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The Blade Kingdoms was the collective name given to a group of six relatively small city-states nestled between Chondath and Chessenta in the region of the Akanal[6] that contained mountain valleys of Akanapeaks and shores of the Akanamere.[1][7]

Description[]

The Blade Kingdoms included six city-states: Lotoli, Lomarta, Kirenzia, Sumbria, located on the fertile shores of Akanamere, Zutria, that laid on the shores and in the Hills of Apion, and, lastly, Colletro, in the Akanapeaks' rich Valley of Umbricci.[7]

Geography[]

All cities of the Blade Kingdoms were surrounded by smaller quaint rustic villages, vineyards, and olive tree groves. The city walls were erected on top of Chessentan ruins that predated the Blade Kingdoms by a dozen centuries. The military engineers from the young cities repaired ancient aqueducts, carrying waters across lush valleys and decaying villas that were left from the previous occupants of the land. Many of the valleys of the Blade Kingdoms, including the Valley of Umbricci, were littered with ancient strange cogs and shattered statues. Many of these remnants of old Chondath were left in peace by the superstitious folk of the Blade Kingdoms.[1]

Government[]

An Elmeti and one of the Lanze Spezzate soldiers.

The long militaristic traditions of the Blade Kingdoms founders eventually changed to the democracy. Free-voting mercenary councils of each of the city-states turned into senates of nobility. The status of each member of the senates was indicated by the number of troops under their command.[1]

The function and rules of the Blade Council were dictated by the law called the Articles of Association. The laws dictates the rules of crown elections, the rules of selection of the Grand Commander, and the annual Council meetings.[8][9] Additionally, each of the city-states had their own constitution.[10]

Laws[]

The Blade Kingdoms had strict patent laws that extended across all the city-states. The patent laws allowed inventions of mechanical and magical nature to be registered to to inventor's name. The patents protected the inventors from fraudulent replication of their creations and ensured financial rewards for the persons whose name was on the patent in question. Some of these patents included Lorenzo Utrelli Da Lomarta's inventions - the light lathe, bottled lightning, parachute, and phonograph.[11]

Culture[]

The Blade Kingdoms descended from people of knowledge, strategy, and education who took pride in avoiding bloodshed, venerated law and order, sciences, art, and rational thinking. Military and political disputes arose between city-states and were resolved by annual competitions of military strategy and prowess. These bloodless "wars" kept the lives of simple folk undisturbed and kept the soldiers alive and loyal to their commanders. These competitions of strategy and wit took place at the beginning of summer every year, in some ways resembling an intricate real-life game of multi-player chess. The contestants did no pillaging nor destruction. The provisions were brought to the field of battle and purchased from the locals. The armies happily mingled in the evenings, visiting local taverns and festhalls. Wounds, accidents, and casualties remained extremely low thanks to the strict adherence to the Blade Kingdoms' laws of war.[1]

"White wars" were an integral part of the Blade Kingdoms as their outcomes and the participants' strategy earned them votes in the Blade Council. Each city-state was controlled by a Prince-elect and their Blade Captains, who was elected by the Council's vote, based on their army and accomplishments.[12]

Even though wars were fought bloodlessly, the mercenary past of the Blade Kingdoms shone through the everyday life, forming the undercurrent of court intrigues, subterfuge, and spy craft. Many of the most ambitious Blade Captains trusted no-one, fearing bribed servants, undercover agents, and assassins. The assassination in the Blade Kingdoms was a very personal task. This crime was committed personally by the ambitious politician or Blade Captain, or a group, in which every person was equally guilty of the deed.[13]

Fashion[]

The nobles of the Blade Kingdoms were traditionalists and adhered to maintaining their customs, traditions, and appearances. The city-states were flooded with over complicated and impressive clothes that flaunted wealth. The women were stuffed in overly tight ivory and steel corsets like plump sausages sold during the Festival of Blades,[14] bodices[15] on top of flowing mountainous gowns supported by petticoats decorated their bodies;[16] large conic hennin hats and fanciful bonnets were perched atop complicated hairstyles.[17] Hoses, stockings, and pantalettes were worn underneath.[18] And at night noble ladies wore spider-silk chemise.[16] Male fashion was pristine and showy but less extravagant than women's. Most noble males wore jerkins, tunics, jackets and puff-pantaloons,[19] with velvet being a common material.[20]

Cuisine[]

