Government, Geography, Culture and Religion
The Meldenean Islands seems to be rules by a council of the eight ship-lords.
The Meldeneans are renowned as the best sailors in the world. They are also great traders and merchants, as well as pirates. They are known for their savagery; it is said, “turn your back on a cobra, but never a Meldenean”.
They seem to have a polytheistic religion with a pantheon of sea gods. Orcas hold a special reverence for them, which they see as a sign from the gods of a successful voyage ahead. It is said that when a Meldenean dies at sea the orcas will carry his spirit to the endless ocean beyond the edge of the world.
Shortly before the start of the story, the Unified Realm was plague by Meldenean pirates, so King Janus sent the Battle Lord Kralyk Al Sorna and the fleet to burn the Meldenean’s biggest city. In the intervening years the Meldeneans have made strenuous efforts to rebuild their capital on a grander and more ornate scale. They have also established a fleet for the defence of the Isles, with every ship-lord contributing ships. The captain given the honour of commanding the fleet is known as the Shield of the Isles.
King Janus pays the Meldeneans to transport his troops to the Alpiran Empire, in an attempt to annex the port in the north of the empire. Opinion range on the price three million gold pieces to the offer of his daughter in marriage, but the cost must have been high indeed for the pirates to set aside their hatred of the Northmen.
Lady Emeren of the Alpiran Empire conspires to get taken hostage by the Meldeneans and then to be exchange for Vaelin Al Sorna to get revenge. The Lady wanted vengeance for Vaelin killing her former husband, the Hope, while the Meldeneans retribution for his fathers burning of their capital. However, Vaelin defeats the Shield in a dual to the death, and in the end is allowed to go free.
With the Volarian Empire invaded by the Volarian Empire, the Meldeneans fear that the Isles may also be under threat. When a Meldenean ship returns with information from a spy that the Volarians plan an invasion of the Isles, the Shield musters the fleet. The desperate naval battle ends in a victory for the Meldeneans.