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Horken (Kingdom of)
Location: Bellissaria, west of southern Skothar, southeast of Aquas.
Area: 103,258 sq. mi. (267,438 sq. km.).
Population: 31,000 (5,000 in Horken).
Coinage: Crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 15% income tax on everyone of servant status or higher and an import tax of 1% (NACE kingdoms and Karameikos excluded). 10% goes to the imperial treasury.
Government Type: Semiautonomous monarchy owing loyalty to the NACE.
Industries: Agriculture, shipbuilding.
Important Figures: Villiun (King, human, male, P19 of Alphatia).
Flora and Fauna: As with most Alphatian lands, all manner of conjured and summoned creatures may be found wandering Horken. With few indigenous creatures, most of Horken's normal animal and plant life was brought in from elsewhere.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Allstrick.
Horken is a rather dull place, had I not heard that some old friends had moved there after the war I doubt we would have even went there. Though the friends were not there, I am glad we went. I had forgotten about some of the peculiarities of the kingdom. Our stay in Horken proved most interesting as we prepared to move on.
Horken is a circular-shaped kingdom carved out of the Bellissarian continent. With its northern portions being lightly wooded grasslands and its southern parts rolling hills, it is hard to fathom that Horken is a shipbuilding kingdom. Truthfully, most lumber is brought in from neighbouring Lagrius. Most shipbuilding is done in the capital city of Horken. Horken boasts several deep harbours, which they use to great effect.
Horken's inhabitants are almost exclusively Alphatian. They are a hard-working people, quite proud of their reputation as shipbuilders. The people of Horken are prosperous, the constant orders for ships contributing greatly to their robust economy. Horken's economy actually rules the kingdom. The wealthy merchant families have more power than the king does. As far as I can tell, King Villiun does not mind this. From my understanding he'd rather focus on his clerical duties than his throne.
With its shipbuilding base, it is not surprising that Horken boasts a sizeable navy. The Horken navy saw extensive use during the Great War. Afterwards, Zandor and Commander Broderick utilised Horken's ships to assert control over the Bellissarian kingdoms. Forever linked to Zandor's aggressions, Horken has a bit of stigma attached to it. Most do not like to talk about that period and would rather recount the production of ships from the shipyards.
Horken is one of the old Bellissarian kingdoms. Long used to living in the shadows of the mainland, Horken was drawn into the limelight after the sinking. First, King Villiun supported Zandor as emperor for the economic boom in rebuilding the Alphatian navy. Second, its navy supplemented Aquas units in asserting Zandor's rule over the scattered Alphatian lands.
With Trikelios in ruins, Horken is the predominant shipbuilder for the NACE. This has done much to improve some of the hard feelings that some NACE kingdoms have for Horken. Personally, I think this stance is a bit unfounded. While it is a disgrace that Villiun supported Zandor for economic reasons, it must be remembered that Zandor could have been easily stopped if but a few kingdoms united to meet Broderick's forces. So there is more than enough blame to pass around.
Horken is quite unremarkable. One may wish to visit the shipyards and see NACE's best ships being built. One may also want to visit Horken's Temple of Alphatia. Whereas his attentions to government may be lacking, Villiun has done much to maintain a lavish place to venerate Alphatia.
Horken's nature offers few threats to the traveller. During our stay within its borders we put away our armour, and in general relaxed a bit. One really has to venture to the hills to the south to merit an armed presence. I am told that the hills boast packs of wolves and a few hill giants. Probably the biggest threat in Horken is the human one. Egos run high amid the wealthy families, and they are easily put off. Since they essentially run the kingdom, they are not subject to the limitations of the law.