Istel

Istel is a country in the Fantasy RP. The Majority of the first two acts of the Fantasy RP take place here in the vicinity of the Emperor's Gate

Position:

One of the smaller countries in the Varian Empire. It is however the country from which the Empire first expanded and so its High Lord has the greatest political power out of all the others. Istel lies on the west coast of the Lower Midlands region.

People and Culture:

The people of Istel are generally rather balanced humans. They combine in their lives a health mix of working, leisure, dining and laughter. They are not the strongest in build of the Varian peoples, being very rarely 6 foot high or above and not so broad. However they make up for this by coveting the highest standards of education in the Empire. Istelian citizens tend top have a higher IQ than most and as a result Istelian scholars and tradesmen are at the forefront of technology.

The Istelians like to believe that they have been unchanged by the years, that everyone else adopted their way of life after unification but they are the same as they always were. To some extent this is true though their culture is mostly borrowed from the High Elves.
The people of Istel live in warm climes and enjoy the sunshine. They generally wear togas and sandals or light tunics and linens, women also wear lightweight cotton dresses in the summer evenings. They will own both formal and informal sets of these clothes.
Most Istelians have a connoisseur like appreciation for the wines produced in their region and enjoy their food to a similar degree. Indeed many would agree that Istelian cooks are the finest in all the land. “ By the Gods Driftus you have to try this! This isn’t any o’ that rubbish your mother used to force us to eat, no no. Now these B*$^*%£s know how to cook! This is proper food.” Bovrus to his cousin Driftus when eating in an Istelian Inn for the first time on their way from Ansagaria to join the Galean Guard. (4496 AU)

Towns, Cities and infrastructure:

Istel has many small yet well-developed towns dotted all over. Each of these is connected by a well-kept, paved road. Every town has running water, heated washhouses, sewers and stone buildings and defences. There are only two Cities worth of note however. The first, Unitia, was founded in commemoration of the Day of Unification at the first centenary of the event. This city hosts a grand monument to the General Alabander and the Anonymous Ansagarian, depicted at the conclusion of their duel. Unitia lies in the north of Istel.
Situated a mile along the road from the Emperors Gate which guards the Mainland end of the Crystal Bridge, lies the ancient city of Istel itself, some 8000 years have passed since its founding. The walls and buildings here are older than all others in the Empire and this city can boast of its never having been captured in war. Once Istel had been the brightest jewel in the Emperor's crown but now is overshadowed totally by the nearby Galea.

Fortifications:

Masters of stonewalls, every town in Istel is all but impregnable to siege assault. Thus Istel has rarely needed dedicated castles. It has two however. One that stands on the border with Zenos and the other, now abandoned, lies near the western coast. It is said to hide treasures that would make the Emperor himself look poor. Yet nobody has ventured here in centuries due to the castles unusual and infuriating puzzles and traps, as well as the monsters that infest the place.

War:

Istelians are generally not of ideal warrior build. However they compensate for this by entering battle on horseback, using well-oiled fighting techniques and tactics along with weapons and armour of superior materials. Istelian lancers and knights are the finest cavalry in the Empire aside from the Emperor's Bodyguard itself.

Istelian inventors are also responsible for developing the many, powerful siege engines that the Empire can bring to bear against enemy fortifications.

As in all countries of the Empire since 700 AU, aside from Ansagaria that is, Istelian males are obliged to undergo compulsory military training for 3 years between ages 14 and 17. This means that every Istelian man can defend himself should need be and is ready to fight for his Emperor in the Imperial army, should times of war befall the land.

In battle Istelian forces are noteworthy for utilising nearly 90% cavalry, thus nicely offsetting the Ansagarian tendency towards Infantry only. Also Istelian troops are second only to the forces of Galea themselves in terms of battlefield discipline and order.

Economy:

Istel is the richest country in the Empire in terms of the quality of people’s belongings and the value of the architecture in its cities. However its coffers have never been replenished since Pre-unification wars. Now that the Empire is united however there is little need for each country to have individual stores of gold as all money in the Empire belongs to the Emperor and every county may benefit from that collective wealth equally.

The main trades in Istel are horse rearing and breeding. Istelian warhorses being arguably the best in the world. And wine making.

Many people of Istel choose to make a good living out of Medcine, Teaching or researching Alchemy, Astronomy and Astrology as well as the other emerging sciences.

Social Hierarchy:

Along with all countries in the Varian Empire, Istel has a High Lord at its head along with his three deputy Governors. Below these come the Mayors of each city and town. Then below the Mayors come the Wealthy and the Military Officers in order of their own hierarchy.

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