Duchy of Adria

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Duchy of Adria
The Coat of Arms of the ruling House of Sarkozic. A silver eagle wields a bloodied gold shortsword and a ring decorated with two stars; imagery of the saints Adrian and Tobias of Aldersberg.
Capital: Little Belvitz
Founder: Paul Sarkozic and Franz Vladovic
Government: Feudal Elective
Duke of Adria: Markus Sarkozic
Notable Adrians:
John "The Good" Sarkozic
Timeo de la Baltas
Claudius Bracchus
Vladan Valic
Vesna "the Older" Valic Carrion
Septimius Bracchus
Demetrio di Montelliano
Alfred Myre
Darius Ault
Josip Sarkozic
Ratibor Carrion
Valera Carrion
Paul Varoche
Heinrik Sarkozic
Jan Ivanovich
Stefan Euler
Religion: Canonism
Language(s): Common, Raevir
Preceded by: Title Created
Succeeded by: Title Restored

The Duchy of Adria (High Imperial: Ducatus Adriae, Raev: Gercogstva Adrija) is a storied title dating back to the realm of Athera where it was founded as a County by a union of the Houses Sarkozic and Vladovic, and soon after elevated to a march, then a duchy by Paul Sarkozic and Franz Vladovic after further consolidation by the two. Adria would go on to be destroyed and restored numerous times, bringing with it a defiant legacy of an old feudal system founded in the midst of Heartlander and Raevir culture. It would maintain strong affiliation with the legacy of the Carrion Vochna, leading to fluctuating alliances and rivalries with its sister Crow culture of Haense. Adria also maintained a loose connection to Renatus and the Horens due to the roots of House Sarkozic, leading to their frequent backing despite occasional opposition. In the realm of Aevos, the Adrians endeavor in a struggle to solidify their own legacy independent of both the ancient Carrion Vochna it once founded its legitimacy upon and despite the numerous interruptions to its history.


After close to five centuries since the duchy's founding in Athera, the history of Adria itself not the cultures which initially colored it has begun to determine its culture. Families such as the Eulers and Sarkozics are not loyal to the legacy of Adria out of love for the stories of the Carrion Vochna, but rather a dedication to the shared identity within the Adrian Duma and the multitude of sufferings Adria has endured over the centuries. They are a feudal and superstitious people who do not enjoy the same luxuries of fine silks or vast libraries as their cousins in Haense nor Balian, but nonetheless take a great pride in their duma and their people's duke.

The ancient histories of Adria as recalled by its ruling class take a great pride in the Canonist tradition, though they hold a implicit distrust of any alleged clerical infallibility after a rocky recent history with the Church. This feeling is greater amongst the lowborn and much of the gentry, who sometimes against the wishes of their rulers will foster an outright hatred of the Church authority. Despite this, Adria is home to many priests and monastics, who command the respect of their own locale.

Whilst their crowsblood cousins call themselves highlander and their neighbors call themselves heartlander, the Adrian is encouraged to identify as a midlander; a people whose traditions have been shaped by steady historical patterns of razed cities, militarism and agrarian economics.


The government of Adria has gone through many changes, but always there has been a feudal council dubbed the DUMA. The Adrian Duma has evolved over the years, adding to its ranks lowborn public officials appointed by election or merits, notable gentry as reward for heroics and common Aldermen taken from the streets to represent random opinions. Despite the robust civic institutions it remains a feudal duchy with the duke often maintaining absolute control, though he is elected at the discretion of the Adrian Duma.


Athera & Adria's Origins

After the fall of the Kingdom of Renatus, the feudatories that first made up Adria were sovereign and self-ruled. The Briarwoods in the County of Owynswood to the north, the Vladovs on the mountain peak of the Barony of Woldzmir to their south, the Sarkozic de Montforts running a mercantile Barony of Montfort in the plateau on the southern foothills of Woldzmir, and the sprawling County of Werdenberg filling the fertile farmlands below.

The Baronial Council of Montfort decided that it would be in their best interest to work with their northern neighbor, and cousin by Carrion blood, House Vladov, to provide protection for Montfort and political guidance for Woldzmir. The two signed a treaty which established the Confederated County of Adria, named for the St. Adrian whose blood ran through the de Montforts' veins, and elected Franz Vladov as Count.

