Mordeaux

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Arms of Mordeaux
Vassal of Western Kingdom
Status Bishopric (County)
Location Inland (East) from Ranke and Ormond
South of Bowcourt
West of Tuscana
North of Carzala
Area approximately 1/3 of Ranke?
Geography plains to the south, rising to sttep hills in the north.
Population 60ppm
Urbanisation
12% (Moderate)
Major Towns
Périgueux(21,000)
Languages

–Lalange
–Common
–Eloran
–Tuscanan
–Elvish
–Reichspiel

–Literacy


80%
60%
15%
5%
5%
3%

12% (mostly clergy)

Exports
Religion
Imports
Ecclesiastic Supplies


Part of the Western Kingdom.
Bishopric equivalent in status to a County. Originally a vassal of the crown in the Old Kingdom, Mordeaux was placed under the protection of Bowcourt in 510 after the collapse of the Old Kingdom, and restored as a crown vassal in 794.

Mordeaux is unusual within Western Alusia with its temporal authorities drawn directly from the Unified Western Church. The area is still essentially feudal in its government with chapter houses holding land from abbots, who in turn hold it from the Bishop of Mordeaux. The current bishop is Tomas Xerxes (b. 733), who is also head of the Michaeline Order and Archbishop of the Unified Western Churches.

All of the major Orders (except the Sammaelites) and a number of minor Orders have Chapter Houses in the area, with the Michaeline Order being particularly strong; its Knights forming the backbone of the area's military, although many Raphaelites are also found in peacekeeping roles. Most of Mordeaux's judiciary are Urielites, and much of the Church's bureaucracy for Western Alusia is centred in Mordeaux and handled by Gabrielite scholars and scribes.

As can be expected, the area is lawful, regulated, well patrolled, and for the most part quite peaceful. The majority of the population are lay members of the Western Church. Magic use is licensed, with most practictioners in the area members of an Order of the Church.

Language

Lalange is used in the North and East of Mordeaux, as it has been very strongly influenced by Bowcourt during its 300 year rule. The South and West are more heavily influenced by Ranke and Ormond, and speak Common by preference. All Church officials speak Eloran to some extent; all ecclesiastic writings, and most of the administration and bureaucracy is carried out in Eloran.

Political Structure

The Diocese of Mordeaux is ruled by the Bishop of Mordeaux, Tomas Xerxes. He has four Suffragan Bishops to assist him, one from each of the major Orders. The Suffragan Bishops are: Saint Crépin d’Auberoche (Michaeline), Sainte Marie de Chignac (Urielite), Saint Pardoux de Drône (Raphaelite), and Saint Jean d’Ataux (Gabrielite). Traditionally, a Bishop’s successor is usually chosen from the Suffragans by a conclave of Suffragans, Reverend Canons, and Reverend Marshals.

Each Abbey, Monastery, Parish and Chapter House is primarily self-contained and self-sufficient. Mordeaux only has one large city, Périgueux. Most trade is local; only religious material such as incense, silk robes, and artworks are transported over large distances. There is a great deal of communication between priests, with large satchels of letters and records being transported rapidly and reliably by the Gabrielite couriers.

Map

The Sees of Mordeaux

The Bishopic is divided into twelve Sees, each ruled over by a Reverend Canon or Reverend Marshal (both types of senior Abbot), and the capital city of Périgueux, ruled directly by the Bishop. The recently annexed Southern Ranke has been renamed Venaissin, and is a protectorate assigned to a Suffragan Bishop. The Sees of Mordeaux are listed below.

