Trade League Of Killimara
Each city controls varying amounts of surrounding farmland, wilderness, villages, etc, which are included in the total population figures.
The League is a loose confederation, city-states who cooperate in promoting trade and suppressing piracy. Of the fourteen current members, the most important militarily are Starfall and Maidstone - the former perhaps the strongest economically, the latter with a less diverse economy but with a much higher population. The League capital is at Port Lassen, the smallest of the member cities. The League Council meets there twice a year, officially. In practice, the Council Delegates stay in residence and try to keep things moving smoothly so that the official meetings merely serve to ratify working agreements.
Isthyr itself is a trade post on a small island, with only a few thousand permanent inhabitants. It serves as the focal point for trade between the land-dwelling and water-dwelling species, and the latter use it to maintain a representative on the League Council. The largely nomadic culture of the marine species tends to lead to friction with the more settled terrestrials, and funnelling contacts through specialists keeps things from boiling over. Not that everyone does this - there are quite a few furrs who trade directly with one clan or another of the merfolk - but the attitude of the various League navies is that anyone who does so is doing it at their own risk, and if you happen to offend the marine clans they are not going to do anything about the results.
Unique among the League states, Maidstone is the only one still dominated by a hereditary aristocracy. While most of the others retain the vestiges of a noble class, only Maidstone's nobles saw the rise of the merchant league as an opportunity rather than a problem. As a result, they were able to dominate their city's mercantile development and are still its true rulers. It is primarily due to their influence that the League has not classed privateers as pirates, as Maidstone's nobles are still rather fond of vendettas and semi-open warfare to establish their heirarchy. Although Maidstone could easily field the largest military forces in the League, their abilities are limited by a basic lack of unity. The Crown has been seriously weakened by the increased economic power of the noble families, and is now unable even to keep the nobility from quarreling with each other - in point of fact, Duke Vortalon, Duchess Whitehaven, Duke Redtail, and Viscount Westmark have larger military forces than the current Queen and pay only lip-service to their oaths of fealty.
The Council of Andalin City is dominated by their military forces, with the highest-ranked 'generals' and 'admirals' running estates instead of armies and fleets. The merchant guilds have some influence as managers and adminstrators, but the final decisions are not theirs. Most of Andalin's trade is with Starfall, its more powerful neighbor exchanging manufactures for food. In spite of their leanings, the military forces are not that good - too many officers are studying trade and industry instead of logistics and tactics.
Sharing an island with the more powerful city-states of Starfall and Andalin, Jarrow maintained its independence in pre-League days by carefully playing the other two against each other. The city maintains its tradition of wily statesmanship, and is often a behind-the-scenes broker when deals need to be made. Timber and shipbuilding are the major resources of the city, and her merchant ships fare widely under League protection. A small but well-regarded Navy is her primary contribution to the League's military power.
The northernmost of the League cities, St. Avery dominates the fur trade, exchanging food and manufactures for furs and gold from the tundra lands north of Ha'Sheera. Her own windswept territory is poor farming country, and much of her food must be imported, though seafood, mutton and caribou are important export resources.
Also located on the northern island of Frisland, Mahonik is on the sheltered side of the central mountains, better protected from ocean storms and with better farming country. Self-sufficient in food, Mahonik primarily exchanges woodcrafts and ore for manufactures. This city has little stake in overseas trade, and her attitude in external disputes is isolationist.
One the few city-states located on the mainland, Skaergard dominates the overland trade with Ha'Sheera. All manner of material passes through here in both directions, and one of the most prestigious academies of magic in the world outside of the Realm itself is here. Skaergard is a major transhipment point, the city dependent on trade to a very great extent for its livelihood. This is also the site of one of the primary training and hospital installations of the Mercenary's Guild, as close to a central headquarters as that guild has.
An unusual city, inhabited predominantly by avians and other fliers, more vertical than level. The lightly built inhabitants do not have much capability for heavy industry, but concentrate on trade, finance, and the magical arts. This is also the primary League training site for military air scouts, and many locals are hired by other cities (and other nations) as auxiliaries.
Mainly engaged in food production for Starfall and St. Avery, Falkirk has little direct interest in external trade. The city's primary concern is usually for the Empire (Falkirk was the only League city occupied by the Empire during the Merchant's War), and as long as her two primary trading partners maintain the League's vigilance in that direction, Falkirk will follow their lead politically.
Another quiet city-state predominantly interested in farming, fishing, and ranching, Larris is less paranoid about the Empire as a whole and more concerned about piracy from the largely unpoliced towns along the Imperial coast. This puts the town at odds with Falkirk, since they feel a stronger Imperial presence would be beneficial. The locals maintain the forms of nobility without the substance, and the Guild heads and City Council members are granted titles - and as fortunes change over time and families rise and fall, new titles are granted with some frequency. The jokes have it that most of the townsfolk are now nobility (or at least entitled to 'Lord' or 'Lady'), much to the disgust of the more traditional nobles of Maidstone and the Empire.
Dominated by its large neighbor, Yonuar raises cotton, sugar, and flax for its own textile industry and for the consumption of County Westmark. The town does have some of its own trade interests, but is not really a leader in any field.
Isolated from its larger neighbor by mountains, Seclaran is less susceptible to the wishes of Maidstone and its ruling council often seems to go deliberately out of its way to oppose the kingdom. The southernmost of the League cities, Seclaran is a participant in the Boveyan trade, her rough but serviceable ironwork cheaper than the better wares of Starfall. The trade network extends through the Buccaneer Sea to Ostwald and Uljurra, and her more adventurous merchants travel as far as Han and the Hundred Realms, outdoing her rivals in Maidstone and Starfall in distance if not in wealth.
Last and least of the League's cities, Port Lassen is a fishing village promoted to a world capital simply because it was the least offensive to the rest of the League. Fishing is still the predominant local industry, but its status as the League capital led to an influx of trade and wealth. Lassen Island is small and infertile, however, so the newfound wealth has not resulted in a major increase in her power relative to the rest of the League - which is just what the original decision had in mind.
Last modified: 2001-Jun-03 19:00:21
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