The Basileus is the first of fifteen icons I created for my 13th Age Parsantium campaign. These movers and shakers should also prove useful for GMs running Parsantium games using the 13th Age icon relationship rules with other incarnations of the world’s bestselling fantasy RPG – or indeed anyone using the setting.
The Basileus, a Bathuran word meaning “sovereign”, is the absolute ruler of the Free City of Parsantium and its surrounding territories. His is an hereditary title, passed down the male line, and his authority is said to derive from the divine will of the god Helion.
“Parsantium is the greatest city in the known world and will remain so while I am the Basileus.”
In the Great Palace in the Palace Ward of the Free City of Parsantium.
The current Basileus is Corandias XVIII the Lion-Blooded; he has been on the throne for ten years and is a direct descendant of Corandias I the Magnificent. Proud of his ancestry, he is ercely determined to protect Parsantium and its people at all costs: the city must never again be allowed to suffer the indignity of falling to its enemies.
Corandias brings great energy to his mission. He is a short, stocky and physically powerful male human in his thirties, who conducts himself with a confidence that borders on arrogance, though he is handsome and charismatic enough to get away with it. Usually calm and businesslike, he has a violent temper when pushed too far, most often by his maddeningly contrary and beautiful wife, the Despoina Thecia.
ADVENTURERS & THE ICON
The city’s bloated Imperial bureaucracy sometimes finds it expedient to hire adventurers to undertake missions on its behalf; more often than not this involves a trip into the dangerous Hidden Quarter below the city streets. Capable and experienced adventuring bands may find themselves approached by the Prefect, or one of the three Tribunes who govern the city’s quarters. High-level adventurers in good standing may be granted a royal audience and entrusted with a challenging mission on behalf of the Crown.
CHAMPIONS & FOLLOWERS
The Basileus has the whole weight of Parsantium’s vast and convoluted government behind him, from his three most senior officials in the Triumvirate (the Prefect, the Royal Exchequer and the Strategos) down to the lowliest administrators in the city’s labyrinthine bureaucracy.
As Helion’s chosen ruler on earth, the Basileus enjoys the loyal support of the Church and Archbishop. He can rely on military backing from the Platinum Knights, who are sworn to defend civilization from the hordes of evil humanoids who frequently ravage its borders. From time to time, the Basileus meets secretly with the Dragon in one of her many guises to listen to intelligence on plots that might endanger Parsantium.
The criminal gangs of the Hidden Quarter, controlled by the Boss of All Bosses, are a constant thorn in the Basileus’s side. The Rajah dreams of retaking his city, Dhak Janjua, now known as Parsantium.
Parsantium has been ruled by a Basileus since its conquest 860 years ago by Corandias the Magnificent and the armies of the Bathuran Empire; a 200-foot-tall bronze colossus depicting the first Basileus still stands at the centre of the city. In the centuries that followed, dozens of men (and a handful of women) have held the position, sometimes acceding to the throne as a legitimate heir, sometimes following the assassination or exile of the previous incumbent. Corandias the Lion-Blooded became Basileus after his elder brother, Iosephus II, lost his life in a tragic hunting accident.
THE TRUE DANGER
Everything will be all right provided the Basileus can prevent tensions between Parsantium and her influential neighbours across the Corsairs’ Sea from spiralling into war.
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