On Mondays I post background essays on the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation. Today I describe a country in which some of the story is set.

Diamonddom is a rather large country in the Wild Continent, on the northern border of the Dragon Empire. It was created in the year 141 after its land, which had been part of the Dragon Empire, was captured as part of the Sixth War of the Dragon. It is probably at least about twice as large in area as the Sunshine Kingdom, but its loss did not reduce the Dragon Empire’s area by even a third. Much of that area was uninhabited mountainous forest, now the home of elves, dryads, fairies, the occasional giant, and the like. The remaining area is clear plains, some of which is now occupied by semi-nomadic centaur herdsmen but most of which is covered by farms and small communities. There are only a few major cities.

As soon as the fighting had moved beyond the central districts of what would become Diamonddom, it was formalized and given to Josephine. She chose to make it independent of the Shine and Wild Empire and nominally neutral, though in practice it acts as an ally of the Shine and Wild Empire.

Because of their location bordering a large intractable enemy that once enslaved them, the people of Diamonddom have become a strong and free nation. A wealth of natural resources have also made them somewhat rich. They became self-sufficient within four years after the end of the war, and then Josephine made the country a second “arsenal of freedom,” giving its neutrality “teeth” and ensuring that it will not become dependent on others for its security.

Diamonddom exports grain, fruit, jewels, and other natural resources to any buyers, and shares some of its advanced military technology with the Shine and Wild Empire and less distant allies Arcadia and Held. Some of its reserve soldiers take security positions elsewhere, and most serve with the Imperial or allied armies in wars in which Diamonddom’s neutrality is respected (which is not many).

Diamonddom is a prosperous nominally-neutral ally, among the strongest nations in the area; it certainly has the strongest national identity, based arond personal responsibility and loyalty and necessary military strength. And for a long time it serves as a sufficient guard for a long stretch of the frontier border with its former master and ancient enemy, the Dragon Empire.


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