(Originally from http://parsantium.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/parsantiums-icons-no-1-the-basileus/ by Rich Green)
The Basileus, a Bathuran word meaning “sovereign”, is the absolute ruler of the Free City of Parsantium and its surrounding territories. His is an hereditary title, passed down the male line, and his authority is said to derive from the divine will of the god Helion.
“Parsantium is the greatest city in the known world and will remain so while I sit on its throne”
In the Great Palace in the Palace Ward of the Free City of Parsantium.
The current Basileus is Corandias XVIII the Lion-Blooded; he has been on the throne for ten years and is a direct descendant of Corandias I the Magnificent. Proud of his ancestry, he is fiercely determined to protect Parsantium and its people at all costs: the city must never again be allowed to suffer the indignity of falling to its enemies. Corandias brings great energy to his mission. He is a short, stocky and physically powerful man in his thirties who conducts himself with a confidence that borders on arrogance, though he is both handsome and charismatic enough to get away with it. Usually calm and businesslike, he has a violent temper when pushed too far, most often by his maddeningly contrary and beautiful wife, the Despoina Thecia.
ADVENTURERS & THE ICON
The city’s bloated Imperial bureaucracy sometimes finds it expedient to hire adventurers to undertake missions on its behalf; more often than not this involves a trip into the dangerous Hidden Quarter below the city streets. Capable and experienced adventuring bands may find themselves approached by one of the three Tribunes or the Prefect. High level adventurers in good standing may be granted a royal audience and entrusted with a challenging mission on behalf of the Crown.
As Helion’s chosen ruler on earth, the Basileus enjoys the loyal support of the church and Archbishop. He can rely on military backing from the Platinum Knights who are sworn to defend civilization from the unwashed hordes of evil humanoids who frequently ravage its borders. From time to time, the Basileus meets secretly with the Dragon in one of her many guises to listen to intelligence on plots that might endanger Parsantium.
The criminal gangs of the Hidden Quarter controlled by the Boss of All Bosses are a constant thorn in the Basileus’s side. The Rajah dreams of retaking the throne of Parsantium, formerly Dhak Janjua.
Parsantium has been ruled by a Basileus since its conquest 860 years ago by Corandias the Magnificent and the armies of the Bathuran Empire; a 200 foot tall bronze colossus depicting the first Basileus still stands in the centre of the city. In the centuries that followed, dozens of men (and a handful of women) have held the position, sometimes acceding to the throne as a legitimate heir, sometimes following the assassination or exile of the previous incumbent. Corandias the Lion-Blooded became Basileus after his elder brother, Iosephus II, lost his life in a tragic hunting accident.
THE TRUE DANGER
Everything will be alright while Parsantium remains at the heart of trade in the known world.
Art by Marc Radle