Kingdoms of Frandum - Lean
Once one of the greatest kingdoms of Frandum, Lean has begun a long and slow descent since the beginning of the Third Age, when its rulers chose to shut their kingdom from its neighbours, even forgetting to cement its different areas by other means than brute strength.
This anarchy and the magical experiments of the barons of Kalinth have lead to the ruin of the kingdom, materialized by the encroachiing spread of the marshlands, which cannot be explained by any natural means.
During the end of the Third Age, Darimer tried to reinstitute the people's rights by a new creed in Reset, and almost managed, by gathering the oppressed people around him, to wipe out the consequences of his predecessors.
The death of Darimer quickly clouded Lean's horizon, though the resilience of the people prevented the kingdom to periclit again. Slowed, the downfall was not stopped, so that nowadays Lean is a kind of no man's land ignored by the remnants of the world, except when it comes to evoking history.
Climate and geography
Ideally situated in the most temperate latitudes of the world, yet far from all seas, Lean has a rather moderate climate, even though Fireseasons can be quite hot and chocking and Waterseasons dry and icy.
Unnaturally though, a gigantic marsh, centered around Kalinth, covers the whole eastern side of the kingdom, receding in the western marches where the influence of the capitol is reduced and the land relatively wild.
The south-eastern mountains form a tall yet narrow shield which add to the isolation of the kingdom with its neighbours.
Raw materials and resources
It is rather hard to assess the raw materials which are naturally present in Lean, because of the difficult access to the kingdom and the lack of information which filters form the black walls of Kalinth.
Wood should have been abundant, with the extent of the Leanish marsh, yet the swamp is mostly dead, and makes any try at exploiting its resources void and useless.
Some metals may exist in the mountains, but no try is made at mining them, while the building stone is not easy to come across.
It seems that agriculture has no real extent within the kingdom, as farmlands, as well as breeding grounds, are scarce and unexploitable.
People of Lean
Historically human, Lean has never been very attractive to the other races, safe from evils who fought they could enjoy some torturing in the numerous dungeons scattered throughout the kingdom.
Moreover, the xenophobia showed by Lean's rulers has led to the epuration of the minorities who lived in the kingdom, so that only a few non-human now remain in the marshlands.
The population of Lean is small and scarce, given the three factors that are:
Cities and countryside
Even though it is easy to say that cities are scarce in Lean, and that few inhabitants are citizens, it is also obvious that the countryside is not very developed either, and that most of the land is left wild and untamed.
The capital of Kalinth, once a great city, has been swallowed by the marsh, only leaving the black castle of the baron, wherein the population is small.
Encroached upon by the marsh, the roads that once integrated Lean in the global picture of Frandum still bring some life to small towns, among which Pettisburg is the most remarkable.
The western part of the country shelters no city or settlement of importance, even though the recent development of Etenland has driven people along the western border.
Most of the population survives in small mud villages, trying to scratch their living from the marsh.
Politics and laws
Devoid of any bureaucracy, the ruling class of Lean is made of local chiefs who swear a blind allegiance to the baron, with the noticeable exception of Pettisburg, who has managed to conduct an organized politics which has given it a kind of influence.
The barons themselves often keep to their castle, where their sole goal being to gather personal knowledge, strength or pleasure.
As such, there is no real law in Lean, and the insecurity is a reality the inhabitants must face every day, no police being there to protect them.
Recently though, the pressure of Tan Lorak's drows who look for a new way of reaching the northern kingdom than the sylvan-controlled Falcondale has led to the reopening of Lean onto the world, even though this opening only benefits to the drows, who also believe in Shezael.
Wars and armies
As a logical consequence of its decline, Lean has seen its army dwindle in strength and in numbers, down to being rather inexistant nowadays. Even in its times of grandeur, though, the kingdom has never been extremely potent, as shows the defeat of Darimer before Aemir at the end of the Third Age.
Actually, Lean's best protection is its lack of natural access and the uselessness of conquering its sterile wasteland.
Trade and craftsmanship
Inexistant for long year, the trade with the external kingdom has recently begun to scale upwards, under the guidance of the drows who are trying to reopen the old merchant roads to reach the wealthy kingdoms of the north and sell their products there.
As such, Lean is more a channel of communication than a real trader, yet it makes no doubt that the coming of merchants, and the necessity to protect them, will probably lead to the growth of local competency, and the emergence of Leanish merchants.
As for craftsmanship, the only noticeable production of Lean is the endless domain of torture equipment, for which the kingdom has earned a reputation: no ruler-of-the-world wannabee can be considered as serious until he has acquired an original and sadistic equipment from the forges of Kalinth.
Science and education
Even though commerce has (how minutely) started to recover from the long closure of the kingdom, science and education are still inexistant there, as proves the absence of shcools of any kind, people focusing their energy into trying to survive, education bringing no hope and wasting time.
Religion and magic
The cult of Shezael is widespread in the whole kingdom, enforced by its rulers who, even though they are no fanatics, find in the darkest side of the Queen the justification for their behaviour.
Being raised in the only knowledge of Shezael, the people has no real freedom for choosing any other religion, even more so when any disbeliever can be killed and tortured without justification (which is even worse than the believers, who need only a small and wrong accusation).
Magic pervades the whole marsh, adding to the presumptions that it has nothing natural and that it is rather a failed experiment or a determined pollution of the kingdom by its rulers.
Arts and culture
There is probably as many art-makers and art-owners in Lean as there are orcs in Valea, which means a number relatively close to 0. As such, there exists no Leanish culture.
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