The lands of Fleid were once a loose collection of warlords fighting for control of choice lands. People were soldiers or serfs and slaves, with a few craftsmen being the exception. Eventually the most skilled warlords managed to conquer and hold larger and larger regions until there were only 6 left: Mardis, Galcine, Lerwein, Reslin, Iraklion, and Halych. These were stable until 150 years ago when Duke Dergain of Mardis co-opted Galcine through marriage and allowed him to conquer the other Dukedoms one by one. He proclaimed himself Arch-Duke of Fleid and his family has ruled since.
Fleid is ruled by a hereditary feudal nobility, with the Arch-Duke of Mardis at the top. Answerable only to the Arch-Duke are the Dukes of Lerwein, Reslin, Iraklion, and Halych. Each of these five rule over enormous territories and command the loyalty of many vassals. Lords of various rank manage towns or large stretches of land for their Dukes and provide Knights other retainers for military service. Non-Nobility may not own land, but are either granted the right to work it in exchange for payment or a percentage of yield (as is the case for farmers) or they are directly paid in food or coin for their work. Peasants are allowed to migrate as they choose, but the expense of relocating for them and the difficulty of finding new workers for their overseers generally ends in mutually beneficial terms. All citizens have equal protection under the law, but generally anyone with rank or coin can take advantage over those without.
Fleid is one of the only countries where arcane magic is somewhat accepted. This started during the unification, where first Duke Dergian and then his enemies began to use arcane spell casters to wage war. High prices were offered and magic users who had kept themselves hidden began to flock to Fleid. One particularly powerful wizard came to serve as an adviser to Duke Dergian and after his unification of Fleid the practice became common for Dukes and other high nobility. It is now common for the Dukes to use arcane spell-casters in their armies, giving them an edge over many of their opponents. Doing so has strained relations with Raul’zil in particular but also Mal’tara and Beranok who all harbor deep distrust of magic users and that distrust has rubbed off on the nobility of Fleid.
Mal’tara: conflicted (trade partner)(recent and past wars)(fear of arcane magic)
Beranok: Conflicted (trade)(past wars)(recent alliances Lerwein)(fear of magic)
She’Sua: Friendly (trade and sell mercenaries)
Raul’zil: unfriendly (religious conflict, limited trade, hatred of arcane magic)
Arch-Duke Edwin Mardinis is the current ruler of Mardis as well as the unified Duchies of Fleid. He is a firm and strong man, prone to quick decisions and rarely seeks advice. His people think very highly of him, believing him to be a fair and noble ruler. Edwin has spent much of his rule strengthening the economy and increasing the stability of Fleid. This comes as a well appreciated change from his predecessors who were more concerned with glory on the battlefield. Despite being 42 the strain of recent events and in particular the death of his wife’s brother the Duke of Reslin has visibly aged him past his years.
Magister Gerard Helyas is a trusted adviser to the Arch-Duke (when he wishes to be advised) and also the headmaster of the School of the Arcane in Kethaldren. He is both an extremely powerful sorcerer as well as a highly regarded Oracle of Gargerot. Gerard has done much to boolster the relations between not only arcane magic wielders and the clergy within Fleid but also with the general public. He is highly regarded within the kingdom and wields a great deal of influence across multiple duchies.