The Transaction of Loures
A Commentary upon the predicament of the ruling power of Temuair
By Aeife in Dark Ages
Introduction – The Discussion of other kingdoms in relation to Loures
In this document, the capital of Loures will be, for the most part, concentrated upon. Her history has spanned across centuries, from the reign of Tenes to the conquering of Undine. Through much of her existence, she has long been viewed as a center of power, and many times even as a tyrant. But behind the surface, beyond the masquerade of secure and unfaltering strength, there lies hints of unstable doubts that plagues her place in this world. From the discussions of her relationships with the other kingdoms of this world to her declining influence, know that this is only one doctrine discussing her situation and the inner politics of the possibilities of other conquests among many of the resilient legacy of Loures.
Influence and possibility of conquest upon the primary kingdoms of Temuair.
Loures has long been known as a capital city with a long history of aggression. However, her relationship with each major kingdom is at best, neutral, and at the worst, in a relation not unlike the raging war of master and slave.
Lying just north of Loures is the township of Piet. Ringed by a range of mountains forming a semi-circle to the north, with a dense forest to the east and bodies of water from the sea bordering the east and west, it is understandable why Piet was long conquered by Loures. Not much is said about Piet, although many have suggested that the plentiful supply of wood is derived from this town.
There are some advantages gained for Loures. In the armory, a ring called a Talos Ring is forged and sold to young Aislings who wish to improve their life and health, and Piet, unlike Loures, has a faery priestess living not far by the river.
There is no need to consider conquest of Piet as Loures already rules Piet, seen by the forcibly stores of those who did not manage to pay the taxes to Loures.
As far as any can see, the relationship between Piet and Loures is that of neutral detachment. In the case of Loures, so long as Piet obeys the laws and pays the taxes, there is no need for further contact.
Long famed as a city of knowledge and learning, it is no surprise to see that flocks of wizards gather in that lamp-lit town. Placed in history as the landsite where the 6th element light was discovered, it is now currently a city of vast knowledge about magick and the elements.
As it is also the only pathway to the castle of the dubhaimid, many wizards and priests have journeyed across Rucesion to study the grotesque carvings within the castle itself and contemplate the meaning of the stone statues of the dubhaimid embedded high upon the walls of its twisted corridors.
Rucesion is situated on an island joined to the larger isle of Dubhaim Castle. As a result, to conquer Rucesion, Loures would have to gather a fleet to cross the ocean, but considering the fact that Loures is on the western and wrong side of the coast, that would be a very difficult endeavor. Rucesion is also mainly overrun by Aislings - not only wizards and curious priests, but rogues, warriors and monks wishing to test their skill against the fabled dubhaimid. Loures, unless possessing an army able to defeat the vast magnitudes of wizards and priests, will have to turn her gaze to much less formidable prey.
As for relationship, Loures, although interested in the events of Rucesion, would rather spend her time on other problems. The wizards of Rucesion are valuable recruits for the court of Loures for their power and intelligence, and as defense if the dubhaimid ever invaded. However, Loures does not go out of its way to draw wizards to grace her lands, and most of the time regular procedures are upheld in dealings with Rucesion.
Up north, beyond the Kasmanium Mountains lies the peaceful town of Mileth, formally known as Finach. In history, Mileth has been rumored to be where the first warrior arose. However, this is not certain, although it is known as a fact that the foundation of Finach was around the same time as the first warrior.
Mileth, in a rough way, can be seen as a benevolent training ground for young Aislings. It seems to be a reoccurring trait that all Aislings somehow end up at Mileth before their official training has begun. Not a day can pass without seeing at least twice the number of Aislings than mundanes present in that land. Not only does Mileth have everything necessary for an Aisling, such as a bank, inn, smithy, and all four trainers: special arts, fighting, faery magick, and elemental magick, but it also boasts its own crypt and the temple of the circles for the initiation of an Aisling.
The possibility of occupation of Loures is very small. First of all, every Aisling yet encountered shares at least some small degree of affection for Mileth. If Loures would indeed decide to attempt to conquer that serene place, she would no doubt find hoards of vengeful Aislings rising up in vehement anger.
There is also no point to the occupation of Mileth. Besides a few cattle farms, it is mainly an establishment for Aislings, many of which have grown in power and intelligence, and drawn by the shining glory of the royal court of Loures, have left their homes for the dazzling life of Loures.
