Santia

No roads enter or leave Santia, save for the one path that leads to the monastery of Owen, which stands sentinel over the region. The exact date of its founding is unknown, though guessed to be roughly a century before Gatia, with the monastery of Owen having been built a few years later. Though it is in the modern province of Cirsova, there is some debate as to whether Santia is ethnically or culturally Cirsovan or proto-Cirsovan, as it lies far from the Riverlands of Orshiano and northwest across the Gulf of Cirsova from Gatlia.

Some say that Santia was one of the only city states that rivalled Gatia during the late pre-imperial period. When Ga Akana, the first emperor, began his consolidation of the Cirsovan heartland, he concentrated on the River States, to secure the Orshiano river a trade route to the sea. Thus, Santia was the last heartland city to be added to Gatian dominion.

The story goes that when Ga Akana approached Santia, ready for battle, the Abbot of Owen descended alone from the mountaintop with a single cup in hand. Standing face to face with Ga Akana, the Abbot took a small sip from the cup, bowed, and proffered the beverage to Emperor, who, it is said, drank and then laughed heartily, slapping the Abbot on his shoulder, and invited the holy man to his tent. Exactly What transpired in the tent is subject of many fables, legends and bedtime stories, whose veracity are in question. What is known, however, are the results of the meeting: not a drop of blood would be shed, the people of Santia would be spared any tax or tarriff, and the Emperors of Cirsova would be granted access to Owen’s manuscripts and ales for perpetuity.

When later Emperors connected the Cirsovan Empire by road, Santia was left out. The reasons given by the chief royal engineers and cartographers were that they could find no charter in the archives confirming that Santia was indeed part of Cirsova that it should be connected by road to the rest of Empire. In fact, once, a document was procured from the vaults and used as evidence that no such road be built, lest it violate a holy imperial decree. No one from Santia ever complains, though some heartland nobles fret over Santia’s status within the realm.

The people of Santia keep mostly to themselves, though will engage with occasional sea traders who might stop to resupply between Syflanis and Corineaus or attempt to purchase manuscripts produced by the scholars of Owen. Most native Santians do not leave their home, but those that do, those that one may encounter throughout the province of Cirsova, tend to be neophyte monks of Owen on pilgrimage, delivering books or beer to important personages.

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