Anuire » Avanil » Avanese Life and Society


Avanil, by virtue of its power, has relations with nearly every realm in Anuire and maintains contacts with several other lands elsewhere in Cerilia. In particular, the Prince of Avanil enjoys good relations with the Brecht realm of Müden, maintains an embassy in the Khinasi realm of Ariya, and keeps open lines of communication with the island realm of Suiriene, a former Anuirean colony.
Closer to home, Darien Avan attempts to win friends and influence through a policy of positive engagement. Avanese agents are seen in nearly every court, extolling the virtues of the Prince and offering aid and alliance to any who listen. Darien Avan's striving for law and moderation in all things wins him many open minds and attentive listeners in every part of Anuire. He is especially popular with the commoners. Many of them, even in the most remote parts of Anuire, believe that Darien Avan will be the next Emperor. This is especially true in southern Tuornen, where many of the people regard themselves more as Avanese than Tuor. The Western Imperial Temple is invaluable in these efforts. The temple, as opposed to many of its rivals, spreads a message of moderation that encourages the development of a strong middle class; thus the guilders and artisans across Anuire are swayed to the Avanese cause. However, Prince Darien's courting beyond the noble classes has given rise to the perception that he is a pragmatist rather than an idealist. Some critics are deeply attached to the idea of a selfless idealist as Emperor and fear what compromises Darien will make on his path to the Iron Throne.
A consummate politician, Darien Avan prides himself as an excellent judge of character and is able to quickly determine which regents he can trust and which will almost certainly betray him. Of his vassals and allies, he is least trustful of Eriene Mierelen, the Duchess of Brosengae. In the Duchess, Prince Avan sees an ambitious and prideful woman who chafes at her subservience to the larger and more powerful Avanil. He knows that the duchess dislikes him personally and considers it an affront to her pride that she is not able to rule her realm without interference. BY necessity, Prince Avan secretly plots against the duchess, keeping her independence in check on dependent on Darien's aid. Avanese agents have a natural advantage given the Prince's popularity among the common people and the already considerable animosity that many feel for the duchess and her "iron fist in a velvet glove" policies.
The Prince has already secured the rulership of most of Taeghas, the result of a deal that allows the regent of that realm, Harald Khorien, to focus upon his magic. The people of Taeghas have been caught between Avanil and Boeruine and now find that instead of regular occupation by one side or the other, they now find the Army of Avanil defending them at their frontier, the Elfwash River.
Boeruine, of course, is Avanil?s greatest rival and enemy. The formidable Archduke of Boeruine, Aeric Boeruine, believes that by virtue of blood and character, he is the one man most worthy Throne. Boeruine?s armies are constantly training on the northern bank of the Elfwash River, ready to storm into Taeghas at a moment?s notice. Avanese and Boeruinean agents and diplomats clash all across Anuire, particularly in the City of Anuire, where both realms possess partial stewardship over the Imperial capital. Both realms seek alliances with others in order to gain some advantage over the other. Dhoesone, Diemed and Tuornen are especially targeted by these overtures.
In Dhoesone, Darien Avan hopes to divide and distract Boeruine by securing Fhiele Dhoesone?s allegiance. Such an arrangement would force Boeruine to look north as well as south and divide its forces. Unfortunately, Boeruine has made greater strides there, where the people are more attracted to the martial Archduke than the smooth-talking Prince. Boeruine even funds one of Dhoesone?s knight units, an invaluable asset to the Northern Barony?s defence.
It has often been argued that because Diemed also possesses a portion of the Imperial City?s stewardship and offers such a strategic location, its allegiance must be secured by whoever would seek the Iron Throne. The marriage of Catherine Diem and Veladin Avan secured Avanil's eastern flank, but did not grant Avanil a license to step on Diemed's own interests. Diemed, as an ancient and prestigious duchy, commands much respect throughout the old institutions of the Empire and its allegiance would be an invaluable asset to anyone. The Duke of Diemed, Heirl Diem, knows all this and is content to let the great Anuirean powers argue and bicker over his loyalties. So long as he remains cautiously neutral, Diem?s power is enormously magnified. On the other hand, recapturing his lost territories in Medoere and Roesone would also magnify his power.
