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The land of Ghananda is geologically new, being the result of a tectonic collision only a few million years ago. The region is often struck by earthquakes. The people that dwell there are a nation apart from the Aesedrans in nearly every way. Physically, they are of short-stature, thin, Nordic in appearance, blue-eyed and very clannish. They speak a tongue that resembles no other in the Empire. Although the Ghanandese dispute it, most historians agree they migrated south out of the Kostaigne Desert region almost twelve millennia ago, a theory borne out by the similarity in the languages of the various Kostaigne folk with Ghanandese.
Ghananda is a high plateau surrounded on all sides by impassable mountains. On the west it is bordered by the Grey Mountains, to the north are the Nonesuch Mountains and to the east and south is the Great Scarp. Save for three mountain passes, the country is unreachable from anywhere else in the world, which had led to its relative seclusion these years. Its climate is alpine with four distinct seasons, though frosts are a possibility even at the height of summer. The main produce of the province is cherries, from which they brew a potent liquor, lipsi. Apart from some ales, it is the only drink consumed in Ghananda. All others are deemed to be foreign and crude.
Millennia of isolation has bred a close-knit people who care little for others outside Ghananda's borders. Attitudes towards Aesedra border from open hostility to grudging respect. The signing of the Treaty of Uyre in 11116 which brought Ghananda into the Empire has done little to draw them closer. Until relatively recent times, Aesedra and its ways had no real influence. Under the terms of the Treaty, the Ghanandese are exempt from paying Aesedran taxes, the Siepta may not practise their craft nor their wares be sold in Ghananda, and since the invention of gunpowder and firearms, none may be brought into the province. Contentious is the Ghanandese prohibition against priests or churches of The Five preaching. The Ghanandese are traditionally nature spirit worshippers and have rejected The Five.
The family is more important than the individual, and even second and third cousins are considered close. Accordingly, the Ghanandese staunchly adhere to strict chastity before marriage, and fornication is one of their more serious crimes. Offenders are usually banished from the province. The Ghanandese also believe in telegony, the idea that a child from a woman's second husband will inherit the traits of her first husband, and in sororate marriages where the husband will marry the sister of his wife, if the wife is either dead or is incapable of bearing children. They also practise levirate marriages where a man will marry his brother's widow, even if he is married himself.
Traditionally, the Ghanandese were ruled by a King, who was more clan chieftain than anything else. Since the accession into the Empire, a duke has presided over them, and until very recently, it was a member of the line of Vauan, the old Ghanandese regal family. Since the death of Duke Eisbri in 11950, it has been ruled by a member of the Rolle family, Duke Drono Rolle, a member of the Imperial Line and youngest brother of the current Emperor, Taian XXIII Rolle. This thinly-disguised attempt to fully bring Ghananda into the Empire politically may have backfired…