Sovereign Nation of Songen
A coastal island nation off the western coast of Paludis, Songen is an enigma amongst the powers of Araevis. Despite its relative proximity to civilization, particularly with the advent of air travel, Songen maintains a notoriously isolationist attitude towards other nations and peoples, considering itself sovereign and rejecting the influence of the outside world. Having kept its borders closed for centuries, very little is actually known about the country or its people save for the few tidbits of information that slip out with merchants who are occasionally allowed into Songen to peddle their wares. The tales they bring back with them however, are awe inspiring. Composed of a population of Laicar totally isolated from the rest of the world, the people of Songen have crafted their own unique culture and identity. Merchants and smugglers tell of massive ornate structures, temples that scrape the sky, with architecture unlike anything else in Araevis, dedicated to the worship of their one true god; the sword.
The culture of Songen is founded upon the principles of honor and might; its people living lives of strict, militaristic discipline. Every citizen, they say, is trained in the way of the sword from an early age. Though very few people emigrate from the island, those that do seem to corroborate these stories; swordsmen from Songen are renowned as some of the best in all of Araevis. It is this fact that has put the tiny nation on the map; despite its size, the sheer might of its military has seen many would-be invaders fall upon its bloody shores.
Still, in a culture so bound by honor and discipline, so entangled in the pursuit of strength, there are taboos that no citizen of Songen would dare break. In particular, the mixing of their people with those of other races is considered a grievous sin; befouling the purity of their blood is a crime punishable by death.