The Mountains of Morpheus
The Azna Kingdoms
The seven — or presently, five — independent city-kingdoms of the Azna, called also the Sibarii, are the ruling polities of humans in the central-east region of Drau-Mura. The kingdom of Strigis, as well as its sister kingdom of Cinnamarch, has been recently conquered by the neighboring kingdom of Kala Anar, though it is “permitted” to keep a puppet prince while the Sky-born begin to consolidate their power over the area.
By tradition, the ruler of each of the Sibarii is called a Prince (meaning each kingdom is technically a principality, a semantic quirk reflecting the former unity of the Azna, when each of the seven Princes supported their warlord-queen, Kasha Sword-Eye). The Prince’s power’s usually balanced (or in competition) with aristocratic and landowning families, middle-class guilds, and religious bodies. Subordinate to the Prince are various counts, barons, governors, and lordlings who rule over towns and the countryside, and collect taxes and tribute for the city-state in exchange for trade rights, military protection, and the occasional consultation on matters arcane and magical. Of course, this is rarely an efficient or clear-cut hierarchy; the Prince’s rule extends only as far as his soldiers and spies do, and ethnic solidarity is an unreliable motivator.
Each of the Azna kingdoms is centered around the nucleus of a urban center, a city which shares the same name as the kingdom itself. (When there is a need to distinguish the two, one might say “urban Strigis,” “inner Strigis,” or simply "the city of Strigis.) They have existed as urban centers for a very long time, and their development and expansion coincides with their subsumation into kingdoms and empires past. Their identity as Azna polities soldified some 180 years ago under the rule of Kasha Sword-Eye, the Azna warlord queen who temporarily united the Sibarii’s princes and overlords. Today, in the aftermath of the Wheat-Harvest War, the remaining five independent kingdoms cautiously navigate toward the profiting off a landscape of increasing revolt, suppression, and banditry.