"First give the people what they want, then later, you
can give them what you want..."
|Proper Name||The Drakkellian Economic Alliance of Guilds|
|Ruler||His Most Resplendent and Excellent Audacity, Lord of the Council of Guilds, Guardian of the Drakkellian Bazaar and Master of Coffers, Lord Tymok Ozzel, the Colorful|
|Population Density||25 people per square kilometer
(64 people per square mile)
|Demographics||Human 40%, Grum 18%, Dwarven 15%, Elven 10%, Ogre 5%, Orc 4%, Phellysian 4%, Avarian 3%, Baenite 1%|
|Languages||Southern 60%, Drakkellin 30%, Grumman 10%|
|Capital City||Drakkell (Population: 267,500)|
|National Colors||Red, black and gold|
|Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods||Iron ore, copper, gold, silver, fish, lumber, medicinal herbs, fruits and vegetables, cotton, sheep, cattle, goats, weapons, armor, poisons and toxins, craftsmen, mercenaries, glassware, magical paraphernalia, literature, granite, marble, stonework, metal smithy work, handcrafted goods and much more|
|Other Religions||Imarus, Semorjon, Sarreth, Kael, Mireldokar, Daramis, The Three Fates|
|Total Land Area||578,000 square kilometers
(223,170 square miles)
The Drakkellian Alliance is a political and economic unification between a number of wealthy guilds, cities and towns in the central south coastal region of Ithria. At the heart of this great alliance are five massive cities: Drakkel, Vogue, Ithell, Penketh and Grimstone. Drakkel is the largest city and leads the Alliance. Politically, the realm is ruled by an allEach guild is a business organization with its own leaders, employees, rulers, ships, guards and caravans. The guild houses fund their own private armies, spies, assassins and so forth which give them a great deal of influence throughout the nation and beyond. The guilds are scattered throughout the nation. Some guilds are located entirely within Drakkell while others maintain their headquarters elsewhere. Regardless of their geographic location, all guilds have at least a token presence in the city of Drakkell. Those located outside Drakkel often run their own small city, little more than a village, which is home to its employees, warehouses, support businesses and more. Most guild houses specialize in a particular commodity and may have subdivisions within it each specializing in a particular facet of the business. Some guilds specialize in security, protecting the caravans of other guild houses and lending out warriors. Fantastic rivalries often flare up between guild houses. Alliances are forged, betrayed and made again in an endlessly corrupt game of politics and business as guilds struggle for status and position against each other. The Drakkellian Alliance is built entirely upon its strong economy. It is first and foremost a center of trade, a city of merchants. Everything in this nation has a price. Trade, barter and scams are a way of life. Above all else, profit.
The Drakkellian Alliance is largely flat grasslands stretching south to the Sea of Chaos. It is dotted by small forests and groups of hills. The Drakkellian Alliance has a warm, pleasant climate which tends to be a bit windy. The lands along the Merchant's Highway are fertile and home to many farms and river villages.
The Drakkellian Alliance is built upon the land where the once mighty Traxx Legion stood. The landscape is dotted with many ruins of Traxxian fortresses and many Drakkellian cities are built upon the foundations of former Traxxian cities. The Traxxian style of architecture, notable for its geometric linearity and blocky nature, can be found in many places throughout the country.
Many animals find their way to the Drakkellian Alliance either as exotic pets of the wealthy or captured animals brought to market from distant lands. Native animals to the region include a variety of sheep and long horn steer, the ekril, all three species of Koryns Steeds and shimmer cats which prowl the coastal forests. As with animals, many plants from distant lands wind up in the Drakkellian markets. Local plants include bloodroot and emerald moss.
Although the Traxx Legion was the last great nation still standing at the end of the Great War, the centuries of war had taken a toll on the Legion. The once mighty warrior nation had won the Great War at a terrible cost. So much of its resources had gone to the war that it did not have the strength to rebuild. Poverty and hunger were widespread. Bandits prowled the land hindering caravans and trade. Corruption crept into the legion at all levels and the chain of command throughout the military began to break down.
