The Grand Navigators are a chain of islands in the Center Reaches of the Sea of Lyr. The Sovereign Duchy of the Grand Navigators is the nation ruled by the House of Ereon and home to the three Ereonis brothers, Peino, Jeneyeru and Ruili.
The Grand Navigators are known for a pleasant and mild climate most of the year, and for being a major center of global commerce and shipping. The Port of Plesz is one of the busiest harbors in Aeldreth, and its markets are one of the benchmarks of international economic trends.
The Sovereign Duchy of the Grand Navigators is an independent state within the realm of Lyrion, but not subject to the Floating Throne. It was established by direct fiat of the gods Lyr and Manawydden as reward to island native Ereon of Legui, the great explorer who mapped much of the world and opened most of the trade routes in use today. The House of Ereon has ruled the Duchy ever since, for over 3000 years.
The current Dukedom is led by Duke Yirie and Duchess Olimea, co-rulers. Their sons are Sovereign Prince Peino, Lord High Magus Jeneyeru, and Lord Admiral Ruili. They are the highest ranking officials in the government, supported by appointed and hereditary officials, many of which are Ereonis relatives.
The seat of government is the Citadel of Grippio, an extensive castle complex that includes the ducal residence, Villa Grippio, the national library, the supreme court, the military command center, just about every government agency, and is attached to the Fortress of Runes, the central prison.
The Citadel of Grippio is located on the highest point of the white limestone cliffs of Plesz, overlooking the terraced city and commanding views of the harbor, the open sea and most of the watchtower points of the islands.
Plesz is generally considered one of the most beautiful cities in Aeldreth. Built up the terraced cliffs on the northeast coast of the main island, Ilaroc, the city is a shimmering confection of arched windows and gilded towers. It is renowned for public gardens and streets lined with flowering fruit trees. It is also one of the steepest cities in Aeldreth and offers public funicular lifts to assist people and goods moving up and down the often drastic inclines of the cliffs.
Plesz is a cultured, wealthy and cosmopolitan city. Over 20,000 people live there permanently, with the population usually doubled or more with transient visitors. Being a center of international commerce, it is also a center of finance, trade (which means shopping), and the arts. It offers theater, music, arts, education, sports, just about every service or product you could need or want.
Plesz is the site of the Grand Temple of Manawydden and the Second Temple of Lyr (the grand temple being in Sesus, Raurugia, seat of the Floating Throne).
As with most busy port cities with lots of people moving in and out, crime can be an issue, particularly theft and scams. The government cracks down on such things very harshly.
Major Industries in the Capital:
Banking, shipping, trade, shipbuilding and repair, ship provisioning, hospitality (inns, taverns), government, law.
The Grand Navigators is one of the few places in Aeldreth that offers services and entertainments specifically for what Earth would call “tourists.” This is because the Navigators are a transit stop for people changing ships for long voyages. There may often a lag of several days, up to a couple of weeks due to weather and other unforeseeable conditions, and these suspended travelers need something to do while they wait.
Theater is tremendous in the Navigators, with actors coming from all over the world to work there. Entrepreneurs organize educational tours of just about anything they can think of. Even the Dukedom offers tours of the Citadel (limited number of visitors per day, but they’re free), which come with an occasional chance to be selected to have tea or luncheon with the Duke and/or Duchess. One of the most popular things to do is a “ferry tour” by which travelers can go from island to island on the regular ferries, taking tours and staying in strategically placed inns along the way.