Karaadian Empire

Alignment: LN
Capital: Akterria
Major Cities: Akterria, Eranna, Kaladonia

Karaadia_political_.jpg

Physical Characteristics:
Karaadian imperials tend to be short in stature with males averaging around 5’5” to 5’7” and females standing around 5’3” to 5’5”. They tend to have swarthy skin and brown eyes and black hair. Karaadians also tend towards muscle, Karaadian culture prizes physical fitness and virtually every city or town of any size will contain a public gymnasium, usually associated with the temple of Kalen.

Local Fashions:
Karaadian males tend to wear loose fitting shirts that open in the front and tie at the sides covered by a bright vest with long tails in the front. Males and Females both usually wear a skirt although male skirts tend to be cut shorter ending at the knee while women’s skirts usually extend to the mid-calve or ankle. Karaadian Males will also typically shave their heads, while women will shave only the sides of their heads and allow the remaining hair to grow long and will braid it for formal occasions. Married Karaadian women will advertise that fact with a marriage bracelet worn on her right wrist. Typically marriage bracelets will be made of silver and engraved with her husbands’ family seal. Poorer women’s bracelets may be made of bronze, copper, or tin but will always contain a family seal.

Attitudes:
Karaadians are a cosmopolitan but ethnocentric people. They typically believe that they are the pinnacle of civilization and that other peoples are barbarians. They’re exposure to other cultures has only strengthened this belief and made them arrogant in their worldliness. Karaadians also believe themselves superior to the demi-human races seeing dwarves and elves largely as competitors and gnomes and halflings as sub-human.

Slavery:
Slavery is not only accepted in the empire, but is common. Slavery is not only a criminal penalty, but is also generational in nature. People can also be enslaved for unpaid debts, by imperial decree, by decree of their exalted lord, for breeching contract with the temples of the triumvirate, or to pay the debts of their fathers. Demi-humans are also often enslaved, occasionally on trumped up charges as gnome and halfling slaves are particularly prized.

Civic Organization:
The Karaadian empire is, of course an empire, as such it is an absolute monarchy with the Emperor at its head. However, it does have very strong theocratic overtones. So while the Emperor is held to be the supreme ruler of the Empire, it is believed that his right rule derives from an act of divine providence. The Karaadian Emperor is often referred to as “The Thrice Anointed” in reference to his having been both chosen and blessed in his rule by the imperial triumvirate.

Beneath the Emperor, stand the Exalted High lords Also referred to less formally as the overlords. Overlords Rule over entire regions of the Empire typically from one of the great cities. There are only a handful of Overlords ruling at any given time. Beneath the Overlords stand the Exalted Lords. These nobles will typically rule over not only a single city but also over the lands and villages that sustain that city. Exalted lords will always be vassals to the house of an overlord and as such their lands and cities are a part of that overlords holdings. Finally beneath the Exalted lords stand the Blessed Lords, Blessed Lords are the least of the imperial nobility, ruling over the towns and villages surrounding the cites, and acting as administrators and functionaries to the Exalted Lords.

It is important to note that the titles, “Exalted,” and “Blessed” are not just considered titles within the Empire. Imperial tradition holds that the Emperor’s coronation is not just a formal ceremony marking his ascension to the throne, but is in fact a Divine and trans-formative ritual. Upon assuming the throne the Emperor is transformed into a being that is only a very short step below divinity himself. Consequently when the Emperor appoints an Overlord, that appointment is not simply political but is likewise a Divinely trans-formative act. Thus even a Blessed Lord is seen as being of a different flesh from the common mass of humanity around them.

This arrangement is actually of some benefit to the empire. Unlike many feudal systems where station is entirely inherited, if an Exalted Lord feels that even the lowest of serfs has demonstrated talent and served him well it is within his power to bestow blessings and land upon that serf transforming him into a Blessed Lord. That transformation will be seen by noble and commoner alike as literal and divine transformation into one of the high blood his former standing as a commoner is then irrelevant to his current honor. This practice kept fresh blood and talent in the imperial ruling class and thereby (to some extent) avoided the inbreed degeneration that so plagues the ruling class of many nations.

