Campaign Bad Decisions
History and Government
Uldok is currently one of the most powerful empires on Aaia-II. It has a long, rich history. Various Tsars and Tsaritsas have ruled this land. Over 330 years ago, the previous dynasty was outsted by the man who would become known as “Tsar Dmitri the Great”. Leader of a popular revolution, he ruled his nation for almost a decade before sacrifcing himself to save his country. As he had previously agreed to become the Lut Witch of Magic, his soul was too delicate to be ressurected and so the nation was ruled jointly by his wife, Tsaritsa Chrysal, and brother, Vizier Helorie until his eldest child, Esfir, could become Tsaritsa. During this time, Uldok conquered vast swaths of Phembria, which they retain to this day. On her 16th birthday, Esfir took the throne, which she would maintain for the next 315 years. She married, but had many lovers for reasons of politics and pleasure alike. Esfir was a very hands-on ruler. She established the Imperial Senate as a delibrate cap on her own power and the power of her heirs.
Esfir had two daughters, and on the 315th anniversary of her reign, she passed down the crown to the youngest, Ekaterina.
Ekaterina has since been ruler for the past 3 years. She’s twenty-four years old. Inexperienced, and naive, Ekaterina has found that her best bet is listening to what the people want. However, she has her own goals. Its no secret that she’s trying to find herself a wife to produce an heir with. Ekaterina seeks to maintain her position on the throne, as she knows there are constant threats against her in the hot mess that is the imperial court. Full of countless courtiers, viziers (almost all of whom are scheming), and nobles who tend to stir up drama for the fun of it, Ekaterina has a very loose grip on the system. The informal ringmaster of the court is Grand Vizier Akira Solarin, the only person that Ekaterina trusts.
If Ekaterina’s grip on the court is loose, her grip on the Imperial Senate is non-existent. Elections are not for another two years, but everyone in Uldok knows that the senators are a bunch of cowards. During the Orredmas invasion of a half-year ago, a time when even Ekaterina herself fought to defend her city, the imperial senate retreated to their secret underwater bunker (which is really not a secret) and hid. They are constantly ineffective, concerned only by their own goals, and almost all of them are corrupt. While her mother could just punch a couple senators until they started being effective, Ekaterina cannot resort to such matters (mostly because she has a STR of 8 and a BAB of 2) and must use her wit, charm, and minor magic to convince them. Sadly, her favored medium of poetry is ineffective against senators.
Technology, Magic, and Natural Resources
Uldok has always been a nation on the cutting edge. After military spending, the largest portion of the national budget is research and development. Money given to researchers, the government’s own secret base of science (previously underwater, currently in an unknown location), the government’s space program (though partially in the military section, as the main reason they want to build a spaceship is for counter-attacks against Naven/The Empire of Hell), similar things, are all examples of where this money goes to.
There’s a certain prestige of being a scientist or magician in this culture. After all, all of the rulers and significant members of their family, as well as many of those on the upper echelons of society are such. One of the members of the imperial family is one of the most well-known necromancers of this millennium, and the founder of that dynasty was said to not be only the most powerful mage who ever lived, but the most powerful mage who could ever live. ((There are rumors about the fact that he could potentially have a descendant who could be more powerful than him, would certain conditions be met))
Uldok is gloriously laden with natural resources, and trade has only expanded this. Uldok has some of the richest mines in the world, both in mainland Uldok and the Phembrine colonies. In additions, new alchemical and magical processes have made it so synthetic materials can begin to used in most non-artistic items or projects. While this process is not perfected yet, and some think that it will never be able to be used completely, many have hopes for the future.
The industrial revolution started properly in Uldok, and spread from there to other countries. Magical energy and steam power are used widely. Electrical generation and use have not yet been popularized. I would say that, compared to our world, they are in the early years of the “Second Industrial Revolution.” However, railways are quite prominent, although puissance locomotives are more popular than steam.
Living in Uldok
As the industrial revolution has existed, both the positive and negative effects are prevalent in society. Child Labor is not present however, as one of Tsar Dmitri the Great’s projects was universal, mandatory public education for all children, and ain’t nobody gonna dismantle that so that kids can work in factories. Education in Uldok is excellent in so called STEMM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering, Magic and Mathematics) but less good in the social sciences and arts. As with many countries, military education is also present in the child’s education. All Uldoki citizens are now trained in the use of weapons, armor, military tactics and methods of self-defense. Such measures have increased even more since the Orredmas Invasion.
The Orredmas invasion was a shock to everyone. I have a metaphor that I think is slightly offensive, but think about what metaphor I would use, and then you will understand both the impact of the invasion and why I don’t want to explicitly use this metaphor. It reminded everyone of several things; First, that Xander had significant designs against Uldok. Second, that they could come at any time, they would not hesitate to use one of the most prominent holidays against us. Third, that the royalty of Uldok were still needed, because sometimes you need someone to turn into a giant snake and fight a 100-story high devil.