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The Town of Raab is located to the extreme North East of Berphaunt, to the East of Gerdain, within sight of the mountains of the Dwarves and the Forest of the Silver Leaf Elves. Although borders are sometimes ephemeral things, it would be technically correct to say that it lies within the borders of Berphaunt, most of the time. The influence of the nearby dwarven culture is obvious with many of the locals speaking dwarven or some mix of common and dwarven.

The town proper now consists of two very large fortified keeps which house different branches of the current ruling Salletmaier family. The town itself is located between the two keeps and has a population, including outlying farms and smaller villages, manors and hamlets of perhaps 1500 souls. One of the keeps houses a large church of light and the other houses a small university dedicated to the study of ancient texts of various sorts.

While the town has much of the usual agriculture and livestock, it was in its day famous for the quality of the saddles and horseshoes it produced as well as the dogs it bred. The dogs are a cross between the German Sheppard and the Black Alaskan Husky, that look pretty much like a black and silver German Sheppard. The animals are known for their intelligence, loyalty and endurance. There was a time when all of the nobles of Berphaunt simply had to have their saddles and dogs to complete their hunting attire, or risk being thought of second class citizens. In those days the streets and markets of Raab were crowded with foreign merchants seeking to by the dogs, saddles and horseshoes and money was aplenty. But that was almost two generations ago and few living can remember those heady days. Fashions change and merchants change their routes so now Raab is much more of a sleepy backwater town with a proud past that is the subject of much reminiscing over drinks.


Raab was founded by a legendary figure whose true origins have been obscured over time. When Leopold Habsburg arrived in Raab, centuries ago, the area was primarily a sheep herding district, where the "Eisenhunds" or "Steel Dogs" were used for herding the livestock. Leopold arrived with many books and a small group of men at arms and initially only built a small keep without walls and began to spend much time studying his books and praying at the small local church. His wife, Maria Theresa, was also a devote woman who helped improve the church community and worked amongst the poor.

After a number of years of success and work, Leopold constructed a great church and a small university to study the books he had brought with him. These were the "fechtbuche" or "fight books" that contained the writings of great fighting masters about the art and science of battle in a number of different languages, particularly the works of Fiore dei Liberi in the wild elven tongue, Johann Lichtenauer in the dwarven language, and Vegitus in the language of the dark elves. Access to this knowledge was restricted to those who are thought to be worthy.

Many legends have grown up around Leopold the Founder. There are stories of his wisdom and generosity, his martial prowess, and his ability to heal the sick. Similar folk tales are also told of his wife. But there is no disagreement on how Leopold died. There came a time when a small band of wild elves, of the Silver Leaf Tribe were fleeing through Leopold's lands pursued by a savage group of Raze followers who sought to kill the elves for some very old slight. Leopold defended the elves and gathered them up inside his keep, but was captured by the Raze followers before he could reach safety himself. The Raze followers brought him before the keep and threatened to torture Leopold to death unless the elves were sent out to them. Leopold cried out "I am only the lamb amongst the butchers, let them fell me so the rest of the flock might survive." Maria Theresa obeyed her husband's wishes and kept the keep sealed while Leopold was skinned alive in front of the gates. His skin was dipped in gold (representing the gold the Raze followers believed the elves had stolen) and left in front of the gates while the Raze followers not having siege equipment rode off.

Maria Theresa had borne Leopold sixteen children. Four sons and twelve daughters, in memory of their fallen father she formed a chivalric order, called the Order of the Golden Fleece as a reminder to all of the nobility of the lamb and his great sacrifice. The Order, led by Leopold's fours sons, set about avenging the family on the Raze followers and eventually killed them all, all though all four sons fell in the effort. As each son fell Maria Theresa remained steadfast in her determination to seek justice and when that quest was done, her daughters insisted on the creation of a further chivalric order dedicated to honouring women who bear many children and willingly sacrifice what they love for the greater good. This was simply called the Order of Maria Theresa.

With the passing of years there are very few members of the Order of the Golden Fleece left, although Rudolf II remains its theoretical Marshall. Sabella Bast was the last member of the Order of Maria Theresa and with her recent death, only Rudolf II can appoint new members.

Dynastic Crisis

Within a century all of the males lines of the Habsburg family died out, leaving the lines of the daughters to carry on the ruling bloodline. There are now four famalies that can trace their pedigree to the Habsburgs they being the Salletmaiers, the Basts, the Kinzelbergers and the Worlschlukners. The Salletmaiers have held the ruling position for three generations and by the law of primogeniture should remain so as long as they produce male heirs. Marriages between the Salletmaiers and the other three Habsburg lines are arranged as often as the consanguinity laws allow to reinforce the legitimacy of the ruling house. With Rudolf II's leaving the position without heirs, the next legitimate heir is his nephew, through his brother, Karl II. However his mother is not a member of the four families and some whisper that Rudolf's nephew Leopold Wolfschlukner, son of his sister Beatta, has a better claim being the child of a Wolfschlukner-Salletmaier marriage.

The Order of Maria Theresia

The town of Raab is the home of the Order of Maria Theresia.

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