The Sea of Stars
The merchants, moneygrubbers, banksmen
Orzhova, a mostly inactive god. Tithes to the church of Orzhova are incredibly common. Technically only contracts witnessed and signed by a priest of Orzhova are legal within the 13 kingdoms, although others are generally admissible in local courts.
Orzhova is one of the two kingdoms closest to the star, and acts as the apparent moon to most of the worlds. The shard is ruled over by various merchant families, and uses its wealth to control interests throughout the kingdoms. Almost every person in the kingdoms will have met a Zhentish merchant.
Zhents come from many races, hosting a number of immigrant families, and the only settled group of Gith within the kingdoms, who provide a huge amount of the kingdom’s travel needs.
Zhents use rings instead of coins, and people often display their wealth on their fingers, and occasionally even hanging from other jewellery, the higher the denomination of coins, the more wealthy.
In combat, Zhents favour crossbows, switching to pole-arms if it comes to close-quarters fighting, always trying to keep the enemy at range. They tend to wear breastplates, often with very ornate gilt, and helmets with plumes, as well as military capes.
Most other kingdoms find Zhents to be overly forthright, offering payment for anything they might want unabashedly, and always willing to haggle and argue over conditions. ‘stubborn as a zhent’ is used for someone who refuses to leave a subject alone.
Most Zhents have an interest in a house, even if they are not of the bloodline.
Zhentish (replaces common) is spoken by anyone who ever expects to travel in the kingdoms. Every village will have at least one person who speaks it fluently, and even many commoners on other shards pick up enough to communicate in it, if not well.