The Sovereign Nation of Sin is a dark kingdom that lies in opposition to the Holy Empire of Sol Invictus. A hub of knowledge, trade and villainy, Sin is wrapped in strict rules and regulations enforced by a particularly sadistic breed of civil servants known as Skinners. Here you aren’t punished for breaking the law – You’re punished for getting caught.
Almost six centuries ago, the Neumen of Godsward split into several distinct kingdoms – Amongst these was the kingdom of Tempus Lux, ruled by the twin brothers Lucidus and Salvius Drusus. Both brothers were masterful swordsmen and arcanists, and together proved to be powerful and wise leaders who led their kingdom into an era of great prosperity. However, a point of contention arose when it came to the matter of their foes – While Lucidus sought to destroy their enemies completely, Salvius sought to master them. With powerful binding magic, he would bring necromancers and devils to their knees and force them to serve him as slaves. Lucidus viewed this as folly – Evil could not be controlled or mastered, only destroyed. Salvius’ philosophies would cause fear and suspicion amongst the populace, and in time Lucidus was forced to denounce Salvius as a heretic. This schism split the kingdom in two – Salvius took this in stride, rallying bannermen to his side as he left the kingdom to march south and carve out a kingdom of his own, whilst Lucidus retained the lands in the north, forming the Holy Empire of Sol Invictus. From that time onwards, Salvius Drusus and his followers would be known as heretics and sinners – a title that they have come to embrace and take as their own. Now all kings of the Sovereign Nation bear the mark of Sin, a symbol of their mastery over all things dark.
Though the commonfolk of both Sol Invictus and Sin both view each other with contempt and hatred, the truth is that the two kingdoms share a rather cordial relationship. The nobility view their counterparts more with a sense of rivalry than anything else, with all conflicts between the two kingdoms treated almost more like sport than with any true malice (Though sometimes vendettas do form from particularly ruinous defeats, such as the victory of House Zeromus over House Anathema in the Siege of Invalesc).
Society and CultureEdit
Guile, Cunning and Intelligence are highly valued here, and those who get through on brawn and thuggery are looked down upon with contempt. Many merchants deal in both the free and black markets, not all of whom are human. Despite its sinister nature, Sin is a font of culture and information to which many flock seeking fame, fortune and power.
Stemming from a great emphasis on appearance and presentation, Fashion is a huge part of Sin’s culture. Much of what they wear is considered avant-garde and perhaps a little bizarre by other nations, and it seems there is a different style in fashion each month. Cabaret shows are popular, especially burlesque.
There is a huge divide between the people of Sin's major cities and the peasants of the outlying regions. So large is the rift between them that these people see view their city counterparts with fear and awe, tales of the wicked goings-on of the cities having only reached them through whispered tavern gossip. These country villages lay mostly in an area known as Devil County. Here the people live in constant fear of evil spirits and demons lurking in the shadows. Their only salvation are a group of sanctioned devil-hunting inquisitors from Hydrus' Office of Diabolic Affairs. However, these devil-hunters are feared almost as much as the beasts they hunt and are known to be ruthlessly efficient and willing to sacrifice innocents to take down their quarry.
Petty and unskilled criminals are looked down upon and treated harshly. Those who gain reputations for evading the law and talking their way out of court are treated with respect and admiration. Honour among thieves is an ideal held close to the heart amongst Sinites – It is unspoken law that if somebody commits a crime against you, if they manage to evade you for a month and a day, you can no longer hold quarrel with them.
Fashion Boutiques, Discussion Halls (Universities) and Guild Houses.
The bazaar is massive. Regular operating hours are between 5am and 9pm. Approved Illegal Black Market stalls are run from 12am to 3am. Unapproved Illegal Black Market stalls are run between 2am and 4am in designated Unapproved Illegal Black Market stall locations.
Spider Silk is one of Sin’s most famous exports. Light, beautiful and incredibly strong, the secrets of its manufacture are a jealously guarded secret.
