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Mini-Gazetteer: Baronía de Torreónby Giampaolo Agosta
- Geopolitical Overview
- Rogues, Regents and Rascals
- Doña Isabel de Torreón y Morales
- Don Augusto de Montoya
- Doña Rosa de Torreón y Morales
- Doña Pilar de Leon
- Don Felipe de Casanegra
- Colonel Jorge Luis de Alcazar
- Don Juan Josè Domiguez
- Don Iban Delvado
- Dame Arléne de Rochefort
- Ponce ``Torero'' Linares
- Xavier ``the Rapier'' Marreras
- Guilds and Organisations
Geopolitical OverviewThe Baronía de Torreón is one of the few landlocked Guardiano states, north of the Estado de Texeira and the Baronía de Narvaez and west of the Terra Vermelha.
Its aggressive rulers heavily tax the peasant population in order to build up a powerful military, and actively promote the formation of mercenary companies.
Baronía de Torreón Capitol: Ciudad de Leon (7,400) Population: 89,000 (elves 30%, half-elves 20%, humans 45%, others 5%) Military: 4,200 (plus mercenary companies) Navy: none Religion: Faña, also The Judge and The General Rulers: - Hernan de Torreón, 941-965 - Carlos de Torreón y Morales, 965-983 - Hernan de Torreón y Morales, 983-992 - Isabel de Torreón y Morales, 992-
Lay of the LandDuring its sixty years of existence, the Baronía de Torreón has proved a successful expansionistic nation.
The former barony of Alcázar, centred on Puebla de Alcázar, comprises the valley of the Rio Fangoso, while Ciudad de Morales was once the capitol of the barony of Morales. The barons of Torreón, starting from their capitol, Ciudad de León, conquered the two northern neighbours, then expanded their holdings north and west along the Rio Frio and the Rio Guadiana.
The disappearance of the baronies of Elegidos and Cristobal left Torreón without established neighbours on the northern border. However, the goblinoids of the Yazak Steppes prove dangerous enough, and keep the large Torreóner military busy.
The population of Torreón concentrates in the fertile valleys, leaving the hills of Las Rocallas and the forests as borderlands. In addition to the two major towns, Ciudad Morales and Ciudad de Leon, there are several large farming villages, and a number of fortresses and towers protect the borders.
The PeopleBefore the arrival of the Ispan conquistadores, Torreón was mostly populated by elves and Oltecs, descendants of the great civilisations that were destroyed by the goblinoid hordes more than two millennia ago.
The arrival of the Ispan colonists brusquely changed the status quo: in 916, the first barony in the region, Cristobal, was founded. A quarter century later, adventurers from Narvaez moved northwards and established a group of baronies. The new rulers stroke alliances with the elven clans of the region, thanks to the help of elven advisers, mostly nobles of the former Baronía de Montoya who had chosen exile rather than accepting the annexation to Narvaez. The Oltec natives did not fare as well as the elves, as they were considered savages by the colonist.
When the initial phase of settling was completed, the baronies turned on each other. The expansionistic Torreón absorbed most of its neighbours, while the barony of Elegidos disappeared mysteriously and the Baron of Cristobal relinquished his claim to land and title rather than fight the emerging power.
Nowadays, the population of Torreón is mostly composed of elves and half-elves. The small nobility is composed of elves and humans of Ispan blood, while the lower classes are largely composed of native Oltecs. Half-elves, elves, and Ispan humans form the urban middle-class. A number of Lupins of the Torreóner Pit-Bull breed also live in Torreón. They arrived with the Ispan conquistadores from Thyatis, and now work in the mercenary companies and in the arena, as well as in less savoury enterprises.
The rulers of Torreón still pursue the expansionistic policy of their ancestors, building up their military to expand towards the Terra Vermelha, the badlands rich of minerals, or towards the sea.
The ArmyTorreón supports a large army, nearly 5% of its population, and can rely on some more 2000 mercenaries from its many Companies.
Table 1: The Army of Torreón Heavy Infantry 1,000 Light Infantry 1,200 Crossbowmen 400 Longbowmen 350 Shortbowmen 350 Cavalry (Medium & Heavy) 350 Artillerists 100 Spellcasters 150 Auxiliaries 300 Total 4,200
Torreóner warriors make heavy use of chain mail armour, and Torreóner swords are considered the best in the Savage Coast. Thanks to its high elven population, Torreón can field many spellcasters; moreover, Torreóner elves serve as archers and medium cavalry.
Human and half-elven nobles tend to fall into the ranks of heavy cavalry - with Narvaez, Torreón is the only nation to keep a force of armoured knights, with half or three-quarters plate armour, lances and swords.
The bulk of the army is formed by the infantry and crossbowmen. Both are equipped with chain mail armour and swords in addition to the specialty weapons, crossbow, pikes, halberds, or spear and shield.
Light infantry includes mostly pikemen.
Rogues, Regents and RascalsThis section details several notable Torreóner characters, including the royal family and the leaders of the main temples.
