Andantus, Jewel of the Steppes
Andantus is the mightiest kingdom of the eastern bay, and would likely have begun to pose a serious threat to even Remera if western agents were not constantly fomenting and supporting revolts to keep them occupied. Andantus is alone in the eastern bay in having tremendous mineral resources; it produces more iron than the entire western bay, in fact, and has such an enormous amount of gold that they can’t even use it as currency, resulting in a great deal of decorative goldwork even on middle-class houses.
Andantus’ government rules from the Spire, a massive basalt fortress whose origins are unknown even to the Andantian kings. The Spire is built on a massive confluence of elemental energy lines, which was what brought the first explorers here; the Andantian ruling family is descended in unbroken line from the sorcerer who first tapped the lines, and they are able to perform feats of magic that even the elven nations pay attention to. The Spire is not heavily populated; perhaps forty thousand people live and work there, and supplies and taxes are collected in outlying centers; the royal orchards and grain fields surrounding the Spire are impossibly productive; one glance at the plants leaves no doubt that the magic of the place is influencing their growth.
The primary urban centers of Andantus are Koltun, Nedent, and the great port of Kellereth. Kellereth’s massive dockyards receive an influx of trade from across the bay and produce warships in vast numbers. The Andantian navy does not produce ships of the same quality as those on the western bay, but their sheer numbers would make them a dominant power if the local pirates did not have hundreds of ships of their own. The governor of Kellereth has been making great efforts to uproot them, but she is too far from the center of governance to receive much attention and has had only limited success on her own.
Andantus is self-sufficient and is responsible for most of the Eastern half of the east-west bay trade. It has well-maintained, efficient roads, advanced irrigation systems, and comparatively little poverty; with the interior of the country doing so well, their ambitions inevitably turn outwards, and the Andantians have been slowly expanding their power across the eastern bay for centuries, though severely hampered by western assistance to their neighbors. The governments of Remera, Chara and Sobrin have been extremely careful about concealing their aid to Andantus’ enemies, as they fear economic retribution if their meddling is discovered. Mikash is too far away and too concerned with other matters, but Charan spies and assassins keep a close eye on Mikashi travelers to the east, fearful that they might intend to disrupt their operations simply to harm the competition.
Economy and Military:
In addition to enormous supplies of most metals known to humanity (silver being the only meaningful exception), Andantus has many quarries, vast, fertile plains, most of the horses in the entire bay region, and enormous quantities of textile-producing plantations. It has wide forests, which the sorcerer-kings keep growing at an accelerated pace, and it is beginning a transition towards machine power that has begun to greatly accelerate production processes.
The one major weakness of the Andantian economy is that they produce very little in the way of magical items. Magical talent is very sharply controlled, as anyone with sufficient power could, in theory, tap the energy lines of the Spire and challenge the king. Even clerical magic is severely curtailed, as a handful of especially religious kings discovered that divine magic could use the lines for fuel as well. As a result of the limits on clerical power, medicine is also a good deal more advanced in Andantus than elsewhere in the bay, though in the event of major disease outbreaks, the king will usually appear at the site himself and cure the people. In addition to being an extremely effective way to curtail plagues, this has made the kings of Andantus extremely popular.
The lack of magical items means the Andantian army is still heavily reliant on older methods of combat; lacking experience with mass-magic in combat, adoption of gunpowder weaponry has been equally slow, and the Andantians still use dense pike-and-crossbow formations and heavy cavalry, though their cavalry, at least, has begun evolving. Andantian armor and weapons are generally agreed to be the highest-quality in the bay, and there is a long tradition of the Andantian royal armory providing arms and armor for Remeran Grand Generals upon their election.