Through political manipulations and shows of force, the House de Montfort managed to wrest the County of Owynswood from the control of House Briarwood, and were on the edge of a war with the Briarwood's lords, de Savoie, were it not for a settlement of a paltry sum of 8,000 minas for the land to become part of Adria.

Continued political machinations of the House Sarkozic de Montfort, backed by the cold steel and international renowned of the Vladov Vanguard, led to the acquisition of the County of Werdenberg as a vassal, the Count Athelstan Stafyr swearing to Adria in exchange for the payment of the House Stafyr's back taxes. This expansion made the now March of Adria three counties large, and the Comital Council of Adria sought promotion to Ducal status for its great size.

After acquiring its Duchy, the Duke of Adria set his sights on a treasonous Barony to his west, Dragonspeak, into which he installed the Baron Illaustious Horen of Marna, and the southern County of Fursten and Barony of Kazirmir, all of which fell under the Adrian yoke.

When the great ships sailed for Vailor, shortly after the election of Hugues Sarkozic de Montfort to the Ducal seat, the Adrians sailed too, finding the fertile new heartland desirable for settlement. There they reestablished the Duchy of Adria, with the City of Brelus as its capital and the Vladov owned County of Barrowyk as its military center.

After the defeat of Adria at the hands of Augustus d'Amaury during the Dukes' War the lands and titles belonging to the former Duchy were given to Augustus who renamed the Duchy to Lorraine.

Atlas & The First Restoration

The Second Duchy of Adria is an duchy located in the lands surrounding the estuary of the Baltas River. Located just south of the Cloud Temple and encompassing the frequently traveled "Whispering Crossroads" which connect most of the major nations of Atlas. The area quickly fell in favor with merchants, craftsmen, and laborers alike due to the easy access to waterways and frequently patrolled roads.

Initially the lands of Adria were settled by wayward farmers and fishermen. Its strategic geographical position allowed it to quickly grow out to become an important centre of trade in central Atlas. The first rulers of these lands were the Mercenarial Free Company of The Black Reiters, a group of equestrian mercenaries who settled the region along with the first wave of commoners.

Upon the reemergence of Houses Sarkozic, Vladov, Ivanovich and the ennobling of House Valic, The city of Belvitz was seized from its previous owners by the Kingdom of Renatus, on charges of treason and corruption, and in turn bestowed upon the newly remade Duchy of Adria. Several improvements were made upon the city, and under the new administration the city was given new life.

The City and the Duchy came under great threat during the Hansetian-Renatian Wars, especially against the Reiver Highwaymen, who under the excuse of mercenary contract ravaged the Baltas Basin without remorse. Adria was mostly successful in dealing with the bandits, their attacks ceasing when the Reivers’ disbandment in 1681 alleviated Adria.

During the 2nd Courlandic Rebellion, Belvitz served as the Staunton King's war goal, and if not for the successful siege of Whitepeak, would've been seized by the forces.

During the Pogrom Crisis of 1672, The Red Cloak Menace and the Inquisition were constant threats to the Municipality, and tormented the Elves who inhabited its slums, likely in response to the city's failure to expel the excommunicated Sabo Gradic.

The Boar and the Burgher

The creation of the Municipal Government in Belvitz sparked perhaps one of the fiercest peaceful political rivalries in recent history, between the Burgher Party, led by Sabo Gradic, and the Traditionalist Party, led by Marshal of Adria and Captain of the Belvitz Watch Vladan Valic. The conflict seized the entire city, and held the finances of the city and its protection at ransom, each being used as bargaining chips between the two men in order for each to seize more political gravitas in the Ducal Court and in the Belvitz Government.

The conflict began upon the creation of the position of City Clerk, who through the workings of Sabo Gradic soon became the chief holder of the city's finances. Valic, with the constituency of the Duchy's nobles and the city's guards, began to resist the growing power of the position, an initial conflict erupting between them upon the Excommunication crisis of 1665. The Crisis began upon Sabo Gradic's decision to establish a Municipal Bishop, essentially overriding the authority of the Pontiff. The Crisis ended upon the appointment of a Bishop to Adria by the Pontiff, and the excommunication of Broos Wellis and Sabo Gradic for their actions and refusal to apologize. However, the ripples of the splash in the political pond continue to have effect today.