Beneath the Blessed Lords are the empires free citizens. These make up what would be accounted the empires merchant and soldier class. Family is tremendously important in the empire and every citizen will have a family name which he or she will proudly give whenever introducing one’s self. Citizen families will always be pledged to a particular Blessed Lord’s house and in turn will know to which Exalted Lord that Blessed Lord is pledged to. This is important for two reasons, firstly because in time of war every citizen family will be required to provide their blessed lord with a son to serve in the legions and secondly for reasons of honor which we’ll go into in the next section.

Beneath the free citizen stands the imperial serf. Serfs are not slaves, but nor are they free. A serf and his family are tied to the estates of a particular lord they must work the lands they are tied to for their lord and cannot leave their lands without the permission of their lord. Unlike slaves however, a serf has some rights, and the Lord has certain obligations towards the serve. Firstly the Lord must provide food shelter and tools to his serfs. Secondly the lord is obliged to protect the serf and his family as any harm that befalls them reflects upon the lords honor. Finally the serf is entitled to a meager wage, generally 1% of his families over all production and a serf can use this money to eventually purchase their own freedom. (Although this is rare, most commonly a family will save for an entire generation to elevate just one of their number to the status of free citizen.

Finally beneath even the serf stands the imperial slave. The slave has no standing and very little honor within the empire. His body, life, and children are all the property of his owner. He can be sold, beaten, branded, starved, or even killed by his master and at his masters whim. What honor a slave possesses comes from his master. A slave who serves his master well gains some personal honor, and as a part of his masters holdings the slave also shares in a certain measure of his masters honor, but only so long as he is doing his masters bidding. Slaves can be freed by their master. At which point they become free citizens, albeit a citizen with no family name and no honor.

Family and Imperial Honor:
Family and honor are inseparable concepts within the empire. The honor of a particular individual serves to elevate the standing of his family, so to the standing of one’s family inevitably will reflect on one’s personal honor. A person with no family name is seen as a beggar and vagabond within with empire, no matter how much personal wealth he may posses. Honor is acquired through several avenues. First and foremost honor is earned through duty to the empire. A family who gives a son to the legions derives great honor. So to does a family who acquires great wealth, for doing so adds to the wealth of the empire.

When meeting new people it is not only customary to give your family name in addition to one’s own name. It is in fact considered to be both rude and cowardly withhold your family name as this implies you either do not wish to share your family’s shame, or worse yet, you intend to behave in a manner that would shame your family and do not want others to know what house to attribute your behavior to. Either way an imperial will never give either trust or courtesy to one who hides his house.

Generally only the very lowest of freed slaves or criminals will not offer a family name. The former because they have none, and the latter because not only does their behavior shame their house, but there is a very real danger that should the family ever learn their whereabouts, they will attempt to kill the criminal to preserve their family honor. Such honor killings within a family are not considered murder. In fact sparing the life of a dishonorable family member is seen as an act of supreme cowardice compounding the damage to your families reputation as it forces the empire at large to waste time and effort correcting what is properly a family responsibility.

When a slave is freed most often they will immediately attempt to marry into a family, and thereby acquire a family name. This is very difficult to do, as few families will consider allowing an honor-less vagabond to join them. The risk to their standing is simply too great. Most families arrange marriages to improve their standing, through commercial contacts, or for substantive bride prices, or to make peace between feuding families. A freed slave can seldom serve any of these ends so only the most small and desperate of families will consider them.

More commonly a freed slave will acquire a family name by marrying another freed slave and registering a new house name with the temples. Such new houses are considered dubious at best, but better by far than being houseless and with effort, over time such houses can begin build reputations and honor of their own. Typically this will take two to three generations.

