Free City State of Four Corners
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History:

The former Aequor province of Demense was formed into an independent, Free City State in 1844 IE, seven years before the war’s end. Created when the High Priest Alejander convinced the Kingdom of Aequor to release their former province for the good of the Kingdom of the Faith, and to allow those ports controlled by the former province to be free and open. After some negotiations between the two kingdoms, it was agreed that the now independent City State would be neutral territory.

The City State was reorganized, and the ruling Noble family were given new lands in Rikton, something that has wounded and angered that noble house ever since. The old Province was renamed to Four Corners, as it rests on the border of of Rikton to the south, Kentaire to the north, Aequor to the east, and the Ocean to the west. This was to show the neutrality of the new nation state and due to this, over the nineteen years of its existence, it has flourished as the port of call where one can sell and buy anything. However, as wealth flowed into the newly established City State so did corruption.

Though the City State has remained neutral in the region, anything can be purchased and sold there. This ability means that the population has literally exploded, the City having grown exponentially and is easily both the largest city in the west, as well as the largest population in any one location. Even though slavery is technically outlawed in the West, it is something of an open secret that human trafficking takes place in Four Corners, and at a greater level than many would ever care to admit. There are even hushed rumors that some individuals in Four Corners might even have contact with the Raiders of White Hall and other such undesirables, despite the fact that officially Four Corners is in a state of war with White Hall (especially after the Great Raid of 1865 IE).

The west’s vast majority of mercenaries can be found here, and nearly all of the Mercenary armies have a barracks or fortress within the city’s many walls. There is even a government office called the “Ministry of Blades,” which oversees the transactions of the mercenary companies, and protects them legally, seeing that they are protected and well paid for their services. Given the fact that the mercenaries are allowed to recruit, train, and build their own fortification within the city limits (it adds to the City’s overall defense) the Mercenary captains are more than willing to adhere to the ministry’s five percent cut of the profits.

Overview

Four Corners is ruled by a Council of the heads of the individual Ministries, Guildleaders, and the Councillors who form a Senate, which is led by the Chancellor who is elected for life by the Senate. How long that life is however often remains to be seen.

Chancellor, Minister of Banks: Sir Mattias Thynne (NPC) - As a Chancellor and Minister of Banks, Mattias Thynne is well known to put the wellbeing of Four Corners trade and commerce first and foremost, which in turn boosts the standing of the banking establishment he serves as guildmaster. Each vote cast is always designed to bolster the freedom of trade and boost the coffers of those wily enough to take advantage and in turn boost the coffers of Four Corners itself. Calm, concise and blessed with a tale for almost every eventuality, the often funereal-clad Mattias can prove to be decent company. Others might say he seems jaded and unaffected the way he looks through people, others might well think him diplomatic for with-holding many a judgment best left unsaid. He took the position of Chancellor from the destested and corrupt Frederick Tyres in early 1868 and now holds the most important position in the Free City State.

Minister of Blades: Gerrik Shawl - A hard man with very little sense of humor, he holds grudges like treasure to his chest and has a long, sharp memory. He occasionally enters the Tournaments of Four Corners himself, and is always a favourite among the local crowds thanks to his dirty fighting style that smacks of the streets of Four Corners, even in the armored melee.

Minister of Trade: Count Adriono D'Armaz (NPC) - One of the richest men in the West, Adriono is charmingly charismatic; came up from the very bottom, to merchant-princehood, to the throne of a County seat all in the 30 year war. A scar from a failed hanging marks his neck and has changed his voice to a sonorous rasp. It is an open sort of secret that Adriono has syndicate ties (and indeed this is not uncommon in the Council itself), and that people who anger him tend to dissapear. During his youth he sired a veritable army of bastards in Four Corners and Aequor, and it is by these (and his countless ensuing grandchildren) that his famous, incredible ships are often captained and crewed.

