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Characterized by its warmth and stability, the Medec Basin has perhaps the most pleasant weather of any region in Kurathene. Foul weather, particularly in the form of flash rains and lake effect storms, is concentrated in the winter months, giving a good, stable yield on crops during the spring and summer.
The people are a proud, but most often easy-going folk of traders and artisans, and the arts are held in high regard. The Barony of Medec is probably the most peaceful fief in the Kurathene Empire.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Relations with other fiefs
- 4 Economics
- 5 Politics
- 6 Religion
- 7 Culture
- 8 Links
The Medec valley is centered around the Nomad River. The surrounding lands are mostly flat areas, with cow meadows and the occasional field.
There are few small woods around, but they are not very fit for harvesting. The small amounts that are cut down are not good enough to be used as timber, but instead get burned to coal.
Cities and Towns
The capital of the Basin, Medec City is built right onto the Nomad River. While there remains a narrow passage accessible to ships, most of the river is riddled with stilts and houses. The city has many narrow alleys, as well as big plazas filled with merchants. On the western bank the largest temple to Hurine is situated, with a big bazaar inside.
It is said that the Patrician's Palace is a sight to behold.
The village of Clearview
Clearview lies in Eastern Medec, and is an open farmers village.
The village of Mumblewater
The village of Fairwater
The village of Fairwater is found in western Medec, at one of Joral Kuras' canals.
Medec has a few distinctive Landmarks, found throughout the Basin.
The Clay Quarry
Medec has one big natural ressource: Clay. The Medec Clay Quarry is basically a large hole in the ground. Occasionally, it fills up with water, but its clay is the source for most of the brick houses in this area.
The waterfalls thus created are named after her.
In northern Medec one can find this striking landmark. It is whispered among the people of Medec that it is some sort of ritual site for witches. Less superstitious people say that druids built this structure. Whatever the truth may be, it has been abandoned long ago, and some of the stones have collapsed beneath the weight of time and nature. A green light of unknown origin still emanates from it, however...
The Barony of the Medec Valley has been a central trading hub ever since its founding in the 13th century. This is thanks to the detailed waterways created over the past 500 years by the Imperial Legion of Architects. The Barony of Medec, or simply Medec, grew to a prominent position as a merchants haven, the river and its central location in the Empire giving it a natural advantage in trade. Business prospered, the fiefdom grew and was ruled by the da Medican family for generations. Being insular, removed from any hostile borders, the wealth and culture of Medec flourished, giving the fief a very cosmopolitan feel. The da Medicans encouraged the development of the arts and crafts, even founding a college of the arts and comissioning a Theatre. The Medec people learned to enjoy their wealth and to appreciate the finer things in life, whether they might be food, music, clothing or art. All was well in Medec, with very few disruptions in their way of life until events in the Empire began to radically change it.
This timeline begins where the Kurathene Timeline ends.
- 2000 - In the new-year celebrations, a number of petty criminals are pardoned, and gain the opportunity to reform themselves. They become the first Watchers.
- 2004 - Josparr I., Usurper of the da Medican line dies. A hasty council is set up to elect a new baron. Reinhard I. of the va'Boari is elected as the new baron of Medec.
- 2018 - The northern border gets closed for a while, to stop the flow of refugees from Julaspium. It will get opened again within 2 weeks, as trade is more important than ever.
- 2027 - Reinhard I. dies, under suspicious circumstances. His nephew, Joral va'Boari succeeds him.
- 2028 - Joral, the Slaver Baron, when it becomes known that he has allowed southron slavers to pass through Medec. Joral flees Medec along with his closest family. His younger brother Reinhard, who also has uncovered the scandal succeeds him as Baron
- 2051 - Reinhard II. dies peacefully in bed. It is said that his reign was a prosperous one. His son Refar va'Boari succeeds him.
- 2058 - Refar va'Boari decides to break open the eastern city wall, to allow a faster flow of goods through the city. The old gate is left standing, as its foundations proved to be too sturdy.
