|Altea te Fertinan
|Casa Fertinan cultivates cotton on its Vinca, and raises wool-bearing sheep in the lands to the west. Fertinan is not truly one of the Casas Campas, but often supports them politically. Fertinan's relations with its neighbors (Jakimo and Viontello) are cordial for the most part, so Fertinan maintains only enough tropas at the Vinca to protect its flocks and fields from attack.
|Altea te Jakimo
|The Vinca te Casa Jakimo supports many prime vinyards, as well as several herds of fine horses. Jakimo is one of the Casas Campas, and also maintains large citrus orchards across the Pelou river, between Livelula and Jeranioso. Jakimo stations the majority of its tropas near its Vinca, where they can patrol the "border" between Jakimo and Viontello.
|Altea te Sevastion
|This settlement is the Vinca te Casa Sevastion. Nostinra, paprika, and pimientone are grown on the lands surrounding the estate, and teka trees are cultivated on lands near the river. Casa Sevastion owns lands stretching along the Pelou river to the northwest, extending past Cotavilla into the hardwood forests. Sevastion cuts and processes timber from the forests to the west and northwest, supplying most of Merochas with hardwood for furniture, masts and spars for ships, and beams for construction. Almost all of Sevastion's tropas te casa are located in this area or in temporary forts along the woodlands to the west.
|Altea te Solinus
|Casa Solinus is best known in the region for its banking services, but Solinus also cultivates vast citrus orchards in the lands around its Vinca on the west bank of the Modrita river. Solinus also owns much of the land south of Vuert'e Jermo. Solinus forces are active in the area, often assisting the Rontaria and Tunicos Asules in repelling incursions from the Wastes.
|Altea te Valtasare
|The cotton fields of Casa Valtasare stretch along the Modrita river from Rinaltovilla to Stefanovilla, and inland for several stadia, centering around the Vinca. The altea (hamlet) itself is home to many weavers and tailors, as well as the support population for the Vinca. Valtasare also manufactures its famed pumak (paper) here, using linen rag fiber imported from Belaquin, fibrous reeds from the marshes in the lower Modrita, and a fine light gray clay from lands near Brailas in the north. Valtasare cloth is also shipped to "cottage" tailors and seamstresses in the city, where the cloth is fashioned into garments of all types. One notable import is linen cloth from Belaquin, which forms the basis for the stiffened linen cuirasses popular among Merochasan marines.
|Altea te Varrius
|Casa Varrius maintains its Vinca on the west bank of the Pelou river, just across from Naranjale. These estates are mainly self-supporting agriculture and ranching, with large stretches of open pasture. Several members of Casa Varrius breed fine quality riding horses here, but most of Varrius' mercantile operations are conducted from its estato urbano in Merochas city. A small number of tropas te casa are stationed here, for security, but most of them are located to the west, around the salt wells to the south and west of Camillovilla. Theses salt wells provides almost all of the edible salt for Merochas, Belaquin, and parts of Telrak.
|Altea te Vincentio
|This Vinca is the only coastal settlement outside of Merochas. Casa Vincentio has its shipyards here, located in a small bay to the east of the settlement - Cala Suerte. This settlement is also home to many of the smaller fishing boats in the Vincentio flota, which are drawn up on the long sandy beaches at night. The fishermens' thatch huts extend out along the beach to the east and west of the altea for several stadia.
|Altea te Viontello
|The Vinca te Casa Viontello is located away from the river, toward the western border. The estate supports extensive vinyards, stretching from midway to Consalovilla in the north, to Altea te Jakimo in the far south. Viontello is a Casa Campas, investing the vast majority of its wealth into the Vinca and associated hacientas and vinetos (vinyards). Viontello tropas are stationed at every hacienta, and actively patrol the western border to protect the vinyards. Few Civic forces are ever seen in this area of the border, since Viontello effectively handles border security.
