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Draco hit a vein of character inspiration a bit ago. Draco had most of this post done and once again sat on it because the longer the post the harder to double check. The autocorrect even changed had to ad so there’s that. Draco’s even posted half these pics on Twitter already but hey that’s 50% new for you now plus lore which is new to you. The vein started with this friend below but they were only the beginning because that’s how that expression works. Draco figured stuff out about most of the countries in Draco’s desperately in need of a name world but we’ll focus on Crotor and a little on the Sildurenth Empire mostly because you can’t talk about one without the other and also the empire only exists because of Crotor.

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Unlike a lot of characters Draco shows here, this one is actually an antagonist. Not intentionally mind you but still. They’re a blacksmith in the burgeoning little town of Kaday. Kaday is on the verge of becoming a big deal city. Unlike the nearby capital city of Crotor, Kaday is not a heavily fortified vertical rectangle of a city. A big part of the problem is that Crotor and Kaday bump into one another and it’s hard to decide if Kaday is growing or being consumed. Apparently that’s called a conurbation. This world has a lot of these because magic construction is easy. Anyway it’s mostly open and it attracts predators and with them they attract young adventures who want to hunt said predators which is great for commerce but not for this guy. This guy is an artisan but the people of Kaday are all either newbies who don’t take care of their weapons or people trying to sell to newbies and none of them use their tool and weapons with a modicum of respect. No one even says thank you because this isn’t the shopkeeper, they just make the stuff. They just get the orders describing what needs to be done and perhaps a bit of why. Obviously some things get broken and then they need to be repaired and that’s how they found out about all of the disrespect. They honestly don’t talk too much to anyone who isn’t a bee so that doesn’t really help. Anyway, as with most of the bad situations Draco writes, some magic accidentally was cast one day and the Beesmith wished that people would stop treating his creations poorly. The project he was working on at the time was a spear and the spear, now imbued with powerful accidental magic and a wish from its creator, became a person sort of. A person with the power to make other things people as well. Mostly weapons because this is a fantasy story but things like frying pans, maybe a wagon wheel.

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When you are a spear, every problem looks like it can be solved with a spear. These forged people seek to stop the improper use and care of items by recruiting them and killing the wielders. If they’re a horseshoe or like some tools they probably wouldn’t but the weapons are down for fighting. Maybe a very bad spoon as well. Not the point though. This pic needed a background and we talked about Kaday but Kaday was maybe if you’re generous represented by 3 squares. So Draco did a more zoomed in map of Crotor in general and then after that Draco was like “It’s weird to do that map when your story, all your witchtober stuff, and most of your drawings take place mostly west of there.” so Draco did map of Cohavy too. Then of course that got Draco thinking if they lined up which they did not so Draco had to edit them and while doing that Draco realized that it was like if you had a square, divided it into 4 squares, then only did two that were diagonal from one another.So Draco went on a map spiral. They’re pretty rough and posting them would delay this post by a few more months so we’ll wait on that. Anyway now instead of one square it’s many squares and some circles. Centaurs,  harpies, spider people can live in square buildings but round makes more sense. Snake people too. Draco was calling them lamia before but apparently lamia are only snake ladies and while that is generally what Draco draws there are still plenty of snake not-ladies. Regardless this map making made Draco hammer out the factions of Crotor and how it works. Most of how Crotor showed up before was through the things that they make. They make some good stuff and the people of everywhere else would like to buy it. Not to say everyone else is bad at making stuff, they just really focus on the artistry due to the story of Cristo and the aftermath of that. Draco’s possibly mentioned it before but can’t remember and a search turned up nothing. Basically Cristo was an artist of Crotor from before it was conquered by the Sildurenth Empire and when they eventually came knocking he was drafted into the cities defense. He figured since he would soon be going into battle he’d make himself some defense of his own and created a shield of the utmost beauty. The Gods gave it a thumbs up and prepared a team of angels to go loot his corpse for it but when he went into battle no one harmed him. They were captivated and could not bear to harm the shield. They harmed everyone else though and the city was taken but when the empire was really trying to get the people in an empire mood they held up Cristo. The Sildurenth Empire is very much about the idea that YOU are the chosen one, YOU have a grand quest to go on, that sort of thing. They were all told to be more like Cristo the war hero who just wanted to do art and not worry about a war. Cristo then went on to make art referencing his art, like a sword with the shield he made engraved on it, and then a chair with the sword that had the shield on it. Can’t forget the flower pot that had the chair on it or the table that had the flower pot carved into it either. All valuable contributions. It’s not like he was lazy though, he and everyone thought these were good ideas and they absolutely loved the end results. In the background of this narcissistic spiral people started trying to do their work more beautifully and over time a ranking system formed with those who matched or surpassed Cristo’s skill at the top. they’re known as the Hoawons and eventually they grew to a level of power such that they no longer needed The empire. This rise took a while and the empire was already declining anyway for a multitude of reasons but still. Honestly their contribution to the empires decline was almost nonexistent but they were in fact there.Oh and despite being powerful enough to declare independence no one was willing to tell the empire representative who governed from the fortress Kaday sprung up around. This representative is the main reason why the empire still exists. Crotor really should have had control of the land that the now tiny empire was relegated to. The fortress Kaday was going to be part of a project, basically there are 3 fortresses on the Ronkeep Mountain range and they were going to eventually fuse them into one giant fortress but ran out of time.The fortresses are still connected and so the representative from Kaday “offered” the fortress of Sayka(you could argue it belonged regardless but they did have to throw out the old occupants ) to the empire. If you were someone from Crotor who wanted to say no to that gift, no that’s ours, you’d need to go through Kaday or J Telp. Cynar had J Telp which is why it’s named like that and while they were fine with the empire they smelled blood in the water and weren’t about to let anyone though with their blood on the inside. Also they collapsed the tunnel. Back to the Representative, Draco did draw the current Rep in their throne room.