  • Brantôme primarily consists of fertile, low rolling hills. Its senior Abbess is the scholarly Reverend Canon Julienne de Bourdeilles (Gabrielite). Brantôme is the home of many of the most famous scholars and theologians in Western Alusia. Its primary language is Lalange. Its neighbours are Savignac-les-Églises (N, NE), Mussidan (E, SE), Périgueux (S), Excideuil (SW), Thenon (W), and Ormond (NW).
  • Excideuil is primarily gentle hill country, with some fertile plains in its south-west. Its senior Abbot is the rotund armchair general Reverend Marshal Saint Michal de Double (Michaeline). As one of only two Sees without an external border, Excideuil is more inwards-looking and intolerant than most. Its primary language is Lalange. Its neighbours are Thenon (W, NW, N), Brantôme (NE), Périgueux (E, SE), Neuvic (S), and a tiny border with Montpon-Ménestérol (SW).
  • Hautefort is grain country – field after field of wheat, barley, and millet. Its senior Abbot is the benevolent Reverend Canon Paul Lizonne (Raphaelite). Hautefort has some contact with Tuscana, and Tuscanan refugees make up a substantial proportion of its people, shaping its language and culture. Its primary language is Common, but Tuscanan is also spoken widely by the commoners. Its neighbours are Neuvic (N, NE), Tuscana (E, SE), Vergt (S), Verteillac (SW), and Montpon-Ménestérol (W, NW).
  • Montagrier is deep in the hills, with a rugged landscape where the granite bones poke up on the ridges, and boulders litter the hidden valleys. Its senior Abbot is the aesthetic and harsh Reverend Canon Privat des Prés (Michaeline). Montagrier consists of small villages who eke an existence from the land, and are suspicious of strangers and city folk. Its primary language is Lalange. Its neighbours are the wilds south of Bowcourt (NW, N, NE, the wilds north of Tuscana (E), Tuscana (SE, S), Mussidan (SW), and Savignac-les-Églises (W).
  • Montpon-Ménestérol is a river valley divided by the Négrondes river and traditional rivalry – north of the river is Montpon, and south is Ménestérol. Its senior Abbot is the historian and chronicler Reverend Marshal Séverin d’Estissac (Gabrielite). The region produces great art and poetry, although Montpon holds to more traditional forms, while to its south Ménestérol is experimental and innovative. The primary language of Montpon is Lalange, and Ménestérol prefers Common. Its neighbours are Ormond (W, NW, N), Thenon & Excideuil (NE), Neuvic (E), Hautefort(SE), and Verteillac (S, SW).
  • Mussidan lies in the range separating Mordeaux from the lawless edge of Tuscana. Its more fertile valleys point into Tuscana. Its senior Abbot is the famously brave and puissant Reverend Marshal Cherveix Cubas. Mussidan forms the primary line of defence from raiding Tuscanan bandits and march lords. Its primary language is Lalange. Its neighbours are Savignac-les-Églises (N), Montagrier (NE), Tuscana (E, SE), Ribérac (S, SW), Périgueux (W), and Brantôme (W, NW).
  • Neuvic is a gentle land, with fertile fields and rich pastures in the west and centre, and rising to low hills in the east. Its senior Abbot is the strategist Reverend Marshal Léguillac de l’Auche (Michaeline). The region is the home to some of the largest martial chapter houses in the Western Kingdom, including Chassaignes and Mensignac. The primary language is Common, although Lalange is also spoken frequently. Its neighbours are Excideuil (NW, N), Périgueux (NE), Ribérac (NE, E, SE), Hautefort (S, SW), and Montpon-Ménestérol (W).
  • Ribérac is hilly sheep country, pastoral and peaceful. Its senior Abbess is the wise physician and healer Reverend Marshal Martine de Ribérac (Raphaelite). The people are shepherds and small farmers, and are both profoundly religious and fatalistic. The primary language is Lalange. Its neighbours are Mussidan (N, NE), Tuscanan hills (E, SE, S), Neuvic (W), Périgueux (NW).
  • Savignac-les-Églises is the most northern and alpine See in Mordeaux, full of sharp ridges (the Églises range) and deep valleys. Its senior Abbess is the feared and respected Reverend Justicar Germaine du Salembre (Urielite). The harsh mountain lifestyle existence has lead to the Savignac being a bleak, judgmental people. The only language spoken is Lalange. Its neighbours are the Bowcourt wilds (N, NE), Montagrier (E, SE), Mussidan (S), Brantôme (SW, W), and Ormond (NW).
  • Thenon is an old flood plain now full of orchards and fertile fields. Its senior Abbot is the herbalist and eremitic Saint Vincent de Connezac (Raphaelite). The people of Thenon are a kindly folk, proud of hearth and home, and famed for their hospitality. The language spoken most often is Lalange, but Common is also welcomed. Its neighbours are Ormond (W, NW, N), Brantôme (NE, E), Excideuil (SE, S), and Montpon-Ménestérol (SW).
  • Vergt is the southern-most See in Mordeaux, and is covered with golden wheat fields rippling in gentle breezes. Its senior Abbot is Reverend Canon Amand de Vergt (Urielite). Vergt is very peaceful, law-abiding and orderly – little excitement happens, and the locals like it that way. Common is spoken most often here. Its neighbours are Hautefort (N, NE), Tuscana (E), Venaissin (SE, S, SW), and Verteillac (W, NW).
  • Verteillac is the fortified forward defensive outpost protecting Mordeaux from the Corruption that is Ranke. Its senior Abbot is the champion jouster and peerless knight Reverend Marshal Barthélemy de Bellegarde (Michaeline). Verteillac always appears militarised, full of castles, watchtowers and village militia. Inhabitants speak both Lalange and Common, but not to unauthorised strangers. Its neighbours are Montpon-Ménestérol (N, NE), Hautefort (E), Vergt (SE), Ranke (S, SW, W), and Ormond (NW).
  • Périgueux is the administrative and religious capital, and the only large city in Mordeaux. It is ruled directly by Bishop Tomas Xerxes, though in practise his Canons and Gabrielite administrative assistants take care of most matters. The city is bustling and crowded, full of priests and bureaucrats. Almost every western language can be found on its streets, although Lalange, Common, and Eloran dominate. Its neighbours are Brantôme (N), Mussidan (E), Ribérac (S), Neuvic (SW), Excideuil (W).
  • Comtat Venaissin is the region formerly known as Southern Ranke. The Urielite Suffragan Bishop, Her Worship Sainte Marie de Chignac (Sister Grace, for short) is nominally in charge of the entire Comtat, which is at least as large as Mordeaux proper. However, less than a third of Venaissin accepts her authority; the rest consists of bandit-infested wilderness, rebel barons, bad country, and lands devastated by the retreating Dark Circle. Sister Grace is assisted in her mission to bring law and order to the people by several relocated Urielite and Michaeline Chapter Houses, and large deployments of Church Knights from Mordeaux and southern Bowcourt.