The Skymount Coadunate is the name of both the governing body of southern Altus and the ‘Kingdom’ it rules over.
The Seven Kingdoms
In ancient times there were seven separate kingdoms in the southern region of Altus. The coastal kingdoms formed a U-shape around the mountainous center of the continent, and the Jotnar Lands there. They were each individually small, and warred amongst each other as well as the Jotnar chiefdoms. Twelve centuries ago, the kings forged an alliance with each other, and created the Coadunate. Skymount Hall, in the southernmost kingdom was chosen as the namesake and the seat of the new government. The Skymount Truce was also enacted during the alliance.
Each of the seven original territories is still referred to as a Kingdom. Even so they are kingdoms in name only. The King of each territory is elected to serve by his Parliament. He rules for a term of seven years, and then must step down. He may be elected again after his successor steps down. The King governs his land with almost absolute power; he may be held in check by the advice and admonishment of the Parliament, but the King has control.
The King is also responsible to the Coadunate, and serves on its council. They rule the Seven Kingdoms as a whole, deciding on foreign policy, trade agreements, and war, if necessary. As the elections of kings by Parliament are done once every seven years, and the elections for each territory are staggered by one year, the Skymount Council is constantly rotating its membership. No one Kingdom can gain too much power, but each serving King sees at least one change in the leadership of the other kingdoms. A King’s power may be nearly absolute in his own land, but the majority rules in the Council’s decisions.
The Seven Kingdoms have long been at odds with the Jotnar. Although they are officially at peace, there are frequent border disputes. Often, they are simply a matter of overzealous prospectors intruding on the mountains, or Jotnar herders letting their flock ‘accidentally’ stray into the more fertile Kingdom lands. Sometimes though, the infractions are more serious. Border raids over perceived slights are not uncommon – with travel times between Coadunate cities drawn out by mountainous roads and the general independence of rule that the Jotnar chiefs have, officials nearly always arrive too late to arbitrate any disagreements.
There are no agreements of any sort between the Coadunate and the Djeyim. The desert tribes find the people of the Coadunate soft and detestable, decrying their use of stone as an affront to the gods of the desert. The Coadunate believes the Djeyim to be barbaric and primitive. Raids, skirmishes, and outright battles have been fought there for centuries.
The overwhelming majority of the Seven Kingdoms is human. Nearly ninety percent of the population in the northern lands, and even more in the south is human, and no non-human has ever been elected as King or served in Parliament.