Duchy of Xanthia

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Duchy of Xanthia
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Flag of Xanthia

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Coat of Arms of Xanthia

(Flag) (Coat of Arms)
Motto: Victory Through Honor.
Anthem: As Ar Zanþar (Sargothan)
All for Xanthia (Common)
Location of Xanthia
Capital Grimhold
Largest city Grimhold
Official languages Common, Sargothan
Religion Primes
Government
Duke
Military Dictatorship
Rivyn Volvagia
Founded
TA 2241
Population
 • 4A 11 est.
 •Makeup
 
600,000 (7th)
45% Furre
30% Human
25% Others
Currency Tetradem (T) (1/5 SP)


Overview

Founded as a series of forts in the days when the Lich King's armies were a very serious problems for the budding Freelands, Xanthia has since progressed through being little more than a country of forbidding fortresses to a slowly expanding land of newly found hope. With much of the undead destroyed, more and more of the land to the north of the Xanthian mountains is being settled, and thanks to the tireless efforts of Xanthia's many druids, is proving to be highly arable. Xanthians speak of one day turning the Northlands of Sargothas into the massively agrarian communities of old, though currently prospects are somewhat dim in that regard. Nevertheless, the tireless people of the north are slowly coming out of their fortress-cities and mines and taking up a more agrarian lifestyle.

Table of contents


Government

The Duke of Xanthia serves double duty as administrator and war leader, and as such has always maintained strict and total control of matters within the duchy. He is aided on the administrative side by seven barons, and on the combat side by four generals, each heading up the assorted military divisions. While the Holy Launcian Empire used to wield a fair amount of authority, the fracturing of Launcia had led to the loss of their influence; they have since been replaced by Archdruid Spereth. When Xanthia is officially 'at war', the Duke absents himself from governmental matters, and the Council of Barons takes over, though the Duke may instead appoint a regent who acts as his personal representative. The regent is often chosen from the barons, though historically, it can be anyone. It is interesting to note that according to Xanthian law, should the duke die, the regent is next in line for the throne. Because of this quirk and the propensity of Xanthian leaders to fight in the frontlines of battles, the Xanthian royal family has changed a number of times throughout history.

Currently, the official leader of Xanthia is Duke Rivyn Volvagia, though according to rumor and official statement he has been missing for at least twenty years. Nevertheless, the Council of Barons has been running the country efficiently. They have even managed to begin settling Sargotha to the immediate north as the army clears out remaining undead and the druids work on undoing the taint in the land.

Law

Xanthian law is simple and harsh - they live in an unforgiving land, and any crime, no matter how petty, is dealt with in a severe and heavy handed manner. Due to this and the familial nature of most Xanthians, Xanthia is by and large free of the influence of the various crime lords that plague other lands for two reasons - The omnipresent military influence has an indoctrinating effect on much of the populace, and the Xanthian tendency to think of everyone as a cousin means that crimes such as murder and theft are extremely rare. However, when it is employed, Xanthian law comes down hard - petty theft, abandoning one's post, and any attempt to interfere with the military machine have all earned death in the past. Recently, however, various guilds have begun establishing a presence, and the country has been plagued by smuggling problems for the last decade or so. Xanthian law is also unique in the Freelands, in that there is no legal distinction between genders; quotes Rivyn "I don't care what's in their trousers if they can heft a pike." This egalitarianism causes frequent problems when Xanthian women venture into the wider world.

Military

The Xanthian Military is incredibly large compared to the size of the country, and accounts for roughly 40% of the country's overall population. Nearly every able individual aged 16 to 40 is directly involved in the military machine. Xanthia's military is unique in the Freelands in that it makes no discrimination of gender.

The Xanthian Royal Infantry is the rank and file of the Xanthian soldiery, and is by far the most numerous. Divided into individually named brigades and companies (said companies are often named after the tribes that used to inhabit the area, or at least claim to.), the infantry ranges from steadfast to fanatical in their duty. Both times they have fought in conventional wars (The Xanthian Uprising in TA 749 and the Barbarian Invasion of TA 3541) the Xanthian infantry proved vastly superior in both arms and valor - they will fight to the bitter end, and there is no documented account of Xanthian foot soldiers ever breaking off an engagement, even in the face of the fearsome aura's of liches and the like. This is not to say it never happens, of course - morale must be maintained. Additionally, victory is often somewhat Pyrrhic, as breaking off and returning to a long battle with tireless undead with refreshed troops would likely cut down on casualties. The Royal Infantry is headed up by two generals, and breaks down in a typical manner to Divisions, brigades, battalions, companies, and platoons. It is primarily compromised of Xanthian freemen, and the typical soldier is trained in pike, crossbow, mace, and sword. Specialty troops include the Xanthian Beserkers and the Royal Guard (Approximately 600 of Xanthia's finest troops). It's normal standing size is about 5% of the Xanthian population, with a massive number of levies available as required.