Doña Isabel de Torreón y MoralesBaroness of Torreón (hf Noble F5, LN, age 32).
The baroness of Torreón is a human noblewoman of pure Ispan descent. She is fully described in the Savage Coast Campaign Book.
The Baronesa has some training in self-defence, but she is more of a politician than an adventurer.
Don Augusto de MontoyaAdviser to the Baroness (em Noble F13, LG, age 187).
This young but widely travelled and experienced elf is the principal adviser to the Baroness. He was the heir to the Barony of Montoya, but his father was killed by the soldiers of the Baron of Narvaez, who conquered the Castillo de los Hidalgos, the dwarven fortress that housed the royal family of Montoya.
While many elves accepted the Narvaezan rule, a few went in exile1. One of these elves was Augusto. He joined a band of Narvaezan adventurers and travelled with them north of Narvaez. After a life of adventure, two of the human friends of Augusto, Hernan de Torreón and Jorge de Alcazar, decided to gather their families and followers and establish new baronies, which they named Torreón and Alcazar.
Augusto accepted to help Hernan, and later his descendants, in obtaining the support of the local elven clans, then engineered the marriage of Hernan with one of the Morales heirs, and led the Torreóner army in the Morales succession war when the first (and last) Baron of Morales died just one year after the foundation of the Barony. In that war, he was unfortunately forced to kill his old friend don Jorge de Alcazar, who had opposed Torreón's claim to Morales.
Don Hernan's rule lasted long, but his son Carlos (942-983) was not as lucky, nor as competent, and died in an ill-conceived expedition against the Yazak goblinoids. Don Carlos's son, Hernan II, was none the better, and only the unswerving loyalty of don Augusto could keep the lesser nobles in check. However, several nobles, including members of the Morales and Alcazar families, plotted against the Baron. In 992, Hernan II was assassinated during a hunting trip in Las Rocallas.
The elven nobles reacted, asking Augusto to take the crown. The adviser, however, lent his full support to the rightful heir, doña Isabel.
Luckily, the young doña Isabel immediately proved a stronger ruler than her father - she had the conspirators hanged, and, while she taxed her subjects as much as the previous rulers, at least she put the money to good use, following Augusto's advice and starting research programs in military science.
However, the elven nobility has made it quite clear that, in the event that neither doña Isabel nor her sister can produce an offspring, the crown will go to one of their own - that is, Augusto. The arrangement suits well Isabel, since Augusto is the only Torreóner noble she trusts.
Augusto is driven by the will to preserve Torreón as the main centre of elven culture in the Savage Coast. To this end, he will make any compromise, even to the point of allying with Narvaez rather than driving Torreón in a war with that state. He is not evil, but neither he is a forgiving or kind-hearted character.
Doña Rosa de Torreón y MoralesHeir to the throne of Torreón (hf Noble NM, NG, age 24).
The heir presumptive to the Baronesa is her younger sister, Doña Rosa, a beautiful girl of 24. Doña Isabel has always spared Rosa the worst of the treacherous politics and intrigue of Torreón, so Rosa is rather naïve for a Torreóner noblewoman.
She is likely to be the most wanted match for noblemen all over the coast, even though her sister is still young, and Rosa is not going to inherit the title soon. Still, her children might inherit the title of Baron, so gossip run free on the list of potential husbands, from the sons of Dom Jorge de Vilaverde to Margrave Miosz of Slagovich.
Doña Pilar de LeonPrimate of the Temple of Faña (1/2ef Noble Pr13, LN, age 55).
Doña Pilar is one of the few half-elven noblewomen of Torreón, born of a human mother and an elf father from the House de Leon, one of the foremost elven clans of Torreón2
She entered the priesthood of Faña 40 years ago, since she had little hope to inherit the leadership of House de Leon - her father is only in his third century of life - and she raised steadily through the ranks by a combination of connections with the aristocracy, combat skill, charisma and force of will.
An accomplished swordswoman, Doña Pilar is known for her readiness to issue and receive challenges, and has fought and won more duels than anyone else in Torreón, bar Juan Josè Dominguez.
She is also a member of the Cavalcante fencing school, though she uses the longsword, a weapon more common in Torreón, rather than the rapier. This seems to suit well with the forceful style of the Cavalcante.
Doña Pilar looks about 40 or 45 years old in human terms, with a warrior's powerful physique, long dark hair held in a tight bun, and a fair skin, with just an hint of red.
Her current concerns deal mostly with Narvaez' inquisition - why she outwardly appreciates the role of the Inquisitor given to Faña in Narvaez, she actually resents the subservient position of her goddess in that nation. Therefore, she tries to keep the three northern baronies outside the influence of Narvaez without exposing herself.
Don Felipe de CasanegraLord of the Judge's Court (em Noble Pr12, LN, age 225).
