Sunday, March 15, 2015

Octavia and the Kingship of Gatavia

Among the Westerlings, monarchy is bestowed by the great goddess Rigatona, whose name means “great queen” and who is called Juno by the Ardeans. She is the power of mystical sovereignty, i.e., the right to rule, and is represented on earth by various orders of priestesses. In the ancient kingdom of Gatavia, like most Westerling kingdoms, there was a hereditary college of priestesses who embodied the sovereign power, it was through marriage to the heiress of the college (the youngest daughter of the previous ruling queen) that a chieftain of one of the clans would gain the right to be king.

When the Ardeans conquered Gatavia, the Westerling clans fought bitterly and without relent, even when such resistance had become futile. They simply would not obey laws that did not come from divine right. Finally, the victorious Ardean general who has seized the Brain of Bran came up with a solution, he married the heiress and became the lawful king. From his day forward, every Ardean governor of Gatavia, upon taking office, would ceremonially (or occasionally actually) marry the heiress and become de jure king of the province (although he would never publicly take the title as Ardean emperors endured no kings).

However, when the Ardean Empire converted to the Orthodox Fane (a predecessor of the Lawful Church), such pagan practices were banned. Many argue that this was one step in the failure of the Ardean Magical Defense that led to the Return of the Trolls and the rise of the Old Ones.

The priestess college was formally dissolved and the heiresses became fewer and fewer in number and harder and harder to find. However, Octavia of Maeve was the last of them. Yet Juno's promise to the kingdom was absolute, the line would never fail, and royal power would come from no other source. A great geas was lain on Octavia, she was possessed by one aspect of the goddess herself—Juno the Hag of Night---and doomed to haunt Hod until the questions be answered and her destiny fufilled.

The marriage and coronation must take place at Hod (the spiritual center of the ancient kingdom) on the 21st of December. From then on all soldiers who serve the King receive +1 (or +5%) morale, and any domain-related random roll made by the king as overlord is made twice with the king taking the better roll. The king also gains a magic resistance of 16+.

The king's rule lasts as long as the marriage does. The marriage can end with the death of either party or if the queen publicly dissolves it. If the king leaves the borders of Gatavia, or touches a dead body, or humbles himself in front of any mortal, he loses his royal power and authority until a suitable penance (set by the gods) is performed.


  1. Of course Octavia is her Ardean name given because she has (had) seven older brothers. Her Westerling name is Orla - meaning "golden".

  2. Interesting enough, I just read a book where the main character renamed his slaves along those lines. A good part of the book was the main character (who is WAY not a nice guy) and his main slave, Septimus, getting his new slave, Octavia, trained. At the end of the book Octavia is pregnant, and it implies that her baby replaces the main character as the leader of this group, and his name is Decimus.

  3. "touches a dead body"... You gonna have a lot of atoning to do Amicus!

  4. Yeah. Hopefully raising PCs doesn't require touching the body!

  5. Yeah. Hopefully raising PCs doesn't require touching the body!

  6. if the king humbles himself infront of any mortal... that can still kind of be open for interpretation
    if he thinks himself lowly that can be interpreted as unworthy of the crown
    but surely to be modest , absent of arrogance or courteous and respectful cannot fall under the category of humble or perhaps it does and the penance set by the gods is the eradication of the lawful and chaotic aligned forces
    just some thoughts on the matter

  7. Another question. If a ruler swears fealty to the king, do they receive the rulership re-roll EVEN IF they do not pay the customary 20% tax to the crown? The collective is originally designed to be a cooperative of equals, but having a single "spokesman" who could ALSO improve everyone's bottom line could be attractive.

  8. I would say that only rolls made by the King himself, not by/for others are re-rolled.