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To all good merchants and traders of Temeschwar,

We the Guild of Lanterneers in Temeschwar along with our allies as part of the Thousand Torches ask the Senate to give to the League the seat of the Fortress of Salt. We look to Lorenzo “La Volpe” Macelliao von Temeschwar for inspiration in this act.

We of the Thousand Torches burn brightly, we offer what we can to the Senate to help them in this hard time. We understand that the running of an Empire must be difficult.

We remember our past, we remember Ratibor.

Alexi di Temeschwar, Guild of Lanterneers


Temeschwar has a reasonable claim to be one of the oldest cities in the Empire, steeped in the traditions of Varushka. Raised by the strength of the Vard, protected by the wisdom of the Ushkans, the city none-the-less exemplifies the ambitious and entrepreneurial spirit that characterises the League. Every Temeschwari feels the determination to excel - not only to be the best but to be recognised as such. They revel in ferocious competition, risking everything on their skill against that of their opponent, whoever that may be. These are the people of Ratibor, ruthless heirs to a city at the edge of civilisation.

Sarvos and Holberg are not the only League territories familiar with curses. As far back as the Winter Solstive 380YE, there has been a haunting presence in the forests of Metri for example. Since the spirit (or spirits) took up residence incidents of banditry have plummeted in the area. Bandits, brigands, and cut throats who have not had the good sense to flee the area have been found torn to shreds by the inhabitants of the woods. Travellers using the road between Temeschwar and Vorota in Karov have spoken of being watched by half-seen figures under the trees. It is unsettling, but so far there are no reports of any honest travellers being accosted by whatever it is that lurks in the woods of Metri.

Temeschwar has not been attacked by Skathe - so far - but that does not mean the people are complacent. More to the point, the nature of the attacks against Sarvos and Holberg rankle with some of the citizens of Temeschwar. This is a clear attack against the League itself, not just two of its cities. Such an affront should not be tolerated. Something should be done.

Those Imperial Bourse Seats situated within League territory should be returned to the League as National Bourse Seats.

Erasmo di Tassato, League Assembly, Spring 383YE, Upheld (70-66).

Counting coins

  • The representative of a collection of guilds has suggested that the League could simply buy a seat from the Senate
  • There is extensive discussion of the manner in which League appointments via the Bourse take place.

During the Spring Equinox 383YE a judgement was brought before the League National Assembly which proved to be contentious. It passed by a narrow margin - and without a greater majority. While it was not widely circulated, it did come to the attention of some of the priests of the League. It came at a propitious time - at a point where the attention of many Imperial citizens was focused on finding ways to strengthen their nation. It also came in the wake of a bold proposal by Oksana Lyava Pinavora and her loose affiliation of patriotic boyars and merchants.

Still nothing might have come of it but for the recent attacks on the dignity of Sarvos and Holberg - attacks that even in frigid Temeschwar are easy to see as attacks against the League as a nation. A Merchant-Prince named Alexi di Temeschwar of the Guild of Lanterneers has examined the Varushkan proposal, and put forward a proposal of her own which has caught the interest of several of her fellow Merchant-princes. The broadsheets are full of the proposition, and it has seen some discussion as far afield as the salons of Sarvos and Holberg.

Alexi di Temeschwar works in the main guild
building of the Guild of Lanterneers, Hanuri
in Temeschwar, should anyone wish to enter
into negotiation via Call Winged Messenger.

The loose conglomeration of guilds Alexi represents are prepared to offer 300 thrones to the treasury if the Imperial Senate relinquish the Fortress of Salt, then allocate the resource as a League national seat. Of course 300 thrones is not much compared to the price of a Bourse seat in these times, but that's just their contribution... they've put the purse up in the hope that other prominent League citizens will add to it, to the point where it tips the Senate's hand.

