The Jeweled Coasts
The Tarvan States are a region to the northwest of the Jeweled Coast. It is a loose coalition of family-owned city-states known for its wealth, trade, and artisans.
Tarvans are known for their love of the finer things. They particularly love good food and beautiful jewelry and art. To some, they seem shallow and indulgent. To others, they seem sophisticated and easy-going.
Most Tarvans are not particularly devout followers of Tarvan religion. Many only go to sacred temples on high holidays or see Oracles when they want advice on a particular deal. More politically active Tarvans will make a show of their religion, even claiming that they have Tarvan’s blessing when making a particularly risky political maneuver.
They are instead inspired by Tarvan’s post-apotheosis role as a culture hero: He and his wife Turanthesa, Goddess of Artisans, are believed to have founded numerous cities in the region. Tarvans believe that they should follow the example of Tarvan and Turanthesa and work to make their city-state thrive.
There are multiple city-states that make up the Tarvan region. Each city-state has a patron family with its own specialties. Tarvan families are constantly vying over land and resources in an attempt to “live up to the promise of Tarvan”. In the past, most of these conflicts were military in nature but now most debates are economic and legal.
Tarvans like to think that they are just people so they take their deals very seriously. To avoid the wrath of Orcus the Oath-Breaker, Tarvans watch their words very carefully so they never agree to something that they can’t keep. On the downside, this means that they often speak very ambiguously so they are never at a disadvantage. Wealthy families are often flush with lawyers.
Superstitious Tarvans will “blind the eye of Orcus” if they believe that they are unlucky or being unjustly targeted by enemies. Oracles, Priests, and Seers are often asked to say where the Eye is looking or cast the Eye in certain direction. The Evil Eye is commonly invoked cases of misfortune while The Gods’ Good Hands are cited as the cause of good circumstances.
Relations with the Dwarf Kingdom: Good, but aloof. Tarvans and Dwarves both like jewels and good craftsmanship. Many Tarvans closer to the Dwarf Kingdom are bilingual. On the other hand, Dwarves think that the Tarvans aren’t very industrious and the Tarvans think that the Dwarves are narrow-minded. Some scholars believe that Tarvan relgious figures are Dwarven in origin due to the numerous references to stones, caves, jewels, the chosen weapon of a warhammer, and Tarvan & Turanthesa’s reputation as “city builders”.
Notable Tarvan families
1. Bulgari (see Leonardon Bulgari): Specialties include antiquities, jewelry, goldsmithing, and trade. The Bulgari are possibly the most wealthy Tarvan family because of their many gold refineries and craftsmen. However, many people believe that the Bulgari are very unscrupulous. Some say they peddle forgeries and wantonly bribe officials to get their way.
2. Racioppi: Specialties include wine, cheese, and bread. The Racioppi are a rural family, so they don’t carry much political power or wealth but they are respected for their food and are rarely crossed or involved in political intrigue. Orsina is from the Racioppi city-state.
3. La Padula: Specialties include fishing, shipmaking, shipping, naval warfare, and trade. The La Padulas live on the coast of Tarvan, so they make a lot of a money at a port city-state. Unfortunately, that means that they also have to deal with Orc raids a lot. Their relations with the Bulgari are considered “passive-aggressive” since the Bulgari are wealthy but rely on La Padula ports.