Therel

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Therel

Post by GrayWatch on Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:33 am

Nation: Therel

Government Type: Oligarchy(Previously Monarchy, Previously Republic, Previously Confederation of City States, Previously Anarchy...)

Description:
The nation of Therel lies to the northwest of the mainland, and counts itself lucky for it. Seperate from the political machinations of mainland the people of Therel are remarkably homogenous, as there are few other cultures on the island.

The land itself is arable, sufficient to keep the populace fed without need to trade for food, though only rarely producing enough for a trading surplus, Therel's usual riches comes from it's exports of finely blown glass products, wide variety of spices and seasonings(Therel cuisine is highly regarded throughout much of the world), wines, brandies and manufactured products. However it has a great need for raw metals, as there are few to no producing mines in Therel

Therel is a major trading nation with both Redcliffe and Ironhead being major ports of trade. Indeed the High Lords of Therel employ a conclave of arcanists to alter the weather in and around Therel year round to ensure that the trade winds continue to blow.

Therel itself tends to be of much interest to historians, as signs that the island was once inhabited by an older, and far more advanced race are everywhere. Indeed one barely has to look, spindly structures made from a hard almost glass like substance coined Eldstone dot the land, though unlike glass so far no force has been able to mar these structures. Should they need to be cleared the only known means is to undermine them and pray they shatter under the force of their own collapse. If one examines these structures closely however it becomes apparent that they are of non-human origin, for do they match the usual architectural criteria of any known culture. The doorways rarely tend to be wide enough for human shoulders and the builders seemed to think 4 ft was a fine height for a doorway.

The four greatest and oldest of Therel's cities are built among the ruins of the cities of this long gone civilization, with human architecture frequently hanging off of the tinted, glassy structures, and the rooms and towers of Eldstone serving as cheap housing, not for their fault in structure, but rather for the difficulty of bringing human comforts into a place that absolutely cannot be altered in even the slightest fashion, and the need to stoop for every doorway.


Culture:
Therel is a trading nation, in short, trade drives the country, and the talk on everyone's lips is what lord has come into power lately, how, and why. Therians are a garrulous people, who will cheerfully gossip about anything and everything. They are also stubborn, indeed it's a frequent saying that it's easier to get a stone to weep then to get two Therians to agree the sky is blue. Therel has a high crime rate, especially in the cities, where any traveler who comes to seek their fortune will find they're not alone. There's an awful lot of thieves and footpads seeking the traveler's fortune too. Intrigue flowers in the alehouses as readily as in noble's courts. Dueling is a legal and time-honored tradition in Therel, and any two individuals may duel as an official means to settle a grievance. Most often is to first blood, but in rare occasions it is declared to the death. The rules governing the protocol in dueling are byzantine, but possibly the most important is the following: The challenger must fight personally. The challenged can name a champion to represent them.

Street theater is common in the cities, with music and dancing to be found frequently. Often found in the open street rather than taverns, largely due to the traditionally small building designs limiting how large such spectacles can grow.

Economy:

Therel makes it's money from it's tradeports and exports. With famously shrewd merchants, and moneylenders who sometimes put other nations banks to shame(nevermind Therel's banks. You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger group of extremely well fed and well respected crooks) there is always a profit to be made. The coin of the realm is the white iron dinar. White iron is not natural but rather is altered by the nations mint in a unique way.

Resources:
Therel has vast forests in it's interior, but does much of it's farming in the midlands between forests and shore. In particular Baltan and the lands surrounding it are considered the nations breadbasket, while the oldest city of the island Certhywynne supplies wood, many of the spices used in cooking, and what little natural mineral deposits Therel has. Fishing villages dot the coast, and pearls are often found in the shallow waters surrounding Ironhead.


Military:
Therel's military is distinctly divided into two arms. The Iron Legion defends the realms of Therel, and exerts land-based force. While widely regarded as being of only average or sub-par talent at offense no sane nation on earth doubts the skill the Iron Legions display on defense. They train extensively in shieldwall tactics and rolling defenses, but their real specialty is house to house fighting, which is part of what makes Ironhead such a tactical nightmare for would be invaders.

The other branch of the Therel military is the Saltwind Fleets, the navy Therel boasts. Far larger than the Iron Legion, but with less specialized training the Fleets patrol the island, particularly about Ironhead, and provide convoys to any Therel merchant vessels going through hostile or dangerous territory. Or to non-Therel merchant vessels, for the right price.

Cities:

Ironhead, Capitol:

Considered the toughest defensive position in the known world(at least by the Therel), Ironhead is based on Hags Head, a large island situated in the Bay of Caluun. Three tremendous bridges, equally spaced about the isle, connect it to the mainland. These Bridges were built long ago, commissioned by the tenth King of Therel(though not finished for nearly a full century) and are a huge source of national pride, both for the high quality of workmanship, and for the sheer feat of crossing such a body of water.