The Blade Kingdoms were known for its balls, feasts, and the annual grand Festival of Blades. The main edible decoration were candies shaped like daggers and swords and strung around roof beams. The tables were filled with copious amounts of food and drink, and impressive centerpieces that could be huge roasted colorful birds or giant cuttlefish.[21] Breads, grape, melons, oranges, and cheese were common foods while local wines and ales were common drinks. A cheap but paint-stripping strong swirl was called the soldier's champagne, a mix of red wine and plum slivovitz.[22] More complex staples of Blade Kingdoms pantries' included chicken pies,[23] pickled eel,[24] blowfish caseroles,[21], hogfish,[25] singing fish, and other seafood from the Akanamere. Among feast dishes were platter-fulls of stuffed hamsters in sauce and whole roasted ostriches.[26] Fresh fruit, prootwaddle tea,[27] and ship's biscuit were considered common snacks.[28]

Trade[]

The Blade Kingdoms produced salt, olives, and grapes, along with wines and olive oils.[1]

The annual Festival of Blades took place following the resolution of the annual resolution of "white wars" and was held at the winning city-state. The Festival lasted a week, celebrating the origins of the noble families and the Blade Kingdoms themselves. Lush celebrations attracted ambassadors from other city-states and numerous visitors from neighboring nations. The celebrations included midnight balls, pageantry, and tournaments, all drowned in copious amounts of food and drinks. The Festival of Blades also included the annual meeting of the Blade Council.[29]

Technology[]

Curious minds and engineers created the city-states of the Blade Kingdoms. Among many other scientific wonders and conveniences were complex networks of hot water pipes that gave the buildings running hot and cold water and heating. These pipes were connected to boiler rooms, worked by salamanders.[30]

Defenses[]

The armies of the city-states included hippogriff cavalry, pike-wielding troops, Lanze Spezzate - the mercenary horsemen in half-armors, heavily-shielded pavisiers, crossbowmen, warwagons, engineer troops and their deadly catapults, Elmeti - noblemen horse-riding knight in golden armor,[1] and troops armed with arquebuses (even though smokepowder was a point of contention among the Captains).[31]

The leaders of the city-states and their Blade Captains rode Gens D'Or into battle, giants among horses with metallic hooves and metallic hides gleaming in pure silver, gold or bronze, resembling majestic animated statues.[1]

The allegiances of the troops could be easily distinguished by their particolored clothes and brigandines.[1]

Some more unique weaponry and armor could be found in wide use in the Blade Kingdoms. Such items included barbute helmets,[32] gorget armors,[33] pavis shields.[34] Among weapons were bill-hooks,[35] katzbalgers,[36] poignards,[37] and swordbreaker blades.[38]

History[]

The cities of the Blade Kingdoms in relation to the cities of Nun, Hlath, and the Fields of Nun of the Vilhon Reach.

The Blade Kingdoms were resettled circa 1017 DR by the grand mercenary companies from the Vilhon Reach. The sellswords turned their backs on their honor-less Chondathian masters and their bloody trying wars. The numerous mercenary troopers with their families, traveling hospitals, mobile sanctuaries, and courts, slowly traveled the continent until they reached the unclaimed lands on the north-western shores of the Akanamere. The Vilhonese claimed the yellow rolling hills and valleys of scattered ruins.[39][1]

The engineers and scientists that came with the mercenary settlers spent several years preparing ancient aqueducts, soldiers cleared the broken harbor mouths and repaired the roads and mountain passes. With more time, tent cities became high-walled cities. Each mercenary company claimed a piece of land, each becoming a city-state. Mercenary captains wed their followers, captured enemies, and courtesans, making the first generations of the noble families of the Blade Kingdoms.[1]

The Blade Kingdoms flourished for the two centuries that followed. The military tradition of mercenary leadership became married to democratic governing. Mercenary councils evolved into senates of nobility.[1]

In the summer of 1217 DR, a "white war" was playing out between armies of Colletro and neighboring Sumbria. The contest took place in the greenery of the Valley of Umbricci. The two city-states were old adversaries, and the battle was to settle the ownership of the Valley, its salt mines, olive presses, and rich cattle farms. The conflict between the Prince of Sumbria - Cappa Mannicci da Sumbria, and the ruler of Colletro - Prince-elect Ricardo, was resolved with the triumph of Sumbria. The winner received the ownership of the Valley of Umbricci - three villages, mines, and the Sun Gem a huge diamond that symbolized the heart and the spirit of the Blade Kingdoms.[1] It said to have been carved out of the heart of the unliving and undying emperor many decades prior.[40]

