Something of a catchall category, “adventurer” is often the polite term used to describe someone who gets into and out of trouble without having a specific function within the empire or a discernible skill set other than a knack for getting into and out of trouble. They are just as often called “vagabonds” and “heroes” depending on their level of skill and success.
Though stories and songs focus on the exploits of warriors and wizards, war and conflict is not the Empire’s preferred way of expansion. An enemy is something you hurt yourself destroying while an ally is something that you gives you strength when you in strengthen it.
The Ravnivori Empire depends on machines as much as it does magic. Whether ballista, catapults, cannons or other siege machinery, the complex mechanics that go into Void Runners or more mundane machines like elevators and printing presses, the Empire is in a time of great innovation. Engineers are the men and women who take wood and metal, steam and electricity and turn them into these wonders of machinery.
The Void is unimaginably vast, containing countless planets, each one so large and diverse that an entire lifetime could be spent exploring it. Some people are fascinated by this fact and are drawn to new horizons. Some of these individuals pick a world or nation and spend a lifetime exploring and documenting it, adding to the knowledge of the Empire while others are more restless and travel from one world and nation to another, always seeking new experiences.
While many of the wonders of the Ravnivori Empire are purely mechanical as many or more depend on some form of magic. This combination of mechanical parts with arcane components is known as Mechanomancy and it can often lead to results greater than can be achieved by either of its parts. The men and women who practice this art and science are known as Mechanomancers and they are responsible for everything from the ships that ply the Void to indoor plumbing that provides hot water on demand. Many consider the pinnacle of this practice to be the creation of a Mechanid. Of course, this is usually a bittersweet accomplishment as it means watching one’s creation literally develop a mind of its own and many Mechanomancers are not eager to give up a useful (and expensive to create) servant, even if it does give them bragging rights with their peers.
Taking goods that are cheap in one place and transporting them to another place where they are expensive and taking advantage of the profit is perhaps the second oldest profession. That has not changed now that the Ravnivori are able to fly through the Void. In fact, there is a whole new class of merchants and traders who make their living by either taking goods made in the Empire or on Retra and selling them outside the Empire or in the colonies or vice versa. While the dangers are greater, so are the profits.
All three nations that make up the Ravnivori Empire had some sort of feudal system in place. Though Ravnivorous cares more for talent than blood, those systems have not completely expired. There is still a certain amount of respect provided to people from noble families and they often own a great deal of land or other resources. But times are changing and many nobles have to struggle to retain their place of privilege in the world in the face of plebeians who now have equal rights. Additionally, there is a new breed of noble have carved land and power out of the possibilities of the Void, often through sheer willpower and skill.
There are many gods in the Empire and even more in the vastness of the Void around it. While these gods are sometimes distant and silent, others are active participants in the lives of their followers. Priests can range from simple officiants who perform the rituals necessary for their church and congregation to mighty magic wielders able to perform miracles and demonstrate the divine power of their deity in a very real way.
While the Ravnivori are quite proud of their Void Navy, it is miniscule compared to their ocean going navy and even smaller compared to some of the collections of Void going ships owned by other nations. To help counteract this discrepancy in power, they have taken to providing letters of Marque to several amenable independent Void Runners. These individuals have specific instructions not to attack any of the larger Void powers in the Ravnivori name and largely serve as system patrols and blockade runners, but it is likely only a matter of time before a ship with one of these letters attacks an Elven Navy ship.
Ravnivori ships are welcome to take on letters of Marque from other nations as well, especially if these nations are allies or likely candidates for expansion. These individuals are expected to keep the best interests of the Empire in mind, however and know better than to pick a fight with any nation that would be a true danger to the Ravnivori.
Some people don’t need arcane study or faith in some deity to change the fabric of reality. All they need is their own strength of will and inherent abilities. Psychic abilities often manifest early and with no obvious explanation. This leads to them being the subjects of superstition and suspicion. Sometimes feared as demons, sometimes worshipped as gods, often called freaks, psychics are often outsiders who live lonely lives and either become exactly what society expects of them or work desperately to prove they are not.
Whether they’re an old salty dog expanding his horizons from the oceans of a terrestrial world to the boundless vistas of the Void or a fresh kid with stars in his eyes, sailors are, as they ever were, the backbone of the Ravnivori Navy. This hasn’t changed since ships have begun to fly. A trusty crew is the most valuable asset to any captain and wise leaders will go out of their way to put together a group of sailors that are dependable and trustworthy. Becoming a sailor is a good way to feed a hunger for travel and is a respected profession in the Empire if one is willing to accept the dangers that come with the job.
Knowledge is power and knowledge of an opponent is power over them. It is a scout’s job to procure this power. While the traditional ideal of a man or woman who is able to live alone in the wilderness for long stretches of time, remaining hidden from the enemy and travelling fast when the time comes still stands, a new type of scout has come to prominence as well.
Able to blend in with local cultures, these jacks-of-all-trades infiltrate societies on new worlds, portraying themselves as local citizens while learning of their way of life and traditions. They then take this knowledge back to the empire so that it can be used to advance Imperial interests.
Not everyone is born rich or powerful or even works their way up to a position of prominence. In fact, the majority of Ravnivori citizens simply toil away in regular day to day lives as farmers, carpenters, carters or other mundane jobs.
But Fate has plans for even the meekest individual. Often everyday citizens are thrown into spectacular situations, and how they react to those situations determines whether they will be forgotten by history or will achieve fame or infamy. Sometimes the simplest clay has a core of the strongest steel.
Flying ships, fantastic beasts and powerful spellcasters are all well and good and can give any force an important edge in battle, but in the end what wins wars and holds territory are boots on the ground. Despite what many stories say, the life of a soldier is rarely glamorous. Generally, it is a great deal of waiting or marching interspersed with short bursts of fearsome fights for survival. Still, the Empire pays its soldiers well, and for many, the military is the best, if not the only, way to get out of a life of peasant drudgery and to see other realms and even other worlds. And for those with the talent, skill, or simple luck, the Ravnivori military can be a place where a man or woman can find fortune, glory and prestige. Also, maidens be bewitched by scars.
Sorcerer, wizard, witch, there are any number of names for those who practice the arcane arts and almost as many techniques. Whether it be someone who depends on esoteric gestures, words of power, strange rituals or implements that aid them in bending the universe to their will, the end results are the same. Sometimes meant to aid allies, sometimes meant to harm foes and sometimes meant to view the future or distant places or move to those places faster than would be normally possible, magic can turn the tide of battle and the fate of a world and Spellcasters are the individuals with this power at their proverbial fingertips. In all cases, those who practice these arts do so only with a great deal of natural talent augmented by years of study and practice.
Although the Ravnivori Empire is not a voracious conqueror, one of the Emperor’s mottos is “an Empire that is not growing is dying.” Not all expansion is done through mass battles and force of arms, though. Ravnivorous knows that the subtle hand is often the strongest and that, in any case, the application of force is only effective if directed to the correct place. For that matter, he knows that the same is true for his enemies and that the Empire must be aware of threats that are not as obvious as marching armies. As such, he has a number of agents, most overt but quite a few more covert who spend most of their time in the courts and other places of power of other nations. The overt representatives are called emissaries and spend their days and nights enjoying the upper echelons of society. The covert agents are called spies and often appear to be doing the same but spend a great deal of their time in subterfuge and stealth, garnering information they are not intended to have. It is a thrilling life but also one that is full of danger as every nation has some sort of capital punishment in place, sometimes quick and efficient, sometimes slow and excruciating for those found engaged in espionage.