Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,


Today we get back on track with the rest of the human republics.  Today we deal with Parma, on the Southeast shores of the Blackwater sea.


Republic Name: Parma

Capital City: Novara

Cities of Note: Catania, Ancona

Major Commerce: Tourism, Trade

Minor Commerce: Law Services, Cuisine


Description:  Parma is located to the south of Greisslund and directly north of the Durish lands, as such, the entire Republic tends to be a cosmopolitan mix of Durish and Human denizens. Parma is unique in that it is the only Republic that does not produce anything as part of its major commerce.  The other republics tend to joke that major export of Parma is bureaucracy, as the proximity to the other major nations of the world have made magistrates, barristers and customs officials a necessary part of everyday life.  The Novaran Archival Repository is the largest record keeping body in all of the Confederacy, as all of the other Republics are required to send copies of their inter-republic and international legal documents  to the Parman capital.  This is so that visiting merchants and nobles from the Nisse and Durish lands can access the public documents without having to travel to the more remote parts of the human lands.  Parma is also known for its top rated restaurants, hotels and inns, as well as opulent seaside resorts.  Its proximity to the border of both the Vrachos and Vuono Dur communities also means that it tends to be a haven for runaway Gnomes, which creates a strange juxtaposition of beautiful marinas who’s piers are also home to vagabonds and runaway Gnomes.  

The Bloodless War of House Ayanz

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

Today’s post is a little bit of Oranous Dur Lore to whet your appetite, and also give you a sense of how recent the Oranous are as a sovereign people.

The Bloodless War

The Oranous Dur have existed as their own culture for only 68 years, prior to that all of the great houses of The Oranous Dur claimed membership in the nation of the Vuono Dur.  Their separation and insistence on being their own sovereign nation within the Forged Kingdom  came as part of the Bloodless War of 1799.  The Bloodless War was so named because it was fought fiscally rather than physically.  It was started by house Ayanz and some of its lesser allies, who had grown tired of the heavy taxes levied on steam technology and aurum ore.  Many of those supporting the cause of house Ayanz began to remove the heavy metal adornments of their beards and replacing them with feathers instead, to symbolize the removal of a great burden for a symbol of freedom.  The year long period of boycotts, company espionage, and raucous pub crawl protests eventually lead to the signing of the Brass Accord between the Oranous, Vrachos and Vuono leadership.  

Though the Oranous are the more brash and hasty of the Durish people, the seeds of discontent that lead to the Bloodless War were sewn over 200 years prior, with the invention of the very first steam powered machine in 1606.  Jethro of house Ayanz invented a machine that used steam in order to pump water from underground lakes and rivers throughout Mount Grausaule.  

The technology was quickly developed to pump water for mining purposes, which catapulted Ayanz and its allied houses into prominence.  Over the course of the next 190 years, the technology was refined by house Ayanz with the invention of the steam locomotive engine in 1781 and the first sky ship in 1796.  This progress came with a price, which was the ire of both the older Vuono Noble houses and the Vand Nisse shipping conglomerates.  

The Tribes of Barlethan Style Guide

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,


First, we want to quickly thank everyone who showed up to Metatopia for our final Beta test.  The data we gathered was pretty helpful and we look forward to putting it to good use.  Additionally, in to service members of the community that require accessibility accommodations, we have added the email to our site.  Should you have additional questions, suggestions or needs regarding accessibility, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.


For today’s post I’ve decided to scrounge up some imagery on the internet in order to better portray some examples of costuming for the Tribes of Barlethan.  The different communities that claim membership within Barlethan vary from region to region.  The two things that unify them all is that their community at large shuns city life and high steam technology.  They prefer to live in the vast rural places of the northern continent using simple mechanical tools that allow them to work the land.  They are also masters of alchemy, as this is the highest expression of using the bounty of nature in order to produce wondrous effects.  Beyond that, individual member cultures vary vastly in style and dress.  Some prefer to wear only furs and leathers, while others prefer hand woven cotton and muslin.  The beads that denote their tribe of origin is the one universal they all have in common (though that could also vary in design and color),  Below are some examples, I hope they inspire you to play a Barlethan at our game.

