Dduring the last week, my ducal court in Partetribus was approached by a courtier dressed in a Demalion naval uniform. He identified himself to my guards as High-Admiral Vixel of the independent county of Maulvorn, intrigued I let him in. Vixel claimed to be an envoy sent by Count Maulvorn to procure trade concessions and military alliances so that the Count could create an independent ‘city-state’ where free thought and trade could flourish. Understanding Maulvorn to be sworn to the Emperor of Demalion, and both unwilling to risk a diplomatic incident with that great state and unable to conceive of any real chance of success that this ‘city-state’ concept may hold I sent the ‘High-Admiral’ on his way without committing myself or Nirath to anything. I thought little of the ‘High-Admiral’ until I had a chance to speak with Duke Thor at the Kings Court a few days later. Apparently, Maulvorn’s Envoy had approached multiple rulers both within Nirath and, according to reports, beyond Nirath’s borders. Intrigued I began sending out missives to nobles throughout Elyria seeking to learn more of this ‘city-state’ ideal and to find out if it truly had any support.

I travelled to the Court of the Demalion Emperor to learn if the Imperial Will was behind this seemingly destabilising concept. When I arrived, and the standard courtly affairs were done I asked several Demalion officials if Maulvorn’s city-state had the Emperors approval. The reply was unanimous it most assuredly did not. Indeed it appears that Count Maulvorn was exiled from the Empire, Lord Demiqas confirmed to me his exile but did not go into any great detail describing the exile as a Demalion internal matter. Court rumour, however, infers that Count Maulvorn was caught scheming against the Empire or against other nobles. This intrigued me as it was widely known that Lord Maulvorn had arrived in Demalion as an exile from a land across the oceans and rumour and gossip suggest that his exile there had to do with his intrigues, could this have something to do with his city as a state ideology?

Still interested in this concept of a city that ruled itself I sought out the exiled Count to ask him his plans. Searching far and wide I eventually found him and his court in exile living in an inn while they discussed their options. Upon my request for interview Count Maulvorn clarified that he was uninterested in creating an independent realm with him at its head but was merely seeking to serve a new lord following philosophical disagreements with the Court at Demalion. Here follows a transcript of our interview:

Q: “Lord Maulvorn your court has recently declared itself unaligned and senior members of your administration have contacted several Dukes throughout Elyria attempting to negotiate trade deals and even defensive pacts. Can you tell me what this is all about? Is it preparing to find a home or is there a larger motivation at play?

A: Ideally if we join a kingdom we want to negotiate for some good deals, who wouldn’t? Basically, I have been poking feelers into different locations to see which one is right for our county. As no new titles are being created the value of the current crop of titles will only increase in value as there is now only a limited pool of nobles to go around. So the current nobility will be going around trying to get the best offers for their lands as active nobles are a precious commodity. Does that answer your question?

Q: In some ways but raises another. If you’re seeking to join a duchy why is it that your envoy, a High Admiral Vixel, I believe, suggesting that you wish to form trade and defensive contracts? Surely a defensive contract is assured by swearing vassalage unless there is something specific you intend here?

A: We do wish to intend to join a Kingdom at some point, but there is no rush. The County of Maulvorn is a unaligned county that will seek a Kingdom when we decide to settle. We have a huge focus on Equine development, Industry and Religious institutions there was some miscommunication but that has been rectified now.

Q: So is this a case of misunderstanding by your envoy? Indeed your envoy led several dukes to understand that you intended an independent city-state, but I understand from you that this was an error. Can you confirm for my readers whether or not this is an intention for the future of Maulvorn?

A: We want to have a degree of autonomy within wherever we go but we will still pay taxes and follow laws, the Envoy had a few of the points wrong but they have been rectified now; mistakes happen to anyone.

Q: You mention you wish to negotiate with your future lord regarding your place in his demesne. As an example to my readers, some of whom may also be independent nobles looking for a fief, what demands would you place on your lord, and what concessions would you offer in return?

A: I would ask for Religious freedom in the County to build up the Virtori Church and have the church play a role in the running of my County regardless of the native religion of the inhabitants, in exchange the Duke can utilise the various services of the subsequent Religious infrastructure. I would also ask for freedom to create County forces independent of the Dukes Soldiers and Barons out of my own pocket and resources to help better defend the County. I would also ask for expanded freedoms in creating County laws and regulations including the ability to set different tax rates. In exchange, I would as mentioned before allow the Duke to utilise the Religious infrastructure and the County forces will respond to calls of arms from the Duke. Since my county has a strong Equine focus so we want the freedom to create the renowned Maulvorn Cavalry.

Q: I see, your demands seem to be unequal in your favour. Are these set demands from which you will not budge or will you be willing to negotiate with potential lieges closer to the start of the game.

A: It’s open to negotiation, but that is my current position; to clarify I will still pay taxes and follow Duchy laws. It’s give and take with these situations. I do have some ground where I will not move from though, one of them is Organised Virtori religion, the extent of it, however, is open to negotiation but they will be playing a huge role in the governing of my county; I will have a Seat on my county council for the representative of the Faith on it.

 

There you have it readers, a misunderstanding by an envoy. Of course one must ask what discussions went on behind closed doors for the envoy to have even begun to make a misunderstanding of that magnitude. It also remains to be seen if any duchy will grant autonomy to Lord Maulvorn, considering his political record and his status as an exile from the largest political entity on the continent. There will be more on this story as it develops.