The Independent City-State of Kanaan
The Independent City-State of Kanaan is the largest and most prosperous city on the Tradewinds Coast, and is the center of all economic activity in the region. After the people’s revolution, Kanaan became an economic powerhouse, acting as a conduit for region-wide trade. This position was not to last, however, as many long-established trade routes became increasingly dangerous, due to a rapid increase in dangerous wildlife populations. The costs of lost, late, or damaged shipments, as well as increased caravan guard fees weighed heavily on overland trade groups. In addition, foul weather and increased numbers of pirates made oversea trade equally dangerous. The economic system of Kanaan is still under great stress, and to make matters worse, political and social unrest threaten to destabilize the entire state.
Recently, in the midst of the economic decline, the leader of the Mage’s Guild, went missing, leaving no notice of his departure. As the level of trade declined and Kanaan sank deeper into depression, the leader of the Fighter’s Guild sought to lay blame on the disappearance of the Archmage, stating that he and his kind were deserters, jumping ship at the first signs of trouble, who never cared for or boosted the city’s economy in any way, and in all probability were working against the city and planning it’s downfall.
These words led to a growing distrust of all arcane spellcasters among the general population, then to widespread intolerance and even hatred of anyone even suspected of being a magic-user. Magic shops were raided and publicly-known sorcerers and spellcasters attacked by mobs of frenzied people, driven by their illogical fear and hatred, fueled by their feelings of helplessness in the face of poverty and sickness. The mania became so prevalent that even the city guards began enforcing the general anti-magic sentiment as law, mostly as a way to put an end to the unrest, which was beginning to get out of hand. Most arrests and executions (usually public hangings) are conducted outside of the city’s loose legal framework, and usually just to periodically satiate the public’s desire for the apparent control of ‘evil spellcasters’.
For the past few hundred years, Kanaan, and the surrounding coastal region has been operating on its own self-centered timescale, which begins with the founding of Kanaan and the Imperial Age (IA), and continues on into the Age of Reformation (AR). For example, the revolution occurred in 462 IA, which is 462 years after the founding of the Empire, and the Age of Reformation began the following year, which would be 463 IA, or 1 AR (though one would very rarely see the IA timescale used past 462). The beginning of the economic downturn is generally regarded to have occurred in 238 AR, and the current year is 245 AR. Any date prior to the founding of Kanaan is generally denoted by PIA (Pre-Imperial Age) the number of years hence. Serious historians have their own pre-empire timescale that is far more in depth and detailed, but knowledge and understanding of this timescale is generally restricted to high-level academics and historians.
Founding (1 IA)
Kanaan, as well as the surrounding region, has been inhabited for thousands of years prior to the beginning of the Imperial Age, but knowledge of this time period is generally restricted to high-level academics and historians (see Tradewinds Prehistory). The official ‘founding’ of Kanaan took place in the year 1 IA, when the eponymous monarch, Emperor Sam’Lera Kan’An I, rose to power. During this period, the name ‘The Empire of Kanaan’ literally referred to the Emperor, and was so named to show that the empire belonged to Emperor Kan’An. The difference in spelling between the name of the emperor and of the state is due to dialect translations between the royal dialect and the regional common dialect. The royal translators thought that it would be easier for ‘commoners’ to understand the name if the spelling were simplified.
The Imperial Age (1-462 IA)
The rule of the imperial dynasty of Kan’An continued after its initial formation for 462 years, and spanned the lives of 13 emperors. The last of them, Emperor Cha’awé Kan’An XIII, in the interest of preserving the security of his vast and unwieldy empire, raised tribute rates (a poorly-designed flat tax type system) as well as trade tariffs higher than they had ever been before. This generated a huge population of working poor, and shrunk the middle class so dramatically that it was almost nonexistent, while the nobility, which had always had their place at the emperor’s side, stayed as wealthy as ever. This state of living was intensely unpleasant for the people of Kanaan, and in addition, they believed that these policies were hurting Kanaan’s trade system, which they knew was the only way to keep the empire alive. So, the people conspired to overthrow the Emperor, and so they did, led by the Guild of Fighters and their leader, Nalin Ereft.
