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Elbion

Physical Information
Very Large Elbion Valley, on Cairou river, Liadain 250,000
Societal Information
Human (Majority) Oligarchic merchant republic Trade tongue
Economic & Military Information
City walls and river locks Luxury goods, magical goods Spices
OOC Info

"If you can't find what you're looking for here, head to Elbion. They got everything under the sun, and then-some."​
— Merchant of southern Liadain
The City of Elbion is a city-state and merchant republic located in northern Liadain on the Cairou River. It was founded many years ago by Lord Ganfritz Elbion. The city grew into a trading hub in northern Liadain. It also serves as a leader in magical developments as the College of Elbion resides within the city walls. In the year 370, the city suffered mass destruction by a magical force that saw the college ripped from its foundations, causing it to float in the air. These floating remnants from the horrific attack of Drakomir the Elder Dragon have since returned to the ground following the world-spanning events of Titanfall. Some smaller portions of the college remain floating, connected by walking bridges through the air.


Description

Located on the northern Liadain continent, the City of Elbion sat at the base of a mountain. With the mountain to the north and Cairou River to the south, Elbion was in a historically well defensible position. Grassy plains to the east and west allowed for easy agriculture to feed the growing, early population of the city.

Since three years of the Fall of Drakomir, the city's reconstruction has finally been complete. Supported and funded largely by the patriarch of the Elbion family, Demias Elbion, he dedicated the last two years to building the city back better. The Merchant and Residential districts have been expanded, the walls surrounding the city proper doubly fortified, and the docks and port expanded by nearly triple. Several sets of security locks have been constructed along either side of the city along the Cairou River.

The historical stability of Elbion lead it to amassing great economic wealth via trade. Major exports from the city are luxury goods due to the availability of precious metals from nearby mountains. Magical goods and artifacts are also a major export due to the presence of the College of Elbion. While not known for it across the world, Elbion possesses capable craftsmen and easy access to iron ore in the mountains. What helps bring even more wealth back to the city though is the use of trading ports across Arethil.

Since its reconstruction, Elbion has flourished with a fresh wave of new citizens, merchants, crafters, and traders. Demias Elbion restructured the Merchant Council's governing laws to allow for easier application to the economy system and has since ousted those on the Council who sought to regulate the industry as human-centric. This has upended some long-standing traditions and generally made those who profited off prejudice quite discontent.

Ducats are used in the city and are split into gold (docatto), silver (zoldo), and bronze (tolaro). The denominations are ten silver per gold and one hundred bronze per gold. Rich attire in Elbion costs a hundred gold. A year's tuition and board at the College of Elbion is a few gold. [1]

History

Establishment

After the establishment of Elbion College by Lord Ganfritz Elbion, word of the College’s existence spread across Liadain. A number of magically talented families moved to the college to learn. Non-magical residents began to move to campsites around the College for the purpose of earning money from the students and Maesters.

After a hundred years of the College's founding, the settlements surrounding it grew large enough to be formally declared a city. It was named after the College's founder, Elbion, who also governed the city up until his death. When Lord Elbion passed away, the College of Elbion was bequeathed to his greatest proteges while the City of Elbion to his five children. This was the start of the independence of the College from the City that has been maintained to the year 369.

Elbion's five children governed the city together. This set the precedent of the divided rule in Elbion via the Merchant's Council that continues to exist.

The Templar War

The Templar War affected the city when the Elbion Templar garrison emerged to attack the City of Elbion.

The City was overwhelmed by the sudden attack. In addition, the City had the incentive to allow the Elbion Templars some latitude prior to the invasion since they served as a counter force to the College. Ironically, the College remained unconquered due to it occupying a former castle and there being only one entrance to the College District. The College was able to take in refugees pursued by the fanatic Templars.

