Kits

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Carthage

Carthage is the most famous and wealthy trading city on the Mediterranean. A labyrinthine nation of venomous ambition and dark gods, it is a beacon on the shores of North Africa for adventurers and freebooters. It is ruled by a mysterious elite who seldom wander far from their walled inner city of temples and palaces. Life is cheap in Carthage, peopled as it is by great slavers and traders whose silver tongues mark them as the true descendants of the Phoenicians who came before them.

Warlord (warleader)

A typical Carthaginian warlord is well used to avoiding perils and spotting opportunities. It is rare to blindside such a person and even rarer they miss a chance for personal gain or to put one over their enemies. The gods favour this combination of cunning and bravery which reaps great rewards in battle.

Carthaginian warlords have exemplars in legend, story and film. These include mercenary leaders (such as Xena from some episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess), tyrants (such as Memnon from The Scorpion King or Thulsa Doom from Conan) and raiders (such as the leader of the “Four Legged Demons” in 10 000 BC).

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use armour and shield; Throw javelin

Corsair (champion)

The rough sailors of Carthage are feared around the Mediterranean. Some think them little more than pirates whilst others respect their strength. These are men and women who are ready for whatever the seas bring them, unafraid of far off lands and foreign ports.

There are many examples of such adventurers and champions in fiction. Corsairs may be modelled on adventurers (such as Conan the Barbarian; and Lord Kalidor and the eponymous heroine from the film Red Sonja) or mercenaries (such as Mathayus from The Scorpion King).

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use armour and shield; Throw javelin; Extra hit; Resilience

Mystic (priest)

The walled section of the city of Carthage is to many an unknown and terrifying place. Tales emerge of arcane practices and demanding gods for whom blood and gold flow in equal measure. Central to this are the elder mystics of the priesthood for whom respect and fear are the tools of their trade.

Carthaginian mystics include charismatic cult leaders (such as Thulsa Doom from Conan the Barbarian), noble priest-queens (such as Queen Taramis from Conan the Destroyer) and trusted seers (such as Cassandra from The Scorpion King).

Kit skills: Open Gate of Horn; Ceremony; Resilience

Alchemist (philosopher)

When the Titans brought to mortals stolen mysteries of the gods, the elite of Carthage were drawn to learn how the dead and living could be affected by this new magic. Hidden from the gods in backstreets the alchemists ply their trade - stealing unwanted corpses for dissection and brewing experimental mixes in the shadows.

Inspiration for Carthaginian alchemist characters might include secretive necromancers (such as the Witch of Endor), experimenters (such as Victor Frankenstein) and traders in antiquities stolen from the desert (such as Sallah from the Indiana Jones films).

Kit skills: Apply quintessence (one type); Physician; Use one-handed weapon

Masterless (attendant)

The Masterless of Carthage are so called because they are not masters of their own lives. Tales are told of servants inside the walled city with their tongues cut out so they cannot tell the secrets of the Children of Dido. In the wider city, they go about their business silently and unnoticed - like ghosts in the narrow streets doing their best to avoid the attention of the luckier, free residents.

Other examples of attendants are artisans, labourers, dockworkers, porters, diggers, caravan drivers, camel trainers, traders, spies, personal assistants to the warlord, whores and cultists.

Attendants have a single special skill. They can use any single skill in the system provided a character who knows that skill is instructing them.


Egypt

The whole of Egypt is dedicated to the glory of the gods - from temples in the desert to gigantic monuments to their immortal pharaohs. The River Nile stretches through the land from its mysterious source in the mountains to the fertile plains of the delta. The Black Land, ancient Khem. Oldest of all civilizations, land of mysteries, of magic, of strange animal-headed gods and funerary rites more fabulous than any festival for the living. Land of the dead. Egypt looks upon young Greece and younger still Rome and sneers behind its fan at these upstarts; it has seen such empires come and go and none but Egypt endures.

Prince (warleader)

The glory days of the Old Kingdom might be gone, but now the Age of Alexander has also passed there is a resurgence of interest in the old ways. Great leaders adopt the titles of the lost times and claim the title of prince. In doing so they make clear to the gods and men their aspirations of leadership and control, but the challenge still remains to make it a reality.

These leaders seek to emulate the ways of the pharaohs of times past. They look to warrior kings (such as Seti, Taharqa and Shishaq), builders (such as Khufu and Djoser) and religious leaders (such as Nefertiti).

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use missile weapon; Extra two hits

Temple Guard (champion)

Egyptian temple guards are the elite champions who guard the homes and tombs of the kings and gods. These are the most well respected warriors in the Egyptian army. They use exceptional skill with a bow to harry enemies from a safe distance, then shield and mace for close combat. The temple guard are also famed for hunting the monsters and mythic creatures that threaten the borders of Egypt.

