The Talliz Confederacy. Set low on the Eastern Coast of the mountains, as the plains stretch far away from the peaks. Reminiscent of Slavic Europe. Division between older settlements near the mountains and the frontier.
Borders roamed by hordes/warrior brethren. Run by Voivodes. Remnant of nomadic lifestyle. Can be temporary part of life, young man’s game. Older members if not in strategic position get Quartermaster logistic roles or pensioned off as village constables, tavern owners &c. Numbers kept up by glamour of job; also folk tradition that Bastard’s not a Bastard in the Hordes (By extension, dalliances with Horde member common enough – happy accidents are easy enough to pass on) some ancestry within hordes, but few family groups. More adoption/ apprenticeships. Semi-nomadic, Cossack like, defenders against the infidel. Sometimes with heavy Church sponsorship (esp. Psuedo-Hussites). Raiding parties across border. Different Voivodeships have different techniques – Winged Hussars, Lancers, Horse archers, Hussite War wagons – but all meant to be quick response, flexible.
One might posit a “Scyhthian Horsewomen” Horde also; reject masculine centric Talliz life
Emphasis on Heroic figures within the Church as Folk Saints; ‘Hercules’ and Russian heroes, not St Francis. UR faith; peasantry/uninterested nobles/priests catering to same barely know of/mention the aspects.
Hetmen run towns, villages; dislike having to pay/cater for rowdy bachelor soldiery. Hetman as Mayor, Civilian leader. Kremlins as place of refuge. Mining by the mountains, trade with Dwarves; farming on plains – discourse with elves.
Land owned by aristocracy – Boyars. Split between local administration, duties to king and military duties – often farmed off to younger sons in Voivode. Have armed retainers- but not as competent/dashing as hordes. King has own territory-control guards: infantry, Strelets (Think also the Black Army of Matthias Corvinus).
Trade: plenty of caravan goods – lots of lovely curiosities, rarities, &c. Fine porcelain. Tea. ‘Silk Road’ ends here; forks to go north to Fahflund/through the pass to the Novopolis. When’s there’s not a war on. Even when there is. Trade pacts possible on high holy days....which tend to coincide, due to old pagan festivals falling near to/being replaced by modern traditions.
Hereditary Monarchy, but ‘King and Highest of All Talliz Peoples’ not ‘King of Talliz’. Competency and ferocity is most heavily desirable. Lot of pressure for the more popular Voivode’s to take the throne. Several have in the past. Many more were adopted into the Royal Family in order to curb or redirect their power- with limited success. (UR) [King Wenceslas IV Falconis]
Again, not quite so linked to national epics. Still hopefully adequately nuanced.