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The Iron Dynasty, DeLaRose Role Play Group » Valaria and World Areas, IMVU Hosted » The Castle of Stoivania » Land Information

Land Information

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1 Land Information on Tue Jan 24 2017, 18:39

Anaya

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The Lands of Stoivania

The Castle of Stoivania sits proudly at the mouth of the Stoivania River, deep within some of the densest portions of the dark forest. Those arriving by way of ship, upon the choppy waters of the Sea, will often find that they need to drop anchor a little ways off from shore and ferry themselves - as well as their wares - in by boat. When approaching from the Road, which sits just south of the cityof Farquad, a traveler will make their way through a good number of the local plantations of the poorer families, before finally reaching the outer gates.
Those arriving from unknown places to the the west or thereabouts, will first see signs of the open fields of the Paille Family's Stormgrace plantation, followed by the bamboo-enshrouded Boldvine of Stoivania Those arriving from the general direction  in the east, will be offered a lovely view of the Askara's handsome Sweet Home first, the sweet sugarcane-rich Blacksugar fields next, followed by the Sitai's aromatic Bloodflower last. However, regardless of which path a traveler comes in on, they will inevitably end up in the middle of the ruling Family's Whitesnake plantation, which is where the main road leading directly to the city of Stoivania can be found.
Upon passing through the city gates, which are generally left open during the daylight bells, a traveler will continue to make their way north along yet another stretch of road before seeing signs of the actual city. Coming in upon the West Bank, a traveler will be pleased to find that many of the necessities needed to rest and resupply can easily be had. Time permitting, that same traveler can feel free to explore the rest of the city, starting with what the locals fondly refer to as 'The Six Sisters,' occasionally tacking on 'of Sin' when the mood strikes.
The center section of town is where most of the traditional shops, eateries, and entertainment venues can be found, with one or two fancier or unique locations mixed in for good measure. Assigned various personifications for a number of reasons - some holding significant historical value - these formations take the names of Blade, Dry, Fire, Oath, Point, and Sun Islands. Beyond these 'Six Sisters' is the East Bank, which offers - upon paying the toll at the single bridge that links this part of the city to the rest - the absolute best of the best in all of Stoivania. High-end boutiques, upscale restaurants, and luxurious living quarters blanket the bank from end to end, presenting the Dynasty members - and those who wish to be like them - the perfect motivation to not only achieve their lofty goals, but maintain their way of life


GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Traditionally speaking, a dark forest is a deep highly wooded area  that usually occurs around a broad waterway, although it can also take shape on the shores of a large body of water. It may consist of only a dense woodland area - which is often referred to as a 'true darkwood' - or it may be entirely made up of just low-lying vegetation - which is usually termed a 'transitional dark swamp.' Stoivania, to a degree, is all of this and more.
Located on the center shore of the of the Nazuvian lake, as well as along the great river that dips even further south until it reaches Ulvic Lake, the landscape of Stoivania is certainly a healthy mix of both true Dark forest and traditional swampland. Tall, often thickly trunked, but occasionally willowy, moss-covered trees litter the region, along with dense vegetation that opens up to fertile fields perfect for farming.
The terrain, for the most part, remains fairly level, more often than not slipping below sea level, before occasionally rising several meters above. Hills tend to be the highest the ground ever goes, never truly forming into anything even remotely mountainous. If anything, there is a far better chance of finding a muddy pit or tunnel that may or may not lead to an underground cavern.
The seasons come and go, almost without notice, seeing that Winter can be just as warm as any other season. On the rare occasion, a frost may occur when the temperatures drop to just above the freezing mark, but days like this are few and far between. Therefore, while rain is a constant occurrence, as is flooding, snow is something only spoken about in tall tales and legends.

HYSTORY
Stoivania was originally a kingdom brought up by King Niervash Yugure, his ideal was to create a place of sanctuary for dark mythical creatures to inhabit in peace without scorn from the outside world. They lived for many years in peace under the rule of Niervash and all were happy and coexistent without war, famine, or pestilence. Then one day someone wanted to take the Kingdom and all the inhabitants there over and rule them with malice and cruelty. Niervash fought valiantly to keep his subjects safe along side his two generals Kenisis and Gremory. Alas he didn't survive the battle and was killed in action. Niervash had left a will naming Gremory the king  who is also known as The Lion  which was the name given to him because of how savagely he fought in the war. The war was won thanks to Kenisis because his ability to suck up souls within a small radius of himself. All he did was walk through the battle and suck up the souls of everything around him this unfortunately killed a lot of his own knights as well. This action was what named him The Death Bringer because he slaughtered an entire army without lifting a finger thus ending the war and killing the opposing side. After this the Kingdom became peaceful and has lived in a state as such until the present day.
Culture, Economics, and Politics
When one recalls the city of Farquad, they often speak of the intricate wood and bone carvings of the people. When one mentions Riverfall, powerful images of strong, towering structures, very much like the men who call the city home, usually come to mind. However, when an attempt is made to pinpoint the specific beliefs, values, and aesthetics that permeate the lavish castle and city of Stoivania, it become a bit of a challenge to simply draw upon the name of just one race, one clearly defined culture.
While the majority of citizens are indeed Human, even they hail from many different parts of the world. For example, one can easily find traits of a Piros carving on the face of a wooden boat being utilized by a Fidorian fisherman or discover a Drykas-designed pattern woven into a Konti-made tapestry. The distinct lines normally maintained in a blended city, have been purposefully blurred within the walls of Stoivania, so that the citizens can garner the best of the best, which is often preferred over a design that is traditionally associated with one race or another. So if a race is known for excelling in a particular craft or trade, they may be sought out and handsomely paid to work with an artist or builder from an entirely different background, all in an effort to create the best possible product. Therefore, the end result of all of this blending is a culture that is uniquely Stoivanian.