Tales of Egypt talk more of gods than men, but a great champion who did show the attributes suitable for this office was Sinuhe who fought rebellious tribes for his king. From film, the Medjai of The Mummy show the same sort of dedication to duty and superior skill at arms found in an Egyptian champion.

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use armour and shield; Use missile weapon; Extra hit; Resilience

Astrologer (priest)

The people of Egypt claim to know and respect the gods more than any others in the civilized world. They are used to the gods walking amongst them and the priests are treated with great reverence and respect. Astrologers are regularly consulted by eager citizens and have great influence over much of their lives.

Egyptian astrologers may divine the future (such as Claudius Ptolemaeus), seek to find lost gods (such as HP Lovecraft’s Black Pharaoh) or occupy positions of political power (such as Imhotep, chancellor to Djoser).

Kit skills: Open Gate of Horn; Open Gate of Ivory; Ceremony

Hekau (philosopher)

Perhaps of all the civilized nations, the Egyptians have most enthusiastically embraced the academic study of the mysteries. Under the noses and demands of the priesthood, there are plans underway to build a great library at Alexandria. To this aim, new explorers of magic are being trained and sent out to find and record.

Whilst many hekau are linked to scholarly pursuits and try to decode mysteries (similar to Robert Langdon in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code or Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing in the Hammer Dracula films) others adopt a more hands on approach to mystic matters (such as Carl in the 2004 film Van Helsing).

Kit skills: Apply quintessence (two types); Physician

Worker (attendant)

Egyptian workers are the ones truly responsible for the great temples and pyramids on the banks of the Nile. Their blood has turned the dreams of pharaohs and the plans of architects into reality. Though few of their names are remembered, their legacy lives on.

Other attendants are architects, freed (or non freed) slaves, traders, spies, religious cultists, dancers, animal keepers, porters and riverboat sailors.

Attendants have a single special skill. They can use any single skill in the system provided a character who knows that skill is instructing them.


Greece

Greece is the cradle of civilization. Seat of philosophy, democracy, learning and culture. Land of heroes. Heroes in plumed helmets with spear and shield, children of gods and makers of myths. Greece stands at a crossroads - it could choose to stand as one, following the lead of the Macedonians, or it could risk hubris and demand to be recognized as a number of states. The glory days of the city-states have passed but there is knowledge, skill and pride at the heart of the peninsula.

Strategos (warleader)

When Greece was young and the gods walked the earth without care, the Greek hero was their closest ally. Now the world has changed, but there are still epic journeys to be undertaken, wars to be fought and a need for men and women to be larger than life. These are the strategoi of the Greeks and the arena is their domain.

Greek strategoi include hard-bitten and wily generals (such as Agamemnon), young Athenian senators out to prove their worth, charismatic leaders of bands of heroes (such as Jason and Odysseus), and military prodigies (such as Antiochus, Ptolemy and Alexander).

Kit skills: Use spear; Use armour and shield; Extra hit

Hoplite (champion)

Hoplites are champions that stand as one in an unbreakable phalanx imbued with the individual heroics of their ancestors. Their lines of gleaming breastplates, polished helms and brightly-tipped spears have struck fear in many enemies. The arena was made for them. This is their time. Their destiny.

In the tales of Homer, Ajax, Achilles, Patroclus and even Odysseus are all hoplites, though the latter later becomes a strategos. The crew of the Argo, like Herakles and Argus himself, were all hoplites. Ptolemy, Arrhidaeus and Hephaistion were all hoplites to Alexander the Great.

Kit skills: Use spear; Use armour and shield; Throw javelin; Extra hit, Resilience

Oracle (priest)

As the gods shun direct contact with mortals, their agents grow in importance. The oracles of Greece have been sharing immortal wisdom for generations to any who would listen. At an Annual, where many important decisions need to be made, their input is held to be essential by their people.

Greek oracles include Dionysian ecstatics, sober high priests and young acolytes.

Kit skills: Open Gate of Horn; Open Gate of Ivory; Resilience

Physician (philosopher)

For many years, the physicians of Greece have been embracing the rational over the religious. Taking care not to offend the gods, they have been building their knowledge on the foundations of science and have built a reputation as the finest physicians in the civilized world.

Greek philosophers include travelling teachers (such as Socrates), physicians (such as Hippocrates), engineers (such as Pythagoras), or thinkers (such as Plato).

Kit skills: Apply quintessence (two types); Physician

Helot (attendant)

A silent underclass allows the citizens of Greece to devote themselves to such civilized behaviours as the arts and war. “Work, discipline and feeding” were all they could expect according to Aristotle. The helots of Sparta held a unique place in that city where they were required to maintain the military power, yet brutally repressed.

Other attendants are artisans, freed (or non freed) slaves, traders, shiners of sandals, spies, camp followers, religious cultists, obsessive fans of a particular champion, or perhaps even chroniclers of the tales of true heroes - a career pursued by a man named Homer.

