Chains of Silver and Blood
Kingdom of Ansibah
From the shores of the gold sea to the fiery isles of the dreaming sea lies the kingdom of Ansibah. Also called the Twelve Thrones or the Kingdom of the Isles, it is a collection of twelve territories united under a single ruler, currently the queen Saramen, locked in a trade war with Dir-Jal, occasionally escalating to full-blown military conflict.
Organisation and Economy
Ansibah is named for its capital, a rich city sitting on the mouth of the Sea of Gold, controlling trade between it and the Dreaming Sea. The Kingdom of the Isles is divided between twelve territories, administrated and ruled by a bey. Some of the territories are vast, while others are no more than a few islands lost out at sea. Each bey sets trade laws and taxes on the area she administrates, and gives a fifth of her revenue to the queen of Ansibah. The queen rules for life, but the position is not hereditary: upon her death, the twelve bey choose who amongst them will rule next. As such, the Twelve have had many close brushes with civil war during their short history.
The Southern Thrones of Ansibah are somewhat distinct in their culture and population from the rest of the Kingdom.
Ansibah is rich and has a powerful navy, in keeping with its origin as an alliance between pirate nations. Nobles serve in the navy for a minimum of five years, and a number of them work as captains or admirals for their whole life. However, the Twelve have a comparatively pitiful land army, relying on mercenaries and badly trained conscripts for most of its defense.
The bank of Ansibah is a power unto itself all around the Gold Sea and even beyond, lending money to the bey, the queen, city-states outside the Twelve, or even to the Guild. Some say the bank controls an immense silver mine in the Mirror Mountains, others that it signed a pact with a fae, trading untold riches for the souls of its debtors. Either way, goods from the all around the dreaming sea, Dir-Jal or the pearly coast, along with a good quantity of salt, silver dinars and slaves end up passing through Ansibah, comforting its position as the cultural capital of the region.
Religion and current events
Most of the people of Ansibah follow the Immaculate Lotus, but nobles and rich merchants usually revere the holy ancestors of the nation, and build elaborate shrines to them in the privacy of their homes. This open secret, along with the prevalence of shadowlands in the area, means that ghost-blooded are a common sight. Most of the followers of the ancestors also fancy themselves patrons of traditions and the arts, and those who can afford it try to have at least one full-time poet, sculptor or painter in their employ. The Way of Inspiration, a small cult born in Baliad, even sees art as the highest form of enlightenment.
Recently, ships flying the banner of the Kingdom of the Isles have started disappearing mysteriously out at sea, and some whisper of strange pirates coming out of the wyld to take sailors back with them.