This week I’ve been writing about the government and politics of Parsantium and describing the key NPCs, including the Basileus, Corandias the Lion-Blooded, his scheming wife Thecia, and Bardas, the seemingly passionless Prefect who runs the city on a day to day basis.
I’ve also spent some time working out who looks after each aspect of running the city state, and who reports into who. There has always been a tribune in each quarter, but I have now added the office of the Royal Exchequer (controls the finances), the Strategos (commands the army and looks after Parsantium’s defences), and the Praetor (heads up the judicial system). The Prefect, Royal Exchequer and Strategos form a Triumvirate of senior officials reporting into the Basileus; then, the Praetor and three tribunes report to the Prefect. Beneath all these senior officials is a vast, bloated bureaucracy of civil servants (many of them eunuchs) pushing paper around to make sure the city runs properly (if not that efficiently). These bureaucrats often have absurd job titles and wear special hats denoting their position. Of course, there are quite a few intrigues and plots going on among the various NPCs, and I’ll be adding more as I work my way through the first draft of the book to give DMs some fun adventure seeds.
I’ve also written about the Parsantine armed forces with some helpful advice from Gavin (one of my players and a keen wargamer). In keeping with Parsantium’s multicultural feel, the army includes heavily armed knights, Akhrani horse archers, halfling slingers and gnoll mercenaries.
The government section came to around 1,700 words. These early sections are taking longer than the city locations will (I hope!) as I am writing almost from scratch. In most cases, I have only a handful of bullet points to go on compared to the more detailed notes I’ve written for, say, the Winking Vixen brothel. Hopefully I will be able to cover more ground faster later on.
Next up is the Law & Order section, including the courts, crime and punishment and the City Watch. If you have any fun ideas for crimes or punishments to go into the Codex of Imperial Law, let me know in the comments! I might cover some of the criminal bosses and gangs of the Old Quarter under this section too. Not sure yet, though – there’s an Organizations section and they might sit better there. After that, I’ll be moving on to customs & superstitions, including the calendar, festivals and entertainment, food and drink and so on.