|The Blandenberg Protectorate|
|Other Names:||The Protectorate of Blandenberg|
|Humans 56%, Elves 30%, Half-Elves and other 4%|
|Deities Worshipped:||Mikon, Dru'El|
|Head of State:||High Administrators Isendur Amolin and Lenton Hallows|
|Military:||A combined force of equalizers and avengers serve as the security forces|
|Imports:||Farming tools, weapons, armor, foodstuffs|
|Exports:||Wheat, millet, barley, corn|
|Trading Partners/Alliances:||M'Chek, T'Nanshi, Visimontium|
The Blandenberg Protectorate
This buffer state was formed to end the war between M'Chek and T'Nanshi, using alternative farming practices for food production. The food raised on these lands is dedicated to relieve the famine of M'Chek. The Protectorate is jointly controlled by the churches of Mikon and Dru'El, whose holy warriors, the Equalizers and Avengers, provide security for the settlement.
In recent years, Blandenberg has moved more and more toward openly acting as an independent nation, rather than merely a buffer between warring parties. It has an established governing system, a group of Avengers and Equalizers who consider Blandenberg home and defend it from incursions and abuse, a prison, and a bustling economy. Additionally, three cases have served to further the concept of Blandenberg as an independent entity:
The Case of Samwir
Following a murder committed in the ANRA school, M'Chekian citizen and Ebony mage Samwir was rumored to have information, or even possible involvement, related to the killing. Rather than contact him directly, the High Administrators requested extradition from the Joint Houses of M'Chek. M'Chek's flat refusal to extradite, rather than presenting an argument that Blandenberg had no grounds to make the request, is generally considered a tacit acknowledgment that some in the M'Chekian government consider the Protectorate an independent nation. Rumors that this episode was orchestrated cannot be confirmed.
The Case of the Southern Division
Pursuing a group of bandits south from Nan Sh'tal, the T'Nanshi army's Southern Division Sr. Rangermaster halted his pursuit to request permission from nearby Equalizers to cross the border. Realizing that the Rangermaster was within his rights to cross on his own as long as he left the same way he came, they nonetheless refused him entry to see how he would react. The Rangermaster halted his advance, and eventually cooperated with the Equalizer patrol to take custody of the bandits after they were apprehended. This is generally considered an admission by the T'Nanshi army that they will treat Blandenberg's borders as sovereign. Nothing is know of the fate of the bandits, and no record of trial or incarceration can be found in the Le'Or archives.
The village just south of the Blandenberg ferry is commonly referred to as South Blandenberg by residents of the Protectorate. With many families living on both sides of the river, the claim by Lord Bostwick that the national border exists through the center of the river, one supported by the Common House, is often disregarded by Avengers, Equalizers, and residents of Blandenberg. Rather than press the issue, Lord Bostwick has declared the area free from taxation to support his fief, creating a haven for artisans and for businesses... some of which are owned in part by Lord Bostwick. Unwilling to antagonize M'Chek, the Protectorate's administrators have similarly left the area free from levies to support the Protectorate, resulting in a legal grey area with both sides claiming ownership of the land but neither willing to actually commit resources to press its claim. Conflicts over the issue are rare among residents; locals generally tell outsiders they live in "Blandenberg Village", intentionally leaving travellers to work it out for themselves to the general amusement of local tavern patrons. That Lord Bostwick and the Noble House treat this issue as a border dispute is generally considered an admission that a national border does in fact exist. This would be impossible without another legitimate nation across the border... wherever it is.
Effects of the Drotid War
Blandenberg has seen a large influx of trade as the shaahesk warboats entirely shut down naval shipping along the east coast. Large fortunes are being made from the traffic passing through the Protectorate, and while no one wants to see this new war drag on, many residents are less than enthusiastic about their newfound prosperity ending with the re-establishment of the eastern sea lanes.
Drotid has so far treated Blandenberg as sovereign neutral territory and not committed serious resources to is capture. Because of Blandenberg's minor military strength and large civilian population, Drotid's hands-off approach has lead even some Avengers to believe the Protectorate can do more good by remaining officially neutral rather than entering the conflict.
Points of Interest
Blandenberg is a major traffic hub for commerce and travellers passing between M'Chek and T'Nanshi. Over time, several businesses and services have grown up to take advantage of the crossroads...
Moon Tree Distillery
Continuing the franchise, the latest location of the renowned Moon Tree opened in Blandenberg to much acclaim. Focusing on stronger spirits and large, lively parties, the Distillery has a distinctly different atmosphere from the casual flagship bar in Le'or, or the cozy brew pub in Silverfall. Note the large collection of original artwork lining the walls, take your drink outside in the open air as travellers pass by, or throw your name in the ring for a shot at the grease wrestling title! The Moon Tree is a constant destination for weary teamsters and the ever-changing Avenger and Equalizer deployments, with a diverse clientele at any time of the night or day.
ANRA played a critical role in the early development of the Protectorate, particularly in teaching local landowners better farming practises. Today it hosts an open-access craftsman's workshop, a storefromt, a boardinghouse, school, and experimental gardens. See their guild entry here.
Fallkirk Enterprises Arcane Transport Portal
Quentin Fallkirk III located one of his privately owned and operated portals in the center of Blandenberg, further increasing its profile as a destination and a central location for travellers heading into either M'Chek or T'Nanshi. For a few hundred gold coins, individuals can travel to the central hub in Visimontium and then to any number of destinations around southern Avlis. A little known fact is that the ground immediately surrounding the portal is not technically part of Blandenberg. Due to language in the treaty, sovereignty over ground in a 1-foot radius around the portal itself was ceded to Fallkirk Enterprises, Inc. at the time of its creation. The existence of this treaty is yet another example of the growing body of legal evidence supporting Blandenberg independence.
