Balihr is an expansive kingdom in Qopith. It stretches from the northwest coast, just at the edge of the Talons of the Sky, all the way south to Rosewick and the Dark River, and east to the edge of the Glades of Crestan.
Balihr was founded in BV 724 after Iva blessed its capital, Rosewick, with potent magic. Before then, Balihr Heath and Kruiln Expanse which make up a majority of the kingdom's territory were wild places, teeming with monsters and bandits. It was a place of chaos even after the wars of the Era of Creation had ended. Very few folk had the bravery and tenacity to live in the wide open plains, with so few trees and so many exposed and dangerous areas. Those who did tended to live in sod houses and burrows, spending each night gathered around fires, fearing the darkness and the evils cloaked within the night. But many things changed when Iva gave her blessing to Rosewick.
After Iva blessed Rosewick, she gave to a young wizard, Nazriya Ambergloom, a mask which radiated magical power. Nazriya, accompanied by a small group of other wizards, set off into the wild to banish the monsters that threatened the folk of the heathlands. They created a beacon of hope for those folk, carving out their piece of the continent which would come to be known as Balihr. These wizards, headed by Nazriya, became known as the Masked Circle and took up a position of leadership and guardianship over the new kingdom.
Balihr is a meritocratic kingdom. It is headed by the strongest or most talented wizards of each generation, forming an elite council known as the Masked Circle. Each member has a specialty or a focus, and altogether they oversee the country's affairs thoroughly and extensively. Each new member is chosen by the member whose seat they wish to take, and each is free to use their discretion over how their seat should be passed on. Because these wizards are meant to be the best of the best, as ordained in the code by which the Circle operates, the citizens of Balihr look up to them and trust their decisions, even if they are not immediately beneficial, because they believe the Circle has examined the long- and short-term effects of each decision it makes. The Circle used to have a leader, but with the disappearance of the artifact known as the Mask of the Circle, there is no longer a way to select this head, and the Circle operates with all members equal to one another.
Balihr is almost entirely made up of heathland or plains. The Balihr Heath and Kruiln Expanse cover most of its area. The Dark River provides a natural border with Mistfall, but also prevents the Bahlirians from accessing the timber on the other side. Most houses in Balihr are still made up of the traditional sod and bricks, but Rosewick see enough imports to have stone and wood buildings. The foothills of the Talons of the Sky provide ample clay for bricks and pottery work, but other than this Balihr has very few natural resources. There is plenty of game in the heathlands and plains, but the soil is poor and not suitable for farming.
Balihr has a long history of staying well out of conflict. It simply does not have the resources to fund an army of any significant size, and the Masked Circle has always maintained that peaceful negotiations are the best way to resolve any disagreements between Balihr and other kingdoms. Rosewick, as the holy city of Iva, has a large population of magic users, either born in the city or travellers from all across the world. This makes the kingdom seem an imposing enemy for those kingdoms with less magical ability, deterring many potential threats. Balihr's lack of natural resources is problematic, but Rosewick pulls in ample trade and sends supplies out to the flatlands for those in need. Rosewick's magical fame also creates a lot of tourism and wealth for the city, which spreads out to the more remote areas. These areas produce pottery or earthen works, as well as having access to a large supply of wild game, which can be sold for modest amounts in the city.