The known continent is populated by a number of monarchies, nation-states and confederations known as Factions, modelled very loosely on various real-world historical communities, with influences from fantasy literature, films and other sources, as well as original ideas. The majority of player characters belong to one or other faction, with the exception of a group of non-aligned players collectively labelled "mercenaries." The factions average about 100 in size at Renewal (i.e. 1/8 of the average Renewal turnout of 800), but are presumed to govern (or at least represent) populations in the hundreds of thousands, appropriate to those of equivalent pre-Industrial states.
In real-world terms, each faction is run as a more or less independent club, with a small administrative team assigned by CP and internal In- and Out-of-Character hierarchies. Many of the factions host websites for their members, and several of them stage small-scale "sanctioned" events set in the Renewal continuity. At events, members of a faction camp together; the factions' communal In-Character camps are the major focus of the game, with attacks against fortified camps and diplomatic missions between camps providing much of the storyline at each event.
The factions are:
- Al'Gaia: Equal parts Elves and Renaissance-era Spanish and Italian humans, united by a form of Mother goddess worship. The Al'Gaia are from Estragales and Lyonesse.
- Fir Cruthen: From the Irish Gaelic for "The Painted People". Predominantly human Bronze Age Celts, pursuing the ideals of the Celtic heroic tradition. The Fir Cruthen live in the allied kingdoms of Erin, Caledonia, Cumrija and Mann.
- Jhereg: Originally inspired by Stephen Brust's Jhereg books. A motley of outcasts and nonhumans from different backgrounds, recreating a long-lost nation. The Jhereg have made their homes in Siberia.
- Lions: A largely human traditional kingdom based on Arthurian Early-Medieval Britain and the ideals of Chivalry. The homeland of the Lions is Albion.
- The Steppe Alliance: A mix of nomadic cultures, particularly traditional Mongolian and the Franconians making the pilgrimage only once a year from far-away Franconia. The Alliance lives in The Steppe.
- Teutonians: A notionally Germanic culture, with the exception of the Roman-Imperial city-state of Riga. The Teutonians are marked by strong militarism, an open attitude to traditionally "evil" practices such as necromancy and a high proportion of nonhumans. Their home is Teutonia.
- Wolves: Predominantly human Scandinavians, united by their worship of the Norse Pantheon. The home of the Wolves is Norsca.
- Mercenaries: A "catch-all" category of non-aligned groups who share a camp but no common leadership or goals. Many are true mercenaries; others have independent political goals analogous to those of factions, including notably the Discordials Travelling Theatre Company (The Discordials). The Discordials are a group of would be entertainers who, though primarily concerned with "playing the gig" supplement their income as swords for hire and refuge for those requiring hiding or cocktails. Previously no identifiable opponents existed for the Mercenary camp, however in 2011 a group diametrically opposed to the Discordials verbose acting style arose, Les Mimes. Although the Mercenaries camp together at events, they have no single homeland.
Within the broad faction concepts stated above may be found a broad spectrum of characters, from the comical to the serious, from a range of historical (or pseudo-historical) backgrounds, and from the mean and humble to the high-heroic. Formally, Renewal is an "Open World" campaign setting, so players are permitted to submit any concept they wish, with the exception that neither gunpowder-weapons nor any more advanced technology are permitted.
Other articles related to "factions, faction":
... and the Magdalo (led by Emilio Aguinaldo) were the two major Katipunan factions in Cavite, with the Magdiwang having control over a larger number of towns and municipalities ... When rivalry grew between the two factions, Bonifacio was invited to meditate, but he was quickly embroiled in discussions with the Magdalo, who wished to replace the Katipunan with an insurgent government ... served as their government, but at the Tejeros Convention, both factions were combined into one government body under Aguinaldo ...
... simultaneous parliamentary election, both factions contested most seats, with the Tsvangirai faction winning 99 and the Mutambara faction 10, compared with ... On 28 April 2008, the two factions of the MDC announced that they were reuniting, thus enabling them to have a clear parliamentary majority ... As of June 2008, the factions have not formally merged ...
... Each God heads up a faction with unique races and abilities ... The factions are Magic (Dark Elves), Machines (Dwarves), Nature (Elves), War (Orcs and Ogres), Undead (Undead) and Light (Giants and Humans) ... Each faction is diametrically opposed to two other factions ...
... revolves around conflicts between various competing factions vying for world domination ... There are three different storylines, each with three main factions, as well as various minor factions ...