|Sovereign||King Loren II Esterweald|
|Official Language||Ilexi, Ruvic|
The Kingdom of Ensor is a long, and relatively narrow country lying in the far southwestern extent of Ruvera, in what is known as the Ensorian Peninsula. Spanning the extent between the Adelantean and Great Stormy Sea but cut off from the rest of the continent by the towering peaks of the High Hinterlands, Ensor features a curiously mixed culture of landward isolation and maritime connection.
Geography & Climate
Ensor takes up the occupied portion of the Ensorian peninsula, located at the southwestern end of Ruvera past the extensive mountain ranges of the High Hinterlands. Ensor is a long and narrow country defined by its relationship to the storied River Meander, which arises in the heights of the Hinterlands and passes more or less through the middle of the kingdom, before eventually flowing out into the Adelantean via Imber Bay. The Meander is for most of its length a broad, placid waterway with a moderate west-to-east flow that makes transport from "upper" to "lower" Ensor relatively fast and easy, while not ruling out traffic against the current in the opposite direction. Consequently, though the distances between the northwest and southeast corners of the kingdom are great, the river serves to bind together the extreme ends of the realm, both geographically and culturally.
Generally speaking, Ensor is more elevated and mountainous in the north and west, and lower and flatter in the south and east. The Highmoor is a land of tall hills that rise into mountains as they converge with the Hinterlands, while Aurindell mixes the lowest range of the mountains with the wild lake country of Aurin's Necklace and the rolling middle reaches of the Meander. The weather in the mountains tends to be cool and damp, particularly in the western reaches of the Highmoor where storms frequently roll in off the Great Stormy Sea. The long arm of Courant, lower and more sheltered, features somewhat more temperate weather, and its stony but verdant hills provide some of the best grazing the in realm. Southsward, at the far end of the Meander bordering the Adelantean, is the pleasantest land of all, typically warm in the summer and fairly mild in the winter, being somewhat less plagued by the fierce storms and heavy fogs that characterize the Misty Coast nearby.
The most unusual -- and, from most people's point of view, ill favored -- part of the kingdom is encompassed by the region known as the Mistmarches, which make up the country's southernmost reaches. Only thinly populated compared to the rest of the realm, the Mistmarches boast no large cities and are chiefly made up of a patchwork of fens, moors, and wild tangles of forest that all seem uniquely calculated to hinder widespread cultivation and the softer touches of civilization. Even the coast is relatively inhospitable, being for the most part too craggy and storm-plagued to provide good harborage to ships. Strangest and most unsettling of all is the border which the Mistmarches guard -- a long wall of shifting mist that sets off the mysterious and unexplored land known as the Misty Reaches.
The native people and the predominant bloodline of Ensor are the Ilexi, who can be found employed in every manner of occupation across the length and breadth of the kingdom. Stubborn and independent-minded, the purest Ilexi lineages are typically found among the farms and villages of the middle Meander, as well as in the foothills of the Hinter Mountains.
Other heritages have left their mark upon the northwestern and southeastern ends of the kingdom. Rhodish bloodlines are common in the regions closest to the Great Stormy Sea, particularly in the Highmoor, and many in that area feel some kinship with the nearby Kingdom of Barendts. At the realm's other extreme, people of Cateni ancestry can be found in the mild lands of the Southsward, where the blood of Ruvan conquerors remains especially among city folk and the southern nobility, though in this day and age much diluted. The people of Southsward still tend to look across the Adelantean towards Volusia and Merouen for culture and trading partners, despite the greater difficulties in sea travel between those lands since the Great Dark.
Compared to most other countries of Ruvera, the Yehani have a thriving and distinct presence in Ensor, which has been a stronghold of their people and culture since the coasts were settled by them nearly two millennia ago. Although they now face the prejudices against their people that are common to the Kalentoi faith, particularly in large cities like Imbryck, Yehani generally find more acceptance in Ensor than elsewhere on the continent.
The greatest mystery of Ensor's people are the Couranti, who occupy the pensinsula of the same name. They have a distinctive appearance compared to other Ensorians, being typically darker of hair and complexion, and they also possess their own unique language and culture. Despite this they are well assimilated into the kingdom as a whole, and are among the realm's most successful merchants, sheep raisers, and weavers.
Despite their modern Kalentian views most Ensormen still half-consciously think of themselves as the children of the River Meander, named for the pagan goddess Meandra who was once widely worshipped as a somewhat unpredictable but overall benevolent and motherly deity.
Ensor is divided into five regions, which function as archdioceses within the hierarchy of the Kalentic Church of Ensor:
- Southsward, the cultured and temperate heartland of the kingdom, home to the capital city of Imbryck.
- Aurindell, the long middle reaches of the River Meander, filled with craggy fells, rich fields, rushing streams, picturesque ruins, and the hardy families that dwell amidst them.
- The Mistmarches, Ensor's southern hinterland, a lush but boggy land with a mystery on its border.
- Courant, a hilly pastoral peninsula filled with the influential descendents of a long-ago conquered race.
- Highmoor, the mountainous, moor-swept backwater of Ensor, home to free-spirited clans and ancient houses.