Imperial Politics:
Upon the heights of the Karaadian Empire the honors are great and the power immense but the fall can be precipitous indeed. While the empire does revere honor, those who stand elevated to the level of blessed or exalted lord are seen as being of a different flesh from the commoners around them. Not surprisingly then the Karaadian ruling class adhere to a different standard of honor than does the common people. While obedience to those placed above you is expected to be absolute, your equals are your rivals and as such fair game for scheming. This scheming can be particularly vicious within a noble house as, while an entire family may be exalted, there can be only one heir to a lordship. That heir will usually, but not always, be the lords eldest child. An exalted lord does have the power to simply appoint his successor an appointed successor may not even be related to a lord as the appointment is tantamount to an adoption into the lords family, this is very rare but not unheard of. In many families, the children will make a habit of competing for that appointment, often by limiting the pool of potential successors. Some families even encourage this kind of competition in the belief that it assures a strong bloodline as long as such competitions do not bring shame to the wider household.

The Legion Born:
Within the imperial legion is an elite cadre of soldiers known as the legion born. The Legion Born are technically slaves, owned by the Emperor. When a member of the imperial legions shows himself to exemplify all the attributes desired in an imperial legionnaire he may be honored with the title, “Hero of the Empire”. Among the honors heaped upon such an exalted figure is the opportunity to gift the Emperor with one of his offspring. A suitable mate will then be found for the hero from among the ranks of the existing Legion Born and a child conceived. From its birth that child is the property of the Emperor.

The Legion Born get the very best of everything the legions have to offer. Their lives from the time they are toddlers is spent perfecting themselves and their skills to serve the Emperor. The Emperors personal bodyguard is always made up of Legion Born. While technically slaves, the Legion Born are treated with great respect and deference by all for they carry the honor of the Emperor and when acting on his orders can arrest or slay even the most prestigious of the Overlords. In all the history of the Empire a Legion Born has never betrayed a sitting Emperor.

Religion:

Imperial Triumvirate
The imperial triumvirate is composed of three allied deities, Malek, Vaylik, and Kaylin. These three lawful neutral gods make their home on Arcadia, and have formed the core of the Karaadian Empire’s culture and values. Together these three deities form the state religion of the empire.

Contrary to many religions, there seems to be no competition or animosity between these gods, and they permit none among their clergies. Any temple to any one of these gods will always contain shrines to the other two. In large cities, it is typical to find all three temples sharing the same set of grounds and even in smaller communities, one can often find members of all three clergies not only welcomed into the inner sanctums but acting as participating members of holy rites and services.

Malek
The Lawgiver, The High Father, The light of Civilization
Greater Deity
Symbol: A five pointed silver star on a field of blue.
Home Plane: Arcadia
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Law, Civilization, Crafts, War
Worshipers: Imperials, Craftsmen, Soldiers in organized armies.
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, LE
Domains: Law, War, Artifice
Favored Weapon: Spear

The Deity of civilization, Malek appears as an older but vigorous man with silver hair and piercing brown eyes. Malek typically wears a fine white shirt that wraps around the torso and ties at the sides with a blue calve length skirt, and brown sandals. Malek rules over craftsmen, builders and all those who venerate orderly civilization.

Dogma
Malek believes in the virtue of civilization, and that uniformly applied law is the single most important element in civilizations advancement, more important even than justice, or mercy. No civilization can advance without a meaningful social order and codified set of laws. In order for any law to be meaningful it must be consistently applied and no individual’s life or well-being should ever take precedence over the consistent application of the Law.

Malek also believes that the value of a civilization can be measured in its works and technological advancements. To this end Malek commands his clergy to help support craftsmen in their trade and to advance the teaching and development of new crafts to any who would learn them.

Finally Malek believes that upon reaching a certain level of sophistication it becomes the duty of any civilization to spread and share it’s fruits and virtues with less civilized peoples, and that it is in the clash of arms that the worthiness of one civilization to rule over another shall be judged. Only in this manner can the ultimate potential of human endeavor be achieved.

Clergy and Temples
Malek’s Clergy Usually wear high collared black robes that fasten snugly around the neck, with a silver vestment draped about their shoulders, and belted at the waist with a silver belt.

