|Map of Drotid|
|Other Names:||Shaah Sulehagh|
|Capital:||Drotid City (Sssshhehaaheskiticliass)|
|Kobolds 40%, Troglodytes 30%, Shaahesk 20%, Other 10%|
|Languages:||Shaahesk, Common, Elven (among slaves)|
|Head of State:||Voivode Kssheli'sssshka'ar|
|Imports:||Grains, metals, slaves, weaponry|
|Exports:||Exotic produce, lumber, slaves|
|Trading Partners/Alliances:||Brekon (minor trading partner), Crullath (major trading partner), Dubunat (major trading partner)|
Drotid (also known as Shaah Sulehagh) is a nation ruled by lizardmen (who call themselves the Shaahesk), but populated by several 'servitor races' which consist of anything that has passed their borders without permits, races that the lizardmen conquered, and various slaves bought from other nations/privateers.
Approximately 40% of Drotid's population is kobolds. Simply put, they breed like vermin and have litters of up to four pups. Nearly 30% of the remaining is troglodyte, and 20% are lizard folk with the final 10% consisting of members of the various races that have been enslaved.
The lizardmen keep control of their nation through discipline, fear, and a willingness to take reprisals to a genocidal level. Example: there used to be snake men in the same area. They were too difficult to control, and after a third uprising, the lizardmen wiped out the entire race. Since then, they feel no remorse in wiping out villages, tribes, or even towns that do not appreciate their 'enlightened' rule.
The lizardmen themselves are separated into castes. The Aristocratic caste consists of wealthy merchants, boyars, high-ranking military officials, and high-ranking priests. The Craftsman caste consists of the various blacksmiths, carpenters, engineers, millers, and artisans. These individuals make up the majority of the lizardman population, as well as almost all of the trog population. Temple guards, mercenaries, soldiers, marines, and pitfighters all make up the warrior caste. This is the only caste that a slave may elevate himself into. Even though there are many dwarven and elven artisans, they are always watched, and thus belong to the fourth and final caste, the Slave/Servant caste. This caste consists of general laborers as well as slave handlers and slaves. Slave traders belong to the Aristocrat caste.
Approximately 60% of Drotid is marshes; so finding enough dry land to build a city is near impossible. As a result, instead of large cities, Drotid is filled with small towns and villages, most of which are controlled by a local headman. The word for this 'Headman' is so unpronounceable that we are going to simply refer to them as Boyars. These Boyars make policy in as far as they decide local policy concerning trade, agriculture, and religion, but they are required to garrison troops that answer only to the Overlord (Voivode).
The Voivode is the head of the military as well as overlord of the boyars. He dictates policy regarding interregional trade, religion and military matters as well as providing a safe haven for visiting local dignitaries. The position of Voivode is elected by the Boyars, who are placed into position by the Voivode. As a result, most Voivodes retain their position for life. Life is, of course, a very questionable term. One Voivode was assassinated one week into his term because of too many policy changes.
Villages and Settlements of Drotid
Very rarely does a village or settlement within Drotid last more than a few generations. The land is in constant internal conflict and upheaval, and this often ends the existance of most fortified places sooner or later. Generally, the Voivode who rules the nation demands tribute from his Boyars, i.e. village chiefs. If a Boyar does not pay up in the form of gold, slaves, or soldiers for the Voivode's army, then the Voivode will send a contingent of soldiers down to wipe the place (and the Boyar) out. There is no negotiation in these matters. It is simply done.
The totality of the Voivode's army is made up of conscripts given in tribute from his lessers, and those who serve in the army are glad for their lot in most cases because the status of a soldier is nearly equal with a merchant. Thus, a shaahesk slave can theoretically achieve glory in this matter by being given to the voivode as a soldier. There are no non-shaahesk in the proper army because it is forbidden, however the lizard folk have been known to build fodder armies out of servitor races like kobolds and battle captives. Large forces of lizard folk almost always travel with one or two of these fodder armies, for both protection and food.
Army advancement is generally straightforward: a soldier achieves rank by killing and eating the one above him, or by amassing enough of his own followers to fight off those who disagree with him. If the one who happens to disagree is the voivode or even a boyar, he is generally going to have a short-lived army. However, if he is smart and pledges his force to an influential boyar or the voidvode himself, then he has achieved something he can keep. In fact, many of these leaders go on to form villages and settlements of their own and become new Boyars. Sometimes there are networks of allied Boyars who have been spun off, though they often break down due to greed and backstabbing and degenerate one again into separate entities. Generally only the Voivode has the power to keep things in line.
Aside from military pressures, the lizard folk are at odds with other races and the environment. The troglodytes usually live underwater in the swamps and in the sea close by the shores of Drotid. Their culture is equally xenophobic and hateful, and they have factions and squabbles of their own. Often these squabbles will come into a conflict with one or another group of shaahesk.