Minister of Sail:

Minister of Extraneous Occurrences: The Minister oversees the running of the College of Sorcery. Students and the faculty all fall under this Minister's purview. A dangerous place given the unfiltered nature of magic, though it is ably guarded and protected. And research is always ongoing into this great phenomenon. The safety and well-being of all gathered at this institution is paramount, though death and injury is not unheard of.

Minister of Alchemical Learning: Bishop Dario Tevino of the Alchemists High Council - A Ministry devoted to furthering the understanding of Alchemy, safeguards, and education.

Minister of Public Works: A ministry devoted to ensuring the canals are dredged, the roadways are well cobbled, and the city is kept in generally as good a state as a city can be kept in. Given the nature of the canals, this is indeed an arduous post and one that demands a great deal of time and effort.

Minister of the Skies: A ministry devoted to the efforts of the airships that ply their trade across the Kingdoms. Entwined thoroughly with the Honourable Guild of Airwrights & Captains, the Guildleader is also often appointed as the Minister of this Ministry, all the better to lend credence, power, and credibility to this new and exciting mode of transport.

Councillor: Duchess Myrana D'Armaz (player) - Only legitimate Daughter of Count Adriono D'Armaz, Myrana is a soft-spoken young woman famous for her stunning beauty and reluctance to entertain attentions thereof, though she is pleasant-mannered and sincere in her intent to better the free city with her votes. During the Great Raid, she organized the Council with a successful plan to repel the White Hall Raiders through military strategy, using the canals and streets of the city to push them out with five separate groups of mercenary, Aequoran, and Galenthian forces. This stunned many, as while she is known to be in her father's pocket, it was clear that the plan was of her own devising. Chancellor Tyres urged her to use her wiles on the Galenthian Duke Gauvain Tarris to bring him to this effort… a thing which very clearly earned him her immediate and unforgiving enmity.

Councillor: Favian D'Augustino

Councillor: Verrik D'Geroux

Councillor: Benedict al'Demesne

**Further council positions are appable.

The Margraviates of the Free City State of Four Corners (*Appable)

The Margraviates of Four Corners are four prime holdings that exist beyond the walls of the city of Four Corners, each governed on behalf of the Council by a Margrave or Margravine appointed by the Chancellor and the Council of the Free City State of Four Corners. The title is not hereditary, though these lands are for the most part fairly autonomous, left to the stewardship of the appointee and the Town Council that aids in governing each town and their surrounding lands, though when called upon, they have a duty to the Free City State like any mercenary company. The appointment also ensures a voice in the Council itself, granting the Margrave the right to take part in votes and discussions affecting the Free City State as a whole.

The appointment is more often than not for life and should the Chancellor and the Council find any reason to remove the current Margrave/Margravine, then it is likely due to serious negligence, corruption, or pressure from any affected Guilds whose interests aren't being served to such a degree that they have no other recourse but to demand the removal of the Margrave. Though assassination is often the quickest method employed, with mercury poisoning in the town of Rapallo being the most obvious and preferred poetic choice, a shame that such accidents could well happen. Though it has never occurred, any attempt to retain the lands by force would be met with the full force of the mercenary army that Four Corners has at its disposal.

Those appointed are more often than not Mercenary Captains of some measure of renown, or indeed blessed with contacts on the Council or a modicum of wealth and a good many bribes placed in the right pockets. The lands provide enough wealth to support a mercenary company, and alongside the governing of the lands, said companies patrol and protect the borders and roads of the Free City State of Four Corners. Though patrols are often supplemented by the City's own Greycloaks and other assigned Mercenary Companies given the amount of land there is to cover, and the trade that requires protecting.

The income from the town is split into thirds. The 1st Third goes to Four Corners, the 2nd Third to the Margrave for the sole purpose of maintaining the lands and infrastructure, with the 3rd Third being split further to fund protection of the lands, and provide small but decent income to the Margrave. Given the right governance and investment, the Margraviate could well prove exceptionally profitable should the right hands seek to steer the land to greatness. With any further income from mercenary activities going solely to the Company itself to be spent as required, minus the Ministry of Blades cut of course.

