the breadth of the party’s knowledge
There’s a lot you know about the Empire of Galea already. Goblins, Kobolds, and the like really do live together in warbands in caves and abandonments. Dragons are rare to see, but they hoard gold and wait for fools to come and claim it. Trolls, Ogres, and other manners of humanoids are typically agressive towards those that breach their (unmarked) territories.
Electricity and Steam
Galea is a technocratic, renaissance-age society, with early steam power and electric lights. These engines and generators were first developed by the mad prophet Karras of the Mechanist splinter-group of the established Hammerite church. Note: the Mechanists no longer exist separately from the Order of the Gear, a branch of the church proper, and Karras himself is imprisoned in Cragscleft.
Humans are by far the most common race – making up some 96% of all people in the Empire. Elves and Dwarves are the next most common, with 1% each respectively. Hobbits, or Halflings, make up slightly less than 1%, and mostly live in the South near the seashore. Dwarves take to the Barrier Mountains, and Elves generally keep to themselves in various forests and closed cities. Half-Orcs, Half-Elves, and the rest are less common. Gnomes tend to adapt very well to city life. There is little to no animosity between the different racial groups of the empire, and Half-breeds are seen as a curiosity more than a threat.
The official religion of the Empire is that of the Way of the Master Builder, or the Hammerites. They are a dogmatic, universal-church religion spread throughout Galea. Its tenets state that the ways of nature and the old gods are inferior to the ways of the church and mechanization. However, it is much less violent in the promotion of these beliefs than it once was, and many within the church’s structure see violence as counterproductive to conversion.
The Master Builder, himself, is a powerful God of Order. His true name has been mostly lost to time, but may still be known by someone. Needless to say, The Builder has existed for far longer than the Hammerites.
There are many examples of Hammerite Scripture available, and the printing press has made copies of Tenets of the Master Builder commonplace, along with many other books.
Money, in Galea, is divided into Golden, Silver, and Copper Imperial Sovereigns, much like many players have seen before. They have been standardized to a rigid code since unification – today all contemporary coins are stamped to a standard size, just under 2 centimetres across, and about 1mm thick. They often have the bust of the Emperor or Empress at the time on one side, and symbols of the Empire on the other. They are worth the value of the metal, and gold and silver coins are approximately 50% and 80% pure, respectively.
Coins of past ages can also be found in some places, and collectors often pay more than the inherent value of the metal for these.
As well, in many of the larger cities, people have found that it is simpler for all parties involved if banks print paper currency indicating certain amounts of gold, and people trade these banknotes as though they were trading physical gold – people holding banknotes can trade them in for sums of coinage at a bank, or deposit them for safekeeping.
Bankers make a sizable profit from this practice, which they tend to make available for loans to business owners and individuals.
However, the economy in Galea is very slow. Money is worth ten times what the PHB/DM guide would suggest, and prices are correspondingly deflated across the board. As an example, a first-level spellscroll would be 25 gold in a “normal” realm – in Galea, it is only 2.5 gold – but everyone also has one tenth as much money.
Culture and Social Disposition
The general disposition of the population would be considered superstitious by modern standards. Many have charms and simple wards against magic and against evil. Of course, when there really are things to be afraid of in the darker corners of the world, they’re right to do so. The simple charms owned by common folk are only slightly effective and serve mainly to give the owner a little peace of mind in dangerous times.
|Regions of Galea|
|Land’s End||The Great Desert|
|The Ironwood||The Darkwood|
|The Eastern Trade Cities – Canton||The South|
|The Great Flatlands||The West|