The Long Road of Power
Kingdom of Veldenhalm
Velenhalm is old beyond belief, older still than most of the lands that surround it. Countless kingdoms have risen and fallen again within roughly the same expanse of land and many of the original structures still stand, lost and forgotten. The one constant is that it’s lands have always been the shape of a compass. Even at the hight of power it still retained a rough circular shape, with eight cites around her borders and the capital at her centre. North, North East, East, ect.
The current Ruler, one King Engeram Gawyn Rafe ascended to the throne some 50 years ago in the last great Ascension war. After the death of his heir less brother caused all the conniving nobles to decided that they were the only ones fit for the amber chair. This sparked a ten year war that brought the kingdom to it’s knees. Upon claiming his rightful place, full pardons were given to the surviving claimants as if he killed all the old ruling class, who would that leave him with to run his kingdoms far borders? This however still left him with many problems, food was scares, the treasuries were empty and four of the nine Great Noble Houses had been all but wiped out, leaving four of his largest cities leaderless. This was when Kazemier made his appearance, suggesting something so outlandishly ingenious that the gods themselves must have created this plan.
Merchants was the answer to all the kingdoms problems he explained. We who transport your food, move your treasure and fill your coffers with coin, the only problem is that we’re always on the move. All great merchants have delusions of grandeur so simply give them a way to gain a Noble title and a city to lounge in and they will stay forever. Brining the coin effortless to you.
The discussion went on for days after that, but what came out of it was rather remarkable. Only four of the Great cities remained in control of the nobles, North, East, South and West. They were put in charge of military might and given a quarter of land each to watch over, patrols of the roads and hunting of monsters and vagabonds was tasked to them as many of both had surfaced in the years of strife.
Four Great Merchant Lords were offered the title Merchant, Archduke for a very hefty sum and a percentage cut of all trading income hence forth. Later a reimbursement of some of this Gold was given back as well as a slight reduction in tax for the guarantee they would keep the main roads and cites in good repair. This was also accepted for many had now bought their family’s to this area, thus it was in their own interest. The same offer was given for lesser titles to other merchant houses, if they could afford the fee and a percentage, the title was theirs. To keep the peace a Merchant Title of equal level is not quite as prestigious for one of Blood. With the only exception of this ruling being Merchant, Archduke as the main financiers of the kingdom. This way of life has worked well for the last 50 years far past any expectations and looks to go strong for a great time to come.