Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Malkai: Greatport of Ostaria

Malkai: Greatport of Ostaria: Detailed Notes. (All numbers are estimates from the Imperial Library’s observations).

Population: 17 000 permanent Citizens, 3500 non-citizens/migrant citizens.
Size: 50 sq. miles (including unpopulated districts and Windkeep ‘district‘); 20 sq. miles with more than sparse population.

Guide: The Diamond of the Shore, Malkai is ruled over by the leader of the Imperial Host (Navy) Admiral Ulris. Malkai has four main districts, constructed around the cliff face from which it rises. The largest area is Tideswell, the area which gives Malkai its rough-and-tumble image amongst the average Imperial. Tideswell is populated by the rogues and hustlers, the longshores and the sailors of the port, but the location is well regulated by the Host’s attachment of loyalist militia. Though they are crude, the men and women of Tideswell keep their hands close, and attempt to keep high crime from their port, though smuggling and assault are common. Tideswell hosts 5000 of the citizens and 3000 non-citizens (including 1200 Servitor), most of whom serve as sailors, and the occasional dock-keep. Tideswell fades into the high, zig-zagging steps which lead up to the mercantile court known as Seaside.

Seaside is where most of the day-to-day business of the Host. A large open-air market exists in the south of Seaside, bordered on its western side by the large Theatre Imperial. The Theatre, a multipurpose center built of high-cost materials on the behest of the Imperial Matriarch, serves the role of playhouse, court, and shelter for those abroad during the stormy season. Seaside hosts 2 300 citizens and 500 Servitors along a steady population of 300 non-citizens serving amongst the Host.

Seacourt is the term for the large road which comes from the Tideswell through Seaside, and encircles the district which shares its name. The District is filled with the nobility of the city, and hosts the Seaward Palace, the place where the Imperial Matriarch is found in the warmer months. Built by Iutin I for his bride, the Palace is covered in the memorabilia of the current Matriarch’s mother. Grand Matriarch Malinar’s legacy has a large influence on the region. Her Matron's Hanri (or household guard) is filled with elderly witches and trained mages, who are led by Malinar's former companion and lifelong friend Sister Queen (Kiul Huin), a tall and elegant Mescari princess who came to the Imperial household over two hundred years ago and helps the current Matriarch with the affairs of the palace.

The current Matriarch's health has improved in the last 10 years to allow her to leave the Capital; an unknown magician who granted her the health and strength to return to her favored palace disappearing as quickly as he came. Matriarch Mulnier uses her position and her Hanri to protect foreign spiritualists from her son's soldiers; in fact, some have come close to calling her a traitor, but never to the Emperor himself.

Another feature of Malkai is the Ilmat, a large Imperial jail kept on on an island out in the middle of the Western Sea protected by the Children of Sucur. The imprisoned are forced to wear magebane shackles and other magic-impairing devices. Ilmat is used for the most part for rogue spellcasters, and is kept by a unit of the Ostari Blade, and receives supplies and food from the Imperial State itself. Whereas other prisons are less clean or kept, Ilmat is still feared; the powers of the wards of the Island stem from a brutal period in the Early Imperium, and much of the magic has been corrupted. These corrupted wards make prisoners slowly lose control of their own thoughts, and the natural protections of the Children’s state assist in their control of the island.

Political Forces in Malkai:

Imperial Host: The closest power of the Imperium in the region, the Imperial Host curries favor with the Emperor, and has been rewarded handsomely. Ulris unseated a Sorcerer Imperium to take up his position as the Admiral in a brilliant sociopolitical coup. Ulris is brutal to foreign brownnosing but forgiving to his own men. He keeps a tight organization, and will not have the Matriarch interfering with his mission from the Imperial State. He has recently received calls for a new ‘mission’ from the Emperor; his strange acquisitions and placements of troops and ships out into the West has been called broad by those who question his authority, but their quiet dissent has been ignored by Ulris. The Host keeps itself at power, and follows their Orders from the lowest ensign to the Admiral himself.

Imperial Matriarch/Matron's Hanri: The members of the Matron's Hanri are all in their fifties or older, and are rumored to include a drake who roams the coast. The Drake's human-granted name is Mageshield, and its brilliant colors may be seen in a large domain around the city. Mulnier is at her wits even though her mysterious disease once prevented her from being coherent for long. Mulnier and Kiul Huin keep the Hanri to around nine members, and their meetings are secret. The Imperial Matriarch keeps the Host from arresting spiritualists and those who wear charms of the spirits as often as they can, using bribery or, in severe cases, secreted magics to assist the men in 'breaking out' from Ilmat.

Organizations or Groups of Import:

The Hanri of the Tides: A group of sailors and weatherworks, The Hanri of the Tides has established itself to protect the seas from piracy. The Hanri's leader is said to be aboard the Sea Mistress, the flagship of the Imperial Navy. Galni, a graduate of the School of Thrones, serves on the pirate-breaker as first mate, and is said to go off-vessel for times to deal with Hanri business.
Notable Symbols: Green cloth with a silver wave motif.

The Wolves of Malkai: The largest group of non-Imperial privateers on the water, the Wolves of Malkai serve on several large merchant vessels, hiding and springing themselves on pirates who do attack. The Wolves are brutal but they keep the seas clean. The Hanri of the Tide works with the Wolves quite often, though it is not necessarily a loving relationship.

Notable Symbol: A Wolf emblazoned on the shoulder of a tunic of belt's buckle.

Laws of Malkai:

= All Capital Laws apply in Malkai (though they are not always enforced).

= Piracy is punishable as Treason.

= Theft of a Merchant's living wares (i.e. slaves) can be imprisoned for a number of days not exceeding a year and a day.

Services Available:

Weatherwork: 20 gp/level + day plus share.
Passage (Zajara): 750 GP
Passage (Sea of the Western Childe): 500 GP
Play at the Imperial Playhouse: 5 cp Low Seats, 1 gp Mid Seats, 20 GP Noble Seats, 300 GP Imperial Seats

Weatherwork: A spellcaster of some skill, the Weatherwork serves to set the magewind and to protect the boat from simple waves and other simple conditions. Weatherworks are usually Adepts and claim a share as if they were a captain’s man (as a normal member of the crew).

Passage: For the average person, mid-deck, double-occupancy on a freight. Higher prices may be asked for the boarding of animals or cargo, while lower prices are given to mages who wish to work on some vessels as weatherworks.

Play at the Imperial Playhouse: Used as a place of social interaction, the Playhouse is one of the few times when the Imperial Matriarch is seen by the ‘common people’. Each level of seats is better than the one before, from the standing of he Low Seat to the luxurious Imperial Seats in balconies overlooking the theatre.

Good Gaming,



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