|The second-largest city in Merochas, Brailas
sits at the confluence of the Pelou and Modrita rivers, on the northern border of
Merochas. Brailas is a significant trading city in its own right, competing with the
Belaquin city of Cardona (on the northern bank of the Pelou river). Brailas lies on
the Modrita side of the confluence, closer to where the lower Chasega empties into the
Modrita, and thus Brailas attracts most of the trade descending along the Modrita and
Chasega rivers from the north, while Cardona attracts more trade from the west, along the
Pelou river. Currents from the two major rivers create enormous eddies and whorls in
the area between Cardona and Brailas, and discourage river traffic between the two sides
of the confluence, especially in the spring and early summer, when the rivers swell to
Although Brailas is smaller than the city of Merochas, it has its own economic interests, independent of the larger city. Brailas is also more heavily fortified than Merochas city, and large numbers of mercenary troops occupy barracks and forts in its vicinity. Lysantroviya lies just across the Modrita river, on the northeast bank, and Casa Lysantre has a great amount of influence in Brailas affairs. Casas Rinalto and Sevastion are also influential in Brailas.
Brailas is home to many of the "minor" Casas in Merochas, and much of the land in and around Brailas (and Naranjale to the south) is owned by the Casas Menor.
Brailas is often pronounced "Vrailas" by Merochasans from the south, especially those in the city of Merochas.
|The Vinca te Casa Camiyo is fairly small by Merochasan standards, serving as little more than a summer estate. Camiyo derives most of its income from the Bustaban spice trade, and most of its activity occurs in the city. The Vinca is well guarded, however.
|From its origins in the Montanes Alcancielos (Skyreach Mountains), the Chasega river flows through Malyk and Telrak before merging with the lower Modrita river just inside the eastern border of Merochas. Trade from Malyk and Telrak, as well as some trade from Mekystan and lands to the north of the mountains, comes down the Chasega river.
|Casa Consalo derives most of its
wealth from its gambling operations, but its wines are also famous throughout the region.
Consalo vinetos produce some of the finest wines in Merochas, and Consalo
wines are highly sought after by the privileged of many lands. Consalo often sells
only a small portion of a given year's product, reserving most of its wines for its own caritos
in the city and at the Casa te Jueco outside Timisoara.
This serves as an added attraction, since the easiest way to get a taste of a fine
Consalo wine is to visit one of their caritos.
Consalo has recently expanded into the open yanura (prairie) west of the Vinca, and has begun to domesticate herds of Aurochs from the Tespoplato (Wylds). This is proving to be a successful development, and Consalo caritos now serve roasted Auroch meat at selected events.
|This small trading town is the last major Merochasan settlement on the route up the Pelou river to Jyvelik. Merochas controls other settlements farther up the river, but they are predominantly settled by Jyvelans or Belaquini, rather than Merochasans. Cotaviya itself is some distance from the river, but a small group of buildings and docks graces the south bank of the Pelou river just north of the town. Traders who wish to stay on the south bank, rather than cross to Cardona, often stop here before turning south towards the interior of Merochas.
|The Vinca te Casa Escalus lies on the east bank of the Pelou river, just north of Timisoara. The surrounding lands contain numerous cotton fields, and the Vinca supports many weavers. Escalus cotton cloth is shipped to tailors in the city, or exported north to Belaquin, Jyvelik, and Pelos. The settlement also supports a large farmer's market, to which many of the Casas Menoras or tenant farmers from the inland hamlets bring their grain and produce. The docks of Escaloviya are larger than many such Vincas, to support the additional traffic in agricultural products.
|See Marisma Cranta, below.
|Jeranioso is an agricultural town supporting many smaller Casas Menoras as well as tenant farmers in the employ of Casas Laertes, Lysantre, and Sevastion. The town is rustic, but has a large farmer's market twice each tiestia (tenday), which draws many buyers from the city. The Jeranioso docks are always busy, with chalupas (riverboats) fetching food down to the city.
|Casa Laertes' Vinca supports their large shipyards, located on the banks of the Pelou river south of Jeranioso. Laertes builds some of the fastest ships in the known world in these shipyards. The Laertoviya docks are extensive, allowing for the overhaul and repair of several ships at the same time, as well as normal loading and unloading of cargo. Laertes also maintains some warehouses at the Vinca, for temporary storage of cargoes coming into the region from across the ocean.
