The Great Empire is the last outpost of civilization. At one time the Empire ruled all the known civilized people until the Time of Corruption and Barbarians destroyed the western portion of the empire, leaving only the current lands, under constant attack from your envious and barbaric neighbors, as the last great hope of civilization.
You live in the greatest city in the world, Pella, the center of all commerce and trade. The population of the city is approximatley one million. Protected by its great walls, moats, and chain link boom to prevent sea attacks, it is the heart of the empire. All races of the world come to trade here. It is also the last line of defense of the empire. Many times the Great Empire has been forced to fall back to the city walls, regroup and attack to regain territory.
Pella is a city of many luxuries due to its wealth. Hospitals (run by clerics), smooth stone roads, streets lighted by continual lights poles are common here. The favorite sport here are the racing sports, horses, chariots and once a year the great hippogriff race is held. The lower classes love to bet on the races which are run by the local “social clubs” known by the colors of the teams of the races. The colors of various clubs are Red, White, Blue, Green, and Black. These social clubs hold much political power in the poorer districts of the city. They are also involved in one of the great political issues of the day, Symbolists vs. Smashers.
An important issue for the Great Empire is the clash between the Symbolists and the Smashers. The Symbolists believe that all temples and other public places should be decorated with symbols of the gods. The Smashers believe that only clerics can hold symbols of religious belief and that all other symbols that are not created by the gods themselves are offensive to the gods and should be destroyed. The gods themselves have not provided a clear answer as to who is correct. It should be noted that many foreign peoples find these arguments silly but it is extremely important to the people of the Great Empire.
The other great issue of the day concerns the upper levels of society, this is the struggle between the courtiers, who run the empire’s business for the court, and the great lords who own lands outside Pella. The courtiers known as the Comes, provide for the administrative and diplomatic needs of the empire while the great lords, known as Strategos, provide for many of the great war leaders in the history of the empire.
The Kujles, a kingdom of gnolls, flinds, kobolds. Long term enemies.
Thay, a kingdom of human pretty openly evil wizards.
Hattin, a kingdom of religious (mostly good) fanatics.
The Golden Order, an association of people who believe they are destined to rule the world.
Ursa, Trakhtemirov, Tsariyn, Malyi Bucan, and Turgan, lands of barbarian raiders of all races.