The game begins in the Empire of Kirkhaven, occupying western Domonormia and eastern Protinoshki, well known for its airship military and abundant natural levistone. The Empire is about a month’s ride across at its widest part. Mountains surround the Empire’s territory on Domonormia, separating it from the other nations of the continent.
Kirkhaven is an empire under the rule of Emperor Westermol, the grandson of the Empire’s founder, Cryn. He is an older man with no heir apparent. The rulers of the five provinces of the Empire scheme and sometimes fight openly to solidfy power within the Empire. Of these, Queen Larenia Copering of Gassoria, and King Akh’tabe Sistae of the Djondill Desert Kingdoms are the most powerful.
Kirkaven holds to a strict class-based meritocratic system introduced by Emperor Cryn. From lowest to highest the classes are branded criminals, unskilled laborers, landowners - minor nobles and skilled laborers (including merchants, priests and warriors), major landed nobles, provincal rulers and their heirs, and above them all the Emperor and gods. Class mobility is rare, but possible and based on merit (although demihumans are only allowed to go as high as landed nobles.)
Citizens of the Empire dress differently based on what province they live in, though the Province of Gassoria is considered a fashion mecca, and the nobles of other provinces follow its trends. The current vogue in Gassorian fashion is to wear bright colored clothing with ichor (a rare, magical metal) jewelry.
As long as you’re human, you will find Kirkhavenians to be a tolerant people. But if you belong to one of the demihuman races, you are likely to face adversity, both socially and legally. The boundaries of the levifield, and rarity of levistone keeps Kirkhaven from having to worry about airborne threats, while the mountains and sea protect Domonormia from land or sea attack.
DETAILS AND STEREOTYPES CONCERNING PROVINCE INHABITANTS
Levistone and ichor are highly desired products and the empire trades far and wide to great profit with it. This enables the empire to import luxuries from the world over and live a bountiful lifestyle.
Justice in the empire is administered via fines or branding. (Inability to pay fines, or unwillingness to be branded results in imprisonment.) Less severe crimes are punished by fines, whose payment is used to improve the lot in life of citizens. More severe crimes, like murder, are punished with branding - the most severe punishment dealt by the empire. The brand is applied to the face, and means that the person’s life is in the hands of the gods now, not the state. The person remains free to live their lives, but they will forever be cut off from the mechanisms of the state. No guard will protect them if they are assaulted, no judge will see a case involving them, and no crime will have been committed if they are killed. Officially, weapons and magic may only be openly used by soldiers, priests and nobles, or those with special permission from the local lords - but in practice, many of the lower rungs of society have access to old pre-Empire arms and armor, and hedge magic remains popular in rural communities.
Domonormia is a fantasy setting which drops players in a world with an oppressive Empire, tense racial relations and ancient evils waiting to be freed.
Heroes can be mercenaries working for the Erivosic League, explorers trying to discover ancient magics and forgotten secrets, or freedom fighters fighting against the Empire.
Major dangers come from the Empire, which threatens the livelihood and freedom of demihumans (especially Dwarves), from the Unseelie creatures and Cthonian factions, and from the Elemental Cults who seek to free the old gods of the world from their prisons.
Magic is common, but everdweomer magic items are relatively rare, and tend to be lost in dungeons or passed down as family hierlooms. Far more common are temprorary magic items that last only a year.