|This settlement marks the northernmost point of Merochasan control. The Vinca te Casa Lysantre is as much fortress as estate, being dedicated to the import of ores and other raw materials from the north, and the manufacture of various armaments for sale to the Civic government or private tropas. Much of the arms and armor carried or worn by Merochasan troops (of all types) is crafted or imported by Casa Lysantre. The majority of Lysantre's tropas are stationed at the Vinca, as is a significant force of mercenary troops. Lysantre "guards" the border with Telrak, and Merochasan forces frequently make forays into Telrak, as a show of force or in pursuit of some political-economic scheme. Lysantre actually controls most of the mercenary companies "hired" by the Civic government of Merochas, through a web of contracts and back-alley deals. This well-known secret is tacitly accepted by the other Casas Crantas, and in return Merochasan mercenary forces often "assist" the tropas of the other Casas in their efforts to maintain Merochasan economic dominance.
|The Marisma Cranta (Great Swamp) extends from the banks of the Pelou river near Remaj in the west, to the borders of the Jermo in the east, and reaches from the coast nearly to Tyvaltoviya inland. Only two human settlements exist, both constructed on islands of rocky ground. The city of Merochas sits atop several large islands in the mouth of the main channel of the Modrita river (and atop pilings and rubble from the soft sinking ground between them), while Tulccas is located on similar, although smaller, islands to the north. Terrain in this area varies from flat open marshland to semi-firm and overgrown swamplands. The majority of the swamp is actually controlled by several clans of the Hsytha. Relations between the Hsytha and Merochasans are generally amiable - the Hsytha leave the two human settlements alone, and the Merochasans stay out of the interior of the swamp except with the permission of the Hsytha. The swamp and the Hsytha also function as an additional layer of defense for the city of Merochas, since any land-based force would have to cross the swamp, and deal with the Hsytha, before reaching Merochas itself.
|The Modrita river flows out of the Montanes Alcancielos (Skyreach Mountains) in two branches. The Alta Modrita runs along the eastern border of Belaquin until it joins with the Vaha Modrita from the west. The lower Modrita flows south along the Belaquin border until it meets the Pelou and Chasega rivers near Brailas. The Modrita splits into several channels in the Merochasan delta before it flows past the city of Merochas into the sea.
|This small agricultural community is home to many of the smaller Casas Menoras. Scores of well-tended citrus orchards surround the town.
|The Aezjarean Ocean covers a vast expanse south of Merochas, reaching from the coast of Merochas south to the island continent of Aezjarea, west to Ixtas and the T'nubci Archipelago, and east to Karatas and Bustaba. Merochasan trading vessels carry the goods of many lands across this ocean.
|This Vinca supports the fig orchards which Casa Orlanto owns. Most of Orlanto's investments lie in the city, in its glass and crystal business, but the estates in and around Orlantoviya are a welcome source of income.
|The longest river in the region, the river's
headwaters lie far to the northwest, in the Mylharran Empire. The river enters the
Riapais (Riverlands) at the peltano te los tiosas (steps of the gods), a series of
spectacular waterfalls that descend over 350 paces in altitude in the space of only 1400
paces in length. The largest fall in the series drops vertically more than 170 paces
to the estanca cristal, a mountain lake slighly below midpoint along the falls.
The river forms another small lake at the lower end of the falls, before flowing on to
the southeast through Pelos (which takes its name from the river), Jyvelik, and Belaquin.
