EMPIRE OF EBONGRASP
’‘HEIL MOTUS! HEIL THE EMPIRE!’'
- Capital: Ebongrad, Ebonya Jungle
- Alignment: Chaotic Evil
- Main Color: Purple/Dark Purple
- Style/Theme: High Fantasy/Medieval
Deep in the lush jungles of Ebonya lies a faction so grim, so cruel and so heartless, just hearing it’s name is enough to send shivers down one’s spine.
Ebongrasp, the raven’s domain.
This empire of horror consists of many a race, some more privileged than others. On the very top sit the Xials and the Humans. Below them are Orcs and many others who had the misfortune of ending up under the dual emperors’ grasp.
Ebongrasp has a long history of dark magics. Magics which no sane soul would even wish to know about. Blood magic.
Innocents from all over the empire are used as living tax payments. Carted off like cattle, they are tortured to the very edge of mortality before being brutally slain. Their blood is then used to power said dark magics while the husked corpses are used to feed the ravens.
Oh. And purple.
The empire has it’s roots in the cold lands of the west. (or however they decide to flip the map) Warring human tribes existed in the plains and mountains for tens of thousands of years. One of the tribes, the tribe Arith, came in contact with strange beings from the east. (or however they decide to flip the map) These beings were nearly god-like in comparison to the mortal humans.
They agreed to help Arithians fight back the other tribes. This proved a success and soon the tribes decided to leave Arith alone in peace.
The Arithians and the Xials bonded and formed a special friendship. Together they decided to travel to the promised lands of the east. (or however they decide to flip the map) These lands were lush and fertile. Warm and plentiful.
When they traveled, they stumbled upon another human tribe whom have heard of this land before the Arithians and Xials. These were the Aldrainians. They did not pose much of a threat to the two migrating peoples so they soon formed bonds.
The Aldrainians explained that they tried to migrate to the lush jungles as well, but the natives were too much to handle.
So the three decided to join forces. Together they would fight back the native savages and take the jungle for themselves.
They fought vigilantly, but eventually they drove the savages to near extinction. Happy with the results, they decided to settle there.
Many years later, the Arithians and the Xials found temples of dark magic, left behind by the savages.
This magic was in the form of blood voodoo. They decided to give this magic a try and soon found themselves mastering the dark arts.
But there was a price to pay; If not used properly, such magic has the power to corrupt it’s masters. The natives knew this. They practiced it for many centuries but never saw corruption.
Soon the darkness engulfed the two peoples. As time went by, they became cruel. Slaughtering anything that they deemed unworthy so that they could use the blood to power their magics.
Inspired by the imagery used by the natives upon their temples and scrolls, they began to associate the magic with the raven. They began to worship ravens and soon decided that some godly raven-humanoid being must have led them to this paradise and given them this dark privilege. They named this raven Motus.
They also decided that if they wished to please Motus, they needed more blood. More tribute for the raven-god! Only way they’d achieve this, other than sacrificing it’s own people, would be to conquer others. So they decided to form an empire based entirely on dominance and cruelty.
They named this empire; Ebongrasp.
This was inspired by the motto ‘‘Prosphering under the raven’s ebon grasp.’’ This also had many other meanins, of course. Many more grim than the rest.
Government & Ideology
The Ebongraspian government is relatively simple. The empire thrives on a dual monarchy, with one seat always occupied by the descendant of the previous Xial ruler. While the other seat has never been occupied by a human other than one of the house of Arith, it is not inscribed in the constitution that the electorate states may not choose one that is not. The second seat is held by a white human of one of the royal houses of Ebongrasp, elected by the leaders of all electorate states with intervals of eight years. The royal houses eligible to the throne (although this list is subject to change at a whim) are:
The House of Arith
The Grand Duchy of Aldrain
The House of Ebuyna
The Royal Consulate of Saxembourg
The Duchy of Buden
The House of Karradordavok
Ebongrspian culture is a curious construction of many conflicting ideals that would appear to not be able to coexist in the minds of the sane. Ebongraspian culture places great value upon death and sacrifice, teaching all from a young age that allegiance is to the state, and no other organisation above it. Curiously however, the ebongraspian doctrine is actively constructive towards the family dynamic, believing it to be an effective mechanism to bring the best out of its people. Social classes are a big part of the relationships between the people of the empire. While there are a large variety, and the majority of the active population resides in the middle class, all people are trained from a young age to appreciate their positions and roles, taught only to strive for more when it seems achievable. The higher classes are taught to appreciate the poor and weak, while never considering to aspire to their position. This dynamic permits the social classes with starkly different roles to coexist and sustain a structured society.
