Zomaris:Galmoroth Empire

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The Galmoroth Empire, also called the Zeperethi Empire, is the land controlled by drow, and specifically Iraim, "True Queen of All Almara". Prior to the Great Revolution, this was large portions of Almara. Since the start of the Modern Age, the drow were driven back, and now the Empire contains the lands known to the rest of the world as the Northern Wastes.

Map

A map of the Galmoroth Empire, as drawn by Ilmatra of Toblor, can be found here soon. Settlements on the map are numbered (by the DM) for convenience/brevity of the map.

The following table presents the names of settlements, along with their status. If a number does not have a name attached, it has not come up in the plot yet.

# Status Name Comments
1 Imperial City Zepereth Capital city and residence of Queen Iraim
4 Imperial City Zalmuran (none)
17 Allied Town Toblor Home of Ilmatra
18 Allied Town Mt. Bilo (none)
29 Village Kildaf (none)

A Brief Treatise on the Recent History and Nobility of the Galmoroth Empire, by Ilmatra of Toblor

The Basics of Society

Officially, there are three classes in Imperial society: nobles, commoners, and slaves. This is however, laughable, because of how slavery is enforced. It is perfectly legal to attack and kill any non-drow commoner as you please, as long as they are not owned. This is even true for slaves. This is designed specifically to discourage attempting to escape slavery, but it just makes for a miserable world. As such, in practice there are five classes: nobles, commoners, warriors, slaves, and targets. The only technical distinction between a warrior and a target is that a warrior is one who is strong enough to make you regret attempting to attack them. These are usually the enforcers of the slave population and in practice still must obey the commands of the rulers of whatever settlement they live in. This philosophy, however, more or less extends to all of society. What I mean by this is that the code of law is "whatever the Lady decides it is", and this can change at any moment. There is no true law, just whatever the matriarchs feel like. This means that favortism runs rampant. One might use the word "corruption" but that implies the system is not working exactly as intended.

This means that the most essential component for any who wish to alter or end slavery is to simply value life itself, to make it so that harming another is a crime, regardless of who it is, and in general, have a consistent code of law that all, even the most powerful, must abide by. This does not mean that the powerful will not have powers to exercise, but it does mean that they should not be able to alter those powers in their favor at a mere whim.

Types of Cities (reference the Map/Table)

The Imperial Cities (denoted on the map with a star) are the backbone of the Empire. Several noble families rule each city, with the overall ruler having the title of Duchess. Queen Iraim also holds the title of Duchess of Zepereth.

Imperial Towns (pentagon) are towns that are not important enough to be cities, but are still fully considered territories of the Empire. Imperial Towns are ruled by a Countess.

Allied Towns (diamond) are towns that are not considered significant enough to have the 'honor' of the presence of drow nobility. Commoners such as my own family share ownership of these towns. Becoming too important would not likely elevate us to nobility, but rather, would see a noble decide she wanted the town for herself. The difference between an actual Imperial town and an Allied Town is precisely the presence of actual noblewomen.

Villages (triangles) don't have any real drow presence at all. They can be populated by orcs, ogres, goblins, hobs, and occasionally some others (often runaway slaves). In all cases, they are simultaneously enough of a bother to claim and not worth spending the effort for any drow to claim, and are largely left alone. If warriors are needed to fight for a noble, however, she may be insistent in her recruitment from these villages. Nonetheless, warriors tend to treat the others almost as brutally there anyway, so life doesn't change much. I only know of a couple of nearby villages; presumably there are others elsewhere.

Recent History and the Current State of the Royal Family

First, a caveat: Everything I am telling you was taught to me in turn, and I have no reason to believe any of it is false. However, I am still a commoner and am not privy to the secrets of high power. In short, I am cognizant that (and the reader should beware that) I may be relaying "official" history that may omit things that commoners from unimportant small towns such as myself don't "need" to know.

The Empress who ruled over most of Almara is the most revered figure in Drow society, even though she has been dead for over 400 years. I don't even know her name, as it is not told to us mere commoners. Even none of her daughters have dared claim the title "Empress". Her last surviving daughter, Iraim, calls herself "Queen". I suspect she would call herself "Empress" if she was able to reclaim all (or at least most) of her mother's old territory.

When a noblewoman dies, her daughters must fight each other to claim their mother's title. The Empress had five daughters, and Iraim only became Queen when she could declare her four sisters to all be dead. Prior to that, they were all Princesses and our society was constantly at war with itself. Iraim's defeat of her sister Harromi three years ago confirmed her ascension as Queen. Prior to this, it wasn't uncommon to see our flag colored either blue, to represent support for Iraim, or black, to represent support for Harromi. Their other three sisters, prior to their death, used the red, green, and white flags, respectively. Now all five of these single-color flags would be considered treasonous, as Iraim's ascension means she has the right to a purple flag. Iraim has two daughters. Princess Arixa uses a purple-and-green flag, and Princess Marant uses a purple-and-red flag. They show support for their mother, while each indicating their own right to eventual succession. They also both sit on her advisory council.

I have never personally met the Queen or either of her daughters. I did, however, once meet Marant's grand-daughter, Princess Vilkat, who is my age, about a decade ago, and she was outright horrible to me, and even worse to her slaves. No one will miss her.

Iraim's sisters had quite a bit of support before they were finally killed -- it is necessary for this to be true, otherwise it would not have taken so long. The official record denies this. It might be difficult to get any drow to admit they were not always Iraim's supporters, but if you can, they may have reasons not to like her, and potential dirt. One might similarly find information on her daughters by approaching supporters on both sides of that eventual war.

Other Important Information

Every official settlement has a teleportation hub. Noblewomen have special devices that allow for those holding them to teleport to and from hubs. These are carefully guarded and the means to manufacture both hubs and devices are kept a secret. Toblor's hub is in Mormalu's shrine, and she has the only authorized device in the town, granted to her by Duchess Temao of Zalmuran. I have also used another of the Duchess's devices to travel from Zalmuran to Zepereth and back, along with many of us young Drow from the area. I know little about them, but theoretically getting ahold of one would mean the ability to go between the cities of the Empire, at least, assuming you could also fake authorization so you weren't arrested immediately.

(More to come later. Maybe.)