The conflict took another turn upon the regency of the position of Maer, essentially making Gradic the chief administrator of the City. With such power, Gradic began to take great leaps of both power and finances, through extremely questionable means. In response, the Duke created the Council of Aldermen, which was designed to enforce a check and balance to Gradic's political clout. However, without resistance, Sabo stealthily maneuvered himself into the position of Chief Alderman. Valic countered by filling the bench with his guardsmen. The game of chess continued, with laws established by both to put the other in their place, escalating the conflict until Valic made the decision to abolish the city guard, instead creating a Ducal Order, free of the City's influence, and Gradic created a government shutdown in protest.

Sabo Gradic would later die due to drowning in the Baltas River Basin, his assailant unknown. Valic would go on to inherit the Barony of Vilacz, taking the keep and establishing it as the Order's base of operations. These events later led to The Vladan Trial.

Bracchus Ascendant, Bracchus in Ruin; The Mad Duke Ascendant, The Mad Duke's Flight

The arrival of Septimius and Claudius Bracchus and the Illatian host would come to redefine Adrian politics. Septimius, the younger of the brothers, arrived in Adria by his lonesome, and through expert political maneuvering assumed the role of Baron of Aesculus, forced the exile and likely death of one Vladan Valic. He shortly thereafter became the most significant name in the Duchy. What would follow would be the most defining period of Adria's recent history: The Rise of The Mad Duke, and lament of Septimius.

Upon the Abdication of John the Good, the role of Duke was hotly contested. Based on what some would describe as merit, others ruthless ambition, the role should've gone to Septimius. However, Ducal tradition would imply the role to go to the only candidate of Carrion blood, Josip Sarkozic. At the election, Septimius led an attempted coup against the young Sarkozic, backed by his Ilatian host, who had effectively alienated and marginalized the existing population of Adria into servitude or exile, and a party of Orcs and mercenaries. Josip, though extremely outnumbered, was rescued by a force of Renatian knights, led by Konyves Ivanovich, who proceeded to slaughter all but the Brothers Bracchi themselves.

Josip seized the role of Duke, inheriting a crippled Duchy, filled with poverty, enemies in exile, and foreign powers willing to manipulate him. This circumstance brought forth extreme paranoia, anger and distrust in the Duke, and while he did, with the help of the pardoned Claudius Bracchus, revitalize the Adrian Duchy and city of Belvitz, his demeanor led to the isolation of Adria diplomatically among the vassals of the Empire of Man. This external pressure, coupled with the dissent being sown by Claudius internally led Josip to extreme drug abuse, one of these substances being tainted by one "Mister Locklear," an international agent of chaos. The Tainted Drug led Josip's already crippling paranoia to force him to flee the Duchy with the Ducal Coronet. He would only return to assume the role of Duke once more to foil a scheme by Claudius to dissolve the Duchy and make Belvitz his personal fiefdom, shortly after having a severe heart attack and stroke from years of drug abuse.

Ratibor I Carrion, grandson of Alexei the Pirate, would later assume the throne. Josip, despite his internal success in revitalizing the Duchy, would forever be known as the Mad Duke.

Ratibor Ascendant; Ratibor's Disappearance; The Adrian-Curonian War

Ratibor's scramble to the throne was regarded as a great moment for Adria, as the House of Carrion returned to the Ducal throne following Sarkozic madness. Though short, his tenure saw the development of many cultural feats in Adrian ordinance, such as defenestration becoming favored as a popular method for punishment towards local convicts. Though mildly barbaric, this method was successful in drastically lowering levels of crime, for people feared the large heights they could be flung from. His reign also rejuvenated the concept of a Duma (which previously existed but lacked enthusiasm and much consideration) as the general governing body below the Duke himself. The Duma highlighted the ails of Adrian Citizens before those of nobility, creating an atmosphere of true liberty and democracy in Adrian administration.

For these reformations, Ratibor 'the Good' was considered a patriot in the archetype of Adrian freedom, but his mind seemed incapable to handle the responsibilities given to him, as he distanced himself continuously from political plights within the city. Ratibor's reign ended with his sudden disappearance, but not before he caused a formidable chaos in the climate of the Empire's peace...