The founder and current leader of the Judge's Court in Torreón, don Felipe, is an elf who came from Thyatis with the Ispan colonists. He left Narvaez when the aggressive behaviour of the followers of Ixion became clear. He went north, bringing along a number of followers of the Judge, mostly humans, and allied with the rulers of the newly founded Barony of Alcazar. However, twenty-five years later Torreón conquered Alcazar along with the other northern baronies. Don Felipe had to adapt to the new conditions: the Torreóner rulers and most of its population are followers of Faña and pay only some attention to the Judge. The Judge's Court is very popular in former Alcazar and in Ciudad Morales, less so in the rest of the barony. However, don Felipe is secure in his position, since he has developed strong contacts among the local elven aristocracy.
Don Felipe is a short, wiry fellow with raven black hair and a thin moustache. He is a relative of Marquis Fernando de Casanegra in Glantri, but the two (and the respective branches of the family) are on very cold terms, for the family was split on the matter of Immortal worship long ago3.
The Lord of the Judge's Court originally resided in Casanegra, but left after the Torreóner conquest of Alcazar. He now holds court at Ciudad Morales, where he can more easily get in touch with his peers. His second in command, don Miguel de Villavieja (hm Noble Pr9, LN, age 48), leads the temple branch in Puebla de Alcazar.
Colonel Jorge Luis de AlcazarCommander of the General's Army, Torreóner Regiment (hm War Priest Pr11, LN, age 57).
A distant relative of the founder of the Barony of Alcazar, Colonel Jorge Luis de Alcazar leads the Torreóner branch of the General's Army. He is an imposing character, always dressed in a field uniform, and often found in armour. Colonel de Alcazar has curly, iron grey hair cut short, a bushy moustache, and a number of scars gathered in the battles of the last thirty years, including an especially wicked one across the left side of his face, from the forehead down across the left eye to the cheek. The Colonel wears a patch over the lost eye.
Colonel de Alcazar is a man thorn between different loyalties: while his family never lived in Alcazar, he still cannot forgive Torreón's aggression of Alcazar - though he never show these feelings: on the contrary, he is and appears one of the Torreóner noblemen less interested in intrigue and power. More recently, he disliked being forced to fight on what he perceived as the Church of Narvaez's war. Now, he and the General's Army work to contain the expanding influence of Ixion's followers in Torreón.
Don Juan Josè DomiguezGrandmaster of the Dominguez Sword School (hm Swashbuckler F14, TN, age 72).
This old but still active gentleman is one of the living legends of the Savage Baronies, the grandmaster and founder of one of the foremost fencing schools, the Dominguez school, famed for its two-weapon fighting style.
At 72, Juan Josè Dominguez still teaches his secrets to a select group of pupils from all over the Savage Coast. His sons and older apprentices have established branches of the school elsewhere, but Dominguez House in Ciudad de Leon remains the centre of learning for the Dominguez fencers, and expert swordsmen come often to pay their respects to the old master and learn some new trick.
Don Iban DelvadoOwain y Rhyd, ``Ambassador'' of the Kingdom of Fey (Sidhe m F7/W7, CG).
Don Iban Delvado appears as a lesser elven nobleman with long, silver hair and no hints of moustaches or beard. He dresses in colourful clothes, and carries a rapier and a slender dagger.
However, this is just a facade supported by Faerie magic, for don Iban is actually Owain y Rhyd, a Sidhe from the Kingdom of Fey.
The Kingdom of Fey While the human inhabitants of Torreón, and even most of the elves, may be unaware of this, a large, if dwindling, Faerie kingdom lays deep in La Pineda, a forest of evergreen trees north-west of Ciudad Morales.
The Kingdom of Fey has been there for much longer than anyone else, including the Oltecs and the elves of Torreón. However, while once Fey covered a large forest up to the Rio Guadiana, including parts of today's Torreón and Cristobal, goblinoid invasions and human encroaching have reduced its territory to the deeper woods of La Pineda.
Sidhe King Rhuannach mab Gwyr (Sidhe m F13/W15, TN) rules over an unknown number of Faeries, currently divided into two factions: the original dwellers of the Kingdom of Fey, who shy from direct action against (or in favour) of the neighbouring humans and elves, and the exiles of the Faerie Kingdom of Minuar in the Dark Wood4. This second group advocates intervention in the external world, lest the events should take Fey unaware as it happened with Minuar.
While don Iban is a native of Fey, he has travelled far and wide, having struck a friendship with a group of elven adventurers5, and considers himself an expert in the field of mortal lore. He agrees with the Minuar faction that the Faerie of Fey should work to prevent further expansion of the Hulean Empire - and any other threat, for that matter.
Thanks to his oratory, don Iban has managed to persuade King Rhuannach to send him to Torreón as ``ambassador'' - though under strict orders not to disclose his identity to an human. Therefore, don Iban cannot directly work with the Baroness, and has to deal with the Torreóner only through the elven aristocrats, whom King Rhuannach has not included in his ban.
Don Iban's identity as the representative of a neighbouring Faerie Kingdom is known to don Augusto de Montoya and a couple more nobles, though not to don Felipe de Casanegra - the Sidhe does not trust nor like the Immortals and their followers, and wants nothing to do with them.
