Agents of GHOST
For specifics about the whole as a world, the constellation of planes, the calendar, the languages, races and other global things, Rajustan is considered part of Toril (Forgotten Realms), although it is a alternative universe with fully different countries and continents.
Rajustan is a small country that is falling into a dark age by the rule of Darko, selfish son of the once just and pious, but now dead, ruler Henri II. The prosperity from only a decade ago has quickly waned with soured relations with neighboring countries, the burgeoning criminality and the losing of faith.
Still the Rajustan people are strong and carry on with their lives. They adapt to the circumstances, grudgingly pay their higher taxes and silently pray to the gods for salvation.
The climate in Rajustan is harsh. The most populated areas just beyond the coast are warm enough to grow most crops, but still fiercely under siege of coastal winds, only slightly tempered by the numerous forest-belts. The hills are similar, but colder, with bigger stretches of either bare grasses or dense forests. The Odan have more extreme temperatures and less vegetation.
Generally the climate is good enough to self-sustain the people of Rajustan, although only for the bare essentials. For exotic goods, many precious metals and other luxury goods they need to trade with their neighbors.
Rajustan stretches along the coastline of the Black Sea with tales of darkness, brave traders and many pirates. The fortified coastal cities and forts are built to protect the inland settlements and feature rocky beaches, steep dunes and wind-weathered lands.
A bit more inland the country gets less rough and gives way to small (previously protected) forests and farms. Especially around the river Aspar the area is densely populated and irrigated. Further inland there’s more hills sparsely populated by herders, who keep some areas grassy. Many other areas contain forests, with some few mining or forest enterprises. Eventually the country is bordered on the south by the Great mountains.
To the east both the shores and the land get harsher, some swamps and many thick forests make this area less suitable for settlements. There is only one outpost village here, Moss on the edge of civilzation. Further east is the Wealdath, where few dare enter.
To the west the mountains recede. The lack of water makes this land less fertile and thus population is sparse. The proclaimed border lies several kilometers inside what the Azad generally believe to be the Odan. Generally people that have settled in this area are considered Rajustani, while those that are nomads belong to the Azad tribes.
The Great mountains are fiercely protected by the Dwarves, who are the only non-human race that willingly, although grudgingly, trades with Rajustan. High quality steel for fish, meat, grain, milk, cheese and wool.
The magical and ancient Elves realm, called the Wealdath, is a source of legend. There are many stories of fey and monsters, from sentinent trees to tribes of Giants. There are only very few people who dare enter the Wealdath, and even less that can honestly say to have met a fabled Elf or Giant.
The Odan (or Azad Plains) stretch on for seemingly forever to the west. These plains are inhabited by the Azad, a nomadic human (with very few half-orc and dragonborn) people that keeps mostly to themselves. They regularly trade with Rajustan for wood, fish and grain.
Across the Black Sea lies the famed country of Mahel. Little is known of Mahel, even though many daring traders have successfully (and profitably) traded with them. The stories they tell are of wonders and strict rules. Sailors are not allowed to leave their designated areas, but are able to spot the huge white domes and golden towers in awe.
Somewhere in the wildest coast, bordering the Wealdath are treacherous cliffs navigated by nobody, except the pirates. These Pirate Shores are a pest for most, and a true safe-heaven for the pirates, who manage here to stay alive in between raidings. It is rumored there is a growing port there called The Black Nest.
Cities & Settlements
The capital of Rajustan is Fazil, named after it’s founder Razi Fazil, the first king of Rajustan. The city is not very large, only about 8,500 inhabitants. It has grown around the enormous stone keep known as Fazil’s Hold, which is also by tradition the ‘palace’ of the ruling King. The city’s center is twisted and has many differences in heights, built as it is on the inland side of the cliffs. The old marketplace, now mostly for the trading of exotic goods from Mahel and other places, lies on a plateau and is the only flat area around. The newer parts of the city are all further inland, giving it a pear-like form, with the base of the pear at the base of the cliffs, connecting to the nearby farms, where a second, bigger, market gathers every day for the general buying of all kinds of food and drink.
A notable port, but with around 4,000 not much more than a large vllage, also with a mighty seaside fort, is Eagleport. It is farthest away from the Pirate Coast, making it the most reliable for sea-trade. Most of the trade is with Mahel, but some is also seasonal to the summer villages of the Odan. And of course to Fazil and other national ports.
Corkville is older than Rajustan itself. Built in the foothills of the Great mountains, not all that far from Fazil it is a moderate village, with about 800 inhabitants, that is sprawled in a small, but fertile, valley where the river Aspar is still small. A little ways of the village, atop a nearby hill, lies an ancient castle, inhabited by an old noble family. The village itself has a good relation with the dwarves and there are several successful merchants and smithies that thrive on that trade. It is a tight village, where everyone knows everyone and you don’t get in easily.
A small townwith a wooden fort, furthest east in Rajustan. The only barely 1,300 citizens are mostly involved in cutting back the forest and some modest agriculture and animal keeping.
At least 99% of the citizens of Rajustan are human, amongst them are 3 distinct sub-races:
- Rajustani: The original inhabitants. Short, muscular and hardened folk with a sun-tanned, but not overly dark, skin. They have mostly blonde or brown hair with blue of green eyes.
- Azad: Although the Azad could be split in more sub-races, they are generally darker skinned, with brown or black hair and mostly brown eyes.
- Mahelli: The tall, golden-skinned, foreigners with white, golden or brown-golden hair and azure or emerald eyes. They are instantly recognizable.
