The Duchy of The Diua Islands is an isolated territory that includes a large cluster islands nearly fifty miles east from the coast of the Blasted Lands.
The Duchy is noted for it's voluntary uninvolvement in the events of the world, leading some consider the area an independent Duchy, though this has been denied gently, most recently from Placida de Diua Montshiré, who states: "The Diuan Duchy has been with the Kingdom of Stormwind since the liberation from the Arathorian Empire. Our disinterest in world politics comes merely from our nature of non-aggression, as well as the geographic boundaries that separate us from the mainland."
The history of the island chain has been well documented by humans since their arrival in 230 P.C., though little is known before that time besides fossils and archaeology digs.
Little is known before of the isles before Arathorian Empire's settlement of the isles in 230 P.C. Some suspect that trolls lived there at one time or another, citing evidence such as ancient pots, tools, and primitive boats that were likely used to navigate the various atolls. Though others wave off this theory, saying that humans arrived sometime earlier and attempted to establish a colony on the island chain.
Arathorian Empire claim and settlement
On 230 P.C., several Arathorian boats containing common settlers, farmers, and peasants accidentally stumbled upon the island chain when the ships were blown off course. Thinking they were settling in the right place, they settled on the largest island of Mori and founded the City of Lecce. With the settlement only numbering in the few hundreds, it wasn't until 210 P.C. when several Arathorian warships stumbled onto the islands as well, quickly explaining to the bewildered residents of the isle that they have been living in ignorance for the past twenty years.
After the Empire subjugated the isles, they appointed the first real leader of the island in 205 P.C., Adolf de Mori Montshiré, as the governor-general of the Island chain.
Incorporation into a Duchy
As the populace grew expanded beyond the island of Mori, it was quickly seen that the simple military settlement was going to need more political independence from the Empire in order to manage it's affairs properly. On 26 P.C., the reigning King of the Arathorian Empire granted the Head of the Montclaré house the title of Duke of the Diua Islands, as well duchy authority over the entire island chain. The first crowned Duke was Duke Servius de Diua Montshiré III.
With the newfound power, Servius quickly, and peacefully, subjugated the various towns and settlements through the chain, establishing a senate of both publically elected and appointed officials to look over the various sections of the isles.
Official Neutrality in the War for Independence
When the word of civil war in Azeroth lands reached Duke Servius in 5 P.C., he was both shocked and unsurprised, mostly because he thought the tyranny of the empire was exaggerated, but real nonetheless.
Unable to choose a side in the conflict, he swiftly declared neutrality, stating that the conflict was to be decided only by the subjugator and the subjugated, and that his people were only to offer non-military, humanitarian assistance to either side.
Siding with the Kingdom of Stormwind
When the Arathorian Empire was expelled from the southern lands in 1 K.C., Duke Servius hesitated at first to side with the winning side, thinking the kingdom wouldn't last long. After nine years and passing of Duke Servius, on 10 K.C., the newly reigning Duke, Duke Federick de Diua Montshiré III, sent a series of letters, detailing his people, land, and his loyalty belonged to the Kingdom of Stormwind.
Though in name the islands were under Stormwind, the duchy operated mostly as an independent entity, the greatest extent of contact being Stormwind sponsored trade ships.
Church of the Holy Light Influence
While the Church has always maintained a small, clerical presense in the form of a leading Chorbishop in the isles. It wasn't until 90 K.C. that Duke Gaius de Diua Montshiré IV ordered that priests be native born Diuans rather then shipped from places like Arathor or Stormwind. In this order, Gaius also established an early form of the Council of Bishops, taking the religious leaders and priests and having them form an independent clergy within the Diua Islands.
The Diuan Clergy quickly grew in influence and respect. By the time of 232 K.C., the Clergy grew into the form most recognizable today, with an archbishop at it's head and a Council of Bishops to assist him.
From 11 K.C. onwards, the duchy experienced little external troubles, focusing mostly on domestic trade and the improvement of the quality of life.