Following the embarrassing loss of the "white war", Ugo Svarézi, the Blade Captain of Colletro, grew fed up with Blade Kingdoms' bloodless conflicts and what he considered to be stagnancy of progress. Along with Blade Captain Gilberto Ilégo, they sought to undermine the culture and bring back the bloody conflicts and rise to power among the city-states. During he Festival of the Blades that followed the "white war" of 1217 DR, Svarézi and Ilégo attempted to steal the Sun Gem from the Cappa Mannicci, the Prince-Elect of Sumbira for the use with a new invention - the light lathe, the could melt through castle walls with the right diamond lens use.[40] With the theft successful, Blade Captain Ilégo was exposed but escaped with the Sun Gem in tow. Outraged over breach of protocols and laws of war, the Blade Kingdoms allied behind Sumbria against Colletro. At the same time, Ilégo misled price Ricardo Colletro, claiming that Sumbria was planning to attack the city state of Colletro. Closer to the end of the same summer, the united armies of Sumbria, led by Cappa Mannicci, returned to the Valley of Umbricci, but this time, the armies went to actual war. Colletro's armies were helmed by fifty Blade Captains of the city-state's noble families, Prince Elect Ricardo, and treacherous Gilberto Ilégo.[41]

We've concentrated upon fripperies and forgotten where we came from - who we are! Roll in your furs and sweetmeats like a pig in its own dung! A soldier's domain should be bounded by his breastplate, nothing more!
— Blade Captain Orlando Toporello[10]

In the ensued battle of the Valley of Umbricci, Prince-elect Ricardo was slain after foolishly charging into the enemy combatants. With nothing left of his body, resurrection was out of question. The battle ended with Sumbria's retreat and parley. Gilberto Ilégo usurped the leadership of Colletro and used his spies to provoke an angry mob to a massacre most, if not all, Collertan Blade Captains, solidifying his rule. As the forces of Cappa Mannicci retreated following the officiating the defeat, Gilberto Ilégo unveiled a giant version of a light lathe, powered by the Sun Gem. The new Price of Colletro fired the deadly blast of light that momentary evaporated ice and melted rock over the Valley of Umbricci pass. The attack buried the Sumbrian forces under molten rock.[42]

Following the disastrous defeat, Cappa Mannicci's forces were sunken to a mere hundred soldiers, the number too small to hold the position of leadership and too small to even qualify for the Prince-elect vote in the Blade Council of Sumbria.[6] With the ruler's reputation destroyed as well as the ruling family's political power, Blade Captain Gilberto Ilégo used cunning and charisma to turn the Blade Council agains the Prince-elect, blaming him for the disaster. Ilégo informed the Council of Sumbria that Colletro has a new ruler and a newly elected Blade Council. Colletro offered peace and proposed a merger of two city-states, to form one kingdom of science, war, and battle magic. The Articles of Association and the Constitution of Sumbria demanded an immediate election, Cappa Mannicci was removed from the throne and in protest, House Toporello, along with three minor Blade Captains, left the Blade Council to become independent mercenary companies. Shortly after leaving the council chambers, Cappa Mannicci was assassinated by a wizard in a guise of a beggar. Soldiers, commoner, and Blade Captains erupted in riots sending Sumbria into a state of frenzied chaos, as Ilégo realized that he was nothing but a Ugo Svarézi's pawn and a scapegoat who was blamed for the assassination.[10]

What followed was a short but grueling 11-Day Civil War between the Blade Houses of Sumbria. The nobles fought against themselves, some for power, some in memory of their leader Cappa Mannicci, some in defense of House Ilégo. The common folk of Sumbria poured into the streets, rioting, demanding the death of the usurper who assassinated their beloved Prince-elect. Alliances quickly shifted, and soon, most of the city was consumed by anarchy. Many of the Blade Houses fell to their opponents, and in the end, only House Ilégo remained at war with the Blade Captain hiding in his fortified mansion. Sumbria quickly fell victim to famine and sickness.[43] The civil war was ended on the 12th day when a long military caravan led by Ugo Svarézi, the new Prince-elect of Colletro was welcomed into Sumbria. Starving and scared folk of the city eagerly accepted the usurper's forces as they brought hands to rebuild, priests to heal, clean water, and most importantly - food. At the time, Sumbrians did not know that the provisions were stolen by Colletran from Sumbria's own hamlets and farms, leaving them completely decimated.[44]

