The Kingdom of Elbrith
Elbrith is ruled by its king from the city of Nuelga in the southern corner of Westvale. Though the kingdom has officials who are in charge of maintaining laws and edicts, the king's command is law, and few dare question it.
Each of Elbriths three valleys is ruled by an Archduke on behalf of the king. The Archduke's generally come from old families with a lot of power, though they can be replaced at the king's descretion. Throughout Elbri's rocky political history, the Archdukes have occasionally tried to seize power for themselves. These rebellions have ultimately ended in the Archdukes simply fighting amongst each other as the king beats them back.
The Birth of a Kingdom
Elbrith was once split into three separate valley kingdoms that constantly warred with each other over territory and resources. Though mostly dominated by humans, there were also a number of independent nelfyn cities that did their best to keep out of the fighting. As nelfyn civilization grew stronger, the humans began coveting their resources as well, leading to skirmishs between the two races. As the conflicts neared open war, a man claiming to be half-human, half-nelfyn set out to end the constant fighting. Calling upon his nelfyn gifts, Janos Nuelgaryn convinced the warring kings and nelfyn leaders to gather in one of the nelfyn cities for a diplomatic meeting. After weeks of deliberation, the kings agreed to unite their lands into the kingdom of Elbrith. Janos was appointed Elbrith's first king, and the previous rulers took up the titles of Archduke. For several generations after that, the kingdom faced an age of prosperity, aided by their close relations with the nelfyn cities.
The Rise of Chaos
Elbrith's golden age ended when Kilgroth, their neighbor to the north, declared war. The War of Strife waged for over a century, fueled by Kilgroth's growing Chaotic corruption. Etherea joined the fight as well, determined to keep Kilgroth from gaining strength. The nelfyns, a long neutral and peaceful people, did everything they could to repel the invaders with their enchanted voices. However, even with powerful allies, Elbrith was devastated by the conflict, and at the war's end, both human and nelfyn numbers had diminished to staggeringly low levels. Nelfyn numbers dropped so dramatically that entire cities were left barren, and those remaining were forced to interbreed with humans in an attempt to repopulate.
A Slow Death
Sadly, the nelfyns' attempts to regain their numbers resulted in nelfyn children born with limited powers. Their efforts were further hindered by a series of corrupt or apathetic kings, leading to weakened relations with their human neighbors. Over the next several hundred years, human numbers grew while nelfyn numbers declined until they died out altogether. However, the nelfyns left their mark on the Elbri people in the form of longer than normal ears and heightened senses. A rare few are able to utilize the nelfyn Voice, though Elbris have developed a strong mistrust of magic, and those that do discover they have hidden gifts usually avoid using it for fear of being ostracized by their kin.
The Mad King
Currently, Elbrith is suffering heavily under the rule of King Linoxos Nuelgaryn. Nicknamed the 'mad king', Linoxos was the only survivor of regicide attempted by a cult of Chaos worshippers. The death of his family lead him down a path of fear and paranoia that resulted in the creation of his own guild of assassins. Lead by a man called the Spymaster, this guild of killers was first employed to track down and kill the ones responsible for the royal deaths. But as Linoxos' paranoia grew, he turned them onto his own people. Anyone who spoke negatively about king of kingdom was found dead. This, followed by a series of heavy storm seasons that destroyed much of the kingdom's farmland, lead the people to believe the kingdom has been cursed by the gods.
Until Linoxos' rule, relations with Etherea have usually been solid, with both sides trading openly and fairly with each other. Etherea often has surpluses of food, which Elbrith is in frequent need of. In return, Elbrith provides the stone that Etherea prizes for building, which is scarce in their own land.
Kilgroth's relations with any kingdom have always been rocky at best, and Elbrith has faced frequent conflicts with them, as well as a few full-scale wars. During times of peace, they have little to do with each other beyond the bare minimum of trade, usually Elbri lumber for Kilgrothian metal and precious stones.
Caer Thalion and Zarglyf
Elbrith usually has very little to do with either of the eastern kingdoms. In general, the trade between them is simply facilitated by Etherea.