Once again we present additional information for Critical Hit listeners. Today we will look at the remaining departments of the Sage Coast’s Six-Star System, along with some cultural notes.
Don’t forget about Part 1, if you haven’t read it.
The Department of Health and War
The Department of Health and War has the largest military force in the Sage Coast, they are tasked with protecting the country’s borders and to deal with certain internal threats. Also it is their duty to promote the health and well-being of the populace. These two concepts may seem at odds with each other, but bureaucratically speaking they work well, especially along the axis of transportation. Troops need to be moved, just like medicine and supplies need to be moved, it is this ability to mobilize that gives this department its great strength. It is also helpful that they recently managed to wrest regulation of narcotics and other drugs away from the Secretariat on Holidays and Local Commerce, which has greatly increased their revenue.
The Department of Health and War has 55 elected officials.
Head Officer: Chief of the Department of Health and War
Other Officers: Primary Health Officer, Primary War Officer, Primary Adjutant to the Departments
Seat: Eldest Hill (Formerly Coastfall)
Insignia: A red circle with six equidistant triangles along its circumference pointing out.
Military Force: You could say that, unlike the other departments, The Department of Health and War is more like several military organizations united under one agency; The Borderguard protects the nation’s borders, the Order of Mysteries seeks out supernatural threats, The Cobalt Swords is a group that specifically protects medics and the injured during battles, The Division of Highways or “The Horseshoe Army” is perhaps the heart of the Deparment of Health and War, being the transportation division for all other sub-departments.
The Secretariat on Holidays and Local Commerce
The Secretariat manages internal commerce, they also mint the sage coast’s coins and approve other forms of currency. They are locked in a constant rivalry with their sister department The Office on Diplomacy and Foreign Commerce as the area in which one ends and the other begins is very nebulous, at least when it comes to imported goods. In a recent vote the Secretariat lost their ability to regulate psychoactive substances to the Department of Health and War. This has caused a lot of departmental strife which has begun to show. The secretariat’s other job is to regulate all public parades, holidays and other uses of public spaces for entertainment and religious purposes. This means that religious organizations must go through the Secretariat in order to have their holidays legally legitimized. The secretariat on Holidays and Local Commerce has 43 elected officials, down from 52 when they still had a narcotic subdivision.
Head Officer: The Secretary on Holidays and Local Commerce
Other Officers: Beef and Poultry Czar, Pottery Czar, Religious Liaison to the Pentatheon, Religious Liaison to the Dark Council, Religious Liaison to Druidic Orders and other Cults.
Insignia: A silver eight pointed star with a circle (or a hole) in the center
Seat: Fin’s Cove (Formerly Coastfall)
Military Force: Like the Ministry of Crime and Charity most of the Secretariat’s efforts concentrate in keeping peace in urban areas. As such, its modest-sized force, the Silverhelms are rarely seen outside of The Sage Coast’s cities. Concerned with fostering trade the Silverhelms often perch themselves atop buildings and watch over the bazaars and marketplaces of the Sage Coast, firing warning arrows at potential criminals, and should the criminal not be dissuaded following up with a non-warning shot.
The Office on Diplomacy and Foreign Commerce
The Office on Diplomacy and Foreign Commerce, or “The Foreign Office” as many call it, is in charge of reaching out to other countries (and country-like entities) and forge relationships to foster peace and trade. Currently The Foreign Office has a consulate in Diamond Throne and The Seven Clans Total Control Area, as well as many trade advisors that deal with those nations’ merchants. They have also been reaching out to certain tribes in the freelands and have an initiative to establish better trade relations with the elven bands of the continent. The Office on Diplomacy and Foreign Commerce is always struggling against its sister department, The Secretariat on Holidays and Local Commerce, often having to levy sanctions back and forward to compensate for the much more conservative policies of the Secretariat. The recent unbalancing of the Secretariat is clearly an opportunity that the Foreign Office will take advantage of.
The Office on Diplomacy and Foreign Commerce has 64 Elected officials.
Head Officer: The Home Consul
Other Officers: Head Tarif Auditor, Representative to Diamond Throne, Representative to the Seven Clans.
Insignia: A Yellow Pentagon
Seat: Fin’s Cove
Military Force: The Mottley Brotherhood is the common term for “The Office of Diplomacy and Foreign Commerce’s Protection Stipend Initiative” which is simply an amount of money that diplomats and envoys can spend to hire Sage Coast or local mercenaries to protect themselves on their travels. The Foreign Office is the only department that does not explicitly have a military force. That said there are rumors of an organization whose emblem is a pair of spectacles (Very reminiscent of a cobra’s hood) that operates surreptitiously in other countries. Some rumors link this organization to the Office on Diplomacy and Foreign Commerce, but no dignitary has ever given these rumors any credence.
