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  1. Ermane: Northernmost nation that has no laws. It is ruled by bandits and pirates. The only land that is dangerous everywhere you go. Originally a prison for Dask but soon found to be a bad plan. The prisoners tortured and killed their guards and took control of the land. The occasional raid attempt is made, by some idiots, against Dask but so far has never succeeded to even come close to the city walls. Only an idiot would go there if he isnt already part of the pirates or bandits. There is also a group of people experimenting with crystals to unlock some "hidden power" but not much is known about them.
  2.     Ermane uses a dialect of the Dasken language that does have dipthongs, and sounds considerably less harsh. Many Dasken soldiers have described the Ermanenen accent as sounding snake-like, which most Ermanens don't consider an insult. The language uses a modified version of Dask's script, where all the symbols are rounded with lines through them, like Dasken vowels. The reasoning behind this is that it makes Ermanen script easier to learn for Dasken refugees who have the time to learn but harder for Dasken natives to read messages from Ermane right away.
  3.     Ermane is named for Mt. Ermane, a dead volcano that was meant to be used as the main 'hub' of the prison that Dask was setting up, that looks over a small valley surrounded by other mountains. When the prisoners took over in the Great Revolt, they made their base of operations, and the de-facto capital of Ermane, inside the mountains, overlooking the town of Ermane Valley, which they rule with an iron fist. North, the land is mostly dominated by rocky shield terrain and tundra, with the northernmost point of Ermane being covered in ice all year round. Much of the rest of the land's terrain is similarly barren and unsuited for most life. However, expeditions there have noted that the shield area is very mineral-rich, which is why Dask chose it to keep their prisoners- less chance of them escaping through the barren desert, and a convenient source of labor to extract those minerals. Of course, that didn't quite work out as planned.
  4. One would think that due to law enforcement being present in Ermane Valley, it would be safer, but that is far from the truth. Law enforcement is controlled by Merilya's Guild, a coalition of more religious thieve's guilds, who pursue their best interests first and the safety of the people as possibly a distant fourth- their best interests are to amass wealth for themselves, nominally to please their goddess. As a result, most of Ermane Valley is run-down crime-ridden slums surrounding fancy temples and mansions that act as headquarters for the various guilds that control the two cities. Most of the people who live here simply didn't have any other choice. It's notable that Merilya's Guild is disliked even by other thieves and pirates who either view them as a roadblock in their own plans, or are disgusted by their corruption, which goes far even for Ermanens. They are also hated by other worshipers of Merilya, who see them as tarnishing her name by using their faith as an excuse to oppress others for their own gain, the exact opposite of what a patron of growth and freedom would want. The only reason they haven't been couped yet is because their influence only goes as far as Mt Ermane and Ermane Valley. The rest of the country freely ignores their rulings.
  5.      Ermane is a varied mix of cultures and beliefs, but one thing every Ermanen values is street smarts- often viewed as the great equalizer. Some people are always going to be tougher than the rest, some people have more charisma to help them build connections, and not everyone has the time to study things like tactics and weaponry. However, anyone can learn from their experiences and use that to their advantage. As a result, most Ermanens have a very sink-or-swim mentality on life. You either learn from it and overcome it, or you die. Another thing highly valued is freedom- as a nation of mercenaries, very few people tie themselves down to one master when a bigger opportunity can show itself at any moment. This is one of the reasons why most Ermanens, degenerate as they may be, hate slavery. The other reason is because that's what the ringleaders of the Dasken prison was essentially using the region for before the Great Revolt- harvesting its resources with prison labor.
  6.     As far as economy goes, the closest Ermane gets to trading with other countries is raiding them. Whenever anyone who isn't a trigger-happy idiot conducts an incursion into Dask, it's mostly to raid mines in the Kalissa mountains and the Skali shield rather than a serious attempt to invade Linek. Quinae is raided more often, because the border between the two countries is less mountainous and many Ermanens have ties to Quinae's underground crime. A lot of the magic conduit crystals in Ermane were stolen from Quinae, including the ones used by the Vincia League, who are experimenting with a 'hidden power'.
  7.     It comes as a surprise to outsiders that religion is as prominent in Ermane as it is- that is, that it's present at all. Many Ermanens follow a goddess from the Dasken pantheon, Merilya. In her home pantheon, she is a minor trickster goddess who mainly appears in myths as the cause of a conflict between the gods. In Ermane, she is interpreted as a bringer of change, who routinely tests those she deems ready in order for them to grow and adapt. The eventual reward is to be accepted into her realm in the afterlife. However, one who does not impress Merilya enough and does not pass her tests is instead doomed to wander the land as a ghost, seeking to redeem themselves in her eyes. However, religion is a very fast and loose thing in Ermanen culture, with no real central set of rules and doctrines. However, one common practice for those who keep personal diaries is to press Blue Alyssum flowers into the pages. Blue Alyssums are flowers native to the northern part of the continent, and grow even in colder climates. Ermane's wilderness contains quite a few large meadows dominated by Blue Alyssums, and these meadows are popular spots to place simple shrines to Merilya, as they are her symbol, representing toughness and strength in the face of adversity.
  8.     The flag used by Merilya's Guild, and by extension associated with the whole country, is a gold circle surrounded by a red ring on a white background.
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