Phase Six

Phase Six


EN

The people of the kingdom of Asgoran are merchants and seafarers. Located directly on the edge of the eastern ocean, there is often a stiff breeze, although the climate is otherwise rather temperate. The Asgoran people have existed since about 500 BC and have contact with almost all known empires due to their diverse trade. The language of the Asgorans, Asgal is also the language which is understood almost everywhere on Tirakan.

The geography of Asgoran

Asgoran is located on the islands to the east of the Rock Sea, and to the north of the kingdom of Hadewald, northeast of the dwarf mountains. The islands are covered by dense forests, while the southern part before Hadewald is characterized by a floodplain of mild climate. Asgoran has a few large mountains on the islands of Lerca and Taris, as well as on the peninsula of Tulan. On the island of Seethlan there is a large ancient volcano which, although it has not erupted for centuries, is still active. Especially in the gray giants, the mountains on the Tulan Peninsula, Asgoran extracts important ores in underground mining. The forests of the islands are located in temperate climates and are extremely fertile.

On the island of Linya, the rare plant Death Poppy is also cultivated, which is used to build powerful rituals and potions, but only grows on Linya. Attempts to cultivate the plant in other parts of Asgoran have been unsuccessful, but on Linya it grows particularly well. Thus, much of the trade that emanates from Linya consists of death poppies.

Provinces: Linya, Lerca, Seethlan, Taris, Westheim, Thenon, Feldmark, Feransmark, Sorenwalde, Hohenfels.

The history of Asgoran

Free Trade Community (around 500 b.EC)

Around the year 500 B.C., Balwin of Lothenstein unites the merchants of the Asgoran region to form the Free Trade Community. No duties are demanded from one another, and an early free trade area is formed. The larger cities of Thenon, Tirving, and Lerca have local courts provided by the city governors.

Yadosian Conquests (402 b.EC)

Troops from Elentrea invade Asgoran territory under King Berthold of Donnerbruch and occupy the cities of Thenon and Tirving as well as the provinces of Sorenwalde, Hohenfels, D├╝sterwald (which will later be renamed Feransmark), Feldmark, and Westheim. The Free Trade Region of Asgoran becomes Yadosian territory under the rule of the von Donnerbruch. Tirving is appointed provincial capital, Berthold of Donnerbruch has a magnificent provincial palace built here in a very short time. His official residence remains Elentrea/Bayard, in Asgoran his cousin Joan von Donnerbruch represents him.

First Yadosian-Asgoran War (345 b.EC).

Led by many shipowning communities from Thenon, a resistance community forms that quickly grows into an organized, armed revolt against the rulers from Elentrea. Starting from the large city, a group of 200 armed men moves out to Tirving, but quickly grows to over 1000 men as it moves through the regions. In Tirving, the I. and II. legions of the Asgoran heavy infantry - until then subordinated to the regents in Elentrea - unexpectedly join forces. Thus, without further negotiations, the first Yadosh-Asgoran war breaks out. 15 years of consuming battles for the regions in the southwest of Asgoran. About 40000 Asgoreans die during this time, and the losses on Elentrea's side are reported to be even higher.

The Wiesengrund Treaty (330 b.EC)

After 15 years of war, both the former Asgoran and the already devastated Elentrea are economically far behind the new empires of Meridian and Yavon. A large part of the army from Elentrea stands in Bleak Forest and Hohenfels, while the Al Bah Ji'Ra in the south pose a threat to both countries. In the Haumond of the year 330 b. EC it is finally agreed to start negotiations for a settlement of the conflict in the small village of Wiesengrund near Bayard. The Asgoran shipowner Visborn von Lothenstein from the family of Balwin spends four weeks together with two of his confidants with King Jaques von Donnerbruch at his hunting lodge in Wiesengrund. After the time, Jaques of Donnerbach proclaims the sovereignty of the Asgoran territory in Bayard. The price for the freedom of the merchants is the installation of a king Elonar DeCreston, from the family of the same name from Bayard. Thus, the first kingdom of Asgoran becomes an empire under the reign of Elentrea. At this time, however, it is already foreseeable that Elentrea will not have a good future. A trade council is established to strengthen the security of the empire and to separate the laws of trade from the administration of justice.