Three wealthy nobles took advantage of the fragmented economy. Duke Malluger was a ruler of a small Traxx duchy to the east. Lord Leonis Madare was a wealthy landowner in the north and Master Ipron Kaynur was a powerful merchant and master of a guild. These three men united their wealth and resources. In the winter of 364 CY, these three men together purchased the tiny village of Drakkel and the snowy fields around it. History records that they purchased the village with a single Traxxian copper coin and the tales that explain that price are many. That single coin was later reclaimed and has been handed down through the generations as the most prized relic of Drakkellian lore.
The Traxx Legion suffered severe internal conflicts including struggles between the nobility and the military, struggles between different factions of the military and problems between the Traxx Legion and surrounding lands. Battles between the Traxx Legion and the orcs of the Sentinel Mountains continued. The town of Drakkel and its three noble leaders took advantage of this political and economic chaos, often selling weapons to both sides or playing one faction against another. In so doing, Drakkel filled its coffers even as the coffers of the Traxx Legion were emptied.
The three nobles took advantage of the fragmented economy of the Traxx Legion and united several guilds into a loose network of economic partnership. This helped optimize the flow of food, goods and money between the various towns. Caravans were guarded and badly needed food and crafted goods began to flow. Mercenaries were hired and organized and used to scare off bandit attacks. Trade quickly recovered.
In the fifth and sixth centuries, the Drakkellian Alliance grew in strength and became a viable economic entity working within and in cooperation with the Traxx Legion. The city of Drakkel itself swelled in size during this time as many refugees from the war torn Traxx Legion came to find work and stability.
In the summer of 771, a revolt among high ranking Traxxian officers against the nobility erupted leading to a full scale military coup. The ruling nobility were executed and control of the nation fell to petty warlords who fought amongst themselves. The Traxx Legion quickly began to dissolve into dozens of groups that waged war against each other.
The Drakkellian Alliance remained a strong economic force and held together even as the Traxxian government broke up around it. The Alliance sold weapons, food and other goods to opposing sides while remaining politically neutral. By playing different war lords against each other, the Drakkellian Alliance was able to stay out of the fighting while filling its coffers. The Alliance's wealth and influence grew greatly as it became the only group in the region with any real power.
In 797 CY, the Drakkellian Alliance, now a full and growing nation, began rebuilding the ruin of a Traxxian fortress so as to establish a strong military base on its eastern borders and defend itself against bandit raids from the bands roving the Sentinel Mountains which were becoming more common. Drakkel sent a small force of troops and craftsmen to rebuild and man this outpost.
In the fall of 1070 CY, the Drakkellian Alliance ordered the fortress to stand down. With the unification of several major orcish groups, several guild masters in Drakkel feared that having a military outpost so close to the orcish border would provoke full scale war rather than protect the peace and encourage economic relations. These guildmasters used their influence to sway the council and Drakkel soon ordered the soldiers to abandon the fortress and return home.
A coup quickly followed in the fortress. The administrators, merchants and leaders fled back to Drakkel, but the military leaders stayed. Ignoring the order to return home, the warriors declared themselves independent. The Drakkellian Alliance promptly severed all political ties with the fortress.
Today, the Drakkellian Alliance is one of the largest, wealthiest and most powerful nations in all of Ithria.
The Council of Guilds rules the Drakkellian Alliance. Each Guild House has one representative sitting on the council. This council is led by the High Lord of the Council of Guilds, an office and title which is appointed by a popular vote of all council members. The High Lord is always chosen from one of the council representatives. There is, undoubtedly, all manner of political backstabbing and deal brokering that goes on behind closed doors just prior to such a vote. Upon being voted in, the High Lord severs all connections with his guild. This is a symbolic gesture of justice and fairness. Despite this tradition, the guild house from which the High Lord hails undoubtedly enjoys some fringe benefits. The position of High Lord is held for life.