The Wayfaring Seekers

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Gentlemen and Ladies,


In today’s lore drop we are going to start talking about the Wayfaring Seekers. We’ve had quite a fair amount of information about some of the Republics in the human lands, but we haven’t talked about the humans with no homeland, or more accurately, all of Sha’uru is their homeland.  The Wayfaring Seekers have been around for a little over sixty years, but their free style of living and wanderlust has been infectious throughout the lands of the Republics.  The movement was founded by Matt Starling, a charismatic young occultist who was sick of everyone accepting the decline of the magical arts.  Born Peter-Loras Vodelair to a wealthy Occitane family, Matt forsook both his inheritance and his former name on the evening of his eighteenth name day to make his own way in the world.  He held to the belief that the decline of magic could be restored through the use of an artifact known as “The Keystone” that was rumored to have existed in ancient Sha’uru.  As he wandered the world, he inspired others to join him in his quest, and over the course of twenty years his views had caught on throughout the Republic to the point that many politicians began branding Seekers as vagabonds that sought to corrupt the minds of impressionable youths.  In the summer of 1824, a group of constables attempted to bar Starling and his followers from entering into Brighton.  The summer had been particularly hot, and the band had camped along the Agrinion River just outside the city while a few of them attempted to enter the Brighton seeking supplies. A combination of the head and political upheaval riled up by the aristocracy against the wayfarers had stirred the people to the point that the authorities feared what would happen should Starling and his people enter Brighton.  This angered some of Starling’s band and things turned violent.  Starling himself attempted to calm everyone down, but an unknown assailant threw a rock at his head, triggering a full scale riot.  Starling knew that eventually the city folk would come for the rest of his people, so he attempted to make his way to the camp to warn the rest, but was shot near the banks of the Agrinion River before he could reach the camp.  The death of Matt Starling and ensuing riots unified the Wayfaring Seekers in a sobering way.  They realized that if their movement was to survive, they needed to have friends and allies and foster a message of peace and friendship.  The Seekers began to develop trade routes and connecting caravans as a way to both foster allies and set a network of informants across Sha’uru, should any news of The Keystone arise.  In honor of Starling’s death, the practice of tattooing themselves with a compass rose became universal amongst the Wayfaring Seekers.  Forty four years after the death of Matt Starling, the Wayfarer’s numbers have grown considerably, and they can be found traveling throughout world.


Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

With Halloween just around the corner I though it would be fitting to do a plot lore post about Goblins in the land of Sha’Uru.  In previous posts we have discussed the current goblin kingdom in General terms, as well as slightly touched upon the Goblin surrender at the end of the Orc War in 1568 and their release from human enslavement in 1668.

For the last 200 years goblin society has developed through close partnership with the humans of the Empire (or for the last 80 years the Republics).  During the 100 year period of Goblin enslavement, there were many goblins who ran away and set up small communities in the wild places of the world.  Deep underground or in remote deserts, swamps and forests, these goblins consisted of the Goblin King and members of his court.  When the Goblin People were freed, the King at the time, Cuaitl Ixcitl The First, emerged from the wilderness and immediately consolidated his power.  Not much is known about the Goblin civil war to outsiders, but it is believed based on tangential evidence that the campaign lasted no more than a few years.  The wild goblins were more brutal than their docile cousins that grew up in the human lands, and this brutality served to place King Ixcitl in power and divide goblins into two castes.  The Ruling Caste is compromised primarily of Wild Goblins and the few captured goblins who sided with the king, while the Common Caste encompassed the rest of goblin kind.  Though there are some exceptions, surnames of the Ruling Caste tend to be traditional Goblin ones like Ixcitl, Xipetotec, Zanicoehua, and Atl.  Commoner Caste surnames tend to derive from the names given to them by humans during their time of servitude.  Surnames like Blacktooth, Sharpclaw, Rattlerasp, and Cellarscratcher.  Goblins of the commoner caste are constantly plotting and jockeying for position in order to enter the ruler caste.  Those of the ruling caste compete for the King’s favor while plotting schemes to gain prominence within the world of Sha’Uru.