Using his facade as an elven nobleman, don Iban also works a semblance of espionage networks - that is, when he wants to know something and cannot look into the matter himself or find some other Faerie willing to do the job, he turns to elven or even human adventurers.
While more serious minded than most Faeries, don Iban is still much more interested in revelries and festivals: not only he takes part to many parties of the nobility in Ciudad de Leon, but he also frequently leaves his post to join his compatriots in their festivals. When don Iban is not at home, he trusts one his friends, a Pooka who has the from of a greyhound, to deal with visitors to his house in Ciudad Morales.
Dame Arléne de RochefortAmbassador of the Royaume de Renardie (lf Noble Pr5 of Saimpt Ralon, NG, age 76).
The younger sister of the deceased Baron of Brégoigne, Dame Arléne is the Ambassador of King Louis IV of Renardy to the Baroness of Torreón - and therefore a key player in the politics of the Savage Coast.
This old Lupin looks like a short, lithe humanoid cocker, with glossy black fur which is greying and long hair. Due to old age, her senses are quite reduced, and she has few teeth left, but her wits are still quick. She entered the priesthood of Saimpt Ralon late in her life, after her betrothed, an Heldannic Knight from the Heldann Shepherd breed of Lupins, was reported missing in a mission in Davania.
Dame Arléne is a quiet person, a noblewoman of high breeding, though marked with a streak of curiosity. She is currently investigating Torréon efforts in military science - of course, in a most unobtrusive way, as the relations between the two countries must not be hindered in any way. Aside from this, her main preoccupation is to keep the overland trade route between Torreón and Renardy free of bandits and goblinoids. She is a potential patron for adventurers willing to explore the Llanos Verdes and the Pampa Rica, as well as a contact for Lupin travellers.
Ponce ``Torero'' LinaresLeader of Los Banditos de La Pineda (hm Swashbuckler F12, CE, age 37).
A member of the Marmureg Wing of the Bleak League, the foremost Hulean criminal organisation, ``Torero'' Linares is a dashing character: he looks like the epitome of the swashbuckler, graceful and quick in his movements, slim and elegant, dressed in expensive clothes, always covered by a midnight black cloak, lined in red silk6. Linares is a pure Ispan, though not of noble background.
Contrary to his charming looks, Ponce Linares is a thoroughly dark-hearted blackguard. He started his career as an apprentice at don Juan José Dominguez school, but he was unruly and quarrelsome, and was turned out by the old master, despite his remarkable ability. After being kicked out of the Dominguez school, Linares performed for a while in the arenas, which later earned his nickname ``Torero''.
However, he strongly desired to increase his fighting abilities, craving the powerful secret passes of the Dominguez school: in the end, he tried an assault against the Dominguez mansion, hoping to kidnap one of the don Juan José's granddaughters and force the old master to reveal his secrets by threatening to kill the girl. Luckily, his plan was foiled by an elf enchantress, Gloriana de Rondalla, who freed the kidnapped girl. However, Ponce's skill in swordplay was too much for either Gloriana or Dominguez' apprentices, and the villain was able to escape capture.
As a consequence of his failure, Linares fled Torreón, vowing revenge. In time, he gathered a band of thieves and cutthroats, and set upon raiding villages of western Torreón.
Los Banditos de La Pineda This group of bandits is based somewhere in the deeps of La Pineda. It is composed by a variable mix of Torreóner rogues, humanoids from the Yazak Steppes, Hulean agents of the Marmureg Tiger and other renegades of various origin.
Usually, the band includes 20 or so low level fighters (F1-3) and a likely number of thieves (Bandit T1-3), and a dozen mid to high-level characters of various classes, including two priests and a wizard.
While Ponce Linares ultimately hopes to trick the old Dominguez into an ambush, capture him and force him to reveal his secrets, he bides his time and builds up his strength by capturing other swordsmen and forcing them to fight against each other or against members of his band in order to steal their secrets. Already he has gathered a few secret passes from the Cavalcante and Moncorvo schools.
As can be gathered from his history, Ponce Linares has collected many enemies, including the Dominguez, Cavalcante and Moncorvo schools, the Torreóner constabulary. The Judges' Court has set a 5,000 oros standing reward for Linares' capture, dead or alive.
To offset these enemies, Linares has allied his band with the Bleak Leagues, which accounts for his continued survival.
Notable members of Los Banditos de La Pineda
Alvaro Marquez(hm Pr5 of the Ambassador, LE, age 34), a cunning worshipper of the Ambassador, who acts as adviser to Ponce and as a contact with the Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales; Alvaro styles himself a politician of the outlaws, but his ability to manoeuvre is rather limited, since Linares doesn't trust him much.
Iskander Davala(hm Diviner Pr7 of Bozdogan, CE, age 42), a Hulean priest, sent by the Holy Men to keep tabs on Los Banditos; while he goes through the pretence of working under cover, he is just a bait: another agent (hm Spy T5, CE) hides among the lower ranks of Los Banditos, ready to take care that Linares does not survive his usefulness.
