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Free Cities of Kho'as

It ain't much, but we built it and we'll die for it.

More a loose coalition of settlements whose main common trait is a sense of independence and freedom, the Free Cities of Kho'as are a major faction in the new world. While having no official ruling body, the myriad of settlements who call the frontier their home at the very least pay lip service to the three great cities; Yrille, Presson, and the most influential city of Nova Liber .   Many villages and townships have dotted the continent of Kho'as, with many still standing to the current day, but in the form of ruins and long burned out houses. A reminder to those who would seek to make a new life in this harsh land. The settlements who have withstood the test of time, and have not only survived but thrived are those who had the combination of a bountiful and defensive starting point, and a copious amount of luck. The first of these fortunate communities was the grand city of Nova Liber, followed by Presson and then Yrille. These once small settlements, now bustling metropolises, are the main power brokers in the region of Kho'as known as the frontier.    

Nova Liber

Nova Liber being situated on the Golden River, has lent it possibly the most valuable defensive position in the frontier with the only way of assaulting the city would be a massive naval undertaking. Along with this natural barrier to invasion, being based in the middle of the Golden River allows Nova Liber to have a sizable economy due to the rivers importance as both a major trade route and a highway into the heart of the continent. Along with the city proper, Nova Liber also has expansions on either side of the river. With these expansions, the frontier city can capitalize on land trade routes on either side of the river further adding to the coffers of the merchants.    


Yrille is by far the economic superpower of the frontier, even eclipsing Nova Libers' powerful geography. The simple reason for this dominance in the economic sector is due to a few factors; Silver, Geography, and shrewd diplomacy. Early in its history the founders of Yrille found that the clifftop position of their settlement was an ideal spot to exploit the caves dotting the cliffsides full of precious metals. Chief among these precious metals was the resource of silver which with time became not only the main export of the city, but became a major global supplier rivaling the production of even old world mines. Located on the western bluffs of the Carpathian Plateau , Yrille along with most other long loved settlements on the frontier has a very easy position to defend which played no small part in how a city as wealthy as Yrille has survived for so long. However by far the most valuable asset that contributed to the long term survival of Yrille was the willingness to interact and make treaties with the colonial powers of the old world. Having the leverage of an abundance of natural resources and a position that would be costly to assault, Yrille over the years has made many a treay and charter with other frontier cities and old world powers alike. Most notable in recent years is the closeness and cooperation that Yrille has had with the merchants of The Serene Republic of Xenice , who have increasingly made headway in establishing integrating themselves into Yrillian trade and politics.    


Located in the northeastern part of the Carpathian Plateau, Presson is almost on the very border of what's considered the frontier and the wild and untamed lands of the interior of Kho'as. This proximity to the heart of the continent has tempered both the city of Presson and its people into staunch warriors and survivalists who value their independence almost as much as they value their warrior heritage.
Similar to Yrille, the city of Presson is located near the edge of the Carpathian Plateau although not on the cliffs that make of its boundaries like Yrille. The placement of the city at this position was very much intentional as it allowed the city to have more plentiful access to the more fertile interior of the plateau, and while it may take a days more travel it is possible to harvest minerals and metals from the cliffside caves. However, while the city of Yrille was blessed with an abundance of precious metals such as silver and tin, Pressons' main resource it has access to are deep iron ore veins located in the cliffs that divide the plateau from the rest of the frontier. Along with plentiful iron deposits on the cliffs, there is also lucrative mining in the hills and mountainous areas to the south of Presson due to high deposits of iron and copper albeit more dangerous due to those areas being hotspots for banditry and local wildlife congregations. It is this combination of circumstances that have molded the populace of Presson into the hardy folk they are at the present. This and the fact that Presson is one of the farthest inland settlements has led to a strong sense of independence and self reliance among the pressonian people.


There is no official head of the Free Cities with each settlement deferring to its own council or leader. However, these lesser forms of leadership do look to the settlement of Nova Liber for guidance and help when dealing with each other and more importantly other major kingdoms. While Nova Liber is the usual broker for a sizable portion of the frontiers' various settlements, those villages and towns that find themselves closer to the other major cities such as Yrille and Presson, look to them for that guidance role. This has created zones of control for each of the three great cities with smaller spaces in between which house those settlements that are remote or hidden enough that their names only come up in rumors and half truths.  

Nova Liber

The city of Nova Liber prides itself on how it has developed a multi structural bureaucratic system of governance where the common people have a voice in what goes on, but the final say lies with the high council of the city. This high council is made up of prominent members of the community which include: Well off merchants and guild leaders, older and prestigious families, religious leaders, and upstanding citizens from across the city. While the former are guaranteed a spot on the council due to their, usually self proclaimed, importance to the ongoing functions of the city, any regular citizen who wishes to participate must first gather popular support from their fellow commoners. This support comes in the form of local elections within each district of the city where each district can have up to 7 representatives, which are called Elected after a designated week of voting. Once present for a meeting, the council has an order of precedence where the more senior members lay out their proposals and talk about issues plaguing the city and the outside neighboring regions. This precedence continues all the way to the newest members, and while theoretically this allows every member to have a say in governance, the reality is that the speakers seat rarely makes its way to the last person.  


