We reached the coast of Vernon today, and will follow it north for several weeks. I talked to Captain Hegherg, and he said sailing north is slower than sailing east. However, the farther north we go, the faster our progress. I guess this is why the plan is to sail over the top of the world instead of south.
Vernon is one of the two great nations of Panei, with the other great nation being Nerak. The two nations were formed a year after Panei declared itself an independent kingdom in 2893, free from the direct rule of the Great King. A political disagreement left Panei polarized, and Nerak and Vernon fought a very lengthy war that only ended when the Dark Magicians covered the world with a cloud of heavy ash in 4556.
Today, Nerak and Vernon are not the only nations in the land of Panei. A third nation, Taor, declared its independence from Nerak during the Nerak-Vernon War in 3333, demonstrating the neutrality of the people in that region. Unsubstantiated rumors from the time suggest the first king of Taor commented that if a nation needed five centuries to solve a dispute, it probably wasn’t worth pursuing. It’s too bad the example of Taor was ignored and the war continued much longer.
Although there are now three nations in Panei, there might one day be a fourth. There is talk among the people living in the southwest region of Vernon of forming an independent kingdom. The talk is recent so I can’t give any historical information about it, but I do know it started after a recent dispute between Nerak and Vernon. The people in this part of Vernon have not forgotten the devastation of the previous war, and do not want to undergo similar hardships again. The purpose behind the call to form a new kingdom is to create a buffer between the two contentious nations, thereby making it harder for them to war. The goal is worthy, but the means is difficult. At least one of the nations will need to give up territory to form a new kingdom. It can happen with enough support among the local populations, but I doubt it will happen during my lifetime.