The Singing Caves are located near Overton in the Marcher territory of Mournwold. Custodianship of the Singing Caves grants an Imperial title; a seat on the Imperial Bourse; and a seasonal bounty of valuable mithril.
The Singing Caves are found in Mournwold not far from the town of Overton. Still in Imperial hands, albeit only just, the Singing Caves take their name from the strange voices that echo forth when the wind blows above. Local stories claim that the mines were first discovered by the folk hero Jonah Gold in pre-Imperial times while following a particularly rich seam of green iron Fanciful tales suggest that one of the voices that seem to issue from the cave is that of that legendary miner issuing dire warnings of future mining disasters.
Studies of the voices suggest that they are almost certainly a natural phenomenon, but there is a persistent tale of a voice crying "Rise, Marchers, rise!" that seemed to issue from the cave a month before the first Jotun troops crossed the border into the Mournwold. The bizarre occurrence was well documented at the time, but the ensuing invasion left little time for deeper investigation. Those few scholars who have made the trip out to the besieged territory were at a loss to explain the event - but came away largely convinced of its veracity following interviews with the miners.
Found on the northern borders of the Greensward, the last few decades have seen some tension between the miners and the citizens of Overton. The Singing Caves are an Imperial Bourse seat, not a Marcher national seat - something that causes resentment among many Mournwolders to this day. Several outspoken Marchers, including the previous abbot of Greensward Monastery, have claimed that the owners of the Singing Caves have relied on Marcher sweat and blood to protect their investment. Indeed, no Marcher has held the Singing Caves Bourse Seat in the past twenty years - instead, it has been held by a citizen of League (most commonly one representing one of the Tassatan guilds. Any Marcher miner who works the Singing Caves under a "foreign" Seat is given short shrift by their neighbours - in pre-invasion times it was not uncommon for them to experience the rough music. On nights where the beer and cider is flowing, there is grim talk of demanding that the Caves be given over to the Marchers if the Mournwold is ever liberated - although the legality of such a position is dubious at best.
For a short time in late 380YE, the Singing Caves were taken by the Jotun orcs. They were recovered shortly afterwards, but the legal situation was clear - as a resource liberated from barbarians the Imperial Senate was required to allocate them again. A Marcher lobby persuaded the Senate to allocate them to the Marches as a national position, but the motion was immediately vetoed by Empress Lisabetta, leaving the mines unallocated. They will be eligible to be allocated again during the Winter 380YE summit.
They were eventually allocated as a National Bourse position during the Spring Equinox 382YE, by which time a significant bounty of mithril had built up that would become the property of whichever Marcher citizen gained the seat.
The Bourse Seat
The Seat has no particular responsibilities; they simply receive a bounty of mithril which is theirs to do with as they will. If the Singing Caves were to be threatened in any way, it would be the responsibility of the Seat to deal with those threats. Likewise, if any particular opportunity were to arise related to the Singing Caves, the Seat would expect to be consulted as to how that opportunity might be resolved.
Seat on the Bourse
Custodianship of the Singing Caves comes with a seat on the Imperial Bourse. For the most part, this Seat comes with no additional responsibilities. It is an Imperial title that grants the right to participate on the rare occasion when the Imperial Bourse as a body is required to make a decision.
Bounty of mithril
The Seat has control of a source of mithril and receives Bourse certificates to represent that control. They can dispense this resource as they choose. Production is 28 Imperial wains of mithril every season.
As with all mithril Bourse seats, the holder of the title is determined during the Autumn Equinox. Control of the Singing Caves is assigned to whichever Marcher candidate receives the most support from farm owners. Votes are recorded in private in conjunction with the civil servants who support the Bourse.