Keatland is centered upon many trading routes and is the most successful and prosperous kingdom. Through many years of conquest, the Keats have claimed a vast territory and the fealty of many independent kingdoms including: Velmark, Hofland, and Haerland. Most of Keatlands resources come from within their great realm, though stone and ore is imported from Velmark. Hofland pays a tribute to Keatland in the form of horses and some livestock, while Haerland is their primary source of timber. The Keats are an industrious people and often accepting of other cultures.
Basic Values and Prejudices
The Keats are a proud and goodly people who try to uphold a set of basic moral values. Belonging to the largest kingdom in Rysylis has its merits and consequences. The laws set forth by the current ruling king is strictly enforced by his vassals and their sheriffs. Keats tend to believe they belong to a superior culture, which often causes conflicts with other, less civilized, societies, mainly the Norians. Due to their love of kin and country, Keats will suffer no foreign enemies to invade Keatland without a fight.
Keats follow commonsense laws such as: no stealing, no murdering, etc. Most of these are punishable by flogging, time spent in stockades or jail, and dismemberment if the crime is particularly heinous. Treason is one of the only crimes punishable by death (usually hanging).
Male children raised in Keatland often follow only two different paths: servitude or military. If a male child is raised in a poor home, the parents will usually offer the child to an established noble for training and education. In return the parents are given a small stipend and some mention of recognition within the community. Those that are raised in servitude often follow their father's chosen career, such as: farming, fishing, haberdashery, cobbling, mining, blacksmithing, etc.
Female children are almost always raised to follow their mother's given role. Women are rarely trained in the art of combat and those that are, are usually not allowed to serve in the military. Women who are not satisfied with a career as a seamstressoften learn herb-lore and leech-craft.
Keatland follows a loose feudal monarchy, with a king at the head. Earls, or Ealdormen, help control the population by governing on a smaller scale, though always carrying out the king's laws and edicts. Earls employ land-owning knights, or thegns, to carry out and enforce their orders. At the very bottom are the ceorls, or free-man, who maintain the earl's land and earn a wage through some sort of service. The earls pay fealty to the king in form of promised military aid. Some earls require their male commoners to serve in the military for at least a year, though this is not the norm.
Males in Keatland are held slightly higher in terms of power and influence. In the family males are considered the head of the household and take responsibilities to defend the family, earn wages, provide shelter and food, and make the final decisions on household matters. Most men in Keatland spend a season in the military, whether serving as a town guard or in the king's army, though it is not required.
Females in Keatland are tough and strong-willed, but they usually except their position in authority under men. In the family females are responsible for raising and disciplining children in their youth. They take care of all household chores such as: cooking, cleaning, gathering fruits and vegetables, and garment repair.
Keats are not held down by a severe class structure, allowing anyone opportunities at wealth and power. While it may be difficult for a poor farmer to gain status and power, it is possible because they are not restricted by bloodlines. Only the king himself is chosen by bloodline.