Torre

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This article is about the County of Torre. For the kingdom that existed before Turamzzyrian annexation, see Kingdom of Torre.

Torre is a county of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

Crest

  • a white stork on a field of light blue

"The present crest of the County Torre is traceable back to a royal decree by Gardiel of Torre, the first king of the Kingdom of Torre. In the decree which established the crest, the stork was officially selected because it was the symbol of the port city of Fairport, where many of the long-legged birds dwell, and signified the dominance of the new capital over the region. The field of blue, the decree explained, was selected to reflect the fallen Kingdom of Elanith and its capital of River's Rest, once the center of culture and arts prior to the collapse of the Kannalan Empire. The colors of Elanith were blue and buff. Thus, the Kingdom of Torre was intended to be seen as the direct descendant of the once fabled Elanith. After the kingdom was annexed by the Turamzzyrian Empire, the county was permitted to retain the former crest of its kingdom."

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

"Torre is located near the center of the Empire on the west coast. The weather is generally very mild, with the exception of a prolonged rainy season in spring. The territory is centered around the Maelstrom Bay. The capital city of Fairport accounts for most of the county's population, with the rest being scattered fishing villages and farmsteads.

Fairport is the major port city for Torre. The bustling port services the coast, and with regular trade routes seaward to Tamzyrr, Ubl, Idolone, and Brisker's Cove, the city is a well established component of the Empire's economy. Fairport once maintained a lucrative trade route with the inner Empire via the Tempest river by way of the Maelstrom Bay, but the Great Quake that resulted in the creation of the Tempest Falls closed that route in 4565.

The customs of Torre's citizens are married to the sea, and local jargon is rife with references to fishing and the sea-faring life. It is not uncommon for parents to bring their newborns to the Tower of the Sea Princess in Fairport, seeking to placate Charl through his daughter and ask the blessings of her priestesses. Tragedy is common among those who sail the seas, and Niima's temple is never lacking in wives and children beseeching the goddess for mercy and the safe return of loved ones."

— Deinirius Antroydes, A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

River's Rest

For further information, see River's Rest.

"In the days of the Kannalan Empire the island of River's Rest was a beacon of art and trade. The fall of that empire and the resulting anarchy begat a long social decline in the region. Its location at the juncture of the Tempest River and the mouth of Maelstrom Bay, however, made River's Rest a natural trading center. It was inevitable that it would be rebuilt.

Very likely River's Rest would have regained its prominence if not for the Great Quake of 4565. The quake not only devastated the island itself, it shifted the land to a degree that a large waterfall was created on the Tempest River. This almost entirely disrupted the river trade on which the prosperity of River's Rest hinged. The island has never recovered.

With the loss of River's Rest's economic base, the County of Torre and the Turamzzyrrian Empire lost much of their interest in the region. Imperial indifference and neglect made River's Rest an attractive location for outlaws, smugglers, pirates and fugitives. Although in recent years some rough form of law and order has been established, the island of River's Rest remains underpopulated and primitive."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Citadel

"The Citadel area of River's Rest, once the seat of power prior to the coming of the krolvin and trolls, contains all the buildings necessary to support a working castle. Decaying perimeter walls once kept enemies at bay, and an elemental garden that still hosts flaming violets and vines, icy plants and unusually tinted roses still guards the walkway to the citadel drawbridge. The structures still in existence are mostly untouched and still possess the bodies and destruction of the strife that brought the area to its knees. Illicit experiments conducted in the last century have brought undead and other frightful creatures to the area, so amateur archaeologists are advised to use extreme caution when investigating the area. Horticulturists will not want to miss the untouched garden for Aeia, thriving with plants and said to be tended by a ghostly caretaker. The citadel itself, built of striking ebony-hued bricks, still contains the hallmarks of power wielded by the Council of Mages in the 41st century."

— Geographica Elanthia

Customs

"The First of Lormesta is a popular holiday in this region, during which children travel the town wishing their neighbors good fortune in the coming year. They wear silk flowers in their hats and carry silver-spangled oranges on the ends of sticks. At each home they are welcomed with a cry of "For those without and those within, let the newfound year begin!" and given gifts of sweet foods and money.

The ships that sail from Fairport almost always carry with them a cat, and the actions of this beast are said to have great predictive powers. If she stretches so that her paws meet, a storm will be encountered soon. If she turns her back to the captain or the galley fire, the ship is likely to be stranded. And if the cat scratches the mast with her claws, the ship and all her crew are surely doomed.

