A Cage Without a Key
Mercade (pronounced MER – kayd, also known as the Kingdom of the White Rose) is an independent nation on the eastern coast of the continent, Aesnir (AYS – neer), bordering the Silver Sea. While historically embroiled in war with its neighbors, Mercade is enjoying an unprecedented period of peace.
With the signing of the Green Accord seventeen years ago (IR 1026), nearly eighty years of hostilities between Mercade and its western neighbor, Belden, came to an end with the promise of mutual defense against any common foe. Shortly after the signing of the accord, the border skirmishes and disputes between Mercade and its southern neighbor, Meraux (MER – oh), ended, with Mercade now able to call on Belden’s highland warriors.
Mercade is not without its enemies, even now. While Meraux has had its armies withdrawn from Mercade’s southern border for nearly two decades, there has never been a formal ceasefire agreement and Meraux has habitually turned away Mercade’s diplomats, more often than not with terse rebukes. Some say Meraux may be seeking out a military alliance with another kingdom in hopes of eventually reopening its front against Mercade.
To the north, over the Blackspur Mountains, the savage orc-filled land of Morhdoth (moor – DOTH) poses an ever-present danger to Mercade, though thankfully the orcs, goblins, and giants therein are far from organized and no single warlord poses any real threat to the kingdom’s stability – though a rumor persists that there is a particularly charismatic chief gaining loyalty with the acquisition of gnomish blasting-powder from far-away Irongate.
The largest threat to the country’s stability, however, is from within. With lasting peace, the country’s noble houses can now freely vie for power and influence. There are five noble houses, each with an agenda and the coin and manpower to see it through, and should any one side push to hard, civil strife could rear its ugly head.