Eventually, the City and College were able to band together. They soundly defeated the Templars and forced the Templars to surrender to the City itself.[2]

Since then, the City of Elbion has used their control over the Elbion Templars in order to maintain an anti-mage force in the event that a rogue mage causes trouble within the City. [3]

Age of Chronicles

By the Age of Chronicles, the City of Elbion grew into a worldwide known trading hub. Elbionese traders could be seen from Liadain to Espressa bringing tremendous wealth back to the city. The College of Elbion has maintained its legal independence from the city.

The city used to be protected by a great wall that hugged all sides except for those that bordered the river. Inner walls further divided the city into multiple historic districts: College, Residential, Government, Merchant, and Port Districts.

During the Pandemonium Crisis, a portal stone manifested in a village west of Elbion. With it not being far from the Cairou River, merchants quickly jumped on the new trade opportunity. The city seeks to maintain control of the portal stone in order to regulate (and tax) trade to and from it.

In the year 370, Drakormir rose from slumber and marched toward the city. Upon reaching the city, someone activated a magical artifact. The result was Drakormir falling into Elbion Lake and the city’s foundations shattering into hundreds of pieces. For a time, the College floated in the air in several large pieces. There was a tremendous loss of life and wellbeing from this event in the city. [4]

Following the events of Titanfall across the globe, where the powers of magic waxed, waned, and all but sputtered from the realm, the floating pieces of the city and college returned to the ground. There are still a few small pieces of the college that remain floating, now connected by walking bridges to the main campus.

Inhabitants

Despite the fact that Ganfritz Elbion accepted anyone from any race into the College of Elbion, since his death the city has grown to be dominated by a human majority. This was due in large to the fact that the Merchant's Council has always been governed by humans. What may have been an unconscious bias in Elbion's children grew into pro-human institutions supported by the contemporary government and human majority. This species-ism only went so far as to deny opportunities to non-humans, a problem that Ganfritz's direct descendant and current family Patriarch, Demias Elbion, has since dissected from the Merchant Council.

Due to the constant flux of visitors, the Port District is the most cosmopolitan area of the city based on species and cultures. Historically, the slums outside the city walls hosted a large non-human population due to the ease that non-humans fall into poverty in the city. Since the restructuring of Elbion, Demias Elbion funded homesteading in the verdant fields further beyond Elbion and paid to support the start of a bolstered farming community. This opportunity was offered to any who had previously struggled to make daily needs in the slums. Several new Dukes were chosen from among those people and families to help establish the communities and five years of financial aid and educational instruction were offered to support their start after which their farms were expected to support themselves.

Elbion's middle class consists of tradesmen, craftsmen, and other professionals. And above that was the aristocratic elite of Elbion - the Eleven, the eleven families that govern the Merchant's Council. They held grand estates - many with opulence that could rival most, if not all, other places in contemporary Arethil. Five of these families were dismissed from their duties on the Merchant Council by Demias Elbion for their intervention in the reconstructive efforts of the city and their collusion to undermine the city's livelihood: its people.

Citizenship in Elbion has been relegated now to the Chamber of Commonwealth. Families no longer require a skill of craft, but should expect to join and take part of the commerce within the city. All families are now registered with the Chamber via the Department of Immigration. Those who can afford to purchase a home within the city are assisted with employment internally. Those who cannot afford a home are placed with the larger homestead parcels where they can earn a living. Residential Merchants may also offer backing to those who arrive with skill to offer and provide them apartments.

Since the College of Elbion is independent of the City of Elbion, students and professors are not inherently citizens and must normally reside on the College's grounds.

Due to the city's nature of establishment and the College of Elbion, there are a higher rate of mage-capable people within the city compared to other cities in Arethil.

Government

The City of Elbion maintains an oligarchic merchant republic. The Grand Council of Elbion, colloquially known as the Merchant's Council, governs the city and is composed of the leaders of eleven merchant families.

