The Cintran Wars
Speaker in Dreams, Narrenturm Background
It is the capital city of the large County of Rattenburgh in the Kingdom of Thessil. The city is relatively large for this part of the world. It lies on the Kaedwen river and is a significant trade hub for farming produce. It is a significant trade hub as it lies close to four other principalities: the Independent Princedom of Terdrogon, Cintra, The Empire and the small Kelfrost protectorate. Though it is inland there are significant connections between Darius and a number of port cities, which also serve goods from Messin and Andogor.
For these reasons, and count the historically liberal approach to governing taken by the Von Rustenburg’s family Darius has grown to be a large and prosperous commercial hub. In addition to the large amount of commerce that passes through the city itself, it serves as a merchant and a financial hub for the entire region; in this respect it is even larger than Messin City. The Darius Grain Exchange is one of the largest and most sophisticated institutions of its kind in the known world. Many deals are struck here, for goods that are not shipped in through Darius or even Thessil. Messin, the islands of the Southern Ocean and the lupellan Republic are net importers of grain, while Andogor and (espetially) the Dearin Empire are exporters. Many of these large transactions are arranged, and financed, in Darius.
When tensions were rising between the Empire and the Kingdoms Darius has been heavily fortified and many of these fortifications remain. When tensions dissipated following the treaty of Cintra trade has boomed and has continued growing ever since.
For all its prominence Darius is much less cosmopolitan and vibrant than Messin City, or even the Imperial City but by the standards of the much quieter Kingdom of Thessil it is a thriving metropolis.
The county of Rattenburgh is still ruled by the old Count, whom you have met, though he is in his 70s by now. As he has no male heirs the county will pass matrilineally to his cousin.
Many ancient civilisations were destroyed or vanished during a period called the Fall over 800 years ago. Though mages and academics have invented many theories, each more contrived than the other, no real reasons are known. Forrests and wilderness have reclaimed much of the known world, many savage races have invaded and the populations of the Higher Races (Humand, elves and Dwarves) populations have fallen. Elves and Dwarves have all but vanished from much of the world though they are said to have once inhabited proud and prosperous kingdoms, and many of the humans have regressed to an almost barbaric state, for a time at least.
Some of the ancient civilisations have, to some extent, avoided the fall. The Quinnese, for instance, have endured for centuries in two small kingdoms – pale shadows of their former glorious empire. The eastern Quinnese kingdom was destroyed by the Zerrikanian Khan Atteron and never recovered while the Western was eventually conquered by the Empire and now forms the heart of the Za’har province.
The Roinarr republics were another such ancient holdover. Once a powerful state located on the territory of the Kingdoms its star waned after the Fall though it remained a polity for centuries. In fact (though not many laypeople know this) the current calendar began when republic Roinarr republic became a federation of smaller polities. Years later Roinarr faded and become a confederacy, eventually the polities were, mostly without bloodshed, absorbed into the current kingdoms.
It is often said that it was the Roinarr who provided the true spark of civilisation on the continent of Misuria from which the Kingdoms sprang. Many still trace their ancestry to the Roinarr peoples, such as Larissa un’Serri (Nightraven) or Henry un’Vilnus, the count of barest. These people often refer to themselves as the Old Blood though after half a millennium they are probably not more Roinish than their other countrymen.