From Dragon Eye Atlas
|Kingdom of Fonticia
Fonticia is a human kingdom in the eastern part of Auseka. The kingdom is formally an absolute monarchy with the king owning all lands within Fonticia and able to appoint and replace even nobles at will. However, in reality the king is bound by soft powers and can only allow himself to excercise such power as to not upset the balance and trust of his nobility. The unfortunate and universally lamented assassination of King Fernando II in 93 BV serves as a remember to all kings to this fact.
Fonticia is a fertile and productive land with access to mines, forests, fields, rivers and the ocean. It considers itself a great nation but its fate has ebbed and flowed over time with the talent of its kings and the intrigues of its nobility. Its greatest loss was in the years 28 BV to 19 BV when the small and storm-torn Hampy conquered considerable parts of the coastline and founded colonies there. A mixture of incapable military leaders appointed for political reasons and crippling intrigues among the Fontician nobility caused this war to become a desaster. While most of the coastline could be reconquered in later years, Hampy still holds several coastal areas and the island of Saiar. A cease fire was signed in 11 BV followed by a peace treaty in 24 AV which does not formally cede these lands, but recognizes Hampy "control" of the areas - for the time being in Fontician understanding.
Fonticia borders Vericum to the west, and has enjoyed peace with the empire since just two years after its founding. The northern border with Biesen runs mostly through the mountains and is also peaceful. The dwarven kingdom of Alheimia is a valued trade partner and has been at peace with Fonticia for centuries. Relations with Schap to the north-east fluctuate, with the borderline often in dispute mostly due to religious conflicts between Ebronism and Seogism, the dominant religions in Schap and Fonticia respectively, both of which have followers on both sides of the border.
Fonticia is also the land with the last known Centaurs tribes and its south is filled with Centaur ruins. Parts of its culture are inspired by if not rooted in Centaurs or Centaur legends. Fonticia is proud of this ancient heritage and carries the Centaur in its flag as well as in decorations and statues throughout the land.
Titles & Politics
As an ancient realm with a long history, Fonticia has plenty of layers of nobility and associated titles:
- the Esquire is the lowest noble title. An Esquire holds no lands to his name and no military rank. The title is often granted for ceremonial reasons or to give the most trusted members of a high nobility household the priviledges of nobility.
- the many Knights of Fonticia are the military backbone. Fighters in their own right and often commanders of commoner units on the battlefield, the knight is the most visible face of the nobility. Knights are almost always in the service of a higher noble.
- Barons are the lowest landed nobility, and commonly hold a town or a small number of villages. While nobility, most of them are essentially land managers and their lands do rarely appear on a map. They always have a higher noble above them, whose lands form a province.
- Counts, ruling over counties, the smallest provinces and typically small areas of limited significance. There are 18 counties within Fonticia.
- Earls govern the earldoms of the realm, of which there are just four. Earldoms tend to be even smaller than counties, but the title of Earl is considered slightly higher than the title of Count within Fonticia, as in a military engagement the Earl is expected to bring a slightly larger force and can assume command over a Count.
- a Landgrave rules over a land, of which there are 9 in Fonticia. These lands vary from the very small Patroriolia with less than 200 square kilometres and barely 3000 people to the huge Rocca Land with 16840 km2 and 273000 people.
- Marquis is a high noble title that is not bound to a specific type of province. While some provinces are governed by a Marquis, the main role of this noble is to structure lesser nobles under him. A typical Marquis has 3-5 Earls or Counts under his responsibility. His March consists of his personal holdings and their lands, and he answers to the king.
- Dukes, of which there are only three in Fonticia, answer directly to the king and, similar to the Marquis, also have lesser nobles below them. Unlike the Marquis, they can have Landgraves among those, and their holdings are generally larger.
Fonticia is full of ancient traditions, as befits its long history. Many of them are local or regional, as the realm has grown and shrunk over the centuries. Some traditions can be found throughout Fonticia, however:
Hunting with birds of prey is a favorite sport among all those who are someone in Fonticia. From the royal family to the more wealthy townsmen, the art of falconry is not even limited to the nobility like in other realms. Even on the streets of a city you can meet townsfolk with hunting birds on their arms. Of course, the types of birds used vary by status and wealth. The best and most rare birds are reserved for the high nobility, while common folks hunt with simpler, more common birds. The king employs over 30 falconers and owns twice as many birds of all kinds, including some not native to Fontician lands.
The national sport of the villagers throughout Fonticia (except the very east) is Crosaye. It is played by two teams of anywhere between 5 and 20 men, as long as they are equal in numbers. It is played with two balls, both of which must be behind the enemies end line in order to score. The field is typically 60m long and 30m wide, but this, too, varies. The only real constant is that the end lines must be exactly five steps from the end of the field. If a ball leaves the field for any reason, one of the line runners will throw it back into the field, towards the centre. In more formal games, there are 6 line runners, 1 along each short edge and 2 along each long edge. In informal village games, the audience serves as line runners. The balls can be carried, thrown or kicked. An enemy who holds, carries or otherwise touches a ball can be tackled. Enemies without a ball are not to be touched roughly, though some pushing and shoving is common. A game is typically played till 6 points.
