Adventures in Ekkspyria
Ekkspyria is a small and peaceful nation that sits nestled in a large natural basin, isolated from the rest of the world by the Silver Peak Mountains which surround it, and the turbulent Strithandi Sea to the south. Its neighbouring nations are Zanoclaeve, across the mountains to the north-west, and Biebrianno beyond the sea.
Like other nations, the Kingdom of Ekkspyria has its roots in the Warring Times, having been founded as part of the peace treaty established by the Council of Kings. According to the histories, it was the only nation at the time that was not directly ruled by the King who was responsible for its founding, as well as the first to be governed by a woman; the honour of its governance was instead bestowed upon Aeskra, daughter of Aengvar Ruynder, the rightful king, owing to her father’s age and poor health at the time. After her father’s death many years later, the princess was finally crowned as Queen Aeskra I.
Ekkspyria is by and large a temperate region, with the exception of the high mountains; the summers do not grow overly hot, and the winters are quite mild. The land is lush and harvests are bountiful, and drought is almost unheard of.
The kingdom occupies an area of roughly 315 leagues 2 (1764km 2), being about 21 leagues (117.6km) at the widest part. The terrain within the basin is mostly hills and alpine meadows, though certain regions are heavily forested. Around the edges of the basin, however, the land rises sharply into craggy, inhospitable mountains, especially in the south where the terrain breaks suddenly into towering fjords overlooking the sea.
Despite being dubbed the Kingdom of Ekkspyria, the nation has spent far more time under the rule of queens than kings. The current ruler is Queen Kessarina Harkenrider IV, daughter of Ingvjeldr Harkenrider II and Stiegg Lundquist IX, and a direct descendant of the bloodline of Aeskra I. Though still young and unwed, she is thought to be a wise and generous monarch, and is well-loved by her subjects.
She rules with the aid of a trusted council of advisers known as the Circle of Stewards; the name is a tribute to the Council of Kings, as well as a reminder that the members of the council are not served by the people, but in fact themselves serve the people.