Salt, Gold, Steel and Ghosts (Spellbound Kingdoms)
King: Saul VI, House Regolier
Doom: 5 (6 in Welvage, 7 in Priete)
Economy: In Welvage, being both on the Harvest Road and the fork between the River Wells and River Glise means that everything not specifically taxed by the King (namely, weapons, armour, alchemical items and poisons) is found at 1 Wealth Level less. In the rest of the Kingdom, animals and any animal-related commodity can be bought at 1 Wealth Level less.
Spellbound density: 4 countryside, 6 town, 7-11 city.*
- Royal: In Avedine, freedom is just another commodity and is to be treated as such. Anyone with an Inspiration related to yearning for, cherishing or promoting personal freedom has their maximum Mood lowered by 1 while in the kingdom.
- Royal: Prosperity is seen as a sign of not only personal success, but the divine right to have succeeded. Those who prosper are clearly favoured by the High God, those who don’t have obviously been found wanting. Anyone who is less than Wealth Level 6 has their maximum Mood lowered by 1 while in the kingdom.
Military: Avedine has a WL 19 Royal army and a WL 14 Royal Navy. Two of the four duchies have a WL 17 army, Priete and Welvage have WL 18 armies.
Symbol: A set of scales wreathed in vines
Ceremony: The tree of judgement
Bitter rival with Dunlor to the East, Avedine has never reached the heights of power enjoyed by Marnh, Akra, or even Thyre. Nonetheless, it is a power in its own right, with several powerful organizations of international scale. The most notable of these is the Crescent, an order of weremagic masters. The order’s research into its strange school has brought their king much success raiding by moonlight across the Glise and into hated Dunlor. The zoos of Priete, the capital, are the most extensive in the world so that the Crescent masters can have the beasts for study. The most recent rumor from Priete, however, claims that two of the zoos’ descent cats, augmented with witch-dusted claws, escaped. The cats’ association with a troll wolf child, an indirect descendant of the Archbishop of Priete, further complicates the matter.
Avedine favours an atypical version of High God worship – the idea that because the High God watches over his subjects and clearly favours and disfavours certain actions, that material wealth and success must be direct indications of his favour. To this end, mercantilism, usury and property ownership are exclusively restricted to the nobility. Furthermore, every commoner in Avedine is legally a slave. When a person is born, they are automatically considered to be the property of the noble on whose land they were born. In realistic terms, this ends up being more of a term of serfdom or indentured servitude than actual in-chains slavery, but the distinction is there. Particularly skilled commoners are bought and sold as commodities by their noble overseers. This particular belief obviously puts them at odds with their Dunlorish neighbours and is one of the main sources of the continuing feud between the two nations.
Avedine survives and thrives on trade, its noble houses plying the Harvest Road and the two main rivers running through the kingdom for every drop of profit they can wring out. In order to stay competitive with their nearest rivals, Avedinian nobility have had to sacrifice some of their beliefs – common-born foreign traders are grudgingly accepted and Avedinian traders will willingly barter with them even as they make scathing comments behind their backs. King Saul enjoys the endemic self-loathing that this habit engenders in his nobles, forced to betray their cultural beliefs so that they can stay competitive.
In the present day, Dunlor and Avedine are not currently at war. This does not stop frequent border skirmishes, river piracy, economic warfare, spying and bloody battles between “unaffiliated” mercenary companies funded by the Kings being a fact of life for those who live along the border. However, since both kingdoms rely heavily on trade, combatants on both sides take great care to ensure that foreigners do not get caught in the crossfire – on pain of death from the kings, who simply cannot afford to have trade cut off because of the danger.