Trasteverre: The Plain of Shattered LancesEdit
Trasteverre is the stronghold of the religious military order the Valiant Templar. Formed during the 4th Upheavel of at Rivenwar, this order was originally comprise of knights who were the second sons and disinherited scions of their houses forced to take up arms to make a way for themselves in the world. The time of the Upheavals was time of great social stress and religious fervor as the empire was continually overran by the hellspawn spewing forth from the sulfurous uplands of Rivenwar. These knights took both religious and military oaths of fealty to the order. The focal point of their religious devotion was to the Three Crowns: The Crown of Starcrest, The Crown of the Grand Conclaveon of the Order (Magnate of the Crown of Trasteverre), and the Diadem of Luna. For this reason, they often wore a crescent moon flanked by the north star or three golden crowns emblazoned on their regalia. However, they always wore the colors blue, gray, gold, and white - the colors of their order, and the colors of House Starcrest and the Order of Luna, the ancient order upon which their Imperial Charter was based. These monk-knights fought fiercely in the Upheavals, their blood slicking the slopes Uplands, from the Gates of Rivenwar, through the Stone Mountains and Tefra Pass all the way to what was then referred to as the "Plain of Shattered Lances." For this is where the Sons of Starcrest went to die against the Hordes of Rivenwar. As a reward for the Order's valor, in recognition of the lands it has purchased in blood, and in an attempt to organize these free companies into the Imperial apparatus, the High King of Starcrest recognized the order, granting it an Imperial Charter, which included granting the order its own patrimony in the fields of Trasteverre, where their brothers lay slumbering. They were entrusted with guarding the passes to Rivenwar against any future invasion, whether Hellspawn or not. The High King recognized the Order's governing body, the Conclave and its councilors, the Conclaveons as Peers of the Realm, and the Grand Conclaveon that they elected from their midst as the Magnate of the Crown of Trasteverre in perpetuity as long as the order remained feal to the High Throne.
The Valiant Templar did not move into a vacant land. The Crown of Trasteverre was rich, agriculturally productive land, comprised of sweeping, well-watered plains backed by an eastward spur of the Ghaltri Range. At the heart of the Crown was the Northern Fork of the might Tzaltzan. This major tributary flowed from east to west through the Crown meeting with the Mighty Tzaltzan at the capital city of the Crown, known as Lunas, in honor of the order's celestial patroness. Lunas is the Seat of the Valiant Order. Here the Citadel of the Conclave overlooks the confluence of these two mighty rivers and guards the beginning of a series of canals and lockworks which run parallel to the rushing torrent of the Tzaltzan. The Citadel is perched atop of a craggy bluff, the Citadel operates as both a stronghold for the Valiant Order, but also as the throne of the Magnate of the Crown, the Grand Conclaveon. It is after this confluence, known as the North Bend, that the Tzaltzan begins its mighty descent through the Lower Piedmont in a series of mighty cataracts before entering the rich lands of LeBano. The Order makes a handsome revenues from protecting and operating the lockworks which allow the barges and longboats of Tzaltzan Delta to access the upper reaches of this vast river system and thereby access the Imperial trade routes which lead to Ides. These lockworks are guarded by a series of river forts which control access to each lock. Furthermore the entrances to the Upland passes, such as the Tephra Pass, the Warrift Pass and the way to Rimwald and Galtri, are protected by an elaborate series of hillforts which ascent up into the passes to the very border of the other Crowns of the Region. Trasteverre is a vital trade artery which connects all of the trade routes of the Alamastran Empire. It is for this reason that merchants and lords alike resent the Conclave and their order, for their strict imposition of tolls and their wiley independent spirit toward outsiders. Many merchants claim they are forced to pay for armed escorts through the northern passes, complements of the Order's Knights and Retainers, despite hiring their own protection. The Valiants also have an exclusive contact with the Dwarven Lords of Ghaltri to provide armed escorts along the Golden Way through all Ghaltri territory.
The Valiant Templar are a relatively small, but influential minority in the region, any even their own Crown, for that matter. Trasteverre is a very populous agricultural region in the plains and within the Lower Piedmont , away from the rivers and passes which are both the main population centers and the centers of Valiant Power. The plains are richly waters by the rivers from the Ghaltri Range and are stocked with prosperous farming hamlets and mid-sized towns. Many are big enough to seek charters to build walls. The Templar upon inheriting their patrimony and inhabiting the populated towns along the river and passes, embarked campaign to subjugate the rural populace of the plains to the east. For this reason, no villages within the Crown possess a charter of self-government and are not permitted to build town walls, as their Templar lords claim their are protected by the diligent defense works of the Order. Each village has a senior knight set over it in governance, known as a Protector
The Lower Piedmont is a lush rolling land of foothills in the south of the Crown, which approaches the northern reaches of Crown LeBano. This region is sparsely populated, mainly by ancient Clanfolk of Celdsi-Alamastran descent, similar to Caera of the Darkland Realms far to the east. These Clanfolk are allegiant to the Valiant Order as their suzereign, but are not recognized as a political entity by the Order, despite the Order recruiting heavily from this population. The Clanfolk have in recent decades concentrated in fortified communities known as oppedia along clan lines due to a protracted conflict with another nomadic population of this vast wooded region, simply known as the Hillfolk. This has allow the Valiant Order to set it self up within the clan system, by appointing a local chieftain from each Oppedium as a Protector within the Order and allowing him to initiate his armed followers as men-at-arms of the Order.
The Hill Folk are a strange, animistic population of unclear origin. They appear to be a holdout from the Upheaval Period within Rivenwar, touched by the effects of a dark otherworldly curse, so it is said. They are neither allegiant to the Order, nor subjugated by the Alamastran Empire. Their numbers are unknown, as is their language and culture.