The Fallen Times
The once great Homlish Empire has been pushed back to its roots. The empire is now contained in the original lands of Homlan, surrounded on all sides by natural barriers. The mightiest nation in known history once sprouted from this land, so perhaps it could happen again since its natural defenses and disciplined military make it hard to eradicate.
Unfortunately the nation has begun to stagnant due to its zealotry. The empire’s belief in the power of humanity has fermented into a distrust of anything inhuman. Magic and religion are outlawed entirely, the Homlish Inquisition hunting for its practitioners. Non-humans are discriminated against receiving unfair trade, or being used as slaves. Some of them end up in the gladiator pits that many cities and towns have, fighting for their lives. These draconian behaviours were implemented and reinforced by the Legion and Inquisition.
The Legion is the only remaining might of the Homlish Empire. Though its navy is largely gone, and far fewer traders visit Homlan, its ground forces are still some of the best. The legionnaires are trained rigourously, building their strength, stamina, and discipline. Those that prove themselves are elevated to the rank of praetorian, where they maintain discipline in the ranks and act as seconds to centurions. Enforcing the rules of the Legion on their troops sometimes requires a blunt approach, and so centurions are known for being very physically capable. A praetorian that has served well and has a mind for tactics can be promoted to become a centurion. These soldiers are in charge of troop formations, and often lead their men into battle.
The Homlish Inquisition is an organization that is given free reign to uphold two directives. The first is to ensure that there is no dissent to the Emperor-General’s rule. The second is to prepare other nations for conquering. The ranks of the Inquisition are filled from all over Homlan and all walks of life because the Directors of the Inquisition never know what skills will be needed. If the Inquisition approaches a person with a job offer, they usually make sure that they cannot be refused.
The largest human city in the world is one of opulence and power. This is the seat of the once great Homlish Empire and that fact can be seen on every one of its streets. The city’s lengthy history has made it so that every slum of the city was at some point the wealthy quarter. The crowded apartments of labourers are contained within worn and faded senatorial mansions. Partially crumbled statues of long forgotten heroes stand over even the humblest of communal spaces. However, this inherent wealth of the city does not apply to the citizens.
Wealthy merchants, traders, land owners, and generals surround themselves with green spaces not found in the rest of the crowded city. They fill their homes with art, gold trim, and commissioned works. Meanwhile the tradesmen and labourers get by with what they can and are more often than not happy.
The most famous and opulent section of the city is the Emperor-General’s quarter. Here Emperor-Generals, and to a lesser extent wealthy senators, have built expansive mansions to please themselves. Some get torn down by one Emperor-General to build a new home, and his in turn is later destroyed.
Aside from the Emperor-General’s quarter, the two most famous features of the city are the Slaver’s District and the fighting pits. The Slaver’s District is a section of the city where slavers and slave owners bring their wares to auction off to those interested. Slaves are brought from all over the world, and from all species, which is often the only way that many residents see non-humans. This works out well as a useful though unintentional bit of subliminal propaganda for the pro-human establishment.
The sport of combat is extremely popular amongst the Homlans. It’s a regular show of the power of human might and distracts them from the weakened state of their homeland. Most taverns have a space reserved for combat in the same way that taverns in Terre Des Sept have stages for musicians. Even small taverns will have a corner dedicated to fist fights. Some are more like gladiatorial arenas that also serve food and drink, with large sunken pits for battles. Rarely are these battles lethal except in the case of accidents or specially organized fights.
The city is also a port and the former home of the Homlish Navy. Ships traveling in the Merchant’s Sea would dock at Homlan to offload cargo and take on supplies. Many such ships would be delivering orc slaves from the Savage Plains. Now there is much less trade entering Homlan, as the empire is on poor terms with the UCS, and is only just rebuilding its trade with Atfaal Min Saladin.
The city of Republic Port is the second largest in Homlan. The city imports and exports goods to all the nations along the Soldier’s Sea. However, since the collapse of the empire there has been much less trading. Instead the port has become the centre for building the new Homlish Navy, since the lumber felled in the Dark Peninsula is much closer to the city than Homlan.
This well traveled road traditionally saw much ore brought to Republic Port from the mines in the Northern Homlish Mountains. Since the fall of the empire there is less demand for ore and more demand for lumber. Since this began there have been many strange attacks on the lumber transporters heading to Republic Port.
The thick forest that covers this point of land has never been properly explored, even during the height of the Homlish Empire. It’s said that the woods are haunted by many strange and foul beasts. These stories originate from woodsmen who have gone into them looking for lumber, but never returned.
Unfortunately with the mutiny of the Homlish Navy essentially wiping out Homlan’s naval power, there has been a strong call for lumber to build new ships. There have been a number of disappearances among the work crews felling trees on the edges of the woods. Most of these have been workers who were alone, and so many supervisors have implemented rules requiring them to stay together in pairs at all times.
Northern Homlish Mountains
These mountains are rich with ore and help to fuel the economy of Homlan. However, they also serve a couple very important military functions. The diversity of terrain in the area allows the Legion to train its recruits in forests, rolling hills, and mountains. This helps to build the stamina and discipline that the legionnaires are known for.
Additionally, the mountains block off Homlan from the Long Plains along a large section of its borders. Only in the most Northerly area of the mountains, where they become only hills, is it practical to cross them. Knowing this, the Legion long ago set up a small chain of fortresses in the mountains to keep out the tribes of the Horse Lords.
Southern Homlish Mountains
The mines in these mountains supply most of the ore that reaches Homlan. The mines are extremely old, and have been dug very deeply into the ground. Many older mines have been sealed from cave ins or after they dried up. Occasionally forgotten mines are broken into by the miners in newer mines.
The Guardian Isles are a chain of islands that surround the Homlan Gulf. Each one has a fortress located on it that defends Homlan against enemy naval fleets. However, since the fall of the empire and the mutiny of the navy, the fortresses are in ill repair, and some are unmanned.