|Realm||Kingdom of Ashenia|
|Resources||Dairy Cows, Horses, Books, Silver|
Ashenia is divided into three main geographical regions, the Ashene Mountains, Adralath and Eseda.
The Ashene Mountains lie along the north west border of Ashenia. Barely foothills by some people's reckoning, the Ashene Range is still a substantial row of granite mountains cut by steep valleys that easily become isolated during Winter. Despite this, the valleys are fertile and are prime land for pasture. In addition, the forests that grow in the valleys supply abundant timber. The many streams that flow from the mountains eventually join to form a number of rivers, the greatest of which is the River Adra which eventually winds away through Adralath and onwards towards the ocean.
Nestled among the cliffs and mountain passes are numerous small monastic communities that take advantage of the isolation provided by their remoteness to continue their meditations uninterrupted. Nearer to the valley floors, but still above the spring floods (most years), are dozens of small villages and towns whose herds of cattle provide much milk and cheese, the sale of which supplements the otherwise small income they would gain from their crops. The most important settlement in this region is the fortress-city of Sandrul located in the shade of Mount Gambron. It is here where people from the lowlands and highlands meet to exchange goods, and thus where the region's tax collectors tend to congregate.
Adralath is a hilly and lightly timbered region below the Ashene Mountains. The River Adra, as well as lesser rivers, flow through this region, carving wide valleys as they do so. Flooding is a yearly issue, and as such, flood mitigation requires significant royal attention. On the hills however, vast open plains punctuated by small to medium forests dominant the landscape. Here, vast herds of wild horses roam and royalty hunt wolves with golden eagles.
Despite land here being plentiful, much of it is lacking in the qualities required for large scale agriculture. Nevertheless, the valleys surrounding the rivers are flooded regularly and are thus highly fertile. Here, the kingdom's farmers grow grain and other crops to feed Ashenia's citizens. In addition, they keep orchards and vines on higher ground to provide colour to the diet of the common people. This region is much more heavily populated than the Ashene Mountains, and is home to many more cities and towns. The cities of greatest importance are Severikand, known for its woven rugs, Uranin, a fortress city to protect the easternmost territories, Salema, known for its great grain exchange, and the royal capital of Adrakand on the north bank of the River Adra, naturally known for its architectural splendour, wealth and the government residing there.
The small region of Eseda, occupying the southernmost portion of Ashenia, was once an independent state. It is a very rugged region covered for the most part in thick deciduous forests. The population here is very low and the agricultural output is insubstantial in comparison to the rest of the Kingdom, however, the very same ruggedness that renders it less viable farmland exposes large quantities of silver ore. As such, the landscape is dotted with mines.
In Eseda, there is only one city of note, that of Desana, the old capital. Desana is a city noted for its silversmiths and ancient monasteries, however the rest of the people live in small villages, either devoting their labour to mining, woodcutting or eking out whatever living they can from the soil.
The people of Ashenia (Known as Ashenites, or if you're being very old fashioned or poetic, the Ashene), are taller than the average human, with the average height for men being 185 centimetres and that for women being 172 centimetres. Their hair is usually black, though varying shades of dark brown show up from time to time, particularly in Eseda. In contrast, their eyes tend to be either grey or blue and their skin pale, though it darkens slightly with exposure to the sun.
In terms of attire, the farmers, miners and other people who live and work in the country tend toward simple clothing made from affordable fabrics that is usually undyed and wide brimmed hats to prevent sunburn. In the Winter, they wear brightly coloured scarves in addition to thick coats.
Townsfolk usually prefer loose-fitting, long-sleeved garments, often accented by sashes. Most cannot afford fine fabrics or bright colours, so stick to brown in their everyday wear, saving what colours they can afford for festivals, white for formal occasions and black for mourning. The richer townsfolk prefer not only rich patterns and imported dyes, but elaborate embroidered sashes and fine jewellery as well. Most of the year, their colours are relatively subdued however, but they like to go all out for festivals and informal celebrations. Like their less wealthy neighbours, they too reserve white for formal occasions and black for mourning, though a recent trend has resulted in deep purple sometimes being substituted. In the winter, furs are used to trim large coats that are usually dyed blue for rich and poor alike.
Monks prefer simple garments coloured brown or white. However, they make the occasional concession to vanity in the form of the same coloured scarves employed by the country folk.
However, certain colours are reserved for the nobility alone. The wearing of royal purple, saffron, and scarlet fabric is forbidden to the common people, with saffron likewise excluded from even the nobility. Originally, this was due to the expense of the dyes that produced these colours, but now remains as a tradition.
Each of the subdivisions of Ashenia are noted for producing one product in sufficient quantity not only to provide for Ashenia, but for exporting to other nations as well.
The farmers of the Ashene Mountains produce large amounts of high quality cheese, butter and other dairy products from the milk their cows produce. Using wax from their hives they are able to ensure that the cheese that reaches distant markets won't be dangerously mouldy.
Skilled breeders in Adralath produces horses of high quality through careful mixing of wild and domesticated stock. The results of their trade number too greatly for the Ashenites to use exclusively, and as such, many are exported to foreign lands.
The silver mines of Eseda are rich and deep, with no end in sight of the gleaming metal's blackened ores. Not only is there enough to provide for the coinage and jewellery needs of all of Ashenia, there's enough for international deals.
Despite these riches, Ashenia is lacking in iron, and unfortunately, bronze just doesn't make the grade in these times. Maybe they'll be able to find some iron mines in the future, but in the meantime, they're willing to trade for it.
In addition, in the year 340, great copyhouses were established near Severikand. The books they produce are a great boon to scholarly pursuits due to their quantity..
The Ashenites follow an animistic faith with a strong emphasis on seeking wisdom to better understand the ways of the spirits. As such, many have withdrawn from their society to a number of monasteries in the hopes that seclusion with a minimum of distractions will aid their search.