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Current Lord: Prefect Joral Arvanos VII
Fief Alignment: Lawful Good
Major Faiths: Mikon (Predominant), Toran, Balgar, Senath
Government: Enlightened Monarchy
Trade: Exports: Grain, Cotton, Cattle, Artwork; Imports: Iron, Weaponry, Horses, Lumber
Trading Partners/Alliances: Trenium, Andarr, Servator
Army: Imperial Army of Bracentia (270,000) + Senath’s Chosen Faithful (60,000)
Other Military Notes: Includes the famed Imperial Musketeers; primarily gunpowder and land-based, though contributes manpower to the Imperial Navy. Trenium’s Magnus Legion Senath’s Chosen Faithful is permanently assigned to Arvanos until Crullath can be dealt with.
Capsule: The home of one of the oldest cities on Negaria and culturally amongst the eldest locations in Kurathene, Arvanos occupies roughly four hundred and thirty miles of the Braccien Champaign, a region known for its fertile plains and pleasant weather. Amongst the largest producer of agrarian products in Kurathene, Arvanos is often referred to as the bread basket of the Empire; and this is often reflected in its constant warring relations with its eastern neighbor, Crullath, who seeks the riches of the Bracentian farmlands. Arvanos is the home of the famed chivalric orders of the Imperial Musketeer Companies and is often held up by foreign visitors as one of the last remaining bastions of the Emperor Kuras’s glory.
The region around Arvanos was first settled by the earliest human migrants to the northern plains, and its capital Brescant was one of the first cities founded by humans during the early Kurathene League era; it is thus one of the oldest centers of human culture on Negaria and one of the eldest civil societies of any of the major races.
As the southern most extent of the Kurathene Republic, the Braccien Champaign was one of the most hotly contested regions during the Great War, and it drew much of the attention of the young Joral Kuras and his mentor Methran Arvanos. Unfortunately due to its proximity to the orcs, the region was also one of the most heavily afflicted by the Orcish Destruction, and to this day there are several scarred lands near the eastern border of Arvanos that bear witness to that terrible event.
During the War for Unification, Brescant temporarily became the capital of the Kurathene Republic; the seat of power and the palaces that adorn the city of Brescant date from that era, and much of the cultural flourish of the region can be traced to Joral Kuras’s need to both entertain and awe his retainers during the difficult times of the Unification.
In the Imperial Era, the provinces of the Braccien Champaign were united into the Prefecture of Bracentia, flourishing as the Empire grew in both strength and prestige. The region went through several minor changes, notably the placement of the Arvanos family as the Prefect of the region in the late-17th century, but the general prosperity of Bracentia was the envy of the rest of the Empire.
The collapse of the Empire left Bracentia divided between family lines, with the powerful and orc-backed Crullath family holding much of the eastern plains and the Arvanos family holding the western capital of Brescant and the fertile plains of Norvia. This lead to a series of hotly contested wars for control of the plain lands and their vast, productive farmlands, large populations and the major trading routes through the Methran River; the first starting as early as the 1850s, continuing with the Forty Years War in the mid-20th century and most recently the Third Tri-Fief War in the early 2100s.
Being one of the few regions still controlled by an Imperial era family, Arvanos maintains a close relationship with their Trenish cousins to the north, although at times this relationship has been less than beneficial, as many of the competing fief lords often consider them an obstacle to their power and tend to coalesce into alliances to try to break the legitimacy of the surviving Imperial families; perhaps the most notable example being the Third Tri-Fief War, which had arrayed nearly every minor fief with Crullath against Arvanos and Trenium.
With the recent end of the Third Tri-Fief War, Arvanos has received a short respite from the tumult surrounding the Bracentian Champaign. At the same time it is also a fief in transition, with the recent passing of the long serving prefect Joral VI, and the ascension of his grandson Joral VII to the title of prefect, and the retirement of many of Joral VI’s advisors, much of the important tasks of the fief have fallen to younger hands.
Brescant (Capital – 713,659)
The most expansive and perhaps oldest of Kurathene cities, the city of Brescant currently serves as the capital of Arvanos. Much of the known traditions of honor, courtesy and chivalry which practically dominate Arvanos are known to have originated in the highly opinionated, conservative and ordered structure of Brescantean city life.
Architecturally closer to the traditional Romini and Mikonite structures built in M’Chek and in some parts of the Seven Cities, Brescant is known primarily for its rich cultural heritage which perhaps most successfully mixes the Mikonite teachings of the Romini and the Toranite leanings of the Empire. This creates an atmosphere of cordial, if excessively courteous behavior amongst its populace, making Brescant among the more pleasant places to live.
The class structure is rigid in its applications within the city, with clear district distinctions between the commoner and aristocratic regions. Often referred to as the Brescentian Sections, each communal region has a closely held regional autonomy with their own hierarchy of communal importance. Each section occupies a relatively large portion of land, which creates the expansive nature of Brescant, with many larger sections having sizeable internal infrastructure such as rotaries and sectional legislative halls. Many of the sectional legislative halls actually serve a secondary purpose as both a militia training centre and a small fortification, making Brescant an extremely difficult city to attack despite the large, decentralized layout and lack of an outer wall.
