The Cimmerian setting contains many cities which are setup as independent city-states, much like Classical Greece. A few kingdom states exist and occasionally the city-states ally against a greater threat, but usually they spend their time fighting amongst themselves.
Each city-state has a different method of ruling. Royal lines, republics, caste systems, and even magical systems of government exist in the Cimmerian cities. Each city description details the method of governance in that city.
Cimmeria contains two large kingdoms which rule over multiple cities, the Aractrashan Kingdom and the Xorian Kingdom. Aractrash exists within the Aractrashan Jungle and along the eastern shore of the Caspian. Xoria dominated the western half of Cimmeria and until recently was expanding into the east.
Persia is the other major player in Cimmeria politics. Due to problems on their western borders with the Greeks the Persians have stayed out of Cimmeria since the First Alliance War. However, Xoria’s weakening after losing the Second Alliance War may provide an opportunity for the foreign juggernaut.
Over the last fifty years Xoria rapidly expanded its borders. Starting with the control of just three city-states the Kingdom’s influence spread to encompass half of Cimmeia in just two generations of rulers. This expansion was begun by King Jevaninada the First. The events of the First Alliance War resulted in Jevaninada’s death, but his pregnant wife, Queen Anajakaze, continued the war in his absence. She gave birth to a son, Jevaninada II, during the war and she swiftly concluded hostilities. The Queen continued to add to Xoria’s borders during her regency for her son.
When it came time to relinquish her regency, Anajakaze refused. Prince Jevaninada II resorted to violence to reclaim his throne, but the battle between him and his mother was interrupted by a draconic intruder. Blendegad the Reaper, the vampiric human turned red dragon, attacked the royal pair, slaying Anajakaze and draining Jevaninada’s blood. Jevaninada’s divine royal blood mixed with that of Blendegad forming a new type of daywalker vampire. Jevaninada II arose as the first dragovinian and the new King of Xoria.
Blendegad established himself as the new god of Xoria with Jevaninada II as his living avatar. The two dubbed their new religion Dragoviniysm. The strong were rewarded with dragovinian status. The weak were fed upon once a week by those gifted with immortality. With the Olympians in disarray, the new Xorian hegemony was free to push into eastern Cimmeria, taking ground from the Second Alliance.
Aractrash is a kingdom in its infancy. King Staynard is only the third in his royal line to sit on the throne in the capital of Yuettencal. His father, King Ballard, died recently in an assassination attempt. Ballard had hoped to keep Aractrash out of the Second Alliance War with Xoria, but his death has forced Staynard to join the Second Alliance. While inexperienced, Staynard is surrounded by many competent and loyal advisors who provide guidance as his leaderships skills develop.
The Second Alliance was formed by Amalganus of Jipangu in response to the rise of Dragovinyism in Xoria. Over time the organization grew to include Jipangu, Bradel Fields, Shalerton, Restnor’s Point, Shalemstead, Jord, and Phoenix. After war broke out with Xoria, Mars’ Oasis, the rest of the dwarven people, and the Aractrash Kingdom also joined the fight.
During the war the Second Alliance was a loose cooperation between the allies to provide aid and assistance as possible. The terms were loose enough that committing soldiers to particular battles was essentially voluntary. The strongest contrast is between Shalerton and Bradel Fields. Shalerton kept most of its forces at home for defense, while Bradel Fields participated in battle after battle and ultimately was wiped off the map in the destruction of the Second Alliance War.
Throughout the war, Arendil of Jipangu and Astyanax of Bradel Fields were the guiding forces for the Second Alliance, but at the conclusion of the fighting two new men came forth to take the spotlight. These were Amalius of Jipangu, son of Amalganus, and Danar the Hero of the Dragon War returned to life.
The orcs live east of Cimmeria in the river basin of the eastern Terror Mountains. The orcs are split into many different tribes ranging from 150 to 25,000 people. The tribes often fight each other, destroying some and creating new ones. Each tribe has a rite of passage for entering adulthood. There are also a population of clanless orcs that have failed their rite of passage or are descended from an orc who failed. The clanless make up about half of orcs living in the Orc Lands. A few clanless work as second class citizens within the tribes, but most clanless live on the fringes of society.
The tribes are nominally overseen by the Maglibarjil. The Maglibarjil is composed of elders from each of the many orcs tribes. The group supposedly oversees all activity within the Orc Lands and provides a unifying force to the tribes. While that was true many years ago, the Maglibarjil have no real power to enforce their decrees today. Their only remaining real power is the process of officially recognizing a tribe or removing a tribe’s legitimacy once it’s rite of passage can no longer be completed.
The orcs coexist with a large number of goblins. The goblins do many of the menial tasks for the orcs, such as laundry, cleaning dishes, and weeding. In return the goblins are protected by the orcs from monsters and other outside threats. Otherwise the two races exist as two separate societies, overlapping rather than integrated. Ask a goblin or an orc what the other does when they’re out of sight and neither will know or care. Most orcs and goblins don’t even speak the same language despite living together for centuries. Orcs put their dirty clothes aside for their yearly bath and the goblins wash them without a word spoken between them, just as the orcs know not to pillage from goblins during raids. The social contract between the races persists even if actual communication is minimal and stilted.
When the Olympians first came to Cimmeria it was occupied by goblins. The Goblin War depopulated, evicted, and enslaved most of the goblins in the region. The evicted population resettled east of Cimmeria in the area now known as the Hobgoblin Lands.
During the Goblin War the goblins were blessed by their gods to occasionally give birth to a stronger variant of goblin. The most common two variants are hobgoblins and bugbears. These two subraces were valuable in the fight against the Olympian devotees, but insufficient in the end. Goblins continue to birth other goblinoids, but all the subraces breed true. Due to the superior size, strength, and intellect, hobgoblins rose to be the rulers of the goblin communities east of Cimmeria; thus the name, Hobgoblin Lands.
The Hobgoblin Lands had a moment of resurgence during the life of Kruk-Ma-Kali. He united the goblins under one goal of campaigning in Cimmeria to reclaim their homeland. His first campaign was a huge success (depending on your outlook), resulting in the complete genocide of the Dominarie Mountain Dwarves. Unfortunately for Kruk-Ma-Kali’s future plans, he was assassinated. His Empire collapsed due to infighting that continues to this day in one fashion or another.