Currently reigning is Lord Tymok Ozzel, an immensely fat, but good natured man. He is easily recognizable by his drooping mustache, balding head and deep belly laugh, which is heard often. He wears a gold ear ring in his left ear, which is quite the fashion throughout the south. He is overly fond of ale, fine food and wearing brightly colored clothing. Lord Ozzel is a shrewd businessman and a charismatic leader able to influence people with sweet words and play them against each other like pawns.
All "departments" that they need (guilds, militia, craftsmen, city guards etc.) are hired on a mercenary basis. The entire governmental structure is like a business. All members have offices and titles. The primary concern of the government is that a continual stream of profit flows into the citys coffers and that the city always have readily available resources. The government is very corrupt. Pardons may be purchased and the law may be manipulated for a price.
Laws are moderate. Laws can be bent with money. Bribery is very common. Usually, this works to aid those who want to avoid punishment. Rarely is the system manipulated to put innocents in prison. Overall, the city is organized and peaceful. The city realizes that if its legal system were too harsh or unfair, it would be detrimental to business.
A large "police" force is maintained. This force is well trained, well equipped and well paid. It is often used in other projects by the government. This force also serves as the military in times of war and routinely patrols trade routes. Additional troops are sometimes hired on an as-needed basis.
Eye of the Storm
A major shipwreck off the coast east of Drakkel. Well known and a popular spot for treasure hunters.
A large and notorious fortified island prison located off the coast not far from the capital city of Drakkel.
Lady on the Water
The Lady on the Water is a magnificent, multi-deck river boat that travels up and down the Merchant's Highway river. It travels throughout the Drakkellian Alliance, transporting cargo and passengers between the cities of Drakkel and Ithell and stopping at dozens of towns and villages along the way.
The economy is very strong. Everything is legal and anything is for sale. Prices are quite stable and consistent. In all regards, the Drakkellian Alliance is the standard for all elements of currency and trade. The market is buyer beware and all sales are final.
Drakkel is the largest port on the south coast and a tremendous amount of goods and people pass through its main harbor each day. This continual flow of goods on the south seas has attracted a large amount of piracy, both from the Coalition and from independent corsairs. The problem is more than the current military ships can handle. To curb the rise of piracy, Drakkel and other governments have taken to hiring mercenary ships as government sponsored privateers. These pirate hunters usually bear an official privateer flag awarded them for their duty and have proved somewhat effective. However, some of these privateers are as bad as the pirates they hunt and have been known to search and seize legitimate cargo vessels at sea. The region has become a dangerous "bad seas" area where government warships, pirates, privateers and mercenaries prey on anything that floats. Clearly, the Sea of Storms is a dangerous waterway.
As might be imagined, the city and nation of Drakkel tax everything and everyone. All cargos, travel, sales, events, groups, business mergers, petitions, etc are taxed. There are no less than fourteen different tax bureaus in the Drakkellian Alliance that each levy their own taxes upon the populace, specializing in different regions or areas of interest. The city of Drakkel has seven tax bureaus alone. Some things may invoke multiple taxes from different bureaus. Rarely do these tax bureaus cooperate. On the contrary, they often find themselves at odds. If the people of the Drakkellian Alliance have anything to complain about, it is an excess of taxation.
Drakkellian Letters of Credit
Some of the ruling guilds specializing in money lending and exchange. They are, in effect, primitive banking systems. Two of the larger banking guilds are Arganthauer's Vault House and The Drakkellian Preserve. One of the more unique forms of currency used in the Drakkellian alliance is the letter of credit. These are paper documents that are equivalent to a specific amount of gold. They are usually only issued to nobles or guild representatives. Here's how it works - a guild gives a large amount of gold to the banking guild. The banking guild issues a letter of credit in the name of the person who deposited the money. A letter of credit will always have the signature of the owner and a drop of his blood on the page (for magical identification purposes). Letters of credit are usually issued only for very large amounts of money. The smallest amount typically issued is 1000 gold lords.
