The Guild Union of Shidrus
Often abbreviated to The Guild Union, or simply The UnionKingdom Race: Halflings
- Halflings are older than Humans but younger than Dwarves and Elves. They are shorter than Dwarves but have a look more Human. They are known mostly for their humor and large, hairy feet over anything else. They are not particularly fond of warfare and prefer trading and bartering. They are often characterized by curly hair and big smiles. Average lifespan of 200 years.
Stable Culture - The Halfling way of life is everlasting. While Humans may have civil wars, Dwarven customs change and the Elves ponder their laws, the Halfling way of life is set in the proverbial stone. Tea time and second lunch will always be there, and even in wartime these ancient customs will never be forgone.
* Halfling Kingdoms start out with a base of 4 Cultural Points a week.
Frail - Halflings are not meant for war. They're shorter than most, and although Halfling warriors are fierce in their own regard, history has shown that a life without war is much preferred over one with war. Most Halflings that fight do so out of necessity rather than preference.
* Halflings have decreased efficiency in battle.
The Halflings of Shidrus are a hardy lot. Generations of living in the harsh cold of their homeland, contending with wild beasts and each other has made them leaner and paler than their mainland cousins. Shidaran halflings have dark hair, often black, and pale skin. Unlike most types they have been known to often grow beards. Kingdom Size:
Moderate - A moderate kingdom possesses a capital and two cities, as well as having adequate land surrounding all three settlements for sufficient growth. A moderate sized kingdom is ripe both for growth as well as conquest.
* Has two cities and the Capital.
Name of the Capital and surrounding Cities (if any):
Nishlan (Capital) - Situated between the Sanar and Murrahul mountain chains, Nishlan is protected from the fierce winds that sweep the plains, making shipping through the Shadlus Sea safe and easy. Nishlan is the capital of the Union of Shidrus, and the Union Hall overlooks the sprawling ports through which much of Shidrus' wealth flows.
Dadlir (Port City) - The second largest port city, Dadlir is situated on the frigid plains to the east of Nishlan and the mountains, an unpleasant location for travel, but ideal for fishing and industry in the larger sea. Dadlir's status makes it a good out-of-the-way port for merchants seeking cheaper shipping. Dadlir is somewhat conservative, and is one of the few locations to still have a Prince. Prince Shar Lasnor of Shalinan, whose office grants him little more than some social status as an especially respectable citizen.
Sal (Mountain City) - The only inland city in Shidrus, Sal is a small, dirty mountain town situated in the far southwest of Shidrus. It grew out of some old mines, long gone, and acts as a central meeting and organizational hub for inland activity heading to and from the ports. Compared to Nishlan and Dadlir, Sal is dirty and plebian, but not so much that most people can tell.
-- (Please give a detailed description of the kingdom and it's cities).Kingdom Government: Confederacy
- A confederacy is a patchwork of states coming together under a shared banner for a single purpose. They have each decided to support eachother financially, militarily and politically to consolidate their power. A confederacy is power in ways of unity and offering multiple views, but it is weak in that disagreements are often common, and full unanimity is required in all decision making.
* NOTE: This government allows the Kingdom to choose up to three races.
* Elves and Dwarves may not be in the same confederacy.
* Lizardmen and Avians may not be in the same confederacy.
Interkingdom Trade - The confederacy can be seen as two or three kingdoms trading between each others at all times as they still maintain a small form of autonomy. Because of this, even without exterior trade agreements the confederacies economy will still grow.
* 5 Economic Points are awarded every week as a base, even without any Trade Agreements or Resource Nodes.
* Natural Resource Nodes do not generate Economic Points unless being traded to other kingdoms.
Unanimity - Unfortunately, for a confederacy to work the interconfederate kingdoms must come together in unanimity to make a decision. Disagreement amongst the smaller kingdoms can lead to an army at only half strength, or an unfinished trade agreement.
* Decisions take longer to make and without 100% unanimity many decisions will require compromise.
* If this government is chosen, you must choose a "Primary Race" for which to receive pros and cons so that you do not receive multiple racial bonuses.