It was very apparent to King Ixcitl that a campaign of force would not work to consolidate his kingdom outside of his borders.  The truce forged by the humans was too fragile, and the other races of the world far outnumbered the Goblins.  So the Goblins leveraged their talent for Alchemy, and then pressed this advantage to establish themselves.  Their greatest alchemical invention, The Homunculi, is their most profitable to date.  Within the last 50 years that Homunculi have been available for purchase, their demand has skyrocketed, as the world has become more industrialized and the rise of Aurum Steam Technology paved the way for wealthy merchants and nobles alike.  Even the Dwarves cannot deny utility of Homunculi servants, and a few of the noble houses have made purchases through secondary agents.  It is this economic boom that has allowed the current goblin King, Ixno Dynda Xipetotec, to press forward into Antioch on their own without the help of the other races and set up Vice Landing.

Vand Nisse (Sea Elves)

It’s been some time since we’ve done a lore post, so today we have a bit more to whet your palate. Let’s get right into it and do some more talking about the Vand Nisse (Sea Elves).



The Vand Nisse tend to live near the coast or on islands, but are rarely found in areas further inland.  Their culture is so strongly tied to sea fairing that most outsiders think of the Vand Nisse as either the Forbund Af Nisse navy or a collection of pirates crews.  However, there is more to the sea than piracy and war.  The Vand Nisse control a great deal of merchant houses that run import and export businesses, fisheries, shipyards, and more.  The Forbund Af Nisse ports are all Vand Nisse controlled including those that have been recently founded on the northern coast of Antioch.


At sea, the Vand Nisse tend govern themselves politically in small groups that are beholden to larger groups, electing captains to lead the crew, who then elect an admiral to manage the fleet.  On land they elect officials to govern the local areas every 5 years.  These elected officials (whether the elder of a small coastal village or the governor of a major seaport) create counsels to assist them in governing. Though there is no rule that specifically mandates this, most elected officials on land, tend to be retired captains or rich ship owning merchants.  Captains serve until they lose the confidence of their crew, and the same goes for elected officials on land.  Should an official displease the masses, special elections to replace them may be organized by the community, which creates some of the more political savvy rulers in Sha’Uru. The Forbund Af Nisse’s position as a whole is that the slaying of corrupt officials is forbidden, however the sea is vast and accidents can happen.

The main source of Vand Nisse power comes from controlling five port cities: Sydlige Haven on the southern cape, Svardfisk to the south west, Mellemhavet to the west, Hvalfangstby to the north west, and Menneskehjem on the northern cape bordering the Human Republics.  Menneskehjem is the largest of the port cities.  Being near the Republics and the Forged Kingdom makes it the center of imports and exports by sea for the Forbund Af Nisse.  It also contains the largest presence of navy ships and dry docks to maintain them.  It is rumored that the best blockade-runners among the Vand Nisse are made in Menneskehjem as it is quite profitable to get past the prying eyes of the Republic naval blockades. Menneskehjem also quarters the embassies for the other Kingdoms making it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the Forbund Af Nisse.


The sea is a harsh mistress.  While other cultures might seek to overcome nature the Vand Nisse know better and scoff at such endeavors.  One must respect the sea and find ways to work with it to survive it’s onslaught.  The Vand Nisse are one of the few cultures that try to predict the weather and keep long records of weather patterns and changes.  There are rumors of Vand Nisse magics that can predict weather and even older stories of captains that could affect the weather to calm the seas.

The Confederacy of Allied Republics: Kuanas

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Today we continue our series on the Confederacy of Allied Republics with the far Western Republic of Kuanas.

Republic Name: Kaunas

Capital City: Skuodas

Cities of Note: Venta, Salantai

Major Commerce: Produce (Spices and Herbs), Banking

Minor Commerce: Fishing, Tourism


Description: Far to the North West lies Kuanas, home to The Golden Temple, the headquarters of the faith of the Holy One.  The Golden Temple was designed by Nisse Architects, built by Dur Masons, and maintained by Blackthorn Empire for thousands of years.  It is not uncommon for those of the faith to visit the Temple in the Kuanas capital of Skuodas on pilgrimage.  

The Kuanas harbor is home the the most pristine waters in all the north, and the wealthy and powerful within the Republics are known to vacation here.  The city of Venta in the center of the Kuanas Republic is also home to the Rose Bank, the head branch to the most powerful and influentian financial institution in the Republic.  

The common folk of Kuanas are typically employed as servants within the resorts, fishermen or in the spice fields of Venta, growing black pepper, basil and dill. Renowned botanist, Mika Olsow, operates the largest research greenhouse in all of Sha’Uru on the border of Kuanas and the Western Barlethan Wildlands.  They are a graduate of the Rose Citadel in Occitane and have published several papers on the efficacy of plants.