Ebongraspian culture is not in any form tolerant of other races. By decree of the emperor, the list of desirable races in descending order of value is as follows:
White Humans & Xials
Black & Jungle Humans
Orcs, Trolls, and Goblins
Foreigners of different races
Enemies of the state
While the first four ranks are permitted to reside in the nation, only the first three are granted citizenship. Other nations who harbour any of the three lower classes as equal are considered inferior and become undesirable. Ebongrasp does however recognise majority populations in other nations, and should they correspond favourably to the list, good relations would be established.
Ebongraspian people have very high opinion of education, being mandatory from ages 3 – 18 in all portions of the empire. Education starts from a young age due to a desire to control the opinions and thoughts of children very early on for maximum influence later in life. Early education contains constant repetition of the ideals of the empire, and the memorisation of its history, culture, and enemies. Mathematics and science are also held in high regard, most children being introduced to algebra at the age of five. The jewel of Ebongrasp’s education system however, is combat. From the age of four, children are taught the basic principles of metallurgy and sword combat, occasionally sparring. By the age of twelve, all Ebongraspian males should be competent with both the sword and the shortbow. At age sixteen, Ebongraspian males are drafted into the military for a six year compulsory service and training, with frequent exceptions for individuals who excelled at mathematics or science. As a result of this, physical fitness is also emphasized early on, to produce strong, healthy individuals who can hold both the pen and sword.
Gender roles are very rigid in Ebongraspian society. The role of females of all races is traditionally to raise children and maintain a household. Women are also encouraged to start businesses and earn their own income, as to not nullify the potential effect of half the population. While it is not frequently desired due to the way they were raised, Ebongraspian women are permitted to enter government and military. While this practice is not encouraged or directly touched upon – if personal interest and ambition is shown, it will be respected. Males are expected to attend the fields of warfare, mathematics & science, or government. Other roles are harshly forbidden, with the exception of commerce and trade, which is also encouraged. If males show desire regarding fields that are traditionally occupied by females, they will either be sent to re-education, or removed from the system. The Ebongraspian male is to be a strong intelligent individual who is both education and wealthy.
In schools, children are heavily indoctrinated. They are thought that the weak do not belong in the Empire. They are also told that their role in life, no matter how bad, serves the empire. Be it peasant or soldier. Their suffering pleases the emperors.
An unique aspect of the Ebongraspian culture, not yet seen anywhere else, is a complete distain for alcohol. Alcoholic drinks are banned within the empire and ‘‘bars’’ serve coffee instead. Those caught drinking alcohol are punished severely.
The belief around this is that alcohol distracts, creates nuisance, destroys self-worth and shows weakness towards facing reality.
The national food of Ebongrasp is ebonix pydin (black puding) and kryx sazsa (blood sausage).
- The Emperors
- Members of the ruling house (Arith)
- See ranks below.
- Ship Captains (Non-naval)
- The Worse-off
- See racial ranks above
- Those born with disabilities, mental or physical
Metallurgy is a field that Ebongraspian scientists place the most emphasis on. The Ebongraspian machine is constantly on the search for stronger alloys with unique properties and complicated, difficult to replicate recipes. The empire’s greatest achievements to this day are Ebonsteel, Cimmetrum, and Poliszium, each harbouring uses in both infrastructure and military. Ebonsteel is an alloy composed of:
15% Congealed Blood
Cimmetrum is an alloy composed of:
Choice of profession is essential in the empire. Occupation defines both salary and social status, being one of the most important choices an Ebongraspian can make.