Each banking guild maintains a guild house in every city and town in the Drakkellian Alliance and in nearby major cities. The owner of the letter can then exchange the letter of credit for the specified amount of gold at any banking guild house. This allows the movement of huge sums of money without actually having to transport actual gold. Such banking methods are usually only used between guilds and only for large sums of money. The drop of blood is used to magically ascertain that the person holding the document is the same one for whom the document was originally issued. The documents themselves are often enchanted to deter tampering and forgery.
Here is a sample bit of text from a letter of credit:
Be it known that this certified letter of credit entitles the proper and registered owner to the sum of 10,000 Drakkellian Lords. This letter of credit is transferable only by writ of the original owner. To claim the sum of wealth indicated, present this letter to any officer of Arganthauer’s Vault House.
The Drakkellian Alliance is a widely known for its festivals, games, gambling and entertainment. This reputation is especially true for the capital city of Drakkel that is seen as a city of sin and debauchery by many. Through out the nation there is an active and almost cutthroat business environment. All manner of monetary transactions are legal and encouraged. Prostitution, gambling, drugs, slavery and protection rackets are all legal, common, organized and of high quality. The citizenry is a melting pot. All races can be found there. It is assumed that everyone is there to buy or sell and so everyone is welcome.
Drakkellian bartering is considered an art form. Drakkellians don't respect you if you can't barter well. There is even a School of Bartering. Some merchants hire licensed barterers who will barter for a merchant for a stiff fee. In the local slang, a hired barterer is a "sword tongue". Master sword-tongues are almost celebrities. Like lawyers, you need a good one for a major negotiation. Sword tongues to more than just barter... they also arbitrate guild disputes, negotiate business contacts and so forth.
Drakkellian Debt Tattoos
Debt is a common thing in the Drakkellian Alliance. One of the most common penalties handed out by the courts to those who cannot pay their debts is to make the debtor an indentured servant to the individual, guild or business that is owed. Indentured servants are marked with a standardized tattoo glyph identifying their status as an indentured servant, their "owner" and the amount owned (which translates to a specific number of months or years until their bondage is complete). The tattoo is altered with the passage of time as the debt is paid off. Typically, if the debt of is owed to one of the ruling guilds, the symbol of that guild is incorporated into the tattoo.
Slaves in Drakkel are branded with the mark of the city (three circles, indicating the three coins of the Drakkellian standard).
The Festival of the Coin
Once each year, a grand festival is held in the city of Drakkel wherein a wealthy noble and a pauper exchange places. It involves a large ceremony followed by a week long festival and a treasure hunt wherein the entire city searches for a legendary coin. Whoever finds the coin wins the wealth of a noble. This is the social highlight of the year, drawing people from all over the Drakellian Alliance.
Possibly the largest and most complex sporting event in all the lands, this game is unique to the capital city of Drakkel. It is a complex, competitive team sport known for mixing strategy with intense physical play. The game is fought ( quite literally) between two teams, each with their own flag tower and three flags. The winner is the first team to caputre the other team's three flags. Kalgamorra is famous for its playing field which changes during the game through extensive use of magic. It's also beloved because the rules are intricately interwoven with the culture of the city in such a way that it could not be played anywhere else.
Raljath is a popular gambling game played with cards and dice.
Magic is used extensively in the Drakkellian Alliance. When magic can be used by a competitor to gain an advantage, it's just good business to do the same. Magic is used for security, for protection, to ascertain (or conceal) the quality of a product and for a hundred other things. Most of the larger guilds and businesses have a wizard on the staff. There are several guilds and schools devoted to magic in the Alliance. Although there are few laws restricting its use, magic is, like everything else, subject to taxation. Spell components, magical fees, library use and guild memberships all carry a tax.
