Sunday, June 6, 2010

From the Attic: A fantasy Rome

After reading McCullough's First Man in Rome, I created a fantasy version of Rome called Ramos to use in a plot I was running in NERO Live Action Roleplaying. I tried to simplify the confusing aspect of the historical Rome into something understandable, gamable, and fun.


Along the shores of the mighty Middle Sea lies the Republic of Ramos. Founded over 600 years ago by the Valernos and his sister Vendera, Ramos has stretched her hand to dominate all of the lands surrounding the Middle Sea. From the deep forests of Sylvania to the west to dreaming Myrr of the two kings to the east, Ramos is destined control the world.

The City of Ramos was founded 652 years ago. It expanded and overcome all of it's enemies to dominate the Middle Sea. The triumph of Ramos came with their defeat of Delenda 123 years ago. Ramos and Delenda fought four wars for control of the western Middle Sea and the fourth war ended with Delenda totally destroyed and it's fields sown with salt. Only three areas remain outside of Ramos control: the barbarian plains to the north. The forest of Sylvania to the east dominated by the Elves, and the mystical realm of Myrr to the east dominated by the Kzin.

Ramos is a Republic, it's populace are divided into thirteen tribes which vote as a tribe for the offices of the Republic. The tribe used to be based on the thirteen villages that joined to form the city of Ramos. But now the tribes are based mostly on wealth. Men and women of Ramos who become wealthy pay one of the existing tribes to be adopted. Today the wealthiest 10% of Ramos control nine of the thirteen tribes. This ensures that their candidates are the ones elected to office.

The highest offices of Ramos are the two Consuls elected yearly. Their power comes from the ancient power of Ramos' old kings. When the tribes revolted against King Septimus Servus, they started electing two Consuls to exercise the power of the old kings. However the tribes drew the Saecerum around Ramos. The power of consuls extended only outside the Saecerum. Once they cross the Saecerum are treated as any citizen of Ramos and their powers are severely limited. The duties of the Consuls are to protect Ramos and lead her wars. They are to ensure the flow of tribute to Ramos from the provinces and to make treaties with Ramos enemies and allies. They are also expected to heed the advice and council of the Senate of Ramos.

The next offices are that of the Praetors. The Praetor have the same powers as Consuls except that they are limited to a specific geographical area such as a province. The Consuls can overrule any action of a Praetor and take command of the Praetor’s forces at any time. There are two special Praetors that operate within the city of Ramos. The first oversee all judicial matter and is the second-highest judicial office in Ramos. The second oversee the finances of the city and the administration of public works and the distribution of the public grain to the poor.

The last office is the Aediles which work under the Consuls and Praetors to perform numerous administrative and military duties.

All offices are elected by a majority vote of the thirteen tribes at the yearly tribal assembly.

In addition to the these offices there are three other institutions of the Republic.

The Tribal Assembly is comprised of all thirteen tribes. They generally meet only once a year and have three main functions. The first is to elect the year's Consuls, Praetors, and Aediles. The Second is to hear any cases of High Treason or Impeachment. High Treason and impeachment are the only reasons that the Tribal Assembly may meet outside of the yearly meeting. Third they may pass decrees that effect the entire city. Since the founding of the Republic this has evolved to rubber-stamping the decisions of the Senate.

The Wealthiest 1% of Ramos dominate the first five tribes. The next wealthiest 10% dominate the next four tribes. And 80% of Ramos are in one of the remaining four tribes.

The Senate of Ramos is perhaps Ramos important institution. Any former Consul, or Praetor is automatically inducted into this body. Also Senate may vote in worthy citizens of Ramos in by a two thirds vote. The Senate requires that it's members hold a substantial fortune or property. This is verified every five years by two Censors appointed by the Senate.

The Senate started a council of the respected elders of Ramos whoes recommendations and suggestion carried great weight. Over the years as the wealthiest families consolidated their control. The proclamations of the Senate evolved to have the force of law. The Tribal Assembly was reduced to little more than a rubber-stamp for the Senate.

Over seventy-five years ago Ramos was ripped apart by a class war. The Patricians versus the Plebs, in the resolution of the war the lowest four tribes won the right to hold a separate assembly. This became the Plebian Assembly, they can pass plebiscites which can overrule any decree of the Tribal Assembly or proclamation of the Senate.

They elect five tribunes who can veto any action of any official or assembly of the Republic including the Plebian Assembly itself. The ruling families still remained in power as they used their great wealth to bride Plebeians to elect tribunes of their choice. These Tribunes then veto any action of the Plebian Assembly that threatened the power of the oligarches. Along with the public dole of Grain the great families of Ramos were able to keep control of the plebeians.

The Celestial Guild of Ramos
One of the main institutions supporting the might of Ramos is the Celestial Guild. When the ancient city-states of Archea were conquered thousand of Archeans scholars were enslaved to teach the Ramons of their arts. The Senate voted for funds to establish many colleges and schools for the Celestial arts and stipulated that any Celestial mage must be ready to aid the senate and people of Ramos. With the conquest of the ancient land of Goshen fifty years ago the Celestial Mages had access to all the known lore of Celestial Magic.

Chirugeons Guild
In Ramos, all Earth Magic is feared and hated . The Ramons believe that all magic power is drawn from somewhere and the caster taking and transform the magical energy for his own use. With Earth Magic being tied to the earth, every time a Earth Magic spell is cast a little of the vital energy of the Earth is taken and the natural flow of earth magic in the world is disturbed. This occurs whether the spell is necromantic or healing. With enough casting of Earth spells the land become barren and desolate due the tremendous disruption of the flow of the magic of the earth. Ramos was one of the first cultures to proclaim this and banned the use of Earth magic throughout it's territories and provinces. One of the main causes of the wars with Delenda is the that they continued to use Healing magic. Also this is cause of the Ramos fanaticism against the Elven and human tribes of Sylvania.

In response to the loss of the healers, the alchemist of Ramos came into the forefront. Soon a new guild was formed from the Alchemist Guild and they named themselves the Chirugeon's Guild. They dedicated themselves to the brewing and use of healing elixirs and salves. They also undertook the study of the body and improved their skills in the healing arts. They incorporated many of the ideals and goals of the old healing guilds and now they are widely respected as paragons of good and healing.

Unfortunately the plot wasn't that popular as I made the Ramosian Legions a little too effective. I made sure that the NPC player work as a team and tactics I used were highly effective given the NERO rules.


Roger G-S said...

"Delenda" ... nice ...

Trey said...

Celestial magic from the land of Goshen..That's a nice touch.

LokiSooner said...

Ditto what Roger said. Somewhere Cato is spinning in his grave. Unless he was cremated, of course.