My earlier article discussed the building of an Imagi-Nation in a general sense. Now, I’ll walk you through my own little piece of the imaginary world. I’ve already covered some of the details in the last article but I will repeat them here for completeness’ sake.
Name: Grand Duchy of D’Argent
Government Style: Absolutist Monarchy
Geography: D’Argent is a hilly country with an ocean coast to the south and mountains bordering it to the north and east. Several mountain streams flow into the hills before joining in a single river forming the fertile river valley at the approximate center of the country. The hill country is used for grazing or vineyards while the river valley is devoted to agricultural production. D’Argent has two cities, the capital and a port city, though neither are large enough to compete with the major cities of Europe. You will note I do not have a map at this time. I have toyed with doing one but once a map is made locations become fixed.
Economy: Primarily agrarian. Wine and wool are the main agricultural exports. Most of D’Argent’s wine is considers good but unexceptional, fit for everyday drinking at home or in taverns. D’Argent’s wool is considered of superior quality and is briskly traded in the markets of Europe. The Duchy is callable of feeding itself most years and can usually survive a bad season or two if it had to on its own resources. The Duchy has some mining especially of Iron but must import copper and some other metals. The Duchy has a silver mine that it guards carefully as this precious metal is the Duchy’s hedge against disaster. D’Argent can supply its own fire arms in the Duchy’s armory but must purchase cannons from other powers and also imports part of its gunpowder supply.
Politics: So in theory the Duke is the Man and calls all the shots, that is what people will tell you any way. The truth is that no one man can run a country and that means you must have structures for ruling at a distance. D’Argent has a fairly simple administration (at least from a modern point of view). Government is divided into departments: War, Trade and Taxation, Foreign Affairs, Law, and Ducal lands. Each post is held by a prominent member of the aristocracy or merchant classes. These interpret and make the Duke’s orders a reality. Naturally, each has a large staff, so things can get lost in translation as orders go down the chain of command.
- War regulates the army and navy.
- Trade and taxation handles the economy and the collection of revenue.
- Foreign Affairs handles all diplomacy and international affairs not directly related to trade.
- Law handles all court cases and law enforcement.
- Ducal Lands handles administration of all land owned directly by the Dukes family.
I will get more into the personalities of these office holders in future posts.
That gives you some idea of the mechanics in my head when I create background for games or campaign narratives. You may have noticed that the army is not mentioned here. Don’t worry; you’ll get to read about them later. If you’re impatient you can see my troops in action at the Fencing Frog Blog