The Grand Barony of Teslan is sandwiched between the two feuding fiefdoms of Starkwater and Arameia. The Grand Barons of Teslan have long been known for supporting the spread of knowledge, to the point where the capital has the most prestigious university in Adylheim.
System of GovernmentEdit
Teslan is run on system of a ruling council, where the four most powerful Barons (collectively known as the Grand Barons) and four of the most powerful Magi, known as the Lords Temporal and the Lords Magical respectively, convene and deliberate on important matters of policy. Usually one of the four Grand Barons is elected to lead the council for a set period, in which time he deals with most of the day to day affairs of ruling a fiefdom. The Lords Temporal are usually selected from among the most powerful houses in a process which is not quite electoral, not quite by choice. Mostly those who manage to gain enough recognition will end up as the Lords Temporal for the time being. If a noble house were to lose significant standing within the noble community, their Lord Temporal would be quickly seized on by the next in line. The Lords Magical are selected via the University in Salen. They consist of the foremost among the mage lords of Teslan and are generally a more stable governmental party than the Lords Temporal. Unlike most of the other fiefdoms, the nobles of Teslan seldom have all their lands in one place, often they will have a manor both on Meduc and Nikol, thus increasing their interest in keeping the fiefdom whole and preventing anyone from deserting Teslan and granting their lands to some other fiefdom.
Teslan consists of two main parts one of which is the largest island in Adylheim, Meduc, the other is a large piece of the mainland, sandwiched between Starkwater and Arameia, known as Nikol. In addition to Nikol and Meduc there are a series of smaller islands which also come under the dominion of the Grand Baron. The canal between these two parts of Teslan is controlled by Teslan’s impressive fleet and the toll traders must pay for using it is a great boon to the Teslan economy. Nikol is much like its neighbour, Starkwater. Characterised by tall hills and mountains. It is the least developed part of Teslan and has no real cities of note. Even those nobles who have much of their holdings in Nikol spend the majority of their time in Salen or on Meduc. Meduc is a the largest of the islands in Teslan and the largest in Adylheim as a whole. It houses some of the largest shipyards in Adylheim. As a whole though, Meduc is prone to quick changes in weather, it is not particularly warm though snow rarely lingers for long in the winter and the summers are hotter than on the mainland. Much of the island is settled leaving very few areas to be covered in forests, though rumours of mysterious isolated ruins at the top of the mountains in Meduc abound. The capital of Teslan, Salen is located on the southern side of Meduc. Apart from these two territories, Teslan also covers a vast array of islands, though their allegiance to Teslan is often loose and shifting at the best of times, their autonomy depending on the current ruler. Many of these islands consider themselves to be autonomous from Teslan with only the slightest of alliances keeping them on the same side. These islands often become havens for pirates as likely to prey on Teslan ships as any other.
Places of InterestEdit
The city of Salen, population 18 000, is the largest settlement in Teslan. It is the home to the University of Salen, the most renowned teaching institution in Adylheim which also includes the only true Academy for Magi and the Library of Salen, the greatest repository of knowledge throughout all of Adylheim. Salen is home to some of the best Artificers in Adylheim and is a city of marvels and possibly the most advanced city in all of Adylheim.
Dhowtown is a floating settlement of Maradin, a huge constantly changing mess of boats which have been tied up next to each other. Dhowtown is a lively place to trade and is rarely found in the same place twice, mapping it in any meaningful way is impossible as boats are constantly coming and going, changing the size and shape of Dhowtown as they do so.
Teslan consists of an eclectic mix of Threakians, Arameians and Maradin. While Threakians reside primarily in Nikol, whereas Maradin live primarily on Meduc and the surrounding islands. Nobles are primarily Maradin, however.
Perhaps one of the more unusual traits of noble culture within Teslan is the acceptance which magic has. For most nobles, sons and daughters who do not stand to inherit titles may be given jobs among the clergy, as scholars, or in the army. In Teslan most nobles will have at least a passing knowledge of low magic and any noble with high magic talent is sent off to the university to learn their trade there rather than continue on as mere administrators. Some of the most skilled mages in Adylheim come from Teslan. Teslan is highly influenced by the seafaring culture of the Maradin.
Teslan is unique in that it never constituted the domain of a single noble prior or during its time in the Empire, unlike so many of the other fiefdoms which formed the Arameian Empire. Teslan was first formed as a coalition of lesser nobles who grew weary of the heavy taxes which were being levied off them by the Emperors to pay for their armies and warfare. In 3751 the unofficial alliance of nobles which formed Teslan formally separated themselves from the Empire and their superior nobles. Their charter, which they partially worked out with the Arameian Emperor, who could not afford to fight on yet another front, involved a treaty of non-aggression, wherein the nobles of Teslan would not interfere with struggles between the Emperor and any rebellious fiefdoms. As the Empire continued to decline, Teslan did little but watch it happen. Though they were, according to the treaty made with the Empire earlier, technically still subservient to the Empire, but they were to all intents and purposes autonomous and as the Imperial institutions died down there were no one to ensure that the tribute Teslan had set out to pay was still being paid. Slowly but surely the Treaty of Teslan lost importance not so much through being replaced by newer treaties as it was simply ignored. By 3974 the Priesthood of Luxor had managed to take back at least part of the lands belonging to what had been the Empire and were turning their eyes towards Starkwater and Teslan. With the Prelate fearing an alliance of the two fiefdoms against Arameia and the Archduke of Starkwater fearing the same, both fiefdoms signed pacts of non-agression with Teslan that year. This time Teslan had achieved full autonomy. And even though the Archduke of Starkwater pleaded with the Teslans for aid during the Highlands Acquisition the nobles of Teslan took no part in the conflict.