The Longardir were a human ethnicity living on the two southernmost islands. They were excellent trade partners in terms of gems and ironwood, since ironwood grew nearly exclusively on the greater island of both, called An Glough. They were proud people, ripping resources of the nearly ever frozen ground of the greater island. The Longardir lost their royal bloodline as their last and only princess - beautiful & intelligent - refuses to marry a prince or at least a rich merchant. She fell in love with a Selkie and died of a broken heart, dooming her bloodline to went extinct. It was purley their bloodline which sealed something away beneath the smaller island of An Delf. It just hasn't realised that its boundaries were not more...
"It was not that we hadn't tried enough, my beloved Harulia and me, no. Sometimes more than once a night. But our daughter was our only child. Why? Why should we suffer this cruel fate, dooming not our child, our bloodline to extinction, but our people too?"
"It was part of the plan. Just watch and you will understand."
The Longardir bloodline was one of the oldest bloodlines of the human race. They renewed their blood with princes/princesses, "married" them with old magic into the Longardir bloodline. After the "marriage" they had no choice as to stay and create the next heirs to the House of Longardir. Sometimes the non-Longardir-part of the marriage had more than one prince or princess, so the Longardir married all of them. If they had a prince or princess to spare after the marriage. This is because they need to keep their bloodline alive and strong. The king and the queen had a lot to do to get more heirs and marriage-possibilities since their kingdom was a monogamous state. If they got to old, they retired - or got killed in a blood ritual to strengthen the bloodline - and the next couple was elected to the throne. No one objected to this rule. No one could object to this rule. It was in their blood. Literally. At their strongest point the House of Longardir had twentyfour couples, alone six princes and princesses from Hulwar, back in the day. Others were from Ganguk and the surrounding kingdoms, but not from the northern realms. The Frost Queen and her mate were too strong for the blood binding. After being married and bound in blood - as mentioned literally - the couple attend to a second, more bloody, more powerful, and more secret ritual where both of them got strong runes embodied into their flesh and copulated under the influence of said runes and drugs. After the first orgasm the couple is left alone until the effect of the drugs and the runes wears off. The female part comes always pregnant out of this ritual. Six months later the woman is forced to stay inside a chamber, covered with powerful runes and in the company of three handmaidens. The maiden see to the desires of the woman if possible. She isn't allowed to leave the room or have visitors, not even her husband, until her water breaks. When it is the case she is brought into the same chamber she recieved the child and gives birth in another ritual, in the company of the other couples and her husband, who has now the role of a midwife. He was trained in helping his woman to deliver the child, while the rest of the couples are chanting spells of strength, good health and other, more secrect and more powerful spells, only designated for the child. This worked for over three millenia until war, famine, and the missing supply of princes and princesses dried out. The Longardir even tried to marry common folk or at least rich folk, but even those desperate attempts failed. The last princess fell in love with a Selkie and died of broken heart on the shore, where she was buried. The mighty bloodline of House of Longardir came to an end.
"How did we fail? We had nothing to do except accumulate wealth and produce heirs. The task at hand was not that hard."
The princess died. Alone. She died due to a broken heart, buried under sand, water and marble. Her death led the common folk to raid the castle and the defenses for shinies, wealth and other stuff. They didn't need a leader, so they thought. A few merchants and more or less brutal individuals tried to get ahold of the throne and the leadership, even as a council. But it didn't work, they died horrible deaths a short time after. Family by family withdraws from the islands, searching for more luck on the mainland. The defenses, the castle, the fortress on the smaller island An Delf, even the woodcrafters and the sawmills were abandoned and left to rot. The last islander died drunk at the foot of the thrones.
After the Selkie
"She was beautiful. Did the Selkie fell for her too?"
"As the legend goes, in her way, yes. But you know, Selkies are pretty and they live longer as humans. They are...different."
"No wonder she died of a broken heart. Her love was strong indeed."
At the top were the royal family and the few nobel families. All were bound by blood, some bound by loyalty, a few by magic. Then there was the military with its footmen, longbow archers for the defenses and the Ruby Fortress on the smaller island. We got shortbow archers for the few ironwood battleships and only a few horse riders. At the bottom there were the common folk. Workers, builders, craftsmen. There was no love for the not-wanting. If you can't work or don't want to work, you get imprisoned and used as a living bloodbag.
The Ruby Fortress was sieged six times. Six times the fortress survived and sent the howling hounds back to their masters.
The kingdom Khisite was as simple as it was effective. They had a few sawmills for the ironwood trees, two quarries for stone and three mines for gems and precious metals. They imported furs and grain in exchange for wood, gems and stone. The goods were shipped and recieved at the port on the larger island of An Glough. Most of the coin were shipped to the throne and from there to projects inside the kingdom. The palace was a well fortified place, more like a fortress, nesting between sharp rock formations and was nearly shaped like a circle. The defenses were strong and could even reach the port. The first - or second, depends on from where you look - fortress was on the smaller island An Delf, consisting of three parts: front and the sides. They had strong ballistae with a huge range and the spears were feared throughout the land. An attack from sea was not advised and not even the strong Garladans or the Elves would have tried a siege or an open attack.