Tuesday, 14 December 2010

[To Coin A World] The Republic of Orzovia

Vampires on The Coin used to be an endangered metaspecies. Plagued with bursts of anger and bloodrage, multiple weaknesses, and great powers which can be leveled against mortal and vampire alike, the vampires of old nearly wiped each other out. For when two vampires fight, the explosive mix of powers and weaknesses nigh-invariably favours the vampire who initiates the attack, whether simply in sneaking up on the other vampire, or seeking out knowledge and plotting an attack for years in advance. The result of this is that 99.9% of vampires encountered in the wilderness will the twitchy, paranoid, insane murderous bastards.

But not all vampires are loners.

The Republic of Orzorvia was founded by a clan of vampires in the unique position of rulership over a populace of humans, whom they planned to subjugate and feed on in a month-long orgy of blood. Yet when they were attacked by a rival gang of vampires that coveted their prize, the humans rose up to defend their masters, preferring a bloodsucking fiend they knew to one they didn't, and exploited common vampire weaknesses to destroy the newcomers.
The clan of vampires was both grateful and cunning, and realised that by ruling fairly over the populace and establishing a relationship based on trust with their subjects they would have a defence against the predations of other vampires and a constant source of blood, providing they took care not to overfeed.
To ensure the trust of their mortal citizens, they founded the first democracy, laying down a fair constitution which protected the rights of citizens of all kinds (but with preference to vampires), and in a masterstroke of political genius, installed a system in which every 13 years, when vampire Parliament runs its elections, one citizen, rewarded by other citizens for his/her bravery and service to the city-state would, through a complex voting process, ascend to vampirehood and be inducted into the heady world of Vampire Parliament.

There is a three stage process to Ascension:
Firstly, a petitioner must secure enough votes through a frenzy of campaigning from the mortal voting body to be one of the 13 Candidates for Ascension.
Secondly, a petitioner must be voted into ascension by the Vampire Parliament, and must campaign to the 13 different vampire clans for such an honour.
Thirdly, the 13 vampires clans must now each, in turn, plead their case to the petitioner, who will eventually choose one to be inducted into. This choice is important, as different clans have different weaknesses, and different levels of control over their new spawn...

Like many numbered groups throughout The Coin, the 13 Vampire Clans of Orzorvia comprise much more than 13 individual sub-metaspecies and voting bodies of vampire, as vampires are as commonly divided by bloodline characteristics as they are by seemingly inconsequential political factional allegiances. The 13 clans are really just 13 more-or-less united coalitions of fractious vampire clans.

Every vampire has a vote, and every vote counts, thus every vampire has the title of Count, even the lady vampires. The lower house of Vampire Parliament is known as the Hung Parliament, as every meeting is conducted with the vampires hanging upside-down from the rafters, in an homage to the bats from which most vampires are descended. The downside to this system is that it does make note-taking rather difficult, providing employment to a host of scribe-shadows which flit about the room and transcribe the proceedings.

Due to the diverse nature of vampire weaknesses, all holy symbols, garlic cloves, and silver items must be kept within the Metics Quarter of the City-State of Orzorvia, and are strictly regulated even therein.

Given the presence of such a utopian system of government in a mostly brutal and uncivilised area of The Coin, it is a wonder that the Orzorvians do not have problems with immigration. The answer lies in both the superstitions and fears of many inhabitants of The Coin concerning the undead, and also the Blightlands, an untamed strip of ghoul-infesting necromantically-blasted sunless badlands which surrounds Orzorvia proper. The various towers dotted around the Blightlands are nominally supposed to offer succour to hapless travellers, but in truth most of the vampires delegated to tower-duty are so bored that watching an occasional wanderer flee from ghouls is too entertaining to intervene in.

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