Been working on a couple of things the past week. One for a D&D session i'll be running starting the end of Jan, the other more background for the arrangement in Karat-Si'Zan. The key to this is the relationship between the Zultan and the lords of Karat-Si'Zan, as the lords rule what is effectively multiple thieves guilds/mafia crime families who control the activity of Karat-Si'Zan in order to suck the most wealth possible out of the populous. it is a very effective strategy, and generally keeps the populous happy and unknowing of how they are manipulated to provide those at the top an excessive way of life.
The Zultan is the ruler of Sarlion, and Karat-Si'Zan is the capital, but the Zultan has other concerns than just the capital city. Axius fleets of Noricum carracks have recently been repelled by the war barges of Sarlion, and the Zultan is worried that the next invasion fleet will be unstoppable. The lords have manipulated laws in order to maximize their profits, making psychodelics and other intoxicants and contraband an income stream for the crimelords. The vices of the people help to keep them susceptible to this arrangement, and with the Zultan's redcloaks able to march into the city to instill order if necessary, the people of the city generally work with the hired muscle of the lords. It is easier than resisting.
The most powerful house generally leads the assembly of lords, only seven of which are able to vote on matters put forth. Currently, this leaves out many of the nobles, as Brendon, Zhepnotz, and Kruz-Alzeen have no family with which to back them, and have achieved their position due to their own personal skills. These seats are the primary motivation behind the covert warfare and assassinations that are performed in the shadows of Karat-Si'Zan.
Now to start fleshing out the individual houses and guilds, seeing the natural and forced alliances, and determining what happens from there.
Tzalaran's favorite hangout, hence it is the name of my blog on the web. Here i'll talk about the writing of "Scales of the Assassin", working title of the start of Tzalaran's saga, and give background information on the world Tzal lives in.