The City of Mon-Taizon and The Sapphire League
Sitting in the shadow of the Lonnhan Mountains and at the crossroads of the Frozen and Flowing valleys, the Free City of Mon-Taizon sits peacefully in its serene setting. Idyllic in pursuit of beauty, ravenous in its desire for knowledge and proud of its heritage with its pursuit of perfection. Flowing from its port and trade depots come goods from the far flung corners of worlds. Through the extensive trade network of the Sapphire League, Mon Taizon merchants can be found nearly anywhere.
A view of Mon-Taizon from the port.
- General History
- Recent Events
- Religion and Traditions.
- Legends and Mythos
- Culture and Philosophies.
- Technology and Magic.
Mon-Taizon sits in a depression between several highlands. The Lusian Hills, covered in a deep shade of green grass, protect the eastern approach. The Lonnhan Mountains lie to the south, and their pristine white shape gave rise to some of the symbol of Mon-Taizon. Separating these two lie the Flowing Valley, providing Mon-Taizon access to rich fishing grounds and wider trade opportunities via the sea.
Historians believe that the lands have been inhabited before written records began. Indeed, it is not the native inhabitants who began those records, but migrating peoples, looking for new lands to settle. Several groups made their way to the valleys, bringing knowledge and odd cultures with them. While the details of the peoples who migrated have long since be lost, old stories and archaeological research suggests multiple groups made their way to Mon-Taizon.
When Mon-Taizon first discovered other large civilizations, it saw the great potential these new places had. Technologies, philosophies, magics and arts beyond what they had conceived. Debate was had upon how to obtain these for the benefit of the city. It was decided that, rather than through conquest, peaceful trade and strong diplomatic ties would be the answer. Thus, the Sapphire League was founded. The League organized the merchants of Mon-Taizon and provided a single trade entity for which individual and state could negotiate with. This decision served Mon-Taizon well, becoming an important economic hub between the empires.
Information about events occurring in the present day, preferably in line with canon lore. You can add to this as incidents occur, but make sure to be vague on dating so not to interfere too much with affiliated lore.
Government / Company Structure
Mon-Taizon is an indirect democracy with a heavy degree of individual participation. In Mon-Taizon, the individual has the choice to partake in the city’s politics. This is done by attending sessions at the Assembly, where new legislature and policies are debated by those present. A citizen has no contractual obligation to partake, if they so choose. To be eligible, one must be a full citizen of Mon-Taizon and an adult (18+).
A government does exist in the city however, which is responsible for manging , day to day affairs, represent the city and carry out the actions authorized by the Assembly. These roles are collectively known as the Wardens of the City:
- The First Warden: Serves as head of the government and overall leader of Mon-Taizon. Their main role is to lead the government and is considered ultimately responsible. They are also responsible for the direct management of the city’s internal affairs.
- Warden of The Law: Serves as head of the judiciary. This role is considered distinctly separate from the other keepers and alongside the First Keeper, is expected to ensure the other Keepers stay within the law.
- Warden of The League: Serves as head of The Sapphire League, which oversees international affairs and its wider trade operations. They have the authority to authorize and revoke contracts from merchants. Should a grievous violation or event take place, it is handed over the Warden of Laws.
- Warden of Knowledge: The Head of the University of Mon-Taizon. Their main role is to ensure that the Assembly is rightly informed of important details requested and manage the education and historical records of the city.
- Warden of The Treasury: Chief accountant, tax collector and Head of the Mon-Taizon bank, they are responsible for ensuring that the financial obligations of the city are met. Wardens of the League and the Treasury work together to ensure that goods coming in and out are properly accounted for.
- Warden of The Guard: Head of the armed forces of Mon-Taizon. They manage the patrols and protect the city, both from internal criminal and smuggling, to external aggressions. They also serve as police and investigations unit for the city.
- Warden of The Secrets: Head of the intelligence services of Mon-Taizon. Other information on this service is classified and not made public.
