Cities of Tirenia: Vanzenia

Population: 200,000. Vanzenia suffered massive casualties during the recent Carnevale Revolution, as well as the loss of an entire city district, which was first incinerated by dragonfire, and then destroyed when the previous dragon lord Morignus fell on it.

Dragon: Vanzenia is ruled by the red dragons. Morignus, the oldest and most powerful dragon in the world, was the instigator of the stealthy conquest of Tirenia. Recently, however, Morignus has perished and his daughter Gianetta has taken over power. She is an opportunistic schemer who was the leader of her father's secret police, but managed to take advantage of a populist uprising to become the new ruler.

Politics: Following the Carnevale Revolution, Vanzenia is now officially a republic. Gianetta the red dragon is the Principessa, and leader of the Signoria, the ruling council. Previously, Morignus had ruled as an absolute tyrant, and auctioned off government posts, effectively making the city a plutocracy. The transition is still incomplete.

Economics: Vanzenia has control of the majority of the sea lanes, which makes it the most important mercantile city in Tellaia. There are Vanzenian embassies in many foreign ports, some of which are have been reduced to imperial subjects in all but name. Vanzenia's rival on the sea routes is Staglia, but even so Vanzenia has almost a monopoly on sea trade. In addition, Vanzenia is home to many skilled luxury craftsmen, and the salt from the lagoon is an extremely valuable commodity. In a more recent development, a gnomish goldsmith called Giovanna Buoncastello has just invented a printing press; the economic and cultural ramifications of this are only just being seen.

Religion: Vanzenia has never been a particularly religious city, and has operated with very little oversight from the High Ordinarch. Its patron saint is San Teodoro the Dragon-Slayer, but his cult has been a political prop of the state. Recently, Santa Maria the child-saint instigated the Carnevale Revolution against Morignus and is generally believed to have killed him. Only a few know that she was in fact a devilish agent sent to corrupt the city! Vanzenia is also home to a large dwarvish population, who are very devout in following their own religion.

Law Enforcement:  Under Morignus, justice was a private rather than a public matter. There were city magistrates who would arbitrate disputes, but their arbitration was generally based on money rather than right and wrong. For the time being, the ruling council is acting as the new judiciary, using Sahelian mercenaries from the revolutionary army to maintain order until matters return to normal.

Military: Vanzenia's former contract with the Pennacchi Rossi (Red Plume) mercenaries is at end, after the mercenary company was all but destroyed during the revolution. Gianetta's consort Stefano di Benicio, a hero of the revolutin, is currently turning the citizen militia into a real city army. More mercenaries are being hired as well to supplement them. Gianetta intends to expand Vanzenia's territory inland, and has already taken control of nearby Padovia.

Cultural & Social: Carnevale is the most famous cultural ceremony in Vanzenia, a month-long masked debauch before the fasting of Lent. Collecting books has just become a major trend, as the printing press is now making this possible.

Esoteric: Vanzenia is closely connected to the realm of a Faerie Lady. La Luna Sognante combines the iconography traditionally associated with the Auromian moon goddess Sorellina and the love goddess Amora. She is the patron of lovers, dreamers and the night. The most powerful wizard in the city is Luigi il Turchino, who owes his sudden prominence to self-promotion and the patronage of the powerful di Benicio family rather than his own personal ability. In the poorer areas of the town, the sea-witch Madre Elena helps people in need. She is more powerful but less outspoken than the boastful Luigi.

Allies and Enemies: Vanzenia has been a naval enemy of Staglia for generations. Their recent inland expansion means they have alarmed the Tirenian League, who are currently gathering in Fiumenze to discuss the need to defend themselves against Vanzenia's imperialist agenda.

Image result for renaissance art venice
Image: The Doges' Palace and Piazza San Marco, Venice. Canaletto, c. 1725.

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