The lower reaches of the river enter Merochas just to the west of Brailas, turning
south and splitting into several branches before reaching the coast west of the city of
The river and its tributaries are the major travel and trade routes throughout the Riapais. Most of the large cities in the region lie on its banks, or close by.
|Like its sister town Jeranioso to the west,
Pisaluto is mainly an agricultural town, supporting Casas Menoras and tenant farmers to
the west and along the banks of the Modrita river. Pisaluto is closer to the city,
and thus attracts more business than Jeranioso, but the quality is often poor in
Casa Tyvalt owns boatyards to the south of town, which build riverboats for the Casa and its customers.
|This settlement supports several of the larger Casas Menoras, which cultivate cotton or produce in the rich lands near the mouth of the Pelou river. Remaj is also home to a contingent of the Merochasan armata. The Remaj escuatra (squadron) is ostensibly present to protect ships and settlements from raids by Zurian corsairs, but functionally serves as a customs inspection force. For this reason, a large atuana (customs house) is also located at Remaj, inspecting vessels sailing upriver that have bypassed the city of Merochas.
|Casa Rinalto mines mercury from cinnabar deposits near its Vinca on the west bank of the Modrita river, just south of Brailas, and across the river on the border with the Jermo. Rinalto also mines fine sands and rare earths from various locations along the river, and inland, for use in its extensive glassmaking operations. Rinalto specializes in producing fine colored glass, and its products are found in windows of the wealthy throughout the region. Although Rinalto is normally grouped with the Casas Urbanas, it actually invests most of its wealth outside the city, in its glassmaking and mining interests.
|The Vinca te Casa Stevano supports the Casa's glassmaking operations in the city. Workers based at the Vinca mine fine sands from locations along the river and inland. Some glassmaking is done at the Vinca, but most takes place in the city at Stevano's several glassworks.
|Timisoara is the largest town in the interior
of Merochas, located on the west bank of the Pelou river.
Both Brailas and Merochas
lie on the banks of the Modrita river, and so Timisoara is
the commercial hub of traffic along the Pelou river. Most mercantile Casas
(large or small) maintain warehouses and small business estates in Timisoara, for trade
going upriver to Belaquin, Jyvelik, or Pelos. Timisoara also has
its own Casas Menoras, most of whom herd sheep or grow grain or produce.
Casa Consalo has a large estate just outside Timisoara, which it calls the Casa te Jueko. This lavish estate contains several large gambling houses (caritos), as well as a small theater and a large horse track. Consalo operates private and extravagent passenger service from several cities in the region to the Casa te Jueco.
|This settlement, while fairly large, will always be in the shadow of its great cousin to the south. Tulccas is home to many of the cottage workers that toil in the service of the mercantile Casas. A handful of Casas Menoras make their home in this town, but very little trade is conducted here.
|Ironically, the Vinca te Casa Tyvalt is located far inland, away from the rivers on which the wealth of the Casa floats. Tyvalt's boatyards are located at Pisaluto, to the east. The Vinca is mainly a comfortable country estate, with small orchards, pastures, and fields. Tyvalt's flota te chalupas is actually docked at towns throughout Merochas as well as in the city.
|The westernmost coastal settlement in Merochas, Vortina Hoeste ("western fort") consists of a fortress and a small agricultural village. The fortress is manned by mercenaries on a rotating basis, and a few civic marines who have gotten on the wrong side of their superiors. Originally constructed to serve as a watchtower guarding against Zurian corsairs, the fort has expanded in recent decades, and now serves as a base for patrols along the southwestern border.
|This large fortress is the functional headquarters of the Rontaria (River Patrol) and the Tunicos Asules (Blue Robes - the Merochasan adepts who guard the borders of the Jermo). Riverboats from this fortress patrol the length of the eastern border, from Lysantrovilla in the north, to the mouth of the Modrita river. The adepts and patruyatos watch for incursions of fell creatures or spirits from the Jermo, and repel them or give warning to Merochasan settlements. Casas Rinalto, Valtasare, Stevano, and Solinus are active supporters of the Tunicos Asules. Their vincas lie along the western banks of the lower Modrita river, and because of their relative proximity to the Jermo, their tropas te casa (house troops) often assist the Rontaria and the Tunicos in repelling major incursions.
|The Jermo is a spiritually polluted wasteland stretching from the Merochasan border on the eastern banks of the Modrita river, far into Mekystan to the east. Fell creatures and destructive spirits make their home in the Jermo, and frequent incursions of such are a hazard along the lower Modrita.