Canton aq Liir
Canton, County of
Canton, County of
Canton is ruled by a count, currently Count Arthvale Havadier, who is the fifth Havadier to hold the position and the second, after his father, to hold his name. The county’s importance to Ariador is difficult to overstate; Canton is an economic powerhouse, as well as being the ancestral home of some of Ariador’s oldest families—the reigning royal Sagacians included. Canton’s lack of geographically strategic positioning prevents it from becoming a proper duchy under existing legal codes, but by a century-old royal dispensation the lord of Canton is entitled to the formal address of “his Grace,” as opposed to “his Lordship,” which is normally reserved for dukes.
The County of Canton is the furthest southwestern fief of the Kingdom of Ariador. It is the only fief of Ariador that is landlocked, although it is neatly bisected by the river Weyn which runs to the Sea Meridius. Canton’s forests supply most of Ariador’s lumber, and wood is shipped from the county to most of northern Aerythe. The quality of Canton’s timber is widely renown; other major exports include paper and textiles. Canton has an abundance of silver; historically, however, this particular resource has been grossly mismanaged by private enterprise and corruption, and it cannot be said to be a substantial source of income for the county—despite being legendary for its abundance and ease of access: the seat of power for the county is popularly known as the ‘Silver Chair’ with variations on the same theme indicating a speaker’s regard for the current state of affairs in the county.
During a popular uprising seventy years ago, the seat of power was commonly referred to as the ‘Silver Stool.’
Canton is perhaps most famous for being the location of the Bardic College of Liir, and for the county’s close political affiliation with the school—this constitutes more or less official acceptance of the religion of the Eld’Wuyn, which has fallen into near-total disregard elsewhere in Ariador (and throughout most of northern Aerythe). Thanks to Liir, Canton is generally viewed as being a seat of high culture; many powerful families from throughout Aerythe have estates in Canton, and number multiple family members among the school’s present enrollment or alumni. A combination of Liir’s sponsored festivals, the sea-road that is the River Weyn, and a well-maintained network of land-roads has made Canton a focal point for trade and travelers, which has only served to increase the wealth and prestige of the county.