+++Struttura Sociale
Lord Lexnol III Ratik

The alliance with the Frutzii is extremely important. This "Northern Alliance" was what gave the previous archbaron, Lexnol the military strength to keep from being overrun by humanoids like the Bone March was in the 560's. It also allowed him to declare independence from the Great Kingdom. The relationship was mutually beneficial, giving the Frost Barbarians the training and military technology they needed to gain relative independence from the Snow Barbarians. Lexnol even made some in-roads with the Snow Barbarians, though there has never been a formal alliance or treaty.

Unfortunately in recent years (586 CY) Lexnol's heir, Alain died in an ill-conceived invasion of Bone March. His son's death broke Lexnol's mind, leaving his daughter-in-law, Evaleigh, daughter of the Count of Knurl, in charge. Knurl, in the southwestern Bone March, bordering on Nyrond, is the only part of the Bone March to remain free of humanoid rule. Many of the land's feudal lords are distrustful of her, both for her being a foreigner and lack of decisiveness. She also makes the barbarians uneasy since they have traditionally dealt with Lexnol.

There is a Council of Great Lords that is made up of 14 of the most powerful human and dwarven lords of the land that acts as an advisory body to the ruler. He or she also consults with the burghers of the country's towns and cities. The population is mainly human of Great Kingdom heritage though there are a considerable number of Frost Barbarian and some Snow Barbarian farmers in the northern lands of the archbarony. Amongst the human population is a considerable number of refugees from the Bone March. There are also a fair number of dwarven and a few gnome populations in the hills and mountains. Some bands of wood elves live in the Timberway Forest and at least some of them are willing to serve the archbaron. There is a decent (6%) halfling population, but they get no mention otherwise, probably (I would guess) because they are fairly well integrated into the human population, and not native to the region.

Most of the military might is concentrated on the southern border with the Bone March, and there is a Volunteer Borderers force that patrols it. It might also be interesting to note that the largest remnant of the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom lives in Ratik, where they were driven along with other refugees by the invasion of the Bone March.

Possible hooks

If you like mixing in some political intrigue Ratik is ripe for it. The PC's could be part of a delegation to the court of the Frost Barbarian king at Djekul, where they would have to deal with the possible intrigues of representatives from the Snow Barbarians and Scarlet Brotherhood. Likewise some agents of those two groups could be cooking up plots in Marner to harm the Northern Alliance.

From the threads Mikel suggested above they could end up joining an expedition to Fireland, or even just looking for something needed for an expedition. Maybe it could be an expatriate Frost Barbarian navigator who had been there or maybe a rival stole Korund of Ratik's map of the route.

They could end up involved with the Knight Protectors to recover some treasure of that order which was left behind in Spinecastle and recent rumors or other intelligence points to. Maybe even something as powerful as the Orb of Sol, which had previously been in the possession of St. Benedor of the Ashen Hand, but might have possibly passed into the keeping of the Knights.

Dragon #57 has info' on 578-579 Greyhawk*, including a detailed description of the defeat of the Vilr Rune Tribe in the battle of the Loftwood, with hints at the TO&E of Ratik's regular army, which I use: 10 infantry companies, each of 225 men; 4 volunteer borderer companies, each of 225 men; 4 cavalry companies, each of 125 men.

I figure the Human Ratikkers as Scots, but Lowlanders & Borderers, rather than Highlanders (except for a few Flann speakers in the mountains).

In terms of attitude, I see a combination of post-Roman Britain (with the Great Kingdom filling in for the Roman Empire, and the Humanoid Hordes filling in for the Saxons, Picts, and Irish), 50s-70s Israel (with the Humanoid Hordes filling in for the Arab Hordes), and 1919-1944 Finland (with North Province/Kingdom filling in for the USSR).
Lowland Scots is probably a good model though I think more along the lines of the Teutonic Knights. Given the ethnic mix of Sof and that the majority of the pop. is descended from immigrants from the GK I figure that many of those immigrants were from the south of the GK where there was a good deal of Suel blood. Together with the barbarians who were conquered and became subjects of the GK this accounts for the S. Given the degree of animosity the North Province/Kingdom has for for Ratik I also assume that it's not just political but that most of the Oeridian blood comes from the Aerdi heartlands and Solnor Compact coast where Oeridian blood is so predominant. The smallest group, the Flan, I assume is from native Flan tribes who were driven into the uplands by the Frost Barbarians and might have welcomed the Aerdi at first as liberators, plus some Flan serfs from the North Province who might have sought greener pastures in the north. Probably a good deal of mixed blood too.

Accent wise given my thoughts above I assume that it's close to what I would call Ahlissan with some variation due to the influence of Fruz and what I call Standard or the Overking's Common speakers. Culturally they're probably much like other Great Kingdom-influenced areas with consideration given for the climate. Dress includes more furs and heavy wool. My $ .02 worth anyhow.

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