Prior to Ratibor's sudden disappearance, however, he'd been antagonizing the Duke of Curon with the mention of an honorable duel, and when the curonian duke refused to participate in such a match, Ratibor and the Adrians rose to call him a weak man. Ratibor's words spoke firmly through the streets of Belvitz, claiming war against the Curonians, due to his firm belief in the "cowardice of the curonites." The entirety of the united empire held it's breath in wait whilst the curonians responded, never before yet experiencing a war between it's most loyal vassals; The terms were set for battle, and battle it would be.

With a new duke having to be chosen posthaste by the Adrian Duma as a result of the missing Ratibor, Adrian morale did not reach nearly that of the flourishing Curonian state. The elected Duke, and supposed son of Ratibor, Paul II, inherited a country in the midst of a soul-crushing war. Come the day of battle, both sides were thirsty for the other's blood to be spilled. When Curon had officially risen as the victor, Adrians succumbed to the terms set for their defeat, which would be of marriage between the orphaned daughter of the lost Ratibor, Mariya, and a chosen son of the Duke of Curonia.

The loss in battle directly led to Adria's development into a state of political and social prowess, instead of military, which would define the decisions of the Adrian people from that day forth.

Arcas & The Second Restoration

Pressures of Rebellion; Silver in the Dragon's Scales; Carry On, Carrion

The reign of Paul I Carrion was marked with extreme tension. Relations between Curon and Adria were abysmal, the Emperors of Man grew jealous of their own subjects growing population, and the Duke himself grew more ambitious by the day. Boris Carrion, the Duke's brother, ejected his grandmother, a Horen, from the city over a domestic dispute, and in response, the Dragon Knights led by Antonius, then the crown prince, rode to the city, threatening its destruction. In response, Paul took upon the hiring of several mercenary and bandit companies as protectors of the city, raising tensions even further. This tension was raised even further when the Emperor, Augustus I, abdicated to his son, in the same edict declaring Paul I a bastard of he and his own sister, an incestual Jrent, who would take the name Varoche. This insult to the Carrion line led Chekhov Carrion, cousin to the Duke and Marshal of Adria, to have those bandit and mercenaries—led by the Reivers—capture the Emperor on the Road, and, if sources are to be believed, kill him in the palace. Chekhov was banished from Adria in response, who feared a war between Empire and Duchy.

From that day, there was a noticeable change in demeanor from the Emperor. It was speculated, and generally believed, that the line of Antonius died that day, and in an attempt to maintain the stability of the Empire, the Emperor was impersonated by a man known as Calculus de Sola with the assistance from the Imperial Council. A common bandit of prestigious heritage and an uncanny likeness to the deceased Emperor, Calculus would split his time between the palace and the streets of Ves, killing and harassing citizens.

Calculus de Sola would deliver an ultimatum to Paul. Flee the Duchy, and surrender all of its leadership, or the city would burn. In response, Paul abdicated to Marius I of Haense, believing at the time the King's holding would allow the city greater protection. Instead, the new Duke and King burnt down the city on the Emperor's commands, forsaking the Duchy of Adria and leaving Ves in ruins, only to be restored to functionality by Alfred Myre, and never to be the seat of Adria again.

       See also: Republic of Ves

Adrian's Restoration

Adrian's Restoration is largely remembered for the now-despised Adrian Sarkozic who restored Adria in the Barony of Renzfeld just to attempt and claim the Imperial Throne and force its people to abandon their beloved rural Renzfeld in favor of the fortified Imperial Capital of Helena where he ruled for six years as its Lord-Protect of Oren. Yet, in the end many families such as the de Ruyters, Eulers and Hargraves who helped establish the Duchy did not take it lightly and abandoned the country and their former liege to wander. In the end, only few would remember this time with fond memories and if so, only for the valiant victory over Lorraine.

Almaris and the Sarkozic Restoration

Towards the end of the first century of the second age, Heinrik Sarkozic once more gathered the families of the Adrian diaspora and started to unite them under one home, swearing fealty to the United Kingdom of Aaun and gathering his people at Camp Baltas, right north of Eastfleet. With the backing of the Church and sheer numbers of patrician and peasant families of the Adrian diaspora, Heinrik secured both elections in spite of opposition efforts from Haeseni crows to a reunified Adria.