The Black Plague (250 b.EC)

When the plague breaks out in Yavon in 255 B.EC, Asgoran people do not believe that the plague is dangerous. The House of DeCreston had ensured prosperity and tranquility among the population, albeit at the price of some cherished liberties. Thus, the citizen guards and city guards were replaced in favor of the - Yadosian led - army, and the tributes of the common people were given directly to the nobility, without expanding the structure of the cities and provinces. Then, in the Snow Moon, when the first sick people in Tirving bore witness to the coming plague, the young Asgoran was completely defenseless against it. In the coming years of the pestilence, large parts of the city's population died, reportedly far more than in neighboring Yadosien, which was largely spared the plague. It was not until twenty years later that control over the disease was gained.

The Cauldron of Thenon (211 b.EC)

On the eve of the New Year, an assassination attempt is made on Elonar II DeCreston, who survives the attack slightly injured. The background of the attack could never be clarified, as the assassin was killed in the act. Elonar, however, used the opportunity to find a reason for a planned attack on the Asgoran trade fleet. He had been targeting Thenon's trade guild since he took office, after his father's accounts revealed how much gold was passing through the shipping companies past the royal house. Less than two weeks after the attack, the Asgoran war fleet ran aground off Thenon, where half of the merchant ships were sunk in a single night. Efforts to make the attack appear as a foreign raid did not bear fruit. This night of blood became known in retrospect as "The Cauldron of Thenon."

Second Yadosian-Asgoran War (211 b.EC)

In the months that followed, unrest increased and the Yadosian-Asgoran army became more and more caught between the fronts. Eventually, the infantry legions joined the resisters, while the Asgoran navy remained firmly in the hands of the Royal Family. Civil war ensued, which raged for three long years over Asgoran, ravaged by famine and pestilence. This period, which was a time of great wealth for the kingdoms beyond the Rock Sea, represented the darkest chapter of the past for Asgoran. Although the number of victims was far below that of the plague and the first war, the deeds were far more cruel. Murders, mutilations and rapes became daily business in the most undignified way, and the once great maritime power Asgoran almost completely stopped maritime trade.

The Hohenfels Peace (208 b.EC)

Elonar II dies in the Haumond of 208 b.EC during the siege of the Hartang shipyard on Seethlan. Shortly after his death, efforts are made by the House of DeCreston to bring the empire into a consolidated state. Probably also due to the events in Yadosia, the county of Hohenfels consults with the family of Lothenstein about an extension of the Wiesengrund treaty of 330 b. EC. Under the name of the Hohenfels Peace, a treaty is finally negotiated that grants the two families of Lothenstein and DeCreston each the royal crown for the lifetime of a ruler. King Feran I of Lothenstein is the regent who is to bring the shaken realm back to calm times. Feran's first act as king is to have the city of Thenon rebuilt as the capital of the kingdom of Asgoran.

Feran's Death (150 b.EC)

On the 20th fruit moon of the year 150 b.EC, King Feran I of Lothenstein dies at the chronarian age of 89. He leaves behind an Asgoran in which the two formerly hostile cultures have grown closer than was ever hoped. Asgoran is at the preliminary peak of its trade and naval power, far exceeding the strength of rival Meridian at this time. Asgoran trading posts, shipyards, and shipping companies can be found in nearly every major city on the Rock Sea, including Bayard. The Asgoran language, Asgal, has been considered the first language of trade since this time. It would not be until 150 years later that the hard-pressed Meridian would catch up, and in 17 EC, after a Gas'Danir attack on a convoy of Asgoran merchant ships, enter into a pact with Asgoran to fight the pirates in the Rock Sea.

