Haravetownia in particular, however, has a similar problem as the fjord more broadly, on a smaller scale - the bounds of its counties are often arbitrary, provoking skirmishes between regional counts (and those aspiring to take their own land). Their monarchy, while stable, doesn't appear to have the authority to completely squash these constant rebellions
Clifland, last kingdom on the western shore of the northern fjord, thus the last stable port one can stop at before a long journey across the realms. While surrounding lands stew in disarray and the constant rise and fall of small kings, Clifland's location and the gold in their coffers from exploiting that location keep the kingdom stable, for now. In the rest of the fjord, Clifland is known for having well-paid and well-equipped soldiers. King Hilgvar leads the nation from its main port of Botford.
Clifland is a straightforward monarchy with a relatively simple structure - King Hilgvar decrees and rules through his army, collecting tariffs from merchants which stop in Botford for repairs, supplies, and trade. Two generals, dubbed "barons," relay and distribute his commands to his military and advise on mercantile matters. As for the soldiers, Clifland's standing army is especially well-equipped, mostly due to the taxes garnished from merchants passing by - most ships need repairs or maintenance when coming into the fjord from a long trip on the harsh northern oceans, and sailors are eager for a new variety of rations after such a voyage.
The soldiers fall into broadly two categories - the fordgard guard and patrol the capitol of Botford, while the Clifleapr patrol the outlands and have a much more varied loadout. A fortgard soldier usually trains extensively in hand-to-hand combat on foot, with some standardized training in intimidation tactics and ranged combat. They make use of multiple outfits of armor depending on weather and station, but generally tend towards heavier protection as their patrols are relatively short on nicely paved roads and comfortable guardhouses. The fortgard not only serve as the more heavy, martial branch of Clifland's army, but also as the police force for Botford. In contrast, the clifleapr have a much wider array of training, armaments, and tasks. Clifleapr tend to need training in at least combat both on and off mounts and at short, medium, and long distances, as well as wilderness survival, basic medicine, and usually various trades. Clifleapr parties tend towards lighter, more comfortable armors and arms, and train a variety of mounts for the rugged terrain - including horses, goats, and terror birds. Typical tasks for the clifleapr branch include general patrol of lands to track and hunt dangerous creatures or bandits, as well as providing aid to travelers and outlying villages. Clifleapr are frequently involved in border skirmishes with rising or falling kings trying to make a last-ditch effort to claim lands, and even occasionally engage in raids across the border to destabilize upstarts the king deems may become threats to his claim.
Looking from the fjord, the lands of Clifland are very obviously dominated by steep and chalky cliff faces rising from the water. Forests dominate the inland portions of the kingdom, making a great supply for lumber and sinew. Villages dot the landscape amongst the forests, each with a modest section cleared of trees for farming. Aside from the people and regular forest denizens such as deer, hare, squirrels, and the like, the dangerous creatures dwelling in Clifland tend to be sneaky and cunning - ambushing assassin vines, burrowing forest scorpions (of many sizes), terror birds, and the like.
A large fraction of Clifland's population lives in Botford, with less than half of the nation's citizens living in outlying villages. The general outlook of the populace has a harsh split that one can almost draw cleanly between the Botford residents and villagers. Broadly, those living outside the city and those enlisted in the military support King Hilgvar and appreciate the safety he grants his subjects. Especially the elder among those, who remember the time before Clifland was established and constant wars were in their backyards too. In contrast, many of the city's inhabitants are perpetually disgruntled - treaties the crown signs often force the many shipwrights and local producers to offer their services at a loss, while the affected laborers rarely see any of the wealth funneled into the nation's coffers via tariffs. If a local tries to hike prices in defiance of the treaties, the fordgard responds quickly and with little mercy - punishments depend on the responding soldiers' mood, anywhere from minor fines, to lashings, to execution. Residents often trust and rely on the local pirates for their real protection and business.
Those who live in Botford are mostly tradespeople or manual laborers - largely shipwrights, brewers, weavers, and blacksmiths, supporting the port operations. Near the city, a reasonable logging industry thrives. Those who live in further villages are usually simply subsistence farmers, though cottage industries of carpentry and clothesmaking are common sights as well. Common crops are wheat, potatoes, and flax; many keep goats and terror birds as well - some bred for war, some for milk or meat. At any given time, about one in five residents of Clifland are enlisted in its military. Veterans often leave service with their equipment, selling most of it to establish themselves a household, but are not given specific support for the remainder of their days - as such, many of the older soldiers are plagued by the scars of their service.
Botford is the most obvious landmark which most visitors to Clifland pass through. Botford lies on the edge of Bot's Bay, in one of the few breaks in the fjord-facing cliffs that stretch across and past Clifland. The city itself bustles with merchants, taverns, sailors, and shipwrights. Not a few pirates certainly make their homes (or at least one of their homes) in Botford, but picking a local ruffian out from a crowd of sailors drunk after a long voyage would stump all but the most astute investigators. Ultimately, the fordgard have little reason to crack down on piracy - there's scant other ports nearby, and plunder brings more silver to line their pockets.
Among the hills to the west of Clifland, deeper inland from the nation, lies a flat and grassy field foul with the stench of blood and ash known as Morrigan's Fane. Ravens in this area display particularly keen intellect and occasionally great size. In the center lies a single large standing stone bound by iron chains ever-hot as though just pulled from the forge-fire. Rumors circulate that the stone and its chains hold a godly might and the potential of a hero... though darker versions of these whispers suggest the chains may be imprisoning a dark power, that the heroic potential may simply be from unleashing a great evil unto the land.
Clifland has poor relations with most of its neighbors, mostly due to the instability rampant in the northern fjord and the incessant warring of self-proclaimed nobles. Relations with most other nations are generally non-descript; working with Clifland is a practical inevitability for those who want to trade out of or into the fjord. Some kingdoms attempt to negotiate better rights or lower taxes on their mercantile affairs passing through Botford - mostly fruitlessly, though Haravetownia did rattle their sabers enough to broker a treaty for special treatment for dock allocations and lower taxes on trades happening within Botford; many other nations have treaties to get repairs and resupplies done at discounted rates, enforced by the crown at port.