|Capital City of Marves|
|Etymology: Water region|
|Prythicum Magnia||318 AD|
|Incorporated in Burgundie||1849|
L'Ax-Canbon is an independent city and the capital of the province of Marves, in Burgundie. It is an ancient coastal city known for its thermal baths and Istroyan temples. It's unfettered access to pure spring water has made it famous as the source of water for fine cosmetics, bottled water, and hosts a whisky region based around its springs. The 1.3 million people who live in the metro area live in a small densely packed 233 km2 (90 sq mi) area around the harbor. The suburbs of the city are also heavily built up and the whole area is served by a light rail rapid transit system, Reille Ax-Canbon (RAC). The maglev was built in the 1980s and completely renovated from 2005-2022. The system transports an average of 684,930 people per day in the summer months during its peak tourism season. The port is both a cruise home port for two [[Burgundie|Burgundian}} cruise lines and a port of call for Royal Ecinian International's Ports of Southern Levantia cruise. The primary industries are the port, tourism related service industries, and the headquarters and primary campus of Burgundie International Health Network.
Founded in 52BC as holy site for Istroyan oracles the area around the thermal bathes were named Pythia and were frequented by Istroyan sailors looking for a prophecy on their journey back across the Istroyan Sea. In 58BC a temple to Poseidon was built for the oracles of Pythia. In 63 AD the town was sacked by roving Pictish hordes and the fallow territory fell to the Kingdom of the Burdeboch. The territory remained largely uncivilized until the arrival of forces of The Bergenddium in 286 AD. A town, Prythicum Magnia, was formed in 318 AD.
The town fell to the Confederation of Medestophanese briefly from 412-494 before being recaptured by The Berrgenddium from 494-636. In 636 it was abandoned to the Kingdom of the Burdeboch once more. The Picts controlled the city from 636-769 before it was captured by the navy of Alvaria and formed the northern most city of that kingdom from 769-916. With the collapse of Alvaria the city was acquired by the Bishopric of Rabascall, then the Archbishopric of Rabascall-Bergendia from 923-1248. In 1249 the union forming the Archbishopric of Rabascall-Bergendia failed when the Bishopric of Mattiusvale was given immediacy. The city remained apart of the rump Bishopric of Rabascall until it was incorporated in 1264 and became an independent city-state for a time. In 1295 the city joined the Vilauristre Conference in which it remained as an autonomous city-state until 1441.
It was an important stopping and embarkment point during the Audonian Crusade.
Early Modern period
Following the Great Confessional War the city was raised to a county and the Faxon family given countship. House Faxon ruled from 1612-1849 when the territory was subsumed into the newly formed nation of Burgundie during the Southern Levantine Mediatization War. The port and county of L'Ax-Canbon were an important watering stop on the route of traders from southern Levantia, the Istroyan islands, Audonia, and Sarpedon on their way to trade goods with northern Levantia. The city had always been and remained a melting pot of cultures. Prostitutes, known as naval wives, ran many of the cities business and owned much of the property. During the colonial period, the counts of L'Ax-Canbon invested heavily in the colonies in Audonia. They were particularly invested in the mining operations in the Chott al-Rezid and Ben Ghilli salt flats in the Bulkawan colony. They secured a monopoly of salt distribution to the Imperial Court of the Holy Levantine Empire which made them incredibly rich. The city saw incredible growth during the 18th century, predominantly in the Baroque and then NeoIstroyan styles. There were attempts to save the Istroyan temples of Pythia but they were often clumsy and did as much harm as good. The celebration of the Istroyan origins of the city at least preserved the grounds of the temples and did not attempt to destroy them and reclaim the land. Upon the collapse of the colony in the 1820s the county lost its primary income and poverty escalated. House Faxon and its retainers staved off poverty for another decade but the general populace were starving and rioting in the streets by 1832. The city, being reliant on colony for almost all of its income did not have a tax system and had not industrialized. Attempts by House Faxon to catch up to the pace of the Industrial Revolution were not well received by the populace and factories were often burned down faster then they could be completed. The city was practically a daily warzone by 1835. Count Armand XVI requested help from the Imperial Diet. Grain from Urcea was sent but the population raided the wagons, killing the imperial emissaries. 200 Imperial troops were sent to quell the unrest. The Armand XVI authorized the troops to fire on the populace and on May 4th, 1835 a crowd of protestors attacked the soldiers with paving bricks and the troops opened fire. 4 people were killed and 6 were injured. 1 soldier was wounded and later died of his wounds. The Imperial Diet withdrew the troops fearing further unrest. The Duchy of Marialanus imported enough grain to quell the riots for the next three years but increasingly demanded more say in the politics of the county. By 1838, House Mittermand of the Duchy of Marialanus practically ran the County of L'Ax-Canbon and House Faxon ruled in name only.