Attendants have a single special skill. They can use any single skill in the system provided a character who knows that skill is instructing them.


Hellas Phoenicia

Born of Greek rebellion, Phoenician history and Minoan magic, this new nation combines the strengths of all three. A Platonic Republic, where gods stand as guides and protectors, not savage tyrants. A nation where the study of Philosophy can continue unchained.

Archon (warleader)

The Archons of Hellas Phoenicia lead by example, not noble blood or right. They are the best men and women for the job, and bring their skills to bear leading troops and setting strategy for the people of the nation. .

Archons tend not to be traditional military leaders but men of talent thrust into the role, such as Jason of the Argonauts or Judas Maccabaeus.

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use armour and shield; Use Spear

Phalangite (champion)

Phalangites - those who fight in a phalanx - are still very similar in style to the Greek hoplites

Kit skills: Use spear; Use armour and shield; Throw javelin; Extra hit; Resilience

Epibatai (champion)

Epibatai are marines - sailors, and cannot afford to be weighed down by heavy armour or shields. They rely instead on speed and agility to take them through the fight.

There are many examples of such adventurers and champions in fiction. Epibatai may be modelled on sailors (such as Odysseus) or sea-going warriors (such as the Black Corsairs from Lord of the Rings).

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use missile weapon; Extra two hits; resilience

Hierarch/Sibyl (priest)

The gods of Hellas Phoenicia are both at once familiar and strange; interpreting their guidance is a difficult job. Often they are forced to speak in riddles themselves or try to interpret what's been said in such a way others can understand it.

Examples of Hierarchs and Sibyls include prophets such as the Sibyl at Cumae, and intepreters like Merlin.

Kit skills: Open Gate of Ivory; Ceremony; Use two-handed weapon

Engineer/Demagogue (philosopher)

While the Engineers use their skills and arts to build the nation, shaping the world to their will, so the Demagogues preach a new world order, where god and man stand as equal pertners and nothing is impossible. This is the future Hellas Phoenicia promises.

Inspiration for Hellenic Phoenician philosopher characters might include practical experimenters (such as Aristotle or Pythagoras), public speakers and political leaders(such as Hypatia) and pursuers and recorders of lost knowledge (such as Plato himself).

Kit skills: Apply quintessence (fire), Apply quintessence (any type); Physician

Freeman (attendant)

The Freemen of Hellas Phoenicia are the backbone of the nation. They are the people who see to it that the world turns, the business of the cities continues and the crops are brought in so others may argue, debate and explore. Never underestimate them - they are the nation's heart.

Other examples of attendants are artisans, labourers, dockworkers, porters, diggers, caravan drivers, camel trainers, traders, spies, personal assistants to the warlord, whores and cultists.

Attendants have a single special skill. They can use any single skill in the system provided a character who knows that skill is instructing them.


Persia

The Land Between Two Rivers, Mesopotamia. Seat of the most ancient civilizations of all - Ur, Akkad, Babylonia, Assyria. All are now subjects of the King of Kings, part of the court of the Thousand Nations of Persia where satraps politick constantly to gain another inch up the slippery pole of favour. Great cities, wild desert lands and mountains where warriors in scaled armour sit astride mighty horses. They were united during the conquests of Alexander, but now Persia has reverted to the playground of kings and the cradle of imperial ambition.

Shah (warleader)

A leader with only a handful of followers can call himself a king in one of the Thousand Nations of the Persian Empire. Are not all kings equal in the eyes of Persia? May not any shah succeed to become Shah-an-Shah?

Persian kings and queens are often consummate and wily politicians who are able to balance the demands of many subjects through administration, building and finances (such as Darius), rebels plotting for local autonomy (such as Shamash-shum-ukin) or aggressive expansionists (such as Cyrus and Xerxes).

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use armour and shield; Extra hit

Immortal (champion)

The Persian Immortals are elite infantry warriors, used to fighting with a terrifying skill and ferocity with a range of weapons. Their name is feared by the world outside of Persia who only dare whisper their name.

Within their number are stalwart fighters from the Persian heartland, wily Elamites from the lands around the Persian Gulf and Medeans from the Caspian Sea and the borders of central Asia.

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use two-handed weapon; Use armour and shield; Extra hit; Resilience

Magus (priest)

For the priests of Persia, the skies hold the answer to many mysteries and the magi who study the stars are brought closer to literal heaven. The magi hold an important place in the court of the King-of-Kings and are often chosen to accompany representatives to the Annual to help read the omens.

Persian magi include court priests of the orthodox Persian faith, the Three Wise Men of biblical legend, fire cultists of Zoroaster, wild shamans from the outer reaches of Persian lands where mystery cults are still followed or shadowy followers of the nearly forgotten gods of Assyria or Babylon.

