Kingdoms of Frandum - Coranor
Coranor is a kind of exception in Frandum's civilizations, both because of its quick development and the melting pot it has always represented. From as far as we can go back, the land which is now the kingdom of Coranor has always been "in the way": various conquerors have fought over its unmatched access to the Dragon sea and the riches it thus commanded. From time to time, independant countries have arised, but they were quickly swallowed by the surrounding kingdoms, and most of the time, the rulers of "Coranor" have only been puppets.
The name of Coranor comes from the small island which was formed by the Azure river, next to the Deep river's mouth. Since no power ever exerted itself upon it, this island had been kept rather far away from the troubles of the mainland, and was the home of several fishing villages, from which came Begethine, who is the real founder of Coranor.
It was Begethine who foresaw the need for a shelter to all believers of Galanhir, at a time when the elves were fidgeting, and Valea's flame not yet kindled. As always, the founding of a city is succesful only if it fulfills an underlying social need, and the triumph of Sanctuary proved Begethine right. The city quickly swallowed the hordes of newcomers, and intertwined them into its pattern of organized freedom.
With the coming of people came the need for new lands, and they were easily taken from the faltering evil kingdoms or offered by the neighbouring kindness of the lords of Valea, giving Coranor its actual shape.
Throughout the Fourth Age, Coranor's wealth and fame have grown, bound to the come back of trade to and from the sea, yet the recent development of Tan Lorak, and the shifting of the economic balance further south has put Coranor in a less central position, towards what begins to look like a decline.
Climate and geography
Coranor is not a big kingdom, and it relies only on the capital of Sanctuary, central to its influence. The northern parts of the country are covered with fields and small hills, while to the south rises the barrier of the Windy mountains.
Yet Coranor's main extent is in the waters of the Dragon sea, where its ships pullulate from the shores of Kraegor down to the elven forests of Phodela.
The overall climate is mild, the sea soothing the coldness of Airseason and the heat of Fireseason. The frequent rain is also a characteristic of Coranor's climate.
Raw materials and resources
Coranor is rather deprived of raw materials, and most of the time its production is barely enough for its needs.
The farming areas are extended, but they have their limits when it comes to feeding the biggest city of the world, and importations of food are not uncommon, even though most of it consists of exotic fruits and spice coming from the Dragon sea's trade.
The meagre wood production of the southern forests of Coranor is all but swallowed in the construction of merchant ships.
Mountains line Coranor to the north and south, producing the minimal quantity of metals which is once again enriched by the sea.
Stone is rather widespread in Coranor, as mountains and cultivated plains offer an easy access to it: Coranor's houses are made of stone.
Main producer and exporter of sea products, Coranor gains most of its wealth from the reselling of its fisher fleets production and the heavy trading with the sea-elves of Waterdeep. When it comes to the sea products, Sanctuary merchants create the market.
People of Coranor
Since Begethine's time, there has never been one people of Coranor, as the kingdom was built upon a gathering of beings from all races and all horizons. In the traditionaly separated kingdoms of the north, Coranor was a small revolution were elves worked together with dwarves, humans, and sometimes even orcs.
Being at the crossroads of Frandum's main races, Coranor has kept this richness of cultures which still prevents historians from seeing a single, monolithic Coranoran civilization.
In turn dominating or following, all its ethnos groups live in a relative peace and harmony, less due to Begethine's ideal of sharing than to the need of being different and standing together when facing so many bigger neighbours.
Cities and countryside
Coranor has been built around Sanctuary, and from that date it has only lived for Sanctuary. With almost 500 000 inhabitants, the capital crushes the kingdom, preventing any other city to rise above insignificance, drawing the countryside's resources toward its merchant fleets.
Politics and laws
Beghethine's rule was established on the principles of Galanhir, but with enough open-mindedness to allow most immigrants to become part of the city.
The kings of Coranor's reign is insignificant, as after the death of Begethine and his son Eorl, no one managed to gather any significant claim to the throne, so that a democratic system was put into place, where citizens of Sanctuary voted to elect a city council who ruled over the city, and through it the kingdom.
With time, merchants have slowly taken over the power, either by being directly elected in the council, or by putting their own puppets in the council seats, and today, the city is ruled by a couple of families which fight for predominance while well aware they cannot rule alone.
Wars and armies
Paradoxically, Coranor has never had to make war. Its first establishment was buyoed by Aemir I's conquests, and Coranor's navy had no difficulty defeating the few remaining ships of the Dragon sea.
When the situation settled and the Fourth Age's borders appeared, Coranor was already economically too powerful for its neighbours to attack it without risking the blocus of their trade routes.
Trade and craftsmanship
As Valea rimes with "war", so does Coranor rime with "trade". A variety of people, of needs and talents, as well as a central position have sent Coranor's inhabitants along the path of trading which has built the country's riches. Parallel to this extensive commerce, a modern banking system has been developped, and bankers and usurers are clearly the second wealthiest category of inhabitants in Coranor.
As goods often only pass through the kingdom, its own craftsmanship is not really developed.
Science and education
There is no real central Coranoran education, even though an excellent system of schools and universities swallows Sanctuary's children and those of the wealthiest farmers.
Indeed, the education is so differenciated, that no two children will follow the same cursus and study the cultures to which he belongs, or wishes to belong.
Eventually, so rich and complex is Coranor's educative system that children from all over the world come to Sanctuary to do their studies, and often remain there.
Religion and magic
Built from the worshipping of Galanhir, Coranor has quickly drifted away from this utopic definition, as pagans and believers of the other gods added to the mass of good people.
Today, even though the official cult, shared by a majority of people, is the one of Galanhir, Coranor offers a variety of temples for all the other religions of the world.
A basic magical knowledge is rather well spread into the people, even though few are the students who follow the magical path of education.
Arts and culture
Reknowned for its library and museum, Sanctuary is a place of artists, because of the obvious richness of its population, the open-mindness of its rulers, and the wealth generated by trade, which is often consumed by works of arts. Rich merchants also compete in a game of appearances, and build palace upon palace, ordering paintings, sculptures and tapestries from the most famous artists.
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