The Free States of Highmere is a fledgling republic nation. It was previously a vassal of Gildas, but civil war erupted and the rulers were overthrown. Gildas did not want to lose control of Highmere, but Rivaire’s strong navy deterred them – Rivaire does a lot of trade with Highmere, and by the laws of the Valasian Empire arms cannot be one of them. They did not want their trade disrupted and so deterred Gildas.
The threat of invasion through land is small – Gildas could not easily march an army through the Shiverdales and the Hollow Mountains.
The land is a hybrid of a monarchy and a democracy. The land is divided into baronies, each one was given to one of the primary (financial) supporters of the rebellion. These baronies are passed down through heredity. In addition, the citizens of each barony elect three senators every 5 years. The senate meets regularly and power is shared between them and the monarchy. The capital city, and throne, is in White Rock.
Highmere is a wealthy nation, the land is fertile and trade is easy with two major port cities. The mountains to the south are rich in iron and contain at least two known darkmetal veins, but mining them is dangerous because the dragon Katla lairs not far away in Mysthop.
Like most places, the primary religion would be the Way of Might. The Way of Nature has some followers, especially in the western lands, near The Shiverdales. The way of Palinthal has a few followers, especially in the port cities where many travelers end up.
Because of their value for freedom, Highmere is one of the few places in the world where slavery is illegal. Visitors from other nations are permitted to bring their slaves along, but trade may not take place here. In addition, abusing a slave while in their borders is punishable as if they were a free person.
Citizens of Highmere celebrate a holiday unique to them – Freedom Day, the date they slew their Gildean Regent and claimed their lands for themselves. In major cities, the celebration may start a full tenday before the actual date! (21st of Corospyr).
A barony within Highmere, Rinthon borders both The Border Hills and The Northlands making it a very susceptible location. Luckily neither of these regions are organized enough to pose any significant threat. The Northern and Eastern parts of the country are rolling hills, and make for relatively easy farming during the warm seasons. To the West and South lies The Rinthwood, a forest that sprawls all the way to the Hollow Mountains.