Factions are essentially geographical in origin. Thus they will draw the vast majority of their members from a specific area of the known world. Each Faction has its own distinct ‘personality’, to which each member is expected (to a greater or lesser degree) to conform.
The following Factions are currently recognised:
To some the AlGaia appear as nothing more than religious zealots willing to kill at the behest of their Goddess, to others they are purely protectors of nature living at one with the land, with little in-between.
This dichotomy seems to run through the people, lands and homes of those who inhabit the domains of the Goddess and the Hunter. From the gilded halls of the Dauphin’s palace and other noble houses in Estragales, to the crystal spires of the cities of Lyonesse and the Elves surrounded by magical forests, to the lofty underground halls of the Dwarves and the open plains of the Eored peoples, there seems to be little unity. The AlGaia know however that their harmony of thought and spirit unite them more tightly than any other bond could. Willing to take stand against the abhorrent undead, demons and others outside the cycle of life at each turn, striving to bring light to the dark places of the world, the AlGaia seek to bring their brand of righteousness to all at times whether it is welcome or indeed needed. The united peoples of the AlGaia rising from the ashes of the Gryphons stand together as One People with One Blood flowing through their veins, standing on One Land
They are a proud people whose talents and skills are as varied as their lineage, which are often identifiable by the tartan that to the trained eye tells of family. From the outside it is easy be confused by the Fir Cruthen’s allegiances by caste, clan and country. However, despite these differences the Fir Cruthen are a sight to behold on the battlefield as they charge the enemy covered in woad and calling to their many gods. They are known for their hospitality to those that ask and hold it sacred and unbreakable. This can lead some to accuse the Fir Cruthen of being slow to pick sides, but as a nation that are fiercely loyal to their friends and swear death to their enemies; who can blame them when they need to balance the interplay of their gods with the politics of the factions. So visit the Fir Cruthen camp, be inspired by the Bards, blessed by the Druids and protected by the Warriors as you learn about this ancient culture.
The Jhereg Empire is divided into powerful city states and expansive kingdoms. The City states are bastions of learning, trade and civilisation. The kingdoms encompass collections of tribes which are filled with fierce proud warriors and wise mystics. Each city state has a Governor and each kingdom a King, all of whom are guided by the benevolent hand of the Jhereg Spirit and ruled over by its undying earthly avatar, Lord Jhereg. The people are drawn together by their belief in unity of purpose and a shared moral outlook. The Empire believes in the ‘Great Freedom,’ where no race, religion or belief is persecuted. They will go to any lengths to protect their lands and people and to achieve their goals. In the past this has led to friction with the other factions who have accused the Jhereg of being in collusion with dark powers as they do not share an irrational prejudice against undead or demons.
Taking heart from the teachings of the Gods of Law and strength from honourable deeds; the people of Albion strive to make the world a better place. It is in service to their liege lords, as members of the Warhost of the Lions, that the virtuous, honourable and courageous nature of all Albion’s people is best exemplified. Peasant levies and archer regiments, wise scholars and powerful wizards, brave and noble knights march as one beneath the banners of their homelands. Like a lantern raised against shadow; the Lions fight to turn back evil, to punish misdeeds and to protect the weak and defenceless. They seek not glory or riches, but simply to be remembered as having made a stand and prevailed against the darkness of the world. For they are the Lions of Albion, and in their duty “they shall not falter.”
The social systems are very diverse as the groups within the faction are very diverse. However all are based on five basic tenets, respect for the land, respect for honour, respect for balance and natural order, respect for each other, respect for oneself. Honour is not demanded or sought; it is given and grows out of the day to day service of each other and the land. The faction is very tolerant of any religions as long as they don’t conflict with the faction ethos and reverence for the land and the cycle of life. Members of the Steppe Alliance consider themselves to be guardians of the land for their children. They will strive to protect the land, the mother and each other. In the words of one of their great wise men, Tamarlane, “We do not own the land, we belong to the mother and we are honoured and humbled that by her grace we are allowed to survive each day.” The cycles of the mother are then followed closely by the faction. Moving with the seasons is a way of life. Celebrating the ancestors who know those paths well help guide us through our days. Generally the faction is made up of peoples who are nomadic in lifestyle and outlook whether this is on land or sea. Recent hardships have brought new learning to the faction as food became scarce. Through these times a slight shift in the methods of food gathering were required to survive. However, those that adhere strictly to the Nomad Lore still fervently protect the ‘Zug Huls Haldun’, the Sacred Heartland, where their nomadic traditions remain pure. The different groups within the Steppe have different Lores but we follow faction beliefs and purpose. Those in the faction who transgress answer to the faction. The faction is watched over by the wielder of the Sword of Balance. The various groups within the faction each send one of their group to speak for them at The Table. The Table of Speakers is convened by the Faction Leader who wields the Sword of Balance, in effect the sword of veto. It is rare indeed for the Sword to be drawn as the peoples of the faction are not in the faction by birth but by choice. All therefore understand what it is to be a member of the Steppe Alliance and accept freely the responsibilities that their choice incurs.
Thus, centuries of civil peace provided the strength for the Teutonians to fall back on after a brief period of upheaval. With a Royal line re-established, and much of the Nobility ‘refreshed’ by some of the major newcomers to this land, Teutonia appears settled once more. Respect for their martial skills, and honour on the field of battle, comes from both friends and foe alike. Though the advocacy
by some on the use of undead, as soldiers on the battlefield, has caused enmity from those who
view this as an abomination. However, when not pursuing the expansion of their borders, a wide variety of feasts and festivals abound, to which all are generally welcome.
Winter’s ice, freezing seas and a jagged coastline are well reflected in the people of the Wolves. But, like any strong building, there are warm and welcoming fires within and you’ll never lack for entertainment. Everything is entered into with energy here. Be it fighting or feasting, singing or swordplay. This holds true for their religious beliefs as well. A rich pantheon of deities which both guide and instruct their lives, tend and judge their dead. Friends speak of them as strong and staunch allies, if at times hard to keep up with, careful in giving their word if only because of the weight it carries. Enemies berate them as loud rabble-rousers, putting more energy into their battle cries, taunts and mass charges than into individual skill and discipline. But let it also be said, these words are generally spoken well out of their hearing.
This means that a Mercenary has the freedom to befriend or offend whoever they choose. There is, therefore, a great deal of scope for player interpretation. For example, a Mercenary could be a land-less knight, a wandering merchant, the classic warrior for hire or almost anything else. However, when deciding to be a Mercenary, it is important to remember that such a character does not have any of the support or protection given by a Faction and should therefore be wary of overtly hostile or antisocial behaviour. Though Mercenary groups may have an internal hierarchy, they may only gain Noble Rank by suitably impressing a Faction’s Lord General. The Lord General in question may then grant one of their Faction titles if they see fit.
When in neutral territory, or when specifically requested by a Lord General, any may hunt down such people and bring them to a very public justice. Only a Faction Leader may declare an individual or group Outlaw and this is a terrible decree to be made and therefore used only in the most extreme situations.