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Ardivent--Arena 46

The seaport of Ardivent was founded many centuries ago as a route for the Great Northern Trade route out of Alastari going west. Begun as little more than a cluster of shacks along the piers, it slowly grew into a bustling town which was then christened Wi'iek, for the merchant who opened the first permanent store there.

Wi'iek was a quick, enterprising and thrifty merchant who literally turned around ideas about trade. He began the concept of double-entry bookkeeping, enabling him to keep a constant jump on his competitors; he opened a private bank for the city to counter the influx of foreign moneys, and kept a firm grip on the local harbor, creating a series of fees and tariffs on imported and exported goods. For many years, he virtually owned the town and most of the surrounding area (his descendants are still one of the most influential families in the city).

For many years Wi'iek was a wild "frontier" town, lawless in most matters but iron-fisted in the matter of trade. It held no firm loyalties to any lord, although it retained friendly ties with Kaltos in the bay.

Three hundred years ago, law and order began to assert themselves in Wi'iek. Wanting to give themselves the same respectability as the kingdoms to the north and south, the informal trade government formed a consensus and the original Wi'iek's great grandson, Errivan, was given the title of Baron. The town had become a city, and the city was renamed Ardivent, for the great Ardiventi River it stood beside.

The Ardiventi Barony continued to expand east, taking into its jurisdiction many small villages and forestry communities, finally settling the eastern border of influence on the new, struggling town of Caer.

About this time, the Mordanti first marched against the Aruaki Clanhold. Unfortunately, the Ardiventi Barony was in the way. The small town of Caer was laid waste and the armies of the Barony were nearly wiped out before the Baron broke down and called for help from the Frafrejan Emperor. In those days the Frafrejans, though fallen from the height of their power, were still a force to be reckoned with. In exchange for allowing Frafrejan armies to be permanently stationed in Ardiventi territory, the Emperor formally confirmed the legitimacy of Baron Errivan's title, and granted him several subsidiary titles which are now borne by the heirs to the Barony. Frafrejan and Aruaki forces came south and helped beat back the Mordanti menace. Afterwards, the Barony joined forces with the Empire. Caer was fortified into a city.

The Baron Errivan died childless, and was succeeded by a cousin, Arin Rehinda, thus bringing that family into power. Arin's son Tiriath was a restless, roving man. He disappeared on his sixteenth birthday and was presumed dead for years--however, he returned on his twenty-first birthday, bringing with him a strange woman of obviously elven descent. She never gave any name but Aelfa (which translates to "female elf" in the common tongue of Ardivent), and the two were married the next year. Subsequent generations of the family have maintained ties with the elves, and several other elves married into the family later. The current generation of Rehindas are mostly half-and three-quarter elven, smallish of size; commonly dark-haired.

The Ardiventi Armies are currently led by Lord General Vriil. Fighting men and mercenaries from all over the League and some Free Cites are represented in the infantry, and the cavalry is one of the greatest on Alastari, surpassed in skill only by the Khalhani. The city itself, being a seaport, is fortified only on the southern and eastern sides, with the trade route entering from the north and exiting by the sea to the west. By and large, Ardivent has rarely considered the threat of the Delarquans seriously; they've been friendly with Kaltos for too long. The strength of the army is merely in answer to the call from the rest of the League; often His Majesty Rylian sends troops to fortify the border guard.

Rulers: BARON VRAALIAR REHINDA, the Baron of Ardivent. He is going on 60, a hard-bitten half-elf with reddish-brown hair and dark grey eyes. Although he is a small man (5'2") and appears fragile, he's a commanding presence. Due to his elven blood, he appears to be a much younger man. Vraaliar is not a stunningly intelligent man, but he is possessed of extreme cunning and a great deal of native wisdom. He knows the ins and outs of his Barony in great detail and is never taken in by double-talk. He knows how to rule and he does so without any ceremony. He is loyal to King Jorian of the Aruaki Clans and of course to the High King, but because Ardivent is so far south, he often will "look the other way" on Delarquan/Andorian dealings. Ardivent and Kaltos have been friendly for centuries out of necessity (they share fishing rights in the bay); the fact that they are "the enemy" is often quietly dismissed among the rulers of both cities. He is, and has been, married to Giarra for nearly 45 years. Their seven children are T'yrian (44), Vriil (42), Syrria (33), T'rryil (30), Aylaiin (26), Samarra (20), and Gionn (16).

T'YRIAN REHINDA, one-time heir to the Barony of Ardivent, gave the inheritance over to his oldest sister. Commander of the Inner-City Guard. T'yrian is a devil-may-care man, restless, reckless, daring. He's a crack-shot with the bow, an excellent swordsman and a minor magician, able to communicate with animals, cast minor fire-magics and spy on people telepathically. T'yrian is 5'4", black hair and blue eyes, very elven in appearance. He's a quick and brilliant thinker, strategist, and tactical commander. He is often sought for advice by the commanders of the various other forces, including his younger brother Vriil (who would rather die than admit it publicly).

D'AIIR REHINDA, LORD ADMIRAL. Brother to Vraaliar, Commander of the Ardiventi Navy.

SYRRIA REHINDA, highly ambitious, definitely the better choice for the Barony, and she knew it and went after it actively. She respects T'yrian, but knew her frivolous brother would never be the leader their father is. She is tallish, standing 5'7", with reddish brown hair and grey eyes, but the fine elven features. Striking, handsome woman, but not "pretty."

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Published on: 2002-07-14 (1336 reads)

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