A land shrouded in twilight and fear, Ymeris is a nation ruled by Vampires, who farm the population of humanoids unfortunate enough to live there for food. Despite the repugnance of the way of life of its ruling elite, Ymeris has enjoyed a cordial relationship with the Empire of Turelion for hundreds of years, with successive Emperors happy to ignore the cruelty of the vampiric regime, in order to gain powerful friends in the north of the continent of Hunar.
Officially there is no hierarchical structure within Ymeris, but the traditional deference shown by Vampires to their elders means that the oldest Vampire living in the nation is deemed to be in charge and commands those beneath them with all the authority of a monarch. Currently, the eldest and therefore ruling Vampire in Ymeris is Linniara Istarital, who claims to be one of the third generation of Vampires to ever have been created. She has ruled of Ymeris for the past 800 years by all accounts, and negotiated the first treaty with Machestaro I herself.
Demography and Population
Ymeris is a nation that is starkly divided by race. The ruling class, less than 10% of the population are the Vampires that rule over the land. Everyone else that lives in Ymeris is a serf, who is directly owned by a specific Vampire, and who are viewed not as individuals but as livestock. For humanoids in Ymeris, those who have a trade are regarded as being the safest; as they are less likely to be killed to feed their Vampiric master or mistress, though they are not regarded as being in a different class.
The Vampires of Ymeris inhabit the northernmost reaches of the Spiny Mountains, and rule over hundreds of square miles of its valleys and peaks. Their territory shares borders with Nova Norgantho to the west and north, Greltor Province to the east, Norgantho Province to the south west and the area of the mountains deemed to be the territory of the Exiled Tribes to the south.
Given that each Vampire is a skilled combatant and mage in their own right, even though any army that the Empire of Turelion, Nova Norgantho, the Exiled Tribes, or indeed anyone who wished to do so could field against them, would struggle to match them in military prowess. As a result, Ymeris has no official army, but occasionally when they have needed to show their military might, several Vampires have been dispatched with an army of undead, armed from the prodigious weapons stores that exist in each castle within the nation. As each Vampire generally prefers to live in a castle or fortified structure of some kind, Ymeris territory is littered with fortified points, which would make the prospect of trying to invade it a very difficult one indeed.
Ymeris have not embraced the more recent technological developments such as Blackpowder Weaponry or Firewings that helped to put the Empire of Turelion far ahead of its rivals, and instead the Midnight Kingdom prefers to stick to its traditional ways of defending itself. This does not mean that Ymeris would be at a disadvantage in the unlikely event of a conflict with the Empire, as the Vampires of Ymeris are thought to be some of the most powerful wielders of the arcane arts in the whole of Kelbonnar, which when combined with the fact that each Vampire has hundreds if not thousands of years of experience and training, makes any invasion of Ymeris a frightening prospect.
As Vampires view themselves as being semi-divine in their own right, there is no official religion in Ymeris, though each Vampire will try to create their own cult amongst their serfs, to drive home the idea that their serfs are helpless and must rely on the benevolence of their master or mistress to survive.
Originally, Ymeris was at best diplomatically isolated from the rest of Kelbonnar and at worst, actively in conflict with their neighbours, who naturally took offence to the predatory activities of the nation’s Vampiric overlords. However, since the rise of the Empire of Turelion, Ymeris has found itself a strong ally, who is willing to trade with the Midnight Court in exchange for their help suppressing the groups of the Exiled Tribes in the northern Spiny Mountains, along with the Rebel Nation, Nova Norgantho in the north west of Hunar. So cordial and beneficial is this relationship, that the Empire have for the last couple of hundred years been giving members of Ymeris’ ruling elite governance of towns and even cities in troublesome areas across the Empire, hoping that the appearance of a new Vampiric vassal in the area will help quell the local populace.
Agriculture & Industry
There are no formalised industries of agricultural activities in Ymeris other than the rearing of humanoid livestock for eventual consumption by the Vampiric populace. Any agricultural or industrial activity that goes on within the nation is primarily geared to keeping the serfs alive, so that they can in turn feed those higher up the food chain than themselves.
Trade & Transport
It is often joked in the Imperial Court that Ymeris’ main export is fear. Whilst a trickle of goods is traded between the Empire and Ymeris, it is the terror and control that the Vampires exert around them and any area that they visit which is deemed to be the most valuable asset that Ymeris can give to the Empire, who provide them with a steady stream of new serfs in exchange for their services, harvested from the prisons and gaols across Kelbonnar.
Whilst there is no formal provision for the education of serfs, the Vampiric population of Ymeris is actively encouraged to undertake learning of all forms, and the castles of Ymeris are thought to have some of the most extensive libraries and reliquaries in the whole of Kelbonnar, so much so that members of the Imperial College of Arcanists frequently request to go and study in the Midnight Court’s libraries.
The Midnight Court
Within their borders Ymerites, both mortal and Vampiric use a system of currency known as Blood Orbs, which are small crystal containers, about the size of hazelnut, which contain humanoid blood. The currency, given it contains what Vampires need to survive is highly symbolic, which is what gives it its intrinsic value, but enforcing this currency on the enslaved humanoid populace of Ymeris, also serves to reinforce their station below their Vampiric overlords.