Avonia refers to the region controlled by the city-state of Avongate. A breadbasket of productive fields and dotted with villages and towns, this region was once considered the heart of civilization for mankind. Avongate was referred to as the Imperial City and from here an empire was once commanded.
The Healing of the World while beneficial on a global scale, left the old empire in disarray. Some provinces looked to Avongate for guidance and leadership. And the found it. But other regions, unhappy with the rule and trend toward assuring freedom and rights to common people that the Avongate government was making, took the opportunity to break away while Avongate was too busy putting its own house back in order to look to more distant provinces.
In the end, Avonia itself expanded to encompass the once nearly-independent provinces of Ganth and Ganha. While possessing strong and loyal leadership in those former provinces, they lacked the resources to rebuild infrastructure. So, the high lords and high ladies that ruled these regions relinquished province status and became a formal part of Avonia. In exchange, the Queen of Avonia granted new titles and worked to help them rebuild their cities, towns, roads and in general adapt to the new world.
Three provinces broke away from the old empire. Two, Lynfirth and Tera, fractured under pressure from the rising power of Ragonia and internal political strife. Independent cities of Terandun and Caer Lynfirth remain under the control of their traditional leaders, but they did not merge with Avonia. Since the empire is dissolved, they consider themselves independent and established a loose alliance with the towns and villages around them that they once ruled. By allowing these smaller settlements to become independent, the leadership was not burdened with the cost of rebuilding. However, this region is now rife with lawlessness and other brigandry. Merchants travel under heavy guard and the regents of Caer Lynfirth and Terandun hire mercenaries and adventurers to deal with the worst of the outlaws — with mixed results.
The third province to break away was Vergras, which wasted no time casting aside the progressive laws of the empire and establishing itself as the new kingdom of Ragonia and rapidly expanding its borders, especially to absorb vast new lands to the south that were added as a result of the Healing.
Avonia is mostly human, with some gnomes, lunar elves, and a scattering of half elves. Dwarf merchants arrive from a secret kingdom in the Black Mountains to trade, as well as from the distant kingdom of Darrok.
Concerned with the expansionist tendencies of the new kingdom of Ragonia, Avongate has supported the Midland Cities' independence as a kind of buffer between Avonia and Ragonia.
The following bullet points are representative of the attitude of a typical Avonian.
- We know we are the last true culture of mankind.
- We indulge in entertainment industry while remaining progressive in our culture.
- We will always stand by our allies because we know their worth.
- We are suspicious of nations that are not allies. And our only allies are the lunar elves.
- We will never forget the dragons and dragon lords that came to our aid (for a price), in the Avonian Civil War during the days of the Empire.
The following aspects represent people revered in this culture and who represent the ideals of the culture. These are roles that can be attained within the culture. They, or variations of them, can be used to help define an NPC aspects.
- Citizen Aristocrat of Avongate, Veteran of the Avongate Expeditionary Legion, Magic-wielding Noble, A Knight Wielding Elemental Powers
The following one-word descriptive adjectives or nouns can be used to describe what things this culture values. Use them to help fill out aspects for NPCs and to help provide a deeper sense of who the people of this culture are.
More than five centuries ago, the people of Avonia comprised nearly all that remained of humanity. Having lost their homeland and their cities due to the conflict between gods and titans that tore the world into piece, the Last Emperor Capio Caldus made a plea to the newly-awakened spirit Stormhawk. Stating that once the minions of the titans had destroyed humanity, there would be no one left to protect the earth from corruption and destruction by the titans. Stormhawk saw the truth of this and founded an alliance between elemental spirits and mankind's greatest champions. With powers of the elements to aid them, these humans were able to establish a new realm and fight back their enemies. Rulers that came after Emperor Caldus took the title of High Prince instead, as a sign of the great respect the country had for their savior. When the Healing of the World occurred, the elemental spirits returned to the earth, but the power they had given to many champions, now comprising the powerful noble class of Avonia, remained.
In the centuries after the Empire of Avonia was formed, decadence and elitism set in. It took a long time to for the people of Avonia to realize how far they had fallen, but when they did, they took steps to eliminate some of the worst signs of social decline in the form of eliminating slavery. One province, however, rebelled. Utilizing a vast conspiracy of assassination and a secret alliance with black dragon necromancers along with illegally amassing mercenary legions to add to his own strength, the High Lord Tyrantus of Vergras caused the destructive Avonian Civil War in a bid to become the next emperor. This failed, though it cost the country greatly and ultimately claimed the life of both Tyrantus and High Prince Helvius Pentus.
