Kolka is one of the three Sea-Side City States of the North. It is prominent in it’s position as the only Bishopric in the North. Ruled by the Bishop-Priest of the city, with a court made up like any other kingdom, the city is often a place of conflict; between the Priesthood and the Militant Church Orders, the Merchants of the City, those wishing more secularism or less religious involvement in day to day affairs, and so forth.
Because of it’s position as a producer of Iron, but also as an independent state, Kolka produces many weapons and attracts many prominent smiths and engineers. It also attracts Alchemists, but they often find the environment more hostile than some other states. Witchcraft is also much more harshly dealt with in this state. While it is not strictly speaking illegal, very few witches end up in any position of influence and the Church is more diligent in it’s prosecution of malfeasance, knowing it has the authority of the Bishop-Prince to generally back it up.
Not as old as Varve but close in age to that August city, Kolka was a prominent dominion under the Great Southern Empire, a lesser trade port, and the location of several prominent Iron Mines. The Slow dissolution of the Empire lead to the break-up of general civilian power. A variety of successors arose in various places, and wars and conflicts engulfed the region.
Kolka was unique in several regards. It had a prominent and important source of power in the form of it’s trade capacities and it’s Iron reserves. This made is a tempting military target but also gave it both the income to support itself as a military power and the ability to arm itself. It was, however, lacking in effective governance or political will. Over the years several different noble families attempted to assert dominance over the region, and the city, in those early years, was put to the torch more than once. The last family to do so was wiped out as they engaged in war with one of the other states to the south-east. The only member left was a third-son who had entered the priesthood and by some measure ended up a bishop. Old and childless, with no aspirations, he found himself suddenly in common of countless men and responsible for the iron mines, and the cities defences. The Bishop conferred with his captains, with the merchants and prominent citizenry of the town, and with the gods and accepted the burden of leadership, becoming the cities first Prince-Bishop.
His leadership proved exceptional, and the old, scholarly bishop proved himself an able general. Repelling several invasions and launching one of his own that secured his position. Even as he succeeded in these endeavours however, he realized that the realm was politically unstable. He worked to appoint his successor, both to the title of Bishop and Prince, and that has continued to this day.
There has been conflict over this for some time; there are other bishops who either envy such a position of both Ecclesiastic and temporal power, and those who view it as bordering on blasphemy. There are Merchants who distrust the power clergy-men have in the city, and clergy-men who worry the contact with temporal power corrupts the church around Kolka.
It can be said the wise leadership has secured the provinces independence, and Telva has long been loathed to engage in an aggressive war against the now rich city, and not the least because of fear of church sanction.