Return of the Godspell
The Kingdom of Bainland(sapiens)
“The Green Kingdom,” “The Old Kingdom”
Capitol: Nar Narth Karthrike
Important Locations: B’Ain Enclaves, Castle Barthrod, Castle DeLeon, Fortress Ecth Lesond, Fortress Nar Narth Karthrike, The Great Green, Gulf of Bainland, Ironoak Battalion, Krine Forest, The Sacred Fortresses, Strait of Kings, Towers of Vigilance, Dawn’s Hope Fortress
Coat of Arms: Emerald Green Throne between two white swords on a deep green field (each Duke and virtually every Landed Noble has his own Coat of Arm as well)
The Kingdom of Bainland once boasted the wealthiest nobles, most powerful warriors, and the largest appetites. Relegated to a seat behind that of Valdeze, Quasii, and Mandl in the Ministry, Bainland is a land of ancient regrets and populated by those who would see the Green Kingdom return to its former status. Over the past 500 years the country has seen a bit of a rebirth and has seen its power increase but its relationship with the ministry weaken.
The land occupied by the Kingdom of Bainland has changed hands numerous times. Held by sapiens from the Mandlite region, then held by duruban of the Uruba Empire, and then contested by the duruban and the A’Grabath and B’Ain elves for centuries, Bainland has ever been a land of turmoil and conflict. The roots of present day Bainland are found in the years after the Demon Wars when weary travelers fleeing genocide in the north arrived on the peninsula in the middle of the Age of Darkness. Joining forces with the elves against the duruban, these newcomers united under their mightiest and wisest warrior, Karthrike Truthshammer, and drove the duruban out of the peninsula. In 630 AD, when Karthrike Truthshammer was crowned king, the Kingdom of Bainland was founded.
There is not a single place in Drm wherein feudal political struggling, intrigue, and maneuvering take place with greater intensity than in Bainland. While the King of Bainland rules from his Green Throne, he must constantly guard against the machinations of the other three lines of rulers, the Dukes of Bainland. Each of these entities maintains tremendous courts that are in perpetual conflict with each other. A number of features make Bainland’s nobility unique. First, a noble granted land and status from one of the Dukes or King becomes a Landed Noble, abandoning his given name for the name of the land he rules. Second, there is a clear chain of command and lines of fealty between the various lieges and vassals; although the King rules, a Landed Noble is almost certainly more dedicated to his Duke rather than his King. Finally, the various commoners are not kept out of these continual machinations, participating with zeal for their liege. Despite the eternal intrigue that marks Bainland politics, the King and the Dukes all unite against any external threat to the Green Kingdom.
The power of the King and the Dukes is so great in Bainland that, although Bainland is considered part of the Ministry, Ministers and Ministerial Doctrine have never fully solidified in Bainland. In fact for the past 500 years the gap between Bainland and the Ministry has grwon deeper. Bainlanders cling to older concepts associated with Celzar and the various Archangels, concepts considered heretical to the Glass Towers. However, Bainland’s control of the Strait of Kings forces the Ministry to treat with the taciturn nobles of Bainland cautiously. Among the beings recognized by Bainlanders, Celzar is the most important to Bainland, although in the past another Archangel called Alleris was considered Bainland’s patron.
Bainland is known for its timber, dogs, horses, beer, and armor. Bainland also boasts a large and very strong navy that guards Strait of Kings. Bainland’s King receives a tremendous amount of income from taxing the straits. The only option into the south of Drm besides the Straits of Kings is to take the Wynding River or by land; either case results in a slower and potentially less profitable journey. To this day, trade in Bainland is controlled by the Landed Nobles, but a middle class is slowly forming in Bainland. There are numerous mercenary groups in Bainland who serve the will of the various nobles, ensuring that their wares are transported without interference from other nobles.
Pomp, circumstance, and tradition rule Bainlanders. Bainlander commoners are dedicated to the will of the Landed Nobles, knowing that their fate is inextricably linked to their lords. Bainlanders are superstitious and very in touch with the magic of the continent-realm to a degree rivaled in the Ministry only by Carthron. Unsurprisingly, there continue to be Speakers of the Word in the Green Kingdom, many serving Landed Nobles if they don’t carry a title themselves.
Physically, Bainlanders combine the height and skin tone of their northern ancestors with the dark hair and eyes of most southern Sapiens. Bainlanders are incredibly tall, very muscular, and compact; men favor a lot of facial hair and women tend to be busty. Bainlanders prefer to wear rich earth tones, green being complimented with bronze, gold, and purple. Bainlanders view all other races with a bit of awe, particularly elves. Elves continue to live in the forests of Bainland in small enclaves. The King of Bainland treats these enclaves within his Kingdom with respect. There are also a fair number of goblins and similar beings in the forests that dominate Bainland.
Bainland is significantly cooler than any of the other Ministerial lands. Due to the weather patterns associated with the Zalphan River, Bainland summers rarely exceed 75 degrees. The winters, although not as harsh as northern areas, can be as cold as –10 degrees F. There is a great deal of precipitation in Bainland. Yearly averages are typically between 40 to 52 inches. During winter months, snow is seen most often in the landlocked areas, thus while Barthrod and much of Ironoak and their respective towns and cities regularly seen snowfall ranging from 7 to 14 inches, Ecth Lesond rarely experiences more than 5 inches and Karthrike never more than 3 inches.
