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Society Determinants

Super

Society name The Principate of Zelkor
Location The Principate is located on the Southern side of the Gulf of Gomel, on the Western shore of the Midsea. It is bordered to the South by the forested expanse of Tanimbar, and on the North by the Kingdom of Vizinia (currently occupied by Cedonian forces).
Languages The bulk of the population speaks Zelkori, a Midsea language which is a holdout of the more formal antiquarian form of Cedonese, with strong Athelarian influence. Trade talk is widespread in the capital. Vizinian, Athelarian and Orasari are also spoken.
Size Scope: Small.   Though dwarfed by its neighbors, Zelkor is actually a fair sized city-state. An area of aprx. 5,000 sq. miles is directly controlled by the Principate, extending roughly 50 miles North, South, and inland from the city of Zelkor. The population has recently swelled with a number of refugees from Vizinia, but the numbers are not clear.
Philosophical Orientation Primary : War (preparedness, survival)
Secondary : Conquest [Acquisition (of trade), Expansion (economic)]
Subsistence Wilderness - Normal
Wasteland - Small
Yield - Great
Urban Very Big

Politics

Ruling Agency Prince Ean Arracht, 11th Prince of Zelkor, and the House of Stewards.
Key elements 1 - The House of Stewards - a two house assembly consisting of the:

College of Merchants - A general assembly of representatives of merchant houses. Seats are divvied up according to an equation judging the Houses net taxes, trade tonnage, employment, and civil philanthropy.

Chamber of Captains - Also known as the Military Stewards. This house is selected from both officers and enlisted men. The officers serve by appointment of the Prince, the enlisted men are elected by their peers. A certain number of seats are also retained for those militia captains and regional commanders who have the most successful turn-outs at the twice yearly Mustering Days (when able bodied citizens are required to compete in military training and games).

2 - The Reckoners Guild - The Zelkori bank. Founded by the second Prince of Zelkor, this bank was capitalized with resources collected from the reckage of the Cedonian empire after the fall.

3 - The Ring of Gomel - The association of alchemists, healers, and seers sponsored officially by the Principate.

4 - The Vizinian Aristocracy in exile

Internal politics Prince Ean Arracht
Authority - Superb
Influence - Fair
Consent - Great

The Prince is well respected, but aging. He is, however, quite popular, and is credited with saving Zelkor from the Cedonese. He has used diplomacy to warm relations with Tanimbar, and Vizinia. The recent invasion of Vizinia is seen as a catastrophe that Zelkor survived only through a rapid mobilization led by the Prince.

The House of Stewards

Merchants
Authority - Fair
Influence - Great
Consent  - Good

Military
Authority - Fair
Influence - Great
Consent -  Great

Both houses the House of Stewards lack the clear authority to act with out the Prince’s approval. This is one result of his long reign. The government is very stable, but the two houses operate to check each others ambitions effectively. The Prince is the force that catalyzes the Houses’s excellent organizational and bureaucratic resources into action. The Military segment of the house is particularly well organized and effective. The martial traditions, and the deomcratic nature of the body lend tremendous organization capactiy to the military house.

The Guild of Reckoners
Authority - Good
Influence - Good
Consent - Good

The guild of Reckoners is the bank of Zelkor. Largely controlled by a circle of the Princes closest advisors, the bank has grown important in the last twenty years. The bank is backed by the substaintial gold reserves of the princes personal treasury.

The Ring of Gomal
Authority - Good
Influence - Great
Consent - Mediocre

The Ring is an organization in name, but is really a collection of mages under Royal patronage, and a few dozen village wise women. The most important members have substantial influence, but no independent organizational support.

The Vizinian Aristocracy in Exile
Authority - Poor
Influence - Fair
Consent - Fair

The Vizinian Aristocracy is largely intact, and seeking support and asylum within Zelkor. They have a moderate degree of influence, and popular sympathy. The Vizinians are clearly engaged in anti- Cedonese organizing, but the position of the Prince is unclear.

