The coastal domain of Dementlieu (DAY-mon-lyoo) is a bastion of civilization in the Core, a land of secrets and hidden loyalties. The country lies on a broad, green floodplain dappled with lush woodlands and heaths. The realm’s western shore along the Sea of Sorrows is blessed with numerous natural ports, including glittering Pernault Bay. although the terrain is flat, Dementlieu’s soil is sandy, and crop yields tend to be low, with stunted plants and small fruits. Scattered, sun-dappled forests cover the regions that agriculture has not claimed. The coastline is edged with rolling, sand dune beaches. The Musarde River meanders north through the country, peppering the eastern countryside with oxbow lakes.
Dementlieu’s highways bustle with activity, funneling people and wealth towards Port-a-Lucine. The buildings in the city are tall and narrow, densely packed edifices of dull brown stone that loom over narrow, twisting village streets. Windows and doorways are trimmed with whitewashed wood, and the shallow, gabled rooftops are shingled in rich, dark brown wood. Towers are crowned with elegant stone ornaments and statues of legendary artists and civic leaders. Dementlieu’s climate, blessedly mild, is characterized by frequent precipitation and moderate temperatures. Severe winters and sweltering summers are not unheard of, however.
Major Settlements: Chateaufaux (pop. 1,500), Port-a-Lucine (pop. 5,400).
The Folk: Population – 13,600. Humans 94%, Halflings 3%, Other 2%. Languages – Mordentish*, Lamordian, Falkovnian, Halfling. Religions – Ezra.
The Dementlieuse tend toward slim but athletic builds and strong features and high cheekbones. Skin tones range from very pale to olive-tan, while eye color ranges from pale blue to green to dark brown. Hair is usually dark blond to light brown in color, the the occasional auburn. Beards and mustaches are common among men but always kept neatly trimmed and styled. Women never cut their hair short; noblewomen pin up their locks very meticulously, while poor women braid their hair. Clothing is important to the Dementlieuse, especially among the nobility. Commoner men wear dark woolen trousers and light cotton shirts and don cloth caps whether inside or outdoors. Gentlemen prefer breeches and silk shirts with tailed coats, as well as tall black hats. Wigs are considered proper for men in public life. Commoner and noble women alike wear long, dark dresses with high-button boots and always wear hats when outdoors. Women of the lower classes wear simple bonnets, but the hat of a noblewoman is large and elaborate. Black, white, and shades of gray are favored for day-to-day life, but for special occasions the nobles try to outdo one another with opulent, brightly colored formal wear.
The Dementlieuse believe themselves to be a highly civilized people. They appreciate beauty and learning in all its forms, and their society is structured according to rigid etiquette. Adherence to decorum is vital, and those who overstep the delicate balance between deference and bravado find themselves scorned. The Dementlieuse believe that their advanced society has earned them a place of respect among the civilized realms of the world, and they say so openly. Not all outsiders are so grateful for Dementlieu’s contributions, and many folk consider the Dementlieuse to be shiftless fops who produce nothing of value. Arcane magic is an accepted facet of life in Dementlieu, though its place in society is hardly respectable. Magic is seen as a quaint distraction, primarily useful as entertainment. Most wizards are stage performers rather than powerful sages, the vast majority well versed in spells of deception and beguilement.
The Law: Aristocratic republic. Marcel Guignol serves as the lord-governor of Dementlieu (citation needed, could be obsolete information by 4th edition), advised by the five-member Council of Brilliance from the capital at Port-a-Lucine. Dementlieu has a complex and multifaceted aritocratic society, though the feudal system has long since been dissolved. True power still rests in the hands of the most powerful noble families. The realm’s nobles elect the lord-governor for life, though dissatisfied nobles may have him deposed and hold a new election. The lord-governor is free to select his own advisers for the Council of Brilliance, but the nobles often firmly suggest candidates.
The lord-governor’s duties include writing and enforcing laws, promoting the arts, administrating the realm’s public institutions, appointing criminal judges and civil magistrates, and personally adjudicating important trials. Voluntary conscription is organized by the lord-governor to provide a militia for all settlements, although most nobles have much better trained and armed troops in their personal retinues.
Despite Dementlieu’s powerful aristocracy, there is a pervasive tradition of the wealthy providing for the needy. Accordingly, there exists an extensive network of food distribution and housing for the poor, sponsored by the realm’s nobility. Literacy is seen as very important, and even the poorest children are taught to read and write.
Trade and Diplomacy: Resources – potatoes, wheat, barley, apples, grapes, cattle, dairy, herring, sardines, wine, timber, cloth, weapons, books, ships, culture, scientific knowledge. Coinage – corona (platinum), solar (gold), lunar (silver), bit (copper)
In spite of its small size, Dementlieu is a powerful and respected realms. Culture is Dementlieu’s chief export; Dementlieuse trends in painting, sculpture, music, fashion, poetry, literature, and cuisine quickly spread throughout the Core. Dementlieuse scientists and craftsmen have developed numerous coveted technologies, introducing other lands to such wonders as movable type, the magnetic compass, optics, explosives, and miniaturized clockworks.
Dementlieu wields its cultural and technological supremacy as another realm might wield an army, exerting a great deal of influence on the culture of other lands. The domain has a trade alliance with the neighboring realms of Borca, Mordent, and Richemulot that has only increased its influence on those lands. It also participates in a mutual defense pact – The Treaty of the Four Towers – with the same realms to protect against potential aggressions from Falkovnia.