Kingdom of Lore
A small kingdom at roughly the center of the continent, a position which means it's served as a crossroads of trade and travel since its founding, with all the attendant linguistic and cultural crossover. Originally, the territory consisted of human and Elvish petty kingdoms, colonies of the Lycoran Empire, and Escanthan client states; after the Drowning of Lycoras, a young king named Emlyn Artorigios rose to power, uniting these holdings and petty kingdoms under his own banner and taking on the title of high king. The capital, Cordonia, sits on a large fluvial island in the Argenos River. Other settlements include the chartered cities of Dannamore, Lyonhall, and Eastormere, and the settlements of Dinas Bran, Aedon, and Cardell.
Lore is ruled by a king or queen, who in turn are advised by a council consisting of the Master of Coffers, Lawmaster, Serjeant-at-Arms, and Chapelmaster, castle steward, and various regional leaders including the Marcher Lords.
Founded in the "dark ages" after the Drowning of Lycoras, when the son of a regional governor of the former Lycoran colony of Parnassus journeyed up the river, forging an alliance with the then-lord of Caer Cordonia and founding the city in the shadow of the Caer. He united various former colonies and petty kingdoms under his own banner, and called the resulting larger kingdom Lore, a shortening of the Elvish name Lorlithia.
Demography and Population
The population is largely human, with a high percentage of Elvish ancestry across the board; what else is in the mix depends on region. Cross-border marriages with Escanthus and Zenyrar are pretty common, ones with Cathosul somewhat less so because of the mountains in the way, and the Marches of Hawarden and Kilgerran have a fair amount of intermixing between their people and the Nerathi Krin. Elves are a minority due to their lower fertility; they can get around this by intermarrying with humans, resulting in the aforementioned Elvish ancestry. It also results in a fair number of half-elves in the major Elvish population zones such as Dannamore and Elfael.
The Church of the Twain is the dominant religion in Lore, which worships Anath the Grain Bringer and El the Lord of Animals. Each god has their own order of dedicants who minister to the community and keep the lore of the Twain. The Elves worship their own pantheon, and some people in the border regions might pick up their neighbors' gods and treat them as facets of the Twain. There are also minor cults to nature spirits like the River-Daughter and demigods such as Elain the White Fawn.
Lore's position at the rough center of the continent also puts them at the center of many major trade routes; this, along with some of the most fertile farmland on the continent, has in the past made them a tempting target for invasion. In the present day, their strongest ally is Escanthus. Athan and Serilda's marriage sealed an alliance that allows Lore to benefit from Escanthus' greater military strength and Escanthus to get the best possible trade agreements on Lorian grain. Relations with Cathosul were once just strong, but weakened considerably when Athan took the throne and set his first wife, a Cathosi princess, aside in favor of a Marcher Lord's daughter. The two nations remain technically neutral, since the mountains along that border make all-out war a deeply impractical and incredibly expensive prospect. Zenyrar is also technically neutral, though it's a much friendlier sort of neutrality. The border they share is wide open, encouraging a great deal of intermingling as well as trade, and of the great powers Zenyrar has historically been the least interested in conquest. The southern border is complicated; much of what was once the Empire's heartland has been overtaken by semi-nomadic raiders whose territorial scuffles frequently spill over into Lore, and the Southern Marches were founded as a defense measure against this. The loose alliance of city-states left intact after the Drowning are too small and disconnected to be much threat, and too dependent on trade with and through Lore to rock the boat much, though it's an open secret that they resent this state of affairs.
Agriculture & Industry
Wheat and barley cultivation is a big industry, as is honey production; central Lore also boasts a rare and highly sought-after variety of apple. As a result of this, flour mills and refineries for cider and mead are also big business. The northern region is pretty well-suited to ranching, so tends to produce most of the country's wool, thread, leather, and leather products.
Trade & Transport
The backbone of trade within Lore is the Argenos River, which splits the kingdom roughly in half and runs down from northern Escanthus to the Myrrin Delta in Lycoras. They also inherited a fairly thorough network of roads from the old Empire, which the crown has invested significant resources into both keeping up and building on.
The Scythe-Bearers are the public face of the Church, serving as midwives, lore-keepers, cunning folk, and teachers in their communities and presiding over births, deaths, and marriages. The Green Folk, meanwhile, are more reclusive, keeping to the forests in order to care for the animals and plants and only emerging for the yearly festivals, which they preside over with the Scythe-Bearers.
Head of State
Head of Government
Gold, silver, and copper coins; referred to as crowns, stags, and marks respectively. The system goes 1 gold crown = 14 silver stags | 4 silver stags = 10 copper marks. Generally, only the nobility and monarch deal in large numbers of crowns.
Grain and flour, mead, cider, wool, perfumes, wool
Silk, salt, cinnamon, books
Official State Religion
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