Shidrus is ruled by the four Guilds, each of which has a separate sphere of jurisdiction and influence based off of their membership and focus. These guilds maintain the bureaucracy and organization necessary to maintain a cohesive government. The only National government is the Union Council, which is made from representatives of the four guilds. The Council is in direct command of the Guild Union Army and Navy, but nation bureaucracy and legal systems are tied into the guilds themselves. The Council mostly acts as a meeting place where the guilds can coordinate their actions for the sake of efficiency rather than an overarching government.The Four Guilds:Didlasi Guild:
Originally a mercenary guild during the Guild Wars, Didlasi has since grown to dominate administration posts, city maintenance, civic workers and similar jobs. Much of the Guild Union Army is Didlasi. Because of its specializations the guild tends to be strong in cities, but have a sparse presence in rural areas. Didlasi’s administration is highly autocratic and authoritarian, making them a more conservative guild in generalShalinan Guild:
Shalinan is considered a merchant’s guild, but besides merchants they also cover traders, shipping, shop owners, bankers, and other commerce-related roles. The guild provides significant support for its members, often in the form of financial backing and logistics. Like Didlasi, Shalinan is a somewhat authoritarian guild, with position based on merit and seniority. Stereotype would categorize Shalinan as a pack of coin-counters and hucksters, but the guild facilitates much of Shidrus' economic growth by backing and insuring innovation and trade.Guild of Nashkir:
Nashkir is a professional guild comprised of craftsmen, skilled workers, and their apprentices. The guild provides training for its members and ensures job security and good treatment. Its structure is focused around seniority and cooperation, with representatives from different trades having their say and master craftsmen having a great deal of influence.Guild of Hathrkan:
Hathrkan is the most populous guild by membership, covering all laborers, unskilled workers, and farmers. The guild does not have such an elaborate support program as the others, but provides solid benefits such as unemployment support, job security, and lodging that appeals to its particular roster. Hathrkan is also known for its more egalitarian structure, being the only guild to host elections and be ruled by a council instead of a guildmaster.Kingdom's Population Size and Population Growth:
Growth of 1,200 a weekKingdom's National Trait: State Academies
- The kingdom has established one or more academies that are at least partially sponsored for by the kingdom. These academies are put in place in order to advocate the existence and spread of a certain type of lifestyle. Commerce Guilds advocate trading and selling, Theater Guilds advocate the spread of the arts, Warrior Guilds advocate the founding of soldiers and Smithing Guilds advocate the spread of building and engineering.-- Commerce Guilds
: These guilds will establish themselves within neighboring kingdoms and began small time trading. Receive 3 Economic Points per week per capital that the Commerce Guilds have established themselves in.
More than simply trade organizations, the Guilds of Shidrus form its government and organization, its very lifeblood. They operate not only as systems of trade, but also as the centers of bureaucracy and society within the Union. Guildmembers from one village will be welcome at halls across the land, and many a guildhall hosts events and sports accommodations for visitors. With the establishment of the Union and peace in Shidrus, the guilds have now turned their attention outward.Colonialism
- Kingdoms that practice colonialism believe in seeking out and finding trade and resources rather than waiting for them. They will explore new lands, establishing outposts and trade routes as they go, which will bring new wealth and resources from distant lands. Kingdoms that are colonial in nature may also establish colonies, addendums to their kingdoms that are not connected to the kingdom to fund interkingdom trading.
* Allows the establishment of Colonies. Colonies require at least 2,000 citizens and can only be placed in an area where a Natural Resource Node has been discovered.
* Colonies require a payment of 2 Economic Points per 1,000 citizens to maintain.
* Trade Agreements are allowed between Colonies and the Kingdom.
* Much larger chance of finding Natural Resource Nodes.Kingdom's Military Trait:Master of the Seas
- The kingdom has long used the sea as a source of food and power. Building ships and sailing the open waters is a traditional custom and they've got it down to an exact science. Few others can build ships in such a manner, and no other kingdoms have better sailors than this kingdom.
* All ships are considered Veteran.
* All ship prices are decreased by 1 Military Point.
In the frozen lands of Shidrus, the ocean has always been a source of life and welfare. A thriving industry of fishermen and whalers has sailed the seas for generations, learning the art of sailing in the hazardous waters of the coast. With the Age of Exploration those skills have been put to good use, building ships that can circumnavigate the world and face both rough seas and enemy ships.Kingdom's Economic Trait:Financing
- Kingdoms with the financing trait have developed institutions such as banks, guilds, or corporations. These institutions have the money to fund large expeditions and insure risky endeavors, giving the kingdom an economic edge. However, financing also increases the volatility of the market as money can be gained and lost swiftly.
