- Capital: Athan
- Population: Around 10.000 citizens (40% humans, 30% dwarves, 25% halflings, 2% gnomes, 1% half-elves, 1% half-orcs, 1% others)
- Government: Divinely chosen Rakha (count) plus a council of four Fakir (councilmen) who try to discern the wishes of Vitalis’ avatar.
- Religion: Mayet (a monotheistic religion devoted to the deity of Life and Death, Vitalis)
- Export: minerals, iron, masterwork tools, masterwork weapons, architectural designs
- Imports: fruits and vegetables, lifestock, art
- Monsters: Terrax, kobolds, monstrous scorpions, basilisk, earth elementals, salamander, cockatrice, various undead
Antica is a dry, uninviting province that is cut off from most of the other provinces of Westonia because of a great mountain range (the Pirams) and a man-made wall called the Spiralwall. It used to be a green, lush place ages ago, resembling Agarlon, only less dangerous. Because of this, it was one of the first places to be settled in Westonia, making its oldest city Mejis one of the oldest cities in the whole of Westonia. However, the constant battling with powerful dragons had turned the lands into deserts and savannahs. Antica is also called Dragonsands or Forlorn Greens.
Antica’s borders are mountainous and almost impassable, except for two small mountainpasses. The one in the northeast, called Piram’s Fang, is closed off by the Spiralwall and heavily monitored. After traversing Piram’s Fang one enters Kilduran. The other pass is in the west and leads to Agarlon. That’s why it was named Agarlon’s Doorstep. Antica’s inland is dry and hard to traverse. Rock deserts, sand deserts and savannahs cover the land, without a single large body of water.
Cities in Antica consist of one or several Toma’s, special towers built in a spiral shape that are easy to defend. Living in ‘normal’ houses is officially prohibited (though almost always tolerated), mostly because it is very dangerous to do so (see Dangers of Antica). However, some people still choose to live this way. There is one exception to the mandatory living in Toma’s: the palace of the Rakha and his council is built to resemble other, standard palaces.
- Athan: The capital city of Antica is made up of nine Toma’s and a palace, surrounded by a great wall, which makes Athan the most defendable city of Antica. It’s located in the east of Antica. The palace in Athan is impressive in both a religious and militairy way.
- Eld: West of Athan lies Eld, the largest city in Antica with twelve Toma’s. It is also known for an open-air bazaar where various goods are brought from Harrowdelf, Aglaron, Mejis and the north to be traded and sold to willing buyers. It is the most culturally diverse city.
- Harrowdelf: Even farther to the west, situated in the Pirams, lies Harrowdelf. This is the dwarven city, although some of the other races live here as well. It’s Toma’s (five in total) differ from the typical Toma’s since, instead of being built from the ground up, they are hewn from the mountain walls. In Harrowdelf, minerals, iron, gold and even mithril are mined to be traded with Aglaron and other counties. Experienced smiths create masterwork weapons and armor for trade and to equip the army.
- Mejis: This is the main cultural city of Antica, located near the coast in the south. The largest church of Vitalis stands here, which is were a lot of clerics and paladins are trained. Mejis is also known for its harbour (which makes it almost as important as a trade city as Harrowdelf) and library.
- Cressia: This ‘city’ is actually a single Toma (like there are more in Antica) instead of an agglomaration. It is however, very important to Antica since the four greatest and most poweful heroes live in this particular Toma.
Architecture and Infrastructure
- Spiralwall: This wall provides Antica with a way to defend themselves against attacks from the north.
- Ivory Road (east-west): This brick road goes from Harrowdelf, via Eld, to Athan.
- Dust Road (north-south): This simple road goes from the Spiralwall via Eld, to Mejis.
Because it is quite secluded, Antica has values and customs that are quite different from those of the rest of Westonia. Because people in Antica live very close to each other in Toma’s, they are required to be very polite and thoughtful. Hard work, integrity and compassion are vital parts of the culture, although this goes hand-in-hand with some conservatism and close-mindedness as well.
Antican religion focuses on the teachings of Vitalis, the god of Life and Death. His collective teachings are known as Mayet. The dog is seen as a holy animal.
Officially, Antica is ruled by a dog called the Canesis, a direct descendant of Vitalis’ own dog (a border collie). This dog and its line are revered with the utmost respect. A Rakha’s job is to emote the Canesis’ wishes. Rakha’s are chosen by the Canesis himself, although this choice has to be validated by the Fakirs.
The current Rakha is named Eldin Ankh, a nine-year old who has been ruling for two years now. Most people assume that the country has mostly been run by the council of Fakirs instead of the Rakha, however.
Policies and Projects
Antica is a troubled and harsh land, so establishing the right policies is an important part of the government. One such policy is the law against living outside of Toma’s (although some people still choose to do so), unless you are the Rakha, a Fakir or another resident of the palace. Two current proposed projects are the building of a giant canal from the river in Schönberg to Mejis or extending the Spiralwall to also cover the entire east border. Both these proposed projects would require enormous amounts of money.
Smiths, traders, and divine casters are held in very high esteem in Antica. Divine casters can use the Create Water spell, an invaluable resource in the dry lands of Antica, while smiths and traders are the main reason Antica hasn’t gone bankrupt.
Dangers of Antica
Antica is an ancient and proud nation, but it is not without its dangers. Its inhabitants are hardy and prepared, but most tourists or other outsiders are shocked by the harshness of this county.
The major danger in Antica is its drought. Historians say this drought was brought upon by the battles between dragons and humanoids some ages ago. These battles are collectively known as the Liberation. To cope with this drought, many, many Anticans are taught to cast the Create Water spell, either by connecting with Vitalis (clerics), with virtue (paladins) or nature (druids). Traveling groups often hire a divine caster to accompany them.
Terrax is the last of his kind left in Antica. He is a blue dragon who terrorizes and attacks the Toma’s in the south especially. He also commands a large army of kobolds who do his every bidding. The Antican army has a hard time battling this powerful foe.
Antica’s east border is completely exposed to The Flats. These two countries have never really created a diplomatic relation, but there is no mountain range or man-made wall to defend this border against attacks from the Flats. Many Anticans still don’t entirely trust the intentions of the Flats, even after Count Spricknocket allied himself with the other nations. But those gnomes that have left the Flats and now live in Antica are not treated differently in Antica, since discrimination is explicitly against Vitalis’ teachings.