Revolutionary Period (462 IA – 1 AR)
p((.When designing the new government, the people of Kanaan, due mainly to their long-held distrust of monarchs, chose to distribute power among a large number of leaders that would faithfully represent the wills of the people they represented. It was chosen that the leaders of the existing trade guilds would form a High Council to rule over the newly-formed Independent City-State of Kanaan.
This new government immediately put new tribute laws and trade tariffs into place, specifically designed to support a system of free trade that would change Kanaan from a crippled monarchy into a powerful and prosperous trade empire.
The Golden Age (1-238 AR)
During Kanaan’s ‘Golden Age’, the trade empire exploded, and vast amounts of money were poured through the city, due mainly to its extremely low trade tariffs, and generally commerce-friendly legal system. Businesses and trades of all kinds proliferated, and the city’s population followed suit. The city walls were periodically expanded to accommodate and protect the city’s growing population, giving rise to the city’s current multi-tiered state. The demand for more docks led to a council-funded construction of a massive new dock district, build atop a huge stone cliff cut straight into the bedrock. Dozens of new piers were constructed and attached to this superstructure, and oversea trade began to overshadow overland trade. This, as well as the expansions of the city walls, led to the council-funded construction of the bay bridge, to allow expedited overland travel to the northern coastal regions, as well as to provide increased protection for the waters of the bay.
The Age of Unrest (238-Present)
Places of Interest
Magic p((. Anyone witnessed using arcane magic (or possily even divine magic) is likely to be scorned by most, feared by some, and attacked or reported by others. All around the city, one may find signs reading ‘no magic use permitted’, or ‘no mages allowed’ above the doors of inns, pubs, and the like. It may be assumed that 35% of all individuals and businesses are vehemently opposed to magic, more so in the middle class (+25%), and less so in the lower and upper class districts (-25%, as the upper class tend to favour the luxury afforded to them by expensive magical services, and are often clever enough to find personal profit in any conflict, while the lower class all too familiar with street violence, and are too busy being poor to worry about the political stirrings of the higher-ups).
77% Human p((. 14% Dwarven p((. 10% Gnome/Halfling p((. 4% Elf p((. 4% Half-Elf p((. 1% Other Races (Half-Orc, Aasimar, etc.)
The City of Kanaan and its residents are very proud of their system of government, as it is one of the few even remotely democratic systems in the region. The city-state is governed by a council of chief guild members, each elected as a representative of any given guild, while each guild represents a given trade, craft, or service. There are about 25 guilds with representatives on the high council, but there are scores of other guilds that lack representation, but are still considered to be valid guilds that can petition the high council for political action. However, there are some guilds that are not considered to be legitimate, and some are even considered to be illegal assemblies, though legal action is rarely pursued, unless there is potential for political gains. One such guild is the Sewer Worker’s Guild, which is sort of a euphemism for a guild of smugglers, thieves, and black market traders that operate out of the Undercity, which is generally only accessible through the sewers, hence the name.
The High Council
Celestial Clockwork: Kanaan’s planet has a year of 360 days, split into 12 months of 30 24 hour days each. The planet also has two moons, Moon A and Moon B. Moon A is more massive than Moon B (roughly the same mass as the earth’s moon, and orbiting at the same radius) and Moon B orbits at a greater radius than Moon A. Moon A’s orbit is 40 days long, while Moon B’s orbit is 72 days long.
Due to the planet having two moons, the tides have the potential to be extremely high or extremely low when the moon’s orbits synchronize on the same or opposite side of any given point on the planet.
Religion: There are many religons practiced in Kanaan, but one of the largest and most influential is the group that worships the tides and the sea. This group’s god is often referred to as ‘The Drowned God’, but the god’s followers tend to opt for a less macabre name. The Drowned God himself is often the object of worship, but he is merely a representative of the power of the tides and the sea. He is a mythological figure who is said to have been very powerful, and able to raise or quell storms at will, raise and lower the tides, and perform other marine miracles.