Local custom dictates that an offering of roasted barley flour and fruit be left by the ocean before embarking on a fishing expedition of any kind. This ensures the goodwill of the seals, who will then be sure to drive fish of all kinds into the fisherman's nets. If this offering is not made, it is said that one's luck in fishing will be poor and the fisherman's nets will tear. Old people tell of "sealsingers" hired to laud the virtues of these aquatic beasts on special occasions."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Organizations

Niima's Own

"Niima's Own was birthed sometime shortly after the year 5010, originally ordered by Count Claybourne, to help the Royal Torren Guard better monitor Maelstrom Bay and beyond. Niima's Own rarely drift far from the waters of Torre, primarily focused on protecting merchant ships, fishing vessels, and working as a buffer against krolvin and pirates. On the first of every month, many naval members of Niima's Own make a small pilgrimage to the Tower of the Sea Princess in Fairport, offering their worship and homage to Charl's daughter, invoking her grace and protection for themselves, their ships, and their sea.

After the devastation brought by the krolvin in 5114 that left Fairport occupied for many months, Niima's Own had suffered countless casualties by the war's end. The force was left with only a handful of ships still active or repairable. This faction of the imperial naval has been slowly rebuilding itself, and has since split their focus between defending Torren coasts and slowly moving into the area of merchant vessel transport and passenger ships, bringing goods and people in and out of the County.

Their symbol is two green dolphins on a field of azure."

— Lord Brieson Cassle of Highmount, Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Royal Torren Guard

"The origin of the Royal Torren Guard goes back to the founding of the Kingdom of Torre in 4240 by Gardiel of Torre and the establishment of a military force under the King's control. The military force did not arise out of the ether, but was the resulting combination of Gardiel's own private force and the forces of three other members of the Circle of Regents, a confederation of seven powerful leaders in the area now known as the County of Torre. In an agreement with his allies, Gardiel acquiesced to the permanent inclusion of their forces with his to form the royal army of the kingdom. The military forces of the other three members of the Circle of Regents were subsequently dissolved to remove any remaining threat to the newly enthroned king. For nearly two hundred years, this force was known as the Royal Army of Torre.

The army was organized in four companies, which reflected the four separate forces of its origin. While each company initially mirrored the philosophies and discipline of the original leader, gradually the influence of Gardiel and subsequent Torre kings became the overwhelming morality influence, which unsurprisingly was one that demanded strict obedience to order from its foot soldiers and creative minds in its officers. Each company was commanded by a captain and the four captains overseen by the commander, a kannalan title that has survived in the Torre region in the place of the more standard and preferred title of general elsewhere in the Empire.

In the wake of the annexation of the Kingdom of Torre by the Turamzzyrian Empire in 4417, the army that had served King Yamaus of Torre understandably was expected by the rulers of the Empire to reduce its size as to reduce the confidence of success of the leaders of Torre should they reconsider their allegiance to the Sun Throne. At this point, the Royal Army of Torre was renamed the Royal Torren Guard, a name it has carried for nearly 700 years of service, and while it retained its original organization of four companies and command structure, the numbers of each company have since been lowered. The modern Royal Torren Guard has retained a more mobile stance with only one heavy company of the four. Captains are provided the unique and traditional state power since the days of the Royal Army to perform capital punishment without the need of higher authorization.

Their symbol is a white stork clutching spear tips in its feet with wings spread upward on a field of blue and yellow."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Outlaws

Bayrunners

"Pirates. Anti-imperialists. Freedom fighters. Bayrunners. They'll answer to every one of those and never offer an apology for it. They don't often talk of their beginnings, but some locals insist the first operation of the Bayrunners, before they even called themselves such, was around 5022. It is said a number of them may have once been river pirates who had been successfully run out of River's Rest during the Smuggling War after the Great Cataclysm, and some of the original founders were said to have been descendants of native Resters who were displaced by the imperial colonization program centuries before. Whatever the case, their blood is Torren, and their mission is wealth at the cost of the Turamzzyrian Empire. While many citizens of the County of Torre peacefully live their lives under imperial rule despite not being overly pleased with it, they do so in relative peace. The Bayrunners are a stark contrast to that, seeing the Turamzzyrian Empire as an oppressive boot on the throat of the once great Kingdom of Torre, and while they may not be able to defeat it with force and fire, perhaps they can enjoy victory by striking their purse strings.