Other notable events in Avonian history relates to the Arrival of the Lunar Elves soon after the shattering of the world five centuries ago. Because the shattering affected Faerie (and the Shadow Realm) as well, and due to an ongoing war between solar elves and night elves, the lunars sought refuge. Their homes were destroyed and nowhere was safe in Faerie. But the newly settled Avonians welcomed a people that would add their magic and numbers to the strength of the fledgling empire. The Avonians gave an entire forest that was nestled right in the middle of Avonian lands to their new friends and named it The Princewald. Ever since they two people have remained close allies. In time they became the only non-humans to officially join the empire and become citizens.
The City of Avongate remains the capital of Avonia. With a population of at least 350,000 civilians it is the largest center of human civilization. This number does not count visiting merchants, dignitaries or indentured servants. This city has been built, destroyed, and rebuilt upon its own ruins so many times no one is really sure how old the city is or how deep the foundations of the first city really lie. It lies at the mouth of the Avon River where it empties into the the Malfurion Sea as it always has, in ages both before the Shatttering and after the Healing.
The Joining of Ganth and Ganha to Avonia after the Healing has been a critically important event. Ganthport in particular is a large but relatively frontier city and the only other port on the Malfurion Sea the kingdom possesses. It lies roughly 100 miles east of Avongate along the northern coast of the Malfurion Sea and boasts a population of around 90,000 souls. The border with the Black Mountains is where the old province of Ganha was. Now this frontier region has the support and strength of Avongate behind it as they add their capital of Caer Ganha to the kingdom. This city lies near the source of the Avon River and supports a population of 75,000 people.
A Note on Indentured Servants in Avonia
Indentured servitude is seen by most as no different than slavery, but has been made acceptable as a way for a convicted criminal to serve time outside a jail cell. Dangerous criminals are usually denied this opportunity, but those convicted of nonviolent crimes can usually work off their debt to society through this system. This then reduces pressure on the penal system.
The culture’s skill pyramid has Fight at it’s peak with Lore and Resources below it, and NPCs from this culture will tend have these at a higher than normal rank for an NPC of that type.
With the skills are stunts. Each skill has a rebel and a paragon stunt. Rebels reject the cultural norm while paragons represent this aspect of the culture.
- (Paragon) Legion Commander. When you lead your allies into the thick of battle, you gain a +2 to create an advantage using Fight — provided your allies and followers take your orders and there is an existing aspect on the scene or enemy you can take advantage of.
- (Rebel) Crime Boss. You can use your Fight skill in place of Provoke when making threats of physical violence.
- (Paragon) Elemental Wizard/Sorceress. Choose either wizardry or sorcery. You are especially adept with one particular elemental school of magic: choose one of Aether, Air, Earth, Fire or Water. You gain a +1 bonus to preparation rolls (wizardry) and casting rolls (wizardry and sorcery) with that school of magic. If you chose wizardry, you can pick an additional school of magic but gain no bonus for spells using it. If you chose sorcery, you don't get to choose another school of magic. This stunt does count as a wizardry or sorcery stunt for the purpose of fulfilling the requirement to purchase Adept Wizardry, Black Magic, or Advanced Sorcery.
- (Rebel) Witch Hunter. A witch hunter is a fanatic that specifically looks for individuals that delve into power gained through a connection to an infernal or fae power. The magic these witches use works similarly to that of sorcery. A witch hunter is not always accurate and the intolerance most show are not virtues in Avonian culture. With this stunt you can use Lore in place of Empathy on create an advantage rolls to assess what aspects your target has with respect to being a witch or not. This could become a Contest between the target and the witch hunter.
Resources (or Influence if using the Influence and Wealth Extra)
- (Paragon) Privilege of Wealth. You know how to throw your financial weight around and you know what people want. When using Resources to create an advantage in a social situation, you gain a +2 bonus.
- (Rebel) Bribes. It's a fine line between greasing wheels and outright buying people, and you cross it frequently. When using Resources for overcome rolls to bribe someone or blackmail someone, you gain a +2 bonus.
This culture was created with guidance from the excellent article, "Culture from the Outside In", from the Fate Codex: Vol. 1, Issue 2.