Yeomanry properly named Yeomanry League also called Yeomanry Freehold.
Yeoman Freehold, is situated in a valley between the Jotens and the Tors in the southwest corner of the greater Sheldomar Valley. The moderately sized realm is nearly surrounded by the Crystalmists and its spurs, though its eastern border with Keoland is generally regarded as the western bank of the Javan across from the county of Cryllor. Its border continues south to where the great river enters the Hool Marshes and the lands of the Sea Princes. The climate is hot nearly year round in the central valley, though the temperature moderates as one approaches the foothills, particularly in late fall and winter. The Yeomanry is a land populated largely by freemen farmers, who are mostly a Suel-Flan mix. With foodstuffs and cloth the major industries of the nation, the town of Longspear on the eastern border forms the major trading center for the country and the destination for most of its excess goods. Here, foreign visitors are usually welcomed, and much commerce is conducted, particularly with Keoland, the Yeomanry's nearest neighbor.
- Little Hills
- Patchwork Hills
- The Tors
- Burn River
- Kendeen River
- Sule River
- Wick River
As the Suel migrated into the Sheldomar Valley, many of their number sought a peaceful existence. These people, primarily lowborn peasantry from the Suel Imperium, did not venture far from where they emerged into the Flanaess. They settled the high valleys between the Jotens and the Tors and mixed with the local Flan. These new lands, stretching all the way out to the Javan River, had been well explored by the Suel Imperium prior to the Twin Cataclysms. The explorers had established mining enclaves and scouting outposts decades before the onset of the final war, producing small but notable settlements such as Melkot in the Tors and Alran on the Jeklea Coast. For centuries, dissident individuals had escaped imperial eyes to the shores of Jeklea Bay after crossing the dormant Hellfurnaces, but these lands were not of great importance until the destruction of the empire.
In the century following the migrations, the humble folk who settled these lands were conquered and subjugated by a powerful Suel mage who mercilessly swept through their realm from the east. Lord Asberdies, as the tyrannical wizard was known, had emerged from the Dreadwood after the terrible destruction of his noble house, the infamous Malhel, some years earlier. Asberdies ruled the land and its people with cold-blooded ruthlessness in a vain attempt to resurrect a vestige of the glory of the Suel Imperium. The tyrant was eventually cast down after years of dominion, during which his outrages ultimately grew unbearable. The yeoman farmers bandied together into small cadres of around a dozen fighters to overcome the forces of the mage in piecemeal fashion through relentless guerrilla strikes upon his forces. Asberdies was soon harried from his throne and realm by the insurgents, who successfully besieged his stronghold.
Almost two centuries later, in -96 CY, the leaders of the Yeomanry met with representatives of the expanding kingdom of Keoland to discuss their annexation into the latter. Its Grosspokesmen and Freeholder were welcomed as members of the Council of Niole Dra, treated as noble peers within the greater realm. Over the next four centuries, the Yeomanry contributed its well-trained warriors to support the efforts of the kingdom, primarily by securing its borders from invaders and marauders.
Yeomanry warriors served in the Keolandish armies for decades, but at the height of Keoland’s expansionism in 361 CY, the freemen of the Yeomanry revolted and closed their doors to Keolandish rule forever. This daring move was successful primarily because Keoland was overextended dealing with other neighboring lands and a major internal revolt at the time. The result has been the creation of a state ruled by its warrior caste through their spokesmen. It was over a century later that reconciliation between the two sides was finally achieved, when Tavish IV recognized an independent Yeomanry. Thereafter, the Yeomanry settled into a more peaceful existence that has lasted nearly to the present day.
During the Wars, the Yeomanry was willing to aid Furyondy against Iuz, but the giant troubles guaranteed that its forces had to stay within the nation’s confines. Unlike the unfortunates of Geoff and the Sterish, the stout, well-trained and armed Yeomen fought off the giant humanoid incursions and this state remains a strong, powerful, and well-equipped armed camp.
The Yeomanry is one of very few representative governments in Flanaess. Any citizen of majority who has carried a spear for the nation, either now or in the past, is eligible to elect spokesmen on his behalf from his community. In turn these spokesmen elect representatives, until one reaches the approximately one-hundred-member Council of Common Grosspokesmen. The council meets in the capital of Loftwick four times a year during the festival weeks to decide the affairs of the nation. These delegates act largely as a legislative body, and choose from among the greater landowners of the nation a citizen to act as Freeholder. The Freeholder is charged with being the chief administrator of the nation, and he also directs diplomacy and the heads the armies of the Yeomanry by leading the Free Captains of the Battles. The current Freeholder is Marius Lindon, a ranger from the eastern territories of the Yeomanry. He has held the office for scarcely two years, but was chosen for his expertise in dealing with the nonhuman invasions that have increased with frequency in recent years.
Nearly all common men and women of the Yeomanry own at least leather armor, a hand weapon, and a bow of some kind, and many own polearms as well. Landowners equip their peasants with such armor and weapons and train them in self-defense militia as a matter of course.
The Yeomanry is wealthy from trade, but does not import mercenaries to defend the vital silver and gem mines in its hills and the Jotens; it is proud to protect them itself in alliance with dwarves, strengthened by refugees from Sterich. The state is also notable for a small minority of high elves, who are important in commerce and trade and also form the core of a small but powerful group of mages centered around Loftwick.
Despite its wealth and strength, the Yeomanry does not seek political muscle in the Flanaess. Keoland is distrusted because of its historical ambitions on the land, and there is a powerful mood against sending aid to the north. People are aware that, had this happened during the Greyhawk Wars, the Yeomanry might have fallen to giants. The Yeomanry extends support directly only to the demihumans in the hills and mountains around its borders, and maintains its excellent armies of spearmen, crossbowmen, mountain troops, elvish spear and bow units, and dwarven mailed infantry
- Dark Gate