Wednesday, 29 October 2014

13th Age in Csachticz − Detailed Icons, No.1: The Emperor

The Emperor is the ruler of the Empire of the One Faith, Europe's greatest kingdom, which covers Central Europe and much of the Romance-speaking areas of Southern Europe. He's also the head of many secular chivalric orders.

The capital of the empire does not have a fixed location; each new emperor chooses an imperial seat. The current capital is Burgstadt, which lies to the north-west of the Fair Kingdom.


In his castle at Burgstadt, the capital city of the Empire of the One Faith.


The current emperor, Rudolf II, was born in Wien in 1552, and has been ruling since 1576, i.e., for approximately 20 years (depending on when exactly the campaign is set), so he's well-established and his rule is unquestioned. He has never married and is rumoured to be bisexual. Even though he stalwartly supports True Faith, this may be more for political than religious reasons, as the Emperor is well-known for his interest in the occult arts and for his patronage of the Alchemist. He is also unusually tolerant of New Wayers. The Emperor, however, is a staunch opponent of the Sultan, and, at the time of the campaign, he is trying to set up a new Crusade.

The Emperor is a great protector of the arts, and there are numerous artists at his court. He also keeps a menagerie of exotic animals, botanical gardens, and Europe's most extensive "cabinet of curiosities", arranged in an encyclopaedic fashion.


Rudolf is distrustful of the Imperial bureaucracy and is often hiring adventurers for his missions. Because of his passion for the occult and for curios, these missions may have a wide range of purposes.


13C being a dark fantasy setting, Icons seldom have true allies; they rather have other Icons with whom they co-operate. The Emperor's patronage of the Alchemist has already been mentioned. The Emperor has also been known to associate with the Occultist. Given Rudolf's tolerance of New Wayers, the Emperor has closely worked with the Superintendent.
The Pope has an ancient relationship with the Emperor, as they both protect and promote the Old Way of True Faith, but this relationship is currently quite strained.


The Sultan is obviously the Emperor's main (and also oldest) antagonist; he's been conquering imperial lands for centuries, slowly moving northwards the boundary between the two great empires. The Great Boyar, on the other hand, is a new enemy, and the real clash hasn't actually happened yet.

The Emperor's brother, Archduke Matthias, is constantly scheming for the throne, helped by his right-hand man, György Thurzó. Matthias will eventually obtain the throne in 1612 after having held Rudolf prisoner in his castle in Burgstadt. Should the GM decide to use the rivalry among the two brothers as an important element of his campaign, Matthias should be 'elevated' to Icon status.


The Empire of the One Faith has been existing for centuries, almost for one millennium. It has shaped the arts, the language, the religion, the architecture of much of Europe. The Emperor is arguably the single most important Icon.


Whether they like the current incarnation of the Emperor or not, everybody recognise his authority and strive to support his rule, for the fall of the Emperor would be the fall of civilisation. This shan't happen, lest the Sultan and the Great Boyar should invade Europe's heartlands unopposed.

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