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In a land ruled by the dead, how could anyone make a living?

Overview

Necropolis is the government in place in the bleak Gravelands, west of Harmonia.  Also the name of the capital city, Necropolis is a nation ruled and heavily populated by the undead.  For centuries the single highest authority in Necropolis has been a member of the Darkfire vampire clan.

Due to heavy use of black magic, the sky of the Gravelands is always overcast, the sun incapable of properly shining down on the land.  Due to this plants do not grow properly, and much of the other life is weak.

History

The history of Necropolis is long and storied, steeped in violence, intrigue, politics and rivers of blood.  Centuries past, when vampires were pushed from Ophelia and several other regions, they travelled into the Gravelands under the great vampire lord, Darkfire. 

When Viktor Darkfire ascended to the throne he made attempts and alliances to conquer the world.  His dream ended in the capital of the Pisces Empire, when he was assassinated by his own ally, Sniper II, who took his power and skull for some unknown purpose.  Viktor was succeeded by his sister and only remaining vampire relative, Vanessa Darkfire.  However, before she could fully cement her powerbase she was captured suddenly by wizards from the Mage Republic's R&D department.  She was held there and studied for many long years.

In recent years, without a proper Darkfire to rule them, Necropolis errupted into a number of civil wars, ending with Krylen Bloodroot, who was a hand-maiden to Vanessa, ruling the nation.  She was aided in this endeavor by Zachariah, a dhampir spawn of Viktor Darkfire, who she raised to nobility.  However Vanessa has recently returned and reclaimed the throne for herself.  Krylen fled, and Zachariah was given as a gift to the loyal Lady Labeth, who sacrificed him.  Now Vanessa seeks to spread her power and influence, gaining dark allies and disrupting the power of other nations.

Races

Necropolis is home to most types of undead, though chief among those are the vampire nobility as well as their loyal spawn.  Other undead types include ghouls, zombies, skeletons, and wraiths. 

Among the living races of Necropolis are humans, Dhampir half-vampires, tieflings, and a growing population of Drow.

Government

The un-kingdom of Necropolis is governed by a depraved mockery of a traditional feudal society.  While they are all ruled by their un-life king (or queen) the other major cities are governed by additional undead nobles, typically vampires.  The lesser nobles are expected to pay a tribute of blood to their king and aid him in times of war, but otherwise rule their fiefs however they see fit.  Smaller towns and villages are governed by a mayor, either elected by the populace or appointed by their undead lord.

Culture

Undead nobles are sick and devious.

The culture of Necropolis differs greatly between the living and the dead.  The undead lords of the kingdom play endless games of intrigue with eachother, scheming and plotting to gain the upper hand.  They treat the living citizens as slaves and cattle, torturing them and using them as a food source with little to no care for the mortals' safety.

The living denizens of Necropolis meanwhile have to contend with the torment of being under the thumb of their undead overlords.  They cope in a variety of ways, the most abnormal of which is a sick sort of pride.  After generations under the living dead, the mortals of Necropolis have grown so used to their lot in life that they know no other way, and have become proud to serve as slaves and food for the vampires and other monsters in Necropolis.

Locations

Notable locales in the nation of Necropolis include:

Necropolis

The capital castle-city of the region, after which the country is named.  Built on an ancient tomb-hill that was itself built over a ley-line.  Currently ruled by Vanessa Darkfire.

Chernyorok

A north-western city that has prospered quite a bit in recent years.  Ruled over by the tiefling vampire, Lady Labeth.

Kostvodai

A sprawling river-side city ruled by Lord Henrai, a relatively young vampire.

Tenstein

The south-easternmost city in Necropolis, ruled over previously by the nosferatu Magister Voraceph, now under the control of ghoul lord Kykar.  Voraceph destroyed much of the metropolis in an attempt on Vanessa's life, and it has since been re-built to a more ghoul-focused city.

Death's Edge

A keep where-in Lord Gorlath dwells.  Many undead warriors dwell here, and others (with intelligence) come to train under the powerful Death Knight.

Buchanstadt

A small fishing village.

Tombs of Fallen Warriors

A series of crypts where the Darkfire clan has followed a tradition of burying a dead foe after a battle, whether it was offensive or defensive.  Hundreds of dead soldiers, knights, and warriors are interred in these tombs, waiting to be raised as an army.

Allegiances

Due to the nature of vampires and sentient undead in general, no alliance with Necropolis has ever lasted for longer than it took the nobility to find a way to betray it.  However the recently returned Vanessa Darkfire has claimed to have formed an alliance with the mysterious Irlym Shadowbloom

Notable Citizens

See also: Notable Families in the Gravelands

Lord Darkfire

The original lord of the Darkfire clan, from whom they draw their family name.  Darkfire was an ambitious creature who conspired with all manner of dark beings to achieve power, including a lesser blood god.  In the end this cost him his undead life.

Viktor Darkfire

Viktor was one of the greatest leaders of the Darkfire vampire clan. Viktor had immense power, and tried to lead his people to great power, but was manipulated by the mysterious, other-worldly being, Sniper II, and eventually killed by it as well. 

The vampire queen, Vanessa Darkfire.

Vanessa Darkfire

The last remaining member of the Darkfire Clan, Vanessa was captured some time in the past by the R&D department of the Mage Republic.  They kept her imprisoned for many years, studying vampirism and trying to reverse-engineer something from her powers and blood, before she was freed by Irlym and his minions.  She now seeks to reclaim the throne of Necropolis she believes is hers by right.

Lord Gorlath

An old death knight who claims to have served the original Lord Darkfire and is more loyal to Necropolis itself than any of its scheming nobles.  He is known to have his own code of honor.

Lady Labeth

A tiefling vampire and the current ruler of Chernyorok. 

Krylen Bloodroot

An elven vampire who served the Darkfire clan for decades.  She took control of their powerbase in Necropolis after Vanessa's disappearance.

Krumlov

Krumlov the ghoul warrior.

An old but tenacious ghoul who serves as both captain of the guards and chief executioner in Necropolis Castle. 

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