From Dragon Eye Atlas
|Official Name||Empire of Vericum|
|Dominant religion||Faith of Nesra|
While it is by far the largest and most powerful realm, it is by no means a unified entity. The empire is made up of the kingdoms and smaller realms that came together or were conquered to form it, and many of them have retained a large part of their autonomy.
The Empire is led by an Emperor to whom all nobles ultimately owe allegiance. Only the dukes and imperial provinces, however, swear directly to the Emperor as the basic structure of the Empire is still feudal.
The title of Emperor is not hereditary in Vericum. Upon the death of an Emperor, the major nobles of the realm will gather and elect a new Emperor from amongst themselves. The Emperor loses all previous titles and holdings, which in practice means he will hand them off to a family member such as his younger brother. He also does not use his family name in official matters, all in order to demonstrate that he is impartial and above the usual noble squabbles.
With the creation of the empire, the noble ranks have been unified as well. They are now as follows:
- Lord (the formal title for knights who hold no higher ranks)
The Imperial Codex is applied universally throughout all of Vericum, granting equal rights and laws to all its citizens, though enforcement of some parts varies. There are also the old, pre-empire local laws still in force. As a whole, the empire is much less unified than most other realms, especially culturally.
Vericum is officially a human realm, and only humans can join the nobility. A few dwarves have been grandfathered in by exception clauses at the founding, but there are no new dwarf nobles. Non-humans can hold offices or join the military only with permission of the local lord. There are also a number of lesser racial laws that are more or less strictly enforced depending on the local militia and political climate:
- elves are not allowed to own, buy or sell horses
- elves are not allowed to own land or real estate (most of them would not want to nor understand the concept of "land ownership" anyways)
- any elf who is found trying to seduce a human woman is to be hanged naked by his feet upside-down for two days
- if he is caught in bed with her (i.e. seduction completed), his feet, hands and member are to be cut of and he is to be thrown into the nearest river to drown
- no such rules exist for female elves
- dwarves must mark the entrance doors of their homes with a "clear indication" that this is a dwarven household. Dwarven symbols carved into the door post are commonly used, even though many dwarves believe them simply to be a tradition
- dwarves may not compete in drinking or brawling competitions where humans compete
- dwarves may not use an ironic tone-of-voice when addressing a member of the royal family as "your highness"
- gnomes found in the possession of thieving tools are to be considered guilty until proven innocent
- gnomes are forbidden to work as cooks in taverns or inns unless they own the establishment
Population & Cultures
Most of the population of the empire is human, but there are considerable minorities of all other civilized races present throughout.
Elladan is the dominent culture in Vericum. In the west and southern edges, the Kiswaili culture is strong. In the east, some provinces are strongly influenced by Tallian culture and the north has both Luari and dwarven cultural influences. But the empire has not existed for long enough to allow a true multi-cultural society or identity to emerge.
With the passing decades and the imperial projects such as the Imperial High Road, these barriers begin to break down. Already along the High Road, traditions of hospitality and travel have begun that span many provinces.
Due to its sheer size, Vericum has a varied and complex economy that covers almost every aspect of economic activity. The empire could be self-sufficient if it was necessary, but it has extensive trade relations with most of its neighbours, especially the dwarven kingdom of Ebronland and the dwarven-human Principality of Hanzatia.
Travelling craftsmen and merchants are a common sight within the empire, in part due to tax and road toll benefits that the emporer has issued specifically in order to bring more trade to smaller villages. Many villages that do not have their own smith, cobbler, priest or healer now enjoy regular visits by such craftsmen who either travel occasionally from their regular place of commerce or are even constantly on a tour through an area. Likewise, many travelling merchants bring goods between villages and towns, usually food or raw materials in one direction and manufactured goods in the other.
The roads within Vericum are sometimes excellent and sometimes terrible. Main roads, especially, are often in good condition and parts of them are even paved with stone slabs or at least have a gravel surface, and are thus not so easily turned into mud by rain. Smaller roads, however, are sometimes little more than levelled earth and depending on season and weather can be anything between comfortable and impassable. A unique feature of Vericum are the Imperial High Roads, a set of high-quality roads that connect the major parts and cities of the empire. While still under construction in a few remote parts, they have already contributed greatly to trade and travel within the realm.
Many of the main roads and some of the lesser roads are patrolled by the Road Wardens, a military police unit responsible for keeping them reasonably clear of bandits and reporting on any problems along the roads. In many villages the Road Wardens also serve as local police or judges whenever they happen to pass through, as they have a generally good reputation within the empire, especially in the south.
The empire is not only the largest, but also the youngest major realm on the continent. Its founding 67 years ago marks the end of The Century of War. It took two years of diplomacy to bring old enemies together, and a frenzied week at castle Phonas when it all seemed to fall apart and the representatives of Hanzatia had already announced that while they were still good for a general peace treaty, Hanzatia would abstain from joining the empire. This caused frantic activity, and the surprise consent on Earl Secamur as the first Emperor finally nailed negotiations down. Two days and nights later, the Empire of Vericum had been officially founded.
This page is still incomplete and missing content or details that are planned, but have not been added yet.