- 2065 - Refar's wife, Jannaslar va'Boari convinces her husband to further dam the Nomad south of Medec. The resulting lake becomes used as a field for rare herbs. Additionally, ship travel from the south must be stopped and reloaded there, providing Medec with another source of income
- 2072 - Medec Trade Guards take part in a punishing raid on Crullath Slavers
- 2085 - Refar va'Boari dies, his wife Jannaslar takes up the state affairs
- 2091 - Reinhard III. becomes Baron of Medec after his mother Jannaslar dies. He continues the dismantling of troops and defenses his father has started.
- 2093 - Reinhard IV, son of the current ruler breaks with his father in a heated argument. He leaves for Trenium, and joins the navy there.
- 2103 - Upon the death of Reinhard III., his son quits service in the Trenium Navy and takes up the title of Baron.
- 2104 - Reinhard IV. orders the City wall to be build up again, and rebuilds the defensive capabilities of Medec
- 2128 - Reinhard IV., last of the va'Boari, dies, leaving no apparent heir.
The Death of Joral Kuras and Medec
Following the death of Joral Kuras and the ascension of Angadar, the Kurathene Empire, leaderless and heirless found itself embroiled in a number of civil and foreign conflicts. Medec was relatively untouched by most of the strife that embroiled the Empire. During war, trade would still need to be done; goods shipped and coin still changes hands. The Trade Guards of Medec still performed well in delivering Medecian goods to strife ridden areas and orders of the sturdy clay bricks of Medec actually increased as fiefdoms built more fortifications bracing for coming wars. While most fiefdoms were rapidly expanding their militaries, the da Medican rulers of Medec thought it best to concentrate on neutrality, alliances and trade pacts to ensure the safety and autonomy of the fief.
While the first and second fief wars raged, Medec remain blissfully untouched by the growing strife. The people of Medec felt that Hurine would protect them while the Empire fragmented; keeping the chaos that was so very bad for business in other fiefs away from Medec in return for their devout worship.
For years, this was the case..
The End of the da Medican line and Uncertainty
After the Third fief wars, Medec remained on the fence, refusing to ally with any fief embroiled in the conflicts. Though through the years, while their neighbors armed and trained, Medec continue to sit in a malaise, unable or unwilling to face the growing reality of the increasingly dangerous position it was in. The last Baron of the fief Reinhart IV had enough foresight to see what was coming and began to militarize the fiefdom more aggressively. He raised taxes, began recruitment and a restructuring of the military from its previous incarnation as overgrown caravan guards and tax police. This caused much consternation to a few of the wealthy merchant houses, who saw their profits fall by increasing taxes. Deliverance of damnation came to them when a strange marsh fever afflicted the Baron.
Despite the best efforts of the clergy of Hurine and Dagath, the fever persisted and claimed the Baron before healers from other lands could arrive to attend to him. The militarization program faltered as the Baron was dead and the the fief without an heir, as Reinhart had failed to provide an heir in his tenure as Baron. The Fiefdom was faced with a leadership crisis at the most inopportune time. The heads of the three largest merchant houses Alratric, Caranien, and Devilin met together with the leaders of the Church of Hurine and Toran in Medec to search for a new leader of the fief.
The search initially focused on a young descendant of the Da Medican line who was working as painter in the M’Chekian capital of Mikona. Before the young man could be approached, he unexpectedly died. In his will he left all his titles and inheritances to his daughter, Elvanshalee da Medican. This daughter was very young and inexperienced, hardly the best option for the coming wars Medec might face.
Still the stewards of Medec insisted on bringing her to Medec to assume the rightful throne of the Fief, but conceded she would need a strong husband, experienced in warfare and diplomacy to help her rule. The Stewards, the representatives of the merchant houses and the two major churches named many candidates to become the spouse of Elvanshee. After much deliberation and scheming one candidate rose above the rest.