Nestor Gomez(1/2em Bandit T5/W6, NE, age 48), an half-elf from Ciudad de Leon, is Los Banditos' chief wizard; he is always busy dealing with Torreón's magical scouts and has had little time to deal with the Fey; Nestor knows he is not strong enough to face all challenges, but does not wish the competition of another wizard; rather, he is looking for an apprentice or two.
Marcelo ``El Olteco'' Diaz(hm Bandit T8, LE, age 32), a man of Oltec descent, fled Torreón after murdering a nobleman; now, he is Linares' second in command, but considers ``Torero'' a buffoon and hates him along with all Ispan-descended Torreóners.
David ``El loco'' Cañas(lm Gladiator F4, NE, age 29), a massive Torreóner Pit-Bull Lupin, is an acquaintance of Linares' times in the arena. Proficient with dozens of different weapons and endowed with exceptional strength, David is a relentless, ferocious fighter. Though not a likeable character, he serves well as enforcer and drill instructor through sheer intimidation.
Adventure hook Ponce Linares' downfall may come from an unexpected enemy: the Kingdom of Fey. Los Banditos, in fact, are already encroaching on the Fey territory: more provocation may result in a reaction from the Fey court, which is somewhat declining, but still able to prove a nuisance.
However, it will take a lot of diplomacy, and possibly some gift, to bring the King of Fey to undertake a serious effort to uproot Los Banditos - usually the Faeries would harass the bandits for a while, hoping that they would leave soon, but would then grow tired and fearful of Hulean intervention, and leave the matter fall.
Xavier ``the Rapier'' MarrerasHead of the Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales (hm Swashbuckler T12, NE, age 43)
Xavier Marreras, the second most wanted man in Torreón, is the leader of the Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales. With respect to his colleague Ponce Linares, this tall, dark rogue has slightly less panache, but he is much more adept at making money out of his criminal activities, which pleases the Marmureg Tiger more than any flashy display of villainy.
However, the Xavier is encountering an uncommon resistance in his attempts to establish a protection racket, due to the degree of control exerted by House de Morales on trade, and to don Felipe de Casanegra's efforts in promoting law and order in the town.
The Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales Just like Los Banditos, the Thieves' Guild is also under the control of the Marmureg Wing of the Bleak League. It is a rather small guild, and it concentrates its activity in Ciudad Morales and the neighbouring villages. Some attempts have been performed to gain a foothold in Ciudad de Leon, but the police forces there are too well-organised and the effort may not be worth the gain. The Thieves Guild includes some 20 thieves of varied levels and various inclinations - pickpockets, burglars, fences and simple thugs.
Guilds and OrganisationsTorreón is a lawful, regiment realm. In spite of its poverty, it boasts a large number of guilds and organisations that regulate trade and other matters. This section describes the main guilds and some other organisations, such as temples, fencing schools and noble houses.
Mercenary CompaniesMercenaries are the primary export for Torreón. Most other Baronies employ or have employed in the past Torreóner mercenaries to protect their assets. The main employers, in present times, are the Sea Powers, which use the Torreóner heavy infantry and archers to garrison their mainland and colonial fortresses, and as marines on their ships. The baroness of Gargoña also employs mercenary companies from both Torreón and Narvaez to complement her nation's large but mediocre militia, and the L.B. Trading Company has Torreóner sellswords protect its holdings in Dunwick and Richland. Other nations and private employers (nobles and merchants from the Baronies, Renardie, Herath, and the Traladaran City-States) provide work for the smaller companies.
There are circa 40 companies in Torreón, including two temple-sponsored companies (the General's Army and the Knights of Faña), and a couple of Afflicted companies. Except the large temple-sponsored companies, each mercenary company includes 20 to 100 sellswords7 of various specialisations. Larger groups may provide combined specialisations, such as cavalry and infantry or archers, while smaller groups often provide a single type of service - e.g., a heavy cavalry company or a group of infantrymen.
Each company is guided by a Captain, chartered by the Captains' Assembly, a yearly gathering of the mercenary captains that polices fees and other matters, as a Guild would police trade matters. The Assembly Hall in Ciudad de León also functions as a Guildhall, offering services to the mercenary companies such as recruiting replacements for companies on long term assignments such as those in Colony of the Horn, handling the acquisition and shipping of weapon supplies (Torreóner mercenaries prefer to fight using Torreóner red steel weapons), and even to individual sellswords - job offers for individual mercenaries as well as some training.
TemplesThe main religious organisations in Torreón are the Temple of Faña, the Judge's Court and the General's Army, described above. All of these religions have strict hierarchies and complex ranking systems, well suited to the close social system of Torreón.
Temple of FañaThe Temple of Faña is the most popular faith in Torreón, and is also quite popular in the Sea Powers. The Temple is a managed by a well-organised hierarchy, at the top of which seats the Primate. Priors - priest of 9th level or more - control the main divisions of the Temple, the Priories of Morales, Cristobal, Vilaverde, Texeiras and Alcazar. The Primate is also Prior of Torreón.