Late Modern period
During the Great War, L’Ax-Canbon was used a rest and relaxation port for soldiers from Levantia fighting in the Audonian Theater. An airfield was built in 1941 to accomadate troop planes and expanded in 1950. These prepared the infrastructure that prepared L’Ax-Canbon for its role as a tourist haven today. The port and its piers were expanded in 1940, 1943, 1949, and 1952. By the end of the war L’Ax-Canbon was the 4th largest port in the Burgundian metropole. It was bombed by the Umardi navy airforce in 1948 on two occasions in which 40 civilians were killed and 312 injured. The following year a concrete flak tower was built, which remains in the inner harbor today. Immediately following the Great War, L’Ax-Canbon saw a massive drop in its population as returning veterans, flush with cash, left for the suburbs. The downtown area was plagued with blight and vacant buildings. The trend was common across most of the cities of Burgundie. By 1961, the metropolitan area’s population had dropped from 750,000 before the war, to 430,000. For a city whose wartime population as typically over one million, the urban decay came as a massive shock to the system. It is estimated that only 20% of the wartime service businesses survived into the 1980s. Many historic buildings were damaged beyond repair due to lack of maintenance and vacancy. The elements, flora, and fauna took over much of the city. For a period in the early 1970s the city council even considered dissolving the city and merging with the adjoining departments.
In the period termed the Second Burg Renaissance, the city was slow to see any improvements. It was determined by the federal and royal governments to be too far deteriorated to be worth saving. In 1982, much of the city was bought by Palacin Holdings. The Palacin brothers, Maurice and Paul, Maurice being the titular Duke of Marialanus, invested billions in the city from 1981-1994. They reclaimed miles of roads, restored much of the Baroque and NeoIstroyan architecture. They installed a maglev that was initially built for the workers to move throughout the city but was envisioned to be the cities public transit system when the project was done. By 1985 it was clear that their project wasn’t merely a folly. The city rebuilding project was attracting massive investments from across the globe. The borthers rebuilt the city’s core as a resort town that celebrated the various periods of L’Ax-Canbon’s history. Quartiers were built around styles of architechture. Roads were widened and building facades were moved into the respective quartiers. The restoration was painstakingly cautious and earned the brothers reputations as careful stewards of Burgundian culture. When the city was “reopened’’ in 1994 it was a national distraction. Millions came from across the country to see it. The real estate in the city, worth nothing a decade before, netted the brothers $14.5 billion in profit. From 1994-2004 the city engaged in unbridled speculative buying and selling. The workers of the city were forced to live hours away as they could not afford to live in the metropolitan area or its suburbs. An average 2 bedroom apartment that sold for $250,000 in 1994 was selling for $1.8 million by 2002. The town was an amusement park for the wealthy in the decade following its opening. With the port’s agreement with Royal Ecinian International in 1998 the cities prominence rose even more. Casinos, a grand promenade, and various garish Burgundian themed amusements drew both locals and foreigners to the city. Like in many Burgundian cities, L’Ax-Canbon’s over speculative housing market and credit economy found its braking point in the Great Recession of 2004-2008. The housing market, in particular, started to collapse in March of 2004. The number of foreclosures skyrocketed and by 2007, the lending banks owned approximately 25% of the property of the city. Palacin Holdings bought 2,530 parcels from the bank and changed the face of the city. They renovated the maglev system and by 2013, the affordability was stabilized, and rents were down to an average of 45% of the typical monthly wage. The casinos were bought out and the garish nature of the city was reduced. In 2015, the headquarters and primary campus of Burgundie International Health Network was moved to downtown from the suburbs. Wages jumped as newer higher paying jobs came to the city. By the 2020s the median household income was $51,739, while the median income for a family was $61,035. The city adapted better than most to the 21st century as it did not have an industrially trained working population to reeducate. The skills that the service industry jobs supporting the city remain largely unchanged as the automation and internet age rock the foundation of many fields. The total reinventions of the city in the 1990s and 2000s have prepared it for the foreseeable future financially. However, the frequent, recent total rennovations have left the city without a sense of self and culture. There are no native L’Ax-Canbonoise. How this will impact the city is yet to be seen, but it is atypical in that way from every other Burgundian city whose sense of heritage and pride are defining and integral.