The holding allows for a certain freedom of a well placed Mercenary to raise his own company off the income of the land, to protect said lands, and to take contracts they might well never had the chance to take prior to being granted the holdings by the Chancellor and Council. Should the Mercenary arrive with his own company already, then the boon in income will surely aid in the maintenance of the existing company of mercenaries. Still beholden to the rules of the Ministry of Blades however, such a grant of lands even if only for the duration of their leader's life allows for the enriching of the company, and the City. The company has the usual freedom to choose their contracts with the exception of any that ensure their service to a foreign crown for perpetuity. They are after all Margraves of the Free City State of Four Corners first and foremost.

Alongside the Margrave, the Town and the surrounding lands are also governed by a Town Council often made up of the various Guildmembers who reside within the town and surrounding lands. This ensures that the needs of the land and the economy are well known to the Margrave and his Advisors, and it does not bode well to ignore the wishes of the Guilds of Four Corners, for they wield power within the city

Margraviate of Rapallo Margraviate of Harcourt Margraviate of Rovigo Margraviate of Montebelluna
App-able App-able App-able App-able

Located north of the City of Four Corners, this small town overlooks the d'Arx lake of Aequor to the north, and the sea to the west. Upon its lands, a makeshift market that straddles the small border of the Free City State of Four Corners and the Kingdom of Bitralund has been established. The land is known for its small mine that produces cinnabar, with a small number of Guild-approved artisans having moved to the town to take advantage of this for it properties as a rouge pigment, while the ore itself is sold in small quantities to the Alchemists Guild. The mine operation itself is overseen by the Guild of Miners, with fees for protection paid to the Town's Council from their profits. The Council has a majority of members from the Miners Guild, and some from the Artisan guilds that have settled within the town. Surrounding the town are the fields from which the town's citizens are fed, ensuring a healthy diet of bread and meat.

The town of Harcourt is located on the north bank of a gentle bend in the River Rhodan, giving it a measure of defence from the southern side. The rolling hills have ensured that Harcourt is a land of forest, with the prime export being Harcourt Oak, Ash, and Beech. The Guild of Carpenters holds sway alongside the Guild of Woodcutters upon the town's Council, with a sizeable number from the The Honourable Company of Shipwrights based upon the river to ensure their own interests, and a small minority from the The Guild of Dockworkers, Fishermen & Fishmongers, who ply their trade upon the river. To the north of the town are the fields from which the town's citizens are fed, ensuring a healthy diet of bread, fish, and meat.

Rovigo is a small fortress town located on an island but a few nautical miles from the inlet leading to the City of Four Corners itself. With the lands spread across both islands, Rovigo has made a small name for itself as a waystation for vessels that are enroute to Four Corners, or about to leave on a long journey. The twin islands have ensured that Rovigo is a land of indolent and cud-chewing sheep, with a good few flocks scattered across the two islands. The town itself has attracted a few weavers of the Weavers Guild. The town's Council is predominantly members of the Guild of Shepherds, with a minority of Weavers Guild members, and one or two members of the Honourable Guild of Butchers, and the Guild of Dockworkers, Fishermen & Fishmongers who land their catches their daily to sell to passing vessels, or prior to sailing back to Four Corners itself. The diet of the islands is mostly mutton, lamb, and fish, with other staples imported and traded for from the other towns or the city itself.

The town of Montebelluna is nestled within a fork of the River Rhodan, which in itself ensures a measure of defence on the north, east, and southern sides of the town. The flowing waters of the river have ensured that the town is dominated by the Honourable Guild of Brewers, who turn the flowing waters into beer. The town Council is of course mostly made up of members of the Guild, with a few from the Guild of Dockworkers, Fishermen & Fishmongers who ply their trade upon the river, and those from the Guild of Farmers & Fieldworkers whose crops grow along the banks. To the west of the town are the fields from which the town's citizens are fed, ensuring a healthy diet of bread and meat, and fish from the river.

Resources: Cinnabar Resources: Timber & Fish Resources: Wool, Meat, & Fish Resources: Beer & Wheat
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