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Thread: The Crimson Echo OOC

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    Default Re: The Crimson Echo OOC

    Room for additional information

    Some basic information on Korvosa, which is basic DC 10 Knowledge Local stuff, that every citizen of Korvosa is likely to be aware of either due to it being current events or well-known Korvosan politics.

    Spoiler: Korvosa Does Not Suffer Tyrants

    While the city of Korvosa does have a monarch, his/her authority is far from absolute.
    Much of the governance is actually conducted by the Council of Noble Houses, the Seneschal, and the Arbiters.
    The city's sovereign, of course, does still wield considerable influence, and can propose and enact various policies and laws - but only if the Council of Nobles allows it.
    Without support, the crown's authority is rather limited as they have only their personal finances and the often small royal treasury to support their projects.
    They have few means to enforce their will as well, as their personal guard is often tiny, with most of their protection coming from the city guard.

    The Sable Marines do not report to the monarch, but rather the Seneschal, who has the authority to officially depose the monarch and remove him/her from power.
    The Sable Marines will then forcibly remove the monarch from power if necessary, and it is common knowledge that the Sable Marines' Commandant has a Bolt of Slaying for that purpose, passed down through the generations from the very first commander of the Sable Marines, Waydon Endrin, who in turn received the bolt from Field Marshall Jakthion Korvosa, the first governor and unofficial founder of Korvosa itself.
    Thus far, the seneschal has not needed to enact this right, and the Sable Marines have drifted from an enforcement mechanism against the monarch to a highly mobile force for special tasks and assignments, whatever the city requires of it.

    Spoiler: Why Korvosa Doesn't Like Ileosa

    While Queen Ileosa has been dubbed the Whore Queen by the mocking rabble among Korvosa's citizens, there doesn't seem to be any actual justification for it.
    It is true that Ileosa is a third of Eodred's age, being in her early twenties to Eodred's mid-sixties, but that's not out of line for Eodred who is an infamous womanizer who had an entire royal harem of young women until just prior to his marriage to Ileosa.
    While there are plenty of wild rumors to suggest the idea that Ileosa was having affairs with everyone from her personal bodyguard, Sabrina Merrin, to Field Marshall Cressida Kroft, to even the seneschal Neolandus no one has any actual proof that she is anything except a devoted wife to King Eodred.
    That being said, mockery of royalty is a common pass time in lower class bars, with Eodred being dubbed the Stirge King for his tightfisted fiscal policies, and even his beloved mother Queen Domina being dubbed the Infernal Queen who took literal devils into her bed.

    Despite her moniker, it is not Ileosa's supposedly loose morals that have turned most of Korvosa against her, nor even anything that she has done personally.
    Rather it is the effect that she has had on King Eodred, and the change in his policies over the past two years of marriage, that have earned Korvosa's ire.

    The ruler before King Eodred was his mother, Queen Domina, who was beloved in much of Korvosa for a number of reasons. First, she came from the Cheliax-branch of House Arabasti, revitalizing a Great Noble House within Korvosa that had been in the city since its founding but was slowly dying out. Second, she implemented a great number of public works projects, employing much of the city's downtrodden masses with construction job (and greatly padding the pockets of the city's corrupt in the process). Third, she instituted a number of trade deals, including several important ones with Cheliax itself, allowing wealth to flow into the city, much of which was channeled into her public works projects (and again into the pockets of the city's corrupt). Fourth, she brought the Order of the Nail Hellknights with her from Cheliax, which although were not very well liked among the populace for understandable reasons, they were nonetheless invaluable during the last war with the city of Kaer Maga to Korvosa's north, which was a long-standing rival city state. This last war saw the forces of Kaer Maga pushed all the way back to the Storval Plateau that the city itself rests on until the Kaer Magans finally sued for peace. Korvosa maintained control of all of the hamlets and villages in the fertile plains beneath the plateau, representing a considerable increase in its sphere of influence.

    While King Eodred's reign has not been nearly as spectacular, Korvosa certainly appreciated a smooth transition of power for once after Queen Domina died suddenly in a fire within the palace.
    Generally, the city's monarch has died suddenly, often via assassination, and prior to Domina they had never left a heir behind to carry on their line, thus prompting a power struggle among the noble houses for the throne.
    This is the so-called "curse" of Korvosa's Crimson Throne.
    While Eodred was born in Cheliax prior to Domina becoming Korvosa's queen, the city was nonetheless happy to have a child for once to inherit the throne, and his transition to power was rather swift and smooth compared to the usual months of political maneuvering and sometimes open warfare between noble houses to determine who got to sit next on the Crimson Throne.

