Kingdom of Valeria
Income: Trade, mining, agriculture
Armed Forces: 2 dragons of Infantry. 1 of archer-cavalry. 100 Elite palace gaurd. Variable numbers of barbarian warriors.
At the eastern end of the Rock River lies the Kingdom of Valeria. Situated mostly on the western side it is mostly plains for farming. The farthest reaches of the kingdom suffered under the war between the Bull of the North and the Realm, the shadowland the Valley of Shards being on the border of the kingdom. To the north is a small series of mountains and just across the river to the east is forests. Farther north is the kingdom of the Halta and the Gossamar Stockade. In Kraken’s Exalted world Jarrith doesn’t exist as a kingdom and that is where the 3 Owl Tribe is located in. The nearest large kingdom aside from that is the Kingdom of Greyfalls to the far west. There are a few kingdoms that are situated along the river southward of his land.
Type: Port city
Defences: Large wall, catapults and ballistae aimed at the river.
Income: Taxes, duties on trade, agriculture
Terrain: River, plains
Valeria is located at the end of the Rock River. Its location puts it in a prime spot for trade with the Haltan nation and those who wish to trade with them without going through the Linowan Nation. The city has a large wall that protects most of the city. Large docks are set up to handle the movement of trade and foodstuffs that get sent out from the fertile fields around it. The city has a palace guard of 100 men. There is also work being done to expand the barracks to house the increasing permanent military.
In recent events a plague killed several thousand of the cities inhabitants, and several houses have taken on a dark geomantic aspect.
Type: Mining town
Defences: Just what the people can provide for themselves.
Terrain: Mountain, forest
Vedergal is located in the northwestern part of Valeria. A mountainous area there they mine for valuable metals such as iron, tin, copper and other commercial metals. On the other side of the mountain was found an old forest that had jade deposits in it. There was a small road leading to them that has become overgrown of late. However he has recently allowed the mining of the deposits so it shall soon begin to see use. Most metal is not turned into products here, merely extracted, refined and sent on to Valeria.
Other population centers
There are about 10 other villages scattered around his land that make up an additional 5000 people. They are merely agriculture centres which help produce the vast grain supplies the Hundred Kingdoms are known for.
Defences: The barbarians themselves
Income: Nothing of significance
Terrain: Forest, plains
The Three Owl Tribe has been granted land on the eastern side of the Rock River. They live within the forest and plains of that region in a nomadic style. They also wander his kingdom. This has lead to a decrease in banditry and relations between the city people and them are well since both their rulers are now married. It has brought them together. As per the plan Darus and his wife devised to lead their people to be more then they are the children of the leaders spend alternating years with the others cultures. This is to harness both the generalized strength of the barbarians with the specialized strength of civilization.
Conquered City: Redrock
Population: Approximately 70,000 for the kingdom. 40, 000 for the central city.
Kingdom: Previously the capitol of Redrock, now part of Valeria.
Income: Trade, agriculture, taxes
Notes: Poorer then Valeria, a rise in wealth is starting to show in it. Matriarchy.
Conquered City: Vivance
Population: 100,000 with about 60,000 in the capitol.
Kingdom: Previously the capitol of Tolvin.
Income: Trade, agriculture, taxes, lumber
Notes: Prosperous land, well defined and structured laws and society. Patriarchy.
Conquered City: See-ay
Population: 50,000. 35,000 in the capitol city.
Kingdom: Previously the capitol of the Blessed River Kingdom.
Income: Trade taxes, river-shipbuilding
Notes: Placed at the place where the Rock River splits it taxed those moving up and down through the area. Matriarchy.
The central city area of Valeria was put in place during the late Shogunate era. With its location near the vast forests of the east and its location near the Rock River it was both placed for economic and control purposes. There is a clear distinction in the city between the parts placed up by the Dragonblooded and those put up after both in geomancy of the regions they built and in design. After the contagion though decimated population wise it was able to survive due to its location and plentiful resources in the area.
Though the city sent troops to fight against the Fey Invasion in 547, they had to quickly withdraw from the war due to losses and an inability to rebuild their forces. It took no part in the war with Thorns due to how far east it is even though it is technically a member of the Confederation.
