Remath

A small northern kingdom, its main accesses are a Cineran controlled highway
from the south and a Iridine controlled trading port to the north. Over the
past few decades, the rulers of Remath have witnessed Cinera's growing power
as five equally small states have been annexed by their ambitious neighbor.
The Remathen work ceaselessly to avoid such a fate at the hands of the
Cineran warlords and therefore cultivate strong ties with the Republic of
Iridine to maintain a balance of power. The resourcefulness of the Remathen
and their capacity of adapting quickly to any changes in current affairs,
have helped them in assuring a balance in the influence of Iridine and
Cinera while maintaining their own independence.

Culture

Remathens value resiliency and resourcefulness above all things. They have
great respect and admiration for those who show a wide range of adaptability
and creativity. The people of Remath have little skill or interest in feats
of arms but make up for this with their great abilities in observing and
analyzing. Remathens make accomplished foresters and herbalists but the
national passion rests in their interest in diplomacy and trade. Indeed,
Remath's wealth rests on the success of her merchants, while her continued
freedom rest in her diplomats who are second to none. It is not rare to see
a Remathen merchant act as a diplomat, while the contrary is most certainly
true also. Many skills are greatly appreciated in Remath: they have promoted
to the status of science the art of spycraft and many of her herbalists have
specialized in poisons, sedatives, and charms. Although seeming upright and
noble to outsiders, given their talent at dissimulation and deflection, they
are not above using shadier means to gain their goals.

Remathen are patient and thoughtful, not given to rash judgement or actions.
That is not to say they are slow, the people of Remath are confident and
decisive, but they will not be pushed into foolish ventures. Of course what a
Remathen considers foolish or unattainable might differ greatly from what
their neighbors think. Remathens will bend and sway easily with the tides
but they are broken only with difficulty.

The constant threat of being swallowed whole by Cinera or Iridine
notwithstanding, Remath is among the more popular ports of Midlight. The
people of Remath are very friendly to all strangers alike and have shown a
great skill in languages through the years. It is not rare to meet a
Remathen who speaks, to various degrees of fluency, four or even five
languages. As stated before, they tend to follow careers in either
woodslore, herbalism or trading. Diplomacy and intrigue is practiced by all
and starting at a very young age. Indeed, to the people of Remath, the games
of power are exactly that, a game. A great game that spans all lands and all
people and whose only masters are these inhabitants of a small kingdom.
Needless to say thieves thrive in this environment, but only the smartest
survive. Any citizen of the kingdom or strangers caught in a crime (or some
would say stupid enough to get caught) must face the very harsh and rigid
Royal justice. The sentences are normally heavy fines but can be as high as
exile or execution once the crime has been scrutinized. There are always
ways to prevent ones actions from becoming public, but once they do, status
and wealth no longer offer any protection.

Exports

The jewel of Remathan exports are the products from the SETSINE PINE.
The Setsine pine grows nowhere else, and its care and harvesting is treated
very carefully by the Remathan government. The tree is grown on small farms
and its products are carefully harvested. Wild Setsine is held in a carefully
preserved area, its products can only be taken by deadfall. The wild resin
can only be gathered by hand, no metal is permitted near the trees. The
harvesters of Wild Setsine must bear a charter from the monarch.

The resin is a critical ingredient in local wine making and in expensive
perfumes. The needle tips can be ground and made into an incense of
astounding pungency and reputed to be efficacious in assisting persons
with breathing difficulties. The wood of the mature tree, when harvested and
properly dried does not succumb to dry-rot and can be used as a nearly
permanent pier footing or in other conditions where it will be exposed to
extremes of wet and dry.

Setsine products are exported in several forms, dried, purified resin sold by
the grain or the half grain. 1 grain sells in Iridine for 20 gold cents.
Setsinella (purified resin dissolved in alcohol) is sold by the ounce. One
ounce of pure Setsinella cost 8 gold cents. All export of Setsine products
is strictly regulated by the government.

SOZAT is a flowering bush with long deadly thorns. Rural Remathans often use
the thorn as sewing needles. The flower has a strong, spicy scent,
characterized as both sweet and piercing. All parts of the plant are of use,
the flowers can be made into a tea good for easing head-ache, or used to make
perfume. The fresh leaves are ground fine and mixed with first-pressed olive
oil then spread thin on marble slabs to dry. The mix, when dried and powdered
becomes a pale green pigment, used in both cosmetics and textiles. Sozat sap,
when dried and powdered becomes a dark green pigment. The root can be used
medicinally for breathing ailments. In the wild, this bush grows in close
proximity to the Setsine pine and can be easily found by scent alone.

ROSES of all kinds are cultivated in Remath, and there is an annual rose
competition to determine the most beautiful of the years crop. Even the
humblest family can boast one or two rose bushes either in their yard, or
one of the specially bred indoor varieties. Rose petals are used in both
perfumery and in the manufacture of pigments. The Remathan Rose is a plant
both beautiful and useful in all of its parts. In the wild it is a thorned
and flowering bush, and is considered the sister plant to the Sozat. The
blossom is a dark red verging on black.

THREE or MOONSLIGHT is a costly perfume produced only by House Tuvalis. Its
exact recipe is secret, the only known ingredients are Setsine, Sozat, and
Rose. The perfume is said to enhance the beauty and desirability of the
wearer, and is sought after by the very richest of the rich. No more than
six vials are ever exported in a year, and the cost to purchase is
prohibitively expensive.

