The Lybweg ([θʌ:li:b:veɪg])
The Lybweg is a broad, stone road connecting Bezélan and Shevezz City. It was constructed after the First Destruction as part of a trade and non-aggression pact agreed at the Table of Accord (Skip to History). It is the only safe way to approach either territory, without being seen to breach the peace accord. However, the right of passage was only permitted to everyday citizens and traders. Anyone associated with the leadership - either directly or simply as a worker for a leader - had to have a prior, written agreement before crossing the border. As an example, Mia - a stablekeep at Timri would be permitted to cross in either direction. However, Farynna and Klor'asq, despite being servants of the Crystal Circle, would be required to obtain - and provide - proof of authorisation. This is because they served the Circle, who advised the King, therefore they would be seen as involved in the leadership structure of Qal'ath.
A Construction Demonstrating ChangeThere were only two physical signs of the ending of the war of the First Destruction - the Parchments of Accord and the Lybweg. Thus, this route was itself a symbol - and a daily reminder of the choice of both kingdoms to cease their war, ushering in a new era of relative peace and co-dependent prosperity.
Purpose / Function
The Lybweg (leeb-vayg) is a wide road, originally constructed out of white stone from Crescent Cliffs (the portion inside Qalathian territory) and dark grey rock from the Skarrka Bykla mountains in Shevezzi territory. It is the only route for authorised visitors and traders to pass between Bezélan and Shevezz City. It is technically neutral territory, except for the portion entering Shevezz City and that beyond the gate of King's Yield Farms, which is Qalathian land. Users of the Lybweg declare their intentions to be non-aggressive simply by walking or riding along it, as well as their openness to being challenged by either realm. Anyone known to be of the other's land approaching by any other means would be presumed aggressive and apprehended, possibly to await investigation and trial.
While the Lybweg was originally constructed of equal portions of stone from both Shevezz and Qal'ath, its repairs have been carried out ad hoc and not with strict adherence to using the same stone either. But apart from that, no other alterations have been made to its route or composition. Both realms needed to maintain its integrity to ensure a flow of (authorised) goods and services therefore, even with Carnael II's laxness and laziness, Qal'ath's portion was still kept in a good state of repair.
In the aftermath of The First Destruction, the temporary ceasefire between Qal'ath and the then Kingdom of Shevezz was reached in order that both sides could regroup and crown new monarchs. While that process was almost instantaneous in Qal'ath, the same was not true of Shevezz, where division over the successor caused friction for some time, as the rightful claim to the throne was in doubt. The previous King had no offspring, nor siblings, which led many to scour family lines and cross-matching such documents with the Register of Deaths to identify those who should, theoretically at least, be alive.So, both territories would strengthen their borders and check any and all visitors arriving at either capital city. Both casual visitors (such as tourists or researchers) and traders needed certificates to enter Bezélan or Shevezz City and that authorisation had to be renewed every month (agreed at 27 days, or dagà in Foyiitùn).
But diplomacy was still ongoing between the two nations and the then-advisors to the King of Qal'ath were given the authority to speak to the equivalent ranking officials of Shevezz. They reasoned that to send the King would give the impression that they would be imposing their will during a time of unrest for Shevezz. Thus a final peace agreement was reached that acknowledged both realms were a danger to each other due to their proximity.
Peace in StoneIn order to facilitate an easy monitoring method that both maintained strong borders, yet give the impression of openness and cooperation, the Lybweg was constructed. A massive highway stretching from Bezélan to Shevezz City, it would be the sole approach to the other's territory not deemed to be aggressive. Initially, a white-painted, high fence was erected either side of the route while the actual road itself took nearly ten Ana (by the Qalathian measure, by the grace of Shevezz) to fully construct. The agreement stated that the stone used in its construction was to be sourced, half from within Qal'ath's borders and half within Shevezz's. Both had to be different types of stone so that The Lybweg's design reflected the cooperation between the two nations.
Chronicler's Note: Managers of the The Vault in Bezélan also claim this was to ensure equal spread of the cost of repairs and stone replacement. This is the source of some irritation as Qal'ath's half was uphill, meaning more needed replacing thanks to carts, careless horse-riders and when some slipped during heavy rainfall. They also claim Shevezzi traders use more mechanical transportation devices, which have a tendency to uproot more stone than the simpler carts and wagons of the Qalathii ones. I cannot corroborate - or disprove - this theory.
While authorisation to enter the territory (with the entrances defined above) needed prior authorisation, there was no restriction on who could use it in between those two points 1. Thus any visitors to eastern Savàni would come to "walk the Freeway", purchase from merchants along the way and take in the view of the Grànousii-an-Ormàszil Ocean to west of the Lybweg.
Visiting Bezélan and ShevezzBoth realms encouraged tourists, to the degree that it didn't cause unnecessary pressure on the citizens there. The main sticking point with visiting was proving that you were neither Qalathian nor Shevezzi, for if you were, you would need the certificate already mentioned. Some nations, such as the Byantē Alliance had "Citizenship Documents" but other more minor people groups had no need for such scripts. Foyii visitors to Shevezz (for they were already allowed in Qal'ath) usually brought an Aszilmìs with them, as the use of such creatures (or familiars) was not an art taught or encouraged within Qal'ath's borders 2.
Accidental ExclusionsWhile Qal'ath's loose border control allowed almost every race through except the Shevezii, the same could not be said of the now-Queendom. This has led to a number of accidental trials and exclusions of the true minority groups and clans. Nearly all of these resulted in apologies and policy changes on the part of the Shevezii, who acknowledged that diversity enhanced the richness of knowledge and should therefore be encouraged.
Permanent ExclusionsThe following groups were excluded permanently with little or no chance for any individual being or creature from their race-nations:
- "Speaking Skàlkyn" - known as "Dragons" to most outside of Shevezii. This did not mean that large lizards or even dragon-like creatures never entered Shevezz, however. Such were, under observation or guard, encouraged for research and monitoring purposes, albeit for a limited period of time. The ban was on those who could - audibly or mentally - communicate with Personæ (Paràntii). This was enacted as a direct response to the "White Dragon of the First Destruction".
- Deenfeiss Leen Kyadii: While not originally banned, following the failed attack of the Frostplain Kyadii on Bezélan in 545AFD, Shevezz decided to close its borders to new visitors or citizens. Existing citizens and authorised traders or visitors were not excluded in this act.
- Dwarves: While publicly available information on the reasons for their ban is somewhat thin, chatter in the inns and social quarters of the city indicates an influx of Dwarven miners seeking to dig into the Skarrka Bykla mountains or the Rykinoraz peak without permission. As that range supplies all of Shevezz's needs for ores, gemstones and other materials, and is the only such mountain range inside their borders, they had to protect it against the Dwarves. Their ban was intended to be temporary, but as the edict added an Ana for each year a Dwarf was captured or ejected from the range, it has never reached its end date. The reasons for this dwarven desperation have yet to be uncovered.
- Though, unsurprisingly, it was constantly watched by observers on both sides and patrolled either by official forces from both sides or hired militia, in casual wear to encourage the non-aggression pact.
- Jakarrn and Claris were known to have, or have had, an Aszilmìs (or a Blàmìs). While there is no record of any Authorised Mage possessing a familiar or sentient companion, a lack of evidence did not logically conclude a lack of said creature. And the least said about the proliferation of the Unauthorised Mages the better.