Tuskany

The Arms of Tuskany
The Arms of Tuskany

The Sovereign Realm of Tuskany is a small but growing quasi-constitutional monarchy in the River Kingdoms. Currently, the realm is comprised primarily of farmland and rivers near the southern border of Brevoy.

Founding

King Noleski Surtova, having ceded Brevoy’s ancient claim to the Stolen Lands, opened the way for the Charter Bearers to settle and rule the Stolen Lands. Among themselves, they elected James Peyton to be ruling sovereign. Shortly thereafter, they settled on the northern shores of the Tuskwater, and there began construction of Erastil’s Redoubt and their seat of government. From his offices there, with the advice of the Charter Bearers and other notable people of the realm, James Peyton wrote the Tuska Carta, which establishes the rights of the people of the realm, and thus forms a sort of constitution.

Geography

Tuskany’s primary geographic features are it’s rolling plains, dotted with small copses of trees and threaded with rivers. Immediately to the south of Tuskany lies the Tuskwater, one of the largest lakes in the region.

Rapid development since the founding of the kingdom have seen a number of roadways and farms spreading across the landscape.

Settlements

Culture

The people of Tuskany are a resilient and independent bunch. The laws of the land generally aim to keep this character intact. Farming, hunting, and fishing perhaps the most dominant occupations of the realm.

Although Tuskany has a central government, the respect for communities and the devolution of powers to those communities keeps a great degree of diversity between the various hamlets and villages that dot the countryside, as well as the districts of the cities. These communities are generally expected to look after their own, and they are only subjected to light taxation. Communities with devolutionary powers are allowed to enact local laws that respect their own traditions and may have their own form of local governance (as long as it is in some way representative).

Religion

Erastil is the patron deity of Tuskany, and his Church is the official state religion. As most in the area already worship Erastil, either as their personal patron or as a part of their pantheon, state worship is looked upon favorably.

For those who do not take Erastil as their patron, there is no sanction or punishment. In fact and in law, it is not looked down upon to worship other deities; as long as they are goodly and promote virtuous character, their worship is welcome within the realm.

Holidays and Festivals

The realm and its constituent communities celebrate many holidays and festivals. Currently, there are six state-sponsored holidays. These holidays receive allotments of monies from the Exchequer for decorations, food, and various other expenses relating to the holiday. Additionally, the Crown excuses noncritical workers (clerks, scribes, valets, and the like) and encourages private employers to do the same.

New Years and Yuletide (1st of Abadius). People are encouraged to spend time with their families and share with the less fortunate members of their community. Monies for this holiday are used to purchase blankets, foodstuffs, and to subsidize personal travel to and from the rural hamlets and villages.
Planting Week (Vernal Equinox, Pharast). Farming is celebrated on this holiday. Celebration is carried out with ales, wines, whiskeys, and various other forms of liquor in honor of the hard work already done, and the hard work ahead. Funds are also set aside to pay stipends to members outside the farming community to assist with the planting (and the merriment that follows).
Archer’s Day (3rd of Erastus). Archery competitions dominate the day. Additionally, communities reward their charitable and skilled hunters.
Harvest Feast (Autumnal Equinox, Rova). A festival of eating and thanks giving. Festival funds are used to hire extra field hands and cooks, as well as to buy produce from farmers for the festival itself.
The Trinity (of Tuskany) (Last Moonday and previous Sunday of Neth). This national festival celebrates three occasions that occurred during the first month of the realms existence: the founding of the realm, the coronation of the monarch, and the publication of the Tuska Carta. But far from being a celebration focused on the monarchy, in practice it is a celebration of the people of the kingdom. On the Sunday before, honors and laudations are bestowed upon outstanding people of the realm by the Crown and its officers. Then, on Moonday, feasts are held in honor of the recipients. While the communities of the realm do not take direct part in bestowing the honors (it is by custom only done by the Crown) they do play a part in the nomination of individuals.
Community Festivals (Varies). Because the communities can be so varied and have different traditions, they can establish a day or two to have a festival that is unique to them. Funds are given both to the community directly, and also used to promote the festival and subsidize (or in some cases provide free) travel to and from the particular community. Because members of the Watch usually protect the communities from which they hail, they are usually granted the day off, and Watch members from other communities come in to take their place.