Individual temples, or Chapels, are managed by a Chaplain, usually a priest of 7th or 8th level, who coordinates the work of several Priests and Novices.
A Legate of 7th level or more is assigned to nations or regions not included in the main area of influence of the Temple of Faña, but where there is a significant following among the population, or there is a reason to keep an ambassador at court.
The Temple of Faña, like most other Torreóner churches, is rather militaristic, and Defenders and Crusaders form a military order called the Knights of Faña, which is also chartered to work as a mercenary company - though it rarely does so.
Most other priests are War Priests, though a few are Nobles or Local Heroes. The Temple of Faña includes circa 2000 priests, plus 800 Knights of Faña.
The Judge's CourtThe Judge's Court is the primary religion for circa one Torreóner in ten, though many others refer to the Judge in matters of justice and revenge. Priests of the Judge are often called to perform as witnesses and mediators in duels. They are also involved in the judiciary system of Torreón, since many priests double as constables or magistrates for the government.
There are circa seven hundred priests in the Church. War Priests are prevalent, but not as much as in the General's Army. On the other hand, there is a slightly higher proportion of Noble Priests than in other churches. Below the Lord, the head of the church, is the Vicar, and below the Vicar are the High Avengers (high-level War Priests) and the Jurists (other high-level priests). Avengers and Councillors make up the rank and file of the church, with Initiates forming the lowest rank.
The Judges' Court coat of arms shows or scales and sword on gules field.
The General's ArmyThe General's Army is as much an army as it is a church. Most of the clergy, like Colonel de Alcazar himself, are War Priests. Many serve as chaplains in the Torreóner army and mercenary companies, while the less experienced train in the Army barracks in Ciudad de Leon.
The full might of the General's Army could amount to some 500 War Priests plus one more hundred priests of other types. However, Colonel de Alcazar could hope to mobilise up to 200 at any time for active duty, since the rest would be either unavailable, or required to man the various temples. The church is also registered as a mercenary company, and its leader takes part to the Assembly.
The General's Army exists in other Baronies as well, and the Commanders of the various Regiments form a Council of War, which defines policies and regulation for the whole church. In wartime, the Council of War usually allows each Commander to field his Regiment to support his nation's army. If the war has some religious significance for the General, the Council of War may, on a majority vote, elect a Warlord to lead a unified General's Army. This only happened once, in the recent war against Hule.
The General's Army coat of arms shows crossed hammer and lightning over a field azure and gules, divided by a stripe of or.
Other CultsIn addition to the organised temples, other cults are present in Torreón. Most of them are limited to the main towns, Ciudad de León and Ciudad Morales.
The Church of Narvaez hails from the southern neighbour of Torreón, Narvaez. It is a growing cult with a strong bent on further expansion, but it is currently limited to a single church in Ciudad de León.
Valerias, the Ambassador and Milan do not have organised cults, though shrines to all of these Immortals are found in both towns. Torreóner Priests of these Immortals formally belong to either to the Verdan branch or to the Gargoñan branch of these cults, but enjoy a considerable independence.
Native Oltec belief in the Sun8 was suppressed by the early colonists and goblinoid invasions with the rest of the Oltec culture. A few Oltec Shamans do exists, but they practice their religion secretly in the farming villages. The Ispan priests, not last the priests of Ixion, would most likely root them out were they aware of the existence of the Shamans.
Noble HousesWhile the nobility is relatively small in Torreón, it has a great influence. The middle class is not really develop, and most resources remain in the hands of the noble families, which use all their power to preserve the status quo. The noble houses are among the few sources of employment for Torreóner adventurers and mercenaries who do not join a mercenary company. Each noble house keeps as large a private army as it can, limiting factors including both resources and the need to avoid the attention of the Baroness, who would ruthlessly remove any challenge to her power.
The nobles houses can be divided into three groups:
- Native Elven Noble Houses: the original elven clans of Torreón;
- Ispan Noble Houses: the dominant Ispan clans;
- Non-native Elven Noble Houses: a few, small elven clans that arrived in Torreón with the humans.
Native Elven HousesThe native clans of the Torreón elves have lived in the region for centuries. These elves make up a large part of the Torreóner population, and are grouped into five major clans, and twice as many minor clans. The leading families of the major clans are recognised as nobles by the Ispan rulers.
House de LeónThis was the first elven clan to ally with the Ispan colonists. The León elves control the woods east of Ciudad de León. They have mixed with the Ispan more than any other elven clan of Torreón. Since the daughter of the León clan leader is the Primate of the Temple of Faña, this House has close relations with the Temple. Many León elves have embraced the cult of Faña, and the human or half-elven retainers of the House are chosen primarily among the followers of Faña.
