The Vigilant Swan is a quarry complex in the north of Riverwatch, in the territory of Reikos. Custodianship of the Vigilant Swan grants an Imperial title; a seat on the Imperial Bourse; and a seasonal bounty of valuable white granite.
The Vigilant Swan was discovered by Highborn scouts around 4BE, and captured two years later. For a long time, it was the only part of Reikos in human hands - the remainder of the territory belonging to barbarian orcs. It was one of the first resources to ever be allocated by the Imperial Senate when Reikos was finally conquered in 56YE. There was some resentment at the time among the Highborn - they disliked even the suggestion that the quarry here might be taken away from them and made Imperial. In the end, their custodianship went unchallenged - although of course they failed to claim the Great Forest at Reikos, something that caused bad feeling at the time. In the centuries since, the granite of the Vigilant Swan has been especially useful in building structures that honour the Way - both individual congregations and more ambitious structures such as the many basilicas of the White City in Bastion.
Since the early years of the Empire, the site was guarded by a flock of white and black swans who nested on the washing ponds below the quarry's workings. It was claimed they cried out whenever intruders come near, giving the quarries their name. Sadly, however, their presence was not enough to deter the Druj invaders bent on claiming the whole of Reikos. Despite the best Imperial efforts, the quarries were captured by the barbarians in 377YE.
The Druj slaughtered the swans, and drained the washing pools. The stoneworks is now a massive, open-cast quarry - a savage wound in the face of the earth worked by enslaved Highborn. When the Druj retreated from the quarry in the face of an allied Highborn and Navarr advance, the Druj slaughtered their defenceless slaves, completing the degradation of the Vigilant Swan by turning it into a massive open grave. The presence of the tormented unquiet dead made reopening the quarry after its liberation next to impossible. During the Autumn Equinox 379YE, however, the Imperial Synod assigned High Exorcist Solas to oversee the exorcism of the Vigilant Swan. With a great store of liao, Solas and his fellow priests set to work and helped the majority of the angry ghosts haunting the quarry to pass on into the Labyrinth.
All of this supernatural activity took place against a backdrop of significant political manoeuvring in Anvil. During the Summer Solstice 379YE the Imperial Senate voted to allocate the Vigilant Swan to the Imperial Orcs. The Imperial Synod responded by employing the veto, leaving the Swan unallocated. With the Reikos once again in Imperial hands, the matter of who the territory will be assigned to, and whether the Vigilant Swan will be a national or Imperial Seat, is of great interest - especially to the priests of Highguard.
Shortly before the Summer Solstice 382YE, the washing pools were restored by the construction of the Seminary of the Swan on a nearby lake, and the swans have slowly begun to return.
While it was traditionally a Highborn national seat, and the Imperial senate again allocated control of the Vigilant Swan to Highguard as a national seat during the Winter Solstice 379YE.
The Bourse Seat
The Seat has no particular responsibilities; they simply receive a bounty of white granite which is theirs to do with as they will. If the Vigilant Swan 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 Vigilant Swan, the Seat would expect to be consulted as to how that opportunity might be resolved.
Seat on the Bourse
Custodianship of the Vigilant Swan 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 white granite
The Seat has control of a source of white granite and receives Bourse certificates to represent that control. They can dispense this resource as they choose. Production is 26 Imperial wains of white granite every season.
As with all white granite Bourse seats, the holder of the title is determined during the Summer Solstice. Control of the Vigilant Swan is assigned to whichever Highguard candidate receives the most support from Highguard owners of congregations. Votes are recorded in private in conjunction with the civil servants who support the Bourse.
|Summer Solstice 383YE||Dagon|
|Summer Solstice 382YE||Bartimaeus|
|Summer Solstice 381YE||Bartimaeus of the Shattered Tower|
|Summer Solstice 380YE||Asael of Cantiarch's Hold|
|Winter Solstice 380YE||Asael of Cantiarch's Hold|
|Winter Solstice 377YE||Obadiah of Cantiarch’s Hold|
The title is currently held by Dagon; it will be reelected Summer. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.