The Coral Archipelago is the second-largest nation in the West. It consists of almost 24 islands, none larger than 150 square miles, with a total population of more than 200,000. This area of the ocean has distinct seasons, and Coral suffers chill winds and cold rain for much of the year.
The archipelago has little arable land, so the inhabitants depend on the sea for their livelihood with an economy built on booty and conquest. While the islands are ruled by a dictator known as the Sea Lord, he commands a military bureaucracy and is advised by the wealthiest inhabitants of the atolls. These forces sometimes work against each other, but most commonly combine against the rest of Creation, ripping wealth and slaves from those who cannot defend themselves.
With the exception of that afforded to the Sea Lord and the military, status in Coral is based purely on wealth. Those who achieve great wealth are considered blessed by the Ocean Father, a powerful god revered by all Coral islanders. Women are legally lesser beings, they may not vote, and they are under the authority of the male members of their families. Justice is also based on money, and all criminals are fined or must become indentured servants, working out crippling labor or serving on suicidal naval missions.
Coral is also famous for its gambling halls, slave trade, drug dens and brothels. Inhabitants of Coral might look down on foreigners, but they are eager to take their jade or to enlist them in their plans for piracy and conquest.
The open tolerance of pirates, among other things, makes Coral an enemy of the Realm. Fortunately for Coral, it has little that the Realm wants and, unless it becomes drastically expansionistic, will not attract any direct retribution.