Iskaraya

Demonym: Iskarayan
Government: Feudal monarchy
Primary Race: High elves, orcs and other races as non-citizen serfs
Capital: Sarica

Iskaraya is a relatively new land, at least in elvish terms – it was established only a few decades before the disappearance of the gods, and the current queen is the daughter of Iskaraya's first queen. The nation was born of an inheritance conflict between two princesses of Aldasia; the rebellion failed but was not entirely crushed, and when the attempted usurper and her supporters fled Aldasia, they still had the strength to assault and eventually conquer Uludal.

Each of the elven nobles who had supported the princess in her rebellion was granted a portion of the conquered land, kept whatever forces they had mustered as their personal army, and pressed their former slaves and the native orcs into serfdom. As a result, nobles in Iskaraya are much more independent than their cousins in Aldasia, and the queen much more reliant on their support. Disagreements between nobles that are solved in battle are not uncommon, and more than once the queen has had to bring a house or two to heel by force of arms.

Iskaraya is a semi-arid grassland, ideal for keeping livestock; it's much less suitable for farming, but that doesn't stop the elves from stubbornly continuing to do exactly that. The elves of Iskaraya have, however, adopted some traits of the orcish nation they supplanted. The peasantry may be bound to the land they farm, but the nobility and their warriors are all able riders, often move between a handful of personal homes depending on the season and their whims, and frequently engage in mounted hunts or wargames as a pastime.

To Aldasians, Iskarayans are dangerous wild savages, unbound by the strict rules and etiquette of Aldasian society – though still so closely related that all Iskarayans have brothers, sisters, or at least first cousins on the other side of the border, Aldasians see them as having gone native and possibly a bit mad. To the Vaad, they're just more of the same, with their ongoing undeclared war with every nation that touches their borders: Aldasians when the gloves come off and the pretty pretenses fall away. To Uludal, they're very close to monsters out of legend: the very creatures that killed their great great great grandparents and drove them from their lands still occupy their ancestral homes, and they are the beasts that must one day be defeated. Everyone agrees that they are cocky and will pick a fight with anyone over anything, both as a nation and on an individual basis.

Iskarayans consider themselves more honest, forthright and even-handed than Aldasians – while still fond of their courtesies when it comes to the nobility, they don't shroud things in the layers of protocol their eastern cousins do; their hierarchy is less strict and comprehensive than that of the empire; they don't keep slaves, their subjects simply work for them in exchange for protection. They are fiercely irreligious, so any worship of gods old or new is best done in secret – the Iskarayans believe the gods twice abandoned them, once during the rebellion and again when they vanished, and so they are forging a new world in their absence.

Iskaraya

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