The Bayrunners are celebrated as heroes by some in River's Rest, even in Fairport, where their piracy throughout Maelstrom Bay and the surrounding Western Sea is well-known, and by some, well-appreciated. But the Bayrunners, while a constant thorn in the side of the Empire and its naval fleets and merchants, take certain actions to help win the hearts and support of the people who dislike imperial rule. Over the years, Count Claybourne and his family have tried many different strategies to help combat the Bayrunners efforts, and to their credit, many of these attempts worked, but a majority of them only showed results for the short-term. The Count and other justice officials have been unable to gain any long term advantage over the Bayrunners, and there have been no large accomplishments towards their defeat.

Because of this constant conflict with no victory in sight, many merchants who utilize Maelstrom Bay have began to budget what they call "The Bay Tax" into their financials, as there seems to be no easy way to avoid the piracy, and certainly not doing any business is not good business. Tragically, many of these merchants make up the difference in their losses by increasing prices locally, ultimately having an adverse effect on the citizens of the region. The irony is not lost on the Bayrunners, who understand their piracy increases costs for the citizens they claim to be helping, but overlook it by arguing that in the big scheme of things, their operations save more money in the end, especially if one day they are successful enough to break free of the chains of the Sun Throne."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Red Hats

"In 4417, the Kingdom of Torre was annexed by the Turamzzyrian Empire. In laws, in land, and in claim, the Sun Throne now ruled above the new County of Torre. But the greatest piece of Torre was absent as a result of the annexation, and that was the hearts and minds of its people. A nameless man, his birth and race lost to the passing of time, dared to defy the loss of Torren pride and independence during the ceremony of swearing an oath from the County to Emperor Jasdurel Burzost. It is on the salt-stained cobbles of Fairport where the Red Defender, so aptly named that day, he openly declared opposition during the ceremony, even moving towards the procession. Whether his intentions were murderous or not, it was the crossbow bolt of a Torren guard that sunk into the side of his cheek, sending a spray of blood onto his dusty white hat before both it, and he, collapsed to the ground.

While the Royal Torren Guard is well known for their lack of imperial sympathy and refusal to obey many of Turamzzyrian laws, it is the action of one of their own on that day that gave birth to the Red Hat Movement. From that day forward, the Red Hats sparked to life. They saw themselves as a true rebellion, and that the fact that the loudest voice of dissension was silenced by a Royal Torren guard, only lent credence to their message that the guards were not their allies and just another puppet of the Sun Throne. While the movement has seen its membership rise and fall over the ages, there has never been a shortage of sympathizers to their cause, consisting of fair, law-abiding, but freedom supporting individuals, who have on numerous occasions provided information and shelter for suspected Red Hats.

For a brief period of time during the Turamzzyrian resettlement in the County of Torre, nobles from Tamzyrr, on becoming aware of the Red Hats, established a pseudo-society branch of the group. The members of the society gained admittance after engaging in some form of petty theft or crime, though some members developed notorious reputations for their thefts over the time of their membership. The original Red Hats deigned to allow the showy version of their brotherhood to continue for the purpose of infiltration of the Turamzzyrian outsiders and to glean intelligence which was used against the rich who played at being criminals. As the Turamzzyrians inter-married with Fairport's existing nobility, the native Torren nobility's own reflections on such criminal behavior rubbed off, and membership in the false brotherhood tapered off until it became an embarrassing fact of one's ancestors.

What once began as the idea of freedom fighters, the Red Hats are very much now a criminal organization and no longer confined to Fairport. Their philosophy is now to reject imperial oversight and rule, not just over Torre. Their hands are in a number of smuggling operations and thieves' guilds throughout Fairport and its surrounding areas, and they use their resources and agents to constantly undermine the efforts of imperial soldiers. This sometimes puts them at odds with the Royal Torren Guard, who may like to look the other way, but in some cases, they cannot. While the Red Hats serve their own agenda, which rarely is aligned with the Turamzzyrian Empire, there have been occasions when external, or even internal threats, have forced these two sides of the coin to work together. Most recently in 5114, a gathering of krolvin fleets waged a long war against the Empire, ravaging cities and ports up and down the western coastline. In fact, the krolvin victorious continued to mount, which resulted in the Fall of Fairport where the krolvin had completely overrun the city, nearly destroying the Tower of the Sea Princess, and began to slowly build a new foothold on imperial soil. It was the gathered might of imperial reinforcements dispatched from other provinces, in addition to the strategic strikes and intel provided by the Red Hats, that ultimately led to Fairport being reclaimed and the krolvin pushed back to sea. Of course, in the aftermath of the conflict, all returned to normal with the Red Hats continuing to operate in the shadows of western coast, their voice and actions serving as an ever-constant torch of defiance against imperial dominance. To wear a red hat is to have a friend in almost every port in the Empire."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
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