Though there are few cities in Drotid because of the paucity of dry land, there is one settlement which is the home of the Voivode that is larger than the rest and acts as a hub for the slave trade. Outsiders simply refer to it as "Drotid City" or "The Snake Pit" because they cannot pronounce SSsshhehaaheskiticliasss.
Lizard folk do not breed as often as kobolds, who are the second class citizens in their society, but they do lay large clutches of eggs every few years. The clutch members who live stay with the mother for about 2 years before leaving and becoming independent. Male and female shaahesk are generally indistinguishable and play the same roles in society except when breeding. Mothers with clutches are solitary and usually live alone while raising them. Fathers generally eat their young.
No marriage or form of romantic relationships exist because the shaahesk are primarily self-focussed when it comes to advancement and getting ahead.
Voivode Kasseshisrath's Army
As with many parts of Drotid society, Kasseshisrath has reformed the traditional army structures into a more formalized system useful for the campaigns of conquest on which he has embarked. These new shaahesk military structures are based around their tribal origins, and at lower ranks reflect the individualistic, self-centered nature of the society. At higher ranks they reflect the constant hand of Kasseshisrath as he molds the shaahesk to his personal desires.
The basic unit of the military is called a Clutch, it being roughly the number of eggs (15-20) a female will lay at once. Leading a Clutch is a single Battle Captain. He may lead only one, or several, depending on his fighting prowess, diplomatic ability, or some combination of the two. Battle Captain is a fluid position, often changing as shaahesk die in combat or are supplanted by stronger members of the clutch.
30 Clutches form a Clan, the traditional small village grouping. In Kasseshisrath's army, a Clan is led by a War Chief, who command 450-600 shaahesk warriors. A War Chief is again chosen based on his physical prowess, his success in battle, or his ability to form a coalition that will back his command, though they tend to last longer than Battle Captains, and frequently survive their usurpation.
4 Clans form a War Band. Unlike Clutches and Clans, this is a strictly military grouping not usually seen in Drotid without an overt military need. War Bands are commanded by a War Leader, often a minor Boyar of the aristocratic caste, or an ambitious and successful warrior caste appointed by the local Boyar. In Kasseshisrath's army, the Clans are often mixed and scattered throughout his armies, such that it's rare for more than two clans from any province to fight in the same War Band.
10 War bands form an Army. Armies are led by a Warlord, either a powerful Boyar or an exceptional shaahesk from the warrior caste. In Kasseshisrath's armies, the Warlord is appointed personally by him, and is not chosen by strength of arms. Kasseshisrath looks for strategic and tactical skill as well as leadership qualities and ability to perform in battle. He often promotes warrior caste Warlords to take a Boyar's traditional army, sometimes over the Boyar's objection, creating tension within the upper ranks as various personalities strive to prove their ability to the Voivode. Boyars who object to this treatment have in the past been sent with no reinforcement to assault L'Hur'Aek Hegena as a test of their command ability. The few who survive this test are named Warlords as well, a dubious honor due to the warrior caste connotations, but worth much in Kasseshisrath's military system. As a result, class differences are breaking down at the highest echelons of both castes - yet another way that Kasseshisrath has remade Drotid to fit his personal vision.
Freeroamers are units of Clutch size or smaller led by an opportunistic warrior or sometimes even by slaves or warmbloods. They hold no allegiance to tribe or province, and generally recruit shaahesk and others who feel a high-risk, high-reward combat role is the best (possibly the only) way to rise in status. Sometimes outcasts, gladiators, orphans, wanderers, or simply opportunists, they are soldiers unattached to the traditional societal divisions and would probably be unable to realize their desires without the current war to help them carve a niche for themselves and their followers. Freeroamers operate attached to the traditional armies and often take on dangerous, even suicidal assignments the traditional War Chiefs are unwilling to attempt. Their hallmark is the unconventional collection of abilities and skills, and the common desire to break out of the normal caste system... hopefully to be noticed by a Boyar or the Voivode himself, and elevated to War Leader or Warlord status. This has happened several times during the course of Kasseshisrath's campaign in Grantir, but only once so far during his war in the south.
Groups of Freeroamers are led by a Battle Captain, sometimes called a War Captain, who keeps his position by force of personality or force of arms. A unit's leadership is constantly shifting due to promotion, competition, or attrition. Freeroaming groups frequently compete against each other for prized assignments, and are paid in scavenge from the corpses of their enemies. They have a wide-ranging freedom to act within the combat zones, and are generally free to do as they wish... until some commander singles a group out for an assignment. If ordered, they must attempt to carry out missions assigned to them or lose their permission to freelance outside the common structure of the armies. Sometimes, shaahesk will abandon their units to join a Freeroaming band, causing confrontations between the war captains. The outcome of these conflicts is usually a change in leadership for one or both units.