Songs of Finbec
Prior to The Great Plague, Byssus was once a great seafaring empire like that of Palus, a nation with which it was joined until the Palus Rebellion of 2-513. Having discovered the secrets of concrete a hundred years prior to the Third Geslo, Byssus emerged from the storm the most powerful of nations on Aelun, Pretor or Igeron, a power it dedicated to amassing great wealth as the great ships began to traverse the globe.
When the Plague spread, taking the vast majority of the Byssian populace, the survivors blamed their greed and trade, and passed many laws against citizens travelling abroad.
The city-states, allied strongly though no longer under central rule, began to devote their resources to great universities. The primary purposes of these universities are to train doctors, to inspect all visitors to the region and prevent further disease, and engineers & chemists, who work to recover the secrets of concrete, which were lost to the Plague.