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Aileon

Aileon is a nation on the southern coast of Japethe. It is bordered on the west by Ilandria and on the north by Felaire and on the east and south by the Mezinne Sea. Its capital is the great port city of Paravál. Alone among the nations of Japethe, it does not have a great spirit. Its symbol is a wingless dragon, called the wyrm. It's flag is a golden wyrm coiling across a field of green or three horizontal stripes of green, yellow, then green again.

The country is roughly triangular in shape with a long coastline on the Mezinne Sea with sandy beaches. A few excellent harbors provide homes for vast fishing fleets. The coastal cities are cosmopolitan centers for commerce, filled with travelers from lands throughout Japethe and Aphrike. The coastal lands are well watered and heavily farmed. Away from the coastline, the land steadily ascends in slowly climbing hillsides covered in olive trees and vineyards. Eventually the land rises to the semi-arid meseta that separates the country from Ilandria. The meseta is used for sheep grazing and also contains many of the iron deposits for which the nation is famous. The northern border of Aileon is the Cyreneos Mountains, which rise sharply above the lowlands with few passes.

Aileon is ruled by a secretive council who call themselves the Magi. These arch-alchemists have controlled the country since the disappearance of Dama, the great spirit of luck, more than 50 years ago. Her servants once ruled the country, but with the silence of their patron, they quickly lost all power to the Magi. Since the coup, Aileon has blossomed as a center of alchemical discovery. Aileon is renowned for its excellent steel and firearms. The only threat to the country is from the corsairs from the Aphrike coast. The Magi have built towers along the coastline to ward off the raiding slavers.

Freeports of the Kennard Reach

The Freeports of the Kennard Reach are a confederation of five major ports along the body of water that separates the Isle of Albyn from the mainland of Japethe. The Freeports control a long and narrow ribbon of territory that runs the entire length of the southern shore of Albyn. The northern border of the kingdom varies with the fortunes of war and diplomacy with the successor states of Lyonesse. The ports are (from east to west) Horbin, Kershaw, Rost, Meregate, and Wystelsea, but a total of 42 different towns (most coastal and most little more than villages) are part of the confederation. The citizens of the Freeports refer to themselves as Portsmen, but most everyone else call them Kennards. Renowned for their sailors and navigators, the Freeports dominate the world seat trade and have created a vast colonial empire that spans the globe.

The Freeports share their great spirit Taliesen with the rest Lyonesse. The symbol of the confederation is the fish. Its flag is three horizontal stripes with blue on the bottom, white in the middle, and yellow above or three silver fish on field of blue below a golden ship on a field of white with a wavy line of partition.

The major geographical feature is a series of chalk ridges that run east-west to parallel the coastline. The coastline itself is constantly changing due to erosion and the build up of sediment. In several places, the chalk ridges fall directly into the sea, creating dramatic white cliffs that overlook the sea. North of the chalk ridges is the vast Andredes Weald, a pleasant woodland that is heavily harvested by the Portsmen for their shipbuilding.

For several hundreds of years, the Freeports were part of Lyonesse, but separated from that kingdom at the height of the devastating dynastic strife that was The Sundered Crown Wars. Today, each of the Freeports is ruled by a council of wealthy gentry who hold the title of "baron," though nobles from other nations (especially the rest of Lyonesse) are horrified at the use of the term. The title is not necessarily hereditary as the council must extend an invitation to heirs before they can use the title, but the council generally does so. The figurehead of the confederation is the Lord Warden of the Freeports, who commands its army and the navy. In practice, the Warden must constantly negotiate with the barons in order to accomplish the smallest of tasks.

Morante

Morante is one of the major nations of Japethe and the mother country of the colony of Varre to the southeast of Aradie. Morante is bordered on the south by Saronne, to the east by Guiern, to the north by the Kennard Reach, and the Levian Ocean on the west. Its capital city is Coeurvain. Its great spirit is Thaust. Its symbol is the lion. Its flag is either three golden lions puissant on a field of red or a hollow golden diamond with crossed diagonal lines bisecting the sides of the diamond.

Morante is hampered in seafaring by a rocky coast with many cliffs and few good harbors. The land itself is lightly forested and relatively flat with only a single broad massif rising in the northwestern part of the country. Morante is excellent cattle country, and is renowned for its cheese and beef. The countless meadows grow most of the flax used in Japethe, while the plentiful apple orchards produce vast quantities of cider and brandy.

Morante is ruled by a constitutional monarchy where the powers of the throne are checked by a council of marquises, called the Assembly of Notables. The current ruler is Queen Marguerite of House Vallier. Her family has ruled Morante for seven generations. They have kept the marquis in line by channeling their aggression against their neighbors of Saronne, Guiern, and the Freeports of the Kennard Reach. The policy of keeping internal peace by promoting external war has resulted in sour relations and given the nation a reputation of belligerence. Morante last fought Saronne nearly twenty years ago for control of the Alagnon River. While the war ended in a draw, both sides have rebuilt their strength since then, and most people feel that war is once again on the horizon.

Saronne

Saronne is the mother country of the colony of Aradie. It lies in the southwest region of Japethe. It is bordered to the south by Ilandria, on the north by Morante and Guiern, on the east by Felaire, and on the west by the Levian Ocean. Its capital city is Arcaneaux. Its patron spirit is Giavere. Its symbol is the unicorn. Its flag is a series of twelve columns of alternating blue and white stripes that are diagonally offset. The twelve columns represent the Twelve Revelations of Giavere.

The country is fertile lowlands in the west, where it rises from the sea. The coastline is marshy and forces most of the ports inland up the two great rivers that wind their way through the kingdom. The land rises steadily to the east to a ridge of low mountains that separates Saronne from Felaire. To the south is a range of much higher mountains that forms the boundary with Ilandria.

Saronne is ruled by a monarchy. The current king is Eudes VI of House Auvignan, the fourth of this house to rule Saronne. The current form of the kingdom was of was established in 857, when Raimon, the Duc of Arcaneaux, forced the surrounding nobles to bend knee and swear fealty. Raimon forged a strong alliance with the High Oracle Celestina of Giavere and received her blessing. Some say that Celestina advised Raimon on future events and that accounted for his good fortune throughout his reign.

Saronne has historically warred with Morante, trading provinces back and forth. The militaristic Morantine are more capable warriors than their southern neighbors, but the Saronnans always have the edge in technology because they revere a Great Spirit who is the patron of arts and science.