Domain and Regency
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The head that bears the crown is an important consideration. The culture of the ruler and the subjects plays an important part in how law works in Cerilia.
On the surface, law holdings may seem the most mundane of the four types of holdings a BIRTHRIGHT regent can possess. After all, sources’ mystical nature makes them appealing, and temples and guilds seem more tangible than something as nebulous as “law.” But those who control law wield a unique kind of power in Cerilia.
Regents rule through their Bloodlines and their ability to collect Regency, but they still must have the cooperation of an elite cadre of subordinates to carry out their will. These are often the nobility, but can be priests or merchants as well. Some regents rule alone, others only take action with the formal consent of their power base. This section explains how to describe a government in BIRTHRIGHT and defines the terms.
The nature of the law regent defines the nature of the law holding. For the most part, the atmosphere derives from the regent’s alignment, but it might also reflect his character class, general outlook, and personal tastes. It is important that a law holding mirror the character who controls it, since law holdings greatly affect the people who live under them.
- See Also: Law and alignment
- See Also: Law and class
Regents of Cerilia take on great responsibilities when they assume the governance of provinces and holdings. Most focus on maintaining their realms and keeping problems from overwhelming them, while a few endeavor to expand their domains— either by improving their own holdings and influence, or at the expense of others.
This section discusses the strategies and tactics of several Cerilian regents. Some of them may be allies or enemies of player characters, while others may have preceded PC regents in their own realms.
“Lieutenants, advisers, counselors, and peers make a regent strong and wise ... sometimes despite his own best efforts.”
The development of a dynasty should be a campaign goal for most regent PCs. While the regent may wish to conquer the world (or his part of it) in his lifetime, he should aspire to build something lasting—something that might affect the entire history of the world. Kingmakers come and go, but empire builders are few and far between.
Regents hold their domains through the ritual of investiture. This ritual transfer of power imbues a blooded character with the domain's power or the line of decent of another character. Until properly invested, a conqueror holds his winnings only by force of arms, a prince cannot wield the power of his father before him, the oath of a vassal is worth only the breath with which it was spoken. Investiture is a divine realm spell, and requires the cooperation of a priest with a domain able to cast the spell.
Yet even peaceful regents must periodically turn their thoughts to military matters. Though non-aggressive themselves, they must remain ever vigilant against the sleeping lions who surround them—lest one awaken and pounce. Some rulers feel the fire of combat boiling their blood, urging them to achieve glory through conquest. These leaders take an active approach to war, waging it on others before it comes to them. They consider death on a battlefield the greatest honor to which a soldier can aspire, and give their troops ample opportunity to achieve it.
Law is a pawn in the great game of domains. Province rulers, guilders, and great temples all are eager to see their will expressed in the law. Its only natural that the dominant type of holding in a realm will seek to support itself by controlling the law as well as its core holding.