The Xanthian Royal Calvary is the mounted equivalent of their foot troops, and are typically drawn from the higher strata of society, as the army cannot afford to keep mounts for most of it's soldiers. What they lack in numbers, they more than make up for in their mobility and ability to deliver a powerful punch - The typical Xanthian cavalryman has a lance, longmace, shield, and full plate armor and barding. A single General heads up the calvary brigade, and personally leads the heaviest contingent, mounted on the infamous Xanthian Potical Baron steeds - horses that stand fully nine or ten feet tall at the shoulder, and can maintain a full charge with full plate barding for over one thousand feet. Specialty troops include the Xanthian unicorn riders (the only all-female group in the army) and The Silver Fists (Xanthia's extremely small contingent of Paladins).

The final area of the Xanthian military is it's irregular troops, such as the mages, druids, the small monastic orders that make their homes in Xanthian mountains, and such adventurers as Xanthia produces.

History

Officially founded in 2241 of the Third Age, what would become the Duchy of Xanthia was a series of near-barbaric tribes of Furres and Humans from Sargothas who had, for centuries, been ruled by petty tribal lords. Shortly after the end of the War of the Lich King, the immortal Druid Rivyn brutally forced numerous tribes to band together into a singular nation for the defense of the Freelands, and spent several decades building Grimhold, the fortress capital of the new nation. Immigration into Xanthia was rampant as many of the surviving soldiers that fought against move to the Duchy to continue safeguarding the Freelands. Over the next several centuries, Xanthia expanded to encompass the rest of the border of Sargothas, and the Duchy of Xanthia was officially founded in TA 2371 as the last of the tribes fell under Xanthia's banner. The country remained relatively peaceful until the resurrection of the Lich King at the end of the Third Age, after which Rivyn reappeared and assumed control of the Duchy. Since that time, it has remained an 'enlightened dictatorship', ruled by Rivyn's firm but absolute command. With the Lich King's threat to the north likely ended, many Xanthians have left their cities to occupy new territory to the north.

Culture

Xanthian culture, founded from such disparate elements as the Freelands and evolved in near isolation, is in many ways confusing to outsiders. Briefly, they consider strength to be paramount to character, and as a rule Xanthian's are some of the most stubborn individuals in all of Callendor. Few Xanthians will admit to being wrong about anything, and they tend to possess an extremely dry humor, if any. Visitors to Grimhold refer to it as the "City that never smiles", and while not exactly the truth, Xanthain's are certainly not the most easygoing bunch to deal with. However, Xanthian's place incredible emphasis on family and communal ties, and the Xanthian regard is to treat any fellow Xanthian like a member of one's extended family - the country's fatality rate is high enough to make this practical for dealing with orphans, as well as emotional support for survivors. Naturally, they tend to be highly suspicious of outsiders. The traditional Xanthian greeting varies depending on the circumstances of meeting, consisting of a strike to the face. The stronger the blow, the more respect the slapper wishes to show the one they are greeting. Suprisingly, they often become endeared to outsiders, who, upon being hit, don't hesitate to simply punch the Xanthian full out, thus showing their incredible deference to the honored Xanthian's vast superiority. This custom is much more formal in cities, consisting of the lightest brushing of palm against cheek. Other customs of note include Xanthian dress (heavy furs and fabrics) that they will insist of wearing no matter the climate (Xanthian Stubborness again), and their drinking games. Craz-Atlatl is the most (in)famous, being a game of alternately throwing back shots and throwing shot glasses as one's opponent (and in later stages of the game, windows, doors, and other patrons. However, the bartender is sacrosanct), who attempts to catch it . Xanthians brew potent liquors in their mountains, and their constitution in the face of alcohol rivals that of any dwarf's.

Culturally, they are roughly analogous to the real world's early Grecian City-State empires, consisting of roughly independent groups brought together only by hard military or magical power and a common culture; with, of course, a touch of early Norse rough-and-tumble brutality and xenophobia.

Coinage

The Duchy of Xanthia mints coins most commonly in copper and silver, with six denominations.

Leptonal (1/100 SP)
Made of copper, the Leptonal is a small copper piece, with no imprint upon it's surface beyond three lines through the centre of the circular coin.
Dresma (1/20 SP)
A hexagonal piece made of copper, in imitation of the Valanthian Ryal though imprinted only with a sunrise on one side.
Tetradem (1/5 SP)
The Tetradem is the most common of the Xanthian coins, an octagonal silver coin, bearing the likeness of whatever Duke was in power at the time of minting on both sides. These days, this image is almost invariably Rivyn's.
Phoenocal (3/2 SP)
A slightly larger silver piece, virtually indistinguishable from the Tetradem, save that the border is rimmed in copper and it's larger size.
Centrani (15 SP)
A large silver circular coin imprinted with an image of the capital city of Xanthia on one side, and the image of the reigning Duke/Duchess on the other. These days, this image is almost invariably Rivyn's.
Milledrem (100 SP)
The most valuable of Xanthian currencies, though infrequently found as the crafting of such is poorly known, and it is typically easier to craft other coins. They are distinguished by an octagonal nature, and the presence of golden guilding upon the silver surface. No imprint is placed upon such coins. Of the official currencies, they are the largest and heaviest.