In the case of relationship, Mileth has never posed as a threat to the reign of Loures, and the capital city, although somewhat disturbed by the rising emphasis on this small village, has other troubles to occupy her with. Much of the population sees Mileth as a plain village despite its many gifts and specialties, and Loures is no different.
To the east of Mileth lies the trading post of Abel. As a port, Abel’s main commerce is trade, and indeed it is the trading center of the known world. From its position alongside the sea, Abel boasts much of the main means of transportation to the kingdoms outside of Mileth: ships. Merchants from far away villages come to trade in the busy streets of Abel. From furs to silks, to daggers and swords, ships arrive to pick up and drop off shipments of equipment that manages to evade the notoriously stealthy thieves of the stone-built port.
Abel is considered by many as a neutral city. From its businesses spanning across sea and land, it has had a history of carefully avoiding taking sides in any disputes between kingdoms. Thus, it is in Abel that the guilds are created and maintained, and where the councils of the motleys and societies gather frequently to discuss their respective duties.
In truth, if Loures attempted to conquer Abel, she might as well try to take Mileth first. Not only will the attempted conquest wreck havoc within the economy of all cities involved, but also it will efficiently cut off a good portion of the income of the trade of Loures. Adding to the problem, the guilds and motleys who depend on Abel as a center for managing their affairs will no doubt come knocking down the gateway of Loures in barely contained anger for disturbing the order of their organizations.
Abel is hardly even an option for takeover.
The relationship with the town of Abel is as careful and gracious as ever. The trade with the port of Abel is essential for a good campaign and a healthy market within Loures. As Abel is neutral most of the time, Loures has never had any major conflict - as long as both stayed in neutral terms towards each other.
As history decrees it, it is in the year Danaan 2986, under the reign of the third emperor that Loures succeeded in her conquest of Undine. Soon after the victory, Loures placed a ban upon all weapons for fear of rebellion. Even until now, there exists no weapons smith in Undine.
Although the reasons for the takeover is not clear, it is common knowledge that much of the fresh water of the known world is contained within the lakes of Undine, making Undine a precious kingdom, and even more so during droughts. The armory also possesses a large collection of rings, including the rare spinel ring.
From its closeness to the sea and the existence of the lakes, Undine has a rich fishing industry. Artists of the land have traveled to Undine more than once in hopes of finding the beautiful shells scattered across the beaches of Undine. However, many in the past have speculated that it was not Undine that Loures was truly after, but Suomi. Securing Undine gives Loures the best and most efficient way of reaching Suomi, as the way through the lakes are treacherous even in the best weather.
Opinion of Loures in Undine is very much divided. Some wish to just accept things and go on with their own business, as all Loures normally does is impose taxes. Others, angered by the laws forced upon them, call heatedly for a rebellion, and others of the same opinion follow. Most notably, the rebellion of Undine composes mostly of monks, as they need no weapons, and weapons are hard to come by in Undine.
The relationship with Undine is at its best, shaky. Although most of the population of the seaside town seems to grudgingly obey her rules, the rebellion of the monks is still quite a problem. The people do not want trouble and even though they will give only what she demands and nothing more, Loures, for now, seems too busy within her own affairs to bother with demands for more.
It is not certain when exactly Loures began its interest in Suomi. Some say that the products of Suomi interfere with the strict tariff on cherries that Loures commands, and others say that her interest in Suomi is partly to gain from the rich farming industry and to crush the rebellion of Undine.
Not much is clear but that north-western Suomi is strongly in the grasp of Loures while strangely, south-eastern Suomi is left to their own devices to plan and curse Loures in open passionate revolts.
Suomi, while mainly farmland, is by all accounts, a large village. Every few days, there is always a small but steady stream of Aislings coming to pick the grapes and cherries to make the prized potion called beothaich deum. Some also say that the monk rebellion of Undine obtains their supply of food, clothing and news from Suomi, and that they rely heavily upon the potions to rescue any prisoners Loures sees fit to take. Also the only kingdom besides Mileth to have its own resident special skills trainer, and the only town in which two very prized rings, the emerald and jade rings, are forged, it has been reasoned that Suomi is a very valuable town to have if conquered.
