The Grand Duchy of Arcana is an independent and sovereign nation with the Grand Duke of Arcana at its head. Cairwyn Arcana, a half-elf warrior with magical power to rival that of the archmagi of old, rules over the duchy with Counts and Countesses ruling over individual counties with cities and towns as their seats of power. All Counts and Countesses swear loyalty to the Grand Duke, and rule over individual counties in his name. The capital city Osiph Verdun is ruled over by a council comprised of community leaders from the city sections, permitting the Grand Duke to rule over his nation at large rather than spend his time ruling over a single city.
The counts of the duchy convene at semi-regular intervals to advise the Grand Duke on domestic, foreign, and military matters, as well as to pledge support with their armies and resources. The counts are responsible for raising armies from their populace, defending their lands, and maintaining the Grand Duke's law within their borders. It is a rare and terrible occasion that the Grand Duke himself must visit and govern a county, with the entire political landscape of that county being utterly rebuilt to the most minute detail upon his exit.
Each county has its own standing guard. The standing guard of each county is stationed within the county seat and its surrounding lands, watching over walls and gates and the castles of the Counts, or patrolling the streets. The guard are led by a captain, who reports to the local Count. The duty of every standing guard is to keep the peace, enforce the Grand Duke's law, and protect the seat of power. The standing guard are also the last line of defense in the event that the seat of power of a county is attacked, defending the citizenry with their lives and ensuring the Count's family line continues to rule again should their castle fall.
The standing guard of each county is equipped with tabards emblazoned with their count's insignia. Guards from richer counties are normally equipped with better armor than those from poorer counties but every standing guard is equipped with armor and weapon supplied by their Count's coffers.
Far larger is the Grand Duke's Royal Army, the military arm of the grand duchy proper. Levied from each county within the grand duchy and trained with a thousand years of military tradition, the army of the grand duchy is a force to be reckoned with. Each young person is required by the Grand Duke's law to serve in some capacity within the army for a minimum of two years between the ages of 16 and 22, with a prohibitively expensive option to pay their way out.
The Grand Duke's Royal Army is organized into separate companies of hundreds of men, each having their individual specialties ranging from infantrymen to magi, but each are a mix of different classes of soldiers. Under the Grand Duke's discerning eye, the royal army has been organized from the bottom up for efficiency and discipline, and each soldier is considered the equal of three in any other army. With thousands of such heavily disciplined and organized soldiers under his command, the army of the Grand Duke is a force to be reckoned with. The headquarters for the military high command is found in the capital of Osiph Verdun, given its own section of the city entirely.
The army at large is equipped by the national coffers, nominally by the Grand Duke himself. Each and every soldier is equipped with arms and armor befitting their specialty, and given personal rations to last them three days alone. Officers are given medallions and unique helmets to signify their rank.
Knightly orders also exist within the grand duchy, each required to swear an oath of loyalty to the Grand Duke to continue doing so. With religious or philosophical zeal behind them, these knightly orders are powerful additions to the ranks of the grand duchy's military forces, and are often given command roles in battles. Each knightly order is responsible for maintaining their own number and equipment, but are largely more than capable of doing so than the average soldier, patronized by or being of the nobility.
Thus far, the grand duchy does not maintain a royal navy, instead relying on privateers and civilian ships to defend its waters. Magic and diplomacy has thus far kept the coast of the grand duchy safe from invasion and harassment, as far beneath the waters sits a merfolk kingdom that allied with the Grand Duke personally during his younger days.
Citadel of Dorakai
The Citadel of Dorakai sits against the southern mountain range, beside the western pass into the duchy that opens between the meeting place of the southern and western ranges. The citadel itself is a large keep, ancient and weathered and carved out of the very stone of the mountains. Surrounding the keep is a circular wall, detached from the mountain face by a single league of flat rock and stone, nine towers rising evenly along the length of the wall, and a single gatehouse standing opposite the doors of the keep itself. The Citadel has been responsible for the major defenses of the duchy for most of its existence, raised by the grandson of the duchy’s founder attempting to destroy a vast mountain tribe worshiping some forgotten deity.
Verumgard sits centered between the canyon entrance to the duchy and the city of Osiph Verdun, the second line of defense between the rest of the world and the seat of power. Verumgard is a shockingly new fortification for holding such a responsibility, but has done its job admirably. Verumgard has defended its holdings and the duchy at large on three separate occasions, from both forces split off from a main army and a group effort between three separate entities, and has only been improved upon after each.
The singular jewel of the Duchy, Osiph Verdun has stood upon the great cliff-side peak along the mid-east coastal border of the duchy since its founding. Originally, Osiph Verdun was the site of a dragon’s hoard, dug deep into the earth. The dragon was slain by the founder of the city, who went on to build a grand fortress around the dragon’s den. Today, the fortress has evolved into one of the greatest metropolises of the world, and nothing can be seen of the ancient dragon’s den or the original fortress. The palace of the ruling duchy sits within the very center of the city, above what was once the den fortress, and is one of the grandest on the massive continent.
Morustrand is the second major center of civilization within the Duchy. Morustrand was a busy town before the great dragon was slain, and has withstood the test of time and become a center for trade and industry in the centuries since. None have conquered Morustrand without first conquering Osiph Verdun.