Government

On a national level, power is held by the monarch, His Lordship James Peyton, The Margrave Regnant. The monarchy in turn delegates certain responsibilities and authority to the Chamber of Ministers. In addition, the Tuska Carta allows for devolution of some powers to what it terms “communities”. Most communities with such powers are either hamlets and small villages in rural areas, or districts of a city.

Chamber of Ministers

The Chamber of Ministers constitutes a group of offices to which the monarch has personally delegated significant responsibility and authority.

Chancellor (Councilor, Wis/Cha)

  • The Right Honorable Svetlana
  • The Chancellor is responsible for representing the will of the people. The Chancellor may establish appellate courts and proceedings for the granting of appeals with universal jurisdiction. The Chancellor also oversees the realm’s criers and bellmen, ensuring the people are informed of the major events and other information that might affect them.

General (Str/Cha)

  • Ser Neudvin, KCB
  • The General is responsible for the affairs of the military. During times of peace, the General sets the admittance criteria, code of conduct, and training guidelines for all standing armies of the realm. He advises the Crown on military matters, and advises the Watch and the Wardens to ensure their wartime readiness. During times of war, the Watch and the Wardens both report to the Marshal.

Grand Diplomat (Int/Cha)

  • Dame Deridian, KCB
  • The Grand Diplomat represents Tuskany to other states, and advises the Crown regarding foreign matters.

High Priest (Wis/Cha)

  • Jhod
  • The High Priest advises the Crown in its official capacity on matters regarding the moral character of the nation and the promotion of the state religion and other goodly religions. He also serves the monarch personally as confessor and conscience.

Magister (Int/Cha)

  • The Right Honorable Caimbuel
  • The Magister is responsible for advancing magical prowess and higher learning within the realm. The Magister is also called upon to aid investigation of magical crime and apprehension of criminals possessing magic.

High Captain of the Watch (Warden, Str/Con)

  • Ser Akiros, KCB
  • The High Captain of the Watch is responsible for the defense and law enforcement of the cities of the realm. The Watch, also called the Gold Cloaks (for a gold cloak or sash is their uniform), although they are agents of the Crown, work closely with the communities within their jurisdiction to uphold the customary laws of the community. The Watch also surrenders criminal suspects of petty crimes to communities with penal powers, rather than taking them into Crown custody. Because of the close relationship between the Watch and the communities it serves, Watch members are usually given the option to work in their home community (although rotation is also an option).

Chief Justiciar (Royal Enforcer, Str/Dex)

  • The Right Honorable Duplex
  • The Chief Justiciar is the top law enforcement official of the realm. She is responsible for executing warrants issued by the Crown or its courts. She is also called upon for the often secret protection of foreign dignitaries as well as important persons of the realm who have been threatened. The Chief Justiciar may also be called upon to execute secret and/or sealed orders issued by the Crown.

Spymaster (Dex/Int)

  • The Right Honorable Simplex
  • The Spymaster is responsible keeping the Crown informed of threats to the realm and the people within it. The Spymaster conducts clandestine operations to acquire intelligence and foil threats to the realm; these operations can occur both within the realm and without. The Spymaster is also responsible for counter-intelligence operations, designed either to dis-inform the enemy, or eliminate or capture their agents. The Spymaster is expected to keep in close contact with the Crown, especially regarding clandestine activity conducted outside the realm. Through sealed and secret orders issued by the Crown, the Spymaster can potentially call on anyone in the realm to assist in his activities (although this is kept to a minimum for obvious reasons).

Treasurer (Int/Wis)

  • The Right Honorable Oleg
  • The Treasurer is in charge of the Exchequer: tax collection, fee collections, dispensation of salaries and budgeted monies. He also oversees any minting of currency, as well as exonumia (medals, badges, and other coin-like non-currency items).

High Captain of the Wardens (Marshal, Dex/Wis)

  • Dame Tyberia, KCB
  • The Wardens, also called the Green Cloaks (for their uniform is a green cloak or sash) are responsible for the defense and law enforcement of the rural areas of the realm. They apprehend criminals, and deter banditry. They are also responsible for enforcing customs and collecting tariffs.

Tuskany

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