Atop the Shoulders of Giants
Sef is an old kingdom with a tumultuous history. Though the nation of Sef has more or less survived intact for over one thousand years, it has been the victim of invasion, civil war, invasion, wars of succession, invasion, and finally invasion again. The reason for this tumultuous history is that the nation of Sef controls some of the most fertile land north of the Merchant Sea as well as the river Alona which is the only viable access point for shipping produce across the merchant sea from the aforementioned fertile lands of northern Sef.
The people of Sef are a proud group who consider themselves a state within the Nada’Athi Empire rather than a governance controlled by it. Whether the Sef monarchs or the Imperial governor has more power over the nation, however, tends to shift drastically based on who is in power at the time. In theory the Imperial Governor is supposed to act as sole authority over the foreign affairs of Sef and as an adviser to the crown on matters of importance to the empire. In practice, however, the Governor is the watchdog of the empire, and the Governor’s ability to intimidate and blackmail the nobles of Sef generally determines how much control the Governor can assert over the nation. Weak Governors often find it difficult to do something as simple as decide over day-to-day issues of foreign relations whereas stronger Governors have been known to declare martial law in land-locked Sef cities suspected of harboring common criminals.
The people of Sef, however, rarely concern themselves with politics unless the politics become concerning. The trade of fruits, grain, and wine drives the Sef economy and the farmers, merchants, and tradespeople of these industries have a long tradition of persevering, regardless of politics, for the good of the nation.
The capital of Sef is Bedaln, a northerly city situated among the lush farm lands of northern Sef. However the southern port city of Huelin, situated on the mouth of the Alona, is far larger in population, wealth, and literal size. Some citizens of Sef have advocated for constructing a new royal palace in Huelin where the crown can have a more direct hand in the trade concerns which are the lifeblood of Sef’s economy, but this suggestion has been shot down many times for defying traditions.
Geographically Sef is positioned between the dangerous lands of the Plokar tribe to the east and the dry plains of the Cerik Wilds to the west, a short distance across which lies Brok’Tad. To the north, like many nations to the north of the Merchant Sea, lies the long mountain range known as the World’s Crown.
Racially Sef is far and above primarily human, and some strains of very old prejudice stand against elves among its people. A very small number of halflings can be found among the people of Sef, but elsewise a non-human is a very rare sight. That said, due to their relative proximity, some of the half-dragons and dragonkin of Brok’Tad have been known to visit the lands of Sef from time to time, and are generally regarded with extreme caution by the people there.
The people of Sef generally speak Nada’Athi. Many also speak Traenish, and most merchants native to Sef also speak either Daenin or Golirian.