Furthermore, Alexi has approached the Constitutional Court to discuss the possibility of allowing the seat to be auctioned in the same manner as the Regario Dossier and the Master of the Mint. After some discussion, the Court confirm that such a thing is constitutionally possible. Crucially, at present the League appoints some Bourse positions by vote of business owner and some by auction to League citizens. It is clear that both options have a strong basis in League traditions, so a new position could be assigned either way with an appropriately worded Senate motion.

Merchant-princes from other cities are watching this discussion in the north with interest. If the Senate are prepared to countenance auctioning more Bourse seats to League citizens, then it has implications for the Arratan Gamble and the Great Pits of Ennerlund, if the new method proves sufficiently profitable. At the same time, however, some League merchant-princes are leery of this proposition. At the moment, the well-worn path for appointing the holders of League Bourse seats is the vote of the business owners of the cities. A shift away from this traditional method is rife with potential for corruption and abuse - one need only look at the way the Brass Coast elect their senators for a sobering example of how this might turn out.

Alexi believes that a clear statement from the League National Assembly might help clarify the feeling of the nation as a whole. To be successful such a statement would need a greater majority, and lay out clearly whether the nation would look favourably on a general change to open auction for the Bourse appointment method of the League, or whether they prefer that the decision be left in the hands of the prime stakeholders of the nation.

In theory these plans have been thrown into disarray by the disappearance of the Imperatrix - relinquishment requires ratification by the Throne - but the Guilds of Temeschwar are nothing if not patient. In time, they reason, there will be a Throne again, and the Temeschwari desire to own the Fortress of Salt is unlikely to diminish. Indeed, this might even constitute the perfect time to attempt such a thing, since claiming the Imperial Throne often requires a great deal of political support.

Recognition of Ratibor of Temeschwar as a truly virtuous man and Exemplar of Ambition.

Regina Alcee Caeli Salvatici von Temeschwar, Recognition, Ambition Assembly, Spring 379YE, 72-0

The Thousand Torches

  • In a time when cities of the League are under attack, the example of Boyar Ratibor of Temeschwar seems particularly relevant
  • An inspiration memorial for Ratibor could gather a sizeable congregation, and might provide other benefits
  • There is disagreement among the Bishops of Temeschwar as to the prime virtue of Ratibor - Ambition or Vigilance

One of the most famous children of Temeschwar is certainly Boyar Ratibor, famous for his typically straightforward and ruthless solution to the problems posed by the criminal gangs that once ruled the city. Ratibor's reign over the city was characterised by bold decisions such as this, and many historians believe it was his example that helped set the city on the path to where it is today. During the Summer Solstice 379YE the general assembly recognised Ratibor as an exemplar of Ambition. This raised a few eyebrows at the time - for many citizens of Temeschwar Ratibor is better known for his Vigilance than his Ambition - but having someone many Temeschwari consider the founder of the modern city recognised in this fashion is an honour nonetheless. His example was cited several times during the purge that saw the resurgent vyig criminal organisation driven out of first Sarvos and then the rest of the League later that same year.

Since his recognition there has been comparatively little movement on the matter of Ratibor, which rankles some of the prouder bishops of Temeschwar. This dissatisfaction has been slowly growing, exacerbated by the presence of the Tomb of Empress Giselle in the city. It does not sit right with some of them that an Empress many see as fundamentally foreign - for all that she was a citizen of the League she never made any secret of the fact that Temeschwar was a distant second to Sarvos in her heart - receives higher honour than a man now recognised as an example for the virtuous. It is not as if his resting place is unknown - as per his will his bones were interred in a stone mausoleum beneath Ratibor's Gate - the old prison that now serves as offices for the civil service in the city.

There are plenty of reasons for the people of Temeschwar to be thinking of Ratibor now. With the attack on Sarvos, and the destruction of Holmauer Park it is clear that the cities of the League cannot afford to be complacent. There are signs that the Vyig - or a similar organisation - are on the rise again. Angry citizens riled up by the Imperial Synod wrecked both Lorenzo's Great Game and the Legacy of Vigilance. The forests of Metri remain accurséd. Indeed, there are plenty of reasons to be looking to the example of Ratibor.

