|Lordship of Blackstone|
|Motto: Patientia Vincit Omnia|
Patience Conquers All
|Anthem: Verion Hymn|
|Largest city||Port Verion|
|Official language(s)||Common Tongue|
|Official religion(s)||Cult of Finanzia|
|• Lord of Blackstone||Ludovic Verion (titular)|
|• Chief Executor||Theodore Lucius|
|• Captain General||Regan Dubois|
|Legislature||Council of Executor|
The Lordship of Blackstone is an small island nation in the Great Western Sea, off the coast of Benacia. The island has been an autonomous protectorate of Calbion since the early 1700s. Historically, it has been the home of the Iron Company and the House of Verion since the early 17th century, after gaining independence in 1638 AN. The island quickly became enormously prosperous and a hub for international commerce after the Verion family was exiled from Shireroth and Ludovic Verion established the island as the base of operations for the Iron Company. After an interlude, during which the island was occupied by the Jingdaoese and the Benacians, Blackstone once again emerged as sovereign in the wake of the resolution of the Second Elwynnese Civil War. The government of Calbion, using the mercenary capacity of the Iron Company, reconquered Blackstone in 1705.
In the olden days, the island of Blackstone was part of the mythical kingdom of Luthièn. All that is known from this particular era are myths or lore of questionable validity. It is believed that Luthièn was home to Elfinshi settlers, who, following the genocide by the Babkhi, fled to western Benacia. Still, this is not confirmed by actual historians.
In early modern times, the island was incorporated under the Kingdom of Batavia, but not without a fight. According to the Batavian cronicler Frederik Hendrix, the Lords of the Blackstone tried to steer off the Batavian occupation and declared independence. The Batavian king Arkadius I sent a naval force to invade Blackstone. The island under Batavian rule was subsequently renamed "Medici".
In the last days of Batavia, the government of the Brettish Isles brokered a deal with Batavia that included the transfer of Medici to the Brettish Isles sovereignty. Although this was originally intended to be only a lease, the collapse of Batavia occured and the Brettish got control over the island. After the Brettish breakup, the island was brought under the rule of Calbion, where it was renamed "Holmes Island" after the Brettish explorer Rudyard Holmes.
Following the exile of the Verion family from Shireroth, the Calbain government granted the island to Ludovic Verion and gave it independence as the Lordship of Blackstone. The Verion family have been rulers of Blackstone ever since.
Having fallen on some hard times after supporting the Oustfest Massacre Ludovic Verion granted the Lordship of Blackstone as collateral to the Emperor of Jingdao under circumstances that remain murky at best. Jingdao proceded to occupy the island, but did not instigate a Jingdaoese settlement, allowing for the Blackstone power structures to remain largely in place. However, the economic and geopolitical capacity of Blackstone was highly impaired by the transportation of Tyrannocricetus aliger. From 1690 AN up to 1705 AN the island was administered by the Benacian Union and known as the Salome Eiland.
1705 saw the Reconquest of Blackstone, following which the Blackstone government was restored. The Iron Company held from the outset crucial control over the political structure of the island country.
The largest part of the island is urban. The city of Blackstone covers about 60% of the surface of Blackstone island and is considered to be the Lordship's capital and houses most important political and financial institutions and public buildings, as well as the western docks. On the eastern side of the island lies the town of Port Verion, which is home to the Eastern Fleet. In the western bay lies the Isle of the Dead, a barren rock that is home to the cemetery of Blackstone as well as a small fortress. The fourth district is the district of Medici, which is largely comprised of gardens, farms and a small forest in the North. The district seperates Blackstone city from Port Verion. Each of the districts is governed by a seperate governor, the Warden. The Wardens answer to the Council of Ten.
Colony of Itteria
The Colony of Itteria is currently the only colony of Blackstone. The Iron Company colonised a part of the Benacian green claimed by the exiled Kildari Kingdom of Voltrue and the Confederation of Puritanian States, a protectorate of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, and started mining silver in mines near the town of Castelluccio. In order to transfer the silver, a modern road was built to connect the town with the newly established coastal city of Porto di Ferro. Although the Iron Company currently exercises control over the Itterian Colony, it is officially part of the Lordship of Blackstone.
