The Suel had been migrating to this area for centuries before the Twin Cataclysms. These people were mostly lowborn peasantry of the Suel Imperium, but dissidents were also among their number, seeking to avoid imperial eyes. Mostly they sought a peaceful existence and did not venture far when they entered the Flanaess. They settled the high valleys between the Jotuns and the Tors and mingled freely with the local Flan inhabitants. These new lands extended as far as the Javan River and were well explored. Explorers among these settlers had established mining communities and scouting outposts decades before the great migrations took place and these became small but notable settlements, such as Melkot in the Tors and Alran on the coast of Jeklea Bay. But these lands were still of little importance to the Imperium and no attention was paid to them.
Oeridians also migrated into the area and settled there. These newcomers were readily accepted by the inhabitants as long as they did not infringe on the lands or rights of those already living there.
In the century following the Great Migrations, a powerful Suel mage conquered these lands and subjugated the people. This tyrannical wizard was known as LordAsberdies and had emerged from the Dreadwood some years after the terrible destruction of the infamous House Malhel. Asberdies reign was nothing more than a vain attempt to resurrect the Imperium. His outrages eventually grew unbearable and the people rose up and overthrew him.
In the aftermath of this securing of their independence, the citizen-warriors realized that they had formed the frame work of a new government. They elected spokesmen who in turn appointed leaders to direct the affairs of the new realm. These elected men came to be known as Grosspokesmen and they created the office of Freeholder, essentially an administrator elected to run the government, the military and to conduct foreign policy.
Approximately two centuries later (-96 CY) these leaders met with representatives of the Kingdom of Keoland to discuss a possible merger of the two realms. The Grosspokesmen and Freeholder were welcomed as members of the Council of Niole Dra and treated as peers within the greater realm. All went well for four centuries, the Yeomanry's military was influential in aiding King Tavish I in his efforts to conquer the Pomarj and the southern lands that eventually became the Hold of the Sea Princes.
But this cooperation ended suddenly during the reign of Tavish II, when the wars turned from being defensive in nature to outright aggression. In 361 CY the Yeomanry withdrew its forces from keoish armies and closed its borders. Reconciliation between the two nations was only achieved over a century later when Tavish IV recognized the Yeomanry's complete independence. The Yeomanry has enjoyed a more peaceful existence since that time.
Some dozen years ago a cavernous bore was found at the foot of the Crystalmists in the western end of the realm. This tunnel supposedly pierces the mountain range and leads all the way to the Sea of Dust. The lost, but newly found, Passage of Slerotin has brought much unwanted attention to the Yeomanry as hordes of adventurers, fortune seekers and worse flock to the realm.
This activity is located approximately 12 miles from the city of Westburn. A new town has been built at that location called Dark Gate, the activity is centered around the town and a frontier economy exist there. In 590 CY adventurers appeared in Dark Gate baring strange armor made of some unknown black metal, which disintegrated within days. As significant as all of this is, Freeholder Lindon is more concerned with other matters of import.
Giants from the Jotens now raid and threaten the capital city of Loftwick and the Freeholder is fearful that the Yeomanry might suffer in the same manner as the March of Sterich and the Grand Duchy of Geoff.
Wastrian clerics have appeared in the Hool Marshes and are suspected of raiding as far north as the Little Hills.
Numerous refuges from the Hold of the Sea Princes are proving a problem and causing troubles for southern landholders.
Some 2500 Yeomanry mercenaries are still employed by Keoland and the Freeholder wants them recalled, a move to which Keoland strongly objects. Keoland has made many veiled threats against the Yeomanry, and the possibility of war is something that has been thought about for years. The only thing keeping the Yeomanry from being swallowed by Keoland is that the Principality of Ulek, one of the Yeomanry's staunchest allies, lies just east of Keoland.
The tension with Keoland also stems from the fact that Keoland did not support the Yeomanry League during the Greyhawk Wars, when the Yeomanry was invaded by a massive force of giants.
All thirty-two inhabitants of a small village ten miles from Dark Gate disappeared two months ago with no clue as to their abductors or where they may have been taken.
The modern Yeomanry is located in the southwestern portion of the Flanaess. It is nestled entirely within a broad basin bounded by the Jotens to the north, the Crystalmist Mountains to the west and south, and the Little Hills to the east. The valley passage between the Little Hills and the Tors leads directly into the Hool Marshes. A long cave system know as "the Passage of Slerotin" tunnels its way under the Hellfurnaces mountain range for over 200 miles, stretching all the way from the Yeomanry town of Dark Gate, to the Sea of Dust.
As of 591 CY, the most populous towns are Loftwick (pop. 8,400), Longspear (pop. 7,700), Farvale (pop. 4,400), North Reach (pop. 3,700), and Westburn (pop. 2,500).
As of 591 CY, the population of the Yeomanry totaled 305,900 persons, almost 80% being humans of Suel and Oeridian descent. Halflings(predominatly Stouts) make up the next largest group (9%), followed by elves (5%), dwarves (3%), and gnomes (2%), while half-elves, and half-orcs make up the remainder of the population (at 1% each).
The most popular deities among the Yeomanry's citizens are Phaulkon, Heironeous, Allitur, Fortubo, Fharlanghn, Trithereon, Zilchus,Delleb, Joramy, Norebo, Kord, as well as the halfling and dwarven pantheons.
The most widely-spoken languages found in the Yeomanry include Common, Keolandish, Halfling, and Elvish.
The Yeomanry is a Democratic Republic, ruled by His Steadfastness, Marius Lindon. This "ruler" is called "the Freeholder," and is the "Spokesman for the Yeomanry League." The Freeholder is an elected official who is the "executive" branch of the government, he conducts diplomacy, negotiates treaties and commands the military. The Council of Common Grosspokemen is the "parlimentary" branch handling all legislative matters; all adult citizens who have performed military service for the state, or are gainfully employed, have the right to vote, regardless of race or gender.
The national capital is Loftwick.
Administrative Divisions Edit
The state is divided into five High Districts (which are centered around the largest towns and their governed domains) and thirty-one Low Districts (made up of the more rural areas and their scattered villages).
The Yeomanry's coat of arms is blazoned thus: Argent, three spears pilewise meeting in point gules.
Foodstuffs and cloth are the major industry in the Yeomanry, though silver and gem stones play their part. The city of Longspear, on the eastern border, is the major trading center. Most foreign visitors and traders pass through Longspear and much commerce is conducted here as most of the nation's excess goods pass through this city as well.
The Yeomanry is noted for producing a variety of foodstuffs, cloth, silver, and very high quality gems.
The Yeomanry's standard coinage consists of the gold "freegold" (gp), the electrum "halfgold" (ep), the silver "silver" (sp), and the copper "common" (cp).
The Yeomanry's army consists of heavy polearms, lighter spearmen, crossbowmen and slingers. The greater freeholders provide small calvary contingents. The demi-humans also provide troops as they are also electors of the land; Elvish spearmen and bowmen, dwarvish mailed foot and halfling light troops all sally forth when the Yeomanry is mustered.