Thieves of Blackstone
So named after King Loest who subdued the land ages ago. Loestaran is a nation of unparalleled wealth and power; home to Proud Knights, Noble Lords and Holy Clergymen. This mighty civilization has stood for a thousand years, distinguishing itself from the other kingdoms that seem to rise and fall with the tide. Its source of wealth flows from the heart of the land to the tips of the coastline.
On the edge of the wilderness, many outposts have been set up to harvest the valuable resources of the forest. Products such as lumber, minerals, animal pelts and rare herbs are a vital part of the nation’s economy.
The next link in the chain lies in the farmland and rural areas of the nation. These villages serve not only as vital waypoints for wholesale trade, but the majority of food for the cities is also produced here. This cargo is then sent down the river to be bought and sold.
A Seafaring Nation
Boats are a very common form of transportation as most of the civilized areas are built with river access. However the ships built for ocean travel are the key to Loestaran’s world dominance.
Each day ships leave port loaded with cargo to trade with the kingdoms across the sea and each day ships return with all manner of goods to enrich the economy. Thus is the cycle of trade that has persisted for generations and continues to fuel this prospering nation.
LIFE IN LOESTARAN
Earning a living and providing for your family is not a pressing issue for most citizens. There is a stable infrastructure of farmers and tradesmen that provide food and shelter while the booming foreign trade business ensures that there is more or less plenty to go around.
National security is not really an issue due to the superior military might of the Iron Pentacle. Each man has his opinions for better or worse, but for the most part everyone feels Loestaran society is superior to all others. It’s this national pride that is the strongest bond linking Loestaran citizens to their fellows.
“Better to be a beggar in Blackstone than a prince amongst the stinking savages.” – Sheriff William Tenor
Loestaran is a place of many technological wonders. Most of the major cities have advanced plumbing and sewer systems that allow for city life without rampant disease. Alchemical medicine is considered a science in harmony with the Lord Father and is a highly celebrated field of practice. Metal working and crafting in general has reached an age of exceptional quality and artisanship.
Long distance travel is done with ships on the ocean or boats that travel up and down the rivers. There are many land routes for horses and wagons as well, but these are generally more dangerous than waterways. The majority of cities and towns are positioned to take advantage of water travel.
When it comes to entertainment there is a vast selection of options for citizens. The local tavern serves up wine, women and song to keep the worldly wayfarers busy; as well as fire side stories, rich food and stout beers to suit the more domestic types. Theater is quite popular for both the lower and upper class citizens, while others commit indulgent sins to occupy their leisure time. However nothing is more popular than the Arena Games which showcase the best warriors in the realm as they compete in a variety of sports throughout the year.
Foreigners are looked at with great distrust and are seldom allowed to travel freely within the borders. Most are suspected of being users of magick and are constantly harassed by officers of the Iron Pentacle and citizens alike. However money ultimately decides who is acceptable and who isn’t, as some foreign merchants have been known to supersede these prejudices by virtue of their wealth. Although these must always convert to worship of the Lord Father via a large donation in order to make their stay acceptable to the powers that be.
Crime and Punishment
Occasionally bandits will attack the roads and waterways, stripping valuables and killing any who resist. But the Iron Pentacle usually tracks them down and brings them to justice. In fact crime rates are quite low due to the exacting standards of the Iron Pentacle and the swift application of punishment.
Not all crime organizations are networks of vice and villainy though. Many groups exist to serve certain needs of the people which are not permitted under the law. In fact most citizens are involved in illegal activity to some degree or another; however the appearance of lawful order is always maintained.