Growth of the Grand Duchy
During this period, Serrilea as well as the chief rivals of the western portion of the former Mangened Empire, continued to grow, each of them growing stronger and becoming more at odds with each other.
Serrilea continued an eastward expansion, through both military means as well as through land purchases. The entire length of the Baise River from the Lac du Profounder Inconnue to the Mer D’Azur was now part of Serrilea and its present day southern boundary was established. As it continued eastward, it created the duchies of Claret and Tournon.
By the year 125, Serrilea was ten times the size it had been at the time of the Cleansing Wars. In recognition of this, the title of the Grand Duke was changed to King, and King Marcus I was named and a lavish coronation ceremony was held. Marcus was of the house Sanglier, which had controlled the country since the beginning of the current era.
Internally, the leading wool merchants saw that the land they had been using to herd large quantities of sheep was of much too good a quality to be used for this purpose. Besides, wool could be bought cheaply elsewhere, scoured, carded, spun, worsted, wooled and felted and dyed in Serrilea and sold back to its place of origin as cloth at a great profit.
New crops came under cultivation and new industries, such as grapes and the wine industry; cattle with dairy, candle and leather industries, cotton and flax for oil and new forms of clothing and other manufacturing industries with raw materials imported from elsewhere, such as wood from Vianden for furniture; and construction material, stone and mineral ores from the Adurek turned into weaponry, used in construction and for the manufacture of household goods. New lands were also opened for the cultivation of foodstuffs.
This agriculture and manufacturing boom was paired with a increasingly urbanized population. Great cities arose, and with that greater needs for public works and construction. One great construction work that was undertook was the Marmande Canal, connecting the Baise River and the Arratz River. The Arratz River at that time formed the northern frontier with Zelendra.
Most importantly in the history of Serrilea was the development of the country’s banking system. While previously, the merchants guilds made loans to each other and to foreign governments, a new system of banking arose, with new accounting measures. This was a system where banks could now make loans to the national government, nobles, merchants, landowners, and eventually to peasants in terms of pawned goods.
The first bank was established in the capital city of Lutetia in 123. This bank was owned by the Preteur family. Subsequent banks opened and new branches were established in other cities of the kingdom. New practices were developed, such as double entry accounting and remuneration in terms of shares for bank managers. With these new branches in Fougeres and Tregastel, the Preteur family developed bills for exchange at the various locations, enabling deposits to be able to be withdrawn from another bank location.
174 the Serrilean King, Marcus II, was approached by representatives from Gruningen who had just been attacked by Appenzell and Castile. The Serrilean king did not want to get directly involved in the conflict, though offered monetary support and some military aid. The Gruningen ambassador was mildly upset.