Kit skills: Open Gate of Horn; Ceremony; Use one-handed weapon

Vizier (philosopher)

The viziers of the kingdoms of Persia are renowned for their skill and breadth of understanding. When the mysteries of the Titans first fell on mortal ears, it was these experts in learning and champions of wisdom and experimentation who eagerly embraced them. In Persia, most of all lands, these magics are accepted by the majority rather than ignored or discounted by priests.

All kings and queens expect to have their Grand Vizier - a position of trust - advising them on how the mysteries of the gods may be best used in their service. In addition, each village or town will support a wise woman with alchemical tricks to heal the sick and soothe young love.

Kit skills: Apply quintessence (three types)

Subject (attendant)

A land of many kings requires multitudinous subjects. The subjects of the Persian kings are free - to a degree - so long as they pay suitable fealty and taxes to their monarchs. These Persians enjoy flaunting their freedoms and civilized behaviours over other attendants - with great variety in colour and richness of cloth, jewellery and immaculate hairstyles.

Other attendants are artisans, freed (or non freed) slaves, merchants, spies, religious cultists, teachers, administrators and scribes.


Rome

Rome at this time has yet to become a great imperial power. Rome now is a thirsty, young and vigorous nation that is on the rise, slowly breaking out of the Italian peninsula as Greece is on the wane to their east. Carthage, their great rival, sits across the sea, blocking Roman expansion south. The Romans fear and hate kings as tyrants, and swear there will never be another King of Rome. Senators elected from and by the citizens offer a strong, stable alternative to the decadence and despotism of kings.

Senator/Praetor (warleader)

Rome is ruled by process, but the importance of popularity and influence means those at the centre of power have to be seen to lead. Senators are often more at home with legal papers than armour and weapons but political acumen is not an entirely wasted skill. The praetors represent the common people who are at least as pious, cunning and single-minded as their more wealthy counterparts.

Senators include generals and politicians like Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus, and matriarchs such as Servilia of the Junii or Atia of the Julii from HBO’s Rome. From the same series, Erastes Fulmen shows a less savoury side to Roman power.

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Use armour and shield; Extra hit

Legionary/Enforcer (champion)

Rome’s legionaries are making their presence felt beyond the boundaries of their native lands. Easily recognizable by their large curved shields and short swords they are most at home getting up close to their enemies. The legions of Rome have yet to conquer the world, but these men and women have keen plans in that direction. Amongst the slums of Rome and its cities, the enforcers keep order on the streets. Working either with the praetor or as champions in their own right, they bring peace, of a kind.

The legends of Rome highlight the role of the champion such as Horatius Cocles who held the bridge across the Tiber from the Etruscans. From HBO’s Rome, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus demonstrate how life can have both ups and downs on both sides of the law.

Kit skills: Use one-handed weapon; Throw javelin; Use armour and shield; Extra hit; Resilience

Pontifex/Haruspex (priest)

The people of Rome are more secular than many of the civilized world, but this does not mean they will seek to anger the immortals. A pontifex is a patrician priest who is skilled in representing the interests of the noble classes. In her shadow is the haruspex, a less palatable but no less powerful priest who can divine the intention of the gods from the organs of dead animals.

Roman priests may be at home with a legion on the march or serving the spiritual needs of a rich family home. There are also orders based around temples such as the Vestal Virgins. Priests are often shrewd politicians with clever tongues, like Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes Minister.

Kit skills: Open Gate of Horn; Open Gate of Ivory; Extra Hit

Doctor/Architect (philosopher)

Roman philosophers, in keeping with the scientific basis of the Roman state, concern themselves far more with the affairs of the physical body than with the more occult aspects of philosophy. Increasingly, they are regarded by Romans as a reliable and sensible course of advice in times of illness. A Roman with an interest in the occult has to be more subtle and work in secret away from the prying eyes of the state and the priests, both of whom will occasionally use their services, albeit begrudgingly.

Roman doctors include thinkers (such as Seneca), dramatists and orators (such as Cicero), alchemists (such as Agathodaimon), army medics or physicians (such as Galen) and military and civil engineers (such as Vitruvius).

Kit skills: Apply quintessence (one type); Physician; Resilience

Plebeian (attendant)

A plebeian counts for little - a poor worker of indifferent breeding and resource. In numbers though - things change - the mob is born. When they speak with one voice, the ruling class have to listen, or at least try to distract them with bread and circuses. Plebeians, for all their common roots, still regard themselves as ten times the worth of any barbarian; the prize of Roman citizenship is simply too great to ignore.

Other attendants include the great mass of the populace of the city from both upper and lower classes, including collegium artisans, obsessive fans of a particular gladiator, lawyers and elderly senators

Attendants have a single special skill. They can use any single skill in the system provided a character who knows that skill is instructing them.