The Midrythian Empire
To the east of Ulaphia lies Midrythia. Midrythia is primarily a peaceful nation, though there have always been tensions between them and the the Ulaphians, as well as the Terrosian Empire to their east, mostly on the subject of borders.
Midrythia is one of Wyndfyre’s oldest sovereign nations, being organized several thousand years ago.
The Midrythians are a sea-going people, and have the best-developed technology for sea navigation and ship building next to the Nephistani elves. Their armada is the most formidable in the eastern lands; even the Terrosians, who have a powerful navy, prefer not to enter a conflict with them at sea. In the past, Terros has always opted to wage a land war in their skirmishes with Midrythia, due to a vast power imbalance in any naval conflicts with their neighbors.
The Midrythian armies are well-trained and very disciplined, but due to the heat and humidity in the region, as well as due to their land being metal-poor, rarely do any of their soldiers wear metal armor, or any armor at all, if they can help it.
Midrythia lies in the tropics, very hot and humid with most areas enjoying a high rainfall. The landscape in the northern areas is hilly, covered in fertile grasslands and plains, and many rivers and streams decorate its landscape.
Most of the human inhabitants of Midrythia dwell in the southern coastal portions, where they have many cities and villages in the Midrythian Isles. The people are tall, handsome, and brown-skinned, and tend to be more light-hearted than their serious neighbors, the Terrosians to the east, and the Ulaphians to the west.
Since the War of Tolyk, Midrythia’s northern border, which used to extend all the way to Bylyaron, now fades into a wide frontier of wild lands for several hundred miles before any inhabited region is noted. In this region many ruined cities, abandoned communities, and overgrown roads and pathways are found, and many dangers as well.
Off the coast to the south, the Midrythian Isles number in the thousands, and many do not show up on the maps of even the most experienced of Midrythian mariners. Most of these islands are covered in dense jungles as well, and many consider them a paradise, despite the numerous hazards on them.
Midrythia is organized into a large number of very stable and well-established duchies of widely varying size and population, some of which have been ruled by the same families for thousands of years. Each of these duchies is ruled by a duke, a prince, or (in a few cases) a king who pays fealty to the Midrythian emperor.
The Imperial House of Midrythia controls relations with other nations and – most importantly – trade with other nations. All trade routes with entities outside of Midrythian holdings must meet the approval of the emperor, and no duchy in the empire has the authority to sign any treaty or agreement with any other nation, as this is a right reserved by the emperor himself.
These very pointed restrictions sometimes chafe on the rulers of the individual kingdoms that make up the Midrythian Empire, but they have largely been the most significant factor in the cohesiveness and success of the empire itself as a whole.
Given the diversity of its peoples and the ruling families of its numerous duchies, it is likely that this vice-like grip on foreign relations and trade has also been the primary factor in virtually eliminating conflict between Midrythia’s own provinces as well.
Midrythia supports itself largely on its exports, mostly in the form of agriculture and leather, but also in artwork and other crafts, including masonry, pottery, woodworking, textiles, and shipbuilding.
As the nation on Wyndfyre with the most advanced mariners, Midrythia is the “middle man” for much of the shipping that goes on around Wyndfyre’s coasts, and its port cities are the crossroads for trade for anyone wanting to make a gold piece.
Midrythia’s leather is known as the finest in the world, and are the staple of the empire’s exports. Their craftsmen make the best leather armor, vellum, clothing, belts, pouches, saddles, and other leather goods that can be found anywhere, and charge a premium for it.
Being metal-poor, Midrythia uses their economic clout and shipping middle-man status as leverage to get what they desperately need, primarily iron and steel and bronze. Nearly all of those metals are imported, and while they do not lack in skilled craftsmen and artisans in metal work, the raw materials can in some regions of the empire be hard to come by, and cost more than usual in almost every area of Midrythia.