The survivors of Sumbria announced their "savior" as the new Prince-elect of both Sumbria and Colletro. To cement his power, Ugo Svarézi utterly destroyed his clandestine ally's fortress, turning it into a pile of molten rock and killing Gilberto Ilégo, putting an end to his Blade House.[45] The final step on the Colletran Prince path to power of Sumbria was symbolic joining with the Mannicci ruling family. Ulia Mannicci, the mountainous widow of Cappa Mannicci, spent the 11-Day Civil War in her own tower of the Palace. The widow gathered almost a hundred young women. She defended them from the ravages of war and ill intentions of men via hurled rocks, chamberpots, and the largest trebuchet battery in the Blade Kingdoms. With the war's end, Ugo Svarézi posed an ultimatum to Ulia, forcing the marriage. The lady refused, seeing through the usurper's intent. Ulia was sentenced to the torture of physical labor and the diet of hardtack and salad greens, and the only thing that could stop it - was the marriage. Ulia Mannicci was not easily broken.[46]

By the following summer, Colletran Prince-elect planned on conquering the rest of the city-states, solidifying his own rule by blood. He ordered his flock to be bread off-season to gather hippogryph cavalry by the following summer and forced the shipyard to build a warship armada by conscripting unwilling farmers and commoners to hard and cruel over the clock labor.[47]

In 1374 DR, several armed conflicts among neighboring nations sparked among the Blade Kingdoms, the Border Kingdoms, Chessenta, and Threskel. During that time, the Kingdoms existed in a state of regular conflict.[48]

Notable Locations[]

  • Sumbria: the biggest city of the Blade Kingdoms, known for its wealth, armies, arts, and sciences.[6]
  • Colletro: Sumbria's neighbor and rival.
  • Lomatra: the city-state that was more militaristic and more provincial than Sumbria.
  • Valley of Umbricci: a lush mountain valley field with vineyards and olive presses. The city-states of Sumbria and Colletro annually warred over the valley's ownership.[6]

Inhabitants[]

  • Cappa Mannicci: the Prince-elect of Sumbria circa 1217 DR. Hes had a daughter with his first wife - Princess Milianna Mannicci da Sumbria, and eventually married his second wife - Ulia Mannicci.[49]
  • Jaka Sculi: along with his mother left the Blade Kingdoms for Luskan in 1365 DR. The Sculi family were distant descendants of the mercenary princes from the Blade Kingdoms and Jaka planned on accumulating wealth and eventually returning beck to to the place of his birth.[50]

Appendix[]

Appearances[]

Novels
The Council of Blades
Referenced only
Spine of the World

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 1, pp. 5–7. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  2. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 10, p. 187. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  3. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 150–151. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  4. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 95. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  5. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 3, p. 45. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 11, p. 197. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Map included in Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades Map. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 978-0786905317.
  8. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 2, p. 29. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  9. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 10, p. 193. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 11, pp. 198–202. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  11. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 7, p. 136. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  12. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 1, p. 9. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  13. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 8, p. 148. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  14. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 128. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  15. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 18. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 16. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  17. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  18. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 54. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  19. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 119. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  20. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 24, 35, 41. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 128–129. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  22. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 115–119. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  23. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 33. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  24. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  25. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 57. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  26. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  27. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 76. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  28. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 102. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  29. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 5, p. 72. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  30. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 5, p. 75. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  31. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 2, pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  32. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 2. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  33. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  34. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 138. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  35. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 39. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  36. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 68. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  37. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 140. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  38. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), p. 98–100. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  39. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Steven E. Schend (2000). Presenting...Seven Millennia of Realms Fiction. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2003-06-21. Retrieved on 2015-08-12.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 7, pp. 141–142. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  41. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 10, pp. 181–182. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  42. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 10, pp. 190–195. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  43. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 13, p. 225. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  44. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 13, p. 226. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  45. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 13, p. 228. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  46. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 13, pp. 229–231. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  47. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 13, pp. 240–2411. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  48. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  49. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 1, pp. 14–22. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  50. Philip Athans (2008). A Reader's Guide to R. A. Salvatore's the Legend of Drizzt. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 0-7869-4915-5.
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