“Bonds Stronger Than Blood” The words etched on each minted coin from the Dweor holdfasts of the Menidish Mountains. This phrase rings true in the Joint-Kingdom of Menidon which was forged in a time of war and strife, where the survival of two peoples relief solely on their cooperation.

The Dweor of Baraz and the Men of Aradur had always had good terms with one another; the dwarves provided good steel and a steady supply of gold, while the coastal city of Aradur provided a thriving hub for trade in the region. In the later centuries of the SE, long after the collapse of the Nacian Empire, the ducal lords and merchant republics now ruling that land joined arms and sought to wipe out their main trade competitor, the Dweor of Baraz.

An army of some five thousand marched towards the mountain hold, led by a council of bankers and nobles funding the campaign. Immediately, the progress was halted for the remnants of Nacia; harsh weather in the mountains delayed the advance, and supply trains were poorly managed. This gave the Dweor enough time to send emissaries to Aradur, to beg the council of burgomasters to send aid. The council agreed to shelter the Dweor if Baraz fell, but refused any military support, as the fledgling trade city was garrisoned by a small militia which was rather poorly equipped.

Feeling defeated, the Dweor of Baraz fortified their keep and prepared for the worst. When the dukes and merchants arrived, the Dweor seemed doomed, for they had only two thousand volunteers equipped with generation old gear. By miracle, a single councilman, Tybalt the Brazen, arrived with a host of peasants numbering near ten thousand armed with billhooks and spears. Tybalt had resigned from the council in protest of the lack of aid to Baraz and went through the countryside rallying the common folk to his cause.

At the sight of this huge army, the merchant lords broke off their mercenaries, leaving the duke lords with half their strength for the battle. The Dweor rushed from their battlements and joined Tybalt, swiftly routing the diminished army and winning the day.

In retrospect, Tybalt was dubbed the Brazen for two reasons; first, he would have been imprisoned and tried by his own people for taking so many peasants away from the harvest season, which could have starved the country, second, he led an army of sick, old, young, and even some women. Tybalt’s entire army was a bluff, and the enemy fell for his deception. Even with greater numbers, Tybalt lost nearly a sixth of his army in battle, due to their lackluster equipment.

Tybalt returned to Aradur with his and the Dweor army, and strongarmed his way back into the council, swiftly removing his opponents and replacing them with men loyal to his cause. With the new burgomaster council, Tybalt signed the Treaty of Menidon, which combined the two kingdoms into an elective monarchy, of which he won the vote.

Since then, a council of one hundred, fifty Dweor and fifty Men, have elected their kings for life, always ensuring kings are picked by character and not race, though a bag of coins has been known to persuade some councilors.