Capital City: Korsendo
Government: Feudal Monarchy
Current Monarch: Prince Beoreth Blackhand
Major Religion: Traditional Sixlunds
Language: Eleren is the primary language spoken in Sen, as in the rest of the Sixlunds. However, Selmari is widely understood as well, Kasere, a local dialect of Eleren, is incredibly common, as is Eredar, the dialect of neighbouring Lithend.Sen is a small realm located to the northwest of Keledon and cradled by the western arm of the Ironfist Mountains. Although in many ways independent, the realm is a part of the western confederacy known colloquially as Sixlunds. As such, it is not ruled by a king but rather by a prince who, within the borders of his land, is a king in all but name. The realm is well-known for Sennish steel. The land is currently ruled by Beoreth Blackhand , Prince of Sen and Member of Grimjaws' Table .
The territory known as Southern Sen, which is now a part of Keledon, was never considered a great loss by the Sennish, as it is broken and rather barren land good for little.
The standard of the kingdom depicts an upright longsword against a field of black, patterned with a red chevron and cross. The black and red stand for the forges and smithies which have given the land its wealth and fame, and the sword represents the end producct, the famous Sennish steel , the secret of which's manufacture is known only to a select few smiths.
(A larger version of the map can be viewed here).
Sen is a hard and stony kingdom, nestled between the great peaks of the Ironfist Mountains and the lesser ones of the Lithendari. The eastern portion of the kingdom is dominated by foothills and rocky crags while the center is occupied largely by an old-growth forest called the Weepwood. The western edge of the realm contains the majority of Sen's arable land.
The land is watered by three rivers which rush violently down from the Ironfists. The largest of the three, the Stonewash, forms the border between Sen and Keledon. The other two eventually join the Stonewash and turn southwards into Keledon, and then the sea.
The eastern mountains are the greatest resource of the small kingdom. Rich lodes of tin, copper, silver and iron abound and the smelting and shaping of these metals provide the main source of economic engagement for the Senish people. The settlements of Eastvale and Narmarch prosper from a thriving mining and smithing industry but are reliant on food imported from other parts of Sen, and beyond.
The Weepwood occupies the central part of the realm. It is a large and tangled old growth forest; in some parts the trees are thick enough to block out the light of day. The people of Hartrest, a small town on the western side of the woods, scratch out their living through hunting, lumbering, and other related pursuits.
The soil of the kingdom is stony and poor, supporting meadows and rocky heathland. The small valley that cradles Korsendo is slightly better, as is the open land at the feet of the Lithendari. Wheat, bread cereals and vegetables are grown. The low levels of domestic foodstuffs combined with the cost of imported goods contributes to the low and slowly growing population.
Temperatures in Sen tend to be on the cooler side of temperate, due to its elevation. Winter storms are often fierce, rushing down from moutains on each end of Sen and clashing throughout the kingdom's center. Summers come on quickly and are warm, but brief.
Sen is a small kingdom, and its government suits it. A prince rules the land, for the only king in the region is he of the Sixlands. The prince does not gain the throne through inheritance but rather through the acclaim of the handful of noble houses that otherwise rule the land. The prince's appointment is generally for life. While the law permits any citizen of the realm to be acclaimed prince, in practice the ruler generally comes from one of the noble families.
There are few settlements larger than a village in the kingdom. Korsendo, the capital, is little more than a medium sized town and keep. It lies along the shores of Hared's
Run, the centermost of the land's three major rivers. Narmarch and Eastvale lie in the east of the realm; each is a small town serving essentially as a base for mining operations. Stonewatch, a fortress, lies along the Stonewash river and occupies high land overlooking the hills of Keledon beyond. The small market town of Baerford rests along the primary route into Keledon and serves as a hub of trade. Lastly, Hartrest sits between the Weepwood and the Lintheni border.
The crafting of swords and armour within Sen is a controlled one, and each smith is required to submit detailed reports concerning the output of their forges as well as the names of clients.
Order in the kingdom is maintained through a mobile guard under the authority of the prince's Master-at-Arms and individually within the holdings of the noble families by those families themselves. Local nobles act as judges and arbitrate in various disputes. The authority of the prince in judicial matters is absolute but new laws must be ratified by the council of nobles.
Legal penalties range from imprisonment to execution based on the severity of the offense. Servitude is sometimes imposed upon debtors.
Each of the noble houses of Sen retains a small force--as the population of the kingdom is scant there is little opportunity to recruit a standing army. Mercenaries are not uncommon, but are hired in large numbers only in troubled times. Small groups of infantry or cavalry are led by occassional knights. Due to the relatively small size of Sen it is possible to maintain a small force of patrolling horsemen. Groups of mounted warriors often "make the round", travelling around the borders of the kingdom in a great ring around the central forest.
The small forces that do exist tend to be well equipped due to the kingdom's mineral wealth but have been offered little formal training.
The people of Sen are a hardy folk, often grim and strong due to rough lives of labour. Men grow long moustaches and usually allow their hair to grow as well. Women wear their hair long as well, in various styles that are often stress comfort and practicality. A hard life has made for a hard working and hard partying people. On the occassions when the Sennish are able to cut loose and relax they often fall to brawling and arguing, all of which is generally forgotten the next day. Despite the rowdiness, the Sennish hold personal honour in very high regard and consider little more valuable than one's reputation for honesty, fair-dealing, and hospitality.
The Sennish in general have no time for idle chatter or what they see as hollow pleasantries--asking a stranger, "how are you?" is often considered trite and insincere. Similarly public discussion of others' affairs is frowned upon, as is open discussion of family and religious matters.
The Sennish are divided into several clans, each of which exists under the patronage of one of the Noble Houses. Indeed, the Houses themselves originated as noble bloodlines within the clans. The clans are fairly well restricted to the domains of their lieges; open strife between them is rare, though it was far more common in generations past.
Sennish PCs would most likely be fighters, bards, or clerics. Magic is little loved among the Sennish and a strong personal and cultural emphasis on honour tend to prevent thieves.
There are few large ceremonies or rituals within Sen. Most Senish follow their traditional faith, which closely resembles that of Keledon. However the Senish lack a Druidic class. The Nobles fill the judicial roles and village healers the medical ones. Senish religion, then, is based around a series of folk tales and epics that often involve the national hero, Jorym the Grim, and his encounters with spirits of the wild and mythical creatures that dwell within the mountains. The Senish build no churches or temples, but there are holy places found within the kingdom. Some of these are stone circles or carved pillars, often found in remote areas; others are found at the sites of great carvings in the foothills of the Ironfists. Most Senish carry a small pouch containing carved figures representing their ancestors, Jorym the Grim, and spirits associated with their work, life or desires (all of these pouches contain a rough depiction of Cloud-Cap, the great spirit of the mountain of the same name). Among the poor these pouches are often very simple affairs, carved roughly from bits of wood or stone. The wealthy and the nobility often carry small effigies of gold and other precious gems, secreted away in silken pouches. The Senish veneration of their ancestors is reflected in the clan groupings. Each clan feels itself bound to the others following the same liege; marriage between members of brother clans are common while those that cross clan groups are considerably rarer (though not forbidden).
The Senish cremate their dead, believing that the spirit is freed only with the destruction of the body. Criminals or the despised may be denied the pyre. This doesn't prevent them from reaching the afterlife but rather delays their journey by centuries.