External politics Cedonia: Poor - Zelkor is harboring several dozen of the most substantial families of the former Aristocracy of Vizinia.
Tanimbar: Fair - Recent threats by Cedonia have warmed relations between Zelkor and Tanimbar
Others TBD

Culture

Military organization Professional/Provisional.
Military values The Defenders of Zelkor:
Professional Force
Force : Superb
Size : Fair

The Primary land army of Zelkor, based in Zelkor City. Includes the Prince’s Chosen, an elite force. The Chosen are commanded by the Prince’s popular eldest son.

The Legion of the Muster
Provisional Force
Force : Great
Size : Fair

The secondary land force of the Zelkori is a part time conscripted force. Twice yearly all able bodied citizens are required to attend a four day Muster where they are drilled and, defensive preparations are inspected and tested.

Small elements of the muster are used as a police force, and several hundred soldiers are in the force professionally at any time.

The Mariners League
Professional force of Sailors and Soldiers
Force : Legendary
Size : Fair

The main focus of recent Zelkori efforts has been the training and provisioning of a sizable naval force.

Economic system Credit

The Prince has seen the benifit of the limited efforts of the Guild of Reckoners, and is eager to establish branches of the guild in trading ports in the Western Midsea region. The recent fear of Cedonia threatens to limit the Princpates plans to continue with its economic inovation, by destabilizing Zelkor.

Technological Base Metallurgic
Economic values Craft: Great
- Zelkor is known for its production of dyes, made from locally abundant shellfish.
- Wool and related finished products are a signifcant export.
- There is a small but well regarded iron and steel tool maufactory in the capital.
- The shipwright industry loacted in the capital is also gaining recognition.

Resources: Good -- Fertile land, and rich coastal waters.

Exploitation: Fair --. The country is primarily oriented toward trade.

Trade: Superb -- An efficient system of merchant houses, directly supported, but independent from the royal government.

Wealth: Great (for a country its size)

Humanities                  Tolerance       Prevalence      Diversity       Sophistication
                 ----------       -----------      ---------       --------------
Religion:    Mediocre           Poor             Terrible               Poor
Arts:             Fair             Mediocre           Fair                  Good
Scholastics:   Fair             Mediocre           Fair                  Good
Magic:          Fair             Mediocre        Mediocre         Mediocre

The Principate traditionally takes an active role in encouraging the arts and various cultures. The diversity of the scholastic, and artistic community has recently increased with the arrival of a significant number of artists and thinkers formerly with the court of the Vizinians.

Religion : The Zelkori are not a devout people. Other then their military rituals, which are secretive and "primative", there are few organized religous activities.

The Zelkori are occasionally ridiculed for the odd position of Teeg within elite Zelkori families. Teeg, lizard like creatures larger then dogs, are considered sacred and accorded a religious significance. The Teeg have several feast days, and are frequently pictured in Zelkori art. Injuring or slandering a Teeg is legaly identical to injuring or slandering the head of the house where the Teeg lives. Individuals have been executed for murdering Teegs. Teegs can also inherit property and are represented by a seat in the House of Stewards, reserved for the Prince’s Teeg.

The Principate has peridoicaly issued decrees to protect local religous tradition from external influence, but is generaly considered indifferent.

Arts : The Zelkori are gaining substantial repute as Clothiers and Dyers. The number of sheep in the small country far out-strip the human population. The local weavers are very well regarded and the market to export their craft is expanding, although their numbers remain small.

Dyes are also a significant part of the economy, with several deep shads of orange and purple available almost exclusively from Zelkor.

In addition Zelkor is known for its support of the arts. The Princes have traditionally contributed heavily to the cities artistic community. Since the seats of the Merchants House of Stewards are partly determined by philanthropy, there is a substantial system of patronage of the arts. This has led to a good degree of competition between merchants for the highly regarded artists. The scale of Zelkor’s artisitc community also remains small.

Scholastics : The presence of a number of Vizinian, Cedonese, and Tanimbari scholars ads to the local intellectual field substantially. The military nature of the culture tends to limit local scholarship. However the more recent Princes have sponsored a number of writers, particularly military studies, and histories of the area.

Magic in Zelkor is neither rare, nor common. The population is not large enough to support a sophisticated magical guild or association. What magic there is, is particularly focused around agricultural, economic, and other utilitarian functions. Most practitioners in the Principate are members of the Ring of Gomal. Several members of the Ring are close to the Prince, and engaged in secretive research with the Principates naval forces.