Breland, a southern nation and one of the original five human kingdoms of Khorvaire, is ruled by King Boranel ir'Wynarn. Considered one of the most progressive nations in terms of personal freedom and meritocracy, Breland enjoys enormous prosperity and is the current home of the player characters in its most famous city, Sharn.
General information about Breland is available in the Eberron Campaign Setting. This article is focused on where the UOGC E6 version of Breland diverges from the source material.
Breland in the Post-WarEdit
An economic juggernaught, Breland could have continued the Last War almost forever, but was eager to take part in the peace treaty of 996 YK. Because Breland had suffered relatively little from the war, and ended up losing much of its territory to the new states of Zilargo, Droaam and the Shadow Marches, military experts are unsure as to why King Boranel pushed so strongly for peace. The offical statement - that King Boranel felt his citizens had grown tired of war - certainly fits with his "cuddly" public image, but has caused some controversy within the populace.
The most societally significant aspect of the post-war was Breland's immediate liquidation of most of its military. Army and navy forces alike sacked an unbelievable 90% of their personnel as soon as it was clear they no longer needed them, far beyond that of any other nation. Although the Brelish crown has always been characterized by small government, this caused an unprecedented surge in unemployment. The war had gone on for 102 years; entire generations of humans had no professional expertise outside of war. Even civilians and longer-lived races had built business models entirely out of the war industry.
This has led to unprecedented rushes of citizenry into Breland's urban centres, especially the "city of opportunity" Sharn. However, the "muscle market" is extremely oversaturated, and the only jobs left tend to be difficult, dangerous or degrading. Few of them pay more than hand-to-mouth wages. Violent crime has skyrocketed all over the country, especially in Sharn, as thousands of professionally-trained veterans have no other way to make ends meet.
Another side effect of all this has been a dramatic spike in prejudice within the nation's cities. Though Breland has long had a reputation for tolerance, many of the urban poor have become bitter at seeing jobs taken up by foreigners and minorities - Cyran refugees and Warforged, in particular. The nationalism expressed by many Cyrans is seen by many as ingratitude after Breland took them in following the Mourning. Warforged, in contrast, do not need to eat, tire slowly, require no sleep and often have little care for possessions. Resultantly, many work for very low wages, and are seen as taking jobs from "real people."
PoliticsEditBreland enjoys a not undeserved reputation of freedom and individual liberty. The federal government has always been characterized by a small bureaucracy and leaves most of the nitty-gritty of internal leadership to small, municipal authorities. As these small locales' borders have grown and different communities have begun to push up against each other, the state has been called upon to intervene in disputes more often, but the magical/technological developments of the Last War have allowed the state to maintain control without bloating its ranks. Within Breland, the royal government is often a distant, if powerful entity that rarely has a hand in local affairs except for variable amounts of incoming grants and outgoing taxes, both through the channels of local authorities.
Breland's powerful economy owes a large thanks to the government's light touch. The Brelish crown has had very little involvement in the nation's economy, whether today or during the last war, except as a bulk purchaser for various staples. Because of this, many Dragonmarked Houses do most of their trade within its borders (often through Sharn) and most of the largest corporations in Khorvaire have their headquarters here. The biggest heads in business know they will face little resistance in Breland to anything but directly treasonous practices, and that here more than anywhere else, money is everything. Despite the dark implications of this model, the average citizen is happy for the setup as long as they can keep themselves and their families fed and in comfort.
The current ruler of Sharn is King Boranel il'Wynarn, known for his liberal rule and staunch determination during the last war. His reputation among the common citizenry is generally appreciative and respectful; though some remain unhappy about losing territory to the new nations of Zilargo, Droaam and the Shadow Marches, most lack the nationalism to be severely disgruntled by the loss of what were already culturally distinct and materially poor areas. For the politically minded, however, the royal situation is worrying; Boranel isn't getting any younger and none of his children, though competent in their current roles, seem fit to wear the crown and all the duties that come with it. In addition, Boranel has been passing an increasing number of decrees since the end of the Last War that seem to erode the royal family's power. Rumours that the king is slipping into senility, and accidentally dismantling his own power base, abound.