Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Wives of Barago

Another post about Lon Barago, but also a continuation of Forms of Government.


King Barago was the first king of Lon Barago.  After his death, his son ruled, and his son after that.

But with each generation, the wisdom of Barago faded, and his bloodline thinned.  Anabriss, the second wife of Barago, was wise in the ancient arts of the earth, and knew of a method by which the bloodline may be restored. She was the first Wife of Barago. The old widow orchestrated all that followed.

The current king of Lon Barago (the grandson) was led out into the woods. His tongue was cut out and he was fed leshy grapes, so that he would live out the rest of his days as a beast. From then on, he was given to the royal swineherd for keeping. (Although he would recover some of his faculties at the Isle of Pigs, much later.)

A princess of Asria was selected to become the next Wife of Barago. Her name was Immidia. The royal tombs were opened, and Immidia lay with the corpse of Barago. When she was discovered to be pregnant, it was declared that she would be the steward of the throne until her son was old enough to rule.

Other women were married to Barago in the same way. Some were of noble birth. Others were of common birth, elevated quickly and secretly by Anabriss. The new wives lay with the great patriarch in the same way, and concieve in the same way. There are many Wives now, and many Sons.

Thus was the bloodline restored.

Present Day

In the highest tower of the Aurubel, you will find the Wives of Barago. They meet in a green-carpeted room. There are nine of them. A new Wife is selected at intervals known only to the Wives. Sometimes a decade may elapse without any new Wife. Other times a two are selected in a single year. New Wives may be selected from the political elite. Or they may be selected from among the common folk.

The King of Lon Barago is always a Prince of Barago, selected by the Wives from among their children. (On a several occasions, a Princess of Barago was elevated in a similar way. In the most famous example, Princess Heliota was crowned King Heliota, and later took a wife from among the dukes of Hawkwind.)

The Kings of Lon Barago do not need to worry about producing worthy heirs, or educating them. That is all taken care of by the Wives. And at any given time, there are several Children of Barago in the green-carpeted tower, being educated and appraised by the Wives. Only the most exceptional are even given this honor.

So great is the power of the Wives, that they have even commanded the current king to step down, in order that a favored son may be installed.

The authority of the Wives is the authority of Barago. The women are all necromancers of no small talent. They have conjured Barago on at least three occasions in order to reinforce their decisions.

The offspring of Barago are pale, which befits their unnatural conception. During full moons they fall into deep slumbers, and cannot be awakened. They suffer from seizures and are predisposed to suck their thumbs when they are thinking. Those who are not selected to become king are often given positions in the king's cabinet. Several are sent to the White Temple or the (now destroyed) Red Temple. Most are infertile, but some have gone on to have children of their own.

The Wives are intensely private, and their inner workings are closely guarded. It is known that seniority and necromantic ability play a role in a woman's authority within the Green Tower. The Wives are not commonly seen except at holidays and festivals, where several of them occupy ceremonial roles.

One Princess of Barago is Barileah, who is an accomplished bard. She has published a small book of poetry called The Silver River Songs.

Fia, from Elden Ring


The commonly accepted opinion is that Wives are a cabal of necromancers who have established a way to perform post-organic conception, and that everything is as it seems. Their children certainly seem to share many features, which supports the possibility.

The alternate theory is that the Wives are deceiving the whole city. Women are indoctrinated into the Green Tower as needed. The wives spend an uneventful night sleeping in the tomb. Pregnant women are fed certain herbs to ensure that the child is born with pale skin. The necromantic events are falsified or exaggerated--certainly no great necromantic demonstrations have occurred in the last living generation. In this respect, they would be no different from any other oligarchy, being the center of power in a system that includes the Church, the nobility, and the even the king.

[sidebar] Necromancy is not considered immoral by the Church. What is immoral is the raising of the dead, since it requires unclean spirits to be invited into a corpse.[/sidebar]

If it is all true, however, there is one last agent who has not been well-considered thus far: the first king himself.  Is he well-represented by the Wives?  They were created to address a current political need.  Or is the old king frustrated by the Wives, his true wishes twisted by their machinations?

And of course, the Church already takes a dim view of necromancy under the best circumstances.  Their acceptance of royoal necrogeniture in Lon Barago was a necessary concession made to secure peace at the end of a war.  If the Church grows strong enough in Lon Barago, they may succeed in breaking the Green Tower entirely.


  1. If the question is well posed to the players first thing they will try to speak with the dead with the king.

    This looks like a very fragile form of oligrachy. Fragile is good, it means players can break it, breaking things is fun.

    There should be a celebration to the first king. Maybe one where his body is displayed to the public (so the players can organize something to accuse the wives)

    1. Damn if it powerful to quote the bible. I need to find a collection of bilbical saying (or latin) to annoy people around me.

    2. I;m honored. But the PCs would try to sneak at night to speak with the king. Which is actually a very fun encounter to play

  2. A bit confused, is a Princess of Barago the same as a Wife of Barago? Are they the daughters of the Wes, rando nobility?

    1. I think they'd be daughters of the wives. Rando royalty and alliance-making wives. Maybe important agents of the Green Tower abroad.

  3. This is unironically my real world ideology. The decline of bloodlines and eventual collapse of meritocracy can all be avoided with the technology available to us now.