A Suitable Honorific

  • An inspirational memorial requires a dose of true liao.
  • Moving the civil service out of Ratibor's Gate and re-purposing it as a temple would cost 20 wains of white granite and 40 Crowns, and create an Imperial title.
  • Turning the Red Tower from a grain store into a shrine would cost 16 wains of white granite and 32 Crowns, and create an Imperial title
  • Consecrating one of the gates of Temeschwar would require no additional resources but would not create an Imperial title.

With that in mind, Beagan Locular di Temeschwar has put forward a proposal that an inspirational memorial be raised in honour of Ratibor, consecrated with True Liao. The obvious candidate would be Ratibor's Gate where his bones currently lie - but that would mean relocating the civil service offices there which would prove quite disruptive and would need new premises to be found. There are two obvious alternatives however. The Red Tower stands near the heart of the old city and is the only remaining part of Ratibor's palace still standing. It is currently used as a grain store, but it would be comparatively simple matter to move the supplies there to another location. There are also the gates of Temeschwar - symbolic of Ratibor's best known act, the casting out of the Vyig. Either the Gate of Ambition or the Gate of Vigilance would be an excellent inspirational resting place for Ratibor's bones.

Moving the civil service out of the prison, and re-purposing it as a temple dedicated to Ratibor's name, would be expensive. It would require a Senate motion, and the expenditure of 20 wains of white granite, and 40 crowns to refurbish the building and find new offices for the civil service. Once it were consecrated however, the temple would provide 10 liao and 20 votes in the Synod to the priest chosen to oversee it - and the enthusiastic Temeschwari congregation it would surely attract.

Adapting the Red Tower would be nearly as effective. It would require 16 wains of white granite, 32 crowns, and could be achieved with either a Senate motion or a Imperial Wayleave. This would likewise attract a large congregation, giving the priest chosen to oversee it 9 liao and 18 votes in the Synod once it were consecrated.

Consecrating one of the gates would be even more straightforward - in theory it would not require a Senate motion or Wayleave at all. Any priest could "simply" use a dose of true liao to consecrate one of the gates in Ratibor's name. This would not create an Imperial title, or attract a congregation, but would still serve to inspire the people of Temeschwar.

The Question of Virtue

  • Historical research, or the efforts of the Heirs of Lepidus, could uncover facts that might help the League Bishops determine Ratibor's virtue.

While the assembly of Ambition claims Ratibor, not all the bishops of Temeschwar agree. To many he is known best for his Vigilance and it is stories of his ruthless suppression of criminals and political opponents that most interest them. They look to the League national assembly for guidance.

The Bishops of the League agree with the General Assembly that the boyar Ratibor is a true example of Ambition whose vision helped transform a Varushkan town into a proud city of commerce. We send {named priest} with 25 doses of liao to spread the word of his accomplishments throughout Temeschwar.

Synod Mandate, League National Assembly

The Bishops of the League disagree with the General Assembly. Boyar Ratibor is a true example of Vigilance whose commitment to the safety of his people transformed a Varushkan town into a secure city whose citizens were protected from threats internal and external alike. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to spread the word of his accomplishments throughout Temeschwar.

Synod Mandate, League National Assembly

Both of these mandates are in competition with each other - if both are raised then the one that achieves the greatest margin will be the one that is enacted. Assuming, of course, that it achieves a greater majority thanks to the influence of the Wisdom assembly and the sword scholars. Whichever decision the assembly makes will end the argument about Ratibor's inspiration for the time being.

Assuming the discussion is resolved one way or another, the creation of an inspirational tomb in the city dedicated to the Boyar of a Thousand Torches is likely to have a significant immediate effect on the city and perhaps the League as a whole. Ratibor's ambition is likely to inspire the people of the League to consider how best they might improve their cities in the coming months, while Ratibor's vigilance is likely to focus their efforts on ways that their cities can better be protected by enemies within and without.

