- 1 Overview
- 2 Recent History
- 3 Major Features
- 4 Regions
- 5 OOC Notes
Peering at each other across the fast-flowing Vassa, Tassato is called the Twin City or the Split City. Providing the only easy way to cross the wide and dangerous river, Tassato is a city divided against itself. Tassato was originally two towns, Mestra and Regario, allegedly named for the feuding Highborn siblings who historically founded them on either bank of the Vassa. Over time, both towns grew on each bank and the river formed a natural boundary between them. Attempts to build bridges between the cities have always foundered and the people rely on boats and barges to cross the river. Along with Sarvos, they quietly seceded from Highguard during that nations' civil war, uniting with their cousins to the south to resist all attempts to bring them back under the Highborn banner.
The western part of the city is called Tassato Mestra, and the eastern is Tassato Regario. The people on either side of the river are historically rivals, and that historical rivalry occasionally boils up into open conflict. The two cities were unified under the control of Anabela di Regario, a merchant prince who ruled over a century before the creation of the Empire. Anabela was forced to contend with the constant rivalry between the two cities- open battles in the streets between bravos were causing widespread lawlessness and in the end the prince declared a ban on the open carrying of weapons. The ban had the desired effect, damping down the bloodshed although and the rivalry was slowly transformed to verbal banter between the two sides. The ban endured until Tassato joined the Empire and in that time the people became famous for their wordplay, launching quips and insults at each other like arrows.
Citizens of Tassato generally refer to Regario and Mestra as separate places, while everyone else refers to them as wards or parts of the same city. Today Tassato enjoys an unrivalled reputation as a city where the spoken word is an art-form. Tassatans take a delight in layered meanings, subtexts and unspoken communication. The city has provided several senators famous for their brilliant oratory and representatives from the city are usually regarded as the finest diplomats in the Empire. Of all the people of the League, Tassatans are most likely to view life as a game and they are notorious for their love of intrigue, not just for the sake of advancement but for the sheer pleasure to be had thereby. They regard cunning diplomacy more highly than armed conflict, not because they are peace-loving, but instead because they regard words as a more effective tool than weapons in destroying their enemies - better to set enemies against enemies than to face them yourself. Manipulation is high art here - no surprise that some of the finest mountebanks hail from Tassato.
Tassato chooses a senator each Autumn equinox, and as might be imagined the election is often bitterly contested. Traditionally, being senator for Tassato is regarded as one of the worst seats in the Imperial Senate. If the senator is from the city itself, then they often encounter resistance and hostility from the folk from the other side of the river. If they are not from the city proper - if they refuse to pick a side - they are generally treated as interlopers and encounter harassment from citizens from both sides of the river. A few wealthy guilds that live outside the city proper maintain a discreet distance from the intrigues of their more urban cousins - the votes of these guilds are much sought after by candidates regardless of where they live.
The Sapphire Stair
A masterwork of locks built by the Tassatan engineer Marco Di Paraiso for Emperor Giovanni in the early days of the empire, replacing the old system of portage. Tassato relies on the Sapphire Stair for all its boat trade, and due to this, the village of Cevia is fortified, and watchmen constantly guard the Stair. Control of the Sapphire Stair is hotly contested between the folk of Regario and Mestra. It represents a valuable sinecure, and the Keeper of the Sapphire Stair receives a portion of all tolls levied for the use of the river.
Since Winter 382YE, the Keeper is also responsible for maintaining the mural that covers the Red Rock - a flat section of stone that lies in the hills above Cevia and is clearly visible to travellers passing along the river or its banks.
The Arratan Gamble
The Arratan Gamble is a Bourse resource located in Enterio. Custodianship of the Quarry is an Imperial Title that brings with it a Seat on the Imperial Bourse. It produces 25 Imperial wains of white granite every season. Control is allocated to any Imperial citizen by open auction during the Summer Solstice.
The offices of the Regario Dossier
The Regario Dossier is technically operated from a small office in Tassato Regario. The office primarily concerns itself with overseeing and collecting the ilium that the dossier provides. As much as anything else, the offices provide a "front" to distract attention from the Dossier's real purpose (collecting information relevant to international trade). It produces 4 rings of ilium every season. Control is allocated to the citizen of the League who places the highest bid in a public auction.
The Imperial Mint
In the centre of the Vassa towers the Imperial Mint where Imperial coinage is produced. While this fortified building itself is operated by the civil service, its protection falls to the people of the League. The Master of the Imperial Mint has the use of sumptuous apartments on the small island where the Mint stands, and access to a number of well-maintained boats with which to cross the Vassa. It was founded by Emperor Giovanni, although it was largely designed by Avigliana di Sarvos.
