One of the iconic (pun intended) elements of the 13th Age roleplaying game are icons. Icons reflect the movers and shakers of a setting. They are the non-player characters and organizations that directly- and indirectly – interact with the player characters. Icons can be ally or enemy.
As work progresses on Cloak & Coin, hopefully, these Icons will give you a flavor for the setting:
The Greywalker (NG)
The greatest wizard of the age, many believe he is the last of the High Lords. He does not speak of his past, even to his closest followers. His purpose, however, is simple. He exists to prevent fools from attempting to unearth the sorceries of the High Lords. His people travel throughout the known world, hunting down ancient relics before they fall into the wrong hands.
An ancient copper dragon, she serves as symbol of hope in the lands of Aren Doael. Having helped the slave rebellion against Lysantho, and working with the elves of Corel’ eiyon occasion, she continues to be a thorn in the side of Empress Senese.
Once a powerful red dragon, the dracolich Cadreihrethum destroyed those who created him. Remaining avaricious in undeath as in life, his minions and cultists sow discord in the known world, while they hunt for relics whose value is known only to him. His plans are incomprehensible to many; however, some claim that his actions are not madness but an attempt to retrieve his most important precious possession – the lost phylactery. Others believe he has been driven mad by his desire to return to life.
God-Emperor of Iesadhe (LN)
The avatar of Dhom, the current God-Emperor is the 27th of his kind. With the soulshard embedded in his palm, he lives with the memories of his predecessors. This has proven to be both a boon and a curse. Immortality and madness.
Empress Senese of Lysantho (LN)
The empress is the sixth of her dynasty to rule over Lysantho. She has recently brought some liberal reforms in order to placate the trading houses of the peninsula, but she remains a despotic ruler. Her hatred of Mehtab and Grey Walker knows no bounds, the former for helping the dwarves rebel and the latter for hindering her search for the relics that would grant her greater power. Of course, her hatred of Queen Nerim’ys surpasses all.
King Thoradnar Steelhelm of the Mountain Realms (LG)
The dwarf king rules from the fortress city of Lorgan in the Anvils of Khada Mountains. King Thoradnar is the nominal King of all dwarves in the known lands; however, the dwarves of the southern lands have pledged their fealty to the dragon, Mehtab. For now, he accepts their decision.
Because of the Severing, the dwarves have lost their gods. King Thoradnar has sworn to his people to find them again.
Queen Iarban’ise Nerim’ys (NG)
The queen of the Corel’ eiyan elves, she holds dominion over the people of her realms. One of the few toremember the failings of the High Lords, she maintains strict vigil against such a reoccurence. This has led to her working closely with The Greywalker while keeping a vigilant eye on her erstwhile ally, King Thoradnar Steelhelm. She fears that his quest to awaken the gods of his people may lead him down a dangerous path.
Croi Malic of Dhom’s Bane (NE)
Known as the Prince of Shadows, Croi Malic is the leader of the peninsula spanning thieves’ guild. Mocking those who would seek solace in faith, the guild is known as Dhom’s Bane. Dhom’s Bane has its fingers in every vice and crime in the cities and highways of the confederacy. He currently maintains a tenuous truce with Gelvorg, refraining from venturing too far from the cities, while Gelvorg affords his men safe travel through his domains.
Though a mercenary, he is also an ambitious man who has numerous wheels in motion.
Gelvorg, The Hobgoblin King (NE)
The greatest warlord of his people, he rules over the hobgoblin tribes of the peninsula – and through them, the other goblinoid races. A cunning ruler, his forces have been a menace to trade throughout the region. For now, however, regular tithes from the various city-states keep him at bay.
Tapestry of Truth (LE)
The Tapestry of Truth is the inquisitorial arm of the Dhomestic faith. Zealous in their devotion, they brook no heresies. Known as the Truth-Hunters, they travel throughout Iesadhe seeking those would stand against the faith. They hunt sorcerers who would meddle with Dobrai magic and cultists that would awaken old gods. Though officially banned outside of Iesadhe, they maintain a covert presence in the peninsula.
