Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Locales: Aelethmer

Aelethmer is the northwestern kingdom of Evandar. It abuts Tarsus in the northeastern region of it, then the kingdom of Dakon-Bar on the southeastern region. The southern region of Aelethmer borders Swavia. The western side of this kingdom extends to encompass the northern portion of the plain that stands before the desert known as the Waste until it reaches the northern most tip of Ackmere that touches both Swavia and Aelethmer.

The northernmost regions of Aelethmer are mountainous. The foothills of the mountains cover approximately a third of the kingdom. These foothills extend south and very slightly to the west. In a crescent, the plain reaches from the northwest end of the foothills to the border with Swavia and down to the southern most portions of this kingdom. The southeastern region is rocky terrain with another set of hills. The southern hills of this region allows one to catch a glimpse of a small mountain range that marches through Ackmere and into Moesia.

The northern mountains of Aelethmere are the source of a significant marble industry. The foothills and the great lake Isleth (rumored to have been created from the tears of the widows of the Great War from the last age) provide suitable fertile ground for wine production. The wines of Aelethmere are considered to be superior to those of other regions. It is a major industry of this kingdom. In addition to wine, however, Aelethmere is known for its wool production. It is also home to gold mining and goldsmithing in the southeastern region. This, however, is a very minor part of Aelethmer's income. The forested foothills of both mountain ranges (the Dragon's Spine to the north and the Shattered Mountains to the south) provide a significant industry in lumber. This, however, is not as substantial as that of  Swavia, as the wood from Aelethmer is considered to be 'common' quality.

Aelethmer is ruled by a king who is born of the lineage of the first king. Succession is patrilineal. They are one of the oldest kingdoms in the western portion of Evandar. Aelethmerian politics are almost as complex as the politics of the Council of Seven. Aelethmer is divided into six duchies with five earldoms in each duchy and varying numbers of vassals in each earldom. The six duchies have representatives that make up the Inner Council of the King. This council advises the king on matters of domestic affairs and state. International affairs are discussed in the Grand Council, where the duchies have two representatives and the earldoms each have one. It is the Grand Council who nominates the ambassador to the Council of Seven at Tor Caldri.

Aelethmer is a modified absolute monarchy. The judicial system is based upon the vassals of the monarch having rule over their vassals. When a matter requires arbitration, their overlord sits in judgment. There have been very few matters that have risen to the king's final judgment. Generally, vassals are reluctant to challenge their overlord by appealing to the one above them. This, however, does happen on time to time. Generally, it results in either the claimants being sent away to different fiefdoms or, on occasion, the execution of the loser. The vassal who had their decision overturned are given a rebuke. This results in the loss of prestige and ability to persuade the Grand Council on any major matters in direct relation to the number of rebukes they have received. In the history of Aelethmer, there have been earls and knights who have been stripped of their titles because they have such a poor record of judgment.

Aelethmer is known as one of the moderately prosperous kingdoms of Evandar. They are in lands that have been, for much of recent history, been peaceful. Aelethmer is frequently considered to be 'fat and lazy' by their eastern neighbors because of how insulated they have been from strife. Still, on the Council of Seven, Aelethmer is well regarded for their tacit and ability to skillfully manage economic scenarios. They are known in Tor Caldri as the House of Coin for how frequently representatives from Aelethmer have been appointed to monitor and manage the royal treasury of the High King.