Utand is the smallest country in the continent of Sendaiya, and is also the youngest. Comprised of five holds each ruled by one of the five great clans of the country, Utand is largely without concentrated government. While for the first few centuries of the country’s history there would always be a High King who would rule over the entire country, in recent history the Righs have been operating individually, with a High King only chosen when something threatens Utand as a whole.
The five holds maintain a working relationship and mostly solid alliance with one another. While there have been numerous disagreements between the holds and their Righs, these have so far always been solved relatively smoothly. The men and women of Utand are strong and fiercely independent, with positions of power often going to the strongest and most able. When an Ard-Righ needs be chosen, each of the five Righs gather at the granite throne of Cadogan the Unyielding, first Ard-Righ of Utand and leader of the rebellion against Callarea. There they enter a free-for-all melee to the death, the survivor of which is accepted as Ard-Righ. That persom may be challenged by any who think they are stronger, at which point that individual and the Ard=Righ meet at the granite throne and battle for the crown. The High King’s reign can be ended at any time by the word of the Archdruid, who directs the flow of Utand’s spirituality. For an Ard-Righ to disobey the word of the Archdruid is to defy the word of the spiritual guides of the country, at which point said King would be shunned by all of Utand. To date this has never happened.
The largest of the holds is Eastmark, ruled by Clan Blazehelm. Dominating the southeast corner of the country, the plains of Eastmark are where the Blazehelm clan breeds and trains the horses of the famous cavalry that makes up the majority of Utand’s military. However, despite the vast tracts of land controlled by the clan, Eastmark is sparsely populated by civilization, with much of their territory serving as a buffer between the rest of Utand and the Callarea border. Their capital city is Agror, but it is the smallest of the capitals in Utand and the easiest to attack given the relative lack of usable stone in Eastmark, forcing its inhabitants to rely mostly on wooden palisades.
Covering most of the coast in the west of the country is Clan Whitecrest’s hold of Westmark. Here the Whitecrest clan maintain’s most of Utand’s shipyards and maintains the navy. Furthermore, Westmark is also the country’s main provider of fish and livestock, which they trade with the rest of the holds for other goods. Though not as skilled as the shipwrights of Orur, the Whitecrests fabricate the finest ships in Sendaiya, allowing Utand traders to trade the months-long journey to Mostiyr and back when tensions with Callarea prevent them from taking the shorter and easier river route. Their capital is the great port city of Pargonai.
The third largest hold is Highgreen, ruled by Clan Goldbrow in the center of the country. The most agriculturally rich hold in Utand, the Goldbrows are renowned throughout the country as the most level-headed, and are the least warlike of all the clans. There are more Goldbrows on the Druid’s Council than any other clan, which hints to the clan’s stronger connection to the spirits of the earth than the rest. A Goldbrow has carried the Wicker Crown as Archdruid for the last 300 years. Their most famous son, however, is former Ard-Righ Aelbach of Highgreen, who ended the tradition of an “Eternal Righ”, declaring that the Obsidian Crown would only be worn when the country is in great need. The capital of Highgreen is Arcagini.
The second smallest hold is also arguably the most powerful, Altlan Hold is ruled by Clan Greatmane, clan of the legendary Cadogan the Unyielding. Lying in the northwest corner of Utand, Altlan is respected throughout Utand for its craftsmen, particularly in the field of metallurgy. Warriors across the five holds (and often in other countries, most notably Lethray) wield weapons of Altlan steel, forged from peerless ore the likes of which can only be found in the western peaks of the Whitefell mountains. Further, Clan Greatmane serves as the keeper of the Granite Throne, hewed from the mountain by their hero Cadogan. More members of Clan Greatmane have served as Ard-Righ of Utand than all of the other families combined. Their capital is Anabaias, the city built around the Granite Throne and arguably the most formidable fortress in Sendaiya.
The smallest hold is Greyfell, ruled by the Wolfsmaw clan. Only once in Utand’s history has a Righ of Greyfell worn the Obsidian Crown – the brutal warleader Joddoc the Beast. The least magically adept of the families, never has a Wolfsmaw worn the Wicker Crown. However, while they are the most prone to violence of the great clans, the Wolfsmaw are the most ardent defenders of Utand’s independence, and more of their warriors serve in the Kingsguard, the army of warriors who forsake their clan affiliation and serve Utand as a whole instead of dedicating their lives to the defense of a single hold. Residing in the northeast of the country, their capital is Tiron’s Pass, the last city that Utandi warriors joining the Kingsguard visit before the arduous journey to Stormwatch, the strongest fortress of the guard.
Though not true clans, it is worth mentioning both the Kingsguard and the Druid’s Council. Both of these groups serve Utand as a whole, each member forsaking their fealties to whatever Righ once commanded them. The Kingsguard serves as the army of Utand, defending its borders from all threats and sworn to serve the Ard-Righ of Utand alone, serving under a High Commander when the Granite Throne sits unoccupied. They operate primarily out of their great fortress in Stormwatch, but have forts and outposts throughout the country. The Druid’s Council is a more exclusive organization, accepting only Druids of exceptional skill and devotion to the spirits of the earth. They exist to ensure that Utand stays true to the ideas it was founded on, and are also sworn to ensure that the Ard-Righ does not descend into tyranny.
Politically, Utand’s only alliance is with Lethray, though this is likely only due to their mutual dislike of Callarea, the country with whom Utand’s relations have always been the most tense. They are completely neutral with the Kingdom of Norianir and Mostiyr, and have had no contact with Orur since the war between the two countries ended in 137 AU.
Favored Class: Due to the cultural differences between the five great clans, each of the Holds has their own favored class.
Eastmark – Ranger
Westmark – Bard
Highgreen – Druid
Altlan – Fighter
Greyfell – Barbarian
Religion: All deities are followed to some degree in Utand, but the core of the nation’s belief system revolves around the Heartmother, who is the guiding force behind the Druid Council. Clan Greyfell and the Kingsguard both have great reverence for Kethedrae as well.
Races: Utand is home to all races except Gnomes.
Human – The most common race in Utand, they are found in all five of the great holds.
Elf – Elves of all kinds are found in Utand, and while they can be found throughout they are most common in Westmark, Altlan and Highgreen.
Dwarf – Dwarves are most often found in the northernmost holds, Altlan and Greyfell. It is largely because of the Dwarves that Altlan has found such success, given their skill at the forge.
Half-Orc – Half-Orcs are a common sight throughout Utand, only slightly less frequently seen than Humans. This is only untrue in Greyfell, where they outnumber the humans by a slight margin.
Halfling – Halflings are the least common race in Utand (save the nonexistant Gnomes, of course), as their weaker constitution does not lend itself well to the harsh environment the country provides. When they are found, they are almost exclusively members of Clan Whitecrest.