It lies in Dorland, an area commonly considered the center of the known world.
The city-state of Kulhan lies on the other side of the Tethys Sea, and currently exerts no control over Dorland.
It’s a feudal kingdom, whose King can at best persuade his vassals to obey him.
Its first king, Dragnir Oragnov I, chose the name to evoke the power and grandeur of the Kulhan Empire, of which its namesake was once a part. Most people outside of the court call it the Kingdom of Dorland, or simply the Kingdom.
Like most of Erebus, the Kingdom’s population is almost entirely human. A majority of the Kingdom’s residents live in small farming villages. Towns sprout at the intersections of trade routes, or around the fortresses of nobles. The Kingdom has only a few real cities.
Theoretically the King rules all of Dorland, even unconquered barbarian lands. He grants its lands to lesser nobles, and to the barbarian peoples across the Midland River. The barbarians know nothing of the King’s generous gift.
For all practical purposes, eight dukes, eleven earls, and dozens of barons rule provinces outside the immediate control of Mitrapolis. Their oath of fealty extends only to defense of the realm against invaders and rebels. A noble reigns supreme over his own domain, limited only by the number of his troops and his adherence to the laws of Mitra (see Religion, below).
In the hinterlands, the Kingdom’s villages are indistinguishable from their barbarian neighbors. So far from the King, and from the comfortable manors of the nobility, residents of the Kingdom pay lip service to House Oragnov while secretly allied to local barbarian chieftains.
After the Kulhan Empire collapsed and House Oragnov consolidated its power, a rebuilt Imperial Mint at Mitrapolis produced standard silver coins called denirs, based on the old Kulhan dinar. Most people in Dorland simply refer to them as “silvers”. The mint introduced copper coins, each worth 1/10 of a Silver, and seldom-seen golden Crowns standardized at 50 Silvers.
Denirs have become so pervasive in urban life that ordinary merchants will not accept coins from the Old Empire. Someone who found a cache of dinars or gold imperials would have to find a money-changer, who might skim 5% to 20% off the top, or a jeweler, who would pay only the metals’ worth.
Rural Dorland, on the other hand, seldom sees coin of any kind. Most trade relies on barter. A few barbarian communities reverse the natural order, giving goods to higher-status individuals to inflate their own status. Alas, not one tradesman in the civilized world accepts payment in “status”.
Technology varies wildly across the Kingdom. Enough artisans survived the Crimson Horde that the City Of Mitrapolis and other coastal cities retained most of the Old Empire’s advances: glass lenses, clockwork, mostly effective medicine, etc. The fertile lands around the Origa River use crop rotation and other advanced techniques, and wealth from pilgrims to the ancient Temple of Freya funds regular trade fairs, overseen by a consortium of powerful guilds. Close to the Black Mountains, farmers and cattlemen trade their wares for examples of the Dwarves’ legendary craftsmanship.
Further west and north, conditions become more primitive. The feudal and manorial systems still persist: serfs till the fields on behalf of the nobles, and merchants and artisans ply their trades at the whim of the aristocracy. Temple schools are fewer, and illiteracy is common among lower classes. Close to the Midland River, generations have lived and died under the same pagan gods, the same inefficient farming methods, and the same outdated metal-working techniques.
The Kingdom’s culture mingles the traditions of barbarian Dorlanders, its original inhabitants, with the invading civilization of Kulhan. The result is an uneasy balance between old ways and new.
The Kulhan Empire established the City Of Mitrapolis and other cities before its conquest and fall. Those cities feature the soaring towers, ingenious aqueducts, chaotic markets, and elegant squalor that characterizes Kulhan and other cities of that region. Nobility affects the flowing robes of Kulhan, lined with fur for harsh Dorland winters.
Rural folks live the same way their barbarian ancestors did, by farming, herding, and fishing. Larger towns have characteristically Dorlandish log cabins or looming stone fortresses, albeit with the occasional Kulhani flourish. Sanitation becomes more primitive as one ventures away from Mitrapolis.
A majority of the Kingdom’s residents worship the Kulhan Pantheon, with the Cult Of Mitra being most prominent. The god Mitra stands for the rule of law, civilization, truth, justice, peace, and honor. Mitra’s principal laws appear in some form in every human culture: do not kill, do not steal, do not break oaths, tell the truth, respect elders and superiors, do no harm to other people, and so forth. Laws may be harsh and inflexible, and punishments sometimes included maiming or death, but in the days of the original Kulhan Empire an independent body of magistrates applied them to noblemen and commoners alike.
A few Dorlanders once followed the Cult Of Hadur, grim god of battle. As his cult grew more bloodthirsty, Mitraist authorities suppressed it. Hadur became the patron god of the Crimson Horde, destroyers of Kulhan, which ended all traces of his worship in Dorland.
See Major Religions for more information.
Official Language: Kulhani
Other Major Languages: Dorlandish, Trade Talk