    King Eodred (technically King Eodred II for there had been a previous King Eodred Arabasti decades prior) mostly maintained his mother's trade deals and finished her public works projects, but otherwise mostly charted a "business as usual" course for the city. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment was normalizing relations with Kaer Maga, allowing trade between the two rival cities to resume after the war that Queen Domina had decisively won. Otherwise, he mostly saved up what wealth came into the royal treasury and spent it occasionally on frivolous parties and his harem (hence the name "Stirge King" for supposedly bleeding Korvosa dry to feed his habits). Still, it's believed that the royal treasury is the largest it has ever been thanks to his stingy management. The one downside of his even-handed rule, perhaps, is that the corruption that blossomed under Domina's massive influx of money ossified into an entire structure of corruption from the petty thieves up through the city guard and into the coffers of the Noble Houses.

    This all changed around two years ago, shortly after Ileosa and Eodred were wed.
    Instead of his normal "do nothing, get paid, go have fun" policy on managing Korvosa, Eodred started a number of new policies, many of which were unpopular with one portion of the city or another.
    It probably didn't help that a number of these policies were ultimately disastrous.
    Given his previous couple decades of behavior, it wasn't hard to figure out what had changed, and who was to blame for this sudden shift in policy.

    • A vice tax was established, allowing gambling, prostitution, and recreational drugs to all be perfectly legal within the city, but only so long as the supplier paid a regular monthly vice tax to the city. This was a fairly heavy tax, which ultimately had the effect of forcing the providers of such services to either become outright criminals (like Gaedren Lamm) or consolidate into several large organizations that had enough combined income to pay the tax jointly.
    • A group known as the Cerulean Society was recognized as the "official" thieves guild of Korvosa, and deals were worked out such that members of the Society were given lesser punishments for non-violent crime (such as thievery). This quickly had the effect of putting most non-Cerulean Society thievery groups out of business as their own members flocked to join the Society.
    • Combined with the above, putting pressure on the Varisian-focused criminal organization known as the Scarzni, which boasted of having members across the entire continent of Varisia. It's believed that save for a few small pockets of Scarzni hold-outs, the crime family has been driven out of Korvosa entirely - leaving a void for the Cerulean Society to fill.
    • The dismissal of Field Marshall Jeggare, who was widely known to be corrupt, in favor of a half-varisian half-chelish woman - Cressida Kroft, who while considered competent was the bastard daughter of a Chelish noble instead of the full-blooded member of Chelish nobility that the position had commonly been filled with. The other candidates for the position were deemed to be an even worse fit.
    • The dismissal of Cheliax Ambassador Amprei, who was commonly known to be an incompetent, self-serving idiot - but a useful idiot. In his place, Queen Ileosa's personal friend, Lady Andaisin, was elevated to the position of Chelish Ambassador.
    • Last year, amid concerns that the year's farming crop would be less than usual and a famine may break out, King Eodred purchased a considerable quantity of grain from House Jeggare's storehouse to disperse to the poor. Ultimately it turned out that the grain had gone bad, but only after a number of the poor who first went to the storehouse for the disbursement died from eating it. A further scandal broke out a month later when it was revealed that the year's crop was in fact close to normal, and someone had manipulated the reports, undoubtedly in an attempt to spike the price on food sky-high to make a profit. King Eodred vowed to launch an investigation into this matter, but it never went any further.
    • Last year, King Eodred also announced a highly controversial exploration and public works project, of building a road stretching out from the city to the East through the uninhabited and largely unexplored so-named "Bloodsworn Vale". The ultimate goal of this expedition was to create a land-based trade route through the Mindspin Mountain range, which was a range of high mountains that separated Korvosa off from Nirmathas to the east, and Nidal to the south. There are known footpaths through the mountains, that some small trade caravans will sometimes travel along, but no major route that would allow caravans of any real significance. The controversy comes from the fact that Kaer Maga still laid claim to the Bloodsworn Vale despite its location far from Kaer Maga, its only claim below the Storval Plateau, due to its strategical location - if a route could be found through the Vale into the mountains and to the north, the Storval Plateau could be circumvented and Kaer Maga attacked directly. Despite Kaer Maga's protests, a base camp was successfully established within the Vale, but shortly thereafter all contact was lost. Claims of Kaer Magan sabotage are common but unsubstantiated, and the fruitless loss of lives, equipment, and funds on the initial expedition have largely put an indefinite hold on the project.

    Last edited by Inspectre; 2020-02-29 at 09:21 AM.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

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