Temples to Malek are usually large sprawling complexes with craft halls worked into them. The church of Malek is required to provide training and materials to any who wish to become craftsmen. The temple employs any such individuals as laymen, and the goods they produce are sold from trade halls in the temple complex. Upon completing their apprenticeships they are then obliged to then to remain and ply their trade through the church, keeping only 1/3 the sale price of the goods they produce, until they have completed training three more apprentices.

Kaylen
The warrior, The enlightened one, Defender of the Civilization
Greater Deity
Symbol: A five pointed Blue star on a field of Red.
Home Plane: Arcadia
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Monks, Warriors, Physical Excellence
Worshipers: Imperials, Monks, Warriors, any who seek fitness
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, LE
Domains: Protection, Strength, Healing
Favored Weapon: Unarmed strike

Often called the monk god, Kaylen is the god of discipline, focus, and personal excellence. Kaylen appears as a powerful well muscled man in the prime of his life. His head is shaved and his eyes are brown. Typically he will wear a blue knee length skirt and remains bare to the waist.

Dogma
Kaylen teaches that the survival of any civilization is dependent upon the quality of its people, and that the first and best measure of any person is his self-discipline. Further the ultimate potential of any civilization can only be achieved if the individuals within that civilization strive to achieve their full potential. It is then the duty of any citizen to seek constantly to perfect their physical and spiritual selves

Towards this end Kaylen authored a codex on the personal perfection of the physical and spiritual self. This work he then presented to a single human that he might strive to understand it. It was from this tome that the first monk learned his skill. To this day the greatest living monk is given the codex.

Finally Kaylen teaches that the self-discipline, which is the single best measure of any person’s worth, is expressed through duty. Not merely the duty one has to oneself to strive for betterment, but also in its broader sense. The duty of each member of society towards their empire, the duty of an exalted lord towards his subjects, the duty of subjects to their lord, and slaves to their master, by doing one’s duty you connect yourself to your society and to a larger purpose. Even if one’s duty requires them to die by fulfilling that duty you elevate yourself and your people. All men must die, to do so in the fulfillment of duty is a rare honor. Few men can hope to die so well.

Clergy and Temples
Priests of Kaylen are the most martial of the triumvirate. As such their vestments tend to be fairly plain. Their blue skirts are divided for easy movement, and they wrap their legs in long strips of tan fabric. Priests of Kaylen often will have levels of monk or warrior, and can freely multi-class with those classes. As a result it is not uncommon to find Kaylens clergy either stripped to the waist or with a bronze breastplate. Their formal vestments consist of two broad strips of blue fabric that tuck into the skirt and cross the chest before covering the shoulders and crossing again over the back. The entire affair is then wrapped with a gray or red sash around the waist.

Temples of Kaylen are shrines to martial prowess. They will always contain a gymnasium, which is open to the public. In small villages it may be little more than a cleared field with stone weights, while in larger communities it may consist of an indoor room with bronze weights, and a large marble pool for swimming, as well as indoor and outdoor sparing rings complete with practice weapons and armor. Alters to Kaylen can be found in the midst of the gymnasium. Temples of Kaylen do not contain chapels, instead prayers to Kaylen are made while training. Priests can often be heard encouraging their flock by saying, “You want Kaylen to make you strong? Prove to him your willing to sweat for it!”

Vaylik
The Scholar, The Mystic, Musician of the spheres
Greater Deity
Symbol: A five pointed Red star on a field of Silver.
Home Plane: Arcadia
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Arcane spell users, musicians, trade
Worshipers: Imperials, wizards, bards, diplomats
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, LE
Domains: Magic, Knowledge, Charm
Favored Weapon: staff

Often called the lore father, Vaylik is the god of knowledge, magic, musicians and commerce. Vaylik usually appears as an older man with a shaved head and face except for a neat gray beard that hangs just off the chin. Vaylik wears a full silver robe trimmed in red and carries a staff said to have been cut from the tree of wisdom.

Dogma
Vaylik teaches that the success of any civilization is dependant on the ability of that civilization to gain knowledge and preserve it for future generations. Knowledge is the foundation upon which the tools of the craftsman and weapons of the warrior are based. Thus, if you wish to make your people strong, seek first to make your people learned.