Remathen Noble Houses

Remath is led by the great Condaia family. Under this dynasty, four other
families struggle for power and influence among themselves. All Remathens
offer allegiance to one or the other of these controlling powers, though
that loyalty is by no means assured or constant. For this reason the citizens
of Remath are often perceived, especially by Altenes, as flighty and
untrustworthy. Their response to this is usually a good humored laugh.

House CONDAIA : The noblest family of the Kingdom and uninterrupted leader
for 300 years from the time of Makissa in line down to Alinissa. They are
rumored to have a web of intelligence spanning the whole known world, to
which they add tremendous skills as diplomats and negotiators. The family
is further recognized for the physical beauty of its leading members.

House SETARINE : A very well-known family, especially in Iridine and the
Aestivan League. Their caravans spiderweb most lands and all the important
markets. They are the bankers of Remath and their wealth is beginning to be
subject of legends in their own time.

House METSIN : A very ambitious family and currently third in Remathen
hierarchy. They are the closest thing the Cinerans have as allies in Remath,
a relationship both have found beneficial up to now. Other houses consider
Metsins as the most arrogant of their members, and they are often found in
the center of controversy. In the last 50 years, only three individuals have
been exiled from Remath, all three were from House Metsin.

House ORIEN : The seafarers of Remath. Slowly but surely they are building
up Remathen presence on the wide blue sea. Their activities up until now have
revolved around peaceful trading, as they attempt to counter the immense
Iridine presence in the port. Because of the Oriens, Remathen are very slowly
forging themselves a reputation as sailors.

House TUVALIS : The youngest and least important of the major houses. They
have only risen to prominence in the past century. Unlike their counterparts
in the other houses they have not specialized in some kind of trade or
diplomacy. The specialty of House Tuvalis is the making of perfumes. Some of
their perfumes are renowned to have quite unusual effects. For this reason
they are exported throughout the world for very high returns.

Remathen Personalities

Out of the five ascendant Remathen Noble Houses, a few individuals have
established themselves as the leaders of this tiny nation.

ALINISSA Condaia : Third of the name, Queen of Remath. She has been ruling
now for 35 years, and her political control has only increased over that
time, as well as the respect she commands from foreigners and citizens alike.
She is a skilled negotiator, blessed with tremendous charm. Her handling of
the recent war between Iridine and Cinera was considered brilliant as she
maintained order at home during the crisis, negotiating with the Cinerans to
forestall an attack. She has two children, both of which have recently
reached an age where they are called upon to start to make their mark in
Remathen society.

MAKISSA Condaia : Youngest child of the Queen, but her eldest daughter; as
such she is heir apparent. Named after the founder of this dynasty, much hope
is placed in her. So far she is growing up to be her mother's equal.

JASSEN Setarine : Head of the house and one of the Queen's advisors. His
greatest claim to fame is the rumor that he is the richest man alive, he of
course deflects these suggestions by always appearing in modest attire. As
the years accumulate for him, he appears less and less frequently in public,
usually only when the Queen needs his assistance.

CULOS Tuvalis : Was trained in his youth to be an herbalist. For years now he
is rumored to be responsible for the divine essences the House has produced
in perfumes. In true Remathen fashion Culos has travelled the world and for
this his wisdom is well respected by the Queen. Unfortunately the other
Houses still consider him a minor player in Remathen politics.

ROGIAS AMERTON : Rogias is a Cineran and current consort of the Queen. The
story goes that he was ordered to seize Remath once and for all by his
brother, a warlord of Cinera. Fully confident in his might, he granted the
trapped Remathen one last wish, this turned out to be a private audience
with the Queen. What happened in those chambers, the story doesn't say, but
Remath was never invaded and Rogias has since married Alinissa. He is said
to be happy in his new position and entirely loyal to his wife. His
heritage makes him an invaluable ally even though he is no longer in Cinera.

Remathen Politics

Once a struggling city-state, Remath has embraced the monarchy for over 300
years now and is still led by the same ruling family (the longest such
period of uninterrupted sovereignty in all the known lands). The whole
kingdom of Remath is little more than its city, an encircling forest, and a
few fields. The length of her southern land border is occupied by Cinera,
who also controls the only land access of importance. Remath's northern
border is sea, this being controlled by the numerous Iridinian trading
vessels and war galleys. Despite these two obvious powers on her doorstep,
the only true rulers of Remath are Remathens themselves. Currently sitting
at the head of this small kingdom is Serenissima Alinissa Condaia.

Remath is a matriarchal state being ruled by a queen (referred to as
Serenissima or Most Serene). It has only happened once in Remath's history
that a king sat the throne, and he only did so until the majority of his
eldest daughter. The ruler of Remath is arguably one of the most influential
individuals in all the lands, but she works equally hard at diffusing that
belief as she does in maintaining Remathen independence from grasping
powers.

Remathen Religion

In matters of religion, Remath follows the faith of Ereal. In general they
show no great aptitudes for the clerical callings, a Remathen priest is a
rare sight, but they follow no other pagan faith. A peculiarity of Remathens
is that they are among the most generous donors to the various cults of
Ereal, including the Soldiers. A venture in trade might warrant a gift to
the Revealing Light sect, while a diplomatic mission to Cinera would see a
gift being made to the sect of Nurturing Light. Upon their death bed it is
not uncommon to make large donations to the Bright Hope sect in hopes they
can intercede for them with the God and make ones transfer to the afterlife
smoother.

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