|Drakkel||267,500||Drakkel is the largest and most populated of the five ruling cities of the Alliance and is the official capital city. Like all five of the cities, Drakkel is a major trade center.|
|Ithell||196,00||Ithell is one of the five ruling cities. It is known for its large elven population and sits at the highest navigable point on the Merchant's Highway river for shallow draft vessels. Further upriver from this point, only smaller vessels can go.|
|Vogue||142,000||Vogue is one of the five ruling cities of the Alliance and is renowned for its wealth and culture. Vogue's wealth flows from several prosperous gold mines. The city has a strong economy and its markets are a good place to find rare books, fine paintings, expensive sculptures, elegant tapestries and other trinkets of the wealthy.|
|Grimstone||95,000||Grimstone is one of the five ruling cities of the Alliance. It is a military base and home to a major fortress which also bears the same name. Fort Grimstone is home to more than 5,000 soldiers who patrol the east border and defend the Alliance from orcish raids, bandits and military incursions by the Coalition.|
|Penketh||80,000||Penketh is one of the five ruling cities of the Alliance. It is a major ship building center and also conducts extensive trade with Kalimura.|
|Highbridge||47,000||Like the five major cities of the Alliance, Highbridge has a very large central market square. Highbridge prides itself on being the place to acquire the really hard to get items. It may not have the sheer mass and variety of goods for sale that one might find in the larger cities, but if you are looking for a very specific Grumman tobacco or a bottle of Normidian black mead from a specific year or an old book by an obscure Carrikosian scholar, Highbridge may be your best bet. Because the river is deep here, large sea going ships navigate the river and Highbridge has several large piers that can accommodate large ships. Highbridge is named for a huge stone and wood bridge that arches over the main river.|
|Ivy Falls||40,000||Ivy Falls is situated where two forks of the great river converge. The east branch spills down a waterfall to join the main river. Both sides of this waterfall are steep, natural rock walls covered in curtains of brilliant green ivy. This is also the highest navigable point on the river for large ships. Beyond this point, only vessels with a shallow draft can navigate further up river. North of here, the river traffic tends to be smaller vessels and flat bottomed river barges transporting people and goods, most of which can go all the way to Ithell.|
|Westkeep||34,500||Westkeep oversees the farming villages of the west. It is named for its central keep which is built upon the ruins of an old Traxxian fortress. Westkeep conducts trade with Kalimura and occassionaly a rare item of Kalimuran technology will find its way out of Kalimura and end up in the bazaar here.|
|Hammitt's Mill||29,000||A number of villages harvest trees from the forests at the edge of the Stench Bog. Hammitt's Mill processes the felled trees. Some logs are rafts down stream to Ivy Falls while others are converted to timber at the local mills. A number of craftsmen produce finished wooden products that are also shipped downstream by river barge.|
|Halden's Gate||24,000||A dirt road connects Barron's Wall and Halden's Gate. Caravans carry goods between the Alliance and Jannerus along this road. Much food from Jannerus is brought down to Haldern's Gate by caravans of wagons where it is loaded onto river barges and carried down river to the larger cities.|
|Saltrock Cove||21,800||This fishing town builds small boats, conducts deep sea sports fishing and harvests pearls from oyster beds.|
|Battle Mound||16,500||Battle Mound is a small town and fort build upon a large hill at the very edge of the Stench Bog. The hardy folk of Battle Mound assist Grimstone by standing watch over the far eastern border. The militia here frequently clashes with orc tribes, swamp bandits and wandering raiding parties from the Brotherhood of the Serpent Tongue.|
|Orin's Wake||17,000||Orin's Wake is known for finely crafted wooden boats and small ships. Several conflicting stories offer an origin for the town's name. The most widely accepted story states that Orin was a master shipwright that lived during the early years of the Great War and sailed a ship named the Wake. He was the first settler on this island and the current ruler of Orin's Wake claims to be a direct descendant of Orin.|
|Westport||12,500||Small fishing town that lies directly on the shipping route between Orrojek and Drakkel. Westport has a deep harbor and long piers to accomodate large ships. It also has a small shipyard. Ships travelling between those two cities sometimes stop by Westport for supplies, repairs or to wait out a storm.|
|Seawatch||9,700||A small fishing town that maintains a large lighthouse on a rocky isle just off the coast.|
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This website was last updated March 31, 2019. Copyright 1990-2019 David M. Roomes.