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A Gentleman's Survival Guide to the Empire of Iuris
The Empire of Iuris, despite being united under a single banner, is one of the most diverse and interesting lands in which I, Lloyd William Ribble, have walked. Its people are many in personality, attitude, and demeanor. From the frigid lands of the northern snowy mountains to the humid air of the southern jungles, there is bound to be appeal found in one of Iuris’s fifty regions and hundreds of towns. I, Lloyd William Ribble, a world-traveled adventurer, completed my ten year long journey to chronicle the assorted and disparate territories of this mighty empire.
II. The People
Iuris is home to many races of people. Humans reside in settlements ranging from humble hamlets to cyclopean citadels. Elves make their homes in the forest, though high elves often mingle among the human populace, and Drow take to dwellings within the Underdark (a place I did not visit willingly, mind you). Dwarves live in hillside forts and mountainous cities. Halflings have few designated settlements. Those few are found in the lower hills, but many Halflings find their home in a roving caravan. At times, Halflings will also join Human settlements and (rarely) Dwarven lands. Aside from several forts located on high mountains, Dragonborn have no true lands of their own. Gnomes (particularly Deep Gnomes) often make homes alongside Dwarves, and during my travels, I found no place dominated by a Gnomish population. Half-elves find a place in either Human or Elven settlements, though I always found them a bit distant to their half-kin. Half-orcs are also found in Iuris. Seldom are they seen outside more tribal human villages, but some find work as top rate mercenaries and soldiers. Tieflings are rarely make their homes outside Human settlements, and it isn’t uncommon for the Human populace to act wary around them. Genasi are also present. Air Genasi, I’ve noticed, prefer the colder regions of Hemlig, while Water Genasi are most often found in the Hema Aina territory. Fire Genasi are most prominent in the scorching sands of Algharbi, and Stone Genasi seem rather spread even throughout the entire empire. Mighty Goliath tribes exist in the mountains, but they too swear fealty to the Emperor. Aarakocra, I’ve noticed, were rare, but they may be due to my reluctance to venture far up Iuris’s tallest mountains, where the Aarakocra most often make their homes. Warforged are perhaps the least populace of the empire, and almost exclusively live in Human cities. Denizens of Hemlig, Algharbi, and Hema Aina often have variant homes to those found in the more populous Galytir; for example, rather than forests, Elves tend to live in the jungles, and Dwarves live in mesas and plateaus in Algharbi.
III. The Nobility
The political structure of Iuris is a rather simple system adopted from the early days of the Empire. Each rank has a certain level of control over the lands and a limited amount of power they may exercise. Iuris’s nobility follow this structure, from the bottom of the chain, to the top: Sir/Dame (often knights in service to a higher ranking noble), Lord/Lady, Baron/Baroness, Viscount/Vidame, Count/Countess (equal rank with Earl, the female form of which remains Countess, and Jarl, the more commonly used title in Hemlig), Marquis/Marquise, Duke/Duchess, Prince/Princess, Archduke/Archduchess (often a sibling of the sovereign ruler), Crown Prince/Crown Princess, and Emperor/Empress. During my travels, I heard few tales of noble houses conspiring against one another or the royal family. Emperor Carolus Palatinate, the head of the Royal Family of Iuris and the sovereign ruler of the Empire of Iuris, is viewed by many in the nobility as a just ruler who rules with a clear mind and strong grip.
IV. The Wilderness
Venturing into the wilderness of Iuris is a task as daunting as stepping into a red dragon’s cave, naked, smelling of seasoned beef, and covered in volatile oil (I assure you, I’ve never done the latter). You can barely go a day of travel without encountering something that wants to hunt you, eat you, kill you, disembowel you, roast you, burn you, strangle you, rip you, slash you, stab you, claw you, jeer you… it can be an unpleasant experience. Many mercenaries find good work in protecting the more rugged adventurers who seek treasures in the seldom-traversed wilderness of Iuris. Galytir’s wilderness is perhaps the safest, and even then prepare to hide when the shadow of a roc darkens your day. Hemlig is arguably the most dangerous, but the purple worms of Algharbi is more dangerous than any other beast in Iuris. This excludes dragons, of course, but the metallic dragons tend to keep the chromatics in check.
V. The Towns
Human settlements, as I have stated, are differing and many. The average population of a Human settlement is around five thousand and four hundred men and women, and this is a figure for Humans alone. Adding in the population of other races increases the average by several hundred, closer to five thousand and seven hundred. Many of the larger settlements utilize magic to help the daily lives of its residents, a rarity due to the Charter of Arcane Restriction. A few of the largest settlements rely on this help due to their sheer size. Elven villages rarely exceed more than a couple hundred in terms of population, and many of them are trained with the use of a bow should the need to defend themselves arise. Dwarven forts located often dig into the hills, but they do not compare to the cities built by Dwarves who live in mountains. As I have never been to one of their settlements, I cannot speak on the dwellings of Aarakocra. Genasi seem to live in relative solitude and have no homes outside of the lands of other races.