House de ChiquitinThis clan controls Chiquitin and the wooded hills north-east of the village. The Chiquitin are a farming clan, and have been declining slowly but steadily in the last years. They usually support the House de León and the House de Montoya, but tend to have little interest in politics. Most of the population of Chiquitin was levied during the war, while the population of Las Chambas was spared due to the political influence of House Gonzalez. Some of the younger Chiquitin have been complaining about the poor leadership of the elders, and are trying to recruit supporters - including humans, to repopulate their village. Unfortunately, they can offer little in terms of money, but on the other hand they are unlikely to look too closely at their employee's past.
House del LugarThis clan controls El Lugar and the hill country south-west of that village. They consider themselves the first elven clan to settle in the region, and were the last to accept the Ispan domination. House del Lugar does not like half-elves, and only accepts human retainers for menial jobs - anything of consequence is handled by elves. A few members of House del Lugar are aware of the Kingdom of Fey, a secret they guard closely, since they consider this trust a token of their higher breeding. Just like House Chiquitin, the main settlement of this house was hit hard by the recent war levies. However, House del Lugar simply withdrew most of the elven population to the forests, so that the bulk of the levies were made up by Oltec farmers. Now, the move is backfiring as the fields go untended, and the House leaders are trying to attract elven farmers to their lands.
House GonzalezThis clan controls the woodlands south of the Rio Frio, and has strong interests in Las Chambas, where the leading families reside. Of the native elven clans, it is the most involved in trade, controlling part of the trade route to Renardie. They feud with House de Morales and the trade guilds over control of the mainland trade routes, and often have open positions for traders, caravaneers and caravan guards.
House RamirezThis clan controls Pueblo Real and the woodland of northern Torreón. As far as Torreóner noble houses go, House Ramirez nobles can be considered the most compassionate. Certainly, they are the only ones that at least show some concern for the lower classes (including the Oltec natives) and the Afflicted. House Ramirez has strong interests in the exploitation of Torreón's forests, and most of the Torreóner lumber comes from the Ramirez holdings. The leaders of House Ramirez are aware of the Kingdom of Fey, and try to enrol the faeries in a campaign against their sworn enemies, Los Bandidos de la Pineda. Up to now, they have not reported any success.
Non-native Elven HousesThese elves came either from Thyatis or from other Baronies, most notably Narvaez. The native elves consider them as guarantors of the human-elf alliance in Torreón.
House de MontoyaHouse de Montoya is simply a collection of exiled elves from Montoya, a region of Narvaez that enjoyed a short-lived independence. Fiercely loyal to their leader, don Augusto, these elves are mostly nationalists, but willing to deal with humans. They serve to bridge the interests of the native elven clans and those of the human colonists. House de Montoya prefers elven retainers, and is closely allied with House de Torreón. It maintains good relations with most elven clans, except House del Lugar. House de Montoya is opposed to the Alcazar and Morales families, but also to House de Villavieja, which supports House de Torreón, because the Villavieja believe they deserve a higher status than the Montoya.
House de CasanegraThis clan comes from Thyatis and is related to the Belcadiz clan of Glantri. The Casanegra elves are one of the most religious clan of Torreón - their leader is also the Lord of the Judge's Court. They hold the lands east of Las Rocallas, between the Tower of Casanegra and the Bastion de los Caballeros. The Casanegra are allied with House de Villavieja, but have been careful not to support them too much, and so their relations with the Alcazar family are neutral. They oppose the rebellious Morales family, however, and are trying to impose some order on Ciudad Morales. House de Casanegra employs retainers chosen among the followers of the Judge, and most of their retainers actually work in some government capacity - especially in the police force of Ciudad Morales. However, these are usually dangerous and poorly rewarded jobs.
Ispan HousesThe Ispan Houses are the descendants of the Ispan colonists and adventurers that founded the baronies of Torreón, Morales and Alcazar.
House de TorreónThe ruling house of Torreón, it has only two members who can claim rights to royalty, Doña Isabel and Doña Rosa. A few other Torreón exist, but they are cut off the inheritance line for various reasons, mostly related to being unable to prove a clear lineage - the old Barons had many illegitimate descendants. The House of Torreón chooses its retainers on the base of loyalty and fighting prowess. Its interests and resources merge seamlessly with the national interests and resources of Torreón
House de AlcazarThis was the ruling House of the Barony of Alcazar, and still holds much land around Puebla de Alcazar. The power of this House has waned considerably since several holdings were confiscated by the Baroness after the assassination of her father. To compensate, House de Alcazar made a massive effort in the prospecting of mining sites in Terra Vermelha, and now holds a large share of the Compañia Nacional das Minas. House de Alcazar is a good employer, on the short term, as it offers rich, if dangerous, contracts on expeditions to Terra Vermelha and has few prejudices. There is also a Torreóner branch of the Alcazar family, descendants of Luis de Alcazar, brother of the first Baron of Alcazar. The two branch are not especially close.