Many groups flocked to the prosperous trade town, with notable contributions of Sigismund Varoche and Stefan Euler in the growth of the city. As families continued to flock in, controversy would rise with the arrival of more militant and Renatian-influenced families joining Adria. The Duke Heinrik sought to let them in, keeping to an older tradition of Adrian militarism and seeking to help secure his duchy from further intervention; however this weakened it in other ways, for many of the bastions of newer Adrian culture fled- notably the Varoche family and their chancellor. Sigismond Varoche sought to claim the duchy with the backing of Aaun, and Heinrik's Rebellion broke out.

The Greycloaks with leadership from the Vilacs, Von Dracos and Van Aerts won staggering victories against Aaun, the battle of Rolly's Hill resulting in a decisive Adrian Victory- though many critics argued it was more of a victory for the new houses than the Duchy's now split older generation. By force, Adria was able to secure its independence and respect in the international scene. This was challenged a final time with the Battle of Two Steeples, where Heinrik was nearly assassinated in a Cathedral in Haense and chased back to Adria, where an intense battle with odds against the Adrians ended again beneath a steeple with a heroic victory of the outnumbered Adrians against a coalition of Aaunites, Haenseni, and Balianites.

The coalition war began in earnest with frequent skirmishes and road blockades, especially within the Heartlands. Around this time, Heinrik Sarkozic resigned as duke confident in his successor having a strong hand to bargain with. He was followed by Duke Johanes van Aert, whose family had great political power from their leading role in the military defense of Adria. His vision was proved, as the Adrian Greycloaks at first displayed military dominance, however with Haense's own part in the war escalating the northern Haeseni would come down to stop Adrian traffic on the roads. With the Mori'quessir invasions, Duke Johanes offered white peace to the coalition that was not outright denied, but was ignored on multiple occassions. The skirmishes continued as the continent fell into chaos, and onto the next lands the war would continue.

Lord Chancellor and Count of Aldersberg Markus Sarkozic, youngest son of Heinrik, would pursue a proud Adrian cultural identity as well as diplomatic efforts to end the war. With the backing of Johanes, he had the church's mandates against Adria cleared away. This however led to great opposition from a heretical mercenary group called the Canons Regular which had taken up home in Adria, who frequently assaulted men of Aldersberg in opposition to their Count. Duke Johanes was slow to punish them, observing their incredible diligence in military operations as well as their promises to cooperate with pre-existing Adrians, however it all blew over when they launched an assassination attempt on the Count and his wife Oksana. They were thereafter quickly exiled, and a peace with the coalition was accepted.

With the war at a close, Johanes abdicated the title of Duke of Adria so that the nation which had moved away from the Sarkozic-affiliated identity (predominantly its ruling class) and instead made a declaration of Veletz; to establish a new realm based on the shared story of Veletzia- the Raevir name of Velec- that had brought this new group together. With political manuevering and great support from the men of Verbant, Markus Sarkozic secured the title once again for his house and immediately moved to dismiss the old Duma's influence on Adria, citing the precedent of preventing non-Adrian interests from impacting the culture that led to that iteration's founding in the first place.

Adria and Aldersberg

During the League of Veletz period, the Duke of Adria would remain a prominent political figure and ally of the Van Aert, but with the Duchy of Adria within his control and based out of the keep at Aldersberg, his primary loyalty shifted from his liege and onto his own legacy. He set about promoting his own duma outside of the capital, and attempted to raise his own levy with initial success but diminishing energy as pressure from the Capital discouraged his growth. Notably during this time, he instructed a squire Gaspard van Aert in the way of chivalry. When an Adrian family of long service was told at court that their noble status within the League of Veletz would only be restored upon their withdrawal from the Adrian duma, Markus fell into disease and Aldersberg diminished, many Adrians returning to the capital of Winburgh.

Soon thereafter, Gaspard van Aert would be made ruler of the League of Veletz, though the Duke of Adria remained absent from politics. This absence would come to haunt Markus, as diplomacy in his absence turned many gained allies against Veletz, and a great coalition war began. The Duke of Adria sought to restore the Adrian identity during this period, hosting dumas again and rallying families to his banner. He met great success, though not before the war had already began to take its toll against a losing Veletz. In an act of desperation, the Duke of Adria persuaded Gaspard van Aert to abdicate to him so that the diplomacy of House Sarkozic might prevail; thus making the Duchy of Adria the primary state of the Aevos midlands. This was met with mixed results, as the Church was immediately brought to reconciliation and many nations began to lose interest in total war; but many maintained skepticism and pursued the war further.

(WIP- Ongoing)