Etrasini (Dominaria Supplement)
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Etrasini, City of the Rising Sun. The proud House Ragos have flown their golden and red banner over the walls of this city for almost 500 years. They are a venerable House and will undoubtedly be remembered in Legends told of this last Age. Their roll of achievement started with ascending to power amid the turbulent years following the fall of the 4th Dynasty of Beldron. From humble beginnings under the power of nearby Lucarne, House Ragos have thrown off the yoke of Lucarne, slain a dragon, defeated a kingdom, and continued their ascendancy this Age in wars with Orleon and the Lucarni Highlanders. Even before their rise to power and Etrasini's meteoric sucess, House Ragos had a name to be respected and feared: Armando Ragos, called The Kraken, led the Beldroni fleets during the Barbarian Wars of old. House Ragon is ambitious, and a dangerous enemy to make or fall upon. They have the money from trade and silver mining now and deep credit lines from the Banks of House Brado. For a time after their defeat of the Sapphire Kingdom in the Winter War, House Ragos rested on their laurels and completed great works of engineering as they expanded their city. This Age though has provided a new dawn for the House of the Rising Sun.
The last two heads of House Ragos have turned their gaze outwards to their weaker neighbors. Doge Sebastian Ragos fought a campaign of arms and coin against nearby Orleon and added that jewel of men to the Ragos' diadem. Marquis Joncarlo Ragos, eldest son of the late Doge, has turned his gaze inland. Troops under Joncarlo and his cousin Gregorio have pushed back the Lucarni and claimed much of the inland river valleys between Etrasini and Dragonsbreath. All of this combines to make Etrasini the most powerful city in Upper Beldron.
Etrasini sits across both sides of the river mouth and two of the Three Sisters. The third island in the bay has been the property of the House of the Watchers since before there was an Etrasini. The city is packed. Houses and shops are packed into the city's blocks and a warren of tiny alleys cuts off and around the old cobbled roads of the city. None of thisis to say that the city is dirty or an ill place to live. Etrasini has all of the normal dirt and detritus of a city but it is very clean and well kept due to House Ragos' patronage. The tightly packed buildings run right down into the docklands. Unlike most cities, the docks of Etrasini are not organized or separated by the city. They simply sprawl along any usable coastline and bustle by day. The docks tend to be organized by the traders and guilds that run ships in and out of the port. There's a grain section, and one for spices, another for worked metal goods, and so on. Unfinished goods are generally sold right at the docks, and finished goods can be had in the shops inland. This practice of open public sales in the docks both makes them the center of most trade and drastically reduces the number of stores in the city.
As the capital of the Ragos' growing country, Etrasini is becoming more and more cosmopolitan with every passing year. A visitor to Etrasini can expect an happy atmosphere and a proud people when they come in. And more visitors are coming by the month. 'Mainlanders' or 'Continentals' as well as 'Southrons' from the isles, all once unheard of in Etrasini, now are a regular site. Inns and taverns have added to the milieu and crowds and exotic wares can be had for cheaper than ever. Much like the rest of Beldron, Etrasini is doing well.
Government: Grand Marquis Joncarlo Ragos rules Etrasini and, through his cousin Gregorio, Orleon. The Grand Marquis sobriquet was added when House Valan finally fled Orleon. Joncarlo exercises executive control over Orleon and meets with his cousin regularly.
Guilds and Orders: The Banking Clan of House Brando anchors Etrasini and House Ragos financially and often with mercenaries and information. This distinguished House has been an ally of House Ragos since their rise. The ties between the two go deep, and many secretly wonder at the true extent of their influence. The House of the Watchers sits on biggest of the Three Sisters. The Watchers are an atheistic monastic group dedicated to a higher state of mind and spend their days in contemplation and the study of logic. The order will open its arms to anyone and has been a refuge for criminals in the past. Generally though, the monks stick to study and teaching. Young men of the upper class will usually spend several weeks or months on the island during their primary school years. The Sunspears are the most powerful martial group in Etrasini and now Orleon. This knightly guild swears allegiance to House Ragos and forsakes their House name in order to join. These men have won great honor and treasure in the service of the Ragos family. In this Age is is a one of the highest honors to wear the golden armor of a Sunspear and serve the Grand Marquis. These men serve singly or in small groups all across the realm but now more often as the mounted or foot core in battle.
Military: Etrasini can put 5,000 professional soldiers in the field and maintains 2,000 city watch. These men are parceled out in brigades of 300-600 and form the bedrock of a Ragos field army. There are just over 1,000 men in the Sunspears as well and these knights augment the local nobility. Etrasini draws about 15-20,000 men from the city and surrounding land for their military in time of war. Currently 12,000 men fill the rolls of the 3 armies fighting the Lucarni.
Judicial System: The only prison in Etrasini is a prison for captured soldiers. For the ordinary citizen, no cell awaits after commission of a crime. In Etrasini, all justice is met out by the lash, cane, brand, knife, or noose. This seemingly brutal and archaic form of justice serves several purposes. Firstly, Hose Ragos spends very little on its justice system. Secondly, the House has found that the threat of physical pain far outstrips the threat of jail. It is often said that, "The scars of crime are not soon forgotten." Ordinary crimes ar epunished with the whip or cane, the brand is used in the case of serious crimes that do not warrant death. But for the most heinous crimes, castration or hanging is used - although, in several documented cases a murderer has been killed in the way he killed his victims. Several Judges hear cases of the four Wards of the city.
City Relations: Etrasini rules Orleon and maintains close trade ties with Nicante, Le Rannes, and Jironde. Merchants trade their wares to the south too, and Visserene's markets now expect goods from Etrasini every year.