Temple of O'Ma
A relic of the old village, this open-air temple to O'Ma has changed little since it was built hundreds of years ago. Once considered for expansion into a hospital by the Healers of Cha'reth, it eventually was left untouched while the hospital relocated to the forest just north of the town itself. The local priestess will perform healing for free, and sells potions critical to safe passage for travellers intending to avoid civilization in their journeys.
AAAA Blandenberg, Webber Hall
The Blandenberg guildhall for the Avlis Arms & Armor Association offers a variety of weapons and armor created by the famous artisans of the AAAA. Webber Hall is named after Darent Webber. Sir Webber's family were residents of Blandenberg Village until his parents were killed in a skirmish during the war. Webber devoted his life to bringing the war to an end, and was knighted by M'Chek and the Church of Mikon for his work on the cease fire and the resulting peace treaty which created the Blandenberg Protectorate.
The Mennallin School
The Blandenberg Mennallin School was built and supported by donations from the Mennallin School Trust Fund. Magus Melonius Mennallin began this fund to build schools across the land that anyone, regardless of family status or income, could attend.
The schoolhouse was built in the refurbished house of the family of Sir Darent Webber, who was instrumental in the drafting of the final peace treaty creating the Blandenberg Protectorate. This location was chosen by Dame Moira Callendraes, Executor of the Trust, as a tribute to her mentor and friend.
The Black Shard Inn
Found up the hill west of Blandenberg Village, the Black Shard is a favorite for the local farmers and trappers. Rooms are available, but the locals are less enthusiastic about outsiders taking their customary seats in the taproom. An earthy spot where a sunburn is more likely than a lace cuff or a polished breastplate, and much more respected.
Original Declaration of the Protectorate
WHEREFORE the governments of M'Chek and T'Nanshi are seeking a peaceful resolution to their difficulties, and
WHEREFORE the principal problem impelling these nations to war is the hunger of the people of M'Chek,
The nations of M'Chek and T'Nanshi do hereby agree to the following:
- Blandenberg, and its immediate surrounds, including the ferry ((5 areas all up, Blandenberg and the areas touching it on the north, south, east and west)) shall be declared neutral territory.
- This newly formed neutral territory will be governed by the church of Dru'El and the church of Mikon.
- To ensure that this territory stays neutral, a force consisting of equal numbers of Avengers and Equalizers will be stationed there. No other military forces may be stationed in this territory.
- This new neutral territory will be used as an experimental farm for ANRA. The purpose of this farm is to establish new farming techniques to enable M'Chek to produce more food off the land it has.
- The population of this neutral territory will never exceed what the territory itself is able to feed. Any excess food generated by this farm will be used to feed the starving, in whatever nation they may be.
- The neutral territory of Blandenberg shall not be used for any military activities. This includes but is not limited to using the territory as a staging point for attacks or spy missions into enemy territory.
- This territory shall contain a neutral hospital that shall be set up to replace the previous structure destroyed. The governance of the land this hospital is on shall not be seen differently than that of the rest of the territory. It will be not be seen as a separate entity within the neutral territory. As the hospital was originally funded by those of Dru'El, and repairs will be made using funds gathered by those of Cha'reth. These two churches along with any who they appoint shall be tasked with maintaining and running the hospital as they see fit so long as all other points of this agreement are adhered to.
- Any with the needed skills shall be free to work in this hospital, however preference shall be given to those of Dru'El, Cha'reth, O'Ma and Mikon.
- The services of the hospital shall be available to all who are in need, regardless of race or affiliation with any group or nation.
- Blandenberg must not be used for strategical advantage of either side. Any military forces entering Blandenberg must either leave via the same route on which they entered, or in the case where this would cause them to enter enemy territory they must leave via a pre determined route (as decided on by the churches of Dru'El and Mikon) that will have them leave Blandenberg at a point that is as far as possible from any contested lands and passes into non contested lands held by their nation.
Signed on behalf of the Joint Houses of M'Chek
Signed on behalf of T'Nanshi
Scribe for the Council of Nine
Administrators and High Priests Announced
Official Announcement from The Protectorate of Blandenberg
Ladies and Gentlemen of the South Lands,
By official proclamation the High Administrators of The Protectorate of Blandenberg greet you all, and send out this message in an effort to introduce ourselves, our cause and our need.
The Protectorate, consisting of all lands given over by the governments of M'Chek and T'Nanshi, governed by myself, High Administrator Isendur Amolin of Dru'El and my honourable colleague High Administrator Lenton Hallows of Mikon and aided by our esteemed advisors bid you welcome. Our cause is a noble one, to turn the lands of death and destruction, a product of a long and bloody war that cost so many lives, into a land of prosperity, a land bountiful enough to feed the hungry of the region and a home for so many who lost their own.
We are also fortunate to have two noble and well respected High Priests of the churches to oversee our spiritual needs, the newly appointed High Priest Celedor Dedwend of Dru'El and High Priest Pollio of Mikon. Also, The Equalizers of Mikon and Dru'els Avengers have been kind enough to grant our inhabitants with protection from the various dangers that wild animals, amongst other things present. By keeping a close watch along the Protectorates borders they will ensure our continued safety.
The lands of the Protectorate are as yet barren and barely workable, although we have high hopes of correcting this in time. We are not wealthy however, any aid is welcome, be it in coin, a helping hand in working the soil, anything will be very much appreciated.
High Administrator Hallows
High Administrator Amolin