Tuornen teeters on the razors edge of neutrality, neither supporting nor opposing a candidate for the Iron Throne. Prince Avan wields significant power in Tuornen, especially in the southern provinces. Should the situation in Tuornen ever turn against him, Prince Avan controls a powerful fifth column within that realm in the form of the southern nobles who look to him for support. In the meantime, the Prince continues to offer the duchess his support and has on more than one occasion lent significant financial assistance and aid for the defense against Rhuobhe Manslayer. The Prince considers Tuornen?s final outcome as important as Diemed?s, for if Tuornen were to ever become his ally, Avanil would be very close to encircling Boeruine and isolating it from the rest of Anuire. Tuornen's own considerations are focused primarily on its relations with Alamie, and the rivalry of Tuornen and Alamie is just as vital to the political situation as Avanil and Boeruine.
Alamie represents another interesting case for Avanil. The duke, Carilon Alam, actively seeks allies in order to defeat Tuornen and propel himself to greatness. Alam has already approached Avanil about the possibility of an alliance. For his part, the Prince has considers the offer carefully. The Prince is wary of commitments to powers who are riven by their own concerns and may not be reliable when Avanil needs them. Further, Avan is reluctant to give up on idea of recruiting Tuornen to his side. Rumor has it however that Alam has tired of the Prince?s prevaricating and has begun to look to Boeruine for aid. Obviously, the situation between Alamie and Tuornen has the potential to spiral out of control and drag Avanil and Boeruine into the conflict on opposite sides.
Another potential flashpoint region is the Southern Coast. Though no Southern Coast realm has declared for one imperial contender or another, most of the commoners and nobles in those lands have distinct sympathies for Avanil. Roesone, Ilien, and Medoere often consider Avanil the de facto leader of Anuire. Indeed, Avanil?s diplomatic involvement in the region has sometimes ensured stability. For example, a previous Prince was instrumental in organizing support for the Pact of Ilien and the current Prince has done his best to continue this leadership.
The last major case in Avanil?s policies to consider is that of Ghoere. Though many are content to think of Gavin Tael, Ghoere?s baron, as an aggressive, warlike expansionist lacking in subtlety, Darien Avan knows better. He realizes that Tael is a cunning man who conceals his true manipulative nature. He sees Ghoere as a dangerous threat and so keeps a wary eye on the Iron Baron. Ghoere and Avanil have never experienced hostilities, but relations between the two realms are cool at best.
Like many Anuireans, the Avanese are a stubborn and prideful lot. Though they do not praise the prince with every word, they do take quick offense at deprecating remarks against him. Though no law forbids speaking against the regent, someone doing so might want to leave the domain ? quickly, for even rogues here believe with pride that their lord is destined to become the next Emperor of Anuire.
As one of the most modern realms in Anuire, serfdom has long since died out in Avanil. Free farmers, miners, and merchants drive the country?s economy and generate more wealth than any other in Anuire. Though the agricultural wealth of Avanil is great, it is not as large as that of other Heartlands realms like Ghoere and Alamie. Instead, the bulk of Avanil?s wealth comes from the mines in the western hills and mountains. Though the miners are as free as the farmers, they are a far dourer and pessimistic lot, toiling day in and day out for the precious metals the prince uses to accumulate funds or the common metals he uses to equip his armies.
Avanil is also one of the most urban realms in Anuire. Only Ghoere exceeds it in population and only the Cities of Anuire and Ilien have a greater density of people. Large towns threatening to grow into cities dot the countryside. Caravans and merchants from across Anuire find their way into these towns which also attract many of the largest gatherings of scholars, playwrights, engineers, and architects in Anuire. It is a definitive fact that much of Anuirean high culture has an Avanese origin.
The Prince of Avanil, Darien Avan, runs not only his own realm, but also significant portions of others. His influence is spread across Taeghas, Brosengae, Mieres, Tuornen and Diemed. Though he inherited much from his father, Veladin Avan, he has managed to amass an even greater portion of wealth and power than any had dreamed possible. It did help that partial stewardship of the City of Anuire itself passed to him with the death of his father. Nonetheless, Darien Avan capitalizes on any opportunity to expand his domain.
The middle-aged prince seems well versed in the uses and abuses of power. He strives for law and moderation in all things, but he, like the Archduke of Boeruine, appears willing to sacrifice his compatriots to gain the Iron Throne. He believes that his knowledge of power will serve him well and that he could be the best thing to happen to Anuire since Roele himself. None dare to gain-say him.
