The Roman Empire

This page is an exploration into a fantastic version of the Roman world that feels true to the historical empire while still incorporating all of the magical and adventurous hallmarks of D&D Fourth Edition. The world described here relies heavily on historical information of the Roman Empire and on d20 sources such as [*roma.hinterwelt.com/ Roma Imperious] and Eternal Rome, and attempts to tie this into other campaign worlds such as Hamunaptra: Egyptian Adventures and Mindshadows by Green Ronin Press for surrounding cultures. It is modeled after a struggling empire, the Roman Empire of about 100 A.D. with some significant changes. During the first century AD, Rome was wracked by a series of increasingly insane emperors (including Caligula and Nero) then by a civil war and finally by a major revolt by Jewish populations in the eastern provinces.

Geography

A guide to the major areas of the empire and the surrounding lands can be found on the Roman Empire map and the associated articles. At this point, eight and a half centuries after the founding of Rome (or 100 AD) the empire stretches from the mist-covered valleys of Britannia to the sand-swept reaches of Judea and the rich farmlands of Hispania to the craggy mountains of Illyricum.

Outside the Borders

Arabia

Aegyptus

Called Khemti by its inhabitants, this kingdom has been a protectorate of the Roman empire for many centuries. It is technically divided into three distinct kingdoms, Upper, Middle, and Lower Khemti, and only the Lower and Middle kingdoms were sworn to follow the dictates of the Roman emperor. In practice, however, the two vassal kingdoms keep the Upper Kingdom in check, knowing that increased attention from Solara would only mean war. With the recent troubles in the empire, however, the Khemtians have grown bolder and the lines of the pharaohs have again taken more control. The Khemtians follow a much different religion from that practiced in Solara, though the pharaoh's household also honors the Roman gods according to the law. The Khemtian religion has been changed from its ancient practice after conquests by Alexander, even before it came under the control of Rome, and the parallels are respected and often overlooked by the Roman generals who oversee business in Khemti.

India

Far to the east across distant seas lie the lands of India or Naranjan, traders in exotic spices and the birthplace of the mysterious psionic traditions. Though it was part of Alexander's Macedonian Empire, Rome has little direct connection with Naranjan but a number of immigrants live in the Great City as traders and mercenaries. Some say that the Naranjan kingdoms are influencing the Parthian Empire which lie between Naranjan and the eastern Solaran provinces. If so their indirect agression could mean a concerted effort to further expansion of Naranjan colonies, something they have done in the past.

Parthian Empire

Nemmia was an ancient enemy of Greece, crippled during the Ella-Nemmian wars. It has been wracked by conflict for centuries, positioned as it is between Roman, Khemtian, and Naranjan territories. Lying to the east of Syria and Judea, it has recently regained it's strength and has begun harassing Rome's eastern border, allowing rebellions to spring up throughout the empire. The Parthian githzerai make no excuses for their desire to destroy what they see as a corrupt and decadent empire, something which offends the ascetic religion of their ancestors.

Religion in the Empire

The Solaran Pantheon

The traditional religion of Solaran culture is a pantheistic collection of nineteen deities, the nineteen gods and goddesses from the D&D Fourth Edition Player's Handbook. Information in the Player's Handbook holds true for the citizens of the Solaran Empire and Divine feats and powers from various sources are all found among the followers of the Solaran gods throughout the empire. Solaran emperors have never begun any pogroms to end other religions but reverence to the Solaran gods is required of everyone living within the empire. There are economical incentives to do this as well since citizenship and social position is dependent on ingratiating oneself to the populace and aristocracy of Solara and this invariably involves reverence to the gods. While many peoples absorbed into Solaran culture pay lip service to the gods and worship their own deities above all, there is still a very strong following of older religions within the boundaries of the Solaran Empire and in nearby lands, even ignoring the farther lands of Khemti and Naranjan.
An important aspect of traditional Solaran practices is that all of the gods are equally moral. Unlike other cultures, all Solaran deities are seen as worthy of worship, even selfish deities such as Asmodeus or Gruumsh. Priests of the gods often discuss the idea of "obtutus deorum," the godly gaze, which refers to the different personalities of the gods. Those which have an "evil" disposition are considered to be more "jealous" than other deities and more territorial about their divine porfolios. Opening a magic academy without honoring Corellon, for instance, might result in extreme bad luck in the magical laboratories until proper reverence is shown but dishonoring Lolth, a very jealous goddess, at the opening of an apothecary shop may result in a deadly explosion. Competition among deities is common and priests devoted to single deities are charged with promoting their patron but outright hostility is very rare.

