The King of Deren sits at the top of the Derrish hierarchy, ruling from the royal seat in Urheim
. The current king of Deren is King Albrecht Ernst III of Urheim
. About two dozen dukes are vassal to the king, collectively they oversee well over a hundred counties. There are even more barons who are vassal to a count and oversee one of the myriad townships within Deren, but their power is effectively restricted to their locality— that is, they hold little to no sway in any greater court. The unlanded peasants report technically to their baron, and are required to pay proportional taxes, but these restrictions are fairly lax as most of the kingdom's income comes from its strong trade relationship with the Sifa Republic
Demography and Population
Most of the Derrish population is, unsurprisingly, of Derrish
roots. Population centers are focused on the slopes of the mountains where the weather is still warm but the land is not ruined by the marshy quality of the Ring's bowl. Sifa
are virtually absent from the region outside of Urheim, where some merchants reside. Some Sifa reside as slaves owned by landed nobles on the northern side of the region. The birth and death rates of Deren are higher than average, as is typical of feudal states. However, it's still significantly more tame than the birth and death rates of the Lowlander giants
and the Walkers
. The long lifespans and low infant mortality rates of the Sifa Republic
place it slightly ahead of Deren, however.
is so mountainous, the surface area of Derrish holdings is unexpectedly high, and it's unlikely that the population will exceed the carrying capacity of the continent any time soon. As a result, Deren is mostly restricted to Daehrius, and will likely not expand into the foreseeable future.
The Derrish army is perhaps the most well-maintained in Kralle, and is the reason their claims to Daehrius have remained uncontested throughout history. The steel sword is a Derrish invention, and its supremacy over the bronze spear ushered in an as of yet unending period of Derrish military dominance. Royal vassals are expected to maintain a standing army of moderate size, and to contribute levies at the command of their liege. The Kingdom of Deren has its own dedicated standing army based outside of Urheim as well. The finest soldiers from vassal armies are sent to train here, and though not enormous, the Royal Army of Deren is very likely the most skilled martial force in Kralle.
Deren has long been the technological leader of Kralle. Metalsmithing, masonry, bird-riding, boat-building, and major construction are all Deren innovations that have historically given the mountain state a significant edge over its "less advanced" neighbors to the north and south. However, the Derrish rate of technological progression is exceptionally slow, and it appears that the Sifa Republic
may overtake them at any moment. This is partially due to the fact that, being a superstitious people, Deren is not particularly interested in scientific observation or analysis.
The Derrish are a superstitious people. The peasantry in particular remains pagan, and nature remains the truest deity in the hearts of the Derrish people. The Wispfather
is a major religious figure in the region, though in the Derrish tradition he is portrayed as a human who lives in the heart of the earth. Most of the Derrish pay their respects to the Wispfather to some capacity, and organized religion does exert a minor presence on the Derrish populace, but religious fervor is relatively low among them, especially when compared to the Walkers
The merchants of Deren have a strong professional relationship with the merchants of the Sifa Republic
, though state relationships between the two are neutral at best. Interactions with other Sifa
to the north are effectively null, but where they do exist, they are almost exclusively negative— many northern landowners enslave Sifa that wander too close to their estates, for instance. The state relationship with the Lowlanders
is tenuous at best. Most of the Derrish have an instinctual hatred for their giant cousins, and there is not much trade to be had from them, but their military intimidating prowess is sufficient to keep the two peoples in perpetual cordiality.
Agriculture & Industry
The Derrish economy, particularly in the mountains, is heavily dependent on farming. Wheat, barley, blackcurrants, apples, and blackberries are cultivated in the greatest bulk, but oats and rye are also produced to a lesser extent. Derrish farmers are practitioners of crop rotation. The excellent soil quality of Daehrius
means that Derrish harvests are bountiful and delicious. Derrish apples and beer are some of the best in the galaxy.
, the economy is a bit more complex. Most industries and craftsmen choose to reside here, where the demand for skilled labor and goods is greater. Additionally, while most of the country barters and subsists on its own yields, Urheimers make great use of currency, and mostly purchase food imported from the rural counties. What cultivation does occur here is mostly seafood, including crab and fish. Trade with the Sifa Republic
out of Urheim is vigorous.
Trade & Transport
The city of Urheim
trades to a great extent with the nearby Sifa Republic
. Goods are transported between the two states mostly across the Jaziel Sea
by galley, though land or air routes may be sought for more valuable cargo. The dukes of Deren also send a proportion of their yields to the capital in exchange for payment and favor from their liege. These trips are made almost exclusively by brave bird carrier. Because of the ubiquity of air travel, infrastructure between settlements is all but non-existent, though travelling down the Patera River
to reach Urheim or the Sea is not unheard of, especially in the case of especially large cargo.
Education in Deren is not spectacular. In the duchies, only the landed elite have much chance of receiving a quality education. A noble education typically covers such aspects as military strategy, literacy, the Sifa
language, and basic mathematics. The average peasant knows far less than even these basic components of knowledge. The average citizen of Urheim
(including non-landed elites), however, is actually about on par with the average educated elite, and the highly educated denizens of the city are some of the brightest minds in Kralle. That said, Derrish education is sorely lacking when compared with that of the Sifa Republic
, which potentially explains the recent lapses in Derrish innovation.