High Adventure by the Saltless Sea
Greater Mercantile Kingdom
The Greater Mercantile Kingdom was the brainchild of Duke Branis Beltin, roughly eight hundred and fifty years ago. Beltin was seventh in line for the throne of Durn, a trading nation on the Saltless Sea, and by unifying his nation with traditional rivals Gor, Stilldale and Brangia to form the Kingdom – while simultaniously conducting a campaign of blackmail and assassination – he managed to become ruler of something much greater.
Beltin soon added the neighbouring nations of Pestle, Drobar, Udon and the Scour to the Kingdom for their ability to produce raw and finished materials. Finally, the eight member countries conquered the less-developed human and humanoid nations surrounding them, as a source of slave labour. Of the continent’s peoples, only the Western mountain kingdom of Stormburg resisted the Greater Mercantile Kingdom’s military or economic dominance.
Beltin and his heirs reigned for two and a half centuries in peace and prosperity before the first slave revolt. Though it was suppressed harshly, this uprising seemed to be a catalyst, and the next hundred years was marked by dozens of revolts, border skirmishes between member states, coups and massacres. Finally things reached a crisis point and over a week-long period the entire continental area of the Kingdom erupted into violence. Though five hundred years have passed and the population of the continent has dropped by nine-tenths, the warfare has not ended – each remaining tribal group is at war with at least a dozen others and most hate/fear all outsiders.
Of the countries that made up the Greater Mercantile Kingdom, only Gor remains.