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Design Tenets


DRAKENREICH

Drakenreich Symbol
Type
Monarchy
Ruler
The Black Hand of Bane
Races
Humans 75%, Half-orcs 5%
Drow 1% Other 19%
Population
2,000,000

Drakenreich is a nation that covers the Western side of the Mirror Plane, a land of desert, active volcano ranges and jungle on the border of Sylvania. Drakenreich is divided by warring monstrous and barbarian tribes, powerful merchant lords and sorcerors with private armies and various other despot kingdoms competing for land, resources and power.

A land of mysterious desert

A Drakenreich Guardsman

PROMINENT FACTIONS

The Black Shields
The duties of law enforcement and the protection of the Queen, the Black Hand of Bane (and her extended family) falls to this military organisation, rank primarily determined by lineage within the same royal family.

Whether the Black Shields answer to the One Church of Bane or not, is a matter of continuing 'debate' (read: conflict).

Drakenreich Guard
The military arm of the One Church of Bane and the army and navy of Drakenreich. All Black Shields are high-ranking officers within the Drakenreich Guard. The exception is the highest ranks, the Lord Marshall and High Admiral of the Guard and Navy respectively, who are chosen by and answer to the High Priests of the One Church of Bane.

The Drakenreich Royal Navy, whilst retaining considerable independence in rank and structure, is a branch of the Guard. Few in the guard are not equally capable marines as well as infantry.

Merchant House of Zhentarim
In the previous Age of Change, a shrewd Exodite named Domus, who had been a considerable power in the Zhentarim organisation of Toril, united several of the larger merchant houses of Drakenreich into his own vision of the company.


House of Zhentarim in Hub

Trade guild and bank, security service and protection racket - the Merchant House of Zhentarim is all of these things. Drakenreich's royal family and the One Church of Bane are its biggest customers and it is often this merchant house that has the real final word on just about anything, when it involves money.

A large percentage of the Drakenreich Guard (last census estimates 23%) are also employed by the merchant house, and their loyalty, if tested, is usually to their company wage.
The One Church of Bane
Whilst various sects and orders exist within this church, some of which worship Bane's allies as well as Bane, there is only one religious authority that is lawful within Drakenreich, and that is the One Church of Bane.


Priests of Bane arguing

All citizens of Drakenreich must be followers of this church. Any citizen found to be following another church will be imprisoned and very probably executed.

Uthgardt Barbarian Tribes
There has been war between the state of Drakenreich and the desert barabarian tribes that worship Uthgardt for centuries and it is not a situation that is likely to change any time soon.

Whilst the tribes are often busy feuding with each other or the Gruumsh Orcish Tribes, they will still raid Drakenreich holdings, regularly testing their defences.


Uthgardt tribal warriors head out to hunt

The Drakenreich Guard has always struggled to bring any significant force against the tribes, who are mostly nomadic. When they do establish settlements, these are very difficult to find and quickly vanish before they can be effectively attacked.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY FACTIONS

The Black Cloaks
Arcane magic is considered a powerful resource when its practitioners are under the control of the One Church of Bane, and a considerable threat when not. The Black Cloaks are an order of wizards and other evil arcanists dedicated to hording magical power for  Bane, and the recruitment of others to their ranks. Or their elimination if they resist.

Drakenreich Black Cloak
A Black Cloak busy with arcane research

Cult of the Dragon
Evidence continues to grow of dragon worshippers organising in the shadows of Drakenreich, perhaps with the goal of freeing one or more of the dragons that remain incarcerated in the Planar Prison.

Gruumsh Orcish Tribes
Normally keeping to the Orcian Jungle, tribes of orc and half-orc barbarians that follow Gruumsh have been making more and bolder incursions into traditional Uthgardt desert territories since the end of the Age of War.


Half-Orc outcasts of a Gruumsh tribe

Fortunately for Drakenreich, due to these tribes being culled heavily by their own forces in the wars, the tribes have been too busy with tribal conflicts to become any kind of serious threat to Drakenreich's current holdings.

Guild of Assassins
A very secret organisation, endorsed by the Church of Bane, with many followers of Talona and Mask operating within it to undermine the enemies of Drakenreich and eliminate threats to Bane's dominance of the nation.

Corruption of the guild by Cyric and Shar is a constant concern and as soon as one conspiracy involving their followers is ended, so another tends to form soon after.

Whilst Cyric worship is zealously purged, Shar's influence over the guild tends to be subtle and rarely revealed. It is likely that the Church of Bane actively fosters various sects within the guild, to cull the weaker members and promote infighting, so that the guild does not scheme for greater power over the nation.
Merchant Lords
The nation of Drakenreich is not a particularly united one, except in the demand of the singular worship of Bane. There are numerous small provinces scattered across the lands controlled by merchant lords with private armies, with a diversity of relations with each other, other inhabitants of the land (such as barbarian tribes), the royal family and the capital city.

Sorceror Lords
Military control over the large nation of Drakenreich is spread thinly, with the largest concentration in the Black City and then on the border of Sylvania.

This leaves a lot of space for powerful sorcerors, including necromancers and demonologists, to rise and challenge the merchant lord provinces. Sometimes these sorceror lords become powerful enough to prove a threat to the royal family and Bane's dominance of the nation.

Currently two sorceror lords are becoming more serious threats, one leading a cult known as The Pale Masters, and a second leading a cult known as the Servants of Myrkul. It is likely that one or both of these groups are responsible for a necromantic plague currently sweeping across Drakenreich.

Underdark City of Arakniam
The largest of the Drow cities in the Underdark. It is generally believed by common-folk that the city has not bothered with relations (or even hostilities) with the surface dwellers for many decades, instead focusing on expanding territory and defending against regular subterranean assaults by the Dwarf Kingdoms.

It is more likely that Drakenreich's ruler will have some kind of diplomatic channel open with such a potential threat (or ally) to the nation.


Tower Gate of the city of Arakniam

However, since the recent re-activation of the Dais of Exodites, rumours are rampant of representatives of the city-state having been seen in the city of Hub, presumably negotiating with the Overseers for representation in the Grand Council.

Arakniam's grabs for territory bring them into conflict with not only the Dwarf Kingdoms, but more recently with the Eilistraeen city of Maiden's Song and the two other largest Lolthian city-nations of the Underdark.

Arakniam has also been responsible for a number of recent releases of remaining planar prisoners and their efforts with the Overseers are soured by the fact they seem keen to continue these operations.

IMPORTANT PLACES