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RANDEL (Kingdom of)

Location: Broad plain on the southeastern rim of the floating continent of Alphatia, north of Eadrin, east of Theranderol, south of Bettellyn. HW

Area: 187,560 sq. mi. (486,780 sq. km.).

Population: 130,000, including Rardish (pop. 18,000). [Population figures are tentative, pending census. Ed.]

Languages: Alphatian (Randellyn dialect).

Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp). Randel also mints a platinum sword and an electrum shield.

Taxes: 15% income tax on everyone of servant status or higher. Slaves are counted as the property of the owner and the product of their labour is taxed as income for the owner. Randel also imposes surtaxes on the hiring of mercenaries by other kingdoms, with the tax varying by kingdom (low for kingdoms that Randel favours, higher for other kingdoms). They also impose excise taxes on wines, both imports (to keep them from competing with local vintages) and exports. Finally, they also place additional fees on military students from other kingdoms, though this has largely lapsed since the sinking.

Government Type: Monarchy, member of the Alphatian Empire.

Industries: Wine, military forces, military training.

Important Figures: Karatnora (Queen), Junna (Former Queen).

Flora and Fauna: See Alphatia.

Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperor boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Zweibelterm.

Randel is the source of some of the empire's finest wines, finest troops, and most obnoxious louts. The connection between alcohol, militarism, and loutish behaviour should be obvious. But what makes the Randel (as they prefer to be called) so insufferable is their unconscionable tendency to lecture our highest councils on what it means to be an Alphatian at every opportunity (so a wise chairman affords a member from Randel few opportunities to speak at any length). This would not be quite so bad, except that, like their friends in Stonewall, the Randel are infected with a severe case of Thyatianism unbecoming to a true Alphatian. They eschew and sometimes openly scorn traditional Alphatian virtues such as independence and freedom and a respect for one's betters, and obsess instead about imposing conformism and duty and order and discipline to an unbecoming degree, and seem to support a centralising tendency that would sweep away the traditions of local autonomy which made Alphatia great, as well as giving the untalented masses far too much license. Their servile classes don't even seem to consider themselves servile at all, but are insolent and impertinent to almost the same degree as the rabble of Stonewall. Furthermore, the Randel are not culturally sophisticated, but instead have the bawdy and ribald sensibilities of a warrior culture. Other than that they are like the mountain range in their kingdom: all grey in drabness.

What makes us put up with these boors? Well, for one thing, excellence of their vintages of wine make it possible to suffer their existence. For another, their ready willingness to fight with skill and die on Alphatia's behalf. For, despite their character being so different, they consider themselves the best of Alphatians and are near fanatical in war, forming the vanguard of the imperial armies. Perhaps this is why there are so few Randel today, which is another thing that makes it possible to abide them: if you stay away from their kingdom and avoid hanging out near barracks and déclassé establishments, you're not ever likely to run into one of them. [Zweibelterm's scorn for Randel is quite obvious and some of his comments quite harsh, yet most of his descriptions are correct. I don't much care for Randel's militaristic traits myself, but I would like to add that they are "willing to fight and die for the empire," as Zweibelterm puts it, simply because they are patriotic Alphatians, and unlike Zweibelterm I do respect them for that, although their militaristic posturing is foreign to me. Aritmanes.]

Don't Miss

For those who go in for that kind of thing, try to arrange a tour of Randel's military academy. They might, if you have the proper contacts, permit you to watch a training exercise by their forces, but they tend to be very tight about such things and you are likely better off observing covertly if possible. If you try this, though, don't get caught, as the Randel will consider you a spy and they treat such very harshly.