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A street map? You need much more than a map of the streets to navigate this city, my friend. There are rules to this city; break them, and the Camorra will break you.

The Steel Throne, Act II, scene iv

TODOCheck the rivers against other nations, geographically and psychosocially.

TODO Rewrite the intro - it's far too Italian. - Attempt made 08/07/12 - longer but with more... non-Italian elements - Felix

Tales of the League have been made famous by balladeers - rival theatre-houses and rival gangs, savage duels where wits matter more than swordplay, strange secrets in the four great rivers and the city canals which only the Merrow boatmen have mapped. The long con is as much an art form here as the politics of high office, and stories of both always seem to make it into coffee-house satire and theatre song. Powerful Camorra clash over business interests and mercenary Free Companies are eagerly sought by Imperial generals for their powerful ethic of loyalty. The Church of the Little Mother feeds and shelters the orphans of the League's Imperial border conflicts - any one of whom might become a famous actor, a masked Mage, or even one of the Merchant Princes or Princesses of tomorrow.

This is the Catazarri League. The four great rivers that run down to the Bay of Catazar are the veins of this nation, carrying the lifeblood of trade. Its cities are its beating heart, pumping steel throughout the Empire. The people of the League are city-folk through and through. Do not think them soft, however! They are a driven people, whose fine lifestyles are earned through hard work and hard dealing, who tolerate neither weakness nor lawlessness, and for whom a well-crafted insult or a thoughtful favour can mean the difference between profitable enterprise and being left on the wrong side of the river. Competition is everything, and from the wealthiest moneylender to the loudest street bravo, they are sharp as steel, quick-witted and always ready to seize the moment.

Five things to know about the League

  • Life is competition, and someone is always keeping score. Citizens of the League love to compete – in commerce, in entertainment, even in love.
  • Keep your loyalties close, like the rings on your fingers. League loyalties are fiercely held and hard to break.
  • Coin counts, and everything costs. In the League wealth is status, this is the land of conspicuous consumption.
  • Everything is on show, like a mask on your face. Performance runs through the heart of the nation.
  • Keep your wit sharp, and your blade sharper. Citizens of the League pride themselves on their charm and intellect, but they’ll never shy from a fight.

The Nation