As a consequence, contact with the Kingdom of Stormwind almost became non-existent, leading the duchy to become independent in most aspects as well as become disconnected from the events of the world. A perfect example would be the the sacking of the City of Stormwind in 597 K.C., but the residents only hearing about this in 612 K.C.
Back to Reality
When the second Sundering happened on January 621 K.C., the island chain was devastated at the loss of over ten thousand lives, a scar that the duchy has yet to recover from. This caused the young duchess, Placida de Diua Montshiré XVII, to look outside the duchy for disaster relief. The King, happy to aid allies, sent humanitarian aid to the far off island chain.
As of 623 K.C., the duchy is still recovering the loss suffered in the second sundering, but with the sundering caused the reigning Archbishop and Duchess to make small steps back into the world stage, enacting their loyalty to the Kingdom of Stormwind all those years ago.
Possible Puppetry from the Archbishop
Many people, both domestic and foreign, have looked on with concern at the political system of the Diua Duchy, seeing it as an absolute theocracy due to the odd amount of secular power the archbishop holds. Some cite the influence Clementis V has over the young and timid Duchess Placida.
The Diua Islands are, as the name implies, a chain of islands. Within the Duchy is over two hundred small islands and atolls, each with their own name and populations on them.
Effects on the Islands during the Second Sundering
The Government that rules over island chain is an odd, unique one. The system in place blends the traditional and secular system of a Lord and his vassals with Church organization and clerical laws. Two figures share power in the island chain: The Duke/Duchess and the Archbishop. Together, the two advise each other on both secular and religious matters within the Duchy, as well as imposing primitive system of checks and balances.
House of Gentry
Commonly considered the secular hand of the government, the House of Gentry is a senate containing both publicly elected and appointed "Senators". The number of seats within the House commonly varies between thirty and fourty, depending on population change, needs to a certain area, or the death of a senate member, in which case a reigning senator takes up the late senator land until the reigning Duke or Duchess can appoint a new senator. Or if the local populace elected the senator, the seat will remain vacant until another is elected.
The House has no real powers, besides writing common law, advising the Duke, and overseeing requests made by the Duke.
The Duke of The Diua Islands
The Duke of The Diua Islands is an inherited position, as well as being an exclusive title to the House of Montclaré. Seen as the sovereign and figure head of the Duchy, the reigning Duke excerises power based on advice from both the Council of Bishops and the House of Gentry, with key choices in legislation being made with the reigning Archbishop.
When a reigning Duke dies, often the first born child (the tradition common to Azeroth by following the first born son doesn't apply in Diua) takes up the mantle, though the consent of the reigning Archbishop must be had before the title is handed over. If the Archbishop does not consent to an heir receiving the title, the Council of Bishops and the House of Gentry take up governance of the Duchy until the Archbishop consents or dies. The most recent case of this was in 616 K.C., when Clementis V didn't allow the incumbent Duchess, Placida de Diua Montshiré, to take up governance due to her age. He later consented on the grounds of her morals and virtues.
Council of Bishops
Commonly considered the church hand within the Duchy, the Council is made up of ten bishops with the island chain, five of which are appointed by the reigning Duke, and the other five appointed by the reigning Archbishop. The individual bishops reign over certain sections of the Duchy, overseeing the moral well being of the citizens as well as making sure the teaching of literacy throughout the small, scattered schools in the islands.
The council takes on an advisory role to both the archbishop and the House of Gentry, assisting the makings of both secular and church law in the islands.
Archbishop of the Diua Islands
The archbishop of the Diua Islands is the highest religious position in the region, making final says on the matters of church law and assisting the reigning of the Duchy. When an archbishop dies or steps down from his mantle, the Council of Bishops, plus the reigning Duke, must elect a new archbishop within a year.
Due the nature of the Duchy, the military is based around small sailboats used to navigate and patrol the various small islands and atolls. Currently five hundred men work arcoss seventeen sailboats. While the militia is to guard and provide safety to the Duchy, domestic arrests and common law crimes are handled by local constables appointed by town governments.
