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HORKEN (Kingdom of)
Location: Bellissaria, west of southern Skothar, southeast of Aquas. AS
Area: 103,258 sq. mi. (267,438 sq. km.).
Population: 30,000 (5,000 in Horken).
Language: Alphatian (Bellissarian dialect).
Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 15% income tax on everyone of servant status or higher, and an import/export tax of 2% on magical items and components, and 1% on all other goods (Naycese kingdoms, Karameikos and Thyatis excluded). 10% of tax revenue goes to the Naycese treasury, and an additional 10% is spent on military forces in the name of the confederation.
Government Type: Monarchy, member of Nayce.
Industries: Agriculture, shipbuilding.
Important Figures: Villiun (King).
Flora and Fauna: The grasslands common to northern Bellissaria can be found here. To the south the land has more hills and the far south contains mountains of the Surkarian Mountain Range. Most creatures found in Bellissaria can naturally also be found here, though the chance to meet beings summoned by magic, though still possible, is not great, since Horken has relatively few spellcasters. Other animals and plants are fairly common for the type of land.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Adoramar.
My homeland is a pleasant, orderly land with friendly people and peaceful areas. While it may not appear to be as lavish or interesting a place as some nations of Bellissaria, nobody could have anything bad to say about Horken. It is a tranquil and stable land.
On a map, Horken will seem to be almost circular, although the major settlements are not really at the centre of that circle. The capital of Horken is famed for its shipyards, though the actual wood for the ships must be transported from Blueside in the nearby Kingdom of Lagrius. Even so, most of Horken's economy is based on agriculture in the grasslands outside the capital, such as my own home north of the fair town of Wymar. Trade is also a major source of income for Horken, and some of the merchant families seem to have more local power than even King Villiun, though I guess appearances are deceiving. South of Wymar are parts of the Surkarian Mountain Range where all sorts of horrible creatures are said to lurk... or so my mother always told me.
Only Alphatians live in Horken. If any other folk have their homes here, I've never seen or heard of them, at least. My people are proud of what they do, though the farmers outside the city of Horken have to put up with a certain "elitist" pride from the shipbuilders of my country-they are good at what they do, but they also know and never miss an opportunity to point that out. In truth, the real work in Horken is done by the farmers, or the shipbuilders would all starve. Still, I suppose the shipbuilders should be proud of their work, as I'm told the Horken navy was used extensively during the war with Thyatis and afterwards.
While Horken is not one of the more prominent kingdoms of Bellissaria, it is one of the oldest. For centuries Horken was considered an unimportant place, but after the sinking of the Alphatian continent, Horken enjoyed a period of progress, because there suddenly was a great need for ships to replace those lost in the war with Thyatis and the sinking of Alphatia, particularly in the face of the presumed Thyatian offensive that followed the Great War.
During the reign of mad Emperor Zandor, King Villiun supported him, for which he has since been heavily criticised. This criticism does seem to ignore just how bad a time this was for everyone, though, and King Villiun was scarcely the only one that could be criticised in this matter. What many tend to forget is that King Villiun had to make a decision to protect his kingdom and his people from Zandor's madness! The growth of Horken's economy that was achieved in this way was incidental. Still, while the economy has settled down a little since then, Horken has remained the primary source for new ships in Nayce nonetheless.
The place most foreigners go to see in Horken are the shipyards in the capital. Sadly, most mistake the placid and tranquil countryside of Horken for a boring and uninteresting place. Just because mostly commoners, such as my own family, live and toil there, it doesn't mean the area is without its own charm. My home in the grasslands north of Wymar makes for as peaceful and enjoyable a place as anyone could wish for.
A visit in Horken is not something to be feared, as there is little here a traveller would have to worry about. Yes, there are ogres and giants in the southern hills, some even talk of dragons in the Surkarian Mountain Range region, but you won't find trouble unless you go out and look for it.