Obviously there are cases of half-breeds, although rare with Mahelli and Rajustani.
Other races are generally distrusted or outright feared:
Dwarves are the most common, seen on their trade expeditions to the capital city. Seen as gruff folk that seen to themselves, but are generally harmless when not angry.
Elves are more a thing of story and legend. Very few people that live in Rajustan have ever set eyes on an Elf.
Dragonborn and Half-orcs are generally associated with the tribes of the Odan, although they are already rare there and even more rare to venture into the human civilization of Rajustan.
Halfling and gnomes are generally not even known to exist, although there are rumors of ‘small folk’ beyond the Odan and it’s enemies.
In Rajustan a bunch of deithies are worshipped on different occassions. For example Chauntea is worshipped for a bountiful harvest or a plentiful meal, Umberlee for a save journey at sea and Tymora for good luck. Generally people do not worship one god in particular, although some clerics, monks and paladins may dedicade their service to the serving of a specific god, usually still recognizing and accepting, or even praying to other gods for specific occassions.
The most notable faith and divine order is the order of Torm, which has grown in strength and numbers immensly under the rule of Henri II, as he was pronounced the mortal champion of Torm. In all of Rajustan Torm is worshipped as the stern, righouteous and unyielding leader against evil and injustice. Many a warcry, righteous deed or strike against evil will be done with a “In the name of Torm!”
Known and worshipped deithies in Rajustan:
- Bane: LE God of tyranny and hatred. Previously only whispered of as divine nemesis of Torm, Bane is slowly starting to be assosiated with the country’s leader Darko
- Chauntea: NG goddess of Agriculture, farmers, bountiful harvests and meals.
- Cyric: CE evil god of Deception and lies. Lies and liars are cursed in the name of Cyric
- Gond: N god of craft and construction. Generally called for blessing on any human creation.
- Hood: LN also called Kalenvor. God of the dead. Is said to receive the dead and his realm. Called upon many times in times of combat, dying and long dead family or heroes.
- Ilmater: LG God of life, enduring, suffering, perserverance. Generally called upon to hold on in bad times. His followers, the use of his name and several clergy in his name have all grown tremendeously in the last decade.
- Mask: NE God of thieves and mischief. Worshipped by the thieves, rogues and bandits and somtimes pirates. Generally cursed by people who are the victim of crimes.
- Shaundakul: CN God of travel, exploration, taking risks. Also worshipped by many pirates
- Silvanus: N God of nature, generally blessed associated with the beauty of nature, especially wild nature.
- Torm: LG Also called The Father. A major god in Rajustan that is called upon in the fight against any kind of evil.
- Tymora: CG God of luck. Called upon for blessing when chance is involved.
- Umberlee: CE God of oceans, water and storms. Cursed with bad luck on sea or made offering to, to keep a ship from destruction in storms.
This list of dethies does not include any dethies worshipped by the Dwarves, Elves or Azad tribes, nor those from across the seas. Generally not a lot is known about these cultures and their worship.
Rajustan exports meat, fish, wool, grain, wood, pearls, milk and cheese. They trade most regularly with Mahel by sea. The tribes from the Odan generally come to them for trade and only a few traders are trusted enough by the Dwarf not to be killed on sight.
Rajustan imports precious metals and steel from the Dwarves; hides, crafted goods, peculiarities, horses and saddles from the tribes of the Odan; and exotic goods and food, magical devices and strange knowledge from Mahel.
Arcane casters are very rare and unknown to the great mass of the population, except for in stories and legend. The more educated or the noble folk may have some more first-hand knowledge. Generally magical items, artefacts and wizards themselves come from, or can trace their history to Mahel, the land of magic and wonders.
This however does not mean the ‘gift’ is fully absent in Rajustan. Instead it can go unrecognized an entire lifetime or be hidden from others. One needs to be lucky to find a capable teacher that won’t rat you out to the authorities for being a ‘witch’ or ‘sorcerer’: both generally terms for evil practitioners of magic.
Divine casters are more commonly accepted. Magic is still fantastic to the commoners, but when associated with the divine they can generally accept it as a miracle for which a god is directly responsible.
For hundreds of years Rajustan has been little better than the Odan to the west. They had several fishing and hunting villages and were said to have seasonal migration from the coast to more inside the hills. Some even say they migrated between the Odan and Rajustan, seeing the whole territory as their land.
435 years ago a great leader, Radi Fazil, banded together the villages by creating an organized group of followers of Torm, who brought faith, prosperity and military might. They united the villages under a common faith and name, which was selected as Rajustan.
Several centuries the people worked hard to build their kingdom and had generally pious and just leaders. They created seaworthy ships and started trade with the distant Mahel. They cut down many a forest to create productive farmlands and everyone became more wealthy, both in food and goods, as the years went by.
Then, over 10 years ago, the king Henri II died suddenly and his oldest son and heir to the throne, Darko followed his father. Many say it must have been too soon, for the boy was little more than 20, and normally kings only followed their father past 40. Whatever the reason, Darko pushed many reforms, mostly for the enrichment of himself, his friends and fellow nobles. Taxes where increased. Export was increased. Forest, even protected ones, where more rapidly cut down. The small army of pious crusaders was slowly changed into a corrupted mass of new soliders, mostly created from captured cutthroats and pirates. This army is currently busy keeping the ‘peace’ in the different cities and settlements, under the command of Ali Botel and his numerous deputies.