The city of Merochas is the most prominent commercial center in the region. Its dominating location at the mouth of the Modrita River gives it control over all water-borne trade between the Jalani lands and Ixtas, Karatas, and Bustaba. Additionally, Merochas controls the area where the Pelou, Modrita, and Chasega rivers come together, thus dominating east-west river trade between Daenj, Pelos, and Jyvelik in the west, and Laabor, Malyk, and Telrak in the east. Road systems in the region are poorly developed or small in scope at best - rivers are the highways of the region. Merochas controls a critical area of those rivers, and thus dominates trade throughout the region.
Merochas also boasts the highest level of development in several key industries. Merochas is renowned for its textiles, its wines, its glassware, and many other products. Merochasan shipbuilding is the most advanced of the Human cultures (although the Yanshin, or Sea People, could teach them a trick or two about navigation and the mysteries of the Aezjarean Ocean).
Merochas' political structure is dedicated to supporting its commercial success. A civic Plutocracy is dominated by seventeen great Mercantile Houses, known as the Casas Crantas, based on extended family/clan structures dating from the founding of the city. The Casas dominate the major industries of Merochas, and Merochasan political and economic infighting among them is legendary. They are united, however, in two respects: they protect their right to dominate and monopolize the key industries, and they protect Merochas' domination of commerce in the region, and across the sea lanes.
Society Name City of Merochas World Placement Islands at the mouth of the Chasega River.
Society Concept Capitol of Merochas and trade nexus for the region.  The city of Merochas is a cosmopolitan urban center controlled by a Mercantile Oligarchy of 17 Great Houses and several dozen Minor Houses.
Society Age Age Value 7 Society Scope 4
Years 733 Society Location Merochas
Founding Date AP 1 Geographic Size Large City
Population 60,000
Related Narrative Environments Merochas, Chasega Delta Swamp, Hsytha Tribes
Major Heritage Groups Merochasan (Jalani Human)
Minor Heritage Groups Telrakan (Jalani Human), Jyvelan (Jalani Human), Hsytha (Hsugga), Itasu (Itasu Human), Drushae (Drushae), Malyki (Mekys Human), Yanshin (Itasu Human)

Orientation Equilibrium Active Isolation Value 15
Aspects Mercantile Oligarchy The city of Merochas can be easily reached by water, either down the courses of the Chasega and Pelou rivers, or by sea.  No land approaches exist.
Waste Incursions
Technology Value Interaction Value 17
Areas of Emphasis Ocean and river transport, water-related architecture and agriculture, glass, textiles, and steel. Merochas is a trade nexus, both within the Jalani lands and across the expanse of the Great Sea.   Visitors to the city of Merochas are many and varied.
Rate of Advancement 3
Rate of Assimilation 4 Subsistance
Major Fully Agricultural
Innovation Minor Fully Agricultural
Dominant Material 19
Power / Manufacturing 19 Societal Mobility Sedentary
Agriculture / Environment 18 Subclassification
Building / Architecture 18
Transport / Communication 19 Kinship
Military 18 Ascendant Nondominant
Miscellaneous 18 Lineage Determinant Patrilineal
Cultural 17 Inheritance Pattern Primogeniture

Political Infrastructure Advanced Divided Economic Infrastructure
Aristocracy Exchange System Buying & Selling
Power 7 Economy Type Credit
Authority 6 Mix of free-market and mercantilist economics. Large monopolies are controlled by the Houses.
Consent 6
Constitutional Support 5
Legal Complexity 7 Resource Value 7
The city of Merochas has few natural resources itself.  Fish and the talents of its residents are the most prominent resources.  Food is routinely imported from the hinterlands of Merochas.
Military Infrastructure
Primary Force Mercenary


Exploitation 18 90%
4,000 Naval Forces
3,000 Civic Marines
7,000 Mercenaries
The city of Merochas exploits nearly every resource available to it.
Supplementary Forces
6,000 Provisional Militia (House Guards) Trade 19
Merochas trades with almost every culture in the region.
Relations 5
The city of Merochas has few direct relations other than those of the state as a whole; its relations with the Hystha Tribes are mostly amiable, if aloof.

Religion Scholastics
Tolerance 15 Tolerance 15
Prevalence 15 Prevalence 14
Diversity 8 Diversity 8
The Jalani Pantheon is prevalent, but many other deities are worshipped by various minority groups. The Civic University is a source of learning and scholarship
Arts Magic
Tolerance 14 Tolerance 14
Prevalence 14 Prevalence 13
Diversity 12 Diversity 16
Primarily patronage, but civic sponsorship is growing. Sorcery, Mana, and Alchemy Origins are prevalent, Spirit Magic and Rune Magic are present, but uncommon. 

Primary Foundation Tradition Kinship Custom of Status 5
Membership in one of the 17 Great Houses is the primary source of status in Merochas.  Carrying one of those 17 names guarantees a high status level, and known relations which carry a different name will have status to the degree that the relationship between the families is generally known. Rigidity of Status 6
Merochasan customs of status aren't as much ceremonial as they are the expected social results of wealth, and the easing of restrictions and obligations that wealth can bring.