Monarchy remains strong in Avanil, embodied in the person of the Prince. The Prince of Avanil exercises absolute control over his realm and tolerates no challenges to his rule. Although Avanil?s nobles have supported the ruling family for generations and have changed little since the domain?s founding, they wield comparatively little power in relation to the Prince.
The court in Daulton is the largest and most richly appointed in Anuire. Nobles from across Cerilia constantly petition the Prince, events of all kinds occur every hour and the finest scholars and musicians ply their trade in the center of the Avanese government.


The prince also has a powerful ally in the form of the Western Imperial Temple and its Archprelate, Rhobher Nichaleir. This temple is the largest and most powerful temple in the old Empire with holdings across much of south-western Anuire. The temple?s priests uphold a moderate doctrine that teaches that the Book of Laws, from which Haelynite doctrine is drawn, should be treated as a living document and a guide to daily life, rather than a literal interpretation of the mind of a god. This view is popular with the Avanese and many of their neighbours, though many of Nichalier?s critics believe that the priests of the Western Imperial Temple are nothing more than puppets of the prince. Certainly Nichalier?s support for Prince Avan?s claims does nothing to disprove this.
The guilders here, which are nearly as wealthy as they are numerous, follow the Lady of Fortune. Worship of the goddess is tended to by the Celestial Jewel of Sarimie, a rich and influential temple. Darien Avan has welcomed the Celestial Jewel into Avanil both as a way of counteracting the power of the Western Imperial Temple and as a way of controlling the power of the guilds. So far, the prince and the church have profited quite handsomely from this arrangement, though the guilders are beginning to show signs of disaffection with the deal they have struck.
Shrines to Cuiraecen, Nesirie and Avanalae also exist in Avanil, although their priests are not numerous or organized enough to have a significant impact on the religious life of the principality. Still, many soldiers and naval officers pay homage to the Stormlord and Nesirie.


Avanil?s sizeable population, rich farmlands and mineral wealth ensure a diverse economy with many different guilds maintaining an interest in the Principality?s markets. Three different guilders operate within Avanil, each one of them a vassal of the prince. Arron Vaumel, Governor of Mieres, and Eriene Mierelen, Duchess of Brosengae, both have some say in guild operations here, but the vast majority of Avanil?s guild holdings are claimed by Parnien Anuvier Iniere of the Prince's Pride.
The Prince's Pride is the official guild of the realm and has historically been the dominant economic force. The Avan family procured the initial capital for the creation of the guild and holds a significant ownership interest in it to this day. Though the Prince?s Pride has always paid tribute to the Prince of Avanil, in years past it was nominally independent in its decision-making process. Nowadays, the guild doesn?t engage in any major operation without Darien Avan's consent.
The Governor of Mieres and his Straits of Aerele Shipping guild keep most of their business in Avanil legal. Since the Governor is also a vassal of the Prince of Avanil, he offers a portion of the profits from his guild?s legitimate activities to Darien Avan as tribute. While the few organized thieves in Avanil report to him, Vaumel treads lightly in order to allay suspicion regarding his activities. Nonetheless, Avan?s sheriffs and inspectors keep a close eye on the Straits of Aerele Shipping?s activities.
Eriene Mierelen, Duchess of Brosengae and guildmaster of the Brosen Royal Guild, is Darien Avan?s least loyal vassal. Despite the fact that her status as a vassal of the Prince gives her license to operate guilds in Avanil, she contributes little to Avan?s cause. Even though she has begun secret negotiations with the Archduke of Boeruine, her guilds in Avanil have taken no action against the Prince ? yet.
Several true wizards live within Avanil?s borders. Almost all of them are second or third sons or daughters of the nobility and have at one point attended the College of Sorcery in the City of Anuire. Indeed, a sizeable portion of the College?s graduates hail from Avanil and many are the rumours about Avanese influence on the ruling council of the College, the Council of Ten.
However, only one wizard actually maintains any sources within Avanil, that being Harald Khorien, the Count of Taeghas. In exchange for most of the law and powers of governance in that realm, Avan allows Khorien to exclusively control the Principality?s magic.

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