The School of Epistemology
Established by the Exemplar of Wisdom Avigliana in Tassato Regario, the School of Epistemology is a well-respected centre of higher education. It is dedicated to encouraging citizens of the League (and indeed the Empire as a whole) to take note of the world they live in and put the truth of it in writing. The school continues to teach spies, diplomats and cartographers, alongside the more traditional accountants, priests and poets. While it is much smaller than the University of Tassato, and lacks that establishment's depth of curriculum, it is still a prestigious educational establishment. Relations with the University remain cordial, although marked by occasional outbursts of "student hijinks" on both sides.
It also has greater historical and cultural significance than its comparatively small size and focus might suggest, even leaving aside the fact that it was founded by a woman that the Imperial Synod recognised as a reincarnation of the Exemplar Kala. It was while besieging the school in 209YE that the crazed Emperor Nicovar met his end at the hands of the captain of his own guard. The school was badly damaged during the attack, but was quickly rebuilt and somewhat expanded in the years following, including the creation of a new chapel to house the reliquary of Avigliana which serves as a place of pilgrimage to this day.
La Redotta Rezia
In Autumn 378YE, the Senate approved the construction of heavy fortification along the western approach to the city. The city walls themselves were strengthened significantly, and several watch towers built to provide as much advance warning of a Jotun invasion as possible. Each tower is equipped with a sturdy spyglass, and with heavy iron bells to raise the alarm. Over the western gate that once saw so much trade flow into Tassato from the Marches, a small keep was constructed.
Proposed by Senator Cesare Sanguineo Rezia Di Tassato, the fortifications are named in his honour. Although technically La Redotta Rezia refers only to the keep itself, everyone uses the name to refer to the walls and towers as well as the little castle.
The Blood Red River Museum
The Blood Red River art museum was commissioned by Cesare Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato, paid for by the Bloody Butchers Guild of Temeschwar, and taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the potent Night magic enchantment that blanketed the Empire toward the end of 380YE. Completed shortly before the Summer Solstice 381YE, it stands grandly in Tassato Mestra on the western bank of the Vassa, not far from the Printers Guild Museum of Wonders.
Lorenzo's Legacy of Ambition
Spread across the entire territory of Tassato are a number of red stone stelae. A central stone, the keystone for the entire great work, stands in the courtyard of the Imperial Mint. itself. The legacy guides and focuses the flows of mana through the territory, increasing the amount of crystal mana produced by sites across Tassato.
The Jarmish Lodge
Built in the idyllic surroundings of Enterio, the Jarmish lodge represents, a unique estate whose exotic aesthetics can be somewhat jarring to Imperial visitors. Approval for certain traders from the Principalities of Jarm to build a lodge here was secured by Senator Cesare in Winter 380YE, and work was completed just before the Spring Equinox 380YE. According to some fanciful eyewitness reports, apart from a few labourers engaged to help transfer the mithril, white granite and weirwood the magicians used to build their enclave, no mortal workers were used. Rather, the magicians conjured magical creatures to do the construction work for them - and in record time.
The domes and towers of the lodge bring a sense of the mysterious eastern nation to Tassato, but the residents prefer to keep to themselves when they are "at home" - although socialites from all over Tassato and Sarvos are keen to receive the rare invitations to visit. Members of the staff of the Jarmish Embassy in Cargo are regular visitors, as are merchants and traders concluding business with League entrepreneurs.
The residents have secured a significant supply of crystal mana with the Tassato Mana Exchange, and are regular visitors to the nearby city - both for business and pleasure. Indeed, Jarmish magicians are becoming a regular feature in Regario and to a lesser degree in Mestra.
On the western banks of the Vassa stands the fortified village of Cevia which guards a river crossing where two trods meet and cross the Vassa. It is best known outside of the League as the place where the famous traveller's inn, the Caduta, stands. It is built next to the Sapphire Stair, a masterwork of locks, and many trading barges pass through every day. While Cascatas claims to be neutral in the age-old conflicts between Mestra and Regario, the simple fact of geography that sees it on the western bank means its citizens are much more welcoming to travellers from the western city than the eastern, which has been a point of some contention. The Keeper of the Sapphire Stair has a comfortable house here, but it is rarely used - especially when the keeper is not from Tassato Mestra.
The plains of Enterio are home to a number of farms, orchards and vineyards as well as a fair number of wineries and an exotic lodge built by visitors from the Principalities of Jarm. Tassato imports much of its food - there is no way the farms here could support the multitudes who call the city home - and so the farms have tended to focus on specialised crops. They compete among themselves to ensure the name of their particular breed of apple or grape, or the flesh, hide or wool of their particular herd, is considered the best. Enterio is also the location of the Arratan Gamble and there are several small settlements in that area that provide housing and services for the quarry labourers.