Each Warden heads up its own group of bureaucrats who help manage and carry out the Wardens tasks. A position in the government is a respectable position in Mon-Taizon society and while not necessarily glamorous, they are essential for the city to function.
While it is the deepest desire of Mon-Taizon to maintain positive relations with all states and to further the goals of peace and commerce, there is a fundamental realisation that this cannot be the only policy. As such, Mon-Taizon employs military forces to protect its interests, such as its sovereignty and its merchant vessels.
The forces of Mon-Taizon are mostly geared towards defensive purposes, protecting its assets, rather than attempting to conquer new ones. Membership to the armed forces is entirely voluntary, as it is believed to be both better for morale, discipline and in keeping with the ethos of the republic.
Four branches of the Security Services exist, the Army, the Navy, the Intelligence Services and the Magical Corps. Unlike many forces, no difference is seen between a man or a woman serving in the forces. Because of the wealth generated by the trade of The Sapphire League, Mon-Taizon enjoys the rare luxury of being able to maintain a small, but fully equipped standing force.
The Army is broken down into 3 main combat groups and 2 support groups:
Infantry make up the largest combat group within the Army of Mon-Taizon. Having thoroughly mastered the usage of gunpowder, two main infantry types have emerged and work together a cohesive unit:
- The Shun-Ji unit: Equipped with a standard issue musket with bayonet, this unit delivers the punch of the armed forces. These units are more lightly armoured then the counterpart unit, though are still better protected then light infantry.
- The Jian-Qi unit: Equipped with a heavy polearm, shield and heavy armour, designed to protect the firearm units from harm, be it cavalry charges or closer melee combat. Should it be necessary, this units are also equipped with a short sword for one on one combat.
Cavalry units are only lightly used by Mon-Taizon, as such forces don’t fall well within its defensive philosophy. Cavalry is most extensively used for reconnaissance, skirmishing and harassment, falling into what would typically be described a light cavalry. The primary weapon of the cavalry is the recently introduced Rocket Lance, allowing it to function as both a shock cavalry, as well as a form of mobile light artillery.
The artillery of the armed forces is arguably the group that sees the most usage between both the army and navy, as gunnery experts from both groups can substitute in for each other when needed. Typically, two main types of ranged weapons are used, cannons (broken down into regular and “super” cannons) and rocket batteries.
The Engineers primary function is maintaining structures of the state and allowing for the easy movement of troops across terrain. It also oversees the logistics of maintaining supply lines and requisitions.
The medical branch provides first aid and longer-term care for the forces of Mon-Taizon. This branch offers training and services to the other branches, helping to increase the chances of troops surviving wounds sustained. This includes both mundane and magical treatments, such as potions.
While the Army is comparatively small, Mon-Taizon’s efforts in the navy have produced a superior force of capable warships and other vessels. Its important trade lines are maintained by its strength of naval might.
The Intelligence Services
The information available about this group is extremely limited, owing to the highly secretive nature of this organisation. Thanks to the extensive trade network and extended contacts, this service maintains up to date maps, relations and information from all corners of the globe. It splits its work into Dawn (White) and Dusk (Black) operations.
The Magical Corps
The smallest of the branches of the armed forces, but no less important, the magical corps are a group of warriors and supporting staff designed to augment the effectiveness of the existing forces. As a result, most of this corps is distributed throughout the other units.
One exception to this rule, is the magically enhanced Yi-Zhuon units, which form an elite force mixing martial prowess, scientific advancements and arcane teachings. The warriors carry sword, pistol and wield limited but applicable magical techniques that make them a cut above the average solider. Above this, they are also widely respected amongst Mon-Taizon forces, boosting morale when amongst them.
High ranking officers undergo additional training with the magical school, which forms a part of their larger training in tactics and stratagem. As a result, all officers are at least somewhat competent with magic and spotting their effects on the battlefield.
