship. Jewelry crafted at the height of the city’s prosperity is rare and very valuable.

Built on a hill in the lower slopes of the mountains, Mykenae consisted of an outer and inner city. Massive stone walls of inhuman proportions surrounded the inner city giving rise to myths that they were built by the gods. The ruling class inhabited hill top palaces with artisans and merchants living just outside the city walls. The ‘Lion’ gate was the entrance to the city and still stands as guardian of the ruins.

The underground is nearly as impressive as the ruins of the city. Gigantic cisterns spanning nearly the whole width of the city collected and purified rain water for the city. Subterranean fountains also brought fresh water for the citizens. Stairways still lead from above ground into these chambers. The underground is also riddled with the tombs of nobles, kinds, and priests, many of which remain to be discovered.