Marque of the Hunters
(Formerly the City-State of Ganeam)
People from here are called: Crowish (or sometimes Ganish)
Coven – The Council of Wise Women
The Wise Women are the heads of the Five Corbanite Sisterhoods. They vote on any significant matters of Coven policy and elect Witches to serve in important monastic and political positions throughout the western lands. Upon the death of a Wise Woman, a replacement for her position is selected from a group of nominees by an ancient ritual kept secret to the Council itself.
City – The Lady in Black
An elected position voted on by the Council of Wise Women. The Lady in Black serves the city of Crowhaven not as a ruler, but as an arbiter for conflicts between Sisterhoods or in matters of legal dispute. She is chosen for her fairness, wisdom and patience. She will serve for thirteen years or until her death, when a new Lady will be elected.
Cultural Identity and Ideals:
The Home of the Corbanite Tradition
This was the city where Kathe and Kytha (the original Crow Sisters) first began practicing their healing techniques. Since then this city has served as the center of what grew into the Corbanites. All five of the Sisterhoods have their headquarters here, and the heads of those orders serve as the ruling council (both for the city and the faith as a whole).
This is a place of pilgrimage for most members of the faithful, particularly those girls who wish to pursue life as a witch. Likewise, nearly all Witches who serve in positions of power or as advisors to political figures will have trained for a time in Crowhaven.
A Legacy of Matriarchy
Since the age of the Crow Sisters, Crowhaven has been uniquely matrilineal. Both within the Coven and within the city, nearly all positions of political or financial influence are held by women. The result of this tradition has been felt internationally, and there are no City-states remaining where patriarchal culture remains the norm due to the powerful influence of the Corbanites.
However, there are two areas where masculine influence continues to thrive in Crowhaven: the Warhalks and the service industry.
The Warhalks are graduates of the infamous Firebird Military Academy, located in the nearby fort town of Phoenix Crossing. Serving primarily as bodyguards for witches, these soldiers are amongst the most disciplined to be found in the world. Trained to carry heavy weights, withstand grueling conditions without need for food or rest, and to be constantly vigilant for any threat to their charges, these soldiers embody the Corbanite ideal of self-control.
On the far opposite extreme is the service industry in Crowhaven, which is driven by masculine competitiveness. Shops and eateries compete with one another to attract the largest and most prestigious clientele, and the rivalries this creates spurs great leaps of creativeity and industry.
A Stronghold of Arcane Power
No other city or nation in the known world can rival Crowhaven for sheer arcane power, both in terms of the number of practitioners and the power of any given wielder. The practice of arcane study is central to the traditions of witchcraft, and nearly all witches have at least some ability to wield elemental forces.
The greatest of these are the four Elemental Angels, who are selected for their sheer command of elemental power in the four Natural Elements (Air, Earth, Fire and Water). If their reputations are to be believed, any one of these individuals wields elemental power capable of reshaping the local landscape or laying waste to an entire army single-handedly.
While the city is ruled by the Wise Women and the Lady in Black, the Four Angels are the last and greatest line of defense for the city itself. Each Angel is given stewardship over one of the four walls that surrounds Crowhaven, charged with defending it from any monstrous or blasphemous incursion.
Economy and Trade:
It might be fair to suggest that 'knowledge' was the primary export of the Crowhaven region. The Corbanite Church sends arcane and spiritual advisors to many lands and rulers, making them a powerful political influence. Nations hoping to improve the fertility of their fields or the stability of their weather rely on gifted Crowhaven witches to provide those services.
Moreover, a percentage of all tithes collected by the Churches internationally funnels back towards Crowhaven in the form of supplies and raw materials purchased by their Covens abroad and shipped by with caravans of faithful pilgrims. This reduces the reliance of Crowhaven on more traditional trade.
Thanks to their arcane might, Crowhaven is supported by several large farming communities and a stable fishing fleet than ensures food shortage is never an issue in the region. That said, Crowhaven also has one of the largest populations (not to mention a culture than emphasizes not taking more than one needs), which results in there being very little additional food for trade or export to other nations during most seasons.
The Anti-Science Movement
Certain traditionalist factions of the Corbanites view modern science as an affront to the Corbanite scriptures. While these Covens have found themselves out of favour internationally, they enjoy a strong following in Crowhaven. Many pro-science witches choose to study abroad rather than at the Arcane Academy for just this reason.
The Black Bird of Intrigues
The long tradition of people in power seeking Corbanite advisers has also meant that the Corbanite Church has become intimately connected to matters of politics across most of the Crowish City-States. To many (particular in more science-positive centres) the Church is viewed as much as a political entity as it is a spiritual one, and the Sisterhood of the Black Hat in particular has a reputation for being politically motivated and manipulative.