Realm and Rulership

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"For the first time since the Turning, the scattered factions of Aerynth are carving out new empires and bringing order to the Age of Strife. This extensive new system allows Guilds to claim rulership over an entire realm, gaining power and prestige".

- Realm and Rulership

The game map is divided into several realms, which can be seen when hovering your mouse over continents in the World Map. Cities placed with these realms can vie for lordship, and those that succeed can upgrade their Tree of Life into a "Palace," a visible symbol of their power and prestige, and turning their city into the capital of their realm. Any realm can only have one Palace within it at a time; once claimed, a city will rule until its rivals can depose it in battle. Guilds with the power to build and maintain a Palace find that rule brings many benefits:

  • City-based bonus based on the capital's outlook: Belligerent, Mercantile, or Feudal.
  • The Guild Leader receives a title before their overhead name, from Baron or Marquis to Warlord, King, or even Emperor!
  • Leaders of Nations that rule more than one realm gain loftier titles.
  • The Guild's heraldry appears on the realm map, with the names of the guild, capital and ruler.
  • Guild Leaders can appoint Tax Collectors, who have the power to levy weekly taxes of gold and resources from every other city in the realm.

Claiming a Realm

To ascend the throne and claim control over a realm, a guild or nation leader must activate a Realm Charter in an eligible city while holding all three realm blessings.

Tree Rank

Only a Rank 7 Tree of Life can upgrade into a palace. Once the upgrade is complete, the tree is then considered Rank 8.


Preparations for the city capital must be made in the form of gold and other resources:

  • Must have a Warehouse built within the city vying for dominion of the realm
  • 5,000,000 Gold either in the Tree of Life strongbox or within the Warehouse
  • 8,000 Stone - available from any stone or metal mine
  • 8,000 Lumber - available from any lumber camp
  • 15 Galvor - available only from the metal mine on Oblivion
  • 15 Wormwood - available only from the lumber camp on Maelstrom
  • If insufficient resources exist in the Warehouse (or ToL), the upgrade will fail.

The King's Path

But it takes more than iron, stone, or even a crown to make a king. To truly rule a realm, a player must receive the mandate of the Gods themselves. Once all the necessary resources have been collected and a Realm Charter has been acquired, the would-be ruler must go on a journey to visit 3 Hermits, scattered at remote locations across each game world.

Each Hermit can grant one Blessing to the aspiring monarch: the Blessing of Power, the Blessing of Wisdom, and the Blessing of Fortune. These blessings last a limited amount of time, and will be broken if the aspiring ruler is killed or logs out of the game. Additionally, the road to power is not easy: the blessings will burden the young King until the end of his Journey, preventing magical movement, summon travel, and slowing them down.

Under the protection of the guild and or nation, the guild leader must go to all three hermits, return to their city, and activate the Realm Charter while all 3 blessings are still in effect. If all of these conditions are met, the Charter will successfully activate, transforming the Tree of Life into a Palace.

The Hermits

As described above, an aspiring monarch must visit three hermits scatter across the world before he or she can ascend. Note that each time a blessing is granted, a message is broadcast to the entire server.

A Spectre, the Hermit of Power

A Traitor, the Hermit of Fortune

An Outcast, the Hermit of Wisdom


To maintain control of a realm, the capital will automatically be charged the following materials as maintenance from their warehouse every week. If any of the following materials are not present, control of the realm will be lost.

  • 1500 Stone
  • 1500 Lumber
  • 5 Galvor
  • 5 Wormwood

Realm Charters and Types of Realms

In addition to city preparations, the Guild members will need to acquire a "Realm Charter". These come in three varieties, which define the political outlook of the Realm. The Charter type determines the appearance of the palace, and also offers a unique set of benefits and drawbacks to the realm. Rank 8 Cities automatically receive their cut of the spoils when their vassals loot mob corpses, receive mine production, or when they sell goods and services. The size of the cut depends on the type of charter used.

  • Farming: tax applies when a player loots gold from mob corpses inside the controlling realm.
  • Merchant: tax apples when spending gold on items or training in any city in the controlling realm (including NPC cities!)
  • Mining Tax:tax applies whenever a mine generates resources for a city in the realm (rounded down, minimum 1 unit)


Feudal Realms take a balanced approach to government.

  • City Asset Health Modifier: Normal
  • Upgrade Time Modifier: Normal
  • Maintenance Cost Modifier: Normal
  • Farming Rate: 10%
  • Merchant Rate: 5%
  • Mining Tax Rate: 10%


Mercantile Realms are focused on trade and commerce, putting wealth first.

  • City Asset Health Modifier: -15% Trade, not war, is the focus of these realms.
  • Upgrade Time Modifier: -10% Rapid growth is a key focus of commerce.
  • Maintenance Cost Modifier: -10%
  • Farming Rate: 15%
  • Merchant Rate: 10%
  • Mining Tax Rate: 15%


Belligerent realms focus their efforts on war and siege, placing might above other goals.

  • City Asset Health Modifier: +15% Warlike realms focus on withstanding sieges, and build sturdy structures.
  • Upgrade Time Modifier: +10% stronger buildings are harder to build.
  • Maintenance Cost Modifier: +10% maintaining a city on a warlike footing is expensive.
  • Farming Rate: 5%
  • Merchant Rate: 5%
  • Mining Tax Rate: 5%

Non-Capital Benefits

If someone has claimed your realm, they can tax your intake of farming, merchant sales & mining, removing the listed percentage of resources and gold. If your realm capital chooses to do so, your city will share in its asset health, upgrade time, and maintenance cost modifier adjustments listed above.

Benefits of Rule

Once a realm has been claimed, the Guild controlling its capital city gains several benefits:

  • The Realm "welcoming message" names the ruler, their title, and the ruling guild.
  • The guild leader of the capital city gains a title based on Charter type, that appears before their name in game.
  • Clicking on the realm in the World Map opens an info HUD containing the name of the ruler, ruling guild, and the realm type.
  • Special bonuses based on the realm's outlook, as detailed above.
  • Realm capitals receive automatic tax shares of gold looted from mobs, vendor sales, and mine products sent to cities in their realm.

Losing Control of a Realm

There are two ways a capital can downgrade back into a Tree of Life, putting that realm back "up for grabs":

  • If a capital cannot pay its maintenance costs, it goes into default. After one week in default, it will downgrade unless sufficient resources can be gathered.
  • If a Palace sustains enough damage in a siege to destroy it, it downgrades to an R7 Tree of Life, and control over the realm is lost.

Controlling Multiple Realms

If a guild that controls a realm swears fealty to another guild that rules a realm, the ruling nation increases in status. All realms controlled by one nation will highlight together when moused over, and the title of the nation ruler will upgrade (from Baron to King, from King to Emperor) when 3 or 5 realms are controlled, respectively.

A nation cannot control more than 5 realms at once, but reaching this limit is perhaps the most prestigious goal in all of Shadowbane.