Brandeis

By far the largest of Alm's nations, Brandeis occupies much of the northern half of the continent. It shares borders with Aurion to the west (by way of the Soaring Sentinels), Calanshae to the east, and the Grasslands to the west, as well as the myriad waterways of Independence. Upon its northern border lies Beasthome, where few humans dare to tread.

Thanks to its huge territory and low population density, Brandeis is actually a collection of nine states, governed by a central ruling council of representatives from each. The states are Adelhae, Albion, Aragon, Ceanmor (the capital), Ironhilt, Kurast, Navorey, Saffron and Woodfall. A representative noble presides over each of these states, and with the monarch form the Council of Nine.

Brandeis is also remarkable for its use of a mandatory popular vote to choose leaders - even its monarch - conducted by way of the Ceannard Tome.

Brandeis has a reputation for breeding powerful warriors, less so for courtly intrigue. It has yet to take a side in Aurion's war – though it seems obvious that it will ultimately stand with Tenebrae, as it has never particularly liked Calanshae or Aurion, and it has positive relations with Ikana.

Other forms:

  • Brandish (of Brandeis)
  • Brand (a person who is Brandish)

History

Until the end of the establishing war, Brandeis was not a kingdom but a countryside filled fractious and warring factions, and constantly beset by gnolls and their best-kin allies. It was a warrior woman named Brayden, nicknamed "Bloodmane" by the gnolls out of respect for her prowess, who unified the fighting spirit of the bickering humans and used it to drive the beast-kin back to Beasthome, their last stronghold.

So it was that Brayden Bloodmane became the first ''Cean'' (roughly "boss") of Brandeis, breaking the gnollish dominance over Alm and giving rise to a massive nation filled with proud warriors. Today Brandeis' people are a tough, weathered assortment of humans and allies who cherish their land, to the point that superstitious cavalrymen even put dirt in their boots so they always touch the soil of their home.

There are only a few large cities in Brandeis, with most of the population spread throughout the countryside in small farming villages and military outposts. The capital city, Ceanmor, is a hilly community built both above and below ground, a sprawling walled fortress on the banks of the Ceann Loch. It is home to King Strathen's castle. Another key settlement is Gallows' Fend, a fortress city on the mid-western border which has long served to keep Aurite enemies from entering the nation.

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