State of Braelin
As the reign of Their Majesty Jintaru Riga proceeds, the continued mixing of Braelinese and Caprinan culture is on everyone’s mind. Changes are underway throughout the kingdom and the world!
Those merchants who travelled to Caprina over the past few moons have returned; and though they were disappointed to find the price of tungsten higher than expected, their reports confirm that the island-nation is a lovely place to visit. A few visitors have even gone so far as to claim that Caprinan culture is more sophisticated than Braelinese culture, and that Braelin stands to learn much from their new neighbors! This attitude has astonished some and upset others, in particular the most nationalistic Braelinese, who believe that no culture in the world can possibly compare to their own.
Many citizens have been heartened by the news that Their Majesty Jintaru Riga has formally invited Princess Valencia Odell to meet with them in the capital. Preparations for the princess’ arrival are currently taking place, and it is estimated that she will arrive in Revma by the end of Summerfall. Will the monarch invite the princess to become an advisor? Will Princess Odell take up her position as diplomat once more?
Interestingly, a fusion of Braelinese and Caprinan fashion has taken the capital city by storm, inspired by Their Majesty’s recent adoption of certain elements of Braelinese dress. Though such trends usually occur first among the urban nobility and then trickle downward through society, this new aesthetic seems to be working the other way: the commonfolk of Revma have been the first enthusiastic adopters—a visual confirmation of their support of the new monarch.
Registration for enrollment at the various academies is fast approaching, in accordance with Their Majesty’s edicts. Many young Braelinese, especially among the commoners, are eager for the chance to improve their education (and spend some time away from home).
Now that the deadline for the registration of shamans and tattooists have passed, the epmos have begun in earnest to enforce the new laws surrounding these professions. Despite anxiety that the implementation of the new epmos position would spell doom for Braelin, the epmos have thus far acted courteously and—on the whole—with empathy. Most people agree that the epmos have been genuinely interested in making cultural connections, and it seems they will be integrated into society without issue, given time. Some particularly observant individuals, however, have noticed a strange reluctance among the Braelinese to accord the epmos and members of the Black Orchid with the proper degree of respect; though both are equivalent to nobility, they are often addressed and treated like commoners by many of the Braelinese. Whether this is intentional or due to ignorance is uncertain, but could spell trouble if the habit persists.
Meanwhile, the iketis continue to garner genuine goodwill. In Caxton, local healers had been facing the prospect of a virulent summertime plague, with trained apothecaries predicting both a significant death toll and a rapid spread of the contagion into Stemma, Durant, and—worst of all—Blacknall, whose recovering infrastructure could not have survived the introduction of another new problem. However, a group of iketis intervened at Their Majesty’s request; they managed not only to contain the plague but to save the lives of many of the infected. Residents and healers alike have professed their gratitude for their skillful assistance.
But even the iketis’ knowledge has its limits: in the newly founded duchy of Durant, a strange wasting sickness leaks from the ruins of Ülló. Try as they might, neither iketis nor Braelinese healers have been able to identify or cure it—though it is, at this point, not a primary concern. After all, Durant has otherwise been enjoying the benefits of the Order of the Silver Fern’s growth ritual, and the Braelinese and former Serenite leaders of the area have been working well together.
The people of Braelinese Gavell have, after several moons of debate, settled on a new name for themselves: Fidelle.* Though it breaks with conventional tradition, the new Duke and Duchess have announced that they consider it a fitting declaration of their people’s ongoing dedication to Crown and country.
News from elsewhere in the world is mixed. The Xirosi government has cordially accepted the delegation of diplomats sent by Their Majesty Jintaru Riga to Ammos, where discussion is said to be productive. Yet the Xirosi forces amassed in Hawksworth and Blacknall still refuse to withdraw. Young Sandlar Blacknall, now a celebrity in his ravaged duchy, has proclaimed—to massive popular approval—that he will lead House Blacknall’s army against the Xirosi if diplomatic efforts stall.
The Republic of Zála continues to flourish against the odds; in the face of droughts and food shortages, the Zálans have managed to capitalize on their proximity to the sea with the assistance of a significant investor, the Beauvais Trading Company. Under the tutelage of the Company’s shipwrights and sailors, the Zálans have built a decent number of schooners and have adopted fishing as a source of food and commercial goods.
The Archduchy of Gavell has followed through on its promise to reimburse loyalist families choosing to relocate back into Braelinese-held territory; many such loyalists have opted to resettle in Durant, but some have joined relatives in Fidelle or elsewhere in Braelin. Though the Archduchess has vehemently reiterated that Gavell continues to prohibit slavery by law, unsavory rumors about the burgeoning slave trade persist. Gossip alleges that cutthroat Archduchy nobles have taken to kidnapping their political or economic rivals for sale across the Thalassa Sea.
And finally: All is quiet from Seren, where the new ruler continues to solidify his hold on the throne. Rumors of “restructuring” among the Serenite nobility are rampant, and Travelers coming across the border report that the Serenite army is preoccupied with efforts to reclaim land seized by the Beast-people in the far eastern parts of their country…
* Fidelle: fee-DELL