Crosaye is very, very popular in the villages. In towns and cities, it is one of several popular sports, but you can still find several teams and playing grounds in most of them.
The army of Fonticia has an unusual composition, with a vast number of commoners and a relatively low number of knight and nobles, and even fewer mercenaries. In fact, the profession of mercenary is largely unknown inside the realm. Instead, in case of war, every village, town and city must provide a set number of men capable of fighting to their lord. The knights and captains of this militia then spend a few weeks training the men and then lead them into battle. The soldiers' equipment is the responsibility of their lord, which results in some units going to war with old and battered leather and cloth while others come with scale armour, breastplates, shields and spare weapons.
The navy of Fonticia is almost entirely devoid of nobles, most of whom look down upon the sailor's life. Captains are sometimes third or fourth sons of nobles, but just as often simply wealthy citizens, traders whose ships were requisitioned for war, or professional soldiers put in command.
Fonticia largely has typical medieval-style laws. A few laws specific to the realm:
Dark blue and red are reserved for the nobility in Fonticia, and the punishment for any commoner wearing them is 20 strokes with a rod to whatever part of the body he was wearing such colors (choice of the executioner if multiple). The strokes are administred in public, of course, and the humiliation is part of the punishment.
Port taxes, and in some places gate and bridge taxes, in Fonticia are handled differently than other realms. The tax will be based on the value of the goods that the merchant claims, and is typically one percent when passing through and two percent when unloading. However, to discourage merchants from claiming too low values, the king (and his proxies) has a right to buy the entire shipment or parts of it for the value stated.
Some of the more obscure laws of Fonticia center around the royal family. The protocol for dealing with the crown is extensive, and while much of it is unwritten, it is considered law and any violations of protocol are treated seriously. Among other things, none but the official servants of the royal family are allowed to touch them, and only a very small and carefully selected number of those are allowed around when any member of the royal family is not properly dressed. Only the royal cooks are allowed to prepare any kind of food or drink for the royal family, and all its members are forbidden to eat or drink anything not prepared by the royal cooks. When the royal family travels, they carry extensive sets of clothing, including clothes for mourning and official business, so that they are never not properly dressed for the occasion, no matter how surprisingly it develops.
The monarch himself has even more obscure traditions and rules to follow. By an ancient tradition, the only weapon the monarch carries is a sword, never a mace, axe or other type. He is also not allowed to use bows or crossbows, a tradition allegedly going back to a hunting accident two hundred years ago. When in the presence of the king, you do not speak until he addresses you. This can lead to awkward situations, which is why the position of the royal crier exists. This person rides alongside the king into battle or any potentially troublesome situation, and those who need to get a message to the king right away, such as news about an enemy ambush, will shout it to the royal crier, who is understood to have a way of almost instantly alarming the king himself.
Fonticia is one of the oldest realms on Auseka and the oldest human realm that still exists in continuity. Most Fonticians are immensely proud of that fact, and especially among the nobility and bourgeois, "the ancient realm" is a common nickname in use.
It was founded in 580 BV with roughly the area that is today's Perquino Land. Fonticia remained small for the first 150 years of its existence until the reign of Gilberto Anquina (438 BV to 381 BV). He conquered all of the eastern half of Fonticia and well into what is today Schap. The Fiverling river remained the western border of Fonticia for another century after this.
It was another Anquina, named Tiburcio but commonly called Tibo (277 BV to 239 BV), who expanded the realm further, along the southern coast to Roccano and along the northern coast to Bolburg. He also moved the capital to the newly founded port of Fontico The interior of the realm was sparsely populated and believed to be claimed by the dwarves of Alheimia, who were not very clear about their precise claims.
With the founding of Schap in 225 BV, Fonticia lost the lands north of the Pildonzan river, and then more over the following centuries as the new northern neighbour aggressively expanded southwards. It more than offset the loss when in 207 BV it gained most of its current day western half by marriage. The king of the now lost kingdom of Sandova had married his daughter to the crown prince of Fonticia, Edgardo Andino. When a plague swept Sandova, it claimed most of the royal family, making the princess the last surviving child of the late king, and thus heir to the throne. Her and Edgardo's son, Domingo, became the first king of a Fonticia that resembled the realm today. He also brokered a peace treaty with the dwarves of Alheimia that lasts till today and clarified that borders, gaining the new realm considerable territory that had been believed to be dwarven claimed but actually was not.
This page is still incomplete and missing content or details that are planned, but have not been added yet.
Today, Fonticia is full of political intrigue and infighting. The royal family itself is torn between two rival parts, those who are loyal to the current king, Basil Delannon, ruling as Basil III and thos supporting the claim of his younger brother, Clement Delannon, who is by many seen as not only smarter, but also the better warrior. The brothers are not in open opposition and are often close to each other, but the nobility below the royal family quite often sees itself as being on the side of either one or the other, with many wishing secretly that Clement will soon replace Basil. In Tallian tradition, the title of king would pass through the king's mother first, to his brother, before it passes through his queen to his son.
This page is still incomplete and missing content or details that are planned, but have not been added yet.