Gazetteer · GURPS · Worked Example

Gazetteer: Cultured Rasitar!

(For those who came in late: these “Gazetteer” entries are a tourist’s guide to a fantasy world I created in a previous series of posts, using this procedural system.   You might want to check out the complete world map, or the other gazetteer posts.  Enjoy!)

Rasitar (“The Dowered Lands”)

A rich, cultured, and sophisticated little Kingdom in the hills overlooking the River Rulerun. 

Gazetteer - Valiroth
In game terms, Rasitar is considered Civilized.

The Realm

Rasitar is a small realm in the hills overlooking the Eastern reaches of the River Rulerun.  Rasitar is extremely well situated, with a rich, loamy soil and good weather for growing, and as such it has always been among the richest of the small kingdoms. The Rasitanian nobility have a long tradition of using their wealth to support the arts, and thus for such a tiny Kingdom, Rasitar has produced far more than its fair share of poets, playwrights, and troubadours.

Rasitanian Harp
A Rasitanian harp, with all the parts helpfully identified for the benefit of foreigners (especially boorish Valirothians, who don’t know a harp from a harpsichord).  No true Rasitanian needs the various parts of a harp explained to them, of course.

The Lay of Rasitar

Patronage being what it is, Rasitanian poets are often called upon to mythologize the history of Rasitar itself.  Perhaps this partly explains the world-wide popularity of the “Lay of Rasitar,” a complex ballad that tells the story of the origins of the Kingdom of Rasitar in 132 lyrical stanzas.

As the Lay relates, Rasitar was once a part of Valiroth, until it was given to Princess Miralla of Rulerun as a dowry, so as to enable her to marry Emperor Mattieu II. But Miralla didn’t want to marry the dour old Emperor, who was elderly enough to be her grandfather; instead, she fell in love with Benwick Stotlohn, a handsome minstrel who also happened to be a master swordsman….

By the end of the Lay, both men are dead, and the grieving Princess Miralla has been offered the Imperial Throne twice, refusing it both times, and eventually retiring to her dowry-lands to be alone with her grief – though not without first using her power as the dead Emperor’s betrothed to declare that those lands shall never again be subject to the rule of Valiroth.

Thus (if you believe the minstrels!) was born the independent Kingdom of Rasitar – “Rasitar” meaning “Heart’s Grief” in old Valirothian. Bards generally sing the Lay to a harp accompaniment, though a livelier version for the lute is also quite common.

The People

Rasitanians are a theatrical and flamboyant people.  They consider themselves highly sophisticated – and it’s true that they have some of the richest cultural lives of any people, save only the Elves.  People of other realms tend to admire Rastinanian artistry (and go out of their way to see it!) while considering the Rasitanians themselves a bit dreamy, impractical, and/or self-obsessed.

Region Stats: Rasitar

For an explanation of all these terms, see the Worlds system.  If you want to see how Rasitar was first created, see here (for the geography) and here (for the culture).

Size: Small
Climate: Temperate
Terrain Type: Hills

Level of Civilization: Civilized
Settlements: One town
Population Type: Human
Theme: Cultured  (note that Rasitar’s Theme was originally “Rich,” but that was before I updated the system to include the “Cultured” theme, which fits better.)

Monster Ecology
Primary Monster Type: ?
Secondary Monster Type: ?
Tertiary Monster Type: ?

 For the world map and more gazetteer posts, head here.

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