Atop the Shoulders of Giants
Bordered by the lands of the Khalram on their west, the Elven Olu Lansi on the north, the dangerous Dark Woods to the east, and the economic giant of the Kingdom of Golir on its south, Keland has sometimes seemed to outsiders to be little more than a land between other, more noteworthy locations. However this has never curbed the tenaciousness of Kelanders, their history, or their culture.
Keland and its citizens have a long history of perseverance in the face of adversity and skill at making good out of bad situations. This cultural momentum stems from both the country’s founding – a treaty of mutual protection signed in light of religious persecution – and the events of the Planar War which threatened to devastate Keland. There is a saying among Kelandish patriots taken from a speech given by King Saul Elward II shortly after he took the throne “We have lived through attacks from barbarians, doppelgangers, goblins, werewolves, and the undead, who can hope to challenge us now?”
In more recent history Keland has maintained strong political alliances with the Kingdom of Golir, the elves of the Olu Lansi, and the Khalram, resulting in the formation of the Holy States, solidified by the cession of both the Kelandish and Golirian royal thrones to Nathanial the Just, son of both King Saul Elward II of Keland and Queen Helena Ariana Tisid of Golir. Many Kelanders very publicly opposed this joining until King Nathanial announced that the two nations were to remain strictly separate, sharing a ruler and some common laws, but in no way being forced into a single nation. Nathanial appointed his first cousin, once removed, the dragon Tidiolkras as Steward of Keland to manage the nation as he takes primary control of Golir and keeps his primary residence in the Capital City in Golir.
The capitol of Keland is called Dragon’s Throne, so named in the year 1250 in memory and honor of the late King Saul Elward, friend of Elves, and first Dragonking. The Steward governs the nation from the Silver Palace in Dragon’s Throne. The nation also has four dukedoms, and two governances.
The Dukedoms and their cities of rule are as follows.
- Gotrind – Bastrot
- Hramn – Raven’s Hold
- Johnson – Forge
- York – Eastwall
The Governances and their included cities are as follows.
- King’s Hold – Nindale; Black Hill
- Queen’s Hold – Raulton
Due to its borders with the Khalram, Golir, the Olu Lansi, and the Drak Woods, Keland has a number of different races and cultures represented throughout its lands, generally centered in its major cities. However this distribution is not very even across the country. For example, the dukedom of Hramn has a very high elven population compared to the rest of the country, and the city of Dragon’s Throne has a much higher Goblin population than is tolerated in most other parts of the country. Further, in places like the dukedom of Johnson and the dukedom of York some relatively small parts of the population still cling to a mild to moderate xenophobia that developed during the Planar War. However, the majority of the nation’s populace has long since left these old grudges behind.
Among other things, Keland is known for its advances in the study of magic. With most of its cities closer to the prestigious Academy Aracanum in Lisil than any major cities in either Golir or Enchi, close to 50% of the students in attendance at the Academy at any given time tend to be Kelanders. In addition the position of Court Mage has become a standard in every city in Keland, and some smaller towns even boast a resident wizard who the villagers rely on for counsel. It is said that there is no where in the world except the courts of the Nada’Athi empire with a greater selection of magical goods than the markets of Dragon’s Throne.
Of further note on the magical advances of Kelanders is the tradition of their knights to combine the arts of combat and magic in an exceptionally specialized fashion. Though the techniques are a closely guarded state secret, knights of Keland who are skilled in the arcane are known to wield techniques which allow them to combine their martial and magical attacks in astounding ways.
In more common-place relevance to magic use, citizens and visitors of the Kingdom of Keland are required to carry a license for the practice of ritual craft and the teaching of magic without a license is illegal. These measures were put in place in reaction to the All Fires Forge disaster in Lisil to ensure that such mistakes could be prevented in the future.
In terms of entertainment Kelanders tend to frequent taverns, plays, and sports events. The most popular sport in Keland is closely shared with its southern neighbor, Golir, which is Mage Blade Dueling – a sport in which two skilled duelists do battle with false swords. There are an average of forty major Mage Blade Dueling events in the country of Keland annually, and the Midnight Winter Duel in Golir has never gone a year without at least one Kelandish contestant.