Borders Drawn in Blood
Independent City-State of Napoli
Napoli is an independent City state ruled by those of Norman Descent. The language of the city is French. They have controlled the city for several centuries after the first Normans were hired as mercenary defenders of Napoli by is Italian Lords. The reasoning behind hiring Norman mercenaries was to ensure loyalty because Italian mercenaries are led by Italian warlords. It was always difficult to tell with whom the warlords were allied. This made the hiring of Norman’s an obvious choice because they’d have no affiliation with other Italian nobles.
However, after a time, instead of assassinating the Neapolitan lords in order to implant a rival Italian Lord (which was their fear), the Normans assassinated the Italian Lords in order to take control of it themselves. Because of this Napoli along with Capua, Benevento and Salerno are all held by Norman families.
Since that time, the Normans have effectively held the city and promoted a thriving economy. The City is built around a lone Mountain on the Amalfi Coast. It has remained independent and unchallenged due to the Norman’s reputation as fierce warriors and the city’s formidable defenses. It controls a fortified harbor – one of the biggest on the Peninsula. This also grants it the allegiance of Venice. It also has two defending castles. One on the lower lands just above the harbor, and one at the top of the mountain. Any invading army would have to take control of the Harbor, storm the first castle and fight their way through cramped streets and fortified pallazzi before storming the second. This is a nearly impossible task when the city is has a full complement of soldiers. The Normans always do.
The port city doesn’t have the land for agriculture, but has an extensive trading relationship with The Byzantines, the Venetians, and the other neighboring Norman Principalities. However, its greatest export is soldiers. It is well known for its mercenaries, sanctioned by the city of Napoli. The City government demands a share of revenue generated from fighting. In return soldiers-for-hire receive training and equipment from the city guard.