The Kingdom of Maxow is a small but important Gardish realm, located in the Rushtide region on Occident’s east coast. Maxow is a city-state which has grown in both population and territory due to massive waves of immigration from Orient, across the sea to the east. Immigrants from Orient and their children are now a majority there – katanas are easier to find than longswords, it is said.
Unlike the cities of the Rushtide Union, Maxow has no republican leanings. The city is a monarchy, ruled by a single person: Queen Covustoria, a brass dragon. She employs a number of ministers to help her rule, but they serve at her pleasure alone. Queen Covustoria seems to enjoy administration and micromanaging affairs of state. This is very unusual for a brass dragon. She also appeared as a male in her last human incarnation before the Human’s Revolution began in 451 OC, confusing many of her subjects.
There is an urban nobility in Maxow, similar to the nobility in Gideon City. The nobility of Maxow are much less rich than their Gideoner counterparts, but they tend to have larger estates outside Maxow’s city walls. Also, unlike in Gideon City, some of the nobility are dragons. These dragons are mostly Covustoria’s relatives.
Maxow, like most cities, has a dedicated city watch. Unfortunately, the watch has not grown in pace with the waves of immigration from Orient. While the guard does the best it can, the Queen’s will often goes unenforced on the streets, particularly in poorer areas and recent immigrant neighborhoods. Organized crime has long been a problem. Gangs called chaopho (a Cipokan word) make a fortune by providing “protection” services.
These gangs have in the past been notorious for their constant fighting, with gang wars claiming many young lives each year. But in 447, the chaopho formalized their differences. Now, instead of constant gang wars, influenced is won and lost in an annual street fighting tournament. These highly illegal, highly dangerous tournaments are used to decide major political issues among the underclasses. Anyone can enter, and there is a monetary prize for the winner, but most of the participants are fighting on behalf of one gang or another. Victorious fighters can win the right to control entire neighborhoods on behalf of their chaopho. Losers slink off in shame, but they keep their lives. Usually. Accidents can happen.
Maxow is on Gard’s east coast. (See the Rushtide page for more geographical information on this region.
The city of Maxow is built on a peninsula, but it also includes several small islands. Ferries (or expert swimming skills) are needed to get from one island to another; luckily, these ferries run constantly as long as the sun is up.
The Kingdom of Maxow also includes a sizable amount of territory outside the walls of the city of Maxow. This territory is mostly woods, but more and more of these woods are being cut down to meet the needs of a growing Maxow. The local druids have been screaming bloody murder about “sustainability” and “ecosystems” and other words from the Druidic language that no one understands, but Maxow refuses to turn away immigrants, and they’ve got to live somewhere.
In addition to being in the Rushtide region, Maxow’s woods abut Wick to the west. There is a well-trafficked road through the woods, which connects Wick to the coast via Maxow. This also angers the druids, but Maxow’s shipping and manufacturing industries are very important to Wick and the rest of Gard.
People of Oriental heritage are now a majority in Maxow, by a fairly slim margin. Occidental Maxowians tend to be industrious and money-minded, much like their neighbors in Wick. They are also quite religious, again like the Wickish, although they are less dogmatic and more willing to consider new faiths.
Although Wick has a very large immigrant population, these immigrants often clash with the native Gardish citizens of Maxow, who tend to be wealthier, better-educated, and who all speak Gardish. Immigrants from Shraa and Cipok use Kamese to communicate with each other, but often can only speak Gardish after a fashion and with a heavy accent.
On top of this, the Shraaji and Cipokans are not exactly best of friends. The two empires are ruled by copper and green dragons, respectively, and have been rivals for as long as Gard and Arcland have. Similarly, Shraaji and Cipokan chaopho are almost always at each other’s throats. Only the eventual merging of immigrants from the two countries into the dominant Maxowian culture allowed them to come together enough to organize the street fighting tournaments.
SInce Shraa is a much nicer place to live than Cipok, Cipokan immigrants outnumber Shraaji ones about four-to-one.
Most immigrants take low-paying service jobs, doing menial labor in support of crafting guilds. They are often treated very poorly by their employers, although the Queen has instituted laws guaranteeing certain rights for workers.
Most Maxowans have very little interest in the New World. Maxow is a center of trade connecting Wick to the nations of the Orient, and it enjoys this role and all the profit that comes with it. Still, many Maxowans seeking to leave their home and go on to bigger things seek passage to the Bocans or to Freedland.
In 476, the final match of the street fighting tournament was interrupted by a terrorist attack carried out by angry druids. Calling down fierce thunderstorms and a frightening collection of wild animals, they killed 13 people, including one of the two finalists. The attackers claimed to strike in the name of the forest outside Maxow that is being cut down, and threatened further attacks if the deforestation was not halted. But since then, all of the chaopho have declared war on druids – not just those responsible for the attack, but those wielding nature magic in general. They’ve even put out hits on people with naturistic power, even those who aren’t actually druids or involved with the initial attack. Many of those people have been forced to flee.
Which god you worship in Maxow really depends on where you are from. Occidental Maxowians worship Avillion, Ielda, and Avatrunei, primarily. Shraaji immigrants are more likely to favor Dilentu, Sidarch, and Kyon. Cipokans and their descendants tend to gravitate towards Saralek, Ilumot, and Nameless, gods more popular in their home.
Over the years, religious teachings have spread from one community to another. The Occidental Maxowians have been embracing Kyon more and more, while the Cipokans have been moving away from Saralek and more towards Avatrunei. On the other hand, religious differences are responsible for a lot of strife inside Maxow’s walls. Ilumot-worshipers and Kyon-worshipers are particularly at each other’s throats.
Maxow, being a large city-state, has a variety of racial and ethnic groups. It’s far less tolerant towards goblins, kobolds, and other “savage” races than its Rushtidean cousins are. On the other hand, Oriental races like tengu and kitsunes are occasionally seen in Maxow. Halflings and dwarves are also exceptionallly common. Elves and half-orcs are much less likely to be found in Maxow, since they are rarely seen in western Orient.