The Head of State of Blackstone is the Lord of Blackstone, ever since independence, the Lord of Blackstone has been a member of the Verion family. The position of Lord of Blackstone is hereditary, although there exist custom law that provides for the removal of the Lord by unanimous vote of the Council of Ten. The official residence of the Lord of Blackstone is Blackstone Castle in the north of the island.
The daily governance of the island lies with the Council of Ten, who are appointed by the Lord of Blackstone. The Council comes together in the Palace, the central hall of governance of Blackstone. The councilmembers have the right to legislate on all matters, except for the position of the Lord of Blackstone, who also holds a veto over Council decisions. The current Council of Ten stands as follows, as per appointment by the Lord of Blackstone in the year 1638 AN:
- Chancellor: Aeneas Lucius
- Treasurer: Waldemar Tarjeisson
- Master Diplomat: Baelor Zyrion
- Shipmaster: Mace Lewis
- Inquisitor: Lady Regina Verion
- Chamberlain: Lorenzo Contarini
- Commander-at-Arms: Rachid Al-Basani
- High Fisherman: Hugh Mandeville
- Scribe: Elu Twain
- Representative of the Iron Company: Cedric Rivers
Wardens of Blackstone
Warden of Medici: the Abano
The Abano family is one of the oldest residing families of the Island. The family became prominent under Batavian rule where they held the position of Mayor of Medici for almost a century. The Abano's arrived on Blackstone as merchants and soon became a wealthy family. Their political influence did however not extent beyond the island and they became impoverished when the economy of the Kingdom of Batavia stagnated. The return of the mercantile trade in the past years has lead to a re-emergence of the Abano family. Current head Nicolas Abano serves as Warden of Medici.
Warden of the City of Blackstone: the Casterly
House Casterly was one of the first houses to declare allegiance to the Verion family, and were rewarded for their loyalty by receiving the Wardenship of the City of Blackstone. Progenitor William Casterly was a Brettish immigrant, from the county of Norfolk. He grew up in a poor family as the son of a farmer. When moved to Blackstone, Casterly became an architect and
designed the ingenious canals and irrigation system. Casterly was rewarded for his work by being made a member of the Council of Ten. Williams grandson, Henry Casterly is the current Warden of the City of Blackstone.
Warden of the Isle of the Dead: the Drogion
The Drogion's are one of the more peculiar families of Blackstone. They originate from Southern Elwynn, where their ancestors served as soldiers under the Duke Ardashir II. After moving to Blackstone, they built a rather grim fortress on the Isle of the Dead, given this name because of the brutal way in which the Drogions disposed with rebelling Batavian forces. The Drogion family have made their fortune by using the island as a cemetery for the residents of Blackstone. Ludovic Verion named patriarch Melchior Drogion Warden of the Isle of the Dead, because he didn't really have a choice.
Warden of Port Verion: the Lewis
Probably the most infamous noble house in Blackstone is House Lewis. The family was brought to the island by Aullaris Lewis, the son of the famous Icebearian rebel and kamikaze pilot, Jack Lewis. Like his father, Lewis was a devout member of the Holy Church of the Divine Icebear and one of his first actions was to set up an Icebearian temple in central Blackstone. Historically, there have always been strong ties between the Verion and the Lewis families, so it wasn't much of a suprise when Aullaris, now 101 years old, was awarded the title of Warden of Port Verion.
One of the more typical characteristics of the isle of Blackstone are the Canals.
About ten large canals, and countless smaller ones, create a pattern of roads of water, commonly used by Blackstonian merchants and transporters. The canals are partially artificially created, but also partially natural. In the olden days, Blackstone consisted of five smaller islands, lying very close together. The bridging of these islands created the structure that we currently see. In the early 17th century, William Casterly, engineer from Brettania, worked to expand the canals and to fortify the land, in order to prevent the collapsing of houses built close to the water.