ARCHITECTURE
Ornate, but never overdone or gaudy, unless purposefully designed that way for a festival or party. Commanding, but rarely cold or uninviting, unless the need for function overrides form, which is rare. Stoivanian architecture knows exactly how to make a statement, without being too obvious or obnoxious.
Materials that tend to be utilized in construction include stone and wood, as well as brick and metal Structures are rarely more than three or four stories high, with the majority being only one or two; however, a good number of  buildings often include a fake or sub-basement, in an effort to combat the occasional problem.
Windows and doorways are often wide and tall in design, to allow ample sunlight in, but also the rare cool breeze, which then flows freely through the spacious rooms contained within. On both openings, heavy shutters or doors can be found to protect against the driving rains that can occur without warning.
Quarters for slaves, strictly designed for function, tend to be made from leftover, yet durable materials. They are usually one floor, box-style structures that house anywhere between a dozen to three dozen individuals. These buildings are also usually built in groupings, like small villages, to reduce the amount of overseers needed to patrol them.

CUISINE & CUSTOMS
Great food is always a wonderful compliment to great entertainment, and the people of Stoivania certainly know how to serve up some of the best home cooking there is!
With bountiful crops right outside their door, and rolling fields filled with a variety of livestock, the dishes that are often put forth tend to be healthy and nutritious, yet also manage to be flavorful and delicious, for fresh herbs and spices are also just a step or two away from most kitchens. Baking is also openly embraced, as is the crafting of sweet treats, such as chocolates and hard candies.
As for eating patterns, meals are generally shared three times a day - first thing in the morning, around mid-day, and at sunset - however, brunches, snacks, and evening dinner parties are also of the norm. Meals within the Dynasties tend to be large and lavish, while the slaves selection is often kept plain and simple.

FASHION
Stoivanians are an interesting lot when it comes to what they wear. While many dress to impress, there are certainly those who prefer function over flash or form. Living in an often humid, sometimes muddy setting can certainly take its toll on an individual's clothes, as well as dictate the choices they make when dressing.
It is not uncommon to see a Dynasty member dressed one way at the start of the day, another way at some point mid-day, and yet a third way in the evening. Freeborns tend to be less flashy, opting to be practical when they can, unless they are gunning to catch the eye of a particular socialite. Slaves, as would be expected, have no say in what they wear and are usually supplied a type of uniform, but this varies from plantation to plantation, as well as role to role.
Fabrics run the gambit from locally produced cottons and leathers, to imported silks and satin. Heavy brocades can be found, but are rare, and lace is only for the upper class. Reptile skins are common and come in a variety of textures and colors.

FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS

Simply put, Stoivanians like to party when the time is right. They like to recognize everything from births to the passing of a revered Dynasty member. They'll throw an impromptu party just for sealing a potentially profitable business transaction or the launch of a new ware or service.
Festivals are numerous, yet, in some cases, fleeting. Just because one is celebrated this year, does not mean that it will return the next. If the reception is lackluster or the turnout is meek or the post-festival reviews are mixed, it is often put to rest and a new one is introduced in its place.
Holidays, on the other hand, are nearly written in stone and honored without fail. To turn down an invitation to a holiday celebration is akin to stabbing the host in the neck, with a salad fork, before the appetizers are even served. It's just not done.

THE ECONOMY OF STOIVANIA

Stoivania's economy remains fairly consistent and healthy, for the land wouldn't have it any other way. Trade is very important, both within the region and beyond. People need to change hands frequently and freely for the lands to be able to maintain their way of life, for without it, they would have to resort to living as others do, which is a horrible thought.

BUSINESSES
Obviously, Stoivania's primary business is farming. Its plantations are, quite literally, its bread and butter. With its crops of cotton and tobacco, sugarcane and cocoa bean, bamboo and hemp, the Stoivanians produce some of the richest crops in all the land. As a result of this, they then in turn produce some of the finest products, which leads them to their second largest business: the production and sale of luxury goods.
Fine linens and premium cigars, smooth liquors and luscious chocolates are just a few of the high-end items that the city produces. Add to the mix exquisite perfumes, expertly tailored garments, and beautiful, hand-crafted musical instruments and you have a dazzling treasure trove of worldly goods!
However, Stoivania is not entirely a city dedicated to the production of bountiful harvests and fine wares. As with any city, it still houses many of the traditional businesses needed to keep its citizens content and living well. Therefore, there are a fair share of eateries and inns, as well as clinics that provide care and shops that sell everyday items.
While the dark forest may not be the first setting that comes to mind when most are looking to launch a business, the entrepreneurs of Stoivania have managed quite well for themselves.

