The Black River Irregulars
The rugged western kingdom of Ord is a land with deep history and its own rich culture, but it is also a region that has often suffered in conflicts with more powerful neighbors. It lacks the natural resources of some great kingdoms, being a moody realm of foggy bogs, wet marshes, and backbreaking hilly farmland. Land-owning castellans maintain themselves on herds of cattle and horses, aloof from the masses struggling to put food on the table. The Ordic people are tough and not easily discomfited, though. They find diversion in song, gambling, and ale rather than dwelling on life’s inequities.
Ord’s people include Thurians in the south mixed with a larger majority who descend from the old kingdom of Tordor, famed for its powerful warships, and the lure of the sea is still strong among those who dwell here. Ord’s coastal cities are a sailor’s paradise, and the nation boasts the best mariners ever to live. The Ordic Royal Navy is counted a peer among those of western Immoren’s greater powers. The Ordic army is also highly respected despite its smaller size and outmoded weaponry compared to the northern and southern powers. Its soldiers are deemed as tough as trollkin and have courage to spare, but the poverty of Ord is reflected in its reliance on simpler gear and its heavy use of defensive tactics such as fixed cannon emplacements and exploiting the difficult local terrain against potential aggressors. Ord’s clever sovereign, King Baird II, has taken measures to improve Ord’s lot and spent the nation’s meager treasury to bolster both navy and army with certain advances, but remaining neutral in the larger wars is still deemed vital to the nation’s survival. Khador has often come snapping at Ord’s heels like a wolf after a deer, but Ordmen have long held their formidable borders and intend to avoid Llael’s fate by any means necessary.
Standing neutral has other advantages, as Ord’s merchant houses have benefitted from trade brought through the region between parties who might not otherwise be willing to interact. Certain towns in this nation have become favored haunts of mercenaries and sell-swords of all varieties. Similarly, refugees from war-torn lands often flee to Ord, bringing with them their talents and knowledge. For a nation lacking in natural wealth, the exchange of information has become its own industry.