Proudhill part 2

As the years went by, Proudhill grew and the power of the human council began to exceed that of the church’s.  Sister Branta, a prominent member of the church, became an outspoken critic of the human council and demanded more involvement in Proudhill’s policies.  As a sister she didn’t outweigh a priest or priestess in authority but became the voice of the church nevertheless.  Branta wanted the laws in Proudhill to reflect that of the moral doctrine the church insisted upon.  She wanted social norms to be enforced by military means: specifically rigid rules on marriage (no legal divorce to be tolerated and adultery punishable by death).  The Council refused to make policy supporting these norms.   Sir. Humpecker, a very devout templar, took it an extra step and threatened to remove the council all together and replace it with members of the church.  These threats proved to be fighting words to the Council, who turned to Sir. Gallac once again.  Gallac was now much older but was still held in high regard by the Council.

Over the years, Proudhill’s templars had become more and more disgruntled with the church and their pious teachings.  Several templars were not looking forward to a church-controlled council and sided with the Council on the matter, rallying behind Sir. Gallac.  This division amongst the templars contributed to Proudhill’s Civil War.  In 240 ACW, Proudhill turned its war of words into a war of swords.  Templars fought templars, farmers attacked farmers, peasants attacked peasants, and the priests and councilors pulled the strings.  It ended when the prominent leaders of the church died.  Sir. Humpecker was cut down in a skirmish and Sister Branta tripped on her skirts while trying to flee, falling down a rocky slope and breaking her neck.  (The slope has hence been named “Branta’s Tumble.”)

After the war (which lasted only a few months), the term “templar” was replaced by “knight” and the church was no longer allowed a say in policy.  Knights of Proudhill became protectors of the Council, as templar training was officially dissolved.  Those loyal to the church left Proudhill; some went to Belvadore in the south, others went east and helped build up a small fortress there called Whitehood.

The largest threat Proudhill dealt with, aside from the bandits of the Blue River and the occasional raids of barbarians like the Blood Bunch, was corruption on the Council.  The Council was composed of elders: old families that had been among the first to settle there.  Tradition in certain families on the Council was permitting corruption to run rampant and the people of Proudhill began to demand reform.  The power grabbing that was happening in Whitehood served as a lesson for Proudhill not to replicate.  To prevent sedition and class envy, Proudhill instituted a roulette system of governance.

The Council would have nine people, from nine families, and each council member would have a term of five years.  After the five years, that council member’s seat becomes available to the next family, which is chosen by lottery.  This rotation by roulette and raffle became known as the “Raffle Senate” and it stayed in place for nearly two-hundred years.  The system was successful: exciting, but risky at times.  Every so often a certain Proudhill family would be selected to sit on the Council but their expertise on political and economic matters was limited.  Candidates were limited to only those families that either owned businesses or had a history of service to the Proudhill region.  Merchants, knights, priests, land owners, ranchers and bankers were common occupants on the Council.

Proudhill kept a frosty relationship with its neighbor Whitehood to the east.  Whitehood had fallen on hard times and was changing its system of government and leaders.  Warlords and corrupt councils kept steering Whitehood into becoming an eventual threat to Proudhill.  This all changed when Bandrian became its Protector and wiped out the dwarves of Duinmire.  The emergence of a human hero in the land caused much discussion for a Damish kingdom and the establishment of a royal line.  But Proudhill was against the idea, because their system of government had been so successful for so long.  Yet, Proudhill was still plagued by bandits and Blood Bunch barbarians who kept attacking the outlying areas and travelers.

Whitehood’s military was twice the size of Proudhill’s, and they boasted a larger population.  The leaders of Proudhill knew that Whitehood would only expand, and that Bandrian had demonstrated that he was an effective leader of men.  To protect the Salt Trade, the primary resource Whitehood shared with both Proudhill and Belvadore, Bandrian used his military to patrol the Blue River, keeping bandits away.  Compounding this were the elves of Merrimont and the orcs of Oringard, who barged into Damir, claiming lands and making humans in Damir uneasy.  Bandrian proposed a permanent alliance, a unification of the major settlements into a single kingdom.  United, the human kingdom would be well protected and any hostile action made by the dwarves, elves or orcs would be met with the banner of a kingdom, not just a settlement or two.

After years of negotiations and debate, the Council in Proudhill dissolved and joined under a single Damish banner, and pledged allegiance to King Bandrian.  A governing family was selected to rule Proudhill, and so the people unanimously chose the house of Gallac.  For over three hundred years, the house of Gallac has been the governing family in Proudhill.

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