The Sovereign State of Talon's Grotto is a nation located on the southernmost tip of Arcas. It is a mixed race city in which the majority is the human and elf population, though the city government is welcoming to all races. Although Talon's Grotto used to be populated chiefly by sailors and other seafarers, the seafaring culture has faded over the years and given way to a more merchant-based economy.
The Sovereign State of Talon's Grotto was founded in the year 1734, and ruled by the first Sovereign, Arthur Sterling, and a small council of others whom he had handpicked to construct the city, with a vision of a pirate haven.
After Arthur Sterling stepped down from their position, an adunian known as Nathaniel Valorum Goldblight took up the title and began to reform Talon's Grotto into the portside trading city that it is known as to this day-- though, there was still a large portion of the pouplation in this time who were avid seafarers. During the reign of Sovereign Goldblight, Talon's Grotto had found itself entangled in a war with the Holy Orenian Empire, and Sovereign Goldblight negotiated a peace, which lead to a farther alliance with the Holy Orenian Empire in the future. The reign of Sovereign Goldblight brought the first golden age to the Sovereign State of Talon's Grotto, though Sovereign Goldblight was murdered late into his reign by an unknown assassin.
After the murder of Nathaniel Goldblight, a dwarf known as Durlak took the position of Sovereign. Sovereign Durlak continued to build upon the infrastructure that Nathaniel Goldblight had started, continuing to push the city farther away from it's seafaring culture and more towards the trading city that it is known as today. Sovereign Durlak took the opportunities provided to him by the golden age that Sovereign Goldblight had brokered, and hosted numerous celebrations within Talon's Grotto. Sovereign Durlak stepped down some years into his rule.
After Durlak stepped down from their position, a high elf known as Castiel Valaker took over the position. At this point, the first golden age of Talon's Grotto had begun to fade into a distant memory. Sovereign Valaker had managed to broker a treaty with a multitude of other nations throughout Arcas and form an Anti-Bandit Coalition, which cut down on banditry throughout the roads. But, as the years wore on, Sovereign Valaker became less engaged within the city, and was eventually voted from the position of Sovereign by a majority of the council in 1780, though he was still to keep a position on the council until the year 1790, where he was voted off the council by the other six members.
As Castiel Valaker was voted from their leadership position, the council voted unanimously in favor of appointing a man named James Avery as the new Sovereign. Under the rule of Sovereign Avery, Talon's Grotto saw it's second golden age, with multiple public works projects being performed to completely redesign the city and draw in new citizens, as well as charting a ferry to travel between Talon's Grotto and the outskirts of Sutica. Sovereign Avery alongside Minister of Defense, Gail Cordius, worked to promote seafaring within Talon's Grotto once more in the late 1780s. In the year 1794, Sovereign Avery made the decision to step down from his position as Sovereign.
After James Avery stepped down, the council voted amongst themselves on the new sovereign, and Minister of Defense Gail Cordius was agreed upon unanimously to step up to the position. In the The First Seed of 1794, the coronation was held in the Talon's Grotto courthouse, where James Avery passed the crown to Gail Cordius, officially coronating him as the sixth Sovereign of Talon's Grotto. Upon his appointment, Sovereign Cordius promised to bring extra transparency to the city government, as well as pledging to reform the different ministries into more coherent organizations.
In the year 1795, just after Gail Cordius was appointed as the Sovereign, natural disasters began occurring throughout the lands of Arcas, and merchants traveling from Brev, the Land of Titans, warned that there was little time left on the continent. Listening to these warnings, Gail Cordius ordered that the massive ship known as the World Ship, built to support the entire population of the city and captained by Ayred Avandi, be completed. He ordered that all citizens move on board to be prepared to leave at a moment's notice. Later the same month, the waves around Talon's Grotto grew restless, and larger than anyone living in the city had ever seen. Spooked, the Talon's Grotto council ordered any citizens not on the World Ship to board it with what few possessions they could carry. The ship was tossed about in the port, causing minor damage to the hull before the sounds of the spires around Talon's Grotto crumbling and the thrashing of the waves forced the ship from port earlier than expected. Under the skill of Captain Ayred Avandi, the ship managed to clear the rocks that surrounded the now-flooding city and make it out into open water-- traveling towards the unknown lands of Almaris.