Law and Politics in Asgoran

Through the turmoil of the centuries, feudalism was found to be a viable way for regents in Asgoran. Thus, the von Lothenstein and DeCreston were sworn in as vassals, and were granted 13 duchies as fiefs by King Feran I of Lothenstein in 177 BC. In addition, they were given jurisdiction as well as the right to swear in vassals as a fief. As a security, Feran I established the feudal law with the introductory clause of the family tribal law (Lex Familiari) and the citizen tribal law (Lex Alodium). According to the Lex Familiari, it is a condition for the king's vassals to belong to a royal family (DeCreston or von Lothenstein). Since this is possible only up to the second degree of the royal family, it ensures a certain permanence for the royal families.

The Lex Alodium allows citizens (and especially merchants) to maintain their ancestral freedom even in the feudal system. Everything that was not recorded as a fief was considered the property of the individual and was also awarded to him for life. In order to preserve the property, a levy was established, the alod tithe, which is popularly known as alod.

Upon the death of the regent, his vassals pass to his successor. The succession is determined by the families, and is beyond the influence of the people. Due to the Hohenfels Peace, the regency alternates between each of the two royal houses. There is no procedure to challenge this succession and the election of the new king.

Judiciary and jurisdiction

The judicial system is defined in the Lex Alodium and provides that jurisdiction over the free citizens is exercised by vassals of the dukes. The basis here is five rules that classify misdeeds into classes, from imprisonment to death by beheading. The rope is reserved for sailors alone at this point. Furthermore, the civil tribal law grants the freemen the right to be heard in any case by the feudal lord of the judged, should he be falsely accused in his opinion. Normally, a vassal of the dukes pronounces justice in the cities, but a judgment on a free citizen or merchant can thus be carried all the way to the king.

The servants and owns of the landowners are not considered in this jurisdiction, and thus fall under the law of the respective landowners.

Alliances and contacts

Asgoran has maintained various contacts with other empires for a long time. Mainly these are trade agreements, which - despite various attack situations - have lasted through wars. Particularly noteworthy is the pact with Meridian after the naval battle of Thaneb in 37 BC. This pact was made to secure the sea lanes of the Rock Sea after Meridian's war fleet came to the aid of an Asgoran convoy off Thaneb when they were attacked by Gas'Danir's pirates.

The Life of the People

The people of Asgoran are, for the most part, free citizens. For example, about three-tenths of all Asgorans live in cities, with about 200,000 of them living in the large cities of Thenon, Lachsund, and Tirving.

Much of the rural population are free farmers and fishermen; serfdom exists, but is found only in some duchies. This, in turn, is a freedom of the respective duke, which is merely registered with the royal court.

Some of the families, especially in the large cities, have become considerably wealthy in the period following the wars, and now there is a large number of rich shipowners and merchants who make it considerably more difficult to maintain royal authority, partly through political influence and partly through bribery and corruption. Thus, these wealthy freemen fall under the Lex Alodium, which grants them extensive rights.

The Asgorans were originally a nation of fishermen, which can still be seen today. Especially in the Kingdom of the Isles, the northern part of Asgoran, the main part of the free citizens consists of fishermen. On the island of Taris, in the north, farms dominate the picture. There, fishing is practiced only on the coast. Inland fishing is almost non-existent in Asgoran, at least it is not valuable for trade.

The Asgoran Intelligence Service

Along with its Meridian counterpart, the MID, the AIS (Asgoran Information Service) is arguably the best-informed intelligence service on the continent. Sabotage, assassinations and countless special activities are attributed to it. The AIS does not maintain a recruiting office, but rather approaches promising candidates on its own.

Arguably one of the most colorful agents in the 6th century is Jeoffrey Kingsley. He is credited with countless heroic deeds, an image he knows how to cultivate. Legends say that Kingsley "died" more than twelve times in his life. His collection of magical hats is considered his trademark.