The Ellatic Pantheon

Most Ellatic peoples living in Solaran lands think of their gods as the same as the Solaran gods and prolonged contact between the two cultures (and the domination of Ellas for centuries) have resulted in reconstructionism on both sides to make the two traditions more compatible. To the right are the Ellatic deities and the name that same deity is known by in Solara. A chief difference between Solaran and Ellatic traditions is that evil is very real and feared in Ellas. Deities such as Gruumsh or Torog are still honored when necessary but they are evil deities whose attention is avoided rather than celebrated. Hostile relationships between churches are more common in Ellas than in Solara although the various churches of the land typically coexist peacefully.

Solaran Name Ellatic Name Solaran Name Ellatic Name
Asmodeus Ekmatheos Melora Tethyna
Avandra Oliessa Moradin Philameon
Bahamut Markut Pelor Behelanos
Bane Eias Raven Queen Hyanes
Corellon Kortelos Sehanine Ilynnasia
Erathis Politaea Tiamat Mekroinis
Gruumsh Cthonis Torog Kratemon
Ioun Logiateos Vecna Vekna
Kord Aphetos Zehir Ophidam
Lolth Aenama

The Efreetim of Jassia

The ancient religion of Jassia is still alive in well in the desert provinces of that nation's former lands. The Jassian tieflings still worship these beings, though token temples to Solaran deities also exist, and worship of the Lords of Elemental Chaos is the dominant religion of all Solaran territories in the deserts across the Middle Sea.

The Archfey

In the northern lands of Gaurenia, beyond the shining Feyshroud, the eladrin live in another world which exists parallel to the mortal realm. Within this land, called the Feywild, live powerful beings called the Archfey which bless their followers with powers. They have been slow to wake over the centuries as the eladrin and elves have lost ground to the Solaran Empire but their long hibernation is over. The Livii rebels in the north benefit from their patronage and the temples of Solara are becoming increasingly alarmed.

Minor and Foreign Religions

The Solaran Empire is a melting pot of religion and cultures but the surrounding lands are even more diverse. Below are stranger religions which also occur within the borders of the empire.

Khemtian Pantheon

Very different from the Solaran gods the gods of Khemti are worshiped in that nation and in that nation and in surrounding territories, including parts of Jassia, Ceanatus, and Mithradia.

Dyaes Devil-Cults

Similar to the worship of beings from the Elemental Chaos common in Jassia, the ancient Dyaes tribes which were scattered at the founding of Solara continue to survive as cults worshipping evil patrons from the Nine Hells. Long ago, when the gods were fighting to overthrow the Primordial Titans, some of their servants rebelled and for this treachery were cast into the Nine Hells as punishment. Though imprisoned these beings are still powerful and they whisper to mortals in their dreams, tempting them into dark acts with the promise of wealth and power.

Nemmian Monotheism

Naranjan Faiths

Exceptionally rare in Solara, these faiths are typically followed only by Naranjan immigrants to the empire. Most immigrants live in the eastern reaches of the Solaran empire, in Khemti, or in the lands of the Nemmians, but there is a considerable Naranjan population in the city of Solara which follows the ways of the their homeland. In Solara, the law demands reverence to the Solaran gods first but even in zealous Nemmia or Khemti the Naranjans must practice their religion modestly if not in outright secrecy.

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