The Young Kingdom of Shazar
Size: 1,920 square miles Allegiance: Law Government: Monarchy Population: 26’000, 14 persons per square mile, 25% Urban Dwellers, 70% Rural Dwellers, 5% Abroad, 70% Human, 30% Beast-folk, 10% Military, 7% Clergy, 13% Nobility, 20% Urban Workers, 50% Rural Commoners, 20% Chaos, 12% Balance, 68% Law Law Rank: -2 Transitions: 50+ years of orderly transitions Legal Code: Recent Legal Code – Aflitains Law Enforcement: Weak Corruption: 2/3rds of officials corrupt. Social Standing: Infrequently Matters
This young kingdom belongs to King Aflitain the Clever, who rose to power betting his fortune and his life against the best of the former kings court. Aflitain is the most famous Shazarian of his generation. He’s cut and gambled his name into history. The common people love him and the majority of the other nobles admire him but he has made his fair share of enemies. However all the attempts on his life have failed because he is so hard to outwit.
Though Shazar is a lawful realm the king holds the reigns of law loosely. A greedy man himself, Aflitain tolerates a great deal of corruption in his government as long as he receives a kingly portion of the spoils. He keeps his enemies closer than his friends ensuring no plots of betrayal escape his eyes and ears. Publicly he is a man of the people, privately he is ruled by his ego and jealousy of others.
Lush plains of tall grasses wave in the constant sea breezes along Shazars coast of cliffs and shingle beaches. Fog and heavy rains are common due to its proximity to The Boiling Sea. The gentle uplands are interior are thick with soft turf, and flowers in spring and summer. The Marsh of the Mist forms Shazars northern border. Despite rich and fertile soil in the area, the lands closest to it are uninhabited.
Shazarian culture is rich and vibrant. Nobles lead huge throngs of subjects across the plains from town to town in a largely nomadic lifestyle. The main reason for staying on the move is keeping the land fresh for grazing horses. Horses are the pride and joy of Shazar. Their horses are acclaimed as the best steeds in the Young Kingdoms, and Shazarians are known as wild and clever riders. The knights of Duke Dioperda and King Aflitain are the best-trained cavalry in the land, and many a Shazarian lad or lass dreams of a career among their numbers.
The king traditionally makes himself a guest of all his nobles every year discouraging disloyalty and rumors of favoritism. Shazarian nobles also keep concubines or large harems in addition to several wives. Shazarian lords breed as much as their stallions. Men and women alike wear their hair long, though men usually keep theirs oiled in a long braid that hangs over their shoulder. Shazarian warriors customarily cut the braids off their enemies disgracing them. They are also entitled to keep what they kill which is the major incentive to join noble war-bands.
It is the trade of horses that bring many merchants to Shazar, risking the constant danger of The Serpents Teeth offshore. Treacherous currents, combined with storms mean that many ships are lost on the teeth every year.