Tassato Mestra is famous both for its boatyards - it is the primary source of the riverboats that ply their trade from Sarvos deep into Dawn - and for the boldness of its brothels. The west bank of the river is almost entirely given over to a gaudy display of brazenness, the so-called Street of Pleasures where anyone with the purse for it can buy company, narcotics and other goods of dubious virtue. The cicisbeos of Mestra, while generally seen as lacking the refined manner of those hailing from Sarvos, are known both for their quick tongues and physical skills.
Mestra tends to be more cramped and "dirtier" than Regario across the river. Built at the foot of steep hills, restrictions on space have lead to the buildings being much taller than those of their neighbouring citizens. Some buildings, especially along the riverfront, stretch to four or even five stories. Architects in Regario may be more technically adept, but builders in Mestra are certainly masters at improvisation and practical application of their skills.
With the Jotun conquest of the Mournwold, the citizens of Tassato Mestra live constantly under the threat of invasion. The recently completed Redotta Rezia will hopefully provide some protection from the armies of barbarian orcs.
Mestra is also the site of the remarkable new Printers Guild Museum of Wonders. Built a short distance from the western bank of the Vassa, it is a monument to the Museum brings security and employment to many in Mestra, and these people show their devotion to the good works by recognising the Curator as a voice worthy to be heard in the Assemblies of the Imperial Synod.
It is also the location of both the Tassato Mana Exchange and the Tassato Apothecary Clearing House, both ministries commissioned by the same Senator who built La Redotta, Cesare Sanguineo Rezia Di Tassato of the Gilded Horn Carta.
The Mana Exchange is a dedicated market for the purchase and sale of crystal mana that attracts buyers and sellers from across the Empire and beyond. The Mana Exchange is an economic battleground between several League guilds involved in the mana trade, especially the rival Regarian DeSousa Crystal Traders, and the DeMosca House of Mana (who enjoy a slight home-soil advantage).
In contrast to the furious business of the Mana Exchange, the Apothecary Clearing House is a little more sedate. A secure warehouse and spacious offices see herb dealers, physicks, and apothecaries from across the western Empire trading in safe, friendly environment for the quality-assured herbs they need. The market is of particular interest to the Mazzarine-starved physicks of the north and the Bladeroot hungry potion-makers of the southern coast
The hills above the city proper are also the site of several old mines. While the mineral wealth of Tassato Mestra is piddling next to that of places like Temeschwar, the guilds who control these mines are old and reasonably influential in the city and the League as a whole.
The east part of the city, Tassato Regario, is best known for its workshops and magicians. In the Empire, the first printing presses were designed and built in Tassato Regario, and the first presses were employed here printing religious tracts, scholarly treatises and political manifestos. There are several printers in Regario, and while they may occasionally vie with each other for the right to print a particularly important - or salacious - document there is more than enough work to go round. The eastern part of the city is home to philosophers, agitators, demagogues, poets and scholars from across the Empire who come here to have their work printed and add a distinctly cosmopolitan feel to the city. The University of Tassato can be found here (although it accepts students from both sides of the river and from across the Empire). It is also the site of the prestigious School of Epistemology, founded by the Exemplar Avigliana, combining a centre of learning with a place of worship dedicated to the embrace of Wisdom.
The eastern city is much less cramped than the western city - it is also surrounded to the east and south by wide parklands often referred to as the Regarian Walls. This public park is tended by a cadre of professional gardeners, and is also home to several fine orchards and vineyards. Once one gets beyond the public areas, there are several jealously guarded preserves where the iridescent butterfly is cultivated. The guilds who control these private preserves are very fond of their privacy and do not appreciate unexpected guests. Several of them have divorced themselves entirely from the politics of the city, barely pay attention to the politics of the League, and have a reputation for being ... odd. At least one of the guilds here is composed entirely of naga, descended from some of the original reckoners and rumoured to engage in idolatrous worship of one or more Night eternals.
A sprawling forest that extends northward to Miaren. Long before the Empire was founded, there was conflict across the borders here with the Navarr, and several battlegrounds litter the land to the north. The woodcutting settlement of Tagliona is found in southern Madeiras. A small town, it supplies much of the wood required by Tassato's boat-builders and (along with stone from the quarries) its building materials.
- All the regions of Tassato are in the hands of the League (and by extension the Empire) making this a staunchly Imperial territory.
- The senator for Tassato is elected during the Autumn equinox each year.
- The Blood Red River Museum is a great work that provides 15 liao and 30 votes in the Imperial Synod each season, spread amongst those citizens of Tassato dedicated to Pride who own congregations.
- Lorenzo's Legacy of Ambition is a great work that provides 37 crystal mana each season, spread amongst those citizens of Tassato who own mana sites.
- "Little Mournwold" is effectively a great work that provides 50 ingots of Green Iron each season, spread amongst those citizens of Tassato who own a business and attended the previous summit.
- The woods around Tassato Regario are sprawling well maintained orchards - they do not amount to the forested keyword.
- This page is still under development - the next stage is to review approved backgrounds for details that would enrich the description of the territory.