- Generates 2 Economic Points per week
- Kingdoms with Financing may take out loans (Economic Points) and pay them off at a later date, maximum of 50 Economic Points.
- Kingdoms may also give out loans to other kingdoms.
- Kingdom has increased market volatilityKingdom's Social Trait:Martial Tradition
- The people of the kingdom have a long tradition with war. They know how to fight, and their history tells the story. Those neighbors around them understand it and are fearful, or at least woe at the thought of negotiating with a people who are so eager to fight, but it matters not for this kingdom. Fighting is what they're good at!
* Greatly increases martial prowess in battle.
* Decreases Cultural Points by 1 a week.
* Can take Prisoners of War. Prisoners of War may be enemy soldiers who have surrendered, or if in enemy territory they can be hostile citizens of an enemy kingdom. Every 500 prisoners taken generate 1 Economic Point.
Shidrus has a long history of strife and warfare, fueled by the harsh life and few resources of their homeland. Although the Union has imposed a prosperous peace, the Guild Union Army is still a highly respected institution and an arm of the Union's trade policy. The GUA has imposed strict and brutal training regimes on its troops, forging battle-hardened soldiers out of mere halflings.Kingdom's Weakness Trait: Low Natural Resources
- The kingdom has either exhausted its supply of natural resources, or their ancestors simply settled in a poor location. The kingdom has no natural resources to speak of, save their supply of foodstuffs to feed the population.
* Kingdom starts with only Foodstuffs resources.
* Chances of finding new resources within the kingdom are very low.
* Kingdom may pick one additional non-weakness trait.
Shidrus is a harsh land. nine months out of a year there is snow on the ground, and there is a running joke - although only half jest - that the reason behind the Age of Exploration is that nothing is worse than Shidrus itself. Although the land has abundant forests, and likely rich resources underneath the ice, the difficulty in exploiting and transporting these resources makes their widespread use impossible. Rocs and other beasts can make even normal travel dangerous, although the Union has made great strides in improving the safety of travelers.Kingdom's Military / Military Spending:
Guild Union Army Forces:
2 Companies of Light Infantry
4 Companies of Heavy Infantry - 16 MP
Guild Union Navy Forces:
11 Triremes - 33 MP
3 Galleys - 15 MP
68/69 MP SpentKingdom's Resource Nodes / Economy:
Foodstuffs - Foodstuffs are staple foods raised in farms as agriculture, or hunted in the forests and on the plains in order to feed the entire population. They are absolutely essential to the livelihood of a kingdom and without it, a kingdom will quickly drop into recession and its people will begin to starve and die at an alarming rate.
* Feeds the entire population.
* Portion of the population will begin to starve if a Moderate or Massive amount is traded away.
* Generates 1 Economic Point a week unless being traded away in a Moderate or Massive amount.
Foodstuffs: 0 EP
Total: 10 EPKingdom's Cultural Points:
3Kingdom History:The Prince's Era:
The Prince's Era refers to the early period of Shidaran History, stretching from before the Guild Wars all the way back beyond recorded history. During this era, Shidrus was more a patchwork of settlements, towns, and villages than a unified country. The harsh weather made travel difficult and large-scale government of the traditional sort impossible. This disorganization in turn made travel even more dangerous as dangerous beasts, bandits, and infighting were common and impossible for small-time rulers to deal with. Every town or village had its own "Prince" who ruled as best he could, but his influence only went as far as the village borders. The weather was such that a Prince could dispatch an army to topple his rival, only to be cut off from his newly conquered land for a month by a blizzard and discover upon its subsiding that the town already had a new ruler.
Despite the lack of cohesion, or perhaps because of it, strife was common but war was rare. Raids, pillaging and small-time attacks were common between enemy princes, who could hurt one another even if they could not conquer. Life on the coasts was slightly more civilized thanks to the bounty provided by the sea, and Shidrus' only cities developed on the coasts.The Guild Era:
The rise of Guilds utterly transformed Shidaran society. At first, guilds were small organizations of craftsmen, working together to perpetrate their trade. Craftsmen in a guild would welcome one another to their homes when they traveled and train apprentices in their work. As years passed these organizations grew into intricate bureaucracies with their own traditions, fields of expertise, property and benefits as they stretched across Shidrus.
