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The History of Tirenia

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There have been many different calendars in Tellaia, but the most influential have always been Tirenian. The Auromian Empire had two different ways of counting years: they would refer to 'Anno Auri' (Golden Years), to refer to years since the ascension of the first Gold Dragon Emperor, but more commonly they would refer to events by the reigning emperor of the time: 'in the fifth-second year of the reign of Emperor Aurelius Draco Sahelianus', for example. After the fall of the Auromian Empire, the Church started counting from the death and resurrection of La Salvatrice, and so the calendar 'Anno Salvatricis' and 'Ante Anno Salvatricis' (A.S. and A.A.S.) became widespread.

This timeline is a work in progress!

1229 A.A.S.  The Auromian Empire begins when gold dragons liberate the city of Pallantia from the fairy 'gods' who rule it. They become its new rulers, and the city is renamed 'Auromia' in honour of Aurelian Draco, who becomes the fir…

Cities of Tirenia: Auromia

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Population: 30,000. During its height, Auromia had a population of well over a million, but is now all but deserted.

Dragon: Auromia was the seat of power of the gold dragons. Its land is now controlled by the green dragons, but there are no green dragons living in Auromia.

Politics: Traditionally, a Senatore from one of the noble families whose estates surround Auromia would govern the city, with true authority in the hand of the High Ordinarch. Now that the High Ordinarch lives in Aterni, civic authority has broken down. Gangs of bandits rule the streets on the outskirts of the city, while the nobility fight amongst themselves, little better than brigands whom they often sponsor. In the city's heart, the wilderness is retaking the city with unnatural rapidity, as the ancient gods - fairies of immense power - move back into their ancient places of power.

Economics: Auromia's economy has collapsed. Commerce there is barely more advanced than a village market town.

Religion: Auromi…

Cities of Tirenia: Vanzenia

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Population: 200,000. Vanzenia suffered massive casualties during the recent Carnevale Revolution, as well as the loss of an entire city district, which was first incinerated by dragonfire, and then destroyed when the previous dragon lord Morignus fell on it.

Dragon: Vanzenia is ruled by the red dragons. Morignus, the oldest and most powerful dragon in the world, was the instigator of the stealthy conquest of Tirenia. Recently, however, Morignus has perished and his daughter Gianetta has taken over power. She is an opportunistic schemer who was the leader of her father's secret police, but managed to take advantage of a populist uprising to become the new ruler.

Politics: Following the Carnevale Revolution, Vanzenia is now officially a republic. Gianetta the red dragon is the Principessa, and leader of the Signoria, the ruling council. Previously, Morignus had ruled as an absolute tyrant, and auctioned off government posts, effectively making the city a plutocracy. The transition is …

Cities of Tirenia: Fiumenze

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Population: 90,000.

Dragon: Fiumenze is the home of the blue dragons, led by Zaffiro 'il Magnifico.' He runs the d'Azzuro Bank, which loans money throughout the world. His 'hoard' is his collection of ledgers and journals: by lending and investing his incredible fortune, he has become phenomenally rich.

Government: Officially, Fiumenze is a republic led by the Signoria, nine guildsmen who are randomly selected every two months. In practice, everyone knows that Zaffiro controls whose names are available for selection. Zaffiro also uses a half-dozen highly capable agents such as Antonia Ficino to stay on top of current events.

Economics: Fiumenze is the wealthiest city in the world, and its signature coin, the pezzo d'oro, is trusted everywhere for its high gold content. Fiumenze's workers have formed into multiple guilds, which wield immense economic and political power. The most powerful guilds are the Arte di Calimala and the Arte della Lana, who control the …

Character Creation: Family Bonds

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In Tirenia, one's first loyalty is to their family. Many rural Tirenians live with their extended family, and in the cities families often meet for celebrations and festival, for the church, or just for a daily meal. While the typical Dungeons and Dragons adventurer is often isolated from their family, in Tirenia everyone knows that no one argues like family, but that family will always have their back. (Part of the success of the Benevoli crime syndicate is how it treats the organisation and its members as a family.)

A Tirenian character can choose to have their bond be to their family, rather than a specific person or place. How does this work in practice? Once per adventure, a character with a family bond can call upon a member of their extended family for help. This family member will exist at the same social level as the player character, and may be able to help provide help. The PC and the DM should name the relative, define the relationship, and give a one-word personality …

Recommended Reading: Lent

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Lent is the story of Girolamo Savonarola. This real-life charismatic preacher and prophet briefly took power in Florence before being excommunicated and burned at the stake. Jo Walton's book Lent is a character study of Savonarola, in a world where the demons that he was said to exorcise really exist, and Hell is demonstrably real. In the first half of the book, his life plays out more or less as it did in real life, until his fiery death. Then things get really interesting, as Savonarola is given the chance to relive his life over and over again.

Walton's strength in this book is her characterization, of Savonarola and the people around him. Through them, she shows how the Renaissance mind worked. Savonarola is an wonderful character for a Dragon Princes game, either in his historical form or the more fantastical version that is revealed over the course of the novel. It's also extremely readable, and I look forward to trying her other novels (which I understand have a lot…

Recommended Reading: Terry Pratchett

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Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld books are set in a fantastic flat world that flies through space supported on four elephants that stand on the back of a giant space turtle. They are parodies of fantasy literature and the real world, and are recommended reading for anyone with any interest in fantasy as a genre.

For a Dragon Princes campaign, Pratchett's books set in Ankh-Morpork are particularly relevant. They are without equal at showing how a fantasy metropolis might function, warts and all. The city (a mix of renaissance Prague, Victorian London and modern-day New York) has a filthy vitality and character all of its own. Pratchett's characters are exceptional and worth adapting for any roleplaying world. Furthermore, a major theme in many of Pratchett's later books is how the world reacts to technological and cultural developments like the printing press, a modern police force, multiculturalism, and more. This should also be a theme in any Dragon Princes game.

The m…