The Last Heir
Many years before, Reinhart IV. had a dalliance with a daughter of the Devilin family named Jacqueline. Jacqueline was a demure, pretty woman in her late teens when she met the older and married Reinhart III at a ball in the Palace. Jacqueline, normally a reserved and moral girl was no match for the powerfully charismatic Reinhart and he seduced her into his bed. Reinhart left her with child, an illegitimate bastard. Jacqueline tried to keep the identity of the father a secret, but was betrayed by a midwife bribed by court rivals. Soon her bastard child and affair became the latest court gossip. The gossips were always careful not to let their words reach the ears of Reinhart III, not too many years later he died, leaving the fief to his son Reinhart IV. Jacqueline suffered with the thinly veiled innuendoes and blatant snobbery of the social mavens in Medec. Her name became synomous with adultery and sexual immorality. Overwhelmed by guilt, Jacqueline sought sanctuary in the worship of Toran, vowing never to allow base emotions overwhelm her better judgment again.
There she met the newly made Justicar Sarten va’Lorcien. They soon developed a close friendship and maintained it for years as each rose to prominence in their own spheres of influence. Jacqueline gave birth to Reinhart’s III son, and named him Drake, though he kept her families name. It was common knowledge that he was the son to Reinhart, though it as never acknowledged by either family. Drake was scholed in the Toranite tradition from an early age, when he reached adolescence he was brought under the tutelage of Sarten, to one day become a Justicar of Toran. His mother’s mistakes would haunt the brash, fiery young man as he found himself on more than a few occasion forced to duel other nobles and merchants who dared to question his mothers honor. One particular occasion, he gravely wounded a merchant who spoke poorly of his mother. Although Drake’s actions were justified by laws of Honorable Duels, it became apparent to Sarten and Jacqueline that Drake would either challenge the wrong heckler and be slain, or slay the wrong noble with a powerful family. Sarten recommended he do what a friend of his had done in the al’Aere family and send their son south to M’chek to serve in that countries war against the elves. There he could gain honor for his family and valuable military experience. Jacqueline bade her son to travel to M’chek, and Drake being the loyal and filial son did as she said.
An Arranged Marriage
The Stewards of Medec were unable to compromise on nearly anything, Medec languished in limbo. The Church of Hurine pressed for a skilled merchant leader, one with strong diplomatic ablites. The Church of Toran wanted a strong military leader, as war will soon come to Medec. The Caranien and Alratric each forwarded one of their number for the throne of Medec. Justicar Sarten, now a high ranking member of the Medec Church of Toran remembered the young man he had sent south, now a proven military leader in M’Chek, and of the proper bloodline to marry Elvanshee and rule the fief. Sarten spoke with Jacqueline, now the Matriarch of the Devilin house, about recalling her son to vie for the Medec Throne. Jacquline agreed and did as Sarten said. The Church of Hurine, convinced that the new leaders of the fief would preserve the Churchs place in the fief agreed and gave thier blessing and voted for the marriage.
On a three to two vote, the Barony of Medec would be passed to Elvanshalee da Medican and Drake Devilin, both unaware that their lives were about to change radically.
Medec has long recovered from it's unstable political situation.
After his father-in-law, the regent Baron Janur da Medican had resigned, Duke (and now Baron) Drake Devilin has stepped up to the throne of Medec, along with his wife Elvanshalee da Medican.
Trade is good, and the pleasant weather in the past years have granted a few bountiful harvests. Medec has been widely unscathed from the Tri-Fief war, and some merchants even made a profit by trading with the right goods. There are rumours of them selling weapons to whoever paid best.
Relations with other fiefs
If one wants to simplify things, Medec can be called the "Fence Sitter". As they have depend on trade, Medecs rulers try to keep relations with all its neighbours as good as it can get.
- People are wary of the aggressive neighbour in the south.
- There is still some trade going on though.
Trenium and Arvanos
- Maintain trade and relations.
- Good relations, as Servator is currently the chief buyer of clay.
- There is talk among the populace of allowing Servator a small garrison in the south, to stop Crullath having funny ideas. This hasn't come to fruit yet though, especially since there is no current Baron of Medec.
- One of the direct neighbours, and a good trade partner.
- Mostly neutral to friendly
- Vian Valorian has a benign enough reputation, so people are generally friendly to those from his fief.
- As a close neighbour, one tries to have only the best relations with Calazeria.
- The Medec populace follows Servators stance here: Mild wariness, primarily due to rumors about its leaders and the actions of the last Tri-Fief War.
Cytheria, Pylatea and Halstead
- "Aren't that these parts far in the north? No idea about them."
