The centre of the Empire of Turelion, the Province of Turelion represents the boundaries of the kingdom Machestaro I originally ruled over before he began his war of conquest over the rest of Kelbonnar. Often referred to as ‘the Heart of the Empire’, the province has enjoyed far more benefits than the others, as much of the wealth of the Empire eventually ends up being housed within coffers and storerooms within its borders. Its elevated status above the others is also enforced by the fact that the Imperial capital Meltaro and the Imperial Court lie within its bounds, and it is often the only one of the Imperial Provinces that an Emperor will actually set foot in.
Like all provinces with the Empire of Turelion, the administration of the Province is overseen by a Satrap, who is theoretically responsible for management of all areas of Turelion. To aid them in this, the Satrap of Turelion Province has a staff of provincial officials and administrators who oversee the bureaucracy of all things, from the state of the road network to the taxes levied on fish imported to the province. However, Turelion Province, as the capital province of the Empire, is in the unique position of having the offices of The Imperial Bureau within its jurisdiction. This does not mean that the province has any authority over the Bureau, far from it as the Satrap technically reports into the Imperial Bureau, but the proximity of it means that Bureau officials are frequently called upon to aid in the transaction of provincial business, especially when a crisis is brewing. Though the relationship between the two is accepted to be for the best; after all it would not look good if the capital province of the Empire appeared to not be keeping its house in order, but the relationship is kept as quiet as possible, as it would not go down well if the other provinces were to officially be aware of the preferential treatment Turelion receives, but all are aware that the Imperial Bureau frequently takes some off the strain away from Turelion’s provincial staff.
Demography and Population
Of all of the provinces in the Empire, Turelion Province has the richest population per capita than anywhere else. This is because as the capital province, Turelion has consistently attracted wealthy individuals to move there so that they can be close to the Imperial court, with the hope that they may be admitted within that exclusive group of the most prestigious individuals in Imperial society. These individuals tend to be concentrated in and around the metropolitan area of the Imperial capital, Meltaro, but the affect of having so many more wealthy individuals in the province is felt far beyond the streets of the capital. The countryside for hundreds of miles around Meltaro is littered with the villas, manor houses and country properties of the Imperial elite, all of which have attached agricultural land that provides employment for thousands of people. Naturally there is a strong middle class in Turelion Province, many of whom are employed within the The Imperial Bureau or the Provincial administration, but there is also a large percentage of skilled crafts people that are counted amongst the middle class of Turelion. The presence of so many people with deep pockets in the province means that those with the right skills, jewellers, gold and silver smiths, artists and the like are all able to reap a tidy profit if they have the right skills. For the lower classes, though there are opportunities within Meltaro and within the large farming estates in the Plains of Gold, competition for any unskilled job is fierce. This coupled with the fact that the prices are so much higher in Turelion means that there are many who barely manage to make ends meet, and many more fall through the cracks into destitution. The poorest in the province’s society are pushed to the borders of the Kaldara desert, where lies the only land that can be bought there for a non-exorbitant price, though the soil is little more than desert sand. In order to maintain the illusion of prosperity and grandeur within the Imperial capital, the Meltaro and then Provincial authorities regularly round up any of the homeless population that they can find and drive them to the edge, and frequently far into the rolling sands of the Kaldara, where they no longer deemed to be a problem. Though many return to the towns of the Plains of Gold or to the streets of Meltaro, many die under the merciless sun. Despite the use of the Kaldara by the Provincial and Imperial authorities to hide the problems of deprivation that their inhabitants suffer like all other provinces, the desert is also home to a separate group of people, who call themselves the Ma’Jalis, who have perfected the art of desert survival. The Ma’Jalis are a people who once ranged across the whole western part of Turelion Province, long before Imperial establishment, but as Turelion grew in strength and power, the Ma’Jalis were pushed further and further down until they were confined to the sands of the Kaldara, where they have resided for nearly eight hundred years. Since their exile to the desert, little attention has been paid by the Provincial authorities to the Ma’Jalis, who are content to allow them to range amongst the dunes as they wish, provided they don’t cause any trouble.
Like all Imperial Provinces, Turelion has access to its own standing army of Provincial troops, who are dispersed across the province in garrisons, ready to be called upon as needs be. For the most part, these troops act as town and city guards and police forces for the areas they are stationed to. In times of crisis, the Satrap can mobilise units in the Provincial Army from their garrisoned stations to become mobile units that can be deployed were necessary. The Provincial Army has units of infantry, cavalry, artillery and Firewings at its disposal, as well as a dedicated naval force to protect its coasts. The Command Headquarters for Turelion’s Provincial army is in the Provincial Capital Ganbrell. Again, the Province’s unique position as the Capital Province means that it is expected that in the event of an emergency, the Provincial authorities will be able to call on the assistance of the Emperor’s personal military force, the Imperial Drakes to help bolster provincial forces that are struggling and bring their more highly trained, experienced and equipped soldiers to bear to crush any problematic issues or groups.