As a matter of interest the central bridge is engraved with the names of every worker who died in it's construction. The High Lords are interred within the structure of the central bridge. As the two ports of Therel are both located on the sheltered side of the isle incoming ships must pass under one of the two outer bridges, which make use of sub-surface raising chains to effectively become impossible to pass until the bridges are taken. The same system is duplicated at the port mouths.

The city itself was never intended to be a capital. Rather in Therel's somewhat fractured past it was discovered, the ruins of a pre-Great War Fortress. On the basis that you can’t have too much of good thing, the ongoing fortification and beautification has become something of a national hobby. Ironhead is a city, but to even the casual eye one can see the fortress bristling within. Every single house, street, gate, shop, or indeed any building constructed within, is laid out with an eye to the overall defense of the city, and new buildings are only constructed with explicit permission from the High Lord Kauvrus, who always turns towards his tacticians and strategists for allowable placement, sizes and apertures. As the majority of the island is walled off at the coast the placement of the buildings assumes the bridges or harbors as the only viable entrance points. Invaders will find incredibly circuitous routes that leave them open to archer fire and numerous chokepoints to overcome. A series of tunnel beneath the city, combined with camouflaged exits allow for surprise reinforcements from deeper within the city. There are 4 Eldstone towers incoporated into the walls. These are used primarily as siege placement.

The High Lord Kauvrus lives in a rarirty at the center of the island. A large Eldstone building in the center of the isle, whos interior is not poorly designed for humans. Historians have surmised it may have been a council hall, or some other building where a high volume of traffic (or need for pomp) would necessitate taller and wider passages than usual. The Iron Legion always has one detachment on guard duty in Iron Head, and the position is considered a mark of honor, and is fiercely competed over.

Baltan:

Baltan is the breadbasket of the island and the largest of the four major cities. It's population swells to nearly double that of any other city. In theory it was once built as a fortified city, during the warring states period, but rapid expansion and a populace who sees a city wall as a great deal of building material the government inexplicably gave them (albeit in an oddly shaped pile) means the city itself has long since grown past it's walls, which now lie in severe disrepair. Divided into two rough sections of Old Town and New Baltan(being the inner city pre-expansion, where buildings are mostly stone, and the newer outer city, where they are largely wood), the disparity between the rich and poor here is startling. Wealthy landowners reap the profits of the farms on their land, and form a monopoly on food and agricultural products(ranging from meats, fruits and vegetables, to textiles, dyes, and leather to glue, worked bone and dairy products), both ensuring the wealth remains in the hands of only a select few merchant families, and controlling the prices of the goods on market(and the cost of city-workmen, such as tanners, bakers and the like). However in an ironic twist the merchant families abusing of their fellow "commoners" has lead to several notable historical events, most of which benefited the common man, largely due to the levels of political clout the merchants money gives them (of note are the Writ of Common Law, and the signing of the Treaty of Esterline, which held nobles able to be tried for crimes, and allowed those of common birth to own lands and businesses, respectively). While theoretically ruled by the nobility there are realistically only two powers in the city. The High Lord Pelgrim and the Merchants Guild, whom often contest over matters of policy, the Guild using it's vast fortune and control over the city economy for clout, and Pelgrim doing the same with connections to the other High Lords. That and the fact that he is considered the finest swordsmen in the country, and can legally murder all of them for no reason(while the Writ of Common Law allowed most nobles to be tried for their crimes, to this day all High Lords are considered above the law).

Certhywynne

Certhywynne is far and away the oldest settlement in the country, as can be seen from it's somewhat archaic name. Situated in the woodlands of the isle it primarily supplies furs, seasoned wood, stone,the isle's few mineral resources and a great deal of fine liqueurs. However the real draw to the city is the Therel University. Catering primarily to those of noble upbringing(though anyone with enough money is let in) it is an institution staffed mainly by educated clergy. The subjects taught are varied, but are all considered "high arts". The definition of which seems to be the most basic/pure expression of an art. Rhetoric, Mathematics, Philosophy and the like. Of somewhat more noteriety is the fact that as the only institute of higher learning in the country it also serves as the military academy for officers-to-be. Sword-play and tactics are available classes. Engineering is a time honored school here, and a small prize is awarded to whichever student team builds the most effective catapult or trebuchet. Prize void if they damage the campus or town. The city experiences a more laid-back feel, simply because it's central position no longer much matters, and it's resources require little in the way of processing before shipment to other parts. As such much of the city economy focuses on providing goods and services for the scions of nobility or rich merchants attending the University. Crime has a strong hold here and one of the cities constant problem is the steady flow of illegal goods and services into the city, where they often find ready buyers in the young rich, out from their parents super-vision for the first time.
In particular Lowtown, a subterranean section of the city built entirely below ground, and only granted light by occasional gaps in the streets of the city below. Originally built as a large series of warehouses to preserve goods during the constant strife of the warring states period, it has long since been divided up into slums, and stores catering to the less fortunate, as well as a natural stronghold for crime.

