Government Type: Kingdom, Hereditary. Current king, Gerard Verland, a cousin of the former king is a solid man of middle years, a veteran of the last Orc-Horde war, and stable in mind, marriage and money. He has only been king for a few months. There was a recent upheaval which resulted in the suspicious deaths of two previous kings. Edmund Verland, nephew of the former king, was only king for 10 months, one of the shortest reigns in history. He was apparently led into dark magics by a manipulative baroness, but at the last minute, found his courage and sacrificed himself to stop a horrible ritual and save the kingdom. The previous king, Aloysius Verland, reigned for more than twenty years and was a popular and effective leader. He died of a wasting disease that took the lives of a dozen or so of the upper echelon of Verland society.
Other Nobles: The king grants land to able men and women who can hold it and pay taxes. Although they vary in size and power, they use the standard term barony. There are currently 23 baronies in the kingdom. All other land, which is A LOT of untamed wilderness is technically owned by the king.
History: Founded 218 years ago by a warlord from the south named Axel Verland, the land was a patchwork of small realms controlled by all types of creatures; kobolds, goblins, bugbears, gnolls, elves, gnomes, and many other monsters. Axel led a group of about 1,000 followers to the region from the kingdoms in the south and carved out a home in the central part of the country where two rivers came together. He founded the city of Ellium, named after his deceased wife, who had died in childbirth years before. To date, the line of Axel is unbroken, although the family is not large.
Politics: When Axel Verland first arrived in the region, there were several small, ancient, and beleaguered enclaves of elves and gnomes in addition to the dwarves of the Ice Maw Mountains. At first, Axel had a hard time making any of these groups his allies. However, the first great orc incursion from the Ultek Steppes changed that. Although orc warlords had risen before, the various demi-human groups had never seen a horde so well organized or armed. With the very real threat of being overwhelmed, the groups joined together and repelled the orc invasion. Today, the elf, dwarf, gnome, and human nations form a loose confederation. Technically, the elf and gnome nations lie within the borders of the land claimed by the King of Verland, but they are autonomous kingdoms of their own. The dwarf lands lie within the Ice Maw Mountains, but many younger dwarves have moved into human towns over the last century or so. To the east is the great orc Horde. They are led by a Warlord who always has his sights set on the fertile lands of Verland; as the years pass, the orc attacks get larger and better organized each time. To the south, the delta is home to the lizard folk; very little is known about their government or society, although those humans who live in the southern reaches of Verland must constantly watch out for lizard man raids.
Modern Day: The Kingdom of Verland is still a frontier, although the human population has grown steadily and many towns and villages have been formed. The capital is, of course, Ellium, a thriving city of 30,000 souls. A true feudal society, each barony has a town and keep or castle and controls the lands around it. The rare independent village is usually overrun by monsters before it can get established. Besides the dangers of the wilderness, there is the constant threat of another Orc Horde invasion.