The Sorn family has been in control of the kingdom for the last 6 generations. They rose up into power in a military coup. Details of that time are sketchy but it doesn’t look like they acted for altruistic reasons. Later rulers of that family though were good and generous rulers, though not ambitious ones.
Darus’ father was a good ruler, but was often required to take part in battles with raiders, brigands and barbarians. He died at the age of 40 from disease and battle fatigue. Darus’ mother had died years before by a horse riding accident.
During the year 760 a dawn caste exalted within the city. The Wyld Hunt had shown up the day before and with practiced, ruthless efficiancy destroyed him soon after his exaltation with only minor damage from Blooded animas to people and buildings.
Technology: Valeria has no special technological advantage over its neighbors. The city industry isn’t large enough to produce large weapons for things such as warstriders. The technology level is close to what one finds in the larger cities of the threshold.
Holidays: On the 14th of Ascending Fire is the High Nobility Festival which celebrates the day that the Sorn family came into power. Other holidays occur at the King and Queen’s respective birthdays and a seasonal festival at the start of each season.
Culture: Family lines are traced from descent of the mother though exceptions exist for the Royal family(ie. The child of Darus and any woman would be considered descended from him and not the woman. Royalty takes first place before the normal custom). Communal bath houses are one of the more social places to meet and talk with people. There are about 4 different levels for the society. The Ruling level which is the royal family and direct relations to them such as sons, sisters, parents, etc. Anyone who is only one step removed from the current rulers. Then the upper/noble class which includes the rich and those who can trace a descent or connection to the rulers. Middle class is the majority of the population and they are your soldiers and merchants, and etc etc. The lower class, those who are generally broke or homeless are given work by the crown. They form the lowest grunt level for things like road making, large public works and the like. Since work will be found for you begging is a crime and their aren’t any that line the streets.
Darus used to be his countries champion as well as king, and before him his father also took that role. Now though the solar Dawn caste known as Nikita is the realm's champion in warfare and disputes that need to be resolved by blade.
Military: See above for numbers. While most of the history of Valeria did not have a standing army since Darus has exalted one has come into being. There isn’t a draft, but there are recruitment campaigns going on. With Valeria’s recent victories in war the life of a soldier is gaining appeal amongst the populace. Mostly it trains and practices since it has seen recent action and Darus is interested in becoming a military power. The cream of the crop tend to become palace guards and as of yet there is no special forces.
Religion: There are local gods that receive worship but nothing so much that could be viewed as the common religion of the land. Darus does not interfere with it, so long as no laws are broken. Like most thresholders the people don’t exactly believe everything the Immaculates have to say on the matter of the Exalted, but they don’t exactly disbelieve either.
Trade: Trade is done with various kingdoms nearby. Major exports are foodstuffs, metals, lumber and some trade in Green Jade. There is also trade with the Guild, from whom he sometimes buys weapons and other gear that his industry can’t currently produce. The Guild knows his views on the matter of slavery, and get around it with indentured servants or normal employees when they come through the area. The slave market in the area had never been that large to begin with, and with his increase in buying from them from military gear they haven't lost any money from trade.
Laws: Aside from the usual murder is bad, theft bad, etc kind he has a few special ones. Murder is punished with beheading. He has left a few standing orders for his kingdom. People who bring in actual first age writings are well rewarded. First-age devices and all artifacts are required to be given to the crown except under special dispensation. People who hand them over are well rewarded but failure to do so results in fines and possibly other penalties depending on what was kept from the Crown.
Anytime an exalt or other supernatural enters the city gates and is noticed as one the guards provide a quick questioning of who they are, their business, where they are staying and what artifacts they have. It is requested that they hand over any weapons while in town but not enforced. They do not bar people from entering even if they do not answer the questions.
City guards are to treat anyone who enters the city and who is a foreigner clearly carrying MM weapons with all the respect due to the Blooded. Metal type is noted though, orichalcum/moonsilver/starmetal/jade/soulsteel and reported to give him an idea of what they are.
