Meraland is a theocracy governed by an unusually militant Tenders sect called the Paladins. Mera’s faithful have a well-deserved reputation for being pacifists. As little regard dark elves hold for humans, humans who are outspoken Mera worshippers that are captured are in for a very rough time. Add in that before the Colassian Confederacy was formed, Mera temples were soft targets for hostile human neighbors. Thus Mera’s Faithful in East Colassia become the most militant Tenders the world has ever seen. Meraland is the birthplace of the borderline heretical group known as the Paladins, who take Mera’s mandate to protect the weak very seriously. Centuries ago, the Paladins deposed the king of Meraland and instituted theocratic rule in the name of the people’s protection. In the name of protection of the people the Paladins rule everything. The officers in the military are Paladins. The bureaucrats are Paladins and the judges are Paladins. They control nearly every aspect of their citizen’s lives. Official policy on goblins is NIMBY. Meralands bans slavery and serfdom, but they also banned private ownership of land. The peasant class are called “citizens.” In reality, "citizen" is a euphemism for "serf ". Citizens hand over all their harvested crops to the Paladins are then receive a ration that the Paladin think is appropriate. The only real difference is that most young men are required to go through basic military training a few weeks a year and retain ready reserve status for the army. Meraland actually draws in Tenders from across the Confederacy and beyond. Because of this, Mera temples in the rest of East Colassia are surprisingly few compared to human dominated lands. Most of the Mera temples you in neighboring nations try to distance themselves from the Paladins, playing up their stereotype as gentle healers to an extreme degree. The Paladins encourage spartan lifestyles so there are few luxuries. Other Confederacy members consider Meraland to have the continents absolute worst cooks because they are very stingy with spices. The main luxury Meraland has is art, muchof which glorifies Mera but the Paladins allow full freedom of artisitic expression. Next to foodstuffs, objet d'art are their chief export. Mera land coastal waters are warmed by prevailing currents. Great for fishing, but bad if you hate fog. Because of the prevalent fog, no one wanted to build a major port here. The coastline is smooth and relatively free of dangerous rocks and shoals. The relatively safe coast enshrouded in fog means that hostile ships carrying pirates or dark elf slavers traveling in small groups can approach undetected. This vulnerability to attack is a large part of the reason why the people of Meraland initially accepted living under a police state. While most Mera temples in foreign lands view the Paladins as an embarrassment to their order, Mera herself doesn’t seem to have a problem with the Paladins. Mera spirits frequently visit to extend a helping hand or helping flipper as the case may be. The most well known and beloved Mera spirit is Sea Biscuit the Hippocampus . Sea Biscuit will play with fishermen and do simple tricks for free fish or biscuits. Sea Biscuit has the power to bestow water breathing powers temporarily to humanoids that he touches. A lot of fishermen that get surprised by pirates or slavers are rescued by Sea Biscuit who will take the fishermen deep below the sea to safety.
The backbone of their military is citizen regiments of pike men that are called up when needed. Their few full time soldiers specialize in the long bow. The Paladins are not hypocrites or chicken hawks, they lead from the front in battle.
The Paladins run every aspect of the government but at least on paper, locals are free to worship other deities. Worship of all the Nine except Greymoria and Maylar is permitted but very few priests from deities other than Mera opt to reside in Meraland. Most visiting priests show up to preside over their deities’ special festivals then leave. Zarthus is the only deity besides Mera that has a permanent temple in Meraland, and this is due mainly because of Meraland's art community.
Agriculture & Industry
Meraland has rich farmland and strict rationing so Meralands regularly produces an agriculutral surplus. Their main exports are foodstuffs. They have limited but adequate timberland and mineral resources. Their main imports are metal ore and coal. Despite a lack of abundant building materials, Meraland has some of the best fortification and static defenses in the Confederacy. The Paladins spent a lot of their surplus money to import sturdy stones and hire competent engineers.
StereotypesDaana, Defender of the Hearth assesses her allies and enemies. Marginallanders: Their courage is sometimes lacking, but at least they are not lazy. Musselanders: They are a little disorganized, but at least they understand the value of cooperation. Mooringslanders: Our alliance with the Mooringsladers is barely tolerable. Greed is a sin and their weak king cannot keep the greedy guild masters in check. "Marshlanders": On rare occasions, unsavory actions must be taken for the greater good. These are the actions the Marshlanders excel at. Magiclanders: A little arrogant and impious, but at least they are wise and pragmatic. Mineralanders: Whatever their shortcomings, they are our first line of defense against Kahdisteria. Mereshnari: They may be uncivilized but you cannot say they are without honor without proving yourself a liar. Midlanders: They could use a little more discipline. Their army relies on quantity rather than quality which often results in needless amounts of lives lost. Riverlanders: The lords keep order reasonably well and manage all their farms well. Half-Elves: Mera bids us to accept all into our community if their intentions are good. We will give any half-elves who wish to join us a fair chance but we do not suffer betrayals. Goblins:: Perhaps kind Mera can rehabilitate some of them some day. But that day is not soon. Until then, the goblins should keep their distance if they value their lives. Kahdisteria: The armistice with the elves will not last forever. We remain vigilant. dabeshi: All that threaten our charges must be destroyed. Fortunately the dabeshi are more obvious than most other threats. Yeti: They are not our enemies, but they are not our friends. I will withhold judgement until we learn more about them.
Official State Religion