Guidebook
Classes & Factions
Factions are groups your character can join. Each faction has its own laws, traditions, and goals. You can create factions for your own characters any time you want and post about them in the Worldbuilder. A faction can be added to this page if it has at least three active members.

Stateraeons

Stateraeons are warriors of the gods who undergo the Stateraeon ceremony, which binds them in service to the Faith and service of the nobility. This is very similar to the concept of knighthood and knighting; the terms can be used interchangeably on Imperium. Stateraeon do not always fit the traditional image of heavy cavalry that is implied by “knight,” as this faction encompasses many classes of warriors, but most of them are nobles mounted on horseback.

Those who undergo the ceremony are given the honorary title “Stateraeon” which is usually abbreviated as “Ser.” Women are outnumbered by men and make up a third to a fourth of all Stateraeons.

It is important to note that anyone can be a trained warrior but not necessarily a Stateraeon. This is because Stateraeons are, at least in theory, explicitly devoted to the Faith. Becoming a Stateraeon knight is incredibly desirable because it is a sign of status that affords respect, and privileges from the noble who ordained them. That noble will often typically ordain them with the intent of creating a bond of loyalty and/or actual servitude, which may or may not include wages. Many commoners aspire to be ordained although the majority of Stateraeon are nobility due to the costs of training and equipment and the connections required.

Becoming a Stateraeon

  • Aspiring Stateraeons begin as servants called squires, usually around the age of ten or twelve, wherein they assist a Stateraeon knight who acts as a mentor.
  • It is possible to be ordained without being a squire first, but this usually requires an impressive act of bravery or service.
  • The ceremony can only be conducted by a landholding noble and is usually not performed on those under the age of eighteen. Although the details vary from region to region, it involves reciting Stateraeon oaths and swearing vows of fealty to the Faith and one’s master, and holding vigil in the nearest temple.
  • Ordained Stateraeons are expected to follow a code of honor known as chivalry. Should they fail to uphold it, they can be stripped of their title, although this is unusual.

Code of Honor

  • They must serve the the gods, their overlords, and the realm to the last, even at the risk of personal sacrifice.
  • They act polite and courteous to all, and act as an example of the Faith.
  • They must defend the honor of themselves and their lord.

Common Warrior Types

  • Heavy cavalry, which originate primarily from Zhaoshang and Lucenna. This is what you picture as the archetypal knight in shining armor; they are trained to engage in direct combat with the enemy, are mounted on large, powerful horses, and have heavy arms and armor that tend to rely on blunt force.
  • Light cavalry, which originate primarily from Nejem. They are trained to engage in skirmishing, raiding, and reconnaissance. They have greater mobility than heavy cavalry and are usually armed with bows, spears, or swords.
  • Archers, most commonly from Persad; the longbow is the most powerful and requires a great deal of skill. Crossbows are far easier to use, but also more expensive. Most Stateraeon archers will also be cavalry.
  • Foot soldiers, who can fall under different categories depending on their choice of weapons, armor, and technique. Foot soldiers are not trained to use horses in battle. Generally speaking warriors who do not have horses are considered more likely to be poor or common folk. In an army, foot soldiers are the most numerous group, but very few of them are sworn Stateraeons.

Scholars

Scholarhood is a female-dominated class of people who follow the path of knowledge. There are many areas of study, including medicine, astronomy, history, economics, warcraft, metallurgy, theology, magic, and more. Accomplished scholars often act as advisers to the nobility.

