League of Armach
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"The streets, so bustling during the day, were eerily silent during the night. There was no curfew I was aware of, but only a few people were moving around, and they kept to well-lit areas and moved fast, purposefully, and if possible in small groups. There was a palpable atmosphere of fear that, while noticeable in small ways during the day, came now to the forefront…
[…] When the four darkly-clad men dragged someone shouting for help and with a sack over his head into the black coach, I found that I was the only one staring at the spectacle. Everyone else didn't notice it - no, they made a point of not noticing it. When one of the darkly-clad men looked into my direction, I snapped out of this state and hastily departed from this place…
- Martin Wolfenbach, Land of Fear, Neuer Weltverlag (1922)

Capital: Armach
Population: 25,728,670 (humans 70%, hobgoblins 10%, dwarves 9%, halflings 7%, gnomes 2%, elves 1%)
Government: Council of member cities
Imports:
Exports:

The League of Armach is a militarily aggressive and expansionist alliance of city-states. Neighboring cities are given to understand that they can either join the League out of their own free will, and become full-fledged members on the Council of Equals, the ruling body of the League - or be subjugated and become protectorates without any say on their own futures. Unsurprisingly, many cities have chosen to join and enjoy all the benefits that membership can bring, instead of waiting to be crushed by the League armies.

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Industries

Life and Society

Government and Politics

Groups and Organizations

Religion

Important NPCs

Major Geographical Features

Important Towns and Cities

Important Sites

Regional History

Adventure Ideas

The League of Armach is the most obvious Bad Guy in Urbis, and trying to foil the schemes of its politicians and soldiers can provide enough material for a campaign. For good-aligned, foreign PCs, adventures in the League itself should be a nerve-wracking experience, as they have to continually watch out for informants of the Torchbearers and the Blue Legion. Even if they escape, they should have opportunity to learn what the Torchbearers do to enemies and innocents alike, and while they might try to fight them openly and even succeed and get away again successfully, any reckless behavior on their part puts every friendly League citizen who ever associated with them at risk. In the end, the PCs should feel tainted merely by coming into contact with this organization.

Alternatively, the PCs could play League citizens who work for one of its organizations. They might either be evil and out to grab as much power and wealth for themselves as they can, or they might be idealists who try to change the system from within. Either way, they will have plenty of adventures where they can explore the moral problems of working for such organizations, where betrayals are common, and trustworthy allies (presumably, but not necessarily, including the other PCs) are few.

Designer's Notes & Resources

The League of Armarch is strongly inspired by the post-Stalin Soviet Union (its politics, that is - not the Slavic/Russian stereotypes, which are used elsewhere in the setting) and its many fractions vying for power, as well as numerous other fascist or dictatorial regimes of Earth history. The reason for this is that I wanted to avoid the stereotypical "Evil Overlord" tyrannizing his realm with an iron fist - too often in real world dictatorships, there is an entire system that perpetuates the tyranny even if the guy at the top changes.

This makes such a nation harder to fight for heroic PCs, which was the intention. You can kill one leader, but how will that help if the next guy is waiting in the wings? To truly defeat the League of Armach, the PCs need to either decisively defeat its armies - no small feat - or somehow change the way its politics work, which might be even harder.

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