The Kingdom of Casogard is one of the semi-independent realms of Gard. Known for a mix of flourishing cities and traditionalist enclaves, Casogard’s tolerant, religious, and anti-authoritarian culture is often said to make the difference between the Gideon empire of old and modern Gard.
Casogard is ruled by Prince Felkrijendibor, a brass dragon like the other Gardish rulers. He is the son of the previous brass dragon to rule Casogard, King Epijndrilos, who was captured and exiled to Orient during the Human’s Revolution. The other dragons view Felkrijendibor, also known as Prince Felkrin, with a certain amount of disdain for his liberal views and behavior – he still enjoys pretending to be a human and mingling among his subjects.
On paper, Casogard appears to have a complete aristocratic system, with dukes, earls, counts, and barons. But these landowners were greatly resented by the people long before it was known that they were all dragons, and they have never wielded any great power. The dragons keep taxes low and let the humanoids mostly manage their own affairs, intervening only when they feel it’s necessary. Even then, they face great resistance from the population if they try to interfere too much.
Casogardish cities are run by elected councils of elders. Villages and farming communities are also run by elders or community-chosen leaders, though they rarely go through the formality of an election.
The Casogard region was seen as a backwater during the age of the Gideon Empire, but now it is at the heart of Gard both physically and culturally. Casogard is the second-largest realm of Gard, and the most centrally-located. It borders Eustace, Wick, Chester, and Pecsmuth; it also has the eastern shore of the Almond Sea. Casogard attempts to remain politically neutral in the affairs of its neighboring realms, but it maintains its own army to enforce this neutrality. If it did not do so, Casogard today might be nothing more than a battlefield between Eustace and Wick.
Casogard is mostly plains, though there are some hills and valleys. The Dolphine River cuts through the kingdom, flowing east from the Almond Sea to the sea, by way of Wick, Maxow and Rushtide. At the mouth of the Dolphine is the city of Amafratia, a major center of culture and thought.
Most of the rest of Casogard is divided into racial and religious enclaves. The largest by far is a large region in eastern Casogard, called the Rum Spring Valley. This region is a place where magic is highly unstable. Although this instability can be controlled, and even exploited, it can also be incredibly destructive. The natives of the Rum Spring Valley have turned away from this danger. In fact, they reject magic altogether.
The culture of Casogard is a mix of tradition and change, liberty and loyalty, faith and tolerance. Most Casogardish live in homogenous enclaves, rarely needing to visit neighboring communities, which may be different racially or culturally. They have a deep hatred for anything that would impose change from outside. Unlike the Wickish, the Casogardish reject the idea of trying to convert their neighbors to their way of life, just as they would not wish to deal with missionaries.
Change from within is not so mistrusted, except within the Rum Spring Valley. The Valley has had a magic-averse, elf-and-gnome-averse, small-scale manufacturing culture that has changed hardly at all in hundreds of years.
The ancient city of Amafratia has been a center of trade since the empire was reconstituted into Gard over 450 years ago. Amafratia is sometimes called the most Gardish city in Gard, because many of the ideas that define modern Gard spread from there: decentralized government, tolerance of differences, civil liberties, anti-slavery, and even naval tradition. While Casogard is not on the coast of Occident, it virtually monopolizes shipping over the Almond Sea and Gard’s largest rivers, the Dolphine and the Brassica Rivers.
Although Gard’s naval tradition was unquestionably influenced by Casogard in the early years of the new Empire, Casogard’s role as a trade center is in a state of decline. The empire now looks to the New World, and to a lesser extent Orient, for trade. Casogard’s economy has suffered somewhat as a result.
Casogard remains loyal to the Emperor. But it is not a staunch ally of Gideon City as Wick or Rushtide are. Dissident factions within Casogard have expressed discontent with dragon rulership, and the topic is still debated today.
Casogard’s many enclaves have many faiths among them, and many interpretations of those faiths. The Kingdom as a whole outlaws the worship of Saralek, Ilumot, Wynang and Yetzahara, but allows all others.
Amafratia has a more mixed religious population. Lotheria, Ielda, Jackiv, Nameless, Kyon, and Avillion are widely worshiped, as are many others. The city bans the worship of evil gods. As a whole, though, Amafratia is less devout than the rest of Casogard. Followers of Akhnai are a small but vocal minority in town.
Non-humans usually live in racial enclaves, small towns or villages dominated by that race. Elven, dwarven, and orc enclaves are present, with the orc enclaves usually led by half-orcs.