Yrille is an odd mix of the uniquely independent spirit of those who live on the frontier, and an admirable penchant to adapt and change when it is required. Unlike the high council of Nova Liber which concludes meetings behind closed doors. Yrille has a general assembly in which all citizens can participate in when it is in session. This allows every citizen from the humble workers and artisans to the wealthy merchants, to have a chance to voice any issues that affect the city. This is a more chaotic way of governance, but is effective in growing the bonds of the city and creating an identity of community that keeps trouble and crime to a minimum. With the general assembly there is also a position called Grand Elder , along with accompanying lesser versions of the rank called Elders. The Grand Elder is usually one of the oldest citizens within the city, and generally has been a very active member of the assemblies granting them considerable experience in dealing with with not only politics in Yrille, but also in interacting with their fellow citizens. The Grand Elder is the one who opens the general assemblies, usually with a proposal or issue of their own, and they are the ones to control the flow of conversation and reel in the more energetic and rowdy of the assembly so that no rash decisions are made. The lesser rank Elder, like the Grand Elder has the responsibility of calming the crowd and making sure the assembly goes smoothly by advising and giving guidance on certain topics. Traditionally there is one holder of the office of Grand Elder and up to 10 holders of Elder. On top of their duties advising the assemblies, the Grand Elder and Elders are the prime diplomats for the city and its interests. This works in the sense of each Elder would, by the time they hold their office, have decades of experience in politics and have the experience and wisdom to coolly deal with all but the most belligerent envoys.  


While the culture and mentality of Presson embodies the free spirt of the frontier more then any other settlement, it is extremely strange to outsiders that its governmental structure is the closest to the traditional idea of monarchy. While Presson unlike its sister cities on the frontier has a single leader who has complete legislative and judicial power, it rarely leaves the fate of the city in the hands of said individual. The individual who is the de facto leader of the city is called the Arch Executor, and while holding complete power in the city has traditionally overseen military affairs primarily. Only in extreme situations where the city finds itself in existential danger does the Arch Executor exercise full control over the city proper and the surrounding areas under its control. With the militaristic nature of the citizens of Presson, it is unsurprising that the civil structure is tied closely with that of military structure. Offices of bureaucrats and clerks are instead filled by military officers and logisticians. It is very much a top down system in Presson with city offices being awarded based on merit and military rank with officers working more civil positions being rotated out on a semi regular basis with their military counterparts. This allows the right people for the job while also letting officers get a short reprieve from the rigors of military life. The Arch Executor is at the top of this pyramid of military and civil duties, and while holding absolute power, they ultimately cannot govern the city without this system of military bureaucracy.


To say that the many people who call the frontier their home independent is at best a gross understatement. The original settlers of the frontier were those with either a sense of adventure and a fiery independence or commonly a criminal background. These traits made for a hardy people that value freedom and self choice above all else, but also a sense of exclusivity towards all but kin and neighbor. Not surprising that this exclusivity has led to the stagnation of deeper bonds forming between many of the settlements on the frontier. This lack of cohesion has led to a wild and lawless land in the vast majority of frontier land where banditry is prevalent with land routes in particular being a harrowing prospect for travel. On top of small time banditry, it is also a common occurrence for the city states of the frontier to raid and pillage their neighbors, and usually with the aid of local bandit groups and mercenaries so as to not provide suspicion. While the main city states of the area rarely participate in this form of rough diplomacy, they do however influence it through careful manipulations of supplies, commerce, and of course threats.


No one knows when the first settlements on the frontier declared independence from the major powers. What is known is that the attempt to integrate these far-flung towns into established areas met with violence. The towns and cities of the Free Cities battled the expeditions of the major powers for their freedom for at least a hundred years. While it has been bloody, they have kept the kingdoms of the old world at bay for now.

Freedom Demands Blood

"Fuck the Averians who think they are the betters of everyone, fuck the Remans who have sticks up their asses so deep that they might as well be a species of tree, and fuck the Hindens for just about everything you can think of and everything you can't."
-Attributed to Be'ill the Bow, Captain of the Expeditionary Guards of Nova Liber
Founding Date
5 AC
Political, Federation
Alternative Names
The Frontier Cities, Wildlands
Government System
Democracy, Direct
Power Structure
Economic System
Barter system
Subsidiary Organizations
Official Languages
Controlled Territories

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