Culture and Government
Polity of Midland is a mix of feudalism and patriarchy. According to Geliand the Great Lord’s will, since the beginning of time, a Pontiff rules over the spirit, making a monarch responsible for polity and other formal duties. However, Midland has been divided long ago into two separate realms : western – Logres, and eastern – Wenedia, both ruled by independent kings.
Times of peaceful and fruitful reign interlace with bloody wars and rebellions stoked up by demagogues and pagans, doggedly praising the evil Chort. Additionally, the richest – barons, dukes and knights constantly strive for more privileges and power.
Naturally, migrations in the feudal system are highly restricted, but such dark and disturbing times conduce to reaching for glory and wealth.
Midlanders are mostly stalwart and well-built. It is rare for them to reach over six feet high, they stare at the Azebs from above – literally and metaphorically. It is nearly impossible to list every color of hair that appears in the Northern Kingdom; most men have bushy beards or moustaches, but almost all of them shave their head to match the current military fashion.
Midlanders’ leading idea is honor and their pride is saint. They glory in fencing as well as archery and horse riding. They are also proud of the fact that their greatest clans’ history reaches back to times of Hillead – an ancient kingdom, where Geliand - the King of Men and the Son of Forefather was born.
Their pride often have became their curse – for it pushed righteous men to fratricidal wars, fights over power and rebellions against current king. On the other hand, it sometimes let them achieve impossible deeds that bards chant songs about until this very day, deeds so dreadfully recalled by the Azebs. It is definitely a proud and rebellious nation.
Midlanders rise prayers to the Forefather and his son, Geliand, begging for protection over them against Chort’s beasts.
On the battlefield, it is no oddity seeing a rich Midlandic baron wearing a full plate armor with fine sallet on his head, surrounded by his entourage dressed in light brigands and shiny caps. However, most of knights and warriors charge into fight wearing a chainmail with nasal helmet, armed with a sword and a shield. The Northern Kingdom’s architecture has only one purpose – defense. That is why Midlanders reinforce city walls and put up stone fortresses, which let their owners resist pagan raids since ages.
Midland’s glorious goal is to fight against the unworthy Azebs from south and pagan followers of Chort. Though the war proceeds for ages now, and both sides constantly raid each other, there is still no certain victor in this conflict. Currently, the nations maintain a fragile armistice, called the Disgraceful Truce. According to it, the Azebs are to keep all the lands they conquered. But the greatest, the most disgraceful fact is the loss of Lordly Bay – Midland’s holy city, which was reduced to ashes after a year-lasting siege. Additionally, Midland has lost Dukla and Posava – two manorial dukedoms separating the Northern Kingdom from Azebia, and lost Pilgrim’s Rock as well – the very last refuge to the Forefather’s children. The treaty, however, was a necessity – armies of Logres and Wenedia were scattered, decimated, almost perished, and the king – Karloman III got severely wounded on the battlefield.
Since the infamous Walter’s Erasure, when the royal forces were ordered to slay every Ismir living in the city of Tenebrok, relations between Midland and Styrborg got tensed as well. Even wise reign of Olvin II the Saint brought no effect – Ismirs, driven with lust for revenge are constantly biting and scratching Logresian borders, weakening the kingdom already devastated by wars against the Azebs.
Midland’s main province is Logres, with its ruler bearing the name of King of the North. A dynasty rules over Logres – the Robertingians, sons and daughters of Robert, whose feud with his brother, Bolest, made Midland as it is today – divided in two provinces : Logres and Wenedia. Because of that, the royalty has been fighting for power over Midland, which has led to forming a union, and later on making Wenedia to fold liege homage to the king of Logres. Since then, Wenedia is obliged to aid Logres in crusades and defense against such, led by Azebs against them.
Midland’s northern neighbor is Styrborg – a dukedom belong to Ismirs who arrived to the coasts of Midland from their homeland – Nordheim.
In the south, lay dukedoms of Dukla and Posava, covered in countless rocky mountains, green hills and snowy peaks. After ages of affairs and intrigues, they decided to join Midland, only to be taken by Azebs on terms of the infamous truce.
The greatest oddity of Midland are Sword Altars – ancient temples built in places where Geliand’s swords fell down from the sky to serve and aid Forefather’s champions. For it has been said that the end of time come, emissaries of the King of Men shall reach for the holy arms and march to the final battle.
Later on, some of the rich would build such temples on their own, putting their own weapons inside.