EMPLOYMENT
Work can easily be had in Stoivania if those looking for it are willing to give up their freedom for it. Joining the ranks of the slaves is the quickest way to secure a job, as well as shelter and one or two meals a day. However, by making this choice, work, at the end of a chain, is all there ever is and all there ever will be, which makes this option very unappealing to most, if not all.
Therefore, with the right set of skills, determination, and drive, an individual can earn a honest living in Stoivania and maintain their freedom. As a Freeborn, employment can be garnered either in one of the city's many shops, under the watchful eye of a land owner, or in a shop of their own, with the financial support of a  ruling member. The latter option is a bit more appealing, since it allows the individual to launch a business of their dreams, but it leaves them with a hefty debt hanging over their head.
As for the ruling party, it is required that each family member - blood related or associated through marriage - pull their weight within the city. While their plantations will always come first, their various business ventures are just as equally important and help define who they are within the community. Viewed as a double-edged sword, success of a business can easily bring a family both wealth and clout, while failure of a venture can certainly soil a family's reputation, bringing about the waste of coin and time, as well as a mark of shame.

MONEY

Simply put, the Gold pent is the most commonly used and accepted form of currency in Stoivania, and it has been since the very founding of the city. At one point, the ruling familys toyed with the idea of minting their own coins, but the project never truly took flight, for the arguments had over what would be stamped on the face of the coin were numerous and heated. So the concept was dropped and the gold pent was embraced.

TRADE

From the sale of crops to locals or luxury goods to foreigners, to the selling and reselling of slaves to anyone who will pay the right price, the people of Stoivania are certainly familiar with the art of the honest deal, but they are also usually savvy enough to recognize the signs of a scam from a mile away. That said, they are not above attempting to pull a fast one of their own if it can gain them the upper hand or bring them a sizable gain. On the whole, they know how to haggle and persuade until an agreeable transaction is made, but they also seem to have a knack for being able to hinder or completely evade any deal that feels off, if even just a little. Trade is a way of life for most Stoivaniaians. It's the backbone of their existence, the lifeblood that keeps them going. To deny it would be like denying them air.

THE POLITICS OF  STOIVANIA


The political landscape of Stoivania ebbs and flows rather freely from Magistrate to Magistrate and, in turn, season to season. For the most part, it is stable, and kept that way by the ruling families, both in office and not. The thought of chaos erupting at anytime, for whatever reason - be it big or small - does not sit well with any one of the rulers. Therefore, they do their best to keep things in order and in line, by privately overseeing their lands and publicly supporting the city with a revolving Magistrate. The Rules & Regulations of Stoivania are yet another tool that they use to keep things running smoothly.
Are there disputes? Yes. Do they get resolved in a timely manner? So far, they have been. However, Stoivania is starting to make a name for itself, not only within the area, but the region. So there's a very good chance that outside forces may start to apply pressure to those who have been living the good life for a bit too long.

CITY DEFENSES

With the changing of the Magistrate, comes the changing of the guard, which means the City of Stoivania and its surrounding territory - that which is not owned by a Dynasty and protected as they see fit - may or may not be patrolled, protected or defended to the same degree or in the same manner as it was by the previous administration or how it will be by the next.
Each Magistrate comes to the office with their own style of defence. For example, when a Magistrate of the Paille Family is in power, additional horse patrols are usually utilized, but when a different Magistrate rules, they tend to enlist their most trusted men as part of their guard.  many families, all with unique styles; however, they all share the common goal of protecting and defending the people of Stoivania, which they have managed to do for many years thus far and, hopefully, will continue to do for many more to come.

LAWS & ENFORCEMENT
While the people of Stoivania may give off the impression that they are laid-back and carefree, when it comes to their laws and enforcing them, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Quick to react and even quicker to resolve an issue, it is rare when a criminal finds themselves in a state of confinement for longer than a day or two. There truly is no official prison in Stoivania because there has yet to be the need for one. Instead, criminals are held in a small cell within the building that houses the Magistrate's Office, they are swiftly brought before the Magistrate - or someone of the office, depending on the severity of the crime - and they are sentenced.
Expulsions from the city are common, but so are executions at the end of a rope. Dynasties tend to take care of their own and slaves are usually dealt with on the spot. Freeborns are the ones to watch the most, since they walk that fine line between the two worlds, but, again, even they are handled in a quick and efficient manner.

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2 Re: Land Information on Wed Jan 25 2017, 00:59

Anaya

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Unexplored landscape, properly named Signus and also known as "The Dark Side" of Valaria. this area is known to some outsiders.
As more is found out more map will be filled in.



  • Castle Stoivania (Ruler Ana)
  • Town Farquad



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