These families are sometimes called the Eleven. They function similarly to noble families in feudal societies - with their family palaces as their lands passed on to heirs and marriages used to solidify alliances. Some of the family lines are directly descended by Elbion, the main line of which persists as the wealthiest and most powerful among them both in sway, notoriety, and magical prowess. The original Eleven families were founded by base of wealth centuries ago and have acted with a stranglehold on the City's health for some time. After the devastation of the Fall of Drakomir, Demias Elbion sought to regain control of the city in order to fix the corruption that had been bred into its foundation by these families. He dismissed 5 of the Councilors from their positions after learning of a long history of underhanded business that had corroded the prosperity of Elbion from within for their own gain. Their seats were replaced by surviving Merchants who had longstanding trust and respect within the city, but lacked the wealth previously required to get the seat.

Families of the Eleven are:
  • House Elbion, led by High Councilor and Elbion patriarch Demias Elbion
  • House Wiscard, led by Councilor Roland Wiscard[5]
  • Nine other houses

The Merchant's Council still governs all aspects and laws within the city, though some responsibilities have now been delegated to various chambers run by two Councilors each and report directly to the High Councilor. All laws within the city are created and repealed at the behest of the Council.

The current Chambers are thus:

  • Chamber of Commonwealth: Responsible for appointing a city Governor who enacts the will of the Chamber. Oversees the influx of immigrants and allocates housing, employment, and other needs. Oversees the appointment of leading houses, including the title of Duke in the various provinces.
  • Chamber of Commerce & Coin: Oversees the commerce of the city, including the people who do business within the Merchant District and those who rent stands within the Port District, as well as the collection of taxes from each business and resident family. Maintains the distribution of Support Funds and the funds of the ruling Council.
  • Chamber of Law: Oversees the enactment and enforcement of laws, rules, and regulations that govern the city which includes the appointment of Judges, local law enforcement such as Marshalls, and the body of the court as it rules on law breakers.
  • Chamber of Trade & Foreign Relations: Responsible for the health and prosperity of trade and foreign relations. This Chamber oversees all incoming and outgoing trade, ensuring Elbion is well supplemented and stocked on necessary resources as well as opportunities, and appoints Ambassadors to the task of maintaining relations with other major cities.
  • Chamber of Preservation: Maintains a standing Guard within the city and it's various outerlying provinces. Responsible for appointing the Commanding officer of the Guard, who then oversees the men beneath them. Also responsible for maintaining good relations with local mercenary bands and providing them paid opportunities to support the city's needs.
  • Chamber of Stone: Directly overseen by the High Councilor, responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the city, including the expansion of districts, its fortifications, and its necessary structures that enable a safe and healthy populace.

The city's head of state is known as the High Councilor, stylized as Lord/Lady Counsel. The High Councilor executes the laws of the Merchant's Council and is the final authority in appointing officials to important government posts. The High Councilor is elected by the Merchant's Council. He or she is meant to serve for life, though the Merchant's Council can remove the High Councilor from power if desired with a unanimous vote. As a result of the High Councilor's and Merchant's Council's powers, normally the High Councilor requires the Council's consent to act and the Council requires the High Councilor's support to enact new laws.

A hot topic in the government is, and has always been, the legal status of the College of Elbion. While an enclave completely surrounded by the city, the College of Elbion maintains legal independence where the laws of the city do not apply. However, the reverse is maintained by the city where the city does not allow the College to enforce its rules outside of the College District.

Locations

College of Elbion / College District

Main article: College of Elbion
The College of Elbion, also known as Elbion College, is a boarding school dedicated to the study and teaching of magic. It is one of the, if not the, most prestigious magical institute in Arethil. The College used to be a castle and its tower is the highest point in the city - both historically and today.

The College of Elbion resides in the College District at the northernmost section of the city. There used to be only one continuously guarded entrance to this district, following the return of the college to the ground, this was one of the first walls to be fully repaired and reinforced by the Mages.

The Palace of the Commonwealth / Government District

During the city's shattering, the original Doge's Palace was destroyed. The Government District was split into several pieces. The Doge and a majority of his family did not survive.[6]

Rebuilt as part of the reconstruction efforts and now called the Palace of the Commonwealth, it is now where the head of state and government, the High Councilor and their family, officially reside. The palace features a museum dedicated to the many lives lost during the Fall of Drakomir and a memorial open to the public is part of the forward palace. The inner palace itself is gated and heavily guarded.