The rise of the Guilds has been credited by Shidaran scholars to their flexibility and cohesiveness. A Prince ruled by force of arms and his reputation; because he could not travel or send armies to conquer the land, he could not extend his power beyond the town he ruled. The Guilds, on the other hand, functioned through fellowship, exclusivity, and bureaucracy. A guildmember could travel from one end of Shidrus to the other and be welcome at any guildhall along the road by virtue of his membership. Every Guildhall could function autonomously within its own village, adhering in its own way to its guild's rules and customs. Bureaucracy and record-keeping allowed guilds to keep track of their members across the far ranges of Shidrus. Guilds could also absorb losses and front costs that individuals could not, making risky ventures across Shidrus possible.
These advantages allowed the Guilds to quickly expand their power and influence across Shidrus. Organizations arose by the dozens to cover every profession and walk of life, often competing for membership. With their organization, life in Shidrus began to improve. Warden Guilds patrolled the roads and hunted dangerous beasts, Merchant Guilds insured trade between villages and made risky ventures profitable, and various civil Guilds improved roads and infrastructure. As the years passed the influence of various Princes waned and the Guilds grew more powerful.The Guild Wars:
In XX AE, after a prolonged quarrel and embargo between Prince Shar of Mathik and the Dondivas Guild, Shar officially capitulated and ceded control of Mathik to the Dondivas. This precedent-setting event marked the first time that a Prince was overthrown and a Guild became sovereign over a territory. Dondivas' position as sovereign was quickly challenged by the 11 other guilds in Mathik, who perceived that Dondivas would operate only for its own advantage. What began as political quarreling eventually broke out into open warfare as the various guilds hired mercenaries and thugs to extrapolate their viewpoints.
From this event arose the Guild Wars. With the Capitulation of Prince Shar, the last shred of traditional government was torn down; the various Princes were either relegated to figureheads, puppets for the guilds, or simply removed from office. Conflict followed as the various Guilds vied for control, and the same mechanisms that made the Guild successful brought a new benchmark of warfare to Shidrus.
Unlike a Prince, who was the sole power in his territory, there were often several guilds in any given town, and with such division the guilds could easily bring warfare to the streets, hiring thugs or mercenaries to fight against other guilds, striking at warhouses, guildhalls or other assets. If one guildhall was attacked, it was a sure thing that neighboring halls in the region would send aid. For the first time, open warfare and battle became parts of Shidaran culture, fought in the very streets of its towns. And although much of the strife was military, the guilds fought with all resources at their disposal. This was an era of trade alliances, backstabbing and intrigue as well as blood.
The wars lasted for 91 years, ebbing and rising as situations changed. The first two decades, the Early Years
or Bloody Years
were horrific downright free-for-alls, seeing the destruction of dozens of guilds and thousands of lives. Many of the smaller guilds were knocked off at this time, as the larger ones began to expand their membership rosters and swallow weaker organizations. After this time was the First Interregnum
, followed by the Great Wars
. The Great Wars are often considered the most horrific part of the Guild Wars. They were less chaotic but more meticulous than the Bloody Years; guilds had the size and power to marshal true armies and face each other other entire regions rather than in single locales. Following the Great Wars a Second Interregnum
occurred. By this time, there were only a handful of large guilds left standing. The Second Interregnum was followed by the short and brutal Spider War
, so called because of its results. The Guild Union Charter:
The Spider War heralded the end of the Guild Wars. It was a short war, only a few years long, the quickly revealed how much had changed in Shidrus. The Big Four guilds had by that time swallowed up all of Shidaran life, encompassing the entire society. As the guilds attempted to fight one another they quickly found it to be impossible due to the intertwining of their functions. Shalinan, no matter how wealthy, could not do without Nashkir's craftsmen, and all of the guilds were big enough to defend their rosters. Thus the term "Spider War:" as the guilds went to fight one another, they found themselves tripping over the webs that connected them.
Exhausted by nearly a century of conflict and disorder, and seeing that they relied upon one another, the four guilds agreed to a peace. In a historic meeting the guilds signed the Guild Union Charter, which recognized the four guilds as sovereign over their rosters, established a national council, and created the Guild Union Army while also forbidding the four guilds from maintaining private armed forced. The great city of Nishlan was established as the capital of the newly created government, and a new holiday (Signature Day) was established to celebrate the inception of peace.The Early Years:
Decades of strife and warfare could not be immediately wiped away by the signing of a treaty, and the early years of the new Guild Union were devoted to recovery. Burned down villages and damaged towns were rebuilt and repaired, infrastructure was improved. The new Guild Union Army, at that point largely made up of former mercenaries and criminals, was set to patrolling the roads. Animosity between the guilds, set aside for the sake of peace, was still strong. The guilds had yet to learn how to coordinate their actions, and there was much loss of efficiency due to miscommunication. Nonetheless, the early years were a time of optimism. The wars were over, things were getting better, and parents saw in their children a generation untainted by the memories of death and destruction.
