Commonwealth of the Petra
The Commonwealth of the Petra is a Republic led by its knightly order and ideals that formed its capital in Valfleur, in the center of the Petra River Valley. Its foundation began with the Burning of Garmont, an act by the King of Oren during the Harvest Revolution. This resulted in the creation of a meritocratic republic that required knighthood to rise to the highest offices, although its foundational constitution would not be published until the next year in 1883. While originally a member state of the Harvest Confederation, the Harvest's dissolution in 1892 led to the inadvertent independence of the republic.
The Foundational Period
The Lords of the Commonwealth were originally vassals of the Kingdom of Oren - many, even cadets of its ruling House. With the Resolution of Acre, however, began a civil war. Geographically isolated from the capital, the levies of the Petra congregated at the base of the Garmont - a huge castle built in the Orenian style upon its namesake mountain. An Orenian army, however, was able to break through Harvester lines formed at Acre, and made their way towards the Acrean ally of Minitz. Mistaking the assembled Petrine forces as a besieging force of Minitzers, the Orenians first occupied, then burned down the Garmont late in 1882. This action, viewed as a breaking of its feudal contract, led Paul Salvian, Count of Temesch, after having been endowed the land by the formerly feudal Countess of Mardon, to gather the Petrine lords and form a Commonwealth, declaring himself its Regent.
The next year, upon the brokering of peace with the shattered remnants of the Kingdom's government, the assembled Petrans promulgated the Petrine Constitution, enshrining the gentry as their primary government in the hopes of the creation of a meritocratic republic and voting in Dame Catherine of Furnestock as their first Chancellor. Soon after, the abandoned village of Old Vienne - once part of the crownland territories of King Frederick I - was renamed to Valfleur, after the River Valley it was nestled within, and made capital of the Commonwealth.
The Sealed Pact
Early in 1892, as the term of Dame Catherine was ending and farewell parties beginning, disaster was heard from abroad - that another member of the Harvest Confederation, the Barony of Acre, had launched a small-scale invasion of Balian in search of a long-deserted exile. As part of the treaty brokered soon after, the Commonwealth of the Petra was made an independent nation-state - and as part of that it was forced to begin an emergency reorganization, postponing elections as it transitioned to a council it called the Round Table under the new Grandmaster Ser Bernard of Brasca.
The Petran Civil War
In 1908, an internal conflict between Archduchess Renilde I and her then-husband Archduke Constanz Novellan began due to an affair that the Archduchess had with Prince Marius Audemar of Haense. The former Archduke attempted to coup his Sovereign wife, rallying citizens in the streets of Valfleur and declaring martial law. Thus, two sides were formed. The Partisan Loyalists, led by their Sir Paul Montalt in defense of Archduchess Renilde I, and the Sons of Petra Resistance Movement, led by their Archduke Constanz. This conflict lasted for a full year until the Loyalist Partisans successfully reclaimed the Capital of Valfleur in an outnumbered battle in the city square.
The Sovereign Order of the Petrine Laurel
The Sovereign Order of the Petrine Laurel is the Knightly order and a requirement to be considered for the Round Table, the governing body of the Commonwealth. It affords rights, privileges, and duties, and is viewed as the highest accomplishment one might receive within the Commonwealth. From an election of Knights is elected a Chanzlé, the head of the Commonwealth and its government.
Current Chanzlé: Sir Laurens Halcourt
Previous Heads of Government : Dame Catherine of Furnestock, Ser Bernard of Brasca
The Order in particular is made of three different circles; the Circle of Saint Emma, of the Eagle, and of the Star - overseen in general by the Honne-Chivaliyont, though each is given some capacity of self-governance. The Circle of Saint Emma is made up almost purely of Dames and their wards, encompassing the knightly ideals of tradition; the Circle of the Eagle, of the Order's great warriors and chosen via such deeds as the slaying of demonkin; and the Circle of the Star, of its eminent leaders, each raised through squireship and nationally important quests.
The Knights of the Round Table
The Round Table is the Executive Government of the Commonwealth of the Petra and is run by high-ranking Knights. The Chair of the Round Table is the Chanzlé, called the Chancellor in most other cultures.
The Chanzlé, Sir Laurens Halcourt
The Honne-Chivaliyont, Sir Octavian Carolicz
The Régismont, Sir Ledicort d'Azor
The Attachanté, Sir Nicolas Wittenbach
The Traditio Custodis, Sir Friend of the River
Nobility of the Commonwealth
Those nobles that made up the lords of the Petra River Valley prior to the foundation of the Commonwealth were enshrined as the Old Regime, a body of ceremonial nobles, for their sincerity in reducing their own power for a better future. Their leader is the Archduke, head of state of the Commonwealth. Presently, however, they are just referred to as the Peers of the Realm
- The House of the Petra, Archdukes of the Petra, Counts of Temesch and Moere
- The House of Halcourt, Marquis of Clermont, Barons of Artois
- The House of Azor, Counts of Azor
- The House of Vilain, Barons of Acre
- The House of Mösu, Vavasours of Redloga
First Archduke: Paul Salvian, Archduke of the Petra Current Archduchess: Renilde Helena, Archduchess of the Petra
Heartlanders make up almost the entirety of the Commonwealth of the Petra; many are refugees from the Grenz or the burned-out crownlands that once made up the kingdom of Oren.
The Commonwealth of Petra adheres to Canonism, specifically via the Canonist Church - though Owynism is oft-represented among its peasantry, a holdover from previous regimes. It has oft been a site of visits from not only the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church, highly celebrated and welcomed by the fervent populace, but also of the High Pontiff himself - with the re-consecration of the Chapel of Saint Emma of Woldzmir overseen by the Holy See itself.
The Commonwealth of the Petra is bounded in the south by the large, winding River Petra, to the east by Lake Providence, a calm lake whose chief export is trout, and to the north and west by the Grenz. The majority of it is covered in a sprawling, dense spruce forest - what portions of it have been colonized are made up of small hamlets and fortifications, save its capital of Valfleur.
Major landmarks include the Ruins of Garmont, today used to memorialize the knights past and present of the Commonwealth, Castle Moere, where the Petrine Constitution was signed by its founders, and of course, the capital of Valfleur - where the Petran Patriot, its tavern, is frequented by bawdy knights, and the Chapel of Saint Emma of Woldzmir nearby is the site of confession and quiet prayer.