The Island of Krosa

Topics: Vital Statistics Royal House Government and Law Taxes Magic Religion Education Military Food and Drink Glossary of Krosan Terms


The Royal House

The royal house of Krosa traces its descent from the legendary hero Feridun, who overthrew the demonic tyrant Zohak some 440 years ago. They call themselves the House of Zimurga, after a magical vulture (the eldest of all birds) who aided Feridun. Since the kings usually have at least four wives, and possibly some concubines, a lot of people on the island have one king or another in their ancestry. There aren't really noble houses besides the royal house, only various wealthy merchant families, whose fortunes can rise and fall within a generation or two.

Government and Law

The King (Sultan) of Krosa is considered its military commander. He is advised by his Vizier, and together they are responsible for keeping the peace, maintaining the infrastructure (roads, sewers, publicly-owned areas, bridges, the harbor, water supplies, etc.), relations with foreign powers (including the Warden of the Wood), defense of Krosa and its people, etc.

Every Tuesday the King hears major criminal cases (mostly what we would consider felonies: murder, manslaughter, treason, rape, armed robbery) and pronounces verdict and sentence. Usually, he has been briefed beforehand by the Vizier and their staff. Lesser crimes (misdemeanors) are tried by one of five Magistrates appointed by the King. The City Watch acts as the prosecution (roughly speaking) for mundane cases within the town, and the Falcons for cases where magic is involved, or the nobility, or other factors considered outside the scope of the Watch.

Every Wednesday the King hears petitions. In theory, anyone on Krosa can come to the castle and get a hearing. In practice, the Vizier's staff "screens" the applicants. A small donation can help. But they are not heartless, so someone in real need can get through even without money.

The Ulama (priests of Ela), headed by the Imam, is in charge of civil and religious law. This includes marriage, divorce, contracts, breach of contract, property rights, civil rights, debt, slavery, magic, etc. The Master of Scales, who ensures that merchants are using honest measures, answers to the Ulama and the Vizier jointly.

The Warden of the Woods (the chief druid of Krosa) acts as the leader or representative of the eastern, wild half of the island. The wild areas do not have a government per se, but the druids act as coordinators and as diplomats between civilization and jungle. Individual humans are granted specific, limited harvest rights in the wild areas, which they may sell, trade, or pass on to their heirs. These limits are enforced by the druids and all the forces they may call upon. The rights are magically inscribed on small sea shells, with a special spell known only to the Warden of the Woods.

Specific laws and customs:


The king collects a tax (2 percent of total wealth annually), and the temple of Ela collects the zakat (charitable tithe, also 2 percent of total wealth annually). This is due on the first of the year. Merchant ships coming in to trade pay a harbor tax (0.2 gp/person on the ship) that goes towards maintenance of the harbor and the navy.

The king's tax goes towards roads, walls, the Warband and the City Watch, sanitation, etc. The temple tax goes towards schools, hospices, hospitals, health care, charity for the poor, etc.

Nonbelievers must pay a special tax of 1 gp/year per adult (16 and older). This goes to the temple, as well.

Arcane magic licensing fee: 10 gp/level of spellcaster per year, plus they must pass a purity examination, to check that they have nor nor are planning to use their magic in any crimes.


Divine magic is generally accepted, as long as it is not from any evil god or demon. Arcane magic is not trusted, and subject to a yearly inspection and tax as stated above.

Magic is viewed as dangerous and corrupting. Anyone who uses magic in the commitment of any felony receives an automatic death sentence. Using magic in a lesser crime is punished by cursing, exile, and slavery. (I.e. the criminal is Cursed, then sold as a slave on the next ship out of Krosa, and may not return, on pain of death.) The spellbook of an offending wizard is burned. Also other books, scrolls, and magical paraphenalia.

Contacting a demon, devil, or evil god is considered a felony.

Appeals: only the Imam may pardon a spellcaster convicted of using magic in a crime, or reduce the sentence.


Most of the human population of Krosa follow the New Religion, locally led by the Imam. Some also devote themselves to various mystical schools (tarika), which tend toward a more emotional, visceral connection to the divine.

Month of Fasting: July

Month of Pilgrimage: October

Old religion: the Temple of the Flame (Ormaz, etc.) is only sparsely attended.

Druids: the Warden of the Wood is the leader of the druids on Krosa. It's not uncommon for the peasants to ask for the druids to bless their fields. The Warden of the Wood has the eastern, wild, half of Krosa in his charge. He negotiates with the King in determining what activities are permitted in the east. Special inheritable licenses and harvest rights are given or sold to specific people. For example, one person might get a license to harvest X amount of cinnamon each year, and have the rights to a certain area of the mountain. The druids use all their divine powers to police such licenses. It is in the interests of those who own those licenses to stop poachers, as well. People whose livelihoods depend on the wild half of Krosa often follow the naturalistic druidic religion(s).

The Sea Dragon cult: sailors and fishermen often secretly (or not so secretly) worship the Sea Dragon, sometimes while claiming to be Believers. Believers are not supposed to do this, but some do anyway.

Anahita of the Waters: same as for the Sea Dragon, above.


The clerics and scholars run a number of small neighborhood schools throughout Krosa, usually attached to the local temple of Ela. They have a major center of learning at the Madrasa.

Military and Law Enforcement

The King's Warband: the Falcons

Many of these, and all the officers, are ghazi (paladins). They are the only mounted troops on Krosa. About half their number is out patrolling the rest of the island at any given time. They number about 30, total. (Much reduced from the old days.) Most are from the nobility. They also escort the tax collectors out in the countryside.

The City Watch

The City Watch is in charge of keeping order in the town of Krosa. They also collect harbor fees and such, as well as escort the tax collectors in the city. They currently number about 50 (including secretarial staff), and are mainly commoners.

The Krosan Navy

The Krosan Navy consists of a warship in perennial need of repair, a few ex-fishing boats, and a confiscated merchant ship. Mostly they patrol the waters around the island, chasing pirates away, investigating the occasional rumor of sea monsters, and fining smugglers.

Local Law Enforcement

All the citizens in a community are expected to assist in apprehending criminals. The local priest acts as a judge. In really nasty cases, the king's Falcons may be called in.

Food and drink

People eat a lot of rice and curry. Fish and goat meat. Food is eaten with the hands. Don't mix up your toilet and eating hands!


Original material copyright © April, 2001, Celeste Chang
Revised April 5, 2001
Racial statistics and definitions are from the Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebooks, published by Wizards of the Coast.

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