The Marsilion Metro Area is a term used to define Marsilion's sphere of influence around itself; that is, all villages which pledge allegiance to the city's government and pay taxes in exchange for protection, assistance and free trade. The Marsilion Metro Area encompasses roughly 23 farming villages, three towns, and numerous other "free tenant" independant farmers with their own homesteads. The northernmost settlement is Bannockbuq, nestled into the Southern Forest.
Marsilion's heavy farming traditions and rich soil mean it has an abundance of population and manpower compared to other cities on the isle. The estimated Metro Area population is roughly 12000 individuals, but estimates (relying on estimated figures of non-tax-registered citizens) go as high as 18000.
Marsilion was established primarily for it's convenient access to the Lake to the south, timber in the Southern Forest to it's north, and the rich farmlands stretching between the town itself and the forest. The area had once been volcanically active, and so as such the soil is highly rich. Unlike many volcanic farmlands, the soil is surprisingly tight packed with time, and it's nutrients are not rapidly depleted like "normal" volcanic soil. With careful management by farmers, the rich soil has made Marsilion prosperous as the supplier of roughly 29% of the island's total food supply in peacetime.
The villages that sprung up around Marsilion originally claimed their own allegiance, but banditry, rustling and various other internal issues within them meant that their militias and palisades were not sufficient. To this end, they formed allegiances with each other, with Marsilion eventually emerging as the central authority, as it had a professional armed force. This arrangement has gone more or less unchanged even through the various regime changes that Marsilion has suffered. Arguably, the rise of the Southern League as a Great Power was due to this increase in influence.
The Trade Union was not exceptionally kind to the metro area, taxing it severely while being reluctant to commit forces to defend it due to it's feudalistic structure. To that end, during the Second Infinitas War, the Trade Union was unable to rely on it's levies, while Saber was easily able to pull recruits, agents, and information from the sympathetic village populace, often helping them with their problems where the Trade Union refused to get involved. The Democratic Government of Marsilion proved to be far kinder to their cause, although it kept the establishment of taxes on the harvest.
Moving north from Marsilion, there is a barren patch between the town and the start of the fields, mostly reserved for governmental expansion and use, about 100 meters long. After that, the "free tenanted" lands begin. These consist of rich fields close to the city, isolated from any village, with farmers often living and working entirely on site in a farmhouse, much like post-industrial farms in our world. The "free tenanted" farmers here own acres of land, bought from their own success, and are fairly well to do, being able to afford high tech farm equipment such as seed drills, advanced plows, or even the odd patched-together combine. Many of them know and practice magic in their profession. Most of the exotic fruits, vegetables and linen-producing plants come from these farmers. They also have 25% of the meat production of the metro area, leading to a lot of pastures.
Beyond these, the more affluent towns and villages spread out in a ring through the dirt road network, scattered at various points. Many of them are along the Marshriver which flows from the Badlands and out into the lake. These "middle villages" often have a mix of wealthy and poor farmers. Grape farming and on-site distillation is common, and much of the "Marshwine" enjoyed in Marsilion and Porton is created in these villages. Most of the meat production occurs in pastures in this area as well.
Further still, there are the poorer villages that are further out. These villages are highly self sufficient due to their distance from Marsilion, with Bannockbuq being the quintessential example, making good use of it's connection to the folk of the Southern Forest and relying upon it's own resources for the most part. These villages are often farmed in the English style, with each man owning a strip of land instead of a large field, using a communal set of plows to plow everyone's small field. Very little of their excess production is sold, resulting in few taxes - mostly because transporting goods overland to Marsilion is costly, even by river, as the Marshriver is too shallow to allow large amounts of cargo transport. These villages usually have thick palisades and self sufficient people that rarely migrate, and are often suspicious of outsiders by necessity.
Note: The settlements of the Metro Area are still undergoing construction and as such this list is incomplete. Players are encouraged to make up their own villages if they are needed for play.
- 18 other unknown villages.
Other locations of interestEdit