Settlements / Facilities
The primary and only major settlement is the City of Mon-Taizon, with a selection of smaller villages in the local area falling under the city’s direct influence. Mon-Taizon is a Freeport, allowing docking and stay for short periods to nearly anyone, assuming they are not wanted directly by the city. This has often meant that travellers and refugees from other nations have found their way to Mon-Taizon, adding to its broad cultural base.
Mon-Taizon has an extensive trade driven economy and derives much of its wealth from these interactions. The state is fundamentally capitalistic; its own territories are small and although well developed, would not match the strength from land many other states enjoy. The extensive trading operations run by the Sapphire League allow the state to have an effective economic power well above its size. Despite this, it still readily exports goods from its territories, including lumber, coal and refined products, such as drinks.
The Hei-Son Coal Mines richness provides coal for both local use and export.
The currency used in Mon-Taizon is the Tai. This currency is a single unit, bullion backed paper currency. At any point, someone with Tai currency can take it to the bank of Mon-Taizon and redeem its value in gold. Destruction of the currency is a serious offence in Mon-Taizon, with the top punishment being imprisonment.
The Bank of Mon-Taizon accepts other currencies in exchange as well as other commodities of value, such as paintings, rare wines and cheeses, precious metals and rare historical artefacts. These can be exchanged for Tais or even just kept in safe storage with a Vault Grant.
Mon-Taizon has two immediate neighbours, the Kleriel Imperium to the South East and the Gaslamp Society to the West. It maintains relations with nations and organisations further afield as well, both directly and indirectly.
- Gaslamp Society (TGS): Strongly positive. The two states trade freely and even share some cultural events. Notably, the card game “Allura Clash” was developed jointly by members of both Mon-Taizon and The Gaslamp Society. Citizens of TGS are very welcome in Mon-Taizon territory, though the route between the two through the dangerous lands to the west. The society provides vast quantities of iron from their facilities, in exchange for exotic foods and building supplies, including sandstone.
- Kleriel Imperium: Neutral. The recent breakup of Ironglade has strained relations with the Kleriel Imperium somewhat, as their new xenophobic outlook on humans. However, this recent breakup has also presented new trade opportunities for Mon-Taizon. While the many villagers provided assorted food, the most valuable commodity is gold, which the Imperium exports in great quantities, as it carries no material wealth in their lands. In exchange, vast quantities of lumber for construction and iron for a large scale military build-up and being shipped in.
- Yellow Cloaks: Positive. Although a more recent contact, the two states enjoy a friendly relationship. Hides, Game and Fish flow from the vast winterlands and frozen lakes, while exotic fruits, notably bananas travel in from their warmer holdings. In exchange, lumber and some luxury goods are provided.
- Kingdom of Charkov: Positive. The peoples of Charkov do not have much to trade, as their lands have been devastated by regional conflicts, leaving their economy in tatters. They do export some cereals, animal goods and some wine when harvests are good. Mon-Taizon provides valuable building materials to the Kingdom, allowing them to speed up their repairs. Talks over the possibility of taking copies of important Charkovian texts for safe keeping are ongoing.
- The Northern Realm: Positive. After a state visit by the current King Muzwall Frostwither, trade agreements were made with the recently revolted state. The abundance of ores in the province would be shipped in exchange for exotic goods from abroad, including fruits, beverages and other goods. The King declared the local teas one of the best things they had ever tasted, though it must be noted they were drunk at the time.
- MORE TO COME
Religion and Traditions
Mon-Taizon does not have a state faith and follows the principle of freedom of religion, so long as that does not imping on the freedom of religion of someone else. Long ago, the region did practice a faith of sorts, though this has long since faded into obscurity. Some traditions from this faith still do exist.
The Climb of Mount Lonnhan: Historically, the climb to the top of Mount Lonnhan is considered a great personal journey of enlightenment. Atop the mountain sits an ancient site upon which individuals would meditate on greater meanings. The trial still exists and many choose to undertake it willingly. The views are said to be spectacular and the journey is still difficult. It is a mark of personal pride among the citizenry to say that you have made the climb.
