THE CITY STATE OF MERCEN
It's all about the cold, hard cash and everything that you can do to make it.
Population: 19 Million people live in the city alone, and not one of the races of Vangaard is left out.
Government: Plutocracy. The City State of Mercen is full run and operated by the merchant guilds of the city. The guild that's generating the most money, takes charge of the city, earning the title of Archmerchant. Currently, and for the past 18 years, Isabela Dorado, the proprietor of Liquid Gold Oil Co.
Culture: Mercen is a melting pot. You can find folks of all shapes, sizes, heritages, races, professions, societal standings, religious beliefs, and cultural backgrounds.
Commerce: Oil, Silver, Weapons, Airships, Ships, Radios, Mercenaries, All Manner of Commercial Goods
Defence: The City itself is surrounded by large reinforced stone walls, with each district cordoned off by their own inner walls. The outer walls are lined with aritllery, and patrolled by walker mechs. Additionally, the port is also walled, and the skies are patrolled by military airships. In terms of a military, Mercen does not have a traditional military force, however, as part of contractual obligations, any Mercenary not on active contract is to serve as part of Mercen's standing army.
Prime Deity: There is no fixed or preferred deity in Mercen, but Kromm usually come to front, being the God of Commerce and Trade.
Important Organisations: Mercen Guild Conglomerate, Mercen's Mercenary Companies, Mercen Police and Revenue Commission, Mercen School of Commerce and Trade, The Novak Gang, Bergmann und Horn Central Bank.
Hallmarks: Plutocratic Society, those who earn the most money for the city are placed in charge, Everything is for sale, A contractually obliged standing military,
Fashion: In Mercen, expect to see all of the continents styles blended together in one place, where people tend to pick and choose what suits them, but everything is always in white and grey, as is the law here in Mercen. Mercen gets its name from its association with the mercantile, whether that's Merchants or Mercenaries, that's up to you. People are forbidden from showing allegiance to any group, organisation or nation when roaming the streets of Mercen, and only those in a position of law enforcement, are permitted to wear the colour black, as to differentiate them from the remainder of society
Interesting Things About The City State of Mercen:
Mercen city police serve a number of roles. They act totally independently of the mercantile factions within the city, and have always been set up in way that they may do so. This is to prevent the traditional plutocratic system from becoming truly and utterly corrupt. Typically, the police here are peacekeepers, and seek to mediate disputes, ensure that inter-organisational violence doesn't occur, and to investigate corruption and crime. The majority of the police force in Mercen are compromised of an order of monks whose monastery is located in the heart of the city.
Any sort of display of allegiance while within the city is strictly prohibited. As a result, all citizens must wear clothing that consists of materials in shades of white and grey. Jewellery is not prohibited, and one may wear any sort of jewellery made from any material that one wishes, provided that it does not identify you as a member of any particular organisation. This would mean that signet rings, or medallions, that bear a company logo, brand or rank are prohibited. These rules do not apply in specific circumstances, such as wearing company colours or paraphernalia while present on the property or premises of said company. The only exception to this, is as mentioned, the police force, who are entitled to wear black, and have coloured accents denoting their rank and department.
Commerce is the primary language of Mercen. While the overwhelming majority of conversation in Mercen takes places in Common, and usually only doesn't in cases where an involved party doesn't actually speak Common, the language that everyone understand is money. Whether that currency be actual tendered coin, a credit note from a bank, or materials of value, it's commonplace for transactions to be made as part of casual conversation in Mercen. Don't be surprised, and certainly don't be offended, if almost immediately after being introduced to a person, they make you an offer for something on your person. In Mercen, this type of request is not to be seen as something that should offend, but actually quite the opposite. In a city where everything can be bought, it should be taken as a compliment if someone sees something of yours as desirable.
Geography: The land in and around Mercen is typically gentle hills and plains, with small woodland areas scattered throughout. Near the city itself is a small mountain range, that is jam packed with ore veins.
The City State of Mercen is only 82 years old. Youth, however, is not something that is hindering the growth of this small nation. In its short tenure as an independent country, Mercen has already grown to be one of the most populous nations in the continent, taking on countless expatriates over the years. The city has its natives, but this demographic is comparatively small, with the city only really reaching its 4th generation of native inhabitants. The city is a massive melting pot of cultures from the world over, with people of all races congregating with one common goal; earn, accumulate, gather, swindle, or steal money. It doesn't matter how people here get it, they just know that they have to get it.
Mercen is the jewel of trade in all of Vangaard. The vast majority of trade makes is way through here in some way, shape or form. Whether it be produced here, pass through en route to its destination, or that it simply have profits from its sale redirect back here, almost all of the money in the continent is being processed in Mercen, and you could guarantee that, unless it's freshly minted, any coin in your hand has been there at least once. Even though all of the world's banks are owned, operated and run by Dwarves, the central bank is located in the heart of Mercen, and sits directly opposite the Guildhall, the cities seat of power. Seeing as the seat of power here is granted to the person who generated the most income in the calendar year, it only seems fitting that their office overlooks the single largest collection of coin in the known world.