House de MoralesThis house is now composed only of members of secondary or illegitimate branches of the Morales family, since the main branch died out at the time of the Morales Succession War. While the House has lost all control of the lands of Morales, it still retains a considerable influence in Ciudad Morales, since it controls, directly or through loyal retainers, most of the trading activities of the town. The House of Morales is the most actively opposition to the current ruler, even though they have yet to attempt an assassination - mostly because the leaders do not wish to see Torreón in the hands of the elves. House de Morales is a likely patron for Torreóner thieves - both because it needs a large number of spies for its political activities, and because it is competing hard with the Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales. The Houses of Morales and Alcazar sometimes work together, especially against House de Villavieja.
House de VillaviejaThis Ispan house was founded by an adviser of the Barons of Morales who sided with Torreón in the Morales Succession War. House Villavieja is still on very bad terms with House de Morales and House Alcazar, and the Baroness play the Ispan houses against each other easily. The Villavieja control the village bearing the family name, which they founded on lands taken from the Morales by Hernan de Torreón. Villavieja retainers mostly come from the Judge's Court, as the family as a close alliance with that temple and with the House of Casanegra.
GuildsGuilds in Torreón regulate the most fruitful commercial activities - or, at least, those not monopolised by the noble houses. In addition to mercenary services, these include mining and prospecting, overland trade, and metalworking. The well known Guild of Swordmakers, and some less powerful organisations such as the Guild of Armorers, control the production and trade of weapon and armour (and most red steel items), setting quality standards and prices. These guilds are associations of professionals, but tend to be very aggressive - it is simply impossible to encroach on the trade monopoly of the Swordmakers without provoking an immediate response. The guilds will use any means, legal or not, to force competitors out of the market.
Overland trade and mining are controlled by the Compañia Nacional das Minas and the Compañia Commercial dos Llanos Verdes. Several noble houses have controlling interests in these companies, including the Torreón, Alcazar, Morales and Gonzalez families. The Compañia Nacional das Minas has a chartered monopoly over mining activities in eastern Torreón and Terra Vermelha, while the Compañia Commercial dos Llanos Verdes shares control of the trade route to Renardie with House Gonzalez and the Guilde Marchande Renardoise9.
In addition to the legal guilds, a Thieves' Guild exists in Ciudad Morales and a group of bandits haunts the woods of La Pineda, as described in the notable characters section. Both are rather unsavoury, and have close ties with the Bleak League, a Hulean crime syndicate.
A small network of Friends of Freedom also exists in northern Torreón, and enjoys some support from liberal nobles of House Ramirez. The Friends of Freedom keep loose ties with some Flame Inheritors, but are opposed to Los Bandidos de La Pineda.
Other OrganisationsThe Inheritor Orders stay out of the Torreóner countryside, as the Inheritors are hated by the local peasants and by the Afflicted. Some Ruby Inheritors and Crimson Inheritors live in Ciudad Morales and Ciudad de León, working as ambassadors of their Orders to the Torreóner Houses. A few Flame Inheritors occasionally wander into Torreón as well.
Swordplay is very popular with Torreóners, though most prefer longswords to rapiers. However, the Dominguez school is native of the barony, and many Torreóners learn Dominguez fencing, or the Cavalcante style from Texeiras, which suits well the emphasis on strength that most Torreóner warriors have. Moncorvo is popular only among Swashbuckler thieves and wizards, while the Verdegild school is almost unknown, though one teacher can be found in the General's Army. In Torreón, the Dominguez school is a real organisation, not simply a collection of swordsmen using the same style. Torreóner followers of the Dominguez school share a veritable veneration for the old master, Juan Josè Dominguez. Followers of this style can often find help (within reason) from fellow swordsmen, including lodging and assistance in duels.
AcknowledgmentsThe Barony of Torréon is described in the Voyage of the Princess Ark series, as well as in the Red Steel, Savage Baronies, and Savage Coast campaign books.
Several characters are taken from other fan works. Specifically, Ponce Linares and Xavier Marreras are Christian Constantin's creation (see ``The Bleak League''). The Torreóner temples are inspired to the temples in Solmyr's Savage Coast-Birthright conversion. Last, dame Arléne is modelled on a dog I know.
- ... exile1
- As did most Montoyan dwarves.
- ... Torre\'on2
- The others are the House of Chiquitin, House Ramirez, House del Lugar and House Gonzalez.
- ... ago3
- Depending on the origin of the Belcadiz in your campaign, don Felipe could be a Belcadiz who left Glantri at the time of the Light of Rad, or a descendant of Belcadiz elves who did not go to Glantri, but remained in the south.
- ... Wood4
- This Faerie Kingdom was destroyed by the Master of Hule and his undead and goblinoid servants when the Master decided to invade the Dark Wood.
- ... adventurers5
- This happened half a millennium ago, and even the youngest of these adventurers is now dead.
- ... silk6
- This is the distinguishing mark of the Marmureg Wing adepts.
- ... sellswords7
- With an average of 60 mercenaries per company
- ... Sun8
- Otzitiotl, that is Ixion
- ... Renardoise9
- An organisation of Renardois merchant for protection of their rights in foreign trade.