Vaylik also teaches that even the greatest of civilization can gain by contact with other peoples. Through trade knowledge can be attained. Knowledge of new crafts, technologies, herbalism and arcanology can all be acquired through trade. Even the rudest most ignorant peoples can contain some gem of knowledge. A wise people will seek out these gems as they trade and war with their neighbors and thereby increase the knowledge and power of their empire with each new contact.

Finally Vaylik teaches that music, is not only one of the hallmarks of a civilized people, but that there is a real power in it’s symmetry and mathematics. One, who would understand the universe, would be wise to begin by understanding music. As a result all priest of Vaylik are required to play at least one instrument. To this end, perform (musical instrument) is a class skill for priests of Vaylik and priest of Vaylik can freely multi-class as bards.

Clergy and Temples
Priests of Vaylik tend to wear full length red robes, with silver trim on them and, on formal occasions, a white vestment with red sigils of wisdom embroidered onto it. Male and female Vaylik clergy will also tend to keep their heads completely shaved and will occasionally go so far as to have the name of Vaylik tattooed onto their scalp in the arcane alphabet.

Temples to Vaylik are typically airy open spaced affairs that not only will contain a library, but also will usually contain a school and laboratory. While in small villages these may all be housed in a single room. In large cities a temple to Vaylik can be of the same size and perform the same functions as a major university. No one who visits a house of Vaylik will ever doubt that it is not merely a repository of knowledge but also is dedicated to seeking out new knowledge, and spreading it through the empire.

Prestige Classes
Arcanologist

The Arcanologist is a dedicated servant of the empire. As such he has been educated by the Arcane council and has had the virtues of an imperial education. Arcanologist pursue the development of magic in the same way that inventors and artisans seek to advance their crafts as a result the Arcanologist has mastered the more esoteric fields of metamagics.

HD: d4

Requirements: To become an Arcanologist the character must fulfill the following criteria.

Ability to prepare and cast 3rd level arcane spells, membership in the arcane council
Feats: Eschew Material components, any two other metamagic or item creation feats.
Skills: 8 ranks in spellcraft, 8 ranks in knowledge arcane

Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Decipher script, Knowledge (any), Profession, Spellcraft.

Skill point per level: 3 + Intelligence modifier.

Attack advancement: poor
Fort saves: poor
Reflex saves: good
Will saves: good

Class abilities:
1st Imperial binding, Improved metamagic, Spellcasting 1 level of existing class
2nd Bonus Meta magic feat, Spellcasting +1 level of existing class
3rd Scribe spell glyph, Spellcasting
1 level of existing class
4th Bonus Meta Magic feat, Spellcasting+1 level of existing class
5th Glyph Mastery, Spellcasting +1 level of existing class

Class abilities

Weapon and armor proficiency: Imperial Arcanologists can use any simple weapons, and no armor.

Imperial Binding: Before being taught the mysteries of the arcanologist, you are first bound to the service of the empire. This powerful compulsion is scribed into the arcanologists very flesh and makes acting against the interests of the empire unthinkable. In fact while the arcanologists alignment is not changed they will always be compelled to act for the good of the empire.

Improved meta-magic: As the feat, see ELH.

Bonus meta-magic feats: At 2nd and 4th level the arcanologist can select any meta-magic feat for which he meets the prerequisites.

Spell Glyphs: Spell glyphs are tattoos that the Arcanologist scribes into his flesh, which alter the power and composition of spells that are then channeled through them. Spell glyphs allow you to spontaneously apply one meta-magic feat to one spell at the time of it’s casting. The meta-magic feat must be one that you already know, and it must be chosen at the time of the glyphs creation. After a single use the glyph is spent and must be re-applied. Applying a glyph requires the use of a full laboratory, one day, 100gp and 50xp. No more than 3 spell glyphs can be worn at a single time.

Glyph Mastery: You can now channel any spell which you have mastered, via the spell mastery feat through your spell glyphs without discharging the glyph.