Shadow Weavers (NE)
The Shadow Weavers stand in direct opposition to The Grey Walker and the Tapestry of Truth. Devoted to the legacies of the High Lords of Dobrai, they are arcanists and sorcerers who seek the forgotten lore and artifacts of the High Lords. Some merely want the prosaic profits from the lost artifacts, while others seek greater power.
Children of the Ribbon (N)
In many cultures, the next apocalypse is going to be heralded by the falling of the Ribbon. For the Children of the Ribbon, this is more than mere fancy. An apocalyptic cult, they believe the ribbon is measure of the world’s life. A judge of the people’s caretaking of Aer’ath. They believe that a knife’s edge balance must be preserved between nature and civilization, between good and evil. It is this tenuous balance that keeps the Ribbon from falling.
Order of the Wyrmwood (LG)
A monastic order of the Dhomestic faith, their keeps can be found scattered throughout the Iesadhe Empire and in the hinterlands of the peninsula. Their purpose is primarily to spread the word of Dhom, but as exemplars of all that is good. In times of peace, they hunt demons and other evils in the world; during times of war, they are the martial arm of the empire. Notably, they frequently find themselves facing off against the Tapestry of Truth.
Within the Six Cities Confederacy of the Sheinar Peninsula, many believe that the merchant houses are the true power brokers. Economic powerhouses, their political powers relative to the local governments tend to vary. Alliances shift on a regular basis as they vie for greater power and wealth. Below are nine of the most notable merchant houses, each with numerous subsidiaries. These can also be chosen as Icons.
House Irongsong (LN) Based in the city of Conmaeir, House Ironsong is led by Daneil Ironsong IV. Their primary sphere of influence is martial. Manufacturers of weapons and armor, Ironsong sells it wares to anyone who can pay the necessary coin. In addition, they maintain the Blacksong Legion, mercenaries for hire who operate within the peninsula and have recently been contracted to the Empire of Iesadhe.
House Lardhev(NE) maintains complete authority over the city-state of Vente. Lacking any specific sphere of influence, the House has its hands in scores of ventures and aggressively competes with others. The matriarch of the House, Lady Sephilia Lardhev is a sorceress of some renown.
House Rising Sun (N) Based in the City-State of Sheinar, House Rising Sun trades in few physical commodities, operating more as information brokers. This small, but important house, is led by Alejhande Dol.
House Kaethari (LN) Based in Chalesion, House Kaethari maintains strong control over lumber and agriculture. Their primary commodity is the hallucinogenic weed, Tobasach.
House Dhove-Fheisal (LE) Based in Faeil Dar and led by the avaricious Con de’ Fheisal, emerged from the conflicted-ridden marriage of the two reigning families of the city. Since that marriage, they have consolidated nearly all the trade occurring in Faeil Dar. Oppressive in their dealing with those who work for them and brutal in their response to those compete against them, any moral compass has long been shattered. There is nothing in which they do not trade.
House Miansakh (LN) Based in Ebsom, House Miansakh is not a large House, but their sphere of influence – shipping – gives them far greater reach. They are led by Gared Miansakh.
House Rovenhar (N) Based in Sheinar, House Rovenhar is led by a Halfling wizard known simply as Roven. The house trades in magical artifacts and relics.
House Troibandhe (LN) Based in Sheinar, House Troibandhe’s primary sphere of influence is banking and insurance. Often these services are rendered to the other trading houses, but they also maintain banks throughout the peninsula. The House is led by Jaseph Troibandhe.
House Reyhansila (LG) House Reyhansila is led by the Steel Dragon, Nurcay. Due to her influence, the House maintains strict guidelines for trade and commerce and frequently speaks against the more oppressive legal recommendations put forth by House Stonelyre. House Reyhansila trade in a broad array of commodities, but their primary are of influence is mining of precious metals and gems. House Reyhansila has close ties to the dwarves of Ironbreak Mountains.