Maviolo

(mah-vee-OH-loh)

The border principality of Maviolo is littered with tumbled ruins. It was once a highly settled portion of the Dysian Empire, before those people scattered and vanished from their holdings. Whatever ills befell the Dys, they struck particularly hard in this land. Many old towers and towns remain unclaimed throughout the many centuries gone since the fall of Dys. Old curses still linger in Maviolo, and it takes a certain sort of pragmatism and wisdom to thrive there. The locals produce lumber from many of the thick woods (though they’re careful not to cut too deep), and occasionally a trove of gems is unearthed from a nearby ruin. Maviolo isn’t the richest of Rasennan principalities, but it gets by.

The Maviolan character, at least as others describe it, is guarded and suspicious. All manner of troubles are possible within the province, and the locals are suspicious of people who seem likely to stir up problems at the borders or stir up long-dormant curses. Part of the population lives in cities far older than Rasenna itself, reclaimed and rebuilt with old stones; the rest, in smaller rustic settlements that sit within view of ruins but refuse to reclaim them. The most reclusive of the Sorcerous Houses, House Sespech, has its seat in the Maviolo countryside. Since the Sespechs established their household in the principality, Maviolo has probably become a safer place to live and work overall, but the slightly sinister aspects to its reputation have grown in the telling.

Maviolo is popularly held to be one of the more dangerous principalities in Rasenna. Its bandits and brigands are sinister men, being restricted to those brave enough to risk potentially angering the Sespechs, as well as brave enough to take up lairs in the more dreaded section of the countryside. Many blood-curdling tales of grotesque rural murderers can trace their roots back to Maviolan woods. Trouble sometimes passes across the borders of Maviolo, as well, with raiding tribes from the wilds of lost Lamosca. The Sespechs were drawn by the powerful death-resonance suffusing many of the Dysian ruins, a harbinger of things unliving that haunt the land. When the locals say not to travel into a particularly thick wood or go poking around the lower cellars of a ruin, sometimes they’re entirely right in their dread.

The capital of Maviolo is Ladona, the Coiling Dragon. A resettled Dysian ruin, it was named for the serpentine dragon-motifs that cover the ancient structures. It is the seat of Prince Lazzaretta, a cunning old woman suspected of being not quite as mortal as she likes to pretend. Ladona is less crime-ridden than most Rasenna capitals, but it’s a dangerous place to be all the same; there are many sword schools and no small amount of present or aspiring Sespechs in residence, all of whom are dangerous to offend. “Be polite to the Dragon,” they say, “or be crushed in its coils.”

Maviolo

Rasennan Summer Barastrondo