Regional Feats:
Improvised Spell (meta magic)
Prerequisites: Spell Mastery, Membership in the Arcane council
Benefits: You may prepare one or more 2nd or higher level spell slots as improvised spell slots. An improvised spell is a pool of non-differentiated spell energy that can be shaped by the caster as it’s released into any spell which the caster has mastered via the spell mastery feat of lower level than the slot used to prepare it.

Specialty Organizations:
War Mages
War mages exist in the Karaadian empire as an elite part of the imperial legions. All war mages are legion born and thus serve only the emperor. Further the arcane council chooses candidates to be war mages each year from the pool of legion born children during their fifth year of life these children will then go and begin their intense training to be war mages which will last until the child is 20 at which point he or she will graduate into a full fledged war mage.

As far as class abilities and limitations are concerned war mages exist as published in the Complete Arcane with the following two exceptions. First, a war mage gains the Arcanologist imperial binding class ability at first level, only unlike the arcanologist’s binding the war mage is bound to the service of the emperor not the empire. Thus the war mage must remain loyal to who ever holds the imperial throne. Secondly because the war mage is technically a slave to the emperor, a player has less choice about his regiment of training than other classes. Players must choose war mage at first level and cannot then advance as any other class.

The Arcane Council
As the name implies the Arcane Council is a council of arcane spell-casters, Wizards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and others who are sworn and bound to the service of the empire. Many will have taken levels in the Imperial Arcanologist, but this is not required for membership in the council. However membership in the council does require that you receive the imperial binding just like the arcanologist. This helps to insure that the advice of the council is given great weight by the Emperor, for he knows that when the council speaks it is with the best interest of his empire in mind.

This does not mean that the Council is by any means a monolithic organization, far from it. It can and occasionally does happen that two members of the council will disagree on what is in the empires best interest. This usually leads to schisms within the council as the various members choose sides and begin to lobby and scheme for their chosen course, often backing assorted blessed and exalted lords who are sympathetic to their position. Only in a few rare and fairly dire circumstances has this lead to open violence within the council or the empire.

Regional Artifacts and Relics:

The Codex
The Codex is a book written by Kaylen himself and gifted to one of his most dedicated human servants. The book contains instruction on a path designed to help realize the full flower of human potential. This first reader of The Codex became the first monk. All monks since then have relied on the methods and teachings of The Codex, handed down from master to pupil who then become masters and pass those teachings again. Most monks as a result hold a certain reverence for Kaylen even if they are not themselves imperials. The deepest secrets of the Codex however are reserved for those few grandmasters who have actually had an opportunity to read the Codex its self. A grandmaster monk who spends three months in careful study and training with the codex gets to select one bonus feat from the list of Codex Lore feats. The feats that can be learned from the Codex are as follows.

Elemental Master
Prerequisites: Ki Strike (Lawful), Access to Codex Lore
Benefits: Upon choosing this feat, you may select one basic energy type. Henceforth your unarmed attacks are empowered with that type of energy, adding 1d6 in energy damage to your attacks, and granting you a resistance of 10 vs. your chosen energy type.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times choosing a new energy type each time.

Control Time Sense
Prerequisites: Abundant Step, Access to Codex Lore
Benefits: Once per day, for one round, you can slow your perception of the passing of time to a crawl, causing you and your opponents’ movement and actions to appear to be in slow motion. While this does not permit you to make any additional actions, you can contemplate your responses at length and patiently execute your actions perfectly. During this one round you gain a +20 bonus on AC, and all attacks are assumed to have a roll of twenty. You still must roll dice to check for a critical threat and confirmation but regardless of the actual die rolls you calculate the attack as though you had rolled a twenty. Skill checks for that round are also made with an assumed twenty but this only applies to skills that can be completed in the single round during which this feat is active. Finally any reflex save is also assumed to have a roll of a twenty.
Special: Using this feat is a free action.