In the North of the island, just outside the walls of the city, Blackstone Castle is located. This castle, built out of granite, has been built during the Batavian period. It is thought that the black granite of the castle is the source of the current name for both the castle and the island. In recent years, the castle is an official residence for the Lords of Blackstone, although the high costs of heating the castle, and the slightly unappealing atmosphere of the place, have caused the castle to rented out.
The place where the current Lords of Blackstone reside is called Verion Hall. This comfortable palazzo was built on orders of Ludovic Verion in a classical style. Althought the Hall was officially only the mansion of the Verion family, the connection between the Verions and Blackstone was so obvious that Verion Hall can be regarded as an official residence.
- Stock Exchange and Iron Company HQ - Temple - Palace - Layla's Gardens - Iron Mines - Barracks -
The Iron Company is the only chartered company of the Lordship of Blackstone and has numerous privileges. A delegate from the Iron Company has a seat on the Council of Ten,
and the Company has the exclusive right to banking and the minting of coinage on the island. Because of the double role of Ludovic Verion as both Grand-Governor of the Iron Company and Lord of Blackstone, the political system of the Lordship is often referred to as "corporatocracy".
Port Verion and the Shipyards
The Iron Company's headquarters are found on the Western side of the island, where the Company's shipyards are also located. The Iron Shipyards are key to the success of the Blackstone economy. Large containerships, as well as fast and swift lighter vessels are produced and directly used to sail the seas of Micras. The town of Port Verion, on the East of Blackrock Island, serves as the main port of the nation. It houses the main fleet of the Iron Company, and is key in the trade with the Benacian mainland. Port Verion also funtions as the staple market for goods that are imported from Benacia and transported overseas by the vast mercantile network of the Company.
The Black Guard is the household guard of the House of Verion. It was founded when Elu Verion was the head of the family, to protect the Elfinshi family against militant Elw and Babkhi groups
who sought to diminish the still existing Elfinshi tribes and their land. The Black Guard protected the Verion lands around Azshara. After the rise to prominence of the Verion family, the Black Guard expanded, forming a band of bodyguards to protect the family members of importance. Following the move to Blackstone, he Black Guard became one of the official armies of the island, guarding the government buildings and the personal property of the Verions.
The Iron Militia is a private army which is under the command of the Grand-Governor of the Iron Company. The Militia was originally established to protect the warehouses and shipyards of the Iron Company, but has expanded since. Currently, the Iron Militia is the largest army on Blackstone, and the Militia is hired by the Council of Ten to provide the City Guards for the city of Blackstone. The main interest of the Iron Miliia however still is to safeguard the interests of the Iron Company and they do this in several different ways. In the oversees territories controlled by the Iron Company, such as trade posts, the Militia serves as a defense army. At sea, the Militia provides
protection for the vulnerable ships that sail all over the globe. Aside from this, the Militia has a secret branch, known as the Office of Shadows, that serves as an intelligence gathering service for the Company. The existence of this office is neither confirmed nor denied by the Grand-Governor.
The Inquisition is the police force of Blackstone, as well as the security agency of the island. It is responsible for safeguarding the streets of Blackstone and investigating potential dangers to the Lordship. The Inquisition also serves as a customs agency, regularly checking the goods that are brought into the Blackstone harbours. As such, the Inquisition and the Iron Militia have a longstanding feud over the control of the main ports of Blackstone.
The predominant religious organisation in Blackstone is the Realist Temple Church, a Deistic church that originated as a blend of Batavian Catologists, Brettish Jovism and members of the Holy Church of the Divine Icebear. The establishment of the Realist Temple Church was the source of a schism amongst Icebearian believers, some of which who saw the Icebear as a metaphoric concept, while others literally believed the Book of Ice. This lead to the establishment of a seperate branch of the Holy Church of the Divine Icebear in Blackstone. The Temple, from which the Realist Temple Church takes its name used to be the Icebearian temple, but became the main building of the Church after the schism.