Becoming a Scholar

  • Aspiring scholars may begin their education at any age. Before any titles are obtained, they are referred to as an apprentice scholar.
  • A scholar's education is similar to that of a modern university, where subjects are learned for several years until a diploma is obtained by the approval of an master in each field.
  • However, scholarhood does not always involve sitting indoors and reading — depending on the subject, many have traveled and been present at courts for research and expedition.
  • Full scholars are referred to as a "Master of (Subject)" or sometimes by other titles (such as physician).
  • Mastery must be achieved by proving knowledge of theory, and seeing that theory applied. Some may do this by completing "projects" or through hands-on experience. Others may choose the equivalent of very rigorous exams. It is different for everyone, and must be approved by at least three other Masters in the same (or closely related) subject. Some examples:
    • A Master of Warfare might act as a successful general or advisor in a war.
    • A biologist plans and completes projects with hypotheses and experiments, which are then presented as a thesis to other Scholars.
    • A Physician completes numerous diagnoses and surgeries that result in most of their patients recovering successfully.
    • A mathematician completes a Scholar-issued exam or project that includes numerical problems in addition to written essays.
    • A Master of Theology writes a theology tract and/or serves for a period as a priest/ess.
    • A Master of Metallurgy forges something of great difficulty with a high level of skill.
    • A Master of Engineering or Architecture oversees a construction project.
  • Full scholars receive tattoos, usually in white ink, that denote their field(s) of study and may convey other information. These tattoos are highly detailed and come in the form of "bracelets" that band the wrists. Highly accomplished scholars would thus be tattooed from their wrist to their elbow or shoulder. Hands and legs, beginning with the ankles, may also be used for this purpose, though it is rarer.

University

  • Universities are located in each of the four capital cities. While each one contains similar treasures, they also have their own specialties: Persad, for example, has much knowledge about the seas and medicine, Nejem about theology and astronomy, Zhaoshang about warfare and foreign lands (mostly Kankai/Dvorjard/Gardrika), and Lucenna about history and magic.
  • Attending university costs money, but gifted students have been known to receive scholarships or are sent by nobles.
  • In universities, scholars can often be found copying manuscripts, operating printing presses, collecting texts and artifacts, proposing and debating theories, conducting experiments, and more.
  • Full-fledged scholars often take on assistants and apprentices.
  • Scholars are also known to enjoy playing highly competitive board games, which sometimes create more rivalries than friendships.

Making a Scholar Character

  • Your character must devote at least 4 years of study to the average mastery. If they are exceptionally gifted or spend all of their time on it, it may take only 2-3 years.
  • Multiple subjects can be studied at once, but if your character is studying more than 2 subjects or finishes studying quickly, they will have to devote an exceptional amount of time to it.
  • This means that even if your character is studying a subject and very good at it, it may take them longer than four years to earn a mastery.
  • Your character CAN be studying or learning from Universities without being an official scholar or having a mastery.
  • Simply studying a subject does not indicate mastery. Your character will have to truly prove themselves in a subject to receive tattoos. They must either prove that they can practically apply the knowledge (completing "projects" in the real world) or pass rigorous exams which will also apply their practical knowledge. See above for more information and examples.
  • Again, your character must have TIME to complete a mastery; if they are very intelligent or talented but spend a lot of time at court or with rulership duties, they will be studying less. Well-studied scholars have a reputation of being hermitlike.
  • As such, if your character has three or more masteries, we require that they have been a scholar for at least three years per mastery. So, a character with five masteries needs at least fifteen years of study unless you are willing to acknowledge they have done little else in their life.

Goldshields

The Goldshields are respected warriors, an elite few sworn to protect and serve the imperials and the realm at all costs. Most of them are Stateraeon knights when inducted, or are knighted shortly thereafter. Their colors are white and gold.
  • The leader of the Goldshields is known as the Lord Commander.
  • Goldshields may be charged with tasks that require them to go elsewhere on imperial business or serve other parts of the empire, although a few always remain to guard the imperials.
  • They may marry and have children.
  • Warriors must past rigorous training and prove themselves to become Goldshields. Those who are considered untrustworthy or disloyal are not admitted. Nobody is forced into service.

The Ladonic Order

The Ladonic Order was started in January 474 IA, an initiative headed by Natanaele Corona and backed by Madhali Rana due to claims of signs from the gods. Because the organization is still young and does not yet have any Ilians sworn into its ranks, it's hard to say what it will truly become. However, it is intended to be an elite, protective force for Ilium in the service of the gods and Imperials. Ladonic Order members are not allowed to own land, must follow a strict code of honor, and are expected to devote their life to their duties on pain of death.

The main point of the Ladonic Order is its use of dragons: recruits, two from each region so far, will raise and learn to ride their own dragons. Dragon riding has only been mastered by the society of Totlakah, and a few of their number have agreed to teach Ilians their secrets for favors in return.

More detailed information can be found here, and the member roster is located here. Incoming characters are not allowed to be Ladonic Order members unless they are filling a specific open canon.
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