Thieves & Kings
The Free-State of Westwind - The Emerald Realm
The Free-State of Westwind, or “The Emerald Realm”, is a uniquely matriarchal state, nestled high in the rugged fastness of the Beast Shards. The realm is held by a handful of powerful clans whose women are trained to arms from birth, and who are renowned for their martial prowess. Jealous of its borders, Westwind maintains a strong military force (including a small navy which patrols and dominates High Peaks Lake), and possesses the only source of high-grade steel and coal to be found outside the realm of the Kingdom of Azadmere.
Westwind was originally a small mining community, beset by marauding Tauri when it was conquered by the Coranik Imperium nearly 300 years ago. Unable to make the mines produce their potential, it was turned over to a woman of the Imperial court who complained bitterly that if women had power, they could vastly improve the Empire. Tiring of her prattle, and expecting she would die on the end of a Tauri spear, he named her governor of the province of Chelimar. To everyone’s amazement, she took several of the like-minded women of his court, and made a success of the province within a year. A decade later, she boldly declared independence, and her successors have always maintained it, despite constant raids by the neighboring Tauri and pressures from outside the mountains, both Imperial and otherwise.
Foreigners are rarely welcomed here, and most trade is done by local clans and a few specially licensed Iberian trade costers. The bulk of local trade is iron, weapons and armour, all closely governed by the Clan Council, which meets every winter to decide who will receive their tools of war, most of which winds up in the hands of the armies of the Border Kingdoms.