There are four seasons, although changes are not too drastic. Slightly cooler in winter and warmer in summer with more fertile lands. Some plants change colors and flower during the change of seasons, a tourist attraction to Alestra.
Precipitation is frequent. Many thunderstorms in the summers.
Farmland has cleared out some forests, but efforts have been made to preserve the natural lands.
Lots of rain and stable temperature allow plant life to grow rampant and trees to grow tall.
Alestra is flat and have no mountains.
Many lakes and rivers are scattered through the land.
Alestra borders an ocean to the east.
Home to the tallest trees in all of Erdre.
Farmland is often on the outskirts of Alestra in an attempt to preserve the forests.
While it is cause for much controversy, Alestra is the leading producer of lumber. Most of the lumber trade occurs on it's border with Barreug.
Lumber is abundant as are herbs and food.
As it has no major mines of it's own, Alestra imports it's metals and minerals from Barreug.
Deforestation is a major concern as well as the extinction of Alestra original creatures.
The lumber trade in Alestra is a major source of wealth, but is a controversial issue.
Alestra has a Prime Minister and a cabinet and votes on laws.
Positions are held through elections, but only the upper class is allowed to vote. Voting access is limited to a select number of people and when registration season opens it often brings out the worst in people. Since it is the cabinet and Prime Minister who selects those who can register, they often receive bribes to register people, hence why only the upper class ever has voting access and why select people and families remain in government positions.
In the event of the death of the Prime Minister or a cabinet member, the voters will choose a new person. Again, bribery is often at play.
Because it is such a rich nation, the quality of life is quite high in Alestra. There are pristine services and amenities for the people. They’re the founding country of air mail by means of carrier birds and have the fasted post in Erdre. Churches are grand and often act of entertainment/recreation centers when religious services are not occurring. While Alestra has fine schools, many of the wealthier citizens still choose to send their children to boarding schools in Vaniss which are some of the most prestigious in the world.
Taxes in Alestra are infamously some of the highest of Erdre. Taxation is a flat monthly rate and goes by households so many less wealthy citizens will live together to afford it. It is also why arranged marriages are high as well.
Since Alestra is allied with both Barreug and Vaniss, their political power stems mostly from having powerful friends.
Major exports: Lumber, herbs/medicines, luxury foods, beauty products, high fashion clothing
Major imports: Ore/metals, pigments, fabrics
Alestran lumber is a huge source of wealth, but trade is limited to Barreug and Vaniss to prevent deforestation. Barreug, pleased with this deal as it makes the goods a higher commodity, pays great sums for the lumber.
While historically, Alestra is known for lumber and medicines, since the end of the Daemon War they’ve been getting into producing luxury items such a clothes, beauty products, and designer crops.
Alestra is one of the many nations that recognizes the Shen currency, a multinational form of currency. It makes trade between nations easier and is now the official money of Alestra.
There is a treasurer in Alestra’s cabinet, that collects taxes and uses them for the nation as well as invests it in deals with other nations. Because of switching to Shen, Alestra’s wealth is mostly held in Barreug’s banks.
Because business licenses are very expensive, aspiring business owners will join corporations, collectives of many businesses, in which they pay dues in exchange for help getting their business off the ground. Sometimes business owners will band together with friends and family to start corporations as well, however, each individual business is responsible for a monthly amount in taxes.
Licenses are required for opening businesses, practicing medicine, acquiring land for farming, hunting/fishing, and acquiring land for lumber (one of the most expensive licenses and comes with many rules and stipulations)
While being a successful business/corporation owner is seen as the most prestigious job, besides a politician (whose job is partially to sign business deals with other nations) it is not a reality for all Alestrans. Doctors and scientists are highly paid and respected jobs as well, but those positions are often reserved for those with credentials from Vaniss boarding schools. The most common work for citizens is as skilled laborers; prospecting business owners will seek out these people to produce quality products. Unskilled labor is often looked down upon, but for some people, it is necessary to have an unskilled labor job as an extra source of income on top of their primary position. For those with entertainment skills, joining a church as a priest or priestess is an option; while the religious services are simple to perform, they are required to put on performances which are a major source of income for most churches.
The majority of Alestra’s cities are along the coast or near Barreug, outside the central parts of the forests. There is an average-sized population; because it is so expensive to live in Alestra, the population stays at a maintainable level.
Alestrans, Otins, Ashbans, Hitrins, and Zahbians make up the bulk of Alestra’s population. Non-human races are much rarer. Erret populations are dwindling and are foreseen to go extinct within 100 years if not sooner.
Many rural towns exist within the forests, especially around the ruins of Pyll trees. Those ruins are considered sacred and it is a high and expensive honor to live in those towns.
Immigration into Alestra is difficult. Marriage into an Alestran family is one of the easiest ways, granted one can also prove they can contribute to Alestran society. Those who possess skills in need are offered easier immigration as well.
Greetings and Gestures
Flattery is common and often expected in Alestran culture. Greetings are grand with much exaggerated affection. Passivity is a desired trait and in conversation it is generally expected that listeners will agree and feign interest no matter what the speaker says (exception, of course to taboo topics). A stereotype about Alestrans is that they’re your best friend in your presence and your enemy in your absence.
Class plays a huge role in Alestran society and it is common for those in high standings to assert their status with a lot of humble brag. When one speaks to someone of lower class, backhanded compliments are not infrequent. (It’s important to note that not everyone behaves this way. These are mostly stereotypes and to not dictate how all Alestrans are)