An Alternative Course

There is another course of action proposed not by a Bishop but by a (relatively) humble priest from the village of Tornvale in Vargat. Yermolay Lopakin von Temeschwar is a dedicate of Wisdom who, despite his humble origins, is nonetheless respected as a theological scholar and historian. He has suggested that rather than exacerbating the debate between those who view Ratibor as Ambitious and those who see him as more Vigilant in nature, a wise person might take the opportunity to uncover out more of the facts before continuing. Ratibor after all is a pre-Imperial figure; while he is known for one or two significant acts his role as an inspirational figure can presumably only be enhanced by learning more about him.

The obvious way to secure more information about Ratibor would be to engage the Department of Historical Research. Yermolay suggests that the Minister of Historical Research, Advisor on the Vallorn, or Imperial Advisor for the Feni could arrange this on behalf of the people of Temeschwar.

There is another alternative however. The Heirs of Lepidus have already undertaken a preliminary study of Ratibor. While they had barely begun their investigation before moving on to other project, they could perhaps be encouraged to continue their work. While they are a Highborn chapter, their commitment to scholarship and the histories of the exemplars and paragons is beyond reproach. A suitably worded statement of principle in any assembly - provided it received a greater majority - would be sufficient to encourage them to complete their notes and present their findings to a suitable individual. The obvious choices to review their findings would be the Cardinal of Ambition, Vigilance, or the Way; the Minister of Historical Research; or the Senator for Temeschwar - as determined by the statement of principle.

With concrete information about the life of Ratibor, the priests of the League could then make an informed decision about how to proceed.

The Pilgrims of Mellfort

Bishop Beagan is not the only one in Temeschwar thinking on matters spiritual. With the Highborn largely blamed for the curses on Sarvos and Holberg, some enterprising individuals have been talking about the ancient ruins at Mellfort. The fort is said to have been in ruins when the first Varushkan settlers came here, a likely casualty of the wars between the people of Terunael and the orcs although some scholars think it was actually destroyed during conflict between the Ushka and the ancestors of the Navarr.

Throughout its history, people who have spent long periods of time here have reported strange dreams of sorrow, loss and bittersweet remembrance. Unlike many such 'accursèd places' it gained a reputation for strangeness, rather than terror or fear, and in the early years of the Empire became something of a place of pilgrimage for those suffering grief or regret. As the power of the White City in far-off Bastion waxed however, interest in Mellfort waned.

In early 377YE the fortress was partially refitted to serve as a base of operation for groups of bravos hunting bandits and brigands preying on Temeschwari trade. The defences are not sufficient to qualify Mellfort as a fortification, but they have already helped reduce outlawry throughout the territory. They also drew attention to its peculiar aura, and the strange effects it can have on those who spend time in meditation amid the ruins. The dreams are reminders of loss, it is true, but according to those who make the pilgrimage to the place they are not harmful. Rather, they have reportedly helped those who have experienced deep sorrows overcome their grief and gain the strength to move on their their lives.

Cavern beneath Mellfort, Locul, Temeschwar11:30 Saturday10 people30 minutes
Accessibility: Combat unlikely or contained; visibility may be poor; some walking involved

With increased interest in the effect of the aura there, questions have been raised about its provenance and actual nature. There have been plenty of essays written about the hill in the past, but they are largely contradictory including claims that it is the lair of a sleeping sovereign, the site of a bodily ascent into the Labyrinth of an unknown paragon (or perhaps the Sentinel who is often credited with the construction of the original fort), a haunting by the ghost of a benevolent (or malevolent depending on who one asks) healer, a durable consecration created by an unknown priest centuries before liao was discovered or the Way was being practiced; a regio connected to Kaela or Wise Rangara, and dozens of even stranger theories.

Interest in the area has increased recently, and there have been clashes between those who want to exploit the site for monetary gain, and those more interested in its spiritual qualities. The League egregore has identified a conjunction of the Sentinel Gate at half-past eleven that apparently leads to a hitherto unexplored cavern beneath the hill itself - perhaps this may represent an opportunity to uncover more details about what exactly is going on at Mellfort and how it might help the people of Temeschwar.