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Kingdom of Tortall
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Tortallan Universe place
General
Location Coast, borders Scanra, Galla, Tusaine, and Tyra
Terrain Mountainous, desertland, fertile fields
Climate Humid continental climate (very cold in winter, very hot in summer)
Main Industry Fishing, agriculture, mining
Location information
Owner
Residents The Tortallans, the Bazhir
Affiliation
Political
Capital Corus
Government Feudal monarchy
Head of State King Jonathan & Queen Thayet (co-rulers)
Bibliographical information
First mentioned '
First appeared '
Last appeared '
Latest appearance '
Tortall 1

Tortall and Surrounding Kingdoms

Tortall is a large, prosperous kingdom in the Eastern Lands. Its capital is Corus. The flag of Tortall is a silver blade and crown on a royal-blue field.[1]

Geography

Tortall is bordered by the Emerald Ocean to the west, Scanra to the north, Galla, Tusaine and Tyra to the east, and the Great Inland Sea to the south. This gives it many miles of coastline, but also many contentious borders. Carthak and its eponymous capital city are located across a small strait of the Great Inland Sea from Tortall's southern coast.

Its two largest rivers are the River Drell, which forms Tortall's eastern border and flows south to empty into the Great Inland Sea, and the River Oloron, which flows east through the heart of the kingdom into the Emerald Ocean. Corus is located on the Oloron, near the coast.

A mountain range forms the northern border between Tortall and Scanra. Apart from this, Tortall is flat in the north, and some of the the south contains the Great Southern Desert, home to the Bazhir tribes. The far south, on the coast, is mountainous and hilly.

Government and Economy

Government

Tortall is a feudal monarchy, currently ruled by the Conté royal family. Like most of the Eastern Lands, the Code of Ten forms the basis of its government. Nobles make up the backbone of the power structure of Tortall, exercising considerable—although not unlimited—control over their own fiefdoms. All nobles swear fealty to the king and queen, who rule with the help of advisers. There is a Council of Lords and a Council of Commons who vote on funds.[2] This shows that the government is not an autocratic monarchy or dictatorship. There is also an employment of a Prime Minister. During the reign of Jonathan IV of Conté, Gareth II of Naxen, is his prime minister and chief adviser.

Military

The military includes a standing army, the King's Own, the Queen's Riders, semi-independent knights, and troops levied from local lords. Bandit raids are a problem throughout the kingdom, and border-raids from Scanra are common. Wars have occurred such as The Immortals War, the Scanran War, and the Tusaine War.

Economy

Farming and fishing along the coastlines, are the main sources of food and wealth in Tortall. Corus and Port Legann are also trading centers.

Currency

The main units of currency in Tortall are the gold crown, gold noble, with gold bits, silver nobles, copper nobles, and copper bits as lower denominations.

240s HE

  • In the 240s HE a gold noble valued ten silver nobles and a hundred copper nobles. Four gold bits also made up a gold noble.[3]
  • A gold bit equalled two silver and ten copper nobles[4].
  • One copper noble equalled ten coppers while ten copper nobles made up one silver noble.[3]

In 247 HE, fresh bread cost two coppers before the Bread Riot and three coppers each after the riot.[5] The baker Garnett took a bribe of five copper nobles from the customers who had accidentally paid him with false coins.[6]

In the third century of the Human Era the profile of King Roger was on the front of the silver noble coins, with the country's emblem, a sword with a crown, on its back[7]. The coin's appearance probably changed throughout the years to match the current ruler of the realm.

In 247 HE a large amount of counterfeit silver coins were in circulation, being produced by Pearl Skinner, with Hansevor Remy as the silver provider. Before the counterfeiting caused the value of silver to drop, ten silver nobles equalled a gold noble and ten copper nobles equalled one silver noble[8].

400s HE

Some currency values from the 400s HE in Tortall:

  • A top-quality horse—Upwards of 30 gold nobles[9]
  • Wage of a maid in the Royal Palace—One silver noble per month (plus room and board)[10]
  • Wage of the assistant horsemistress of the Queen's Riders—Two coppers per day (plus room and board)[11]

Note that the value of the coins probably dropped due to some sort of inflation, so we cannot assume that the same value from the 200s apply to the value of the 400s.

History and Culture

Originally Tortall was only a state in the Thanic Empire. It became a sovereign nation 630 years before Alanna the Lioness's time, e.g. around 211 years before the year count of the Human Era began, the same time when the Tortallan Books of Nobility were begun.[12] The country was much smaller than during Jonathan IV of Conté's rule, as it was before Tortall's expansion through conquest. Present-day Tortall includes many conquered lands, among them Barzun. Tortall, by dint of absorbing the Bazhir tribes and other nations, as well as being a center of commerce and learning, is very multicultural, at least in Corus. The policies of the monarchs also help to speed this along.

Justice

The law in Tortall is kept by the Provost's Guard, which was founded in the second century of the Human Era. In the third century, strict laws were in place. For example, a sentenced counterfeiter was boiled in oil and someone who knowingly kept counterfeits in circulation had his or her hand lopped off.[13] Apart from that, the law was also very strict when a guardsman or guardswoman was attacked or if children were harmed. Slavery was still allowed in that time, although there were already progressive tendencies to ban it and illegal slave auctions—which were only illegal because they didn't pay the demanded taxes to the Crown—caused some trouble in that time. People holding slaves were responsible for their doings and could be imprisoned when their "vicious slaves" did any harm[14].

Slavery was prohibited in Tortall by decree of King Roger II in 249 HE, after Prince Gareth was kidnapped, enslaved, and subsequently rescued by Beka Cooper.

Wars

Known wars:

  • 378 HE- The nation of Barzun is conquered by King Jasson I[15] (various other wars of conquest by King Jasson were also conducted around this time.)
  • 435 HE-Tusaine War—The Tortallans were victorious against Tusaine, keeping their territories.
  • 452 HE-Immortals War—Although the toll was great, the outcome still went in the Tortallans' favor.
  • 460 HE-Scanran War—After losing a lot of soldiers and civilians to the killing devices, the Tortallans were able to win the war.

Religion

Most Tortallans worship primarily Mithros and the Goddess, along with any of the other Greater and Lesser Gods. Mithran priests are trained in the City of the Gods.

References

  1. LK, Chp 4
  2. LK, Chp 6
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bloodhound, Glossary
  4. Bloodhound, September 15, 247 (p. 203; Random House hardcover)
  5. Bloodhound, September 9, 247 II (p. 79)
  6. Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 36)
  7. Bloodhound, September 19, 247 II (p. 429)
  8. Bloodhound, Glossary (terms "gold noble" and "silver noble")
  9. ATFA, Chp 5
  10. Page, Chp 1
  11. WM, Chp 1
  12. Random Buzz; "Random Tortall Questions..."; April 22, 2009
  13. Bloodhound, September 7, 247 (p. 11)
  14. Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 50)
  15. Tortallan timeline

See also

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