The economy of Medec is among the most vibrant in the Kurathene Empire. Its central location, proximity to major rivers and tribuaries, and its abundant natural resources have solidified it as the hub of trading in the Kurathene Empire. Since the very outset of the fief, the rulers and people have always paid close attention to coin and trade, ensuring that this fief's taxes never become a drain on the economy (Something that isn't prevelant in the rest of the Empire). This has caused many profit minded businessmen and merchants to base thier operations out of Medec, not only for tax purposes but its waterways.
Medec's primary export is its Clay, which is in abundance in the Fief. There is a large Clay Quarry in the Fief, in which the clay is excavated and then fired in kilns into strong bricks used in Building and wall construction. The wetlands and swamps allow varied shellfish to thrive in the brackish waters. Medec Giant Crab meat is considered a delicacy in the Empire, and Medec farmers raise them in marsh farms for export. The abundance of water in the fief allows many types of rare plants and herbs to grow in the fief. These are valued by alchemists and herbalists throughout the Empire. The swamps also boast many animals whose furs can be cured and shipped through the Empire.
A rough list of its chief ressources is
- Seafood(River food?)
A "*" means that these are placed already.
- Clay (Custom)
- Diverse Plants
- 1 – 3 Hickory
- 1 – 3 White Oak (Replaces Southern Oak)
- Up to scarcity level 3, in abundance, plus 1-2 each of:
- Bleeding Hearts
- Wild Yarrow
- 4-6 Spawns of Wooly Oxen (or some other form of cattle?)
- 1-3 Spawns of Gazelle
The favorable trade conditions in Medec has allowed the City to become a trade hub for the Empire. Most trade cartels and merchant houses have some kind of presence in the Fief. Indepentant traders and craftsmen often travel to Medec to ply thier goods, and the bustling commerce in the Fief always ensures someone with enough coin is there to purchase goods. Medec commerce takes many forms: Flea markets are popular for cheaper goods in which the common folk can afford. They also can be a front for black market items, the stalls acting as a front for criminals or smugglers who are very careful to sell only to the right people.
Medec City and the outskirts are host to many business who sell goods of every fashion. It's also common to see street vendors sell just about anything, but the more expensive the good, the more likely these vendors will draw the attention of tax collectors, as there is certain business fees that must be paid to the Fief. Also, Trade Fairs abound in the fief and goods of all sorts are traded there. The Festival of Hurine is held four times a year, at the beginning of each season and is the largest of all Trade Fairs. It is held at the temple of Hurine in Medec city, but also draws a sizable amount of makeshift stalls and street vendors who set up nearby.
As a result of this bristling trade, the Medec Tax and Excise office is one of the largest ones in the government of the fief. While their taxes are considered low by Kurathene standards, Medec makes sure everyone pays thier rightful tax burden, cracking down hard on Tax evasion. In a similar vein, smuggling is relentlessly fought, the River Wardens patrolling the waterways and roads in efficent manner.
"The Barony of Medec Valley"
The traditional full title of the Medecs ruler is The Right Honourable, Viscount D'Medican, Baron of Medec, Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Kuras.
Medec as a fief state is ruled absolutely by the Baron of Medec. He does grant local governance to various mayors and sherriffs. All in all there are
- the patrician of Medec
- The mayor of Clearview
- The mayor of Mumblewater
- The sherriff of Fairwater
The patrician of Medec is chosen by the Baron. The two mayors are semi-inheritable titles, whereas the sherriff is elected every 10 years (the result is subject to the Barons approval)
The vast majority of the Medec population worships Hurine, and apparently they are rewarded well for this. Still, the City features temples and shrines to several other gods too: There is a watchtower to praise Gorethar, a large temple to Toran, as well as a few shrines dedicated to Dagath and Kelvos. Outside of the city, a small informal roadshrines for Ptah can be found too.
Medec has a highly developed cultural history, and many a poet or bard has come from this lovely place. The da Medican College of Arts, Vittorio Cavalieri's tutoring of young musicians and of course the Battle Heralds of Medec in the army are fine examples of the importance of music in Medec. Medec has a national anthem, Medec the Fair.