The Kritarchy of Esotera
Capitol: City of Carcosa (Hex 6843)
Deity: None, The Law comes first
Ruling Body: Judicial Council
The history of Esotera takes place long before it became realized. The idea of Esotera was postulated by the Necromancer Goz and his friend, Sargon of the City Ur, during their shared time dwelling in the City of Kalamar. They were both idealists and discussed what it would take to design a culture where the study of magic could flourish and the people could prosper under a set of egalitarian laws.
The country would do its best to stamp out divine radicalism through rule by a Council of Judges (with one judge henceforth called the Chief Justice) acting as the voice and leader of the military. This Chief Justice would share equal power in terms of deciding existing laws, disseminating said laws, and, with the rest of the Council, deciding on punishment for those who broke the law and rewards for those who followed it. The people could freely worship whomever they wanted and freely practice their faith, but the country could never be a theocracy. It was the experience of Goz and Sargon that Clerics and Cavaliers, while powerful magic users themselves, have a history of blindly hunting and hurting those their faiths deemed “dangerous and or heretical”; such classes could not be reasonably persuaded to do otherwise.
As such, to create a safe haven for the persecuted, citizenship in a hypothetical Esotera would solely be based on someone’s magical nature. If an individual lacked the ability to cast, or was non-magical in their race, they could not receive citizenship. Such a country did not currently exist, and perhaps never would, for Sargon was recalled to his homeland and conversations between he and Goz dithered.
During the time of the Great Plague, Sargon and his people traveled north to safer lands. His people were dying and left to obscurity as the Realm forgot about them, embittering Sargon, but driving him to succeed. It was here, in desperation, that he remembered the idea of Esotera. As if by a miracle, Warlocks, great in strength in power and will, appeared from the ether. One by one, Sargon approached, sharing his vision for Esotera and gaining their agreement to see it realized. These Warlocks, like Sargon, suffered the prejudice of the Realm and persecution from the Ravenguard, but together they could withstand great tribulation.
The ideals of Esotera could not solve the problem of disease, however. After all, what did a Warlock know about mystical means required to heal the infected? Then it struck them: the dead were unaffected by the plague, the dead could till the soil, and the dead could harvest grain and hunt with direction. “But,” Sargon wondered, “How could they implement it?” It was later said that Sargon gazed upon his Phylactery and, after great thought, knew what to do. It would be a great deed, requiring the aid of his Patron Goz, the work of all the Warlocks, and the willing offering of the power of thousands of souls. Sargon’s sacrifice would be the greatest. To start the process, Goz required Sargon reverse his undeath and utilize that power as a catalyst. In exchange, Sargon’s people would no longer suffer. Sargon willingly agreed.
Over the course of twelve endless days, and ending on the twilight of the thirteenth night, the Warlocks crafted a Phylactery, in the shape of a burning star atop a crescent moon, for all who wished it: those who would rather live in un-life and without pain. Such a boon was not mandated, and any who declined the offer were free to offer and receive healing from the casters able to do so. The thousands of people who gave their life over to the Phylactery had a new life without plague and, in turn, a sense of nationalism and pride took its place. They tended the fields, they aided the sick, and the rate of infection dwindled to almost a halt. Sargon was elected Chief Justice for his sacrifice and the rest of the Warlocks were elected as Justices. In the newly established capital of Carcosa, the first laws were written and the Kritarchy of Esotera was born.
In Sargon’s judicial session, the nations of the Realm turned more readily to their hatred of magic and monstrous races. Fearing for the safety of his citizenry, Sargon declared independence from the Realm and the Kritarchy of Esotera seceded, claiming the Southern Continent for its own. With this success, Sargon retired, and a new Chief Justice was elected: Rennraven Spellenoche. Under their infrastructure plan, public education, social programs, and international exchange programs blossomed. Beyond the borders of the small, sovereign nation, the Realm turned their sights to once and for all destroying the Orcs of the Frozen North. In response to the genocide, Esotera opened its borders to the flood of refugees and steeled itself for defensive war against the powerful Tyrcathian continent and its enmeshed, nearby fortresses.
In this time of uncertainty and streams of demons unleashed by the Realm’s carnage in the Frozen North, Chief Justice Rennraven Spellenoche called a country-wide judicial summit to organize and amend the laws originally laid out by Sargon of Ur. In this age, the Kritarchy of Esotera’s citizens bind themselves to:
I. Do no harm to your fellow citizen; instead, settle civil disputes in a court of law.
II. Do not covet or steal your fellow citizen’s life or unlife, happiness, and belongings.
III. Do not stifle one’s speech; challenge your leaders with wisdom. Likewise, do not lie or defraud a fellow citizen, but act justly.
IV. The needs of citizens outweigh the needs of non-citizens. Determining the means that justify an end is decided in the Judicial Court.
V. Give safe harbor to all those magical in nature and skill and those who are governed by reason and not by dogma. Citizens must not persecute innocents, nor discriminate against others for the sins of their forebears and manor of worship.
VI. The Judicial Council, composed of all acting Warlock citizens, will amend the laws and divy out rewards and punishments as befit’s their lawful interpretation. In the event of a voting tie, electoral citizenry will cast a breaking vote.
VII. Trust the Council of Judges in times of war. To disobey the majority will of the Judges is punishable by a Justice’s Silent Curse.