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Major political entities, kingdoms, and rumors.
The humans in Julan stake the predominant claim to the lands in and around the continent. The five human kingdoms cover most of the flat, open areas, and the small cluster of islands to the south. The elves have two large, widely separated domains. The minotaurs lay claim to the large island to the west, while the dwarves, aarakocra, and various humanoids stake out competing claims to the large, central mountain range.
All population estimates are very rough, and often wildly varying, sometimes even from season to season. Resources are listed in the approximate order of value for that kingdom.
Cerilia is a practice in neutrality, maintaining trade agreements with every kingdom, building and maintaining the extensive network of roads throughout the continent, and producing the most extensive intelligence gathering network known.
Cerilia is famous (or infamous) for its spies. While individuals may be hired by other countries and parties for individual missions, no one trusts them enough to hire them permanently. Cerilia has little standing military, but all citizens are required to serve the nation’s forces for 5 years upon attaining adulthood. Thus, in times of need, a large, relatively well trained, militia can be raised in short order.
The Kingdom of Dunath is comprised of seven minor holdings, and is the only human realm which actually grants ownership of its holdings to minor nobles. Arguably the richest in terms of raw wealth, Dunath retains one of the largest, best trained armies compared to its neighbors. Dunath is on generally good terms with the Felines to the south (often employing them as mercenaries in its armies), Orlash, Ment, and Shreve. Andevar, the northermost region of Dunath, has been pushing for independence from the rule of the kingdom for almost a decade.
Orlash is split between only two holdings. The reality is that the two are nearly independent, but closely allied states. Orlash is on good terms with the reclusive elves of the Ternost Forest, and has ongoing disputes with Highreach to the north, mostly due to the slave trade and border raids.
Ment is the home of the largest (known human) school of magic on the continent. As such, it is a political entity independent of the surrounding countries. Mages of Ment are continually seeking new students with magical talents, throughout the lands.
The academy a Ment is officially neutral in all political dealings. As such, they also provide arbitration, and broker peace agreements, trade treaties, etc., amongst the various rulers.
There are some small magical schools around the lands, but Ment is by far the most prestigious, and arguably the best. The only other common way for a student with the talent to develop their skills is to find a retired wizard willing to take an apprentice.
The crystals that come from the mines of Highreach are legendary. Unfortunately, most of those legends involve their use as knives for the legendary Brotherhood of Miska, an assassin’s brotherhood.
Highreach is the only human kingdom where slavery is officially condoned, which puts a strain on their relations with Dunath and Orlash. This also makes their gems an even rarer commodity outside the realm, as many are unwilling to purchase or trade in such ill gained riches.
There are 4 major dwarven clans that rule Delthenor. They generally remain aloof from the political affairs of those around them, but they are very territorial, and quick to dispute settlers’ claims to ‘their’ mountains. The dwarves of Delthenor trade for most of the food, cloth, and other materials needed for living, mostly through gnomish, hobgoblin, or halfling merchants. They are also on good terms with the aarakocra who live on the spires and peaks of their mountain ranges.
The weapons produced by the dwarves are some of the sturdiest in the land, although arguably not as fine as those of elven make, and fetch a high price in any market.
The elves of Ternost live in small groups scattered through the forest. They are friendly with the gnomes and halflings of Shreve, and conduct regular trade with the feline clans to the east. They were the first realm to establish relations with the lizard men and have aided much in learning the difficult tongue of the lizard folk.
The very reclusive elves of the Frischnost only interact with other realms through the few human and gnomish merchants who have earned their trust. Only a few individuals from the region have ever been known to strike out on their own.
The Frischnost elves are often called snow or ice elves, and are readily identified from their southern cousins by their golden or silver hair and very pale complexions.
Other Political entities.
The Circle is a politically active group of rangers, druids, and others representing nearly all of the known races. Little is known about their operations, other than they try to limit the spread of large cities and preserve the resources of the land. They are not entirely against civilization, but do act to contain it. They are often sending representatives to various kingdoms to plead for their points. Many accidents are blamed on the circle, although they claim to not use violent methods, and never take ‘credit’ for any acts of sabotage.
The minotaurs of Mithlan are renowned across the continent as unequaled sailors. Unfortunately, many of them are privateers, but most make an honest living as merchants and traders. Politically, Mithlan is neutral to all nations, to expedite their trade. The fact that they are willing to trade with any and all, though, also makes them suspicious to all. Mithlan has little standing army, but is fairly confident in its naval superiority to guard its shores.
The population of Shreve (really a collection of many independent towns, villages, and settlements) is nearly equal numbers of gnomes and halflings. The halflings are famous for their breads, candies, and other foodstuffs, while the gnomes build water clocks of unparalleled accuracy, as well as many gadgets. Most of their gadget are harmless toys, but some of the truly gifted tinkers make some astounding discovery, often blending magic and ‘technology’ in astounding ways.
The aarakocra are rarely seen except as silhouettes soaring in the sky. They trade mostly with the dwarves of Delthenor, and have no discernible political motivations. The few who ever leave Aerie occasionally find employment as scouts for various military, but often vanish without warning.
Loktar is a relatively large, loosely knit collection of tribes, clans, and petty rulers. Primarily controlled by the few humans in the area, the tribes are constantly skirmishing with one another over territory, and other slights, real or imagined. One of the few areas that gladly trades with Highreach, Loktar is otherwise a very isolated kingdom.
The ‘kingdom’ od Dabu is a very small state, thought to have broken off from the other local humanoid tribes in the area. It is relatively peaceful and trades with several surrounding countries. The gnolls are renowned as archers. While they may not be as skilled as their elven neighbors, accuracy is somewhat less critical when one is pulling a 150 lb bow. Dabu has increased its favor with Dunath and Orlash recently by freeing slaves captured during border raids on Loktar. The kingdom officially practices a form of slavery, akin to serfdom, but related to financial gains, and it is possible for one to buy one’s way out of serfdom. This causes several of the other human kingdoms to look on Dabu in a more favorable light than Highreach.
The leones are a tribal nomadic race that comprises a collection of several loosely knit clans of distinct races. With very few permanent settlements, and no central political structure, they have little influence on the politics of Julan. However, they are fierce and territorial, and have been known to fight for Dunath in the past.
The leones have a very strict honor system, and most disagreements are settled by ritual, rarely fatal, combat.
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