The Free Sulian Dominion

The Free Sulian Dominion
Total Population: 11 million.
Spoken Languages: Sulian
System of government: Feudal Republic
Total military Forces: 500.000
Alignment: Lawful Evil

“Come hither, strangers… Our blades are sharp and our arrows do not stray. Come, take another step into our lands… You shall find that we are generous hosts.”
Message of Ranger-General Zendarian to the mortal forces of the Mad King.

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No other race on Fuin ‘Yaana has paid the price of victory against the King’s forces more steeply than the Sulian Elves. Once, they formed loose tribes of hunters that lived together in the dark forests of Oira ‘Malos. They prospered and became a dutiful people that thrived in the cold of the Eastern Continent, living off the land and becoming renowned for their skills as trackers. In time, they joined what would become the Triarchy, an economic and military alliance between themselves, the Angelis and the Saeryen. In modern times, the Sulian Elves are united in what is called the Dominion, a sovereign nation led by the Council of the 17. They are isolated from the rest of the world due to a number of reasons: The internecine warfare between the Houses to acquire more power for themselves, the large-scale purges made against mages during the Great Tragedy that almost started a civil war and the reluctance of their wayward allies to aid them during the thousand-year long struggle against the Mad King, which decimated their race’s population. Finally, perhaps the most decisive factor is The Game, inspired by the Goddess Voleune Herself.

The rules of The Game are such:
• No Sulian shall kill another to advance themselves in The Game.
• Bribery, backstabbing, and blackmail are both perfectly acceptable in The Game.
• One may declare themselves free of The Game, at which point all who play The Game shall know.
• No one who has not yet come of age may take part, in any way, of The Game.
• It is the responsibility of the parent to teach their child in The Game.
• The object of The Game is to be the one with the most land and oaths of subservience when a victor is declared.
• After a victor is declared, The Game will be on hold for ten years, during which land and oath shall be upheld.

Though The Game mostly concerns the leaders of the Four Houses, every Sulian is caught in their deadly web of intrigue, as power shifts from one House to another. Thus, the Dominion is a nation constantly in a state of undeclared war with itself. It is no wonder that each year many Sulian Elves declare themselves free of its influence and leave the Dominion’s lands forever, knowing that by its laws, they can never return. These immigrants have told the outside world of The Game, which both horrifies and enraptures the other mortal races. Many outsiders have tried to enter the Dominion, only to be shot down by Rangers after taking so much as a single step on their lands.

As far as their system of governance goes, the Council of the 17 leads the race in times of peace. 12 seats are reserved for Voleune’s Tenders, who have not been seen in over 100 years. The remaining seats are shared between the Matrons of the Four Houses and the Ranger-General, usually the only male in a position of such authority. He becomes the race’s indisputable leader during times of war, during which The Game is put on hold. The Sulian Elves are a mainly matriarchal society, with males providing most of the military forces of the Four Houses with females becoming administrators and merchants. These repressive gender roles give younglings yet another incentive to leave the Sulian lands. In the end, those who stay become entangled in the schemes of their superiors, as they too strive to increase their standing in Sulian society through backstabbing and byzantine politics. Most fail, either meeting their end at the hands of the Watcher, who enforces The Game’s rules, or exiling themselves to Avalon or other places to escape humiliation and poverty. Those who win enjoy power for a brief decade, during which they are hailed as the winners of the long struggle, only to lose it all when The Game starts anew.

It is noteworthy that the nation’s official military and the feudal forces of the Four Houses are two distinct bodies. The military, simply known as the Rangers, are compelled to declare themselves free of The Game upon their initiation into the army’s ranks, while the feudal forces are under no such constraints. It is easy to see then, which path the few and the privileged choose. However, when war threatens the Dominion, the Matrons are obligated to combine their forces with those of the Rangers. Both of them consider themselves more elite than the other, which serves to create even more distrust. The emergence of a new foe has made the Sulians more paranoid than ever. Some scholars argue that the pressure the Dominion’s society is under will likely erupt into a full, blown-out civil war.

The Four Houses:
House Xyrlynn. Traditionally controls the most Leylines, and thus also possesses more powerful mages in its ranks.
House Eilin. Known for its martial prowess, the Eilin bloodline has always produced capable strategists. They have the twice as household troops as the other Houses combined and thus are, at least in terms of brute strength, the most powerful of the Four.
House Loraatris. Keepers of ancient lore, the Loraatris have became feared for their mastery over the arts of alchemy and poison-making.
House Cartrana. Greatly influences the Dominion’s economy due to their extensive power base, primarily known for always being one step ahead of their competitors.

The Houses are much more than just collections of nobles who share the same blood. They are self-governing socio-economic paramilitary organizations and they define the Dominion more than anything else within its boundaries. They are allowed to employ private armies, which only answer to the Ranger-General in times of war, and then only just. They are little more than mercenaries, despite their admittedly excellent training and equipment. The Rangers, despite the lack of funding they receive, are remarkably more patriotic, united in their purpose and driven to protect their homeland than the troops of the Houses.

The Free Sulian Dominion

DARPG: Heroes of Fuin Yaana. Crusadeath