The Land of Assentia
The Land of Assentia is a vast land region encompassing the Western half of the Continent of Apsis. The land is divided into tribal nations according to specific geographical regions. Every nation is named after their particular land region and is allied with at least one other tribal nation within close proximity. The primary purpose for such alliances is for trade and commerce, though it also provides allies for defense should war breakout between other tribes. Within each tribal nation are smaller sister tribes, often named after animals or landmarks where they are located. Each Tribal Nation is governed through a tribal council, consisting of each sister tribe's Tribal Chieftain, Tribal Warlord, and Tribal Shaman.
A Tribal Chieftain represents his tribe's interests and rules as its political leader. He establishes the laws, decides on courses of migration, how best to provide for the tribe, and carry out the punishments decided upon by his own tribal council for those who have broken the laws. The Tribal Chieftain is usually of the Fighter, Ranger, or Barbarian class, and is always counselled by his tribe's Warlord and Shaman.
A Tribal Warlord acts as the tribe’s military leader, though he will often defer to the direction of his Tribal Chieftain. He commands the warriors in all war situations, is well trained in large scale battles, warfare strategies, and defensive tactics. The warlord is usually the most powerful and most experienced warrior of the tribe, and comes from the Fighter, Ranger, Barbarian, or Slayer class.
The Tribal Shaman is the spiritual leader or medicine man of the tribe. He (or she) wield the magic of the gods, and use it to the tribe's advantage. Whether accompanying warriors into battle, seeing into the future, or curing sick and afflicted tribe members, shamans command respect from both the leaders and members of the tribe. Shamans are generally of the shaman class, though they can also be druids, oracles, or warpriests. However, occasionally a shaman is neither of these, but is a sorcerer, summoner, or witch. In any case, such arcane shamans are extremely rare among the tribal nations of Assentia because most are unable to heal, cast out spirits, or perform other acts of divine magic.
Within each tribe are strong and powerful warriors who far exceed others in ability and fighting prowess. These warriors are considered the elite and stand in a group all their own. Due to their high status, they have been given the honored title of Tribal Champion. In game terms, these Tribal Champions are at least 8th level and those wishing to play such characters often select the Tribal Champion multiclass archetype.
While the tribes of Assentia appear under patriarchal rule, it is in truth matriarchal in nature. As the men govern the affairs of tribes outwardly, the true power of leadership and decision making is held by the women who keep the oral traditions and cultural knowledge of the tribes for future generations. It is they who council the Tribal Chieftains and Tribal Councils from behind the scenes, as mothers and grandmothers.
The Grand Tournament
Among the tribal nations of Assentia, a special competition called The Grand Tournament takes place. This tournament occurs every five years, and is held at a permanent centralized meeting place 50 miles southwest of Sousesnia in the Sousé Grasslands. The winners of this great contest gain recognition across the lands of Assentia, as well as an increase in trade. The Assembly of Chieftains oversees the proceedings of the Grand tournament. It begins with any number of individual teams from the twelve tribal nations, who wish to enter the tournament.
Each land region must have at least one team of no more than 15 members who have prepared for the testing stage. The Assembly of Chieftains then test each team’s prowess and abilities to determine whether they are eligible to enter the tournament. Each team must pass three challenges; the challenge of The Heart, The Mind, and The Hand. The tribal teams that pass the tests then compete among the other teams from their respective geographical regions, with the single winner representing their tribal nation at The Grand Tournament.
At the Grand Tournament, the twelve teams representing their tribal nations battle for dominance. Each team is randomly chosen to participate in a special challenge against one or more teams, depending upon the challenge. The winner of each challenge continues to battle others until three teams remain. It is these three who then compete in the final challenge called the Grand Event. During the contests prior to the Grand Event, a