The movement towards stability and progress was aided by the Heruth Reforms
. Savn Heruth was a Didlasi halfling who rose through the ranks of the Guild Union Army in the XX's. At this time, the GUA was largely unorganized, being a mishmash of former thugs, criminals, and mercenaries from the wars, jumbled together into a national army and set to hunting bandits. Heruth found the condition of the army appalling, and by luck of heredity was able to vent his frustration to his uncle, a high-ranking member of Didlasi. To his amazement, Heruth was appointed commander of the GUA, and given a carte-blanc mandate by a newly prosperous Guild Council to whip the army into shape. Heruth went about his work with zeal.
Drawing on the lessons of warfare learned in the Guild Wars, he implemented a standard armament for soldiers that was ideally suited for brutal melee combat, both one-on-one and in formations. He also imposed a uniform organization for the army based off of magnitude rather than archaic groupings such as "squad" or "company." But these reforms, while great, were not enough for the commander. An army, no matter how well organized, was nothing without strong soldiers. Heruth's most difficult and most enduring reform was the implementation of a brutal training regimen, focusing on improving the strength and endurance of his soldiers. The training often involved savage beatings and drills in frozen land, and drove many former soldiers to quit.
When he retired at the age of 169, the Guild Union Army had been completely reformed. Its organization, once chaotic and difficult to follow, was now clear and easily controlled. Its soldiers, once rowdy and unruly, were now disciplined machines of war and patriotic citizens. The Army shifted from being a dubious and lowlife occupation to a post of honor within Shidaran society, and the new Guild Union Navy was off to a budding start thanks to the same rigorous principles that had reshaped the army. Heruth is today considered the father of the GUA, and enshrined within its institutions.The Era of Exploration:
As new generations grew up in the now peaceful and prosperous Union, the limitations of their homeland became apparent. Life in Shidrus had always been hard, and although the guilds brought a great deal of security and support, the land simply didn't have the riches to support an empire. Not only that, but the booming prosperity and power of the guilds brought a sense of destiny and optimism to Shidarans. With the might of the guilds, the newly reformed army, and a secure homeland, many felt it was time to look beyond their homeland.
The new Guild Union Navy was tasked with this momentous undertaking. In the past decades, famous explorers like Admiral Damil and Sal Mishlan have charted new continents, ventured to foreign lands, met with strange and primitive people, and brought news of their exploits back to an eager Shidrus. These halflings are now household names, and many Shidarans look with eagerness across the waves, to lands with resources just waiting to be brought back to their homeland.Culture:The Guildhall:
The center of society in Shidrus is the guildhall. Every Guildhall acts as a headquarters for the local guild branch. As such it houses the local administrators, the guild offices, and all the guild’s records and rules. However, guildhalls also act as social centers, and often have meeting rooms, recreational areas, lodging for travelers and guests, and other amenities. Guild members can spend time socializing in the halls, and take part in guild meetings and business. Like a local tavern, church, or bathouse in other cultures, the Guild Hall is a place for people to relax after work, enjoy themselves at leisure, and get involved with the community.
Alcohol: Alcohol is one of the cultural staples of Shidarans everywhere. They don’t drink quite as much as dwarves, but they prefer good thick ale and drink often. Many a night can be spent arguing around a table with a good mug. Shidarans are not fans of getting drunk though, a good drink is to be enjoyed in discussions of local affairs or politics, used as a source of community rather than a quick was to get a buzz.
Gender: Shidrus is a predominantly patriarchal society. Males work and females stay at home. Many marry shortly after maturation, often as young as twenty-five or even twenty, but it is also quite common for Halflings who join the military or travel to distant lands to wait a few decades before marrying.
While considered less than men, Shidaran females are still anything but doormats. The strong-willed, bossy wife who watches carefully over her husband’s shoulder is a well-worn stereotype, and young females who aren’t afraid to punch their suitors for an ill-timed remark are considered attractive, while more timid females are often told to be a bit more "boisterous."