Magic and Religion
Arcane Magic is alive and well in the Sage Coast and much of it has been incorporated into daily life. Although very expensive, arcane casters are available to cast certain rituals (Regulated by The Secretariat). Most of the populace does not subscribe to any religion, so the Pentatheon and the Dark Council have little sway in the Sage Coast. That said, they still have a presence. Priests in the sage coast are often regarded more as warriors than spiritual advisors, since the government takes care of charity and other tasks that are often left to the clergy in other lands.
Spirit Magic is not unheard of but chances are if you find a druid or Shaman they are just passing through to get to the Seven Clans Total Control Area.
The sage coast has the most diverse population of any recognized nation on the Central Continent. Although humans are still the majority, tieflings and dragonborn together are about half of the population. The darker times of The Bureaucracy in the Sage Coast were full of dragonborn attempting to suppress tiefling influence and viceversa. That has dropped significantly, and the current triumvirate actually features a tiefling, a human and a dragonborn. Dwarves are not uncommon and half-orcs are numerous enough that most Sage Coast citizens have seen them at some point in their lives. Since a couple of major elven bands move through the territory Half Elves are also around, but they are rare enough to be a novelty to most people. Other, stranger creatures also inhabit the cities of the Sage Coast, realizing that since a lot of the legislature revolves around balancing tiefling and dragonborn influence someone who doesn’t show up explicitly in the books is likely to get ahead.
Names in the Sage Coast
Despite the racial tension between some of the Sage Coasts inhabitants there are a few unifying cultural features. The most common is their names. Children are given their father or mother’s surname, usually whomever is most influential, followed by the name of a folk hero from Sage Coast tradition, usually one whose story aligns with the things they want the child to accomplish, then a second name to differentiate them from other people with the same ‘heroic name’. There are 12 major heroic names, each with an ascribed personality or career; Rul (a diplomat), Marg (a bureaucrat), Fin (a warrior and sailor), Bel (An animal tamer), Ock( A Swordsmith), Voo (A healer), Kigo (a patient warrior), Ran (A rich sailor), Foog (A very tall man), Lun (A clever rogue), Din (A beautiful girl), Kep (a wise elder). These names also feature into many sage coast idioms, for example “Wise as Kep”
Coastfall (destroyed)- The former crown jewel of the bureaucracy, Coastfal was a city built to order as a place to meet, discuss and compromise. Its loss (as well as the deaths of thousands of inhabitants) is something the Sage Coast is still coping with as a nation.
Eldest Hill – An ancient city, regarded by many as the birthplace of the Six-Star System. Most of the bureaucracy relocated there after Coastfall’s destruction, this city is currently undergoing a huge revitalization.
Fin’s Cove – The biggest port in The Sage Coast is largely controlled by the Comittee on Fishing and Sailing (although they have a strong presence in every port). This city greatly caters to foreign commerce and is regarded by many as the most cosmopolitan city in the continent.
Dream Tower – Dream Tower is built around a tower that predates any written records The Sage Coast has. Many think that it is the sole remaining structure of the ancient Tiefling capital. Whether the story is true or not seems to be irrelevant to tourists.
Sufi’s Fen – Although the tragic loss of Coastfall weighs heavy on the minds of many, it is the living inhabitants of Sufi’s fen who have it hardest. Once a popular port whose lands also boasted huge quantities of rice production, the weather problems caused by the Lunar Event blindsided its leaders. This city’s ghettos are quickly spreading outward and many feel that the Six-Star System has abandoned it to its fate.
Basalt – A Well-off and connected city, Basalt’s shores are rocky and dangerous for large vessels, however this has allowed them to market their coastline as prime vacation real estate, a move that has brought much wealth to the city.
The Lunar Event devastated Coastfall, the capital of the Sage Coast, as well as other smaller cities. This caused a lot of the governmental departments relocate to other cities. Needless to say, it has been a huge financial strain for the Six-Star System. Many citizens of the Sage Coast have turned things around, though. The highways may be full of lunar monstrosities and crops may be suffering from the strange weather phenomena but mercenary work and imports are up from previous years (for those reasons). There is also a thriving criminal community largely centered around smuggling people who want to avoid the bureaucracy.
The current political seat of the Sage Coast is Eldest Hill.