Barony of Bees
The Barony of the Bees, also known as the Hive Barony is defined largely it's bee-based economy and secondarily by magical mysteries. Tentative Geographic Assignment: Spot 15 The valley that makes up the bulk of the Barony of Bees is rife with rare flowers that are extremely difficult to successfully transplant outside of the valley and these flowers attract the bees that make the Barony's namesake and are the bbbbbackbone of their economy. Religion: No religion is officially supported or condoned. Most locals are pretty secular in outlook, but as this is the Borderlands region, there are always exceptions. Challenges: The rare flowers are supposedly the result of faerie magic. The region has a lot of mysterious occurrences and disappearances attributed to the Fair Folk. This is one of the richest Border Baronies, rivaled only by Platinum Peak. The wealth attracts poachers and thieves and there are a lot of political coups. The Barony of the Bees changes ruler often, but these bloody coups rarely extend to the common people who now barely bat an eye at regime changes. The tax rate and basic laws rarely change much, just the person collecting the taxes changes. If Uwcharedia decides it wants to expand its territory again, The Barony of Bees is a likely target because it is such a rich target.
An autocratic Baron or Baroness legally owns all the food crop land and therefore all the food. The Baron or Baroness taxes 20% of all non-food stuff items right off the top, and then will sell food to the locals for more trade goods. The Bee Baron will typically use his excess food and/or coins to buy up much of the beeswax and almost all of the reagents, so the Baron can dictate who the region's trading partners are and what the prices are.
Industry & Trade
The rare flowers in the valley support a huge number of bees. The locals collect honey and beeswax (for candles) for export and the bees pollination also makes their crops very productive. Some of the flowers can be distilled into high end perfumes. This makes good money but not nearly on the scale of the beeswax sales. During the winter, the rare winter blooming flowers can be carefully harvested for reagents which means the locals can still keep busy producing exports at a time when the bees become semi-dormant.
Honey bee queens tend to live for two to three years. Something in the flowers in this valley are good for bees and queens often live for five to six years. Typically the Bee Barons and Bee Baronesses last ten to twenty years before facing a coup, either bloody or bloodless. The locals just accept this as a fact of life. Over time the realm has developed a sort of paradoxical stability. In the past the realm has seen kings, queens, merchant princes, speakers of the Senate, and Warlords, but for the past century, whoever is in charge has chosen the title Bee Baron or Bee Baroness, sometimes colloquially called the BB. Given that the most of the past rulers had the enduring nickname of "Bee Baron" even if they wanted another title, most contemporary leaders here and decided to formalize the nickname. The leader typically even wears a black and yellow cape as a badge of office. It's not just the title that has stabilized. Most of the recent rulers have kept the tax laws and the basic government system more or less intact through each regime change rather than the new ruler rocking the boat.
Some people visit just to see the beautiful flowers, but most visitors are merchants or traders bartering for something the Barony produces.
A valley with some carefully tended fields is ringed by gently rolling hills surrounded by fruit filled trees and a vast rainbow of colorful flowers.
The flowers provide the anchor for the ecosystem and the economy making the realm relatively abundant in honey, beeswax, grain, perfumes and reagents. Conventional crop land is somewhat limited, but acre per acre is some of the most productive cropland in all of the Borderlands region if not all of West Colassia. While the Barony of the Bees is not as monetarily rich as Platinum Peak, the Beekeepers do not have to bend over backwards to feed themselves.