Kingdoms of Frandum - New Banire
After the death of Darimer, Baron of Kalinth (1610-1640 Third Age), the kingdom of Lean returned to worshipping Shezael. As Darimer was neutral and worked hard to make Lean a thriving kingdom, as it had been in the Second Age and the beginning of the Third Age, he was a star of hope to the non-evils of his kingdom.
Once the kingdom had returned to worshipping Shezael, there were many years of strife for the neutrals in the kingdom, and the days of Darimer seemed distant: the hope he had given his people was fading. Most people began to accept their new lives in the claws of the evil ruler. But not everyone did.
In the early days of the Fourth Age, no more than 50 years after Darimer's death, many neutrals gathered in secret meetings, plotting to flee the oppression. There was no hope ever of overthrowing the evil ruler and return the barony to neutral minds. So, little by little, the neutrals slowly disappeared from Lean, and sought refuge in different places in Frandum. Most went to Sanctuary, some to Dostenia, some to Dimeniel and some to Valea.
But their new lives were not as great as they had hoped. They were not oppressed anymore, but their voice was ignored in their new homes, and the thought of creating a new kingdom arose in the heads of those who went to Sanctuary.
So, after working hard and pooling all their money, they managed to construct a small fleet of ships they were to explore the Dragon Sea with. Thanks to Ernio Paskin, a genial carpenter, these ships were of a new design, and faster than any ships seen before, so the people had great hope of going further than anyone before them. So they sailed away from the mainland, and after many months of sailing, they started losing hope once more.
But then they sighted a green island of considerable size, and sent a few people there to investigate. When they returned to their ship after a few days, the news they brought was just what they had all hoped for, and that the island was probably very big: they had found a new continent to settle in. A thousand people disembarked and founded the city of Morcook, on the continent that was to be called the kingdom of New Banire, after the fabled land from the Second Agea which is said to be the origin of neutrality.
The rest of the neutrals of Lean that had been scattered around Frandum soon heard news about this new-found kingdom, and most of them moved there within a few years. The neutrals tamed the wild griffins of their land and established a system of magical transportation that allowed relatively easy travel to and from New Banire, further increasing its attractiveness. Thus, Morcook grew fast, and as the resources of the land were rich and the people worked hard to make use of it all, trading routes to other kingdoms, such as Leavern and Coranor, were soon established and people from all over Frandum came to New Banire to make their living, since there was work there for everyone that came.
Climate and geography
New Banire is located in a high-temperated area, with some of the small islands to the south of the continent being tropical. There is a large forested area on the mainland, that covers most of the known part. The north and north-east are drier and cooler, covered with a savannah that is even now giving way before the farmers and shepherds. The mainland is otherwise split from the north-west to the south-east by a tall yet not very sharp mountain range, upon whose north-western (and lower) mound was built the city of Morcook. The southern reaches of New Banire have not been really charted, as the land soons become a thick jungle which is hard to penetrate, and the sea is not altogether very calm.
The vegetation in the thick forest is a mixture of tropical trees in the south of it, to palms and cedar and oak in the northern parts. Many fruit trees have been planted by the former Tan Lorak people.
The soil is overall fertile, which has made it possible for farmers to grow over part of the drier northern coast, ever going deeper into the savannah.
Raw materials and resources
Being such a varied land as it is, New Banire has lots of resources at its disposal, from the rich copper findings of the northern mountains, to the iron ore of the eastern ones, and the great amounts of fish that they get from the long shoreline.
The southern forests provide the kingdom with wood, however it is not needed in any greater amounts. Only in the coldest days of very mild Waterseasons do people need fires to warm themselves, and what is cut down every year is enough to cover the needs of production, nothing more. There are also many different kinds of fruit trees growing there, which are of great use both to for domestic use and export.
People of New Banire
Humans are dominant in New Banire, but other species are welcome as well.
Neutrals of alost any race are accepted and treated no different from humans. It is a very popular kingdom among young people in Frandum, that wish to see the modernities of New Banire, and to be able to freely express their opinions without being socially lynched by the others in society.
People are mostly very happy in New Banire, because it is a thriving kingdom with work for everyone who wishes, and little to no chance of being harrassed because of your political belief. New Banire is as such a very experimenting and open-minded kingdom.
Cities and countryside
Morcook is the only city in New Banire, and there really aren't any villages in the normal sense of the word. The farms are often very large, though, and on some are needed up to a hundrer people to manage the harvest. Thus the farms have many facilities where their workers may live if they like. These farms may be viewed as being villages.
The southern jungle prevents any settling, as its beasts, encroaching trees, and very damp climate are not fit for humans.
About half of the kingdom's inhabitants live in Morcook, however, which makes it one of the biggest cities in Frandum, despite its being relatively young, second only to Sanctuary.