Several of the larger artistic museums in Kurathene exist in Brescant’s noble district, maintained by descendents of the first Prefect of the region Lord Alaran and subsequently kept by the third son of each succeeding Prefect. The practice continues today, the Imperial Museum of Art, informally known simply as the Mirror, is maintained by Joral Arvanos V’s third son, Karvin Arvanos.
Brescant also maintains one of the largest sea-ports on the western coast of Kurathene, matched only by the city of Denevier in Trenium and Carsil in Caliaze. Due to the abundance of food, courteous atmosphere and strong work ethic, the port is a relatively popular stop-off point for merchant captains and is the home of the Imperial Navy’s South Sea Station.
Veracesso (City, 177,380)
One of the eldest cities in Bracentia, Veracesso is the ancient capital of the province of Norvia, and the largest military post on the east border with Crullath. Often the site of many of the battles between the Orcish Lord and the Imperial Knights, Veracesso is often regarded as a mixture of both ancient grace and stoic determination one of the few remaining Kurathene cities with architecture that dates back prior to the Orcish Destruction. One of the jewels of the lost Kurathene Empire, and most famously the birthplace of famed Arvanos Musketeer Alexius d’Castel, which has lead to the establishment of the Imperial School of Musketeers within the confines of Veracesso.
Plains of Norvia
Vast, sunlit and fertile, the Plains of Norvia are often considered to be amongst the most beautiful locations in Kurathene, with a vast green plains land that stretches from roughly its eastern extreme in Veracesso to about 50 miles west and ending near the trading post of Merraine.
Named for Lord Methran Arvanos during the Great War, the western end of the Methran River runs roughly the entire width of Kurathene from the western coast into the interior near the Deglosian Mountains. The sections of the Methran that run through Arvanos have been widened considerably during the past two thousand years, in order to better facilitate transit into the interior of Kurathene as well as to provide a widening buffer between Brekon and Kurathene proper. Currently the river is something of a no-man’s land, with frequent skirmishes between Imperial naval patrols and the occasional Crullathian smuggler. Given the reluctance of both Trenium and Arvanos to start a full scale war with Brekon, the Imperial Navy has shied away from actively engaging or stopping ships flying the Brekonese flag.
Other Locations in Arvanos:
Lurientes (Port City, 11,310; Primary home of Dracon; Provincial Capital)
Merraine (Trading City, 9,170; Wemic City)
Pleides Low Lands (Primary roaming grounds for wemics)
Plains of Olacampo (Famous Great War Battleground)
Life and Culture
Possessing one of the oldest cultures and lifestyles in the entirety of Avlis, the people of Arvanos have both a high degree of civility and structure in their daily lives. Courtesy and high respect for the established societal norms is a hallmark of Arvanish life, many of the traditional family loyalties and agricultural roots stretching back well over a thousand years into the golden age of the Empire.
Arvanos is an absolutist monarchy lead by the head of the Arvanos family, with several retainers in the form of traditional nobility of the blade, and a supporting ministry consisting of accomplished traders and artisans usually selected from a pool by the prefect himself. The traditional noble family prerogatives that have split apart most of the other prefectures of Kurathene have not surfaced in Arvanos, primarily due to the fact that the Arvanos Prefect requires that those with noble titles spend most of their time in Brescant (up to 9 months out of the year) and goes to great lengths to keep them entertained. Combined with the exclusive nature of military organization in Arvanos has kept the nobility in line and prevented the Bracentian families from conspiring against their prefect. As such life for the commoner is also relatively easier in Arvanos than elsewhere, with many being able to own their own farms and only pay a tithe in order to help finance the luxuriate lifestyle of their nominal noble lords.
Artists play an important part in Arvanos, the patronage of high works of art and the collection thereof leading back to the days of the Republic, when Methran Arvanos, the mentor of Joral Kuras, had started to teach the young Kurath the finer points of artistic expression. With the concentration of wealth of nobles within Brescant, a great deal of the continent’s artists flock to the capital in hopes of finding a patron, and many of the nobles take great pride in sponsoring the artwork or aspirations of up and coming painters, playwrights and composers; though the artistic capital of Negaria remains in Crosstreams, in many respects Brescant and Arvanos in general tends to be the starting place of many a young artist or bard.
Religiously, Arvanos is unusual from the rest of Kurathene in that it retains its ancient heritage of Mikon worship, a tradition so deeply rooted that even the two millennia of Toran-centered government that lead the Empire could not displace the God of Balance from the hearts of Bracentians. The interpretation of Mikon however is uniquely Kurathean, perhaps best seen by the Arvanos family itself; the right to free will also comes with the responsibility of living life in a manner that respects the creator’s grace. This interesting combination of the traditional responsibility oriented societal values of Kurathene and the traditional religion of the Romini has a widespread appeal amongst Wemics, who settle primarily in Arvanos and in fact make up a good portion of the Imperial Army of Bracentia.