Relations between Suomi and Loures are at its best, muted protests, and at its worst, war and violent protests. Suomi seems intent on going against Loures to the best of her abilities without causing too much harm. It is not only that Loures resent strongly the disobedience of their farming and trade laws regarding the tax on the cherries and react with severe measures, as seen in the case of the farmer Goran, but that there is also hints of another cause. Many in Suomi have had strong suspicions that Loures has faintly regarded Suomi as her property ever since the alliance of Suomi and Loures, first under the rule of Lord Tenes, then under the alliance of Lord Ainmeal. But this suspicion, although it seems to be wide spread, is without base and evidence.
Loures in Contrast
From the examples of Undine and Suomi, it is clear that Loures has her own problems to deal with, not to mention keeping order within her own walls. Somehow, in the passing years, the other kingdoms of Mileth, Abel, and Rucesion have all surpassed her in the minds of the common mundane and Aisling. This section is based on the current situation of Loures according to the scholars of Rucesion and Mileth. All of the kingdoms described seem to be slowly pulling away from the capital city, whether it is out of anger and rebellion, or merely as an effect of the changes of the age.
From its tall towers to its grand tapestries of the deeds of its glorious kings, Loures has been the center of the known world for much of history. Past to present, the world has evolved much from its past stages. The wars have, thankfully, ceased for now, and even though the fight with the darkness is still very much in effect, the dubhaimid has been repelled from our cities and towns. In her regal court, Loures has stood these past years, straight, tall and commanding, as we have always expected of her, but times change, and with it, empires also change.
As you can see by the example of the rising success of Mileth, Rucesion and Abel, with the appearance of the first Aisling, the power of Loures has waned. It transferred from the strength and image of the royal army to the lone Aisling, standing and fighting against the darkness. With no possible reasonable countermeasure, and no chance of reclaiming their power by conquest of those respective cities, it is the opinion of many that as a result, Loures turned her anger towards Suomi and Undine.
As the chaos age descended into the Atavism age, much of the thoughts revolving around the modern events have become Aisling centered instead of the common praise and attention of the glory of Loures. And as the strong capital city looks around at her surroundings, instead of being reassured, there is a strong feeling of discomfort as she realizes that the world has changed, and in that change, to seemingly left her behind.
With her place in the modern world and society contrasting strongly to the image Loures transfixed on the people in history, an overwhelming desire to reclaim that power resulted. Once dominating the steps of its people’s destiny, she has found to her dismay that her influence has slowly dwindled compared to the rising light of the Aisling population. As other scholars have put it simply, she has, among the eyes of the cruelly wronged mundanes in Undine and Suomi, lost the right of rule.
This realization was confirmed with the appearance and discovery of the shrines of the gods. Adding to her dismay, she found that with the exception of Suomi, each major kingdom had a corresponding god relating to a specific Aisling path, and in turn, fitting the role of the kingdom. Even Suomi, with its often seen as romantic god Deoch, had its own special significance. All except Loures it seemed. The god Gramail, although fitting for Loures, is as the faery priestess of Suomi said, the weakest of the gods who was hardly recognized except after the appearance of the Shrines. To the magnificent city of Loures, it was a horrible hint of her decline – a world in which her power did not exist.
As stated in the evaluation of each city, there is very little chance of Loures making history by attempting to conquer. Everything that could be done without causing undo chaos and grief has been either done, or the opportunity has passed. And as Loures look around her at the mundane world, although she is still the ruler, it is as though a new layer has passed on top of the world she knew. Her need to dominate grows stronger by the minute, but that need is trapped and runs in circles, contemplating each of the townships and the impossibility of their conquest.
Despite everything, Loures is still an essential part of this world. As Gramail is law, Loures indeed is a symbol of order within the chaos of Temuair. From this, we recognize that even though Loures attempts in her ways to forcibly change the objects of her concentration to an order of her view, and her view only, we still need the reassurance that she has provided over the years.
And Loures, in this different light, remains a representation of the grace and royal dignity of the king and the royal court. Even though Loures is still seen as a tyrant by many, at the same time, it strangely provides an example to the known world of everyday order within a land encased by unfathomable darkness just beyond the reach of the newfound light. Loures is not a kingdom dominated by or even controlled by Aislings as in the other kingdoms, but a reminder that the king is also mundane, and that Aislings, although the bearers of light, can do no more than first protect the land in which they aspire to reach the sky.
~Compiled by Aeife