The Free City of Glassburg – Merchants and scholars
#politics #mystery #diplomacy
The story of Glassburg is a story about a fall and rebirth. This large, port city located in a coastal plain became the target of the militarily stronger Kingdom already in the year 112. It was then that the city was conquered and incorporated into the territory of the Duchy of Ossorio. Ossorian princes had had dominion over Glassburg for more than a century, but the stubborn townspeople never forgot the days of independence. They’d worked hard for a century, building the financial, scientific and political power of the city, and finally, in the year 235, 123 years after the Kingdom’s troops entered the Glassburgian market, the Declaration of Independence was announced. At that time, they already had enough money and influence to hire an army that even the Kingdom had to reckon with.
The siege of Glassburg, which was surrounded by advanced fortifications, had lasted more than three years. After those three years, the Kingdom started peace negotiations. At the beginning of the year 239, the Glassburgian Treaty was finally concluded, which established the Free City of Glassburg that nominally recognized royal suzerainty, but simultaneously gained full independence from Ossorio, and rather high autonomy within the Kingdom.
Today, almost 70% of the Kingdom’s external trade passes through the port of Glassburg. Local bankers basically control the whole financial market, and the workshops and manufactories scattered around the city are the largest production centre in the country (mostly glass, exclusive furniture and boatbuilding materials are produced there).
The University of Glassburg, which enjoys autonomy even within the city, is a kind of state within a state. It’s the only university in the Kingdom and one of the best in the whole known world. It gathers not only the brightest minds of the Kingdom, but also attracts scientists from many other countries.
Appearance and visual characteristics:
Glassburgians are serious, modest people and it’s clearly visible in their dressing style. The colours of Glassburgian outfits are almost exclusively black and white, with a few other colour accents: most often in the form of single-coloured sashes or belts. A classic Glassburgian attire consists of a white shirt, a simple, black caftan with a mandatory white collar, dark (usually black), knee-length knickers, white hose, dark (black or brown) shoes, a simple beret or a tall, black hat and sometimes a sash worn across the chest or around the hips. The only decoration and ornament of a Glassburgian dandy’s costume can be a symbol of the University, a Guild or one of the numerous Clubs and Associations located in Glassburg, pinned to the chest or embroidered in a visible place.
Names and nomenclature:
Glassburg is a cosmopolitan city where you can meet students, merchants and mercenaries from various places in the world, but native Glassburgians’ names can be associated with Flemish, Walloon or Dutch ones.
Examples of female names:
Anneke, Denise, Eliene, Goele, Ieneke, Johanna, Leentje, Marijke, Mieke, Nel, Saskia, Truus
Examples of male names:
Aard, Bart, Cornelis, Dirk, Gijs, Kees, Luuk, Maarten, Piet, Ruut, Timo, Willem, Wouter
Other lands in the eyes of Glassburgians
The Duchy of Ossorio:
Damned invaders and aristocratic swines. They thought they had suppressed and defeated us, but they underestimated the strength of ordinary, enterprising people. All they have is their old-fashioned honour. Neither knowledge nor entrepreneurship has a chance to come into their steel-armoured minds.
The County of Sapphire Island:
Thieves and pirates who’ve robbed our ships for many years. We’re sure they still do that! What’s more, they’re fools with not one iota of manners or civility, and that motley dress of theirs is the essence of frivolity. Though, we must admit with pain that their attitude to tradition and all that aristocratic nonsense is disturbingly similar to ours.
The March of Charnobor
Sneaky schemers. Nobody knows anything about them for certain, and many of those who enter the shadows of their forests never return. You shouldn’t trust them or turn your back on them. At least they know how to dress properly (except for those silly caps) and talk calmly and incisively. And they have gold, lots of it, while we have great ideas for new mining technologies.
The County of Riccolante:
Too loud and too colourful. Additionally, they’re crazy and hot-tempered. They tend to act first and think later, though they don’t always get to the latter part. It’s strange that a nation so devoid of brains and self-preservation could have survived for so long. It’s probably because the stupidest die in their youth in those mercenary companies of theirs, before they could pass their stupidity on to future generations.
Glassburgians are freethinkers and subversives. Although they don’t think about overthrowing the monarchy, limiting the role of the king and replacing the power of aristocrats with qualified officials is one of the main goals of most Clubs and Societies functioning in the city.