In the Kingdom of Rhodesia, which was named after Rhodri the 1st, the third king of that name, Rhodri Rhun Ar or Rho3, has taken over for his father, Rhodri Dos, who decided it was time to retire. Rho3 has big plans for expanding his small mountain kingdom, one one way is to marry. He is currently courting Lady Muffina of Adabar. Muffina, or Muffy, lives in the graceful city of Adabar, which is a independent city-state on the coast some 10 days or so from Ulnar, Rho3’s capital. A marriage with Muffy would bring a busy port to the Kingdom of Rhodesia, and thus new trade.
Rhodesia is small but prosperous. Most inhabitants like the monarch and are happy. It has an army reserve system, where everyone from the age of 15 to 25 belongs to the army, and in return, is educated, trained, and paid. Rhodesites are leaps ahead of the rest of the kingdoms in that area. Knowledge is power, and Rhodesia is small yet powerful. The unemployment is rate low, as is the crime rate. But crime does happen around the fringes and in the dark corners.
Rho3 has a massive rode building project going, all with an eye to increasing trade to his somewhat remote kingdom. Rhodesia is expanding its smooth stone roads from Ulnar to the Blackstone Mountains, and on to meet up with the road from Abadar. The road will have patrolled rest areas for travelers, including shelters and water. Pairs of patrolmen will check the roads for damage and lawlessness between the rest areas. These patrolmen will also collect incidental taxes and any fees for extra goods such as fodder for beasts or healing services.
Magic in this world is a lot like cooking. Each spell is like a recipie and although not fully forgotten after the first time, the exact measurements of the ingrediants may need to be referred to. Also, if not all ingrediants are included, or substitutions made, the results may be better or they may be worse. Mages carry a lot of ingrediants with them, and are always on the look out for rare bits. They may seem like cleptomaniacs to some.
Mages also are independent of kingdoms. While they may be residents, they are not answerable to the ruler of that kingdom. They are answerable to their all powerful guild, called the Consortium. The Consortium is highly involved with most kingdoms. Mages have two special powers, which allows them to be above the law in some ways. They are the ability to communicate with other mages over great distances in the same moment (like text messages) and the ability to teleport from one location to another. The ability to communicate instantly makes mages very useful to rulers, traders, military commanders, etc. The down-side of this communication is that the mage will know what the message said, and the reply. Mages are sworn to never reveal such communication.
Religion. The official religion of the Kingdom of Rhodesia is Bobism. Bobism is the worship of Bob, Lord of Light. One may hear common phrases such as “Bob damn it!” or “Bob bless you!” There are many other religions and beliefs though, because Rhodesia is an open-minded kingdom. Other dieties include Cerredwin, the protector of all things green and pink, grand provider of alcohol; The Tree named Meskalei, a fearsome tall tree that swallows houses; Tumblina, patron saint of acrobats and collector of marbles; and Jebis, bringer of bountiful harvests.
Short history. Rhodesia, named after Rhodri the Blatant (Rhodri the First), was born from a group of adventures and explorers trying to find what all adventurers and explorers want – money and a free place to live. They were from the great Elven Emerald Empire, which is slightly opressive and not entirely friendly to humans (who are outnumbered). The group of adventurers went across the Shallow Salt Sea to a new land, where they found a lovely valley in the mountains which just happened to be the home of several tribes of Trolls. Trolls are nasty creatures who eat humans and regenerate their limbs (should they be lopped off) into additional trolls. This form of procreation is common, but usually accompanied by a ritual. When the adventurers stared hacking and slashing, and all these little trolls were being created from the lopped off limbs – the female trolls were not amused. Zolonti the Grand, Rhodri 1’s mage, used a powerful inferno spell and burned out the whole valley. The adventurers then had to wait for Brittleleaf the Druid to encourage the new growth before they could build their new city, Ulnar (which was named after Rhodri’s wife). Thus Rhodesia was born. Trolls are not tollerated in Rhodesia, and trolls had Rhodesites right back.
This day Rhodri told his aide, the mage Potus, to call one of his captains in, in order for the captain to deliver a present to his (hopefully soon to be) fiance Muffina of Adabar. Potus called in Captain Theo, who called in an assorted band of reservists. There the reservists witnessed Rho3 give a package to Captain Theo along with instructions. Captain Theo and the reservist group left within the hour. In the reservist group were Spark, a half-elven healer; Shim the Dauntless, a half-elven warrior in the service of Bob; Birch, a gray elf scout; Del Castillo Alesmith, a half-elven ranger and brewer; Fips, a human druid; and Lunessa Birchwood, a dark elf mage.
On the road to Adabar, not far from the first rest area, the group was stopped by a broken wagon in the road. It turned out to be an ambush orchestrated by 10 desparate human thieves. A mighty battle ensued, which left 9 dead ambusers and one wounded ambusher who swore allegiance to the dark elf mage. The group made it to the rest area, patched up their wounds, and learned a little about the package that Captain Theo was carrying; a finely wrought necklace with large emerald pendant.