The Delightful Adventures of Dick's Daring Delvers
The Free City of Merrin
The city-state of Merrin is a moderately sized city of around 16,000. The city is constructed on the side of the western coastal cliffs of the Eshrin Sea. The city enjoys the protection of the sea on one side, and a high stone wall around the rest of the circumference.
The town is ruled by the High Lord, much like a dictatorship. The High Lord changes laws, excises taxes, declares war, passes sentence all according to his own desires. However, like all governing bodies, the people have the final say, and should the High Lord anger the Merriners too much he runs the risk of a revolt. Other lesser Lords and nobles also vie for the support of the people in the hope of rising to power. High Lord George Banaard is the current ruler of Merrin, and his family has been in power since the city-state adopted High Lords in 1906.
Merrin has been a strong economic and military force in the region since soon after it was founded in 1809. This is because Merrin has always had a strong navy to defend and nearly control the waters of the Eshrin Sea. Merrin exports mostly finished goods, fish, and lumber. The primary imports are metals, dyes, animal products, and silks. But pretty much everything passes through Merrin on its way around this corner of the Civilized Lands.
Although there is no overwhelmingly popular religion among Merriners, the most prominent ones are Gorgauntin, Ammar, and Zon. The only official temple in Merrin is the Alter of Storms, dedicated to Gorgauntin.
A scholar, on Merrin:
Very well. Merrin was founded by a pirate band about two hundred years ago. The band
was known as the Sea Ravens. The Sea Ravens sought a defensible place to port since the
Eshrin Sea was quite dangerous as that time, and the place that modern day Merrin sits, was ideal.
Well, over the course of about fifty years the settlement grew to a population of around two thousand. At this time the town was run by the Pirate Lords of the Sea Ravens, but that was soon to change. After some civil unrest, the government of Merrin changed to an elected town council of five.
Yes, well, the Council of Five ran the city quite well for the next fifty years, and Merrin grew rapidly. Over the course of those fifty years the population grew to about twelve thousand. The population explosion was due both to the work and planning of the Council, but also the fact that the collapse of the Shapparan Nation. The Shapparan Nation was a group of barbarian tribes that roamed the Wild Plains.
Unfortunately, with the influx of people and wealth during this time, came great jealousy and strife. A pirate king named King Haldric attacked the city over the course of a year or so. Haldric never succeeded in breaching the defenses of Merrin with soldiers, but he had highly trained assassins.
Well, he began murdering each council member one by one. Three died before much was done about it, you see the council members at the time…did not see eye-to-eye. Distrust and intrigues divided them. But the remaining two council members were fairly close, quite close in fact. Some suspect they worked together in their intrigues.
Anyway, the last two Lord Banaard, and Lord Castorin, marshalled their forces and the general forces of Merrin, and struck a counter attack against King Haldric. They sailed to the Pirate King’s island and wiped him out.
Well, yes, in that Merrin’s enemy was seemingly destroyed, but not without casualties. The attack on King Haldric cost thousands of lives, including the life of Lord Castorin. This left Lord Banaard as the sole surviving councilman, with the support of all the remaining Merrin soldiers, and the majority of the Merrin commonfolk.
Lord Banaard named himself High Lord of Merrin, which made him king in all but name. To be honest the facts of the Merrin Pirate War are suspect. Some believe the intrigues of the Merrin Council of Five had much deeper roots than is obvious. But I will not go into that.
Well, High Lord Banaard ruled with ruthless power, but he did complete a large public works project for the city, by fortifying the city walls, and completely paving the streets. His descendants ruled and still rule Merrin to this day.