Governments, religions, guilds, militaries, clandestine groups—Chaldea is ripe with assorted organizations of people, both professionals and manual laborers, who either publicize their affiliations…or keep their activities very, very secret.
The Black Daggers is a notorious crime organization operating out of Augstat, the capital of Hesse.
For as long as anyone can remember, the Black Daggers has been led by Pfalzgraf Lotari von Cronenberg, who secured his position against numerous challengers.
The Black Daggers are most infamous for thievery heists and smuggling—they control safe houses and training grounds throughout the city and deep into the countryside.
Ethnically, the Black Daggers members are primarily a mix of humans and halflings.
The Kordavan Informant is Chaldea’s newspaper with home offices in Augstat, the capital of Hesse, and bureau offices in Latium, Aimilleuse, Perrin, and Roosh.
The idea of a newspaper is a novel one in Chaldea. There was no such thing as recently as a few decades ago until the Informant’s owner, Otvard Stigvard, came up with an idea on how to repurpose printing presses—a recent invention (called a gnoter) of the gnomes to help the Kordavan Empire meet the ballooning paperwork demands of a prosperous, worldwide empire.
After acquiring a gnoter and hiring a gnome to run it, Otvard launched The Augstat Star in Year 22. In the beginning, it wasn’t so much newspaper as gossip column. Its focus was scandal, fashion, and announcements about social occasions. Otvard had to hire reporters like Sprecks, who was skilled at digging up gossip. It didn’t take long for the elite of Augstat to become wary of Otvard and his tattling publication.
Frustrated about his soiled reputation, Otvard’s interest was piqued when he heard about Maurko Hamalgrar, a scholar and recent graduate from the University of Perrin. Hamalgrar had published a book called “Treewanking Trollf---er”: A Survey of Undiplomatic Epithet in Official Correspondence, wherein Hamalgrar exposed government ineptitude through hilarious examples of government and diplomatic communications conducted when patience was strained. This book inspired Otvard to envision a newspaper built around this same principle. Otvard contacted Hamalgrar, convincing him to join the Star and rebuild the paper with this nobler pursuit in mind.
In Year 38, Hamalgrar moved to Augstat and assisted Otvard in crafting a new strategy for the newspaper built around journalistic ethics, a concept the two of them created and immediately put to use. To underscore the importance of this new direction, the paper was renamed to The Kordavan Informant.
Within a year, Otvard and Hamalgrar began thinking internationally. The idea of the Informant was too important to limit it to just Hessen politics. Within a year, bureau offices had opened in Latium, Aimilleuse, Perrin, and Roosh, and the publication’s coverage had gone international.
Unfortunately, Otvard isn’t always a good manager. When he hires Patrizia "Poppy" Gallia Gatto as a new reporter without giving Maurko a chance to interview her first, Otvard’s relationship with Maurko becomes strained.
Over seven centuries ago, an alchemist named Ludmila was executed for the alleged murder of a Roosh prince. But the incident outraged several Chaldean magicians, who believed Ludmila was framed by a trickster. In response, those magicians banded together to create Rubenstein, an order of magicians driven to serve a single ideal: that the crimes of magicians are best judged by magicians.
Rubenstein was founded in what is now modern-day August, where the order built the Rubenstein Lodge, a mystical tower that has served as guild lodge since the order’s founding. The order immediately began documenting the methods magicians might use to commit crimes or to cover them up.
Rubenstein also began an ongoing effort to educate and inform various judicial courts, judges, and magistrates of the existence of magicians and their services and expertise. Chaldea’s courts were slow to adopt usage of Rubenstein but eventually learned that doing so could save them much grief.
The prestige of Rubenstein was elevated significantly when Emperor Kordaava mandated that Rubenstein be consulted on any matters involving the occult or any time a magician was the target of an investigation.
Throughout Chaldea, Rubenstein is now called upon in many courts to advise on laws and crimes involving the supernatural.
The Warhawks are the 10th Legion of the Imperial Army. Legatus Marcosta Kordaava commissioned the Warhawks into military service several years before his coronation as Emperor.
Legatus Nergane Wernuir was the first commander of the 10th, yet he nearly lost the legion in the Battle of Akkadia when he underestimated the skill and training of the Akkadian army, whose top commanders were women, mostly priestesses of Ishtar. When Wernuir was slain on the field of battle, Helwig Gustavus, tribunus at the time, took command and turned defeat into victory.
The 10th Legion continued to perform meritoriously for several years as Emperor Kordaava secured his worldwide empire. During those early years, the 10th, led by Gustavus, saw action in various battles around the continent of Niessia.
In Year 7, Gustavus was promoted to governor of Niessia, and the Warhawks took up permanent residence in Enchantment’s Guard, just north of Augstat.
In Year 35, five years before our story begins, Helwig Gustavus let go of the reins of the 10th, and Emperor Kordaava promoted Gustavus’s son, Reiswitz, to Legatus of the Warhawks.
As is standard for Imperial Legions, the Warhawks is composed of nine cohorts of 500 men plus one double-strength cohort of 1,000 men, for a total of 5,500 soldiers. In addition, at any given time the legion is supported by a nearly equal number of auxilia troops. Most notably among the auxilia are The Hecks, units from the standing military of the kingdom of Hesse. Other auxilia include dwarven axemen from Stollhofen, mercenaries from Argos, and wilder elven rangers from the Garnon Forest.
Notable officers include Tribunus Teper Kasdoni and High Captain Kurig.
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