Ebongraspians follow Motoism.
The Ebongraspian culture is rich with cruelty and dark ways.
Equality among the peoples is not a thing, and only the strong survive. There is a huge emphasis on the survival of the fittest. Xenophobia is prevalent in day-to-day life, with everyone very used to it, accepting it as the norm.
It’s not uncommon to see segregation among the races of the empire, as well as among social classes.
Ebongraspians follow the state religion of Motoism. They worship the rave-god Motus, whom was inspired by imagery of ravens left behind by natives upon their temple walls and scriptures.
They believe that Motus provides great power to those who worship him and destroys lives of those who don’t. As part of Motoism, regularly innocent folk will be deported from their homes and transported to temples, where they would be tortured to the very edge of their sanity before being killed. Their blood is then used as tribute to Motus while their bodies are fed to ravens. After offering blood to Motus, he rewards Ebongrasp with access to blood magic.
Under Motoism, the dead are drained of their blood and the corpses fed to ravens. Same is done for an important person, except that the body is burned instead of made into raven food.
The empire has a currency in the form of Ebonsteel. Ebonsteel is an alloy. It’s a mixture of steel, gold, electrum, blood and ebonthyst.
Ebonthyst is an extremely rare mineral found only underneath the jungles of Ebonya. The minerals are a result of excessive usage of dark magics in large concentrations. There are several Ebonthyst mines across the empire, which all use slave labour to obtain the mineral.
The Ebongraspian military is a force to be reckoned with.
It is seperated into the following ranks:
The dual emperors - Unquestionable leaders of the entire army. Their word is law.
Commanders - They command the army from military establishments and from the terrain. They answer directly to the emperors. They keep eye on all the ranks below them.
- Ravenknights - A select group of elite fighters who are often accompanied by a conspiracy of trained ravens. They are the most valuable unit in the army.
- Siege-engineers - Engineers who operate, maintain and watch over siege weapons.
- Soldiers - Professionals who come 3 variants. A swordsman, an archer and a crossbowman. They often accompany the other ranks and are a basic unit.
- Levies - Conscripted peasant fighters who are a basic unit. Sometimes also cannon fodder.
- Slaves - They are mostly used to push siege weapons. When not needed, they are sent in to die as cannon fodder.
There’s also a massive collection of weapons and siege equipment. These include:
- A giant gaping magical eye rooted to tall buildings with the ability to shoot beams of magic at potential invaders,
- An army of magically bred dragons (ridable and non ridable),
- Ebonsteel fortresses on wheels sporting many a weapon,
- Floating islands suspended in air via magic that can hold weapons,
- Spewers, magical machinery that can spew diseases, poisons and malaria-carrying mosquitoes,
- Injectors, magical machinery that can inject corruption into the soil, killing plants for miles and making water undrinkable,
- Giant glass balls full of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, often launched from catapults,
- Same as above but smaller to be thrown by hand,
- Battering rams,
- Magical ‘‘hot air balloon’’ bombers,
- Ships with big wheels run by slaves like hamsters with giant magical dragon head cannons in the front.
The Ebongraspian economic model resembles that of state capitalism. While smaller businesses thrive, large means of production are state controlled, mainly arms manufactory, ebonsteel mining and coffee plantations.
The main export is coffee, as the tropical climate of Ebonya allows for easy mass production through the use of slave labour.
- Kingdom of Kaldaross: Friendly (Ally)
- Empire of Keldugnir: Friendly (ally)
- Kingdom of Lexidon: Friendly
- Valkorian Empire: Neutral-Friendly (ally)
- Not listed: ??? (Unknown/No contact)
- Danheim: Neutral-Hostile