The River Kingdoms
The River Kingdoms were once an elven domain. Now a loose collection of states ranging from anarchy to military dictatorship, the Kingdoms are full of stubborn and adaptable people. Their chaotic nature, however, makes it unsurprising that they have been unable to definitively lay claim to the Stolen Lands. Still, there are always ambitious souls looking to carve out new lands for themselves. The fact that few survive such attempts only serves to keep competition low.
The River Kingdoms are defined by the River Freedoms, adopted about 90 years ago at the first Outlaw Council, the formation and yearly meetings of which are the only things that really mark the River Kingdoms as a single entity.
- Say What You Will, I Live Free – Freedom of speech, if not freedom from the consequences of what you say. When treated with respect by those who invoke it this is a powerful Freedom, allowing for criticism of the government. This is occasionally trampled upon, but in the long run, those who wish to hold a River Kingdom let critics have their say publicly.
- Oathbreakers Die – There is a distinction drawn between petty lies and oath-breaking. Most regions have key phrases that make an oath semi-official, such as “My freedom is my bond.” When invoking such phrases, it is in one’s interest to stand by the words… presuming one wishes to continue breathing.
- Walk Any Road, Float Any River – No one is allowed to charge Riverfolk any sort of toll or block travel by land or river in any way. There are whispers of the horrid things that befall those who openly flaunt this, including the tale of Heibarr. That said, several of the River Kingdoms look for unofficial ways to get around this restriction.
- Courts Are For Kings – The ruler of a kingdom may do as he wishes. Anyone in his land must obey him, even visiting royalty. (River Kingdom rulers rarely meet in person because of this.)
- Slavery Is An Abomination – Self-explanatory and straightforward. In some regions this extends to include indentured servitude. Some estimate that a third of the population of the River Kingdoms is made up of escaped slaves, for nowhere else is their new-found freedom so adamantly secure.
- You Have What You Hold – If you can take it by force, it’s yours. But you had better be certain you have the strength to hold it. This freedom does not include sneaking theft, such as burglary. The robbery must be open, a declaration of that strength. Still, there are those who argue that wits are a manner of strength and ignore the braggadocio that is supposed to be required in these matters.