The Kritarchy of Esotera
Capitol: City of Carcosa (Hex 6843)
Deity: None, The Law comes first
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 five 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 ability to use magic. If a citizen lacked the ability to cast, 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.
When the Warlocks started to rise out of the ground, Sargon’s first plan of action was to take back his station as ruler of Ur, but his enemy the Kaiju Mobia still had its claws sunk deep into its loyal followers. The ensuing fight between the Mobian loyalists and Sargon’s forces eventually tore the country apart and, to the dismay of the loyalists, the Kaiju Mobia disappeared.
With its disappearance, the Mobian loyalists left the area, not wanting to serve under the Ash Vampire Sargon in his new regime and culture: The Cult of the Sleeping Sands. Unfortunately, all the healers of the area left with the Mobian loyalists, leaving Sargon in a bind as his people and reclaimed land were decimated with an ensuing plague; the Kaiju’s last revenge.
Sargon and his people were forced to leave the plague-stricken land, instead traveling north to safer lands. In this time of wandering, Sargon met other Warlocks. He planned to join forces with them to work out a means of leading the people out of their dark times, but these new Warlocks soon faded into obscurity within their own borders or died. Sargon was again left alone with no likeminded individuals able to match him in charisma or genius. 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, more Warlocks, stronger than the last in power and will, appeared as if from the aether. One by one, Sargon approached all of them, 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 Esotera was born.
I. Do not murder your fellow citizen, nor cause harm to one another in anger.
II. Do not covet what your fellow citizen has, and do not steal from them.
III. Always aid your fellow citizen in their time of need.
IV. The needs of all Esotera outweigh the needs of the few and the ends always justify the means for your fellow citizens.
V. Be wary of outsiders, but give safe harbor to all those who use magic and are governed by reason and not by faith.
VI. Never persecute someone because of who they worship, how they worship, or what they look like.
VII. Never stifle one’s speech, but encourage it. Challenge your leaders with wisdom, but never in anger.
VIII. Trust the Council of Judges in time of war. To disobey the Chief Justice during war is punishable by death.
IX. Wear your truth on your face, do not to lie to each other, and do justly by your fellow citizens.
X. Bring your woes in the form of civil disputes to the Council of Judges.
The Council will in turn write more laws, reward those who follow the law, and punish those that break the law.