Kingdoms of Frandum - Etenland
For long a remote area of the world, far from anyone's consideration, the region which is now called Etenland begun to become civilized at the end of the Second Age, when human settlers founded the city of Aendhol. With its propsperity came the development of its surrounding, and the founding of smaller settlements along the road to Phodela.
After the fall of Aendhol, and the coming of the undead in the mountains, and the founding of Moresh, the land was mostly abandoned, and only a few beings survived in the wild, forgetting their former glory.
Yet the encroaching advance of the marsh in Lean, and the wars the drow waged to shape their kingdom of Tan Lorak led to the fleeing of hoards of refugees who took shelter in this empty land and colonized it.
Fighting the drow united the people, who managed to settle the border of their kingdom and signed the peace. Yet this unity was short-lived, since the different cultures soon begun to live in a relative ignorance, each one focusing on its own living.
Thus grew the legend of Etenland, a place where people could be free to do what they please as long as they kept to themselves, leading to the migration of countless minorities to the empty fields, and the rapid growth of the population.
Climate and geography
The climate in Etenland varies from temperated in the northern parts to high-temperated in the southern parts, where a thick chain of mountains separates it from the deserts of Tasaar. It is a very varied land, with high mountains and great plains as well as forests and rivers.
Greenwood is the greatest forest in the land, with wild growth and many different trees and bushes, among which can be found the cork oak, cedar pine and olive tree, but also orange, pear, grape and peach trees.
The Black River, which flows into the Dusk Sea, is the greatest river in Etenland, but its black waters scare many and have brought about the idea that it is poisonous. No fishing is ever done in the Black River, and few dare to pass it even by boat.
Raw materials and resources
Etenland is a land rich on resources, with mountains as well as forests and plains with fertile soil, optimal for farming, and a great variety of fruits. There has been a very long time since anyone made an extensive use it, though.
There is no organized harvesting of resources in Etenland, so it remains an area of unclaimed treasures.
People of Etenland
Many different races can be found in Etenland: human, orc, troll, sibeis, and many more. Most of those who have migrated there recently either committed a crime and needee a place to hide, or had grown tired of civilization and taken on the life of solitude and contemplation. There are also people who have commited no other crime than thinking differentely from their rulers, or their community, and who can find refuge in the wild land.
There is, of course, people in Etenland who are born there and have lived there their whole life, with no reason to stay clear of civilization. And for those that can live there because they want to, and not because they have to, it is a nice place to stay. Of course, they have to watch out for people that like to take what they want without asking, but it is a small price to pay for people that can take care of themselves.
Those who cannot be truly independant gather to form small bands that either live by robbing others, or live honestly together as a community. There are no old settlements remaining in Etenland, though, and no new ones either since staying too long in the same place make bandits raids likelier. Most bands are thus nomads.
Cities and countryside
There are no cities in Etenland, and no villages either, apart from ghost towns, remnants from the Second Age and the days of thriving Aendhol. There aren't even many farms. This is due to the mentioned nomading of the people that form communities. Some trolls are known to have settled in the mountains, but they live alone and are often very aggressive when people get close to them.
Politics and laws
As Etenland is an anarchy, there is no law but "Survival of the fittest", "the fittest" meaning "the one with the means to take what he wants from someone else, and get away with it".
The nomads often have a leader to make decide where the band is going next, but how the leader is chosen differs a lot from band to band: with some, the leader is simply one that the others fear the most, with others it is a democratically chosen leader who asks the other members for their opinions before deciding anything. It is impossible to generalize in this instance.
While bandits grew stronger, they started splitting the land up in territories in which the ruling band has monopoly on robbing, but this is not what could decently be called "political organization".
Wars and armies
No armies, and thus no war. It would be impossible to unite Etenland's people if not the existence of the whole kingdom was at stake. Over the years, there have emerged different factions (actually just successful bands of robbers) that fight each other for power. While too small-scaled to actually be called wars, these conflicts are disturbing for pretty much everyone in the land, and often very violent.
Trade and craftsmanship
While not many outsiders come to Etenland to sell, because of the bandit threat, there are many that come there to buy products made by the nomads. Usually, jewelry sells pretty good, and some communities have specialized in reshaping old weapons into new ones and sell them. The most well-known example of that is the boomerang. Others specialize in preparing fruit, which they can sell at high prices as delicacies to other kingdoms, or carving wood into very detailed figurines. The gold brought in the kingdom by outsiders then contributes to the the general flow of wealth from brigand tribe to brigand tribe.
Science and education
Education is often taken care of by the wise in each community, who personally tutor those who wish to learn. In many communities, education consists of learning how to slit the throat of another without the victim making a sound. In more civilized communities, children can learn to steal discreetly, or to have others be accused of their own crimes. As a consequence, a pupil who manages to get rid of his tutor is considered brilliant indeed.
Since there is no organized education, Etenland lacks ability to conduct research. Thus, most technology known to its inhabitants consists, more or less, of what people from other kingdoms bring into Etenland, goods that are either traded or looted from their dead bodies after a raid by some bandits.
Religion and magic
No other land in Frandum has so much diversity, when it comes to religion, as Etenland. While many bandits confess themselves to Shezael, or no god at all, the nomads may be neutral or good, and a large part of them are unaligned. Goods take care of other goods, evils don't care for others at all, even among their own, and neutrals are rather unified, yet not as much as the goods. Unaligned usually take care of nothing.
Magic is also extremely diverse, because of the many races and the three (four?) alignments being so evenly represented. There is no way of telling which kind of magic is the most popular, but quite much every field is known to some extent by someone in Etenland, and people tend to have a slight preference towards the illusion school.
Arts and culture
There is nothing that can be called "Etenland art", simply because there is nothing that connects the different communities' works of art. Most styles of art and traditions are memories from the homelands of the immigrated people, and have either little evolved throughout the years or mixed into new cultural varieties which have had no time and opportunity to spread.
Maybe, after all, one thing can be called truly Etenlandish: the great diversity and mixture of traditions and people that can not be found together within the borders of any other kingdom in Frandum. That is what makes Etenland stand out, for better or for worse.
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