The City States
For centuries, the five cities of Lika, Zoraya, Perla, Chryseia and Isa have been in a loose union - while they readily unite in the face of any external threat, in the absence of a common enemy, there's incessant bickering and power struggle amidst the states, often brought to the level of minor wars raging across the peninsula. For the citizens, this is of little concern - the wealth of merchant princes buys mercenary armies, and indeed, the City States are where the majority of swordsmen and adventurers on the Inner Sea finds a living.
Political power anywhere in the City States is a byzantine labyrinth. Nominally, a Duke governs each city, but there are senators and hereditary officials to consider, as well as patents of nobility that can be bought. The system is well liked by the common people, because traditionally, all nobles and city officials are expected to sponsor not only the (rather frequent) public festivities (with free food and drink and fireworks for everyone), but also serve as patrons of arts and sciences.
Consequently, the City States host a large population of the world's best artists and master craftsmen. Also alchemy is held in high esteem, and the best alchemists are among the richest citizens. To the substantial puzzlement of traders from other regions of the world, none of the City States has a military navy (mercenaries are hard to be found in that trade) - which means that often pirates have free reign to approach close to the cities, and the picking sure is rich.
Tastris, located close to Chryseia, is even the only 'officially known' pirate hideout anywhere in the world. Yet, all in all, it turns out to be a rather useful place for the traders of Chryseia, because there are some business deals which are best made away from the eyes of the most lenient harbour administration.
There's probably no other place in the world where so many different cultures meet and where the markets overflow from goods coming from literally everywhere in the world. Not even the Eloran Empire can rival the trade done in the City States, and exports such as art, craftsmenship or alchemical colors are coveted all over the world.
Back to main index Back to world map