Roustein city state
Located in the Ox Plains the city state consists of six cities: Roustein, Epstein, Lorn, Pastule, Swokey, and Maldon. These cities each represent territory ruled by a Count; each is a collection of six or seven baronies. Many smaller villages are scattered between the cities and across the countryside of the city state. These lands are ruled by barons and knights that pledge fealty to the counts who in turn pledge fealty to the duchess.
Feudal Political Structure
The Veiled Duchess rules Roustein City (pop 25,600). Like many feudal governments, three power structures exist: the aristocratic land owners, the church land owners, and the guilds. All three groups pay soldiers, alchemists, mechanics, and thieves in order to manipulate their opponents in different and subtle ways.
The power structure within the churches are lead by the followers of Phyton and Merikka. Both of these religions control considerable land interests, temples, and money. Another formidable religious structure is Zilchus and Mouqol. These temples serve as the deal brokers, banks, and insurers of Roustein. The clerics control the Knights of the Furrow.
The Ox Plains hold an abundance of resources and rich farmlands to grow foods. However, the people of the plains are simple pilgrims, refugees, and outcasts content to live life in the backwaters. Fine goods travel upstream through the Yellowtail swamp on river boats or are obtained through trade with elves and gnomes. Spices and tobacco can easily be obtained from the Halfling clans that live in the great swamp. The guilds prefer alchemists (assassins) and mechanics to be on their payrolls.
Roustein is a land of rolling hills and fertile farmland. It is bordered on the east and south by the large, slow-moving Ox and Junt Rivers. The capital of the duchy is located at their confluence. Two smaller rivers, the Swokey River and Silver River also cross diagonally across the territory.
Long ago, Roustein was a proper kingdom with the capital of the nation being in Blackstone. However, the kingdom was constantly split by a civil war between Blackstone and Roustein, the next most powerful city. Engaged in a constant, WWI-esque deadlock of fighting, Roustein finally emerged the victor through a treacherous stroke. Roustein betrayed Blackstone to a marauding gold dragon, and the battle-worn city was quickly overrun by orcs. Thus, Roustein became the head of a much smaller but more secure city state, and Blackstone fell into ruin.
To this day Blackstone is inhabited by orcs and ruled by a small clan of gold dragons. The grand cities, while overgrown and abandoned, are still mainly intact. The orcs also roam through the destroyed barony of Pendragon, a smaller district within Blackstone. A single barony of the Blackstone duchy survived, the one closest to the Emerald Downs. They ally with the inventive gnomes of the area to defend their otherwise isolated borders.