Viscount Velen FeluskoNaming Convention(s):
Vaguely South or Southeastern EuropeanFlag: Capital Description:
Corontiz is the largest city of the vast eastern hinterlands of Styria known as the Narze. Unlike the people of the Azure Sea, who tend to settle and build cities near the mouths of rivers, the Narzefolk traditionally founded cities on higher and more defensible ground. Corontiz is no exception to the Narze standard, and is built upon the slopes of a tall, rocky hill situated in the middle of the Selako Valley with houses and terraces carved out of the crumbly stone. Like most settlements of the Narze, Corontiz is a walled city, though the fortifications are quite crude compared against those of Ospria or Talins, being little more than retaining walls made of up of local stone supporting terraces elevated some ten or fifteen feet up above the surrounding countryside. Corontiz relies more on its elevated terrain for its defense than its fortifications.
Blacksmiths, glassworks, tanneries, olive mills, and creameries are some of the notable industries of Corontiz. Because Corontiz is an inland city without sea or river access, trade goods from Corontiz tend to have a high value to weight ratio in order to justify the higher expense of overland trade. Goods from Corontiz, especially olive oil, blown and cast glass, leather goods, cured meats, and cheeses are highly regarded across Styria for their quality and craftsmanship. One particular style of cheese - a hard blue called Tipori - is a staple at royal dinners from Talins to Affoia.
At the summit of Corontiz, above the factories and houses squeezed onto crowded terraces carved into the hillside, is a squat, stubby tower of a keep that serves as the city's seat of power. By opulent Styrian standards, Corontiz' citadel is a pitiful thing, paling in comparison against the stunning palaces of Visserine and Affoia. What the Corontiz citadel lacks in architectural daring, it makes up for in history; the Corontiz citadel is believed to be among the oldest structures in all of Styria, built during in ancient times when the the predecessors of the Narzefolk were Styria's only inhabitants. History:
Corontiz means "Gold Hill" in the nigh-forgotten language of the Narzefolk of eastern Styria. Legend holds that a keep was built atop the hill of Corontiz in ancient times when gold was dug from a crag in the in hillside. Whether this legend was true, or if it was just a legend circulated in order to motivate workmen to excavate rock from the hillside, is unknown. Silver is mined from nearby deposits, and gold and quicksilver are known from other sites in the Narze, so it is not unreasonable to believe that Corontiz was once a gold mine in the most literal sense of the word. Gold or not, Corontiz and its environs are valuable indeed. This wealth has incited conflict and enticed invaders for as long as men have inhabited Corontiz.
Even in ancient times, when Narzefolk were the sole inhabitants of Styria, Corontiz and its neighboring lands were the site of extensive conflict. Petty kings in other settlements of the Narze - such as Cebila to the north and Tura on the coast - waged war with Corontiz in order to wrest control of valuable mines. The arrival of the Sea Folk - the forebears of the Talinese, Osprians, etc. - in Styria only increased the frequency and magnitude of conflict in the Narze.
Invaders occupied Corontiz and attempted to impose a Azure Sea-style city state in the Narze. Early attempts to govern the Narze proved short-lived, and the native Narzefolk soon resumed control of Corontiz - only to resume fighting with their immediate neighbors and failing to learn anything from the ousted occupiers.
After several cycles of conquest and revolt, Narzefolk dynasties eventually did establish themselves and ruled Corontiz and the Narze as a true city state. This was when the first roads were built in the Narze - hundreds of years after road networks had been built across the Azure Sea region. Guard keeps were also built and served to safeguard traders and travelers. Hilltop semaphore posts allowed for timely mobilization of against rebels, bandits, and pirates. For a time, it seemed that Corontiz had finally matured into a cohesive city-state.
The Talinese, always seeking opportunities to expand their sphere of influence, saw opportunity in the nascent Corontiz state. The Talinese threw their support behind Abri Sebero, a warlord among the pirates infesting the islands east of the Narze. With the support of Talins, Sebero organized the pirates and sea people and landed at Cebila before marching against Corontiz. Corontiz offered stiff resistance, but Talinese arms and mercenaries gave Sebero a decisive advantage. With a cohort of Talinese condottieri at his back, Abri Sebero cast Lord Adrian Felusko off the tower of Corontiz' citadel and became Lord of the Narze.
Under Lord Sebero's rule, Talins began harvesting gold and silver from the mines of the Narze. Talinese galleons laden with gold and silver left regularly from the port of Cebila and sailed the pirate-infested waters around the Narze unmolested by strict order of Lord Sebero. Alarmed by the Talinese presence in their backyard, Ospria and Affoia began supporting a disorganized but spirited Narzefolk rebellion led by the sixteen year Velen Felusko, who wanted only to avenge his father's death.
With support of the southern cities, Velen and his forces fought a savage guerilla war against Lord Sebero and his Talinese advisors. Galleon-bound caravans of gold and silver were frequently ambushed and the mines were raided and vandalized whenever possible. Gold and silver output ground to a halt, which prompted Talins to redouble the number of men committed to backing Corontiz. With small armies of Talinese condottieri patrolling the Narze, Velen Felusko petitioned Ospria, Affoia, and other states for more backing. What began as a small rebellion escalated into over a decade of savage proxy warfare across the Narze. Condotierri from across Styria served on both sides of the conflict. After all the raids and skirmishes, it was often unclear who the victor was, but the peasantry - the common folk of Corontiz and the Narze - were always the defeated.
Seventeen years after Lord Sebero had assumed rule of Corontiz, his reign came to a bloody end. Velen Felusko had succeeded in luring much of the Talinese garrison out of the city by burning a Talinese galleon at anchor in Cebila and surrounding a large contingent of Caprilese condotierri at the harbor. With most of the garrison out of the city to relieve Cebila, Felusko and his Narzefolk began the long-awaited assault on Corontiz, dodging Talinese-installed ballistae on the ramparts as they scaled the walls. Sebero's men fought viciously to repel the attackers, but the fury of the Narzefolk could not be matched. After seventeen years of fighting, Felusko entered his father's citadel and had all of the Talinese advisors and courtiers thrown out the windows of the keep. Because the citadel was not particularly tall, the defenestrated Talinese often survived the initial fall, only to carried back up to the top of the keep and thrown out again and again until they expired.
When Abri Sebero was captured, Felusko had him bound at the wrists and his bindings were tied to the saddle of his horse. Before the battle for the city had even ended, Felusko mounted his horse and set off at a gallop for the coast, dragging Sebero behind him by the wrists the entire way. A bloody smear ran down the road from Corontiz all the way to the sea at Cebila, where Felusko unceremoniously cast Sebero's mangled and ragged corpse into the waves, back into the sea from whence the pirate warlord came.
With a hostile new lord in command of the war-ravaged Narze and no more gold or silver to reap, Talins' meddling in the region has stopped for now. Battle-seasoned mercenaries and condottieri from across Styria return home, bringing their experience and animosities from Corontiz to other conflicts on the continent. With Talins gone, Osprian and Affoian forces remaining in the Narze are viewed with suspicion. The populace of the Narze is war-weary and disillusioned with their governors, and will offer little resistance should pirates or brigands step in and assume control.
Lord Velen Felusko has spent all of his adult life fighting and knows little else. Now that Lord Felusko has avenged his father's death, now he must rebuild Corontiz and fend off those that would seek to mete out the same fate as his father.