Focused Ki Strike
Prerequisites: Ki Strike Lawful, Access to Codex Lore
Benefits: By focusing your ki as a full round action, you can make a single unarmed attack against a foe at range. The single attack is made at your full base attack bonus and has a range increment of 40 ft. The attack does your unarmed attack damage, but has all the properties of your unarmed attack, including bonuses for breaching damage resistance, lawful, keen, vorpal, and elemental properties. The focused strike can also be used to make trip, or sunder attacks.

Mobil Master
Prerequisites: 15 ranks in tumble, mobility, Access to Codex Lore
Benefits: When you tumble past or through an opponents square they must make an opposed tumble check, if they fail you get an attack of opportunity on them. If your opponent doesn’t have ranks in tumble they instead make a reflex save with a DC equal to your tumble score. You may not make more then one attack of opportunity upon any single foe with this feat, no matter how many times you may circle them. Further despite the fact that these attacks are made during your action they still count against your total attacks of opportunity for the round but do not count as your standard action.

Endless Flurry
Prerequisites: Flurry of Blows, Access to Codex Lore
Benefits: You may add an additional attack at your maximum attack bonus to your flurry attack, at a cumulative cost of –2 to all your attacks for each blow that you add. You may continue to add attacks until your highest attack bonus drops to a +0 or less.

Additional Codex feats can be taken by such a grandmaster as ordinary epic feats but only so long as the master retains access to the codex and continues to study it regularly. Tradition holds that the Codex is awarded to the worlds single greatest master, it can be claimed from the current grandmaster by way of an unarmed duel. No help, spells, items or weapons of any sort are permitted. A formal challenge is issued to the current grandmaster a time and place agreed upon and both masters will meet and fight until one of them yields or dies. The victor will then be able to claim (or retain) the title of grandmaster and the Codex with it. The Codex is currently held by grandmaster Kenri Hathor who lives in the Lotus Shrine in the foothills of the mountains along Karaadia’s western border.

The Imperial Effects
The Imperial effects refers to three objects that are symbols of the office of emperor. Legend holds that the first Karaadian emperor was coronated by the imperial Triumvirate at the founding of the empire. During the coronation the new emperor was presented with three gifts one from each of the gods. These gifts consisted of the Crown of Vaylik, The Robe of Malek, and Rod of Kaylen. Invested in each of these objects was said to be small piece of each gods power intended to aid the emperor in maintaining a wise and certain rule. Legend also holds that the wearing of the effects is continuing proof of the gods divine favor of the emperor. For only one divinely anointed as rightful emperor can safely wield the imperial effects.

The Crown of Vaylik
The crown is fashioned from mithril and has been cleverly crafted to resemble a circle of tiny oak leaves wherein grow diamonds instead of acorns. Above the brow the crown rises to a single point which holds a large diamond. The diamond takes on a silver sheen due to the mithril setting, but the center of the stone is punctuated by a streak of red that forms a 5 pointed star.

The Crown grants the wearer a +10 bonus to wisdom, and intelligence. Further the crown grants the wearer the power of discernment granting a continuous true seeing effect.
Finally the crown grants the wearer a continuous comprehend languages and tongues effect.

The Robe of Malek
The Robe, is crafted from light, shimmering, silk like material. The robe is a dazzling azure blue with mithril thread silver trim. Emblazoned across the back of the robe is a five pointed silver star.

The Robe of Malek imbues the wearer with Energy resistance (All) of 25 rendering the wearer virtually impervious to any natural temperature extreme. The robe also grants a +10 enhancement bonus to armor and an SR of 25.

The Rod of Kaylen
Fashioned from red adamantine, the rod is actually a mace with a round head studded with star shaped sapphires.

The Rod of Kaylen aside from being a +5 axiomatic weapon, also grants the wielder +10 to strength and constitution finally the weapon gives the wielder regeneration 5.

In addtion to the effects offered by each of the individual items, when all three imperial effects are wielded together the wearer will be surrounded by a nimbus of silver light covering a 50 ft radius. All creatures within this radius are awed and will act as though under the effect of a calm emotion spell. Creatures with more than 10 hit dice may make a will save dc 25 to shake off this effect. Lastly this nimus of light grants the wearer a DR of 10/-

Karaadian Empire

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