Politics and laws
Where New Banire stands out the most is when it comes to its regime: it is the first and only democracy of Frandum.
All people in New Banire, from 16 years on, get to vote every four years for a new government. The old government may of course be reelected in an unlimited amount of elections. The people cannot vote on anyone they want, though, but have to choose one out of 8-10 parties, each of these consisting of people with similar political opinions. Often do rich people form parties, but common people may also do that. The merchants' guild, which has its headquarters in Morcook, often spends quite an amount of money in campaigns at every election, but they have only gotten a majority of the votes at a few occassions, and each time they do, strings are being pulled from Sanctuary, something that the voters do not approve of, given New Banire's feeling of self-achievement and independance.
The party which gets the most votes get to rule for four years, setting taxes and creating new laws and taking care of whatever worries the people may have. If a party gets more than 50% of the votes, they are more or less free to do whatever they want, within reasonable boundaries, without a popular vote, which is otherwise needed in big questions.
There is also a council consisting of 100 people, one for each percent of votes that the parties get in the election. Unless a party gets majority, there are votes in this council for every decision that is about to be made, and in 50-50 situations, which are very rare, a popular vote is arranged whatever the question is.
Although this can be considered a fair system, decisions in New Banire are taken at a slow rate, which at times upsets the people, and is one of the major setbacks of the kingdom when it deals with other, centralized kingdoms, where a single leader usually makes swift decisions. All in all, though, it is a system considered decent by the population, and its advantages are worth the sluggishness.
Laws are based upon neutral belief, and the crime rate is very low. Most people live good lives, even though some beggars can be seen on the streets of Morcook at times. Many strong soldiers patrol the city streets day and night, something Morcook is known for all over Frandum.
Wars and armies
While having a strong army, New Banire has never really had to defend itself so far in history, and they have never had the need to expand their territory, due to the richness of the land, and its remoteness from Frandum's main continent. There is, of course, the faint threat of Tan Lorak, which grows stronger and stronger in time with the drow gaining more and more power. However, open war is not an option as the sea voyage is long and perilous and the people of New Banire are masters of the skies.
Trade and craftsmanship
Iron and copper are exported to some extent, but most of it is used by the New Banire army and in the making of farming equipment and other strange tools that people from other parts of the world have never heard of.
Morcookians also excavate the ruins of Kayla and sell off what they find to historians and archaeologists of Carleny and Coranor, at really high prices.
Science and education
In collaboration with the sylvans of Leavern, many strange but useful creations have come to life, through the use of New Banire craftmanship and sylvan magic.
Even though New Banire is located on a remote continent, the use of boats has been limited and thus there has never been any real research concerning sea-faring, beyond the initial innovation which allowed reaching that far continent. Yet transport is where New Banire is aeons ahead of other kingdoms, the connected portals above Tumulus and Morcook being the ultimate proof of this. The people of Morcook have also found a way to tame the mighty griffins, which are used to carry people at high speeds through the skies of Frandum.
Education is mandatory for at least five years, between the ages of five and ten. After that, children are considered able to help their parents in their work, and education is optional for the sixth year and further.
Many different kinds of education are offered, ranging from being recruited by the fighters' guild, or learning the ways of merchants in their guild, to farming or forging weapons and armour, or joining the healers' guild or the clergy. Magic is also taught by many powerful spellcasters, and there is much research in transport through various means, be they magical or not.
For its inhabitants, New Banire thus represents the future of Frandum, its novelties raising the living standards and the human knowledge far above all that had been achieved before.
Religion and magic
The cult of Reset is clearly dominant in New Banire, and it is expected that more than four fifths of the kingdom are neutral, while the remaining part is about three quarters good and one quarter evil.
Magic is clearly dominated by spells that alter the distance or connect the distant with the here-and-now. Teleportation and foreseeing the future are the most popular branches, out of which teleportation is the most successful.
Arts and culture
Art in New Banire is very inspired by the different findings around the ruins of ancient Kayla. Since the relics found there sell for lots of money, some artists try to make a living by creating copies of these relics and sell them to tourists. This is as far as art goes in New Banire. There is so much more in the kingdom that is more interesting and important to its inhabitants.
New Banire's culture is very much like Lean in the days of Darimer, but now influenced (and enhanced, according to the people) by other adaptions of the neutral belief. The people try to treat one another with respect, and have understanding for their fellow citizens' faults. They thus live rather by helping one another than letting each one take care of himself, which is showed in their unique democratic system.
Built upon the latest concepts in the world by pioneers who have quite a gift for foreseeing, New Banire represents the healthiest alternative for development over Frandum, far from the encroaching, perverted vision of Tan Lorak's drow.
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