A significant increase in wealth can result in an increase in status, but status above a certain level requires membership in one of the 17 Great Houses (and capability).  This can be achieved through marriage or adoption.

Secondary Foundation Power Economic
Economic power is the next best thing to being a member of one of the Great Houses (which all have significant economic power).  Note that other forms of power (political, military, etc.) will grant status according to how well that power can be translated into economic power.
Other Foundations Wealth Ships
Because ownership of ships is one of the major sources of wealth in Merochas (land ownership being generally restricted to those whose status comes from Great House membership or general economic power), ownership of merchant vessels is a good indicator of status in Merochas.  However, any solid basis of wealth will confer status.
Capability Economic, Artistic, Arcane, or Intellectual
Finally, recognized capability is a source of status in Merochas.  Economic capability is deemed most important, but artistic, arcane, or intellectual capability is also significant.  Political and military capability are important only insofar as they can translate into economic results.

Personal Freedom
Vertical Aspects Horizontal Aspects
Spiritual Expression of Worship Material Land Ownership
Merochasans generally are accepting of a wide variety of religious practices, although the majority of Merochasans revere the Jalani pantheon. Ownership of land in Merochas is limited to a recognized Merochasan House, a recognized religion (basically the Jalani Pantheon plus a few especially wealthy and/or influential cults), or civic institutions (which may hold land directly).  This limitation is true both inside the city of Merochas and in the hinterlands north of the Chasega Swamps.

Individual land ownership is legally impossible under this system.  Even landlords who seem to "own" a building in the city, and collect rents from tenants, do not actually own that property, but rather have contracted to collect rents for the real owners, which are usually the Merochasan Houses, although some sections of the city are actually owned by one of the civic institutions.  One example is the Universitat Civico, which owns several blocks   of the city and uses the profits to fund some studies.  Similarly, the Civic Marines own stretches of land along the eastern waterways of the delta, and rent some of that land to tenant farmers.

Political Obligation (Taxes)
All sales of goods except fish, grain (and bread), and produce are taxed @ 10%.
Political Obligation (Militia Service)
All male residents of the city of Merochas between the ages of 16 and 45 must serve in the Civic Militia three days each month, or pay a service tax of 25 Veryts per month.  Most who can afford it pay the tax - the Militia rarely trains as a military force, and would be nearly useless in an actual conflict.  The manpower is put to use in civic projects - maintaining and repairing dikes, walkways, bridges, dredging canals, etc.  Money collected through the service tax is used to pay for the large mercenary forces which Merochas employs to defend its borders.
Physical Personal Defense
Wearing significant armor or carrying a weapon larger than a knife within the city is allowed only by special permit from the Cuartia Civica.  Such permits are easily obtained but costly, and thus a de facto class separation exists between those who can legally carry armaments within the city of Merochas.  Travellers who cannot or will not pay for the permits have their armaments impounded for the duration of their visit.


Hierarchy of Social Estates

Social Archetype % Pop Number Vocational Clusters Sample Occupation Status
Ruling Agency - 17 Merchant (I) Mercantile House Head 20
Ruling 1 3,000 Official (I) High Civic Officials 19
Merchant (II) Mercantile House Member
Minor House Head
Merchant (III) Major Independent Merchant 16-17
Arcane (I) Dean of Ele Colejio te Sortilejio, famous Sorcerers 16-17
Privileged 10 30,000 Ecclesiastical (I) Temple Heads, High Officials 15-16
Arcane (I) Member of Ele Colejio te Sortilejio, famous Mystics 14-16
Bureacratic (I) Powerful Customs Officials 13-15
Academic (I) University Officials, favored Professors 13-15
Professional (I) Ship Captains, Customs Lawyers 13-16
Warrior (I) House Captains, Civic Captains 12-15
Professional 17 55,000 Ecclesiastical (II) Priests / Priestesses 10-12
Arcane (II) Colejio students, independent mages 9-12
Bureaucratic (II) Civic Bureaucrats 9-12
Academic (II) Tutors, Scholars 9-12
Professional (II) Lawyers, Ship Officers, etc. 9-12
Artisan (I) Successful Artisans 9-12
Merchant (IV) Independent Merchants, River Traders 7-12
Warrior (II) Mercenary Officers, House Guards, Civic Marines 7-11
Fringe (I) Courtesans 7-10
Labor 70 220,000 Artisan (II) Artisans, apprentices 5-8
Warrior (III) Mercenaries 5-7
Labor (I) Sailors, House Servants, Tenant Farmers 5-7
Labor (II) Dockworkers, Boatmen, etc. 5-7
Labor (III) Unskilled Laborers 3-5
Fringe (II) Prostitutes 2-5
Marginal 2 6,000 Fringe (II) Smugglers 1-3
Fringe (III) Beggars, Thieves, etc. 0-2