Because of the small and scattered population throughout the isles, towns rarely reach a census above one hundred, with the exception the capital city, Lecce, and a few domestic port towns. There is not much regulation in the making of towns, due to the logistical issues of navigating the various islands. Such responsibility falls to the individual senators that govern their territories.
Capital City of Lecce
Sitting with a current population of five thousand, Lecce stands as the highest populated settlement in within the island chain. The city itself resides on the the northern most isle of the Duchy, Mori. The city itself is governed directly by the reigning Duke/Duchess and it's religious services provided by the Chorbishop of Lecce, a special title granted as an honor to an already ordained priest by the reigning Archbishop.
The town is considered the ceremonial and religious center within the Duchy, having been founded when the Island chain was disocvered in 210 P.C.
Within the city stands the Montclaré manor, the seat of government for the Duchy where the House of Gentry meets with the reigning Duke to discuss and advise on certain matters. Given the building's special purpose, the manor is actually quite small, made from grey marble and spanning but three acres in covered area. The manor has been rebuilt many times, the most current rendition of the manor was built in 390 K.C.
One of the few other stone buildings within the town stands the cathedral, christened the Cathedral of the East. Built in 3 P.C., it stands as the oldest building in Lecce. Not too far from the Montclaré manor, the medium sized cathedral stands above the city in polished marble.
Port Town of Caprelia
While not a large town, the Port Town of Caprelia is considered a vital asset due to it's access to a deep water port and the tax income it provides to the rest of the Duchy. Standing at about two thousand people, it stands as the third largest city in the islands. Considered the commerical center of the Duchy, this town is also governed directly from Lecce, and it's religious services provided by a series of ordained priests. The town sits on the western island of Decibri, a small, rocky isle that has a natural port.
Diua's general economy is small and generally free going from the world economy of Azeroth. In other words, self-dependent.
One of the largest items of sales in the Diua Isles, fish make up both a cultural and economical staple within the islands. Over thirty percent of the population is directly involved with the fishing and processing of the various fish that wonder the isles.
When the second sundering came in 621 K.C., many of local fish either perished or swam off to safer water. As a result, many fishermen went broke and lost their way of life. This effect is still seen today, with only a portion of the fish returning back to the island chain.
When the settlers first came to the islands in 230 P.C., many of them attempted to grew corps suited for more warmer and drier climates. Quickly seeing the downsides and the low corp turnout, the people resorted to growing the corps native to the land, and kept with the tradition. Oranges, lemons, and limes are among the major corps on the islands
While precious material like gold and silver were never discovered in great amounts on the island chain, in the northern, rocky islands, there were large and open veins of tin and iron. While today most of the iron mining stopped, tin mining continues on and makes up much of the durable goods on the island chain.
Domestic Tin Coinage
In 106 K.C., due to the impeding shortage of gold, silver, and copper metals to make currency, a fiat currency was issued in the form of tin coins. The transition was successful. The Duchy government exchanged the money with locals in order to keep a reserve currency in place for future trades overseas.
Coins are issued in the following dominations: 1, 5, 10, 100. One tin coin is worth roughly ten copper coins.
Education has been an important part of Diuan culture since the liberation from the Arathorian Empire. The system in place blends both canonical and secular teachings
Required since 216 K.C., all residents of the duchy are to be literate in written Common, as well as understand the basics of the lawmaking and finance. Buildings of teaching are built all throughout the isles, overseen by both secular and church staff.
Founded in 459 K.C., during the reign of Duke Leo de Diua Montshiré XIV, the Diua College is a small institution of higher learning in the Diua Isles. Located in Lecce, it is used to educated those wishing to seek higher positions. Most of the programs offered are certification programs, not actual degrees. Some of the notable courses offered are: Canon Law, Secular Law, Magistrate Duties, Large-scale Bookkeeping, Medicine, Entry Philosophy, and Engineering.