**The Festival of Winter:** The Festival of Winter is a celebration that takes place on the shortest day of the year. Its historic roots were as a way for the community to unify against the encroaching darkness, to ensure the return of the increasing days and to drive away the night. In modern times however, the event has transformed into a celebration and nightlong party, with food, music and dance. Artists are invited to perform during the night, with foreign performers offered to participate and celebrate.
Legends any Mythos
The Last Autumn
One legend tells the story of ones groups’ migration from a sudden shift in climate, plunging the homes into a state of perpetual winter. What triggered this phenomenon is unknown, or even if it was truly an eternal winter, rather than an unseasonably harsher one.
A lesson from our world to its people. Once vain, now kind. Once proud, now humble.
Long ago, we lived in a land far from what we call home. It was a prosperous land, rich and fertile. Year after year, we were provided bountiful harvests. We were never hungry, never short of food. Every autumn, we would collect and celebrate our success, thanking the world for its kindness, sharing with our neighbours when they did not have enough.
But over time, we grew arrogant and greedy. When our neighbours came, we refused them. They came again and once more, we refused them. We enjoyed our harvest, as our neighbours suffered. Then, the last Autumn came. A crop so bountiful, it would be more than we could ever eat. Once again, our neighbours came, hungry, begging. We refused them.
That winter, the world punished us for our selfishness. What food we stored was lost to the storms. Our people, taken by the cold. But it did not stop. Spring never came. The world forced us from our pleasant homes, out of our spoiled paradise, never to return. We travelled, until we found our neighbour. They opened their homes to us, took us in after our arrogance. Their kindness, saved us from our own destruction.
Culture and Philosophies
Mon-Taizon is fundamentally built around three core principles. The first is the idea of self-improvement. This varies from individual to individual, with some taking up the arts, others through academia and others again through acquiring great wealth. However, this does not need to be some grand goal; the humble baker, who toils day in, day out to make the best bread in Mon-Taizon, is following this philosophy. One of the products from this process is a selection of hot beverages both drunk locally and exported further afield.
Another great pillar of Mon-Taizon culture is acceptance. Not everyone is the same, nor should they be treated the same. Recognizing this difference and embracing it leads to richness in diversity and experience. This has led to a diversification of the citizenry over the years, with other races being present as accepted minorities in the city.
The final core philosophy of Mon-Taizon is fairness. It is expected that everyone treat each other with dignity and respect. That justice be upheld. This has developed into a legal system that weighs the weight of the crime and the qualms of those affected, vs the motivations and reasons of the accused. “The lesser of two evils” is a widely acknowledged principle in Mon-Taizon society. While the committer is still reprimanded, their punishment would be lessened if reasoned by the court that this was the best choice of action available.
City life tends to be quite idyllic for travelers and those just looking to pass the time. Recreation is an important part of Mon-Taizon society and in the desire for calm and peace in an oftentimes chaotic and taxing world. Atop the hill lies a building dedicated specifically to the card game Allura Clash, developed between Mon-Taizon and the Gaslamp Society. Many hot drinks have been created, such as the locally popular Bai Mudan, and Hot Cocoa, which is widely enjoyed by the younger members of the city.
Technology and Magic
Gunpowder technology is widely used by Mon-Taizon, both in form of large scale ballistics, such as rockets, to much smaller personal hand cannons. More advanced metalworking techniques, advances in architecture, economic and political theorem and healthcare put it at the forefront in many fields among the states of Crescera.
Magic is practiced in the city, but under a much more practical and methodical approach. Magics that can be replicated reliably are employed by the society, but if a practice has a high degree of failure or involves components beyond which society would deem acceptable (such as blood magics) then they are forbidden from usage. Medicinal magics are widely employed for treatment, for example.