Tales from the Inner Sea
The Autocracy of Menetia
Menetia lies at the outer western edge of what had been Imperial territory, and this shows in the comparatively poor and unsophisticated land this former Imperial Province now appears to be. When the Great Civil War happened, the army left the province and returned to take part in the fighting in the east, leaving Menetia to it’s own devices. One of the noble families called the UrKhaigens moved quickly and took control of the province and set themselves up as a new Royal Family, with King Berlar being the first of this regal line. Sadly, a succession of poor kings culminated in the fatal reign of King Kaighen the 2nd who, despised as he was by the aristocracy was assassinated in a coup formed by a conspiracy of the other noble houses led by Orell Penmor. Very few members of the royal family survived the purge, with a handfull of relations managing to flee abroad before the blades of the conspirators and their angry mob claimed them. The Army (who remained loyal) in the putsch were thoroughly purged and many chose to flee the realm in whatever way they could to avoid a similar fate to their Monarch.
Since then an Autocracy has ruled via the various noble houses through the Magistracy, using the mechanic of a House of Lords who have divided authority up into various Guardianships commanding things like Morality, Land War, Public Works and Law amongst other spheres. The various noble families compete for places and seats in the House of Lords, which ultimately allows the appointing of their representatives into the various political appointments and offices. Below them there are layers of government including judges and Wardens (of which there are 12, ruling the various Districts making up Menetia). As the relations between the various parties, houses and families can best be described as fractious and partisan, the country functions despite rather than because of it’s government with corruption rife and nepotism, favouritism and dubious dealings being the order of the day.
The economy is poor on the whole, with little exportable goods compared to other lands. Olives, and some gold and silver make up much of the trading goods, but traders come here with goods, rather than to buy them. This poorness of the economy contributes to the overall sense of decay and ennui that is evident in the land. Even the capital Stuggadhoo, itself a sprawling home to almost 100,000 people barely supports itself regarding food and supplies.
The military is regarded as one of the poorest within the Inner Sea, which has large numbers of light and supposedly medium infantry but poor equipment and poor levels of training and competence that undermine their efforts. Certainly most of the army either deserted, died in the violence or mustered out in disgust after the overthrow of the Royal Family, contributing to the loss of professionalism. Due to Menetia being horsepoor, the use of cavalry is almost unknown except for the officers and very rich. The various Watch companies in the 12 main cities and districts are also largely regarded as a corrupt joke in bad taste, this mirroring the corruption endemic to the nation as a whole.
It is known that in the mountainous terrain Dwarves live, and in some of the forests Elves too, with Dark Trolls in the waste areas, and what they think of this land is not likely to be good as they do not welcome Menetian official interference and do not regard themselves as citizens.
The main religion is that of Sensu, with the other deities represented, though it is by no means certain that any given city will have temples or shrines to all the gods. Other forms of magic such as sorcery, local demi-god worship and shamanism do exist in small form, with the smaller and older settlements having a shaman as well as local priests.
Due to the poor grazing and scrubby grasslands that make up much of the flora, goats, chickens, sheep and pigs tend to be the most practical livestock kept, with horses being of poor quality and so rare they are largely kept to the preserve of the rich. As a result the Chariot Racing found in many other former Imperial provinces is not followed or maintained, though the Colissea has a following here, albeit small.
Regards foreign policy, the Shen barbarians to the north of Menetia are their biggest national relationship, having warred with the Menetians in the past and being beaten by them, due in no small part to many of the Shen being massacred during the Stromovar migrations 200 years previously. Other nations like Ateliket and Bassur view the Menetians as a backwards nation but at least encourage contact as some trade is better than none. The other nations barely notice Menetia as it has nothing people want, though foreign and domestic slavers tend to operate here as there’s always a market for people, something which Menetia has quite a few of (aided by a corrupt system of jurisprudence that uses slavery as a main form of punishment, revenue and growth industry).