The Young Kingdom of Tark
Size: 1’680 square miles Allegiance: Law Government: Feudalism Population: 23’520, 14 persons per square mile, 35% Urban Dwellers, 60% Rural Dwellers, 5% Abroad, 65% Human, 35% Beastfolk, 20% Military, 14% Clergy, 6% Nobility, 20% Urban Workers, 50% Rural Commoners, 15% Chaos, 35% Balance, 50% Law Law Rank: 9 Transitions: One violent overthrow Legal Code: Recent Legal Code – Hilrans Law Enforcement: Moderate Corruption: Hardly Any Social Standing: Usually Matters
A land of contradictions the north of the country is mountainous and thickly forested, as is the west; fjords and a multitude of islets fringe the coast. The south and east of Tark are more gentle, consisting of farms and grassy plains that become hot and dry in summer. Storms from The Iron Sea sweep the north of the country with fierce winter storms.
Life in the mountainous parts of Tark is considerably harder than it is in the southern plains, with little good land for farming. Northern Tarks live by hunting, fishing, and raiding. Small straggling fields of barely sometimes provide a meager crop. Southerners subsist more upon trade, on rich harvests and large herds.
Tarks wear bright wools, velvets and brocades in the south; while in the north style is always secondary to function with furs being more common. Southern warriors decorate their armor in bright lacquer and colorful plumage. The style of northern warriors is rough and plain.
Tarks are uniformly short and dark. Men traditionally keep beards. Tarks are skilled foresters, farmers, hunters and warriors. Their worship of the Lords of Earth and the Lords of Elements feature breathtaking whirling dances, famous throughout the Young Kingdoms.
Southern Tarks consider themselves more civilized than their northern cousins, and may have bee heavily influenced by the styles of neighboring Dharijor. Northerners view their southern neighbors as effete weaklings and decadent city-dwellers, while the people in the south see northerners as ignorant savages. The people of the south do dwell in cities for the most part, or smaller towns and farms, and the northerners live in extended family holds or small, close-knit communities.
There is considerable rivalry between the north and south. Raids and minor wars often put settlement against settlement. Many a northern warrior has drowned sailing down the wild coast in longships and many southerners have have cut down by a northerner sea-axe.
Tark is ruled by King Hilran the Peacemaker who’s father died in civil war. Hilran proves far better at mediating feuds than did his predecessor, welding it into a powerful and coherent whole in recent years. Hilran has ambition to expand Tark further into the unclaimed wilderness of the north.