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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.

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