In Mercen, everyone has a profession. Those professions, however, could be absolutely anything. That could be a humble baker, run-of-the-mill smith, or a talented craftsperson. It could also be a professional soldier for hire, much sought after enchanter, or an inventor of new technologies. It may also be a career criminal. Everything in Mercen is business, and that includes crime. There is a sort of legitimisation of the criminal underworld here in Mercen. If you're paying tax, you're a contributing member of society. That means that some gangs, crime families, and other criminal organisations often operate within the confines of the law. Racketeering, manufacture of illicit substances, and even theft - to some degree - are all fair game, if your organisations earnings are declared, and the appropriate cut is paid into the Guild coffers. The biggest crime in Mercen, is making adjustments to your ledgers.
Mercen, or The City State of Mercen, isn't as localised as one might think, or be led to believe. The city is not the only territory owned and operated by the state. The state owns a large portion of land surrounding the city, in which to produce necessary provisions and resources for trade, such as food, lumber, iron, silver, gold amongst a plethora of others. In addition to this, the state also owns tiny pockets of other nations, where they have bought up the rights to certain resources and locations within other countries, and these aren't just limited to the likes of ports and transport hubs, but also archaeological sites, and places of cultural and historical significance. When Mercen is involved, it's not just a cultural matter, of course. It seeks to turn these for profit, whether it be generating revenue through tourist attractions, and actively investigating and trying to discover valuable relics.
Mercen has recently taken in a significant number of refugees, due to the explosive outbreak of vampires and their thralls in Baslovia. The displaced Gnomes have had to find somewhere to settle, with many trying to makes lives in Nerboltland, The Kingdom of Tearmann, and some of the weatlhy taking up residence in Val Gideau, the vast majority have wound up in Mercen, either trying to ply a trade, or take up arms in Mercenary companies, in order to make
a decent wage.
Mercen and its Districts:
Mercen: The city itself is split into large districts that encompass the vocation that it's devoted to. All of those are listed below. In addition to these, there are a number of agricultural, and resource based industries located outside of the city walls.
The Directorate District: The location of many important government based buildings, including The Guildhall, Mercen Police Headquarters, and The Central Bank. Additionally, Guild Leaders, Company Heads and Chairpersons live here.
The Port District: Location of all Shipping and Manifest in Mercen, and not just sea based trade, but also that comes via airship.
The Grand Bazaar: A labyrinthine market that winds through the streets and parks of Mercen. Craftspersons stalls littered throughout, mixed amongst shops and stores and premised merchants, it's almost a puzzle to find what you're looking for, but that's sort of the point.
The Mercenary Charter: If you need to hire an individual specialising in wet work, a squad to clear a cave of some bandits, or a legion to take on a whole army, you go here to get it signed off.
The Commons: Everyone in Mercen who isn't of utmost importance lives here. This massive urban sprawl is home to almost 19 million people, and shows no sign of getting smaller.
Carnival Row: While there are plenty of taverns dotted throughout the city, Carnival Row is home to Mercens clubs, venues, theatres and all other manners of Entertainment.
The Guildward: Every guild in Mercen has their own personal guild quarters here. While The Guildhall contains an office for each of these guilds, that office is for political purposes and endeavours. Trade, contracts and other such dealings take place in their local hall.
Collegiate Quarter: Libraries, Colleges and Universities, both mundane and magical, places of Science and discovery. All of the known information in the world is likely accessible here, somewhere, if you know where to look.
The Industrial District: Filled with factories, workshops, production lines, generators and power sources. If it needs to produced on a large scale, it happens here
Making a Character from here:
How do you make your money? What do you do? Are you a skilled crafter, a labourer, a musician, an actor, a shipwright, a soldier, a cop or a criminal? Whatever you do to make your money, you should be proud of it, as everyone here usually is.
How did you come to be in Mercen? Were you one of the few who were born here? If so, maybe it might be worth thinking about why your ancestors came here, or about how growing up in a place consumed by greed might affect you as a person. Or, like most others, who chose to move here, what was it that pushed you to do this? Was it out of desire, or necessity.
Where do your loyalties lie? If you're a member of a guild, do you actively support and contribute to them? Maybe you actually sell company secrets to your employers competitors. If you work indepently, how do you prevent the big brands from buying you out, or shutting you down? If you're a criminal, do you pay into guild coffers to keep the police off your back, or do you risk their ire by keeping it all for yourself?
Mercen does not have its own naming culture. Names are pulled from all potential sources in order to pick something appropriate. Some families may choose to stick with a name befitting their heritage, some may select one from another cultural group. Others may choose to avoid naming cultures the world over in their entirety, and come up with something new.