Forgotten Realms: Birthright
Sembia is a land of experienced merchants who know how to hold onto power and young traders who scheme for a share of it. Sembians relish the art of the deal, the skill of gaining advantage through negotiation instead of through outright falsehood or cheating. Although Sembia does not control as great a proportion of Faerûn’s trade as Amn, trade controls Sembia much more.
Unlike the lawless thugs of the Moonsea cities and the Pirate Isles, Sembians generally observe laws of contracts, debts, and interest payments. Quite often Sembians observe these laws all too well, exploiting loopholes that others had not imagined.
Sembia conceives of itself as a young, aggressive, and expansionist nation. It has already co-opted one of the Dales, the former Moondale, and transformed it into a new capital fit for a great power: the City of Ordulin. But the Sembian elite are too interested in seeking advantage over each other to unite behind a single foreign policy or a single warlord.
Sembia uses its position on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Fallen Stars to serve as the broker between the north and the south of Faerûn. The Zhents of the Moonsea also trade with other countries, but the Sembians don’t consider them a true competition because a great deal of Zhent commerce flows through Sembian ports at one point or another, mostly through Ordulin.
In the years following the war with Cormyr, Sembia has sought to rebuild its drained resources. War is an expensive endeavor after all. That being said, some trading houses did profit from the war, and it is those houses that have since grown in influence and power.
Sembia is the land of wealth and the grasping drive to earn more. More vigorous and practical than ostentatious Amn, it’s a place of costers and secret cabals, cults, and other dangerous dabblings of bored or the desperate. As long as other folk in Faerûn still have a few coins that could be in Sembian pockets or vaults, the folk Sembia are not content.
Most Sembians spend their lives making money, doing business, having a hearty time in ways that display wealth (chiefly fashions, fads, and revels), and gossiping about Faerûn in general and their neighbors in particular.
The city folk dominate Sembian life, and all citizens look down on the folk of other cities. Old money commands respect because of its extensive connections, and among the self-styled nobility of Sembia, all manner of corruption and incompetency is permitted as long as certain laws aren’t breached (consorting with pirates, for instance, brings heavy fines and shunning).
All but the greediest Sembian city guards are paid well enough to be above bribery. The guards are schooled in arms, dirty tricks, politeness, and understanding the ever-shifting intrigues. As a result, they’re seldom heavy-handed and widely respected.
Sembia has hot summers, rainy springs and falls, and bitter windy winters, when its harbors ice up for months. Sembian nobles own extensive farms and forested hunting estates, complete with large breeding stables and luxurious lodges, in the north and northwestern Sembian countryside.
Weapons: Rapier, Main Gauche, Arquebus, Plickenstinter.
Mounts: Horse, Pony.
Finesse Fighting Style
Azuth, Deneir, Lathander, Loviatar, Mystra, Sune, Tymora, Tyr, Waukeen.