East of the capital city in the Empire of Isegrád lies a province known as Asaph, a rather wealthy district where nobles of all backgrounds reside, from intellectual minds to those holding enterprises in real estate and other valued trades. However, its position can be owed to a revolutionary industrial expansion at the expense of its presiding Duke. The far eastern borders of Asaph are natural, created by a massive mountain called Mt.Joah that spans over eight-thousand meters in length with a similar elevation recorded at eight-thousand meters. Mt.Joah had rarely been braved or explored as the Empire expanded its borders, oft did rising cities and borders move around the impossibly sized mountain, drawing their province maps in accommodation to it. While not braved, it has carved and shaped countless areas east of the capital city.
Originating formally shortly after mass expansion and conquest around 834AC, the province was a far cry of wealth and renown as in its present day. Buildings erected but struggled without financial support from the capital as the Empire as known today was in its infancy. As a result, the presiding council began to distribute and elect leaderships for ungoverned territory. Some places reigned with successful military figures, others with brilliant minds with heavy coin purses. Asaph, however, had earned the attention of a particular branch of Sketch lineage over the years. While many of Balin Sketch's children received high positions within the high court, reigning Empress or High Magister, there have been those born of Sketch blood not meant for ascension to the throne who instead dabbled in smaller political affairs to lessen competition for Emperor or Empress. Of them was Joseph, a man born of Sketch blood who instead adorned the name Ladis, originating the House Ladis. Joseph Ladis took political control over the small province, governing it with an iron fist to build the foundation for later generations. Rather than through election, to maintain the power of Sketch, similar to how an Emperor is chosen, leadership is passed through bloodline. The reigning leader is Duke or Duchess. For generations, the process went uninterrupted and the province grew exponentially. Yet its peak of wealth was established after Duke Elston Ladis came into formal control in 970AC. His expertise launched the Mt.Joah Expedition which saw the province's status and economy skyrocketing for the upper and middle classes.
A large scale expedition into the mountain Joah saw a leap in Asaph's economy. The massive, unventured mountain because a source of export for precious materials like vital metals like steel but also precious metals like gold and diamonds. The expedition was set off in 972AC after the establishment of the Asaph Mining Association that saw hundreds of men employed and countless smaller organizations soon acquired. Asaph became a hub of commerce and industry as a result. However, mere common metals could not source their leap. Many speculate that something rare and valuable lies within the mountain. Rumors circulated for decades such as materials from deep space or something beyond Rhyst entirely but remained only that: rumors. The true source of Asaph's success came from the bounds of employment opportunity and vast industrialization.
The economy acts as the lifeblood of Asaph thus many of its laws favor commerce, no matter how corrupt. So long as there is economic gain for various wealthy trades and organizations, the province is afloat. A particular city within the Province known as Belton along the docks with bustling commerce from local fish trade at the coast to the exchange of rare textiles in the inner city. Like a beacon of promise, many are attracted to Belton but fall victim to ridiculously high residential taxes and dues that act as a statement of power that provides for a plethora of services. However, laws are said to be strict. The presence of imperial military plagues the city, ensuring all are kept in line. While petty and serious crimes are dealt with, rarely are the rich shaken down and their business practices questioned.
Life in Asaph
Like the rest of Isegrad, Asaph is cloaked in snow with freezing temperatures along its eastern border. However the minds were able to light every city and make navigation less dreadful and frigid. Life prospers ever since the Mt.Joah expedition. The rich grow richer and disparity is masked with gold and diamonds.
A beacon of hope and prosperity for those looking to further establish their wealth in popular markets or find themselves drowned in debt.
Less bustling than hubs such as Belton, the countryside is overall peaceful, mostly inhabited by small villages or used as farm land owned by the wealthy and labored by the poor.
With rule extending across the entirety of the province Asaph just east of the Isegrad’s capital, House Ladis is of high esteem and blood as those closely connected to the long-reigning Sketch lineage. While unable to make direct claim to the throne without due-diligence, their position lies with local power, wealth, and intellect. The current leading family is of high prestige and regarded much like royalty even without the Sketch name. The head Duke and Lady are said to have three daughters, its Heiress not present to the public eye.
Duke Elston Ladis
Acquiring Asaph as the matriarch eldest of House Ladis, Elston presides over the province as its Duke, said to be the younger brother of High Magister Quaris Sketch. While magically gifted, Elston’s skills lie in his clever tongue. Negotiations and management aided in his swift restructure and rebirth of his province’s economy. Trade and other necessary skills come swiftly to him and after over three-decades of ‘complaintless’ rule and praise from critic and adorers alike, it is likely that he’d die as Asaph’s Duke.
Lady Margaret Ladis
Hailing far east and over the mountain Joah, Margaret married into House Ladis from a moderately high noble house of her own, one specializing in geology and lapidary. Large controversy sparked in Asaph at the news of the two’s union. Rumors spread that she was a witch and casted a spell on Lord Elston. For years she was met with the people’s disapproval until suddenly, it all went silent after word circled she almost died giving birth to her first child. She is most known for her beauty yet is an awfully quiet woman.