The Nightmare Before the Dream
The Roden Oligarchy
The roden nest of Skittar
Roden society is based upon an individual’s quest for power, wealth and fame. Where other governments are structured to the point of being choking, or so lax that they’re almost anarchic, the Roden Oligarchy lies somewhere between the extremes.
Roden cities are called “nests” in the common tongue and always consist of a multitude of warrens, tunnels, burrows and dens. The roden require no maps to navigate their settlements and thus draft none for the few visitors they receive. Indeed, roden entrepreneurs have established thriving businesses based solely on guiding foreign ambassadors and dignitaries to and from one home/business/site to the next and back. Most of the roden nests occupy the deepest, darkest and least profitable tunnels of the Creator’s Grave mountain range.
Roden leaders always hail from the priesthood and are known as “warlocks.” The warlocks are believed to receive direct guidance from the roden god Vermin and are thus trusted with the race’s governance (until it becomes apparent they have lost Vermin’s favor, of course). Each clan claims a “First Warlock” that leads, and while multiple clans may inhabit a nest, one is always dominant. It is the dominant clan’s responsibility to guide the nest to success. If the dominant clan fails or another clan feels it may be better suited to leadership, the First Warlock is deposed quickly and quietly.
The dominant First Warlocks from the roden nests meet on a regular basis to discuss their plans for the future of the roden race. The collected First Warlocks are known as the oligarchs. The meetings between the oligarchs are hotbeds for arguments and, very often, violent conflict. The oligarchs gather within the largest nest to be found beneath the Crator’s Grave and the center of roden society – Skittar.
The roden are an extremely competitive race. To be noticed amongst his peers, a roden must be the very best at a particular trade, craft or skill. Aside from the warlocks, no roden profession is as famed as that of the assassin. In all roden nests there exists a school solely devoted to the training of assassins. Every individual roden entering these schools is sponsored by their clan, each receiving years worth of tutelage that cost the clans large fortunes. As a final exam, the new class of assassins is given one year to murder all those that he/she studied with. In doing so, the sole survivor of the class is proven the best, brightest and/or most skilled killer within his/her nest that year and joins the ranks of employable roden assassins.
The roden maintain a large military force that has historically been embroiled in wars with the dwarves of the Creator’s Grave range. In recent years, however, the roden have moved their armies to the surface. These large forces tactfully claim lands left untouched since the fey dominion and have provided the roden with a substantial increase in natural resources. This influx of trade goods has firmly established a new class of powerful individuals within roden society, the merchants.
Roden merchants are fiercely competitive but also extraordinarily talented. These individuals are expert bargainers, con men, and/or swindlers. To ruin another roden merchant through cunning (and cutthroat) business practices is starting to be as much a point of pride as killing a rival assassin.