Upon reaching the shores of Almaris, the survivors from Talon's Grotto founded the new city of Talon's Port.
Talon's Grotto, being a mixed race state, does not have any definitive culture. In the first years of it's founding, seafaring used to be a vitally important part of life within the city, though, over the years, this has slowly faded in the trade center that Talon's Grotto is today-- though, as the years pass by and the population of Talon's Grotto grows once more, the importance of seafaring has begun to make a return, with a multitude of crews calling Talon's Grotto their home port.
Though, in 1791, the city began to see a spike in those of Li-Ren descent. The confirmation of Ren Tianrui to the council and Li Xiu-ying's gift in event-planning has done more to promote this culture throughout Talon's Grotto.
Talon's Grotto is a religiously tolerant state, with worship of certain beliefs not being encouraged nor discouraged. Sovereigns and council members over the years have all followed vastly different religions to one another, and it has caused no conflict, decisions being made for the good of Talon's Grotto rather than the benefit of a single religion.
Talon's Grotto has a simplistic political system, with there being a Sovereign, six members of the Talon's Grotto Council, and a small handful of stewards who handle the politics within the city. The Sovereign and council are both elected officials. For more information, see Succession. All members of the council are heads of different ministries within the city that handle things such as foreign affairs, science, and legal matters.
The Sovereign and Talon's Grotto Council make up a group of seven who are responsible for making any choices regarding Talon's Grotto. They do not need to consult with others outside these seven about their decisions, though it is common for council members to ask opinions of stewards and citizens of the city.
Talon's Grotto does not enforce taxes, the government earning their minas through foreign trade and the selling of property within the city.
Current Ruling Council
- Sovereign, Gail Cordius
- Minister of Wealth, Vivian Maelstorm-O'Cathain
- Minister of Defense, James Avery
- Minister of Science, Dr. Sana Medii'la
- Minster of Internal Affairs, Anastasia Dokar
- Minister of Culture, Dr. Eletha Avery
- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ren Tianrui
Talon's Grotto is a peaceful state who does not get involved in outside affairs unless absolutely necessary. Therefore, it does not have a standing military, but rather an elective militia shared between Rosenyr and itself that is known as the Queen's Isle Militia, whom are trained in siege defense and close-quarters urban combat rather than in field formations.
The Talon's Grotto Council is made up of citizens that were put forward and voted upon by other members of the council. There are no requirements to be elected to the Talon's Grotto Council besides being in good legal standing within the city and being recommended to the council by one of the other members. Members of the Talon's Grotto Council are not elected in terms, and serve until they die, step down, or are voted off the council by a majority vote by the other members. Once these three events occurs, council members put forward other citizens to take their place, and a new member is elected.
The Sovereign is not a hereditary position within Talon's Grotto. Much like other council members, the Sovereign serves until they die, step down, or are voted from the position by a majority of the council. If the Sovereign steps down as opposed to dying or being voted from the position, they are typically kept on the council unless they wish to step down away the government completely. If one of these three events were to occur, the council would vote amongst themselves and elect one of the remaining six council members as the new Sovereign.
Talon's Grotto is located in a tropical jungle environment on the southernmost tip of Arcas upon a large island known as the Queen's Isle. Natural spires of rock surround the city, and Talon's Grotto itself is built within a natural rock overhang, with the majority of housing being beneath the ledge, and the government center being above it. The city is typically warm and humid, and anyone working under the sun for too long would quickly be worn out. The ocean surrounds the city on three sides, thus making it a popular stop for traders who were forced to travel around the tip of the Queen's Isles.