The kingdom of Anggrephon is a shining jewel of Bukana. It is a rich and prosperous nation with many alliances throughout the archipelago. The region of the northeastern islands has long had economic and social ties to the influential kingdom of Bhodan. That maritime power’s culture can be seen and heard in most of the coastal barangays in the rajahnate and nearby. Attire and architecture show a commingling of Bukanese and Bhodani styles. Merchants bring exotic spices and vegetables that have changed the cuisine extensively. Many loanwords can be heard and foreign accents creep into the speech of the native Tigayon tribes. However, it is the ubiquitous Pahli temples that now dot the landscape that most thoroughly shows the extent of influence that that culture has had.
For centuries, foreign aesthetics and ideas have followed the merchants coming from Bhodan. Nowhere in the archipelago is that more obvious than in the nation of Anggrephon. Bhodan was the first major power to establish regular ties with Bukana inhabitants. As the islands closest to that land began to prosper, a series of alliances between local barangays coalesced into a true nation. Over the course of time, this state took on more and more of the trappings of its neighbor and became known as the Rajahnate of Anggrephon.
With the influx of new ideas came new gods. In some cases, local Bukanese deities only took on some foreign aspects; in others, a native divinity would be completely replaced with an outside one that shared some commonality. One of the interloper gods brought to the isles was Pahli, god of secrets, whose influence swelled outside of its own homeland. Now the head of its own pantheon, the puzzle god’s religion, Pahli-Cha, has made inroads throughout Bukana. About two hundred years ago, the raja of Anggrephon converted to the path of the puzzle-walker. While other religions persist within the nation, Pahli-Cha has become the dominant religion.
Life in Anggrephon
This is a prosperous nation, and trade dominates most day-to-day life. Here, incoming merchants from Bhodan and other lands, drop off their trade goods with any of a number of powerful merchant guilds. These groups then divide the wares amongst their merchants who then distribute those goods throughout Bukana, some loading them into smaller vessels and others onto wagons for trips into the interior of the island. Most of this commerce is funneled through one of the larger barangay ports such as the capital city of Kanlungan, but some smaller settlements have established themselves as viable alternatives, particularly for certain specialty goods. For instance, the aptly named Dugolog just south of the capital has extensive slaughterhouses and tanneries to facilitate the processing of livestock.
The caste system here is well established, but even the lowest of indentured workers is a bit better off than those elsewhere. Raja is a Bhodani title mostly equivalent to a Lakan. The current ruler is Raja Diwa Maralit II, great-great-grandchild of the first of the Matahari Dynasty. Below the Raja is the noble caste who act as ministers to the royal court and run the trade guilds; they also serve as datus for smaller settlements. These are served by the warrior caste. They tend to perform the hands-on management of the government and guilds, as well as command the nation’s small standing military. While members of this caste are lesser nobles, they are required to serve their datus so are less free than the free people below them. The lowest of the castes serve as indentured laborers. Different strata exist within this commoner caste, though, differentiating between those that work the land and those who are completely dependent on their lords. Social mobility is rather common in Anggrephon with commoners buying their way into the free caste and that caste being awarded lesser noble status for exceptional deeds.
The kingdom grows a modest crop of rice and other vegetables which supplements an extensive fishing fleet. They don’t quite produce enough for their own consumption but have little trouble trading for additional foodstuff. Raja Diwa leaves much of the administration of the kingdom to their subordinates. The Raja is a devout student of Pahli and they enjoy spending time studying texts and discussing esoteric religious doctrine with monks rather than on managing the mundane matters of their rulership. As such, minor corruption has crept into the Rajahnate and travelers can expect to pay some bribes in the course of their business.
Numerous people make Anggrephon their home. The indigenous Tigayon tribes form the bulk of its human citizens, but pongo, dwarf, and gnomes are also common. Pilandok, in particular, have fully integrated into the society of the rajahnate as they have fully embraced mercantile endeavors.
Adventures in Anggrephon
The capital, along with many other barangay, lies on the coast of Paglaw, the largest island in northeastern Bukana. As such, Kanlungan acts as a staging point for many expeditions into the island’s interior. Additionally, many of the dangers that lurk within the forests and volcanic peaks end up threatening the nation and its citizens. Merchants disembarking from the trade centers of Anggrephon often hire on extra protection, particularly when expecting danger. Pirates and tribal raiders are common threats in the area.