Redcliffe
Redcliffe is, appropriately, built on the red cliffs that rise out of the water on the eastern seaboard of the isle, though perhaps "on" is a misnomer. In truth the city is built on and into the cliffs. Split into tiers buildings rest atop buildings, and streets spread back into the cliffs, allowing incoming ships to gaze into a vertical city, with the base of the cliffs converted into a sheltered harbor. The city is famous for it's fine pottery and china, and serves as the countries other major trading city. Before the final acts of the Warring States period it was a particularly large city, filled to the brim, and always expanding deeper into the cliff face, carving out streets and buildings as it went. However they dug too deep and unleashed a balrog and if no one comments on that I'm going to assume you all give up at the 500 word mark and abuse that fact mercilessly. It's also not true. In reality one of the closing acts of the Warring States period was the burning and looting of the area around Redcliffe, followed by salting the earth. As such Redcliffe is almost entirely dependent on imports for food. The population has shrunk to a fraction of the size of the city, and now mostly occupies the front-most of the city. Redcliffe's High Lord Godwin is extremely well liked by his people and is known to personally join in on civic work and projects. He is also known to occasionally disappear, befuddling his guards entirely, though when he is found or returns it's always with a blameless(or at least acceptably grubby) story. He is known to be openly contemptuous of the High Lord Kauvrus. In short Redcliffe is a once-great city that's still a major trading destination, but still reels from a particularly heavy blow in it's past. Crime is at an all time low here and were it not for the difficulty of getting food, it would be an almost ideal or perfect place. Constantly sheltered, but lightwells and mirrors allow for steady illumination, especially now that the "Diary of Kauman Foss, 1st Sgt, Certhywynne" has been proved a hoax and the Godwin name is free of that odious pack of lies.

History:

...
>.>
<.<
Look I originally made this for something else altogether. Something with a different history. They didn't seem to want it (I can only assume as I found it in the graveyard) so I'm dusting it off as I still think it's a neat place. That said the original history needs SERIOUS tweaking, so this section will be filled in as I make acceptable.


Location&Map

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Re: Therel

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:26 am

Balrog lulz are lulz. I like it BI. Really well thought out. The only things I saw that were somewhat odd were the number of cities on the island. I mean so far we've had numerous countries larger then that little isle and they only had a few major cities. Yet this one gets not two, not, three but four? How large is that little island exactly?

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Re: Therel

Post by GrayWatch on Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:09 pm

My excuse for that is in the still un-posted history

Basically they got royally thrashed during the early years of the Great War and ran north to the island. QQing all the while. They then proceeded to have a long period of empire building and blind ambitions (people died) which resulted in more or less four kingdoms, who eventually turned to the other four and tried to kill them and take their stuff(LOTS of people died).

However since they had run away like little bitches earlier they no longer really had the technology to do significant damage to their own cities(at least, not more than a few fires and some sieges can do)(which is why their cities display current-age building styles instead of the more advanced style of pre-great war). So there's more cities about the place because less happened to level the cities.

Also I do need to know something from Chaos before I can continue:

Is that island chain part of Tilbury(or whatever the hell the continent was called) that remained above the waves, or is it part of Ara'niel proper?
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Re: Therel

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:46 am

I'm pretty sure those islands were meant to be more or less the peaks of a mountain chain of the sunken Tilbury. Sand, dirt, etc. collected around them, and the earthquakes and whatnot make them not so... peak-y, so they are really just like islands.

And what do you mean by Ara'niel proper as opposed to Tilbury?
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Re: Therel

Post by GrayWatch on Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:58 pm

I mean Tilbury was over run by the undead. Things which notably, don't actually stop moving just because they died a few centuries ago.

The question boils down to:
Do I have an excuse to have the odd zombie/other undead about the place to justify them going on periodic crusades to "cleanse" their society of undead? (read: Witch Trials, occasional angry mob hunting down a zombie who wandered out of it's cave.)
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Re: Therel

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:57 am

After so long, and only now do I answer. /Sad

Anyway, yes. The undead will be uncommon, but certainly not rare on those island chains, and some may just seem to randomly appear because they may end up on the island through various means.

The only thing that bothers me at all about this is the briefly mentioned "Ancient race" that built all the glass stuff. Questions arise there.

I know that there's a chance you'll probably never reply to this again, but I'm just going to post this now since there's no real reason why not (even if you don't read it, it can still go down for records).
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Re: Therel

Post by MidgetNinja on Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:35 am

I move that Therel be disregarded as a potential kingdom in light of new information on the island chain, and the nature of the undead in general...

Or at least, edited to fit with current standards...

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Re: Therel

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:01 pm

I agree to the above.

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Re: Therel

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:45 pm

What new info was that again?
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Re: Therel

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:10 pm

Less massive ass cities and Balrogs.

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Re: Therel

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:36 am

Moved to R&D for now.
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Re: Therel

Post by Admin on Sun May 20, 2012 2:38 am

This could be edited and put back up for approval, BI.
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Re: Therel

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