Flannary is the the second largest nation of the mainland, and is an expansive pastoral land dominated by agriculture. The majority of the population work in this agricultural industry, tending crops and raising livestock on massive manors owned by a small noble population. Flannary is a highly centralized nation, run by a hereditary monarch, where virtually all wealth is concentrated in a small number of noble houses. It also has a strong religious tradition, and is home to a powerful but independent sect of the Alexandrian Church.
Government and Politics
Though the Flannarian government has its roots in feudal tradition, the government itself is deeply centralized. Virtually all of the power and wealth is controlled by hereditary noble houses who reside in one of a small number of large, cosmopolitan urban centers, who act as absentee landlords for the numberless peasants who toil the Flannari fields, while the rest of society has internalized feudal divisions, leading to a rigid, class-based culture.
First and foremost among these noble houses is the House of Veromii, who trace their lineage directly to Hadrian Ubrekt. The Veromii have controlled Flannary since its inception, and some tie to Veromii blood is critical to any claim of legitimacy. There also exist a handful of other major noble houses, usually tied to guilds and production, as well as as dozens of minor noble houses who control Flannari agriculture. These noble houses are the exclusive landowners in Flannary, and each house maintains strict control over all goods produced on their lands. In practice, they maintain a similar level of control over the people that live on these lands as well--very few members of the Flannarian populace own anything at all, and many are legally forbidden to leave the land they were born on. Thus, the individual quality of life is dictated exclusively by the nobles they live under.
Beyond the noble houses, the only other significant power broker in Flannary is the clergy, and the regional episcopacies of Flannary are uniformly wealthy and powerful. As the Veromii line, through Hadrian Ubrekt, are Divine Blooded, the Emperor of Flannary has always claimed to rule by divine right, and thus has always maintained a close relationship with religious authority. While the Church owns little in terms of land, it has wielded its considerable social power to acquire significant wealth, especially through Monopoly of the Vices. Noble houses are all expected to employ a large number of religious consultants, tutors, and ministers, and host for a large number of elaborate ceremonies on their lands, which is easily accomplished, as almost all instruction is conducted through religious institutions, up through the University of Flannary, which was officially given over to the Flannari Episocpacy in 212 FI. Virtually all nobles are expected to educate their children (and pay tuition) at this university.
Economics and Industry
Flannary is considered the breadbasket of the mainland, and is a massive supplier of grain and meat to most of its neighbors. Much of the mainland, even their bitter enemy Fresia, depends on Flannarian grain to support their population. There are also a number on industries centered around products and byproducts of agriculture. They export a number of fine leather clothing goods (but not armor) and cheeses that produced from their livestock populations. Another major industry in Flannary is the production and export of wine and brandy. Indeed, it is said that Flannari perfumers were the first to discover the secret of its manufacture. Finally, expertise in distilling and copious animal tallow allows for the manufacture a number of fine scented soaps, perfumes and candles, which are prized throughout the world.
Flannary is also renowned for the production of elaborately worked luxury goods that are demanded by the exacting royalty. These items include, but are not limited to, clothing, crafted goods, and furniture, and to a lesser extent jewelry. The raw materials for these goods are notably not produced in Flannary, and are instead imported from other nations. However, they are constructed and decorated in Flannary, and exported to nobles and sophisticates throughout the world. These items not particularly well-made or resilient: Flannari luxury goods typically require significantly more care, maintenance, and attention than other goods. Their value comes instead from elaborate and expensive decorations, complicated patterns, and bright colors and dyes used in their construction.
History and Culture
Flannarian royals consider themselves to be descendants of the leaders of an old, sophisticated, and considerably pre-Ubrekti nation. Indeed, they claim relation to the same divine parentage of Hadiran Ubrekti himself. History supports this claim to some extent, and the Veromii family was one of few to join the Ubrekti Empire through diplomatic and filial ties, and not military conquest. Within the Ubrekti Empire, the Vermoii family maintained significant power and authority over the eastern lands of the empire. The nation of Flannary gained its independence in 1429 BI when Julianna Veromii was given Imperium of the East when the Ubrekti Empire was divided into two administrative halves, a position which she held for ten years, when she declared herself the Empress of the East and started the First War of Fracture (also called the Ubrekti Civil War). After 25 years of war, a settlement was reached that left all of the eastern mainland, save for Ubrekt retaining control of Hakrinel (Hakan Province) as a colony. For the next hundred years, the Veromii family controlled without significant political opposition, though a successive number of uprisings and their brutal repression finally led, in 1340 BI, to the Fresian Uprising, also known as the Second War of Fracture, which lasted for 55 years, leading to roughly the modern borders observed today. (though the Flannary/Fresia border is contested to this day)
The Flannarians of today take their ancient filial ties seriously, and see themselves as the long-standing pinnacle of art, culture, and achievement in the world. The prevailing opinion is that this status has been maintained through strict adherence to tradition and social norms, and both have a strong influence on modern Flannarian society. As such, etiquette, ritual, fashion, holidays, piety, filial responsibility, and bloodlines are critically important. Flannarians are also expected to keep the same homes and professions of their parents, and social mobility is highly stratified and restricted: nobles are expected to attend university and network, artisans pass down their trades through church-sponsored trade schools, and the poor work the land they were born on.
Daily life in Flannary is highly dependent on social status. The wealthy spend the majority of their time socializing, networking, and intermarrying through elaborate parties, hunts, and ceremonies. Religious figures spend much of their time administering and maintaining the traditions of the nation through education, adherence to tradition, and historical documentation. Craftsmen, servants, and the poor, on the other hand, spend virtually all of their time laboring to meet the demands of the nobles. Their only respite comes through the elaborate holiday celebrations, morality plays, and religious education and observances.
Opinions on Flannary vary widely. Nobles and sophisticates worldwide are envious of the high fashion, culture, and blessed life of Flannarian royalty. Many others, however, see Flannarians as inflexible and extremely arrogant, and more concerned with pretense and appearance than any more noble quality. The fiercest and most critical opinions are reserved for Fresians, whose reverence for resilience, rugged individualism, and practicality clashes fundamentally with the pretense and frivolity of Flannarian culture and has fueled centuries of conflict between the two nations.