Although Bainland is a peninsula, it is extremely rocky and filled with high hills and small mountains. Thus, most of the coastline is elevated. There is only one mountain that has a universal name, Narth Karthrike Peak, which is where the Nar Narth Karthrike Fortress is located. All other mountains and hills have different names depending on which Baron, Count, or Duke is asked. There are two dominant forests in Bainland. The Krine Forest stretches from the Valdeze border on the east to the center of Bainland while the Great Green Wood takes up the rest of Bainland’s forested space. Bainland earned its nickname, the Green Land, due to the wealth of trees. Oak, ash, and elm are the dominant trees in Bainland, while beech, birch, pine, fir, and larch are also common. Pine and elm are the trees common to the Krine Forest while oak and ash make up most of the Great Green Wood. The Wynding River, a Zalphan River tributary, finds its headwaters here, feeding Bainland with numerous lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. The soil is rich, black, and very supportive of all manner of plant life.
Deer, hares, beavers, boar, rodents of all kinds, stork, geese, ducks, chicken, and all manner of sparrows are the dominant prey species in Bainland. The top predators include foxes, particularly the red variety, weasels, wildcats, raccoons, and badgers. Bears, big cats, eagles, and wolves are also fairly common in Bainland. Despite the cool weather, there are snakes found near the Valdeze border. Trout, carp, cod, herring, and flounder are the premier fish species. There are many giant and dire variety species in Bainland and a great diversity of beasts like owlbears, wyvern, peryton, basilisks, cockatrice, displacer beasts, and dragonne. There are persistent rumors that beholders and couatl can be found in the Great Green Wood; so far, these rumors have yet to be substantiated.
Goblins, kobolds, trolls, and ogres are common in Bainland. These creatures, however, generally leave Bainlanders alone, remembering the stories of their ancestors. Elves are seen occasionally in the forests, although most believe these Elves are refuges from Valdeze or visitors from Sal-Talimar. Alongside Carthron, Bainland is the only Ministerial land that seems indifferent to Kender, who can be found in large numbers here, particularly in southern Barthrod. There are many goblinoid, Elven, and Duruban ruins across Bainland.
The King of Bainland technically controls all of Bainland. The King does not need to consider the advice of any one when making decisions of any sort. Not even the Decrees of the Ond have any weight. However, this is not the manner in which Bainland functions. Many on the outside looking in believe that Bainland is four countries, the Throne City of Nar Narth Karthrike, and the four duchies. Generally, the King does not interfere with the activities of the Dukes so long as their actions do not harm Bainland. Thus, there are different laws in each duchy and even within different Provinces or Marches. When the King does make a declaration, he typically makes it with the Grand Duke of Narth Karthrike and his Court. The King’s Court consists of the Grand Duke of Narth Karthrike, the High Minister of Bainland, the Lord of the Watch, and representatives of the three Dukes (typically the sibling or child of a Duke). When a declaration is made, it is reported back to the Dukes who typically can issue it as they see fit. In the event that the King is displeased with the actions (or inactions) of any noble, even a Duke, he can do whatever he pleases to enforce his authority.
The various Duchies also have Courts. These Courts are similar to the King’s Court. The Duke determines the manner in which crimes are punished in a given Duchy. Often, the closest Landed Noble handles all cases either personally or through proxy. The manners in which proxies are established vary from Duchy to Duchy and from Province to Province.
The armed forces of Bainland are known collectively as the Watch. The Lord of the Watch commands the Watch. The Lord of the Watch answers directly to the Grand Duke of Narth Karthrike. The current Lord of the Watch is Lord Armaus Talonarm. Although the Lord technically controls the entire Watch for whole Kingdome, in reality, the Watch is controlled by whichever Landed Noble is closest. If counted together, the Watch consists of over 50,000 swords and can swell to over 200,000 in war. It is almost impossible to describe the Watch in more detail since its arrangement varies from place to place.
A charter member of the Ministry, Bainland rivals only Carthron with its disregard for Ministerial Decree. Bainlanders, while deeply religious, still cling to a past in which numerous gods were worshipped and a past that embraced Elves and wizards. Thus, for the most part, Bainland ignores the will of the Ministry if it does not meld well with Bainlander society. This attitude has created a great deal of anger from the Circle of Grand Ministers over the years, but the member states of the Ministry depend too much on Bainland’s resources for the Ministry to accuse the Kingdom of Blasphemy.
Despite this tension, Bainland is committed to some of the ideals of the Ministry, namely the ritualistic elements. The Temple Masters and Ministers almost always dress in their ceremonial attire and often find themselves embroiled in noble intrigue. While the High Minister of Bainland technically appoints all Temple Masters in Bainland, the Landed Nobles really have the final say. In Bainland, all Temple Masters and the High Ministers must be of noble blood. The current High Minister is Lord Lirod.
The Angelic Orders are also of importance in Bainland. Generally, the Orders are far more approachable than they Ministers and serves the needs of the commoner to a far greater degree than the Ministers. The Towers of Vigilance, one of the Seven Cathedrals, is located in Bainland.
The Riders of Justice, commanded by the Preceptor Meneria, are garrisoned in the Blessed Towers of Truth. Unlike the Riders on other nations, Bainland Riders are very active participants in Bainland society and often find themselves involved in the intrigue of the land.