Pronounced: ky-uh-go-tuh Principal Population: Elven
Kyagota - General Overview
At the mouth of the river Keryl stands the many-spired city of Kyagota. At one time surrounded by lush plains, now the Keryl provides the boundary line between the magically created Magaba Desert to the west and the fertile Plains of Erin to the east.
In similar fashion, the minds of the people seem divided to outsiders. On the one hand they delight in the creation of beautiful artwork and poetry, whilst on the other they are cold and ruthless in battle. Indeed, many of their best artists are also amongst their greatest warriors. It is said in Kyagota that the complete Elf is one who has has mastered both the Way of Peace and the Way of the Warrior. There are those who prefer to follow the Way of the Mage or the Way of the Mystic instead, but none who do not seek artistic perfection also.
Kyagota itself is a very quiet and peaceful city, unless it is attacked. Away from the training grounds, the only sounds are generally those of practicing musicians, singers and poets.
Kyagota - Society
Kyagotan society is heavily stratified, with every Elf knowing and understanding their position within the society as a whole. The Warrior Caste rule, with the Mage and Mystic castes forming the second tier. Merchants, Craftsmen & Artisans come next, followed by Workers. There are a few slaves in the city, but slavery is considered to bring dishonour upon both slave owner and slave, so is not widely practised. Two major ceremonies mark an Elf's life - Marriage and Funeral. The first is a joyous event, the second a solemn recital of the achievements of an Elf's life. A great recital of achievement brings great honour to an Elf's family, so that even in death s/he continues to be honoured and valued.
Family is the most important thing in an Elf's life, followed by Caste, City and last him/her self. No Elf will ever marry out of their Caste, and there is no movement between Castes. Each Caste takes great pride in its achievements and any action outside of Caste boundaries is considered dishonourable, bringing shame upon the Elf's family.
At the very top of Kyagotan society is the family of the Emperor. Representatives of the six most (politically) powerful families form the Council Of Warlords, who advise the Emperor. Each family selects its own representative. The power of the Emperor naturally depends upon his personal fighting skills, as he is expected to lead his armies in combat. The current Emperor, Elberan Swordsong, is not only highly intelligent but a truly formidable warrior. He is truly the power in his own realm.
The Warrior Caste keeps its women at home to breed new Warriors, seeing that as a vital job in itself, but the other Castes have not placed a flat ban on their womenfolk getting involved in their professions and many do so. Of late there has been some unrest amongst Elven women as they are hearing tales of the freedoms enjoyed by their sisters in other City States.
Kyagota - History
When the Great Cataclysm struck, the Elves were a disorganised race, ripe for destruction. Many of the older Elves perished before Salethar Swordsong saw the need for structure and unity. Many more Elves died before his vision was fully enacted, but at last a strong, unified Elven people faced the common threat. Believing that only Kyagota remained of all the once-great cities of the Shattered Realm, Salethar declared himself Emperor, and the title has stayed through four generations to the present incumbent.
Elves are naturally long lived, but a great number die in battle, meaning that the average life expectancy for a (male) Elf - particularly of the Warrior Caste - is a lot lower than it should be.
Kyagota - Laws
Each Caste has its own laws and punishments. All agree that Murder and Thievery are wrong, but punishments differ. Other actions may or may not be crimes depending on the Caste of those involved. The Warrior Caste, for example, allows duelling while the other Castes do not, classing it as Murder. Kyagotans are always tried by three respected members of their own Caste; outsiders are always tried by the Caste they have sinned against. Types of punishment vary by Caste. Everyone has the right of appeal to the Emperor, whose word is law in all things. Few exercise that right, as the Emperor is more than likely to hand down a sentence of death if he feels his time has been wasted. The Emperor himself is above the law and may do whatever he pleases. This is probably just as well as keeping within all the laws of every Caste is a virtual impossibility.
Kyagota - Favoured Deities
Kyagotans rarely if ever worship any of the Deities of the Shattered Realm. Most concluded that if said Deities were not powerful enough to protect their world, there would be little point in worshipping them. Their Mystics have discovered how to draw power from the world itself; their Mages pursue a different path of Magic to that taught by Merana, Goddess of Magic. There are no temples to the Deities in Kyagota, and clerics are regarded with some suspicion.
Explanatory note: Though it's not explicitly stated here, the character classes of the Elves of Kyagota are those found in Oriental Adventures, NOT the standard AD&D classes. Thus, their 'Warriors are Samurai, Mystics are Shukenja and Mages are Wu Jen.
This was fully detailed in a part of the manual now lost.
It was part of a world I was creating for an RPG, Shan. The world had been a pretty peaceful paradise under the rule of the God-Emperor when a vast cosmic shockwave hit the place. The God-Emperor stopped his world being destroyed, but the effort burned him out and he was killed, and the resultant backlash of magical energy created huge armies of monsters that swept over the world. The few cities that survived did so alone, and they've had about a thousand years to adapt in their own fashion. They're just starting to make contact again, but vecause of the forced social evolution they are almost unbelievably different to each other.
The Elves reacted by becoming what amounts to Fuedal Japan - highly structured with a real sense of society being more important than self.
The Goblinoids went to the opposite extreme in their city of Hyrkania, and basically ferociously outbred the death rate. They have very little social structure as such, but everyone is trained to fight from birth because they've needed that.
The Dwarves went the heavy smithing route, declaring the Grand Crusade as a way of motivating their people against the monsters. They are incredibly militant and a huge part of their armies are Paladins of Kore, god of Justice (Which if you read my Paladin notes makes them pretty darn frightening). I can't remember what their city was called.
The mage city was Arabian flavoured, being stuck in the middle of a huge desert and ruled over by the Sultan, who was a guy who would do whatever it takes to make sure his people survived. He was 'rumoured' to be head of the Assassin's Guild, too - so not a guy to mess with ;D
The city of the Sorceress was ruled over by the immortal Sorceress herself and populated entirely by physical clones of the one actual survivor of the original city - a woman, whose name escapes me. The Sorceress herself stays aloof from most of the day to day running, which is based on consensus groups and discussion between all parties, so can be a bit slow but does tend to make sure everyone has a say. It's what I imagine govt would be like if invented by women rather than men - a lot less strut & swagger, a lot more consultation.
Freeport was my merchant city, and needless to say money is everything there. It's home to the Merchant's Guild and the Warrior's Guild (Who regulate payments to its members). If you're rich you are ahero in Freeport, but if you're penniless you're nothing. And pretty much everything is viewed in terms of profit and loss. "A loathsome hive of scum and villainy" if you like.
There were others, but i don't recal them now. Suffice to say the place gave the players a LOT of choice of playable characters and backgrounds. The city states were just starting to work together to reclaim their world, but they were all used to being totally autonomous, so there was huge scope for politics, intrigue and tons of other things beyond mere killing monsters.
People and cultures with very different world views were having to work together in the name of common survival, which allowed all alignments and classes to work together, giving the players immense freedom. A concept I tend to like in my games