Anytime a group of dragonblooded enter there is always an immediate message is sent to the castle. The king and queen are notified and the exalts are watched. Further action is then taken as the king and queen decide.
To discourage people going out and getting themselves killed he also rewards people for finding old ruins. He then has his own people investigate. Also, ruin looting except by his orders and direction is illegal.
Another law is his making slavery illegal. The trade of and use of slaves except for the purpose of moving through the area is illegal. This hasn't stopped trade in any way since people quickly adjusted. It had never been that common in the area to begin with. The nearest large market for slaves was to the south and west in the direction of Greyfalls, Halta sends its own prisoners and criminals who might be slaves off in payment to the fae. The trade was just not profitable for the Guild to use in the area and so it caused few ripples with his making of it illegal and even before Darus acted only prisoners of war or bandits were made into slaves. With his slowly expanding empire though he realizes that either he is going to have to make an about face on the issue somehow, or be prepared to take an active stance against the Guild. He has also written a correct history of the past compared to the Immaculate Order's claims. This has not been published yet. It is merely a book in his private library.
Drugs are legal, though crimes committed while under the influence of them receive no special leeway. If you can’t control yourself when doing drugs, don’t take them.
Gods and Spirits: Valeria has both a kingdom god and a god of the capitol city, both of whom have started to grow in might as Valeria expands. Neither one takes a direct hand in the city, being one of the more proper city gods that doesn't rule over people. The local nature spirits though seem to be oddly prolific with mortals in the countryside though, with most villages having at least a few godblooded in it. The nature spirits and City Father have a mutual protection agreement to help keep other gods from muscling in on their territory.
At the source of each branch of the Rock River lies hidden the sanctums twin gods of the Rock River. Meander is the twin that lives at the westernmost branch and Rippling Brook is the one that lives in the eastern one. They are male and female respectively. They both look almost identical, definitly twins and have the forms of youths with eyes that seem to change and have flecks of white moving through them like rapids. Powerful dieties, they don't take an active role in the area, content to enjoy the respect and worship they get from their important positions in the area though they will act if they feel that the river or their worship might be put in danger. Rather then spend all their time in Yu-Shan they spend most of it in Sanctums and in Creation while making seasonal trips in to hand in paperwork on things.
Economics: Valeria uses both the Silver standard, and due to the location of a source of jade within the lands, the Jade standard as well with Silver being traded at the normal rate of 5:1. This was to help keep the Guild happy after some of the slavery changes Darus made. Slavery is illegal while the use of indentured servants is not. The drug trade is legal in Valeria as well, which benifits from a closeness to Halta in some of its drug benifits. There are district banks set up by the Guild in Valeria, but no national banking system of their own.
Drugs: Though Valeria does produce some of its own drugs, they buy more then they sell to the Guild. Opium is grown in several farms within Valeria. Qat never took hold in the region, though Maiden Tea and Marijuana also see some production which is then in turn sold to the Guild. Since addicts can often find themselves jobless and broke on the streets, which in turn means getting sent to do public works, those who do use drugs tend to learn how to use them safely. Opium and Marijuana remain the most popular recreational drugs in Valeria. Valeria does not do drug trade except through the Guild. Qat, marijuana, coca leaves, cocaine, rock cocaine, opium, heroin, hallucinogenic woad and rasp spider venom can all be purchesed or found in Valeria in terms of drugs. Ice fern spores are not carried by Guild traders as the interest in it is too small to be profitable. Recently with the creation of a shadowland on the western border of Valeria a small trickle of Ghost Flower has started to enter circulation. Currently its use is restricted to the richer nobles in Valeria. Its gathered by a few brave souls, and then sold to the richer nobles without either the Crown or the Guild knowing it is happening.
In terms of medicines Valeria buys little from the Guild in terms of actual medicine, producing more then enough Maiden Tea and several other herbs for their own normal use. Age-staving cordial can be found and bought though it is more expensive then normal in Valeria. The Guild finds its more profitable to sell to Halta or Greyfalls then to the smaller kingdoms along the river and as such raise the price a little for them.