In addition to serving as the residence of the High Councilor, the Palace of the Commonwealth is also where the Merchant's Council convenes and where the various Chambers of the government operate out of.

Surrounding the palace is the Government District. It serves as the political heart of the city. Almost all government and political institutes resided within this district. This district also hosts the newly founded Elbion City Guard. [7]

Port District

The Port District encompasses the many docks of Elbion. Docks meant for trade good inflow or outflow are situated on the east side of the city. This allows for trade ships to be the first ones docked or to leave along the Cairou River. Dedicated passenger vessels are directed to travel further upriver to the western docks. Visitors to the city typically stay at the many inns and taverns of the Port District.

The district also features a large bazaar with many goods for sell at stands. Setting up a stand in this bazaar requires only a fee to be paid to the Chamber of Commerce.

The Port District has since been rebuilt and expanded, now able to host thrice the amount of traffic and daily commerce. A new system of river locks have been implemented at either side of the river as part of the new security infrastructure for the city.

Merchant District

The Merchant District features the largest area of Elbion. Permanent shops and establishments can be found there. As a large city, Elbion has a wide range of trades and businesses. Shops are managed by the government so that there are few cases that competitors are neighbors.

To open a shop within Elbion one must be a legal citizen of the city and have approval by the Chamber of Commerce. Approvals are handled on a basis of craft/skill, experience, proof of work, and need of service or product. Race no longer plays a role in determining eligibility and Elbion has now seen an upswing in culturally diverse crafts and goods as a result. Given the expansion of the Merchant district, the opportunity for new craftspeople and businesses to grow here is ripe.

Residential District

The Residential District is where Elbion citizens may reside. Each citizen is given an amulet to wear as identification that is used to enter the Residential District. Visitors to the Residential District must be escorted by a citizen or have a pass bearing the Elbion seal. The District was expanded during reconstruction to include multiple new apartment sectors for younger citizens or those visiting on a temporary basis. Low-cost communal living theaters allow those who may be struggling to afford a safe place to live while the Government assists their integration into the community.

This district is also home to various social staples such as places of worship, places of learning, and places of service or entertainment.

There are three entrances to the Residential District that are always guarded.

The Gilded Feather Memorial

In the place where the Gilded Feather Bookshop once resided now stands a beautiful gilded memorial depicting its proprietor: Maester Ignatius Osric of the 5th Order, sat at his desk in his customary wizard robes and hat, poring over an old tome. The memorial hosts the golden statue at the center of a large fountain surrounded by a garden maintained by the Rosewick Garden Society of Elbion. The original shop sign bearing the sigil of a great gilded gryphon has been installed on a signpost where it once originally hung and is now part of the memorial. It is said that the ghost of Maester Osric may sometimes be seen walking back and forth along the garden path while puffing on his pipe, as he was known to do when pondering the many curiosities of the world in the shop.

People often leave gifts upon the fountain to pay homage to the lost Maester.

The memorial is protected from vandalism and theft by several strong magical spells that are renewed regularly by the Foard of Maesters.

Once a bookshop of high notoriety among magic users. The shop was owned by Maester Ignatius Osric of the Fifth Order. Known by most as "Maester Osric" and "Granpa Iggy" by close friends, he maintained a collection of prized books on the art of various magics. One could find a book on just about any topic of magic under the sun, though not all volumes were detailed and complete. He was best known as the keeper of runic lore and held one of the largest collections of runic tomes known – fitting considering Osric specialized in rune magic.

The Gilded Feather was destroyed in the fall of Drakormir. All salvagable remains were given to Ignatius' sole remaining heir: Pern who took it all with her when she left Elbion after learning of her father's and home's tragic fate. Pern maintains the collections from the Gilded Feather in her new home just outside of Lazular.

References

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