The Province of Turelion is in a curious position amongst all of the Imperial Provinces of having what is thought to be the lowest number of people who would refer to themselves as religious per capita, but the largest number of official events which have a religious element that take place there. This is because although the Imperial Church of Canthartism is highly regarded as the officially supported church of the Empire of Turelion , and there is a Church presence or element to almost all official events, very few people actually claim to be true adherents. For instance, the Emperor frequently attends official engagements or events with a heavy religious overtone, including an enormous monthly service that takes place in the Grand Canthartic Temple for the Imperial family, the court and well-to-do hangers on in Meltaro, where people of influence who are looking to be admitted into the circle of court actively fight for the chance to be in the same room as the Emperor and their courtiers. However, if one were to attend any other service held at the Grand Canthartic Temple, only a fraction of the congregation size would be seen. However, amongst the Imperial court and the upper ranks of society a trend has been growing for people to join groups that promote ideals and ideology that ranges from being entirely philosophical in nature, to pseudo-religious. More innocuous organisations include the Society for Philosophical Reasoning, which is a secular group that debates aspects of existence normally explained through theology; to the Cult of Zanato , a group named after a pre-imperial deity linked to pleasure and debauchery, that began life as a dining society for wealthy socialites, which has morphed into a true cult in both name and deed, even going so far as to institute a hierarchy of priest-like officials. Having said that, the Imperial Church has far more adherents amongst the rural population, particularly amongst the workers who labour on the vast estates of the province’s wealthy citizens, and the Church has always been engaged in pastoral and mission activity to the marginalised communities who dwell on the edge of the Kaldara. Additionally, the Ma’Jalis of the Kaldara follow their own faith, whose adherents are seldom found beyond the desert sands.
Agriculture & Industry
Whilst the whole south of the province, the area of the Kaldara desert is impossible to cultivate, the northern parts of the province, within the Plains of Gold are heavily farmed. The higher percentage of affluent individuals among the population of Turelion, along with their desire for more luxury goods and foodstuffs, means that the majority of the crops cultivated in the province are geared to meeting this demand. The vast country estates, owned by the Imperial and Provincial elite are widely regarded for growing luxury fruit crops such as figs, quinces, grapes and other soft fruits, and produce what is thought of some of the finest beef in the Empire. Though some land is given over to the production of more staple crops such as wheat and barley, most of Turelion’s supplies of these foodstuffs, are imported from other provinces, Ferio and Ultaru in particular. The presence of so many vineyards in the Province means that there is a thriving viticulture scene, with many landowners choosing so give over at least a portion of their estates to the production of wine. Turelite Sparkling Wine produced in the chalk foothills of the Heavenspire Mountains is particularly sought after for consumption in the influential houses and courts of the capital, the Province and far beyond. The brandy distilled in the town of Phintellion on the province’s eastern coast is also highly sought after. There is no true industry beyond the agricultural in the province, though there is an abundance of crafts people, of all sorts, that cater to the many wealthy patrons that look to have the finest objects, clothes, adornments and furnishings to adorn themselves and their properties.
Trade & Transport
As the centre of the Empire of Turelion, the Province of Turelion is blessed with an extensive, well built and well maintained road network that snakes out from the Province’s two main hubs, the Provincial capital of Ganbrell and the Imperial capital Meltaro. Every city, town and settlement that lies within the area of the Plains of Gold is connected to this network, as well as all of the port towns that have been constructed on the coasts to facilitate trade into Turelion. The only part of the Province that is not fully connected to the road network is the area of the Kaldara and the communities that border the edge of the desert. This is because there are no major towns or settlements within the area of the Kaldara, nor are there any ports on its coasts. It was not deemed worth the expense by the Provincial authorities to fully connect the endless miles of sand and dunes to the road network, as there was no clear profit in it. The Province is also the centre of the maritime trading network for Kelbonnar, with almost all of the major sea trading routes including one of Turelion’s ports on its routes. There are also a number of Firewing ports scattered across the Province, to enable rest stops and changes along the air routes and ensure that important Imperial or Provincial business can be conducted quickly, and that the wealthiest members of society can travel in style and comfort without having to experience the exhaustion of travelling by road.
Because of the overall richer demographic of the province, Turelion has the largest number of school and higher education establishments of any province in the Empire of Turelion . Every town has a place where the residents can send their children, though the high fees associated with these schools means that attendance is limited to middle class and higher families who can afford it. There are also a large number of well-regarded ‘Masters and Mistresses of Education’ whose services are employed by the most affluent members of society to give their children a private education of the highest standard. In addition, the province has several higher education institutions linked to the Imperial system within its borders, namely the Imperial College of Administration and the Imperial Strategic College who train people for posts within the administrative corps of the Imperial and Provincial systems, and train officers for the Imperial and Provincial military forces respectively. There are also a number of independent Houses of Learning across Turelion, which are private institutions that provide higher education to those that can afford it in the arts, humanities and sciences, which is aimed more at those who have a natural intellectual curiosity, rather than the more directed approach of the Imperial institutions. The most highly regarded amongst Turelion’s Houses of Learning is Hapsburg House, which is credited with producing some of the greatest intellectual minds to have lived within the Empire.
The Heart of the Empire
The Capital Province, The Imperial Province, Heart of the Empire
Turelites, Capitals Snubs (derogatory)
Official State Religion
Related Ranks & Titles