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Neighbour Relations:by Alex Benson
"As men of Randel our duty is to the Imperial Throne. This has made our enemies not only the barbaric peoples of this world, but also the Empire itself. As such, we have to keep our eyes on everyone...especially our fellow Alphatians. This vigilance has not endeared us to our neighbours. Only our cousins in Eadrin seam to understand us. And Bettelyn...well I will not even discuss those treacherous folk. Theranderol is Theranderol and will support us for as long as the Empress does."
Ambassador Darenna, Randel Ambassador to the Empire
The Kingdom of Randel maintains a political presence primarily in Sundsvall. In their opinion, the Imperial Court is the only necessary tie they have need of. As such, Randel keeps a permanent ambassador staff in the city. Despite this, their work is often superseded by the current monarch, King Verothrics, who maintains a close friendship with the Empress and communicates with her fairly regularly.
Randel sees very little need to maintain formal ties with the rest of the Empire's kingdoms. Eadrin is an exception. Randel and Eadrin have always maintained a strong tie, both politically and family wise. Several of Eadrin's rulers have family ties to the nobles of Randel. Some of these ties date back to Landfall and the days of Zarthurastram.
Theranderol and Randel are on fairly good terms. In the past, they have had crossed words and even threatened war. The wall that separates the two kingdoms is a vestige of one such dispute. Though the wall is not guarded, passage into Randel is channelled through the City of Alpira. Anyone caught scaling the wall to gain entrance is in dire straits from the patrolling and wargaming cavalry that frequent the area.
Relations with the northern neighbour Bettellyn are strained to say the least. The common tie the two have and the events that separated them have nurtured much bad blood. It is well known that the two often launch raids into each other's domains. Outsiders often tell tales of most horrendous and bloody raids. Most people of Randel swear that those type raids are things of the past.
The two kingdoms meet every year for the annual Hardball game. This game is held on the Randel and Bettellyn border. The emotions run high and often displays of aggression are displayed by both sides. This sporting event is usually overseen by Imperial Troops in order to maintain the peace.
DM Notes: The relationship between Randel and Bettellyn has been strained since the two kingdoms separated. Though well knowing that outright conquest is not attainable due to possible Imperial intervention. The two kingdoms use to initiate raids against the other. Early raids were brutal at times. Reports of villages being burned and portions of the populace massacred were fairly common. These raids ceased some two hundred years ago by Imperial decree. The bloodied raids stopped but the hard feelings did not.
So the two kingdoms have turned their rivalries into a game of sorts. Each raids the others bordering areas. These raids rarely see death. The raids are intended to show their neighbour that they can do as they please, when and how they please. Most raids focus on the acquisition of a certain item. These items are seen as trophies by the troops that go in and capture them. However, the capture of these trophies is seen as empty if capture did not entail great skill and cunning. Most Randel operations are undertaken by specialty troops. The trophy raids are viewed as excellent ways to sharpen skills.
In times of war, the two do cease hostile interaction. This is especially important for Randel as warfare usually sees their military resources depleted as its troops are deployed for combat. Instead of besting each other through raids, they attempt to outperform each other in combat against the enemies of the Empire.
The annual Hard Ball game sees a reawakening of hostile feelings. Emotions are high during this event. Most fighting involves verbal assaults, though physical confrontations are often seen. This being quite a surprise as both sides are separated by the playing field. The game is also overseen by Imperial troops sent from Sundsvall.