The AIS is directly subordinate to the royal house and ultimately only has to justify itself to the crown. A circumstance that is not without critics, who call the AIS an "uncontrollable secret society without transparency".

Trade in Asgoran

Since Asgoran restored peace in 208 b.EC, the people have focused entirely on trade and mining. New metals and diamonds of great value were found, and trade flourished. For example, Asgoran rum is known and valued throughout Tirakan. Many a merchant in Asgoran has earned a golden nose with the trade of rum. Produced in Tulan's coastal cities, it is shipped mainly to Toran and Yavon, where it is always enjoyed and drunk.

Asgoran has built up a large fleet over the centuries since the uprising. Part of the merchant fleet is in royal hands, and part of the ships are in the hands of merchants and shipowners. Asgoran's merchant ships are accompanied by warships on every voyage.

Asgoran trade goods

  • Death poppies from the island of Linya
  • Rum from Thenon and from Tulan
  • Gold and copper from the region around Hohenfels
  • Grain from Westheim and the Feldmark
  • Paper and papyrus from Seethlan

The capital Thenon

Hardas Lockheist Thenon is the capital of the Kingdom of Asgoran, and also the seat of the Council of Mages, the governing body of the Mages Guild in Asgoran. Thenon is a large city of about 95,000 people. Thenon is not called the city of fog for nothing. The fog prevails here throughout the autumn. On some days between the Haumond and the Wintersmond you can't see even a thread far. However, this fact is actually the most insignificant. After all, Thenon is the capital of the Kingdom of the Islands.

The first thing a traveler notices when he reaches Thenon by ship is the huge harbor. And not without reason. He sees the biggest harbor of Tirakan. The first wavebreakers can be seen far offshore, and it seems impossible to overlook the whole harbor at once. In Thenon, the trade connections of all Asgoran converge, and the harbor is bustling with activity from early in the morning until late at night.

The landmark of the port is the Academy Hardas Lockheist, two miles from the first breakwaters. On a high reef, in the middle of a mostly agitated sea, lies here a jet-black building that is bathed in a magical fog all year round. All that can be seen from the sea is a billowing mass of fog, with countless tall black towers jutting out from the top that have no windows. The Academy is the seat of the Council of Mages and thus also the central location of the Asgoran Guild of Mages. To a stranger, only a small dock reveals that this island is by no means alien to humans, for there one always finds a few rowboats. The magic fog comes from an artifact deep inside the academy. Its secret is as guarded by the teachers as its name. All that is known is that this artifact lays an eternal fog over the small island. What it is really about, and how Ce-Nya, the Titan of the Fog, has her hands in it, is unknown.

Another peculiarity of Thenon is the guild of thieves in the city. If there is probably a guild in every city, the association of thieves in Thenon is something special. The guild has a rigidly defined structure in Thenon, although the most important man in the hierarchy has never been seen. The head of the thieves' guild is called the Shadow Chancellor by the people, and there may be few more than two people who know his true identity. He is followed by all the thieves in the city, and anyone who is not a member of the guild as a thief in Thenon must prepare for a hard life.

In addition, the Shadow Chancellor controls the flow of goods in the city partly through the thieves, and partly through ways yet unknown. No other person in Thenon is as well informed about trade as the Shadow Chancellor, and so it happens that the Thieves' Guild does not harm trade in Thenon, but even drives it by clever manipulations.

The thieves who belong to the guild are by no means assassins or mavericks. They are subordinate to the Shadow Chancellor, and should a thief go against the supreme one, he would be banished from the city on the spot. Bloodthirsty rituals or acts of revenge are foreign to the Shadows, as the thieves are also called.

The Shadows from Thenon are in a dispute with the Assasins from Tirving that has lasted for generations. These are trained at a castle about four miles from Tirving, to be used only for special tasks. Not much is known about them in Thenon, but a seeker may very well ask for help from them at one of the special places, which included, for example, the inn of the van Laarus brothers. Unless his wallet does not have the necessary weight....