The Red Blade Treaty ended the Crownfall War, established the borders of the four human kingdoms, and guaranteed the sovereignty of the non-human nations. To ensure a lasting peace, the Treaty also established the High Council, providing an avenue for independently moderated diplomatic conversations. All nations represented on the Council are considered equals, and share equal influence.
The Human Kingdoms
Formed by the warring factions of human nobles and their vassals, the four kingdoms are the only members of the council with fixed borders, united by geography and political alliances rather than cultural unity.
- Carthia: With more vassal families than his rivals, King Mendel Carthulas was positioned to claim the largest realm at the signing of the Red Blade Treaty. Carthia boasts fertile farmland and a convenient geographical position, making it the wealthiest nation on the continent.
- Howlett: Named for the leader of the Red Blades, Howlett was founded by Queen Nerala Sathirin, and is currently ruled by her daughter, Nalome. It enjoys the greatest abundance of natural resources of all the nations in the old empire, but a relatively small populace.
- Kaffrey: Minor families that were uncomfortable throwing in with one of the three royals at the signing of the Red Blade Treaty decided to band together into a parliamentary government, and secured the island of Kaffrey, north of Carthia, for their realm. Largely unsettled when the country was founded, it was for many years an inhospitable place. In recent years, Kaffrey has carved out its place in the kingdoms, and is becoming a rising power in the High Council.
- Releria: King Alexar Tuomon, leading a powerful faction at the end of the Crownfall War, requested the southern ward for his kingdom, out of a desire to assure responsible stewardship of the Scalestruck Isles. The country, named for Alexar’s daughter, is poor in natural resources and bears a considerable economic burden due to economic support programs for refugees from the Isles and other effects of the tyrant’s fall.
The other races were uninvolved in the Crownfall War, but when the gnomes brokered the Treaty they wanted the entire continent to be united. They brought the other races into the Council, assuring them thet they could remain in the regions they had already claimed as their own.
- The Children of Stone and Sky: Exploited for their size and strength, the Goliaths were enslaved as laborers and gladiators throughout the Empire. The few suvivors of Athrintalec’s mistreatment reformed under the leadership of a few shaman into a totemic, tribal structure, withdrawing to the mountains of Kaffrey.
- The Halfling Clans: The halflings were decimated and left homeless in the magical cataclysm that followed the Empress’s death. Some sought to remain in the south, plying the waves and the Scalestruck Isles; the others formed trading caravans and chose to wander the kingdoms freely.
- The Imal’eska: Seeking isolation after their cruel treatment at the hands of Athrintalec and her minions, the Elves of the Wychpine Forest are reluctant participants in the Council, preferring instead to invest their resources in recovering their own lost history.
- The Trade Cartels: The dwarven mercantile houses serve as leaders and representatives of their race. They devote their time to conducting business and managing trade throughout the kingdoms, and seek to gain greater financial resources for their people.
- The Windbourne: Like their neighbors, the Imal’eska, the Raptoran tribes sought solace from a world that showed them terrible cruelty. They were reluctant to join the Council at first, but joined when Howlett was persuaded to offer them military protection and to vigorously enforce anti-hunting policies.