Occitane Republic

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we will take a look at the home of the Occitane Gazzette!

Republic Name: Occitane
Capital City: Herault
Cities of Note: Montpellier, Bordeaux
Major Commerce: Distillery (Wine, Spirits, and Alchemical Components), Publishing
Minor Commerce: Fishing, Mills (Wheat and Paper)

Description: If Chester is the Jewel of the Confederacy of Allied Republics, Occitanie is the jeweler that gives that gem form. Where as Chester is the leader in Science and Technology, Occitane is the leader of Arts and Philosophy. It began with the invention of the printing press by a commoner, Jacques Germain during the height of Silverthorn Empire in the year 1440. Jacques changed the written word from his small shop in what is now downtown Herault, and since then Occitane has been the center of art and learning for the written word. The greatest journalists and poets of human history hail from Montpellier and Herault. Occitane is also the home to many liberal arts colleges and universities, the greatest of which is the Rose Citadel in Bordeaux. Occitane would likely be the strongest and most powerful Republic if not for it’s long standing uneasy relations with Blackwater. Occitane, along with the republic of Kuanas are separated from the rest of the Republics by wild land and the Blackwater Sea. The Republic of Blackwater has taken advantage of this by levying heavy taxes and tolls on goods coming from and going to the west. Occitane, in turn, has done its part to smear Blackwater in print, though sometimes unfairly. Since the unification of the Empire into the Republics it has often been these two Republics that find themselves butting heads in Parliament. Though the wine in Occitane is not as delectable as that of Segobriga, Occitane whiskey and brandy is second to none.


Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we continue to provide more lore content for the Confederacy of Allied Republics. So let’s talk Segobriga:

Republic Name: Segobriga
Capital City:Leon
Cities of Note:Malaga, Bilbao
Major Commerce: Produce, Distillery (Wine, Oil, and Alchemical Components)
Minor Commerce: Oil, Textile

Description: The people of the Republic of Segobriga are renowned for their love of wine, dance and sport. Segobrigans are as likely to join into a melee as they are to break into song. This free-wheeling attitude could be attributed to being one of the few Republics that can flout the stranglehold that the Republic Blackwater has on the western strait, as they have easy access to the northern ocean and the Blackwater sea. Fruits from Segobrigan orchards are shipped all over the known world, with Segobrigan Oranges and Olives regarded as the best in the world.

Life for the Segobrigan peasantry is hard, as most commoners spend their days laboring for the Dons, Segobrigan landlords and nobles who profit from the labor of their servants. The DePaloma family, owners of the largest number of Olive orchards in Segobriga, is also the most politically connected. The patriarch of the family, Don Alberto-Jose DePaloma represents Segobriga in the Republic Parliament and is widely regarded as a devout follower of the Herald of the Sun. His son, Don Adrian-Carlos DePaloma is governor of Segobriga and has a reputation as a hedonist. The ancient practice of honor duels is still legal in Segobriga, and it is not uncommon for Segobrigans to challenge others to a fist fight or a sword fight to protect their honor against any perceived slight.


Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

Today we continue with our 13 part series into the Republics of the Human lands.

Republic Name: Askersund
Capital City: Rogaland
Cities of Note: Telemark, Alesund
Major Commerce: Oil, Fishing
Minor Commerce: Textiles, Mining (Minerals)

Description: To the far north of continent of Lerna is Askersund. The rough mountains and cold climate have bread a hearty and hard drinking people in this republic. They do a brisk trade in fishing, especially in whaling, as the blubber of whales has a great many uses. The mountains of Askersund are home to a great many creature, and some of the finest furs in the Sha’uru come out of the tanneries of Alesund. The northern most port city of Rogaland also serves as the capital to this republic. Askersund is Governed by Lord Igor-Nikolay Kuznetsov, though rumor has it that his husband, Lord Matvei-Konstantine Kuznetsov, may be the true ruler of Askersund. Matvei-Konstantine owns the largest fish cannery interest in all of Sha’uru and controls a good deal of the ports from Rogaland in the north west to Telemark in the north east. Kuznetstov canned tuna and salmon is traded as far south as the Vand Nisse lands in the southern continent of Calydon. Crude Oil is the second largest export of Askersund, and it is the main trade of the city of Telemark.