The Archduchy of Starkwater is one of the northernmost fiefdoms and one of the most militaristic. Starkwater was one of the first fiefdoms to leave the Empire and remains in fierce competition with the fiefdom of Arameia, especially over the ownership of the Arameian Highlands.
System of GovernmentEdit
The Archduke of Starkwater is the supreme head of the Archduchy, the heir apparent (or in cases where one such is not yet eligible, the Regent) rules roughly one half of the Archduchy from Grey Lake. The Court of the Archduke is considered one of the more visceral in the Mainlands. Assassinations, poisonings and similar are a common occurrence. Position and appearance is everything in the court of the Archduke, and losing face is a terrible perspective for any noble to face. When the Archduke fails to produce a heir or his line dies, a new Archduke is chosen by the Court. Often these come from the foremost families of Starkwater, though it has been that the old Archduke’s Regent or a complete outsider has managed to wrestle their way into power. Capital city Starkwater is unique in that it has two capitals. There is the seat of the Archduke, known as Spire City and there is the city of Grey Lake, which is where the Archduke’s son or the next in line for the position of Archduke rules.
Spire City is named for the spires which surround it, named the Spires of Therium. These natural formations force the shape of the city into a half-moon shape. They form a natural fortification against any land based assault and have so far managed to dispatch any intruders. The city itself rests on top of a rise, and anyone assaulting it would have to travel uphill to assault the main parts of the city. To the south of the city the river of Tharen passes into the ocean and the city has built docks and a small village here to service the unloading of ships and boats passing by. The city itself is divided into two, the Bowl and the Heights. The Heights are the parts of the city closest to the Spires of Therium. The Heights are set apart from the Bowl by a steep incline, leading many roads to change to stairs. The Bowl contains the majority of the city’s denizens, whereas the Heights usually hold the nobles and the rich, including the Archduke’s palace. Spire City has a population of roughly 25,000 inhabitants.
The city of Grey Lake is forever Spire City’s second. It’s smaller and considered something of a backwater when compared to Spire City or other capitals. It is nonetheless considered an important strategic city as the eastern parts of the Archduchy are too far from Spire City for any reasonable form of communication. The reason for its name is the lake which it sits by. The grey water of the lake is said to have healing properties. Grey Lake has roughly 8,000 inhabitants.