The kingdom of Bengeirr lies in the Bengaran Woodlands and is one of the richest nations in the world. Their wealth and prosperity is so well known that even the simplest commoner would have heard of their splendor. The reputation is not ill-deserved as a combination of intelligent and capable rulers and a well built economy has allowed Bengeirr to soar to great heights.
CultureThe people of Bengeirr, called Bengerian, are extremely economically focused. Everything they do revolve around money and wealth. Many are traders, but there are also great craftsmen all over Bengeirr. Everything in Bengeirr has a price and you can buy things in Bengeirr that you would not believe could be sold anywhere, even highly questionable and disturbing things. This high focus on economics and prosperity means that there's a great difference between rich and poor, even though "poor" in Bengeirr means something entirely different than in other countries. The rich live in opulent, grand stone houses with beautiful carpets and intricate tapestries, valuable plants and decorated pottery. They like to own several servants and if they're really wealthy, those servants will be highly educated and skilled. The poor among the Bengerians live pretty much like ordinary commoners in other countries. Poverty is a concept that is quite different in Bengeirr. A poor person in other countries may struggle for their daily survival and cannot clothe their family, while a poor person in Bengeirr complains about the whitewash on his house starting to stain and sour, and he can't afford to clean it. At least that is how the Bengerians themselves would describe it. The reality is a bit more grim, but there is truth to their glorified vision. There is very little true poverty in Bengeirr and most people are kept in profession with sufficient pay or income to comfortably survive.
SlaveryBengeirr is one of the few nations where the keeping of slaves is legal. However, the Bengerians do not appreciate the term "slave", and prefer to say servant instead. Many of the servants of Bengeirr are paid servants and the number of servants owned and the education level of said servants are a measure of status in Bengeirr. A highly educated or skilled servant could be worth at least 10 uneducated servants. While the servants are generally being paid, they are by no means free. They are property and have no rights beyond the ones given by his master and the universal law that no servant may be willfully abused or harmed. This law is however difficult to enforce as it very often ends up being the servant's words against their master's, and no one in their right mind would believe a slave over a respected citizen.
GovernmentBengeirr is a feudal nation ruled by a king and they apply patriarchal primogeniture, meaning that only male heirs can inherit titles and land. The reason for this is to allow other bloodlines access to the throne. In Bengeirr there are several large families that have access and right to the throne, but they can only put a king in place should the ruling king die without a legitimate heir. This whole set up means that when a king dies without male heirs, a very expensive and intensive political fight starts between the families in order to promote their own representative for the throne. The successor is chosen by the people and these succession spectacles engage most of the kingdom, where everyone eagerly follows any developments of their own favorite candidate's chances, while simultaneously curse and spit over the success of other representatives. Some people will also sponsor their own favorite representative in order to increase their chances of being chosen. This solution may seem cumbersome and chaotic, but the Bengarians would have it no other way. Once a representative has been chosen things will usually quiet down after a few weeks of open indignation from the losing families until they begrudgingly accept the new king and serve him loyally. At least in the open. The king has absolute and direct political power in the entire kingdom but will generally not interfere in individual cases or situations, but leave this to be handled by his appointed dukes. The dukes are usually relatives of the king who have worked their way to fame and success usually by bribing everyone and everything. Once a new family places their representative on the throne, the dukes are usually replaced with loyalists of the new king.
Recent HistoryThere was a great scandal in Bengeirr only a few years ago when the aging king Bafusel Goldenhart attempted to appoint one of his daughters, Sigína Veðekk, to be the heir of the throne. He is the father of six daughters and had no male heirs. He attempted to use his power as king to circumvent the tradition of male succession in order to keep power within the family. The many noble families of Bengeirr were in absolute uproar and localised riots and open battles broke out all over the kingdom. Even the people loyal to him thought this was a highly disgraceful behavior. The greatest protests naturally came from rivalling families. But in spite of the king's absolute power to do as he pleased, he eventually bowed to the will of the people and retracted his demand. The people and the families calmed down and continued their scheming and bribing to position themselves in line for the throne upon the king's inevitable death. He was getting old, and not three years later, he died suddenly during a banquette in the royal castle. The kingdom of Bengeirr was yet again thrown into a year long political battle as people speculated that the king might've been poisoned. Eventually the Roþrýn family was successful in getting their representative chosen: Heruð Roþrýn. The late king's widow, Gefjun of Glað, remained as the head of state, dealing mostly with foreign affairs as Heruð began his rule as king.
Industry and tradeThe main export of Bengeirr is, not surprisingly, wood. The enormous forests that cover the entire Bengaran Woodlands are rich in ash, hickory, oak and maple trees, all exceptionally good wood for construction and bows. Some of the biggest sawmills in the entire world are housed in Bengeirr as they tirelessly work to turn logs into usable planks. Many of them are located near the river Jóngu, making great use of water wheels to power the sawmills. Bengeirr is ahead of the curve in using water to power machinery and many countries envy their production capacities. In the absolute west, beyond the hill-lands, Bengeirr have a few mines extracting copper, tin and silver from the mountains. There is some iron to be found here as well, but the majority of the iron is imported from other nations, such as Maróglaþ and the Khobon Federation.
Political situationWhile the relations with the Empire of Kfandr has long been rocky, Bengeirr has enjoyed a great amount of trade with them and since Bengeirr controls the river Jóngu, they've long been able to levy taxes and fees on merchant ships to and from Kfandr. However, with the increased importance of Celenia, Kfandr has moved a lot of their wares through their port city of Val Kvanda and in addition, they've made a deal with Sjórona to use the river Korún instead, leaving Bengeirr completely out of the deal. This has hurt Bengeirr's financial position quite badly and with the increased hostilities with the @Fay of Lenindri, Bengeirr has found themselves forced to increase military funding, further hurting development. Bengeirr still controls the southern coast which allows them some control over the trade with the southern nations of Kimaru, bringing valuable income from the trade of exotic wares from the south.
There is nothing that cannot be bought with the right amount of money.
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