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So the Representative does get old and die eventually. What doesn’t die is that large living armor gripping the throne. It’s loyal and strong. Strong enough to hold the pass single-handedly. On top of that Draco has said before, the magic system works on justification and self reflection i.e.you have a giant metal guardian and you’ll probably never be harmed because your wards will be fantastic. The way the Representatives armored shoulder matches the opposite shoulder on the giant suggests a connection that could justify some powerful spells. On top of that positions of authority , dynasties, a fearful reputation, it all stacks. Flanking the throne are several Hoawons, you can tell because they all have one eye covered. Specifically they cover the eye facing the throne since they all know that technically they should mention the independence of Crotor and they all know doing so would kill them. It’s been a problem for generations. The Rep knows because come now but would still execute them without hesitation. It’s not going to change without outside intervention.

Oh and they’re called Hoawons because the empire feels that worlds that begin with vowels are weak. Basically it’s supposed to be Ones because they’re number one and Hoawons would be pronounced the same without doing the obvious but less sensical idea of going with Wons.

So Crotor gained independence but they still didn’t want to deal with things like war or trade or alliances and they couldn’t expect the empire to do it despite them sleeping on their doorstep so they created a new group. This group was the Independents.

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The Independents of Crotor and various subgroups wield political decision-making power but in exchange are mostly independent from society and mustn’t interact with them and their rankings. This can make them fun to mess with but that’s assuming the rule-makers will follow the rules. A member of the Independents could never be a Hoawon or any rank on the social hierarchy. There is one subgroup of the Independents who exist to communicate between them and the Hoawons who rule the other side but they’re a small group. Gotta get those decrees out there. Essentially the Independents are like monks taking a vow of silence but for specific people only. The Independents do things like investigating buildings and roads for structural issues, negotiating with other countries, creating the codes for say building, safety, labor, etc. They keep things level as represented by that staff which is supposed to be like a level. You know, the ones with the bubbles that tell you if things are level. There is also a subsection which does the actual follow through but they’ll probably get replaced with golems eventually and then there’ll be a power imbalance which brings the whole system down for long enough for the empire to seize back the territory.

So that’s all from the Crotor section of things. Really gotta make shorter more frequent posts but it’ll all probably get worse. “Look forward to Witchtober though!” was going to be the last sentence of this post. That’s how long ago Draco wrote this. Honestly.