Both professional servants (Manservants, Maids) and slaves (Known as "Thralls") are common in the cities of Sin. Thralls are often people from other countries who have been conquered or defeated in battle. Godswardians are rarely pressed into thralldom, as it is seen as bad practice. An exception exists for criminals and others who cannot pay their debts - They are sometimes pressed into being thralls as punishment for their crime. Exotic slaves are highly valued and are often bartered from Bandit slave traders hailing from Ryedale.
Gladiators are highly skilled and often highly-paid individuals in Sin. They fight both monsters and humans, and emphasise showmanship over efficiency. Many gladiators start as thralls and servants, earning their freedom through prowess in battle.
- King Salvius Drusus Sin III – Divine ruler of Sin and third of his name. Has extended his life using unknown sorceries.
- Sir Prize and Miss Fortune – Leader of the PMC known as the Soldiers of Fortune. They are the second only to the King himself in power and influence.
House Felkin (Sin)
Motto: “All gold gleams the same”
House emblem/colour: Fish skeleton, black and navy blue.
Domains: Devil, Water
Controlling most of Sin’s trade and waterways from the city of Hydrus, House Felkin is and always has been Sin’s link to its infernal business partners. The god Hundur finds many worshippers here.
This large, sprawling city beside a river is best known as the birthplace of a notorious tyrant. The majority of its inhabitants are involved in trade, and it is considered noteworthy for its ruinous tax rate.
House Anathema (Sin)
Motto: “Blood conquers all”
House emblem/colour: Badger, Bronze
Domains: Honour, Family
House Anathema are charged with the protection of the city Invalesc. House Anathema insist that they are the true heirs to the first human empire. Aulsfare is often worshipped here.
Invalesc is a huge, curiously empty city on a major trade route. It is best known as the site of the Siege of Invalesc, where the city and its inhabitants were almost completely wiped out by the forces of House Zeromus. Though the city has been rebuilt, the population has not.
The majority of its inhabitants are involved in leather goods. In an effort to revitalize the economy, house Anathema has brought in a number of non-human races such as Syrictae and Goblins, leading to a colourful foreign quarter
Meta – the Noble VillainEdit
The archetype most associated with the elite of Sin is that of the ‘Noble Villain’. This of course refers to the fact that while they might partake in nefarious or detestable acts (Human trafficking, infernal pacts, etc.) they still adhere to a code of conduct and morals.
The noble villain respects deals and keeps his end of the bargain even when they go sour (Though isn’t afraid to exploit any loopholes, should they be present). They respect an opponent who can outwit them with a suitably devious plot or beat them on their own terms (This isn’t to say they can’t be petty or revenge-driven, which many often are). They are courageous in their plots, unafraid to take a risk and are more likely to ‘go out in a blaze of glory’ when defeated than to beg helplessly for their lives. Rewards are given to those who have earned them – A Sinite who works hard for his employer will get his dues.
This is the general attitude of the “Respectable” Sinite, extending across all classes and occupations from the canny slave merchant looking to expand his influence in the noble houses to the honourable blood knight seeking fame and glory in the death of his enemies. Keep in mind, however, that this does not represent all of the Sovereign Nation – Just the ideal attitude promoted by the state. Indeed, there are many Sinites who do not adhere to this archetype in any way – most notably the rural peasant class who live in fear and superstition.
Sinites are not born into wealth. They don’t believe in ‘inheritance’, power or wealth that isn’t earned with their own hands. Or at least, that’s what they say. Children born in the cities of Sin are not the property of their parents but of the state. They are all taken as soon as they can walk and are put into government-funded boarding schools where they all receive equal education and living quarters. Of course this doesn’t stop richer families from bribing teachers into giving certain students additional concessions. Here children stay until they are around fifteen or sixteen years of age, at which point they strike out to carve their own niche in the world. This system is of course flawed, as many who belong to noble houses simply enter employment under their own parents and are practically assured to quickly rise in rank, nepotism being what it is. These people are generally mocked and looked down upon by their peers until they have truly proven themselves worthy of their station.